king of the oathbreakers

Game of Thrones for teens

With all the success of fantasy fiction recently, we’ve all heard the ‘Game of Thrones for teens’ marketing line applied to YA epic fantasy. But which books really stand up to that marker? The truth is, most books can’t match the complete depth and breadth of A Song of Ice and Fire but many do have elements that will appeal to lovers of GRRM. Here’s my take on the best ‘Game of Thrones for teens’ books and who they’d appeal to:

If you love… Tyrion Lannister. A flawed hero who steals every scene he’s in.

You’ll want to read… HALF A KING by Joe Abercrombie

Prince Yarvi has vowed to regain a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains, and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea. And he must do it all with only one good hand.

If you love… The Westerosi political intrigue. The battle between the houses in a rich and engrossing medieval Europe-esque world.

You’ll want to read… FALLING KINGDOMS by Morgan Rhodes

In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering.

If you love… the Khaleesi and the Dothraki. Swords and sorcery in a medieval Mongolian-inspired setting.

You’ll want to read… THE OATHBREAKER’S SHADOW and THE SHADOW’s CURSE by Amy McCulloch

When a young warrior is wrongfully accused of treachery against the heir to the khan, he is exiled into the desert where he must learn how to survive - and clear his name. 

If you love… Arya Stark. Kick-ass young female assassin on a journey all of her own.

You’ll want to read… THRONE OF GLASS by Sarah J Maas

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince.

If you love… beyond the Wall. Icy intrigue and mysterious supernatural creatures lurking in the woods.

You’ll want to read… SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo

The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka. A lavish world, with a Russian-inspired setting.

If you love… Brienne. A fiercely talented female warrior trapped in a man’s world, with her own twisted sense of honour

You’ll want to read… GRACELING by Kristin Cashore

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight - she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.

If you love… dragons. Just give me more and more dragons.

You’ll want to read… Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

The kingdom of Goredd is populated by humans and by dragons who fold themselves into a human form. Though they live alongside each other, the peace between them is uneasy. But when a member of the royal family is murdered, and the crime appears to have been committed by a dragon the peace and treaty between both worlds is seriously threatened …

If you want… George to explore the rest of the world he’s created and learn more about Yi Ti, the Jade Sea and Essos

You’ll want to read… PROPHECY by Ellen Oh

A superb YA epic fantasy inspired by ancient Korea. Intrigue and mystery, ancient lore and action-packed fantasy come together in this heart-stopping first book in a trilogy.

If you want… to read a fantasy that tackles a subject even George hasn’t addressed (yet)

You’ll want to read… PANTOMIME by Laura Lam

The heartachingly beautiful tale of intersex youth Micah and his struggle for identity and love, set within the confines of a magical travelling circus. 

The Case for Jonsa: J + C = J + S

This post and it’s poster are spoiler free. Please respect that. If you know something from a leak that contradicts one of my theories I ask that you keep it to yourself.

Also, if you ship Jonerys I already know you think I’m delusional and that this post is completely dumb and silly, so there’s no need to say so.

I’ve been working on this theory for a while now and I think I finally have all the info I need. Perhaps someone else has stumbled upon this but I’ve never seen it anywhere else. I believe that there are a lot of parallels between Jaime and Cersei, and Jon and Sansa. Some of them are probably just coincidences while others are definitely just wishful thinking. Others, however, are a little too on the nose to be dismissed right away. I think you’ll be surprised at just how many similarities there are in these characters’ story arcs and I believe GRRM is hinting at what we can expect for Jon and Sansa’s future. I believe their stories are going to mirror the Lannister twins. I believe Jon will be forced to marry Daenerys, but he will fall in love with Sansa and their affair will destroy the Targaryen legacy, much like Cersei and Jaime’s relationship destroyed the Baratheon’s. Before you call me crazy, consider the this:

Obviously, both pairings are brother and sister and both are the children of great houses. Let’s examine those houses. They’re very similar. Both have sigils of dangerous predators, both are warden’s. Even their father’s are more alike than you think. They both had to crush a rebellion and they both did it in the same way. Well… not exactly the same way. Tywin slaughtered the Rains and left nothing of their House while Ned took Balon’s only remaining son as a hostage. The thing is, they used different methods but the result was the same. An end to the family line. Balon and Yara and Theon lived, but the Greyjoy legacy would die with them. Both houses were effectively destroyed. Also, both their father’s were killed by a Lannister (albeit for very different reasons). Tywin was killed by Tyrion and ned was killed by Joffery. And they both had disabled brothers who fled from Lannisters who were trying to kill them and returned to Westeros to stand by an opposing ruler (Tyrion and Bran). Cersei’s daughter Myrcella was killed out of vengeance for harming a prince. As was Sansa’s dog Lady when Nymeria attacked Prince Joffery. Both dogs were innocents punished for crimes they didn’t commit. What does Cersei always say about Myrcella? She was ‘good’. And what does Sansa say when begging for Lady’s life? “She’s good.”

In addition to their family’s history, their own paths are quite similar as well. As young girls both Sansa and Cersei were sent to King’s Landing to be used as political devices through betrothal. Cersei was told she would marry the prince but that fell through and she ended up marrying another king. Sansa was supposed to marry the prince but that fell through. If she married Jon she’ll be marrying a king as well.

Jon and Jaime left home for the same reason as well. They both left to join sacred orders with vows to give up their family names and never marry. I think it’s an interesting contrast that the King’s Guard are referred to as the White Cloaks and the Night’s watch are called the Brother’s in Black. They left their homes as young men enthusiastic to take their vows but immediately regretted their decisions after joining. Jaime, who had done it to be near Cersei, realized the mad king planned to use him as a pawn against his father and his sister was sent back to Casterly Rock. Jon learned that Rob was rebelling to avenge their father and he couldn’t leave to help him. The careers that followed took a similar turn too. They were both kingslayers. Jaime killed the mad King to prevent him from burning the keep he was in, and Jon killed the King Beyond the Wall to prevent him from burning on a pyre. Later, both were taken prisoner by their enemies. In order to escape, Jaime killed his cousin. Jon killed Half-hand (his brother) to earn the Wildling’s trust so he could eventually escape. Then they both developed feeling for their captors. Jaime for Brienne (platonic… maybe) and Jon for Ygritte (romantic). Both of them are oathbreakers. Jaime killed his king and Jon slept with a wildling girl. And now, Cersei is Queen and Jaime stands beside her as her closest advisors. They rule together most of the time but she doesn’t always listen to him and he can’t control her. Jon is King and Sansa rules beside him. They disagree on decisions and he gets the final say.

I’d like to know what you guys think of all this. Am I just seeing shipping nonsense in the clouds, or does this seems a little too similar to be coincidental? Also, can you think of any other similarities?

There has been recent discussion about Ned and Cat’s choices and I’m not touching a lot of it but I do want to address one thing and that is the betrothal of Sansa to Joffrey. A lot of it comes down to the arguments set out in this meta I reblogged last night wrt feudal society.

At the beginning Ned and Cat did not know what Joffrey was truly like but to be honest that isn’t relevant to the decision to agree to the betrothal, even if we might like it to be. Even when Ned sees Joffrey’s true nature, the betrothal isn’t broken and the reason for that is not because he does not care or that he is stupid. Cat sums up the reason from the start.

“I will refuse him,” Ned said as he turned back to her. His eyes were haunted, his voice thick with doubt.
Catelyn sat up in the bed. “You cannot. You must not.”
“My duties are here in the north. I have no wish to be Robert’s Hand.”
“He will not understand that. He is a king now, and kings are not like other men. If you refuse to serve him, he will wonder why, and sooner or later he will begin to suspect that you oppose him. Can’t you see the danger that would put us in?”
Ned shook his head, refusing to believe. “Robert would never harm me or any of mine. We were closer than brothers. He loves me. If I refuse him, he will roar and curse and bluster, and in a week we will laugh about it together. I know the man!”
“You knew the man,” she said. “The king is a stranger to you.” Catelyn remembered the direwolf dead in the snow, the broken antler lodged deep in her throat. She had to make him see. “Pride is everything to a king, my lord. Robert came all this way to see you, to bring you these great honors, you cannot throw them back in his face.”

These honours include both the Handship and the betrothal of Sansa to Joffrey. Cat might see the betrothal as an honour in this scene but that does not mean she is wrong about the need to accept. To quote the meta I link to at the beginning of this post:

the bannermen cannot give the king a reason to suspect their loyalty, or the king gets to kill them for oathbreakers. in other words: ned and cat had no bloody choice but to betrothe sansa to the king’s son, even if he is a psychopathic monster. just because it was framed as ‘oh, but you can say no’ doesn’t mean they could actually say no.

It doesn’t matter what happened on the Kingsroad, at the Trident or in Kings Landing, Ned can’t just say “no, Sansa isn’t going to marry your son any more” because then the question becomes why and “because he is cruel and not going to treat Sansa well” is not going to be a good enough reason in that society, not when she is betrothed to the son of the king. It would have been a massive red flag for Robert and one Cersei could use, one any number of people could use to accuse Ned of disloyalty to the crown.

The only option Ned had for ending the betrothal was the one he eventually took, to arrange safe (and what was meant to be secret) passage by ship for Sansa and Arya to return North while he tried to deal with the fallout on his own because there would be fallout, even if things had gone according to Ned’s plan.

title: the lightning in your eyes (2/4)
word count: ~5900 for this part
summary: (or, Ghost Stories from Davey Jones’s Locker.) The past, in the form of that other infamous pirate, comes back to haunt Hook. Literally.

a/n: as a warning, this part gets kind of dark. killian’s backstory, when it comes to his father, isn’t pretty.

part one. part three. part four.

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“Do you know what’s happening with Hook and David?” Tink asked hesitantly, sitting next to them at the diner; both Emma and Mary Margaret turned sharply.

“This time?” Emma asked, but the expression on Tink’s face didn’t leave a lot of room for jokes, even weak ones. “I don’t know, David went out looking for him earlier… Why?”

Tink made a face. “I sort of ran into them — or, well, narrowly avoided running into them — in the hallway at the inn. David was yelling at him about something, I didn’t catch much of the conversation, I thought…”

Mary Margaret looked at Emma and then back to Tink with dangerous curiosity. “What… exactly did you hear?”

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