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!
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.
So I’ve lived in the city for almost eight months now and I’m really just starting to get used to it. Obviously it has its drawbacks but so does living in a rural area. What are some of the benefits I’m appreciating right now?
- If I want to go to a concert, I can just hop on the bus and go that night. I don’t have to plan two days so I can travel to the city (what used to be a four hour drive), watch the concert in the evening, stay in a hotel and drive home the next day. It’s actually amazing. So far this year I’ve seen both Handel’s Messiah and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony live. For a classical music lover like myself, seeing pieces I’ve listened to over and over on CDs being performed live has been exhilarating.
- You can get food pretty much any time you feel like it. Feel like eating Subway at 11:00pm? Well, there’s one down the street from my apartment. Want to watch a movie at 1:00am because of your insomnia and you don’t have any snack foods? There are 24/7 convenience stores located close by. In my hometown everything closes down at 6:00pm but in the city, you can pretty much guarantee something is going to be open at all hours of the night.
- Not having to travel for everything. If I wanted to go clothes shopping back home, I’d have to drive an hour to the nearest large town. In the city, I just ride the bus for 10 minutes and stop at one of the four main malls. Of course this has been a big temptation when it comes to book shopping since there’s an enormous Indigo store right next to one of the malls. As if I didn’t have enough books already.
- Racism, misogyny and homophobia are far less commmon. Of course, wherever there are human beings there will always be discrimination but I find that it’s a little less common here in the city because of the more diverse population. And it helps that the city is large enough that when you do find a horribly prejudiced person you can easily avoid them (unless you work with them). In a small town, you’d encounter that person constantly. It’s a really nice change.
As I said, city life isn’t perfect (the air quality leaves something to be desired) but I’m so much happier than I ever was in my hometown. Getting away from rural life has been the best decision I’ve ever made.
I’m not one to get sentimental very often but looking at back at where I was in the beginning of 2015, I can’t believe how much has changed. I’ve moved to a city hours away from the only place I’ve ever lived. I’ve made friends my own age that share some of my interests for the first time in over a decade. And I’ve realized that no matter how bad things get, there is always a silver lining even if that silver lining is that the bad thing will (usually) eventually go away. It’s been an nteresting year and I can’t believe the optimism with which I’m looking at 2016.
I’ve made some blogging New Year’s resolutions but I have also made some personal ones. One of the things I want to do is go to the gym at least twice a week. It’s not that I necessarily want to lose weight but right now my back pain is being managed better than it has been since it began five years ago. If I build up my muscles again while I’m feeling good I can stabilize some of the vertebrae in my back and thus provide a lasting solution to my pain (hopefully). And even if that doesn’t happen, at least I’ll be exercising, which comes with its own separate health benefits.
Another thing I want to do is date. Back home my options were comically limited but now I feel like I have so many more opportunities on the romantic front. It’s been years since I’ve dated so things should be interesting but fun as well. We’ll see how things go, I guess!
I think these are both fairly achievable goals and I hope they’ll make 2016 a much better year than 2015, 2014 and the last ten or so years.
There are many people that love audibooks, some that hate them and many that haven’t ever really tried them. I fall into the third category. Although Marc Secchia was kind enough to gift me an audiobook copy of Aranya, I never really had the time to listen to it. But lately while I’ve been doing housework or even just working out I’ve been giving it a try. The narrator is articulate and amusing and of course the sheer beauty of Marc Secchia’s writing style lends itself to being read aloud well. But I still wasn’t sold on audiobooks until I listened to an audiobook of The Carnelian Legacy, which was gifted to me by Cheryl Koevoet a few days ago as a way of thanking me for helping out with the cover reveal. This one combined with Aranya has me sold on audiobooks: they’re a great way to absorb a story while not having to physically sit down and read. And some of them are quite elaborate, with sound effects and their own theme music.
I don’t think I’ll ever really buy an audiobook in place of a physical copy or ebook but who knows? I never thought I’d really read ebooks either.
So what do you guys think of audiobooks? Do you love ’em, hate ’em or haven’t ever tried ’em?
Even though I’ve moved over 400 kilometres (250 miles) south, I find that my new home is much colder. Which is odd, because you’d think that the further south you live, even if it’s just a couple hundred kilometres, the warmer things would be. Apparently not. I find that my new city is colder than it is up north because the wind blows right off the frozen river. So although the ‘real’ temperature isn’t that low, the windchill quickly makes things unbearable. At least up north I wasn’t near a river and had trees for shelter.
Or maybe I’m just being more curmudgeony than usual because the windchill has prevented me from going outside much lately. I’m geting slightly stir-crazy but at the same time I’ve been reading much more than I normally would. So I guess that’s an upside?
I hope you guys are warmer than I am! How was your Sunday?
My schedule has been so busy that although I am officially a volunteer at the local museum, I haven’t actually been able to do my training. So in January I’m finally going to get my training to be a tour guide! I can’t really articulate how excited I am to be working with both stunning replicas of real ancient Greek sculptures along with real Roman coins, glassware and Egyptian amulets. I also can’t wait to have an excuse to prattle on about history to people who want to listen.
I’m quite confident in my ability to explain and answer most questions on Egyptian and Roman history but my one weakness in the main eras the museum covers is Greek history. So I’ve been hitting the books for the cultural aspects and watching The Teaching Company’s ‘The Long Shadow of the Ancient Greek World’ for the famous events of Greek history. It’s a lot to remember but I’m confident that over Christmas I’ll at least be able to answer the most basic questions about Greek history from the Archaic to the Classical Period (plus the wars of the Diadochi).
I was studying up on the English Civil War in preparation for an article here but I think that’s going to be put on hold. However, in December I should finally have that Jon Snow article I keep promising you guys. It’s to do with Roman history instead of Greek history but I think I can take some time off to write something longer than my usual reviews.
So how has your Sunday been?