It's a Knockaert

The ramblings of a football obsessive and Game of Thrones nerd.


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A Song of Ice and Fire: A Quote for Every Chapter

To make the seemingly unending wait for The Winds of Winter a little more interesting, I’m going to post one quote for every chapter of the five existing books. Hopefully updated every day, but we’ll see.

A Game of Thrones

Prologue

The Other slid forward on silent feet. In its hand was a longsword like none that Will had ever seen. No human metal had gone into the forging of that blade. It was alive with moonlight, translucent, a shard of crystal so thin that it seemed almost to vanish when seen edge-on. There was a faint blue shimmer to the thing, a ghost-light that played around its edges, and somehow Will knew it was sharper than any razor.

Ser Waymar met him bravely. “Dance with me then.” He lifted his sword high over his head, defiant. His hands trembled from the weight of it, or perhaps from the cold. Yet in that moment, Will thought, he was a boy no longer, but a man of the Night’s Watch.
Bran I
Bran saw his father’s face change, saw the other men exchange glances. He loved Jon with all his heart at that moment. Even at seven, Bran understood what his brother had done. The count had come right only because Jon had omitted himself. He had included the girls, included even Rickon, the baby, but not the bastard who bore the surname Snow, the name that custom decreed be given to all those in the north unlucky enough to be born with no name of their own.
Catelyn I
She could see the rippling deep within the steel, where the metal had been folded back on itself a hundred times in the forging. Catelyn had no love for swords, but she could not deny that Ice had its own beauty. It had been forged in Valyria, before the Doom had come to the old Freehold, when the ironsmiths had worked their metal with spells as well as hammers. Four hundred years old it was, and as sharp as the day it was forged.
Daenerys I
The Dothraki called that land Rhaesh Andahli, the land of the Andals. In the Free Cities, they talked of Westeros and the Sunset Kingdoms. Her brother had a simpler name. “Our land,” he called it. The words were like a prayer with him. If he said them enough, the gods were sure to hear. “Ours by blood right, taken from us by treachery, but ours still,ours forever. You do not steal from the dragon, oh, no. The dragon remembers.”
Eddard I
“I was with her when she died,” Ned reminded the king. “She wanted to come home, to rest beside Brandon and Father.” He could hear her still at times. Promise me, she had cried, in a room that smelled of blood and roses. Promise me, Ned. The fever had taken her strength and her voice had been faint as a whisper, but when he gave her his word, the fear had gone out of his sister’s eyes.
Jon I
“Let me give you some counsel, bastard,” Lannister said. “Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.”
Catelyn II
Catelyn looked to her husband. “Now we truly have no choice. You must be Robert’s Hand. You must go south with him and learn the truth.” She saw at once that Ned had reached a very different conclusion. “The only truths I know are here. The south is a nest of adders I would do better to avoid.”
Arya I


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Game of Thrones Review: S4E6 “The Laws of Gods and Men”

Somehow, we’re already half way through season four already. But this isn’t just a bad thing, because this is the time when things really start going crazy. So much is going to happen in the remainder of the season, and it’s going to amazing. Spoilers to come. 

After two episodes without them, Stannis and Davos returned, and they arrived at one of the most interesting places in the world of ASOIAF – Braavos, with the Titan guarding the entrance to the bay. They were going to the Iron Bank to appeal for some of their gold. After declining the offer at first, an impassioned and well-argued speech from Davos managed to sway the bankers. If Stannis had all the awesome lines in the book’s version of this storyline, Davos is getting them in the show. Salladhor Saan also made his first appearance since season three, and he is always entertaining. 

Another returning face was Asha (or if you prefer, Yara) Greyjoy. Her mission to rescue Theon from Ramsay Snow was a big change from the book and spawned many theories about how it would tie in to the Ironborn storyline, but in the end it fell a bit flat. After fighting their way through the Dreadfort, the islanders beat a hasty retreat when Ramsay released his dogs. Really, the world’s bravest and best warriors frightened by a dog, and a lunatic with his shirt off? On a better note, Asha stating that Theon was ‘dead’ means the Ironborn storyline is on track to follow the books exactly next season. Theon and Ramsay then had another disturbing scene together, with Ramsay asking ‘Reek’ to pretend to be someone he isn’t – Theon Greyjoy. Alfie Allen is still doing an amazing job at showing Reek’s physical and pyschological torment. 

It was then time for some long-overdue proper dragon action. Drogon roasted some goats, and the farmer laid them at the feet of Daenerys in her throne room. Some fans were surprised that the farmer wasn’t bringing something else, but there is still time for that to come – it’s too important a detail to be left out. Then we were introduced to Hizdahr, one of many Meereneese nobles in Dany’s storyline. It was far easier to empathise with him than it was in the books, and his exchange with Dany was very emotive. 

Then it was time for a meeting of the new-look Small Council, with new members Oberyn and Mace. They did a good job at showing Mace Tyrell to be the spineless suck-up he is, and Oberyn was once again the star of the show. The Red Viper – can they just call him that once on the show, please? – then had a conversation with Varys, that gave some interesting insight into the eunuch’s apparent asexuality. 

Finally, it was time for a long-awaited scene that took up most of this episode – Tyrion’s trial. Witness after witness came up to give ludicrous testimonies against him. Jaime rightly points out the farcical nature of what is going on to Tywin. He then offers to give up his white cloak if Tywin will spare Tyrion. It is debatable whether he would do that – he would hate to be an oathbreaker again, but he does love his little brother. After Jaime tells Tyrion what he must do, the next witness steps up…

… and it’s Shae, Tyrion’s former whore-turned-girlfriend that he sent away in episode two. After telling a totally made up story that seems to put it in no doubt that Tyrion killed Joffrey, Tyrion stops her – and gives in my opinion the best speech this show has seen so far. Absolutely amazing acting from Peter Dinklage, with some brilliant writing too, and it was undoubtedly the best moment so far this season. That by itself makes this the best episode of the season so far. 

9/10


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Game of Thrones Season 3: My Top Ten Moments

If it was difficult to pick just ten moments from seasons one and two, then season three was almost impossible. I was quite surprised that this season seemed to have the most amazing moments, as before I did these lists I considered it to be my least favourite season, but now I’m not sure. So, here are my ten favourite moments from season three. Spoilers of course.

10. Tywin V Olenna

The heads of the two most powerful families in Westeros, and arguably the two most formidable characters are sure to clash at some point, and the result is just as enthralling as you would expect. Neither of these characters are used to being refused, and in the end it is Tywin who gets his way.

9. Robbwind

The immediate aftermath of the Red Wedding is almost as harrowing as the wedding itself – Stark men being butchered everywhere, flags being burnt, and of course the foul mutilation of Robb’s corpse. Not the first thing Arya would have liked to see when she woke up.

8. Davos frees Gendry

I like this scene because it’s something that happens very rarely in Westeros – someone doing the right thing, and an innocent character escaping a gruesome end. Davos and Gendry are two of the few characters who can be called good people.

7. Rickon and Bran go their separate ways

If you didn’t feel a bit choked up when Rickon leaves Bran, then you must have a heart of stone. The youngest Starks provide some very emotional scenes over the course of the show, and this one tops the lot.

6. Gendry realises who he is

Another heart-warming moment with Gendry, who thought all his life he was just a nobody realises he is the son of king.

5. Robb executes Lord Karstark

The continuation of the Stark’s tradition of being too damn honourable for their own good. Executing Karstark was the right thing to do, so Robb felt he had no choice, but this was just one of his blunders that culminated in his demise.

4. Reek is born

Poor Theon’s life has been getting worse and worse since the start of season two, and this is as low as it gets for him, as he is stripped of not only his body parts but his dignity. He tries to resist, but the final little bit of fight is ripped away from him – and Reek is born.

3. The Red Wedding

Without doubt the most memorable and shocking moment, but it can’t be called my favourite moment because it was just so painful to watch and hear.

2. Jaime and Brienne in the bear pit

The first time we can see that Jaime is a changed man – risking his life to save a woman he can hardly stand to be around most of the time. And given this show’s history, my heart was in my mouth when the bear charged at him – unlike most shows, I truly didn’t know if we would get out of there alive. That’s what makes this whole series so special.

1. ‘By what right does the wolf judge the lion? By what right?’

I simply love this scene. Jaime reveals why he really killed the Mad King, and curses Ned Stark for never listening to his side of the story. A wonderful performance from Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and from that moment Jaime has always been my favourite character.

So that concludes my top ten moments of each season of Game of Thrones so far. You can expect to see much more in the run up to and during season four.


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Game of Thrones Season 2: My Top Ten Moments

On to season two now, the best season in the opinion of most so it was very difficult to narrow down just ten moments. Spoilers obviously.

10. Yoren goes out heroically

Definitely one of the best death scenes in the show, Yoren takes a crossbow bolt through the heart, but then manages to take down several Lannister soldiers before they finally finish him off.

9. Valar Morghulis

Arya’s final encounter with the mysterious Jaqen H’ghar. He offers to take her to Braavos to learn how to be a Faceless Man, but she has to decline, to my dismay and I’m sure lots of others.

8. Tyrion and Lancel 

There aren’t as many funny moments in season two as in one, but Tyrion’s repeated manipulation of the hapless Lancel is one of them.

7. Stannis after the battle

Stannis seems to finally come to terms with what he has done, and expresses his regret that he killed his brother. Melisandre gets him to look into the flames, and whatever he sees must have been both awesome and terrifying.

6. ‘Gods help you, Theon Greyjoy. Now you are truly lost.’

Nothing Theon does goes how he wants it to. He didn’t want to kill Ser Rodrik, but Dagmer convinced him he must, and he didn’t want to look like a coward so he did it himself, but made a mess of it.

5. White Walkers

The final scene of the series was certainly a memorable one, and a terrific cliffhanger as we see the white walkers and their army of wights descending on the unsuspecting Night’s watch.

4. Theon “kills” Bran and Rickon

Maester Luwin’s scream is truly haunting, and the look in Theon’s eyes as he realises just what he has done is brutal, making us really think that the Stark boys are dead.

3. Theon’s speech

First there is Theon’s darkly humorous and heartbreaking talk with Maester Luwin, and then his brilliant speech to his men encouraging them to go out in a blaze of glory. Unfortunately for him they had other ideas.

2. Jaime and Brienne’s first encounter

Our first scene with one of the best double-acts in any TV show or book series. Two polar opposite human beings who create a hilarious couple, their scenes only get better in the next season.

1. ‘You are a lion. You mustn’t be afraid’

This scene has everything. Cersei’s superb monologue over the end of the battle, with Tyrion bleeding in the mud, Stannis having to be dragged away, and finally Tywin and Loras Tyrell coming in to save the city.


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Game of Thrones Season 1: My Top Ten Moments

There hasn’t been anywhere near enough Game of Thrones content on this blog so far, so I’m going to change that with three posts counting down my ten favourite moments for each of the three seasons we’ve had so far, starting now with season one. There will obviously be spoilers, so don’t read if you don’t want anything spoilt.

10. The King’s too fat for his armour

A comical moment that shows the great friendship between Ned and Robert, and the complete haplessness of Lancel Lannister, being sent off for the non-existent ‘breastplate stretcher’. This is almost the last time Ned and Robert will be able to laugh together, as this is just before events take a rapid downward spiral.

9. The Mountain V The Hound 

The first real fight scene of the series didn’t disappoint, as the Clegane brothers square off after an ugly end to Ser Gregor’s joust with Ser Loras.

8. ‘You Wouldn’t Know Him’

One of Bronn’s classic one liners, as he is being introduced to Tyrion’s seriously unimpressed father. The look in Tywin’s eyes as he sees the sorts of people his son has for allies is fantastic.

7. Tywin and Jaime

This is our first introduction to Lord Tywin, and it is made very clear what kind of man he is: nothing is more important than the family name, and anyone bringing it to disrepute needs to sort themselves out. Jaime for once can’t think of anything to say, he retreats in a stunned silence after hearing some harsh truths.

6. Bronn V Ser Vardis

Another gripping fight scene – although at this point we don’t know anything about either of the participants, Bronn is fighting for Tyrion’s life, which makes it very important to us that he wins. When he cunningly defeats Ser Vardis with speed and dexterity, he is accused of not fighting with honour. “No” he admits, gesturing down the Moon door. “He did.”

5. Tyrion meets the Hill Tribesmen

Definitely one of the funniest moments in the whole show, we see just how clever and witty Tyrion is, as he convinces Shagga, son of Dolf, who is nothing more than a savage, to escort him through the Vale of Arryn with his quick thinking.

4. The King in the North

No matter which family has your allegiance, you can’t help but be inspired by Robb’s bannerman declaring him King in the North. A heart warming and quite emotional scene, quite heart wrenching by Theon’s pledge of allegiance when we know what is to come.

3. Ned’s Death

Without question the most notorious moment in season one, and a famous moment in television history. It is almost unprecedented for a main character, played by the headline actor to be killed off in the first season, and the manner of it was even more unbelievable: Ned betrayed everything he stood for by lying, and then Joffrey revealed his true colours by going back on his promise to be merciful.

2. Love is the death of duty

A great monologue from a very underrated character in Maester Aemon that really hits home for me and I’m sure a lot of other people as well. Not only that, but the reveal of the ancient Maester’s true identity as one of the last Targaryens.

1. ‘Are you a brother of the Night’s Watch, or a bastard boy who wants to play at war?’

The final scene with Jon and the Night’s Watch from season one, and my favourite speech so far on the show from Commander Mormont, set against the chilling backdrop of the black brothers marching out beyond the wall. It is one of the few scenes that still gives me goosebumps over a year after seeing it for the first time. My favourite moment of season one.