Thursday, December 27, 2012

Best Books I read in 2012

Best Books I read in 2012
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
The Karma Club by Jessica Brody
The Secret Life of Prince Charming by Deb Caletti
Moonglass by Jessi Kirby
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
Eve by Anna Carey
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Waiting for you by Susanne Colasanti
 North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Until there was you by Kristen Higgins
Marley and Me by John Grogan
To Come and Go like Magic by Katie Pickard Fawcett
Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
Take a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg
Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks
The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
A Million Suns by Beth Revis
Flight of Blue by A.E. Howard
Three Rivers Rising by Jame Richards
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks
Thunder and Rain by Charles Martin
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
Can’t Wait to get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg
Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
13 Gifts by Wendy Mass 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

It's not about that!

I was going to write a blog post about the whole Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays debate/argument. Now I'm not going to. 
Because that's not what Christmas is about. 
Christmas is about CHRIST. 
After all that's why it's called CHRISTMAS. 
The whole MC vs HH is not about freedom of speech vs being politically correct and not offensive to other religions. 
10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. --Luke 2:10-11 (NIV) 
Do you see it????? 
The good news of Christ's birth is for everyone!!! 
Jesus came to take away the sins of the world, because 
It's not about what you say, it's about how you LIVE
so all we can do in 2013 is try to live the best we can!
How to do that, you might ask?
My advice would be to read the Bible about how Jesus lived and try to live that way.
Jesus lived a life of love and compassion.
I don't think he would be offended by people saying Happy Holidays or Seasons Greetings. In fact, I think Seasons Greetings is a really cute, um, greeting actually:)
The Christmas season is about love and compassion, because it is about celebrating Christ's birth.
I know there's a big debate out there about secularism and Christianity and I know that to be a Christian means to be against the world.
I think that Jesus would want everyone, even people who don't believe in him, to be with their families on Christmas.
Maybe those people will come to believe in him one day.
I hope so.
I hope everyone had a  lovely Christmas and I encourage you to think about Jesus this season as you drive past the nativity scenes and the lights (Jesus is the Light of the world), as  you snuggle with your kids or grand kids or pets (Jesus loved), and as you exchange gifts with your loved ones.
Jesus Christ was the best gift that was ever given and I would encourage you to take time to remember that.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Seasons Greetings everyone! Love, Rachel

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
--Isaiah 9:6 (NIV) 

Monday, December 24, 2012

2012 End of the Year Book Survey

best books read in 2012
Hosted by Jamie @ the perpetual page turner
See here for questions and to link up:

Best In Books 2012

1. Best Book You Read In 2012? (You can break it down by genre if you want)
I must highly recommend Nicholas Sparks books: Nights in Rodanthe, A Walk to Remember, The Choice (It's Nicholas Sparks so pretty much every book I've read this year by him) 
I would also recommend the Lauren Holbrooke trilogy. It's about a modern day matchmaker, chocolate and coffee addict, oh and a Jane Austen Addict. 
I'm never going to be able to finish this question, because I love books too much, so I guess I will just leave it here. There will be a upcoming post on all the books I've read and loved this year coming soon. 

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Anna and the French kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I read Lola and the Boy Next Door first which I absolutely loved, but Anna's story just fell flat for me. 
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter. I had read so many good reviews of this one, but I didn't like it at all. 

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012? 
A lot of books surprised me this year. I read a lot that I didn't plan on reading, pulled off the shelf randomly at the library. Talk about a vague answer:) 

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?
I thought I answered this already, but if I had to pick only ONE book it would be Delirium by Lauren Oliver. I am just crazy about Delirium and Pandemonium and cannot wait for Requiem to come out!!! 

5. Best series you discovered in 2012?
I discovered a lot of good dystopian/fantasy series: Eve, Shatter Me, Matched, Starcrossed, Graceling. I've only read the first book in the series for most of these, with the exception of Matched; I have read and do own Crossed as well. Eagerly awaiting for the moment I get my hands on a copy of Reached. I would buy it on amazon if I weren't a broke college student. 

 6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?
Fannie Flagg. My mom gave me Can't Wait to get to Heaven for my birthday and I loved it. So funny. 
Susane Colastanti. I thought Waiting for You was so beautiful and I look forward to reading more of hers in 2013!!! 
Elizabeth C. Bunce. I absolutely loved A Curse as Dark as Gold and am eager to read her two books about a thief. Book trailer for the first book is here:
Justina Chen Headly. She wrote the completely beautiful book about a beautiful girl's journey: North of Beautiful. 
Erynn Magnum for the Lauren Holbrooke series. 
Lauren Oliver for Delirium, of course. 

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Foreman. Absolutely stunning and beautiful works. Deals with loss, love, and forgiveness. 

 8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson. 

 9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year
Pride and Prejudice. I re-read it every year. I love it. I also re-read Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta every year too. She and Miss Austen are my favorites. 

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?
A Million Suns (Across the Universe, #2)

A Million Suns by Beth Revis. The covers for these books are so stunning and beautiful.

11. Most memorable character in 2012? 
I-I don't know! There are so many memorable characters. I would have to go with Francesca from Saving Francesca, Terra from North of Beautiful, Mia from If I Stay, Anna from Moonglass, Taylor from Jellicoe Road. 

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?
Even though I didn't like the plot or the characters, I loved the writing of One Day by David Nicholls. 

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012? 
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. It's an absolutely tragic and sad book about the persistent determination of a man and his love for his cancer striken wife and their daughter. 

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read? 
I can't believe I waited so long to read A Million Suns and I'm so glad I finally did! 

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012? 
There are way too many, but I will share my favorite Bible verse of the year. 
Ephesians 1:4-6 
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In lovehe[a] predestined us for adoption to sonship[b] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasureand will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. (NIV) 

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012? 
I don't keep track of how long the books that I read are, so I really don't know. 

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
The girl of fire and thorns, A million suns, Delirium/Pandemonium, Eve, The maze runner, Finnikin of the Rock...

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
My favorite friendship is Emmy and the guys in Take a Bow, another book I really loved. My favorite romantic relationship is Nash and Marissa in Waiting for you. 

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously
I had read Jellicoe Road before this year (remember I re-read it every year) and this year I got to read Saving Francesca, which was really excellent as well. 

20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else
Well I read the Lauren Holbrooke trilogy based on a recommendation from my Best College Friend. It also helped that she owned all the books and just let me borrow them:) 

Well that's the end of the survey. It was actually tremendously helpful because it made me realize that I did actually read If I stay and where she went this year. I forgot because I didn't review them or list them on GR. 

I wish yall Happy Reading in 2013! 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Last Reads of 2012 Readathon

So I found this cool readathon today (hosted by Eileen at Singing and Reading in the Rain, Patrick at The Bookshelves, and Jen at Jen Rylands YA Romantics) and decided it would be great for me to do. It's all about finishing up the year strong on our book challenges. I have about 20 books to read by the end of the month to finish my GR challenge of 110 books. Think I can do it? Yeah, so do I.
Here are the books I'm determined to get through:
(note: all photos from GR)
13 Gifts (11 Birthdays, #3)      Flygirl      Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1)
Froi of the Exiles (Lumatere Chronicles, #2)    The Scorpio Races      Tempest Unleashed (Tempest, #2)
Starry, Starry Night: Three Holiday Stories      A Dog Named Christmas      A Christmas Home

I have a lot of books to read and I need to check out more, but these are the one's I've got right now! Feel free to comment below; after all, I'll need all the luck and magic I can get;)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Another Update

So I had hoped that all of the changes to my blog would be complete by the new year, but it doesn't look that that's going to happen:( But it will some day, some day, some day... I feel like all I say is some day when it comes to things that I want to or should do. 
I want to create a blog design, but I don't know how to and I don't know if I should just buy one with Christmas either (because that might be easier). I haven't really had the time to create one and I know I'll be even busier next semester. 
So here is where I ask for advice. Did you create your own design and was it easy or hard to do? Because when I looked at doing it, it just seemed really overwhelming and I was worried I would mess up my blog doing it. I worry too much. 
As for things I've wanted to blog about, turns out I haven't done much of that either. I wanted to blog more about my college life, but mostly I've stuck to doing song, book, and tv reviews. I think I watch too much tv. 
I am really living life and am having many many many adventures that I would like to share with yall, but I'm LIVING! 
I also have things I want to do in 2013. I want to write a book, which is something I've always wanted to do, but haven't done. I want to write a book. I want to believe in the beauty of my dreams. Eleanor Roosevelt said, "the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." It's just...I've never believed in the beauty of my dreams, so how can I now? 
I also want to...there's so many things I want to do! I need to go do them, and although this is a lame ending to my pity party update, I also want to finish my GR goal of reading 110 books this year, so I guess I'll get off the blog and go read. 
If you have an advice please leave it in the comments. I wish yall a Merry Christmas and I'll see yall soon! 

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Movie Review)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
photo from focus on the family's plugged in online
for their review see here:

Perks of Being a Wallflower is about a freshman in high school named Charlie. He's had a difficult life, despite his loving mother, father, and sister. As he enters high school, he meets two seniors, Sam and Patrick, brother and sister, who take him under their wings. Charlie starts to enjoy life with them and finds that being a "wallflower" isn't so bad. At least, he has some people to make his first year of high school a little bit better, people to eat lunch with, go to the school dances with, ect.. However, Charlie has a troubled past and memories resurface as he starts to lose his friends in their last months of high school. They are seniors and will soon go off to college. PBW is a terribly sad movie about how love is abused, but it does provide lessons on love and friends.
Sam and Patrick.(but especially Sam) bring so much good into Charlie's life and he into theirs. Maybe the lesson is that, despite everything, we can move on; we are always moving on with life. Charlie is a good kid, despite his troubles. He really falls in love with Sam, which she knows, but she falls for other men. Right before she is about to leave for college, Sam asks Charlie why he never asked her out, to which he says he didn't know if she wanted it. Sam tells him that putting someone always first isn't the same thing as love, and that he can't just put his life on hold for everyone else (which is what he's been doing for them the whole movie).
I think that PBW has many lessons about friendship, romance, and love, and that the big one is that "we accept the people we think we deserve." Charlie says this in response to Sam's question, "Why do I, and everyone I love, pick people treat us like we are nothing?" Sam and Charlie are both really sweet characters, and Emma and Logan did a great job in this film. It's a really difficult film to watch and I was really sad by the end, but it's worth watching.

So, overall the perks of being a wallflower....

The tunnel song
and here's the book passage of this part of the movie
The homecoming dance

We accept the love we think we deserve

These are some of my favorite clips from the movie. I highly encourage yall to watch PBF. Have a great Friday, Rachel 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Realm of the Lost Review (Blog Tour)

The Realm of the Lost by Emma Eden Ramos
E-Book: 61 pages
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
Release Date: September 11, 2012

What happens when you die before your time?

Thirteen-year-old Kathleen "Kat" Gallagher has had it with her family. The eldest of three children, Kat feels trapped ever since her parents’ separated and she has had to take on more responsibility than she feels prepared for. Everything changes on a frigid morning in mid-December when an accident propels Kat into unfamiliar territory.

Stuck in the place where people go when they have died before their time, Kat must face obstacles she could never have imagined.

With the help of other young inhabitants of the Realm of the Lost, Kat learns the true meaning of friendship and family.

I really enjoyed The Realm of the Lost; it's a very original story that deals with family and their dysfunction. That's just the way families are; dysfunctional, but wonderful. It's great being in family and being loved, and knowing that your family will always be there for you and come through for you when you need it the most.
I loved Kat's journey through the Realm of the Lost and her inner journey as well. She is a very strong female character is very well crafted in the novella. She undergoes a lot on her journey and comes out even stronger. I'm so proud of her! She's a truly excellent character and I enjoyed spending time with her.
I love how the novella is set out to answer, what happens when someone dies before their time, when they are too young to die? I'm glad it adresses this issue, because so many people in today's modern world, despite technology (you could even argue that because of the advances of technology) die too young.
In short, The Realm of the Lost is a wonderful little thing that I would gladly read over a study break. #collegelife :)
I would like to thank I am a Reader, not a Writer for letting me participate in the blog tour and introducing me to this wonderful author. I would also like to thank the author herself, Ms. Emma Eden Ramos. Keep writing!

Author Emma Eden Ramos
Emma Eden Ramos is a writer and student from New York City. Her short stories have appeared in Stories for Children Magazine, The Storyteller Tymes, BlazeVOX Journal, and others. Emma's novelette, Where the Children Play, is included in Resilience: Stories, Poems, Essays, Words for LGBT Teens, edited by Eric Nguyen. Three Women: A Poetic Triptych and Selected Poems (Heavy Hands Ink, 2011), Ramos’ first poetry chapbook, was shortlisted for the 2011 Independent Literary Award in Poetry. Emma studies psychology at Marymount Manhattan College.

Game of Thrones Episodes 5, 6, and 7 Reviews

Episode 5 is titled the Wolf and the Lion, which is perfect. Four important and notable things happen in this episode.
Context: Varys is a member of the king's court and a eunuch and a foreigner to Westeros from the Free Cities. He speaks few words, but when he does they come with deep wisdom.
1. Varys meets with Nedd Stark and tells him that the king is a fool and will be dead soon unless Nedd can save him. Nedd asks Varys why he is telling him this and Varys says that he had to be sure Nedd could be trusted, but now he knows Nedd is an honorable and true man, and maybe just be the only one in King's Landing other than himself.
Why this is important: It gives us information concerning Varys character and also affirms Nedd's character.

2. Arya is chasing a cat down to the dungeon and overhears two men talking. She hides inside the skulls of the Targaryn dragons and listens in. The two men are Varys and Illryio, the man who helped Danerys and arranged her marriage to Drogo. Varys says that events have been set in motion and the the lion and the wolf will soon be at each other throats and that war will happen soon. Arya goes to her father and tries to explain, but did not recognize either of the two men since it was dark in the dungeon, and did not understand what they were saying, as she does not play the game of thrones and is not involved in politics of King's Landing. She tries to tell her father what she heard, but is too confused. Varys later meets with Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish (a man I utterly abhor) who runs the brothels in King's Landing. Petyr reveals that he knows Varys met with Illryio for unknown reasons and Varys reveals that he knows Petyr is doing illegal things. Petyr vs Varys. I'm on team Varys. 
Why this is important: It gives us information concerning Varys and and Petyr and helps us understand the politics game more fully between those at court. We also find out something about Illyrio that we didn't know. It also reveals some of the secrets behind the game, and there are many many, many secrets involved.

3. The king's council meets and discuss Daenerys Targaryen. Since she is now married with a husband, soon to be son, and army, she is a threat and the child will have a claim to the throne. The king wants Daenerys dead and the council agrees, all except Nedd who says that it would be dishonorable and cowardly to murder her. Nedd refuses and resigns from being the King's Hand saying he will not go through with it. 
 Why this is important: More fully helps us understand Nedd Stark and his character and is an example of how honor drives every decision he makes.
4. The King and Cersei also discuss the Targaryens. Their conversation is in the video below. 
Why this is important: We find out about King Robert and about Cersei and their stories, as well as  Cersei's political ideas concerning the Targaryens. She's very smart and interested in politics. I feel sorry that she's trapped in a loveless marriage and sometimes I think she would make a better ruler without him. 

Episode 6 is called A Golden Crown and is really about Danerys (Dany) but also about Sansa, Arya, and Nedd. 
Arya begins training with her dancing  master master, Syrio, from the city Braavos. She's learning how to fight and one day may need it if the Starks and Lannisters go to war. 
He also consoles her when Jamie Lannister attacks her father, injuring him, and killing one of her father's friends. 
Sansa on the other hand isn't fighting, but making peace and being in love. Joffrey apologizes and gives her a necklace similar to the one Cersei wears. She forgives him in her fairy tale state being that he is still her one true love. I abhor Joffrey, just like I abhor Littlefinger. 
 Nedd Stark has an astonishing discovery because of Sansa, actually. When he tries to send the girls  back to Winterfell for their own safety, Sansa says she can't as she must marry Joffrey and bear golden haired children, Lannister lions. Arya is more worried about her dancing master, but does mention that Joffrey is a stag not a lion. Sansa retorts saying Joffrey is nothing like his father. 
 The former king of the hand was murdered because he asked questions and discovered something he wasn't supposed to. Nedd Stark discovers the same thing with the help of his daughters. Robert and Cersei do not have children, as the three children they do have are actually the result of Cersei's relationship with her brother Jamie. Nedd confirmed this by reading the history of House Baratheon  and that all of the Baratheons have black hair, whereas all of the Lannisters are golden haired. 
As for as Dany goes, she goes far in this episode. 
First, we discover that she cannot be burned by fire. Despite Illyrio's words that the eggs have turned to stone, she wonders if they might be hatched with extreme heat. She places them on the fire, but nothing happens. One of her servants come and sees Dany doing so and takes the egg from her, worrying that it will burn her. However, Dany is not burned at all, but the servant is. Dany tends to her burns.
Second, Dany is summoned by the crones who rule the city, the wives of khals slain in battle. She undergoes a pregnancy ritual in which she eats the whole heart of a stallion. It's bloody and gross, but she does it, looking at Drogo the whole time wanting to make him proud. She succeeds and the crones declare that their son will be The Stallion that Mounts the World a great conqueror whose coming is long foretold in Dothraki history. 
Dany names her son Rhaego after her brother (Rhaegar, the one killed by Robert Baratheon) and the Dothraki chant his name. Viserys, her brother, realizes they love her and claim her, that she  belongs to them, no longer to him any more. He goes to her tent to steal her dragon eggs, but Ser Jorah stops him. Viserys tells him that to rule one must be either feared or loved and that he has never been loved like the Dothraki love Dany. In a previous episode, Dany had a discussion with Ser Jorah, saying that Viserys could not rule even if he could conquer Westeros. 
Dany also realizes that she the true dragon and gets one step closer to her own destiny. 

Episode 7 is titled "You win or you die" and comes from the words of Cersei Lannister and may or may not prove to be true. 
It begins with Tywin Lannister(first appearance!), father to Jamie, Cersei, and Tyron Lannister, talking to his son Jamie about fulfilling his destiny as a great man and that this war will determine the fate of their House. They can either become a great dynasty or they can fall. Tywin tells Jamie to march to Riverrun and overtake it (as it belongs to Catelyn Stark's house) and begin the war against the Starks. 
In King's Landing, Nedd Stark meets with Cersei and reveals that he knows the truth about her children. That they are bastards and her and Jamie's children. And we get the famous line from Cersei: "when you play the game of thrones, you win or you die."  I think Cersei has the right to be angry with Robert for not loving her, because she was alive and they were given a chance, but he chose to continue to be consumed with his love for Lyanna. I understand that he loved and lost her, but he had another chance at love and he threw it away. Not everyone gets a second chance at love. If I were in her situation, I would also be angry. 

It looks like Nedd Stark may be headed to the grave after his friend King Robert is injured in a hunting accident. King Robert names Nedd as lord protector of the realm until Joffrey is of age. Nedd rights "the rightful heir" rather than "my son Joffrey." King Robert also says that Nedd was right and that they should not murder the Targaryn girl (Dany) Varys, however, tells Nedd that the attack on her life is already undergoing and cannot be stopped now. 
At least not by any of them. It is Ser Jorah that stops Dany from being poisoned. However, it turns out Ser Jorah is a royal spy for Varys and a boy gives him a royal pardon saying he can go home. Ser Jorah, however is very loyal to Dany and believes in her. So do I. She is the true dragon and has to have a great destiny. Angered at this attack, Drogo pledges to their son the Iron Throne and Westeros. I love how much Drogo has come to love Dany and how far he is willing to go for her and their son. I hope they have many more children and that Rhaego does grow up to become a great conqueror, the stallion that mounts the world. 
It seems like Dany is going to get to go home after all. In an earlier scene she spoke with Ser Jorah about how Drogo does not want to cross the sea and conquer Westeros. Ser Jorah told Dany that the mad king, her ancestor, was born in the East and conquered Westeros because he has dragons. At that though it was her birthright, so is the East, even more so. There's also this really romantic scene that happens between Dany and Drogo that I will add here. 

Back In Kings Landing, King Robert dies and Nedd writes to Stannis Baratheon (younger brother to Robert and rightful heir). Nedd is summoned to court by Cersei and Joffrey. Cersei tears up Robert's letter that says Nedd is to rule and that Joffrey is going to rule. That it doesn't matter what Robert said, because Robert is dead, no longer king, and there is a new king. Cersei tells Nedd that if he swears fealty to Joffrey, he will be allowed to return to Winterfell. Nedd says that Joffrey has no claim to the throne and Cersei declares him a traitor, captures him, and locks him in the dungeon. 

On a happier, much better note, Jon Snow and his friend Sam take their vows and enter the Knight's Watch officially. This was one of my favorite scenes in the whole three episodes. I look forward to seeing where Jon will go in the future. Maybe over the wall to fight the dangers that lurk. Either way, Jon (just like Danerys) has a destiny to fulfill and he's on the right path to fulfilling it. 
That's all I've got for now. I'll see you all later. Feel free to comment on favorite scenes, lines, characters, ect. Much appreciated, Rachel. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Game of Thrones Episode 2 Review

It begins with the Dothraki, across the narrow sea, in the east. They begin moving from Penthos and the free cities to the Dothraki Sea. Ser Jorah Mormont tells Dany that the Dothraki believe that grass will one day cover everything, as the Dothraki Sea is very vast and is covered in grass. He also gives Dany some dried horse to eat, telling her that the Dothraki have two things in abundance: horses and grass and that one cannot live off of grass alone. Dany struggles to keep with the Dothraki and fears Drogo, but Ser Jorah tells her it will get easier. I sure hope so for Dany's sake; I feel very sorry for her.

In Winterfell, Bran is unconscious about being pushed off the wall by Jamie Lannister. Catelyn refuses to leave his side, and we are rewarded with this moment from Tyrion Lannister:
Tyrion Lannister is one of the best of his house, as he seems to be more in tune with reality than some of the others. He goes to breakfast and tells them that Bran is likely survive and notes Cersei and Jamie's reactions, as he knows they have been having sexual relations. Cersei goes and visits Catelyn Stark at the beside of Bran and says that she lost her first child, a black haired boy, and that the gods will show mercy on them. I hope so too, because I like Bran very much.

Jon Snow says good bye to his family. Despite being a bastard of Nedd Stark, he is close to his siblings, especially his older brother Robb and his sister Arya. I absolutely love Arya and she is both my aunt's and my favorite character. Jon Snow gives Arya a sword so she can learn how to fight. Jon says goodbye to Bran and to his father, who says that Jon may not have his name, but does have his blood. Jon goes with his uncle, Benjen, to join the Night's Watch, a group of men who defend the wall and the kingdoms from what lives north of the wall: the white walkers. Even though they are thought to have been dead for thousands of years, the wall still stands and the Night's Watch still defend it. Tyrion is also traveling to the wall with them as he wants to see it. We also learn that not just the poor men and younger sons who honorably join the Night's Watch, but also criminals who are given the option of joining or dying.
While Jon Snow and Tyrion get to the wall, the royal party including the king,Cersei, Joffrey, Sansa, Arya, and Nedd, have traveled south, stopping at Crossroads Inn for the night. Joffrey invites Sansa to walk with him by the river, where they find Arya practicing her sword fighting with one of the boy's in the party her age. Joffrey tries to bully the boy, but Arya stands up to Joffrey who attacks her. Arya's direwolf comes to her rescue and bites Joffrey, Arya, the boy, and her direwolf run away but not before Arya throws Joffrey's sword in the river. Arya frees her direwolf, by setting it free so that it will not be killed for hurting the prince.
Joffrey falsely accuses Arya and her friend of attacking him, and she defends herself. The children of Nedd and Robert are already fighting! I can't believe Sansa wants to marry Joffrey; I really don't like him, and I'm disappointed that Sansa didn't stand up for her sister and tell the truth. King Robert does not approve that their children are fighting and decides that Nedd will discipline his daughter and he will disciple Joffrey. However, Cersei is adamant that the direwolf should die; however, Arya's could not be found as Arya set it free to run away. Cersei then declares that Sansa's direwolf should die. Nedd Stark goes and kills her, saying that the wolf belongs to the north. As he plunges the knife into the direwolf, back in Winterfell Bran Stark wakes up.

Very exciting episode. I'm exciting to see where Jon Snow will go with the Night's Watch and what will happen with the Starks and Lannisters. Tyrion is my favorite Lannister. I really like the Stark family, but would like to see more of Bran and Arya. I look forward to seeing her get to use that sword! I also am curious as to see if Bran remembers anything after his fall and what will happen to him once the Lannisters find out that he's woken up.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Game of Thrones Episode 1 Review

As some of you know, I went to NY for Thanksgiving to visit family. While I was there I did so many cool things, and my aunt introduced me to Game of Thrones. I think I would really like the books, but apparently the author still has three or four more to write, and so I thought I better just watch the tv show. I really can't stand it when I start a series and then find out it's not finished.

Episode 1 begins rather creepily. I'm not really sure what to make of it, but there's dangerous things in the snow that come from the corpses of people. There's also three riders, who are witnesses to the dead people, who disappear into the snow. One of these three people is later beheaded for treason as he goes mad and abandons his friends. Here is where we are introduced to the Stark Family, the patriarch Eddard (Nedd), his wife Catelyn, and their children Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran, and Rickon, as well Nedd's bastard son Jon Snow. Nedd beheads the traitor boy and Bran, Robb, and Jon go with him. Nedd tells Bran that their way is the old way and that the one who passes the sentence should be the one who carries it out.

 On their way back, they come upon a dead stag and a dead direwolf female who has left behind six direwolf pups. Six direwolf pups for the six Stark children. Jon says that they are gift from the old gods, as the direwolf is the house sigil of House Stark.

Meanwhile, one of Nedd Stark's friends, Jon Arryn, also Hand of the King, has died. News of his death comes to Winterfell and the king and queen visit. King Robert and Nedd visit the crypts to see Lyanna's statue. Lyanna was loved and betrothed to Robert before she was kidnapped and killed by Prince Rhaegar of House Targaryen.

Across the Narrow Sea, in the free city of Penthos, the last of their house, lives Viserys and Daenerys Targaryen (also called Dany for short). Viserys plans to wed Dany to Khal Drogo, leader of the Dothraki in exchange to use the army to reclaim the Seven Kingdoms. Dany prepares by taking a bath that has just been poured and worries her maid worries that it will be too hot, but Dany does not seem to notice and enjoys the hot bath. After, Dany meets Drogo, who merely looks at her and rides off without ever dismounting from his horse.I feel very sorry for Dany as she is not treated very well by her brother and has never seen the seven kingdoms that is "home" for her. I'm curious to see where she will go after she and Drogo are married and she becomes a part of the Dothraki.

Next, we see Dany and Drogo's wedding day. She sits beside him and they watch the Dothraki men fight over women, her face emotionless. Dany is given three gifts: three dragon eggs that have turned to stone with the passing of time, a collection of stories from the seven kingdoms, and the loyalty of Ser Jorah Mormont, Drogo gives her a beautiful white filly horse. Drogo helps Dany on her horse and they ride up to the sand dunes where they have their wedding night.

Back in Winterfell, King Robert offers Nedd the position of Hand of the King and says that they should unite the houses, as they should have done if Lyanna hadn't died. Nedd and Catelyn come to an agreement that Sansa can marry Joffrey, as she seems to want to be queen and marry him. A feast is held and Catelyn and the queen talk about the engagement, and it is revealed that Sansa has not yet bled. Nedd accepts the king's offer, although he would rather stay in Winterfell. He also receives a letter that night saying that John Arryn was murdered by the queen, Cersei Lannister. We find out why when Bran is climbing the castle walls and discovered Cersei with her brother, Jamie Lannister. Perhaps John Arryn found out something he wasn't supposed to know...