Monday, April 29, 2013

A to Z Challenge + Game of Thrones Recap

Today, the wonderful and talented Alisa Selene is doing a pictoral review of Persistence of Vision on her blog, Picture Me Reading. If you have time, hop over and check out what she's done! ;D Thanks! 


Welcome to the A to Z Challenge! This is my first year participating. Basically, we post every day except Sunday, which in April means we'll finish on the 30th. We blog about something each day which starts with the corresponding letter of the alphabet. So, day 1=A, day 2=B, etc. Visit the A to Z blog for more details.

My theme is writing and related bookish things. A pretty vague theme, I'll admit, but as this is a writing/bookish blog, I thought I'd clarify. 

Today's letter: Y

Y is for YA.

YA is a major genre these days. That's no secret. Personally, it's not my favorite genre. But that's not true of most people, and while I may not always prefer it, I do understand why so many people do.

Teenager-hood is full of hormones, growing pains, first experiences, finding oneself, and it's an era in human development where everything feels like the end of the world. In other words, awesome fodder for both the drama of story telling and the dynamic of great conflicts and characters. 

For me, I just need high stakes. If they're really high, life-and-death sort of things, like Hunger Games, then I'm game. It's just that I've read a lot of YA that isn't up to par so I don't jump to read it anymore. That said, the stuff that's well-written is VERY well-written and it's a great genre for budding writers to experiment with. As competitive as the market is, I always respect YA authors who hone their craft and put out really stellar fiction!

What are everyone else's thoughts on YA?

Game of Thrones Recap

Episode 4.5 

Whaw-hoo! Episode five--officially half-way through season 3--is off with a bang! I watched this episode with my two sisters, my brother, and his girlfriend. They like watching it with me because I've read the books and can clarify things for them. The conversation goes something like this: 

Sibling: Uh, who's this guy again?
Me: Oh, that's Lord Bolton. He's allied with Robb.
Siblings: Oh right, right.

It's kind of fun. Makes me feel powerful and stuff. So anyway, onto the recap. *Spoilers for episode 5 ahead. Read at your own peril!*

We open with the sword battle between Dondarion and the Hound. As I said last week, I was quite bitter that they started this scene in one episode and made us wait an entire week to see its conclusion. The scene was well-executed, though. The fight (including the burning blade) looked awesome and was all kinds of suspenseful. Totally loved it when Gendry tackled Arya. (Totally shipping for Gendrya over here.) And there was an appropriate amount of oohing and ahhing from my siblings when Dondarion got back up. Dondarion sends the Hound on his way with Arya pouting nearby. Later she has a chat with Gendry and learns that he wants to join the brotherhood as a smith. His reasons are good--they're free men and he is sick of being a servant--but we're seeing the first threads of Arya feeling true abandonment from her friends. She later chats with Dondarion about his resurrection, wondering if he could use it to bring her father back, which he refuses.

Then we go to Jon Snow north of the wall. He's being forced to give out information about the Night's Watch and their patrols. We see him being very conflicted about whether or not to tell the truth. Lying will surely get him killed if any of the wildlings find out. Telling the truth will get his black brothers killed. Then we finally get some sexy times with Ygritte, which sticks by the book pretty well. That's pretty much all we see of Jon this episode.

Brienne and Jaime arrive at Bolton's castle, where they're treated with hospitality. Jaime's arm is treated by a meister (reminding us all once again why we're grateful to live in ye old 21st century) and then we have the famous bath scene. Seriously everyone, google "brienne jaime bath" or something along those lines, and click images. There are like a billion fan pics of this scene. Okay, maybe not that many, but it's a scene that's much talked about among the book's fans. Probably because we see some of the first real, profound bonding between the two misfits. Before, it's either been non-existent or one-sided, but it doesn't get much more intimate than when you're bathing with someone, even if it's really not sexual. The Jaime/Brienne story line is moving right along.

Meanwhile, back in King's Landing, Cersei asks for Baelish's help in ferreting out any schemes the Tyrells might be hatching, which he agrees to. Tyrion, the newly appointed Master of Coin, asks Lady Olenna for help in paying for the lavish royal wedding. After plenty of her priceless snipping, she agrees, making Tyrion a (temporarily) happy camper.  We also see that Loras Tyrell (who is secretly gay) is okay with marrying Sansa, but planning to have plenty of male lovers on the side. Again, this is a departure from whom Sansa was set to marry in the books, but in the tv series, she's clueless as to Loras's true sexual orientation. Poor girl. Well, Baelish finds out about the plot to marry Sansa to Loras and does the thing that comes most naturally to him: manipulation. He's so good, it's almost hard to see through. He tells Sansa that if she wants to stay, she has his blessing. She'll always look on him as a true friend and benefactor. Meanwhile, he reports to Cersei, ensuring that things will never work out as Sansa hopes. 

Then comes the Lannister family counsel. Ah the drama! There were plenty of gasps from my siblings when they realized Tywin meant for Tyrion to marry Sansa. And I just had to smile at how well Lena Heady plays the simpering Cersei: all too smug when it comes to spoiling Tyrion's pudding, but she turns into a whiny, would-be victim when she's called upon to take one for the team. Her ruthless father, of course, has no sympathy for either of his children and storms out after informing them that they will accede to his wishes. And I thought my family dinners were tense!

Lord Karstark murders two young, Lannister hostages, leaving Robb no choice (as he sees it) but to execute the lord of one of his most loyal households. He loses another large chunk of his army and for the first time doubts he can keep the North secure. Later, talking to his wife, he realizes taking Storm's End (the former home of Stannis Baratheon) will make a unifying goal for his army, but he'll need the help of Walder Frey, who's daughter he was supposed to marry but spurned in favor of his wife. (Dun, dun, DUN!)

Finally, Dany is traveling with her army of Unsullied (we meet Grey Worm) while Jorah Mormont and Barrister Selmy argue over what will be best when they reach Westeros. This is another early setup for something we won't see come to fruition for a while. Selmy suggests that perhaps Jorah's presence (who is known as a slave monger) won't best serve Dany's claims. Of course Jorah won't hear of leaving, and we all want to slap Barrister for suggesting it, but he really is looking out for Dany's interests. You know, politically.

Finally, we get to see Stannis's wife and daughter this episode. Neither is nearly as ugly as they are described in the books--curse of the beautiful actors--and they didn't explain the girl's greyscale disease at all. Hopefully they do in the future. (Of course, I already did to my siblings. :D)

Overall, an awesome episode packed with tons of good stuff. The real questions to ask for this season is where will it end? We know they won't get all the way through book 3, but where will they cut us off for another year? The royal wedding? The Red Wedding? A certain trial? Dany's next conquest? Only time will tell. Can't wait to get more of all these story lines. (Not sad Theon wasn't in this episode, btw.) But I wouldn't mind more of Bran's story. Just like in the books, his plot is very drawn out, with never much happening all at one time.

So, where do YOU think they'll end season 3?


  1. I enjoy the YA genre. I don't read it exclusively or anything, but there are some really good YA books out there (and some bad ones too), and I don't want to deny myself the chance to read them because they're YA.

    As for Game of Thrones...this season has been brilliant thus far, and one hour a week is simply not enough. I love Jaime and Brienne's storyline.

    And I think they might end season three with the red wedding.

  2. It's not my genre of choice either, but several of my blogger buddies write young adult, so I've read a few books.

  3. I love YA but you know that ;> I am glad you liked the review..super envious that you have seen the new season of Game of Thrones!

  4. I guess YA is full of greats and garbage like everything else is.