Tag Archives: Game of Thrones

Can I Get an Amen? *Fangirl Squee*

Yep.  It was an awesome Game of Thrones season finale.  Indeed, we viewed both cringe-worthy and cheer-worthy scenes.  I even needed a tissue at one point to blot tears.  Teeny tiny ones.  But a girl threw her fist in the air with a triumphant, “YES!” as Sam Tarly walked into the Citadel library.giphy

I felt an urge to be standing RIGHT THERE, inhaling the scents of parchment, leather, and polished rosewood (or the Westerosi/Essos equivalent).  All the books.  All the parchment.  Pfft.  Never mind that women aren’t admitted into the inner sanctum.  A homegirl could make it work.

And then they panned across the ceiling and I got to see the light fixtures…

*crickets chirping*

What?  Am I the only person out of the many GoT fans on my friends list on Facebook who did not catch them?

armillary-spheres-game-of-thrones-citadel-library-opening-credits (1)

They are the spinny metal engraved discs that spin and illuminate and transition through the opening sequence of the show!  THOSE THINGS.  They are hanging from the ceiling in the Citadel.

We’ve been watching them burn their images into our greedy little retinas for years now.

BaratheonGoTDisc

THOSE discs.  Right.  Got it.  HOW FREAKING COOL!!  They’ve been there all this time, and they show up in the LIBRARY!

What a library, though. *love*

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Game of Thrones: Where I Think It’s Headed, and Why

GameofThronesI haven’t looked around the internet, because I don’t want to be spoiled (you just never know!) and there are plenty of clever bloggers and GoT fans who have worked out goodly chunks of the plot through HBO’s hugely successful adapted-to-screen series by Sadist, Brilliant Writer and Master of Many Deaths, George R. R. Martin.

I’m not a very clever blogger, but I’m putting down my thoughts on record so I can “neener, neener, neener” my way to bragging rights RIGHT NOW, so as the loooong wait until the next (hopefully not final, but I have my suspicions) season crawls slowly forward, I can say to my husband/mom/brother/friends, “I called it!”  In the likely event that I get something wrong… well, hope springs eternal, even for fans of THIS show.  We’re used to disappointment.

Everyone else who’s read the books and/or watches the show has an Opinion.  Here are mine.

Daenerys Targaryen

A few things here… Dragon Girl is going to take the throne.  We all know this is going to happen.  But she won’t do it alone, and I don’t think her reign will be a lonely one.  More than that, I think she’ll be more than the figurehead beloved of the downtrodden, killer of Khals, mother of dragons, and breaker of chains.

Let’s start with that damnable curse/prophecy laid on her by the midwife and witch Mirri Maz Duur.  Tricky, self-fulfilling things, aren’t they?  Let’s review.

“When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east,” said Mirri Maz Duur. “When the seas go dry and mountains blow in the wind like leaves. When your womb quickens again, and you bear a living child. Then [Drogo] will return, and not before.”

I’m leaning toward prophecy, rather than curse.  Daenerys  seems to have accepted infertility as a foregone conclusion.  She lost her son, Rhaego, with the death of his father, Khal Drogo, due to shock, the effect of the dark magic ritual she completed at Duur’s urging, or as a result of her lineage.  Perhaps it’s because she was young at the time of her pregnancy, endured hardships for which she was not mentally or physically prepared, was herself a child born of an incestuous marriage (and her parents, also the product of an incestuous marriage), and may very well have a genetic predisposition to infertility and/or birth defects… or whether the loss of her child was, as she believes, caused by a curse, Daenerys believes herself infertile.

If viewed as a prophecy, Daenerys could very well still bear a child after years of infertility.  Perhaps it would take the right conditions, and the right man… say, Jon Snow. Or, perhaps not.  And if their child was named Drogo… he, Drogo, will have, in a sense, returned.

So what about the sun rising in the west?  Sounds impossible, right?  So does walking through a fire.  Weirder things have happened. Right now, I’m looking through the invaluable (and addictive) appendix in A Dance With Dragons.  Go ahead… grab your copy.

Notice the section for House Martell of Dorne?   Yes, those Martells… the ones who are on the warpath for mostly justifiable reasons too numerous to count?

Then young Prince Quentyn of Martell shows up, pledging  to the Mother of Dragons “fifty thousand spears and swords” — and Daenarys asks Ser Barristan to identify the arms of House Martell.  He replies, “A sun in splendor, transfixed by a spear.”

Instead of the witch’s curse, though, she’s reminded of  Quaithe’s “prophecy” (also eerily similar):

What else had Quaithe said?  The pale mare and the sun’s son.  There was a lion in it, too, and a dragon.

We know Quentyn, a potential candidate, engages in a highly stupid attempt to master the resident dragons, and dies a fiery, dragon-induced death.  The sun falls in the east.

The children of “Sunspear” daughter Elia Martell and Rhaegar Targaryen were thought to have been murdered by Gregor Clegaine, but in this book, Varys claims to have switched infants to protect Aegon, and another child was murdered instead.  We really can’t be sure, because even at the gory scene, the child’s face was unrecognizable.  Nonetheless, Tywin Lannister proclaimed the body to be that of the child Aegon, and despite false trails and misdirection (of which Varys is highly skilled), we honestly don’t know if this is true, or who this heir might be.  So the sun/son would be a Martell and a Targaryen, and could “rise” in Westeros as a power.

Stay with me.

Gregor Clegaine (Or, She’s Making Mountains out of Mole Hills)

The huge and horrible Gregor Clegane is called “The Mountain” — and while the books and TV series are not entirely in synch, that much, at least, is consistent. In Season Six, we see Clegane alive-ish, despite Martell’s best efforts to kill him.  He’s still a monster, but one without initiative.  The Mountain has fallen.  He’s not blowing “in the wind like leaves” but he’s certainly not what he was.  His brother Sandor, however, also a huge mountain of a man, has also experienced a radical transformation of sorts, as we see in “The Broken Man”.  He’s fallen, been discovered in the dirt and at death’s door by a stranger, and found himself in possession of hours he doesn’t feel he deserves, in a life  he counted all but over.  He’s experiencing a shift in thinking at the moment.  He’s in the process of becoming something new.  Both he and his brother have been instrumental in the change that’s taking place in Westeros.  Both men have taken and traded lives, and paid for it.

But while both of them have fallen, Gregor has become nothing more than an instrument of death.  Anything he was has been reduced to raw materials in a sense.  Sandor is on the cusp of something…more.

But the prophecy mentions mountains… plural.  Maybe there’s more than one way to work through this.

I’m not sure about the sea reference.  I think it goes back to the Smoking Sea, the cursed land and waters near Old Valyria which were rocked hundreds of years prior by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.  The Stone Men are all that seem to inhabit these waters.  If it’s still geologically active, it’s possible that this could cause a mountain to collapse, ash to fly, and the sea to dry (with earthquakes and the tidal waves that could follow, this could be a very real consequence).

So the mountain and the sun are mentioned in the prophecy/curse, and the Mountain/Sunspears have a direct connection to a possible legitimate Targaryan heir.

Who might this heir be?  Well, this would have been fifteen years before the events in A Song of Fire and Ice.

That would be right around the time Jon Snow was born.  Right around the time Ned Stark brought home a kid he inexplicably raises as his own, but never formally legitimizes and recognizes as a Stark.

Jon Snow

Not only do I not think Jon is Ned Stark’s bastard son, but I’m kind of conflicted about the guy’s parentage.

On the one hand, I do think he could be the missing Targaryen heir.   I think it’s entirely possible he’s the child of Rhaegar and Elia.  In A Dance With Dragons, a man identified as Aegon VI takes advantage of the infighting in Westeros to try to claim a foothold.  He might have purple eyes and act the part, but I’m not entirely sold.  At this point, everyone and his half-cousin has made a claim on the throne, so why not a Targaryen who was presumed and declared deceased?  I believe he’d be Danaerys’ nephew, but that’s not a deal breaker with the biggest families in the Seven Kindgoms.  Ick.

Then again, he could also be the son of Lyanna and Rhaegar, who very publicly acknowledged her beauty, kidnapped her, and raped her.  This attack not only instigated a massive war, but Jon could very well have been conceived in this violence.

In Season Six, we see Bran and the Three-Eyed Raven exploring history in a “visit” back through time to the tower where Lyanna is held captive.  We see Ned Stark as a young man, fighting to save his sister, along with his brothers and a young Howland Reed.  Lyanna (presumably) can be heard screaming, but we never see exactly why.  Is she being attacked?  Or is she suffering the agony of childbirth?

If the latter is the case, it goes a long way to explaining why Ned Stark comes home from the war with a baby, one he never explains to Catelyn’s satisfaction, and a constant cause of jealousy and hatred from her.  Poor Jon.

And, while no one ever hinted that Robert Baratheon and Lyanna were ever more than betrothed (although Robert carried a torch for her well after her death and his marriage to Cersei Lannister), it’s possible that Jon could be Baratheon’s son.  I’m not sure about this one, though.  Lyanna was by all accounts headstrong and not easily pushed around, and I can’t imagine Ned would have remained friends if Robert had taken advantage of the arrangement in any way.  I get the sense that while Robert was a skirt chaser, he respected Lyanna enough to not have violated that trust… at least, not before they were married.  But, men… you just never know.  If Jon was their child, though, it would make him a legitimate heir to the throne.  He’d also make a reasonable match for Daenerys, since she wouldn’t be marrying into family.  A Baratheon would have the throne… and so would a Targaryen.  Tidy, that.

If Catelyn Stark and Jon Snow never heard the full story about his parentage, it’s likely we’re only going to hear it from Bran and his uncle Benjen… who would have the inside scoop as much as anyone left alive could, assuming anyone believed them.

Tyrion Lannister

We know he’s always been enchanted with dragons.  Even if you haven’t read the books, the HBO series established this early on.  And in Season Six, Tyrion becomes something of a dragon charmer in Daenery’s absence.  Why did the dragons not eat him?

I’m pretty certain that Tyrion’s a Lannister, and he isn’t.  Ser Barristan is asked by Daenarys to share what he knows about her father and mother, and who they would have chosen if they’d been “free to follow their own hearts.”  Barristan  tells her about a woman her father had his eye on, a “certain lady of Casterly Rock” who married her cousin, Tywin Lannister.

Tywin Lannister, who always hated Tyrion, who maintained until his death that Tyrion wasn’t his son.  Perhaps it wasn’t figurative language, or the petulance of a judgmental, horrid, self-absorbed man.  Barristan reveals that Prince Aerys drank too much at the wedding and expressed his views on the sexual liberties once granted as “the lord’s right” — and that Lannister never forgot those words or the “liberties [Aerys] took during the bedding.”

The only monkey wrench here is that I believe Tyrion’s siblings are older than he is — Cersei and Jaime might also be complications.  Possibly, Aerys is Tyrion’s father from a union that occurred after their birth.

So, it’s entirely possible that Tyrion is Daenarys’ half-brother.  I’d say it’s even likely.

Back to prophecies, curses and dreams. We’re looking at the pale mare, the sun’s son, the lion, the dragon, a mountain, and a sea running dry.

Still looking for clues.

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On Anything-ism in Fiction, and Hypocrites

It cracks me up when people criticize fiction because it doesn’t present modern Western ideas about social matters in what’s considered a forward-thinking way. It is fiction. If you want to write fiction that seeks to reform someone’s thinking, do that. If you want to read fiction that changes and transforms the world, go, you. But to criticize the product of someone’s work and imagination because you disapprove of the theme is laughable to me, and small-minded. It’s saying, “Of course, you should be creative. Just don’t do it THAT way because it’s backward and icky and you’re horrible. Also, it hurts my feelings.”

Rrrright. So, see, criticizing George R. R. Martin because Game of Thrones is violent and sadistic, and, at times, sexist, is kind of stupid. Anyone who doesn’t like those thinOneOfThoseDaysgs ought to be forewarned and not read the books, unless you enjoy the inner turmoil that results from reading graphic everything vile, but you’d be missing out on so
me killer intrigue and world building (which I always admire in a plot, but the latter
is not in academic vogue at the moment). The same goes for any other matters addre
ssed in the books. They aren’t about changing society, and if the series makes you think, yay. But it’s fantasy, which kind of means anything goes, and often does.

If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. But don’t insist that artists/musicians/authors change what they do because it grates on your sense of social outrage. I saw someone attack Emilia Clarke because she defended GoT against critics who call it sexist. Ironically, some of the comments coming from detractors were, frankly, sexist. Can’t have it both ways.

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