It's a Knockaert

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


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Top 20 Favourite Moments of ASOIAF

It’s pretty much common knowledge now that A Song of Ice and Fire is the greatest story of all time, and that the books are unfathomably better than that terrible fan fiction show on HBO. Recently on Twitter, some people have been working out their top ten favourite moments of the story, however when I began compiling my list I realised that there were far too many amazing moments to narrow it down to just ten, so I have listed my top twenty. Included herein are moments that made me laugh, moments that made me cry, moments that made me think about life. This story has it all.

20. A Feast for Crows – Jaime VII

There was a rap upon his door. “See who that is, Peck.”

It was Riverrun’s old maester, with a message clutched in his lined and wrinkled hand. Vyman’s face was as pale as the new-fallen snow. “I know,” Jaime said, “there has been a white raven from the Citadel. Winter has come.”

“No, my lord. The bird was from King’s Landing. I took the liberty … I did not know …” He held the letter out.

Jaime read it in the window seat, bathed in the light of that cold white morning. Qyburn’s words were terse and to the point, Cersei’s fevered and fervent. Come at once, she said. Help me. Save me. I need you now as I have never needed you before. I love you. I love you. I love you. Come at once.

Vyman was hovering by the door, waiting, and Jaime sensed that Peck was watching too. “Does my lord wish to answer?” the maester asked, after a long silence.

A snowflake landed on the letter. As it melted, the ink began to blur. Jaime rolled the parchment up again, as tight as one hand would allow, and handed it to Peck. “No,” he said. “Put this in the fire.”

19. A Dance with Dragons – Jon II

This is wrong, Jon thought. “Stop.”

Emmett turned back, frowning. “My lord?”

“I will not hang him,” said Jon. “Bring him here.”

“Oh, Seven save us,” he heard Bowen Marsh cry out.

The smile that Lord Janos Slynt smiled then had all the sweetness of rancid butter. Until Jon said, “Edd, fetch me a block,” and unsheathed Longclaw.

By the time a suitable chopping block was found, Lord Janos had retreated into the winch cage, but Iron Emmett went in after him and dragged him out. “No,” Slynt cried, as Emmett half-shoved and half-pulled him across the yard. “Unhand me … you cannot … when Tywin Lannister hears of this, you will all rue-“

Emmett kicked his legs out from under him. Dolorous Edd planted a foot on his back to keep him on his knees as Emmett shoved the block beneath his head. “This will go easier if you stay still,” Jon Snow promised him. “Move to avoid the cut, and you will still die, but your dying will be uglier. Stretch out your neck, my lord.” The pale morning sunlight ran up and down his blade as Jon clasped the hilt of the bastard sword with both hands and raised it high. “If you have any last words, now is the time to speak them,” he said, expecting one last curse.

Janos Slynt twisted his neck around to stare up at him.  “Please, my lord. Mercy. I’ll … I’ll go, I will, I …”

No, thought Jon. You closed that door. Longclaw descended.

“Can I have his boots?” asked Owen the Oaf, as Janos Slynt’s head went rolling across the muddy ground. “They’re almost new, those boots. Lined with fur.”

Jon glanced back at Stannis. For an instant their eyes met. Then the king nodded and went back inside his tower.

18. A Dance with Dragons – Epilogue

File:Mike Capprotti Varys.JPG

“Varys?”

The eunuch set the crossbow down. “Ser Kevan. Forgive me if you can. I bear you no ill will. This was not done from malice. It was for the realm. For the children.”

I have children. I have a wife. Oh, Dorna. Pain washed over him. He closed his eyes, opened them again. “There are … there are hundreds of Lannister guardsmen in this castle.”

“But none in this room, thankfully. This pains me, my lord. You do not deserve to die alone on such a cold dark night. There are many like you, good men in service to bad causes … but you were threatening to undo all the queen’s good work, to reconcile Highgarden and Casterly Rock, bind the Faith to your little king, unite the Seven Kingdoms under Tommen’s rule. So …”

A gust of wind blew up. Ser Kevan shivered violently.

“Are you cold, my lord?” asked Varys. “Do forgive me. The Grand Maester befouled himself in dying, and the stink was so abominable that I thought I might choke.”

Ser Kevan tried to rise, but the strength had left him. He could not feel his legs.

“I thought the crossbow fitting. You shared so much with Lord Tywin, why not that? Your niece will think the Tyrells had you murdered, mayhaps with the connivance of the Imp. The Tyrells will suspect her. Someone somewhere will find a way to blame the Dornishmen. Doubt, division, and mistrust will eat the very ground beneath your boy king, whilst Aegon raises his banner above Storm’s End and the lords of the realm gather round him.”

“Aegon?” For a moment he did not understand. Then he remembered. A babe swaddled in a crimson cloak, the cloth stained with his blood and brains. “Dead. He’s dead.”

“No.” The eunuch’s voice seemed deeper. “He is here. Aegon has been shaped for rule since before he could walk. He has been trained in arms, as befits a knight to be, but that was not the end of his education. He reads and writes, he speaks several tongues, he has studied history and law and poetry. A septa has instructed him in the mysteries of the Faith since he was old enough to understand them. He has lived with fisherfolk, worked with his hands, swum in rivers and mended nets and learned to wash his own clothes at need. He can fish and cook and bind up a wound, he knows what it is like to be hungry, to be hunted, to be afraid. Tommen has been taught that kingship is his right. Aegon knows that kingship is his duty, that a king must put his people first, and live and rule for them.”

17. A Storm of Swords – Epilogue

The outlaws parted as she came through, saying no word. When she lowered her hood, something tightened inside Merrett’s chest, and for a moment he could not breathe. No. No, I saw her die. She was dead for a day and a night before they stripped her naked and threw her body in the river. Raymund opened her throat from ear to ear. She was dead.

Her cloak and collar hid the gash his brother’s blade had made, but her face was even worse than her remembered. The flesh had gone pudding soft in the water and turned the colour of curdled milk. Half her hair was gone and the rest had turned as white and brittle as a crone’s. Beneath her ravaged scalp, her face was shredded skin and black blood where she had raked herself with her nails. But her eyes were the most terrible thing. Her eyes saw him, and they hated.

“She don’t speak,” said the big man in the yellow cloak. “You bloody bastards cut her throat too deep for that. But she remembers.” He turned to the dead woman and said, “What do you say, m’lady? Was he part of it?”

Lady Catelyn’s eyes never left him. She nodded.

Merrett Frey opened his mouth to plead, but the noose choked off his words. His feet left the ground, the rope cutting deep into the soft flesh beneath his chin. Up into the air he jerked, kicking and twisting, up and up and up.

16. A Storm of Swords – Jaime IX

File:White Book.jpg

Jaime sat alone at the table while the shadows crept across the room. As dusk began to settle, he lit a candle and opened the White Book to his own page. Quill and ink he found in a drawer. Beneath the last line Ser Barristan had entered, he wrote in an awkward hand that might have done credit to a six-year-old being taught his first letters by a maester:

Defeated in the Whispering Wood by the Young Wolf Robb Stark during the War of the Five Kings. Held captive at Riverrun and ransomed for a promise unfulfilled. Captured again by the Brave Companions, and maimed at the word of Vargo Hoat their captain, losing his sword hand to the blade of Zollo the Fat. Returned safely to King’s Landing by Brienne, the Maid of Tarth.

When he was done, more than three-quarters of his page still remained to be filled between the gold lion on the crimson shield on top and the blank white shield at the bottom. Ser Gerold Hightower had begun his history, and Ser Barristan Selmy had continued it, but the rest Jaime Lannister would need to write for himself. He could write whatever he chose, henceforth.

Whatever he chose …

15. A Feast for Crows – Samwell IV

Sam donned his blacks to say the words, though the afternoon was warm and muggy, with nary a breath of wind. “He was a good man,” he began … but as soon as he had said the words he knew that they were wrong. “No. He was a great man. A maester of the Citadel, chained and sworn, and Sworn Brother of the Night’s Watch, ever faithful. When he was born they named him for a hero who had died too young, but though he lived a long long time, his own life was no less heroic. No man was wiser, or gentler, or kinder. At the Wall, a dozen lords commander came and went during his years of service, but he was always there to counsel them. He counselled kings as well. He could have been a king himself, but when they offered him the crown he told them they should give it to his younger brother. How many men would do that?” Sam felt the tears welling in his eyes, and knew he could not go on much longer. “He was the blood of the dragon, but now his fire has gone out. He was Aemon Targaryen. And now his watch has ended.”

14. A Storm of Swords – Arya XIII

File:Yoann Boissonnet Titan's Daughter.JPG

I have no home, Arya thought. I have no pack. And now I don’t even have a horse.

The captain was turning away when she said, “What ship is this, my lord?”

He paused long enough to give her a weary smile. “This is the galleas Titan’s Daughter, of the Free City of Braavos.”

“Wait,” Arya said suddenly. “I have something else.” She had stuffed it down inside her smallclothes to keep it safe, so she had to dig deep to find it, while the oarsmen laughed and the captain lingered with obvious impatience. “One more silver will make no difference, child,” he finally said.

“It’s not silver.” Her fingers closed on it. “It’s iron. Here.” She pressed it into his hand, the small black iron coin that Jaqen H’ghar had given her, so worn the man whose head it bore had no features. It’s probably worthless, but …

The captain turned it over and blinked at it, then looked at her again. “This … how …?”

Jaqen said to say the words too.  Arya crossed her arms against her chest. “Valar morghulis,” she said, as loud as if she’d known what she meant.

“Valar dohaeris,” he replied, touching his brow with two fingers. “Of course you shall have a cabin.”

13. A Dance with Dragons – The Sacrifice

The banker studied her with shrewd dark eyes. “You are the Lady Asha of House Greyjoy, unless I am mistaken.”

“I am Asha of House Greyjoy, aye. Opinions differ on whether I’m a lady.”

“The Braavosi smiled. “We’ve brought a gift for you.” He beckoned to the men behind him. “We had expected to find the king at Winterfell. This same blizzard has engulfed the castle, alas. Beneath its walls we found Mors Umber with a troop of raw green boys, waiting for the king’s coming. He gave us this.”

A girl and an old man, thought Asha, as the two were dumped rudely in the snow before her. The girl was shivering violently, even in her furs. If she had not been so frightened, she might even have been pretty, though the top of her nose was black from frostbite. The old man … no one would ever think him comely. She had seen scarecrows with more flesh. His face was a skull with skin, his hair bone-white and filthy. And he stank. Just the sight of him filled Asha with revulsion.

He raised his eyes. “Sister. See. This time I know you.”

Asha’s heart skipped a beat. “Theon?

His lips skinned back in what might have been a grin. Half his teeth were gone, and half of those still left him were broken and splintered. “Theon,” he repeated. “My name is Theon. You have to know your name.”

12. A Storm of Swords – Arya XIII

The boy didn’t seem to hear him. “I came for the girls,” he whimpered. “… make me a man, Polly said … oh gods, please, take me to a castle … a maester, take me to a maester, my father’s got gold … it was only for the girls … mercy, ser.”

The Hound gave him a crack across the face that made him scream again. “Don’t call me ser.” He turned back to Arya. “This one is yours, she-wolf. You do it.”

She knew what he meant. Arya went to Polliver and knelt in his blood long enough to undo his swordbelt. Hanging beside his dagger was a slimmer blade, too long to be a dirk, too short to be a man’s sword … but it felt just right in her hand.

“You remember where the heart is?” the Hound asked.

She nodded. The squire rolled his eyes. “Mercy.”

Needle slipped between his ribs and gave it to him.

11. A Game of Thrones – Jon VIII

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“Jon, did you ever wonder why the men of the Night’s Watch take no wives and father no children?” Maester Aemon asked.

Jon shrugged. “No.” He scattered more meat. The fingers of his left hand were slimy with blood, and his right throbbed from the weight of the bucket.

“So they will not love,” the old man answered, “for love is the bane of honour, the death of duty.”

That did not sound right to Jon, yet he said nothing. The maester was a hundred years old, and a high officer of the Night’s Watch; it was not his place to contradict him.

The old man seemed to sense his doubts. “Tell me, Jon, if the day should ever come when your lord father must needs choose between honour on the one hand and those he loves on the other, what would he do?”

Jon hesitated. He wanted to say that Lord Eddard would never dishonour himself, not even for love, yet inside a small sly voice whispered, He fathered a bastard, where was the honour in that? And your mother, what of his duty to her, he will not even say her name. “He would do whatever was right,” he said … ringingly, to make up for his hesitation. “No matter what.”

“Then Lord Eddard is a man in then thousand. Most of us are not so strong. What is honour compared to a woman’s love? What is duty against the feel of a newborn son in your arms … or the memory of a brother’s smile? Wind and words. Wind and words. We are only human, and the gods have fashioned us for love. That is our great glory, and our great tragedy.”

10. A Dance with Dragons – Davos IV

“Soon I must return to the feast to toast my friends of Frey,” Manderly continued. “They watch me, ser. Day and night their eyes are on me, noses sniffing for some whiff of treachery. You saw them, the arrogant Ser Jared and his nephew Rhaegar, that smirking worm who wears a dragon’s name. Behind them both stands Symond, clinking coins. That one has bought and paid for several of my servants and two of my knights. One of his wife’s handmaids has found her way into the bed of my own fool. If Stannis wonders that my letters say so little, it is because I dare not even trust my maester. Theomore is all head and no heart. You heard him in my hall. Maesters are supposed to put aside old loyalties when they don their chains, but I cannot forget that Theomore was born a Lannister of Lannisport and claims some distant kinship to the Lannisters of Casterly Rock. Foes and false friends are all around me, Lord Davos. They infest my city like roaches, and at night I feel them crawling over me.” The fat man’s fingers coiled into a fist, and all his chins trembled. “My son Wendel came to the Twins a guest. He ate Lord Walder’s bread and salt, and hung his sword upon the wall to feast with friends. And they murdered him. Murdered, I say, and may the Freys choke upon their fables. I drink with Jared, jape with Symond, promise Rhaegar the hand of my own beloved granddaughter … but never think that means I have forgotten. The north remembers, Lord Davos. The north remembers, and the mummer’s farce is almost done. My son is home.”

9. A Storm of Swords – Tyrion X

Tyrion stared up at his father’s hard green eyes with their flecks of cold bright gold. “Guilty, “ he said, “so guilty. Is that what you wanted to hear?”

Lord Tywin said nothing. Mace Tyrell nodded. Prince Oberyn looked mildly disappointed. “You admit you poisoned the king?”

“Nothing of the sort,” said Tyrion. “Of Joffrey’s death, I am innocent. I am guilty of a far more monstrous crime.” He took a step toward his father. “I was born. I lived. I am guilty of being a dwarf, I confess it. And no matter how many times my good father forgave me, I have persisted in my infamy.”

“This is folly, Tyrion,” declared Lord Tywin. “Speak to the matter at hand. You are not on trial for being a dwarf.”

“That is where you err, my lord. I have been on trial for being a dwarf my entire life.”

“Have you nothing to say in your defence?”

“Nothing but this: I did not do it. Yet now I wish I had.” He turned to face the hall, that sea of pale faces. “I wish I had enough poison for you all. You make me sorry that I am not the monster you would have me be, yet there it is. I am innocent, but I will get no justice here. You leave me no choice but to appeal to the gods. I demand trial by battle.”

“Have you taken leave of your wits?” his father said.

“No, I’ve found them. I demand trial by battle!”

His sweet sister could not have been more pleased. “He has that right, my lords,” she reminded the judges. “Let the gods judge. Ser Gregor Clegane will stand for Joffrey. He returned to the city the night before last, to put his sword at my service.”

Lord Tywin’s face was so dark that for half a heartbeat Tyrion wondered if he’d drunk some poisoned wine as well. He slammed his fist down on the table, too angry to speak. It was Mace Tyrell who turned to Tyrion and asked the question. “Do you have a champion to defend your innocence?”

“He does, my lord.” Prince Oberyn of Dorne rose to his feet. “The dwarf has quite convinced me.”

8. A Storm of Swords – Jon X

It’s done, Jon thought, they’re breaking. The wildlings were running, throwing down their weapons, Hornfoot men and cave dwellers and Thenns in bronze scales, they were running. Mance was gone, someone was waving Harma’s head on a pole, Tormund’s lines had broken. Only the giants on their mammoths were holding hairy islands in a red steel sea. The fires were leaping from tent to tent and some of the tall pines were going up as well. And through the smoke another wedge of armoured riders came, on barded horses. Floating above them were the largest banners yet, royal standards as big as sheets; a yellow one with long pointed tongues that showed a flaming heart, and another like a sheet of beaten gold, with a black stag prancing and rippling in the wind. Robert, Jon though for one mad moment, remembering poor Owen, but when the trumpets blew again and the knights charged, the name they cried was “Stannis! Stannis! STANNIS!”

7. A Dance with Dragons – Theon I

theon robb

Theon led the way up the stairs. I have climbed these steps a thousand times before. As a boy he would run up; descending, he would take the steps three at a time, leaping. Once he leapt right into Old Nan and knocked her to the floor. That earned him the worst thrashing he ever had at Winterfell, though it was almost tender compared to the beatings his brothers used to give him back on Pyke. He and Robb had fought many a heroic battle on these steps, slashing at one another with wooden swords. Good training, that; it brought home how hard it was to fight your way up a spiral stair against determined opposition. Ser Rodrik liked to say that one good man could hold a hundred, fighting down.

That was long ago, though. They were all dead now. Jory, old Ser Rodrik, Lord Eddard, Harwin and Hullen, Cayn and Desmond and Fat Tom, Alyn with his dreams of knighthood, Mikken who had given him his first real sword. Even Old Nan, like as not.

And Robb. Robb who had been more a brother to Theon than any son born of Balon Greyjoy’s loins. Murdered at the Red Wedding, butchered by the Freys. I should have been with him. Where was I? I should have died with him.

6. A Game of Thrones – Bran IV

That night, after the plates had been cleared, Robb carried Bran up to bed himself. Grey Wind led the way, and Summer came close behind. His brother was strong for his age, and Bran was as light as a bundle of rags, but the stairs were steep and dark, and Robb was breathing hard by the time they reached the top.

He put Bran into bed, covered him with blankets, and blew out the candle. For a time, Robb sat beside him in the dark. Bran wanted to talk to him, but he did not know what to say. “We’ll find a horse for you, I promise,” Robb whispered at last.

“Are they ever coming back?” Bran asked him.

“Yes,” Robb said with such hope in his voice that Bran knew he was hearing his brother and not just Robb the Lord. “Mother will be home soon. Maybe we can ride out to meet her when she comes. Wouldn’t that surprise her, to see you ahorse?” Even in the dark room, Bran could feel his brother’s smile. “And afterward, we’ll ride north to see the Wall. We won’t even tell Jon we’re coming, we’ll just be there one day, you and me. It will be an adventure.”

“An adventure,” Bran repeated wistfully. He heard his brother sob. The room was so dark he could not see the tears on Robb’s face, so he reached out and found his hand. Their fingers twined together.

5. A Clash of Kings – Tyrion XIV

Finally, he rolled over the side and lay breathless and exhausted, flat on his back. Balls of green and orange flame crackled overhead, leaving streaks between the stars. He had a moment to think how pretty it was before Ser Mandon blocked out the view. The knight was a white steel shadow, his eyes shining darkly behind his helm. Tyrion had no more strength than a rag doll. Ser Mandon put the point of his sword to the hollow of his throat and curled both hands around the hilt.

And suddenly he lurched to the left, staggering into the rail. Wood split, and Ser Mandon Moore vanished with a shout and a splash. An instant later, the hulls came slamming together again, so hard the deck seemed to jump. Then someone was kneeling over him. “Jaime?” he croaked, almost choking on the blood that filled his mouth. Who else would save him, if not his brother?

“Be still, my lord, you’re hurt bad.” A boy’s voice, that makes no sense, thought Tyrion. It sounded almost like Pod.

4. A Clash of Kings – Bran VII

At the edge of the wolfswood, Bran turned in his basket for one last glimpse of the castle that had been his life. Wisps of smoke still rose into the night sky, but no more than might have risen from Winterfell’s chimneys on a cold autumn afternoon. Soot stains marked some of the arrow loops, and here and there a crack or a missing merlon could be seen in the curtain wall, but it seemed little enough from this distance. Beyond, the tops of the keeps and towers still stood as they had for hundreds of years, and it was hard to tell that the castle had been burned and sacked at all. The stone is strong, Bran told himself, the roots of the trees go deep, and under the ground the Kings of Winter sit their thrones. So long as those remained, Winterfell remained. It was not dead, just broken. Like me, he thought. I’m not dead either.

3. A Storm of Swords – Jaime V

“Has my tale turned you speechless? Come, curse me or kiss me or call me a liar. Something.

“If this is true, how is it no one knows?”

“The knights of the Kingsguard are sworn to keep the kings secrets. Would you have me break my oath?” Jaime laughed. “Do you think the noble Lord of Winterfell wanted to hear my feeble explanations? Such an honourable man. He only had to look at me to judge me guilty.” Jaime lurched to his feet, the water running cold down his chest. “By what right does the wolf judge the lion? By what right?” A violent shiver took him, and he smashed his stump against the rim of the tub as he tried to climb out. Pain shuddered through him … and suddenly the bathhouse was spinning. Brienne caught him before he could fall. Her arm was all gooseflesh, clammy and chilled, but she was strong, and gentler than he would have thought. Gentler than Cersei, he thought as she helped him from the tub, his legs wobbly as a limp cock. “Guards!” he heard the wench shout. “The Kingslayer!”

Jaime, he thought, my name is Jaime.

2. A Feast for Crows – Arya II

She stood on the end of the dock, pale and goosefleshed and shivering in the fog. In her hand, Needle seemed to whisper to her. Stick them with the pointy end, it said, and, don’t tell Sansa! Mikken’s mark was on the blade. It’s just a sword. If she needed a sword, there were a hundred under the temple. Needle was too small to be a proper sword, it was hardly more than a toy. She’d been a stupid little girl when Jon had it made for her. “It’s just a sword,” she said, aloud this time …

… but it wasn’t.

Needle was Robb and Bran and Rickon, her mother and her father,  even Sansa. Needle was Winterfell’s grey walls, and the laughter of its people. Needle was the summer snows, Old Nan’s stories, the heart tree with its red leaves and scary face, the warm earthy smell of the glass gardens, the sound of the north wind rattling the shutters of her room. Needle was Jon Snow’s smile. He used to mess my hair and call me “little sister,” she remembered, and suddenly there were tears in her eyes.

Polliver has stolen the sword from her when the Mountain’s men took her captive, but when she and the Hound walked into the inn at the crossroads, there it was. The gods wanted me to have it. Not the Seven, nor Him of Many Faces, but her father’s gods, the old gods of the north. The Many-Faced God can have the rest, she thought, but he can’t have this.

1. A Storm of Swords – Jaime IV

“Jaime,” Brienne whispered, so faintly he thought he was dreaming it. “Jaime, what are you doing?”

“Dying,” he whispered back.

“No,” she said, “no, you must live.”

He wanted to laugh. “Stop telling me what to do, wench. I’ll die if it pleases me.”

“Are you so craven?”

The word shocked him. He was Jaime Lannister, a knight of the Kingsguard, he was the Kingslayer. No man had ever called him craven. Other things they called him, yes; oathbreaker, liar, murderer. They said he was cruel, treacherous, reckless. But never craven. “What else can I do, but die?”

“Live,” she said, “live, and fight, and take revenge.” But she spoke too loudly. Rorge heard her voice, if not her words, and came over to kick her, shouting at her to hold her bloody tongue if she wanted to keep it.

Craven, Jaime thought as Brienne fought to stifle her moans. Can it be? They took my sword hand. Was that all I was, a sword hand? Gods be good, is it true?

The wench had the right of it. He could not die. Cersei was waiting for him. She would have need of him. And Tyrion, his little brother, who loved him for a lie. And his enemies were waiting too; the Young Wolf who had beaten him in the Whispering Wood and killed his men around him, Edmure Tully who had kept him in darkness and chains, these Brave Companions.

When morning came, he made himself eat. They fed him a mush of oats, horse food, but he forced down every spoon. He ate again at evenfall, and the next day. Live, he told himself harshly, when the mush was like to gag him, live for Cersei, live for Tyrion. Live for vengeance. A Lannister always pays his debts. His missing hand throbbed and burned and stank. When I reach King’s Landing I’ll have a new hand forged, a golden hand, and one day I’ll use it to rip out Vargo Hoat’s throat.

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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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My Top 50 ASOIAF/Game of Thrones Characters

The world of A Song of Ice and Fire is vast, with an estimated 1,200 named characters across the five books. It is not only a huge cast, but an amazing one as well, with complex and polarizing characters that can create hours of debate. The TV show Game of Thrones has changed how we see them as well, with some characters who weren’t that likeable or interesting in the books becoming so, or vice-versa. Here I have attempted to list my personal favourite characters. Because the TV and book versions of characters can sometimes be quite different, I have used a picture of the TV version of a character to show that I like the TV version more than the book version, and I have used an artist’s interpretation if the opposite is true. I have also used a couple of quotes from or about each character, to give an idea of what they are like.

So, on with the list!

50. Loras Tyrell

File:Loras Tyrell.jpg

“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.”

Robert Baratheon: “Have you seen Mace Tyrell’s boy? The Knight of Flowers, they call him. Now there’s a son any man would be proud to own.”

Jaime Lannister: He’s me. I am speaking to myself, as I was, all cocksure arrogance and empty chivalry.

49. Doran Martell

“Vengeance. Justice. Fire and blood.”

“Words are like arrows. Once loosened, you cannot call them back.”

“Until the mountain crushed my brother’s skull, no Dornishmen had died in this War of the Five Kings. Tell me, Captain, is that my shame or my glory?”

48. Eddard Stark

“The blood of the First Men still flows in the veins of the Starks, and we hold to the belief that the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword.”

Petyr Baelish: “You wear your honour like a suit of armour, Stark. You think it keeps you safe, but all it does is weigh you down and make it hard for you to move.”

47. Margaery Tyrell

margaery

“I want to be THE queen.”

Sansa Stark: Margaery was different, though. Sweet and gentle, yet there was a little of her grandmother in her, too.

Jaime Lannister: So the girl is as clever as she is pretty. Tommen could do a deal worse for a queen.

46. Maester Luwin

“There’s nothing in dreams that a man need fear.”

Bran Stark: “They burnt everything.”

Luwin: “Not everything. Not you.”

45. Meera Reed

“Some people will always need help. That doesn’t mean they’re not worth helping.”

44. Balon Greyjoy

“Did Ned Stark dress you like that? Was it his pleasure to garb you in velvets and silks and make you his own sweet daughter?”

“No man gives me a crown, I pay the iron price.”

43. Varys

“The storms come and go, the waves crash overhead, the big fish eat the little fish, and I keep on paddling.”

“Why is it always the innocents who suffer most, when you high lords play your game of thrones?”

Grand Maester Pycelle: “There are things I might tell you of that eunuch that would chill your blood. . .”

42. Robert Baratheon

 “I ask you, Ned, what good is it to wear a crown? The gods mock the prayers of kings and cowherds alike.”

“I swear to you, I was never so alive as when I was winning this throne, or so dead as now that I’ve won it.”

Stannis Baratheon: “We all know what my brother would do. Robert would gallop up to the gates of Winterfell alone, break them with his warhammer, and ride through the rubble to slay Roose Bolton with his left hand and the Bastard with his right.” 

41. Jorah Mormont

The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends. It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace. They never are.”

“There is a beast in every man, and it stirs when you put a sword in his hand.”

Eddard Stark: “So the slaver has become a spy…I would rather he become a corpse.”

40. Mance Rayder

Mance Rayder by Amoka©

“The wall can stop an army, but not a man alone.”

Qhorin Halfhand: “He was the best of us, and the worst as well.”

39. Roose Bolton

Roose Bolton.jpg

“Fear is what keeps a man alive in this world of treachery and deceit.”

“Get the keys and remove those chains from him, before you make me rue the day I raped your mother.”

Theon Greyjoy: Once, he had had enjoyed tweaking Bolton as they sat at council with Robb Stark, mocking his soft voice and making japes about leeches. He must have been mad. This is no man to jape with. 

38. Brynden Tully

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“I’ve had wet shits I like more than Walder Frey.”

“You always disappoint, Kingslayer.”

37. Renly Baratheon

Renly Baratheon 2.jpg

“Why the oldest son, and not the best-fitted? The crown will suit me, as it never suited Robert and would not suit Stannis.”

Stannis Baratheon: “What has Renly ever done to earn a throne? He sits in council and jests with Littlefinger, and at tourneys he dons his splendid suit of armor and allows himself to be knocked off his horse by a better man.”

Loras Tyrell: “I will defend King Tommen with all my strength, I swear it. I will give my life for his if need be. But I will never betray Renly, by word or deed. He was the king that should have been. He was the best of them.”

36. Wyman Manderly

Wyman Manderly by cabepfir.jpg

“My son Wendel came to the the Twins a guest. He ate Lord Walder’s bread and salt, and hung his sword upon the wall to feast with friends. And they murdered him. Murdered I say, and may the Freys choke upon their fables. I drink with Jared, jape with Symond, promise Rhaegar the hand of my own beloved granddaughter … but never think that means I have forgotten. The north remembers, Lord Davos. The north remembers, and the mummer’s farce is almost done.”

35. Olenna Tyrell

Olenna Redwyne.jpg

“All these kings would do a deal better if they put down their swords and listened to their mothers.”

“I hope they play “Rains of Castamere.” It’s been ten minutes since I heard it last; I’ve forgotten how it goes.”

“All men are fools, if truth be told, but the ones in motley are more amusing than ones with crowns.”

34. Tormund

Tormund by Amoka©

“See, lad, that’s why he’s king and I’m not. I can outdrink, outfight, and outsing him, and my member’s thrice the size o’ his, but Mance has cunning.”

“If a man does not use his member it grows smaller and smaller, until one day he wants to piss and cannot find it.”

33. Daenerys Targaryen

daenerys

“It seems to me that a queen who trusts no one is as foolish as a queen who trusts everyone.”

Prendahl na Ghezn: “Woman, you bray like an ass, and make no more sense.”

Daenerys: “Woman? Is that meant to insult me? I would return the slap, if I took you for a man.”

32. Jeor Mormont

“They say the king loved to hunt. The things we love destroy us every time, lad. Remember that.”

“When dead men come hunting in the night, do you think it matters who sits the Iron Throne?”

“Are you a brother of the Night’s Watch . . . or only a bastard boy who wants to play at war?”

31. Beric Dondarrion

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“Robert is slain, but his realm remains. And we defend her.”

“Can I dwell on what I scarce remember? I held a castle on the Marches once, and there was a woman I was pledged to marry, but I could not find that castle today, nor tell you the color of that woman’s hair. Who knighted me, old friend? What were my favorite foods? It all fades. Sometimes I think I was born on the bloody grass in that grove of ash, with the taste of fire in my mouth and a hole in my chest. Are you my mother, Thoros?”

30. Shagga

“When you meet your gods, you tell them Shagga, son of Dolf, of the Stone Crows sent you.”

Tyrion Lannister: “Shagga likes axes.”

29. Thoros

Thoros of Myr by Amoka©

“War makes monsters of us all.”

“Lord Beric’s fire has gone out of this world, I fear. A grimmer shadow leads us in his place.”

28. Yoren

“That’s no law, just a sword. Happens I got one too.”

“Lord Eddard gave me pick o’ the dungeons, and I didn’t find no little lordlings down there. This lot, half o’ them would turn you over to the queen quick as spit for a pardon and maybe a few silvers. The other half’d do the same, only they’d rape you first.”

“Wake up you lazy sons of whores, there’s men out there want to f*ck your corpses!”

27. Gendry

Gendry Amoka.png

“You shouldn’t insult people that are bigger than you are.”

Gendry: “You don’t have to be a knight to buy armor. Any idiot can buy armor.” 
Hot Pie: “How do you know?” 
Gendry: “Cause I sold armor.”

26. Qyburn

Cersei Lannister: “Go to Lord Qyburn on my behalf, bring him a white cloak, and tell him the time has come.”

Jaime Lannister: “You’re no maester. Where’s your chain?”

Qyburn: “The Citadel stripped me of it. They found some of my… experiments… too bold.”

25. Val

Val by Amoka©

“Lord Crow is welcome to steal into my bed any night he dares. Once he’s been gelded, keeping those vows will come much easier for him.”

“May I laugh when I kneel?”

24. Edmure Tully

Edmure Tully by Amoka©

“You will never know how sick it makes me to see you in this room, Kingslayer. You will never know how much I despise you.”

Eddard Stark: His wife’s brother was young, and more gallant than wise. He would try to hold every inch of his soil, to defend every man, woman, and child who named him lord, and Tywin Lannister was shrewd enough to know that.

23. Euron Greyjoy

“Godless? Why, Aeron, I am the godliest man ever to raise sail! You serve one god, Damphair, but I have served ten thousand. From Ib to Asshai, when men see my sails, they pray.”

We are the ironborn, and once we were conquerors. Our writ ran everywhere the sound of the waves was heard. My brother would have be content with the cold and dismal north, my niece with even less … but I shall give you Lannisport, Highgarden. The Arbor, Oldtown. The riverlands and the Reach, the kingswood and the rainwood, Dorne and the marches, the Mountains of the Moon and the Vale of Arryn, Tarth and the Steptones. I say we take it all! I say, we take Westeros.”

Baelor Blacktyde: “Balon was mad, Aeron is madder, and Euron is the maddest of them all.”

22. Samwell Tarly

“I hope the wall is high enough.”

Jon Snow: The world was full of cravens who pretended to be heroes; it took a queer sort of courage to admit to cowardice as Samwell Tarly had.

21. Oberyn Martell

Oberyn Martell.jpg

“Elia Martell, princess of Dorne. Your raped her. Your murdered her. You killed her children.”

Ellaria Sand: “You’re going to fight THAT?”

Oberyn: “I’m going to kill that.”

20. Cersei Lannister

cersei

“When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.”

“Love is poison. A sweet poison, yes, but it will kill you all the same.”

Tyrion Lannister: “She never forgets a slight, real or imagined. She takes caution for cowardice and dissent for defiance. And she is greedy. Greedy for power, for honour, for love.”

19. Robb Stark

“Love’s not always wise, I’ve learned. It can lead us to great folly, but we follow our hearts … wherever they take us.”

“I have won every battle, yet somehow I’m losing the war.”

Rickard Karstark: “Yes, Lord Umber, leave me to the king. He means to give me a scolding before he forgives me. That’s how he deals with treason, our King in the North, or should I call you the King Who Lost the North, Your Grace?”

18. Sansa Stark

sansa

There are no heroes. . . In life, the monsters win.

The Hound is right . . . I am only a little bird, repeating the words they taught me.

Petyr Baelish: “Life is not a song, sweetling. Someday you may learn that, to your sorrow.”

17. Barristan Selmy

Selmy as Arstan Whitebeard.jpg

“I thank you, my lords…but I spit on your pity…I am a knight…I shall die a knight.”

Tywin Lannister: “Dismissing Selmy, where was the sense in that? Yes, the man was old, but the name of Barristan the Bold still has meaning in the realm.”

16. Jaqen H’ghar

“The Red God has his due, sweet girl, and only death may pay for life. This girl took three that were his. This girl must give three in their places. Speak the names, and a man will do the rest.”

“Gods are not mocked. This is no joking thing.”

“A man has patrol duty.”

15. Tywin Lannister

“Some battles are won with swords and spears, others with quills and ravens.”

“When your enemies defy you, you must serve them steel and fire. When they go to their knees, however, you must help them back to their feet. Elsewise no man will ever bend the knee to you.”

“You cannot eat love, nor buy a horse with it, nor warm your halls on a cold night.”

14. Tyrion Lannister

“Let me give you some advice, bastard. Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Make it your strength, and it can never be your weakness. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.”

“Crowns do queer things to the heads beneath them.”

“When you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you’re only telling the world that you fear what he might say.”

13. Arianne Martell

arianne

I was a foolish willful girl, playing at the game of thrones like a drunkard rolling dice.

12. Jon Snow

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“Tell Robb that I’m going to command the Night’s Watch and keep him safe, so he might as well take up needlework with the girls and have Mikken melt down his sword for horseshoes.”

“Edd, fetch me a block.”

Catelyn Stark: Whoever Jon’s mother was, Ned must have loved her fiercely, for nothing Catelyn said would persuade him to send the boy away.”

11. Asha Greyjoy

asha

Asha Greyjoy did not intend to be taken alive. She would die as she had lived, with an axe in her hand and a laugh upon her lips.

“At least we’ll die with our feet wet. Ironborn fight better with salt spray in their nostrils and the sound of waves at their backs.”

Her laughter drew more wolves to her, and she killed them too, wondering if she should start a count of her own. I am a woman wed, and here’s my suckling babe.

10. Melisandre

John Picacio Melisandre of Asshai.jpg

“These little wars are no more than a scuffle of children before what is to come. The one whose name may not be spoken is marshaling his power … a power fell and evil and strong beyond measure. Soon comes the cold, and the night that never end … Unless true men find the courage to fight it. Men whose hearts are fire.”

“Alone we are born and alone we die, but as we walk through this black vale we draw strength from one another…”

I pray for a glimpse of Azor Ahai, and R’hllor shows me only Snow.

9. Arya Stark 

I am the ghost in Harrenhal, she thought. And that night, there was one less name to hate.

Gendry: “If you need help, bark like a dog.”

Arya: “That’s stupid. If I need help, I’ll shout ‘help’.”

8. Sandor Clegane 

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“What do you think a knight is for, girl? You think it’s all taking favors from ladies and looking fine in gold plate? Knights are for killing.”

“There are no true knights, no more than there are gods. If you can’t protect yourself, die and get out of the way of those who can. Sharp steel and strong arms rule this world, don’t ever believe any different.”

“The septons preach about the seven hells. What do they know? Only a man who’s been burned knows what hell is truly like.”

7. Podrick Payne

“I’m his squire. But he left me.”

“I had a dog once. He was called Hero. He was a good dog. He died.”

Tyrion Lannister: It was Pod on the bridge of boats, the lad saved my life.

6. Davos Seaworth

Davos Seaworth by Amoka©

“What does Stannis offer you? Vengeance. Vengeance for my sons and yours, for your husbands and your fathers and your brothers. Vengeance for your murdered lord, your murdered king, your butchered princes. Vengeance!”

Stannis Baratheon: “What is the life of one bastard boy against a kingdom?”

Davos: “Everything.”

5. Dolorous Edd

Edd Tollett by Amoka©

“The dead are likely dull fellows, full of tedious complaints – ‘the ground’s too cold, my gravestone should be larger, why does he get more worms than I do…'”

“Once they figure a way to work a dead horse, we’ll be next. Likely I’ll be the first too. ‘Edd,’ they’ll say, ‘dying’s no excuse for laying down no more, so get on up and take this spear, you’ve got first watch tonight.”

“I just want to say to whoever is voting for me that I would certainly make an awful Lord Commander. But so would all these others.”

4. Stannis Baratheon

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“I ask you, why did the gods inflict me with brothers?”

“Her own father got this child on her? We are well rid of her, then. I will not suffer such abominations here. This is not King’s Landing.”

Asha Greyjoy: His eyes were sunk in deep pits, his close-cropped beard no more than a shadow across his hollow cheeks and bony jawbone. Yet there was power in his stare, an iron ferocity that told Asha this man would never, ever turn back from his course. 

3. Theon Greyjoy

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“I am the Prince of Winterfell! This is my seat, no man will drive me from it. No, nor no woman either!”

“I’m not him, I’m not the turncloak, he died at Winterfell. My name is Reek, It rhymes with freak.”

“Robb, who had been more a brother to Theon than any son born of Balon Greyjoy’s loins. Murdered at the Red Wedding, butchered by the Freys. I should have been with him. Where was I? I should have died with him.”

2. Bronn

“Careful now, don’t want to get blood all over that pretty white cloak.”

Lysa Tully: “You don’t fight with honour!”

Bronn: “No. He did.

Catelyn Stark: She had seen Bronn fight on the high road; it was no accident that he had survived the journey while other men had died. He moved like a panther, and that ugly sword of his seemed a part of his arm.

1. Jaime Lannister

“The things I do for love.”

“There are no men like me. Only me.”

“I think it passing odd that I am loved by one for a kindness I never did, and reviled by so many for my finest act.”

“By what right does the wolf judge the lion? By what right?”