Tag Archives: GAME OF THRONES

THE UNFORTUNATE ROYALS

“The gods were cruel when they saw fit to test my vows. They waited until I was old. What could I have done when the ravens brought the news from the south? The ruin of my House, the death of my family. I was helpless, blind, frail. But when I heard they had killed my brother’s son, and his poor son, and the children! Even the little children!”

Maester Aemon, Game of Thrones

As I immersed myself in the story of Game of Thrones, I came to sympathize with a number of characters, particularly those who were young. I look at the three most prominent noble Houses of the Seven Kingdoms and relive the sad fate that their youngest members suffered. These children have been victims of their circumstances, their choices, and their ultimate fate.

To begin with, I would like to focus on the children of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen: Princess Rhaenys and Prince Aegon. Rhaenys was just an innocent little girl while Aegon was just an infant. Both of these kids suffered the consequences of their father’s and grandfather’s choices. At the end of Robert’s Rebellion, these kids lost their birthright to the Iron Throne and their lives. Rhaenys was stabbed to death by Amory Lorch, a knight loyal to the Lannisters. Aegon was ripped from his mother’s arms and had his skull caved in by Gregor Clegane. Both of these kids were brutally murdered before they had a chance to live. We do not even know if Prince Aegon is truly alive or not in the books. I often wonder what the lives of these kids would have turned out if they were allowed to live.

Second, the children of House Stark were a particularly unlucky batch. They lost their parents, their home, their birthright, and a few of their members. They were betrayed and stabbed in the back more than once. Robb Stark was his father’s son as an honorable man and was a natural as a military commander, but he was a novice as a politician and king. He never learned to think of the potential consequences of his actions and his family lost everything as a result. Sansa Stark was an innocent girl who was tormented by her Lannister captors. She watched her father die, was beaten by the Kingsguard, became Joffrey’s plaything, used as a pawn by Littlefinger, married against her will twice, and was violated by the Boltons. Arya Stark was a tomboy with an adventurous spirit, but the adventure she received was beyond traumatic. She watched her father die, was forced to survive on her own with some help from unlikely allies, witnessed the Red Wedding, experienced the horrors of the War of the Five Kings, and endured the brutal training of the Faceless Men of Braavos. Bran Stark who was crippled for life, forced out of his home, witnessed the atrocities of the Ironborn and the Boltons, endured a hellish journey beyond the Wall, got hunted by White Walkers, and lost his humanity when he inherited the power of the Three-Eyed Raven. Rickon Stark was the youngest of the Stark children and easily the most traumatized of all his siblings. Before the Starks’ hardships began, Rickon lived a carefree life, but when the hardships began, his youth and complete inexperience made it impossible to understand why they could not go home or why his parents were not present. Such conditions can psychologically ruin a kid his age. Then Rickon was murdered by Ramsay Snow during the Battle of the Bastards, triggering yet another injustice against the Starks.

Now, we move on to one of the more complicated characters: Jon Snow. Jon Snow was born a Targaryen and raised as a Stark. Most of his life, he thought he was a bastard and was afflicted by the social stigma that being a bastard came with. He spent time at the Night’s Watch, where he forfeited any claim to any land, wealth, marriage, or titles. After a time, he was betrayed and murdered by his own men. Even after he united the North and its allies against the White Walkers, helped end the Lannisters’ tyranny, and ended Daenerys’s reign of terror, Jon was sent back to the Night’s Watch once again. Even after all he sacrificed to improve the world, Jon lost everything and had no reward for all of his efforts. Also, as the one true king, Jon should be the one ruling the Seven Kingdoms and even displayed a natural talent for kingship, but he threw his birthright away.

We now move on to my least favorite noble family: House Lannister. Jaime’s and Cersei’s children were victims of both their circumstances and the schemes of their family. As evil and irredeemable as Joffrey was, I cannot help but feel pity for him. Due to his incestuous bloodline, Joffrey was cursed with the same mental illness that plagued the Targaryens. Also, Joffrey was spoiled his entire life by his mother and never learned the importance of discipline or consequences. Finally, Joffrey was lied to his entire life into believing he was the legitimate heir of King Robert Baratheon when he really did not have a single drop of royal blood in his veins. All of this resulted in Joffrey’s psychopathic personality that we have all grown to hate. With Myrcella, she inherited her mother’s beauty but none of her cruelty. Despite her Lannister blood, Myrcella was an innocent child who was killed because of the crimes her family inflicted upon others. Tommen was weak-willed and easily manipulated by those around him. In fact, he was so weak-willed that he killed himself when he witnessed the extent of his mother’s cruelty. Overall, these children were used and exploited as pawns by the schemes and ambitions of their family and have no idea who and what they really are.

In general, I cannot help but wonder how these Game of Thrones children would have turned out if their upbringings and circumstances were different. Would they be able to live a full life? Would they become different people? So many questions and so many scenarios to consider. For my third fantasy book, I will be drawing inspiration from the possible fates of these children could have faced if their lives were different. These scenarios would serve as the basis of the character profiles for my protagonist’s children.

FANTASY NAVY

One of the factors that judges the strength of a nation is the strength of its navy. This fact has been featured both in fiction and in real life. In Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker, the Final Order had a fleet of thousands of Star Destroyers that were equipped with cannons that could destroy entire planets. In the final season of Game of Thrones, the Iron Fleet was equipped with scorpions that were so large and powerful that they could shoot dragons out of the sky. During the Napoleonic Wars, the United States created ships such as the USS Constitution that were larger, faster, more powerful, and more durable than any ship that existed at the time. The hull of the USS Constitution alone was nearly two feet thick with solid oak, which was a hard nut to crack. Those early American ships were so formidable that English ships were advised to not engage one alone. For my fantasy series, I am thinking of featuring a powerful armada that will have a similar construction to the USS Constitution and be armed with a highly destructive weapon like the Final Order Star Destroyers and the Iron Fleet.

A GENTLE GIANT?

One of the most infamous villains in Game of Thrones would be Gregor Clegane AKA The Mountain. Despite being a knight, Gregor was a knight in all but name. Instead of being a true knight, Gregor was a cruel and sadistic murderer and war criminal. Because of his brutality, he was one of the Lannisters’ most feared enforcers. Gregor was an eight-foot-tall four hundred pound mass of muscle and when he wore his plate armor and wielded his great sword he was virtually invincible. However, I often wonder would it would have been like if Gregor was a good guy instead of a bad guy and embodied everything that made a true knight. With his strength and skill combined with a true knight’s morality, Gregor would have been the finest knight in Westeros has seen since Ser Duncan the Tall. For my third fantasy book, I am planning to create a character who is just as big and strong as Gregor Clegane but is one of the good guys. In terms of personality, I am thinking of giving my character a mindset similar to a samurai. The word “Samurai” means “To serve the master”. My character will come from a kingdom that is super serious about upholding one’s oaths to their liege lords. In other words, my main protagonist becomes the master and this gentle giant becomes his “samurai”.

HOUSE BLACKFYRE: THE FALLEN DRAGON

As I delve into the history of House Targaryen, I turn my attention to the tragedy of their cadet branch, House Blackfyre. Like many great houses, the Targaryens had their own cadet branches of relatives. House Baratheon was rumored to be a cadet branch of House Targaryen, but this was never confirmed. The only confirmed cadet branch of the red dragon was the black dragon of House Blackfyre, which died out decades before the main story of Game of Thrones.

The story of House Blackfyre began during the reign of Aegon the Unworthy, who was both famous and infamous for his insatiable sexual appetite. Due to his numerous mistresses and affairs, Aegon had a large brood of bastard children. The greatest of these bastards was Daemon Waters, who was his father’s favorite child. Aegon the Unworthy favored Daemon so greatly that he knighted the boy when he was twelve and gifted him Blackfyre, the ancestral Valyrian steel sword of House Targaryen. When Aegon was on his deathbed, his final command was to legitimize all of his bastards, including Daemon.

With the passing of Aegon the Unworthy, Daemon’s legitimate half-brother Daeron the Good became king. Befitting his title as “The Good”, Daeron tried to be on good terms with Daemon and his other half-siblings. Daeron even gave Daemon an edict on his wedding that permitted him to build his own castle in the Crownlands. Sadly, simply having his own lands and castle was not enough for Daemon.

Since Daemon was legitimized, he had a claim to the Iron Throne. Also, several lords preferred Daemon over Daeron. This was because these lords were unsatisfied by the peace that Daeron promoted and wanted a warrior as their king, which they saw in Daemon. In addition, these lords saw Aegon gifting Blackfyre to Daemon as a sign that Aegon preferred Daemon as his heir despite being illegitimate. With his newly legitimized status, Daemon changed his surname from Waters to Blackfyre after the sword his father gave him.

After rallying his armies, Daemon declared war on his half-brother with the intention to claiming the Iron Throne for himself. Ultimately, Daemon and his two eldest sons were killed on the Redgrass Field while the rest of his children fled into exile. Despite Daemon’s death, his descendants would continue to plague the Targaryens with four more rebellions of fire and blood. The male bloodline of House Blackfyre was severed when Barristan Selmy slew Maelys the Monstrous on the Stepstones during the final Blackfyre Rebellion. What happened to the female bloodline of House Blackfyre is unknown.

I call the fate of House Blackfyre a tragedy because if they had known their place, they would still be alive and enjoying a castle not far from King’s Landing. They could have had the positive relationship with their Targaryen relatives that Daeron the Good wanted. Great houses such as the Starks, Lannisters, Tyrells, and so on had working relationships with their cadet branches that lasted for centuries. Sadly, a dragon’s ambition burns too hot and the Iron Throne is too great a prize to resist.

THE ULTIMATE SOLDIER

There is a thought that has been scratching in the back of my mind regarding Gregor Clegane from Game of Thrones. When he was a mortal man, he was an eight foot tall, four hundred pound mass of muscle with near superhuman strength and was surprisingly quick for his size. Because of his size, strength, fighting skills, foul temper, and violent tendencies, Gregor Clegane was the most feared warrior in the Seven Kingdoms. When he was modified by Qyburn’s mad science, Gregor’s mind was all but gone and his physical strength and fighting skills were greatly augmented. In his undead state, Gregor’s strength was comparable to a giant’s (about the combined strength of twelve normal humans), he was immune to pain and injuries that would kill a normal person, he did not tire and could push himself further and harder than any normal human, and he was completely obedient to his master (except when his brother was involved). Gregor was already deceptively fast for his size before his enhancements so it is possible that that agility was increased as well. In the Song of Ice and Fire books, it was revealed that his augmentations altered him to the point in which he did not require sleep, food, drink, and he didn’t even need to use the bathroom. With these enhanced capabilities and characteristics, Gregor Clegane became the ideal medieval warrior. Then I wondered what it would be like if there was an entire army of thousands of soldiers, each one as big, strong, and durable as Gregor in his undead state. That would be an army I would not want to fight.

HOUSE TARGARYEN: THE DOOMED GENERATION

Out of all the generations of House Targaryen, the one I find most intriguing would be the generation that lived before and during the Dance of the Dragons. Before the Dance of the Dragons, this generation represented House Targaryen at the height of its power over the Seven Kingdoms. Not only were there plenty of heirs that would secure the dynasty, but there were over twenty dragons, which were the most dragons seen since the glory days of Valyria. Sadly, despite the power they represented, this generation had one fatal weakness: they despised one another with a passion. This hatred started when King Viserys I remarried to Alicent Hightower, who produced several legitimate male heirs. These heirs undermined Princess Rhaenyra’s claim to the Iron Throne since she was named the designated heir apparent by her father, which was a decision he stood by until the day he died. Unfortunately, Alicent and her children failed to honor their patriarch’s dying wish and usurped the throne for themselves. This led to the bloodiest and most devastating Westerosi civil war in history: the Dance of the Dragons. Throughout the war, this generation of Targaryens gradually killed each other and their dragons until there were only two Targaryens and two dragons left. Shortly after the war, the last dragons eventually died out completely. This marked the start of the long term decline of House Targaryen. This generation had so much potential and they squandered it because they despised and coveted one another. I often think about what could have happened if this generation of Targaryens were not so dysfunctional. If they didn’t kill each other, would they still have their dragons and the Iron Throne? So many questions that will never be answered. All I can do is imagine and brainstorm this scenario.

A BEAUTIFUL DRAGON

As a dragon fanatic, I have enjoyed and sympathized with the dragons in Game of Thrones. Dragons were the linchpin to House Targaryen’s long term hold to the Iron Throne. Instead of being preserved as the last of their kind, the Targaryen dragons were used as living weapons of mass destruction. One of the saddest of these cases was the dragon known as Sunfyre, the dragon bonded to King Aegon II. Before the Dance of the Dragons, Sunfyre was the most beautiful of all the Targaryen dragons with golden scales that made him look like a living gilded statue. After the Dance of the Dragons, Sunfyre became a ruined and scarred creature that would never fly again. Such a beautiful animal became a ravaged shadow of its former self because of the ambitions of its masters. I frequently wonder what it would have been like if Sunfyre had the chance to live out his existence in peace and die of old age like Balerion the Black Dread did. If Sunfyre reached maturity, I think it would be hard to tell if he was a dragon or an angel.

GEORGE R. R. MARTIN’S SELF QUARATINE

https://www.wired.com/story/george-r-r-martin-social-distancing-writing/

I discovered this article that talked about how Game of Thrones creator, George R. R. Martin, is spending his Coronavirus self-quarantine. Apparently, he has been writing daily during his social distancing, which includes finishing The Winds of Winter. George has the right idea about spending time during self-quarantine. I think I will do the same with my writing. With no job to go to and school shut down, I have a lot of time to kill. I just published Cosmic Genten so I think I will concentrate on writing my new superhero book. Based on how much time I have on my hands, I think I might get my new superhero book done by the end of the year. Wish me luck!

MY OPINION ON GAME OF THRONES SEASONS 7 AND 8

For over two and a half years, I have been trying to justify and rationalize the last two seasons of Game of Thrones. Now, I realize that I cannot and it is time for me to be brutally honest with how the show ended. Both seasons were VERY poorly written and executed. They were rushed, recycled classic quotes from previous seasons instead of coming up with something new, and destroyed all the main character arcs. For example, they ruined Jaime Lannister’s redemption story by giving him some redeeming qualities but those qualities were not enough to truly redeem him. With Tyrion Lannister, they dumbed him down compared to how he was in earlier seasons. With Cersei Lannister, she did lose everything to a younger and more beautiful queen but wasn’t killed by a “younger brother” and her death was nowhere near satisfying. With Jon Snow, he died so he could leave the Night’s Watch only to be sent back in the end, which made his sacrifice meaningless. With Daenerys Targaryen, the whole Mad Queen change was too sudden and not believable because she may have been ruthless throughout the series but ruthless does not necessarily lead to madness. Even the war with the White Walkers was a complete disappointment. This list of destroyed character arcs goes on and on. There were also several scenes that were a complete waste of film without meaning or purpose. I can’t even stomach watching these seasons again. I have read fan fiction that was better written than the last two seasons. Due to this, I am going to pretend the last two seasons don’t exist and choose my favorite fan fiction as the ending. I am also worried about how the last two seasons will affect fans of the books because some think the books’ ending will be just as bad as the show or worse. This could potentially kill the books and that makes me worry.

HOUSE TARGARYEN: THE DRAGON LIVES!!!

AEGON_IV

I just realized something significant about House Targaryen! Even though Daenerys is dead and “Jon Snow” is exiled, they are not the last of the Targaryens; far from it! Allow me to explain. Over a hundred years before the main story of Game of Thrones, Aegon the Unworthy legitimized ALL of his bastards on his deathbed. This led to the five Blackfyre Rebellions. However, Daemon Blackfyre, Aegor “Bittersteel” Rivers, and Brynden “Bloodraven” Rivers were not Aegon’s only bastards of noble birth and not all of Aegon’s bastards of noble birth were acknowledged. Also, even though Aegon had nine prominent mistresses, the exact number of women he had children with are unknown even to him. He definitely had more bastards than even Walder Frey or Robert Baratheon and he legitimized ALL of his bastards including the ones who were unacknowledged or of low birth. The only catch is that these legitimized bastards and their descendants don’t know who or what they are. Even though most of Aegon the Unworthy’s noble bastards mostly killed each other off, his unacknowledged and low birth bastards and their descendants still live. With no one knowing who they are, they will not be hunted and killed like their known relatives. Because they were legitimized, they and their descendants are not bastards anymore. Due to this House Targaryen still lives, but only in secret.