Tag Archives: game of thrones

Portraits: Margaery Tyrell

This painting could show Margaery at Highgarden or on one of her rides into the countryside around King’s Landing.  The young woman is pretty, with loose brown hair, as Margaery is described.  The flowers symbolize House Tyrell.  And the look on her face, even when viewed from the side, shows a certain understanding, or resolve, which characterizes Margaery perfectly.  For although the youngest Tyrell first appears to be nothing more than a pretty ingenue, we soon learn that she’s much more determined and cunning than she initially lets on.

Do you see Margaery below?

Windflowers (1903)
John William Waterhouse
English (born Rome 1849 – 1917 died London)
oil on canvas
Private Collection

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Season 1: Episode Recap

Now that Season 1 is over, I want to do  a general “season recap” that approaches the show from various angles.  Using my 10 episode reviews to keep me organized, I went through the details as well as my impressions of each hour.  In doing this Episode List Recap, I decided that Fire and Blood and The Golden Crown were the most flawless episodes.  The three episodes between those two were also phenomenal, but I thought Episodes 7/8/9 each had something missing.

I think the acting was amazing in every episode.  I could have listed it under “The Good” for each segment.  Also, “The Good” section is by no means exhaustive; if I wrote down every praise I sing for this show, this post would be far too long!

*This post contains spoilers for each episode of Season 1 of Game of Thrones*

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Portraits: Brienne of Tarth

Very few artworks of armored women who fit Brienne’s bill exist.  They’re all doe-eyed, wispy ingenues wearing a breastplate over a dress, or anime/video game-ish girls wearing…well, not too much armor at all.  But this painting by English painter Annie Swynnerton reminded me of Brienne.  The girl (Joan of Arc) isn’t particularly pretty.  She’s large and manly looking, with broad shoulders, a thick neck and a full face.  Her skin is ruddy and her hair does not look particularly luscious.  On a deeper level, I see Brienne in Joan’s solemn plea to all that is good and holy to help her complete her oath.  For Joan, that was delivering France from the English.  For Brienne, it’s delivering the Stark sisters from the Lannisters.

And the rainbow in the background?  Let us not forget Brienne got started as a knight in Renly Baratheon’s Rainbow Guard!

BRIENNE OF TARTH
Joan of Arc (exact date unknown)
Annie Louisa Swynnerton
English (born 1844 – 1933 died)
oil on canvas
Private Collection

Feel free to comment – do you see Brienne in this painting?  Or is it just another tribute to Joan of Arc?

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Episode 10: Fire and Blood

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.

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The Dads of ASOIAF

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!
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Episode 9: Baelor

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.

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Preview – Baelor

Extreme spoilers.  Please turn back if you haven’t read the book.

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