May 2013 Archives

May 30, 2013

Upvoted: I made a giant kinder surprise for girlfriends birthday

May 28, 2013

Upvoted: I'm a games journalist making my first game - a stealth/hacking game called Gunpoint - and I've just released a demo. Judge me.

May 23, 2013

Upvoted: Despite the English Defence League's best efforts, I don't feel any safer.

I know these brave lads are only trying to protect me, but I'm starting to wonder if a defence policy based on drinking vast amounts of cheap lager and throwing bottles at the police is actually working.

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May 22, 2013

Upvoted: The new Xbox One

May 20, 2013

Upvoted: Daenerys is such a BAMF this season.

Upvoted: Love the called preview!

Works perfect, even included the photo titles. Thanks!

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May 17, 2013

Upvoted: SOOOO CLOSE

May 16, 2013

Upvoted: My 2 year old won't let me go with him into the bathroom anymore, so I checked on him last night and found this...

May 13, 2013

Upvoted: [S03E07] Followup for non-readers: "The Bear and the Maiden Fair"

Greetings! Welcome back to the weekly series of folluwups! If you want to ask any questions that my post did not answer, feel free to do it.

  • This episode was written by GRRM himself. Other episodes he wrote are "The Pointy End" and "Blackwater", arguably one of the best episodes of the series so far.

  • You might consider this episode the one of the weakest so far, but you will fully appreciate all the details once you rewatch the whole season. All that foreshadowing is what made the discussion threads full of book spoilers. It's glorious. And cruel. You will watch those episodes and ask yourself "Why didn't I see this one coming".

Palace of the Winds

"Well, you rip my pretty silk dress, I'll blacken your eye" - Ygritte, proving being badass doesn't exclude you from being a girl

  • Somehow the show made sure noone repeats a phrase, ever. It doesn't seem so, but Daenerys says "Where are my dragons" only once and I'm pretty sure Ned didn't abuse "Winter is coming" as well. That makes it quite difficult to label anyone with a catchphrase (besides "You know nothing, Jon Snow" and "Hodor" which is absolutely obligatory). There are some catchphrases from the show, though, that the readers missed. This week it was "HAR"TM by Tormund Giantsbane.

  • Timeline reminder: "It's complicated". Generally all the main characters near the Wall (Sam, Jon, Bran) are west of Castle Black.

  • "You won't love him so much when you find out what he really is" - This line might have various interpretations. It's possibly just about Jon revealing his true intentions, but this could be really ironic (I doubt this was what Orell meant) in the bigger picture. Here's what book reader knows by this point of the story - it's never fully revealed, but strongly hinted. direwolf plot

Are We There Yet

"I've seen wet shits I liked better than Walder Frey" - Blackfish

  • Edmure is Walder Frey's liege lord. Marrying a daughter to one's liege lord is one of the best futures a lord can get for his child, ensuring an advance in social ranks for his family name. Keep in mind that most marriages you've seen so far occured exclusively between the major houses (Tully, Stark, Baratheon, Arryn, Lannister, Tyrell) for political purposes (forging natural alliances).

  • Valyrian isn't just one language, there are dialects. Long story short Daenerys speaks High Valyrian, the more sophisticated language of the elites, but the common folk of the Free Cities speaks Bastard Valyrian, or rather their own dialects of it. All the Targeryan names (Daenerys, Viserys, Rhaeger, Aegon, Aemon, Aerion) and all the Free Cities (Volantis, Lys, Myr, Pentos, Qohor) are in High Valyrian.

  • direwolf plot

Stupid Little Girl Who Never Learns

"We could arrange to have you carried" - Tywin Lannister, showing off his power with nothing but few steps, few seconds of silence and few words

  • Quick reminder, especially for the new guys here: Tyrion is supposed to look ugly. Disfigured. Asymmetrical face and body. Two eye colours. And a giant hole in his face where his nose was supposed to be. But this is TV, there are no ugly people on TV.

  • So I will repeat once more: Tyrion is an ugly drunkard known for whoring around. Keep in mind Sansa knows that her mother accused him of trying to get Bran killed (remember the knife from season 1?) and it was only trial by combat that let him go free (funny how everyone already forgot about that one). Ugly whoring drunkard who tried to kill her brother and whose nephew killed her father.

  • Sansa's initial bethrothal to Joffrey was never made concerning her heritage - she had three brothers, so she would be fourth in succession (boys get the title before girls regardless of age). Now that Bran and Rickon are presumed dead, if Robb died childless, she would become the only heiress, granting her children the title of Lords of Winterfell (making Tyrion Lord Paramount). Also, even though Tywin might disgrace Tyrion, he may name Sansa's children successors to Casterly Rock.

  • Book Sansa is 14. Absolutely normal marrying age in medieval times, also the ancient times, and some after Middle Ages (notable examples: Juliet from "Romeo and Juliet", Mary the mother of Jesus, countless historical queens). Absolutely unacceptable for modern TV.

  • White cloaks: Kingsguard. Currently there are 5 of them (since Sandor Clegane left), 7th and the Lord commander being Jaime. Gold cloaks: City Watch. You might remember Janos Slynt back from Season 2, the guy shipped off to the Wall for slaughtering Robert's bastards and replaced with Bronn.

  • Book description of the small council meeting involving those news "Fishers from Braavos have seen a kraken, and sailors from Quarth talk about a three-headed dragon that hatched on a desert".

  • Robert is the one who got rid of the skulls (Targaeryens, wildfire and dragons weren't exactly what he liked). Last dragon died 170 years before GoT.

  • Book Shae actually lives in a house in the city and Tyrion goes to visit her through the secret tunnels (mentioned in Blackwater). Making Shae Sansa's maiden simplified the plot a little bit. Furtunately we don't have much more scenes of those two.

Biggest Brothel Ever

"And what happens to the things that don't bend?" - Daenerys, proving her lack of knowledge of the words of House Martell more on that later

  • It's not "wise masters of Yunkai", it's Wise Masters of Yunkai. Lords of the three cities in the Slaver's Bay title themselves "___ Masters". Astapor (Kraznys&co.) were the Good Masters of Astapor. Meereen, the third city, is being ruled by the Great Masters.

  • The pyramids are the reminiscent of Ghiscari Empire which predates the rise of Valyria. Note that Astapor, Yunkai and Meereen are not a part of the Free Cities.

  • History 101: Ghiscari empire rules over most of Essos. Rise of Valyria (peninsula in the south of Essos). Ghis, the former capital of the empire, gets burned to the ground by dragonfire. Valyrian empire. Valyria gets blown up (volcanoes, most likely) and one of the only survivors are Targaeryans at Dragonstone in Westeros; cities of Essos declare themselves Free Cities. 100 years later and 300 prior to GoT, Aegon conquers Westeros from Dragonstone (he and his sisters rode the last three dragons in the world, at that time).

  • History 102: "Queen of the Andals and the First Men" - First Men is the term for the first humans in Westeros. They took the weirwood trees and their gods from Children of the Forest who they fought with for hunders of years until they made the Pact which lasted for long centuries. Starks, Karstarks and Boltons are all descendants of the First Men. Andals are the men from northwestern Essos who came 4000 years after the Pact and brought the Faith of the Seven with them.

  • History 103: House Martell of Dorne (the very south of Westeros) chose words "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken". They were the only piece of Westeros south of the Wall to withstand the Targaeryen invasion as they had no big cities to aim the dragonfire at. Dorne joined the Seven Kingdoms later by marrying the Dornish princess to a Targaeryan king.

  • You may think that Daenerys should have accepted the offer and sailed to Westeros immediately, but every single side of the conflict would win with her (excluding Stannis as he sits at two thousands by now, but who the hell knows what Melisandre is capable of when close to dragons). Robb has more people than her even after losing half of his army.

  • Since the cities in Slaver's Bay are one of the largest in Essos, the "powerful friends" have to be some kind of organisation that transcends the political division. You remember Faceless Men? Something like that. Oh, and there's still this creepy wrlock girl assassin with blue-lips. Who the hell knows.

Bastard and M'lady

"Who's your one true god" "Death" - Arya

  • "Where? Why? What?": Blackwater Bay is the estuary of a river that goes long way from the Riverlands from a lake called "God's Eye" that's quite damn close to Harrenhal (south of it). Riverlands consists of many river systems. The other one is the Trident (north of Harrenhal). Just enjoy the view of both the Red Keep and charred shipwrecks.

  • Aaaaand another look at the past: Stannis Baratheon is the man who found Gendry with Jon Arryn. His findings are the reason he left King's Landing prior to the events from GoT.

  • Am I supposed to summarize all the plot from Arya chapters that got her in the Hound's hands in a way more convincing manner? I give up, let's leave it to my fellow book readers.

  • If you hovered over the spoiler in the Jon section, here's the Arya part of this thread that is known by now: direwolf plot

The Titular Bear And The Maiden Fair

"The Lannisters send their regards" - Jaime


I'm out of the character limit and there isn't much more to write this week that I haven't already mentioned in the previous followups.

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May 6, 2013

Upvoted: [S03E06] Followup for non-readers: "The Climb"

Hello! Continuing the weekly series, let us share some trivia from the books that will help you understand the events that just occured in the show. For the sake of the first-timers I'll repeat some of the facts I already mentioned in the previous followups.

TL;DR! From readers to non-readers, here to answer some of your questions!

By the way, I hope you've noticed that the episode's title "The Climb" can be interpreted in more than just one way. Those titles keep getting better and better.

Fire Building Camp

"Buried treasure, thousands of years old!" - Sam the Pimp

  • Time for a Season 1 reminder. Sam's father is lord Randyll Tarly. You might remember the story of how he got thrown out of the warm cosy house, but what really ties up this story is lord Tarly's past. Randyll Tarly is one of the main bannermen of House Tyrell (much like Rickard Karstark and Roose Bolton to House Stark) and he has an impressive history. During Robert's Rebellion, Randyll Tarly defeted the Baratheon forces and sent future king Robert fleeing north to Riverrun. It was Randyll Tarly's liege lord Mace Tyrell who laid siege to Storm's End for a year, forcing Stannis to eat cats and horses until the Onion Knight came.

  • Since this scene did not bring up much and merely refreshed our memory of the characters, here's another reminder: back in S02E08 Sam found a pack of blades made of "dragonglass", as he calls it. The obsidian package has been wrapped in a Night's Watch cloak. Whose - that is unknown, it could have been Qohorin Halfhand, Benjen Stark (most popular theory) or someone else.

Rabbitskinning Catfight

"I want you both to make peace" - Bran, trying really hard to not tell what he really wants them to do

  • I expanded this to a full section just to make this joke. Sorry, nothing new this week.

  • Oh, as someone pointed out: in the event of an epileptic shock do not, I repeat do NOT use any kind of material to block one's mouth. Laying the person on their back instead of their side is a bad idea as well.

  • And for the people who are new to my followups, once again: What Jojen does goes uder the term green dreams, later you'll hear "greenseeing". This is not warging, which is what Orell and Bran do (wolf dreams), but Brandon seems to have a talent towards greenseeing (three-eyed crow dreams) as well.

The Literal Climb

"Am yo woman now, Jun Sno. You're going to be loyal to your woman" - Ygritte, vaginazoning poor Jon into corner

  • "The Wall defends itself".

  • Regarding Ygritte: the words she said bare more meaning as wildling customs treat Jon and Ygritte as pretty much what south of the Wall would be a married couple. By taking Ygritte a prisoner, Jon fullfilled the ritual of kidnapping the woman from her tribe.

  • As you've heard in the last episode, only three outposts along the Wall are manned. Night's Watch isn't what it used to be and that's why they let the trees grow so close to the Wall.

Robin Hood: Stealing From Rich And Selling The Poor

"You should not have this power" - Melissandre, for the very first time being jealous of mopjo she does not possess

  • Anguy the archer won the archery contest at the Hand's Tournament back in season 1. 20 000 golden dragons... I wonder what he did with the money.

  • Here comes the part that makes book readers really interested: the Melissandre-Thoros confrontation did not happen in the books. This is where TV shows more than the books. First, we hear the Red Priests speaking High Valyrian (both are from the East, where it's the language of the elites); second, Gendry gets a storyline (this is where he would've gotten Hot Pie'd); third and the most important thing is Mel learning about the Kiss of Life. Man, this is getting intense.

  • I think the most impactful thing the books did not deliver is Red Priests using "Valar morghulis" as a greeting. So far it used to be associated with Faceless Men (Jaquen H'gar) more than the priests of R'hllor.

  • Book Brotherhood was way much less "we serve the Lord of Light". This is me playing the weekly "It made sense in the books" card, but you could say that making the Brotherhood sell Gendry out is adding some depth to the group.

  • Melissandre seeing Arya's future broke my favourite conspiracy theory (it's so crazy it doesn't really need the tagging): ASOS

Krakenflaying Hornblower

"If you think this has a happpy ending, you haven't been paying attention"

  • The whole Theon story is a mystery. If you have some spare time, rewatch the ending of Season 2 (scenes regarding Winterfell). Noticing certain things helps as well. This one is a riddle you can solve on your own :)

Edmure Is An Idiot

"...what." - Edmure, being a Tully

  • Walder Frey has been disgraced many times. All the major houses look down at him because of many reasons, one of which was his late arrival at the battle of Trident (he supported Robert when it was already over), giving him the nickname of "The Late Lord Frey". For his family to become a greater house is all he wants.

  • The Freys are bannermen to Tullys, but after Robb married and broke his vow they withdrew all their army. Robb is trying to win it back.

  • Harrenhal: currently held by lord Roose Bolton, entitled to Petyr Baelish by the South (assuming the Riverlands surrender) and just promised to Walder Frey and his numerous offspring by the North.

  • Edmure seems outraged by having his marriage arranged while Sansa has absolutely nothing to say: that is because the rights to girl's hand belong to her father and Sansa's took over to the crown.

Dinner for Five Hands

"I would've hoped you had learned your lesson about overplaying your... position" - Roose Bolton, reminding that handchopping is still on the menu

  • What you see here is Roose Bolton trying to save the situation, really. Think of what impact it would make if this matter didn't get sorted out. Right now people don't really believe in the image of Robb the Lannisters are trying to show them (turning into a wolf and eating children). However such a dishonourable act as chopping the hand of the finest knight in Seven Kingdoms marks Robb as a barbarian, not much better than the wildlings from beyond the Wall.

  • Roose Bolton is trying to break the chain of responsilibity from Locke to Robb, and, what's even more important for his sake, he doesn't want Lannisters to be hunting house Bolton. It wouldn't be hard for the Lannisters to send some forces to deal with Roose at Harrenhal, which is already in ruin, if they decided it's worth the effort.

Best Grandparents Ever

"I feel like I'm in a dream" - Sansa Stark, even more oblivious than usual

  • So come again, the net isn't that tight: book provides more members of the Tyrell family that hang around, making the story and attempted engagements a little bit less crazy. Story-wise this shortcut is better.

  • About "everyone knows this", reminder from S02E01: Stannis sent ravens to all greater and smaller lords of Westeros with the news of Joffrey's true parentage; the news spread to the smallfolk, but Lannisters striked back with a rumour that Shireen isn't Stannis's daughter, but his halfwit fool's (the fool got written out, his are the creepy songs). It's not what people believe in that matters: it's what they choose to say they believe in that does.

  • You can't really force someone into Kingsguard, but it's treated as the highest of honors for a knight and refusing to take it without a good reason to do so would raise massive speculation.

  • Ros was a show-only person solely for some of the characters to have an opportunity to speak their mind in a brothel. She also took a small part of another prostitute, Alayaya, who helped Tyrion to move between his chambers and the place he held Shae in.

That's all, folks! Any commentary is more than welcome.

Personally I'm glad how this season is working out so far. The book split (ASOS will be covered in two seasons) made many events span long enough to explain most of the details to the viewers.

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May 2, 2013

Upvoted: The quest for Shadow of the Colossus' last big secret