TERRIER HUNT

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My beloved pit bulls finally came close to becoming true terriers the other day. Terriers are specifically bred to hunt vermin like rats and mice and my boys almost caught a rodent. I was cleaning up the backyard when I heard this rustling in the trees. I look up and this squirrel jumped out of the tree, flew centimeters from my face, and landed on the ground. Wally and Fitch went into “Terrier Mode” and started chasing the squirrel from one side of the backyard to the other, eventually chasing it into the pool. The squirrel swam around the pool, but the boys cut off its every attempt to climb out. Afterwards, the squirrel climbed out of the pool with Wally and Fitch hot on its tail. It went under a bush, where Wally dove after it. Ultimately, the two pit bulls cornered the squirrel at the base of a tree. They would have killed the squirrel if I hadn’t intervened. After calling the boys off, the squirrel climbed up the tree and started trash talking the dogs. The whole thing happened so fast that it took me a few moments to process it. We won’t be having visits from squirrels for a while after that.

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INSPIRATION: SOCIOPATHIC CHARACTER

By definition, a sociopath is someone who feels no regret for what they have done. With this in mind, I am thinking of making one of the main characters of my graphic novel series a sociopath. The reason for this is because even though emotions are part of our nature as human beings, they can sometimes cloud our judgment and make us work less efficiently as sentient beings. Therefore, I wonder what it would be like for this character to have a superhuman intellect but have no emotions to cloud his judgment. This would allow him to think and act with absolute efficiency, but he will feel no regret or connections with anyone. For example, if a situation arises in which a supervillain needs to be stopped, this character would kill the supervillain because in his mind that is the only way to permanently stop the supervillain and he would feel no regret for murdering him. This would make the character a psychologically complex because one of the subplots will involve him learning to develop his own emotions.

GAME OF THRONES SEASON 7: JON SNOW AND DAENERYS TARGARYEN

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A lot of fans, myself included, believe that Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen will marry at some point in the series. Now that Jon Snow is the King in the North and Daenerys is about to conquer the southern kingdoms, a political marriage between them would unite the northern and southern kingdoms under a single banner. Hopefully, by then Jon Snow will discover his identity as Daenerys’s nephew and their House will be whole again. However, even though their marriage would unite the Seven Kingdoms there will be one serious long term problem.

This problem comes in the form of Daenerys’s fertility. In Season 1, the blood magic that lobotomized her husband and killed her unborn son also rendered her sterile. As a result, Jon Snow and Daenerys would not be able to continue the Targaryen bloodline the traditional way. Without an heir to succeed them, House Targaryen will be extinct and the Seven Kingdoms will be plunged into another civil war for dominance. After witnessing the horrors of the War of the Five Kings, it would be something Jon and Daenerys would want to avoid at all costs. The solution to their problem is a complex issue because Jon Snow will have to cheat on Daenerys to save both House Targaryen and the Seven Kingdoms in general. The reason for this is because while Daenerys cannot produce children, Jon can.

In order for House Targaryen to survive beyond Jon Snow and Daenerys, Jon will have to produce bastard children and use his and Daenerys’s authority as the king and queen of the Iron Throne to legitimize them the minute they are born. They would have to be careful and discreet with this because the last time House Targaryen legitimized their bastards resulted in the rise of House Blackfyre and a blood feud that lasted five generations. Also, producing bastard children is considered a social disgrace so Jon and Daenerys will have to find a way to make it look like it is Daenerys who gave birth to the children in order to avoid the same social stigma that persecuted Jaime and Cersei Lannister. Just as Eddard Stark sacrificed his honor to protect Jon, Jon will have to sacrifice his honor to secure the future of the Seven Kingdoms. Jon would do this with some reluctance because of his own upbringing as a bastard. Unless Daenerys finds a way to fix her fertility problem, this will be the only way House Targaryen will survive since she and Jon are all that’s left. If it comes to this, I hope Jon and Daenerys will raise the children with a healthy balance between Stark honor and Targaryen ruthlessness.

What is intriguing about the idea of Jon Snow and Daenerys marrying is that even though they are both Targaryens, their personalities are fundamentally different yet similar at the same time. While Daenerys can be ruthless and hot-headed, Jon Snow is cool and level-headed. At the same time, both of them have moral compasses, a sense of honor, and are compassionate towards unfortunate people. They really are like fire and ice, which is all the more fitting for them to be together. Also, if my predictions are right, then their future relationship is going to be complex beyond words. The reason for this is because they would marry out of necessity to unite the Seven Kingdoms and Jon would have his affairs out of necessity as well. As for the rest of their relationship, only time will tell.

GAME OF THRONES SEASON 7 PREDICTION: THE NORTH

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While I am completely pleased that House Stark reclaimed Winterfell and The North, I am concerned about their future. The reason for this is because Robb and Rickon are dead and because Bran is a paraplegic he cannot produce an heir. Because of these factors, the Stark family name will end with them, but on the upside the Stark bloodline will continue through Sansa and Arya. Even though Jon Snow has been crowned King in the North, he does not have the Stark name in any case because he is neither a Stark nor a bastard, but a Targaryen.

Despite reclaiming The North, the Starks still have other challenges ahead as they prepare for the Second Long Night. Chief among them is Littlefinger because he betrayed their family once and it is a certainty that he will do it again. Fortunately, I think I know Littlefinger’s weakness: his obsession with Sansa Stark. Now that Sansa has rejected Littlefinger’s advances to be his queen when he takes the Iron Throne, Littlefinger will be more hell-bent to get her more than ever. This could make him sloppy in his manipulations and lead to his downfall. To make things worse for Littlefinger is that many Lords of the Vale are Stark loyalists as well as Arryn loyalists. Even though Littlefinger is the de facto leader of the Vale, half his army could turn on him if he acts against the Starks. Also, Sansa is the only one who understands how Littlefinger operates so if he decides to act against the Starks, she will know about it and trump him.

It is officially confirmed that Jon Snow is the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. So far, the only ones who know the truth about Jon’s heritage are Bran Stark and Howland Reed. While Bran Stark’s warging and greensight are powerful, there’s no guarantee that he will be able to convince everyone what he has seen unless he finds a way. As for Howland Reed, he is the sole survivor of the duel at the Tower of Joy and he was close friends with Eddard Stark. Because of his fierce loyalty to both Eddard Stark and House Stark in general, he might be able to convince The North of Jon’s true identity. When Jon realizes that he is the true king of the Iron Throne, it will be a lot for him to digest and accept considering he has been treated as a bastard all his life. Even if The North publicly acknowledges the truth about Jon’s heritage, it could put his claim as King in the North in question. The reason for this is due to The North’s animosity towards House Targaryen. They may hate him because he is the son of the man who supposedly abducted Lyanna Stark and the grandson of the man who murdered Brandon and Rickard Stark. Only time will tell how The North and the rest of the Seven Kingdoms will react when they learn that the true king of the Iron Throne has been living with the Starks all this time.

Because Jon understands the threat that is about to breach the Wall, he will be more focused on preparing The North for the Second Long Night instead of participating in the War of the Five Kings. With the Lannisters too busy clinging to what’s left of their hold on the Iron Throne and the Iron Islands busy rebuilding their fleet, the Stark’s only hindrance would be Littlefinger. The sinister look he gave Sansa and Jon clearly hints that he is already hatching a plan against them. When Daenerys lands in Westeros, the Starks would not risk the lives of their countrymen against the wrath of her dragons and legions. Like their ancestor Torrhen Stark did with Daenerys’s ancestor Aegon the Conquerer, the Starks would most likely surrender and reach a compromise with Daenerys in order to save Northern lives.

Overall, I look forward to how House Stark will deal with their current circumstances in Season 7. I only hope they won’t suffer more than they already have. I completely hate it when bad things happen to good people.

WRITING UPDATE: ANTI-HERO DEVELOPMENT

I had an interesting thought about how to further develop the main characters of my graphic novel series. I am thinking of making some of the characters anti-heroes instead of traditional heroes since several of them suffer from psychological issues. Because the Young Guardians as an organization would be disbanded, their ideology that maintained their moral compass would be swept away. Without that ideology to keep them in check, the main characters will perform acts that their predecessors would never do such as committing murder. Here are the general psychological profiles of the characters so far: one is emotional withdrawn, one is an emotionless sociopath, one is a bloodthirsty berserker, one is a naive girl scout, and one is n arrogant hotshot. This is the most psychologically diverse group of characters I ever created and I look forward to experiment with their interactions.

GAME OF THRONES SEASON 7 PREDICTIONS: HOUSE LANNISTER

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Even though I am a devout fan of Daenerys Targaryen, I also am analyzing the other factions in the War of the Five Kings. With this in mind, I will be addressing the possible future for House Lannister in Season 7. Cersei Lannister’s destruction of the Sept of Baelor  has resulted in dire consequences for House Lannister. To begin with, the Sept of Baelor was the center of worship for the Faith of the Seven, making it the Game of Thrones equivalent of the Vatican. With it destroyed, there will be serious social and religious consequences. For instance, because the Faith of the Seven was the dominant religion in Westeros, every follower, rich and poor alike, will hate the Lannisters more than ever and rise up against them. When an uprising happens, the Lannisters will not have the numbers to maintain their hold of the Iron Throne due to their losses during the War of the Five Kings and the loss of House Tyrell’s support.

The loss of House Tyrell’s support was the crippling blow to the Lannisters’ regime for three very good reasons. First, because House Tyrell commanded the largest army in Westeros of 100,000 men, which gave the Lannisters a numerical advantage against all their enemies. Second, House Tyrell is the richest family in Westeros second only to the Lannisters and without the Tyrell’s money, the Iron Throne’s ongoing debt crisis with the Iron Bank of Braavos will get worse. Third, the Tyrell’s territory is the most fertile land in Westeros, which allowed them to feed King’s Landing up until now so the Lannisters and their citizens are going to starve to death. Ultimately, the loss of House Tyrell also cost the Iron Throne the fealty of the Reach, the most populous region in Westeros.

The Tyrells are not the only allies the Lannisters have lost after Season 6. After the Red Wedding, they had House Frey governing the Riverlands and House Bolton governing the North. Now that House Bolton is extinct and House Frey is in disarray after Walder Frey’s death, the Lannisters have lost control over both the North and the Riverlands. Also, Dorne has withdrawn its fealty to the Iron Throne as well while the Iron Islands have declared independence. Due to these factors, the Lannisters only have control over the Westerlands, Stormlands, and Crownlands. This leaves the Lannisters without any allies or support of any kind, making their rule very fragile and unstable.

As for House Lannister itself, since Cersei’s wildfire plot annihilated her cousin and uncle, she, Jaime, and Tyrion are now the sole survivors of the main Lannister bloodline. This means that if anything happens to any of them, Casterly Rock and everything that comes with it will be inherited by one of their cadet branches. The thing about House Lannister is that because they are such an ancient family, they have developed countless relatives and cadet branches of the main bloodline over the centuries. This will make it impossible for House Lannister to be truly exterminated. So whatever happens one of these cadet branches may be left to pick up the pieces of their family’s legacy.

Now that Cersei Lannister has been crowned Queen of the Iron Throne, her megalomania and lust for power is going to increase. The more power she obtains, the more obvious her insanity, the more aggressive her subjects become. Her wildfire plot may have wiped out her enemies, but it also gave her many more enemies and undid all of Tywin Lannister’s good work, destroying House Lannister’s reputation and future. She is so shortsighted that she can’t even see the long term consequences of her actions. Her wildfire plot was also a clear indication that she will become just as bad as the Mad King if not worse. Cersei’s only redeeming trait was her love for children, but now they are all gone so now she is completely unhinged and unable to control her cruel and ambitious impulses. With Tyrion and Daenerys on their way, Cersei will believe that Daenerys is the queen who is foretold to overthrow her and will be hell-bent on stopping her even though Cersei no longer has the numbers and resources to stop Daenerys, which will hasten Cersei’s downfall. Also, when Jaime finds out that Cersei murdered their uncle, cousin, and indirectly their son, things will get ugly between them.

As the War of the Five Kings comes to a close, House Lannister will be attacked from the south, west, and possibly the north. With the Iron Islands building a new fleet, they will be able to strike Lannister territory from the coast along the Westerlands, which will further weaken the Lannisters’ power base. With help from the Vale, House Stark has rebuilt its military and is now capable of fighting House Lannister on even footing if they decide to invade the south. However, the greatest threat to Lannister rule will come from the south in the form of Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen. Daenerys commands the largest and most powerful army in the known world so she will easily demolish the weakened Lannister armies when she lands. Because they will be attacked from every direction, House Lannister is not going to survive what is coming and their reign will be as good as over.