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Valar Morghulis & Memento Mori

One of the most powerful and often quoted catch phrases from Game of Thrones has to be “valar morghulis” – a mantra that closely resembles a memento mori. In the Middle Ages, art depicted reminders of our mortality – skulls and other symbols of death. Artists intended these symbols to remind their audience of the fleeting vanities of wealth and other earthly pursuits. A Latin phrase – memento mori, or “remember that you have to die” – came to encapsulate this mortal reflection….

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Daenerys & Deianira: Greek Myths and Khal Drogo’s death

I am probably not alone in having read the demise of Khal Drogo in A Game of Thrones with disbelief and a bit of outrage. For such a super-masculine warrior, who had a headful of bells tied into braids because he had never lost a battle, this was no fitting way to go. Yet, if we think about it, it all makes better sense than having him cut down heroically in combat. He had of course killed many in his…

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I couldn’t have said it better myself…

In the category of “I couldn’t have said it better myself,” I found this delightful article about Game of Thrones and history from Cinemania in Madrid, “6 lecciones de Historia que has visto en ‘Juego de tronos’ by Yago Garcia. My Spanish is terrible and Google Translate chokes on this article, so here is my very crude translation… The article begins with the most common excuses we hear for not watching GoT or reading ASOIAF – and, boy, do I get…

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The Marginalized Rise in Mother’s Mercy: Episode 10, Season 5

The name of the final Game of Thrones episode in Season 5 is “Mother’s Mercy”–  and, at least in this episode, the mother has none. In “Mother’s Mercy,” the mighty are brought down by the lowliest of people, often women or the transgendered, whom everyone has forgotten or discounted. “Mother’s Mercy” is truly an event-filled, game changer. It has strong echoes of other game-changing historical events like the assassination of Julius Caesar and Richard III’s last stand at Bosworth Field. In…

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Jon Snow [Spoilers – Ep 10, S5]

This article contains spoilers for anyone who has not seen Episode 10, Season 5. Spoilers SpoilersSpoilersSpoilers SpoilersSpoilersSpoilersSpoilers SpoilersSpoilers Spoilers SpoilersSpoilersSpoilers SpoilersSpoilersSpoilersSpoilers SpoilersSpoilers Spoilers SpoilersSpoilersSpoilers SpoilersSpoilersSpoilersSpoilers SpoilersSpoilers Spoilers SpoilersSpoilersSpoilers SpoilersSpoilersSpoilersSpoilers SpoilersSpoilers SpoilersSpoilersSpoilersSpoilers SpoilersSpoilers Spoilers SpoilersSpoilersSpoilers SpoilersSpoilersSpoilersSpoilers SpoilersSpoilers Spoilers SpoilersSpoilersSpoilers SpoilersSpoilersSpoilersSpoilers SpoilersSpoilers Spoilers SpoilersSpoilersSpoilers SpoilersSpoilersSpoilersSpoilers SpoilersSpoilers === === Is Jon Snow really? Yes. Well, at least according to the actor and the showrunners. But it’s pretty hard to believe for anyone who has read the books and is convinced that Jon warged into Ghost to save himself. The showrunners refer to…

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War Machines: “The Dance with Dragons” (Episode 9 Recap)

“The Dance with Dragons” episode is the ninth episode of season 5, and the ninth episode (aka end of Act 3) is always the most climactic episode on Game of Thrones. While this year’s episode 9 did not pack the same emotional wallop as Ned’s beheading, the Red Wedding, or the Battle at Castle Black, it was equally special in its own way – notably for its wondrous, transcendent closing scene. This episode is about war machines whether they be burned siege…

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