Shall we give this one 4-to-1 odds?

Had this interaction on Twitter today:

Nah, I disagree. I think they’ll both be fine, and I can support that position, though not in a few words.

Seriously, though, I don’t buy this assumption that GRRM is determined to make sure everyone is either dead or lonely at the end. Insisting Jaime and/or Brienne MUST die is assuming facts not in evidence.

I could absolutely bet on them both surviving the series, but for the sake of argument I’m content to bet on just the events of TWoW. I’m not sure I can trust anyone to keep in touch with me from now to the publication of ADoS, much less to remember our bet and keep to its terms for that long. Just waiting for TWoW is risky enough.

Of course we could also just bet on the events of Game of Thrones. No matter what happens with GRRM’s writing, the show will give us a new season this year and next. Would anyone care to run a bet with me until the finale of Season 8?

In terms of numbers, I’m at a disadvantage. This is not just a 1-on-1 bet, this is 3-to-1. If Brienne dies, you win. If Jaime dies, you win. If they both die, you win. If they both live, I win. Most of the fandom seems pretty well convinced one or both MUST die before the end. Surely I should have some takers? The default betting terms are mainly just bragging rights and digital shit like Twitter handles and profile pics, but would anyone be more open to this bet if we put actual real-space assets on the line? How about a framed print from my Society 6 store? I expect to upload a lot more images between now and the Season 8 finale, so you’ll have plenty of prizes to choose from.

 

She’ll be fine. I’ll put a wager on it.

I’m confident Brienne of Tarth will make it through The Winds of Winter alive and healthy. Who wants to take me on?

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This is a gentle reminder that Brienne HAS established a protector relationship with Sansa on the show, whereas she hasn’t even met Sansa in the books. This suggests there’s more left for Brienne to do before her story is finished.

BFish’s list of POV characters to die in TWOW:

Theory for Brienne’s death:

I’m not posting this to pick on BFish; there are lots of fans who think Brienne will be among the body count in Book 6, and they lean towards her dying in the Lady Stoneheart encounter via deliberately losing a fight to save Jaime. I’m here to challenge that theory.
So I’m all like, “COME AT ME, FISH!”:

(I’m also fairly sure Theon will be okay, but I’m more invested in Brienne, so it’s more fun to be right about her.)

But he wasn’t having that:

Context: I’ve taken one bet against BFish. We bet on whether Lady Stoneheart would show up in Season 6. I won. I’m confident enough to bet in favor of Brienne’s survival.

So now we know, BFish is confident enough about Brienne dying to put it on Twitter, but not quite confident enough to bet against your blogger. Honestly, that’s a legit position to take.

I still want to bet against someone, though.

The terms are:
1. If Brienne survives TWOW, I win.
2. If Brienne dies in TWOW, you win.
3. If Brienne and Jaime are kept out of TWOW altogether, it’s a draw. This is unlikely, but I’m willing to hold space for the possibility. If Brienne’s status is ambiguous at the end of TWOW, it’s a draw.
4. If I win, I choose your Twitter profile pic and you have to use it for 3 months. If you win, you choose my Twitter profile pic and I have to use it for 3 months.
5. Also, the loser has to write an explanation (250 words minimum) on how they got this matter wrong, and it must be posted online.
6. If you’d like to take this bet and you don’t have a blog, I recommend using IO.
7. I will allow ONE chance to call off the bet. If more evidence appears before we get TWOW (like, say, Season 7), and you decide Brienne is more likely to survive, it is okay to back out. I will make sure there is a public record of your surrender, but surrender will be accepted. However? There’s no going back and forth on this. I will not agree to revive the wager after you’ve backed out.

So…who’s up for a friendly wager between fans?

It can always get worse

Well, everyone, my depression has finally reached that “there’s no way I can just brain-hack my way out of this” stage, and I am seriously doing the cost-benefit analysis of finding a new doctor to do something about my poor fucked-up brain. Like, is it worth the stress to take time off work to see a medical professional who may or may not have the answers, or should I try some crunchy OTC shit and see if that helps first? And why is my HR manager never available? I need to talk with someone who acts like they care about me.

The work day was…bad, but I somehow managed to conduct myself better than my workplace deserves. I’m feeling a little better since I was able to end the workday and check Twitter on the way home. I have a partly-empty bottle of cheap-ass Argentinian Malbec, and I’m still doing my first re-watch of GoT Season 6, and tonight just happens to be the night for Episode 8. Which is fabulous timing, because NCW has a birthday today, and Gwen rose to the occasion. This is the sort of thing that lifts my mood:


I totally see you telling them to have babies, weirdo. Nik already has two kids. With his WIFE. Have some respect for the family he has.

In related news, we have a fan report of Gwen having recently flown to Belfast, along with Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont, silly) several weeks ahead of the expected start of filming. We’re fairly sure she and Iain don’t have any scenes together, but the point is Gwen is in Belfast already at the same time as another GoT actor and while it could be coincidence, they’re probably there because HBO summoned them for some GoT-related business. For Iain Glen, it’s probably a prosthetics fitting; Jorah’s greyscale is getting worse and Iain needs to have the right sort of crap fitted to his arm. For Gwen, I’d like to think she’s getting a new costume, but realistically? She’s probably not getting a new costume. The most likely thing is rehearsing for a fight scene or two. 

Last year, Gwen mentioned having spent 3 days shooting a scene of “vicious, up-close, thuggish fighting,” and I guessed two scenarios: Early season against Boltons to rescue Sansa and Theon, or mid-season against BWB in Riverlands. The first guess turned out to be correct. Now there’s still the BWB in the Riverlands. We don’t know for sure that Brienne will have a fight scene, and we don’t know for sure that the BWB will be antagonistic to her, but we do know that Brienne has had at least one fight scene in every season since she appeared on the show. We know she’s in Belfast now, and this would be a good time to have her rehearse for a big fight. 

Anyway, the particular GoT-related activity she’s conducting at the moment isn’t the point; the point is that she happens to be in the process of some GoT-related biz when she makes her Happy Birthday Tweet to Nikolaj. I have been rewarded for examining Gwen’s choices of Tweet emojis before. (I’m telling you, it’s about to get worse.) And with her b-day greetings to Nik, she uses: noisemaker, cake, theater masks, trophy, noisemaker, star, balloon, bells, gift box, bow, noisemakers. 

Look, I won’t go so far as to try to make sense of the sequence, or figure out some secret message in what all these emojis have in common. I told you it can always get worse. 

I’m just sayin’, the masks, trophy and star are not birthday-related.

It’s like…she has a script in front of her, and she wants Nik to know he can expect some great acting material in S7. Which means they’ll have some more scenes together. 

I am the biggest Dorknerd that ever Geeked.

Brienne’s family is deliberately under-described

Just this morning, I saw someone on a certain message board tell us “Tarth” is Welsh for “mist.” I checked with Google translate, and sure enough. There it is. Something tells me that was not an accident on GRRM’s part.

Some time ago, I went over what we know about Brienne’s family, and how much we don’t know. At the time, I wasn’t sure whether this shortage of information was a result of a lack of planning by GRRM, or whether he was keeping the Tarths deliberately mysterious.

The fact that their family name means “mist” should tell us a lot about that.

Before I go any further: I think it’s really weird that the books have been around this many years, and show has been running for this many years, and I’ve been following Watchers and Winter and the Wars and Politics peeps, and so much of the GoT cast, for this many months, and I’m only now finding out “Tarth” is a translation of “mist.” Surely someone should have mentioned this by now? Yet this is the first I’m hearing about it.

Still, that is what the name means. I’m bringing it up because it explains a lot about why there’s such a dearth of information on Brienne’s family, relative to what a significant character she is. We don’t know their motto. We don’t know anything about her mother. Her father’s been mentioned at least once every season on the show since Brienne appeared, yet we don’t know anything about him except his name, that Brienne is his only living child, and Blackfish seemed to think he was a good man. We know so little because GRRM has chosen to keep her family shrouded in mist for this long, and when he reveals more about her family, it’ll be significant.

 

In which we can’t always get what we want.

So, I think last night was the first time I watched a new episode of Game of Thrones while sober and healthy, and the result was that I could not sleep last night. Really could not sleep. May have lost consciousness for an hour and a half, but that’s a generous estimate. I’m now working, still in the middle of my first cup of coffee, and I may not be entirely coherent.

First off: everything that happened at Winterfell was fabulous.

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Kingslayer parallel, Cersei as Aerys

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Most of this information can be found in an older post, Book/Show Comparison 13, but I think it’s still relevant. Now that we’re far enough into Season 6 to see Lady Stoneheart is a non-presence in the show version, I think it’s worth taking a second look at the Kingslayer Parallel and what it suggests for the books.

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No longer a debate: Jaime and Brienne are a love story.

Somewhere between the fourth and fifth interviews I’ve seen Nikolaj give since Monday morning, a thought occurred to me today: this week is the time when the Jaime/Brienne relationship is a Confirmed Canon Romance. They’re no longer interested in being subtle, and they’re now talking to us clearly enough that we no longer have to argue over whether this is a romantic subplot or “just” a friendship between two knights.

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