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New Identities: “The High Sparrow” (Recap: Episode 3, Season 5)

“The High Sparrow” (Episode 3, Season 5) is all about shifting identities. Many of the characters take on new roles and shed old ones. Transformation is key in this episode. Arya continues her stay with the faceless men of Braavos. Margaery becomes a Baratheon (again) when she marries Tommen. Tommen becomes a married man. Cersei is no longer queen. Sansa agrees to marry again. Winterfell not only has a new lord in residence but its facelift is underway. Jon makes…

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Episode 2: Recap, the House of Black and White

Episode 2 of Season 5 sets up many future plots, but no one storyline dominates it. Cersei is assuming her role as “king.” Myrcella Baratheon may be in danger from Prince Oberyn’s vengeful family. Arya arrives at the House of White and Black in Braavos. Like this season’s first episode, this episode focuses on the difficulties in ruling and the problems in administering justice. While Stannis administers justice too harshly, Daenerys doesn’t have a full command of it yet. It is…

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The Wars to Come: A Fairy Tale Drawn Darkly (Recap E1, S5)

Showing us a fairy tale drawn darkly — Cersei’s flashback to her childhood encounter with a witch in a dark wood — is a fitting way to begin season five. Nothing is going well for the nobility, except for Littlefinger who is the least noble of them. As the season begins, the queen mourns for her father, whom her brother slayed. Meanwhile her brother — Casterly Rock’s heir — questions whether a father-killer is even still legally a lord. The mother of dragons still…

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Just Today: New The Winds of Winter Chapter

An hour ago, George RR Martin released a new The Winds of Winter chapter on his website. It is from Alayne’s point of view. Here is the link. Enjoy! P.S. Please avoid TV spoilers if you leave comments, or preface them with “spoiler” and a paragraph return or two, so the spoiler doesn’t show up in the sidebar feed on our home page.    

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Richard III’s Burial (Round Up)

The lines to pay last respects to Richard III’s body circle the block, standing in line up to four hours. By early Monday morning, nearly 3000 people had seen his body. After all, you don’t get to see a king’s body lie in state every day. The internment starts tomorrow at 10:30 AM UK time. Apparently, you can watch it on BBC Channel 4; this may be tricky from overseas. There is an official site for the burial here and the…

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Q&A at Oxford Union: Sex, Piracy, Eunuchs, and When the Books Will Run Out

Oxford University’s debating society, the Oxford Union, asked Kit Harrington, John Bradley, and HBO showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff everything we want to know: how they feel about sex and piracy, when the show will run out of book runway, and why John Bradley wants to play a eunuch. How important is sex in the way they tell the story? The showrunners noted that when they pitched the show to HBO they included A Song of Ice and Fire‘s steamy scenes…

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