Tag Archives: GOT

Spoils of War [fanfic 225]

“Wot the Seven Hells is that?” Patryck stared at the tattered and stained document his commanding officer had spread out on the wooden table.

“It’s the new map. They’ve divided up the lands all different now since the Day of the Dragon.” The commander looked down as he spoke. They were silent for a moment in memory of that horror. All present had lost many loved ones in the firestorm.

Foxcroft poked at the map. “That blue there is where the Iron Islands are just as before. I heard Yara got away from King’s Landing in a hurry.”

“Almost as if she knew.” Patryck said. “You think the Dragon Queen warned her?”

The commander shrugged. “Can’t trust a foreign usurper. But they didn’t seek any advice from seasoned military men, only imps and eunuchs.”

“Where are we headed?” Foxcroft asked, which was the question on everyone’s mind.

“New orders have arrived by raven,” the commander announced. “Danger stalks our wise one and he has seen his own death in a vision. Note where the red river diverts at the yellow marking. We go there to Eagles Nest to guard his nephew. Be ready to leave at first light.”

The men nodded and drank, oblivious to the presence of the new servant, a plain girl from abroad, who was listening closely while she served them ale.

~*~

Via Rorschach Test

FPQ23: I Burn Whole Cities

Fandango provocatively asks…

β€œHow do you manage or deal with stress? Is there a specific strategy or approach that you’ve found to be particularly effective?”

My post title comes from the HBO show Game of Thrones where dragons have been known to release stress by destroying cities with fire. I am not a dragon, alas, though I have gotten vicarious pleasure especially during stressful times by reading A Song of Ice and Fire and from watching the show.

In general, I find that losing myself in a fantasy world of a novel or movie for a few hours is a great way to deal with stress. I do prefer movies over series, or series that have finished, because I don’t want to have to wait for the next season (and these days, that can be so unpredictable), which ends up leaving me at the mercy of people yapping online about the show and giving their predictions. Annoying!

Depending on what the stressful even was, I may wish to talk about it privately, with a daughter or a friend. I’m careful what I say to whom these days though, so as not to end up with more stress from the convo itself. I may write about the situation in a diary for my own clarification. I find the act of writing words on a page/screen to be therapeutic.

For immediate relief, deep breaths work. For a 24 hour period, repeating the mantra that “this too shall pass” helps a lot. If I can’t sleep, there’s always the Valium or Benadryl last resort. It’s really bad not to sleep because then I’ll feel even worse the next day, which will increase my stress. Cuddling my kitty and spending time alone at home usually helps me feel better.

Here are some stress management techniques that are supposed to help but do nothing for me:

1. Exercise. I know it’s good for me, but it makes everything hurt more and I end up with a (worse) headache.

2. Taking a vacation. Way out of my budget and I would be completely stressed about the money I spent.

3. Glass of wine. This is a migraine trigger about 50% of the time.

4. Music. This is tricky because a lot of songs pull up sad memories for me. I have to be careful about music. Plus, Gatsby doesn’t like it. Mostly I only listen in the car.

5. Sex. With a man? This was generally the cause of almost all my stress and giving it up has reduced my anxiety to nearly zero.

Dracarys! πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

The Most Important Lesson from GOT

***WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS GAME OF THRONES’ SPOILERS!***

It’s sport for GOT fans to mercilessly drag every episode of this last season, in gory detail, and I agree with the main criticism ~ the ending is rushed. The show runners spent 7 long seasons setting up an intricate story, and now they’re zooming to finish, stuffing two wars into three episodes out of six, and leaving lots of loose ends.

Meanwhile, I’m basically enjoying the eps, besides wishing there would have been more of them. I don’t share the common criticism that the plot twists and character arcs are “unearned.” The first seasons generally followed the books, so if you’d read them, you weren’t shocked by twists. Ned’s beheading was accepted because those of us who read the books knew it was coming, but normally the sudden death of a beloved character early on would have generated criticism from fans.

So, when I read today that people are upset about Varys’ death, I roll my eyes. The dude was a great character, but he was always plotting and scheming against rulers, and it was inevitable one would discover it and kill him. You have to wonder why it took so long really, except for the fact that he was smarter than all of them. Littlefinger was also, but Varys was not evil and selfish, so he caught more breaks. Both men were lucky they lasted as long as they did.

People who are carrying on today about Daenerys going “mad” haven’t been paying attention. She has stated all along that she was going to take what was hers “with fire and with blood.” She has torched people throughout the show, but that was okay with us because we didn’t like them. Her character has been stable, her mission unchanged, and her vision focused on one goal.

If you want to pick apart the military strategy of Euron and his crew, I get that. One day he takes out a dragon with his first shot and sinks the entire opposing navy; in the next encounter, he’s totally inept. What the hell happened there? Gotta say though I enjoyed his rambunctious battle to the death with Jaime. Good stuff, though I did think Euron would have mentioned the baby he thinks is his. Might have thrown Jaime off-balance.

Okay, so Jaime fooking Lannister, amirite? People are yelling about his character arc. Pffft, I say. You know what? It’s perfect. The more I think about it, the more perfect it is. Here we have a handsome, spoiled, rich jerk who is in love with his sister and does horrible things for a long time. Some of these things he does for her and some he does just because he’s an arrogant ass.

Then, Jaime gets captured, tortured, and has his comeuppance and epiphany. He begins to be a slightly better person. He sees that he could maybe love a woman who isn’t a monster and be loved in return. He could fight for the people instead of his shitty family name. Some of his interior ugliness is replaced with goodness.

But then… then… bratty, snotty Sansa (more about her in a sec), says nyah we’ve taken King’s Landing and your sis is gonna die! Jaime immediately reverts to form, dumps his new sweet love and breaks her heart, and gallops back to his wicked twin. Why?

Because people don’t change!

That’s the lesson here, folks. And it’s a good and important one. Dany never changed, not one iota. Jaime appeared to change, but he didn’t really. And what about Sansa, who began as a pretty wounded bird and allegedly turned into a strong confident woman? Nah fam. She’s still a petty, snide, gossipy bitch. Dishonest and backstabbing.

Jon/Aegon never changed either. He can’t help but be a noble, relentlessly honest lump of boring. Tyrion is still the same brilliant little scamp who puts his family first no matter how terrible they are. And he does sometimes back the wrong horse, especially when it’s very pretty. Sandor had one main mission in life, and though he did get sidetracked with other tasks along the way, ultimately he refocused on his goal, the Cleganebowl.

Arya? Let’s see what she does in the final ep. Any predictions? I admit I was wrong when I predicted Jaime would kill Cersei, and I’m glad to be wrong. I love that they stuck to the “people don’t change” theme instead, and decided to ignore Maggie’s prophecy. Now, the prediction is that Arya will kill Dany. I don’t know… What do you think?

Thanks for reading all this!

Rhaegar and Lyanna

I’ve been cold for so long,

‘Neath these crumbled old stones;

Silent heart’s a lost song

In the cage of my bones.

Once I danced with a Prince,

Now I dream of a ghost;

He’s loved no one since,

For he loved me the most.

He’ll be coming for me

When stars bleed in the sky;

We’ll embrace by the tree,

My ghost lover and I!

~*~

Thursday Inspiration: Ghosts

[Also inspired by Game of Thrones, in particular the romance between Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, both dead, or so we are meant to believe 😱]

Show & Tell

Warning: this turned into a rambling pointless bunch of jabbering. More than usual. πŸ˜‚

Melanie haz questions:

1. Was the last thing you read digital or print?

I’m not counting online “news,” since that’s like reading cereal boxes. Actually, it would probably be more informative to read cereal boxes (note to self: buy some Cap’n Crunch). The last book I read on my Kindle was Not Quite Dating, which I already reviewed for the alphablog and am now done with all those posts, yay! So, that leaves Us Magazine, which hits my mailbox every Saturday. Why? I dunno! I’m certainly not paying for it. Somehow, a free subscription has been gifted to me and it shows up every week. I spend a couple minutes paging through and then toss it. Can’t remember anything much about this one except the spread of celebs in their wine colored dresses. Every issue has two pages near the front with a clothing theme. I do like themes. Oh, Kate Hudson was in this issue too. She’s 40 and happy. I’m happy she’s happy cuz I like her.

2. Are you more an extrovert or introvert?

According to the definition, I’m an introvert. My friends also call themselves introverts, but they always want to get together, which I find curious. Shouldn’t they need to spend lots of time alone, as I do? Granted, I have been more social than normal lately due to Game of Thrones, but that’s temporary. It’ll be over in a month. There is something particularly compelling about the ending to this dramatic and complex show that makes it fun to watch and discuss with others. Most of the time however I have no need for that and prefer to watch things alone. I crave alone time to think and read and write in peace and quiet. It recharges me. Too much peopling makes me literally crazy and I feel the air getting so heavy with noise and vibration and other people talking moving breathing that my body will crush and implode if I don’t get away.

3. How is your life different from what you imagined as a younger person?

When I was a teenager, I imagined myself becoming a career-focused professional, possibly a scientist. I wasn’t dreaming of marriage and children, but that is what I did. Next, I assumed I’d be married for the rest of my life; when I divorced, I thought I should find someone else. It didn’t occur to me until relatively recently that I would spend my life alone, but now that I’ve accepted it, I’m fine. It might be the ideal state for me, even.

4. Do you think about dying?   Does death scare you?  Why or why not?

I think about it a lot. It used to terrify me ~ when it first hit me that I would die and be erased, I freaked out. I was 12 and in a car with my parents coming back to NJ after visiting peeps in Ohio. I knew earlier that I would die, of course, but the impact of the erasure didn’t affect me until that moment. I mentioned I was upset and my parents dismissed my concerns. For a long time, I was angry at them over this, but I’ve come to understand they did the best they could.

I didn’t sleep for a year ~ at least, this is how I remember it. I stumbled through the days, exhausted but somehow not letting on I had this enormous burden. And I must have slept some or I would have died or become ill, but I remember all that year lying awake utterly terrified, making words out of words in my head. My schoolwork wasn’t affected, so no one knew or cared.

Eventually, I grew to live with the bleak erasure knowledge. It’s what keeps me sympathetic to religious believers. Of course you would take the comfort of an afterlife option if it were intellectually available to you! You’d have to be nuts not to grab onto that if there were any way to make sense of it. Unfortunately, I can’t make it fit into my logical brainspace. I wish I could.

Lately though, I’m not so afraid any longer. Maybe it’s because I am just so damn tired of being in pain every day. At least that will stop, which is something to look forward to, blissful non-awareness of aches and migraines. I also won’t have to think about all the things I’ve failed to accomplish, what a freaking relief. Not to mention all the mistakes I’ve made, gahhh. All erased from MY mind, since there won’t be any more “my mind.” And if others criticize or gossip, I won’t know, so I won’t care. Nice!

Plus, things are getting old as I’m getting old. Samey same same same. Sure, I still enjoy stuff, but meh. As someone I once loved said: “Do I really care about seeing the millionth issue of the New York Times?”

It’s his birthday today, btw. Happy birthday to the man who broke my heart. Still much older than I am. Still living in a big lonely house with his wife and their money. Now we’re all unhappy, great.

5. Gratitude challenge: find something you are thankful for in nature.

California mountains and beaches and sunsets and flowers, of course…

Q is for Quite [A2Z]

Not Quite Dating by Catherine Bybee was a fun, fast read. Not gonna lie to my readers: I chose it solely for the Q factor. Needed one to fill the spot in the alphabet bloggery, and I wanted a book available on Kindle Unlimited. I wasn’t thrilled with the tame cover, which makes the novel appear to be about some prairie girl looking for Mr. Right in a country church, but when you desperately need a Q, you can’t be so picky.

First, the cover is deceptive. No idea why it was chosen since it’s all wrong for the book. The story takes place out in Ontario, CA, and features a hot Texas cowboy trying to seduce a California waitress. There is a lot of drinking and a lot of kissing and a ton of chemistry. It’s not a tame romance novel.

Second, it has a crazy, twisty plot semi-snitched from Taming of the Shrew. Jessica isn’t a shrew ~ she’s super sweet and kind ~ but she is looking for a rich man and won’t consider dating “poor” Jack when he hits on her after showing up in her diner in dusty clothes and driving a beat-up truck. He decides not to tell her who he really is, instead opting to become her friend and “help” her find her dream guy.

Third, though the HEA ending is a given, the path there is not, and the navigation is unpredictable. Side characters are clearly set up for spin-offs of their own, which is a good thing in my book.

The only issue I had with NQD (besides the cover) was that too much suspension of disbelief was required. I’ve always enjoyed the concept of disguised identity romance novels, but they do seem to work better when set in Ye Days of Olde. It’s just not reasonable that people aren’t going to google stuff. And if you have a heroine who doesn’t question outlandish gifts and obvious ridic things, she begins to seem stupid, which is no good.

But here I am, a person who is totally immersed in a show featuring dragons, complaining that some silly woman believed her crappy car burnt up at the Toyota repair shop so they’re gifting her a brand new SUV. Maybe if a dragon had been involved… πŸ‰ πŸ”₯πŸ˜‚

I is for Intolerable

Intolerable Cruelty, starring two of the most beautiful people on the planet, is a very funny romcom romp. It’s a Coen Brothers movie, so you know there’s great dialogue and great directing. Con after con abound, and you’ll go a bit dizzy trying to keep them straight and figure out who, exactly, is the most unethical character. I found it fun, even if it plays fast and loose with actual California divorce law.

One thing that’s particularly amusing on a rewatch is how people tear up prenups just like Queen Cersei would do. πŸ‘‘

Confab [SOCS]

Fab is a word I associate with the Beatles, but sometimes it’s used to describe the 4 British Royals: William, Kate, Harry, and Meghan. For a short time, I used faboo as an expression of glee, but I quickly grew bored with it. I’m pretty much back to my boring old great! and yay! πŸŽ‰

Last week I stopped in Jo-Ann’s fabrics, but it wasn’t as much fun as I’d remembered. I think my crafting days are kaput ~ except for when my little granddaughter is old enough to make braided lanyard bracelets and paper flowers and beady things. That will be great! 😍

Fabricate means lie, like prevaricate… though they are subtly different. Fabricate is more about constructing a false body of evidence, while prevaricating is evading the question. But ultimately lying is lying, in my book. I think I forgot to say that in some post or other recently when were gabbing about this topic ~ I was thinking about saying that lies of omission were also lies, but then I omitted it! Oopsy. 😱

Finally, we have fables, which are a great form of storytelling. I’ve always loved fiction, but as an adult I’ve only enjoyed realistic fiction until fairly recently. But in the last couple years, something changed and I became more open minded toward fantasy in fiction. This led me into different genres, such as sci-fi, magical realism, magic in general, shapeshifter romance, time travel, steampunk, dragons… and of course culminating in Game of Thrones.

Have I mentioned that I really really love Game of Thrones??? πŸ‘‘πŸΊπŸ‰β„οΈπŸ”₯

Ten Days To Go! [Game of Thrones fanfic]

What was once derided as myth and fairy tales of crazy witches has now come to pass: the army of the dead is marching on the living. It won’t much matter who was more prescient in choosing a leader, except there’s a slightly better chance of surviving if the living fight together rather than conspire against one another as they have done until now.

But some say there may be a forgotten factor. Nymeria, the cast-off dire wolf from House Stark has survived all these years in the frigid forests of the North. We caught a glimpse of her when Arya was traveling alone and a wolf pack appeared, led by Nymeria. There were thousands of dire wolves, an army in their own right. Will they fight for the living against the Night King?

As the air turns even colder and a brutal long winter descends once again upon Westeros, it’s fortunate that the remaining Starks have at least reunited in Winterfell. Whether the star-crossed Queen Daenerys and her two fire dragons will ultimately be friend or foe to the Starks, well…

We will just have to wait and watch!

~*~

Elemental Challenge: Air/Frigid

Opposites Attract Challenge April 4

Dragons Are Coming! [1000 words]

Contains Game of Thrones spoilers!

Not that I have to remind my fellow Game of Thrones fans, but it’s only two more weeks until the first show of the grand finale wrap-up! Season 8 is more like six full-length movies than regular shows, but even so… six episodes in any form does not seem nearly enough to deal with tying up all the loose ends of every plot and subplot that’s been woven through this complex drama over the last eight years. I think it’s been eight anyway ~ I only began watching last year. I’ve watched it all three times though! πŸ˜‚

I confess that I do click on many of the fan theories about what might happen and the little teasers from the cast, etc. I just can’t resist! Haven’t really learned much, except that the last hidden throne was found in Queens, NY, which makes some people believe that a female character will prevail and win the throne. Fans are certain that Cersei will die because of the prophesy from Maggie the Toad, but idk about that. GOT has always been full of surprises.

However, if Cersei does die, I would love if Jaime killed her, whether or not she’s pregnant with another of his babies. It would fulfill the prophesy, since technically she is the older twin. But even better: I would love if Arya killed her wearing Jaime’s face, ooooh! πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

Here’s another confession: I don’t love Sansa Stark. Lots of fans are hoping she survives and I truly dgaf. I’ve never felt invested in her just because she’s been so abused. Honestly she was a shit for years, terrible to her family, and her attraction to Joffrey was disgusting. You know which Stark is my favorite? Arya! I adore her. She didn’t keep waiting for a man to save her; she went out there and did the job herself.

The scene where Arya killed all the Freys is one of my favorite things ever. And they so had it coming ever since the Red Wedding. Btw, I felt nothing when Ramsay stabbed his father later ~ remember how Roose Bolton conspired with Walder Frey and the Lannisters to murder Robb Stark, his wife, and his mother, not to mention their dire wolf!? Anyway, it would rock my socks if Arya ended up on the throne! βœ¨πŸŽ‰πŸ‘‘

But I doubt she will because of that teaser from the crypt which showed her and Sansa seemingly dead as young women in stone, while Jon Snow’s face in stone was older. I don’t want him to win ~ he’s just another boring man, ughhh. He annoys me and always has. The only thing I like about him is his connection to the dire wolves. 🐺

What about Daenerys? Welp, I have mixed feelings about her. On the one hand, she’s strong and exciting and she commands the dragons. She’s decisive and bold. I enjoyed watching her morph from a scared girl into a powerful leader. On the other hand, she irritates me. Don’t know how to explain it. And it’s not because she’s so beautiful cuz I enjoy that. Compare her to Arya… Arya relies completely on her own skills and wits, nothing else. Daenerys has beauty and dragons and immunity to fire. Where would she be without those things? Also, D is very murdery. No compassion there. A has compassion. I don’t believe, forex, that she left the injured Hound out of cruelty ~ he was off her list and I don’t think she thought he would die then. Indeed, he did not.

Yet, I would rather see D on the throne than Jaime Lannister, handsome as he is, or Jon effing Snow, noble as he is. You know, I feel bad saying that about Jaime because he’s been trying to do the right things lately, and he’s sort of nice to Tyrion mostly, but ffs he threw Bran Stark off the tower! You really can’t recover from that.

There are two men I might be okay with on the throne. One is Tyrion Lannister. Even though T was born to wealth and privilege, he’s been mocked and mistreated for much of his life for being a dwarf. And he hasn’t merely endured, or grown cold and bitter, but his experiences have infused him with empathy and humanity. He’s kind and funny and brilliant and loving. The other is Samwell Tarly, for pretty much the same reasons. πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»

I just read yesterday that in S5 one of the Maesters jabbered about a prophesy where a drowned god ~ that would be Euron Greyjoy ~ rose up to kill Aegon Targaryen. That would be Jon Snow. You know Euron is coming back from Essos to help Cersei, right? Even without the prophesy, with Euron’s return things are going to be in a pickle for sure!

Speaking of theories, I hung on to the “Bran = the Night King” for a long time, but I guess I need to let that go. It wouldn’t make sense that just because the NK touched Bran when he warged that time, then all the creatures were able to penetrate the magic barrier and kill Bran’s group. If B and the NK share a mind, why would he be trying to commit suicide? It makes more sense that maybe B will be able to warg into the NK or Viserion (the dragon the NK turned to ice).

Goodness, I hope I haven’t jinxed any of my favorite characters, like Arya (please not Arya!) by going on about them favorably. And if they kill Tyrion off, ooh, I’ll be so angry! They wouldn’t do that, would they? Take Jon or Dany over Arya or Tyrion, or take Sansa! God, that would piss people off, lol. There are also a bunch of other choices to eliminate: Bronn, Gilly, Varys, etc. I don’t care overmuch about any of them. And “Clegane Bowl” is coming too. Of course I’ll root for the Hound, but he was an awful person at first, just like Jaime.

CANNOT WAIT!!!!!