Thursday, October 29, 2015

AVMBP - Day Eight: Favorite Antagonist or Villain


Day Eight: Favorite Antagonist or Villain 

      I have to be honest and say, that I've been drawing a blank on this one for the last several days!! Most villains in musicals aren't really villains, but more like anti-heroes. So, I really don't have a favorite antagonist! The closest I can get is Javert from Les Miserables and Erik from The Phantom of The Opera. The men are not heroes, but I never saw them as villains, either. 

"The Music of The Night"
performed by Ramin Karimloo

"Stars"
performed by Norm Lewis

My favorite versions of two of my favorite songs!!!
Ramin Karimloo and Norm Lewis are absolute gold in their talents!



Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Stark Family Appreciation Post


     Originally this was going to be for my Game of Thrones S2-5 overview, but I decided to have the Starks as my October appreciation post topic : ) That being said...I have finally caught up with Game of Thrones (if you follow me on Pinterest and//or Tumblr, then you would already be aware of this fact) and I am so glad I continued on with the series now! There are many characters on the show that I love and admire and most of them just so happen to make up the whole Stark//Snow family.

     The Starks are just a great family who have done nothing to deserve the horrific treatment  they are faced to endure on the show. Every member of the Stark family suffers due to this war (some more than othes) and each member (with the exception of the youngest) play a vital role in the story. The Stark family is what ties in a good amount of the story. They're all spread out all over the country and almost every person on the show has come into contact with one Stark family member at least once. 

~ ~ ~

Eddard "Ned" & Catelyn Stark
Ned and Catelyn ~ Lord and Lady of Winterfell.
     Ned and Cat are introduced in the story as a very much in love couple with five rambunctious children (aging between 20 to 6), a lively manor house and an extraordinary northern realm to rule. Also, they have a foster son, Theon Greyjoy (who was actually kidnapped) and Ned's bastard child, Jon Snow, who is the bane of Catelyn's existence and she does not hide how she feels about her husband's illegitimate son. Jon Snow set aside, Cat and Ned are a very a happy couple who have provided a good life for the people who depend on them and have raised their children in the highest and most moral codes of living (and may have spoiled them a little bit). Not bad for an arranged marriage that neither one wanted in the beginning. So, life for the Starks in Winterfell is an absolute fairy tale. Until the king comes and the fairy tale dies, a very slow and painful death. 

     I loved Ned and Cat!! They were both wonderful parents who loved their children dearly and wanted to give them the best life possible. Like all parents, they're flawed and imperfect and must come to terms with their imperfections. 

~ ~ ~

Robb Stark & Jon Snow
Top: Robb and Talisa
Bottom: Jon Snow and Ygritte
     Two men who followed their hearts that led them to their untimely graves (Spoilers. Not sorry). Robb Stark is the oldest son of Ned and Catelyn, the pride and joy of Winterfell and the crowned King of the North. After his father is murdered and his little sisters held hostage, Robb sets off to avenge his father, bring his sisters back home and hope that he can bring peace as the new ruler of Winterfell, but not necessarily as the king on the Iron Throne. Robb does not desire power or position, he simply wants his family back and he'll do whatever it takes to bring them all home. Even if it means consenting to an arranged marriage for an ally treaty.

      Then in the midst of battles and blood, Robb meets a beautiful young doctor, Lady Talisa Maegyr, who brings a small amount of happiness to his dreary and gray days on the battlefield. Overtime Robb and Talisa fall in love and secretly marry which mares Robbs identity as an honorable man and noble king. As wonderful as Talisa was, Robb knew full well the damage that would be done if he broke his promise and he, his wife and their unborn baby all paid that price of that damage in their own blood. 

     Jon Snow, the unwanted bastard son of Ned Stark, is a dark and complex character who is gifted with incredible courage, intelligence, kindness and humanity. Jon longs to be excepted, but is also honor bound to do what is right, just as his father raised him. Jon becomes a Nights Watchman, an order of men who are bound by honor and duty to guard the 700+ wall the separates the civilized North from the Wildlings, a (supposedly) wild and vicious tribal people that are made up of many groups of peoples. 

      Eventually, Jon finds himself at the the mercy of these people, understanding who they are, how they live and unexpectedly falls in love with one beautiful, red-haired, Wildling, Ygritte. Jon is  actually happy and feels accepted among these people he was raised to fear and trained to kill, but he himself, understands what it's liked to be known only by what you are not who you are. However, Jon (like his father and half-brother) must come to the crossroads of choosing personal happiness or public honor and either way he will suffer for his decision.

~ ~ ~

Sansa & Arya Stark
Top: Sansa Stark and the Lannisters who she hated
Bottom: Arya Stark and Gendry, her friend, protector, and possibly more
      There was a lot of drama that could have been avoided if Sansa Stark didn't have her head in the clouds and her mind set on romantic illusions. Although, that's not Sansa's fault; that's just how she was raised, to become a lady, marry well (preferably to a prince or king) and have children. She is totally 100% a product of her environment. Sansa is introduced as a lovestruck 13 year old who is set on marrying the young crown prince and live a happily ever after; what she got instead was hell on earth with one of the most dysfunctional families in Westeros. 

     Sansa becomes a pawn in the dangerous world of politics, thrones and divided loyalties. The boy she thought would be her prince charming becomes her nightmare who terrorizes her to no end with his cruelty and abuse. Things only go from bad to worse with Sansa as the show progresses, but with each fall she picks herself back up, wipes off the blood and continues walking forward. Happiness of a long lost dream and Sansa slowly begins to lose herself in a never-ending cycle of lies and manipulation, but the unexpected always happens and Sansa still finds herself alive another day.

     And then there's the other sister...Arya. To say the Arya is a free spirit is seriously understating the truth. A full-fledged tomboy who would rather fight battles than sew dresses, Arya gets her chance to fight, but this is the real deal and there is no family for her to run to. She is completely on her own with only her small amount of swordplay training, her quick thinking and her genuinely charming nature to get her through. Sassy, but sensible, Arya is easy to remember and hard to forget, but she is a Stark and she will survive, she will live and she will get justice for the ones that were taken away from her.

      The closest thing Arya could possibly get to a romantic relationship (she's only 11 in S1) is found in her friendship with Gendry Waters a quiet 18-19 year old blacksmith from King's Landing who rescues her from a group of bullies. Afterwards, Arya and Gendry are pretty much inseparable as they are herded and sold off to the men who wish to control Westeros. Gendry becomes Arya's protector and her friend and both have an easygoing relationship that's a breath of fresh air for the show. When Arya and Gendry come to possibility of separating, Arya desperately wants him to stay with her, whether out of friendship or even love, but he is made to leave and once again, Arya is alone. 

~ ~ ~

Bran & Rickon Stark
Top: Bran Stark with his older brothers in happier times
Bottom: Rickon Stark on the run with his brother and guardians
      I've noticed a theme with the Stark family, the younger you are, the worse you're going to suffer. Robb and Jon lived pretty comfortably and didn't have many worries. Sansa was with the the abusive Lannisters, but she had a few allies to help her, Arya is almost entirely on her own and must rely on her wits. Then the two youngest boys, Bran and Rickon are betrayed by Theon Greyjoy and have to run away with only two servants to help them. While one may think that Arya has the worse of it, Bran and Rickon's happy lives ended the moment the king stepped foot in Winterfell. Bran is crippled after he witnesses a horrifying scene involving the Lannisters and afterwards, Rickon lost his mother who spent day and night at Bran's bedside. Then one by one, each family member leaves, not knowing if they will ever see one another again.

      Bran is pretty much the younger version of Robb. He has the same honest and kind nature, with a wisdom beyond his years. He cares deeply for other people and has potential to become a good leader only his story gets stranger as the show progresses and he wasn't even in S5. So we're kind of at a standstill with Bran. Rickon doesn't get much screentime, but what he does have is worthwhile. He's a sweet and sensitive 6 year old that deserves all the hugs a person can give him!!! Rickon left at the end of S4 and like Bran has not been seen since. 

~ ~ ~


      I know this was more characters profiles, but it's the characters and who they are that makes me so appreciative of this very well written family. I found Ned and Cat to be exceptional representations of loving but flawed parents who want their children to have the best lives possible. Robb and Jon are both good men who set out to build and not destroy, they were led by love and not power. Sansa and Arya remind me so much of my two younger sisters! It's so crazy watching the show and thinking, "What Sansa is doing, Molly would totally do!" or Arya will send off one of her pithy remarks and I'll think, "That sounds a lot like Emmy!" All that aside, I love both of the girls and their stories are my favorites on the show. And the youngest boys...I just want to hug and kiss them and give them cookies and tell them that everything is going to be all right!! Of course, this being Game of Thrones, everything is never all right.

      All I can say is that more families like the Starks should be written for both book and screen. While the Starks may not be the Weasleys' (another awesome big family!), the same truths of loyalty, honor and courage ring true in every single member of the family both living and dying.


NOTE: 

I just wanted to mention that I am shipping these two so hard!
 Like FedEx and UPS meet Amazon Prime shipping (and I haven't even read the books yet!).






  

New layout


Time for my winter late fall/early winter layout!

To say that this new banner and layout (inspired by Sansa and Arya Stark and their home, Winterfell) are beautiful and that I love them together would be an understatement. It took about 5 rough drafts to finish my banner, but I'm pleased with the final product : ) The layout is from a new site I found called Plumrose Lane and their layouts are beautiful without being overtly girly or over the top.

The quote in the header was inspired by Sonna Rele's song "Strong" from the new Cinderella movie. 

A bird all alone on the wind 
Can still be strong and sing 
Sing...

I was orginalliy going to put that bridge up there, but I think my GOT edition was more fitting.


Sunday, October 25, 2015

AVMBP - Day Seven: Pick a Character; Choose Your Favorite Portrayal


Day Seven: Pick a Character; Choose a Portrayal 

Christine Daae

      Christine Daae is such a wonderfully complex and confusing character/ There is a vulnerability about Christine and a reality to her character that really brings her to life. There might be those who can relate to Christine due to her early loss in life which led to loneliness and often seclusion. She has dreams and ambitions, but is quiet and humble about them. She very kind, compassionate and knows her worth as a singer, dancer and actress, but still remains open to more learning and training. 

      It was probably many of these qualities that endured Raoul to Christine when they were children and eventually Christine to Erik. I believe that is was Christine's genuine goodness that drew Erik to her in the first place, but everything spiraled quickly when competition is thrown in the mix. When Erik begins to kill, Christine blames herself for not being better, stronger and more capable with her emotions. She loves both men dearly as well as all the people in the Opera House and is willing to sacrifice whatever it takes to protect everyone around her. 

     I love Christine because she is real. She is on the balance between obtaining her dreams as a professional actress or becoming a viscountess. There is no selfishness, arrogance, or ill-will within her; extreme loss at a young age sent her into a world of grief, but it didn't hold her back, it pushed her forward and that is what Christine does. She continues to go forward in her life even when it means looking back might break her heart. Christine is a soft-spoken fighter whose angelic voice and fierce protective heart captures everyone around her.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

AVMBP - Day Six: Your Theater OTP


Day Six: Favorite OTP

OMG!!! This is so difficult because I have so many! So I'll name my top 3.


     Curly & Laurey - Oklahoma!: My absolute favorite OTP!! There is an innocence and sweetness about Curly and Laurey that I love, especially compared to Jud Fry (the villain and Curly's competition). Their relationship in the play starts put as annoying one another with teasing and banter and slowly grows in unexpected love over the course of one day. Now, it's common knowledge throughout all of Claremore that Curly is crazy about Laurey, but Laurey tries to write him off as immature and arrogant. Then when trouble strikes, the first person Laurey runs to is Curly. There is a reality is their relationship that doesn't make it sappy and allows both of them to come out in the end as heroes. 

     Adam & Milly - Seven Brides for Seven Brothers: Any woman who marries a man within an hour of meeting him might be considered insane, but no one ever said that Milly was conventional. Adam and Milly both marry out of convenience and not really love, at least that's what they told themselves. When Adam brings Milly to his backwoods cabin and introduces her to his rowdy brothers, all of Milly's  hopes and dreams of a family of her home quickly disappear when she realizes that Adam only wanted a cook and clean for his household. However, Milly rolls up her sleeves and gets the work done, immediately gaining the respect and admiration of Adam's brothers and even Adam himself. As the story progresses Adam and Milly slowly fall in love, although not always seen, but rather implied. When Milly kicks Adam out of the house for 6 months, both of them realize how much they loved each other and Adam returns to Milly with a stronger understanding of love, marriage and life. 

     Georg & Maria - The Sound of Music: An outgoing and forward-thinking governess who failed to become a non. A stubborn, withdrawn Naval captain and widower who rules his house with militaristic order. Could there be a more perfect relationship?? At first glance, one may say no, but Georg and Maria's love for the children they both call their own unites these two very different people into a unlikely love story. When Georg and Maria first meet, they are hardly on correct terms and Georg finds constant fault in the new governess. Maria herself is appalled by the captain's overbearing and strict rule of his children and allow them to have the freedom that they have been restricted from. Overtime, music, laughter and temporary loss brings them together and no one could ever say it wasn't real or genuine.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

AVMBP - Day Five: Favorite Theater Males


Day Five: Favorite Theater Males


      Curly McClain - Oklahoma!: Handsome and charming Curly McClain brings so much life and energy to Oklahoma! He is definitely a true hero that's admirable and strong in his own ordinary way. Although he possesses a rather arrogant attitude from time to time, Curly makes has hopes and dreams for the coming Oklahoma state. His love for Laurey is so genuine and real, and I loved watching their love story unfold slowly in the story. By the end of the play, Curly has definitely matured from the cocky cowboy he was in the beginning with a new wife and new future ahead of him.

      Marius Pontmercy - Les Miserables: A university student who goes from raving revolutionary to lovestruck lad in a matter of seconds. I always found Marius to be a fun character and in a way brings a small amount of humor to the story due to his awkward and unexpected experience in love at first sight. Then Marius' life takes a drastic change when he is forced to choose between following his beloved Cosette out of Paris or to stay with his friends and fight. Marius makes the honorable decision and risks his life to save the poor and destitute of Paris and his courage is rewarded when he is reunited with Cosette and becomes the long awaited son in his new father-in-law's eyes. 

     Georg von Trapp - The Sound of Music: Words cannot describe how so in love I was with Christopher Plummer in this film! Georg's transition from grieving widower to a loving father is an absolute testimony to what Maria's life brought to his once lonely household. His transition doesn't come quickly, but it's worth the wait. Georg's greatest attribute to his character is his courage to stand against Hitler even if it means putting his own life (and his family's) at risk. He is willing to leave everything he has ever known so he can raise his children in freedom.

AVMBP - Day Four: Favorite Theater Females


Day Four: Favorite Theater Females


     Aunt Eller - Oklahoma!: In 1906, Claremore, Oklamoma territory, the wise and strong-willed matriarch  reigns supreme as the voice of reason, understanding and good will. Not to say that the woman doesn't have a fun side; she's humorous and genteel and has no problem putting people in their place. She loves her niece, Laurey, fiercely and only thinks about what's best for her. Aunt Eller is the heart and soul of Oklahoma and defines the pioneer spirit entirely! 

     Milly Pontipee - Seven Brides for Seven Brothers: I'd like to think that Milly Pontipee was probably the younger version of Aunt Eller. Spunky and determined to always make the best out of the worst of situations, Milly strides to straighten out the seven unruly Pontipee brothers, while trying bring the small town to accept the backwoodsmen. Ever since I saw this movie (at 6 or 7), I always loved Milly for her prettiness, sweetness and sense of camaraderie with everyone around her from the townsfolk, her husband, her brothers-in-law and her friends. 

     Fantine - Les Miserables: One of the most heartbreaking, but heroic characters in the whole story.  No one defines the broken human soul that longs for redemption as much as Fantine does. She is a woman who has made mistakes and spends the rest of her young life trying to atone for them. Except forgiveness is not a virtue the 19th century French have really cared to practice. Everything Fantine does is for the sake and livelihood of her daughter and in the end she is rewarded for her goodness, courage and overwhelming love. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Vlog #10 - October


Discussing feminism, the transgender community and society's double standards. If I offend anyone with my personal views, I'm not sorry.

Edit: To clear up any confusion: when I say feminism v. the transgender community, I mean my personal views as a feminist,  not society's views on feminism. 



Thursday, October 15, 2015

AVMBP - Day Three: Theater Character to Defend/Discuss


Day Three: Theater Character to Defend/Discuss

Cosette & Eponine Thenardier 

Wow! I wrote a post similar to this three years ago and it's still causing controversy! 

I'm going to copy and paste my original article into this post

Cosette

      I don't understand why people view Cosette with such dislike and raise Eponine on a pedestal. I mentioned this in my movie review, but now I'm going to go a little deeper with it. I have never really liked Eponine at all and to those who say that she is the true heroine of the story, well then you clearly haven't understood the story. Fantine is the true heroine. A single mother who gave her life for her precious daughter is far greater than a lovesick girl getting shot for a man who doesn't love her at all or at least not romantic love. It's clear that Marius cared about her, but it wasn't the love that Eponine wanted. He loved Cosette, end of story.

      I always saw Cosette as the Cinderella of the story and isn't that what people love? A poor girl from obscure beginnings who is rescued by a kind man and raised in his love. Why do people see her as a clueless airhead? They condemn her for being silly and ridiculous for falling in love with a man she only saw once, but didn't Marius do the same thing? How come Marius isn't ridiculed and called an airhead for the same reason?

     Cosette has lived a sheltered life in a convent with her father for nine years, so she hasn't really grown up around men at all. She has been raised to be innocent, generous and kind. Yet, she probably hasn't forgotten her abused former life and the Thenadiers, so she isn't that clueless about the outside world. Then comes the first glance of love from the first man who seems to notice her and she is curious, amazed and even a little scared. Give her a break, I think we've all been there.

      Quit punishing Cosette for being kind and generous. Stop going on about how she has no real importance in the story She plays a very distinct part in Les Miserables. It was because of her that her mother gave her life, it was because of her that Valjean could live the life he always dreamed of, it was because of her that Marius finally saw love in a concrete form and not as an abstract illusion. In a world that was dominated by darkness, terror and fear, Cosette stood out with a gentle, but strong light to those who needed it. Her mother, her father, and her lover.

Eponine Thenardier

     Even as a little girl and watching the musical, I found Eponine incredibly annoying. All she seemed to do was whine and moan about a man who didn't notice her. I didn't understand her role in the musical at all and even now, I'm annoyed by her. They're at the brink of a revolution and she's crying about how alone she is. Dry up Scarlett.

     Now, I'm not going to be entirely cruel. There are many honorable aspects to Eponine. She was courageous, she helped Marius find Cosette as well as take a bullet for him. There is a general charm and kindness about Eponine and that's how a lot of people see her, but they don't have to slander Cosette just because she got the guy and the poor girl didn't.

     Also, Eponine is is completely destitute, she has no home and no money and is also (in the eyes of Javert and the Parisian government) a menace to society, because she helps her father with his plots. She knew full well that Marius couldn't conceive the thought of taking her because of those qualities. Unfair as they may, they are what make Eponine who she is. She didn't join the barricades because she believed in a better world, she was there to be with Marius and nothing more or less than that.

     We all live, we all love, and eventually we all die with love, without love, or fighting for love. That's what Eponine did, she died for love. She died so Marius could live and love Cosette.



Wednesday, October 14, 2015

AVMBP - Day Two: A Musical You Have a Love/Hate Relationship With


Day Two: A Musical You Have a Love/Hate Relationship With

The Phantom of the Opera

      Yes, it may seem strange, but The Phantom of the Opera is a musical that I love and hate at the same time. I love it for the incredible music and costumes, no doubt about that. I hate it for the love triangle! And yes, the love triangle is the whole crux of the story, but it just seemed so bland and boring. Although Erik and Raoul may have had Christine's best intentions at heart, neither one of them really seemed to care about what was truly best for her and what she really wanted.

     And that leads into the Team Erik/Team Raoul debate. While Erik is a mystery man with a deformed face, but brilliant mind, Raoul is wealthy, handsome and charming. Both men are deeply flawed as well. They are both severe control freaks who push and pull Christine into every direction they think is best. While Raoul is probably the better of the two men and there would be no way that Erik could be a proper family man, Christine is, quite frankly, better off without the two them!

Top: Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman in the original Broadway production
Bottom: Emmy Rossum and Gerard Butler in the 2004 motion picture
     Being a product of her time, Christine would eventually have to marry and settle down with a family and so the obvious choice would be Raoul. However, what life of loneliness may she have lived if she had stayed with Erik? I really don't understand why it was such a hard decision if she was seeking a happy life. While Erik acts on immense power and control, Raoul thinks on reason and understanding. Erik treats Christine like she is some prophesied goddess put on earth for his use and control and Raoul handles Christine like she's a child who has no understanding of reality.

     Now, I know that this whole story is a romance and without the romance there would be no story at all. I would have just like to have seen both men give Christine the benefit of the doubt and not wait until one is at the end of a rope to finally let her have the final decision. I always felt that Christine was more of a pawn than a player in this warped love triangle and that she was always made to act on passion and not think reasonably in order to save both of these men.

AVMBP - Day One: Favorite Musical


Day One: Favorite Musical

Les Miserables

      Without a doubt, my absolute, number one, favorite musical of all time!!!! I grew up watching Les Miserables because my parents and my older sisters are such huge fans of the story. They love the 1985 Dream Cast production and so I spent a good deal of my childhood listening to Master of The House, I Dreamed a Dream and Do You Hear The People Sing? My family is just in love with this story of redemption, faith and courage and how the musical brings all those elements of Victor Hugo's original work to life on stage and screen. 

       I also enjoyed that even though it was a musical, it didn't hide darkness that made the story so wonderful and the idea of redemption all the more beautiful. From prostitution, to lying and stealing, murder and crime. People have serious issues with the fact that there are prostitutes in the story, but Fantine becoming a prostitute is an integral part of Les Miserables. Had she not chosen to become a prostitute, than there would be no ideals of forgiveness, redemption and hope that would eventually become her salvation.

     Victor Hugo wrote Les Miserables to inform the French society of the depravity and squalor that the lower class were made to live in while the upper bourgeoisie (middle class society, like Marius and his friends) and the aristocracy turned a blind eye. Illegitimate children were the ultimate unforgivable sin and young unmarried mothers were cast into the streets and shunned from society. A criminal was always a criminal in the eyes of the law and therefore, would never be able to forge a new life for themselves. The only hope that these people had was the church and at times, the church could be just as bad or worse, which is why the Bishop of Dignee who saved (and lied for) Val Jean was such an extraordinary character because of his genuine faith and belief in humanity.

The Original Broadway Cast
The 2015 Broadway Cast
       Les Miserables is a musical that you can have a love/hate relationship with. In spite of the fact what that almost everyone one in the story dies, you're still left with an overwhelming amount of delight at what Victor Hugo accomplished in his writing. Good and evil. right and wrong, humanity and inhumanity, courage and fear, love and hate, all bound together in a historical setting of everyday life and the people that lived and died for the morals they upheld and the dreams they had for a better world to live in.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A Very Musical Blog Party


       Bella Delallo is hosting a 10 day blog party on all things musical!


RULES!


1.) You must follow my Bella's Blog to participate
2.)The Blog Party will last ten days and each day will have it's own theme.
3.) If you don't have a Blog, you can Guest Post.
4.) Have fun and don't be nasty.


Day One: Your favorite Musical.

Day Two: A Musical you have a love/hate relationship with.

Day Three: Choose a Theatre Character to Defend/Discuss

Day Four: Favorite Theatre Females

Day Five: Favorite Theatre Males

Day Six: Your Theatre OTP.

Day Seven: Pick a Character; Choose your Favorite Portrayal

Day Eight: Favorite Antagonist or Villain.

Day Nine: Favorite book-to-musical adaptation

Day Ten: FREE DAY!



Thursday, October 8, 2015

Thoughts on Game of Thrones


      With a name like Game of Thrones I thought it was a video game series

       I started watching Game of Thrones in late January//early February...actually shortly after I did my first appreciation post on Harry Lloyd. I found out that he was in the show (playing Viserys Targaryen) and that was the primary reason I wanted to watch the series, even though I knew he was only in S1. So anyways, I had a friend jack all 4 seasons offline and put them on my computer. I was apprehensive at first because the show is famous for its outrageous amount of sexual content, but I really wanted to know what the hype about this show was all about.

       I was surprised at how very quickly I became engrossed in the story and the characters, as well as the underlying theme of family that is spread throughout the show. It wasn't long before I was addicted and I finished the first season in 3 days! I had loved the first season so much (while cringing my way through the copious amounts of sexually explicit scenes) that I started watching S2, but stopped after a certain scene concerning King Joffrey made me sick to my stomach and I couldn't watch anymore. 

      However, I may pick up on the series again since Jamie told me that the story gets even better and so do the characters. Until then, I'm contented with being a fan of S1 which introduced me to a menagerie of extraordinary characters that I love, loathe and constantly keep me guessing about their true loyalties.  

~ ~ ~

Favorite Characters

 Khaleesi Daenerys Targaryen

      This young girl, I noticed, seemed to be a consistent fan-favorite and so I really was quite curious about her. Although, from what I had viewed on Tumblr (not a good place to go to if you're curious about a television show), I had thought that she was just some pretty blonde tramp that slept with anything and everything that came across her path.

How wrong I was!!!! 

She is the sweetest, bravest, most beautiful princess-angel in the whole show!
       
   Daenerys or Dany is barely a woman when her sadistic and power-hungry older brother, Viserys, has arranged her marriage to the Dothraki king, Khal Drogo. as an arrangement for an army so he can take the throne of Westeros. Quiet and reserved, Dany obediently marries the violent warrior king who has no interest in her at all and only uses her for bedtime pleasure (you get my meaning?). Overtime, Dany gains more confidence and begins to endear herself to the nomadic Dothraki people by quickly learning their language, dressing like the woman and styling her hair in the same traditional styles. 

Dany and her beloved husband Drogo
      She also takes matters of her marriage into her own hands and basically lets her husband know that she is not a toy, but a human being who deserves to be treated with respect and love. Although, surprised at first by this sudden burst of confidence from his child-wife, Drogo slowly finds himself falling deeply in love with Dany due to her overwhelming kindness and generosity toward his people and to him. And Dany sees Drogo as her salvation from her unhappy childhood, protector from her abusive brother and the love that she has waited so long to have. Drogo is just a bad-ass all around; he definitely became a favorite and I loved their love story (proof from my new header). 

       Sadly, Dany's long awaited fairy-tale life is cut short by the death of her husband, the miscarriage of their baby (whom she unexpectedly sacrificed while trying to save her husband) and the falling apart of the Dothraki people. Hardly one to give up, Daenerys takes what few people are remaining into safety and becomes not only their new queen (or Khaleesi in Dothraki), but also the mother of three rare dragons which gives her an extraordinary amount of power. Through all of this, Dany becomes determined to take of the Iron Throne of Westeros for the future of her people and the honor of her husband. 

The Starks of Winterfell

       Watching the lively and loving Stark family is what really made this show work for me. Headed by Eddard (Ned) Stark and his wife Catelyn and their five children, Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran, Rickon and Ned's bastard son, Jon Snow. Like I said in the beginning, the underlying theme of family is heavily emphasized in this show and no family knows the importance of honor and loyalty like the Starks of Winterfell. They know how to fight and how to survive. When the family is splintered in the beginning of S1, it is the beginning of the end for the Starks. One by one, family members are lost, killed, abandoned, used and abused, and none of them has anyone to depend on. All they have is hope that the family will be back together again. Hope, like summer in Winterfell, is rare and hard to find and it's the survival of the fittest, the strongest, and the smartest in the lives of the Stark family. 

Top: Arya Stark and Robb Stark
Bottom: Eddard (Ned) Stark and Jon Snow
       Of all of the Starks, Arya, the tomboyish middle child and Robb, the no-nonsense oldest son are definitely my favorites followed by the family patriarch, Ned and his illegitimate son, lonely Jon Snow. Arya like Daenerys was another favorite and I fell in love with her immediately for her spirit and no small degree of sass she was able to dish out. She is a perfect mix of both of her brave parents who have raised her well and have only ever wanted what is truly best for her. Arya may end up being the sole survivor of the family and although she doesn't desire power for the throne, she does desire to have the right to fight for what she wants, and that is to survive and see her family again.

       I didn't like Robb at first. In the beginning I though he was something of a rich spoiled brat who just preferred to be left alone. Then his family is threatened and Direwolf claws are released. Robb's lifetime training in warfare, defense and negotiations all come into full swing when he wages war on those that dare harm his family, his people and his country. Robb is a real prince in the story and it's hard for any girl not to fall in love with him (oddly enough, Richard Madden plays Prince Kit in the new Cinderella movie, so it's fitting). 

      Ned Stark and his son Jon Snow are two characters that you have immediate admiration for. Ned is a wonderful man, that while flawed has a great deal of honor and dignity to him and he has raised his children to achieve those same standards by which their survival will depend on. While Ned is ashamed for disloyalty to his wife, he doesn't regret his son, Jon Snow, even though Catelyn takes every opportunity to degrade Jon in every possible way. 

     Jon himself, is pretty much a glorified servant in his father's household, but his half-siblings all love him dearly, especially Arya who he has a special relationship with. He has his father's integrity and humanity and will not stand by while injustice is being dealt out. Jon will stand for what is right, even if it means he is standing alone, but then again, Jon Snow is use to being alone.

  
       This ending up being longer than I thought, but I just wanted to highlight the primary reasons I enjoyed S1 so much. The characters are by far the best part of the show, even when the story gets confusing all you need to do is just follow your favorite character and eventually you get back on track. GOT has no shortage of thoroughly unlikable characters, but I try not to dwell too much on my dislikes, it distracts from the importance as to why I spent three days watching this show on my computer. While I'm definitely not promoting Game of Thrones as a Saturday//Sunday night watch, I will say that the story is brilliant and all characters (good, bad and otherwise) are so very real that I think anyone can relate to any them. 

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