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.

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.