Symbol and Stories in Westeros Part 1: The Spider and the Dragon

Peter Dinklage and Conleth Hill as Tyrion Lannister and Lord Varys (HBO)

“In a room sit three great men, a king, a priest, and a rich man with his gold. Between them stands a sellsword, a little man of common birth and no great mind. Each of the great ones bids him slay the other two. ‘Do it’ says the king, ‘for I am your lawful ruler.’ ‘Do it’ says the priest, ‘for I command you in the names of the gods.’ ‘Do it’ says the rich man, ‘and all this gold shall be yours.’ So tell me-who lives and who dies?” -A Clash of Kings, Tyrion I

Throughout A Song of Ice and Fire, men and women clash over power and authority, using any and all tools at their disposal, whether they be armies, laws, legacies, or dragons. Throughout the series, these tools gain and lose advantages over the other, resulting in a tumultuous back-and-forth of power politics that resembles an ocean at storm, with the users scrambling for power in situations where their tools gain or lose power from one day to the next.

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The Lion’s Fury: The Deeply Personal Actions of Tywin Lannister


Tywin Lannister’s name and reputation in A Song of Ice and Fire is associated with the consequentialist political mantra of “the ends justify the means.” But how true is that sentiment when examined against the text? And if true, does the series’ gray morality give Tywin a wider moral berth for his conduct?

Tywin Lannister is a fascinating character in that his actions result in such differing fan-opinions of the character. For his supporters, he’s viewed as someone willing to do evil to achieve a greater good best seen in his defense of his conduct during the Sack of King’s Landing.

“As stupid as he was, even he knew that Rhaegar’s children had to die if his throne was ever to be secure. Yet he saw himself as a hero, and heroes do not kill children.” (ASOS, Tyrion VI)

Tywin’s detractors see his actions as dark, evil acts perpetrated by an evil man for politically nefarious reasons. Eddard Stark was firmly in this camp.

I would sooner entrust a child to a pit viper than to Lord Tywin. (AGOT, Eddard II)

But both perspectives miss something fundamental about Tywin’s conduct. He may have shrouded his actions in political terms, but subtext and context shows that Tywin actually couched all of his major evil actions from a deeply personal perspective.

In this analysis, I’ll hope to show Tywin’s deeply personal reasons for his brutalities through 3 seminal events, all of which took place prior to events of the main book series:

  • The Reyne/Tarbeck Rebellion
  • The Defiance of Duskendale
  • The Sack of King’s Landing at the end of Robert’s Rebellion

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The History of Westeros: Battle of Ice Part 2

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History of Westeros: Battle of Ice Part 2 coming LIVE at 1pm EST on 8/30/2014

Bolton has blundered,” the king declared.

I’m pleased to announce that Part 2  of the Battle of Ice series is coming to you all LIVE this upcoming Saturday! In part 2, Aziz & Ashaya from History of Westeros and I will do an in-depth battle analysis on the Battle of the Crofters’ Village from The Winds of Winter.

In this battle, Stannis faces off against Hosteen Frey and the Manderlys (well… maybe not the Manderlys) and winter is the enemy to all (except maybe not to Stannis…)

If you want to watch live, check out the page here: But if you’re not free, no harm/foul, it will be available on youtube, itunes and other formats.

And if you haven’t watched part 1, check it out!

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Featured on the Nerdstream Era, part 2

Hello fellow readers,

Lately I’ve been working really hard on a few things, so I’ve been quiet for a while. Rest assured, that will not continue to be the case.

One of those things dropped last Thursday and I didn’t notice like a dunce. So check out The Nerdstream Era and his Supreme Court of Westeros segment. I had the pleasure of working with the impeccable Stefan Sasse in talking about a few things, mostly Varys. You can find our rulings here.



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The Men Who Would Be Kings: Perspectives on the Would Be Kings of Westeros: Robb Stark

The Wolf in the Night or the King Who Lost the North

Artwork by Riotovskaya

Robb Stark is a mostly beloved character by fans of the series and several characters within the series itself. While never having his own POV we do gain many different perspectives and opinions on Robb from various POV and non POV characters. This essay will incorporate many of these opinions and perspectives in order to build up a more complete picture of the man who would be named King in the North and King of the Trident.

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The Winds of Winter: The Battle of Ice Part 1 (mega-spoilers)

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