Jon Snow- Dead or Not

Ice, I see, and daggers in the dark. Blood frozen red and hard, and naked steel…

After last night’s Game of Thrones Season 5 Finale, fans of the show (who haven’t read the books) are in shock. They did it again, they killed another Stark! And not just another Stark but one of the most beloved characters- Jon Snow. Him, Daenerys, Tyrion and Arya are the characters most people bravely believed immortal. I’ll tell them they should have learnt their lesson after Ned Stark’s death, though. Absolutely no one is safe in Game of Thrones. However, there are cases in which death does not last for long. Remember Catelyn Stark who returns at the end of book 3 as Lady Stoneheart, resurrected by Thoros of Myr. Remember Beric Dondarrion…

"Daggers in the dark"

“Daggers in the dark”

George Martin published his fifth instalment in the A Song of Ice and Fire book series in 2011. Which means fans of the books already knew Jon Snow’s fate 4 years ago. However, I don’t remember any revolts regarding his death. Moreover, when I read book 5, I didn’t get the feeling Jon really died in his last chapter. Of course, one can never be sure what George Martin has in mind, but my humble opinion is he’s going to spare Jon’s life. He’s too important and too embedded in the entire story to be completely shoved off of the scene like Ned and Robb before him.

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Jon Snow and Ghost

There are many theories surrounding Jon Snow and many secrets regarding his birth and parentage. Most of you would know the most popular one already- Rhaegar Targaryen + Lyanna Stark= Jon Snow. Rhaegar and Lyanna fell in love and ran away together although Lyanna was betrothed to Robert Baratheon and Rhaegar was married to Elia Martell. But according to an ancient tradition, a Targaryen man is allowed to have two wives because the dragon has three heads (the Targaryen banner represents a three-headed dragon which symbolizes Agon The Conqueror and his two sisters/wives Visenya and Rhaenys). Unfortunately, Rhaegar and Lyanna’s love affair was the reason for the war, known as ‘Robert’s Rebellion’ which almost put an end to House Targaryen. And here comes the theory- Jon who officially is presented to the world as Ned Stark’s bastard, his mother being unknown, is actually the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna. Because as you remember from Ned’s chapters in book 1, he found Lyanna dying and begging him to promise her something. And from here we assume she asked him to save her son. So in order to keep him alive, Ned sacrificed his honour and told the world he cheated on his wife and Jon was the product of his betrayal. Moreover, Jon is also involved in the prophecy about the ‘prince who was promised’. Originally, Prince Agon, Rhaegar’s firstborn son was believed to be the promised one. But as we all know, he was killed together with his mother and sister (I don’t believe the story of Griff and Young Griff and think GRRM included them just to confuse us; their lack in the show prove that), which means not him but Jon might have been the prince who was promised…

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Another very popular theory is that Jon Snow is Azor Ahai reborn. Originally, Melisandre believed Stannis was Azor Ahai, but after meeting Jon Snow she started changing her opinion- ”I pray for a glimpse of Azor Ahai, and R’hllor shows me only Snow.” According to the legend, Azor Ahai died to be resurrected and gain his powers. Many believe Daenerys is Azor Ahai reborn, but my opinion is both she and Jon are. Both of them were forced to kill their loves (Danny killed Khal Drogo after the blood magic could nor bring his soul back, only his body and Jon, although not physically, killed Ygritte during the wildling attack on The Wall in book 3). After Khal Drogo’s death, Daenerys had her symbolic death too in the fire just to be born again as Mother of Dragons. But going through her storyline, you have the feeling she’s just the half of something bigger, that she lacks something (or someone) to fulfil her destiny. On the other hand, Jon just suffered a betrayal from his sworn brothers who stabbed him in the dark and most probably killed him (they certainly did in the show). However, Ghost is still there somewhere and so is Melisandre…

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As you can see, Jon is way too important and without him, the story remains incomplete. So to all Jon Snow fans and fans of the TV show, relax, we might see the likes of him very soon.

L. V. K.

25 Of The Best Game of Thrones Quotes

The A Song of Ice and Fire book series is one of my favourite and I believe it is favourite to many other people around the world too. Its popularity is partly a result of the super successful TV show Game of Thrones. I have to admit I developed an interest in the books after I watched the series. Now that Season 7 has finished, and The Winds of Winter is rumoured to be released in 2018, I thought it would be great to have a little recap with 20 of the best quotes from both the books and the show. Which one is your favourite?

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Let me give you some advice, bastard: Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like an armour, and it can never be used to hurt you.” – Tyrion Lannister

All halls lead somewhere. Where there is a way in, there is a way out. Fear cuts deeper than swords.” – Arya Stark

By what right does the wolf judge the lion?” – Ser Jaime Lannister “The Kingslayer”

A lion doesn’t concern himself with the opinions of a sheep.” – Tywin Lannister

Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?”
“That is the only time a man can be brave.” – Eddard ‘Ned’ Stark

So many vows…they make you swear and swear. Defend the king. Obey the king. Keep his secrets. Do his bidding. Your life for his. But obey your father. Love your sister. Protect the innocent. Defend the weak. Respect the gods. Obey the laws. It’s too much. No matter what you do, you’re forsaking one vow or the other.” – Ser Jaime Lannister

When you play the game of thrones you win or you die.” – Cersei Lannister

I’m not going to swear an oath I can’t uphold. When enough people make false promises, words stop meaning anything. There are no more answers, only better and better lies.” – Jon Snow

“I swear to you, I was never so alive as when I was winning this throne, or so dead as now that I’ve won it.” – King Robert Baratheon

When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives.” – Eddard ‘Ned’ Stark

If I look back, I’m lost.” – Daenerys Targaryen

Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly, Rhaegar fought honourably. And Rhaegar died.” – Ser Jorah Mormont

You know nothing, Jon Snow.” – Ygritte

I was told you were drunk, impertinent, and thoroughly debauched. You can imagine my disappointment at finding nothing but a browbeaten bookkeeper.” – Lady Olenna Tyrell

There is only one hell. The one we live in now.” – Lady Melisandre

The things I do for love.” Ser Jaime Lannister

Every flight begins with a fall.” – The three-eyed raven

I’ve known a great many clever men. I’ve outlived them all. Do you know why? I ignored them” – Lady Olenna Tyrell

Her name is Brienne,” Jaime said. “Brienne, the maid of Tarth. You are still maiden, I hope?”
Her broad homely face turned red. “Yes.”
“Oh, good,” Jaime said. “I only rescue maidens.” – Ser Jaime Lannister

Winter is coming.” – House Stark

Be careful you don’t cut yourself. The edges are sharp enough to shave with.’
‘Girls don’t shave’, Arya said.
‘Maybe they should. Have you ever seen the septa’s legs?” – Jon Snow

If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.” – Ramsay Bolton

Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder” – Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” – Jojen Reed

Valar Morghulis

L. V. K.

 

A Game of Books: Literature Fiction or Reality

A Song of Ice and Fire without a doubt is one of the most popular book series in the recent years. Most probably this success came due to the HBO TV show Game of Thrones based on George R. R. Martin’s literary masterpiece. It is true the books had their loyal fans even before the show was released but they were mostly people who are fans of the genre. My point is the books didn’t have a commercial popularity before the coming of the show, which made a total hit out of them among all types of audiences.

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But what is it that thing people love about Game of Thrones (both the books and the show)? Is it the complexity of the characters or the unpredictability of the plot, the fictional world of dragons and direwolfs or the complicated human relationships? The truth is most of the fiction novels resemble fables- they have hidden meaning and are figuratively showing the reality we live in. Game of Thrones (GoT) is no exception. The name itself- “Game of Thrones”, suggests that the story is about intrigues, murder, revenge, vanity but most of all about power- as Cersei Lannister says, “Power is power.

One very real, even painfully real thing about GoT is no one is safe; anyone could be killed off (especially if he/she is a Stark) no matter if they are a main character or not. Actually, there isn’t just one main character in Game of Thrones but rather a number of storytellers, whose point of view we follow in a series of chapters George R. R. Martin has dedicated to them, so we assume these characters are kind of main. Normally, we are used to the fact that the main character is immortal. No matter what obstacles he/she faces, at the end of the story, everything falls into place and “they lived happily until the end of their days.” But in GoT, as Tyrion Lannister (in the show those words belong to Ramsay Bolton) wisely points, “If you think it has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.” It is exactly the same in life. Life is a ruthless fight full of obstacles. There are ups, but there are downs as well and we need to know that from our first day until our last we fight; we fight with others, fight with time, fight with destiny but most of all we fight with ourselves. And that’s the beauty of it all because everything is more beautiful when you know you are doomed.

541935_444603858966915_1059420599_nGeorge R. R. Martin has found a very witty way to show the main features of the characters or of groups of characters by comparing them with animals- the Lion of Lannister, the Three-Headed Dragon of House Targaryen, the Direwolf of House Stark and so on. The way he uses metaphor is very clever because the animals are just sigils of the noble houses in Westeros, but actually, they determine the features of the groups of characters that have them. This reminds me a little bit of the astrology houses and the zodiac signs, which more or less determine the main characteristics of groups of people who happened to be born under those signs.

As the heading of my post suggests, I find many hidden similarities between our world and the magical world of GoT. This is very good because books (and TV shows/movies) are meant not only to entertain us but to educate us as well and teach us some wisdom (oh yes, there is a lot of wisdom in Game of Thrones). For me, the main thing one can draw as a conclusion from reading the GoT books is that there is only one hell and only one heaven- both are the ones we live in now.

L. V. K.