words by Meli Machiavelli

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Aside

It won’t bring you back or make up for the obstacles ahead…

It used to eat me up that you weren’t as prevalent in my life as I thought I needed. As a little girl is entitled to have that presence. Yours came in other forms, none of them resembling you and just you doing whatever it is that fathers do. This isn’t filled with regrets for what never transpired. I made peace with you and I some time ago. But here I am, wrestling a series of emotions I lack the vocabulary to properly name. Nothing inside me but a cacophony of sound echoing through what feels like a vacuüm inside. It vibrates through me, the words my mother said and all I could respond with was “What?”

I’d never expected your words to finally be true and for you to leave us. I couldn’t understand and in my ears so many words rung that the sound of the truth hurt. Torrents of the reality that had adopted me rippled through my soul and I learned what I was really made of. My adolescent rage was gone, and the peace I had made didn’t comfort what screamed inside me. A scared and sad child.

So many questions. So many phone-calls to make and all I can think of is I am ready to go to sleep. I don’t want to be the only child in this part of my family unit. I don’t want this responsibility. I don’t want to have to deal with what’s to come because you succumbed to your own demons. I’m not upset with you, just the situation. I’m awash in different feelings and the person who could be yelled at has checked out, that’s the most frustrating thing about death. The most cliché. Slamming my fist into your headstone won’t rectify anything. It won’t bring you back or make up for the obstacles ahead.

Things have been put on the back burner until I sort out a family loss.

A Westerosi History Lesson

This is purely fan service.
Consisting of Dornish history from 1000 years ago to the events we’re about to witness. I will try my best to keep this as spoiler free as possible. No promises.

martell
Season Four is promising a lot in their clips and in the 15 minute trailer behind the scenes footage they’ve released, and I am hoping they can and will deliver on their promises. One of those promises has been the long time coming introduction of Dorne and all the characters that consist in that Kingdom.

Dorne is the southernmost of all the seven Kingdoms. Remember the Seven Kingdoms consists of Dorne, The Crownlands (King’s Landing), The Riverlands (Riverrun), The Storm Lands (Storm’s End), The Iron Islands (Pyke), The Vale (The Eyrie), and The North(Winterfell fuck The Dreadfort). Dorne is a peninsula Kingdom, jutting out into the Narrow Sea and connected to Westeros by treacherous stretch of land known as The Red Mountains. Though there are two roads that pass through these mountains, they are known for being incredibly hard to cross, increasing Dorne’s isolation. This isolation I believe assisted in their interesting history.

“Dorne is a very special land, with a slightly different cultural basis than the rest of Westeros… it was politically apart for a long time, it was also culturally apart because of the Rhoynar and the traditions they brought, but they didn’t influence the rest of Westeros so much.” — George R.R. Martin

Marc_Simonetti_throne_of_dorneAt one point there was an arm of  land that connected Essos to Westeros through Dorne but The Children of The Forest broke it off so The First Men would stop coming. When the Andals came and petty kingdoms of Westeros fell Dorne too was conquered by The Andals but not entirely part of the process. My impression of Dorne is that it’d been settled and merely adopted customs and cultural aspects of those who came in, but was never fully “conquered” as House Martell, while having an unknown history is known to have been very powerful at the time of Nymeria’s arrival. During the great Rhoynar Invasion (as they were at war with Valyria). Nymeria came from Essos and married one the Kings of Dorne during her conquering of Dorne and evacuation from her homeland of  Rhoynar in Essos, allegedly bringing 10,000 ships with her. Marrying King Mors Martell helped her continuing the conquering of Dorne while the six northern kingdoms came together.

It took Eight and a half centuries before Dorne came into the fold as the seventh kingdom. During Aegon the Conqueror’s  War of Conquest he won over all six Kingdoms except Dorne, due to Dorne’s guerilla warfare tactics. Aegon’s dragon’s proved  of little use when not in open warfare, and as the war drained the of his resources and of his men Aegon finally returned home.  Deciding it not worth the risk or expense. It wasn’t until another ambitious Targaryen took it upon himself to finish what he thought was unfinished business. Daeron I conquered Dorne albeit briefly leading to one of the best revenge and revolt stories ever.

Basically picture, Vicerys but less crazy with more realistic ambitions and the real funds to finance them. He’s conquered Dorne, sealed the deal and leaves it in the hands of a Lord from Highgarden. Totally makes sense, they’re the ruling seat of The Reach which borders Dorne to the west. But being a Targaryen he completely forgot who he was fucking with, so in the dead of night, having sauntered back to his King’s lair thinking you’ve done what needed doing. He laid in bed ready to close the canopy and as he goes to pull the cord for the drapes of your bed to shut, dozens upon dozens of red scorpions fall on him. Within a week all of Daeron’s work fell apart, Dorne went back to being Dorne and it wasn’t until the marriages brought about through Baelor the Blessed that Dorne bent the knee. First through Myriah Martell marrying one Prince of Dorne and later Baelor’s younger sister Daenerys to another Prince of Dorne.

Pedro-Pascal-as-Oberyn-Martell-and-Indira-Varma-as-Ellaria-Sand-in-Game-of-Thrones-Season-4Thus bringing us to modern Dorne. Season Four we meet Prince Oberyn and his paramour Ellaria Sand. Prince Oberyn is the younger brother of Prince Doran, Lord of Sunspear which is the Winterfell or Great House of Dorne. Oberyn is arriving for a few reasons. 1 – During Tyrion’s term as Hand of The King to get the weight of Dorne behind him he promised his niece Myrcella to Prince Doran’s youngest son Trystane Martell as well as offering Dorne a seat on the small council. Prince Doran is old… like really old… like Gandolf old and ailing. So he sends his younger brother Oberyn in his stead. 2 – Oberyn and Elia a year apart in age. They were very close growing up and Oberyn had wanted to continue to battle the Lannisters in honour of young Vicerys (as Daenerys was not born at the time).

Sidebar: Who the hell was Elia? 
Elia Martell, or Princess Elia was the wife of Rhaegar Targaryen the son of Aerys, the Mad King. Elia and her children were murdered brutally, and though Vicerys was not of Martell blood he was Rhaegar’s brother by blood, and thus the rightful heir to the throne. So I am hoping we begin to see flashbacks, though I am not holding my back for anything until next season where there’s heavy reflection of events from the past.

Oberyn and Ellaria are interesting characters, Ellaria is the mother of the Sand Snakes, vicious women of Dorne who have inherited there parent’s might, wit and passion. I am happy they hired actors of colour to play people of colour. Especially after a very racially shaky third season, in my opinion.

Myrcella_BaratheonCurrently though we have to remember as Oberyn comes north, Myrcella is in Dorne. In Season two during Tyrion’s time as Hand of The King to gain weight with House Martell behind House Lannister, he arranged the marriage of Myrcella to Trystane Martell, Prince Doran’s youngest son. You really don’t see or hear much from her in the books until we get to Dorne and we meet Princess Arianne who’s been charged with keeping watch and basically entertaining and raising young Myrcella.

I don’t know about anyone else but with all that in mind, do you think Cersei’s first reaction (see: sell my daughter like a common whore line) was a bit more logical? Just to back up here, there was a time when Elia and Oberyn went to visit the Lannister’s. I’m not sure if they will get to this bit of a side story on HBO but it was around the time Tyrion was born and the Targaryen’s had decided against marrying Cersei to Rhaegar so Tywin was in no mood for guests. Oberyn remembers feeling snubbed and I’m sure that in some ways they were, so there’s a growing animosity between the two houses. It doesn’t help that not only were Elia and her children slain by Lannister men but so was The King. House Martell has supported House Targaryen since coming into the Seven Kingdoms. This is more gunpowder in the keg. Old promotional material, more relevant than ever.

Game-Of-Thrones-Season-4-Poster-game-of-thrones-35465112-1240-1754

I want to end here, I fear if I keep going I will begin to go into serious spoiler material, plus I want to section up my reviews by houses and semi-geographically. We’ve covered Targaryen, Martell, Lannister relations because they overlap. A third to a quarter of the way through the series I will do another review, recap, possible history lesson. So as to not get everything all muddled and confused.

Hope you’re all as excited as I am!
I leave you with this!

Been awhile.

Swamp_Sunset_in_Cajun_Country
I get tired.
Wandering breathless through this hall way.
Collapse halfway to the door and just take a breath.
Legs sprawled in front of me.
Fuck going back for anything I may have left a long the way.
I like it here..
These shoes are pretty comfortable too.
As long as I lace ‘em right, right?

Curled up on the floor now, knees in my chest.
Digging the heels into the concrete behind me.
Distressed
Under or overdressed
Disorganized, depressed mess on the precipice of no longer holding back.

Who took away my shoes and solid ground?
Leaving me in this dissolving home, now my swamp.
Not water but the blood of my enemies soaks the ground.
The trees grow fat red leaves and I smell pomegranates.

Unfurl l myself, now clothed in a ratty dress soaked in my new home.
A state of blood and confusion.
Barefoot pilgrimage through thick trees.

The Alligators slither into the river bed, eyes black and full of stars.
Away from me they go.
The snakes and lizards.
I listen for the hissing of cicadas.
The black sun burns hot through thick trees.

Feet heavy and caked in my bloody mud.
Hungry.
Goddess.
I am so hungry.

“All the effort in the world won’t matter if you’re not inspired.” ― Chuck Palahniuk, Diary

Leaning across the back from the desk, fingers laced under her chin, the air heavy with smoke. She, a mentor-of-sorts posed a question to me and a few others. This person, who you are embodying… this character you are portraying, when you see her in your mind, what is it you see… who do you draw from?

dororthydandridge My response came quickly, Joan Holloway, Dorothy Dandridge … wait… wait, shit it went blank. There was a reason. I was drawing up inspirations that weren’t out of reach but missed something crucial. The look in my mentors eyes when we looked at one another was one that was quizzical. Something my friend shared when I expressed the same idols for this character, later in the day during a visit. Sweet faced S took in the response and replied,  “I can see that, but…”trailing off head twisted to the side like an interested cat.

She described what she saw in my face as the ability to embody many things, and I had to admit I love to play many parts. I’ve idolized and romanticized many a woman’s character in literature and entertainment. There’s been something about many women that I’ve wanted to embody. What is it about Dorothy that I loved? My inner goth teen is always drawn to the macabre, and Ms. Dandridge had a sad and all to short story, she was graceful, talented and beautiful. Married many times, of course.

joanSomething tells me she was not to be tried and when I see her work I love it. Enigmatic and fabulous.

Joan Holloway is the Femme Fatale, which I’ve loved. The dangerous beauty but Joan wields her power with a finesse that leaves even the most stoic a bit lustful. Especially in the day and age Mad Men is set in. She knows her strengths and weaknesses, but there’s an undeniable fact about the very way she carries herself. A knowing in her movements that she’s the sweetest red apple in the room.

Leading me to question if these were even inside me in some way. I’d played roles before, in life and … elsewhere. I’d felt myself change over time, but Joan was unwavering in her appeal. Dorothy swimming in talent. My mood soured during  this  momentary period of reflection and I looked down at myself, dissatisfied. I felt as if I was lacking something internally.

I had to ask myself a question, where is my voice? Swimming in my vocabulary (which I felt needed expansion) wasn’t going to do. As I stated before, I hid in books and thus facilitated a hiding in my intellect (read: sarcasm). I had to feel my way deeper into myself, I needed to understand what it was I wanted from myself and wrestle with the inner parts of me that refused to let go, until was truly in control of my evolution.

How I viewed myself had changed over time but a feeling of being in limbo kept me from pushing headlong into anything, until recently. I’d been a tomboy most  of my life thusly I developed a distorted self-image that I hid under baggy pants and t-shirts.  At my heaviest I was pushing towards three-hundred pounds and my inner voice was smaller than a flea fart. Overtime, as my body and I changed I slowly replaced the baggy boy shirts for things that fit more, but I was still lacking a style I felt was my own. Shopping was always an anxiety inducing and saddening event. Nothing I wanted to wear would fit a girl of my size, and in the late 90′s early 2000′s being six feet tall but not skinny as a bean pole left me with little options, many of them in flower print! JOY! 

I’ve recently taken to that 40′s, 50′s and 60′s style for women, but with an edge. I’d love one of those fluffy sweaters of the 50′s era, but with a scorpion broach on the shoulder. Joan’s black silk dress and black sweater but with my spiked headband/crown. My mind always sees an era or style but wants to dip it in my macabre waters.

But digging deeper than my aesthetic tastes, there was something else laying underneath that I was in denial about. An undeniable sense that what lay beneath an exterior many regarded as cold was something else. Something I can’t quite put my finger on what it is that sleeps below the ice. I picture Marla Singer’s smoke-filled lips whispering for me to let it “slide”, but until my mind forms a tangible picture of the ropes that I am holding on to, I feel bound. But by fucking what? What exactly is it that I know is there but for some reason can’t seem to visualize enough to overcome?

To be wild? What is that? A) (of an animal or plant) living or growing in the natural environment; not domesticated or cultivated or B)uncontrolled or unrestrained, esp. in pursuit of pleasure.

This is a conundrum for me, a witch, a growing woman, pursuing several things. The very idea of unrestrained pursuit of pleasure caressed my brain like silk and made me question what I knew about myself. I’ve talked about exploration, I’ve talked about reflection but this feeling of being an uninhibited woman felt like a dark secret I carried with me. To better  illustrate my point, it felt as if I could disassociate in a way to feel her. This part of my soul I carried around that wasn’t dark  in the basic sense of the word but it was in the shadows.

It dawned on me during a conversation that my inability to find something to hold on to, something to believe in had left many of my efforts hollow. Not to mention the transformations I’d been experiencing since before “Can’t Get No Satisfaction.” This is, as you’ve noticed a recurring theme with no sign of relief, yet. I’d been spinning my wheels until I decided to just walk through the swamp alone. My way of dealing with my problems is to shut out and be a fortress, an island. I will work alone and fix my problems and your efforts will be brutally rebuffed. I apologize for the brusqueness of my decline but I want to walk this alone.

My writer’s mind takes me to a deep swampy forest, and I’ll wander through it until I find my path again. The roots may trip me, I will change along the way but I have to find what I need to not only anchor this character, my new being, but something to truly hold on to and put power into. Without anything to believe in, I and my work my always feel like an exquisite corpse.

“Fuck Martha Stewart!”

indigochild
I was talking to a friend of mine, model and outspoken Lady herself, Erin M.W. I decided to share it so that you the readers can see and draw your own conclusions but also as to open a dialogue. As a Millennial there are a lot of feelings I think go unnoticed and unspoken on a larger platform. I want to bring some of this to light with the following conversation.

Erin M.WErin Wright
Side note, what do you know about the “knockout game”? An acquaintance of mine messaged me talking about how his neighbor became a victim of it and I rolled my eyes because I’ve heard so much bullshit about this…

Lady Fescennine
It does exist. It’s perpetuated by youth of various racial demographics, though predominately African-American. They do not specifically target white’s, that’s something being spun by the media to recharge the “scary black male” image.
In my eyes it’s an offshoot of the violence perpetuated on the homeless and random people in cities since the dawn of cities. I assume it is hoodlums just being hoodlums. Unfortunately this game is very dangerous as knocking someone out can kill them… it’s insanely malicious and I’m not sure where it really started, but yeah it’s a thing.

Erin M.W
Ugh.
Dammit I hate people sometimes.
Like, just why?
Dumb shit

Lady Fescennine
Yeah it’s one of those “Fucking people.”
Well I mean there’s a lot of rage, especially in our generation… We’re very angry.

Erin M.W
Yeah, I get that.

Lady Fescennine
It doesn’t help that we’re the indigo kids, so we’ve always had superiority complexes about our life because we’re all very smart.
And very passionate about the things we’re smart about. But as Tyler Durden put it:
“We’ve all been raised … to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars, but we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.”

Erin M.W
Shit, I get that

Lady Fescennine
It doesn’t help that we’ve been treated like criminals since 8th grade thanks to Columbine.

Erin M.W
I understand that completely lol.

Lady Fescennine
and lived in a state of political confusion since 9/11.
Just as we were getting old enough to understand what politics was, we were shit on… and lied to… and because we’re all bullshitters. You can’t bullshit a bullshitter.
I can say with absolute certainty that 95% of our generation knew 9/11 was BS as soon as we were old enough to put 2&2 together.
And the only president worth a shit we watched them try to ruin with what… a soiled skirt and a Jew girl with a fat ass?
Only to glorify Kim Kardashian literally 10 years later.

Erin M.W
Lmao

Lady Fescennine
and people wonder why the majority of us are like “Fuck you.”

Erin M.W
A generation of cynics

Lady Fescennine
Because dude you built us up with hopes and promises… you told us of all the shit you did in college and going and seizing dreams. You told us there would be jobs and homes for all.

And before we were old enough to carry a kid… we watched that shit dry up.

Erin M.W
and now we’re working twice as hard for half as much. Even less

Lady Fescennine
Telling us Social Security won’t exist by the time we need it when we’re 17 isn’t going to inspire us to run out and get jobs.
EXACTLY!

Erin M.W
Right

Lady Fescennine
and they wonder why we hustle.
They wonder why we don’t vote.
They wonder why we’re not protesting.
Because we’re all too busy figuring out how we’re going to make next month work.
While being told we’re undeserving, snobby, rude little shits who have squandered what our grandparents and parents did.
Woo girl, let me hit the bowl and climb off the podium.
Because my spirit is getting worked up

Erin M.W
We’re being given a broken system and told “it’s not your shit, but clean it up anyway”.  As if we could.
Kind of hard to figure out where to start when everything is a mess.
I get you girl, lol.
The soap box is not without warrant.

Lady Fescennine
This shit gets me mad, man.
D and I were discussing why I don’t vote in presidential elections… and stick to local government.
And I explained to her why, especially at my age. I don’t give a flying SHIT what puppet they put in that white box.

Erin M.W
Same shit different day.

Lady Fescennine
My city is being run into a shit hole by corporate out sourcing, school closings, private education systems, juvenile detention centers, etc.
I knew from JUMP they were giving Obama the wheel of the Titanic
He and Hilary have been polishing the brass on this sinking boat.
IT’S ALL GOING DOWN BABY
They knew they need a scapegoat and what better way to make sure we NEVER get another black man in office but to hand him a 5lb bag of shit with 10lbs of shit in it.
____

Another friend pointed out the other night that as I’d gotten older, and my childhood marred more and more by the police state and tragedies that occurred (Columbine defining my HS years and living as a post 9/11 child) I became jaded. I could see behind the mummer’s curtain and I was not impressed. I feel pretty confident that most people in my generation had similar feelings of apathy develop because of the realities we face. But not only that as we grew older and learned how this system worked, what we learned (as stated above) did nothing to increase our belief in what we’d learned in our first 8-10 years of education.

Leaving us in a limbo that I believe stalls us from coming together to create change. No only apathy but being overwhelmed by the myriad of problems and the very depth of them. The unfathomable power and reach he selects few who run the world. David consists of millions if not billions of people and Goliath a few handfuls, leaving the physics of how to defeat this giant confusing. Not to mention it’s hard to come together when there’s so much we each battle personally, living hand to mouth, working twice as hard for half as much as those who came before. The dissension among us who are all in similar boats keeps us distracted from the real disease as we battle the each other and the symptoms.

It’s a frustrating and vicious cycle that I dedicate many hours too, day dreaming and plotting my way out of obscurity and the possibility to change the tide within my age group. I’m so tired of apathy that feels fashionable. I’m so tired of the accepted mediocrity, even though we were brought up with high aspirations and saw that there were few of moral value in sight, we shouldn’t accept The Snookies and the Kim Kardashians and ask for more, like helpless children suckling at some diseased teat of continued dependence and zero-dependent thought.

Eventually we have to collectively realize we’re being fucked, right?

“Don’t attach yourself to anyone who shows you the least bit of attention because you’re lonely…”

White_Oleander_by_IssaPritty “…the best you can do is know yourself… know what you want.” Ingrid; White Oleander (related to “A Friend is Someone Who Never Lies…“)

As a passive bystander to what was happening in my life. I was content to let someone else do the navigating.  sewnshut2Often I ended up in situations or with people I didn’t like or wanted around. I wasn’t spineless, but I was actively voiceless.  I didn’t want acceptance. I craved it. I ached for some form of family. I leaned on the people around me many  of whom were emotionally unavailable. It was the only characteristic I could readily find and a lot of them shared it. I hid in books, the easiest way to avoid people and social interactions. I feared disappointing friendships and people in general. The few relationships I could generate and keep weren’t all based around general dependency, sometimes I was just dependent on them. I depended on people so much, with unrealistic expectations about what they could offer. There however were some people who came into my life that I genuinely cherished. The family I mentioned before, I tried with earnest to build. In the beginning there was a circle of female friends who pulled me from the books and general malaise of my late teens. But in hindsight I realize, how do you go about building a kinship with someone emotionally absent? These people were active in my life but I feel that we were all role-playing. As I continued to sit there with lips personally sewn shut, I watched the mummery and hated it, but where would I go? Full of the usual adolescent low self-esteem and thinking I found my niche I was afraid to leave it, lest what little image I was constructing fall apart. Male friendships were simpler (at least to me then, little did I know), our interactions were something I didn’t feel that I had to read into. I felt that I could breath, and the tightness in my gut would unravel in our interactions. Whenever I found myself in mixed company, the voice of insecurity would come up first quietly and then eventually screaming it’s negativity from every crevice of my brain. Irrational comparisons to my female peers and friends and a desperate need to want the approval of boys. Not men. But boys. We were all pretending we were adults doing things we would only later understand fully. But my female, feline, friends is where the stand-offs would be. The girls who I wanted to connect to were at times my adversaries, and that’s where the split ultimately began.

the_craft

I thought I’d met my kindred spirits, I thought I’d met the group I’d always been looking for and that from this moment on out we’d continue on as a quartet of friends whom could take on the world. I refused to see signs of when I should have either abandoned ship or I should have prepared myself for the bullshit capable by my friends and the family we had made. Not to mention that the pool of people I had sunk into had a hold on me, yet more than anything, I didn’t want to let go. I confessed to myself who I could really trust (it was less than a handful) afraid of admitting it aloud and manifesting the truth. Could they have a relationship beyond one being necessary for our own survival? As we were all traversing rough waters in our own lives. A series of fucked up events lead to all but a few of them falling away and left me feeling something that terrified me. Feeling alone.You have to understand the completely enmeshed personality traits and lives of these ‘sisters’ that I had.

perfectforeach


It moved beyond something healthy. So when they began to end and I progressed into real relationships with different people, the sensation left me anxious and curious about how people go about doing the socialization thing all together. 
Removing myself from the entire scene helped. First with moving across Chicago  and away from  most of the people I knew and then across the country. Not even settled into my new digs and I was already watching a ten-year relationship dissolve as I continued to grow into someone else different from both this sister” of mine knew. Often leaving me with the feeling of being hollowed out and filled back up with new bits that didn’t quite fit together yet. There was a great deal of personal growth. One thing that changed was dislike of being alone turning into something I cherished. Nights that I’d find the condo empty with just the pets, I rejoiced, snuggled up with one of the cats or my former best friend’s dog to watch something on television. Free of the nagging energy of someone whom when they look at you, you aren’t what they need. Thinking through it though, and reflecting on her version of events, I realized we both had it mistaken for what it really was. A never-ending cycle of emotional bullshit with a common denominator that I was denying. You know that feeling… and then you look them in the eye and it’s like CHRIST on a fucking crutch.

I spent some moments, sad about everything. Relationships ending are a lot like death, something is ending, someone is leaving and so I mourned. But then … nothingmarlaI spent a good deal of time alone because of said friendship ending, I was busy working seven days a week for the months leading up to me moving back to Chicago, and I had managed to develop some sort of social circle. This helped make it easy for me to begin to emotionally cut ties and move on. It was easy for me to realize how I’d ended up in this situation once I took the time to think about it.  Floored by how easy it was to no longer care for someone who I thought embedded in my very being. Awkward? It would’ve been, again, if I felt anything. Icy and turning to two literary figures for inspiration. Brandy Alexander and Ingrid Magnussen. I didn’t apologize, I didn’t explain. I wrote down and understood what happened to me was now just a story and I had to throw it away. Doing so allowed me a freedom I had never truly felt… I wrote about this a bit more in-depth on my post “A friend is someone who never lies…” But now here I am back at home, dealing with periodic bouts where I cannot put my pen down or close my laptop.

I find myself buried in my writing and my head at friend’s houses and at home when not bingeing on Netflix. I’ve dealt with the angst that comes from having a regular income. I grew accustom to working constantly and now having not, there’s the disgusting feeling of not being productive or contributing to anything. I’ve thrown myself headlong into writing and come hell or high water I will be finishing the short story that has become a prequel of sorts to the other novel, and for me helping set up the world I was struggling to build. The scaffolding and framework were there but it was missing the meat. I’m revisiting old Literature Arts and English materials, realizing how much I’ve forgotten and learning new things. Pushing myself into new avenues…

The Game Begins! … well soon… [Possible Spoilers]

 I don’t know about anyone else but I am so excited for the premiere of season four of Game of Thrones!

This May Be (It Is) Spoilery, Kind of Long & A lot of book talk. 

If you kept up then the above picture is all the recap you need. A swift reminder of the amount of vengeance some fans will want exacted on those who betrayed the beloved Robb Stark. Three seasons watching one Stark after another kidnapped, beaten or betrayed by people they trusted. Usually when the needed  the person the most. Remember: This is all because Ned could not tell Robert “No.” Reminding us that no one is safe in this world from the depravity, greed, and desperation of some of the denizens of Westeros.  As Hand of The King it served as a death sentence for Eddard and the beginning of the Stark’s shitty roller coaster ride.

Okay so he isn’t a Stark.. But Theon Greyjoy was one of “us” in the beginning. And through shitty decisions by both the people controlling his life, and of his own accord we watched him sink from Ward of the North to Lord of Winterfell and the wanna-be Prince of The Seastone Chair. Oh, TheonTo the pet of Ramsey Snow. HBO really fleshed out Theon’s story, through both A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords you have no  idea if Theon is alive or dead. Pieces of him being sent out as he’s being flayed by Ramsey but that’s it. I think it helped accelerating Theon’s degeneration, wanna-be alpha male into a more sympathetic and now handicapped character. the flayed man

Misguided…Angry?

Reap what you sow.

With Winterfell now in the hands of Ramsey Snow and the youngest Stark boys presumed missing, we eventually learn they’re on the run and hiding. HBO dragged this out for some reason, and only just now separated the Stark boys. Rickon heading toward parts unknown and Bran heading off with the Reed children. The scene with Bran and Rickon saying goodbye felt contrived probably because it felt kind of thrown in there. Everything that’s happening in their lives and now  is the time they think they should head off in separaterickon directions because of Bran’s visions? … ugh I hate to make this one of those posts but, no. The impending danger of the situation spurred Bran to do what the scene delivered which is that they are safer apart and Rickon is easiest to hide. So we say goodbye to little Rickon, who at this point is mute and savage in his behavior, which his aggressive jojenmeeradirewolf Shaggydog reflects. Bran leaves with the aforementioned Reed children in pursuit of Bran and Jojen’s shared dreams and the Three Eyed-Crow. LULz at Isaac Hempstead-Wright turning into a grown man over night by season three.

I worry though; what will become of Rickon who is the forgotten Stark child? I don’t see anything huge coming in his story only because he was so young when any of this began and the chances of the Stark name being what it once was are slim, at least at this point in the story. The same can almost be said about Sansa sans events we’ll cover later.

We can follow Bran’s thread toward Jon Snow (The Stark Bastard) who having already put on the mask of turncloak and met with the Wildlings — Led Mance Raydar — is heading back south with them to climb The Wall and take back the land the Wildlings believe is theirs by blood and right. Remember the whispers and plans between Half-hand and Snow before all this began, and if you don’t watch the end of Season two again.

Jon Snow learns of a horn, something that I think should have been left until season four because it’s not really a necessary piece of information here. Unlike in the book, the pacing of season three is choppy (at best) so you don’t need to carry with you the loads of information the writer’s attempt to dump into your lap about one segment of characters. We spend a lot of time watching him woo Ygritte the polar opposite of every girl he’s ever met or been brought up to interact with. The dialogue is adorable especially the “What’s fainting?” conversation but it offers little in the way of what Jon is experiencing internally. Feelings against who he thinks he’s becoming in the large shadow of Ned Stark. A continued theme I come to call “Simba syndrome” (think Icarus meets Oedipus without the incest). A constantly acknowledged nobility that Ned carried with him even into death that the boys of his home try to live up to. Knowing little of the demons he carried and the sins on his shoulders.

jon_snow_by_dalisaanja-d48mxtlIf anyone is a good example of the Simba syndrome it’s Jon at the end of season three when he has to choose between the man he thinks he is and the man he what could be; Ygritte and everything she symbolizes versus  his integrity. When Jon begins to understand that he really knows nothing and it’s time to go home, my heart broke. Will Jon ever understand where he belongs in the scheme of things? Broken, and full of arrows he returns to The Wall and Sam. Samwell’s journey is interesting and tragic. It begins with the an attack on the group of Rangers at The Fist of The First Men who are awaiting word from Jon and Half-hand and reconnaissance mission into the Wildling camp. Sam survives thanks to an obsidian blade given to him by Jon.

Trying to regroup at Craster’s keep (the home of the Wildling man who marries and sleeps with his daughter’s, leaving the boys out in the snow for The Others) ends in a mutiny and Lord Commander Mormont dead. His dying wish whispered to Samwell. Here we reunite with Gilly, the wide-eyed pregnant girl from Season two whom Ghost frightens.

Sam is a needed thread that ties many characters together. It is through him that we meet Bran as he crosses the wall to the North and if all goes according to plan he will be the one to draw us closer, if only briefly, to another Stark child.

Leading me to Robb. Fresh from winning every battle against the Lannister’s and all their bannermen, the King of The North heads into what are dark times. HBO spares us the drawn out death of his grandfather. Catelyn spends lots of time praying and remembering better times at his bedside but also wallowing in her fractured family. Instead this regret is hit spot on by the beautiful dialogue between Catelyn and Talissa during their travels to Riverrun, where Catelyn reflects on how she took for granted her children, and life before. Even the child she didn’t want, Jon Snow and how she (in the true maternal archetypal vein) takes blame for all the events that have happened to her family.

Robb, the very definition of the head strong eldest son, charges into situations with an ignorance and arrogance that is thankfully nonexistent up until this book. As most of hisrobbgrinn battles you never see you only hear about through other characters. He heeds advice from no one in his company and is, like the teenage boy that he is, he’s balls deep in love with his first love. A beautiful (and completely made up) girl who’s nothing more than a distraction in the eyes of everyone around him. As he is constantly reminded, he is fighting a war. Was getting married really the best move? Probably not. But I guess The Seven only gave Stark men enough blood to run one head at one time. Occasionally Robb reflects the fact that he is waist deep in a sea of enemies and the Lannister’s have the financial and military power to keep him fighting well into the coming Winter. But what then? And now that his home gone, his brothers and sisters are missing, he is in a corner. Only for the reminder that he’s robbbroken an oath to fall into his lap. Yes Robb, while you were mooning over the pretty Valyrian girl you broke a promise and all a man has in Westeros is his balls, and his word. This doesn’t bode well, and from the raven’s flying back and forth between House Bolton, House Lannister and House Frey and the constant song “The Rains of Castamere” I’m surprised more people didn’t put together than home-boy was fucked. When someone tells you to take your wolf… TAKE YOUR GODDAMN WOLF.

Jesus. Stay in the fucking house, Carl!

Leading us to The Red Wedding, which I don’t need to go over, do I? No… NO I do not. But the how it happened is the interesting part. Leading me to the second of the remaining Stark children, Sansa.

Who is now a Lannister thanks to the scheming of Tywin Lannister (and Littlefinger) making sure that Winterfell and Tyrion are secure with one fatal swoop. Sansa poor girl, has a bit of a bad rap and I’d like to take a minute to climb up on my soap box in defense of the most naïve of the Stark kids. We have to remind ourselves that Sansa was born and bred for really one thing, the kept wife of some Lord. That’s it. She wanted to go to parties, and have babies and wear pretty dresses. She is a Disney princess thrown into an Iraqi war situation and has zero fucking coping skills. So before we continue on our Fuck-Sansa-Lynch-Mob let us step back and remember she is a fourteen year old pampered former daughter of a Lord of one he most powerful Holdfasts in this world. So back the shit off Sansa, yo.  You know why I don’t worry about Sansa? Just take a deep look into those eyes. sansa

If anything her naiveté has saved her a world of hurt and kept her alive. Being of  a lady of the court requires wearing many masks and she’s learning, very quickly that if she wants to keep her wits about her she needs to hold it together and she’s doing this better than most people would in her situation. It help that she has worldly Shae and wicked Cersei who both refuse to let her continue this façade of a red bird in a gilded cage of delusion. Shit is dangerous, and if she doesn’t wake up she will wake up to a knife in the chest. But I trust, that what she’s witnessed and that those who are looking over her (and I feel there a few) she will find herself, as the I09 article suggest, turning into some one who isn’t to be tried. There’s nothing to really add to this as her story in the book and show are pretty similar.  She’s used as a plot device up  and story-teller, keeping us up to date on things happening with important people around her up until recently when she becomes more involved with key players. I’m excited to see  her transition into a person of interest in the second half of A Storm of Swords. Whereas Arya has cemented being not only a growing threat but possessing most of the brains in the family (albeit not used correctly all the time), Sansa has some room to grow.

arya_stark_by_ohsono-d4luvj3Little Arya by the time we reach her in season three is spending a great deal of her time like Bran. Transitioning between her wolf, Nymeria and traveling with her group of companions. Things are moving in a slowly up direction because while she’s not exactly safe, there are no immediate threats and readers get the comfort of knowing that Nymeria is still alive and roaming The Riverlands somewhere. The most interesting part of Arya’s current story brings us to The Brotherhood Without Banners. A rag-tag group of former knights and sell-swords led by the enigmatic  Beric Dondarrion. Remember that name. Her meeting them seems like a saving grace, being Arya Stark and promised that she will go to her Aunt, Lyssa Arryn, Lady of House Arryn.  Through her travels with them though they come across The Hound who also recognizes “The Stark Bitch” and thus complicates Arya situation. A trial by fire initiated by Arya’s retelling of the murder of Mycah (see season one), to the sadness of viewers, readers and Arya alike The Hound lives, killing Dondarrion.

Here is where we begin to see tthorosdondarhe true power of the whispered Lord of Light, R’hllor. Earlier in the show , while on the road back to the place The Brotherhood calls home they come across Melisandre. This exchange doesn’t actually happen in the books but the information that Thoros has brought Dondarrion back from the dead, not once but roughly six or seven times (he admits he’s kind of lost count) shocks Melisandre for reasons unknown but also disgusts her. There’s a reservation in Melisandre’s showcasing of power, that reminds me of Tywin Lannister (who I’ll get back to).  She, like Tywin, knows  or possesses  a power or force unimaginable and it is for them to use alone in their eyes. Long story short Melisandre doesn’t travel to southern Westeros for Gendry, the sacrifice is another bastard of Robert’s named Edric Storm, click link if you want more information. Honestly I don’t blame the writer’s for leaving this out and tying Melisandre’s story to Thoros’ only because it would lead to a needless amount of story telling to include a character who is not terribly important besides what his use; the lamb is not important, the sacrifice is. Dig?

Game of Thrones Rains of Castamere Arya

“One day I’m going to stick a sword through your eye and out the back of your skull.”

Arya unravels at all of this. Feeling betrayed by what true power she thought existed in her world, she flips out and runs off into the woods in a moment mental confusion and anguish. Allowing The Hound the opportunity to pick up the perfect ransom to free himself from Westeros entirely. Through brief mentions (that I feel could be expanded to a few monologues or deeper dialogues with others) we learn that The Hound has quite literally said “Fuck The King and Fuck The Queen.” I believe the brief conversation with the anti-hero Bronn opened The Hounds eyes about how he is nothing more than a pawn in the games of Nobles who care not if he lived or dies so long as their goals get accomplished and their hands stay clean. Stealing the youngest wolf girl he reasons to ransom her to her brother at The Twins. Unfortunately for Arya, she again arrives at the scene of one of her beloved family members just as they lose their life. But we were give two beautiful things. The end of Arya’s girlhood as she knew it, and the new “Michael Corleone says hello.”

As nothing is ever simple in Game of Thrones, this wraps around to what to  House Lannister, House Bolton and House Frey. Tywin being a man of great strategic mind, prudent planning and opportunism sees Robb’s snub of the promise to marry a Frey girl as an opening to weaken Robb overall. House Bolton who while a powerful house in the north pales in comparison to the power of House Stark has aspirations of their own. And as the saying goes, ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend.’ Let it be said that while what Robb did was a dick move, Lord Frey is a crusty old bastard and everyone from The Wall to Dorne knows this. With that being said we also have to remember that as of this moment, even with Joffrey on the throne, there’s still a massive amount of tension between many of the Houses for a variety of reasons. Namely what happened to one of the most respect and oldest houses, House Stark. The deceitful nature of House Lannister and the ever pressing knowledge that dragons have been born across the Narrow Sea and are allegedly owned by the last of the Targaryen. But let me not get ahead of myself.

Thus far we have covered most of what’s happening North of The Eyrie and at The Wall which is a pretty big part of Season Three which again is due to the fact that George RR Martin is preparing us for what’s about to happen. So gird you loins! Moving on, not all is well in King’s Landing.

The best place to start would be with The Tyrells who we meet and hear of briefly in season two toward the end, and meet in full by season three.

We met Loras and Margaery during Margaery’s brief marriage to Renly Baratheon. The weird beard of a marriage ended suddenly thanks to the efforts of The Red Priestess and her work with Stannis Baratheon. margaery_and_joffrey_s3_by_jroekneere-d5sxl2hUpon Season Three, Sansa free from being Joffrey’s fiancé, tries with earnest to slip into the background and Margaery capitalizes on this. Her aspirations to be “The Queen” obviously disturb Cersei and thus we begin the battle of The Queens. As women fight passively, the on-screen cat fights between Cersei and Margaery as well as Margaery’s obvious seduction of Joffrey via showing interest in his sadistic activities is deliciously wicked. In the book Margaery’s motives are not anywhere near as explicit but it makes for fun play to watch her very obviously fuck with a slowly unraveling Cersei. Who incidentally is turning to the same vice her late husband favored. From The Battle of The Blackwater if you watch carefully the amount she begins to drink increases slowly, and if memory serves correct Tyrion even notices that she’s pouring more from her wine jug than usual.

The funny thing about the House Tyrell is that while they are pretty powerful they’re content, or the most part, to be viewed as roses. Roses with thorns however. In an excellent scene between the Matriarch of House Martell and Tywin Lannister she let’s him know exactly they win wars and who in fact may hold all the chips. Something Bronn explains to Tyrion in a similar (though less tense) scene explaining how the deaths during war times are due to starvation and murder. House Tyrell is at an advantage, in an increasingly poor capital, The Crown (which is now entirely House Lannister) is debt to the nation. Reflection of our current economic fuck up maybe?

In dialogue that  can be missed there are reminders that King’s Landing is slowly running out of resources and cannot take another war or attack. The masses of poor are on edge, as they begin to attack the Royal court in the streets during a procession. House Lannister, known for golden hair and pockets is now hated because the nation they rule is starving. Coming in with the resources to feed the ailing, House Tyrell brings with them not only a daughter who is pure and ready for marriage but enough food to keep the courtiers and some of the more fortunate poor from starving in the streets. But also serves as a reminder to Tywin that wars are expensive and geese don’t shit gold.

cersei_lannisterUnderstandably, like most woman Cersei is in a shit of a predicament and doing the best with the cards she’s been given, incest completely aside. Being the first-born, but a girl, and cursed with not only giving a shit about her father’s teachings but wanting to aspire to more than just being another Lady of another house. Her aspirations were shit on during her early teen years, and watching Jaime more or less fuck off their entire lives it’s reasonable she’d become jaded. Her blaming Tyrion for the death of their mother only adding insult to injury. Now facing with the prospect of being replaced by her baby boy’s new paramour whom she also realizes is a vicious monster that cannot be changed. To lose favor is to lose power but to gain favor is to respect and love a sadist. Cersei, twisted in her own right knew of the implied things happening to Sansa and of her sons ever-growing extracurricular activities. But for the sake of family, name and power she enabled or ignored them.

Cersei and Margaery’s stories don’t really progress until the wedding that they promised and never delivered in season three, for reasons I don’t understand. But I think that within the first few episodes we have a reward with a wedding more unforgettable than The Red Wedding. Though we do watch Tywin Lannister step in and rearrange the lives his children had carved out for themselves in his absence. First with Tyrion, waking up after the Battle of Blackwater Bay in tiny room with all of his possessions crammed i and removed of his status. In the book there is a vicious delivery of this information by that “dried old cunt” Maester Pycelle. Later Tywin continues his arranging of the true order of things taking control of Cersei and witnessing the out of control Brat-Boy-King, and his paranoid and reckless mother sour all his efforts. He informs Cersei she’s no longer apart of thsansatyrionmarriagee council and will marry someone he sees fit, which leaves a shit eating grin across Tyrion’s face until he too hears news of his impending nuptials to Sansa Stark.

As Lannister’s go Tyrion’s shake from Hand down to pawn piece is especially painful in his father’s delivery and his sister’s acceptance. You begin to understand the only friend he ever really had, was his brother Jaime whom he hasn’t seen in weeks now and a woman he can never have, Shae. Determined, as usual, to make the best of a bad situation Tyrion delights in Cersei’s misery;  a joy to watch and I  look forward to it continuing in the next chapter as his character has another huge transition. Jaime however is on the beginning of the road of redemption. Everyone loves a comeback story and Jaime, now humbled and realizing he knows nothing about his place in the grand scheme of things, has changed pace with the dance steps of The Game. jaimehand Freed by Catelyn and in the custody of Brienne the adventure two of them embark on teaches Jaime more about himself than he learned as a knight and as a man. Being captured by people under the rule of Roose Bolton ends the Jaime we know and love to hate. Which is a weird feeling. But we have to go back and remember what he told Brienne in the bath. The true events of the night he killed King Aerys and the personal dreams Jaime had that would never be allowed by his father, had he not taken The White Cloak.

Which leads me to the last piece of the puzzle I found most interesting and that’s Daenerys. Season three opened strong but somewhere down the line it lost momentum. This is quite similar in the book, we get caught up in the politics of Astapor/Yunkai. They joined the two cities, lest we get bogged down in more scenery, traveling and tour guide like explanations of customs and cultures. We see immediately that the Dragons have grown and are no longer small enough to ride on their mother’s shoulders. Instead flying near or around her, daenerys-targaryen-and-dragon-season-3or chained to cages they inhabit in quarters. We see Daenerys had grown, but we spend a lot of time doing the shifty eye brow soap opera thing when we could be building on what’s to come and what actually happens!

In A Storm of Swords Daenery’s becomes known as the burner of cities. This happens long before she makes it to Yunkai because she burns Astapor to the goddamn ground after “purchasing” the Unsullied from their master. She scene plays out pretty true to the books, except I wish we saw the melting eye balls. But then afterwards she frees the slaves, grabs her dragons, unsullied and anything of value and books it the hell out of Astapor for Yunkai where she meets Daario. It’s really not that of a deal that they joined both Astapor and Yunkai because her path is the same through both. Fire and Blood. Retribution for dragging her people through the Red Waste I guess. But she really becomes more Vicerys than makes me as a reader and viewer comfortable and I worry about what will become of her.

The cultures and events are similar enough that consolidating and avoiding the word for word political building of her kingdom should have helped build a momentum in a season covered in blood, betrayal and true intrigue. Instead what we were left with was Anne Coulter’s wet dream. The white girl saves the poor dark-skinned savages (whom are much more diversified in the books I might add) from their enslaver and guides them to a better life. The ‘Mhysa’ episode was one of the most underwhelming and disappointing episodes to date. There were so many things one would’ve capitalized on to drive home the suspense we are capable of feeling. Instead all you got was loss with the band-aid of some far away queen saving the day for people whom we barely know. Now I say this knowing what is to come, so I say this knowing they would’ve delivered better to those who aren’t reading the books. SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS (second warning, no bitching).

Lady Stoneheart in a mysterious way, the true establishment of the war of The Rose and The Lioness and the establishment that Daenerys is finally on  her war path (but after the same misguided path of Robb Stark) would’ve been/could’ve been illustrated in so many beautiful ways that I found myself angry with the cheap writing. There was the feeling that they knew the book would be cut into two, and that’s fine but where they decided to cut is very off. Not to mention the complete changing of Asha/Yara’s storyline as what happens is kind of important to coming events… but I’ll leave that alone. Though HBO did leave out a telling detail during her vision walk in The House of The Undying, I am hoping that in the end they tie her story together a bit more. Step back and really take in what she’s supposed is, The Underdog. Not only that but also understand that pacing is everything.

HBO was kind of enough to finally grace us with a proper trailer:

HouseMartell
I am hoping that bringing in the Dornish residents (the massive kingdom of south Westeros, think Winterfell but lot of Sand, shorter tempers and a bigger bone to pick with The Lannisters.

HISTORY LESSON: Elia Martell the wife of Rhaegar Targaryen was the sister of Oberyn Martell who we are meeting this coming season. The Martell’s and the Targaryen’s have a centuries old allegiance and I’m interested to see how it is going to play out. Rumour has it we will meet not only Oberyn but some of his many Daughter’s known as The Sand Snakes.

I full with anticipation! And I have to wait until April 6th. Damn, man!

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