Archive for the ‘Game of Thrones’ Category

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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When Words Fail: Trial by Combat

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

Posted: July 22, 2019 by patricksponaugle in Diary, Game of Thrones
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For three days mid-July, 2019, Nashville Tennessee played host to the third Con of Thrones. (If the name doesn’t make it clear, this is a convention for fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones – as well as the book series the show is based on.)

The convention returned to Nashville where it debuted in 2017 after spending 2018 in Dallas, Texas. As a resident of the East Coast, I was happy that the convention was once again within driving distance.

This year’s featured guest was the Kingslayer himself, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, along with Jerome Flynn who played the upwardly-mobile sellsword Bronn on the show. Returning guests included Hannah “Gilly” Murray and Miltos Yerolemou, who taught Arya Stark to water dance as Syrio Forel and has given fencing workshops at all previous Con of Thrones.

Guests aside, the convention featured a tremendous amount programming in the form of discussion panels. Con of Thrones has always had a great deal of fan engagement, not only in the audience attending panels covering various topics related to the show and books, but also in the wide variety of fan-expert panelists. The panels were stacked with entertainment writers, authors, podcasters, Reddit moderators, bloggers, YouTubers, cosplayers, lawyers, therapists, and actors.

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Game of Thrones does not always give you what you want. Anyone who has seen the latest and penultimate episode “The Bells” knows what I’m talking about.

The wonderful people over on the Watchers on the Wall fansite have kindly given me the opportunity to discuss the decisions and actions of one of the main characters, Daenerys Targaryen. And what exactly she might have wanted as part of the Stark/Targaryen coalition fight against the Lannister faction holding King’s Landing, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms.

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This weekend will feature the final episode of Game of Thrones, the last episode of the last season. For fun, I’ve put together ten yes-or-no questions that will be answered during the episode. (I feel this is non-spoilery, since I don’t know what’s going to happen.)

No one is required to play, or even tell me their answers/predictions. There is no prize for getting all of them right, or all of them wrong. The reward is just in playing along.

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