Today is Father’s Day in the US, so in honor of dads everywhere, let’s take a look at some of the fathers in ASOIAF. Nine dads made the cut (Hoster, Stannis and Aerys were left behind), and for each, an archetype and Father’s Day gift has been suggested. If you have different ideas, please comment below!
*Book spoilers below the cut!
Sean Bean as Lord Eddard Stark
*This review contains spoilers for Baelor, Episode 9 of Game of Thrones, as well as the first ASOIAF novel, A Game of Thrones.*
Wow. And there it is, guys. For us book-readers, the one episode we’ve been anticipating all season. The instant we knew would shock, anger, drive away and reign in viewers who had not read the novels. A hallmark moment in A Song of Ice and Fire. Perhaps the most important sword swing in the series, and at least in the first book. The day that changed the course of Westeros forever, and the hour that cemented the fate of a widow, six children and a kingdom’s worth of commonfolk. Okay – you get it by now, right?
I’m writing a little bit late, as life has unfortunately kept me from finishing this review. But it’s been wonderful to see the reaction and be able to incorporate that here. I deeply, thoroughly enjoyed catching every “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!” or “HBO didn’t!” or “How COULD they?!” These seem like angry responses. And they are. But they also indicate passion – that people cared enough about Ned, or his children (or that they hated the Lannisters enough) to take to their Twitters or their Facebooks or blogs or Youtube channels and scream out their rage to the seven hells. Anger like that shows a connection. And if that’s the case, then we can say HBO has won. The biggest gamble going into Game of Thrones was whether or not viewers, especially those unaccustomed to fantasy, would care enough about the characters to wade through generation-long winters, packs of direwolves or schools of dragons, and a few ancient spells to keep coming back week after week.
I’m going to get into the actual review soon, but let me start off by saying I don’t know if this is the best episode. That’s a terrible choice to have to make, and I think the episodes from “The Golden Crown” up until now could all be in the running for the title. But in Baelor, there were scenes that clearly rank among the most emotionally poignant of the series to date. Written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, this episode was an expression of the spirit behind this production. Although George wrote the story, and the design teams created the world, and the actors bring that world to life, it is the combination of David & Dan (D&D – I feel they must always be combined by an ampersand) that connects all the threads and weaves them into a tapestry. They are the cerebellum of the show – the seat of power that tells the feet where to walk and the hands what to grab and the eyes what to see and the mouth what to say. So, it was insightful and gripping to see what they chose to express on screen in their episode.
Extreme spoilers. Please turn back if you haven’t read the book.
Cersei and Ned in King's Landing
These episodes are only getting better and better. Because we got a large dose of exposition earlier in the season, we are really able to move forward with all the different plot threads that Game of Thrones offers. This episode consisted of little actual action and a lot of “behind-the-scenes” type maneuvers, but it was fantastic. Several moments gripped me emotionally, especially the ending of Robert, Ned and Dany’s storylines for this week. We are in the thrust of Season 1’s crescendo, and I can’t wait for the last three installments. If ASOIAF newcomers think things were intense in Episode 7 they have no idea what’s ahead.
*This post contains spoilers for Episode 7 of Game of Thrones, and one instance of obscene language. Please refrain if either bothers you.
I watch Game of Thrones each week with my family. Sometimes awkward, I know, but as my sister often tells us, “We’re all mature adults.” My parents have no context for anything related to Westeros; this is all fresh for them. I, on the other hand, have launched a blog dedicated to ASOIAF, so clearly you know how I feel about the series. I didn’t think this would happen, but I’ve really enjoyed watching the show with people who don’t know anything about the books. Seeing their reactions to various events has been great.
But the most amusing part has probably been how my father has just renamed the characters to his liking. I’m not sure if he genuinely doesn’t understand their names, or if he’s being facetious, or if it’s a mix of the two, but so far, Sansa is Senza, Arya is Aye-eer-ah, and (my favorite), Ned has become Ednert. Ednert Stark, Lord of Winterfell. I can’t help but love it.
I’d be interested to hear if anyone else has experienced something similar, so if you have, comment and let me know!
*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.