Friday Five: Playing the Game of Thrones

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!

  I started reading ASOIAF on a long layover in Pensacola in 2014.


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.

cersei wine.gif

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

SK is a perfect hoppy summer brew for The Realm.

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!

Jaime knows I like my Sunday brunch with blood and fire!

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?”

20140520-074427-27867846.jpgI 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.

Everyday Cosplay as Office Dothraki (tank top by: Jordan Dené)

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

  1. Who is your favorite GoT Character?
  2. If you haven’t read or watched the series, could you tell me your reasons?
  3. How are you celebrating the return of GoT?

Notes 

  1. 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.
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8 comments

  1. gradappguru · April 22, 2016

    1. Choosing a favorite character is like choosing my favorite Beatles song, nearly impossible. I love all three of the Lannister siblings. I could wax long on the topic but maybe you and I can just have a Lion geek out sometime. I also love Brienne and Ygritte. And of course Dany, but I might like Jorah more. So hard to choose.
    2. I’m caught up on TV but have only read the first book. I will read further, but other responsibilities keep me from reading as much as I’d like to.
    3. No plans for the premiere because we don’t have HBO. I just caught up by DVD less than a week ago. Eventually I plan to subscribe to HBO now so I don’t have to navigate the spoilers all the time.

    Great post! I love that you love Cersei. I think Lena Headey should win an Emmy and a Golden Globe every year.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. KatyJ930 · April 22, 2016

    Favorite Character: Arya & Tyrion! And Deanerys. Dont make me choose okay.
    Reasons I haven’t read: I bought first book and my old cat literally pissed on that opportunity. (ugh. good bye cat pee smelling book.). So I just haven’t brought myself to buy it again. Its on my TBR list though.

    Like

  3. KatyJ930 · April 22, 2016

    UGH. Coworker called me and I hit send, instead of return.

    I am celebrating by just being really freaking excited its coming back. I cannot wait. I wish I could have a party but I have to work Monday and I’m old so – I will go to sleep right after. lol

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dina Farmer · April 23, 2016

    I have always liked Aria. Although, I haven’t read the books all the way and I haven’t watched past the 4th season. I have tried but sometimes my triggers go off and I have to simply call it on the show. The whole things with Sansa and Bolton kind of made me stop watching the show. When I saw clips and read about it, I decided it might be time to server my ties.

    Like

  5. nmiller00 · April 23, 2016

    These books are at the top of my to read list this year. It seems like every time I develop a new character they get killed off or something bad happens to them. Jorah has always been one of my favs. . hopefully nothing more happens to him!

    Like

  6. Charlie · April 25, 2016

    Great post. Loved reading it your passion for GOT really comes across. My favourite character is Tyrion I love how he is just so sick of everyone else’s crap and he wants to get things sorted so he can just drink his wine in peace with out people trying to kill him. I do want to read the books but I am captivated by the show and I know the books will be better so I’m saving them.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Danielle @ From Girlie to Nerdy · April 25, 2016

    What you said about Cersei is SO TRUE! Seriously, must be nice to be a man :p I vote we do some GoT cooking soon…we need a feast 🙂 I really love Dani as she’s just such a bad ass!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Leanne · April 29, 2016

    If I had to pick just one favourite character, it would probably be Arya. I like plucky tomboy characters but even without that she has a fantastic arc and so many trials to overcome at a young age with none of the typical skills used by other characters to gain power (strength, strategy, beauty). But I also love when I see chapters will be Tyrion or Brienne’s POV. I think I have a thing for underdogs.

    (And yes, utterly SHOCKED that the Mother of Dragons isn’t my #1.)

    Liked by 1 person

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