Category Archives: A Song of Ice and Fire

Stannis’ Endgame: Book vs. Show

Few events in the show have had as dramatic a response from the fandom toward a single character as Stannis’ decision to sacrifice Shireen in Season 5, Episode 9 of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Memes of “Stannis the Mannis” and “Best Father in Westeros” gave way to rage towards Stannis, and rage towards the showrunners for committing character assassination. However, as someone who’s in the middle of a project of analyzing A Clash of Kings, a lot of these arguments relating to Shireen ring falsely to me and ignore much of GRRM’s work.

To me, the bigger scandal is to take this potentially epic tragedy and waste it completely, as was done in Season 5, Episode 10. If it’s any consolation, I’m convinced that GRRM’s plan is quite different from what we saw – but to see the outlines of the destiny that lies in wait for Stannis Baratheon, you need to go back to the text (as Benioff and Weiss should have done).

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Guest Appearance on Radio Westeros!

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Radio Westeros has released their podcast episode on the Battle of Fire, and this one is something special. It’s designed as a radio play, with Yolkboy, Lady Gwen, BryndenBFish, Aziz, Valkryist and yours truly reporting live from Meereen as the definitely not-dead Ser Barristan Selmy and the Unsullied go toe-to-toe with the slavers of Essos, covering military strategy, political machinations, history, etc.

I highly encourage all of you to check this one out.

Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis: Theon III, ACOK

“It’s not Torrhen’s Square I mean to take.”

Synopsis: Theon, Dagmer, and Aeron attack the Stony Shore and ambush the Wild Hares. Aeron insists on sacrificing Benfred

SPOILER WARNING: This chapter analysis, and all following, will contain spoilers for all Song of Ice and Fire novels and Game of Thrones episodes. Caveat lector.

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Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis: Tyrion VIII, ACOK

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“When a king dies, fancies sprout like mushrooms in the dark.”

Synopsis: Tyrion, Varys, Littlefinger, and Cersei deal with the fallout from Renly’s death.

SPOILER WARNING: This chapter analysis, and all following, will contain spoilers for all Song of Ice and Fire novels and Game of Thrones episodes. Caveat lector.

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Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis: Bran V, ACOK

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“I never used to fall before. When I climbed. I went everyplace…now when I sleep I fall all the time.” 

Synopsis: Bran gets some new news, the Walders get some old news, Ser Rodrik arrives with Reek in tow, and Jojen teaches Bran some more about prophecy.

SPOILER WARNING: This chapter analysis, and all following, will contain spoilers for all Song of Ice and Fire novels and Game of Thrones episodes. Caveat lector.

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Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis: Jon IV, ACOK

“When the direwolf raised his head, his eyes glowed red and baleful, and water streamed from his jaws like slaver. There was something fierce and terrible about him in that instant.”

Synopsis: Jon Snow and the Great Ranging arrives at the Fist of the First Men, and Timmy’s fallen down a well.

SPOILER WARNING: This chapter analysis, and all following, will contain spoilers for all Song of Ice and Fire novels and Game of Thrones episodes. Caveat lector.

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Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis: Catelyn IV, ACOK

“She thought she glimpsed movement, but when she turned her head, it was only the king’s shadow shifting against the silken walls. She heard Renly begin a jest, his shadow moving, lifting its sword, black on green, candles guttering, shivering, something was queer, wrong, and then she saw Renly’s sword was still in its scabbard, sheathed still, but the shadowsword…the steel of his gorget parted like cheesecloth beneath the shadow of a blade that was not there.”

Synopsis: Catelyn and Renly meet for the last time. It does not go well.

SPOILER WARNING: This chapter analysis, and all following, will contain spoilers for all Song of Ice and Fire novels and Game of Thrones episodes. Caveat lector.

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Hymn for Spring is Live!

And you can now buy it and read my essays, which I have been waiting for people to read a long time now, plus some excellent work by Jeff Hartline, Stefan Sasse, Aziz and Ashaya, Amin Javadi, and so many more!

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Sneak Peak from “Kings, Hands, and City-States: Analyzing a World of Ice and Fire”

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If you follow Race for the Iron Throne, you know that I’m in the process of getting ready for publication of a book of my Tower of the Hand essays, which will come with some pretty awesome book-only extras. We’re getting pretty close to being able to announce the launch date and other amazing stuff, but I wanted to share an excerpt from one of my new, never-seen-before essays:

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Progress Update

Hey folks, since it’s been a few days since the last update, I thought I’d put this up to let people know what I’ve been up to. Over the last week, I’ve been primarily writing a series of essays that haven’t seen the light yet – I wrote a bonus essay about the history of the smallfolk that’s going to go in Hymn for Spring, and I’ve been writing two essays that update the Hands of the King and Hollow Crowns series for the upcoming “Analyzing” e-book. Needless to say, it’s taken a little bit longer for me to finish these than I had originally thought, which has slowed down the chapter analyses a little bit. I have the next two chapters outlined, so those are going to return to schedule shortly. I’m also working on some Game of Thrones recap stuff that I’m hoping to put up shortly.

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In other news, I’ve also shaved off some free time this weekend to play through Telltale’s Game of Thrones – I’m going to start from Episode 1, set up some decisions a bit better now that I have a sense of how they open or close various options, and go from there.

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