Tag: death

Why Jaime’s Character Arc in Season Eight Was So Disappointing

Jaime has come a long way from his early days on Game of Thrones. He began as a villain on the show, so devoted to an incestuous relationship with his sister, Cersei Lannister  that he did terrible things, such as pushing Bran Stark out a window, thus crippling the boy for life. But as the series progressed, he began to move down a path of redemption, growing as a person through his interactions with Brienne of Tarth and being further humbled through the loss of his hand. Jaime proved himself as a person capable of change, of growth, while Cersei doubled down on her own inner flaws and became a fully fledged tyrant. Both siblings began to drift apart, clearly showing Jaime as a fundamentally better person than Cersei (though that is not hard.) All signs pointed towards Jaime becoming a hero and this seemed to be confirmed in his last scene with Cersei in Season 7. Cersei had just been shown absolute proof that the White Walkers were real and coming to kill everyone in Westeros. She seemed to ally with Jon Snow and Daenerys to fight the oncoming threat but later revealed to Jaime that she was lying, hoping to weaken her enemies and claim the Iron Throne unopposed.

Jaime was horrified by this plan, so much so that he rode away from King’s Landing and joined with the forces of Winterfell this season. His arc seemed to be reaching a happy conclusion, especially with him and Brienne consummating their mutual attraction to each other.

Until, well, all that character development suddenly did a swan dive off a cliff.

 

Cersei and Jamie embrace in the burning ruins of King's Landing
IMAGE VIA DEADLINE

Jamie and Cersei’s relationship had clearly fractured, broken by the paths their mutual character development had taken them down. Jaime’s path had evolved naturally to make him a better person, which is why it was sudden and jarring when he appeared to do a 180. After bedding Brienne, suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere, Jaime left her in the middle of the night, told her how ‘hateful’ he was while claiming his devotion to Cersei, and rode off to be with her in King’s Landing. This could have been seen as perhaps a lie, a trick, or setting up for Jamie to even kill Cersei as had longed been hinted at but nope! In the latest episode of Game of Thrones, The Bells, Jamie dies in the arms of Cersei while claiming his love to her before they’re both buried in the collapse of the Red Keep.

This felt wrong. Jamie should not have returned to Cersei. Their relationship had naturally broken over the course of the series and for them to embrace each other as if nothing had ever happened between them, as if their mutual paths meant nothing, just feels like honestly a slap in the face. Jaime deserved so much better than what he got in the past few episodes, where he seemingly forgot all that he had learned, endured, and seen in favor of dying with the woman he had grown to hate. Perhaps this could have worked if more time had been devoted to showing why Jamie still loved Cersei, why he was willing to abandon his friends to go back to her, but thanks to the rather rushed pace of this season, it comes out of the blue and seems to ignore the character’s internal logic.

 

Jamie Lannister lies wounded on a rocky beach, faced covered with dust and blood
IMAGE VIA VOX

Jamie’s arc had naturally pointed to him rising above his twisted beginnings and becoming a good man. And he almost did! But at the last minute, he just reversed back to his origins in Season 1. A lot of the characterizations in Season 8 have been rather wonky but Jamie’s especially stings, as it feels like the writers just chose to ignore his redemption arc for no real reason. Jamie keeps claiming he loves Cersei, even though we’ve seen that clearly isn’t the case anymore. But instead, he dies a rather pathetic death, buried under a pile of rocks with the woman who mere episodes ago he was disgusted by. It was an insulting end to one of the show’s best characters, especially one who had evolved so far and shown so much more depth than what he appeared to be at first glance.

What were your thoughts on Jamie’s characterization this season? Tell us in the comments!

 

 

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Gene Wolfe, Famed Author of Science Fiction, Dies at 87

Another sad passing in the world of literature. Gene Wolfe, a massively influential figure who was praised by famed authors such as George R.R. Martin, Ursula K. Le Guin and Neil Gaiman, has passed away. According to The Guardian Gene Wolfe died at the age of eighty-seven, leaving behind a famous body of work. His magnum opus is The Book of the New Sun which ranked only third in a fantasy magazine of the best fantasy novels, behind only The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Taking placing in an apocalyptic earth where mankind has regressed to a medieval era, the novels blended science fiction and fantasy to become something wholly unique.

 

A man clad in a dark mask and cloak stands before an alien sky

Image Via Amazon

 

Wolfe’s passing was mourned by his longtime publisher, Tor, and numerous other authors in the industry. Tor said he was a ‘beloved icon’ and will be ‘dearly missed’ while leaving behind a body of work that will live on forever in SF fame. Neil Gaiman praised Wolfe’s work, saying he was possibly the finest American writer who ever lived. George R.R. Martin considers him the best the science fiction genre has produced, while Le Guin said he was ‘our Melville’. For his efforts, Gene Wolfe received the title of grand master of science fiction in 2012. Wolfe himself had earlier noted his early work out of college was terrible and he was living from paycheck to paycheck before he became famous.

Gene Wolfe leaves behind a legacy of his great work, as well as being hugely influential on the writer’s community around him, inspiring others to create worlds. We salute you, Wolfe, and will remember your work forever.

 

 

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GRRM talking on 60 Minutes

George R.R. Martin Talks His ‘Bloodthirsty’ Reputation on ’60 Minutes’!

Winter is here and the final season of Game of Thrones has finally arrived! While most are clamoring about the first episode (and rightly so), there was also another large event last night in the lead-up to the premiere, interviewed by George R.R. Martin. George R.R. Martin was interviewed on a special segment of 60 Minutes, where he talked in length about the series, his attitude toward killing characters, and his thoughts on the show overtaking his own source material.

To highlight a segment that doubtlessly everyone is curious about from CBS George R.R. Martin talked about his infamous reputation for killing characters. George R.R. Martin noted his reputation for being ‘bloodthirsty’ but thought it was being a little unfair. He noted (technically) that Star Wars or Star Trek kill more characters than he does but the difference comes from those deaths being a statistic, happening to unnamed characters that the audience feels nothing for. So, they become statistics instead of truly affecting the audience, which George R.R. Martin hopes to avert with how he approaches killing off characters.

 

Several GOT characters stand around in the infamous Red Wedding massacre
IMAGE VIA ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

George R.R. Martin noted he always tries to make his death scenes ‘important’ and ‘unexpected’, both taking the audience by surprise while really making them feel the impact of what happened. On deaths like Ned Stark or the Red Wedding, Martin noted the audience assumed these characters were safe because they were the heroes and the heroes can’t die. On choosing to kill off the assumed main characters, Martin hoped to truly shock the audience and take his series in a direction that other works of fiction simply didn’t go in. However, he revealed writing these scenes wasn’t easy for him, as the characters were so real he felt truly awful when he wrote their deaths. In fact, George R.R. Martin wrote A Storm of Swords around the titular Wedding first because it was so hard for him to truly commit to creating the act itself. We can certainly sympathize, George!

 

George R.R. Martin further commented that he always planned to have The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring done before the series was over but for whatever reason, it didn’t happen. Martin said it was quite a ‘blow’ when it did happen but went on to say he was very happy with how the television series has adapted his work, considering it immensely faithful and predicting the ending won’t be much different from his own. He did note that of course the series was different but all adaptations differ from their original work, using the example of how Spider-Man has changed across different mediums from Stan Lee’s original superhero.

 

George R.R. Martin talks with Anderson Cooper on 'Sixty Minutes'
IMAGE VIA CBS NEWS

The most exciting part of the interview (for us, anyway) was when Martin revealed what writing the first chapter was like. He said he was writing another science fiction novel at the time and the first scene of Game of Thrones just came to him. The first scene he put down into words was where the Stark family found the direwolf pups, banging it out over three days. He went on to note that the scene ‘haunted’ him, with its characters seeming so real him. The world sprung forth from ideas he crafted from this scene, such as the concept of the world’s seasons that could go on for years and the kingdom around the North. He went on to flesh out the lineage of the kings and even drew the map that he had a concept of the world.

An excerpt from the full interview with George R.R. Martin can be found below:

 

 

 

Featured Image Via CBS NEWS

A graphic of silhouetted tombstones

This Children’s Book Helps Kids Cope with Loss

The truth about death is pretty depressing: it’s inevitable. As adults, we’re consciously aware of this fact mostly because we have no say in the matter—even if we escape death in our personal lives, that luck can only be tragically temporary (just like us, unfortunately!!!).

 

It’s often easier to joke about death than it is to confront it directly, as evidenced by this article. RIP, human nature. It can be difficult to live with the reality of death… so can you imagine how impossible it might feel to explain it to a kid, like spoiling the ending of an otherwise excellent story. This children’s book can serve as a gentle conversation-starter in a difficult time.

 

'The Funeral' children's book

Image Via Barnesandnoble.com

 

Matt James‘ The Funeral depicts a funeral from a child’s perspective. Even in its title, the book hints at the uncanny juxtaposition between the weight of death and the lighthearted whimsy of a child’s perspective—the fun in funeral is a cheery yellow while the word continues in a dim blue. Though the cover depicts tombstones, the two children are smiling and playful. The book opens:

 

Norma was practicing her sad face in the mirror of her parents’ room. Though she was, in fact, pretty happy. It was a day off from school, and she would be spending it with her cousin Ray. Her FAVORITE cousin, Ray.

 

 

'The Funeral' illustration depicting a child cartwheeling in the graveyard

Image Via 100scopenotes.com

 

The Funeral tackles the difficult questions, but, as in life, the hardest ones go unanswered. Norma asks: “is Uncle Frank still a person?” Instead of explaining to children what death means (or, even more daunting, what actually happens when you die), James simply depicts what the process of death might look like to a child. The book portrays a scene of the funeral itself, during which Norma laments “how looong they sat on those hard seats, with all that talk about God and souls, and not very much talk about Uncle Frank.” The story is unique in that it grounds itself in the physical, sensory details of a death—it is not an explanation but an introduction.

 

 

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