a song of ice and fire

Top Ten Thursday: A Song of Ice and Fire Characters

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I’ve been sort of missing these past few days, but in my defense I had valid reasons. Got a new job and who knew that a job involved preparing and working? The other reason why I could not get to post this yesterday was because my internet was having a tantrum. So instead of torturing myself I decided to leave this for the next day, and to make up for it I’ll be posting a second TTT feature as well (sometime later today).

For this first one, we’re going with A Song of Ice and Fire Characters (I’m using the books and not the show because I’m not entirely happy with the direction the show’s taking and some of my favorite book characters aren’t as great on the screen). I will only be providing images and quotes without any commentaries so that I do not give away any spoilers to the character arcs. The reasons why they’re picked in the listed order is because of how well written the characters were or how enjoyable their chapters were.


10. Samwell Tarly

“Sam thought of all the trials that he and Gilly suffered, Craster’s Keep and the death of the Old Bear, snow and ice and freezing winds, days and days and days of walking, the wights at Whitetree, Coldhands and the tree of ravens, the Wall, the Wall, the Wall, the Black Gate beneath the earth. What had it all been for? No happy choices and no happy endings.” ~ Sam’s thoughts.


9. Ser Barristan Selmy (Barristan the Bold)

“Have no fear, sers, your king is safe… no thanks to you. Even now, I could cut through the five of you as easy as a dagger cuts cheese. If you would serve under the Kingslayer, not a one of you is fit to wear the white. Here, boy. Melt it down and add it to the others, if you like. It will do you more good than the swords in the hands of these five. Perhaps Lord Stannis will chance to sit on it when he takes your throne.” ~ Barristan on his forced retirement as a Kingsguard.


8. Cersei Lannister

“I am a lioness. I will not cringe for them.” ~ Cersei’s thoughts.

7. Sandor Clegane (The Hound)

“Spare me your empty little compliments, girl . . . and your ser’s. I am no knight. I spit on them and their vows. My brother is a knight.” ~ Sandor to Sansa Stark

6. Arya Stark

“A long time ago, she remembered her father saying that when the cold wind blows the lone wolf dies but the pack survives. He had it all backwards. Arya, the lone wolf, still lived, but the wolves of the pack had been taken and slain and skinned.” ~ Arya’s thoughts.

5. Theon Greyjoy (Reek)

“Only a fool humbles himself when the world is so full of men eager to do that job for him.” ~ Theon to Asha Greyjoy (disguised under an alias)

4. Brienne (Brienne the Beauty)

“All my life men like you’ve sneered at me, and all my life I’ve been knocking men like you into the dust.” ~ Brienne to Jaime Lannister.

3. Davos Seaworth

“I am a man. I am kind to my wife, but I have known other women. I have tried to be a father to my sons, to help make them a place in this world. Aye, I’ve broken laws, but I never felt evil until tonight. I would say my parts are mixed, m’lady. Good and bad.” ~ Davos to Melisandre

2. Tyrion Lannister (The Imp)

“My mind is my weapon. My brother has his sword, King Robert has his warhammer and I have my mind… and a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone if it is to keep its edge. That’s why I read so much, Jon Snow.” ~ Tyrion to Jon Snow

1. Jaime Lannister (The Kingslayer)

“He felt a bone-deep ache in his phantom fingers. I’ve lost a hand, a father, a son, a sister, and a lover, and soon enough I will lose a brother. And yet they keep telling me House Lannister has won this war.” ~ Jaime’s thoughts.

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The North Remembers

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“Foes and false friends are all around me, Lord Davos. They infest my city like roaches, and at night I feel them crawling over me.” The fat man’s fingers coiled into a fist, and all his chins trembled. “My son Wendel came to the Twins a guest. He ate Lord Walder’s bread and salt, and hung his sword upon the wall to feast with his friends. And they murdered him. Murdered, I say, and may the Freys choke upon their fables. I drink with Jared, jape with Symond, promise Rhaegar the hand of my own beloved granddaughter…but never think that means I have forgotten. The north remembers, Lord Davos. The north remembers, and the mummer’s farce is almost done. My son is home.

The screenshots are from Season 5 Episode 3 of Game of Thrones. Quote is Wyman Manderly talking to Davos Seaworth in A Dance With Dragon, the fifth book in the A Song of Ice and Fire book series. I felt it was a matching quote, chances are I won’t see the quote played out in the show so might as well relate it to what we get.

Top Ten Thursday: Game of Thrones Season 5 Plot Points

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I know, I know, that’s one hella long title. As I mentioned in last week’s TTT post, I wanted to do some lists related to a Song of Ice and Fire in honor of the new season of Game of Thrones which starts this Sunday. Last week featured my favorite book quotes, while this week I’ll be listing things I’m most excited to see in Season 5. This is based on the books and leaked spoilers for the series — while we do not know everything that’s about to go down, we have the synopsis and I’ll be leading myself on those. This means the night will be dark and FULL OF SPOILERS!!

I’m fairly sure I’ve used that gif before, but yes, if you don’t listen to Pedro Pascal then I can’t help you any further. Here we go!

  • #10: Melisandre’s play with Jon and Stannis.

Stannis the Mannis who does nothing but grind his teeth, Jon the sadface who knows nothing, and Melisandre the red priestess of Asshai. Oh and R’hllor, the Lord of Light, let’s not forget him too. These three characters put together could easily make a sitcom, so I’m excited to see how their time together plays out.

  • #9: Sansa is playing the game.

Basically, Sansa has already been learning how to be a player in the Game of Thrones for a while now, and her beginning as one officially started last season. But she has yet to prove herself and this means this season she won’t be the Sansa we knew so far. She’ll be Alayne.

  • #8: Pod and Brienne’s road trouble.

To be completely honest, I have no idea what this is meant to be. It’s ranked this high because of my curiosity. One of the trailers/teasers/promo videos featured Pod and Brienne with some men who flew under the banners of House Arryn, which means the Vale with Sansa and Littlefinger will be included in their story somehow.

  • #7: The adventures of House Bolton.

Winterfell, which did in fact fell when it got burned to the ground, is about to rise again. Sort of. But among the festivities there should be a wedding and we all know weddings in Westeros make for great entertainment.

  • #6: Arrival of the High Sparrow.

The High Sparrow is the newest High Septon of the Faith of the Seven. Let’s just say he’s in town to do some purging of sins… Can you think who’s sinned in King’s Landing?

  • #5: Meeting Doran Martell and the Sand Snakes.

I freaking adored Doran and the Sand Snakes and this should in fact be my favorite part of the upcoming season. But it appears D&D are making a lot of changes for the Dorne plot, which not only disappoints me but it also scares me that they won’t be portrayed as good as they were in the books. I know that changes are a must, they’re two different mediums and there can be no literal adaptation, but Dorne was just so fantastic in the books.

  • #4: Daenerys welcomes Tyrion.

It was pretty clear that Tyrion would eventually meet Dany, but it seems in the show they’re speeding up things and they’re cutting out Tyrion’s journey to her. Or otherwise making it extremely short. Either way, we get to have a Lannister and a Targaryen in the same room this season. Get hyped!

  • #3: Arya and the House of Black and White.

The Many-Faced God can have the rest, she thought, but he can’t have this.

Those are Arya’s thoughts about Needle, her stick-them-with-the-pointy-end sword. She’s training to be an assassin at the guild of the Faceless Men and in order to become one she has to lose her identity, she has to become no one. This means cutting off from her past, but she decides to keep Needle.

  • #2: Cersei’s downfall.

Come at once, she said. Help me. Save me. I need you now as I have never needed you before. I love you. I love you. I love you. Come at once.

Vyman was hovering by the door, waiting, and Jaime sensed that Peck was watching too. “Does my lord wish to answer?” the maester asked, after a long silence.

A snowflake landed on the letter. As it melted, the ink began to blur. Jaime rolled the parchment up again, as tight as one hand would allow, and handed it to Peck. “No,” he said. “Put this in the fire.”

Cersei’s my favorite character for Season 5, as she finally gets to reap all the things she sowed in the past. Not only is crap hitting the fan, but she’ll have no one help her clean it. Can’t freaking wait!!

  • #1: Jon Snow swings a sword.

The smile that Lord Janos Slynt smiled then had all the sweetness of rancid butter. Until Jon said, “Edd, fetch me a block,” and unsheathed Longclaw.

I did a happy dance when I read this part. It’s one of my all-time best scenes, and even though you won’t see the quote on any of my quote lists, it’s definitely among my favorites. I just tend to avoid listing it because without the context it doesn’t make a lot of sense. But basically, Longclaw goes through Slynt’s neck in order to meet the block.

Top Ten Thursday: A Song of Ice and Fire Quotes

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I figured with Season 5 of Game of Thrones starting in 10 days, I’d make the next TTT’s GoT-themed. But on the one hand the ideas I thought of included spoilers from the books, and on the other hand I’m busy with Camp NaNoWriMo and don’t have that much time on my hands. So I figured I’ll do one short and quick post (this one) which will be spoiler-free and it’ll focus on my favorite quotes from the books. The other (coming sometime in the morning) will be dark and full with spoilers. Yet, even though I say this is a short and quick post, the books are heavy and have a plethora of fancy and cool sayings so it was still a hard task selecting just 10 quotes.

10. Tyrion Lannister’s thoughts

It all goes back and back, to our mothers and fathers and theirs before them. We are puppets dancing on the strings of those who came before us, and one day our own children will take up our strings and dance in our steads.

9. Jon Snow to Jeor Mormont (The Old Bear)

“There’s no shame in fear, my father told me, what matters is how we face it.”

8.  Varys to Eddard Stark

“Why is it always the innocents who suffer most, when you high lords play your game of thrones?”

7. Arya Stark’s thoughts

Fear cuts deeper than swords.

6. Jorah Mormont to Daenerys Targaryen

“Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly, Rhaegar fought honorably. And Rhaegar died.”

5. The Night’s Watch Oath

“Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night’s Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.”

4. Bran Stark and Eddard Stark

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

3. Jojen Reed to Bran Stark

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

2. Varys to Tyrion Lannister

“Power resides where men believe it resides… It’s a trick… A shadow on the wall… And ofttimes a very small man can cast a very large shadow.”

1. Tyrion Lannister to Jon Snow

“Let me give you some counsel, bastard. Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.”

Top Ten Thursday: Book Re-reads

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I’m not good at a number of things, and one of them is re-reading books. Yes, re-reading is good as it helps you catch things you’ve missed the first time around, it helps you understand everything better, etc. etc. But my mind just rejects the idea, I don’t find any joy in reading something I’ve already read, the book simply isn’t as appealing to me the second time around. But, as with everything, there are a few exceptions. Here’s my list of 10 books I’m okay with re-reading at any time and place.


10 – Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

I forget in which school year I had to read this, but I’m fairly sure I re-read it a few times during that year already. I did enjoy the Adventures of Tom Sawyer as well, but it pales in comparison to its sequel and the story of the adventures Huckleberry Finn had. The most intriguing thing is how the book manages to dive into touching subjects such as racism, religion, and war, yet it manages to remain light and friendly. It’s both funny and scary, it’s for children and it’s for adults, and it’s simply put extraordinary. It’s pure classic and it’s something that everyone should read no matter at what age they decide to do so. But more importantly, everyone should be brave enough to pick it up least one more time for a re-read.

9 – George Orwell’s 1984

I don’t know when I read 1984 for the first time, but I do remember when I re-read it for the last time and that was 4 months ago. It’s one of the best literally pieces of work I’ve ever read and most definitely the best dystopian and political fiction book. It’s written in such a simple manner yet it’s structure and content is frightening complex. It was a brilliant read the first time around, but more so on the second and third read because you just can’t soak in all the fantastic bits and pieces in a single reading. It also happens it has one of my all-time favorite quotes “Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.”

8 – Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels

Is there anyone who didn’t enjoy this? It was likely one of my favorite reads during my school years, and those were quite low in numbers. All the voyages, all these fantastic and diverse places, the plethora of characters and events that follow his journey, they’re so well written you would think this is a diary of a real person’s travels and not actually a novel written as a parody for the traveler’s tales subgenre. If you have to pick a few books to take with you on a stranded island, this should definitely be one of your picks. That is, if you humor can stomach jokes on your own not-so-good situation. If you can’t appreciate a good book then this would be a bundle of gibberish for you, while for everyone else it should be something joyful no matter how many times you’re reading it at this point.

7 – Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

It’s my understanding that at the initial release the book was considered quite controversial and had very mixed reviews. Yet the story lives to this day. In fact, it was so influential it actually spawned a whole genre of monster horror stories, movies, tv shows, plays, and illustrations. Some may have disliked the way the book was written or found it too awkward/weird, which I can somehow understand for the early 1800’s. But it’s clear that the story of a scientist who devotes himself to his work to a point where he not only bends but breaks the rules and uses unorthodox experiments to achieve his goals is quite intriguing. Or maybe it’s the rise of said work/creature/whatever which can no longer be controlled as it now has a mind of its own that’s intriguing? Maybe it’s a bit of both, I’m not fully sure myself, but I am sure I’m not tired of rereading it yet.

6 – Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment

Might be a controversial piece, it seems opinions are divided on it, people either hate it or love it, or they don’t even know it. There’s very little middle ground when it comes to Crime and Punishment. For myself, the story of Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov is perhaps one of the best reads I’ve ever had. The moral dilemma of whether the end justifies the journey, of whether bad actions are acceptable if they’re meant to help achieve greater good, is still present and debatable to this day. Who is worthy and who isn’t, who gets to judge and decide, and does ridding the world of those deemed unworthy in order to help the worthy sound like something okay to do? Can we justify our bad actions with a simple it’s meant to help me provide greater good?

5 – Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray

Oscar Wilde was one of the first writers I started appreciating, likely because his work was more available than the work of many others. Call it commercial if you will, but you knew there was always some book of his in the local libraries. The first time I read about the Picture of Dorian Grey was during an early age English class, though it was more of a summary and it was used for other purposes (not for lit reading). The summary itself sold it to me, it was a fascinating yet creepy tale. It was quirky. It was something different than what you’re used to hearing, and for some reason that was appealing to me. To this date I’ve read at least a dozen versions or editions of it and I still like each and everyone one of them.

4 – Dante Alighieri’s Inferno (The Divine Comedy)

I rarely find someone who loves Dante’s Divine Comedy, let alone someone who loves it as much as I do. The first time I read it was during High School, and I was meant to read just the Inferno part but I was hooked and I went on reading he whole thing. While I did some heavy reading during High School, I usually avoided the school readings because most of the books were ridiculous, horridly translated from their originals, or some were just bad books (I understand this may not be the case for everyone, the school reading lists vary from country to country and from generation to generation). Dante’s Divine Comedy, specifically Inferno, was a refreshing change and something I’ll forever cherish.

3 – JRR Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of Rings)

I don’t think I have come across anyone who doesn’t love, enjoy, or at least appreciate the work of Tolkien. I do know some people don’t like fantasy so they shrug it off or blurt out various things how the books aren’t that great, but I don’t think there’s a person among book lovers who does’t at least understand the importance of Tolkien’s work. He had a craft like no one else, he was master of the written worlds and he’ll forever remain as such. It doesn’t matter which of his books I would pick up but the details will always be as entertaining the 100th time as they were the 1st time around. Yet, my journey with his work started with the Fellowship of the Ring so I like it just a tad bit more than the rest of his stories.

2 – JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter)

The Harry Potter series was my very first series of books, and it was my introduction to the world of fantasy. Fantasy being my favorite genre, you can see why I could reread it any time, I consider it important because of the influence it has had on me. Out of the whole series though, Half-Blood Prince is my favorite. It’s the first book out of the series which I think goes beyond the children audience. But, more importantly, the revelations and information available in this book make it my favorite.

1 – GRR Martin’s A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire)

This is a more recent obsession of mine, as I only started reading the series about five years ago, around 2010/2011. The reason it finds itself at the top is of course the writing style and the many hidden details, foreshadowing, and double-meaning writings. When it comes to a Song of Ice and Fire, each sentence’s as important as the next, and every word brings something to the table. It doesn’t matter how many times you have read and analyzed the books, on your next reading you realize/discover something new. If we take and review the whole series I believe that we’ll find out Storm of Swords is firmly placed as the best book from the series and that’s why I’ve selected it from the published books.

GoT Season 2 Review [Spoilers!]

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Earlier in the season the lovely High Priestess from Ashai, Melisandre, warned us that the night is dark and full with terrors, which was proven in last week’s battle of Blackwater. However, she did not warn us that the day can also be full with terrors, which we see quite a lot of in the season finale. Although I guess with Winter at the door of Westeros, there is no longer a line between day and night for the terrors that roam the land.

To be honest when I watched Blackwater I was completely mind-blown. That was definitely one of the best episodes I have watched on TV and the reason is probably because the whole episode focused on that single piece of plot, the battle itself. But as the episode ended fear struck me – how the heck are they going to top THAT on the season finale? It felt like they had used up their ace card already and I was pretty much certain that the finale is going to feel like a let-down compared to S02E09.

I said to myself “you should have used this for the finale, HBO!” But I was obviously wrong.

The second season didn’t start off as great as I expected it to, but I think we can blame it on the fact that A) the second book is the boring one [based on what people have told me]; B) things were just warming up for the latter part of the season. I’m not complaining though, as with everything they showed us the last few episodes, they completely made up for it in my eyes. And went beyond what I had hoped for.

Probably what let me down in the first place was Renly’s “poor” death. Sure, the shadow demon scene was quite awesome, but I felt like we lost Renly way too soon and I kinda started liking him. My bad, I forgot what happened with Ned Stark last season. Darn you, Martin, can’t you at least save one of my favorites?

The only thing I knew for certain is that Tyrion did not die at the battle of Blackwater. Not because it was predictable or visible in the show, but I am simply not ready to see his head rolling on the floor. If he dies prior to the last season I know I’m done with the show (though I’m totally rooting for him to get that horridly uncomfortable iron throne!).

And I’m putting my hat down for Martin because he can really make me hate a character. He makes me love many, which makes a battle painful to watch as I have favorites on both sides, but he also makes me hate many. I probably yelled at my screen “DIE ALREADY, YOU PIECE OF CRAP!!” at least a dozen times on any scene with Theon or Joffrey. And I hated Joffrey from the bare start, so the Hound making him poop in his pants made Blackwater even more amazing.

Then on the next episode we see him sitting on the throne as if he’s in a pub with his gang, looking around for someone to pick on. Not that he’s able to pick on someone, he’s so shallow he still has his mommy giving him guidance (and the fool pitifully tries to argue her logic each time). That’s one spoiled brat you’re looking after, dear Cersei. Oh and yes, I got some respect back for her during Blackwater as well, though it was all blown up like with a wildfire explosion in the finale. I think I’m just going to stay neutral about her.

One thing that I am very glad about is the House of Undying scene with Daenerys. Dany was simply fantastic last season but her character this season was truly lost and she pretty much hit rock bottom when she lost her dragons. I’ve been waiting for what seems like eternity for her to find her way and finally bring some of that FIRE AND BLOOD that she kept threatening people with. She totally had the spotlight in last night’s season finale. Well her and the actual season ending with the Nightwatch’s horn. *horn blows* Hey, rangers are returning, it’s Jon Snow! *horn blows again* Oh no wait, it’s Wildlings, get ready to strike! *horn blows for the third time* Oh, crap! WHITE WALKERS!! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!!

And how very stereotypical, the fat boy falls and is left behind. I wonder where we’ve seen that before, Martin/HBO! 😛 I’m not complaining though, because it was not funny at all, it was all scary and mesmerizing, especially when the chief/cool White Walker Rider turned toward the camera. Chills ran through my body.

I shall end with the statement that I HIGHLY DISLIKE the fact that I now need to wait a whole year for a new season. I’m really glad they’re splitting Book 3 into two seasons, but it does not sooth my pain at the moment at all.

P.S. Yes, I’m avoiding talking about the wildfire explosion because if I start rambling about that, I won’t be able to stop. Best. Freaking. Thing.