everything ASOIAF

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“Please.” He fell to his knees. “A sword, that’s all I ask. Let me die as Theon, not as Reek.” Tears trickled down his cheeks, impossibly warm. “I was ironborn. A son… a son of Pyke, of the islands.” A leaf drifted down from above, brushed his brow, and landed in the pool. It floated on the water, red, five-fingered, like a bloody hand. “…Bran,” the tree murmured.

anonymous asked:

What did you think of the final confrontation between Zuko and Azula? I think Azula embodies the dark path Zuko could have easily taken in the face of his personal and moral struggles if it weren't for his uncle, his mother and obviously himself in the end. It'd have been powerful to have him defeat her, thematically speaking. Why did they have Katara defeat her? What did that accomplish? Many criticize the Aang/Ozai's deus ex machina solution, but this one was even more disappointing to me.

The showrunners made that decision because defeating Ozai and Azula is a dramatic formality - what matters to character development is that Zuko defeats what is worst in himself. (The other protagonists, too.) And I love it.

The key to the character development decisions in the finale is found in the season two episode “Bitter Work.” That episode shows Aang struggling with the philosophy of earthbending, having difficulty standing his ground against a falling boulder. It also shows us Zuko, motivated by his rivalry with Azula, say “screw basics, I want lightning!” In the end of that episode, Aang gets enough of a grip on earthbending to at least use it, while Zuko learns how to redirect lightning.

In the finale, Aang shows his mastery of earthbending philosophy as he stands his ground against Ozai (so much worse than a rock), and Zuko decides to use his lightning redirection to save Katara, at the cost of a chance to definitively beat Azula into the ground.

But the other thing is, by the time Azula takes that cheap shot at Katara, it’s clear Zuko’s already won everything that matters.

In terms of firebending, Zuko was having that fight all his own way. Go back to Zuko’s first fight against Zhao and listen to what Iroh tells him - then look at Zuko’s footwork in the finale. His feet aren’t going anywhere but where he wants them to go. Also his breathing, the source of firebending. Zuko’s breathing is controlled; Azula’s chest is heaving. Even with the massive power boost the comet’s giving both of them, it’s more than possible to tell that Zuko’s firebending is neat and precise, and his defence is now solid as a rock. This is a trend that’s manifestly apparent through the last quarter of season three. The gap in the fight occurs because Azula’s worked out that Zuko’s winning, and she needs to change her tactics.

Then there’s the fact that Zuko has someone to jump in front of at all. In Katara, he has a friend so steadfast she’s come along to the middle of enemy territory on the day firebenders are most powerful to back him up in his fight. Meanwhile, though Azula tried to compel that sort of loyalty from Mai and Ty Lee, she couldn’t. Mai chose Zuko over Azula, and Ty Lee chose Mai over Azula. She’s alone, but Zuko has friends and family. She’s devastated by Ozai turning his back on her, but Zuko’s past it.

Zuko’s never been better off, and Azula never lower. He’s got nothing more to prove - not to himself, not to Ozai, and not to Azula. It’s not relevant which of Zuko or Katara strikes that final blow, and boy does that go to the heart of Azula’s own insecurities.

Third thing. Zuko saves Katara with a firebending move drawn from the principles of waterbending. Katara finally defeats Azula by freezing them both in a big block of ice and then breathing out water to free herself. Which bending discipline is based on the breath, again? Firebending. Katara defeated Azula with a waterbending move drawn from the principles of firebending.

Instead of Zuko giving it all to definitely absolutely positively defeat Azula personally and win a fight that, as I say, he’s already won, the writers preferred to show Zuko prioritising Katara’s life over his own family drama, and how both he and Katara have learned from each other.

arya + northerners

Back at Winterfell, they had eaten in the Great Hall almost half the time. Her father used to say that a lord needed to eat with his men, if he hoped to keep them. “Know the men who follow you,” she heard him tell Robb once, “and let them know you. Don’t ask your men to die for a stranger.” At Winterfell, he always had an extra seat set at his own table, and every day a different man would be asked to join him. One night it would be Vayon Poole, and the talk would be coppers and bread stores and servants. The next time it would be Mikken, and her father would listen to him go on about armor and swords and how hot a forge should be and the best way to temper steel. Another day it might be Hullen with his endless horse talk, or Septon Chayle from the library, or Jory, or Ser Rodrik, or even Old Nan with her stories.

Arya had loved nothing better than to sit at her father’s table and listen to them talk. She had loved listening to the men on the benches too; to freeriders tough as leather, courtly knights and bold young squires, grizzled old men-at-arms. She used to throw snowballs at them and help them steal pies from the kitchen. Their wives gave her scones and she invented names for their babies and played monsters-and-maidens and hide-the-treasure and come-into-my-castle with their children. Fat Tom used to call her “Arya Underfoot,” because he said that was where she always was. She’d liked that a lot better than “Arya Horseface.” (AGOT)

arya underfoot is one of the most important names for arya. she goes through numerous personas and identities but this is one of the first. and unlike most of the others it doesn’t chip away at arya’s sense of self. arya underfoot embraces arya’s true identity. it was given to arya by the smallfolk of winterfell, specifically her father’s men, but even jon and theon think of her as such. they gave her this nickname because she was always so close to them, literally underfoot. she would play, befriend, and socialize with all of her people. regardless of birth or rank or job. arya valued their existence which is more than most highborns who see them as disposable things.  

and while arya hasn’t been in the north for years her connection to it’s people has never diminished. arya often remembers the ones she loved from winterfell and even crosses paths with some northern characters both new and old

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Funny thing about black and white. You mix it together and you get grey. And it doesn’t matter how much white you try and put back in, you’re never gonna get anything but grey.

Season 7 Theory Masterlist

Warning! There are major SPOILERS for Season 6 under the read more. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!!!!!!! This is your ONLY warning!

Originally posted by find-a-reaction-gif

This is also a very, very long post. I go very in depth and explain everything I think about something and why. I absolutely encourage you to discuss with me what you think, and whether you disagree or agree. My askbox is always open:) 

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anonymous asked:

Is Batman: The Animated Series worth watching?

I certainly believe it is! While I’ve got very little patience for a Batman who growls “I work alone” at everyone, runs solely off “my parents are dead!” angst, and carelessly trashes large parts of Gotham, sign me the fuck up for a Batman who fights crime because he knows intimately how devastating it is, works for the betterment of the city in every part of his life, and who, despite difficulties creating and maintaining close relationships, genuinely cares for the people around him - Alfred, Robin (mostly Dick Grayson’s Robin, though we do see some Tim Drake), Commissioner Gordon, Barbara Gordon, Leslie Thompkins, Selina Kyle, Harvey Dent.

On the villain side, this is Mark Hamill’s Joker we’re talking in this series. From his first appearance, busting out of Arkham on a rocket-propelled Christmas tree, derailing a train, and kidnapping Commissioner Gordon, all so he can give Batman a Christmas present, he’s scary and legitimately funny. This is also the series that introduced Harley Quinn.

All in all, it was written by people who love the canon and wanted very much to produce a worthy addition to it, and it shows. My personal favourite episodes include “Heart of Ice” (the reimagining of Mr Freeze), “Beware the Grey Ghost” (a love letter to Adam West’s Batman), “Joker’s Favor” (a regular person’s POV of one of the Joker’s schemes), and “Almost Got ‘Im” (villain poker night).

ETA: Nor is there any of this “but I don’t have to save you” moral laziness on Batman’s part. Ugh, the Nolan films.

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I know that she spent her childhood in exile, impoverished, living on dreams and schemes, running from one city to the next, always fearful, never safe, friendless but for a brother who was by all accounts half-mad… a brother who sold her maidenhood to the Dothraki for the promise of an army. I know that somewhere upon the grass, her dragons hatched, and so did she. I know she is proud. How not? What else was left her but pride? I know she is strong. How not? The Dothraki despise weakness. If Daenerys had been weak, she would have perished with Viserys. I know she is fierce. Astapor, Yunkai and Meereen are proof enough of that. She has survived assassins and conspiracies and fell sorceries, grieved for a brother and a husband and a son, trod the cities of the slavers to dust beneath her dainty sandalled feet. // DRAGONQUEEN.ORG

Joss nodded. “If it please His Grace—” 

“His Grace is hunting across the Blackwater,” Ned said, wondering how a man could live his whole life a few days ride from the Red Keep and still have no notion what his king looked like. Ned was clad in a white linen doublet with the direwolf of Stark on the breast; his black wool cloak was fastened at the collar by his silver hand of office. Black and white and grey, all the shades of truth. “I am Lord Eddard Stark, the King’s Hand. Tell me who you are and what you know of these raiders.”

This is so very Ned Stark. So very, very Ned Stark, who takes a very personal approach to ruling. Ned gets to know the people he rules:

Back at Winterfell, they had eaten in the Great Hall almost half the time. Her father used to say that a lord needed to eat with his men, if he hoped to keep them. “Know the men who follow you,” she heard him tell Robb once, “and let them know you. Don’t ask your men to die for a stranger.” At Winterfell, he always had an extra seat set at his own table, and every day a different man would be asked to join him. One night it would be Vayon Poole, and the talk would be coppers and bread stores and servants. The next time it would be Mikken, and her father would listen to him go on about armor and swords and how hot a forge should be and the best way to temper steel. Another day it might be Hullen with his endless horse talk, or Septon Chayle from the library, or Jory, or Ser Rodrik, or even Old Nan with her stories.

It’s so completely foreign to Ned, this distance that the King has, the insularity of being “high above them all” while ruling, the arrogance, the elitism, and tbh I think GRRM is critiquing this across ASOIAF, from Aerys’s rule (Arthur Dayne talking to the smallfolk in the Kingswood and getting down on their level and finding out what they needed) to the problems Daenerys faces ruling Meereen high in the pyramid. 

In ASOIAF, there’s a call to bring it back to the people, to make it more personal, to care more about people’s lives, and I love how the Iron Throne plays such an important role in this theme, I love it.