Finally, All On The Same Chessboard

Last night’s Game of Thrones season finale was so chock full of quick cuts and action that the show ran 10 minutes longer than usual, and you almost needed to take notes to keep track of the developments.  But the upshot is that everybody is back in Westeros, or at least well on their way there, accompanied by flapping dragons overhead.  That means we’re heading toward a colossal confrontation next season.

051d9f9d686043c4_pro23-xxxlarge-1Watching the episode, I almost felt like the show’s creators wanted to be sure to touch every major character, and every major setting, at least once.  So we got to see Cersei exact her revenge on the High Sparrow and his acolytes, as well as Margaery Tyrell and her brother and father, by blasting the Great Sept of Baelor to kingdom come.  Of course, Cersei being Cersei, her triumph came at a cost, as decent King Tommen hurled himself from the Red Keep.  So, the old crone’s prophecy was right — all of Cersei’s children are dead.  That didn’t keep Cersei from somehow crowning herself queen, however.  And we also got to see that Cersei is moving well into dear departed Ramsay Bolton territory on the sadism scale, by letting what’s left of The Mountain have his way with Septa Unella, the burly, grim-faced nun who sternly shamed Cersei last year.

In the north, Jon Snow and Sansa have gotten back onto the same page.  Sansa has rebuffed Littlefinger’s creepy and huskily stated attentions — so far, at least, but he’s a pretty persistent guy — and thanks to the gutsy young girl leading House Mormont, Jon Snow has been crowned King of the North by acclamation.  (Wait . . . seriously?  Another King of the North?)  Even more shocking, Bran’s ability to see the past through heart trees has clued us in that Jon is not Ned Stark’s bastard son at all, but rather the son of Ned’s sister Lyanna and Rhaegar Targaryen.  Since Rhaegar is Daenerys Targaryen’s older brother, that means The Unburnt and the Mother of Dragons is Jon Snow’s aunt.  It’s all pretty confusing, and sets up next season for some further reveals on what happened to start Robert’s Rebellion so long ago.

What else?  Well, Sam’s in the library of the Citadel.  Ser Davos got Jon Snow to throw the child-burning Melisandre out of the north.  Benjen’s brought Bran and his gal pal back to The Wall.  Jaime threw a few insults at Walder Frey and got back to King’s Landing in time to see his beloved sister crowned as queen.  Daenerys cut loose her paramour.  Grandma Tyrell made it to Dorne in time to hush the brash sand snakes and start to plot her revenge against Queen Cersei with the assistance of Varys — who really is getting around these days.  And speaking of getting around, Arya Stark made it from Braavos to the Twins in the blink of an eye and, using those skills learned in service of the Many-Faced God, got to scratch old Walder Frey off of her to-do list.  About the only people we didn’t check in on were Ser Jorah Mormont and his battle against greyscale and Brienne of Tarth.

The episode ended with Daenerys, and Tyrion, and the Unsullied, and the Dothraki horde, and her dragons, in full sail toward Westeros, where she will try to wrest the Iron Throne from Cersei’s cold, dead hands.  So, after long forays into Meereen, and Braavos, and the Dothraki plains, all of the main characters are finally coming back to the Westeros chessboard.

Oh, yeah, and one other thing:  The Citadel has announced that, as the Starks have long warned, winter has finally come.  We may as well start to get ready now for some undead White Walker action when next April rolls around.

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Game Of Thrones Coffee

Recently we got a new type of coffee at the office.  Now, when I get in in the morning and make a fresh pot of joe, I’m pouring “Joffrey’s” grounds into the brew basket.

IMG_3307It’s perfectly good coffee, but the name still bugs me.  When I pick up the coffee packet, I can’t help but think of the despicable Game of Thrones character.  Who wants to be reminded of a cowardly, sadistic, sniveling little wretch when you’re preparing that essential first cup of coffee in the morning?  Being at work is tough enough without having to deal with a mental image of that jerk — much less recalling that that appalling little twerp gets poisoned and is last seen clawing at his neck in terror.  I wonder if the Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company regrets producing a “doughnut blend” that is associated with such an awful — and now exceptionally well-known — Joffrey.

You actually could have some good Game of Thrones coffee names and related descriptions, however.  House of Stark would be a noble blend of northern beans that creates a perfect cup to quaff when winter is coming.  White Walker would be a savage blend of iced java served with a snowy whipped topping.  And Tyrion would be a bold blend of underappreciated beans from the gold coast, served only in a demitasse cup.

Anything would be better than “Joffrey.”

Mesmerized by Thrones

Wow, if you are looking for really interesting reading I would highly recommend the series of books George R. R. Martin (GRRM) has written from which Game of Thrones the HBO series is based. You can pick up the first four books in a paperback set, A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords and A Feast for Crows for about $30 at Barnes and Noble.

The series is told in the third person from the point of view of his characters which he so richly develops (my favorite being Tyrion an imp whose mother died during his birth leaving his father to loathe him). Wiki places the books in the epic or high fantasy genre and I have several friends both male and female that are currently reading the series so it seems to have appeal for both sexes. All of us reading the series agree you find yourself staying up til early in the morning reading to find out what happens next and you really can’t put the books down.

The story is set in medieval times and revolves around several plots, a group of families who have at one time or another ruled the fictional continent of Westeros all wanting to rule it again, the threat from “others” who dwell beyond a great wall of ice which protects Westeros northern border and the desire of an exiled daughter of a deceased mad king to return to the throne and rule Westeros.

Probably the thing I like most about GRRM’s writing is the way he cleverly will make you believe one or more of his characters is dead and the fact that he does kill off major characters at a whim (maybe it’s just me, but I am tired of reading books where everything always works out for the main characters).

I just completed book three, A Storm of Swords which was the best so far so if you have been watching the HBO series season three will have many surprises in store for you. I did watch Season one when it came out on DVD and I happen to think that the books are much better than the HBO series itself. GRRM has written book five, A Dance with Dragons which was published in 2011 and he is currently writing book six, The Winds of Winter now.

All I know is I am hooked and you might be to if you give these a try – Happy Reading !