Tagged: cersei

Lazy Sundays: The Queen’s Justice (Game of Thrones Episode 7.03)

I can’t believe I missed one important thing from last week!  The scene between Grey Worm and Missandei was very sweet and I really hope it isn’t their final farewell.

Speaking of farewells, let’s get right into the action of this episode:

1: Okay, I loved Missandei’s formal announcement of all of Daenerys’ titles and then Ser Davos introducing Jon as “This is Jon Snow…Um, the King in the North.”  That had me quite literally laughing out loud because that is just so Ser Davos.

2: With that said, I think it’s interesting that Jon did not bend the knee to Daenerys.  Possibly because his protestations that he didn’t want to be king are slightly untrue but I think the likelier possibility is that he’s both a bit proud and sizing her up.  He seemed quite surprised when she admitted her father was a terrible man and I think he’s warming up to her, especially after she granted him the right to mine dragonglass and volunteered her own men and resources for the endeavour.  She may not believe that the Night King and the army of the dead are real at this point, but I liked how Tyrion convinced her helping Jon in the mining would not hurt her one bit and could only help her in the long run.

3: I think it’s fascinating that Melisandre is going to Volantis.  Why Volantis?  Is she going to get more red priests and priestesses to preach that Daenerys is Azor Ahai, the prince that will save them from the darkness?  Or is it something else (which is the likelier option)?  I also think it’s interesting that she knows that when she comes back to Westeros it will mean her death is near.  And even more interesting, that Varys will also die in Westeros according to her prediction.  How will Varys die?  He’s one of the few born survivors in the series (along with Bronn and Littlefinger) so I can’t see him dying in a battle or anything like that.  And so far he has no reason to betray Daenerys so Daenerys has no reason to make good on her threat from the first episode.  As usual, my mum and I talked over the episode and she both doesn’t see a use for Varys at this point but also doesn’t see how his death would be useful.  I agree but perhaps we’ll get some more information in the coming episode(s).

4: So Euron is the hero of King’s Landing.  I stand by my assessment of his character that I made in my recap of the first episode: he’s both slightly insane but slightly smart alec-y and it’s hard to tell which is which.  His asking Jaime for advice with Cersei was both to needle Jaime (of course) but also slightly sincere?  I really can’t tell but I do think it’s both.  Either way, it’s really a credit to his actor.

5: I never particularly liked Ellaria or any of the Sand Snakes but even I was a little disturbed by the way Cersei chose to have her revenge.  It’s poetic and the absolute cruellest thing she could have done to Ellaria.  I mean, I understand why she did it (she’s tormenting the woman who killed her daughter by killing said woman’s daughter) but there’s a cruelty to it that seems slightly disturbing.  I don’t think she’ll go the path of the Mad King but I do think her conscience is going to make things very difficult for her in this (and the next) season.  Especially when Lady Olenna’s prediction comes true and Cersei becomes Jaime’s downfall.

6: Sansa is ruling nicely at Winterfell.  I loved the scene when Bran and Meera came to Winterfell and Sansa hugged him.  Bran was than of course being weird in the godswood, insensitively bringing up what was probably the worst night of Sansa’s life so far in order to prove that he’s the Three Eyed Raven.  I mean, really Bran?  Did you have to go there?  There were so many other scenes from her life that he could have used and he had to pick the one that would bring up the trauma she’s now buried deeply.  Ugh.

7:  And Ser Jorah’s alive! And going back to Daenerys!!!  I am inordinately excited about this.

8: Sam’s a hero too for performing surgery straight out of a book with no practical experience.  But even heroes have to copy a bunch of dusty scrolls and empty bedpans.  Joking aside, I think the fact he’s copying old scrolls may be significant.  After all, old scrolls could contain information about the White Walkers or the Long Night.

9: Theon’s miserable carcass was saved by some Ironborn.  I honestly thought they were going to toss him back overboard when he said he tried and the other man said that if he had really tried to save Yara, he wouldn’t still be alive.  But I guess Theon still has some use for the plot or he wouldn’t still be alive.  Nothing happens without a reason in Game of Thrones.

10:  Speaking of which, I loved the callback to the first and second seasons.  The callback to the second season was of course when Tyrion used his knowledge of the sewers of Casterly Rock to help the Unsullied take the castle with minimal casualties.  I love that Tyrion of course built a secret passage so he could continue his whoring under his father’s very nose.  That is so very Tyrion.  The callback to the first season was when Bronn said of the Eyrie: “Give me ten good men with climbing spikes and I’ll impregnate the bitch.”  Well, the Unsullied were a bit more than ten good men and they used sewers instead of climbing spikes but you get the idea.

11: Speaking of Bronn, I hope that after Jaime dies (which I’m still predicting will happen this season) that Bronn goes back to Tyrion.  They’re a perfect team.  And I’d love to see what Daenerys makes of Bronn at her court.  Of course he would also offer very practical strategies for winning the war.  That’s something Daenerys can’t afford to turn down right now.

12: As much as I hate to admit it, Cersei’s strategy was brilliant.  She knew Tyrion was going to try to take Casterly Rock both because of revenge and its strategic value so she made it into a trap.  Meanwhile, Jaime of course took the bulk of the troops to Highgarden to take out another woman Cersei hopes to have vengeance on: Lady Olenna Tyrell.

13: Lady Olenna’s final scene with Jaime was so brilliant and so quintessentially her.  When Jaime found her I thought for sure she had already taken poison and was just waiting for it to kick in, stalling by taunting Jaime.  But I do love that after Jaime went through all of the trouble of finding a poison that wouldn’t hurt (because he’s very much not his sister), she told him she’s the one who killed Joffrey at his wedding a few years back.  You could see Jaime really regretting taking the kind route with her.  But she said something else I think will become significant in this season: that Cersei will be the death of him.  And at this point, Jaime both seems to know that and doesn’t seem to care.  Thus, my continuing prediction that Jaime is not long for this world and will likely die sometime in this season.

14: Finally, given the reappearance of the Iron Bank of Braavos and its mention in the promo for episode 4, I think they’re going to play a bigger role in the coming season.  Sure, Cersei’s riding high right now: the bulk of Daenerys’ fleet is gone, her Unsullied are trapped at Casterly Rock and most of her Westerosi allies are dead or captured.  But it would be far too easy if in the fortnight she promised that she’s going to be able to pay off her debt to the bank in full.  The promo for the next episode seems to hint that things aren’t going to go entirely smoothly for Jaime while he’s bringing the gold back to King’s Landing and I think that makes perfect sense.  Nothing is ever that easy in Game of Thrones!  But I guess we’ll have to wait until next week.

So thank you all for wading through my absolute wall of text this week.  Things are heating up and so these recap posts will only become longer as the season goes on.  I can’t wait for next week!

Lazy Sundays: Stormborn (Game of Thrones Episode 7.02)

Well, they’re certainly not wasting time on exposition before the action gets going this season.  Yay!  No more travel scenes!  So here are my thoughts about the episode:

1: Daenerys’ council at Dragonstone was an important scene.  On one side, we have the women advocating for an aggressive strategy.  On the other side, we have Tyrion with his much more sensible advice.  I think Daenerys was smart to take the middle route offered later on in the episode: Take Casterly Rock with the foreign army but beseige King’s Landing with a Westerosi army.  It avoids the bad PR that Cersei could use to whip up support for her cause.

2: Randyll Tarly is going to be an interesting dark horse for at least another episode.  I think he may be leaning toward Daenerys at this point but if he hears of the destruction of the Greyjoy and Dornish fleet, he may play things safe and go for Cersei.  However, it’s really hard to tell.  He’s the only one who ever beat Robert Baratheon in battle, which shows he has a real head for strategy and tactics (not so much for parenting!).  Even with the Greyjoy fleet destroyed by Euron Greyjoy, I think Tarly may end up with Daenerys as she still has three dragons, an army of Dothraki and her Unsullied.

3: Now I’m really justified in my most repeated saying in Game of Thrones: Poor Ser Jorah!  I was so glad that Sam decided to help him despite Archmaester Marwyn’s objections.  I really, really hope that all of that pain was worth it and he’s cured like Shireen.  (And that Sam also doesn’t get greyscale in the process.)  For the sake of adding some hope to the penultimate season, please let this work.

4: I told you so!  I knew Arya wasn’t going to end up going to King’s Landing and I’m so glad she’s heading back north.  She needs to be with Jon, Sansa and Bran (who will be arriving shortly I assume).  The few remaining Starks and the secret Targaryen-Stark need to be with family, now more than ever.

5: I’m not sure how I feel about Melisandre’s reappearance.  I knew that after Jon banished her she would of course go to Daenerys but I really do wonder what role she’s going to play in the season.  Will she act as an advisor to Daenerys?  Or is she going to do something else?  My money would be on something else because her character has never really been that simple.

6: Also: yay Nymeria!  Now that we’ve found Nymeria again, all we need is for Arya to run into Gendry, who is presumably somewhere in Westeros.  Unless he rowed all the way to Essos, seeing as he has apparently been rowing for years. /s

7: Shit is going to go down at Winterfell with Jon gone, Sansa in charge and Littlefinger still skulking about.  I’m not sure what’s going to happen with Littlefinger’s storyline, but going off past experience he’s going to counsel Jon to side with Daenerys.  Littlefinger is a survivor most of all.  If Jon doesn’t side with Daenerys, he’ll try to pack up the army of the Vale along with Sansa and side with the Mother of Dragons himself.

8: Speaking of dragons, I knew Qyburn was up to something as soon as Cersei knew that Daenerys was sailing for Westeros.  A weapon that can wound dragons was pretty obviously going to come up sooner or later.  I just hope that for Daenerys’ sake, it doesn’t work quite as efficiently as Qyburn hopes.  Although I do suspect she may lose at least one dragon this season.  Having three dragons and a massive intact army would be way too easy for Daenerys.  Characters in Game of Thrones never just get things handed to them, as we’ve seen over the previous six seasons.

9: Hey, Hot Pie is still around.  Now there’s a survivor!

10: Okay, so we know Ellaria, one of the daughters and Yara have been all captured by Euron.  Lovely.  The other two Dornish women are dead and frankly I can’t bring myself to care.  I wasn’t all that invested in their characters in the books anyway but I really didn’t like them in the show (too much bland acting and B-movie fight scenes).  So on that front, my reaction is kind of ‘meh’.

11: So now we know that Ellaria and Yara are Euron’s wedding present to Cersei.  I think we can all agree that these two women are in for horrific deaths at best.

12: And…brave Sir Theon ran away.  When the fighting was pretty much over and he saw Yara captured, I think it brought out the Reek in him again and he fled.  I really can’t blame him from a psychological standpoint but it still feels like a betrayal of his sister yet again.  But, I suppose he still has a role in the show or he wouldn’t have gotten away alive.  Maybe to tell Daenerys her plan to beseige King’s Landing with a Westerosi army has failed?  And then what?  I’m really not sure where his character is realistically heading.  Maybe for death, like Jaime is.

Well, that’s all for this week.  I can’t wait for next week’s meeting between Daenerys and Jon, Euron’s presentation to Cersei and some Winterfell intrigue.

Lazy Sundays: Mother’s Mercy (Game of Thrones Episode 5.10)

Okay, wow, let’s get into this, shall we?

1.  Yay Sansa and Theon for probably escaping!  Theon finally stood up to Ramsay’s authority and Sansa was working on a plan to get out anyway.  Now that the two are together on the run I really hope they’ll make it to safety.

2.  The Meryn Trant scene was very, very disturbing I must admit.  There’s something about a teenage girl killing a man slowly (and clearly enjoying it) that is disturbing, no matter how horrible a person the man in question was.  I think Arya will never truly be a Faceless Man because she’s so attached to her identity as a Stark but she could be a pretty fearsome assassin one day.

3.  And Stannis is dead!  I never really liked Stannis in the books and I really, really didn’t like him in the show.  After killing Shireen I had no doubt he’d die but I didn’t think it would be that soon.  With Selyse and Shireen dead and Melisandre abandoning the cause, Stannis had nothing to live for.

4.  Hmm…Brienne choosing revenge over duty to Sansa?  I wonder what consequences that could have in the future…

5.  That was quite the pity party with Daario, Jorah and Tyrion.  I think it’s awesome that Daario and Jorah are going on a road trip despite the bad blood between them (“She’s in a good mood”, anyone?).

6.  Two eunuchs, a dwarf and a woman ruling a city like Meereen that’s not known to be all that progressive?  That will be very, very interesting next season.  I really can’t wait to see Tyrion back in power.

7.  And Daenerys got captured by a khalasar just like in the books.  It does not bode well for her but at least she had the sense to drop her ring in case anyone is tracking her.

8.  I can’t believe Myrcella died!  Well, actually I was sort of wary after that moment between her and Jaime but I just didn’t expect the Sand Snakes to kill her.  In the books they wanted to crown her, not kill her.

9.  Cersei’s walk of shame was just as brutal as it was in the books and I think Lena Headey did such an amazing job with it.  She didn’t overdo the emotion but you could clearly see her degrading mental status as the brutality of the mob got to her.  I was so relieved when she finally made it to the Red Keep.  At the same time, after she gets out of the streets there’s almost a look of determination in her face.  Will she go completely soft like in the books or go on a murder spree and make sure she keeps her promise to that awful septa.

10.  Ah, so we finally see Zombie Mountain.  I wonder what role he’ll play in the future?

11.  Poor Jon Snow; I think we all saw that coming (except for some people on Twitter, who were just totally shocked).  But is he really dead?  Sure, he was bleeding out and sure Kit Harington has said he’s truly dead but there has to be a reason for Melisandre coming back to Castle Black.  Could she revive him in true Thoros of Myr style, believing him to be the new saviour instead of Stannis?

So what did you guys think of the finale?  Are you as anxious as me for season 6?

Lazy Sundays: Hardhome (Game of Thrones Episode 5.08)

I can’t believe we only have two more episodes left in the season, but ‘Hardhome’ was definitely a doozy this week.  Let’s get into it!

1.  Ooh, Sansa!  I think we’re going to see her snap and take care of Ramsay personally at some point.  She stole that corkscrew from the construction and I think at this point she’s willing to use it, especially after Theon/Reek’s confession that he really didn’t kill her brothers.

2.  Gah, poor Ser Jorah once again.  Tyrion was totally right in a logical way (especially when you consider his greyscale) but his eyes when Daenerys told him to leave again were heartbreaking.

3.  Sam and Gilly are so cute together.  I think their relationship will end badly for both of them but I’m just enjoying it now.

4.  Cersei is being set up to confess; we’re seeing her at an entirely new low.  I think the season’s finale, Mother’s Mercy will have her carry out the High Sparrow’s special punishment.

5.  Okay, I absolutely loved the battle at Hardhome.  It was a well shot scene, not too terribly corny with the wildling council and the action was amazing.  I loved seeing Night’s King stare at Jon Snow and just raise his hands, adding the dead wildlings to his army at the very end.  It was incredibly chilling and the whole scene was just perfect.  It definitely makes up for the really horrible Sand Snake fight scene.

So what did you guys think about this Sunday’s episode?

Spotlight: A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

Spotlight is my weekly feature in which I highlight a book I’m really looking forward to or really enjoyed.  This week it’s A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin, a book it seems everyone is talking about.

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

In A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin has created a genuine masterpiece, bringing together the best the genre has to offer.  Mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill the pages of the first volume in an epic series sure to delight fantasy fans everywhere.

In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing.  The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the North of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall.  At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to.  Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.  Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.

Is A Game of Thrones the best fantasy book ever published like some claim?  No, not really.  But is it a good book?  Certainly!

I love to get lost in a good book, especially when it’s epic fantasy, so George Martin’s book was a great escape for me lately.  Being propelled into a world where dragons once existed and where winters can last for years was quite the change from the swath of realistic and historical fiction I’ve read lately.  I haven’t curled up with a good fantasy book in a while and if you haven’t either, I’d highly recommend A Game of Thrones.

The world-building is pretty good, but it’s definitely the characters that made me want to highlight this book.  The Starks are obviously the main attraction since the saga follows them, but characters like Tyrion Lannister will make you see both sides of the conflict.  Of course there are the ‘bad’ characters as well, but they’re not all they seem as well.  Cersei, the Queen of Westeros, seems to be your stereotypical Evil Queen, but it’s her background story that makes her oddly sympathetic to me.

I don’t want to give too much away, but if you like characters with actual depth and long, intertwined narratives, you’ll love A Game of Thrones.

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin(Cover picture courtesy of Eat, Run, Read.)

In A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin has created a genuine masterpiece, bringing together the best the genre has to offer.  Mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill the pages of the first volume in an epic series sure to delight fantasy fans everywhere.

In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing.  The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the North of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall.  At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to.  Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.  Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.

So, here we are again: I’m about to tackle another incredibly famous book.  Only this time there’s now an even more popular television series based on it.  And I’ve already watched up to the most current episode of the show while reading A Game of Thrones.  This will be interesting, won’t it?  As always, one must ask if the book is as good as its hype.

In a way it is, and in a way it isn’t.

I say that in a way A Game of Thrones doesn’t live up to its hype is because for an avid fantasy reader like me there is no way it could ever live up to such ridiculous hype.  Not even Harry Potter could live up to all of that hype.  And that’s perfectly okay.  It’s still a good book and I’ll try to look at it objectively, disregarding the fact that I’ve watched the television series as well.

George R. R. Martin jumps between quite a few points of view during the course of his epic novel, but I wouldn’t say that it got confusing at any point.  Mostly the characters don’t retell the same thing another character covered and it does move events along quite quickly for a fantasy novel.  The tales of the Starks and the Lannisters are fascinating and I love how we get to see both sides of the story, as well as the great subplot with Daenerys Targaryen, one of two remaining descendants of the last king.  Daenerys is a personal favourite, but Tyrion Lannister and Sansa Stark are close runners up.

The thing I love about A Game of Thrones is that we get to see what drives pretty much every character.  Not all characters are sympathetic in the traditional sense (Joffrey), but some of them like Cersei are oddly sympathetic.  It might just be me but I feel sorry for her being forced into a marriage with a man who would always love a dead girl even though she loved him in the beginning.  Robert never even gave her a chance.  Characters like Sansa who seem annoying in the beginning actually acquire depth throughout the story and even minor characters are well fleshed out.  There are the sort of girl power characters like Arya, but I like Sansa more because she’s a product of the culture she was raised in.  In short, she was raised to be the definition of a ‘lady’ and that’s who she is in the beginning.

Westeros isn’t exactly the most unique fantasy world I’ve ever encountered because it’s based on Britain yet again.  You can easily draw comparisons between Hadrian’s Wall and the Wall, the barbaric tribes, the brutal ruling classes, etc.  However, I wouldn’t say it’s completely cliché partly because the concept of ever changing seasons like summers or winters that last for years is intriguing.  The different lands in Westeros are interesting as well as the lands across the Narrow Sea.

So would I recommend A Game of Thrones?  Absolutely!  Would I call it the greatest fantasy novel I’ve ever read or ever will read?  No.

I give this book 4.5/5 stars.

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