Iceland: A Land of Ice and Fire

Winter is a lovely time of the year. Many people don’t like it because it’s cold and dark outside, quite slippery and difficult to walk and you have to wear layers and layers of clothes to prevent yourself from turning into an icicle. However, there are places in the world so mesmerizing in their beauty, that winter decided to stay there permanently. One such place is Iceland.

Iceland from space
Iceland – a view from space; source: Wikipedia

I visited Iceland a couple of weeks ago and I can declare this experience has changed my life and my perception of the world. I have always loved nature and have tried to provide my small contributions towards preserving it. But to observe nature in its purest form, untouched by humans, is indeed a life-changing experience. Below, I’ll list some of the most breathtaking places I visited and those I couldn’t visit but intend to, along with my best photographic attempts.

A plane view of Iceland

Sunrise in Iceland in January happens around 11 am. The sun sets around 4-5 pm depending on the cloud activity. This makes around 5 hours of daylight in a twenty-four-hours! Crazy, right!? Another impressive thing to note down is the colour of the sand- coal black. It was formed of volcanic lava, cooling down as it was flowing into the ocean.

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A stunning view of Hraunfossar waterfalls

The beautiful Hraunfossar waterfalls are located in Western Iceland in the fjord of Borgarfjordur near the town of Borgarnes. The name Hraunfossar¬†is formed out of two Icelandic words –¬†hraun¬†meaning lava, and¬†fossar¬†meaning waterfalls – ‘lava waterfalls’. Hraunfossar appears to spring directly from the lava field and flows straight into the Hvita River. As you can imagine, I was mesmerized by the view and the turquoise colour of the water!

The Hraunfossar Waterfalls spring from the lava field and flow into the Hvita River
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Godafoss Waterfall

I had the pleasure to arrive at Godafoss at sunrise (around 11 am). The area around the waterfalls is slippery as hell and I was literally walking on ice for 15 minutes. Also, I was freezing as the place is quite open and it’s usually very windy. But as I set my eyes upon this stunning view, it was all worth it and more!

Godafoss Waterfalls
Godafoss Waterfalls at sunrise

Godafoss is located in Northern Iceland. It’s 12 metres high and 30 metres long. The river¬†Skj√°lfandaflj√≥t runs through the region and forms this natural phenomenon. According to a modern myth, Godafoss is connected to the conversion of Iceland to Christianity. It is said that a local lawspeaker who helped make Christianity the official religion in the country, threw the statues of the old Norse gods into the waterfall.

The area around Godafoss
Godafoss in all its beauty

Speaking of sunrise, I was lucky to witness a few very beautiful sunrises/sunsets from a number of picturesque locations across Northern Iceland. I love how the fresh snow glows at sunlight and produces an incredible view for you to enjoy.

Sunset in Iceland
‘Look Simba, everything the light touches is your kingdom’
Geothermal power station
The sun sets to the view of a geothermal power station, supplying the town of Akureyri with electricity
Grjotagja
Grjotagja thermal caves

Grjotagja was a popular bathing place until the 1975-84 volcanic eruptions at Krafla, which brought magma steams underneath the area, resulting in a significant rise in the temperature of the water.

A big part of Iceland is an active volcanic area. This indeed sounds scary… for someone who’s seen Pompeii¬†too many times. But for the traveller-enthusiast, it’s a rare opportunity to enjoy some of nature’s best creations – geothermal springs, geysers, lava formations, lava fields etc.

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The lava field of Dimmuborgir

Dimmuborgir is a lava labyrinth formed 2300 years ago when a partly cooled lava lake drained out leaving magnificent basaltic pillars and sculptures. The fans amongst you would be interested to know some of Game of Thrones scenes beyond the Wall have been filmed at this location.

My absolute favourite part of the trip to Iceland was the opportunity to bathe in the hot geothermal waters of the lake Myvatn. It is located in an active volcanic area, near Krafla volcano. I cannot describe this experience to anything else I have done before. I felt like a Japanese snow monkey meditating in a hot spring. The temperature outside was -10¬įC and inside the spring 40¬įC. Pretty awesome, right?

Lake Myvatn
Lake Myvatn at sunset
The area around lake Myvatn
The area around Lake Myvatn

The other unforgettable experience I had in Iceland was my whale watching trip, which started from the town of Akureyri. I’ve never been colder in my entire life, but it was worth it!

On the way to see some whales

In those waters, the most common whale species is the humpback whale. They vary from 12 to 16 metres in length and weigh about 36,000 kg. All whales we saw were swimming in pairs- they are very social creatures. They are also very curious but a bit shy at the same time, so they would not let us get too close.

The feeling of watching these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat is incredible
Whale watching
The panoramic views were breathtaking

Apart from the whales, I made some other animal friends during my trip to Iceland! They are all very cute, some of them are a little bit overweight, but all were very welcoming and friendly!

The animal kingdom of Iceland!

The greatest regret I have after my trip is I couldn’t see the Northern Lights. Aurora Borealis has been my dream since an early age. It’s a very rare event and it depends on many factors- no moon, no clouds, high Aurora activity to name but a few. However, this gives me a solid reason to return to Iceland one day, so I’m already looking forward to that moment!

Aurora Borealis
Aurora Borealis; image source: icelandtravel.is

I’ll finish this post with a stunning image of the Christmas Garden near Akureyri. As the name suggests, the whole place is dedicated to the spirit of Christmas. It’s lovely for a visit during the festive season.

The Christmas Garden
The place Santa stays in when in Iceland – The Christmas Garden

Hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it. Don’t know about you, but I’m certainly going back to the dream country of Iceland!

L.V.K

Game of Thrones’ Dragon Power: Ice vs Fire

For those of you who haven’t seen Game of Thrones Season 7 episode 6 yet, please note this post contains¬†SPOILERS.

Those of you who have seen the latest episode though, are probably mourning the death of Viserion. Yes, it was never confirmed the fallen dragon was indeed Viserion, but we can assume that it was him because 1) Danny was riding Drogon; 2) Rhaegal is named after Prince Rhaeger Targaryen, Jon Snow’s real father and there’s a popular fan theory that Jon is going to mount the dragon named after his father; and 3) Viserion was named after Prince Viserys and we know what he was- an evil, power-hungry mad-man who was ready to do anything to sit on the Iron Throne, so it’s only logical that the dragon named after him would be the one to die first (I’m not saying the other dragons will die too, I hope not, but you never know).

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So the first question that has been circulating around is why the Night King did not kill Drogon with Daenerys on him. He was much closer, he was static and he had no idea of the threat coming. On the other hand, Viserion was flying high above the wights and was burning them on the sight. Is that a plot hole, an illogical scene, bad writing or something else, I don’t know, but here are my theories:

  1. Drogon¬†was sitting with his back to the Night King. His backside is very thick with dragon flakes, so it was very likely that the Night King’s spear would have failed to kill him. Probably hurt him, but not kill him. The other thing I’m thinking of here is the Night King didn’t want to kill his enemies in that fight. He knows very well Jon Snow, Daenerys and her dragons are the real enemy and that they can unite Westeros in an attempt to stop the White Walkers from invading the continent. However, the Night King wanted them to escape, I believe he missed Drogon¬†intentionally when he threw the second spear. He wants a solid enemy south of the Wall and he has a clear plan in his head, one we are not aware of just yet.IMG_0771
  2. Viserion was flying high, breathing fire with his chest well-exposed, so the Night King knew he’d kill him the moment he pierces him.IMG_0823
  3. The Great War has not started yet- the White Walkers have not passed south of the Wall with their army yet, we don’t know if they’ll manage to. The Wall is built with protective spells against the dead so they cannot pass. This is why I believe the Night King needed a dragon of his own, as the dragon being a magical creature himself might be able to melt the wall down.

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There have been other comments all over the net, condemning Jon’s decision to go beyond the Wall as stupid and illogical, again attributing it to bad writing and a rush to lead the story to an end. If you remember from Season 1, the White Walkers have been a threat since then. However, no one but the Brothers of the Night’s Watch was aware of their existence. Not even Ned Stark, the Warden of the North believed they existed anymore. FullSizeRenderThat is why the Night’s Watch recruiter Yoren was sent down to King’s Landing to present King Robert with a body part of the Wight they managed to defeat in Castle Black and convince him to send an army north. However, he arrived at a bad moment- when everything had already started to fall apart; King Robert died, Ned Stark was beheaded and the war for the Iron Throne started, leaving no room in anyone’s mind for the possibility of the existence of White Walkers beyond the Wall. Now, seasons later (in the world of Game of Thrones it would be years) the war is still going and still, no one believes the existence of the Walkers. Jon Snow understands he cannot defeat the Night King and his army alone. The North, no matter how strong it might be, is not enough. That is why Jon went on this suicidal mission with the desperate hope to achieve two main things – 1) to somehow capture a Wight and present him to Queen Cersei and this way convince her to fight the Night King and not Daenerys for the time being; and 2) to make Daenerys follow him to the Wall with her dragons and see the threat for herself. That is why I think the mission was not in vain, even if it was suicidal. But Jon’s gone on many¬†suicidal missions already – the Battle for the Wall, Hardhome, the Battle of the Bastards to name but a few – so going beyond the Wall to capture a Wight shouldn’t really be a surprise.

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From this moment a series of questions arise- will the White Walkers cross the Wall? What are they going to use Viserion for? Who’s stronger a fire dragon or an ice dragon? How can the army of the living defeat a White Walker Ice Dragon? Can fire kill Viserion now as it kills the other Wights? The last thing we saw was Jon and Daenerys heading down to King’s Landing to meet with Cersei and try to convince her to join her forces with them and fight the Night King. Even if she joins them, she’ll still be plotting to kill both of them as they are a direct threat to her power. The moment the truth about Jon’s parentage is revealed, he becomes the biggest enemy of both Cersei and Daenerys. Both of them are power hungry and want power for the sake of power. Even though Daenerys might think she has good intentions, she’s blinded by what she’s achieved so far. She’s not evil as Cersei is, but she’s become too arrogant and cannot accept someone else might be worthier than her to rule.

No matter what happens, I believe this season finale will be as epic as the previous one and it will give us a lot to look forward to.

L. V. K.

 

 

 

Game of Thrones- the beginning of an end

Game of Thrones season 6 grand finale hit us like a giant’s fist a couple of weeks ago.¬†We might be sad that we now have to wait nine months until the next season; however, season 6 has given us something no other Game of Thrones season has given us before- a clear path (clearer at least) on which the main storylines are going. Unlike the previous 3-4 seasons, the story is now not stuck in the middle of nowhere but rather is going into a direction which foresees the end of the show. Below, I’ll provide a summary (remember this is just my point of view and is not all question of actual facts) of the main characters, what happened to them in season 6 and what will most likely happen to them in the next seasons.

Cersei Lannister

cersei-lannisterCersei has finally sat on the Iron Throne. Her own path has been a long and not necessarily an easy or pleasant one but she made it- she got the power. No matter how badass, cruel and treacherous Cersei is, one cannot help but admire her strength, ambition and dedication to her family. Cersei’s downfall started with Joffrey’s death with her not seeing happy days until the very last episode of season 6. She’s lost her father, her daughter, her younger son, she’s been taken prisoner and humiliated by the Sparrows who forced her to go naked on the streets of Kings Landing, hearing the mocking laughter of the crowd. She’s been surrounded by enemies all the way through, so no wonder she’s gone mad. With the death of Tommen, she’s lost every¬†bit of humanity she’s ever had in herself. Many people argue this is when she’s gone mad when Qyburn presented her to King Tommen’s dead body; however, I think the last drop that spilt the glass for her was when Tommen terminated¬†the trial of combat practice in the Seven Kingdoms. This is when Cersei found herself into a trap, betrayed by her own son and unable to escape whatever punishment the Faith has prepared for her. And this is when something clicked into her head and when she was ready to do anything no matter the cost. Even the life of her last child didn’t matter anymore. Blasting the Sept of Baelor with wildfire and killing all her enemies, who were¬†waiting for her inside to tear her into pieces marked the beginning of her reign as the Mad Queen. Next season will be very interesting for her as we are expecting one of her brothers to finish her- Jaime who spoiled his honour once to stop the Mad King from doing what Cersei has done and is doing now; and Tyrion who hates Cersei in the guts and who’s now Hand of Queen Daenerys Targaryen. Tough times upon the Mad Queen, ay.

Daenerys Targaryen 

DaenerysSeason 6 is my favourite in terms of Daenerys’ storyline. So much has happened to her in this one season than in whole 4¬†previously¬†(not counting season 1, which marks the beginning of her journey and reign). She’s found herself captured by the¬†khalasar of Khal Moro who wants to sell her into slavery, but upon learning that she is a Khaleesi and the widow of Khal Drogo, decided to send her to the Dosh Khaleen where she’s supposed to spend the rest of her days. In this situation again we find Daenerys stuck and very far from her main purpose, namely conquering Westeros with her army and dragons. However, like some of the other main protagonists in Game of Thrones, Daenerys has a powerful magic inside her that helps her defeat every obstacle that comes down her path. In this case, the Mother of Dragons used her ultimate weapon- fire- to get rid of all the mighty khals and join¬†the entire khalasar to her army. For me, this was one of the best scenes in season 6 and a reminder of Danny’s real power. In seasons 4 and 5 she seemed weak and completely lost, pressed against the wall by her enemies. After riding Drogon for the first time though, she’s been able to regain her power. At the end of season 6, we finally witnessed Daenerys collating all her strength and marching to Westeros with her three dragons by her side.¬†Varys has already secured allies for her in the Seven Kingdoms- Dorne and House Tyrell- both enemies to the Lannisters, meaning she already has supporters of her claim on the continent. In the next season, we’ll see Danny invading King’s Landing and securing her relations with other noble houses. Her most interesting meeting though will be with Jon Snow, her brother’s only living son. I do hope this meeting happens in season 7.

Jon Snow

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It’s official now! Jon Snow is the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. We’ve always known this, and yet it feels so satisfying when we got the official confirmation in the season finale with this beautiful transition from him as a baby, presented to Ned Stark by his sister in the Tower of Joy, to him as a grown man at the lord’s seat at Winterfell. Jon Snow’s always had very low self-esteem because he believed himself a bastard all his life. A son of a noble lord and yet never accepted¬†part of the¬†family, Jon’s always been reminded (especially by Catelyn) that he’s not worthy of the name Stark. He’s never known a motherly love and grew up to be lonely although he had the love of his half-brothers and half-sister (Sansa has never been close to Jon until their reunion in season 6). Taking the black was Jon’s attempt to find his place in this world and forget he is a bastard for once. He’s gone through a lot, climbing the ladder of success with him becoming the youngest Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch in history. However, not long after, he’s betrayed and killed by his own sworn brothers. This is when Jon Snow’s life as a bastard and a rejected son ends to be reborn (resurrected by Melisandre) as Jon Snow, King in the North and son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. In the next seasons, we expect him to have to deal with the treacherous Littlefinger and securing his position as King in the North. We also expect him to learn the truth of his parentage by Bran, who’s on his way back south of the Wall. I think we can also be brave to expect a Stark general reunion with Arya also being in Westeros, relatively close to Winterfell. As mentioned above, it will be extremely interesting for the audience, if Jon meets Daenerys who’s also on her way to Westeros and who happens to be Jon’s kin.

As you can see, a lot of great things ahead for Game of Thrones, which after two dull seasons (in my opinion) is back in the big game. Counting the hours desperately until season 7 airs in 2017.

L.V. K.

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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‚ÄúLet 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.‚ÄĚ – Tyrion Lannister

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

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

‚ÄúA lion doesn’t concern himself with the opinions of a sheep.‚ÄĚ – 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.‚ÄĚ – Ser Jaime Lannister

‚ÄúWhen you play the game of thrones you win or you die.‚ÄĚ – Cersei Lannister

‚ÄúI’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

‚ÄúWhen the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives.‚ÄĚ – 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

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

‚ÄúHer 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.‚ÄĚ – Ser Jaime Lannister

Winter is coming.” – House Stark

‚ÄúBe 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?‚Ä̬†– 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.

 

Who is Jon Snow’s mother?

This is the eternal question in Game of Thrones- who “in 7 hells” is Jon Snow’s mother?¬†

I haven’t blogged about Game of Thrones in a while. The reason is season 4 was ongoing recently and as I got quite a significant number of people complaining about me spoiling the episodes for them, I decided¬†I can wait a little bit before I start spoiling again. But hey, if you haven’t read the books, this isn’t the post you should be reading right now. I’ve warned you!

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Prince Rhaegar crowning Lyanna Stark as Queen of Love and Beauty at the tourney in Harrenhal

So let’s go back to the question concerning Jon Snow’s parentage. There have been many theories, but¬†I’m quite sure you all have heard the most popular one. Yes, Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. There are many hints in the books suggesting this is the right¬†answer. Ned Stark, who we all know as an extremely honourable man, goes to war leaving his young wife at home. After the war he finds his kidnapped sister Lyanna, dying in a bed of blood, whispering “Promise me, Ned…” Then he goes home to his wife (who in the meantime has given birth to their first son Robb) with a child in hands, claiming this is his bastard son. The mother of the boy remains unknown. Among all the Stark children, Arya is the only one who looks like the Starks, the rest have the Tully features. Arya was also said to resemble Lyanna. And guess what? Jon loves Arya the most and is closest to her and the two of them are described to look alike. Therefore, Lyanna should definitely be Jon’s mother; that’s why Ned kept the secret because King Robert, blinded by hatred and seeking revenge, was chasing the last Targaryens in an attempt to kill them. Brilliant logic! However, in Game of Thrones¬†logic doesn’t work most of the time.

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Jon Snow and Ghost

In my humble opinion, the above theory would be the perfect evolvement of Jon’s story. The only problem with it is it’s very popular now. Everyone expects this to be the answer and we all know George R. R. Martin hates it when his readers are not surprised/shocked. That’s why I tend to believe the Lyanna & Rhaegar story will take another direction and the truth about Jon’s parentage will come when no one’s expecting it. Maybe the key is somewhere else. From the Stark children, Jon and Bran are the only wargs (Arya as well kind of, but this is not confirmed). Bran is named after Ned’s late brother Brandon who was also betrothed to Catelyn whom she loved dearly. Following this logic, Brandon could be Jon’s father, but if so, why would Ned hide it? And who is his mother?

No matter who Jon Snow’s parents are, I’m sure this will be a massive surprise. Even if these are Lyanna and Rhaegar, this still will be revealed in a surprising way. This is why I love Game of Thrones- you always expect the unexpected.

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L. V. K.

Don’t Judge Me. I Was Born to be Real, Not Perfect

Maybe the heading of this post does not give you a clue what it is going to discuss but wait, I promise, it’ll be interesting. So Game of Thrones lovers, should we start? Oh wait! Did I just say Game of Thrones? Yes, I did. This is the first of a series of posts, discussing and analysing some of the main characters of the books/TV show. And guess what? The first one is dedicated to my absolute favourite Ser Jaime Lannister or in other words, The Kingslayer. Now that I know after the 3rd season, his fan club has risen dramatically, I thought it would be a good idea to start with him. I have to admit Ser Jaime and the unexpected change of his storyline in Season 3, is the reason I started reading the books and became so obsessed with Game of Thrones.

Nikolai Coster-Waldau as Ser Jaime Lannister

Nikolai Coster-Waldau as Ser Jaime Lannister

I like bad characters, like Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights for example. The good thing about the bad characters is that they are controversial and thus more interesting. You always expect them to be mean and do bad stuff throughout the story, but in the process of getting to know them, you realise they are not as negative as you think they are. Actually, they are broken souls, desperately crying for help. And The Kingslayer is one such example.

There are no men like me. Only me.

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This is one of Ser Jaime’s most popular quotes in the books/show. At a first glance, it looks very arrogant of him to say so, but there is much deeper meaning in these words. When you think about it, it applies to absolutely every one of us- there is no one like me, only me- therefore everyone is unique. However, even though Jaime says there are no men like him, ¬†he says nothing about women. And I think for him there is only one woman like him and this is his twin sister and lover Cersei Lannister. He associates himself with her, he feels half-man without her. Actually, she is the person that makes Jaime what he is- she is the drama in his life and she is the motivation behind every decision he makes. In my opinion, he loves her truly and deeply; moreover, he has devoted his life to be close to her. But she does not love him back in the same way. As Cersei says, “Love no one, but your children.”

Jaime with his twin sister Cersei and his brother Tyrion

Jaime with his twin sister Cersei and his brother Tyrion

Jaime’s affection for his twin sister is in the core of his tragedy. He gave up his life for her- refused to marry, refused to have children, refused to inherit Casterly Rock- gave up everything just to be close to her and help her fulfil her ambitions. Cersei dreamt to be queen, to be powerful, to have everyone kneel before her. And Jaime dreamt of Cersei. The moment he loses his sword hand is the breaking point in his storyline because losing his hand opens his eyes- he sees what he is for his father (the heir of Casterly Rock) and he sees what he is for his sister (a weapon for her ambitions). Only Tyrion remains to him, that’s why he helps him escape from the dungeons. But even Tyrion betrays Jaime by admitting (lying) that he has killed his son Joffrey and by murdering their father Lord Tywin. Interestingly enough the only person Jaime can trust now is Brienne of Tarth.

In my opinion, Brienne is the person who changed Jaime. Because she is so honourable and so loyal that he cannot help but admire her. Even though in the beginning he was mocking her, like everyone else, for the fact she is ugly and that she is a woman trying to be a man, after he got to know her better, he found in her the qualities he has given up long ago. He, the oathbreaker, who was sworn to protect his king but killed him instead; he, who would be remembered by all as The Kingslayer. Whether it was right or wrong of Jaime to kill the Mad King, I will discuss in another post. So my point is the breaking point in Jaime’s storyline is not only losing his hand but meeting Brienne as well. She is everything Cersei is not, but I think Jaime finally realised (because he keeps comparing Cersei and Brienne a lot) that sometimes rich souls hide behind poor coats.

How is this wonderful character’s storyline going to continue… well we just cannot wait to see!

L.V.K.