what should i read after game of thrones

~ misandeistudies intro post  ~

hi everyone! my name is shaye, and i’ve been lurking around the studyblr community for a while now* but i wanted to increase my involvement, so i figured i should make an introduction post

my main is @aasteria 

some things about me:

  • i’m 15, from the usa, and entering my junior year of high school 
  • i love writing
  • i’m obsessed with a song of ice and fire by grrm and i watch game of thrones as well 
  • i’m a ravenclaw 
  • i love reading 
  • watching ted-ed videos is my secret passion
  • i’m not really sure what i want to do when i grow up. right now i’m thinking about majoring in either english or history and going to law school after that (not sure tho) 

classes i’m taking this year

  • ap language and composition
  • ap us history
  • ap biology
  • pre-cacl
  • ap statistics
  • french iii

some studyblrs that inspire me include:

@studyign @studylustre @studyquill @rhubarbstudies @academiix @universi-tea @katsdesk @studytillyoucry @lit-studyblr @julstudies @nourstudies

*i previously had the url sunstonestudies

Thoughts on Shipping in Game of Thrones

So recently I’ve been noticing that there’s a lot of hate between the Jonsa and Jonerys shipping communities. I’m not calling out anyone or either side in particular, because there are people in both ships that are guilty of it.

First of all, I want to start out by saying that I ship Jonerys. And I’ve shipped it for a long time-ever since I got into the fandom, about four years ago now. At the time, I didn’t really know what Game of Thrones was and I’m not sure exactly why I started shipping them in the first place. I did think that it made a lot of sense narrative wise-after all, there are a lot of parallels between their arcs that other people have described before and to me it seemed like the logical conclusion to where the books were leading; fire meets ice, a song of ice and fire. And then when I got to know the characters more I thought that they were compatible that way too, and their personalities would complement each other nicely. I knew that a lot of other people didn’t ship it and I wasn’t really online at all at that point, so for the most part it was something I shipped quietly (but vehemently) but I didn’t really think that many other people felt the same way. I didn’t worry about whether or not it was canon; I just assumed that it would be. Having them meet seems logical and satisfying for the narrative itself, and although GRR Martin often doesn’t conform to typical novel archetypes there are some things that just make for a consistent book, and having them meet is a way to do that.

Now, that’s not to say that I don’t like Sansa, because I do. Sometimes I get frustrated with her, but I get frustrated with all of the characters at some points, even Jon and Dany. I think she’s a very complex character and I’ve really enjoyed watching her grow as a character. I want to see her become more sure of herself, and I hope that she becomes Jon’s advisor/close friend in season 7 because she truly has learned a lot. I’m so glad that she and Jon got to reunite in season six. I just didn’t really see anything between them that hinted at romance. I’ve always just seen them loving each other as siblings (and you can make the argument about Jon and Dany also being related, but Jon and Sansa grew up together and while I suppose romantic feelings could develop I’ve just never really seen it). All of their interactions in season six (even the forehead kiss) seemed like plausible things that could happen between siblings who haven’t seen each other in several years and thought they would never see each other again. And I know other people feel differently, and that’s just fine. People should be able to ship what they want to ship.

I can thank Game of Thrones, and especially Jon and Dany, because they got me through some of the toughest years of my life so far. I read the books, watched the show, and wrote fanfiction after fanfiction during a very lonely time and it helped me get out of my head a little bit. After a while the ship became something natural and ingrained, something that didn’t go away when I joined other fandoms-every time something GOT related came out it would be like I’d never left. And yes, I know that a happy ending isn’t realistic and I wouldn’t expect the show to end like that; I’m a writer, and writing these primitive AUs gave me ideas and a drive to write story after story, honing my skills until I was ready to start creating my own worlds.

Especially Dany, who was and still is someone I’m greatly inspired by. I loved the way she took her fate into her own hands and made her life one that she wanted to live-and for a teenager with anxiety, she was just the kind of character I needed to meet. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started a conversation with someone new or done something even though I feel super anxious because if Dany could raise three dragons and conquer three cities before she turned eighteen (book verse, at least) then I can give a class presentation. And she was a flawed character too; she made mistakes but she always worked for the betterment of the lowest of the low. I even named one of my cats after her (the ultimate compliment I can give). I don’t really understand all of the Dany hate (although I may be extremely biased). But everyone is entitled to their own opinions and I respect that.

I don’t believe in sacrificing character traits on anyone’s part to suit the ship though, but I trust the showrunners enough to believe that whatever happens the characters will be preserved. It’s something that I ship not just because of the characters but also what it’s meant to me personally, and what I’ve discovered about them and myself by writing fanfiction. I don’t care if it makes me immature to imagine my own happy endings; the two characters will definitely meet in the show and I don’t know exactly how it will go down but no matter what I’d like to see them working together against the White Walkers. Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with shipping either ship. People shouldn’t read or post about what they don’t want to. If that’s immaturity, I don’t mind because it’s way too late for me to stop shipping it anyway.

But in any case, that’s my ramble.

Update: I just got my jonerys sideblog up and running at blue-roses-in-a-wall-of-ice so feel free to visit me there! I’m planning on writing one shots for various AU prompts so feel free to submit things!
Why Game of Thrones does not deserve the awards they got

There is a scene in “a Dance with Dragons” when Theon Greyjoy is brought to Winterfell to give validation to the marriage between Arya Stark and Ramsay Bolton. As Arya isn’t in fact Arya but a northern girl called Jeyne Poole, Theon’s presence, as he was raised with the Starks, is required so no one can doubt the girl is real. At some point, Theon starts to wonder why no one seems to be aware of the fraud in which he has been forced to participate.

I am sure that, at some point of last Sunday night, while seeing Benioff and Weiss on stage, George R R Martin felt exactly the same.

The scene that opens this article does happen in the books. It’s not Sansa who marries Ramsay but “Arya” (Sansa cannot marry him: she’s wanted for murder). But that won’t be a topic here. Because, unlike what many people believe, the changes Game of Thrones has made from the books is not the biggest problem we have with the show.

So, if anybody wants to comment that I’m  just butthurt because the books have changed the storyline, keep it to yourself.

Many would agree when I say that, many times, our art speaks of what is really inside us. Our art is how we express ourselves, whether intentionally or not. So, I have to wonder what can we say about D. Benioff and D. Weiss based only on their “art”, a show named Game of Thrones. Do they write the show in the way the show is written due to them needing the show being edgy and polemic or they REALLY believe what they write has no problems at all?

Because, on one side, we have Martin creating the many shades of the world of Ice and Fire and including diverse types of characters: good men, bad men, good women, bad women. We know he has written ASOIAF as an answer to the many clichés existing in fantasy. He has made fantasy a real tangible story we can relate. While Tolkien and Lewis show people we should aspire to be, Martin show us what we really are now, despite we might not like to accept it.

Whether GRRM is a feminist or not, it has been already discussed. Many claim he is, some others claim he is not. I have read him saying he doesn’t consider himself that, for whatever reason is. Maybe he shares with me the idea that you don’t have to call yourself a feminist to actually be one, but whatever: not the point of discussion. What is real, independently from what he calls himself, is that he DOES. WRITE. WOMEN. RIGHT.

GRRM’s women aren’t tropes with boobs. They are not infallible. They don’t exist to fill a feminist quota or because inclusion requires an amount of women being present in a story. He writes women because women are and have been present in any kind of story, even our own human history: there have been many women whose presence was important and relevant. They weren’t just some King’s wife: they made a difference in any way. And despite having everything working against them, they chose not being victims. They chose to make their voices be heard and be an important part of their society.

Where are those women in Game of Thrones?

GoT had the choice to cast one woman who was in complete power, an heiress to be soon the one ruler of one of the Realms (unlike the other Realms in which men rule even if they have an older sister). They chose to cast her warrior cousins instead.

And the one scene I waited four years to happen (back when I enjoyed this show), in which Dany, the most powerful women of the world, jumps into the pit (because she does that) to save her dragon (because she does that) after she, indirectly, saved Tyrion and Jorah (because she also did that!) was replaced by Emilia Clarke being there waiting for anyone with a penis to rescue her.

Why?

Seriously, Why?

What makes a group of writers to believe that a woman saving herself and others is not a worthy plot and should be changed to a woman being saved instead?

Dany does not exist. Neither Arianne. Nor Sansa. Their actions are those that either Martin or Benioff and Weiss make them do. And while Martin has chosen to make these female characters strong, independent and brave, B&W have chosen to make them useless victims that need a man to rescue them.

What does this say about Benioff and Weiss? What does it say about them that they shaped a whole season around changing the plot of a girl so she could be raped instead of, you know, put such girl in her own plot?

“Well”, some could say, “this is tv. You need to make some scenes interesting!”.

Ok, let’s go with that.

Last night, not only Game of Thrones won. Also did Peter Dinklage, an award that, despite I like him, feels completely undeserved.

This is a scene from Dance with Dragons, the book from what mostly Season 5 has been adapted:

Though she did look Westerosi, the girl spoke not a word of the Common Tongue. Perhaps she was captured by some slaver as a child. Her bedchamber was small, but there was a Myrish carpet on the floor and a mattress stuffed with feathers in place of straw. I have seen worse. “Will you give me your name?” he asked, as he took a cup of wine from her. “No?” The wine was strong and sour and required no translation. “I suppose I shall settle for your c*nt.” He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “Have you ever bedded a monster before? Now’s as good a time as any. Out of your clothes and onto your back, if it please you. Or not.”

She looked at him uncomprehending, until he took the flagon from her hands and lifted her skirts up over her head. After that she understood what was required of her, though she did not prove the liveliest of partners. Tyrion had been so long without a woman that he spent himself inside her on the third thrust.

He rolled off feeling more ashamed than sated. This was a mistake. What a wretched creature I’ve become. “Do you know a woman by the name of Tysha?” he asked, as he watched his seed dribble out of her onto the bed. The whore did not respond. “Do you know where whores go?” She did not answer that one either. Her back was crisscrossed by ridges of scar tissue. This girl is as good as dead. I have just fucked a corpse. Even her eyes looked dead. She does not even have the strength to loathe me.

Compare that with the scene Peter Dinklage was given in the show in which he simply goes and rejects a prostitute because he’s a saintly man with morals and stuff (something Tyrion from the books is not).

That scene from the books is as shocking and polemic as it can be. In fact, it’s one of the most polemic scenes from the books already. This one scene is worthy of an award nomination. Any kind of nomination. Because it would have needed a very strong actor to pull it off. And I think Peter Dinklage would have been WONDERFUL playing it.

But not. This scene did not happen. Just as Brienne killing Stannis Baratheon wasn’t show: because it would have been “gratuitous”.

Showing a virgin 14 years old girl being sexually abused was not, apparently.

Showing one and many women being sexually assaulted, beaten, killed or hurt, in any way, it not gratuitous.

But showing a man being beheaded, despite such man was in a situation of violence (a battle he was losing) could have been too much and offensive.

People are not obligated to read the books. And those who read them are not even obligated to like them. But at least, they are somehow obligated to respect them, even if they don’t like them. Specially because the books do respect their readers. Because, despite those books are fantasy, are still books and they have a meaning and an importance in our culture already. These books are, already, part of us as humankind (and sadly, also is the show).

But in this case, in this specific case, I think people SHOULD read the books. And they should be aware of what the problem with Game of Thrones is and why is wrong this show won awards last night. It’s not a mere problem of them changing storylines. And we shouldn’t allow ourselves being tricked into being fed up with the amazing cast being cool and chic in twitter or instagram or how handsome and pretty they are.

Unfortunately, I think mostly watchers of the show feel threatened by the idea of reading the books. Maybe because they know that after reading them, they would realise how incredibly sexist this show has become. And then, either for a personal conviction or for a social obligation, they would have to stop liking the most watched and commented show that exists now on TV.

And of course, some would say “but I’ve read the books and I think the show is better!”. Why is better? The dialogue is not better. The situations are not better (the situations are a very simplistic representations of those we see in the books). The characters are not better. Is better because, as someone said, the show is already ahead of Martin? That’s a very weak defence, honestly. And a lame excuse. Because, unlike the Unsullied (those who watch the show but not read), they DO KNOW what the storylines are about and they know that Benioff and Weiss have changed those storylines into something Martin never intended, nor even by implication, to happen.

Sadly, GoT has already too much power. They won the award of best show despite this was their most criticised season, and the weakest one. Despite mostly of the commentary of the people involved didn’t explain but tried to make excuses about the things we saw. Despite the critics bashed episode six but returned to kiss their asses at episode seven. Despite a lot of actors who criticised many decisions of the show suddenly started to praise it (and one was even mocked in an interview). And anyone involved with GoT wants to get a little bit of power, even fansites. One fansite in fact told someone criticising the show that “reading is for sad people”. And I got blocked by another famous fansite after I called the show a “fucking show”.

But, as ASOIAF itself as showed us, having power doesn’t mean you deserve to have it. Because GoT definitely does not deserve to have won the awards they won. Because Game of Thrones is a show that has chosen to use exploitable female violence in order to gain an audience and to keep them entertained instead of, you know, having a good storyline. 

(edited Sept.22th, 2015: some spelling and grammar mistakes)

I read the essay on maesters and knowledge in the book I bought, Mastering the Game of Thrones. The essay was written before the World Book came out, so I would love to read an expanded version of this. Even working only through ADWD material, it definitely supports the “Trust Barth” argument.

Here, then, is the point about maesters’ knowledge: it’s all wrong. What they “know” doesn’t matter much, and what they should know, they don’t. This is so despite the important fact that they are precisely the people designated in their world to know things. Thus they are singularly incompetent at what they do. After all, farmers know farming, blacksmiths smithing; septons know theology, soldiers warfare. Maesters fail spectacularly at their culturally designated specialty. 

To return to the problems associated with becoming a maester: in addition to demonstrating infinite hours of study, the chain of office consistently communicates to us readers the other primary meaning of “chain” – tying down, binding, limiting, and above all weighing down. Remember Pycelle’s “ponderous metal necklace” described earlier […]. Ancient Maester Aemon can barely support his chain’s weight […]. Before his own poison snuffs him out, Cressen notes that the “chain around his throat felt very heavy” (CoK 1 Prologue: 15). What energetic young person would choose to voluntarily chain himself thus? Samwell Tarly certainly doesn’t relish the prospect. […] Dutiful and studious as he is, he “did not want to be a maester, with a heavy chain wrapped around his neck, cold against his skin” […]

Maesters’ knowledge is limited – “chained” to that which is sanctioned by the Citadel as rational, scientific, empirical, and verifiable […] With their book learning, they have effectively reasoned out of the world everything magic […].

Their knowledge is irrelevant to power, except perhaps […] in the remotest, most vaguely symbolic way […] useful for showing off how “advanced” a given house or kingdom is, but good for little else.

With Tywin employing multiple maesters in the books, I’m loving this discussion about the maesters and respectability. “They advise kings and lords, and are actively sought after as symbols of power in themselves. […] Individuals and institutions possessing valued knowledge also possess greater power.”

Going back to the idea that the maesters’ knowledge is all wrong, something I read in TWOIAF about the Eyrie: “The maesters who have served House Arryn, students of the art of warfare all, have been unanimous in the belief that the castle cannot be taken”. Maybe I got the wrong impression from this, but it just seemed funny to me that the Citadel sent its master strategists to an impregnable castle where the only strategy needed is to throw things down on any potential invader. 

nobodysuspectsthebutterfly replied to your post:

I love how the Arryn maesters say that when the castle’s been taken twice. Ok, both times they needed dragons to do it, but you’d think the “dragon rule”, enemies who can fly, should be part of strategy considerations.

Definitely! That’s pretty much what the essay is saying, that the maesters willfully ignore magic as much as possible, that maybe it happened in the past but it’s not something that needs to be considered now.