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Game of Thrones Turns Us All Into Monsters

Reaction video to the lastest out-of-the-blue death in Westeros. Spoilers, obviously.

Basically, if you find yourself at a wedding there, RUN.

Who did it? The books explain it, but honestly, I’ve forgotten. In the final analysis, it doesn’t really matter. Nothing good will come of it. Well, some good, maybe, but really a whole lot of horrible. It will just be horrible that we will tolerate because it’s being visited on (mostly) the right people.

We are steeped so far in blood that sin will pluck on sin.

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Game of Roses, or How George R.R. Martin Gave New Names to Historical Persons

I see my friends getting all excited for the new season of Game of Thrones. It almost makes me wish for HBO. But as I’ve said before, I’ve read the books, and as I’ve said before, Martin has drawn heavily on the actual history of 15th-century England in creating his saga. Sure, most people with a basic knowledge of the Wars of the Roses will see York and Lancaster in Stark and Lannister, but it goes deeper than that. Some of the key characters are practically reincarnated versions of real people who played the game of thrones in an England drenched in war.

To wit: (Spoiler-Free for anyone who has seen up to the end of Season 3 of the series, but hasn’t read the books) Continue reading → Game of Roses, or How George R.R. Martin Gave New Names to Historical Persons

The Unremitting Torture That is Game of Thrones

I’m one of those people. I’ve read all the books. I kept my mouth shut during the last season while everyone on Facebook was expressing hope that the Starks would somehow outwit the Lannisters. I still know things that the TV-only crowd doesn’t know (Lannisters always pays their debts).

Since I don’t have HBO, I’m actually pretty far behind on the show. I decided to buy the first season, which I have seen, and review it, then buy the second season. I’ve gotten as far as Ned Stark’s arrest at the end of episode eight, and I don’t want to watch anymore.

I don’t want to see Sansa flutter about in pre-Stockholm Syndrome. I don’t want to watch Arya start her Endless Escape. I don’t want to watch Joffrey ask for the head. I don’t want to read Arya having to be stopped by the Hound from rushing into the Red Wedding. Not until I know how it ends.

I haven’t been able to read any of the first three books for this reason. Maybe some of the Tyrion and Daenerys chapters. I’ve been sticking with Feast for Crows and Dance of Dragons, looking for signs of what’s coming (Daenerys, please please please unleash the dragons. It’s who you are. It cannot be stopped).

Until this series is finished, revisiting the many defeats that the patient merit of the unworthy claim is a bit much for me.

Game of Thrones: Shock and Hope

At this point, you really should know that if you’re watching Game of Thrones, and someone points a camera at you, something really bad is going to happen.

There’s a some agita on Facebook right now between people who have read the books and who haven’t, now that The Wedding has finally happened. I am one of the former, and I kept things to myself, aside from the occasional cryptic utterance that “you just have no idea what’s coming.” For myself, who threw my copy of Storm of Swords across the room when I got to this part, I have nothing but sympathy for people who went into that episode unawares (Here’s an Onion piece imagining that George R.R. Martin had forgotten about it. Think of it as a palate cleanser). So if you find yourself annoyed at everyone who’s all smug today, just remember that we’ve been exactly where you are.

Ace of Spades didn’t consider it a great episode, and that doesn’t bode well for the series. Of course, it also doesn’t bode well for the series that the books aren’t done, but what else is new?

From what I’ve picked up, the episode ended with the Wedding, and cut to black just after everything went down. I also seem to understand that the third book has largely been cut in half, which means everyone’s going to have to wait a whole other season to see the end of the book. I don’t know how many non-readers are going to have the patience for that, so from someone who’s gone all the way to the end of Book 5, and am still waiting to see how all this turns out, here’s something to keep in mind:

Stark and Lannister bears obvious resemblance to York and Lancaster, the feuding Houses in the Wars of the Roses. That particular dynastic bloodbath killed almost everyone involved with it, king and pawn, schemer and fool. Several times it seemed that York or Lancaster had won outright, but such victories were illusions. There was always another round of betrayal and battle to come, and more guilty and innocent to die. When it was all over, the House of York was a single princess, and the House of Lancaster was an obscure Welshman named Henry Tudor.

So just remember Arya’s Prayer, and know that this is nowhere near being over.

George Will Not Finish the Book(s)

[The following post will be of no interest to people who are not fans of George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series.]

This is me, calling it.

(h/t: Finish the Book, George)

When the HBO series started, I knew this wouldn’t work. I knew that the series would go faster than the books, and run the risk of hitting the end with the books unfinished. The third season, which covers the third book, is starting on HBO soon. There are five books total. The math simply does not work. Even if Martin manages to bring in Winds of Winter in his promised two-year time frame, (which, one doubts) what then? Do we really hope that the seventh book will finish it off?

So don’t be surprised if HBO finishes the story. That might end up being for the best.

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Game of Thrones Season Two

They should be calling it Clash of Kings, as that’s the second book. But the virtue of the title Game of Thrones is that it fits the scope of the entire saga. In fact, it fits better than the official title, A Song of Ice and Fire. Thus far, the Ice and the Fire have both remained on the margins of the main plot.

Anyway, here’s the trailer. I probably won’t get a chance to watch it until HBO goes free for another weekend, so…

http://www.hbo.com/bin/hboPlayerV2u.swf?vid=1234943