On Not Being Stupid by Krugman
"It is easy to confuse what is with what ought to be, especially when what is has worked out in your favor."
- Tyrion Lannister
"Lannister. Baratheon. Stark. Tyrell. They're all just spokes on a wheel. This one's on top, then that's ones on top and on and on it spins, crushing those on the ground. I'm not going to stop the wheel. I'm going to break the wheel."
- Daenerys Targaryen
"The Lord of Light wants his enemies burned. The Drowned God wants them drowned. Why are all the gods such vicious cunts? Where's the God of Tits and Wine?"
- Tyrion Lannister
"The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends. It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace. They never are."
- Jorah Mormont
"These bad people are what I'm good at. Out talking them. Out thinking them."
- Tyrion Lannister
"What happened? I think fundamentals were trumped by mechanics and, to a lesser extent, by demographics."
- Michael Barone
"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to."
- Dorothy Parker
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Monday, December 22, 2014
Sunday, December 21, 2014
From the series.
Stannis was born the second son to Steffon Baratheon and Cassana Estermont, the younger brother of Robert Baratheon and the older brother of Renly Baratheon. His parents died when he was thirteen. He lost his faith in the Seven on that day, vowing that gods who were cruel enough to take his father and mother in sight of their children would never have his worship. Even in his youth he was said to be a serious, dour and humorless boy.
After the death of Jon Arryn, Stannis flees to Dragonstone to gather his strength and plan his next move. Lord Eddard Stark wonders why Stannis left, believing it was due to the discovery of whatever secret Jon Arryn was allegedly murdered for, although not realizing that Stannis was also slighted by Robert's selection of Eddard as his new Hand of the King. Ned, via Grand Maester Pycelle, sends a raven with a polite letter requesting Lord Stannis to return to his seat on the small council. During Eddard's investigation of Jon's death, he discovers that Stannis and Jon had spent a great deal of time together. When he is told Stannis and Jon visited a brothel, when Stannis is normally so righteous to the point of prudish, he gets closer to the truth. Robert dies after a boar hunt and is succeeded by his son, Joffrey Baratheon. Eddard tries to rule as regent, but is outmaneuvered by Robert's widow, Cersei Lannister. The boy king Joffrey subsequently has Eddard executed.
The Horn of Winter by Robert Waldmann
HBO is rerunning Season Four today. In episode 3, "Breaker of Chains," Sandor Clegane and Arya Stark are taken in as guests by a good farmer loyal to the Tullys and his daughter. The farmer is religious and discusses the Red Wedding and how the Freys are cursed by the Gods because they violated Guest Rights.
And then Clegane turns around and violates Guest Rights by stealing the farmer's silver. Arya is upset at him. And - spoiler alert - Clegane doesn't make it through the season, thanks to Brienne of Tarth.
Along with Arya and the poor farmer, another good, kind person is Shireen Baratheon, daughter of Stannis. Shireen doesn't like how her father and Melisandre burned her uncle and others for being infidels and refusing to burn their idols to the Seven Gods. Her kindness and goodness leads her to a friendship with Ser Davos and in a discussion with him, she gives him the notion that the Iron Bank of Bravos isn't big on distinctions, just like Shireen's father, Stannis. Davos understands that the Iron Bank doesn't care who rules Westeros as long as they get paid. Davos will convince them that Stannis will pay them back for their support as the Lannisters have been weakened by Joffrey's death and Lord Tywin won't be around forever.
Jorah Mormont is one of my favorite characters. I always cut him some slack for informing on Daenerys. He didn't know her and wanted to get home. Did he inform for too long though? In episode 5, "First of His Name," though I noticed how we wavered from advising Daeneyrs to take King's Landing after learning that Joffrey Baratheon was dead. Barristan Selmy wanted to. Mormont wavered perhaps because he realized if they went back, Daenerys would learn the truth. I would like to believe he was so honorable and in love with Daenerys that he was giving his best council.
I love Davos, Stannis, Arya, Daario, Tyrion, Daenerys, Brienne and many others, but on the show Sansa really survives so much and remains good and kind. That last scene of her this season as she walks down the stairs in nice black clothes, one imagines you can see her aunt Lyanna in her, the dark beauty of the North who Rhaegar Targaryen started a war for.
Along with the karmic or God's justice the Hound suffers, the evil leader of the renegade Nights Watch at Craster's Keep encounters it as well, or just bad luck. He lectures Jon Snow about fighting with honor, when one of the abused women stabs him the back. Then as he turns, Snow gets him through the head. A man without honor has consequences to suffer as well. Or maybe it's just bad luck and bad things happen to everyone, good and bad, in Westeros.