random thoughts

It has been a long and productive day. If you are like me and have a busy work, please make it a priority to have no meeting or other commitments for at least 2 days a week. Do what is important for you and your work in those days. Nice and easy. And enjoy being independent of others and free of distractions.

I recently started this prioritization and benefiting quite a bit of it. I am also planning to remove further unnecessary tasks, commitments, and activities from my calendar now. We must care for ourselves if we want to be happy with our own performance, and helpful to others. After many decades of reading about time-management, I am curious why now I have come up with this plan for myself. I must have had it…. I am glad I have had it because this is working for me.  

I was bored of being home early (around 5 pm) so I thought I would either sew something or read a book. I oped out for a book and guess what? I re-started reading The Class of Kings, the second book in the A Game of Thrones book series of GRRM. Boy, it has been a year that I left it in the middle as it is one of the most boring book I have ever seen. Would you, would I expect this from this series? Noooo… But it is so true – officially this is one boring book. I have been told that if I can finish it and move on with the third book, things would get better. So let’s hope that will turn out to be true for me. All these things I have done for the Jamie Lannister, Brienne of Tarth, Sansa and Arya Stark, and Tyrion Lannister :))))

Brienne GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Weather-wise, we continue to have snow and rain and everything else in between. Those of you who have sunshine, blue skies, and warm temperature, please take a moment to reflect how lucky you are. You really are lucky 🙂

Libby Vanderploeg GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

gif by:https://giphy.com/gifs/snow-winter-blizzard-l0HlVixqvZq8aqXGo;https://giphy.com/gifs/brienne-10YhbjJfLkG7zq

GoT: Bran’s story and Lady Stark

This is more of a post of noting my questions and my thoughts about the first 10-12 chapters in the book “A Game of Thrones” for later use; nothing fancy 🙂

Bran’s first encounter for the crow: it is really well written. I missed it in the show, did I not? I am now getting more interested in Bran’s story.

Dany and Khal wedding: the scene at the TV shows was not cool at all where Khal coldly rapes Dany in their wedding day. The book, on the other hand, describes this encounter as a sensual one. I wonder why the series producers chose to present rape.

Come to think about it, the producers repeated this again, later with Jamie and Cersei at Jeoffrey’s wake. They after the reaction they have got from the fans, I believe but cannot find a link on the net, stated that they did not think/intended it as a rape; go figure. I guess they have no or little understanding about what rape is. Another strike for the HBO series.

The book, my friends, is way better.

Other than that, so far I found the book and the TV shows are quite parallel, which to me is pleasing.

A number of things I wonder, though:

One: how Lady Stark came to realize Jamie Lannister was not out hunting with the King Robert and others when Bran fell off the tower. That is a crucial piece of info, as this event not only introduced us Jamie’s dark side and the famous quote “the things I do for love”, but also started the conflicts and all other events leading to the death of many people, including Barn’s father Ned Stark, brother Robb Stark, and mom Lady Stark. I think the entire story-line starts with that one critical event. If any of you knows how Lady Stark got this information, please drop a line in the comments section.

Two: is there an importance of the fire breaking at the library (when somebody attempted to kill Bran) but nowhere else? I am a book lover and as such was pretty amazed by Winterfell having a library of books and manuscripts; so naturally upon the fire, my first thoughts were wondering about the damages; are the books lost? what was the damage like? I also remembered that Ned Stark has let Tyrion Lannister borrow some books from the library. I wonder whether there is any importance to these?

Three: Tyrion’s fascination with the dragons. I have a feeling that there is more into Tyrion being Tyrion and dragons being dragons.

 

GoT – “The things I do for love”

I have finished the chapter in the “A Game of Thrones” yesterday, where the character Bran is pushed off the window of an old building by the character Jamie Lannister.

I must say there are a lot said about this event by others (check the internet); it is a horrible thing to attempt to murder a 7-year old child (Bran). In cold blood and with no remorse or contemplation observed or expressed by Jamie.

Long story short, Bran likes to climb over trees/buildings and one day, despite the efforts of his mom, Lady Catelyn and others around him, he manages to climb over an old building, once half destroyed by a natural event and now is vacant. As he climbs outside the building, he hears a conversation, which is related to his father, Ned Stark. He cannot deduce the individuals by just their voice so he, even though is a little bit scared, looks thru the window with an awkward and difficult grip on the outside wall. There he sees, without understanding what exactly is happening (in the book, Bran thinks that a man and a woman was “wrestling”), the characters Jamie Lannister and Cersei Lannister/Baratheon having an intercourse. The fact that Jamie and Cersei are twin brother/sister and that Cersei is married to the King Robert, the situation is of course pretty nasty, immoral, and as such being a witness to this act puts Bran (unknowingly) at a very dangerous position.

Cersei once sees Bran becomes quite anxious, they stop, and Jamie goes towards Bran. Cersei declares that “he saw them”. Jamie first puts him at ease by giving Bran a hand to stabilize his grip of the wall, and then initiates a cozy conversation by asking him how old he is. Bran tells Jamie his age, and I assume by thinking that he is safe from the fall (that he saw as the danger; the innocence of kids are so amazing…), loosens his other grip off Jamie’s arm. Cersei, perplexed with Jamie’s help of Bran, reacts negatively and feels the urge to remind Jamie. Jamie turns to Cersei, says the famous “The things I do for love” and while loathing also pushes Bran off the window.

Loathing, but no apparent remorse.

We face, for the first time, directly the character of Jamie as a practical and cruel one. In a single paragraph for that matter.

Literally, in the book it was a very simple description of a scene. As if it is a regular thing to do in life, a regular thing to write in a novel.

The HBO series differs a little bit from the book. In the series, Cersei’s anxiety is well emphasized and palpable. I believe Cersei’s more pronounced reaction and anxiety was added to create a “thrill” to the scene and it did work; I could see how desperate Cersei felt. Additionally, the Jamie character is annoyed by Cersei’s behavior/talk/reminders but does not show any feeling of loathing or dislike for pushing Bran off the window; he is very comfortable making this decision to silence the little child and attempting to kill him. This served well I guess, as now we all hate this horrible character and almost call it a psychopath.

My take: the book does not convey the terror and suspense of this scene real-time; everything happens very fast, simply, and easily. But, when we realize what just happened, then the reader I am sure is as shocked as the viewers (of the HBO series). In other words, it is written in such a way that it does not alarm the reader beforehand, the scene happens, and the reality and the cruelty strike only after a while. Like an aftermath. Well done GRRM.

Of course, through the evolution of the story and characters, we yet to see the more features and perhaps the multiple faces of these characters and maybe become sympathetic to Jamie. But, I do not think anybody ever forgave the Jamie character for trying to murder a kid.

I certainly did not and that is what makes the Jamie character even more interesting – the internal conflict this character creates in the reader/viewer towards this character; how do we forget the horrible things Jamie has done? Are the reasons of his behavior/acts, however brutal and cruel they seem, serve a bigger and interestingly, favorable purpose? How and why do we forget or forgive his actions? Is there a possibility of redemption for Jamie, and anyone else for that matter?

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PS: Not to forget Jamie and his sister’s relationship, which is another nasty/immoral behavior to deal with. In the world the stories develop, this kind of relationships seem to be acceptable to some extend, though not within the social circle of Jamie and Cersei. Considering the fact that many events/behaviors in this fantasy stories are not existing or acceptable in our current world, I will let this one go, too, without further dwelling on how bad, disgusting, and unacceptable it is. I feel like I must do this to have an objective attitude towards the literary value of these stories.

 

random thoughts

Well, after a long work day at home, I am finally settling down and trying to enjoy by reading stuff about, well, yes my latest interest, Game of Thrones 🙂

I know that for all things that are interesting or loved with such a tense interest eventually come an end.

I thought this morning that I would lose my interest in the books soon if I continue to keep reading about  them. My books are about to arrive next week and I heard that they are long and many (5 to be exact). Will I lose my interest? Will I get more interested in? I do not know. But I sure would like to read these stories and write about the characters.

It is very interesting though – now that I have seen the TV adaptation (twice) and read about a couple of characters mostly on the internet (Jamie Lannister and Brienne of Tarth mostly), I wonder what I am going to find in these books? All the details I was curious about? The characters as they were written by the author GRRM? How the HBO series and the original story did differ from each other?

Possibly all these.

On the net, I have found many excerpts from the books, which were not reflected in the series. Remembering this actually makes me keep interested. This per se should be enough for me to eagerly wait for my books and start reading them with affection and amazement until I am done with all.

Until, the next book in the series comes along of course.

They say the release date of the next book in the series is not known. It was initially scheduled for late 2015, but who knows what is going on. Even GRRM says the HBO Season 6, which will air in April 2016, is likely to be earlier than the book #6. Considering the fact that the Season 6 is based on book #6, it is weird…. If I was the publisher, I would have a trouble with that.

As a reader/audience I have a problem, too. Man, my problem is a) how to watch the Season 6 now that I have no subscription to HBO, and b) I am assuming the book #6 will be expensive and if I want to order it right after it is published, I will have to start saving money for it.

Well…. Let my only problems be these 🙂

 

 

one noble thing we have seen with Jamie Lannister prior to lose of hand

The Game of Thrones madness continues – my books (the first 5) are supposed to arrive next week. I really cannot wait. Since I cannot wait and do search on the net and watched the HBO series for the second time, man, I am not sure what the books will tell me anymore. I yet to see.

With the partial idea based on the HBO series (which is not deep enough to reflect all the stories told in the books) and the many different interpretation and analyses filling the internet, it is hard for me to make my own interpretations. Yet, one thing I notice is one noble thing the Jamie Lannister character did prior to the start of his transformation after he lost his hand.

This is when he stopped fighting with Ned Stark when one of Jamie’s men stabs him at the leg and put him in a vulnerable situation. Jamie punches the man and leaves the scene, without further fighting or killing Ned.

His father, Tywin, when heard the incident, tells Jamie that he should stop thinking what the others would think about him (Tywin thinks that Jamie did not kill Ned because Ned was injured by someone else along the process and it would look like Jamie took advantage of the situation should he kill him after that).

I am not sure about that.

Along the way we see a Jamie character that would not care enough to make a case (by explaining the true story) about him killing the Mad King, while he would continue to have a huge resentment about his nickname Kingslayer. I find it interesting that he would not tell the reasons for this act for years and get recognition and appreciation from others, if he was that interested in others’ opinions..

This Jamie Lannister character is interesting in too may ways; bad, good, misunderstood, bad again, noble here and there, ridiculous in moral aspects, and all. I do not know whether all his actions should fell in a well-articulated plan by the author George RR Martin, or we should expect flaws  in this character time to time (like any other character in the story or in life).

how teased are we by the characters in the GoT?

I really would like to know how the author George RR Martin writes his Game of Thrones themed books; does he plan everything from the beginning on, or does he improvise as time goes on?

There are so many characters in the series that are generally good (e.g. Ned Stark, Robb Stark) and some who are generally bad (e.g. Cersei Baratheon, Joffrey Lannister).

While they are characters with bad nature, who has not felt for Cersei after the walk of shame or for Joffrey after his death?

I know these stories develop in a world and time quite different than ours, so we cannot possibly understand it, but I keep wondering whether the author is constantly teasing us (by evoking opposite emotions on the same character time to time)?

And in the case of character Jamie Lannister; boy did we hate it at the beginning for his arrogant behavior, by pushing a 10 years old child (Bran) from a high window, for being in love with his own sister and fathering 3 kids with her, and all bunch of trolling it has done to others, and killing his own cousin or someone to escape from capture by the Starks, just to name a few.

Now, after an obvious transformation after he has lost his right hand and a change in the behavior (though we still need to remember that he is not all noble or has completely redeemed himself yet; this I say mostly based on his rape of Cersei, which I heard does not happen in the books but only in the HBO series), a substantial portion of the readers/audience are applauding this character. How have we forgotten what he has done? Is through understanding the reasons of his past behavior do we forgive? Or is thru the most recent impression (which is a much positive one) we do forget his past and see him as he is today as if he has always been?

I expect more twists, more tease from the author George RR Martin; I guess that is his writing style. Based on my own amateur writing experience (which I found full of hard corners where things or emotions change in completely opposite directions in a split second), although I must say I am teased quite a bit, I also feel that this experience is good for my own development as a naive writer.

 

the only time Jamie Lannister was happy

The only time I have seen the character Jamie Lannister (from the Game of Thrones series) happy was when he and his daughter, Myrcella, came clean about him being her father. Unfortunately, Myrcella died right after this affectionate scene.

I really had hoped this would not happen so that we could get to know Jamie’s relationship with the women in his life.

He lost her mom when he was a kid so we have no idea about it.

The two other characters in his life (at least based on the HBO show) are Cersei (his twin sister with whom he is in love and fathered 3 children – gross!.. I cannot stand this horrible idea no matter how many times I say I will not discuss it…) and Brienne; an exact opposite of Cersei in terms of beauty, capabilities, and values.

We know how dysfunctional and delusional his relationship with Cersei and how interesting it has been developing with Brienne. Brienne had, directly or indirectly, a positive influence on Jamie character; through the end of the season 5th, we ended up witnessing overall a less disgusting, less arrogant, and less bad Jamie. This transformation makes this character particularly interesting. But more than that, his interactions with the character Brienne was the only one we witnessed as a “normal, humane, or non-dysfunctional” relationship.

I wonder whether while some keep thinking Brienne and Jamie are in love and will end up together later in the series, the entire excitement could mostly be because we have never seen Jamie in a normal, friendly relationship before.

Just a thought.

I think Jamie Lannister will “choose” love

Alright; again the Game of Thrones madness here.

I just asked in a previous post “What exactly did he mean when he said “we do not get to choose whom we love”.

He, the character Jamie Lannister, used this phrase twice in the TV series; once while speaking to Brienne and then to Myrcella, his daughter.

I believe Jamie will eventually “choose” whom he will love. Will she be Brienne? Will she be Cersei (OMG, I hope not)?.. But, nevertheless I am not sure. But I guess if I was the author (which I am not), then that (i.e. choosing whom to love) would be one reason to emphasize this sentence.

We all will see; hopefully Jamie will not be killed by the author just yet. I will be totally disappointed and will refuse to read or watch any further.

Man… this story is captivating.

You know why?

even though it develops somewhere and sometime we will never know, I guess we all relate to or understand somethings about ourselves while watching or reading it (eventually the author is a human and he I assume meshes his story around the human emotions in addition to the imagination). That is why. At least, this is the case for me. However wrong or cruel some of the contents are.

Great work George RR Martin.

Jamie Lannister – initial thoughts

I have not read the books of Game of Thrones TV series, yet here are what I am thinking about the character of Jamie Lannister:

  1. He is twisted (has a relationship with her twin sister), trolling, talented, misunderstood, arrogant, and many other things. Yet, it is the only character that is constantly changing (from a bad and misunderstood character to a more decent one, albeit still twisted) and evolving. I wonder why?
  2. His name is one of the few names in the series that is “usual” in today’s life. Another one is Jon (Snow); I wonder what his name, if ever, signifies or signals.
  3. I wonder why he never made a case about himself after killing the Mad King to protect the others, especially the civilians. Does he not care or does he like his own misery (I am inclined to think so)?
  4. What exactly did he mean when he said “we do not get to choose whom we love” and “all these things I do for love”. I wonder the meaning of love for this character; love for his sister, kids (from his sister by the way), father, brother Tyrion (which is palpable), and others.
  5. What exactly does he find in Brienne that he did not find in others? What is the nature of the bond between these two characters?

It is possible that none of these are relevant, connected, or meant to be this important by the author George RR Martin. I really would like to know whether Martin initially planned the Jamie character to develop this way and with this speed and consistency?

I am not curious about the fate of this character in the novels, as the author Martin has already trained us the fans that only one thing is certain; that everybody dies and there is no guarantee for any of the characters in this story.

Yet, selfishly, I would like this character to survive a little bit more so that we can get to know it.

Games of Thrones and thoughts

I have been silent lately as I am busy watching Game of Thrones (GoT) 🙂

I could not resist and purchased the 5 books in the series – as a gift. I plan to read them during the holidays. Cannot wait!

This series of books (as they say) as well as the HBO TV series are full of violence and amoral behavior. I am not in favor of these and not going to further dwell into or discuss these aspect in detail. If you are interested in, many others did discuss these; just check the internet; there are many colorful discussions. Thus, I must say my interest in GoT is not about how wrong and cruel some of its contents are, but how creative and original are the stories and the imaginary world and time (the author George RR  Martin did a great job), and the questions it creates in my mind.

For one, GoT is no fairy tale where everything eventually gets better, good people triumph over the bad, and love always is cherished and wins. The dynamics of the stories is very shocking as no character is immune to violence, injustice, or death. The lives of anyone can be turned up or down any minute, anywhere, by any means.

This story, hence, more than anything else tells how unpredictable life is. Life we all can know, and even though the life in GoT cannot be comprehended fully (the rich array of life experiences described, some of which can only be known by reading history books, meshed in a creative tale that develops in a time and place that we never can know, perhaps unless we read the books), we can still relate.

A couple of characters are easy to admire (e.g. Ned Stark), some are easy to hate (e.g. Cersei Lannister, Joffrey Lannister), some are easy to relate to (e.g. Brienne of Tarth), some are easy to entice us by their wit and intelligence (e.g. Tyrone Lannister), and some are confusing, somehow disgusting, somehow humane, and continuously developing (e.g. Jamie Lannister).

I have been mostly interested in the interactions and influences on each other of Brienne and Jamie lately. The character development in the case of Jamie is interesting; such an easily hateable, in some ways disgusting (by today’s values), and sadly (as it is revealed later in the story) mostly misunderstood (as he never felt the need to make a case about himself) and vastly manipulated (by his own weaknesses) character can work on changing and redeeming himself is very, very interesting.

There have been a couple of things I have learnt/liked from the interactions of Brienne and Jamie in the story. Honor, loyalty, values, conflicting priorities, success, defeat, comradeship (the main theme later in the Brienne and Jamie story), support, kindness, and love (not only the romantic love) all of which can be and should be interpreted within a context. Context dependency, which is one of my interest in real life, makes all of these way more interesting than usual for me (this is the reasons why I noted above that reading the books that describe the world and time when these stories develop may be the only way to understand these stories).

Some fans on the internet say that Brienne and Jamie are in love with each other; most think it is obvious in the case of Brienne, but Jamie’s case is not clear. I am not sure about this yet. I think these two have a special bond; they both find something in each other that they did not experienced with others. Yet, I do not think it is a romantic love. Not yet.

One thing struck me about their relationship though; I started to think about the different types of love, even so called romantic love. The poem I have written yesterday directly reflects this. It does not always happen that I start re-evaluating things and experiences in life as basic as love – that tells me that these books and these two characters somehow help develop my understanding. That, too me, is both surprising and priceless.

It looks like you will hear from me about GoT in the coming days and months. Just let me get my books 🙂

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