Wednesday, February 20, 2013

An analysis of the Morals in Game of Thrones: Sex, Honor, Power, and Loyalty

Game of Thrones season three is coming in March and I finished season one in December. I've had a lot of time to think about this decision, and I've decided I'm not going to watch GOT anymore. I was going to title this "why I've decided not to watch GOT anymore" but then I came up with a classier title.  In this post, I'm taking a look at some of the themes of GOT and how it has a great deal of violent and sexual content.

There is too much nudity and sexual content in game of thrones, which is to be expected as almost every television show or movie contains sexual elements in modern day. I don't think that people should go out of their way to put in the movie, but it is most likely going to be there. I personally felt like there was only one really unnecessary and bizarre sex scene and that was the one with Petyr talking about Catelyn Stark and being creepy. Apparently there is also another similar sex scene in season 2.

Sex in Westeros comes from the failure of men to love and treat their women well. Prostitutes live in every city. Fathers, uncles, brothers arrange political marriages for their daughters, nieces, sisters. Most often these arranged marriages have abusive husbands. An exception to this is Nedd and Catelyn Stark who do genuinely love each other. Joffrey abuses Sansa, his betrothed and leaves her to be  raped (she is rescued however).

Game of Thrones is also very violent with death, blood, guts, and traitors, lies, secrets all in a war over power. Everyone is trying to get the Iron Throne and none do it honorably. Honor is a theme in GOT and is possessed by only one true character----Nedd Stark, lord of Winterfell. Everyone else disregards honor, because, well, if they were to act honorably, none of them would have any power. Loyalty also comes into play here, because no one in King's Landing (the capital of Westeros) is on Nedd's side. The saddest part about GOT is that Nedd gives up his honor to save his daughters, but fails. Sansa ends up a captive of the Lannisters and Arya is headed to the wall alone, a long journey that is sure to be full of adventures. In the Game of Thrones, you win or you die. If you have a code of honor or a sense of morals, you die is what GOT says.

The biggest theme is power. Everyone is trying to get it, no matter the cost. Robb Stark sends 2,000 men to be killed so that he can defeat Jamie Lannister's army and capture the man. Robb Stark, who was supposed to be as honorable as his father turns out to be a failure, because he breaks his promises and can't keep his word. As for the other claims to the throne, Stanis Baratheon kills his own brother and joins a mysterious cult that worships fire and forces everyone in his army to join it. Theon Greyjoy, who has been raised alongside Robb Stark, abandons him and returns to his father's house and takes up an army and murders Bran and Rickon, the two youngest Stark children. So much for loyalty. Joffrey, my least favorite character, orders the murder of many people, abuses Sansa and his younger siblings.

Power corrupts and makes monsters out of men in Games of Thrones.

Other themes that I disagree with are the idea of destiny. Jon Snow, Daenerys, and Arya all have great destinies, but at the loss of people they love. They all lose everything and I wish I could see where they could go. The three of them and also Nedd are my favorites. I don't think that "only death begets life." That's only in GOT where death is an ever present force that influences the choices of the characters. In reality, death cannot do anything, only life can.Life begets life and children are born despite it all.

My main issue with GOT is that it's written as there there is no right and wrong, and I disagree. Right and wrong and morals exist. In GOT the characters just ignore them and do whatever it takes to get power.

On a final note, the characters I liked the best are those who refused to play the game of thrones. Maybe that is the lesson to be learned from GOT after all. That we can look at the world of Westeros and our own world and choose not to let power rule us. We can walk away and find our own purposes and create  our own destinies.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Outsider Once Upon a Time

File:OnceUponaTime promo.png

I know I'm kinda going backwards in episodes, here but I wanted to write about Belle. She is one of my favorite characters on the show. The Outsider is two episodes before Tiny and is about Belle and Mulan and Belle's adventures between leaving Mr.Gold/Rumple and getting captured by Regina and locked away.

Thus, in FTL, Belle is still with the dwarfs, hiding out with them, reading a book. She overhears a group of men come in and talk about the Yaogui, a fierce fiery beast. Dreamy, the dwarf in love with Nova, comes up to thank her and tells her that he and Nova are going to run away together. Dreamy tells Belle that she should go take a chance on the adventure and find the Yaogui. She tells him thank you and closes her book. Before Belle jumps on the wagon, though, Dreamy gives her fairy dust that is "good magic." Belle thanks him and says she will use it for good.

Belle travels with some men to another, far off land (possibly China?) reading her book that is written in Chinese. The men laugh at her and ask where the Yaogui is. She tells them it is near a lake, which is a lie, and they throw her off the wagon. Belle picks up the book and travels to the mountains, where the beast really is.

Belle uses the book to find the Yaogui's cave in the mountains, but it comes out trying to attack her, but Mulan appears and shoots at it. The beast runs away and Mulan helps Belle up. Mulan tells Belle she has been tracking the beast for weeks and is angry she missed her shot. Belle shows Mulan the book and offers to help her find it again, but Mulan refuses.

Later, in a somewhat looking Chinese town, Belle is fetching water from the well, when the men who ditched her find her and attempt to beat her up. Mulan shows up and fights them off. She then asks Belle for help tracking the Yaogui so that Mulan can kill it, as Belle's tracking skills are better than Mulan's. Belle agrees and notices that Mulan's leg has been injured in the fight, to which Mulan ignores.

They track the beast, but as they find it, Mulan's injury prevents her from fighting. She gives Belle her sword and tells her that she must defeat the beast,that she must save Mulan's village from the Yaogui. She tells Belle that once people said she wasn't strong enough, but once she found something worth fighting for, she never gave it up.

Belle goes to the field and gets the Yaogui's attention and it comes after her as she runs down the road to the town. She breaks a water pipe as it attacks her, putting out it's fire. The beast starts to write something in the mud in chinese that stands for "help me." Belle takes out the fairy dust and sprinkles it on the beast who turns into Prince Philip! So Belle is the "beauty" for two beasts, Mr. Gold and Prince Philip! Yay Belle!

Belle and Philip go find Mulan and he tells her them that Malificent (what is it with this witch???) cursed him and sent him to their land. This implies that Mulan's land really is different than the others. Mulan agrees to help Philip go back to his land, which is Aurora's also I believe. Belle decides that she needs to go back and fight her own beast and leaves them. This is my favorite moment of Belle, when she comes back having defeated the Yaogui. She has so much promise to her life, but sadly...

At the top of the hill, Belle looks back saying she will never stop fighting for him. She turns around hearing Regina, who has found her with the help of the two men Belle traveled with. Belle is locked up, but screams that one day she will be reunited with Mr. Gold and that Regina cannot keep them apart forever and that Belle will never stop fighting for him.

As we know, Belle is locked away for 28 years. In present day Storybrooke, Mr. Gold has made a potion spell to get across the town line without losing his memories as long as he sprinkles the item on whatever he values most. Which happens to be a shawl that used to belong to his son. I guess this means that he loves his son more than he loves Belle? Belle asks if she can come with him (as she so longs to be with him and to go on adventures) but he says he must go alone.

Belle goes to the library and finds Hook waiting there for her. She recognizes him as the man who came to her jail cell once while she was prisoner trying to kill Mr. Gold. Hook says that he wants to kill Mr. Gold but will settle for her. She runs and slams the book cart into him and then locks herself in the elevator and calls Gold, but they have bad connection and he cannot hear her very well. He comes and rescues her and they walk back to his shop, which has been ransacked and the shawl stolen.

Mr. Gold is angry, as now he is trapped in Storybrooke and cannot find his son. He tells Belle that he will find Hook and get the shawl back. He tells Belle to go back to the library. which she does. In the library, Belle is working on organizing books and finds the book that Hook was reading before she came in. She realizes that he came by ship and heads to the dock.

At the dock, Belle notices a seagull perched on something invisible and throws sand onto the stairs of the ship. She walks through the invisibility spell and begins searching for the shawl. She finds Archie Hopper and frees him and tells him to go find Mr. Gold. Hook appears and tells Belle the truth, how Milah left Gold because he was a coward and that she loved Hook. He tells her that he loved Milah and took her away, but that when Gold later found him he almost killed him, but instead he killed Milah for leaving him and their son.

I feel sorry for Hook, but I hope he finds someone new to love. Maybe he fall in love with Regina, after all they both need someone and have both lost someone in the past. The writers have said that Hook will find some allies in Storybrooke. I hope that there is still good left in the two of them bad guys!

Mr. Gold arrives as Belle runs away from Hook, whom he starts beating with his cane. Belle convinces Gold not to kill Hook and that she believes that there is good in him still. How Belle keeps believing amazes me. She has so much hope and so much promise. Gold tells Hook he never wants to see him again and he and Belle leave taking the shawl.

And this happens.

 And after it happens Emma, David, and MM don't let him see Belle.

And Mr. Gold cashes in his favor, and he, Emma, and Henry go on a road trip to find his son.

And Hook recovers and lives after getting hit by a car, and gets to have a great conversation about how he's a dead man with Emma.

Favorite scenes from The Outsider!
(this one above is from S1 Episode Dreamy)

I love Belle a lot and I hope she gets her memories back (actually the writes have said that she will, but that it will require a great sacrifice from Mr. Gold). I also hope that one day she gets to meet Mulan again and Prince Philip and Aurora. I hope she gets to go on so many adventures!

Until next time, everyone. Love, Rachel 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Tiny Once Upon a Time

File:OnceUponaTime promo.png

Hi yall. I know it's been a while since I've written about Once UAT. I've just been busy with school. I've missed a few episodes of OUAT, like I'm missing queen of hearts and the name of the brother, but for the most part I'm on track. The giant is back in this episode! We find out who Jack is and what the real story is concerning the giants, the magic beans, and how they got destroyed. A few questions get answered and a whole lot more come up.

In fairy tale land, the giant's realm, we see five or six giants sitting down to eat and celebrate the bean harvest. One of the giants, called Tiny by his brothers because he is smaller than the others, doesn't understand why they don't have interaction with the human world down below the beanstalk. The humans believe that the giants are dead (why?). The eldest  giant, Arlo, tells Tiny that the humans would kill the giants and steal their beans if they knew that they were alive, because all humans do is kill while the giants foster and create life. Tiny doesn't understand why they make the beans if no one uses them, to which Arlo replies it is their labor that is important, that it is their labor that defines them.

Tiny decides to climb down the beanstalk and find out about humans for himself. A flashback to the past takes us to Prince James (Prince Charming's twin brother) holding in his arms a woman in white with dark hair. King George comes in and tells James that he needs to go find a giant who is running around and find out why the giant is there.

So James and the woman, who dresses herself in much more Snow White esp garb, find the giant and welcome him to their realm. The woman, who introduces herself as Jacqueline, "but most people call me Jack," gives the giant a piece of mushroom that will temporarily make him smaller. She tells Anton/Tiny that she was given it by a village after she slayed a terrorizing jabberwalk for them. Jack's adventure happened in a far off land and she was given the mushroom by a "wise woman who swore by it's powers." I speculate if this land was Wonderland and if the wise woman was Cora. I also wonder about this woman, Jack, because from this episode very little is revealed about her.

Jack, James, and Anton go into the taven, but Jack gets up to argue with a knight. Jack tells Anton that the kingdom is heading for bankruptcy and Anton let's slip about treasure and tells them that he will bring them some of it. Back at the beanstalk, Anton is gathering treasure when Arlo comes in and asks where he was and Anton says he went down below and met some humans and that he wants to live in the Enchanted Forest. At that moment, century birds alert them of humans in their world.

James and Jack have climbed up the beanstalk because they believe that there are magic beans and they wanted them. They have tricked Anton/Tiny and claim that the giants should hand over the beans. Arlo says they cannot and Jack unsheathes her sword and they go to war. Soon only Arlo and Anton are left and Arlo tells Anton he must destroy the beans and salt the fields.

While Anton is doing so, Arlo is fighting, but Jack stabs him with her poisonous sword. He however catches her and stabs her with her own sword. Jack cries out to James, but he continues to gather treasure saying he has a kingdom to run and leaves her to die alone. In his dying breath, Arlo gives Anton a seed that can grow a beanstalk, but tells him that he will have to leave their home to do so, as the bean fields have been salted so nothing can grow. He tells Anton that he is the last of their kind, the giants, and that one day he will find a place to belong.

In the real world Storybrooke, Mary Margaret and David have Hook take them to his ship where they discover that Cora has make Anton small and brought him to Storybrooke. MM wakes him up and tells him it's all right and that's he's safe. However, as soon as the giant sees David,  he starts screaming at David and attacking him, because well James, the guy who looks just like David, took everything from him. However, Anton is shrunk so he cannot do much and MM, David, and Leroy (one of the dwarfs) stop him. Anton stomps off the ship saying he will get David (who he thinks is James) back.

David, MM, and Leroy go to the inn and discuss and figure out why the giant was angry. Regina also finds out and finds Anton sitting alone in the woods. She gives him a piece of mushroom to make him bigger and he goes slamming cars around and scaring people. David tells Anton the truth and MM says they are on his side and that Emma is their daughter, but she has gone out of town with Mr. Gold and Henry to find Mr. Gold's son (who I'm pretty convinced is Neal Cassady, Henry's father, based on the promo).

David offers his life in exchange for everyone else's in Storybrooke, but as the giant goes to stomp on him, Mary Margaret pulls him out of the way. The mushroom effects wear off at the moment and Anton falls down underground and is seen hanging onto a pipe. David goes down and the people of Storybrooke help pull him up. Although Anton says he does not want to live, David tells him that if he had wanted to die he would have let go already. They take Anton to the diner and he tells them everything Prince James and Jack did to him. David says that there are good people who exist and MM tells Anton he can stay at the inn, as Storybrooke is their home since they cannot go back to FTL. Anton pulls out the seed he was given and says maybe they can. He inspects the soil and plants it with the help of the dwarfs who give him an axe with and Tiny appears on it. I wonder if dwarves and giants are somehow related? Although, according to the writers Anton is not a dwarf and that the axe merely symbolizes his belonging. I guess that makes sense, because in FTL Anton was a giant. But he shrinks to normal human size in Storybrooke, so he's a dwarf there.

I want to know more about Jack, Prince James, and giants/dwarves, and I want to know what will happen with Emma, Henry, and Mr. Gold as they find his son. I am also looking foward to the tension growing between MM and David about returning to FTL. I don't know that they should, after all it's not their home anymore and it's not what it was. Maybe FTL is best left in the past.

Clips from this episode!

The last clip is just one I found. I haven't seen Astrid/Nova since season one and I think she needs to come back! There's so much unfinished to her story!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Hey yall,
So I cracked the LCD screen on my computer and had to get it fixed, which is why I haven't been blogging in the past couple of weeks. You can expect in the future some more song reviews and Once Upon a Time posts. As far as college is going, it's been busy since coming back from winter break. I feel like time is always flying from my hands!
Tell me how you are doing in the comments below!
Love, Rachel