I’m not sure where to begin with this review. The season is over, and I cannot believe it. It feels like just yesterday that it was Christmastime, and the Game of Thrones teasers were flashing across the HBO airwaves, and I was burying myself in ASOIAF lore in an attempt to sustain my fangirlish hunger until the show debuted.
A few months later HBO announced the premiere date: April 17. But that was still months away, so I had to trudge through internet message boards and Tower of the Hand essays to get my fix. And then the first episode premiered, and nine more episodes came and went. The last ten weeks have flown by, and now we have to suffer through an entire year without any Thrones. As the opening credits played for the Season Finale, I experienced a Pandora’s Box of emotions: anticipation, pride, excitement, fear, grief, despair, and longing. The theme song, which in the very least deserves the over-used adjective “epic,” made me feel like I was finishing the first leg of a terribly fantastic adventure.
I’ve been breaking down my reviews by location/character, but in order to preserve the power of the finale, I have kept this one chronological.
*As usual, this post contains spoilers for the Episode 10 and the ASOIAF books.
Maisie Williams as Arya Stark
I’ve written a book about this episode. But I felt like there was so much I wanted to say. I’m not sure if this was my favorite episode of the season (the last few weeks have been fantastic), but there’s no denying the excitement caused by the mere fact that George R.R. Martin himself wrote the screenplay for this hour. I imagine that opportunity was almost like a way to write “alternate scenes” or to change things GRRM may have thought he would have done a different way after having nearly 15 years to ponder his work (A Game of Thrones was first published in August 1996). For that reason, a lot of what I discuss demonstrates the differences between the text and show.
*This review contains spoilers for Episode 8 of Game of Thrones as well as the first four A Song of Ice and Fire books. Please proceed with caution.*
*This post contains spoilers for all four ASOIAF books; please do not continue beyond the cut if you are wary of book spoilers.*
Some parents choose their children’s names because of their meanings. Others simply choose names they like and never bother with the significance. The name may end up fitting the child, or it may end up having an arbitrary meaning that doesn’t relate at all to the personality the child develops. Parents, when choosing a name, never know how their child will turn out.
Authors, meanwhile, do possess this knowledge before or during the naming process. George Martin, the father of ASOIAF, has a cast of hundreds of characters, all of whom he got to name. But what do characters’ names say about them? Do the meanings of their names match up with their personalities or deeds? In this article I will examine the etymologies of the names of several characters from the series and will analyze if and how the name fits with the character.
For this first batch, I have selected what is arguably the central family of ASOIAF: House Stark.
Note: All first names were researched using Behind the Name: The Etymology of History and First Names, unless otherwise cited.