alexandral: (GoT - Asha Greyjoy picture)
OH I AM SO HAPPY AND RELIEVED. THIS POST IS A BIT TOO SQUEEFUL, I AM AFRAID.

Here is the first footage from the season 2 of Game of Thrones, in case you havent seen it yet )

It might have been something the show's creators said or it might have been the abundance of Robb/Jeyne related posts in [livejournal.com profile] ontd_asoiaf (just a note: I am all for freedom of shipping and freedom of fannish opinions! I have ranted about the matter many times already and I honestly won't today. Today is the day of happy news.I am just trying to explain as to where I got the idea from), but I got somehow very worried that The season 2 is going to be all about Robb and his doomed Twilight-like love story with Jeyne.

BUT!!!!!!!!!!! It seems that the first look into the season 2 might indicate that the season is going to pay rather big attention to the storyline I am personally interested in: Stannis, Davos, Melisandre, and the rest of Baratheons. Oh, hot and "mature" pair of Stannis and Davos! Oh, fabulously gorgeous Melisandre! Come to my screen and make me happy this season. Make all the Stannis haters into loving converts and show a thing or two to people who think that "Davos is boring".

Also, it seems that the wigs and costumes have undergone a bit of a change. Everyone looks much better, especially Renly and Loras. But this said - have I ever seen anything as ridiculous as Renly's crown? I don't think so. :D Not on my TV. THE CROWN IS FULL OF HORNS. MANY HORNS. And it sits ridiculously low. It makes Renly look like Prince John from Disney's Robin Hood. Please see the picture comparisons below. My apologies to any of Renly's fans on my friends list, but I think Renly is forever ruined for me. I won't be able to look at him again without giggling inside. I am going to call it The Crown of Horns.




Also, a fan of Sandor Clegane in me is very happy too. I have a big heart and I am fan of many characters, and Sandor is one of my favourites. I am so happy to report that I think Season 2 Sandor looks seriously hot. Has the actor lost some weight? Is it the new beard and the new hair? Anyways, you will have to bear with me this season because I will be doing all sorts of fan-lady things about Sandor.

Sandor in season 2: )

Misfits I have been watching the show, and it is fun. I am reporting a rather amusing thing: I have been told by my colleagues that I am somewhat like Kelly. Not in the crazy dress sense, in "I will not suffer nonsense gladly" sense. OH YES.

PS: These happy news have managed to tear me out of my "I am all about work" mood. EEEEEEEEEEEE!
alexandral: (GoT - anim Tywin eyes)
I am in procrastinating mood today (the weather has been very gloomy lately), so I want to post about "Liking a fictional character". These are just my thoughts, the way things work for me, and all your thoughts are welcome!

The questions are:

Can a person like a fictional character that is NOT Good?

Does liking a "not good" character say something about the moral qualities of the person (the answer is no, methinks :D)?

What does "I like a fictional character" mean? I think this might have different meanings for different people..


For me - liking a fictional character doesn't equal liking a person in RL. When I say "I like a fictional character" I mean "I find her/him interesting" and in no way this is related to their virtues or the lack of thereof. Strangely enough, really good characters, as well as complete monsters, are almost never very interesting. There are exceptions to the rule, but in general, this is the case.

So when I say "I like her/him" I don't mean I condone throwing little kids out of the windows. I mean that there are interesting traits, or some interesting character development, or an interesting idea that this character represents. Some of the characters I like are just purely interesting to discuss, or sometimes they touch on some geeky ideas I have (for example, I love tournaments - Jaime, dogs - Sandor, and Joan of Arc - Brienne).

I never like characters "for the cause". I am a feminist and a stand-for-the-rights-of-all-oppressed person, but I don't like agenda in fiction, even "good" agenda". Agenda-driven books never rise above mediocrity, I feel, because the author's focus is not in "creating".
As far as characters go, I don't feel I "have to" only like female characters (because I am a feminist) or I "have to" only be interested in male characters that share my ideas. Because - WHY???? What does this have to do with their ability to be interesting? Like one Russian saying goes - "it is not as if we are going to be drinking buddies!". I find both these characters fascinating because I am interested in "dark recesses of human soul", but of course I don't think they are "good people"! :D

I also very rarely side with a character or a group of characters, maybe because they are not real people, but sort of fictional ideas for me? I mean - I will not dislike the character X just because they have done something bad to the character Y whom I happen to love.
alexandral: (Art - Yerko - old souceress)
Dear friends, I am so sorry for the second day of ranting but I feel compelled to tell you all what I think about this over-celebrated character because some discussion on over-celebrated characters arisen in yesterday’s comments.

Disclaimer: These are just my thoughts, and I do not hold the right to absolute truth and welcome discussion. To tell you the truth, this week is the week students are back to Universities, and I am having a case of a terrible cranky. Did I tell you I work in one of UK Universities (in Information services department as "systems analyst" which is another word for database programmer)? I hate the first "back to school" weeks mostly because the traffic becomes unbearable. The situation evens out a bit later on (it is known that one only attends their lectures in September and October), but late September and October is a killer traffic-wise.

So: What about Robb?

One of the most puzzling (to me) phenomena that I see on LJ is immense popularity of Robb Stark. Recently, I have made few polls in LJ ASOIAF communities and he always tends to be near the top. To me personally, this character (although quite sympathetic) never held too much value, because:

Book spoilers )

I have been trying to think of explanations for his popularity, but all I could gather is:

- Robb is played by a young attractive male actor. Is this a good enough reason? I will not go as far as claim any "sexism!" or "ageism!" or any other explanations, but one wonders. :D But if I have ever seen an over-celebrated character, it is Robb in my opinion.

PS: BTW, I think Robert Madden is fabu!

PS2: I think Rhaegar and other "white knights" are also over-celebrated, just not as much. For one thing, Rhaegar was the Crown Prince
alexandral: (GoT - Winter the watch oath)
The third part of the book was the best , most likely because all the characters are back !



My thoughts, on the third part of a Dance with Dragons )
alexandral: (GoT - Winter the watch oath)
The North remembers

A Dance with Dragons continues to be uneven, but for me this might become my favourite book in the series. The biggest (and the most interesting) part of ADWD takes place in the North, and I love it (the snowstorms, the Northern gods, and all).

Spoilery thoughts on ADWD's second third )

Also, because I feel so nostalgic after all the descriptions of snow storms in ADWD, snow in Siberia:

alexandral: (GoT - anim Tyrion I'll give you this)
"They'll prune you when you least expect it."


I am finally getting somewhere with the proper read of ADWD. I have done a spoilery read-though already but this is not the same. Actually, I cheated bit. I found my several attempts to get through the first 1/10 of the book to be a bit hard going, so I acquired an audio version for my Scotland travels and the audio version worked very well (now I know how all the names are supposed to be pronounced!). I am through the first 1/3!!!! Woo-hoo!

First, the unspoilery part:
I think Martin needs a strict editor or someone else to tell him “NO”. In the first third only, we had so much unnecessary stuff. I have roughly counted how many times chamber pots and people relieving themselves were mentioned, and the number is over 20. Martin seems to be drawn to certain things again and again, like already mentioned toilet habits of various people (especially Tyrion), and the same phrases seem to pop up again and again. But this is not the main problem. Martin seems to like to list things and people, to the point of new information overload. We are given lists of everyone: wildlings, people in White Harbor (Wyman Manderly court), people asking for Dany’s counsel at the court in Meereen (exacerbated by strange names) , etc, etc. The problem is that there are two options here: either Martin is going to provide future storylines for all these people (please, no!), or why do we have to be given the names and descriptions of people we will never meet again?

But, this all said, A Dance with Dragons might even become one of my favourite books in A Song of Ice and Fire series, because there is so much mind-blowing good things there too.



The spoilery part,combined by POV chapters: )
alexandral: (GoT - Winter the watch oath)
I am processing the book in quickly-find-the-facts manner, and am dying to discuss

Discussions, added as I am going through the book. Spoilers galore )
alexandral: (GoT - Jaime golden lion)
I am successfully re-reading through "A Feast for Crows", only 150 pages left! I will finish the book by Tuesday, it seems. One of the in-your-face things that I noticed is how much Jaime loved and still loves Cersei. This feeling seems to be so sad and so one-sided, as there is nothing in Cersei's chapters to indicate that she ever loved him in any way other than as her own mirror and as a convenient sex-buddy. But he is still so much in love with her, I am really interested to find out what is going to happen to them next.

I am so saaaaaaaaaad! And a little bit shipping them together, may be one day she will learn what she had and let go of (I mean Jaime's love)?

There is a handful of new Nikolaj Coster-Waldau pictures:



The rest )
alexandral: (GoT - Winter the watch oath)
This is cross-posted, for keeping


I love Game of Thrones and I love Queen. It is one of my favourite bands and Freddy Mercury is the best singer ever as far as I am concerned. Here are sone of game of Thrones Characters are "Their" songs from Queen.



Youtube links and the rest of craracters )

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE QUEEN SONGS FOR YOUR FAVOURITE GAME OF THRONES CHARACTERS?
alexandral: (GoT - Asha Greyjoy picture)
This is very much in passing as RL is a bit tempestuous at the moment (my daughter has some problem with a friend - and I seem to worry over her problems much more than over my own ones, with my own problems I am usually "take a sword out and cut them all down" type).



I am still reading A Feast for Crows , I have gone through about 40% now. Brienne's and Sam's chapters are still a bit hard going, but the Kingsmoot chapters were great and so were Jaime's and Cersei's. I have a couple of questions/doubts about Euron and Aeron: Euron and Aeron: spoilers for AFFC )
alexandral: (GoT - Jaime I at the door)
This is something that always puzzled me : why is everyone , literally everyone hates Jaime for what he did to king Aerys II? I have just re-read some Brienne's chapters where she meets some ordinary people and they say things like: "Jaime Lannister is an evil Kingslayer". Doesn't this seem to be a little unfair? I mean, killing the Mad King that was about to burn up the city was a good thing to do?



However, the cause-effect chain is quite interesting, and I think the answer for the universtal hate of Jaime is actually in the way the events unfolded.Spoilers for A Feast for Crows )
alexandral: (GoT - Lady)
A Dance with Dragons is coming out so soon! I wanted (but who am I kidding) to do a complete re-read, but only had time to finish Game of Thrones so far. Considering there is only 12 days left , I decided to re-read "A Feast for Crows" in the remaining time and re-read the other books as the show airs. When I first read "A Feast for Crows" I felt confused and overwhelmed with so many new characters, and because of it I don't think I understood or remembered too much.

I have read 60 first pages of AFFC yesterday. :D

But now, it seems that ASOIF world has settled somehow in my memory because I feel totally differently. I seem to grasp who is who and what is what (with a bit of help from Google). First of all, the Ironborn are so interesting: Asha, Aeron the Damphair (with his haunting love for his dead brother) and even Victarion.

Secondly, I do seem to be getting a fair bit of understanding on "What is going on in Dorne". I remember reading AFFC for the first time and thinking "WHO ARE ALL THESE PEOPLE? SANDSNAKES? ARIENNE? Where have they all come from?" But no more! It seems now everything makes sense.

On tangential note, this is An Obscure Character Appreciation Day. I remembered how much I liked Prince Doran's bodyguard, Areo Hotah, even the first time round. Now I am getting a grasp on the bits of his backstory and he seems to be even more interesting.

Here is a picture of Areo Hotah and His Axe. I do have a thing for axes.


PS: What is your favourite Obscure Character in the ASOIF series?
alexandral: (GoT - Varys the Spider)
I have made a "Your favourite everything , season 1 of Game of Thrones" poll in [livejournal.com profile] game_thrones community. I am cross-posting the results so that I can keep track of this.
This is the second poll of this kind, the results of the previous run (created after the episode 5 of the season 1) can be found here.

Sub-poll 1: The character(s) you love the most

There aren't too many surprises in this category. There are few changes in comparison with the previous run, though. Tyrion has moved to the first place, placing Arya as the second. Dany has moved to the third place, placing Jon as the fourth. There is much less love for Jaime : he gave way to Sansa and Robb who share the fifth place.

The full list )
Character Place Number of votes Percentage of voters (%)
Tyrion Lannister 1 79 58
Arya Stark 2 68 50
Danerys Targaryen 3 55 40


Sub-poll 2: Character you love to hate

Few people asked for clarification of the "love to hate" term. This is the explanation I found scouting the Internets (Wordreference.com), which corresponds with my understanding of the term: "The term was most famously applied to Erich von Stroheim, a German actor of the silent and early sound period, who made a career of playing villainous Prussian noblemen. His portrayals were so strong that the audience would enjoy the feelings of animosity he engendered. Therefore, he was the man you love to hate."

The way I see it - the character you love to hate is the character you hate, but at the same time she/he engenders strong feelings from you and is important to the story. It is not an easy thing to write a bad character that is not cartoonish and will feel real enough to hate strongly. Someone you can channel your pent-up rage towards. My apologies for the late explanation.

There are some major changes in this sub-poll in comparison with the previous run. Joffrey seems to engender the universal hate and loathing, with as much as 67% of the voters naming him as their most hated character.

Also, as far as loathing goes, Petyr Baelish has moved up.

One surprising result for me personally: Catelyn is still hated more than Gregor Clegane, Walder Frey, Alliser Thorne and the rest. Although, looking on the positive side - Catelyn hate decreased from the previous run.

But no-one hates Ned Stark!!!!!

The full list )
Character Place Number of votes Percentage of voters (%)
Joffrey Baratheon 1 92 67
Cersei Lannister 2 74 54
Petyr Baelish 3 43 31


Sub-poll 3: The best casting

Tyrion is leading - 61% of voters list him are one of their favourite castings!

And YAY! Bronn received three votes (one of them mine)!

The full list )
Character Place Number of votes Percentage of voters (%)
Tyrion Lannister 1 84 61
Arya Stark 2 65 47
Ned Stark 3 57 42


Sub-poll 4: Your favourite pairing

Shipping! The results are very interesting. I have heard some worrying reports from here and there that large numbers of folks don't like Ned and Cat.

Do not fear! Ned/Cat as OTP triumphs everything! Yes to the great love and partnership! Dany/Drogo came second, although I am personally not very sure about this ship. Sansa/Sandor came third - the story of the Beauty and The Beast will never die!

The honorable mentions go to : Loras/Renly and Arya/Gendry (fourth and fifth).

There is also an amazing number of inventive ships! "Ros/Another Show" is my personal favourite, but there are also many other great ones, like "Jon Snow's hair/The wind".

The full list )
Ship Place Number of votes Percentage of voters (%)
Ned Stark/Catelyn Stark 1 48 35
Daenerys Targaryen/Khal Drogo 2 43 31
Sansa Stark/Sandor Clegane 3 35 26


Plsease feel free to discuss the results and bond over the shared favourites.
alexandral: (GoT - Dany nauseous)
There is something I have found very interesting whilst reading [livejournal.com profile] shapinglight's LJ. Something I want to ask : what do you think of pairings with big age difference , and by big I mean over 10 years, at least?



For example, Dany, who is 15 (well, at least she is supposed to be 15 in the Game of Thrones HBO) and Jorah who is 49 (I think ) ? I personally love the pairing!

I might be in a complete minority, but the age differences do not bother me in historical (or history-related, like Game of Thrones) fiction. If it was considered old enough for a girl to be married at 13-15 (often to an older man) in the world of the book/show, I accept it, I do not want that world by our standards. In my brain I do the substitution 13-15 = marriageable age in this society.

I think mostly this has to do with the stories my gran used to tell me. She was married at 13 to a guy 10 years her senior. This was the age to get married in Russian villages in 1920s, so she did. It was a happy marriage, they lived happily together until he died in WW2.

I often think why the marriageable age (especially for girls) was quite often a lot lower in the "olden days", and I think this mostly had do with the short life span and high death rate in babies.

This all said, I do not at all approve of a 15-year old having a relationship with someone who is 49 years old in our day and age. I will be the first one to shout "Evil!!!!!!!!!"! I feel there must be a contradiction there , but what can I do.

PS: I thould stop obsessing so much over Game of Thrones, shouldn't I?
alexandral: (GoT - anim Tyrion I'll give you this)
This is cross-posted: I have made this post for an ASOIF community.

Martin uses fairytales quite extensively, right? I don't want to mention the most obvious ones (like for example, how many times the Beauty and the Beast story crops up in the series? 3? More?) or the ones that I have already seen mentioned somewhere else (Jaime and Prince Charming from Shrek are long-lost twins), here are just a few:



More fairytales )

What do you think? Do you know any fairytale stories that you think might have influenced A Song of Ice and Fire series?
alexandral: (GoT - Asha Greyjoy picture)
Shamelessly stolen from [livejournal.com profile] dianora77

This just proves it, right? I have been having big debates with myself as to which Game of Thrones house I should belong too, and yes I totally think of those things just before dozing off to sleep. :D You know, I want to be all good and noble Nothern girl and belong to House of Stark (also I want to be Jaime Lannister's sister at times), but who am I kidding? I love water (in any shape or form) , especially sea and ocean so much and I also like axes. And I am not that noble, I think. And to be a pirate would have been nice (Yes/No)?

You Scored as HOUSE GREYJOY

You hail from House Greyjoy. Your house seat is the Pyke on the Iron Islands. Being around the ocean is the place for you, or maybe on a ship at sea. You are stubborn, and like things done your way, with little room for compromise. You have a hard time giving out forgiveness, especially to the weak. If you want power, you have to take it. Only the strong survive. Your house motto: We Do Not Sow.

Picture is Copyright © RMB



HOUSE GREYJOY

85%

HOUSE MARTELL

70%

HOUSE STARK

60%

HOUSE ARRYN

55%

HOUSE TULLY

55%

HOUSE LANNISTER

55%

HOUSE TARGARYEN

45%

HOUSE FREY

40%

HOUSE TYRELL

40%

HOUSE BARATHEON

20%






Take the Quiz
alexandral: (GoT - Winter is coming)
The series have completely overtaken my brain.

Game of Thrones fandom has been amazing so far. I only had one little glitch in one of the Game of Thrones communities. I commented that I think that Renly/Loras sex scene is heavily into stereotypes. For some reason I had a person commenting to my comment and implying that I don't like people being out. What was even stranger, this commenter implied that I live in some forgotten part of the world . I had to explain that I ship Renly and Loras and that am glad that the show has their relationship in the open. But that I still find their sex scene using several stereotypes. This is may be my recent extensive obsession with reading m/m romances talking, or most likely my general dislike for any race, nationality, gender, sexuality, etc. stereotypes talking. But me saying that the scene is stereotypical is not in any way anything detrimental to my character, right? And it has nothing to do with the part of the world I live in? May be I am missing something, I am still puzzled.


Anyways, I didn't want to make a fuss in the community, so I commented back and was as light as possible, thinking as I always do that "may be this commenter had a bad experience with someone else". But here, in my own LJ, I can rant away. :D So, just for the record, I do not live in a forgotten part of the world. And anyways, what is wrong with other parts of the world ?



I do see a problem looming ahead, though. And it has to do with Robb.

It all starts with the show creator's decision to make everyone older. As a general rule, take away 10+ years from the age of any character and you'll get the book age. For some characters this makes sense, especially for Sansa and Dany. They both have storylines that would have freaked out the majority of the viewers if their characters were played by someone of the book age. Dany is 13 in the books and Sansa is 11. Imagine a 13-year old actress doing the "wedding night with drogo" scene? There would have been a mighty outcry. So instead we have actresses that are 22 and 15 which makes sense.

Then we have Robb. I am still a little puzzled by the huge popularity of Robb. I find the actor to be semi-attractive and good at acting (but I am yet to see an actor that is not good at acting in this show). He also has a heroic part to play in the season 1, "let's fight for the rights of the North" part, which I, as a person from the North, am really partial to. We do have a clear North/South divide here in the UK , you see :D. But I am a bit puzzled as to why he seems to be turning into such a pin-up. He is not that attractive, surely, not in "OMPH! he is so HOT!" way? But at the same time I personally like him, so why not?


The rest is spoilery , but I tried to be vague in spoilers and marked the spoilers with asterisks **** )



What do you think?
alexandral: (GoT - Sansa beautiful)
I am still spending all my free time finishing the batch of gif-y icons. And what great fun that is, I think gifs appeal so much to the geeky side of me! But I have to say that LJ's 40K limit on icons seems almost criminal, optimizing your gif icons is so so hard. The limit has not changed for the last, how many years?

But! Having two days in a row and not posting about Game of Thrones ? It seems from the news that the actress for Brienne is finally chosen, but they won't tell us who she is. I want to KNOW so badly!!! I hope she is tall (she is supposed to be just slightly shorter than the Hound) and I hope she is NOT good looking (I will be forever bitter if they chose one of pretty actresses). And I would rather prefer if she was not in her 40s (as the rest of the cast), I am ready for some younger faces.

Brienne, of course, is my all-around favourite character in the series, and my top five favourites list is as follows:

1. Brienne. Because she is the character I identify with the most. I am no beauty, don't possess much of the feminine side, and would have loved to have a big sword I can chop the heads off with.

2. Tyrion. Because as they say in Russia, I usually fall in love through my ears.

3. Sansa. This is the recent change in my favourites, after the first season of the HBO show and my current book 1 re-read. Jon used to be my third most favourite character, but I am afraid that the image of emo/pouty/chubby teddybear that is Kit Harington is forever etched in my brain now and Jon's ratings have plummeted.

4. Sandor Clegane, The Hound. Again, I think this has something to do with identifying myself with his angry character and his honesty (I am not really angry on the outside, but on the inside, I am :D)

5. Jaime Lannister. Because I like redemption storylines and because he is pretty.

Beside these five, I am also extremely obsessed with the character of Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning, and his sword Dawn, even though : a) he is already dead and b) there is only about three full paragraphs that mention his name. I think this is the part of me that loves tournaments and sword fighting talking:



Some thoughts on shipping and A Song of Ice and Fire: Game of Thrones is probably the first big fandom that I am involved in that is free of shipping wars. There were several shipping discussions recently in GoT communities, and these discussions were full of various and interesting ships. I think this is mostly because the source material is so good, the series are not built around a predictable love triangle, they are build around characters that grow and around fabulous worldbuilding.
alexandral: (GoT - Winter is coming)
It is almost Sunday 22nd where I live, the time to post the results of the "Your favourite Game of Thrones character" poll.

Sub-poll 1: The character(s) you love the most?

Three top characters (in terms of loving) are really REALLY close. It seems that Arya, Tyrion and Jon receive almost equal amounts of love, but it also seems that many other characters are loved as well. Personally, I am so glad that Jory Cassel, Benjen Stark and the Direwolves received a vote! And Bronn!

The full list )
Character Place Number of votes
Arya Stark 1 77
Tyrion Lannister (The Imp) 2 75
Jon Snow 3 71
Daenerys Targaryen (Daenerys Stormborn) 4 47
Jaime Lannister (the Kingslayer) 5 28



Sub-poll 2: Character you love to hate

It seems that Cersei is the most hated character of them all, she received much more votes than the other top two (Joffrey and Viserys). I have been worrying about the softening of Cersei's character in she show, may be I shouldn't worry.

Among other interesting results: Jaime Lannister receives as much hate as he receives love. Yep, you have to give it to Jaime: you either hate him or love him, nothing in between.

The most surprising for me personally result is how many "love to hate" votes Catelyn Tully have received. If any of the voters don't mind to answer - why do you love to hate Catelyn? I am just curious. I would love to have an answer!

The full list )
Character Place Number of votes
Cersei Lannister 1 59
Joffrey Baratheon 2 34
Viserys Targaryen (the Beggar King) 3 31
Ser Jaime Lannister (the Kingslayer) 4 29
Petyr Baelish (Littlefinger) 5 24


Sub-poll 3: The best casting

Again, three top characters (Arya, Tyrion and Ned) are quite close. I am so glad that Jory Cassel, Benjen Stark and the Direwolves received a vote - well done, show!

The full list )
Character Place Number of votes
Maisie Williams as Arya Stark 1 50
Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister (the Imp) 2 44
Sean Bean as Eddard (Ned) Stark 3 35
Aidan Gillen as Petyr Baelish (Littlefinger) 4 23
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister (the Kingslayer) - 5 19


PS Me? Still obsessed. Sadly, I have lended my copy of the first book in an attempt to push the show to my co-workers. I might just re-read "A Feast for crows" , I seem to remember the events of this book not as well as the events of the other three.

Spoilers: possible vague book spoilers

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