This coming Sunday, I return to the lands Westeros and Essos. I’m putting together a menu and a casual cosplay viewing party outfit, so “excited” might be putting it mildly. George R. R. Martin’s (GRRM) sixth installment of A Song of Ice and Fire (ASOIAF) returns to HBO (do not click that if you don’t want potential spoilers). Without the sixth book complete, there is the potential for two completely different outcomes by it’s finish. I’ve rewatched the entire series in preparation for the premiere, so there’s no better time to give The Seven Kingdoms their shot at the Iron Friday Five!
Q1: Which is better the books or the HBO TV show?
Books. Those gloriously, long-winded, bricks in my bag which consumed hours of my life books. Akin to Tolkein, GRRM carefully crafts a time and place where warring factions and families are all vying for rule in excrutiating detail. In a fighting world where “All Men Must Die,” one must have an extensive cast of characters (and back ups) to keep the story moving. Not since Harry Potter have I enjoyed reading a multibook series1.
I devoured ASOIAF while flying around the globe!
Ironically, I borrowed all five of GRRM’s books from the library, so I do not own any of them currently. I would like to collect them all. I love this fancy leather-cloth bound set, but books six and seven are not yet complete.
Q2: Who is your favorite character?
While Daenerys Targaryen should be the obvious choice, I’m going to go off the rails and pick Cersei Lannister-Baratheon. (Ooh, I can hear all the booing and hissing across the Seven Kingdoms… I love that kind of heat.)
In the series, Cersei is by no means at saint. She is smart, beautiful, and sly. In world where this is a skirmish for the coveted seat atop the Iron Throne, the Lion Queen does everything in her power to remain in contol and protect her family. What really makes my hackles stand up, is how she is vilianized for her behavior. The greatest vein fueling my case for Cersei is a theme that constantly pulses: if she were a man, many of her actions would not only be accepted but deemed impressive and formidable. Do I agree with all the things she does? Absolutely not, but she is an integral force to be reckoned with throughout the series.
If you watch the series, Lena Headey is magnificent to the point when she visits talk shows, they have her trade barbs or have read pieces in character. On the page, I hated to love her and I loved to hate her, but Headey’s embodiement tipped the scales in Cersei’s favor. I cannot wait to see what happens to her next!
Q3: Have you drank any of the Brewery Ommegang beers?
I discovered BO while sitting on a stool in a tiny pizza place in Queens with two of my classmates from my flight attendant class. Looking at the bottle beer selection, I picked Three Philosophers in homage to the three of us, eating cheap, but decadent pizza and catching up after one of our first sets of flights (like in the sky on planes, not series of beers.) By the time I learned of the GoT tie-in craft beers, I was already late to the game. I wanted to try The Iron Throne Blonde Ale on draft when I went to Player One, but the price tag scared me off.
I managed to get all three Dragons of the Fire and Blood, and enjoyed them despite Red Ale not being at the top of my favorites list. I found The Seven Kingdoms a couple of weeks back and picked up a bottle. Incidently, I headed over to Total Wine to pick up an extra bottle of SK, they restocked just in time for all the season six premiere parties! I’ll finally be able to experience the Take the Black Stout and Three-Eyed Raven Dark Saison Ale.
Some of the recipes from the Feast of Ice and Fire cookbook call for darker beers, so I am hoping they will pair nicely. I’m adding the GoT Growler and the show related glassware to my wishlist. If anyone could help me locate a bottle or two of Valar Morghulis Dubbel Ale, I would be forever in your debt. I know a couple of Lannisters, and they always pay up.
Q4: Have you seen the Game of Thrones Cookbook?
Seen it? I borrowed it from the local library, and I am saving up for my own copy of A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones cookbook. What started out as a fan cooking blog transformed into a very detailed, well-researched collection of recipes based upon all the food described in the books. It’s beautifully laid out, starting up at The Wall and you work your way south, across the Narrow Sea to Essos. Hot and cold as well as adult beverage pairing are outlined as well as sample menus for your own feasting and celebratory needs!
I am hoping to make several of the recipes throughout the airing of season six. If there is one nerdy, literary cookbook I buy this year, it will be this one. My more detailed review can be found here.
Q5: Which character do you do think you look most like?
I try not to compare myself to celebrities, but when I was flying during the week of San Diego Comic Con two summers ago, a passenger asked me if I watched Game of Thrones during the beverage service. I laughed and floored the entire party when I said, “The books were better, and Cersei is greatly misunderstood.”
He countered with “has anyone ever told you that you look like Margaery Tyrell?”
I love when there is Quiet in the Realm…
It was one of the most flattering compliments I’ve recevied because Natalie Dormer is downright gorgeous. If I were to do a GoT cosplay, I would love to have to courage to brave the bare backs and plunging necklines of The Little Rose.
Bonus: Cosplay Flash Back!
Earlier in the week, I wrote about my GoT-inspired everyday cosplay. It was not our beloved Khaleesi, Dany, but a gender-swapped Khaleesi Drogo. I doubt I’ll dress formally on Sunday evening, but I do love my “Moon of My Life tank, and will wear some combination of it come Sunday.
I am looking forward to the return of the surivors of Westeros with curiosity because I love GRRM’s master work. Many have given him grief over not completing The Winds of Winter prior to the filming let alone the release of seaosn six, but as a fledgling writer, I know how frustrating writer’s block can be. Writer Neil Gaiman shut down all the haters in the best possible way, so if you are one of those who are giving our buddy GRRM grief, read it and take a momenth to rethink your loyalty and responsibility as a fan.
Answer Me, These Questions Three
- Who is your favorite GoT Character?
- If you haven’t read or watched the series, could you tell me your reasons?
- How are you celebrating the return of GoT?
- Yes, I did read the Twilight Saga, the Hunger Games trilogy, and Divergent series, but each had things I loved and things I loathed. I do have favorite characters, and they aren’t the protagonist nor the main love interests.