Game of Thrones is over, but that shouldn’t stop us from talking about the show or the logical consequences of what might happen going forward in this fictional universe. Particularly in regards to politics, because the political situation in Westeros was a topic that we could all (mostly) discuss with our family at Thanksgiving, without fear of being written out of the will or something.

Arya: Cowards! Challenge your Republican relatives to Trial by Combat!

The final storyline in the show, after Season 8 dealt with the White Walkers (Arya took care of business by stabbing the icy Night King), dealt with the treacherous Lannisters (Daenerys Targaryen brought the Red Keep down on Cersei and Jaime Lannister), dealt with a Daenerys who was tired-of-not-being-taken-seriously (Jon Snow took her seriously and pulled an Arya on her), was the show dealing with the question of who would be on the Iron Throne at the end.

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While Game of Thrones was on the air, I was fortunate enough to write about the show over on the excellent show-centric website Watchers on the Wall. But, even though the show has concluded, there are still books due to be published. Over on the WotW site, I have a new feature that largely involves book speculation. Sort of.

In the post, I speculate that Bran Stark’s book storyline might act as a reference to the failed ambitions of his grace, King Stannis Baratheon.

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In Defense of the Witcher

Posted: January 1, 2020 by patricksponaugle in Opinion, TV
Tags: ,

This post will be about the Netflix show The Witcher. Full disclosure, I’ve only seen four episodes, and I will totally be dropping spoilers about what I’ve seen roughly halfway through this post. I will give a warning when things are going to get revealing.

I’m calling this post In Defense of the Witcher, but there’s very little that needs defending in my opinion. It’s a good show; but your mileage may vary. And early on in its release, the show might have needed some defending.

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It’s January, HAPPY NEW YEAR so I went through my social media feeds and grabbed all of the MicroStories I’d tweeted during the month of December. It seems so long ago, 2019. Gosh.

As a reminder, these represent story-essences composed using no more than 269 characters (so I could tweet them with the hashtag #MicroStory.)

Usually, I only tweet Science Fiction and Fantasy #MicroStories. December was no exception. Although, the month was special in that my Twitter friend @MichelleDVM99 requested I write a MicroStory based on some photos she sent me. That made my day.

For really great #MicroStory action, please follow @MicroSFF, the Twitter account that inspired me to participate in this minimalist writing exercise. That feed puts out great science fiction and fantasy MicroStories all the time.

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When Words Fail: Trial by Combat

Posted: December 19, 2019 by patricksponaugle in Game of Thrones, Opinion
Tags: ,

The legal system in Westeros leaves much to be desired. There is no dedicated feudal analog of a judicial branch, ideally guided with fairness, objectivity, and the concept of justice. Instead, legal disputes are adjudicated by lords who often have vested interests in the outcomes and the overpowered ability to settle disputes by fiat (and with the martial support to have their decisions enforced.)

Tyrion is not impressed with this episode of Law and Order: King’s Landing

One would hope that disputes aren’t entirely decided arbitrarily by feudal lords; that local customs, precedents, and traditions might hold sway. But that’s not a given when the common-folk are facing the sharp end of Westeros justice.

Although the smallfolk of the Seven Kingdoms have less flexibility when it comes to facing legal issues, those with more status and privilege do have the option to take decision-making out of the hands of overlords and into their own. If they can accept the risks of Trial by Combat.

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It’s December, so I went through my social media feeds and grabbed all of the MicroStories I’d tweeted during the month of November.

As a reminder, these represent story-essences composed using no more than 269 characters (so I could tweet them with the hashtag #MicroStory.)

Usually, I only tweet Science Fiction and Fantasy #MicroStories. November was no exception.

For really great #MicroStory action, please follow @MicroSFF, the Twitter account that inspired me to participate in this minimalist writing exercise. That feed puts out great science fiction and fantasy MicroStories all the time.

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The final season of Game of Thrones has come and gone, closing the chapter on the conflict between Starks, Lannisters, and Targaryens with battles, betrayals, and the unexpected choice of a boy-king to rule over (most) of the kingdoms of Westeros. The conclusion of the story was tied in with the tragic fall of Daenerys Targaryen, who ambitiously considered herself The Last Dragon and had long sought to reclaim the seat of power that had been literally forged by her ancestors.

There’s solid analysis talking about Daenerys as a tragic hero in the Shakespearean mold. I’ll be happy to recommend articles from ShakespeareOfThrones discussing the Shakespearean ending to the series, as well as /r/asoiaf subreddit moderator glass_table_girl and her epic opus on Daenerys which predicted a literary-inspired tragic fall. But I’m not here to talk about Shakespeare. Instead, I’d like to talk about Daenerys and her association with the other prominent Targaryen in the story, Jon Snow, from an Arthurian perspective.

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