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MASTER OF THE IMPOSSIBLE

This is the magician my mother and I will be seeing on our first night in Las Vegas: Mat Franco. Apparently, he competed in the show America’s Got Talent, which is one of my mother’s favorite shows. Before watching this video, I did not know he existed. Now, I am convinced that he truly is a master of the impossible and sorcerer supreme. I am eager to see what else this wizard is capable of when I see him up close and personal.

GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8: BATTLE OF WINTERFELL

I am looking forward to the upcoming final battle of Winterfell in Game of Thrones Season 8. If the rumors can be believed, then this one battle is going to be the longest battle ever filmed in either movie or television. Like many battles we saw in the series, we will be seeing that battle unfold from the point of view of several characters. The filmmakers said they drew inspiration from the Battle of Helms Deep in The Lord of the Rings.

Now let us take a look at the numbers and advantages of both sides are. For the White Walkers, Daenerys claimed that their army consisted of at least 100,000 wights, at least three giants, at least 99 White Walkers, and one undead dragon that is powerful enough to breach the Wall. Now that the Wall is breached, the Army of the Dead will continue to grow in number with each castle, town, and village that crosses their path. By the time they reach Winterfell, the Army of the Dead may number to about 120,000 or 130,000 strong.

For the living, the White Walkers will be up against the combined armies of the North, Vale, Unsullied, and Dothraki. Due to the casualties they sustained throughout the War of the Five Kings, the North’s current military strength has been stated to be less than 10,000. Due to remaining neutral throughout the War of the Five Kings and participating in only a single battle, the Knights of the Vale are still at full strength at 20,000 strong. Due to the casualties they sustained while occupying Meereen and taking Casterly Rock, the Unsullied’s numbers have shrunk from 8,000 to between 7,500 and 7,000. The Dothraki participated in a single battle when they numbered 100,000, but they still have a respectably big army between 90,000 to 80,000 strong. There are rumors that Jaime Lannister will try to rally of the remaining Riverland armies on his way to the North. Since the Riverlands was where the bulk of the fighting took place in the War of the Five Kings, it is likely they can only muster between a few hundred or a few thousand at best. In total, Winterfell will be garrisoned by an army that was between 120,000 to 130,000 strong. Also, this alliance will be armed with dragonglass, two dragons, and a few Valyrian steel blades. In addition, there have been reports that Wintefell’s defenses will be greatly increased as well.

Due to these numbers and advantages, it looks like the armies of the living and the dead are evenly matched and it could be anyone’s fight. One way for another, the fate of the Seven Kingdoms and probably the Known World will be decided at Winterfell. And the heroes still have Cersei Lannister to deal with afterwards. It is going to be an epic final season!

THE BLADE THAT WAS BROKEN

I like to think of the Stark’s ancestral sword, Ice, to be the Game of Thrones version of Narsil from The Lord of the Rings. Narsil was broken when cutting the One Ring from Sauron’s hand before being reforged into Anduril the Flame of the West. With Ice, it was destroyed and reforged into the twin swords Oathkeeper and Widow’s Wail in an attempt to make the Lannister’s short lived victory over the Starks complete and absolute. Now, both halves of Ice are going to be in Winterfell next season and it was rumored that they will be remade back into one sword at the end of the series. Due to the fact that only a handful of people know how to reforge Valyrian steel, some people may be skeptical about this rumor. However, Gendry’s blacksmithing mentor was the one who remade Ice and knew how to reforge Valyrian steel. It is possible that he may have taught Gendry some of his tricks in working Valyrian steel. If this is the case, then Gendry might reforge Oathkeeper and Widow’s Wail back into Ice just as the shards of Narsil were reforged into Anduril. George R. R. Martin did say that he was a fan of The Lord of the Rings so he may go this route by having Ice become the Game of Thrones version of Anduril.

QUEEN SANSA STARK

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I came across an intriguing rumor that Sansa Stark will win the Iron Throne in the end of Game of Thrones. At first, I was against this, but now I know it makes sense. It is all but confirmed that Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen will die along with the remaining two dragons. Also, it was rumored that Bran Stark will die after he fulfills his purpose as the new Three-Eyed Raven. If both Jon and Daenerys die without an heir and if Bran dies as well, then Sansa would be next in line to the Iron Throne due to her aunt Lyanna’s marriage to Rhaegar Targaryen and being Jon Snow’s cousin. I guess Lyanna Stark unwittingly gave her nieces and nephews the biggest inheritance of all when she married Rhaegar. This is similar to how Elizabeth I died without an heir and she was succeeded by her cousin James VI. If this happens, then the Iron Throne will finally be legitimately inherited for the first time since the beginning of the Mad King’s reign. Sansa’s time in King’s Landing and her tutelage under Littlefinger have taught her the cutthroat politics and treachery needed to keep the Iron Throne and destroy her enemies. It is ironic, Littlefinger has been grooming Sansa to be his queen in his own quest for the Iron Throne, but she might become queen all on her own in her own right. Also, this would be the start of a Stark Dynasty ruling the Seven Kingdoms. Some people might think Sansa might lose the Stark name to her next husband, but this is not necessarily the case. During the Andal Invasion, there were cases in which husbands would inherit their wives’ surnames when his wife’s family has no other male heirs. This happened with the Lannisters a few times so it could happen with Sansa and the Stark bloodline and name will survive. Thanks to everything Sansa has learned and experienced, House Stark will never be betrayed or destroyed again. Even though Harrold Hardyng, heir of Robin Arryn, has not appeared in the show, I think he will be Sansa’s King Consort just like Albert was with Victoria. Throughout the series, we thought Margery Tyrell or Daenerys Targaryen were the prophecised queen destined to take everything away from Cersei Lannister. Now, it looks like it will be Sansa, the girl Cersei and Joffrey abused and tormented for years and whose father they murdered in front of. If Sansa usurps Cersei, she will be out for bloody revenge against the Mad Queen and I cannot wait to see it! Sansa of House Stark, The First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals, the First Men, and the Rhoynar, Lady of the Seven Kingdoms, Protector of the Realm, and the Queen in the North! I like the sound of that!

GOTHAM: JEROME VS JEREMIAH

In the show called Gotham, we were presented with TWO versions of Batman’s most infamous nemesis, the Joker. The two versions are twin brothers named Jerome and Jeremiah Valeska. At first, we thought Jerome was going to be THE Joker, but it looks like he was just the man who inspired the rise of the TRUE Joker, who seems to be Jeremiah. One could argue that Jerome symbolizes the Heath Ledger version of the Joker while Jeremiah represents the Jack Nicolson version of the Joker. Their personalities and levels of insanity are similar and yet different at the same time. Jerome was a clear psychopath and anarchist who loved to laugh and cause death and destruction. Jeremiah, however, is cold, analytical, and shows little human emotion, which makes Jeremiah more of a sociopath instead of a psychopath and unlike Jerome, he does not laugh often. Both cause death and destruction for fun, but Jerome causes chaos for the sake of chaos while Jeremiah creates chaos to recreate the world in his image. It has been stated that the Joker is not a person but an ideology, but I think we may be seeing the rise of the TRUE Joker at the end of Season 4. Overall, I think Jeremiah is worse than Jerome because even though he is just as insane as Jerome, he is more intellectual and calculating, which makes far more creative in his madness than Jerome ever was, which would make Jeremiah infinitely more dangerous and more likely to be THE Joker. Another hint of Jeremiah being the TRUE Joker is that he would not kill Bruce Wayne, unlike Jerome. The reason this is such a telling clue is because the Joker’s greatest weakness that he cannot imagine a world without Batman since Batman was “too much fun”. I look forward to seeing Jeremiah continue to evolve into one of the most infamous supervillain of all time!

GOTHAM SEASON 4 FINALE

I just watched the trailer for the Season 4 Finale for Gotham and I think this is when we see the completion of Bruce Wayne’s transformation into Batman. In addition, we might see the rise of the TRUE Joker as well as Ra’s al Ghul and how they will affect Bruce for the rest of his life. When I finished watching the trailer and considered what was to come, I could hear this song in my head: the chanting from The Dark Knight Rises!

IS THE IRON THRONE STILL RELEVANT?

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When it was first created, the Iron Throne was intended to be a symbol that would unite the Seven Kingdoms under a single banner after thousands of years of infighting. For a time, the Iron Throne’s intended purpose was good for the realm, but it gradually turned into a symbol of tyranny, corruption, and treachery. Due to this, the power and absolute authority the Iron Throne promised started two of the largest, bloodiest, and most destructive civil wars Westeros has ever known: The Dance of the Dragons and the War of the Five Kings. The War of the Five Kings, in particular, had switched hands so many times and warped the line of succession so greatly that no one in their right mind would trust the Iron Throne’s credibility ever again. Also, with so many kingdoms kept under the the ruling monarch’s boot, many people will want to be free from the Iron Throne’s influence forever. However, as long as the Iron Throne exists, Westeros will never know freedom and peace. Therefore, it makes sense that the Iron Throne should be destroyed and for all kingdoms to become independent. That is the only way to permanently end the cycle of war, corruption, and treachery. If the plot leak I uncovered is true, then Daenerys Targaryen went through all that trouble only to destroy the very object she wanted her whole life. That is a bittersweet way for the story to end because Daenerys went through so much hardship just to destroy her ancestors’ legacy for all time. It is bitter because all the effort she put in to her quest will be in vain, but it will be sweet because she will have broken the wheel she had sworn to break. As the Breaker of Chains, she will break the biggest shackle of them all, a tyrant’s throne.

GAME OF THRONES: POST-SEASON 8 CROWNLANDS

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As I mentioned in my last post, it has been revealed that Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, their unborn children, and remaining two dragons will survive in the end. In the plot leak I mentioned in my last post, Daenerys will give birth to twins, one who is a boy who inherited Jon Snow’s Stark features of black hair and grey eyes and a girl who inherited Daenerys’s Targaryen features of white hair and purple eyes. Due to this, I think all modern Targaryens will either have black hair and grey eyes or white hair and purple eyes, but they would always have the long face of the Starks. It is unknown if Daenerys and Jon will have more than two children, but if so then that would serve House Targaryen even better. Drogon and Rhaegal will probably start roosting on Dragonstone and lay a clutch of eggs, which would be available to future generations of Targaryens. Dragonstone is easily the best place to breed and house dragons in all of Westeros, even more so than the Dragonpit, and has been for three hundred years.

With the Seven Kingdoms independent and the Iron Throne destroyed, Jon and Daenerys ¬†will likely rule the Crownlands and abandon King’s Landing, replacing it with Dragonstone as their seat. With no Iron Throne, King’s Landing would be reduced from the capital of an empire to the largest and wealthiest trade center in Westeros, which would serve as the bulk of the modern Targaryens’ wealth. Jon and Daenerys will probably give King’s Landing to their most loyal supporter in the Crownlands, whoever that is. The fertile farmlands of Crownlands would also serve as the kingdom’s main source of food alongside trade with both the rest of Westeros and the Free Cities of Essos. The Kingswood would remain the Targaryens’ private hunting ground. Tournaments and other festivities would be held right outside the gates of King’s Landing.

In terms of military, it has been stated in a semi-canon source that the full military strength of the Crownlands would be between ten to eighteen thousand strong while its navy was over two hundred ships. Once Westeros has stabilized, I can imagine that these numbers will remain the same after a few generations of healing. It may be small compared to the rest of the Seven Kingdoms, but its strength would be explosively augmented by dragons. If a rebellion breaks out, it can be swiftly ended with just a dragon or two. Dragonstone by itself can hold a garrison of around five hundred men, which is increased to around three thousand when combined with the other islands in Blackwater Bay.

With Houses Frey and Tully all but extinct and the Riverlands practically leaderless, I wonder if Jon and Daenerys would negotiate the annexation of the Riverlands to the modern Crownlands. This would more than double their military strength, increase their wealth, and boost production of food. The Riverlands had been fought over and conquered countless times since the Dawn Age, but Jon and Daenerys would be the first to peacefully gain the Riverlands through negotiation instead of war. In total, this modern Crownlands will grow into a kingdom that stretches from the western coast of the Riverlands to Dragonstone. It would be a kingdom that would be roughly the same size as the Reach and a third of the size of the North. It would be a worthy inheritance for Jon and Daenerys to pass onto their children and descendants.

As the actual head of House Targaryen, I can imagine Jon Snow bringing a Stark-like flare to Dragonstone. It is a nice thought if Dragonstone becomes as peaceful and lively as Winterfell was before the War of the Five Kings. While Daenerys would teach their children dragonriding and when to ruthless, Jon would teach them Stark honor such as “the man who passes the sentence must swing the sword.” Longclaw would replace Blackfyre and Dark Sister as the new Valyrian steel sword of House Targaryen and Jon would probably hang it above the mantle in the Chamber of the Painted Table. Also, I can see Jon salvaging a weirwood tree from the Winterfell godswood and planting it on a hill on Dragonstone, which would be where future generations of Targaryens would execute condemned criminals, have weddings, and worship the Old Gods of the Forest like the Starks before them.

In terms of politics, I can imagine Jon and Daenerys marrying their son and daughter to two of their Crownland vassals, Houses Velaryon and Celtigar. Like the Targaryens, the Velaryons and Celtigars are of Valyrian descent and they intermarried one another multiple times to keep their Valyrian blood pure. Marrying their son and daughter to each of these Houses would not only ensure the purity of the blood of the dragon, but it will allow them to reconnect with their old vassals and cousins. After this, the incestuous practices of House Targaryen will be brought to a permanent end. Over time, they would probably marry their descendants off to the other noble Houses across the Crownlands/Riverlands in order to consolidate their hold on the kingdom. In two or three generations, the Crownlands/Riverlands will be firmly in House Targaryens’ hands. Once their hold on the modern Crownlands is complete, future generations of Targaryens would improve foreign relations with the other sovereign kingdoms by marrying into other royal families. This would further guarantee the duration of the peace that untold thousands (or even millions) died for.

In the past, Targaryen kings were titled “King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm”. However, those titles were only relevant as long as the Iron Throne existed and the Seven Kingdoms were united under a single banner. With the Seven Kingdoms independent from one another, the modern Targaryens would adopt new titles to suit their new position. I can imagine them styling themselves as “Lords of Dragonstone and Kings of the Blackwater and the Trident”. The heir apparent to their throne would retain their title “Prince or Princess of Dragonstone”.

Overall, I think the Crownlands/Riverlands will be an adequate amount of land for Jon and Daenerys to manage after Season 8 and it should be safe in their hands.

GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8 ENDING (SPOILERS)

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I finally know what will happen in Season 8 of Game of Thrones and how the series will end. I have been keeping tabs on a YouTube channel called Talking Thrones for years and he was right about everything about Season 7 before it was even aired. Because of this, I have no reason to doubt the revelations he presented.

George R. R. Martin did warn us that the story would have a bitter-sweet ending and now I finally understand what he meant. Let’s start with the bitter part of the ending. Ultimately, no one gets the Iron Throne in the end. The reason for this is because it was destroyed after Cersei was defeated. Daenerys Targaryen does ultimately win the Iron Throne, but she decides to destroy it because it is the wheel she wanted to break all along. Besides, even though she would have had the Iron Throne the price would have been too great because of the catastrophic loss of life both in the War of the Five Kings and the new Long Night. Therefore, Daenerys would no longer see the Iron Throne worth it. With the Iron Throne ceasing to exist, the Seven Kingdoms will also be disbanded. So, here is the overview of the bitter part of the ending: Seven Kingdoms ravaged, untold thousands slaughtered, and bloodlines severed. And for what? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!! Everyone who has died in the fight for the Iron Throne throughout the series has died in vain!

Due to this revelation, I think the Iron Throne is the One Ring of Game of Thrones. Both are objects of power that can corrupt whoever wields them and cause mass destruction. In addition, the only way Middle-Earth and Westeros can know peace is the destruction of both the One Ring and the Iron Throne.

More aspects of the bitter part of the ending will involve over two thirds of the remaining characters being wiped out while fighting both the White Walkers and Cersei. After fulfilling his purpose as the three-eyed raven, Bran Stark will lose all of his greensight powers and die. King’s Landing will be in ruins after the final battle against Cersei, but most of the wildfire will not go off. Winterfell and almost every castle in the North will be in ruins and the battlefield where the White Walkers are defeated will be littered with tens of thousands of corpses.

Now for the sweet part of the ending. Even though two thirds of the characters we have come to know and love will die, the survivors will have a happy ending as they rebuilt Westeros. Each kingdom will become independent and a new series of rules are put in place to prevent the rise of another tyrant like Cersei. Among the surviving characters will be Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, Sansa Stark, Arya Stark, Gendry, Tyrion Lannister, Jaime Lannister, Brienne of Tarth, the Hound, Bronn, Samwell Tarly, Gilly, Little Sam, and Daenerys’s remaining two dragons Drogon and Rhaegal. When the Seven Kingdoms become independent, Sansa and Arya Stark will rule the North, Jaime and Tyrion Lannister will rule the Westerlands, Samwell Tarly and Gilly will rule Hornhill and possibly the entire Reach, Gendry will be legitimized as a Baratheon and rule the Stormlands, and Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen will rule Dragonstone and possibly the Crownlands to raise their children and dragons. With the dawn and spring approaching, Westeros is beginning to stabilize and peace is restored though at a terrible cost.

Another aspect of the bitter part of the ending is that even though the Iron Throne will be destroyed and peace is restored to the realm, there is no way of knowing how long that peace will last. The possibility exists that someone in the distant future may develop ambitions to conquer the Seven Kingdoms under a single banner start the cycle of corruption, war, and treachery all over again. For example, even though Jon Snow and Daenerys may be content to live out their days on Dragonstone, their descendants may follow in Aegon the Conqueror’s footsteps.

Overall, this is the ending I would like out of all the possible scenarios and I look forward to seeing it next year.