Category Archives: George R.R. Martin

“Cold Winds Are Rising” ~ Game of Thrones S2 Teaser

Season two teaser of Game of Thrones narrated by Stannis Baratheon, the dead King’s elder brother.

Game of Thrones Season Two Sneak Peek

A behind-the-scenes look at season 2 which premieres April 2012.

Game of Thrones: Season 2 – Winter is STILL Coming!

If you’re still coming to terms with the end of season one, then don’t worry. Filming of the second season of Game of Thrones is now under way! The first episode of which is due to air on April 15th, 2012.


Casting

The Tudors’ Natalie Dormer has been cast as Margaery Tyrell, the sister of Loras Tyrell (aka Knight of Flowers, and Renly Baretheon’s lover and supporter in his quest to take the throne from King Joffrey and the rightful heir, his brother Stannis). Dormer played Ann Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife, and after 21 episodes was beheaded in The Tudors so she should used to the brutality of this show. She’s also appearing in this summer’s Captain America: The First Avenger as Private Lorraine.


Author/Screenwriter/Producer

George R. R. Martin, the author of ‘A Song of Fire and Ice’ series of books on which the show is based upon, is also a co-executive producer of the show and wrote episode 8: “The Pointy End“. He’ll be writing another episode, the finale of season 2 which will depict an important event that appears in the second book, A Clash of Kings. [Source]


Location, Location, Location

Although the first season was filmed in Northern Ireland and Malta, Croatia and Spain were scouted as possible locations for scenes in season two although it has been confirmed that Northern Ireland will remain as the headquarters and the base of operations for filming. The casting call for extras able to live and work in NI has gone out so if you’re a strong, rough and tough male with long hair and a beard or a lady with long locks go for it! You don’t just have to be a pretty face either, those with skills in archery and sword-fighting, as a butchers, blacksmiths, farmhands and sailors are also wanted.


Interviews

In an interview available on HBO’S website, the creators of the show David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have given some hints as to what we can look forward to when the second season airs next year:

**WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD**


BENIOFF: “[…] we’ve got all sorts of worlds to introduce the audience to. From Harrenhal, this legendary and haunted old castle, to Qarth, the city where Daenerys spends much of the season. And on and on.[…]”

BENIOFF: “A lot of season 1 is about characters figuring out who they are and what they’re after. So in Season 2, you see them starting to fulfil their destinies. Daenerys Targaryen started out Season 1 as this timid little girl and ends it as a warrior queen. Now she’s intent on winning back what’s rightfully hers – the Seven Kingdoms. Jon Snow is marching north with the Night’s Watch to find out what the hell is going on up there and unravel those mysteries. His brother Robb is now the King of the North, and he’s on a mission of vengeance to march south and avenge his father’s death.”

WEISS: “And also Tyrion Lannister, along with his sister Cersei, are two of the most central figures in the second season. He’s always had the privilege of being the wry, sardonic presence who stays on the margins of things and doesn’t need to participate in the exercise of power. And now his father Tywin has thrust him into the position where he has to assume power and rule in his father’s stead, which is probably the last thing he’d want for himself. A lot of this next season details the way that he copes with that and perhaps comes to enjoy it to a certain extent. And I think Cersei is under a lot of pressure, as things are spiralling out of control. Her brother Jaime is Robb Stark’s prisoner, and she’s trying to hold her family together and protect her children, as war hurdles ever and ever closer to their doorstep.”

BENIOFF: “And with the birth of the dragons, magic has kinf of returned to the world. We saw glimpses of it in the first season with the white walkers north of the Wall and obviously the dragons being hatched. This is a world where people haven’t seen much magic in the past few centuries, and they’re starting to think it’s just superstition at this point. And in the second season, it becomes more and more evident that there are supernatural forces at work. There are people who try to channel them for their own purposes, and there are those who desperately try to avoid them – or combat them.”

In another interview:

WEISS: “[…] So there are people offscreen in the book who we are going to write onscreen in the show to make sure people who viewers have fallen in love with are still there in the second season.”

BENIOFF: “[..] There’s fluidity in that certain scenes from the third book find their way into the second season just as certain scenes from the second book find their way into the end of the first season. We wanted to make sure those characters stayed in the audience’s mind and didn’t disappear for a whole year.”


The dragons also pose a problem. The CGI budget is going to have to increase but it seems that the dragons are not the only creatures to be computer-generated. An interview with VFX producer Lucy Ainsworth-Taylor revealed they would be “tackling CG creatures with fur, plus CG fire and water”. And fur means direwolves. Yes!


Trivia

  • In episode 8 “The Pointy End” we got an eyeful of Hodor’s goods. It was a fake, a prosthetic. I’m not sure whether I should be disappointed or relieved. [Source]
  • After each episode the show’s creators, Weiss and Benioff, receive a report card from George R.R. Martin to keep them on their toes and ensure they stay on track. [Source]
  • Each episode title sequence is subtly different, as it shows the kingdoms of the world that are featured in that particular episode. [Source]
  • Author George R.R. Martin was asked if he had a resolution or ending to the seemingly endless conflict. He replied that the end would be a cloud of dust or snow being driven by the wind across a vast graveyard full of tombstones. [Source]

  • Whilst we’re waiting for season 2 to hit our screens you can:

  • check out the HBO’s Official Production Diary
  • see whether you have what it takes to seize the throne in the game ‘Battle for the Iron Throne‘.
  • watch the rather touching ‘One and a Half Man‘ video depicting Tyrion and Bron’s friendship. Aww.


  • Or you can take a gander at the Game of Thrones Muppets mash-up posters, illustrated by Yehudi Mercado and their slogan is: “You wink or you die.”




    Recap: Game of Thrones ~ S1, Ep10 “Fire and Blood”

    WHAT A FINALE!

    It went out with a bang! No one is left unaffected. Those we’ve been championing on the side of good who’d been previously doing very well, were shot down, mostly by grief. A few deaths with another possibly on their way to Valhalla the afterlife. Not to say that it’s all depressing. There is rebirth, new hope, out with the old etc.

    Death #1 is obvious. The fallout from Ned’s death in the last episode “Baelor”, is profound. His family are understandably devastated. His loss though painful, galvanised each Stark, hardening them as they hope for, or are planning to seek, vengeance.

    I have a new respect for the previously thoughtless and shallow Sansa. She may have fainted when she observed her father’s beheading but afterwards when her betrothed, King Joffrey, gives out his punishment to a singer for his offensive but very truthful song about his mother’s role in Robert’s death, though horrified she wasn’t hysterical. I was very proud of her when she failed to show emotion and give Joffrey exactly what he wanted -her pain- at being forced to gaze upon Ned’s and the Septa’s heads on spikes, and when she was slapped around for expressing her desire to see Robb give her Joffrey’s head. What surprised me in that scene was the Hound’s strangely helpful behaviour towards Sansa. He saved her life in this episode. Pushing Joffrey from that precipice would’ve been suicide. Previously he’s been portrayed as a murdering bastard loyal to more powerful murdering bastards (the Lannisters) yet we know of his awful childhood and now this odd connection between him and Sansa. I wonder how far it will go.

    Whilst Sansa is alone amongst enemies in her grief, Catelyn and Robb are together. They have new reason to fight with a method of retaliation at their feet. Literally. Killing their captive, the tight-lipped and fearless Jaime Lannister -King Killer, one of the best fighters in the Seven Kingdoms and a prized member of the family responsible for murdering the Stark family patriarch, would certainly get their point across. Follow it up with some swift bloodshed and they could finish off Tywin’s all ready weakened army. Of course, my favourite character Tyrion will be fine because he’s off to play Hand in Tywin’s place. Oh wait, the lifespan of a Hand is terribly short. At least he’ll die knowing his father acknowledges and appreciates him as his son now. If only for his mind for strategy, and the fact that he’s the only son he has left after grieving Jaime’s capture (Death #2?).

    Jon’s grief sees him desert the Black and the Wall in the dead of night, heading south towards Robb’s camp so he can have a hand in crushing his father’s murderers. He doesn’t get far before his friends and comrades catch up with him to recite his vows, reminding him of his duty and the seriousness of the situation beyond the Wall. He returns, of course, but is shocked to learn the Lord Commander knew of his little midnight trip. Jon agrees he’ll never run again when presented with the opportunity to march with the Night Watch into the unknown lands beyond the Wall to find his uncle Benjen, investigate the story behind the zombies and figure out what mischief the Wildings are up to.

    Instead of witnessing Bran and Rickon’s reaction to Ned’s death, we see that they dreamed of it and were prepared for Maester Luwin’s news. How did they know? Are they baby prophets?

    Speaking of Jon and the Wall, Arya or Ary as er, he’s now called, is on his way to join the brotherhood of criminals and lost souls. I’m not sure how Yoren came to wear the Black but he’s done good in protecting Arya. Did anyone notice Robert’s bastard son, the apprentice armourer Ned met during his investigation into what had got Jon Arryn killed, had joined Yoren’s new recruits? I’m intrigued. I bet he’ll be one of Arya’s few allies. I hope we get to see him don his finely crafted viking-like helm at some point.

    Death #3 & 4 The once mighty Khal Drogo *sniff* is dead *sniff sniff*. He died twice. First his mind went and then his life, finally snuffed out by a twice grieving Dany after the death, or sacrifice, of her son. I can’t really blame Mirri Maz Duur for doing as she did. What she said -what use is life when there is nothing left to live for or to share it with? Made perfect sense. She’d been gang-raped, she’d seen her life’s work go to waste when those she’d once healed were brutally murdered along with others she’d shared her life with, and she prevented more of that death and destruction by killing the “stallion to mount the world”. Dany had thought she’d “saved” her that day by granting her mercy (there’s that damn word again). Mercy is not always kind when given or received. In this case it led to deception and betrayal. Beware of mercy.

    Did anyone hope Jorah would finally get a kiss from Dany? I know he received a peck on the cheek for his concern but it wasn’t enough. The man cares too much, I think. Although his love for her has been mentioned I doubt he’ll get a happy ending with her now that she’s a widower, and therefore back on the market.

    I loved Dany’s speech to the remains of her Kahlesar, re-establishing her dragon identity, freeing the slaves, burning the witch and declaring that “those that will harm you will die screaming” before she does what Jorah fears -walking into the fire.


    My two favourite bits of this episode were:

    1)The “King of the North” speech denouncing the soft southern babies, they respected and bowed to the dragons but they’re dead, and elevated their new northern lord, Robb, to that of “King of the North”.

    2)The purification of fire sees Dany’s rebirth, naked and dirty, rising from the ashes like the fabled phoenix with screeching newborn dragons strategically placed on her body. The rebirth of the dragon race will be one of the things I’ll be interested in following.


    In other less important scenes we see Cersei learn of Jaime’s whereabouts whilst erm, being naughty with another male Lannister. Boy, does she get around. And Maester Pycelle. It was unclear why this scene was included, it certainly wasn’t in the book, until you saw him jump about and prepare his stooping posture before shuffling out of his chambers. Observing him in previous episodes, he was just a doddering old man to be ignored. To see him getting his freak on with Ros, who also underestimates him, and then explode with energy has us believing he’ll be playing a pivotal role in the future, no doubt giving the brilliant strategists Varys and Littlefinger a run for their money.

    This TV series has done a terrific job of transforming A Game of Thrones into a faithful TV adaptation. It’s success is most likely due to the author, George R. R. Martin’s, involvement in almost every step of the project. For fans of the book, there are little extras. For those completely new to the world of the Seven Kingdoms, a great effort has been made to explain the backgrounds of the characters and the modern history producing this turbulent situation leading to political and personal nightmares.


    Best moment of the season and something I’m looking forward to seeing more of next year:

    Bitchslap of the year!


    “Fire and Blood” is the 10th and last episode of season 1. And not the only season. YES! They’re all ready working on the second with filming starting in July. Yippee! If like me you can’t wait for that season premiere then this little promo should give you a hint of things to come.

    Hmm, fire, smoke and an animal-like screech? Whatever could that be…?


    Screw the Olympics!** Summer 2012 I have a date with my TV!

    In the meantime, I shall be eyeing up Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) in the remake of Conan the Barbarian. If you can’t wait for more Game of Thrones why not read the book the first season is based on, or read what happens next in A Clash of Kings. WARNING: The characters’ ages, the youngsters in particular, were aged up in the show e.g. TV Dany is 16 while book Dany is 13. Don’t read it if you’re squeamish. Violent battle scenes and explicit sex(ual abuse) are described.

    Let the countdown to more GoT goodness begin!


    **This is not an admission of bitterness. So I don’t have tickets to the biggest British sporting event in decades, who cares.


    Related posts:
    Recap: Game of Thrones S1 Ep7 ~ “You Win Or You Die”
    Recap: Game of Thrones S1, Ep8 ~ “The Pointy End”
    Recap: Game of Thrones S1, Ep9 ~ “Baelor”


    Recap: Game of Thrones S1, Ep9 ~ “Baelor”

    RIP Lord Eddard “Ned” Stark, patriarch of House Stark and ex-Hand of the King.

    Nooooooo!

    Most will not have seen that coming. How could you when the famous Sean Bean was playing him? You’d expect the show would keep him as the main attraction until the end where he’d obviously triumph over the evil Lannisters, gather up his family and return to his home in the North to live happily ever after.

    Now we’re left grieving for the most painfully honourable man who sacrificed his highest principle for the sake of his daughters, only to be deceived and betrayed by the most powerful in the land, the dishonourable King Joffrey. Notice I didn’t mention his mother, Cersei. She lunged for her son when he ordered Ned’s death. Alive and he would be a future asset to be manipulated later. Dead and he’s a martyr worth fighting for.

    It appears Ned had foreseen the possibility of betrayal when he passed Yoren and says “Baelor”, indicating Arya watching from the statue of Baelor, who taught the people to be merciful. The Lannisters were absent that lesson. Yoren took the hint and sought out Arya, shielding her from her father’s gruesome death whereas Sansa has a front row seat. No longer is she a sheltered and cosseted child. This event surely marks the end of her childhood with a lesson of ultimate betrayal. And that’s the theme of this episode: truth, lies and sacrifice.

    Poor Jon up at The Wall, rewarded for saving the Lord Commander’s life with his most precious family heirloom he had to give -a sword (“That’s a man’s sword. Takes a man to wield it”), he is faced with the ultimate choice: Robb and his family vs. his honour and duty to the Black. If he chooses family and runs he’ll be branded a traitor and will receive the same punishment as his father should he be caught. If he chooses to stay at The Wall he could be forced to stand by and watch his family die, one by one, just as The Wall’s Maester Aemon Targaryan of the Royal House Targaryan, uncle to the dead “Mad King”.

    Maester Aemon reveals his true identity to a shocked Jon Snow

    Meanwhile, Catelyn puts her life in the hands of the ancient and yet still virile “late” Lord Frey when she bargains for the safe passage of Robb and his army across the river via The Twins, Frey’s stronghold, to ambush the Lannisters. She brings Robb the deal on the table – a sacrifice of choice: of Arya’s husband, Robb’s wife and his personal squire -all to be plucked from Frey’s enormous number of children. Robb reluctantly agrees, knowing his future wife will not be pretty. His tough decisions do not stop there when he sacrifices sends “2,000 men to their graves” to fight the main Lannister camp as a diversion so he could re-take Riverrun, Catelyn’s home, beseiged by Jaime Lannister in the Riverlands. Jaime’s capture is a great coup for Robb, his first victory but he refuses to celebrate when so many had died for it.

    Look at my beard. I'm a man now.

    Over in the enemy camp, when Tywin places his son Tyrion on the front line with his “wildings” he asks Bron to find him a woman, if he is to die the next day. Shae is young and savvy, bargaining her worth and surprising Tyrion when his assumptions about her and her parents prove untrue during a true or false drinking game, either that or she was lying. As a penalty for the offence he caused, Shae presses him to disclose the distressing details of his former marriage to another whore and its painful end, orchestrated by his cruel father.

    Awakened from his bed to stop him from “sleeping through the war”, Tyrion goes into battle and is ordered to “stay low” by Bron which is swiftly followed by Tyrion being trampled by his own men in their excitement to fight. Unfortunately we don’t see any of the battle scenes in the book, most likely due to budget constraints. All we know is that Tyrion was injured and is named a “shit warrior” by Bron when he wakes up after the battle has ended.

    When we join the Dothraki, we find that the almightily sexy Khal Drogo has fallen from his horse due to his mortally infected wound -a bad omen because “A Khal who cannot ride is no Khal.” Dany struggles to maintain authority over his bloodriders and denies the seriousness of her husband’s condition. Jorah however, sees exactly how bad things are and encourages his Khaleesi to leave with him before Drogo dies and his men kill her unborn son for the competition he represents as future Khal. She refuses and instead calls for the witch she rescued, claiming “I have never been nothing. I am the blood of the dragon” to which a bloodrider responds “The dragons are all dead, Khaleesi.”

    The witch demands a death for a life for the injured Khal. Dany assumes it would be her own but the witch says no, not her life, implying she would need the life of another. She says no more and slits the throat of Drogo’s horse, splattering both him and Dany with blood in the process. When she leaves the tent, the witch warns everyone to stay away whilst she does her spell but a bloodrider takes offence at the magic being performed prompting a fight between him and Jorah. All this is too much for Dany though and she goes into labour, leaving us with the image of the victorious Jorah carrying Dany to the tent and the witch, who has midwifery skills. We have to wait to see how Dany and her son fares until next week, for the last episode of the series.


    We can’t hope for too much. We’ve seen that George R. R. Martin is not one for happy endings. No one is safe from the Grim Reaper.

    Who will be next?


    Preview of episode 10: “Fire and Blood


    Related posts:
    Recap: Game of Thrones S1 Ep7 ~ “You Win Or You Die”
    Recap: Game of Thrones S1, Ep8 ~ “The Pointy End”
    Recap: Game of Thrones ~ S1, Ep10 “Fire and Blood”

    Recap: Game of Thrones S1, Ep8 ~ “The Pointy End”

    Well, I think we know why this episode was called the “The Pointy End”, don’t we? Shorter, action-packed scenes with much blood and gore in this one. So much it seems that there was no time for naked breasts. None! Not one. Although we did get a well-endowed naked Hodor. Not sure if people will be turned on in their thousands by a man who can only say one word, and its not even his name but then sometimes we don’t need them to speak when they have…other qualities now, do we ladies?

    There were two moments in this episode that really summed everything up:

    1) Ned’s response to Varys when he was asked what possessed him to reveal his hand Cersei:

    “The madness of mercy”


    2) Syrio and Arya’s final scene together as he tells her to run as he faces down her would-be kidnappers:

    “What do we say to the god of death?”
    “Not today”

    Which Varys, presuming he was the god in this case, echoed when Ned told him to just slit his throat to get it over with. “Not today.”

    Both of these moments set the tone for the whole episode, establishing a repeating pattern and relationship of mercy-giver and mercy-receiver. There were so many of these I had to go back and watch the whole thing again to check I hadn’t missed anyone.

    • Ned’s damnable mercy saw his entire city household murdered, one daughter held hostage and the other fleeing the death of her dance master, and himself locked up awaiting judgement – all for the sake of Cersei’s children whom he hoped to save from death and disgrace if the truth of Joffrey’s parentage should come to light. Did he think of the effect his decision would have on his own children first? Nope. Lesson: Sometimes it’s okay to look after you and yours before others. It’s not selfish, it’s wise.

    • Inexperienced and rightly scared “green boy” Robb, is weighed down by responsibility (“If you lose, your father dies, your sisters die. We die.”), leading his host to war (when his older, stupid aunt Lysa will hide away and pretend the war won’t come knocking at her door) and grants mercy to two people:

    – Greatjon Umber who refuses to back down, unsheathes his sword provoking Ghost to act on the threat by breaking off two of his fingers to which Robb asserts his knowledge that to arm yourself in the presence of your lord is treason punishable by death and assures everyone he was probably just trying to cut his meat for him to which Umber responds “Your meat is bloody tough!” and laughs it off. Dude, you’re missing some fingers, aren’t you in pain? These are some tough bastards, these Northerners. Lannisters beware.

    – A captured Lannister spy. In this case, I’d’ve murdered the bastard and sent his head back to Tywin with the message “Winter is coming” stuffed in his throat instead of letting him run back to the enemy with damaging information. I think the show’s brutality is rubbing off on me.

    • Osha had also previously been given a second chance at life by Robb back at Winterfell and while not necessarily classed as a slave she is in chains for her group’s medieval attempt at car-jacking, endangering young Bran’s life in the process.

    Am I sexy? Hell yes!

    • Dany’s “gentle heart” was offended at the other “pointy end” -the rape of the sheep women of a conquered village by her Khal’s men, which has been toned down as the book goes into detail about this scene. She saves them from further torture and slavery or dying horribly, and in return she receives the aid of a ‘magi’ or witch whom Dany lets treat her beloved’s wound (also not as gory as in the book) after one of his men takes umbridge at the foreign Khaleesi commanding him to yield his prized ‘mounts’ and spoils of war. Khal Drogo’s appeal sky rocketed when he ripped out the dissenter’s throat and tongue, spraying him with blood. Awesome. My inner cave woman applauded and itched to jump his bones. Down girl!


    And now onto what I’ll call strategic mercy. Mercy for the sake of getting something in return rather than pure altruism.

    'Lannister smiths shit better steal'

    • Bron refuses to steal the supplies and kill Tyrion because of the riches he’ll receive when they make it to Camp Lannister and Tywin’s bottomless purse.

    • The Hilltribes acquiesce to Tyrion’s plea to yet again, not kill him when he offers them the Vale whose knights and lord would see him dead. He promises weapons as reward for his safe return to his father, the newly appointed Hand to the king. However, upon their arrival Tywin sees the wisdom in hiring them for the war against the Stark’s 20,000 men (“The wolf rushes into the Lions jaws…so be it”) but unfortunately for Tyrion they’ll only agree if the “little lion” fights alongside them. Eek. Of course, being a disappointment to his father there’s little doubt he’ll be sacrificed to this task. He’s always finding himself in tight spots and he’s survived thus far. Dare we hope he’ll continue to breathe when others haven’t?

    'When you look at me, do you see a hero?' -Um, no.

    • Varys shows mercy to Ned by bringing him water to prevent him from dying of thirst and informs him of the state of his affairs. Not something we’d expect from him unless it was to his advantage to help Ned. Hmm.

    • King Joffrey (whose performance impressed me this episode) and his mother, Cersei allow Sansa to plead for mercy on behalf of her allegedly treasonous father. Until now, he’s been kept alive as a hostage used to control his powerful family. Strangely Varys, the only man to serve the realm instead of himself, and Littlefinger back her plea. The poor girl has no idea she’s a pawn, a tool eagerly used by Cersei to send a message to Winterfell. No one was fooled save naive Sansa.

    • Ser Barristan Selmy -The rat bastards! Strategically speaking, it would be a bad move to kill the high profile, well-respected and honourable Lord Commander of the Kingsguard (the bodyguards to the king) but his honour would stand in the way of the immoral Lannisters’ machinations. He’d turn traitor faster than anyone could spit. Giving him “a hole to die in” and “men to bury” him together with the promotion of Jaime Lannister, the man who murdered the ‘Mad King’, just added insult to injury. His role was his calling unto death. They all laughed when Littlefinger commented at Selmy’s disrobing of his symbols of office yet everyone quickly drew their weapons when he produced his sword. Obviously not too old to whip their butts, as Joffrey claimed, if that was their reaction.

    I'm not too old to ram this sword where the sun don't shine.

    Arya had no time for mercy and zombies have not the capacity for it. Osha’s warning about sending those soldiers north instead of south had new meaning when one refused to die at the skilled hands of Jon Snow fighting to protect the Wall’s Lord Commander. The mysterious White Walkers had the all ready cowardly Sam looking fearfully at the Wall, hoping it was high enough if what he’d read about them was true.

    Will any of these mercy-givers come to regret their mercy in the future when those they’ve granted clemency could turn around and stab them in the back? Just as Ned is experiencing now.

    Many met “The Pointy End” and those that didn’t may wish they had now that war has broken out and the bad omens are rolling in thick and fast. Only two episodes left. Will anyone survive?

    I’ll leave you with *ichan-02’s interpretation of Jon Snow and his snow-white wolf, Ghost.


    Preview of episode 9: “Baelor


    Related posts:
    Recap: Game of Thrones S1 Ep7 ~ “You Win Or You Die”
    Recap: Game of Thrones S1, Ep9 ~ “Baelor”
    Recap: Game of Thrones ~ S1, Ep10 “Fire and Blood”

    Recap: Game of Thrones S1 Ep7 ~ “You Win Or You Die”

    Some stellar moments in this week’s Game of Thrones.

    The Lannister patriarch, played to excellent effect by Charles Dance, certainly made a memorable first impression. Methodically butchering an animal whilst dressing down his son Jaime for not killing Ned when he was injured. Jaime claims he doesn’t care what others think, implying he only cares about his opinion of himself. The ruthless father then goes on to order his son to rescue Tyrion for appearances sake rather than love to inspire fear and respect.

    You can find great role models in the Game of Thrones, the Lannisters and Littlefinger in particular. They teach us that you’ve got to get your hands bloody, to manipulate, manipulate, manipulate, to prostitute yourself (figuratively and literally) and just generally fuck everyone over. It really doesn’t matter because as long as you attain your goal it’s all acceptable. Who says honour is a valuable commodity? Er, Ned Stark actually. Machiavelli would be proud.

    Speaking of Ned, he stupidly naively puts all his cards on the table when he reveals his knowledge of Joffrey’s true parentage to Cersei who admits to twincest and reasons it was because Robert was in love with a dead girl, Lyanna, Ned’s sister. Ned gives her an ultimatum: you tell Robert, or I will. She responds by informing Ned he could’ve taken the throne when Jaime killed the Mad King but he doesn’t regret it. He never wanted to be king. Because being the king sucks. They tend to die horrible deaths.

    ”When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.” ~ Cersei

    We then move to an added scene which doesn’t appear in the similarly named book but which fills in the audience on some history and find Theon’s Ros in Littlefinger’s whorehouse in a girl-on-girl training session with Peter Baelish recounting his childhood relationship with and unrequited love for the then Catelyn Tully, now Stark, and his desire for revenge for his rebuffed advances by her and her family. A warning for what’s to come.

    Robert tells an apparently stricken (was he faking?) and despicable Joffrey that he should’ve spent more time with him and that he was “never meant to be a father” which considering his numerous and neglected offspring, is blatantly obvious. When Ned and Robert are left alone Ned decides not to inform him of his wife’s betrayal and instead changes the words of Robert’s last wishes from leaving the throne to “my son” to “my rightful heir”. Sneaky but the act adheres to Stark’s rigid code of ethics. And then Robert dies, “murdered by a pig”. How brave and honourable a death it was. Not. It was fitting taking into account his lack of care and responsibility as king.

    Barristan Selmy feels guilty for the king’s death but Ned reassures him that no one could protect Robert from himself after which Varys points out the wine and the man dispensing it – a Lannister, inferring his death could be murder. Another one? Jon Arryn’s death is still unsolved. Is this Murder, She Wrote? Are the Lannisters Jessica Fletcher in disguise with death and distruction following them everywhere? It’s mightily suspicious. I always did wonder if it was Jessica who was offing everyone and framing her trusted friends and family.

    Not wanting to be king himself, Ned is presented with other possibilities:

    1) Renly advises him to take Joffrey for whomever has the heir controls the Seven Kingdoms.

    2) Ned states Stannis is the rightful heir even though he “inspires no love or loyalty”, he’s a soldier but good soldiers don’t always “make good kings”. Look at Robert.

    3) Confronted with the truth, Littlefinger suggests moulding Joffrey into a respectable king and if that fails crown Renly.

    4) Well, there was no #4 but I wanted to add Robert’s bastards. They may not be able to inherit but they deserve a mention.

    And who does Ned choose? He picks Stannis. The man nobody backs. When will he learn? Ned sends him a letter and asks Littlefinger to make a deal with the Kingsguard to get the Gold Cloaks to follow him instead of the Lannisters but fails to realise they’ll only follow those who’ll pay them the most and well, the Lannisters are the richest people around so you can guess where this is going can’t you?

    Ned’s presence is requested by “King” Joffrey and is informed by Varys that Renly has fled with his lover, Loras. In the throne room Cersei encourages Ned to “bend the knee”, Ned refuses, produces Robert’s last decree which she shreds. Ned calls on the Gold Cloaks and for a moment he thinks he’s safe until they turn and kill his men while Littlefinger puts a knife to his throat and whispers “I did warn you not to trust me.”

    Meanwhile, Dany fails to persuade Khal Drogo to cross the sea to take the Iron Throne until a wine merchant tries to poison the “moon of his life”. Previously the Khal has uttered few words so it was shocking to hear him bellow his pledge of the Iron Throne and its Seven Kingdoms to his unborn son and watch him beat his chest and roar with rage declaring his intent to rape their women and make slaves of their children for attempting to murder his pregnant Khaleesi. On the one hand this barbarian’s masculine display seemed silly but on the other it was downright sexy.

    Jorah receiving his royal pardon from Varys, aka the Spider, and subsequently saving Dany from the wine vendor’s poisoned wares was an added bonus for fans of the book and an indication of where Ser Jorah’s allegiance now truly lies.

    With Robert’s death there’s no longer a reason to attack the Seven Kingdoms. The Khal’s enemy is dead. However, his death now opens up a world of opportunity. Few like the Lannisters. Stannis is the rightful heir with his brother Renly also a contender for the crown. Some interesting times ahead, not to mention Osha’s warning to Maester Luwin at Winterfell, that the Others were only sleeping and they’re not sleeping no more. This sense of foreboding is enhanced when Benjen’s horse returns riderless and Ghost finds a severed hand north of the Wall itself.

    From now on events are going to be explosive. This is where the game of thrones truly begins.

    Winter is coming…


    Preview of episode 8: “The Pointy End


    Related posts:
    Recap: Game of Thrones S1, Ep8 ~ “The Pointy End”
    Recap: Game of Thrones S1, Ep9 ~ “Baelor”
    Recap: Game of Thrones ~ S1, Ep10 “Fire and Blood”

    “Game of Thrones”

    haven promo

    My hubby, a big fan of the books, was ecstatic when he heard George R.R. Martin’s series was being made into an HBO series. I was excited, but didn’t know what to expect, having not read the books. And, after watching the first episode, he seems to be pleased with the way it’s been done so far. You can never be sure how a book will translate to screen, whether small or big.

    I can already tell I’m going to love watching the show. It’s visually stunning and reminds me of “Lord of the Rings” with all the wide open spaces, beautiful scenery and such. But, the characters and the story have already piqued my interest and I want to know more.

    Now the question is … read the books while watching the series or not?

    To find out more about “Game of Thrones” you can check out HBO and IMDB.

    Tagline: Winter is coming.

    HBO’s “About the Show”: “Summers span decades. Winters can last a lifetime And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

    It will stretch from the south, where heat breeds plots, lusts and intrigues; to the vast and savage eastern lands; all the way to the frozen north, where an 800-foot wall of ice protects the kingdom from the dark forces that lie beyond. Kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars, lords and honest men … all will play the ‘Game of Thrones’.

    A new original series based on George R.R. Martin’s best-selling ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ series is coming soon to HBO.”

    Series based on: A Game of Thrones (Book #1) by George R.R. Martin
    agot
    (Check out all the books in the series here)

    Starring: D.B. Weiss. Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage, Iain Glen, Lena Headey, et al