When I first started my third fantasy volume, I originally considered the main character’s reign to be relatively peaceful with the exception of one major war and a few cutthroat politics. However, thinking back to everything I have learned about medieval monarchs, life was NEVER that easy. We often think of the medieval kings and queens of Europe to be either great leaders or tyrants. My father, for instance, has a strong animosity towards the English kings of old for how they treated our Scottish and Irish ancestors. The reality is that they were both the heroes and the villains, great leaders and tyrants, all at the same time. They were flawed individuals who made human mistakes every day of their respective reigns. Every one of their decisions had consequences that either launched a long-lasting dynasty or cut their reign short. I am thinking of applying this deeply flawed nature to the main character. They will be the most human character in my fantasy series so far.
In the sequel to The War of the Gilded Beasts, I intend on introducing a character who is a mercenary. This character will be motivated by two things: coin and the promise of a good fight. They will start out as a cynical sword fighter before evolving into a proper noble. Unlike most medieval mercenaries, their arsenal will be more diverse with a longsword and a Japanese short sword (wakizashi). They would serve the role of an enforcer at some point in the story.
I remember something I heard from the film Dragonheart. The villain referred to death as a release and not a punishment. With this in mind, if death is the release then what is the real punishment? I think the real punishment would be a fate worse than death. Imagine having your mind, body, and spirit so irreparably broken over time that when you are finally executed you would not be mourned as a martyr. Overall, if you are not dead then the real punishment will make you wish you were dead. In future fantasy works, I am thinking of this punishment to be how rebels and traitors will be treated. After doing a lot of medieval research combined with my dark imagination, I am more than certain to come up with a suitable punishment in my fantasy series.
When I first read Watchmen, I was introduced to the concept of morally ambiguous superheroes who were just as crazy and twisted as the villains they fight. No character embodied this concept more than the Comedian AKA Edward Blake. When the Comedian started his superhero career, he was 16 years old and was more of a thug than a hero. He spent time with the Minutemen for a while before being kicked out of the team after he attempted to rape the first Silk Spectre. The Comedian then went solo as a vigilante and started attacking sleeper agents of the Japanese government. In 1942 when Blake was 18, his activities caught the attention and interest of the United States government and he was recruited to be the enforcer of the United States. Throughout his time working for the government, the Comedian fought in World War II, the Vietnam War, and the proxy wars of the Cold War. Compared to his fellow superheroes, the Comedian was well aware of just how high the stakes were to saving the world and believed it could not be saved by the likes of them. Despite his attempt to rape her, the first Silk Spectre AKA Sally Jupiter fell in love with Blake and they had a daughter, Laurie, together who would succeed her mother as the Silk Spectre. In his own twisted way, the Comedian was being a protective father watching over Laurie. He played a role in convincing Laurie to return to her mother after she ran away from home to join the Hippies and afterwards tried to bond with her after the Crimebuster meeting. The Comedian’s superhero career came to a violent end when he was 61 years old. After discovering a conspiracy that shattered his cynical worldview, the Comedian was brutally beaten and murdered in his own apartment before being thrown out his own window. It was Blake’s death that set the story of Watchmen in motion. I like the Comedian because he demonstrated that even a superhero can be as flawed and human.
Ever since Jon Snow revealed his true identity to his family, his world was changing rapidly. Now that Sansa Stark revealed his secret to Tyrion, who then revealed it to Varys, it is only a matter of time before the rest of the Seven Kingdoms finds out as well. I think after telling Tyrion, Sansa probably sent ravens to all lords of the Seven Kingdoms from the Wall to Dorne, which would make Jon Snow’s true identity public knowledge. As the one true king of the Iron Throne, Jon Snow has become Sansa’s single most powerful political weapon. I think at some point in the Battle of King’s Landing, all the remaining armies in Westeros will gather in Jon Snow’s name and will aid the Stark and Targaryen armies. This may happen when Jon Snow’s and Daenerys’s armies are about to be defeated by Cersei’s armies. This would mirror how the Lannisters were saved by reinforcements in the Battle of Blackwater Bay and when Jon Snow was saved by the Knights of the Vale in the Battle of the Bastards. There will be a time skip between episodes 4 and 5 so it would be plenty of time for the surviving lords to muster what is left of their armies. With Varys on the verge of turning on Daenerys, he might use his spy network to spread word of Jon Snow’s true identity as the one true king of Westeros. This would mirror Varys’s loyalty to the character who claims to be Aegon VI in the books. Therefore, I think both Sansa and Varys may play the role of revealing Jon’s true identity. Also, the lords of Westeros would be more likely to gather in Jon’s name rather than Daenerys because he is a native Westerosi and a legitimate male heir, both factors are more appealing to the lords of Westeros compared to Daenerys, who is a female heir and a foreigner. If all the lords of Westeros were to gather around Daenerys, they would have done it by now. In general, Jon Snow’s presence is going to spark one of Robert Baratheon’s greatest fears. When Viserys Targaryen plotted to invade Westeros, Robert Baratheon feared that all the lords who did not support him would gather around Viserys. Then there is the Golden Company, who are bought and paid for by Cersei. However, even though the Golden Company have never broken a contract, there is a possibility of them turning on Cersei at some point in the battle. The Golden Company was founded by a Targaryen bastard with the goal of putting a dragon on the Iron Throne (originally a Blackfyre and later Aegon VI). If someone like Varys reveals Jon Snow’s identity to the Golden Company, it is possible they will switch sides and join Jon Snow’s army. This would mirror how the Golden Company were supporters of Aegon VI in the books. Finally, if Daenerys and Cersei both die in the battle and Jon survives, Jon Snow will be left with no competition for the Iron Throne with the exception of Gendry Baratheon, who was recently legitimized. Even though Jon Snow has no desire for the Iron Throne he may not have a choice in the matter. After so much war, violence, and corruption, the Seven Kingdoms will need a strong leader who truly cares about them and can lead them towards a better future. Without such unity, the cycle of war and treachery that the Lannisters started will never end. Due to this, Sansa may have backed Jon into a corner he cannot escape and he would have no choice but to claim his birthright as king. It is like what Jon’s great great uncle, Maester Aemon, once told him about family and duty. Because Sansa betrayed Jon’s trust by revealing his true identity to the world and used him as a political pawn, Jon will never trust his Stark family again and may choose duty. This could lead to Jon discarding his Stark identity and embracing his Targaryen identity and he would truly become who he was born to be.
I came across an interesting rumor for the fifth episode of Game of Thrones. This rumor claims that even though Daenerys Targaryen has only one dragon left, there is a possibility that more dragons may appear during the Battle of King’s Landing. The clue to this theory was right in front of us during the opening credits of Season 8, which featured one large dragon and three smaller dragons. In the trailer, Euron Greyjoy looked up in the sky and seems shocked before the screen turns to black and we can hear a dragon roar.
You might ask how it would possible for there to be more dragons. Allow me to explain. In Seasons 4 and 5, Drogon disappeared into the wild for some time and even flew over the ruins of Old Valyria. Because dragons can change their gender, it is possible that Drogon got pregnant and left Meereen to lay eggs and build a nest somewhere. If Drogon built his nest in the ruins of Valyria, I would not be surprised because that was where the Valyrian Freehold and dragons reigned supreme centuries ago. If the eggs hatched, three or four years have passed since then, which would mean these new dragons would be as big as Drogon was during Season 5 or 6.
In real life, some species of lizards can lay about a dozen eggs at a time. When those numbers are applied to dragons, it is possible that they lay many more eggs due to their size difference with normal lizards. There was one case after the Dance of the Dragons where a dragon laid five eggs, but this dragon was small, sickly, and misshapen and the eggs never hatched. When it comes to large and healthy dragons, the number of eggs would be bigger than just five. I theorize that dragons would be like sea turtles in that they would lay their eggs and then leave them to their own devices, which would explain why Drogon never returned to the supposed nest.
In addition, there were three dragons who survived the Dance of the Dragons, but whose fate and whereabouts are unknown. These dragons are named the Cannibal, Sheepstealer, and Silverwing. If they are still alive, they would each be as large and as powerful as Balerion the Black Dread at the height of his power.
If there are more dragons on the way, I think they could be Drogon’s offspring, the Dance of the Dragons survivors, or both. During the Battle of Winterfell, Bran Stark used his greensight and warging magic to an unknown location and he did not say where or when. If these dragons exist, they won’t be able to go to Westeros on their own so it could be that Bran warged into these dragons in order to compel them to migrate to Westeros. The previous Three-Eyed Raven said Bran would fly and this could be what he meant. I look forward to seeing if I am right.
Today, I got a four star review for Numen the Slayer:
“Numen the Slayer by Grady P. Brown would make a great revenge flick! In this fantasy world of divided and bickering kingdoms, Numen Magnus is forcibly removed from his kingship and cast into the wilds of Umbran. He then goes on a quest for revenge, but more one of self discovery. It’s a fun book filled with a great journey that will satisfy any fans of Tolkien-esque fantasy!”
I just realized something! It turns out the storyline of Numen the Slayer is VERY similar to the First Barons’ War of 1215 to 1217. It all started with the reign of King John of England. King John proved to be a weak and spiteful tyrant. To counter this, the barons drafted a document called Magna Carta, which not only limited the king’s power, but also provided basic human rights to all citizens of England. Magna Carta served as the blueprints to what would eventually become Parliament. However, even though those were Magna Carta’s original purposes, it also gave the barons more power and influence than the king, which was something the barons craved since the reign of Henry II. An example of this superior power is the fact that the barons could cut off additional taxes to the crown whenever they wanted, which would prevent the king from fighting much needed wars in France. Eventually, King John could not abide by Magna Carta and he went to war with the rebellious barons. King John was overthrown and replaced by the Crown Prince of France, Louis. Unfortunately, when Louis started bringing all of his French allies to England and appointed them to high ranking positions, the English threw him and his allies out and made him swear that he was never King of England at all. Meanwhile, King John died of dysentery and was succeeded by his son Henry III.
Overall, the story of Numen the Slayer is similar to the First Barons’ War. A group of barons rebel against a tyrannical king and ultimately replace him with one of their own. I didn’t realize this until now.