scribblings on Game of Thrones 6.09

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“I leave you guys alone for five minutes …”

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I really love the convention of opening scenes of negotiation with riders carrying banners. It puts one in the scene very nicely – my first thought is the first thought someone on the field would have: “The flayed man! Men of House Bolton approach.”

I assume this is going to be some psychological torture of Sansa, if Ramsay is stupid enough to leave Winterfell.

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Hmmm … from this distance the interlocutors kind of look like meshichists.

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By the old gods and the new, I love this young scamp. I am ready for her to kick some Bolton ass.


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“I like to go for a long walk the night before a battle. That way, I can stumble into Bolton’s assassins whose existence I have definitely proven by virtue of my saying these words to you. Chekhov’s Long Walk.”

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Oh, I’ve found me much more than assassins … much, much more …

-And I imagine your offer is free of any marriage demands.
-I never demand, but I’m up for anything, really.

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Yes! Dany+Yara! Lesbian power couple on the Iron Throne 2017!

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yaaaay! Two True Queens #TTQ


C’mon Baelish surprise cavalry charge. As high as honor, as high as honor, as high as honor …

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I’ve been thinking a lot about the Bolton fear advantage. I wonder how much it weakens a man to envisage his own defeat and torture. I’ve read studies suggesting that increased prison terms don’t actually decrease crime, because criminals don’t actually think they’ll get caught. But perhaps it’s different here – men before battle have ample time to consider the consequences. Perhaps it eats at them further. Or perhaps it makes them feel like they’re on the righteous side. Perhaps it girds them like the scuttled ships of Cortes girded his conquistadors.

Regardless of their actual effectiveness as psychological weapons, these burning crosses look really cool.

Oh, they actually have people on them. Gross.

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un-fucking-believable. he’s rage-charging by himself.


i really want to back the Starks i really really do they’re so honourable but they’re SO FUCKING STUPID.

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What a stupid pointless slaughter.

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suck it, Boltons.

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This is the best birthday present a boy could ever want.


scribblings on Game of Thrones 6.08

holy fuck milk of the poppy is a real medicine? at this point i was beginning to think the offer of milk of the poppy was a masculinity ritual. think about how many times we’ve seen this:

medic: here, have some milk of the poppy
fighter: i don’t want milk of the poppy

it makes sense. now the fighter feels really manly for refusing, has reinforced his social role of masculine resilience, has a higher self-efficacy because he was offered a choice, and has primed himself to believe he can handle the pain without narcotic. in the absence of any evidence that milk of the poppy itself actually exists, it seems reasonable to conclude that the ceremonial offering of milk of the poppy is a placebo ritual.

>mfw it’s an actual med
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>tfw your son becomes frum and now you have to stand in the ezras nashim

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can’t believe Cleganebowl is cancelled, though. this is bullshit.


welp guess we know what D&D are doing with this season’s ninth episode budget …

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scribblings on Game of Thrones 6.07

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this rustic building scene gives me such fomo for being a medieval laborer.


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Well, i guess Cleganebowl is BACK ON. Mountain vs Hound, this season, exclusive to King’s Landing Entertainment.


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Oh, there’s plenty of pious sons of bitches who think they know the word of god, or gods. I don’t. I don’t know their real names. Maybe it is the Seven. Or maybe it’s the Old Gods. Or maybe it’s the Lord of Light, or maybe they’re all the same fucking thing. I don’t know. What matters, I believe, is that there’s something greater than us. And whatever it is, it’s got plans for Sandor Clegane.

this guy is my new theological hero. {i happen to think it’s the four-dimensional crystal of space-time + profound mythological representations of the deep psyche + mysticism + clever psychological methods for living well, but i don’t know either.}

it’s interesting, because not too long ago i would have been repulsed by this line of reasoning as logically weak and unsound. i guess my attitude to new ideas has transformed from one of critical assessment to one of acceptance and expansion. not “is this guy wrong?” but “in what ways is this guy right? what can i learn from really understanding his point of view?”

i worry that i’m becoming feeble-minded, but then i realize i’m probably just growing up. and that, of course, worries me a hell of a lot more.


the game in the capital has gotten very subtle. the way the High Sparrow speaks threats veiled in earnestness, the way Margaery dresses her politics in piety. I wonder if the High Sparrow knows she’s faking, but doesn’t care because he’s getting his way. I wonder how much of all of it is a giant charade. It doesn’t seem likely that he’s in it for himself like everyone else; serving soup to beggars for years hardly seems like a worthy way to climb the ladder, for a man possessed of great ego.

as things are, it seems like both margaery and the high sparrow understand the charade: margaery fakes piety to give herself more leeway, the high sparrow rewards it with extra freedoms because it helps him cement his theocracy. i am very intrigued to see where this goes next.


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“alright, Ser Davos of House Seaworth, how is it you understand how I feel? remember, the unquiet ghost of King Stannis sits at my right, judging your words.”


quick back -of-the-envelope calculation:

“Every man of Bear Island fights with the strength of ten mainlanders.” – Lady Lyanna Mormont

“Every northerner is worth ten of these southron swords” – Desmond, Lord Stark’s household guard, Book One

Thus, Jorah Mormont is worth 100 Jamie Lannisters. MATHS.


dat feel when you quit the party life to go to yeshiva

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I knew this creepy fucker was Faceless the moment I saw her. i’m very interested to see how Arya fights her way out of this. odds are not in her favour, but plot immortality is.

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Meanwhile, Sandor Clegane is now Batman. CLEGANEBOOOOOWL.

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scribblings on Game of Thrones 6.06

when you tell your parents her mother is Jewish but then later the truth comes out

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ok it looks like Arya’s beginning to see benefits from therapy. that’s her first real smile in a long time. perhaps i misjudged the art therapists.

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scribblings on Game of Thrones 6.05


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“You want me to beg for my life? If that’s what you want, I will.” – Baelish plays yellow lizard like no-one’s fucking business.


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This cognitive-behavioral therapy program that Arya’s on really doesn’t meet psychiatric standards.


I command you to heal yourself, and then return to me. When I take the Seven Kingdoms, I need you by my side.

I know dat feel, Khaleesi. I know dat feel.


OMG RELIGIOUS WAR INCOMING. WHO IS THE TRUE CALIPH? Spoiler: Jon and Dany’s son: the eponymous Song of Ice and Fire. Or it could be Jon himself, maybe. But Rhaegar’s mistake was in forgetting that a good prophecy can always wait another generation.

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this will be interesting. theocracies have a bad habit of getting out hand.


ned stark's bastard

❤ ❤ ~~ NED STARK’S BASTARD ~~ ❤ ❤


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And Hodor. Very intense ending. He appears to have been … given his name from the future? Game of Thrones now canonically includes time travel?

Good luck, Meera, shlepping that too-large sleigh through the frozen North-beyond-the-wall. If TV Tropes has taught me anything, it’s that you and Bran are now the two safest characters in the whole wide world.

scribblings on Game of Thrones 6.04



the High Sparrow’s narrative arc is the most compelling to me right now. the story of his last feast is … very, very similar to the story of my last feast.

something i’ve always loved about Game of Thrones is the way it captures a coherent life philosophy in each character. i try to empathise with each of them, seeing if i can work my way into the head of Tywin, Ned, the Hound. i try to figure out their lives – what makes them tick, what their triumphs look like, what will be the sheaves of their harvests. the High Sparrow, quite simply, seems like he will live the happiest life and do the most good with it. and that’s why i’m a zealot. whoa … that feels really good to put on the page.

Adam once told me that i should never forget to see white through the eyes of blue, and blue through the eyes of white. this, then, is white summarized as blue – piety is how you win.


this is my new fave small council, Shlimazels, Inc.:

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Greatness is a transitory experience. It is never persistent. It depends in part upon the myth-making imagination of humankind. The person who experiences greatness must have a feeling for the myth he is in. He must reflect what is projected upon him. And he must have a strong sense of the sardonic. This is what uncouples him from belief in his own pretensions. The sardonic is all that permits him to move within himself. Without this quality, even occasional greatness will destroy a man.

– from Collected Sayings of Muad’Dib by the Princess Irulan

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