Still a Harry Potter fan… after all this time? Always!

There are books that affect you for months. There are books that affect you for years. And then there are books that affect you for life. Harry Potter is one such book.

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I, like many people from my generation, have grown up with Harry Potter. I was 11 when I started reading Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s stone, same age as Harry. Then at age 12, I continued with The Chamber of Secrets, then at 13, I was on The Prisoner of Azkaban. And so on until I was 17, almost 18, doing my final year at school while reading The Deathly Hallows. I had a golden childhood and one of the reasons for that is a book, my love for which I keep until now.

I was convinced I didn’t like fantasy at all (a beautiful example of how well one ‘knows’ oneself), however, some of my favourite books and movies prove me wrong- Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, The Mortal Instruments to name but a few. What I realised I like most about fantasy, is it perfectly represents the world we live in, with its complexity, the fusion of good and bad, the everyday fight for survival. Maybe I exaggerated the last bit slightly, but don’t we fight for a place in this world every day? Don’t we battle our inner demons every single day? Don’t we have a concept for our life we struggle to prove right? Every. Single. Day. Of our existence.

As most of you know, the Harry Potter series show the path of a small and lonely child through life. A child whose biggest challenges happen to be in the very early stages of his life. Stripped of his parents as a baby, raised by people who despise him, Harry turns out to be a decent young person, nonetheless, unaware of the world he belongs to and his significance for its well-being. As Harry is growing up, the books evolve with him, showing that none of the characters is pure good or pure evil. Even Voldemort has his reasons to be what he is by the end of the story. Voldemort, Harry and Snape are my favourite characters in all the books, having had the most extraordinary life paths from all characters (Dumbledore is quite interesting as a character too, but his early life is not explored that much, which is why I rather see him as one-dimensional).

8cfa96157712b03e29979268aacb3dc3Voldemort, who is a product of love magic his mother performed on his muggle father, is not capable of feeling love for anyone for that sole reason. I think what J.K. Rowling is trying to say here is that love cannot be forced. You cannot force someone to love you, but you can force them to be with you nonetheless, and the result could be devastating. Voldemort grew up as a lonely, orphaned child with no one to count on in this world but himself. He was cruel from an early age, feeling that he was very different from those around him. The pivotal point in his behaviour, though, is when he finds out he’s a direct heir of Salazar Slytherin; this leads to him believing he’s greater than all muggles and certainly greater than most wizards. Hi vanity led him to do terrible things. He had a weak spot, though. It’s true he didn’t feel love for any living creature, but he did love one thing in particular-Hogwarts, the only home he ever knew. This is the one thing him, Snape and Harry have in common, the limitless love they have for Hogwarts.

We don’t know much about Snape until the very last book – The Deathly Hallows – where we find out that he loved unconditionally Harry’s mother Lily and he risked his life ever since she was killed to protect her son. Snape, just like Voldemort, had a muggle father who despised wizards and a wizard mother who despised him. The only happy moments in Snape’s early life were those spent with Lily. He, much like Voldemort, found his real home in Hogwarts and remained there for almost his entire life. Maybe those similarities with Voldemort’s life made Snape admire him and his ideology so much and if it wasn’t for Lily’s murder, he would probably have stayed with Voldemort, although, getting to know Snape in the last book, we seem to understand that deep inside he’s a decent man.

Harry, the last of the three to join Hogwarts, has had a difficult childhood as well. He also didn’t know love as a child but the huge difference between him and Snape and Voldemort is that he himself is a product of great love between his parents. It’s true he grew up with people who despised him, surrounded by people who didn’t understand him. Just like Voldemort, he wasn’t fitting in the muggle world, but he didn’t know why. His early life experiences should have made him an angry and bitter person but they didn’t, because he was loved – by his parents, by his godfather, by Dumbledore- although he didn’t know that until he was exposed to the world he belonged to.

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Although it is a children’s book, Harry Potter teaches wisdom adults could also learn from. I think this book series is suitable for absolutely everyone- from a child to an old man. This is because a child lives inside each one of us and if we let them come out on the surface, we’ll be much happier. A child certainly lives inside me and she will always be friends with Harry!

L. V. K.

 

Game of Thrones- the beginning of an end

Game of Thrones season 6 grand finale hit us like a giant’s fist a couple of weeks ago. We might be sad that we now have to wait nine months until the next season; however, season 6 has given us something no other Game of Thrones season has given us before- a clear path (clearer at least) on which the main story lines are going. Unlike the previous 3-4 seasons, the story is now not stuck in the middle of nowhere but rather is going into a direction which foresees the end of the show. Below, I’ll provide a summary (remember this is just my point of view and is not all question of actual facts) of the main characters, what happened with them in season 6 and what will most likely happen with them in the next seasons to come.

Cersei Lannister

cersei-lannisterCersei has finally sat on the Iron Throne. Her own path has been a long and not necessarily an easy or pleasant one but she made it- she got the power. No matter how badass, cruel and treacherous Cersei is, one cannot help but admire her strength, ambition and dedication to her family. Cersei’s downfall started with Joffrey’s death with her not seeing happy days until the very last episode of season 6. She’s lost her father, her daughter, her younger son, she’s been taken prisoner and humiliated by the Sparrows who forced her to go naked on the streets of Kings Landing, hearing the mocking laughter of the crowd. She’s been surrounded by enemies all the way through, which is partially her fault and no wonder she’s gone mad. With the death of Tommen, she’s lost every bit of humanity she’s ever had in herself. Many people argue this is when she’s gone mad, when Qyburn presented her to King Tommen’s dead body; however, I think the last drop that spilled the glass for her was when Tommen terminated the trial of combat practice in the Seven Kingdoms. This is when Cersei found herself into a trap, betrayed by her own son and unable to escape whatever punishment the Faith has prepared for her. And this is when something clicked into her head and when she was ready to do anything no matter the cost. Even the life of her last child didn’t matter anymore. Blasting the Sept of Baelor with wildfire and killing all her enemies, who were waiting for her inside to tear her into pieces, marked the beginning of her reign as the Mad Queen. Next season will be very interesting for her as we are expecting one of her brothers to finish her- Jaime who spoiled his honour once to stop the Mad King from doing what Cersei has done and is doing now; and Tyrion who hates Cersei in the guts and who’s now Hand of Queen Daenerys Targaryen. Tough times upon the Mad Queen, ay.

Daenerys Targaryen 

DaenerysSeason 6 is my favourite in terms of Daenerys’ story line. So much has happened to her in this one season than in whole 4 previously (not counting season 1, which marks the beginning of her journey and reign). She’s found herself captured by the khalasar of Khal Moro who want to sell her into slavery, but upon learning that she is a Khaleesi and the widow of Khal Drogo, decided to send her to the Dosh Khaleen where she’s supposed to spend the rest of her days. In this situation again we find Daenerys stuck and very far from her main purpose, namely conquering Westeros with her army and dragons. However, like some of the other main protagonists in Game of Thrones, Daenerys has a powerful magic inside her that helps her defeat every obstacle that comes down her path. In this case, the Mother of Dragons used her ultimate weapon- fire- to get rid of all the mighty khals and join the entire khalasar to her army. For me, this was one of the best scenes in season 6 and a reminder of Danny’s real power. In seasons 4 and 5 she seemed weak and completely lost, pressed against the wall by her enemies. After riding Drogon for the first time though, she’s been able to regain her power. At the end of season 6, we finally witnessed Daenerys collating all her strength and marching to Westeros with her three dragons by her side. Varys has already secured allies for her in the Seven Kingdoms- Dorne and House Tyrell- both enemies to the Lannisters, meaning she already has supporters of her claim on the continent. In the next season, we’ll see Danny invading King’s Landing and securing her relations with other noble houses. Her most interesting meeting though will be with Jon Snow, her brother’s only living son. I do hope this meeting happens in season 7.

Jon Snow

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It’s official now! Jon Snow is the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. We’ve always know this, and yet it feels so satisfying when we got the official confirmation in the season finale with this beautiful transition from him as a bady, presented to Ned Stark by his sister in the Tower of Joy, to him as a grown man at the lord’s seat at Winterfell. Jon Snow’s always had very low self-esteem because he believed himself a bastard all his life. A son of a noble lord and yet never accepted part of the family, Jon’s always been reminded (especially by Catelyn) that he’s not worthy of the name Stark. He’s never known a motherly love and grew up to be lonely although he had the love of his half-brothers and half-sister (Sansa has never been close to Jon until their reunion in season 6). Taking the black was Jon’s attempt to find his place in this world and forget he is a bastard for once. He’s gone through a lot, climbing the ladder of success with him becoming the youngest Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch in history. However, not long after, he’s betrayed and killed by his own sworn brothers. This is when Jon Snow’s life as a bastard and a rejected son ends to be reborn (resurrected by Melisandre) as Jon Snow, King in the North and son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. In the next seasons we expect him to having to deal with the treacherous Littlefinger and securing his position as King in the North. We also expect him to learn the truth of his parentage by Bran, who’s on his way back south of the Wall. I think we can also be brave to expect a Stark general reunion with Arya also being in Westeros, relatively close to home. As mentioned above, it will be extremely interesting for the audience, if Jon meets Daenerys who’s also on her way to Westeros and who happens to be Jon’s kin.

As you can see, a lot of great things ahead for Game of Thrones, which after two dull seasons (in my opinion) is back in the big game. Counting the hours desperately until season 7 airs in April 2017.

L.V.K.

Jon Snow- Dead or Not

Ice, I see, and daggers in the dark. Blood frozen red and hard, and naked steel…

After last night’s Game of Thrones Season 5 Finale, fans of the show (who haven’t read the books) are in shock. They did it again, they killed another Stark! And not just another Stark but one of the most beloved characters- Jon Snow. Him, Daenerys, Tyrion and Arya are the characters most people bravely believed immortal. I’ll tell them they should have learnt their lesson after Ned Stark’s death though. Absolutely no one is safe in Game of Thrones. However, there are cases in which death does not last for long. Remember Catelyn Stark who returns at the end of book 3 as Lady Stoneheart, resurrected by Thoros of Myr. Remember Beric Dondarrion…

"Daggers in the dark"

“Daggers in the dark”

George Martin published his fifth installment in the A Song of Ice and Fire book series in 2011. Which means fans of the books already knew Jon Snow’s fate 4 years ago. However, I don’t remember any revolts regarding his death. Moreover, when I read book 5, I didn’t get the feeling Jon really died in his last chapter. Of course one can never be sure what George Martin has in mind, but my humble opinion is he’s going to spare Jon’s life. He’s too important and too embedded in the entire story to be completely shoved off of the scene like Ned and Robb before him.

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Jon Snow and Ghost

There are many theories surrounding Jon Snow and many secrets regarding his birth and parentage. Most of you would know the most popular one already- Rhaegar Targaryen + Lyanna Stark= Jon Snow. Rhaegar and Lyanna fell in love and ran away together although Lyanna was betrothed to Robert Baratheon and Rhaegar was married to Elia Martell. But according to an ancient tradition, a Targaryen man is allowed to have two wives because the dragon has three heads (the Targaryen banner represents a three-headed dragon which symbolizes Agon The Conqueror and his two sisters/wives Visenya and Rhaenys). Unfortunately, Rhaegar and Lyanna’s love affair was the reason for the war, known as ‘Robert’s Rebellion’ which almost put an end to House Targaryen. And here comes the theory- Jon who officially is presented to the world as Ned Stark’s bastard, his mother being unknown, is actually the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna. Because as you remember from Ned’s chapters in book 1, he found Lyanna dying and begging him to promise her something. And from here we assume she asked him to save her son. So in order to keep him alive, Ned sacrificed his honour and told the world he cheated on his wife and Jon was the product of his betrayal. Moreover, Jon is also involved in the prophesy about the ‘prince who was promised’. Originally, Prince Agon, Rhaegar’s firsborn son was believed to be the promised one. But as we all know, he was killed together with his mother and sister (I don’t believe the story of Griff and Young Griff and think GRRM included them just to confuse us; their lack in the show prove that), which means not him but Jon might have been the prince who was promised…

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Another very popular theory is that Jon Snow is Azor Ahai reborn. Originally, Melisandre believed Stannis was Azor Ahai, but after meeting Jon Snow she started changing her opinion- ”I pray for a glimpse of Azor Ahai, and R’hllor shows me only Snow.” According to the legend, Azor Ahai died to be resurrected and gain his powers. Many believe Daenerys is Azor Ahai reborn, but my opinion is both her and Jon are. Both of them were forced to kill their loves (Danny killed Khal Drogo after the blood magic could nor bring his soul back, only his body and Jon, although not physically, killed Ygritte during the wildling attack on The Wall in book 3). After Khal Drogo’s death, Daenerys had her symbolic death too in the fire just to be born again as Mother of Dragons. But going through her storyline, you have the feeling she’s just the half of something bigger, that she lacks something (or someone) to fulfil her destiny. On the other hand, Jon just suffered a betrayal from his sworn brothers who stabbed him in the dark and most probably killed him (they certainly did in the show). However, Ghost is still there somewhere and so is Melisandre…

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As you can see, Jon is way too important and without him, the story remains incomplete. So to all Jon Snow fans and fans of the TV show, relax, we might see the likes of him very soon.

L. V. K.

Tomorrow Is Another Day

I’ve always loved classic books. The very word classic means that the peice of art- a book, a song or a movie- has been recognised by many as qualitative and deserving respect and admirations. I have recently finished reading Gone With The Wind– undoubtedly one of the top classics, both the movie and the book. Probably those of you who have read it know the emotions that follow after you reach the end- anger, despair, depression, but also hope; after all, tomorrow is another day.

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What I love about this book is the background- the tragic events related to the decline of a whole system of life- and the way the main character, Scarlet O’Hara, survives the crisis and fights for her and her siblings lives and rights. Many people would describe Scarlet as cold, selfish and cruel, ready to step over dead bodies just to accomplish her ambitions and desires. Maybe they are right in thinking so, but the coin always has two sides. I personally admire Scarlet for her bravery and ability to adapt to different situations. The society she lives in is blind and fanatic and does not accept her behaviour, but Scarlet is an example of emancipated woman. This same society lives by the old, restrictive rules which do not look favourably upon women who work (especially ones who are running their own business like Scarlet), who “show off” in public when they are pregnant, who live alone etc. But Scarlet is a modern, practical woman who rebels against the restrictions imposed to women by the vastly conservative society. And this is what makes Rhett Butler fall in love with her…

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Rhett is the male version of Scarlet- a cinic who’s rebelling agains everything and everyone. He hates to be part of the crowd and is always there to criticise its manners and customs, its believes and ideals. However, behind the mask of a hardhearted turncoat, Rhett has a very gentle heart and is always ready to help his compatriots. Him and Scarlet make the perfect couple, but their biggest misfortune is both of them carry too many masks, so their true selves can’t find each other. Rhett believes Scarlet does not love him; and Scarlet believes Rhett does not love her. Moreover, she fooles herself she’s in love with Ashley Wilks- her neighbour and friend from childhood. The only one who sees the truth behind the masks is Melany- Ashley’s wife. She is one of the last, true ladies who, unfortunately, belongs to the old times, the times before the war when everything had been much simpler and easier. The new order and the world she’s forced to live in are too cruel for her tender soul.

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Gone With The Wind is one of the greatest books I’ve ever read. So tragic in its credibility and so intense in its presentation of complicated personalities. I think everyone who loves books should read Gone With The Wind, because this is an incredible story of love and hate, war and peace, death and life. But once you get deep inside the pages, you realise hate is actually love, peace turns out to be war and those who are dead are more alive than the ones who remain living. But at the end there is always hope- “Tomorrow is another day“.

L. V. K.

20 Of The Best Game of Thrones Quotes

The “A Song of Ice and Fire” book series is one of my favourite and I believe it is favorite to many other people around the world too. Its popularity is partly a result of the super successful TV show Game of Thrones. I have to admit I developed an interest in the books after I watched the series. Now that we are expecting both Season 5 and Book 6, The Winds of Winter, to come out in the approaching 2015, I thought it would be great to have a little recap with 20 of the best quotes from both the books and the show. Which is your favourite?

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Let me give you some advice, bastard: Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.” – Tyrion Lannister, A Game of Thrones

All halls lead somewhere. Where there is a way in, there is a way out. Fear cuts deeper than swords.” – Arya Stark

By what right does the wolf judge the lion?” – Ser Jaime Lannister “The Kingslayer”

A lion doesn’t concern itself with the opinion of sheep.” – Tywin Lannister

Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?”
“That is the only time a man can be brave.” – Eddard ‘Ned’ Stark

So many vows…they make you swear and swear. Defend the king. Obey the king. Keep his secrets. Do his bidding. Your life for his. But obey your father. Love your sister. Protect the innocent. Defend the weak. Respect the gods. Obey the laws. It’s too much. No matter what you do, you’re forsaking one vow or the other.” – Ser Jaime Lannister

When you play a game of thrones you win or you die.” – Cersei Lannister

What is honor compared to a woman’s love? What is duty against the feel of a newborn son in your arms . . . or the memory of a brother’s smile? Wind and words. Wind and words. We are only human, and the gods have fashioned us for love. That is our great glory, and our great tragedy.” – Maester Amon

When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives.” – Eddard ‘Ned’ Stark

If I look back, I’m lost.” – Daenerys Targaryen

Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly, Rhaegar fought honorably. And Rhaegar died.” – Ser Jorah Mormont

You know nothing Jon Snow.” – Ygritte

There is only one hell. The one we live in now.” – Lady Melisandre

Every flight begins with a fall.” – The tree-eyed raven

Oh, ‘monster.’ Perhaps you should speak to me more softly then. Monsters are dangerous and, just now, kings are dying like flies.” – Tyrion Lannister

Her name is Brienne,” Jaime said. “Brienne, the maid of Tarth. You arestill maiden, I hope?”
Her broad homely face turned red. “Yes.”
“Oh, good,” Jaime said. “I only rescue maidens.” – Ser Jaime Lannister

Winter is coming.” – House Stark

Be careful you don’t cut yourself. The edges are sharp enough to shave with.’
‘Girls don’t shave’, Arya said.
‘Maybe they should. Have you ever seen the septa’s legs?” – Jon Snow

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” – Jojen Reed

Valar Morghulis

L. V. K.

Who is Jon Snow’s mother?

This is the eternal question in Game of Thrones- who “in 7 hells” is Jon Snow’s mother? 

I haven’t blogged about Game of Thrones in a while. The reason is season 4 was ongoing recently and as I got quite a significant number of people complaining about me spoiling the episodes for them, I decided I can wait a little bit before I start spoiling again. But hey, if you haven’t read the books, this isn’t the post you should be reading right now. I’ve warned you!

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Prince Rhaegar crowning Lyanna Stark as Queen of Love and Beauty at the tourney in Harrenhal

So let’s go back to the question concerning Jon Snow’s parentage. There have been many theories, but I’m quite sure you all have heard the most popular one. Yes, Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. There are many hints in the books suggesting this is the right answer. Ned Stark, who we all know as an extremely honorable man, goes to war leaving his young wife at home. After the war he finds his kidnapped sister Lyanna, dying in a bed of blood, whispering “Promise me Ned…” Then he goes home to his wife (who in the meantime has given birth to their first son Robb) with a child in hands, claiming this is his bastard son. The mother of the boy remains unknown. Among all the Stark children, Arya is the only one who looks like the Starks, the rest have the Tully features. Arya was also said to resemble Lyanna. And guess what? Jon loves Arya the most and is closest to her and the two of them are described to look alike. Therefore, Lyanna should definitely be Jon’s mother; that’s why Ned kept the secret because King Robert, blinded by hatered and seeking revenge, was chasing the last Targaryens in an attempt to kill them. Brilliant logic! However, in Game of Thrones logic doesn’t work most of the time.

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Jon Snow and Ghost

In my humble opinion, the above theory would be the perfect evolvement of Jon’s story. The only problem with it is it’s very popular now. Everyone expects this to be the answer and we all know George R. R. Martin hates it when his readers are not surprised/shocked. That’s why I tend to believe the Lyanna & Rhaegar story will take another direction and the truth about Jon’s parentage will come when no one’s expecting it. Maybe the key is somewhere else. From the Stark children, Jon and Bran are the only wargs (Arya as well kind of, but this is not confirmed). Bran is named after Ned’s late brother Brandon who was also betrothed to Catelyn whom she loved dearly. Following this logic, Brandon could be Jon’s father, but if so, why would Ned hide it? And who is his mother?

No matter who Jon Snow’s parents are, I’m sure this will be a massive surprise. Even if these are Lyanna and Rhaegar, this still will be revealed in a surprising way. This is why I love Game of Thrones- you always expect the unexpected.

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L. V. K.

Don’t Judge Me. I Was Born to be Real, Not Perfect

Maybe the heading of this post does not give you a clue what it is going to discuss, but wait, I promise to be interesting. So Game of Thrones lovers, should we start? Oh wait! Did I just say Game of Thrones? Yes, I did. This is the first of a series of posts, discussing and analysing some of the main characters of the books/TV show. And guess what? The first one is dedicated to my absolute favourite Ser Jaime Lannister or in other words, The Kingslayer. Now that I know after the 3rd season his fanclub has risen dramatically, I thought it would be a good idea to start with him. I have to admit Ser Jaime and the unexpected change of his storyline in Season 3, is the reason I started reading the books and became so obsessed with Game of Thrones.

Nikolai Coster-Waldau as Ser Jaime Lannister

Nikolai Coster-Waldau as Ser Jaime Lannister

I like bad characters, like Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights for example. The good thing about the bad characters is that they are controversial and thus more interesting. You always expect them to be mean and do bad stuff throughout the story, but in the process of getting to know them, you realise they are not as negative as you think they are. Actually, they are broken souls, desperately crying for help. And The Kingslayer is one such example.

There are no men like me. Only me.

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This is one of Ser Jaime’s most popular quotes in the books/show. At a first glance, it looks very arrogant of him to say so, but there is much deeper meaning in these words. When you think about it, it applies to absolutely everyone of us- there is no one like me, only me- therefore everyone is unique. However, even though Jaime says there are no men like him,  he says nothing about women. And I think for him there is only one woman like him and this is his twin sister and lover Cersei Lannister. He associates himself with her, he feels half-man without her. Actually, she is the person that makes Jaime what he is- she is the drama in his life and she is the motivation behind every decision he makes. In my opinion, he loves her truly and deeply; moreover, he has devoted his life to be close to her. But she does not love him back in the same way. As Cersei says, “Love no one, but your children.”

Jaime with his twin sister Cersei and his brother Tyrion

Jaime with his twin sister Cersei and his brother Tyrion

Jaime’s affection for his twin sister is in the core of his tragedy. He gave up his life for her- refused to marry, refused to have children, refused to inherit Casterly Rock- gave up everything just to be close to her and help her fulfil her ambitions. Cersei dreamt to be queen, to be powerful, to have everyone kneel before her. And Jaime dreamt of Cersei. The moment he loses his sword hand is the breaking point in his storyline, because losing his hand opens his eyes- he sees what he is for his father (the heir of Casterly Rock) and he sees what he is for his sister (a weapon for her ambitions). Only Tyrion remains to him, that’s why he helps him escape from the dungeons. But even Tyrion betrays Jaime by admitting (lying) that he has killed his son Joffrey and by murdering their father Lord Tywin. Interestingly enough the only person Jaime can trust now is Brienne of Tarth.

In my opinion Brienne is the person who changed Jaime. Because she is so honorable and so loyal that he cannot help but admire her. Even though in the beginning he was mocking her, like everyone else, for the fact she is ugly and that she is a woman trying to be a man, after he got to know her better, he found in her the qualities he has given up long ago. He, the outhbreaker, who was sworn to protect his king but killed him instead; he, who would be remembered by all as The Kingslayer. Whether it was right or wrong of Jaime to kill the Mad King, I will discuss in another post. So my point is the breaking point in Jaime’s storyline is not only losing his hand, but meeting Brienne as well. She is everything Cersei is not, but I think Jaime finally realised (because he keeps comparing Cersei and Brienne a lot) that sometimes rich souls hide behind poor coats.

How is this wonderful character’s storyline going to contionue… well we just cannot wait to see!

L.V.K.

A Game of Books: Literature Fiction or Reality

A Song of Ice and Fire without a doubt is one of the most popular book series in the recent years. Most probably this success came due to the HBO TV show Game of Thrones based on George R. R. Martin’s literary masterpiece. It is true the books had their loyal fans even before the show was released but they were mostly people who are fans of the genre. My point is the books didn’t have a commercial popularity before the coming of the show, which made a total hit out of them among all types of audiences.

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But what is it that people love about Game of Thrones (both the books and the show)? Is it the complexity of the characters or the unpredictability of the plot, the fictional world of dragons and direwolfs or the complicated human relationships, which are so real, they seem as if they are happening in our own world? Actually, most of the fiction novels resemble fables- they have hidden meaning and are figuratively showing the reality we live in. Game of Thrones (GoT) is no exception. The name itself- “Game of Thrones”, suggests that the story is about intrigues, murder, revenge, vanity but most of all about power- as Cersei Lannister says, “Power is power.

One very real, even painfully real thing about GoT is no one is safe; anyone could be killed off (especially if he/she is a Stark) no matter if they are main or not. Actually there isn’t a main character  in Game of Thrones but rather a number of storytellers, whose point of view we follow in a series of chapters George R. R. Martin has dedicated to them, so we assume these characters are kind of main. Normally, we are used to the fact that the main character is immortal. No matter what obstacles he/she faces, at the end of the story everithing falls into place and “they lived happily until the end of their days.” But in GoT, as Tyrion Lannister wisely points, “If you think it has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.” It is exactly the same in life. Life is a ruthless fight full of obstacles. There are ups, but there are downs as well and we need to know that from our first day until our last we fight; we fight with others, fight with time, fight with destiny but most of all we fight with ourselves. And that’s the beauty of it all, because everything is more beautiful when you know you are doomed.

541935_444603858966915_1059420599_nGeorge R. R. Martin has found a very witty way to show the main features of the characters or of groups of characters by comparing them with animals- the Lion of Lannister, the Three-Headed Dragon of House Targaryen, the Direwolf of House Stark and so on. The way he uses metaphor is very clever because the animals are just sigils of the noble houses in Westeros, but actually they determine the features of the groups of characters that have them. This reminds me a little bit of the astrology houses and the zodiac signs, which more or less determine the main characteristics of groups of people who happened to be born under them.

As the heading of my post suggests, I find many hidden similarities between our world and the magical world of GoT. This is very good, because books (and TV shows/movies) are meant not only to entertain us, but to educate us as well and teach us some wisdom (oh yes, there is a lot of wisdom in Game of Thrones). For me, the main thing one can draw as a conclusion from reading the GoT books is that there is only one hell and only one heaven- both are the ones we live in now.

L. V. K.