October, 2013


Skinning the Reputation of House Bolton

This article looks at one aspect of House Bolton: their fearsome reputation, which derives from flaying. Note: This article contains some extremely violent and potentially disturbing descriptions. In the books, Roose Bolton evokes fear. His voice is low and small. You have to get closer to hear him. His eyes are pale and lifeless. He is a man with “cold cunning.” Roose Bolton, like his son and ancestors, gives people the chills. In the books, Robb Stark is afraid of…

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Theon, the Castrated Viking

Please note: This article is sexually explicit in ways some readers may find offensive or distasteful. It presents disturbing mental images, which parallel events in the show, and contains mild sexually graphic artifacts. Balon Greyjoy and his daughter Yara (Asha in the books) receive a parcel, a “special gift,” and a mysterious letter, sealed by what looks like piece of skin and House Bolton’s flayed man sigil.1  The message informs Balon that Ramsay Snow is holding Theon hostage. Ramsay warns Balon to…

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What Can We Expect from “The White Princess”?

Philippa Gregory has confirmed she is in talks with Starz to produce “Season Two” of The White Queen. While The White Queen show began as a co-production between the BBC and US company Starz, the BBC never intended to go beyond one season, treating it as a mini-series. Starz is hoping to develop The White Princess, the fifth novel in the best-selling Cousins’ War series. Obviously the show has been more popular in the United States than the United Kingdom….

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A Mixed Finale for “The White Queen”

It is clear that there was not enough money left in the budget to have more than twelve actors in the Battle of Bosworth. A somewhat anti-climatic final battle (because face it, we all knew what was coming) led to an even more anti-climatic ending. The finale of The White Queen was just a whole lot of nothing. We began with Elizabeth Woodville finally leaving sanctuary and going home. When Margaret Beaufort finds out Elizabeth has made peace with Richard…

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“The White Queen” – Episode 9 – The Princes in the Tower

It’s Stanley against the world! Plotting against Richard, plotting against the Rivers, his wife, Buckingham and his own beard, his delightful duplicity just about steals the show this week. I wasn’t sure whether or not to root for Stanley or feel sorry for Margaret Beaufort as he grins cheerfully and tells her she is under house arrest and her lands forfeit to him. The look of incredulity on her face when she exclaimed “You betrayed me to get my fortune!”…

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Vikings: Could a Real-Life Yara Ever Exist?

Yara (Asha in the books) is an amazing symbol of female power, but was she based on real life? Would a Viking-esque culture ever have a woman commanding a fleet of ships? At first glance, Yara seems like she might be a sophisticated version of the female super hero/warrior trope – a female powerhouse created to please a modern audience with no historical basis. If that is what George RR Martin had done, that would have been fine. After all,…

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“The White Queen”: Episode 8 The King is Dead

I am longing to dance on the grave of Faye Marsay’s Anne Neville. In the writer’s attempt to portray her as Richard III’s Lady Macbeth, she spends most of this episode, whining, smirking, nagging and plotting, all whilst still looking fourteen and clad in her mother’s too-large dresses. This should have been the pivotal episode; Edward IV goes fishing, catches a cold and dies to everyone’s shock. It was sad to see the running joke from the book “Wife, to…

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“The White Queen” Episode 7: Poison and Malmsey Wine

This week’s episode was a strange mix ranging from the visually gorgeous to the slightly absurd to the somewhat creepy.  The show opened with Stanley, George and Richard watching Edward clumsily meddling with a couple of his mistresses. Good Richard, of course, remained impassive if somewhat uncomfortable. But if Stanley’s voyeuristic glee wasn’t creepy enough for you, there was the bizarre image of George methodically stroking his dog while gazing fixedly at his brother’s wanton antics. Perhaps George was channeling…

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Being the Eldest Mattered

This is a minor detail, but I was kind of delighted when I saw it. The Game of Thrones crew really has amazing attention to detail. (Although I’m sure this was in the books, so George RR Martin does as well.) At the beginning of Game of Thrones, when Robert Baratheon and his entourage arrive at Winterfell, Arya is wearing a helmet, pretending she is a soldier. She scampers off the cart she is perched on and races back to…

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