Winterfell In Columbus

IMG_5983The vernal equinox occurred on March 20, which means the Sun has passed the celestial equator, periods of daylight are now longer than periods of darkness, and spring has officially arrived. Who cares about that, though, when you can look out the window of your study and see — as the photo above shows — snow pelting down and a few inches accumulating on a lawn that should be pushing up green shoots of new grass instead?

I feel like I should be one of the Starks of Winterfell, wrapped snugly in smelly furs, intoning grimly that “winter is coming” and warning of the perils of the White Walkers. This year in Columbus, winter has come . . . and stayed, and stayed, and stayed. It’s the Winter Without End. All we’re missing are a few direwolves and an 800-foot-high wall in the backyard.

Recently one of my friends mentioned that he had a picture on his cell phone of his kids playing in the snow that fell in October. Winter started about then, and it’s still here!

If I had the money, I’d buy every empty condo property in south Florida I could find. After this brutal midwestern winter, I think we’re going to see a fresh exodus of snowbirds who’ve had it up to here with snow and cold and ice and will pay through their frostbitten noses for a chance to feel the sun’s warmth.

A Great New Villain In The Game

I thought nobody could surpass Joffrey Baratheon in the despised villain category.  I can’t think of anybody I’d rather see get hit in the side of the face with a well-thrown cow pattie (as happened, deliciously, last episode).  But boy — Theon Greyjoy (very convincingly played by Alfie Allen on HBO’s fabulous series Game of Thrones) is giving Joffrey a run for his money.

Theon’s got a lot of flaws.  He’s a misogynist who treats every woman like a scullery maid — even his sister.  For some odd reason, he has a very exalted opinion of himself, even though he hasn’t accomplished anything.  He’s really kind of an idiot, too.  He’s got bad teeth.  And, even in a time when baths were few and far between, he always seems to be especially soiled.  If you could smell him, you’d expect him to reek.

But the chief fault in this very imperfect man is his stunning ingratitude.  Years ago, the Greyjoys rose up against the crown and were defeated by the Starks.  Theon’s father swore an oath to the late Ned Stark — and gave Stark his young son Theon as a kind of hostage.  The Starks accepted Theon, made him part of the family, and raised him with their own children.  After Ned is beheaded thanks to the insufferable Joffrey Baratheon and the kingdoms go to war, does Theon help the Starks avenge Ned’s death?  Nope!  He goes home, sides with the squirrelly father who gave him away years ago and has made no effort to reestablish contact since, and captures Winterfell while the Starks are in the field against the true enemy.  And he ineptly beheads one of the chief Stark deputies while doing so.  What a tool!

In short, you’d be hard-pressed to come up with a more despicable ingrate than Theon Greyjoy.  Off with his head!