Chapter 10 – A Heart Made for War

<–Chapter 9                                                                                                  Chapter 11–>

Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VII, its characters, and settings are all property of Square Enix so I can take no credit nor claim any ownership of that. I do take some credit for the story’s plot.
Artwork Disclaimer: I did not create and therefore do not own the rights to the featured artwork, which was found here in the Fotolog library of a user named aerithita. I was unable to locate a definitive source or find a way to contact the user for such information. If you are the creator of this piece and if you do not approve of me using it for my fanfiction, please let me know and I will remove it immediately from this site and all others where it is used. If you are the creator/artist and are fine with me using it, please give me your information, and I will gladly update this site and all others.

***Warning: Potential rape/attempted rape flashbacks***

“Some old wounds never truly heal, and bleed again at the slightest word.”
– George R.R. Martin, “A Game of Thrones”

Chapter 10 - A Heart Made for War

The voice of the sky crashed through the night and tried to tear cracks in the walls. Rain lashed and spattered the window ledge so rich red turned the color of blood. The wind streaked an icy hand through the veil and Aeris shrieked and clung tight to his neck. Confused, Sephiroth looked down to witness her summer eyes tightly closed. Her breath conjured sleep even as her heart raced, and another crack increased its tremor. The former general kissed her soft on the brow, making to rise and shut out the storm, but her swift sob stilled him in place when he tried to untangle her fingers.

“No, no, please don’t leave me,” she begged him. “Don’t ever leave me again.”

“I’m not going to leave you, Aeris,” he promised, halving his eyes as the light behind swirled. The sky crackled and hissed like a snake in the flames before booming with loud, mocking laughter. The little Cetra wailed, curling into his chest, and though muffled he still heard her cries.

“No, no, please don’t!”

Sephiroth stroked her cheek with the back of his hand as her tears trembled on leather black. Crooked, icy fingers dripped through the sky, clutching the clouds as they roared at release. Aeris’s sobs tried to best heaven’s fury, her arms locked around his neck. He couldn’t leave her like this even for a moment, so swept her up and walked to the window. The maid’s eyes were shut, but warm salt was defiant to paint harsh lines on her cheeks. Holding her in one arm, the once general reached out and closed the pane as the skies spoke their spleen.

“No, please don’t hurt me!” she whimpered and in white fire Sephiroth froze.

“Aeris,” he whispered. “I’m not going to hurt you. I’ll never hurt you again.”

Please don’t rape me,” she sobbed into his neck, while rain brutally slashed the windows. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to wander down here alone…”

Continue reading

Awesome Cosplay of the Day: The Travelogue 5/28/15

The Caffeine Crew

…Yuna trying to send me!

05282015(Have to break character for this one and mention that I know this cosplayer personally.   She’s my friend Wendi, and she LOVES Yuna…back to my story).  I stopped her before the gates could completely open, but I was too late to keep someone from coming through…

View original post

World Goth Day 5/22/15

I was happily reminded it was World Goth Day by Gothic Soul Flower (you should seriously check out her blog especially if you’re into gothic and/or bohemian style!), because I…well, I forgot.  I was more decked out yesterday where the silver buckles on my shoes matched the silver lined buttons on my coat, but I don’t have any pictures of that.  Bonus points: I matched my car.

Stock photo, but this is what it looks like.

What I DO have are pictures of is my makeup/hair experimentation from last week, which I will gladly share with you.

I was just recently thrust into the world of contact lenses after wearing glasses for nigh on thirty years, and well…okay, so I wasn’t happy with how I looked without glasses.  Scratch that, I hated how I looked without glasses.  I seriously felt ugly like I’d been hiding this lie behind my spectacles for all these years.  It was not a good time.  I was hoping I could do something with my makeup to, er, make up for what I saw as an imperfection with my eyes.  I have this weird thing where you can’t see the corners of them, and initially I thought maybe it was something other darker skinned ladies dealt with or maybe it ran in my family, but no, everyone I looked at did NOT have this problem.  Only me *sigh*  Also I noticed the dark circles under my eyes and wasn’t too pleased with them (although if I’m going for the goth look, they’re really not that bad, thinking in retrospect…)  I can only spend so much time crying about a problem before trying to solve it so I made my way to Sephora and immediately spent $100 on things to remedy.

I bought Amazonian Clay Waterproof 12-Hour Concealer by Tarte in Deep.

DERMAdoctor Wrinkle Revenge, because let’s not just cover up the problem.  It was super expensive (to me) at $50, and I haven’t remembered to use it since I bought it.  Oops.  I”m terrible with makeup really.  I don’t wear it every day because it’s time consuming and I like to sleep.

Finally, I found something I’ve been seeking for years.  Long, long ago at a makeup counter far away, I bought a lip gloss made by Prescriptives called Meteor.

It was the best lip gloss every.  It perfectly mirrored my lip color and just made them look so shiny.  Also, the name…Meteor?  I mean come on.  Perfection.

Unfortunately, Estee Lauder, the parent company, stopped selling Prescriptives in 2010 and with it my favorite lip gloss.  I tried googling “discontinued cosmetics” but to no avail.  Well, I finally had the foresight to pull up a picture of it when I was in Sephora last week, and a reasonable facsimile was located.  Makeup Forever’s Pearly Plum lip gloss.

So with these tools in tow, I proceeded to paint my face.


Oh yeah, I also bought a teeny, tiny tiara.


That is like my favorite coat.

White haired gothdom here I come!

White haired gothdom here I come!

Washed out tiny tiara, so sad!

Washed out tiny tiara, so sad!

Huh, well yeah, I didn’t show any pictures without my glasses.  Uhhhh, well I’m not super gothic here, but this is the non-glasses picture I like best


After this I decided that my white/silver wig was pretty much done (I bought it for test reasons though the reasons why are kind of secret) so I discovered how dangerous the internet, a credit card, and late night browsing can be, and spent $50 on a new one.  I actually want to buy some wigs in assorted colors.  I have a gnawing desire to try blue hair since my cousin just did that.  I can’t technically wear them to work, but I’m really itching to own a shorter silver wig.  The one above is actually around five feet in length.  It’s…insane and also super tangled.  My husband did find a wig stand made for such, so I’ll be purchasing one of those, soon.

So this turned out to be a much longer post than intended, but my next adventure shall be the green contact lenses I just ordered and the custom ones I now need to find.

I hope you all have a lovely holiday weekend!

Chapter 9 – The Devil You Know

<–Chapter 8                                                                                                  Chapter 10–>

Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VII, its characters, and settings are all property of Square Enix so I can take no credit nor claim any ownership of that. I do take some credit for the story’s plot.
Artwork Disclaimer: The featured artwork for this chapter is entitled Seraph Awakened and was created by Deviant Artist AiRen-SC. All rights belong to the artist, and the work is used graciously and with permission here.
Author’s Note:  I made a macro for this chapter’s quote quite a while after I wrote the chapter, mind you, but it was just too close to the source to not render a visual representation.  Found here on my tumblr blog.

“And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light…”
-2 Corinthians 11:14

Sephiroth Seraph Awakened

Aeris screamed as she slid to the ground, feet scrambling wildly for purchase. Clawing at the black soil with ragged nails, she tried to turn and run, but Sephiroth was far swifter as he broke his stone’s pose, searing the air with his eyes. The face he wore now was only for killing. Empty save beauty and pale. It was what he’d been made for, his reason for being, and she was a task to be fulfilled. He slaughtered those men in the depths of the slums in order to get to me! To kill me in this world of shadow he surely calls his own. This was the trap. This was the turn. This was the betrayal. The Planet was not here to warn her and she’d fallen like a fool for this ploy. Oh dear friend, when I die in the darkness, will I find my way back to you? Or will my spirit wander this abyss and become a swirling shade?

Continue reading

The Rhetoric of Rape in Game of Thrones

As those of you who have been following know, I have been writing Game of Thrones reviews/analyses since the first episode of the 5th season.  I sort of fell into it not really planning on making it a weekly work, and though it is quite consuming of a commodity I do not have, I feel still it has been worth that time.  These expositions are usually posted on Wednesdays though last week’s review of episode 5 was a bit late.  In them I not only discuss differences between show and books, but also deeper delvings, symbolism, potential meta-meaning, and possible predictions.  All of these things are highly influenced and inspired by the YouTube theorists I was lucky to find (and whom I’ve mentioned on numerous occasions) whose own analyses and genius have given me greater insight into this marvelous tale.  While the below could’ve been included in that, I feel it is far too important not to stand on its own. *******Warning: Discussions of Rape and Sexual Assault****** Continue reading

Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 5 – Kill the Boy

<–S5E4 – Sons of the Harpy

*******SPOILERS GALORE*******

This is very, very late and I’m hoping I get everything down today.  It’s a little after noon on Sunday, and I usually knock these review/analyses out the Wednesday after the episode premiers.  Unfortunately, this Wednesday I was in no shape to write anything.  I had a…well, I have many, many issues and quite a few of them center around depression/anxiety (like far too many of us), and I was experiencing such that day.  I don’t want this to be a bummer post.  I mean I’m already writing about ASOIAF/GoT, which is not the happiest of narratives, so I shall let all the sadness dwell with that.

So we are at the halfway point!

Yes. Yes it is.

Surprisingly not that many people have died.  The most significant of course is Ser Barristan whose death was confirmed this episode, and where we also deal with the fallout of that dolorous event.  I was fortunate this week to be able to watch two full review analysis/review videos from both Bar de Porto and the Small Council, which consists of the best YouTube theorists around.  I started watch Maester Payne and Clare Grey’s, but alas was unable to finish it. Clare is absolutely brilliant to use a (hopefully appropriate) British turn of phrase, and MP even while sleepy will just espouse upon some tiny tidbit with huge implications that the rest of us missed.

That will be my Monday project.  I am very late to very many awesome parties, but I shall try to make up for it by bringing good dip.

I 100% agree with Bar on Dany.  I do not like what they are turning her into.  I’ll talk about this more later.  I also found it interesting that Jorah and Tyrion were passing through Valyria when the Valyria in the books is a smoking ruin so full of supposed demons and foulness that not even the most desperate of men will venture there.

It was once the abode of those whom men thought to be gods, now a smoking ruin.  If we wanted to look at a metaphor of a “fall,” there it stands right there.  There is still high speculation about what caused the Doom.  The Valyrians were Dragonlords who were able to work steel in ways no one has been able to match prior or mimic hence.

Someone I’m subscribed to did a fantastic video on Valyrian steel and how it might have been forged used weirwood roots, but I can’t for the life of me remember whom it was, but their forges were more that likely heated by volcanic emissions, which is why they were able to grow so hot, and it’s possible that that volcano erupted, which was the Doom.  There is also the possibility of death from above.

In Clash of Kings we are introduced to the comet.  Did Martin throw this in as a literal red herring or is there some sort of significance?  Did a comet or meteor destroy Old Valyria?  Martin is playing around with nearly every religious trope under the sun (or meteor/comet…) and Revelations is certainly one of them.  A comet/meteor (I know they’re not the same thing, but they are both heavenly phenomena, which is why I’m lumping them together) would invoke the 6th Seal in Revelations 6:12.

“I watched as he opened the sixth seal.  There was a great earthquake.  The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind.  The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.”

Hm, sounds a lot like how the Doom of Valyria has been described.

Watching Bar’s analysis, I was also reminded of all of the drowned men in the story.  I kept thinking “Plague in the Waters” and “Drowned Men Tell No Tells,” the second of which isn’t really true.  Patchface seems to be the quintessential drowned man, and he does nothing but tell tales.  I do like Plague in the Waters though.  I might have to use that one later.

Even had I written this on Wednesday I would’ve been able to watch the Small Council’s analysis video prior as it was posted one day early than their usual Thursday.

I feel like I’m being a bit haphazard in my analysis…thrown off by the day.  I did write down a lot of thoughts while watching this.  It’s three and a half hours long, so I have to take notes.  I comment some of them, but I don’t want to be an annoying TL;DR person, which is why this blog exists. Anyway, if you guys reading this are not watching these videos, you are sorely missing out.

Let’s talk title before I break this up into my customary sections.  I just commented this on the above video.  Kill the Boy  may be a reference to the story of King Solomon.  You can’t please everyone so you might as well “kill the boy” and see who cries the loudest about it.

THIS boy…who has no one left to cry for him.

In truth the title comes from counsel Maester Aemon gave to Jon after he was elected Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch.  The aged Maester told the newly elected Snow to “kill the boy and let the man be born,” paralleling Corinthians 13:11.

“When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.

Quick note:  I’m actually not religious in the traditional sense.  I am fascinated by religious symbolism and have been for all my life.  I was raised Christian; however now consider myself agnostic, which I believe allows me to have a nice middle point of view.  I love how religious symbols are used in narratives and works, and all of my favorite stories carry a heavy weight of the mythological and religious.  I’m saying this so that no one thinks my viewpoint is skewed towards any one belief set.  I consider myself an eternal student of their symbolism and delve into them all though I do have my favorites, Norse mythology, Qabalism, and angel lore being only a scant few.  Anyway…back to the analysis!

Aemon needs Jon to realize that the days of childhood are over, and even though he’s only 14/15 at this time, he is in the position of a man.  I think this theme of transition carries throughout the episode with both Daenerys in Mereen and Tyrion and Jorah in Valyria, the latter a transition from captive/captor to two people who will need each other to survive.  There’s a balance to the incongruence of both killing the boy and yet maintaining a piece of your younger self. You can’t completely remove it otherwise you become too hard and unyielding like Tywin Lannister or (more Book) Stannis Baratheon, but not killing it means you become too mired in myth and superstition like Cersei in terms of her prophecy or past Tyrion who wore his heart on his sleeve.

Balance is also a major theme in this episode with regards to Daenerys and Jon whom I believe are being used as comparative edges.  One is becoming more unyielding, while the other is realizing the need to bend.

There were less locations in the fifth episode.  We only have three: Mereen. the Wall, and Old Valyria.  In the book the latter was the Sorrows

And a sorrowful place it was…

and Tyrion was not with Jorah (yet), but upon a ship called the Shy Maid with a very different crowd I fear we will not see.  I…highly doubt Faegon and Jon Connington will make their appearance especially since Jorah was shown infected with greyscale, and that was part of Connington’s back story.  Let me clarify.  Old Valyria wasn’t the Sorrows in the book; they both exist therein.  However, the crew do not pass through Valyria as it is a smoke ruin, but rather the Sorrows and Chroyane instead.

And sorrow can be beautiful.

Four parts this time: A Plague of Drowned Men, Vengeful Mother, Sullenly Sansa, and The Wall is a Hardhome.

A Plague of Drowned Men

As fore mentioned there is a host of drowned men in the ASOIAF narrative.  There have been some presented in GoT, but not nearly as many as the original story hosts.  In this recent episode we have Tyrion being taken under by the Stone Men and then pulled back up by Jorah.  This experience changes the relationship between the dwarf and the knight; however, in the books, there is more to his experience.

There is a character known as the Shrouded Lord who is said to have ruled the mists and fog in the Sorrows since the time of Prince Garin.  Prince Garin himself was a Roynish royal who was defeated by the Valyrians in the time before the Doom.  As punishment for his defiance, the Dragonlords hung him in a gilded cage and forced him to watch the destruction of his people, mocking him as he called upon Mother Royne (the river) to take vengeance.  However…that night the waters did rise to destroy the proud conquerors, and some say his curse was what caused the Doom of Valyria itself.  I disagree with that last part as the Doom seems more in line with fire and Garin’s magic was water based.  I’m far more inclined to go with the theory that Garin is or was the first Shrouded Lord, raising the vengeful waters to spread the greyscale curse.  When one dies another takes his place (like the Dread Pirate Roberts but death instead of retirement!  Yes, I made a Princess Bride reference.  I’m old enough to do that ;)).

There is a theory that Gerion Lannister, Tyrion’s favorite uncle is the current Shrouded Lord, and that is why the dwarf was allowed to escape from drowning in the Sorrows.  Gerion went on a quest to search for the ancestral sword Brightroar in the lands near Old Valyria, but never returned, so it is possible that he found his way to the Sorrows and through some sorcery became their king.  Also the names Gerion and Garin sound very similar.  I also love the idea of Tyrion drowning in sorrow and yet being allowed to rise.

Davos is another drowned man allowed resurrection.

There’s a video from Bar called Davos and the Kraken about what Stannis’s right hand man (even without his finger bones) might have found there.

He lost those bones in the Blackwater, too, “losing his luck” in the process.  This is another example of a character drowning, but a greater force allowing them to return.  The kraken is the sigil of House Greyjoy, which makes me think that Davos may free/save Theon.  His life was saved by that entity, and now he owes a favor.  A life for a life.  A debt for a debt.  Blood will pay for blood.

Davos and Patchface, Shireen’s ever present fool (in the books), have a parallel.  A lot of his lines have been commandeered by the little princess herself, so he’s not on the show.  He was to be brought back by Lord Steffon Baratheon from Volantis where he was a slave.  It is the custom there to tattoo them with the mark of their particular trade and so he was printed with red and green motley.  Lord Steffon’s ship broke up within sight of Dragonstone and all aboard were lost in the sea.  Patchface washed up three days later (Davos also surfaced three days later.  This is a pretty barefaced Jesus reference.  Being dead for three days and returning changed), but his wits were gone.  The fisherfolk said that a “mermaid had taught him to breath underwater in return for his seed,” so he is another person who encountered an entity beneath the waves, but where Patchface arguably already paid his price, Davos has yet to surrender his own.  Mermaids put me in the mind of sirens, which lure sailors to their deaths, but Patchface must have some use, and so must Davos.  Both went beneath the waves, but returned different.  There is a line in Mark Helprin’s Winter’s Tale: “I have been to another world and come back.  Listen to me.”  Both Davos and Patchface have been to some other world, and they both need to be heard.  Something of importance needs to be imparted.  What that is remains to be seen, but both characters have some greater purpose, an unresolved parallel.

I think I have spoken enough of drowned “men.”  Let us now talked briefly of drowned women.  There is one who did not come back from the abyss.  One, Melara Heatherspoon, Cersei’s friend whom I mentioned in prior analysis.  After their encounter with Maggy the Frog, Cersei pushes her friend down a well in order to keep the secret of the terrible prophecy in a both childish and fiendish attempt to not have it come to pass.  It’s like a child not only shutting her eyes to the dark in hopes the monster won’t see, but offering her best friend to that monster and praying it will gorge on their flesh instead of hers.

The other drowned woman is Catelyn Stark whose body was stripped naked and thrown into the Trident after the Red Wedding in a mockery of the Tully funeral rites.  Arya, warged into Nymeria, fishes her mother out, fulfilling the foreshadowing presented in AGOT Arya I where the youngest Stark daughter talks to Jon about the ridiculousness of “a wolf with a fish in its mouth” in regards to mixing the sigils of both the mother’s and the father’s houses.

So it is Tyrion who is a drowned man.  What is dead may never die, but it is Jorah who bears the wounds.  We physically see the greyscale on him.  Now Tyrion says that he has no marks, but we don’t know if the dwarf is lying.  The theorists have also postulated that Tyrion my be a sort of Typhoid Mary figure where he is an asymptomatic carrier of greyscale.  This would put him in potential opposition to Shireen Baratheon who shows symptoms of the disease, but is currently immune.  There’s a lot Martin could do with this.  Shireen’s greyscale could be dormant right now, but the dormancy may not be permanent ,and Gilly’s fears in the show and Val’s fears in the book are well founded.  Shireen (again per the theorists.  I believe James and LaDonna get the merits for this one) could also be the source of a cure or vaccine for it.

I think it’s interesting that greyscale is being manifested in smaller people.  Shireen is a child and Tyrion is a dwarf.  “A small man can cast a large shadow,” per Maester Aemon, which reminds us not to dismiss people because of their stature or youth in regards to Shireen.  Both of them have also ventured to the Wall.  I don’t think this is a coincidence.  Death is coming from the north in one way or another…

 Vengeful Mother

As I mentioned in last week’s analysis, the “Sons” of the Harpy turned Dany into the vengeful “mother.”  She gathers up the heads of all of all the noble houses and proceeds to have her two dragons burn and then eat one of them.  This how the Mother of Dragons “kills the boy,” if we equate boys to sons, which I think it’s safe to do.  She seems to be following Daario’s advice about clearing the rats out street by street as they will “have no place to hide” not even the walls.  I was quite surprised to see her among Rhaegal and Viserion so casually when the last time she went down there, she was terrified of them.  Maybe because she was bringing her an offering other than herself, which…bothers me.

Daenerys’s actions goes to the idea that it’s better to spend time with your children than think giving them things is a good substitute.  The latter is exactly what Dany is doing.  She’s trying to be a good mother by giving them tokens when they really want and deserve her time!  Despite the fact she says, “A good mother never gives up on her children,” (which invokes a lot of mothers in the series: Cersei, Catelyn, etc.) Dany only doesn’t “give up on them” by trying to lavish the dragons with gifts in a bid to win back their love.  Another issue is she’s feeding the dragons human!  HUMAN!  Isn’t that why  she locked them away in the first place?  Because they (supposedly) killed and ate a human child?  Now she’s rewarding them with the exact same thing?  It’s like punishing your child for stealing candy, but then giving them the same candy as an “I’m sorry for punishing you” present.  I’m trying to give the Dragon Queen some benefits of the doubt.  She never knew her own mother or ever had a normal life, so she might not be up and up on how to accurately play that part, but she is a mother now.  Mother to dragons and mother to these people she has freed.  She needs to learn her role and how to properly portray what she has named herself.

I don’t like what the show is doing with her.  They are giving her a sort of God complex.  The scene with Hizdar showed this in spades.  She tells the groveling man that it takes courage to admit to a mistake.  Then she admits that she herself made a mistake.  Um, humble brag much?   Daenerys is developing a sense of entitlement reminiscent of Viserys and she’s loving the fire like Aerys, her father before her. She needs to be balanced like Rhaegar.  She is burning people without a trial which is very similar to the Mad King.  The last person Ser Barristan spoke to her of before his death was her late brother whose example he would’ve wanted her to follow.

I now have two distinct theories about Targaryens and their madness.  One theory is some Targaryens have it and some don’t.  It is caused by the incessant inbreeding; however, some (like Rhaegar) are fortunate enough to have it pass them by.  I suppose we could argue Rhaegar as he did kidnap Lyanna, but there is so much evidence that that situation is not how it’s presented (especially by Robert) that I’m not even going to entertain it right now.  These Targaryens are the great rulers of their era, having been missed by the infamous insanity.  This was what I originally thought, but now…another possibility has presented itself.  I am wondering if the propensity for madness dwells within them all, but some Targs find a way to balance it out.  Rhaegar was by most accounts a very well rounded individual, a sort of Renaissance man per se.   I think that’s how the Crown Prince kept himself in check by spreading his interests far afield. He was a warrior, but also a musician. He was diplomatic but could be fierce. There’s a balance (ice and fire).

Speaking of that dichotomy…does anyone else find it interesting/weird that Targaryens are very “wintry” looking: pale skin, silvery hair, icy, cold eyes yet they’re associated with fire? This could speak to James’s theory about them being part Other and it is meta that they look so “otherworldly.” As described in the appendix of AGOT  “their heritage proclaimed in a striking (some say inhuman) beauty, with lilac or indigo or violet eyes and hair of silver-gold or platinum white.  Is there some kind of paradigm/trope about looking like a winter angel but being immune/resistant/connected to fire and having a god complex/penchant for insanity?  (I’m thinking of a number between 1 and 10…)

I do like show Hizdar better than book Hizdar.  If they were trying to make him more sympathetic, they did a good job.  I suppose this is a possible meta balance.  I like show Hizdar better than book Hizdar, but I dislike show Dany.  *sigh* Que sera sera.

Sullenly Sansa

Okay first off Sansa’s feathery epaulets are pretty fucking boss.  Let me just put that out there right now.  As perfectly predicted (not by me!) Myranda is jealous of the true Lady of Winterell.  I truly thought something was going to happen with her and the kennel hounds (kennel hounds) as she was walking down that long passage, but she just finds the most beaten dog of all, Theon Greyjoy (who has every reason to be grey and nothing to be joyful about.  Hm, Greyjoy, greyscale…).  The one thing that kept running through my head was “Sansa is good with hounds.  She’ll be alright…”

The scene where Theon kneels before Ramsay and receives forgiveness I believe is part of the theme of kneeling in this episode.  Maester Payne mentioned in the Small Council analysis video something in regards to Hizdar and a “suitor on his knees.”  I think this parallels Theon and Ramsay in an absolutely terrible way.  It can be assumed that Ramsay is sexually abusing Theon and has more than likely forced him to do things such as fellatio and (accept) anal.  It’s absolutely awful, and no matter what Theon did, he does not deserve that, no one does.   In terms of the kneeling I believe Tormund mentions something about not kneeling to Jon at the Wall as well, so we have it in three different places.  Two situations where it occurs and one where it doesn’t in defiance but in the latter it is not being forced or even asked for.  Ironically, if Jon is the trueborn son of Rhaegar Targaryen, he has the most right to force people to kneel, but he never would.

Going to the most awkward dinner ever, it’s impossible not to note that Sansa is again consigned to marrying someone from a family she abhors for valid reasons.  The Lannisters killed her father and the Roose Bolton himself killed her brother, and they both had a hand in killing her mother.  I think Roose is remembering another wedding when Ramsay brings up his and Sansa’s future one. Also again you never see Roose eat or drink.  The more we see of the Lord of the Dreadfort, the more the “bolt on theory” gathers weight.

Ramsay is such a…confusing character.  At some points he seems utterly brutish and sadistic, not thinking about his actions and just barreling forth with his torturous schemes, but when he forces Theon to apologize for killing Sansa’s younger brothers, you really have to wonder whether or not he knows what his own father did.  Surely Roose told him, and if he did, he is playing a cruel and sick game with his fiancée?  That scene was amazing in the silence it keeps especially when you add on the irony that Theon did not kill Bran and Rickon, but just to add more to the pile, it is possible that he may be a kinslayer.  This is per Bar’s video (the first one I linked), and the theory is that Theon was the father of those children as they were the miller’s sons and he had sex with the miller’s wife.  This is in the book, and in an astounding and frankly weird parallel, Roose tells Ramsay the story of his mother (what’s up with the mother paradigms lately??) where he states he raped the miller’s wife because the man had wed without his permission and the Lord of the Dreadfort wanted his first night rights.

Roose’s story is a parallel to what Stannis told Shireen (and Stannis is mentioned right afterwards as if to solidify the connection).  The Stannis story is sweet and a bit sappy, but Stannis is what a father should be. Roose’s story is fucked up. He raped Ramsay’s mother and nearly threw his son down a well. You could actually see the hurt in Ramsay’s face at that moment.  He truly, truly wants to please his father and will do anything to achieve this goal.  We have so many invocations of “killing the boy” here.  We have it in Rooose literally almost killing the boy/baby Ramsay.  We have it in Ramsay needing to kill the boy inside of himself, the boy that needs his father’s approval, and we have another literal and desired killing when Roose informs Ramsay that his wife Fat Walda is pregnant.  By the laws of Westeros, a bastard cannot inherit before a trueborn son, even if that bastard has been legitimized.  I wonder if this boy will be named Domeric to match the one that Roose had in the books.  There the son had already been killed (more than likely by Ramsay), and I’m curious if the show will go that route in connection.

The prevailing theory is that since Sansa is taking the place of Fake Arya, Theon will have to perform the oral sex act on her D:  If this occurs, it’s going to be a type of invoked incest since Ramsay stated that Theon is the only family that Sansa has left.

The Wall is a Hardhome

I immediately noticed that there was a distinctive shot of Jon in front of that quill pen with the feather very prominent.  I should start calling it the “magic feather” honestly.  They are really driving that point home in an obvious way if you know how to look.  It is his connection with his mother Lyanna, and there’s a bonus tie in with Sansa and her fore mentioned feathery epaulets.  There’s something about feathers that we need to pay attention to.  Jon is considered a “crow” like all the brothers of the Night’s Watch per the wildlings,  Crows are supposed to fly.  They also have their own language so something of importance to impart.  Hm…

The “kill the boy” motif has its apex here with Aemon literally telling Jon to do so in reference to himself, but I know there’s something with Olly, Jon’s steward.  Kill the boy becomes a warning, a call to action, a preemptive strike.  Jon needs to literally kill the boy in order to “let the man arise” and ensure his own survival…and the survival of his house (Targaryen).  Maester Aemon mentions that, too, speaking of “a lone Targaryen” out in the world.  He seems to be referring to Daenerys, but there’s a connection between Jon and the maester.  He serves as a father figure for the new made Lord Commander and did even prior to his appointment.  Blood calls to blood.  There’s also the idea that “killing the boy” is just part of Jon’s fate.  He will be killed, but then the man will truly arise in resurrection and rebirth…like a phoenix born of cold.  If that’s the song of ice and fire, I don’t know what is.

I’d meant to mention this in last week’s analysis, but there is the idea of still serving/loving the dead and the vows you make to them.  Jon still loves Ygritte, which is the reason he gives for refusing Melisandre’s advances.  Robert never stopped loving Lyanna.  Brienne still serves Catelyn.  Book Jon Connington still loves Rhaegar.  Book Loras still loves Renly.  Ned Stark still loves Lyanna and still keeps his promises to her…even more so now that he’s dead.

The theorists appear to be right about Hardhome and Jon going there.  I wonder if he’ll be able to leave before the backstabbing, which wow…so if Jon is the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna, his fate would be similar to his grandfather Aerys Targaryen, and arguably it could be due to the Lannisters.  Forgive me for forgetting (again), but another theorist brought up the idea that it was Cersei Lannister who caused the mutiny at the Wall.  Ah it was Bar in this video For the Watch.

In the books Jon never goes to Hardhome so it’s very possible that it’s planned in the show, but the mutiny occurs before it can occur.  Stannis, probably with insight from Melisandre, has some premonition that things at the Wall about to go south (ha!) and decides to march on Winterfell, taking Shireen and Selyse with him instead of leaving them there as in the books.  His reasons make sense though.  The Wall is a den of murderers, rapists, and thieves with the good men interspersed thinly among them.  I do so love Shireen’s relationship with Davos, too.  She has two awesome “fathers” to make up for her shitty mother.

There is a burning question in my gut.  Why does Gilly immediately walk out when Stannis comes into the library with her and Sam??  I noticed it immediately.  Is it because of what happened with Selyse and Shireen?  It seemed like something about Stannis bothered or frightened her.  The look on her face was almost frantic as if she had to be away from the Baratheon king as quickly as possible.  Any thoughts would be welcome.

Sam is also being set up to become the next Maester.  I think this was the second time Oldtown was mentioned.  I’m almost certain we are going to see the Citadel, but the question is how are they going to get Gilly to come with him?  With Melisandre leaving, her baby won’t be in imminent danger of being burned, and because there’s no Dalla or Val, there’s also no Mance’s son.  So there’s not going to be a switch.  Maybe they won’t have that storyline at all, and Gilly will just go with Sam because she’s afraid to stay at the Wall alone, and I don’t blame her.  If Stannis is taking his wife and daughter with him because he doesn’t trust the men, I wouldn’t want to be Gilly and the only woman there without Sam or Jon for protection.

Alright…so it’s late, but still I did it before the next episode airs.  I hope I have given you food for thought.  I will try to update S5E6 on time this week.  Not doing so really throws me off *grumble*   I have cosplay updates to post and the next chapter in Northern Lights to prep.

As always thank you for reading.  I say to you valar morghulis.  I bid you adieu.  I proclaim ave atque vale to all of you.

<–S5E4 – Sons of the Harpy

Chapter 8 – In Between

<–Chapter 7                                                                                                    Chapter 9–>

Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VII, its characters, and settings are all property of Square Enix so I can take no credit nor claim any ownership of that. I do take some credit for the story’s plot.
Artwork Disclaimer: The featured picture is originally from NASA’s website and has been altered from original form by my friend Tom C who can do wonders with MS Paint and was kind enough to render this picture when I sent out a desperate plea.
Author’s Note/Music Suggestion:  The quote for this chapter, which you will soon see below, was first introduced to me in this marvelous AMV.  How could I resist its influence in quote and the opening paragraph?

“Hush child, the darkness will rise from the deep and carry you down into sleep…”
-Heather Dale “Mordred’s Lullaby”

Chapter 8 - In Between

He didn’t mean to sleep. He never did. Sleep is darkness rising. Perhaps it was the sight of her peaceful slumber that allowed him shut his eyes, but what waited behind howled with the horror that he would dare show his face. They came…everyone he’d ever wronged, the entire world and those long dead who cried out for justice. Blood coated his fingers, never to be cleaned, and hers clung the hardest of all. He would drown in the blood of the innocent and yet still never die. It filled his lungs, inundating each vessel as the cells within screamed to the flood. Her forgiveness meant nothing as she died on that altar in a city forgotten by time.

Pre-dawn warmed the wind as it stirred the curtains and strived to lift silver hair. His head was flung against the back of the chair, and his teeth cut his breath so it hissed. The blood was receding but left always its stain in the recesses of his mind, when a noise so near split his lids as bisected green shifted down. Upon his lap with her head on his chest was nestled one tiny flower, and his arms were wrapped around her as if this were the most natural of things. This can’t be a dream. Those are all nightmares, but it certainly can’t be true. But her smile was as real as the Mako light, and summer blessed him with open eyes.

Continue reading

A Little Something Sweet and Sappy

Let it never be said that I can’t be sentimental…

Sephiroth and LucretiaThe beautiful visual is by Deviant Artist roman-ranman and can be found here.  I have no talent for drawing, painting, or any visual art and must therefore rely on others to put what is in my head before my eyes.  The words I can claim.  If you’ve been following/reading Northern Lights, you will come upon them in time.

Chapter 7 – A Calm and Private Place

<–Chapter 6                                                                                                    Chapter 8–>

Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VII, its characters, and settings are all property of Square Enix so I can take no credit nor claim any ownership of that. I do take some credit for the story’s plot.
Artwork Disclaimer: The featured picture is a desktop background found here. I did not make this image, and all rights to it belong to the creator. If you are the creator and are fine with me using it, please give me your information, and I will gladly update this site and all others where it is utilized. If you are the creator and do not wish to have your work featured in this manner, please let me know, and I will immediately remove it from this site and all others where it is used.
Author’s Note: Perhaps you could take this as a musical recommendation as was  done in Chapter 4, but really I just wanted to share the piece that was in my ears as I wrote and edited this chapter: the score from the Pixar short La Luna found if you just click the link.  Perfect for gazing at the stars.  Stella nobis non concessit…
“There is no shortage of fault to be found amid our stars.”
-John Green “The Fault in Our Stars”

Chapter 7 - A Calm and Private Place

No nightmares could find her, not where she was, as cool air tickled her face. She was still curled up, but what was beneath was not leather above hard muscle. Under her head was no epaulet for it gave way with a shush for her cheek. Something warm covered her, but it smelled nowhere as sweet as silken, silver hair. Aeris yawned and knuckled the sleep from her eyes as night air filled her lungs. She lifted her head releasing the pillow to slip down the chair where she lay. It was a big, luxurious, red affair, more comfortable than most beds. Bemused but not frightened, the Cetra peered forward and out the window before her eyes. The central panels were open, explaining the breeze that brought the smell of smoke and damp stone. Lamps winked yellow near the ground below as she remembered from Midgar, but above stars swelled in light resplendent and tinged the sudden tears on her cheeks.

“Ah, you’re awake now.” A low voice called, and Aeris tilted her face back and up. His shadow fell over and she parted her lips, but her words had been stolen by awe. “You’re quite a heavy sleeper,” Sephiroth said, smiling slightly for her expression.

Continue reading

Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 4 – Sons of the Harpy

                                                             S5E5 – Kill the Boy–>


Witches Brew

Let’s begin with the title: Sons of the Harpy.  I made sure to use good ole Wikipedia for this just to make sure I had mythology right.  I’m not completely ignorant when it comes to these things but I wanted to know what I didn’t know.

A harpy is a female monster in the form of a bird with a human face.  They steal food from their victims while they’re eating and have been known to carry off evil doers to the Furies especially those who kill their family, which is interesting considering that Jaime and Tyrion are both going to places with vengeful women (the Sand Snakes and Dany respectively). Jaime is a kinslayer as well as a kingslayer if the theory about him being Aerys’s son is true. So both brothers killed their fathers if this is so.  Jaime would be doubly damned as the Furies “punish whosoever has sworn a false oath,” unless they accept the loss of his hand as payment.

The paradigm of the harpy must also be examined in the context of the word “son,” for the episode is entitled “Sons of the Harpy,” implying that the harpy is mother and vengeful both.  Cersei Lannister, Selyse Baratheon, and Ellaria Sand most certainly fulfill this requirement.  Daenerys is literally battling the sons of the harpy, and after the ending events, she will most certainly become as vengeful as their “mother.”  The episode sets up and continues to set the stage for many a revenge: Dany for Barristan and Grey Worm, Ellaria and her daughters for Oberyn, Margaery for Loras, the North for Sansa against the Boltons, Jaime against Tyrion for Tywin.

So…welcome to my analysis/review of episode 4!  I suppose I just jumped right in without even an introduction.  At least I gave you a spoiler warning.  This episode…well let’s just say that by the end of this examination I shall be revealing a prediction that’s been bouncing around in my head since yesterday morning.  I can’t say that it’s one I made, but I did finally get my head clear enough to put together.  It belongs to a righteous other that I will certainly credit, and I have much laud to extend in this edition of my GoT analysis.  Let’s jump in shall we.  As before I’ve broken my study up into sections, the magical three this time: The Harpy and Her Daughters, The Judgment of the Seven, and Cryptic Revelations.  I may not discuss everything in the episode as I wish to focus on just the central and most integral pieces.

As per usual, the day after S5E4 aired, I ran to the internet to see what my favorite theorists had to say.  It just really helps my brain juices to see a recap and hear other thoughts.  I’m still waiting for the round table discussion usually hosted by James Johnson.  They’re usually good to go by Tuesday, but it seems a bit late this week.  Three hours of pure brilliance that breaks down every aspect of the episode, compares it to the books, and speculates what things mean for later.  Bar’s was the first video I watched.

Then Tony Teflon who is Stannis’s number one man weighed in.

So I had a decent foundation for my ruminations.  I think I have to say that so far this has been my favorite episode this season.  Alright, enough hemming and hawing.  On to…

The Harpy and Her Daughters

*sigh* I started with this because of all of the changes from book to show, this one makes me the unhappiest.  The role of Arianne Martell

This delectable lady

was cut, and while, yes, I understand not everyone and everything will make it into the show, I was a bit disappointed.  Not as disappointed as I am about Lady Stoneheart, but I’ll talk about her in a second.  It looks like Arianne’s role is probably going to be absorbed in either Ellaria or one of the Sand Snakes, and Arys Oakheart’s role is more than likely going to be taken over by Bronn or Jaime, and Clare Grey (gods I hope I didn’t misspell her name) believes that Bronn may also cover the role of Darkstar.  (The link attached to Clare’s name leads to a video hosted by Maester Payne of YouTube theorist fame.  I’ll be mentioning him later as well.  Later, later, so much later.  Anyway…).  We also have to discuss what they did to the Sand Snakes *deep breath*

Alright, first, I’m wondering are there only three of them?

Obara, Tyene, and Nym (left to right)

When in the books there are eight!  The youngest four are Ellaria’s daughters, and Oberyn has four others by other women.

The Red Viper was a very worldly man.  He studied at the Citadel forging a few links of a Maester’s chain, traveled all throughout Essos, among other things.    I do want to make mention of the way Ellaria pronounces Obara’s name.  She says it almost like Oberyn as “o-buh-RAH,” whereas I’ve said and heard it as “o-BAR-ah.”  Their appearances, too, leave something to be compared.

Obara Sand

Obara’s appearance I’m actually okay with.  They found an actress that really fits the part.  She is the oldest and the daughter of an Oldtown whore.

Nymeria “Lady Nym” Sand

I’m good with her, too.  They pretty much nailed it with the first two.  Nym is the second oldest and the daughter of a Volantis noblewoman.

Tyene Sand

Now we get to a major, major difference.  Tyene is the daughter of a septa.  She is fair with golden hair and blue eyes, maintaining a veil of innocence to disguise a treacherous heart.  She shares her father’s knowledge of poisons, and she looks nothing like her show counterpart. Tyene is the one birth daughter of Ellaria, but regardless of this and regardless of their gender, they all still fit the harpy’s son description.

The remaining Sand Snakes are Sarella Sand, Elia Sand, Obella Sand, Dorea Sand, and Loreza Sand.

I think D&D decided to simplify and consolidate the Sand Snakes down, but I wish they’d chosen a closer depiction of Tyene. They could’ve made her not Ellaria’s child and the septa’s daughter still.   I also really hope they include Saralla though…although I don’t even know if we’re going to see Oldtown and/or the Citadel :\

I wasn’t super impressed with the Sand Snakes.  Sure, though Obara looked bad ass and cool, her “tears and spears” speech came off as extraneous and downright cheesy (the fore mentioned Clare Grey’s words of which I am in accord).  Her killing that merchant with the spear didn’t really do much to elevate them for me.  We see death so often on Game of Thrones that another one for a character I don’t know and don’t care about means nothing to me.

Now as for the future potential of Ellaria and her vipers, I do have to say that while Lady Stoneheart may not be in attendance, vengeful mothers certainly abound.  While the Snakes are female, not male, I still think we can extend the sons of the harpy metaphor to her.  Ellaria is furious that Doran will do nothing to “avenge” his brother’s death, and I have to side with Doran.  There’s nothing to avenge.  Oberyn choose to champion Tyrion’s cause and enter into battle to the death.  He gambled, was hot-headed, and…literally lost it.  This isn’t a case of murder; this was a case of justice per se.  Oberyn knew the cost and knew the penalty.  Ellaria is motivated by grief and vengeance; her daughters are as fiery as their father, and a harpy with vipers is a very dangerous enemy for Jaime and Bronn to face in…

.Who else felt a little heart twinge when Jaime looked longingly at Tarth aka the Sapphire Isle?  That little scene really made me wonder which woman the Kingslayer was thinking of when he and Bronn were discussing how they’d like to die.  Jaime states he’d want to die in the “arms of the woman he loves.”  I’m not so sure it’s Cersei anymore since he’s starting to see her for what she really is.

His sister and Brienne couldn’t be more different, but I Jaime is starting to realize that there are other women besides his sister in the world.  In a way, it’s like he never really grew up.  He had a kind of childhood crush that moved to a level most of us do not go to because it’s his goddamn sister, but if we remove the incestuous depravity from the equation, it is like having that childhood crush fulfilled.  You don’t know anything better so you think this is the best you can get.

When Jaime met Brienne, the first and only thing he could think to do was mock her for her unwomanly appearance and manner.  Then he actually found himself jealous of her because the Maid of Tarth was stronger and possibly a better fighter than even he himself.  After he loses his hand, this definitely rings true, but as time goes on, he starts to see her as an equal.  She’s simple where Cersei is conniving.  Honest where Cersei is deceptive, and while Cersei has never been one to hold the lash of her tongue, the queen has no issue lancing her spleen with lies and half truths to hurt, but Brienne while maybe not entirely right and too black and white in her assessments, still speaks truth as she sees it.  She has no qualms about calling him out for breaking his kingsguard vows, and that’s when he tells the story of why he did what he did.  It’s like they both have something to offer the other, and they both have much to learn.

Brienne, though she will never be a knight, is ironically the best person to teach Jaime how to be a true one.  Fucking your twin is like fucking yourself.  They’re essentially the same person, and it’s the height of narcissism.  Cersei was Jaime’s mirror, but as his redemption arc rose, the knight realized he didn’t like what he saw within.  He didn’t want to only be known as the slayer of Aerys, the act the preceded his name.  He wanted something better to record in the White Book, and he didn’t want those deeds to be written in the blood of murdered kings.

The Judgement of the Seven

In other news I want a seven-pointed star…just not carved into my forehead.

So can we all agree that Cersei is an idiot for reestablishing the Faith Militant?  Yeah, she pretty much just signed her own warrant with that act, but she’s too caught up in her vendetta against Margaery to see.  In setting the Faith Militant against corruption like a pack of rabid dogs, the queen doesn’t realize she is about to be infected.  Homosexuality is not the only transgression they’re going to come after, and you can see it in the High Sparrow’s look!  Loras is not his target…Cersei is.

This right here is not a good plan.

Oh yes, the High Sparrow looks like a kindly, old man, but so does Qyburn.

This fucker…

All of this is set up for her vainglorious fall from grace. In removing Mace Tyrell and sending him to Braavos with Ser Meryn, her small council grows smaller and smaller by the day.  Let’s dwell on this for a minute, shall we?  Mace and Meryn going to Braavos means that one of the people on Arya’s list will be in her vicinity.  Also, I didn’t miss the look on Ser Meryn’s face when he followed Mace out the dodor.  I highly doubt Margaery’s father is supposed to make it back to King’s Landing alive.  The only question is will Arya kill Meryn before he can off Mace?

I also liked the “I’ll give your regards to the Titan of Braavos.”  That particular phrase about “regards” was uttered twice in this episode, and it hearkens back to the Red Wedding where Roose says, “Jaime Lannister sends his regards” to Robb before stabbing him through the heart.  I loved the fact that Jaime himself echoes this sentiment in his conversation with Bronn about Tyrion.  Also show of hands who thinks Jaime would actually kill Tyrion if he had the chance?  I…just don’t.  I think his words are perfunctory.  He has to say them because Lord Tywin was his (supposed) father, but there was little love lost between the two of them.  I’m not sure, guys, but I hope we get to see it.

Both Cersei and Dany’s small councils are shrinking but for vastly different reasons.  The Lannister queen’s because she keeps sending her councilors away and the Dragon queen’s are dying 😦  Both queens are making egregious errors, as I’ve mentioned before.  Though Dany’s are done in good faith, good faith and good intentions are not good enough.  Cersei’s are most definitely done in bad “faith,” which is going to come back to haunt her. Cersei is the harpy, while Daenerys must deal with “her” sons.

Cersei may very well be the queen harpy (double entendres are fun) of them all.  I don’t think it’s a coincidence that her name sounds exactly like Circe, a noted witch in Greek mythology.  She is also aligned with Lilith, the mother of demons (see Joffrey), and in the eyes of the Faith she does birth abominations, incestuous children born of her twin.  This seems to be far more known than the queen thinks, which we, the viewers, find out when Tommen goes to challenge the faith his mother has armed.

Tommen is the son of a harpy, but he is desperately trying to not fulfill that role.  In a way his challenging the faith is a son facing sons.  Cersei has created these monsters (not my theory; this was another brilliant insight from Maester Payne’s analysis), and I can’t even say it’s in a less bloody way than she birthed her own children though it lays not physically on her.  She is forcing her own flesh and blood son to possibly incite a confrontation that could end with death in the streets, but he refuses to let that happen.

I really like Tommen.  I’ve heard some comments about him being weak, but I disagree.  I don’t think we can make a solid judgment about his strength or weakness from this one scene.  He is trying to not be like his brother.  He wants to be a good king.  We know that he had at least some inkling that Joffrey’s way was not the way to go in the scene last episode after him and his wife had finished consummating their marriage.  He confesses that he’s not all that upset that Joffrey is dead.  Some people have said that that might be an implication that he killed him, but it could just be that he saw what Joffrey was.  In the books the eldest “Baratheon” tormented and bullied his little brother.  He once killed a fawn that Tommen had taken in and cut open a pregnant cat to see the kittens inside.  Anyone could see that he was a sociopath.  Given the right tools, he may have very well ended up in the basement laboratory with Qyburn performing atrocities upon living people.  Tommen choosing to not disturb the king’s peace, his peace, says that he is a king willing to follow the rules the crown itself lays down, and speaking of which, notice that he is not wearing his crown in that scene.

I would not be surprised if this were done on purpose to show that Tommen was not willing to invoke the full power of his kingship, but seeing as how much that pissed Margaery off, and she wields enormous power over a teenage boy who just discovered sex, I think we may be seeing the crown, physically and figuratively, very soon.

Being the king and keeping the king’s peace is one of the most honorable (and meta) things that Tommen could do.  Joffrey would’ve killed them all. I wonder if commentators would’ve seen that as strength or depravity. There’s a time and and place for brutal measures.  He even says, “We’ll find another way.” One word from him would decimate them all but he chooses not to use it.  To me that is the mark of true power.  Having it,  but not using it.  I shall reserve my judgment of young Tommen for a more decisive day.

I also really don’t want him to be killed off, but I have no idea how that’s not going to happen if the foretold ending is going to come to fruition.  At the very least, I want to see the boy king come into his own and prove that nobility can exist even in incestuous bastards, nor should a person be judged for the sins of their parents.

Cryptic Revelations

This is the part I’ve been waiting for…in the review not the show.  Well, actually that’s not true.  I am supremely happy that they finally started hinting at this.  It has sparked so many conversations, and finally shown the show only watchers one of the major foundations of the story.

Rhaegar Targaryen is mentioned twice in this episode.  You’ll forgive me if I don’t recall the order, but I’m going to start with Barristan’s tale.  The old knight tells Daenerys about how Rhaegar preferred music to fighting though he was a consummate warrior.  The prince and Ser Barristan would go out in King’s Landing and Rhaegar would play his harp, and they would do various things with the money so earned.  I found it fascinating that Barristan mentioned three possible scenarios, and I wonder if there’s something more to that.  Sometimes Rhaegar would give the money to another musician; sometimes he would donate it to an orphanage, and sometimes they would get drunk on it.  Just taking a quick stab, but all three of these things show what a versatile and charitable man the Crown Prince was, and just as a reminder, this is what he looked like.

Fucking. Noble.

Now these are just my off the cuff theories, but giving the money to another musician shows how he would treat his equals if less fortunate.  Another musician is another musician.  Even though he is the Crown Prince of the most noble blood of them all (the dragon blood, the golden blood), as a musician he wouldn’t put himself above another in terms of that.  Giving the money to an orphanage shows how he would treat those less fortunate, destitute, helpless and below him so that they could potentially become better.  Using the money to get drunk with Barristan shows his generosity towards his friends.  It also shows that though somber (he was plagued with melancholy all the days of his life), he could still partake in those activities that would give others joy.  As I said, I just came up with this, but the magical three called to me and I had to answer.  Taken as a whole, we see that Rhaegar was a decent person, and we are getting this from a source.  Barristan knew Rhaegar personally, and the story he told was something that Barristan himself had taken part in.  It’s not like the old knight was recounting something someone else had told him.  He was there.  He knew the prince, and he knew the man.

Now in the crypts of Winterfell we find Sansa looking at her Aunt Lyanna’s tomb.  I think this was the most important part of this episode.  She bends down to pick up what appears to be a white feather from the ground.  I watched Maester Payne’s breakdown of this episode with Clare Grey today; however, and it turns out the feather only appeared white and was actually black AND it had been placed there by King Robert.

Little bit of epic story time.  That feather bothered me a lot.  I knew it was significant, but I had no idea why.  Why would a white feather be near Lyanna’s tomb?  So I googled “Sansa finds feather in crypts of Winterfell.”  I didn’t find anything about that pinion; however…I did find the blog of Cantuse who writes literal dissertations on ASOIAF theories.  The blog is called Meditations on A Song of Ice and Fire, and you should follow it; you should follow it right now as I have done.  I initially found the subreddit he’d written on Rhaegar’s harp, but that soon led me to the blog post he’d created and the many, many essays there in.  The fore mentioned essay is entitled The Secret in the Winterfell Crypts, and I had chills running down my spine because I could see it; I could 100% see Martin doing that.  I’ll not spoil the fun for you if you choose to read it (please do), as I still have a “prediction” to make later on concerning those crypts and may just spoil it there anyway.

Ah, back to the feather.  So Robert Baratheon placed it there in the very first episode, but I have no idea why he would’ve done that.  Feathers don’t feature in either the Baratheon sigil or the Stark.  It shouldn’t have anything to do with Littlefinger, who does have a mockingbird for his, but they don’t even have black or white feathers, nor should Littefinger be involved in anything to do with Lyanna.  Maybe it’s supposed to hearken back to the House of Black and White and/or show that black and white thinking is shallow and dangerous.  A third option is the feather is covered in white, concealing the black.  Black is a color associated with House Baratheon as the denizens of that house have coal black hair.  We know in genetics that black is dominant to white in gene expression.  Therefore white covering it would be counter intuitive to what typically occurs.  White is very close to silver, which was the color of Rhaegar’s hair, so this could be a reference to Rhaegar being the one to whoo and win the beautiful Lyanna where Robert did not.  So even though Robert made his offering to her, his black did not override the silver/white, which could be a potential parallel to what happened with his own “children.”  This color may not only be indicative of the Targaryen hair, but also what Rhaegar’s harp strings were made of and let us not forget the color of snow…

Going back to my second reason about black and white thinking, that is exactly what Sansa is doing when Littlefinger joins her.  We get to hear another Rhaegar story from Petyr’s lips this one more ambiguous and leaning toward negative.  In the Year of False Spring (a name that gives me chills, too, for some reason), there was a tourney at Harrenhal where Rhaegar won at the lists and so earned the right to crown the queen of love and beauty.  Instead of of his own wife, the Crown Prince choose Lyanna Stark, and I love that D&D had Petyr say the line “the moment when all the smiles died.”  After he tells the story, Sansa “finishes” it by saying, “Yes, he chose her.  Then he kidnapped her and raped her.”  The look Littlefinger gives her clearly says that this is not true, and when we consider that this is information that Sansa would’ve heard not witnessed, it’s hard to accept her version.  The man that Barristan paints was not like that, and I hear the same sentiment echoed with Stannis saying, “That was not his way,” in terms of Ned.  That was not Rhaegar’s way.  Please, please anyone reading this do not think that I am trying to make a rape apology argument.  That is not what I’m about; that is not my way.  What I’m trying to say is that history is written by the winners, and the narrative about Rhaegar spread by Robert is as false as the spring.  The usurper king was a jilted lover because the Crown Prince had had what he could not, and it was ordained by prophecy.  You can’t fight the Seven Robert, and you can’t forever deny the son…

Jon Snow is facing a black and white decision of his own at the Wall when Melisandre tries to seduce him.  This is very telling because Mel only goes after men with king’s blood.  Stannis, Gendry, now Jon?  Jon has king’s blood if R+L=J, which I believe is true, and she knows there is power there.  Jon is tempted but he refuses both her and her request go to Winterfell, and here is where I present the prediction.

I stood on the foundation of giants and shouted their own words back.  I did not in any way come up with this, but the moment I heard it, ice locked round my heart and I knew that it was true.  Maybe because it really speaks to me (and I’ll explain why in the aftermath) or it just flows with the story.  I’m not sure if I’m just seeing it there because it would be an art mimicking art ad nauseum, but LaDonna and James presented it, and I hold their words higher than gold.

Jon Snow needs to find his mother’s grave. There is something very important there.  If you went to Cantuse’s blog (linked above) then you know what it may be. This is why were shown Sansa and eventually Littlefinger down in the crypts before Lyanna’s tomb. Lyanna is Jon Snow’s mother. There is something hidden there that he has to find. This may also be why Melisandre wants him to come with them to Winterfell. She knows as she knows he knows nothing. Jon doesn’t even know what he doesn’t know. He doesn’t know who his mother is, and he only thinks he knows his father. Even Gendry has some memory of a mother; Jon doesn’t even have that. This whole episode was a set up for revealing his parentage. Stannis’s insistence that Ned Stark wasn’t “like that” in response to Selyse’s remark that Jon had been gotten on some “tavern whore;” the crypt visit; the two opposing tales of Rhaegar all lead to my conclusion that the main goal of this episode was to subtly tell who Jon Snow really is. The reason Mel tried to seduce him is because he has king’s blood, dragon king’s blood. Mel only shows interest in men such as that. There is something in that tomb, and I’m going to go further, as I believe what James Johnson says in his Rhaegar video.  Jon is going to be so pissed off that this integral piece of himself was kept from him for so long that he’s going to desecrate his mother’s grave by knocking off the statue’s head and inside will be the true Lightbringer, the Sword of the Morning, Dawn. That’s where Ned Stark hid it when Ashara Dayne refused to take her brother’s sword back choosing instead to throw herself from the tower. The Daynes are the keepers of Dawn. What else will end the Long Night but that?

The one wrench in the prediction is Jon’s stabbing. For this to come to pass he must recover from this, but prior he must become a Ghost…and ghosts belong in crypts.

I know what you’re all probably thinking. “SN, you’re just saying all this because it partially parallels your own story Northern Lights along with the story that’s based on (FFVII)! You’re just a crazy fangirl mixing up your narratives and trying to force a connection in between.” This is why I included the links to other theorists. Also, I have comparative essays planned for the narratives of ASOIAF and FFVII as there are numerous eerie similarities made more so unsettling due to Martin’s declaration that he’s not a gamer (missing/dead mothers & abandoned sons only a bare inkling of the many). Regardless if one can divine a pattern and provide proof then what does it matter what narratives are involved?

Jon will seek his mother’s grave. He has spoken of reoccurring dreams of the crypts to Sam before where he is looking for something. That is what he’s searching or: his mother’s grave and the truth. This also resolves the disconnect of the missing/dead mother and abandoned child paradigm that is pervasive throughout the narrative of ASOIAF. We see it with the Lannisters, the Starks, Brienne, the Hound, Dany and Viserys, Robin Arryn, Lysa and Catelyn, (emotionally) Selyse, (spiritually) Theon and Asha, Aegon (if he is truly Elia’s son), Dany and her dragons, Ned and his siblings, the Unsullied as a whole, Craster’s children. Do harpies just abandon their sons? Is that why they’re so vengeful?

Loose Ends to Tie

I don’t have much left.  I want to mention the seriously sweet scene of Stannis and Shireen (wow many S much?).  Prior to this we have Selyse (wow, another S.  I never noticed that all of their names begin with that letter, hm…) bemoaning the fact that she “gave him only weakness and deformity” after she notes that her husband has a grudging respect for Jon Snow.  Selyse is most definitely another harpy.  You can see the stones of her heart on her daughter’s face.  Tara Fitzgerald is a phenomenal actress by the way brilliantly pulling off the cold and loveless Selyse.  She would gladly sacrifice her daughter if the Red God demanded it, but in her declaration she is wrong.  When Shireen (who is such a sweet child) asks Stannis if he’s ashamed of her, the cold, calculating tactician proves that he does have a soft side.  He tells his daughter that he bought her a doll from a Dornish merchant with heavy implication that that doll was what caused her greyscale.  Soooo, Selyse wasn’t the cause of Shireen’s deformity in any genetic way, which is an interesting spin in the show.  It came from a Dornish doll, a poisoned gift.  I wonder what this means for Myrcella.  The implications about Dorne could be very far reaching especially since Jaime and Bronn are currently there AND Tyrion is supposed to have a run in with the stone men in the Sorrows.  Stannis was told to send Shireen away to live in the ruins of Valyria with the fore mentioned stone men (we are definitely going to see them before this season is out.  They’ve been mentioned in the last three episodes and maybe in all of them), but he refused.  Practical, tactical Stannis refused to send his dying possibly infectious daughter away.  Instead he called forth every maester and healer he could find and they saved her life.  I…loved that scene.  Maybe too much, because now I’m worried that either Stannis or Shireen is going to die.  It’s similar to how Barristan told Dany the story of Rhaegar and afterwards when she sends him to patrol the streets she says, “Sing me a song” or something to that effect, but Ser Barristan has already sung it and so he goes to his fate.

What does the future hold for us?  What shall it reveal?  How many vengeances does it take before we decide it’s enough.  Where does the cycle end?  Dany promises that she’s going to break the wheel, but I am almost positive she will not let Barristan and (possibly) Grey Worm’s deaths go unpunished.  The harpies will snatch, more sons will die, and the mothers will cry for vengeance.

I really feel I must include a list of all of my references.  It’s really only fair.  I didn’t come up with the majority of this.  I just discovered brilliant people and applied my babbling to their genius.

Bar de Porto’s episode analysis video can be found here

Tony Teflon’s episode analysis video can be found here.

Maester Payne’s episode analysis with Clare Grey can be found here. (I highly recommend you follow them all on YouTube.)

The Arianne Martell picture can be found on A Wiki of Ice and Fire here.

The Obara Sand picture can be found here.

Nymeria’s picture can be found here.

Here is Tyene.

The artwork for Qyburn can be found here.

And my favorite Rhaegar was rendered by Deviant Artist inSOLense and can be found here.  It is one of the best pictures of him I have ever found.

S5E5 – Kill the Boy–>