Just like Ronald Bilius Weasley, I am a March baby. Yes, just as Ron is celebrating his 37th year of his life on this very day, I will be celebrating turning 29 on March 5th. As a younger twin, I’m used to not really giving much of a shit about my birthday. I mean when you’ve spent 29 years sharing congratulations, parties and cakes, you start to feel that the whole thing isn’t really that special. Still, I feel it’s best to honour it in some way so for my monthly top 10 I decided to do a rundown of the fictional characters I’d most like to attend my birthday shindig. Not that it would be a wild affair. Don’t get me wrong, I like to party… but by party, I mean read books.
Ten: Jay Gatsby (The Great Gatsby)
I know that if Gatsby did show up to my party that he’d end up hiding away and being all mysterious. However, I am willing to overlook that if I can get him to help me organise my bash. Of course, I accept that the whole event would then become a horrible metaphor for excess and superficiality but, hey. we all know there ain’t no party like a Gatsby party. He’s thrown quite a few Jazz Age ragers in his time so it would undoubtedly be a party that would go down in history… and I’m okay with that.
Nine: Rob Fleming (High Fidelity)
Rob is becoming another of those characters who constantly pop up on my top 10s. What can I say? I just bloody love this book. However, my reasoning here is for one thing: music selection. I reckon if I gave Rob the challenge to come up with an unforgettable party playlist then it would be the best thing we’d ever heard. It would be balanced and well put together with a mix of great classics, unknown hits, and cheesy pop songs. Ideal.
Eight: Brienne of Tarth (ASOIAF)
Am I just including Brienne on this list as a force of habit? Who can say? Well, I can. Yes, I think I’m just getting used to adding her to every list I possibly can but, also, she’s a bloody great character. I doubt she’d want to come to my party or, indeed, any party she didn’t have to. However, I still believe, wholeheartedly, that Brienne and I would be besties. We wouldn’t be at the heart of the party but we could escape from everyone else and have real talk. Or I could just repeatedly tell her how much of an inspiration she is.
Seven: Kim Pine (Scott Pilgrim)
Kim is another one of those people who probably wouldn’t appreciate having to come to my party but she is also a character who I’m sure I’d get on with. We’re both super sarcastic, angry, and basically hate everyone. We’d get on like a house on fire and would throw some serious shade at the other guests.
Six: Gandalf the Grey (The Lord of the Rings)
Yes, Gandalf is super old and kind of angry when he gets riled up. But, I have one word for you: fireworks. Yep, if Gandalf came to your party it may kick start a chain of events that sees you going on the longest and most dangerous journey of your life BUT he’d also treat you to some amazing pyrotechnics.
Five: Willy Wonka (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)
For one thing, Willy Wonka seems like a guy with a dark sense of humour that I’d really love. For another, he’d definitely have to bring me a present of sweets, right? I mean he might bring enough for the whole gang but as long as I’m getting a box of Wonka Bars then I don’t give a shit. Plus, the Oompa-Loompas could very easily get together and organise a full on song and dance number for me, That’s got to be worth it.
I think I’d be so bold as to say that Deadpool was my favourite movie of 2016. I say that because I really can’t remember all of the films I watched in 2016. I mean Rogue One came close but Deadpool was the result of a long and arduous wait for the comic book character to get his proper on screen adaptation. Deadpool is insane and, whilst I admit he’s a little unruly, I’d love to see what chaos he brought to the party. Provided (film) Colossus or (comic book) Cable turned up with him to keep him in check we’d be fine.
Three: Hagrid (Harry Potter)
Hagrid is the nicest half-giant you could ever hope to meet and he’s a massive softy. He also seems to love birthdays. He turned up to meet Harry with a home-baked cake and it was just the sweetest thing ever.
Two: Tyrion (ASOIAF)
How can I possibly have a party without including the God of Tits and Wine to the guest list? Tyrion is Westeros’ original badboy. He loves a party and he’d be a great drinking companion. Just as my best friend and I have so many times before, we’d drunkenly talk about books and politics all evening. It’d be messy but, boy, would it be worth it.
One: Oliver Wood (Harry Potter)
I have to invite Oliver Wood. I mean he’s the closest thing I have to a book boyfriend. I’ve loved Oliver Wood since I was a child and, thanks to Sean Biggerstaff, I continue to love him to this day. The decision to make film Oliver a Scot did rather cement the idea that he’s my ideal man. Therefore, Oliver Wood is at my birthday looking all cute and Scottish. I’d listen to him talk about Quidditch plays all evening and never once let him know how bored I was.
Valentines Day is coming up and love is in the air. People are obsessed. I’ve been seeing chocolate hearts, soppy cards, and stuffed animals for bloody ages now. I’m getting sick of it but decided I couldn’t really avoid it. Recently I’ve been doing a lot of Instagram challenges, which has been fine but there are times when I really have to think about certain prompts. The most recent one I struggled with was “Favourite Literary Couple”. When it comes to traditional views on literary love I tend to buck the trends. I hate Romeo and Juliet. Heathcliffe and Cathy are a disaster. Jane Eyre and Mr Rochester is a creepy relationship. Gatsby and Daisy are in no way relationship goals. And the less said about The Fault in our Fucking Stars the better. So I struggled to find a literary couple that I actually was rooting for. It was pretty difficult, So what was the next logical step? To force myself to come up with 9 more. Obviously.
Ten: Rob and Laura – High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
I know I come back to High Fidelity so often but it is one of my favourite novels. So sue me. Still, I have to admit that I had to stretch my parameters a little for this one. I mean Rob’s initial relationship with Laura isn’t great and he acts like a complete dick towards her. It’s no wonder she leaves him considering how much he takes her for granted. However, the beauty of the relationship is that Rob is able to learn that Laura really is the ideal woman for him. He overcomes his demons and learns to accept commitment. At the end of the novel, Rob and Laura are ready for a real relationship.
Nine: Westley and Buttercup – The Princess Bride by William Goldman
I have my doubts about this one because it’s too much of a fairytale romance. Still, there can be no denying that the story of Buttercup and the stable boy is lovely. The lengths that Westley goes to in order to rescue his love are just something you can’t ignore. And “as you wish”? Well, I still consider those to be some of the most romantic words ever uttered in fiction. Westley’s love is so selfless. He says I love you by doing what he thinks Buttercup wants. And then, later in the novel, Buttercup reiterates Westley’s sentiments with her own speech. These two are focused on each other solely. It’s hard not to get swept up in the romance of it all.
Eight: Mr Hoppy and Mrs Silver – Esiotrot by Roald Dahl
Esiotrot probably isn’t a very well known Dahl story but it is one I’m kind of obsessed with. When I was younger I loved the mutliple tortoises because I was a kid. Now, I’m obsessed with the depth of Mr Hoppy’s love for his neighbour. He secretly buys loads of different sized tortoises on order to make her happy. It’s an incredibly weird love story but it’s an utterly adorable one. Who needs hearts and flowers when you’ve got magically a growing pet?
Seven: Eowyn and Faramir – The Lord of the Rings by George RR Tolkien
When most people think of Lord of the Rings they’ll probably think of Aragorn and Arwen as the best love story. However, I’ve never been a fan of book Arwen. She’s weak, feeble and basically non-existent. The only thing we really ever learn about her is that she’s pretty. So it’s difficult to really believe or care about the depth of their love. However, Eowyn is a completely different story. Eowyn is an independent and strong woman who manages to help defeat the fucking Witch King. She’s amazing. So it’s great to see her settle down with a man who really deserves and appreciates her. The brief moments we see of them together are just glorious. A well-deserved happy ending for the two of them.
Six: Khal Drogo and Daenerys – ASOIAF by George RR Martin
Okay, so this couple get off to a rapey start. I get it. I’m not trying to suggest that they’re perfect. However, Drogo and Dany quickly became a power couple who truly loved each other. When Dany started to take control of her relationship and become her own version of a Khaleesie this pair became almost unstoppable. She loved him and he adored her. It was perfect. He was going to give her the Iron Throne and she became the fearless and loving leader he needed her to be. Drogo’s death was definitely one of the most heartbreaking thing George RR Martin has ever done. This couple would have been the greatest leaders that Westeros had ever seen.
Five: Beatrice and Benedick – Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
Much Ado About Nothing is my favourite Shakespeare play. I’ve probably mentioned that numerous times. It’s mainly because Beatrice is the only Shakespearean leading lady that I can actually stand. She’s clever, powerful, and doesn’t give a shit about finding true love. Until her friends and family convince her otherwise. Yes, she and Benedick bicker but that’s all part of the fun. They have a real fiery passion and, when they come to realise that they actually love each other, then they are a perfect match. That passion and fire is turned on each other and they make a loving couple. It’s the classic Freudian thing of being mean to those you love most but it’s still a great story. These two are equals.
Four: Don and Rosie – The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
I wasn’t sure about including these two on my list. I mean this book was adorable and everything but I felt it was a little too twee in relation to Don’s autistic traits. It seemed to be romanticising the condition and making the whole thing seem a bit too much like a fairy tale. However, there is something fantastic about seeing this relationship come about on the page. From their first meeting when Don decides that Rosie isn’t a viable candidate for ‘the Wife Project’ to his eventual realisation that she’s the only viable candidate.
Three: Remus and Tonks – Harry Potter by JK Rowling
Remus and Tonks got short shrift in the Harry Potter films. Their relationship is glossed over so much that it barely registers. I mean their son is mentioned once and he was supposed to be the mirror for Harry himself. It’s a disgrace. Still, in the books, their romance is a subplot that hangs around from Order of the Phoenix onwards. They have their problems at the start but eventually come to really care for each other. In the end, Lupin wants to keep Tonks safe but she doesn’t want him going in to battle without her. Their death is tragic but, in a sordid way, kind of romantic. They fight and die together. They’re two very good people who lay down their lives so their son can have a better life. That’s not just relationship goals; it’s parenting goals.
Two: Ned and Catelyn – ASOIAF by George RR Martin
When the Instagram challenge of “best fictional couple” came up recently these two were my first thought. I know Cat was supposed to marry Ned’s elder brother Brandon but, after he died, the pair managed to make the best of a bad situation. They were loving parents to their 5 children and they really cared for each other. Cat loved Ned’s quiet, stately, and moral ways and Ned loved her strength and determination. She even allowed Ned to bring his, supposed, bastard child into their family home and allowed him to be raised alongside her children. Yes, she had a certain amount of resentment towards Jon but you’ve got to give her props for not just chucking him out or having him killed or something. She clearly loved him enough to give him his way. It’s just a shame that we only see them together for such a short time in the books. If only Ned had gone back to Winterfell before confronting Cersei. The trusting old fool. They also happen to the best couple in the whole series. The only loving and stable relationship in all of Westeros.
One: Molly and Arthur – Harry Potter by JK Rowling
I can’t believe I forgot about these two when I did my post. I mean if there was one marriage in the whole of literary history that screams relationship goals then it’s this one. Molly and Arthur are not only fantastic on their own but together they have such a loving and happy relationship. It’s not a mad or crazy passion but it’s comfortable and real. They have a normal and loving marriage where they argue and disagree but, ultimately, they care for each other and their children. I think literature is too often littered with unrealistic romantic expectations. Everything is so hyperbolic and extreme. People falling in love in difficult circumstances and overcoming the odds to be together. It’s not for me. I just want people who are happy with each other. Where the relationships are easy and safe. They can rely on each other and things work with a little effort. Molly and Arthur are the most realistic representation of love that I’ve possibly ever read… if you ignore the magic and shit.
- His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet
Oh what a difference a week or two makes. When I think back to trying to force myself through those two Stephen King novels I just feel foolish. I’ve finally got back that feeling of wanting to read. This book is so good that I can’t wait to read more. I’m being unsociable on my lunches and reading at work again. Turning off my computer early and getting an hour or so in before bed. Macrae’s Man Booker nominated book is like the literary version of Making a Murderer. It’s fucking awesome. This is an engrossing tale and learning more about Roderick’s life is fantastic. I can’t wait to delve further into his history and psychology.
- A Song of Ice and Fire – books 2 to 5
- Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh
- Batman vs Superman
I’m currently still reading the final book in Stephen King’s Bill Hodges trilogy, End of Watch, and I’m hating every moment of it. I can’t wait to finish it and, I have to be honest, I’ve looked ahead to find out how it ends. It’s not great but I’ve spent so much time on it that I feel like I have to finish. This always happens to me, I start a book and try so hard to finish it that I just keep going despite knowing it won’t be any good. Obviously, as I’m struggling to read it not only makes it harder to finish but it’s also highlighting how many other things I could be reading. As you know from my weekly rundowns, I have a problem with buying too many books so I have plenty to be getting on with. They all sit looking at me as I struggle to give a shit about Brady’s fucking psychic powers and Bill’s cancer. So I’ve compiled a list of the books I’d rather be reading than this shit.
Ten: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
It’s not been that long since I last read Neverwhere but finding the amazing illustrated edition recently has awoken all of those familiar Gaiman feelings. As I sit and write this list I can see it on my bookshelf. It calls to me and begs to be picked up. I wouldn’t say that it’s my favourite Gaiman book but I can’t help but fall into the world he helped to create.
Nine: Jurassic Park by Michael Chrichton
Just like Jaws, Jurassic Park is one of my most-loved films but I’ve never thought about reading the original novel. I just never really felt the need when Spielberg’s adaptation was so good. Plus, the idea of a version of Jurassic Park without Jeff Goldblum and Richard Attenborough just seems wrong. Still, it was so interesting getting through Jaws that I decided it was time to give it a go. I’m not saying it will replace the film in my heart but it’s always fun to see where things come from.
Eight: Purity by Johnathan Franzen
Seven: Sexus by Henry Miller
Six: A Dance of Dragons by George R.R. Martin
Five: Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
I spent absolutely ages going through the bookshops in my town trying to find a copy of this book but to no avail. I guess nobody in Ilkley really gives a shit about which book won the Arthur C Clarke award. So I did something I don’t like doing and bought it on Amazon. It should be arriving in the next few days and the wait has made me super fucking desperate to read it. The only reason it’s so high up is simply because I don’t actually have it yet.
Four: Battle Royale by Koushun Takami
Three: Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
If you follow me on Instagram then you’ll probably have seen my copy of this novel. I love it. It’s all black, gold and neon pink. Beautiful and simple. Utter perfection. This is a story I’m familiar with but I have never actually read the novel. It tells the story of Hollywood starlets getting caught up in a cycle of drugs and alcohol to cope with the stresses of the entertainment industry. Despite being 50 years old this remains a relevant book and I think it’s about time I read it. Certainly, the cover is urging me to open the pages every time I glimpse it.
Two: His Bloody Project by Roderick Macrae
This was one part of my latest book haul and I’m beyond excited to read it. One of the longlist for the Man Booker Prize 2016, it tells the story of a multiple murderer in 1869. It explores the mind and motivations of a guilty man as everyone tries to understand why he killed so many horrible crimes. I’m not normally a fan of crime thrillers but this one sounds different. Plus, the nomination speaks positively for it. Still, they did also nominate the hardly spectacular Us by David Nicholls in 2014.
To be honest, at this stage I don’t even fucking care. I’d read anything if it meant I was done with this awful book. I thought the point was for Stephen King to play with the crime genre so why have we just fallen into another forgettable novel where King plays with the paranormal? It makes no sense and I absolutely hate how it upsets the flow of these novels. Unless there’s some big thing I’m missing I just can’t wait to finish this book. Although, from the look of reviews, I’m the only one that thinks so.
- A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George RR Martin
- The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso
- Bream Gives Me Hiccups & other stories by Jesse Eisenberg
The other night I was super tired and couldn’t be bothered with trying to get through another full section of The Woman Next Door. I decided to try a few short segments of Jesse Eisenberg’s short story collection because, to be honest, I was interested to see how good he is. I know he’s being hailed for his plays at the moment but it doesn’t necessarily translate into fiction writing. I’m still not sure because the first “story” is a collection of restaurant reviews written from the POV of a nine year old. As such the writing is childish and incredibly simplistic. Still, I like it. It reminds me a bit of Rick Moody’s Hotels of North America: A novel because we learn more about the boy’s life than the restaurants he visits. I’m with Eisenberg for now but we’ll have to see how he handles the different stories.
- Sexus, Plexus and Nexus by Henry Miller
Those who have been keeping up with my Instagram of late may have seen the gorgeous copies I obtained of Henry Miller’s ‘The Rosy Crucifixion’ trilogy of novels. The novels are semi-autobiographical and presen a fictionalised account of a six year period in Miller’s life. They are also so fucking saucy that they were banned in the United States. As everyone should be encouraged to read banned books and also read books with such gorgeous covers I just couldn’t resist this trio.
- A Spy in the House of Love by Anaïs Nin
- Game of Thrones
- Gilmore Girls
So this is will most likely be my final post in my week of Irk and Ire. It’s my sister’s hen do thing tomorrow so I won’t get much time for writing. However, I think 5 posts of petty ranting seems like plenty. There’s obviously still more I can say; I mean I’ve barely started to scratch the surface when it comes to Dany’s unsuitability to rule Westeros. However, the season has been over for a while now and we’ve got a long wait until the next one. Especially now that Winter is here and the creators have to wait for suitable weather to film in. What I will say, as a final thought, is that no matter what I may make it sound I love this show more than anything I’ve watched and I love the books just as much. I know there’s a lot of things the show has got rid of that I was angry about but, honestly, when the show is this good I don’t fucking care. However, season 6 felt different to me. It felt rushed and everything felt all over the place. I know timelines don’t have to match up but it seemed too unstructured. Maybe without the guidance of George’s books the show is just too eager to get to where it wants to be. It’s worrying in a way because the books are less about the journey and more about the characters. Now the show just seems bothered about getting dragons in the Seven Kingdoms. I hope things settle down next season or we risk Game of Thrones going down the same route as Lost and nobody wants that.
We’re getting close to the end of Game of Thrones as a whole which means after years of waiting we’ll finally see who gets to permanently sit on the Iron Throne. I still have my fingers and toes crossed that Dany the grumpy teenage doesn’t take possession of Westeros’ most uncomfortable seat but it’s highly unlikely. Anyone that takes 6 fucking seasons to finally get round to doing what she’s been threatening to do better bring some fucking results. There two seasons left for the HBO series with a potential combined total of 13 episodes. We don’t know exactly how it will pan out but it seems to safe to say Dany’s taking of King’s Landing will happen before the end of season 7. Once Cersei has self-destructed and been killed, in all liklihood, by her twin brother in a mirroring of his first Kingslaying, then the crown is essentially just being left untouched for Dany to pick up unchallenged. I mean there’s literally only one other person who wants the throne and Littlefinger really wouldn’t be that hard to take in a fight. I mean does he even know how to hold a fucking sword? Look at his track record with duels. It doesn’t bode well.
If I’m honest, the leader of the Seven Kingdoms isn’t really the major thing I’m concerned about any more. I mean we’ve playing the same fucking game for so long it feels like we’re in the middle of an epic Monopoly showdown. Besides, the way season 6 has been rushing through its storylines and missing out chunks of time, it’s painfully clear how this will end. Even if we all still have slightly squiffy feelings about Dany’s unhealthy blood-lust and very rapey Dothraki hoard. Season 6 has basically taken the last 5 seasons and said “that was all just the warm up. Lannisters, Baratheons, Tyrells and Starks? It doesn’t actually matter.” The great houses of Westeros have been battling for power since before Ned Stark’s head fell off and very little has changed. Winter was still coming, people were still hungry, and crazy religious people were spouting their nonsense. Plus, you know, there was the threat of a zombie invasion. Nothing to fret about. That’s the most frustrating thing about A Song of Ice and Fire. It’s telling two very different stories at incredibly frustrating speeds: one of politics and crowns and the other of impending doom.
Now I don’t care that everything has taken so long because that’s a problem with the genre. What I object to is that everything is dragged out without an update. Especially because the story of the White Walkers is by far the more interesting part of the plot. After last seasons amazing episode ‘Hardhome’ I was super pumped for more White Walker action and the growing need to get shit sorted. Of course, season 6 gave us the fabulous yet emotional ‘Hold the Door’ which suggested shit was about to go down real soon. It wasn’t. I realise they’re waiting for Winter and the Wall has magical powers and stuff. However, it surely can’t take this long for the Walkers to do something. I mean clearly that magic thing is a bit dicey because of the Wight that attack Jeor Mormont back in season 1. There’s got to be a loophole or two. Surely dead animal zombies could be springing up all over the place and causing havoc?
The White Walkers have been a growing evil that’s always been lurking on the outskirts of the rest of the action and, as such, have become nothing more than an afterthought. I mean look at Jon Snow: one minute he’s all about stopping the zombie attack and the next he happily goes off to Winterfell to get his old bedroom back. I mean has he even stopped to think about what could happen at the Wall when he’s gallivanting around the North? Nah, mate. He doesn’t give a shit… and he’s actually fought the Night’s King. Naming the show Game of Thrones meant that they were sort of penning themselves in to the whole “who will be King question” which means that the White Walkers become much less important. Which, frankly, was a fucking mistake. Cersei Lannister might be batshit crazy but there is no greater menace in that show than what lies beyond the Wall. Anything that scares Tormund Giantsbane into trusting the Crows is definitely something you don’t wanna fuck with. So, I don’t really understand why they’ve had so little to do so far. Yes, they’ve been getting more prominent but I can’t help but feel all that time Arya spent pissing about as a bling girl in Braavos could have been taken out for more White Walker clashes.
Yeah, maybe the writers are just keeping them for the show’s big finale but that in itself is just as bad. I mean we know that in all likelihood season 7 will have 7 episodes and season 8 will have 6. This means 7 will be concerned with tying up the Throne plot and 8 will probably focus more in everyone’s impending death at the hand’s of the Walkers. It just doesn’t seem like enough time. Especially withe the way season 6 went down. Now the show isn’t being restricted by the books the creators have fucking flown forward as qucikly as they can. We’ve leisurely reached the point we were at by the end of season 5 and now we’re fucking steaming ahead. I can’t help but worry that the episode after the big Azor Ahai reveal is made we’ll see an end to the White Walkers. After all, it’s starting to feel as though they’ve become something of problem for the show, which has no idea how best to use them. They should be more than a visual treat intended to create intrigue.
I’m a very petty person. I realise this is kind of a given considering I’ve just dedicated a week of my life to moaning about my favourite television show on the blog I write that very few people know exists. But there you have it, I’m really fucking petty. How did I come to this startling discovery? Recently on Facebook I saw a comment on a friends Game of Thrones related status that spelt the name “Cersei” incorrectly. It was something like “Cercey”and I honestly cringed at the sight of it. Now I don’t know the guy who made the mistake but I was incredibly tempted to correct it for him. Which is fucking stupid. The only reason I know how to spell it is because I’ve read the books. It’s not exactly a common name. It’s also completely pointless because it’s a fucking TV show. It’s not as if I’m defending the person’s honour because the person isn’t real. It all comes down to me being a massive dick that likes proving people wrong.
Cersei Lannister is the evil bitch that everyone loves to hate. She’s the person who has been secretly pulling the strings that caused most of you beloved characters to die. I mean, let’s not forget that the whole War of the Five Kings came about so nobody would find out she was shagging her brother. She’s half of the reason that everything kicked off in Westeros and she’s continued to fuck shit up with every subsequent move she’s made. She out her psychotic son on the throne, gave power to the wrong people and became so drunk and paranoid that she stopped making logical decisions. Basically, she’s the worst thing to happen to the Seven Kingdoms since the Mad King.
However, as we have so often been reminded, Cersei has one redeeming feature. Her one shining point amidst all the hatred was the love of her children… well that and her cheekbones. There is perhaps no mother in the series who has done more to protect and care for her children than the Queen. Of course, that’s mostly down to the fact that she’s one of the few mothers that we meet and the other notable one, Catelyn Stark, spent most of her time in the series away from her brood. All Cersei has done in the show is to ensure that her children get the respect and power that she thinks they deserve. There isn’t a fucking thing that woman wouldn’t do if she thought it was in her kids’ best interests.
She loves her children unquestionably, even when they are super creepy and really fucking evil. She was afraid of what Joffrey could do but she still loved him. So, it seemed wildly out of character that, in the final episode of season 6, Cersei would face the death of her only living child in such a calm way. She blew up the Sept of Baelor because she was batshit crazy and to rid herself of her enemies in one go. She tried to keep Tommen safe by locking him in his room. Of course, she could have guessed that the death of his wife would hit the King hard. Although, she probably didn’t expect him to jump out of a fucking window or she’d have at least ensured the thing was locked.
When her children have died previously we’ve seen Cersei suffer. Even the death of Joffrey the crazy motherfucker, hit her hard. Myrcella’s death nearly finished her off completely. Yet, we have no emotional reaction at all regarding Tommen. He jumps out of the window and the next thing we know Cersei is very calmly telling people they’ll have the ceremony in the Throne Room… on account of some psycho blowing up the Sept and shit. Then she goes and names herself Queen cool as a cucumber. You know, as if her only living child hadn’t just splattered himself all over King’s Landing.
You could argue that Tommen was such a dull and non-existent character that even Cersei didn’t care about his death. I mean it was thanks to him that we’re still unsure if Clegane bowl will ever happen. The most interesting thing about Tommen is his fucking cat, Ser Pounce, and fuck knows what’ll happen to him now his owner is dead. Still, if she’s the kind of mother that we we’re supposed to believe then we deserved more of an emotional breakdown. If we’re meant to believe that this final death, part of the prophecy that has haunted Cersei her entire life, pushes her into becoming the Mad Queen then I would have liked some recognition of that on screen.
We’ve always known that Cersei wanted power but that never came at the expense of her children. She was always whispering in their ears but she knew that them becoming rulers was just as good as her becoming one. So it’s fucking crazy that the TV show makes it seem as though Tommen’s death was actually advantageous to her. If she’d wanted the Iron Throne then she should have let Tommen die with Margaery. She clearly wanted him safe. Not getting to see her emotional reaction to her youngest son’s death takes away the only aspect of her character that ever humanised her. It deletes everything that ever made her feel real. Now she’s literally just the Mad Queen intent on killing everyone with Wild Fire. Instead of a woman so angry at the world because of the deaths of her children that she decides everyone must pay. The one thing Cersei always had was depth. Until she was robbed of it in the finale.
There can be no denying that Game of Thrones has been one of the most exciting and dramatic television shows around these days. However, that does not mean it isn’t also guilty of being fucking boring at times. George RR Martin created an epic landscape in which to tell his tale which meant he created a lot of characters to get the job done. The fact that there are so many perspectives on offer means that there are times when people aren’t really doing a great deal. Book readers will be familiar with the dull affair that is the entirety of book 4 where we essentially read about Cersei getting drunk and fucking as many of the men in King’s Landing as possible. So, I decided as I’m already well into my week of Game of Thrones ranting, that I’d finally make it known which moments throughout the six seasons were the least entertaining.
Ten: Bran Beyond the Wall
Nine: Tyrion in Meereen
Now this is only as high as it is because nothing starring Tyrion Lannister could be described as boring. The guy is a genius and Peter Dinklage is amazing. Still, it can’t be ignore that Tyrion’s journey to and time in Meereen has been utterly pointless. All he does is get drunk, walk around and make awkward conversation with Greyworm and that chick who used to be on Hollyoaks. He should be doing bigger and better things instead of making the situation with the slavers even worse. I admit, the moment that Dany asked him to be her hand had me weeping like a baby. Aside from that, Tyrion hasn’t really done himself any favours since he swore fealty to the Mother of Dragons.
Eight: Sam and Gilly
Five: Jon Beyond the Wall
I’ve always found Jon to be really boring. The only interesting thing about him was the whole R+L=J and even that wasn’t much of a mystery. Jon is the emo kid of A Song of Ice and Fire who sits in his room listening to MCR whilst the rest of the world are out sorting shit. He broods about every little thing and it’s fucking boring. So, when season 2 took Jon away from the much needed comic relief of his fellow Night’s Watch it made it even more apparent how dull and irritating he was. Also, how fucking useless he is. Letting Ygritte go and causing the deaths of all those Rangers? Smooth move Snow. Now, I know there is a lot of love for the Jon/Ygritte romance but, to be honest, I just didn’t get it. She was far too good for him and if I’d been her I’d have ended up with Tormund instead. Seriously, that guys a fox. This plot in the books plays out better because we hear Jon’s thoughts as he weighs up his true loyalties. He really thinks about joining Mance Rayder and comes to respect his ways. In the show we see him falling for the first girl who shows him some interest and waiting for the moment he can betray everyone around him. I hated every minute of this.
Four: Daenerys in Qarth
Three: Everything that’s happened in Dorne
Two: Arya in Braavos
One: Daenerys in Meereen
Arya Stark has always been one of my favourite characters. She’s a feisty, tomboy who doesn’t play by everyone else’s rules. She’s a fucking hero. A girl who is much more comfortable with a sword in her hand than a sewing needle. Like a much better and medieval version of the girl I was growing up. So, yeah, an Arya Stark fan. I’ve been willing her on through her entire storyline. Those early days with Syrio, her time with Yoren, the Harrenhal situation, travelling with Sandor Clegane and even the most boring ninja apprenticeship in the history of ninja apprenticeships. Yeah, not since Dany failed to do a fucking thing for five books have we had such an underwhelming story. Arya’s time in Braavos was time-consuming, fucking boring and completely pointless in terms of moving her story along.
Well after about 3 seasons of hoping we all got our deepest desire and Arya finally got the balls to stand up to Jaqhen. She reclaimed her name and vowed to go back to Winterfell where she belongs. It was a fucking empowering moment that took far too long to come to pass. Of course, as we now know, she had a little pit stop along the way to cross another name off her kill list. Now as gratifying as it was to see Walder Frey finally get his comeuppance it does make me concerned about Arya’s fate. I mean she’s now gone further down a path that she really can’t get off. She’s giving out her own form of justice instead of the kind that her father honoured.
I guess part of my concern comes down to the fact that the TV show has diverged so far away from the books. Now I’m not one of those book fans that wants to complain about the fact that HBO isn’t sticking to the books. There’s a lot that I don’t mind the producers changing or adding. Really the only thing that I am missing enough to get angry about is Lady Stoneheart. She is the missing piece that was going to get revenge for the Starks. Along with the Brotherhood Without Banners, she was taking out everyone involved in the Red Wedding in her fucking brutal zombie way.
So when the show’s runners made the fucking stupid decision not to bring undead Catelyn back they had to come up with a new way to kill off the people behind the death of Robb Stark. That’s obviously where Arya comes in which, in terms of her general bad assery, is fine. However, it’s taking her down a very dark road that isn’t fitting for a member of the most honourable family in Westeros. This isn’t what Ned would have wanted for her.
Also, what life is there left for her? She can’t exactly go back to a normal life after she’s finished, ca she? She’s seen so many things and carried out some fucking gruesome tasks. She’s not the little girl she was when Ned was beheaded. We all ready had reason to worry about Arya’s fate when Eddard admitted she had inherited his sibling’s feisty nature.
You have a wildness in you, child. ‘the wolf blood,’ my father used to call it. Lyanna had a touch of it, and my brother Brandon more than a touch. It brought them both to an early grave. (A Game of Thrones)
Eddard worries about his daughter’s “wildness” and even suggests that she will die young. Arya is walking down a path of death so should we be worried about her safety? After all, “the lone wolf dies but the pack survives”. Even if she somehow manages to get back to her family what will they do with her? I can’t imagine either Sansa, Jon or Bran feeling too happy about the sheer number of people Arya has gone out of her way to kill. The fact that it was bloody revenge that kept her going over the years instead of the hope of getting home.
Let’s not forget the other female figure in the book who favours a more violent retribution for her enemies. Cersei Lannister has gone further down the batshit crazy road as time moves on and, provided the TV show is sticking to the major book moments, blows up the Citadel and half of King’s Landing’s movers and shakers. She hates Margaery and the High Sparrow and the obvious solution to her problem is to kill a fuck-load of people. The more people Arya crosses off her list the less Stark like she becomes.
The Lannisters had taken everything: father, friends, home, hope, courage. (A Clash of Kings)
The things that have transpired have taken so much from Arya and it’s already started to take away her identity. Even if she took back her name, she’s hardly following in her father’s footsteps. Ned wanted to avoid bloodshed and would only have killed for honourable reasons. We need Lady Stoneheart to come in and prevent Arya from following up with her threats. Only Zombie Cat can save Arya’s soul at this point.