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Posted on September 1, 2014
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Sing a Song of Ice and Fire, #24

Have you heard? Jon Snow knows nothing.

Spoilers abound from here on in for a book published in 2000. Also, I’m not putting pictures in these posts because I don’t want to expose myself to spoilers.

Book Three: A Storm of Swords
Part the Fifth: from Jon Snow telling Ghost he has to cross the Wall on his own to the Kingslayer’s arrival at Harrenhal

Jon — There’s a reason I have Jon Snow at the top of the Stark Ranking right now. Of all the Starks, he’s the one who’s acting most honorably: though he is behaving as a traitor, he’s doing his best to save the world as he knows it.

Jon sends Ghost away, because there’s no way for him to climb the wall, telling him to go to Castle Black, hoping that Ghost will serve as a warning. Then he returns to camp, thinking upon Ygritte, who his body loves even if his heart does not. Yet. And because we have to have angst, Jon is angsty that he likes sex with Ygritte but doesn’t want to father any bastards.

Ygritte, in this chapter, says “you know nothing, Jon Snow” quite a lot. It gets tiresome after the first ten times.

Jon tells Magnar and Styr, his commanders in Mance Rayder’s army, about the patrols on the Wall, and the commanders form a plan to climb it. Then they hang out in a huge cave for a while. Jon goes to find Ygritte, who tells him a story about Gorne and Gendel, and about Gendel’s children (a haunting in the caves below the Wall). They have sex again, Jon referring to her breasts as “teats” but redeeming himself by going down on Ygritte, who enjoys it quite immensely. They decide to hang out in the cave a bit more before going back.

Daenerys — Dany negotiates for all 8000 of the Unsullied currently in Astapor, and also all the trainees. The price: one of her dragons. She also gets her hands on Missandei, a slave who can help her teach her language to the Unsullied. But Dany is smarter than the slavers gave her credit for, and when she returns — paying everything she has, including her ships and Drogon the dragon — she turns the tables on the slavers. In Valyrian, the language the Unsullied use, she tells them she owns them now (after the deal is officially done; she doesn’t renege)… and then orders Drogon to kill the slavers. When the slavers call for the Unsullied to protect them, they don’t… because they belong to Dany. Nice job, kiddo.

Unfortunately, she also learns that when the war is over she’ll have to find something to do with all her unstoppable warriors. They’d kill themselves if she asks, or so Missandei says. Let’s see if that comes back in the future.

Sansa — Sansa gets her now gown from Cersei — and some silk underwear to go with it — along with a maiden’s cloak. Sansa realizes she’s about to be married off, and Cersei springs the trap: her husband is to be Tyrion. And this after Sansa so badly wanted to marry Willas of Highgarden. Oh well.

Tyrion and Sansa have a brief chat, during which Tyrion admits that this isn’t what he wanted either, and then they go to the wedding. Sansa behaves dutifully, except that she doesn’t kneel for Tyrion to fasten her wedding cloak. When she sees how upset Tyrion is by this — not at her, but at the whole event, she kneels to finish the wedding.

Apparently in Westeros there’s a tradition where the men take the bride, remove her clothes, and throw her in bed, and the women do the same to the groom. Tyrion keeps this from happening, because he’s, y’know, not that much of an asshole, and the two of them go to the bedchamber. We learn that Sansa is almost thirteen, which doesn’t do much for Tyrion. Again, not that much of an asshole. Tyrion romanticizes his first wife, Tysha, and then orders Sansa to undress.

Then Tyrion tells Sansa that while he does want her the very idea frightens him. He tells her his positives — generosity, loyalty, bravery, and intelligence — and then admits that he can’t just take her as she is, that he wants her to at least like him a little bit first.

She asks what will happen if that never occurs, and he says he’ll go have sex with whores instead of her.

This is going to have to come back at some point. And it reinforces why I like Tyrion so much. He’s an utter pragmatist. And kind of a romantic as well.

Arya — In the town of Stoney Sept, where Ned Stark once won a great battle, Arya discovers men being tortured by hanging in cages to die. They’re Northmen, but they attacked their own people in search of Jaime Lannister. Even Lem says that Lord Beric doesn’t go in for this sort of torture. Arya gives the men a little water, and then Anguy the archer shoots them dead.

That night, Arya is woken by a Lannister being brought into the town. It’s not Jaime… but who is it? The book doesn’t say.

Yet.

Jon — Back to the Wall. Ghost is gone, and Styr and Magnar’s party makes a harrowing journey up the wall. Magnar is killed when a giant sheet of ice rips from the wall, but the rest of the wildling force makes it to the top and sends down a rope ladder. Jon and the others climb, and Ygritte is upset. Jon thinks it’s because of fear for climbing the Wall, but Ygritte hits him and says they were looking for a mystical artifact, the Horn of Joramun, to bring the Wall down.

I guess Jon Snow really does know nothing.

Also, Ygritte casually mentions that the wildlings are the ones who let the shades — my guess is the Others — loose in the world just so they can find the horn. Oops.

Jaime — Jaime’s stump hurts. It gets kicked a few times. Jaime is unhappy, but Brienne of all people incites him to live for vengeance. He tries to counsel her on what to do when the men finally rape her — which is repeated far too often in this chapter and the previous Jaime chapter, thereby almost losing its power in the casualness — but Brienne seems to have plans of her own. That’ll be interesting.

When they get to Harrenhal, Jaime apologizes to one of the Freys for Ser Cleos’s death, saying that the Bloody Mummers killed him (even though they technically didn’t), and then we see the first fallout of Robb marrying Jeyne Westerling: Ser Aenys Frey spits at Brienne’s feet and says that Robb betrayed them.

Roose Bolton arrives and has Jaime sent to the Maester. He also finds rooms for Brienne. Jaime refuses painkillers as his infected wound is lanced and repaired, and then sends the Maester to look after Brienne.

Looking Forward

Brienne and Jaime are totally going to end up together. On this I have no doubt.

No one spoil me.

And Then There’s This

These books are purportedly about the Stark family, I’m told; or, at least, the first one was. But now so few of the Starks have agency. Look at my notes in the ranking below and you’ll see what I mean.

Also, I bumped Sansa up for her bravery when she was in bed with Tyrion. Good job, girl.

Stark Ranking

  1. Jon — trapped with the wildlings, a traitor no matter how he turns, and pretty much forced into a relationship with Ygritte.
  2. Arya — dragged along for the ride with some of Lord Beric’s men instead of actually doing anything for herself.
  3. Sansa — a ward of the court, married to Tyrion, though she’s taking back some of her agency by standing up to him.
  4. Robb — probably the stark with the most agency simply because he’s the king. He screwed up his alliances by marrying Jeyne because he bedded her and thought he had to do the “right” thing. Dumbass.
  5. Catelyn — Robb set her “free” but she has to stay where she is to further the story. She let Jaime go, and that was the only thing she’s done of consequence since her meeting with Renly.
  6. Rickon — on his way somewhere, watched over by Osha.
  7. Bran — chose to go learn to be a warg, but he’s subject to Meera and Jojen as to how he gets there.

Read ALL the posts!

Posted on August 31, 2014
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(Source: katara, via erotiterrorist)

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Posted on August 29, 2014
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Listener’s Buffy/Angel Rewatch (B7.04)

Buffy 7.04: Help

  • Ooh! I have a chapter named “Help”. Chapter 9.
  • Netflix is taking a while to load this one.
  • ~hums Jeopardy theme tune~
  • Hey, someone remind me that, if I’m still watching at 9:14, to see if my TV shuts off automatically.
  • Aww, all that undertaker’s hard work, gone for naught.
  • Oh yeah… this is the one with all the guest stars I’ve heard of. Glenn Morshower, Zachery Ty Bryan, and Azura Skye. And the first appearance of Amanda.
  • Willow’s wearing a lot of dark clothing.
  • The more you talk about the bad thing without showing it, the less power it has for the audience.
  • No, it really wasn’t a bad analogy. I prefer the control method myself.
  • That wall behind them (just to the right of the statue) is SUUUPER fake.
  • Oh fuck. I remember what’s about to happen.
  • That’s a really un-crowded cemetery. Especially for Sunnydale. People die there all the time.
  • Hey, remember that Willow’s Jewish? I bet most of the audience didn’t know what the rocks were for.
  • As a counselor, wouldn’t you not want to have the desk between you and your students/”patients”? To help make you seem less blocked-off.
  • I appreciate that they’re showing this happening over the course of time by having Buffy wear different shirts. And lipstick.
  • Hi Cassie!

  • It’s funny that Buffy, who was terrible at History but good at French, knows all that French history.
  • In terms of time (three points previously), now Buffy’s back in the shirt from when she was talking to my-older-brother-is-joining-the-Marines guy. It’s confusing to people like me who pick up on tiny details.
  • Cassie. Cassandra. That’s not a giant-ass guidepost as to what’s up with her.
  • My dog’s name was Cassie. Cassiopeia, though.
  • Do students really call their principals “Principal Lastname”? I called my HS principal “Mr Vanover”, not “Principal Vanover”.
  • Buffy, that’s kind of racist. Or at least prejudicial.
  • No, Mr Wood, YOU can’t search their brains.
  • "I don’t usually get a heads-up when somebody dies."
  • Given what we learn about Wood in a few episodes, and given that the writers probably knew where his character was going, I think maybe giving Wood a little more of a stink-eye to Buffy when she slipped would’ve been apropos.
  • Is it so late in the year that we’re already having the Winter Formal?
  • Aww, isn’t that cute… people hadn’t heard of Google in 2002.
  • Okay, that’s some pretty impressive web animation work for a high-school student in 2002.
  • Did Dawn go to the hairdresser on the way home from school?
  • Me too, Willow. me too.
  • Computers don’t beep like this when you click on web pages. They didn’t in 2002 either.
  • Well, technically you invited them in.
  • One weekend a month? That seems rather punitive, especially for California.
  • Cassie’s mention of cousins reminds me that Buffy does have two aunts on her mother’s side who we haven’t heard a word from since, like, the second season. Did they not help at all last season when she was drowning (metaphorically)?
  • The robes these dudes are wearing are red. Red herrings?
  • That computer Buffy’s using is rather expensive — I used to sell them. Can’t imagine the school would’ve sprung for them.
  • I wonder if, when my daughter is a teenager, if she’s into art and putting stuff like Cassie did up on her walls, if I’m going to allow it or just cringe.
  • He’s not lying. He’s really doing nothing.
  • In the episode of Angel I just watched, Connor didn’t show up until 27 minutes in. Spike didn’t show up until 27 minutes into tonight’s episode. Serendipity?
  • "She’s got powers… of helping!"
  • What the hell is he doing? Petting her hair?
  • That knife is ridiculously fake-looking, even though Dexter knives are real, and apparently pretty good.
  • Funny story, when my friend who works in food prep at the grocery store mentioned “Dexter” knives, I thought she meant right-handed.
  • The “Blue Clam Cult” joke was never funny.
  • A knife didn’t stop it, but a kick slowed it down?
  • Demons on this show always seem to have normal eyes. Just like aliens on Star Trek.
  • Spike is a very powerful vampire. It shouldn’t have taken three punches to subdue the villain.
  • Ah, I see, it’s the CG fire that kills the demon, not the real stuff.

  • That’s not a booby trap, dude whose cousin’s name is Ben. That’s some serious shit right there. Potential murder.
  • It’s cool that Buffy and Dawn sit on the couch the same way. Nice attention to detail.

Read previous rewatch posts…

Posted on August 28, 2014
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Listener’s Buffy/Angel Rewatch (A4.02)

Angel 4.02: Ground State

  • Oh, this is the one with Alexa Davalos. I liked her story arc. She came back in the comics, too, and was pretty cool.
  • This landscape is super-bright. Clearly they went outside somewhere in California that’s supposed to look like Wisconsin.
  • That is a very red, very puffy outfit.

  • How many co-ed private boarding schools exist in Wisconsin, anyway?
  • "Errrrrt!" The sound of kids everywhere putting on the brakes. I made that very same sound.
  • I can’t buy that the headmistress would be out there supervising recess. But this saves money on actors.
  • I can’t figure out what the scenery is behind Connor’s title card. Got 20 more episodes to see it in, though.
  • "Dust sperm whales." Now there are three words you don’t often hear concatenated.
  • Phantom Dennis!
  • Where’s Cordy’s bed? The apartment came furnished, remember?
  • Angel’s gotten a haircut between the last episode and this one.
  • I think this might be the last time we actually “see” Phantom Dennis.
  • Did they not consider the whole “ghosts inhabit a part of the place they’re haunting, so let’s bring back a stone or something from the apartment so Dennis can live with us” angle?
  • Awww… Wesley and the Wesleyettes.
  • Alexis Denisof’s voice sounds odd when he’s projecting like that.
  • Could there possibly be an apology for trying to kill Wesley while he was in the hospital? Maybe?
  • "No living thing." Well, Angel’s not living.
  • Why not check “Demons Demons Demons” for a tip?
  • Nothing with wings that big makes such a quick fluttering when she flies.
  • "Do you see a nipple?"
  • What happened to Alexa Davalos, anyway?
  • The Axis of Pythia looks like a very large butt-plug the way Fred drew it.
  • "Boo!"
  • Angel has always been a good artist. They established that back in the Buffy days, I think.
  • "I’m really strong, if that helps."
  • Fred is not “teensy-weensy”. She’s five-eight. Skinny, but not teensy anything.
  • Apparently Wes gets the H&H after a big fight too.
  • Oh, Lilah, you have NO idea what you just foreshadowed.
  • Um… pretty sure Lilah still had her pants on as Wesley went down. Not that he can’t do something about that, but still.

  • Angel just knocked out the power (as evidenced by the lights going out in the parking garage), so why does the keycard reader still work?
  • Seriously? No gloves, Fred?
  • Even allowing for Gunn’s ability to fight and his great strength, sometimes the one-punch knockout doesn’t work. It always seems to on these shows.
  • That means… it’s time for a quick zoom!
  • This was after Whedon killed off Joyce and Tara, so the actual threat of Gunn being dead had some power here.
  • 27 minutes in and we finally see Connor. Could we possibly have not seen him for a little longer?
  • "I’m still evil. I don’t do errands unless they’re evil errands."
  • Was that the specific amount he mentioned last season? I don’t recall.
  • Shirley MacLaine was kind of a dated reference even in 2002.
  • So Fred is season-six Buffy now? And Angel is her Giles?
  • I know Amy Acker is naturally skinny, but still… hipbones, girl.
  • Why wouldn’t Gwen use her natural abilities — that is, take off her gloves and use full power — from the get-go.
  • The little spark FX between their lips was cute.
  • Her lipstick looks awfully good after a kiss that full.
  • The watch reference was pretty good, actually.
  • Nice to know vampires are conductive.
  • So all three henchmen come after Angel all at once, but then take turns at getting him? Why don’t they teach coordinated fighting at henchman school?
  • I’m not sure why they upgraded to HD on Angel, but not on Buffy.
  • Wait for it…

Read previous rewatch posts…

Posted on August 27, 2014
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digg:

Weird Al handed George R.R. Martin a typewriter at the Emmy’s. TAKE THE HINT, GEORGE.

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matt-douchene:

do u ever do something mildly impolite like not give a nice goodbye or not hold a door and spend the rest of the day thinking about it

All the time.

Posted on August 26, 2014
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labradork829:

4-week-old Golden Retriever puppies who are all future Leader Dogs for the Blind.

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Posted on August 25, 2014
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textsfromtng:

Submitted by Brad R.

(via textsfromtng)

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(Source: textsfromtos)

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Sing a Song of Ice and Fire, #23

Though you wouldn’t know it because I carefully schedule these posts, it’s actually been almost two weeks since I’ve read this book. Probably because I knew I’d be coming back to a Catelyn chapter.

Spoilers abound from here on in for a book published in 2000. Also, I’m not putting pictures in these posts because I don’t want to expose myself to spoilers.

Book Three: A Storm of Swords
Part the Fourth: from Lord Karstark’s “treason” to Davos’s meeting with Melisandre

Catelyn — I’m not sure how I feel about the opening to this chapter. On the one hand, the North is fighting the Lannisters, so they have every right to kill anyone who is on the Lannister side, but on the other hand, killing kids is a dick move. Plus, Robb is right — these boys didn’t actually kill Lord Karstark’s children. But Robb goes too far and actually kills Karstark, I guess hoping that by saying “I killed him for killing your people” he can smooth things over.

Little late for that, Your Grace.

This chapter also has a bunch of annoying political stuff in it that I can’t go back and read again. Basically, it’s Robb and Edmure trying to find a way to smooth over relations with the Lannisters and the Freys.

Anyway, Robb kills Karstark (learning from his father that if you need to kill a man, you do it by your own hand) and goes off to brood. His new wife, Jeyne, comes to see Catelyn and get advice on how to deal with men such as Robb. Catelyn knows the secret, because Ned was much like Robb. Catelyn counsels Jeyne to be patient, to let Robb come to her… and she hopes that Jeyne (who has good hips, apparently) will eventually give her grandchildren.

Oh, yeah, and Catelyn’s father is still alive. Somehow.

Jaime — Cleos, Jaime, and Brienne continue toward King’s Landing. Just as Jaime decides that he’ll have Sansa returned to the North unharmed, the little party is attacked and they emerge victorious. Cleos doesn’t survive, however.

Then Jaime and Brienne have a little battle, and Jaime realizes that she might actually be better than him. But, unfortunately, just as they start to kind of see eye to eye, they’re captured by the Bloody Mummers — including Rorge and Biter, and under the command of Urswyck the Faithful — who now serve Roose Bolton and, by extension, the North.

Luckily for Brienne and Jaime, they’re brought to Vargo Hoat, who knows their value. However, those who remember Arya’s time at Harrenhal will remember that Vargo Hoat enjoys having other people’s body parts removed. A lesson that Jaime learns quickly.

Arya — I feel as though Arya has lost her agency. She tries and tries to keep it, but it’s just not working out for her. At this point she’s little more than a lens through which we see other parts of the story.

The party comes upon Acorn Hall, and is welcomed by Lady Smallwood, who thinks Arya should be treated more like the highborn young lady she is instead of like the young human being she wants to be. Arya hears that Jaime Lannister is free, set free by her mother, and she doesn’t believe it. She has a brief fight with Gendry, the result being that, the next day, she gets boy’s clothes. That at least makes her happy.

And they ride on.

Daenerys — This part drags on as well. The short version is: Dany has to buy slave warriors who are reportedly unstoppable. Her advisor, Arstan Whitebeard, is not fond of this idea, but Dany is the khaleesi and her word is law.

After visiting the slave markets, Dany returns to the ship and realizes that her body misses Drogo. (I miss him too, Dany. I miss him too.) When she wakes Irri, her handmaid who shares her bed, Irri has sex with her. Or, really, has sex at her — she wakes, gets Dany off, and goes back to sleep. That in itself is kind of sad, though Dany, as a queen, assumes this is normal. Or that it was a dream.

It wasn’t, though. Irri offers again, saying it’s a great honor, and Dany declines.

Dany decides she’ll buy the Unsullied — the slave warriors — because sellswords only fight for money but if she owns an army who absolutely obeys her every word, that’s much better.

Bran — Can I skip this chapter, please?

No?

Alas.

At least this one doesn’t spend much time in Summer’s head. Bran, Hodor, Osha, and Meera continue onward, and there’s a story told about a crannogman.

That’s about it.

Davos — And, finally, we return to Davos Seaworth, in his cell… where he is fed twice a day and kept warm, and his pail is slopped out fairly regularly. As prisons go, it’s not so bad — for Westeros. But a prison it is.

Melisandre comes to confront Davos, and Davos is honest with her about his desire to see her dead. In exchange, she lets him live — because of his honesty — and imparts some of the lore she believes.

Finally, Stannis’s Hand, Alester Florent, is thrown into the cell with Davos on the charge of treason. Florent gives Davos the skinny on what’s happening with the war and explains why he’s here: he tried to treat with Lord Tywin, to save Stannis’s life and lands. He asks Davos if he would not do the same, and Davos says he wouldn’t, that he’s Stannis’s man through and through.

Looking Forward

This wasn’t a terribly interesting chunk of chapters, unfortunately, and it comes on the heels of me taking a few weeks off to read something else. Robb is basically screwed, making enemies of the Freys and now the Karstarks; Arya is getting farther from Riverrun by the day; and I have no idea what’s happening with Jon Snow or Tyrion Lannister — though I’d certainly like to find out what’s going to happen with Tyrion and Sansa soon enough.

And Then There’s This

I had thought Jaime actually lost both hands, but I checked with a friend of mine today. He said it’s just the one. I guess I wasn’t looking carefully enough at that one episode of GoT that I watched back in the first part of 2013.

Stark Ranking

  1. Jon
  2. Arya
  3. Robb
  4. Sansa
  5. Catelyn
  6. Rickon
  7. Bran

Read ALL the posts!

Posted on August 24, 2014
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Olaf, by Alyssa

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Posted on August 23, 2014
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