GoT Season 8 Episode 5

Did you notice how I didn’t write about last week’s episode? I honestly didn’t have a lot to say about it, so never felt motivated enough to post anything on it. It should go without saying that this will have spoilers from the most recent episode, so without further ado, let’s chat about it.

Episode 5 was by far my favorite this season. There was action and were a few things that caught us off guard. I didn’t like the blood or fighting because despite being really into this show, I am very squeamish, so I always cover part of my eyes or squint so I can’t see anything too crazy. It looked like The Hound had some chocolate lava cake on his eye! Thinking about it like that is the only way I can make it through.

Anyway, the beginning of the show was kind of nuts. The way Daenerys treated Varys was terrible. I’ve not liked her for a couple of seasons now, because she’s slowly transforming into a wannabe dictator. Her favorite thing to do is torch people who say one bad thing about her, and I don’t agree with the excuse that it’s because she’s been through a lot. When her sun and stars Khal Drogo died, she still had a heart that cared for other people (Or so we thought). I read something interesting that talked about signs Dany has been power hungry and kind of crazy from the start. She foreshadowed her behavior in season two when she stated, “We will lay waste to armies and burn cities to the ground,” when she was talking about taking back what is “rightfully hers.” Thinking back to even some of the first seasons, Dany has always been adamant about taking the Iron Throne since it was once her father’s, no matter what the cost. She occasionally mentioned not being like him, but despite knowing how horrible he was to his people, she still felt like her family deserved to be on the throne again. I want to go rewatch one day to see if I think she showed behavior that indicated her going insane at the end.

Back to this episode, though. The first crazy part was when Dany said that Tyrion needed to ask her permission to talk to anyone about the secret. She wants people to consult her about everything because she needs to always be in control. That is why she decides to kill Varys. She just burned him like it was nothing! He was always one of the wiser characters, and it was kind of sad he called this all happening. Right before he died he said, “I hope I deserve this. Truly I do. I hope I’m wrong.” It’s so sad that his heart was in the right place trying to protect innocent people, but everyone is still listening to the Mad Queen. To make things worse, Jon Snow didn’t tell her to stop when she commanded her dragon to light Varys up, and everyone just stood around quietly and watched. I wish someone had realized what a danger she was to everyone around her. She isn’t very talented with a sword, so Jon could have easily put an end to her terror before it even began. I’m honestly so sick of him whining about how he doesn’t want to be the king and how he’s happy to “bend the knee.” We all get it, Jon, but making Dany the queen was a terrible idea. He barely even knew her and was obsessed with giving her everything he had right off the bat.

Did you all catch what Varys said to the little girl, Martha, who came in to talk to him before he was killed? I went back to rewatch the scene, and wrote it out for you:

Martha enters the room.

Varys: “…And?”

Martha shakes her head.

Varys: “Nothing?”

Martha: “She won’t eat.”

Varys looks visibly disappointed and shakes his head.

Varys: “We’ll try again at supper.”

Martha: “I think they’re watching me.”

Varys: “Who?”

Martha: “Her soldiers.”

Varys: “Of course they are. That’s their job… What have I told you, Martha?”

Martha: “The greater the risk, the greater the reward.”

So I guess Dany was smart in getting rid of Varys, since he clearly had poisoned her food. I can’t say I’m happy he died because I would have liked to see him protect the realm from fire, but it justifies her actions more knowing she really had a reason to prosecute Varys for treason. I just don’t know if it was clear she knew he was trying to kill her that night.

Tyrion is awesome. I love how he has such a tender heart, despite being kind of rough around the edges. All of my friends seem to have different opinions on all the characters, but everyone from every walk of life agrees that Tyrion is great. I still haven’t met a single person who doesn’t like him, so I’m glad to see his character a little more in this episode. He wasn’t as sly and sneaky as he tends to be, though. I am not convinced that he and Varys would have been caught conspiring so easily. Tyrion is usually a few steps ahead of everyone else, and with everything going on I’m not convinced Dany would have had eyes on everyone — especially Tyrion of all people. Yes she is beginning to really go crazy, but Tyrion clearly cares about the greater good of mankind, so it wasn’t super obvious he would be plotting against the woman he went to to offer to fight for. This episode had a lot to it, so I’m going to move on.

The Hound and Arya are such a cute little duo. I expected things to go down a little differently with them, but it wouldn’t be Thrones if everything I anticipated would happen did. As I mentioned above, the fight between The Hound and The Mountain was pretty gross, and I thought Arya might come back to save her good friend. I’m kind of glad she didn’t, because it was great seeing her help all of the defenseless people down in the city. I am 99% sure she’s going to kill Dany in the finale. Right?! She has to. It’ll be a check off the “green eyes,” especially since it appears Cersei might be dead. She may have gone to King’s Landing to kill Queen Cersei, but I think she’ll change her course and decide to kill The Mad Queen instead.

I’m split on thinking that Cersei is actually dead. It’s dangerous to assume in this show that someone died just because something seemingly tragic happens to them. Heck, Jon Snow came back from the dead, so I guess anything can happen. I don’t think there will be another moment like that, but I do think there’s a possibility they survived somehow and Jaimie might redeem himself once again. Otherwise what was all of that with Brienne about and why was it even written into the story?! I keep seeing a meme talking about how the writers completely crushed 7 seasons of character building for Jaimie, and I happen to agree. After all of this, he goes back to Cersei and is bad again? At the same time, though, she is the mother of his children, and Jaimie has become a very loyal character. I just don’t like that he had to get innocent Brienne involved in his complicated life. I’ve seen a really interesting point be made about Cersei’s anticlimactic death, though. If she is, in fact, dead, it was her own city walls that killed her in the least theatrical way possible. She got absolutely no recognition or thought put into her death, and there are going to be no stories told about the way she was killed. At least if Daenerys had a face-off with her, there would be tales told for decades to come about how the Mad Queen took the Iron Throne from Cersei Lannister. This makes it so she’s not even really written into history, and all of the fear and emotions we saw in her final moments were for nothing.

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This was my favorite episode of season 8, but I honestly don’t know how they’re going to wrap up so many storylines in just 80 minutes. I have a million unanswered questions, and really want a decent amount of time with some of my favorite characters. Is there any chance there is going to be a surprise final episode?! I know, I know, there’s not, but there absolutely should be! I need more time and don’t feel any sense of closure. I’m afraid I won’t next week either.

I’ll end this with a few of my predictions, then we can count up at the end of the season how many I got right in these posts.

First, I obviously think Arya will kill Daenerys. If she doesn’t, Jon Snow will, but I’m pretty certain it’ll be Arya. There’s a chance people will see how tough and great Arya is and create a democracy to nominate her to be on the throne, but I’m still rooting for Sansa Stark to take that role with Arya close to her side. I’ve heard things floating around about Tyrion (Or even Tyrion with Sansa), but I think he’s going to give up his life to save innocent people. I loved how heroic he was in offering to give up his life for the people in King’s Landing, and think he’s going out as one of the best characters of the series.

Second, I think people are going to start over in Winterfell. I wish we had seen a little bit about what’s going on there right now, but I understand how it couldn’t have fit into a shorter episode. We should have cut out the fight between Jaimie and Euron to put something better in, though. That seemed like a kind of silly fight, and to be honest I couldn’t care less about Euron Grayjoy at this point. Anyway, King’s Landing is going to be an absolute mess by the time Daenerys is done with it, so let’s just move the capital elsewhere.

Finally, I think the series is going to end on an ominous note, insinuating that the fighting for the Iron Throne will never truly end. I think the point of this series is to show how human greed is one of the most dangerous things in the world, and how destructive it is when people are always fighting for their own pride. The Stark family is a good example of people doing what’s right for others, but power does crazy things to people, so it will be interesting to see whether we like all of them by the end of the show. I think they’ll be the one group of people who always fight for what’s right, but I think they will have a lot of adversaries who try to overthrow their reign. We shall see, though, and I can’t wait to see everything wrapped up at the end! Hopefully they’ll tie all the loose ends… I don’t know how it’ll be possible, but I’m trusting the show won’t completely break our hearts.

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What do you think? Please comment any and all GoT-related thoughts. This is our last week to talk before the series finale! How sad is that?

The Great Debate

Are animal crackers cookies or crackers?

This is the question of the week in our household. I strongly believe they’re cookies — they’re sweet and more dessert-like than they are savory — and Robert thinks they’re crackers. Who knows his reasoning, other than the fact that there is the word “cracker” in the name. All other evidence points to cookie, but I digress.

We like to talk about our differing opinions, and sometimes we can even change each other’s minds. I used to think Poptarts were better than Toaster Strudels. I do stand by that for the strawberry flavor, but a cinnamon Strudel is literally one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. It’s basically a mix of a warm, perfectly crispy fried donut with a gooey cinnamon roll filling. How can anything beat that?!

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I think it’s so important for people to keep an open mind and continue to grow throughout every stage in life. I have changed a lot in the matter of a few short years, and it’s crazy to think that some of the opinions I have now will be different after I gather even more information and experiences. I look back at my old social media sometimes and think it’s strange to see how much has changed over time. Sure, I have had some big life-altering events like getting sick with POTS, but I’ve also just grown up and matured as an adult human being. My thoughts at even just 22 years old were very different than they are now, six years later.

The thing with humans is that we are dynamic and ever-changing. We meet new people who challenge us, we collect different experiences, and any sort of trauma often drastically alters our view of the world. This is why I think it’s so important that we change the “cancel culture” we live in. Far too often, we see someone’s rise to fame or notoriety completely trashed because of something they tweeted or posted on Facebook nearly a decade ago. I could list dozens of examples of people who have fallen in the public eye, and I’m sure you can think of several too. One of the scariest things about being a human being is that we all make mistakes. Sometimes we make little ones that won’t matter in the grand scheme of things, other times we make huge life-altering mistakes that we wish every day we hadn’t. We make mistakes we can’t take back, and realize we’ve done something wrong by the lump in our throat and pit in our stomach.

Ultimately, the greatest gift we can give other people is love, and sometimes this is in the form of forgiveness. Our cancel culture is a lot more harmful than people really seem to recognize. It is based on hate, rather than understanding or trying to gently teach someone how they can grow. This is ironic when the person at fault is being completely ripped apart by people who are trying to preach tolerance because the truth is, we don’t have to agree with someone to still show them love and forgiveness. Love is often the most powerful way to change people’s minds and help them see that maybe they still have some growing to do. Martin Luther King Junior said it best,

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

There is a reason he is one of the most quoted people in American history. He was incredibly wise and someone who changed countless lives through exhibiting love in all that he did. He made peaceful protesting an art, and made an absolutely enormous impact on the world through his kindness and controlling his emotions well. He is someone who had every right to feel angry and frustrated and lash out, but he taught us that you can really get through to people by showing patience and love in your arguments.

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By living in a society based on canceling people who have made mistakes, we are essentially saying that unless someone is absolutely perfect, we will not accept them as worthy of having an opinion to share. This is problematic in so many ways. Not only does the cancel culture hurt people who have messed up, but it is ultimately scaring beautifully creative minds from sharing their talents and ideas with the world. Bright minds are now afraid to speak up because they know at one point or another that they don’t have a perfect past and have been wrong about something. In reality we all have, but it’s often a whole lot easier being critical of someone else than it is judging ourselves. It’s often merely a matter of who has unintentionally documented their mistakes on whether their career will thrive or completely tank before it even begins. There’s a difference between the past and present, and there is a difference between a one-time isolated incident, and being consistent in acting some kind of way. At the end of the day if we choose to hate every person for their uninformed past, we are going to miss out on some really amazing human beings. I hope we can move to a point where we can gently correct people, rather than tear them down with the insults and hatred that is so easily accessed with the invisibility of the Internet.

Opinions on The Internet

I’m kind of terrified to write about anything that could be remotely considered an opinion these days. The Internet is an amazing, but scary place. You can find information on any given topic and no matter how rare you feel like something about you is, 99% of the time you see person after person who has that in common with you. The computer is a fantastic place to connect people with one another, to rally around each other for causes or through hardships, and feel less alone in this big world. It’s a great way to gain knowledge and learn how to be more empathetic, and can be an incredible tool to help others.

I think most people are good and mean well. We all want to make the world a better place, we just sometimes have different ways of getting there. The biggest thing I see people fight about online is politics, but I’ve seen vicious arguments about something as trivial as whether Chips Ahoy or Oreo cookies are better. I see Republicans and Democrats fighting right and left (No pun intended), name-calling and bashing each other for having different solutions on getting to a similar end goal. Each and every one of them thinks their plan is the best way to bring peace on Earth and end great amounts of suffering in the world — they just disagree on the practical steps it takes to get there. Instead of realizing that they are, in fact, on the same team, people yell at each other and resort to name-calling. Rather than wondering why someone might feel there is a different solution, people remain stubborn and set in their ways, and neglect to open their mind to other ideas. It’s really dangerous when we stop critical thinking and forget how to communicate effectively with others. 

Politics is the easiest example to give, but I clearly am not going to be starting a blog talking about current political events, so why should I feel worried about being attacked on here?

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I am afraid to write about my opinions because people on the Internet can be so darn mean about nothing. I see celebrities bullied on a daily basis just for sharing their lives with their fans, and I see well-intentioned posts by girls in Facebook groups get attacked because someone was offended by the way something was worded. Everyone wants to be a social justice warrior so damn badly that they forget the people they are tearing down are human beings with hearts and feelings too. It’s so ironic. In my mind, these people just have one type of person they feel compassion and empathy toward — those who think the exact same way that they do.

One of my favorite quotes by Martin Luther King Jr is,

“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”

Another great one is,

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

If you want to talk about tolerance and love, the first step is to be tolerant and loving. This means loving even those who are wrong.

MLK Jr is someone who truly understands what it’s like to be treated poorly, but chooses kindness anyway. He was a pioneer who changed life drastically for people who were not being treated well. He isn’t known for being offensive, rude, or condescending — rather, he is known for being kind and compassionate, even when he had every right not to be. He was the King of peaceful protests, and fought seamlessly for what was right while remaining calm and respectful. I think we could learn a lot from the way he handled conflict and injustice.

The truth of it is, we live in one of the most unforgiving times ever. A tweet from an angsty teenage version of someone ten years ago can completely destroy a career, a “like” on Instagram can lead to death threats, and voicing your opinion can be one of the scariest and bravest things you possibly do, especially if it is unpopular.

If the world keeps moving this way I think we’re going to miss out on so many creative minds. A world like this doesn’t promote creative thinking, rather it screams that you need to fit into a certain mold to be accepted and loved. I believe bullying is one of the worst things human beings are capable of doing, and I think there are so many online bullies who have absolutely no idea that they’re actually the ones who are being cruel. I’d love to see people ask more questions and find out why someone perceives the world differently than they do. Instead of trying to cram ideas down someone’s throat, find out why they believe what they do and have a civil conversation about it. Agreeing to disagree is what makes America such a great nation, and I hate seeing this notion getting flushed down the toilet with the age of the Internet. Great things will start happening when we learn to work with each other, rather than choosing to focus on and fight about our differences.

Behind The Scenes Vs. Highlight Reels

One of my last posts was all about comparison when it comes to body image, but today I want to talk about comparing your love life to others’. Valentine’s Day was just a few days ago, and I absolutely loved seeing all the posts with pretty things, sweet words, and romantic gestures. I also always look forward to the single posts about treating yourself or having friends as Valentines. It has been my favorite holiday since exchanging little notes and mini candy bars in grade school, and I prepare for the holiday the same way many do for Christmas.

This year Valentine’s Day fell on a really bad day for me. I had a bunch of doctor’s appointments, including an evening one that went until 7:30, and I didn’t have much of an idea of when I would be finished beforehand. Since I knew I would be absolutely exhausted, I told Robert I wanted to keep things low key and that we’d just have to play things by ear the evening of and do something for Valentine’s the following weekend.

As the day went on, though, and I kept seeing how people were celebrating I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of jealousy. Ahhhh, no, I thought. Am I really starting to compare my day to what I am seeing on social media? I’ve always been pretty level-headed when it comes to taking everything I see with a grain of salt, but I guess my deep love for Valentine’s Day was beginning to get to me. It didn’t help that I had gotten bad news in the middle of the day (I have to protect the privacy of the person involved so will not be talking about it), so I was kind of cranky.

Poor Robert, I thought as I realized there wasn’t much of a chance he’d win the day.

I regretted my decision to not celebrate on Tuesday, and although I was genuinely happy for my friends who were going on super-fun dates that night, I wished that would be me too. I wished I would have canceled one of my appointments, and I wished I would’ve just chosen to have a normal day of celebrating, rather than feeling sick after my physical therapy appointment. I had become the girl we all giggle at — the one who says not to worry about doing anything, but doesn’t really mean it. Yes, I had meant it at the time, but who would have thought my mind would change so fast?! Oh, that’s right. Anyone who has been in this situation before would have known. Now I know what that “crazy” girl feels like and why people always advise guys to ignore whatever they say. There was a hilarious episode of The Kane Show on Valentine’s Day about guys who listened to their girlfriends about not wanting to celebrate this year, and then regretted it because the girls all of a sudden flipped a switch and wanted to do something. Apparently I was not the only one.

Anyway, I wanted to talk about this because my Valentine’s Day post got over 100 likes (Which is a decent amount for my social media accounts), and everyone knows I have a boyfriend and am not celebrating alone this year. From an outsiders perspective, I have it all going for me, and I was one of the people who had the “perfect Valentine’s Day.”

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The problem with our generation and social media is that we are comparing our own “behind the scenes” moments — hardships included — to other people’s highlight reels.

We have these expectations of life that are completely unrealistic because we are so used to seeing perfection in the online world around us. Life is not perfect, nor is love. They are both beautiful, but a big part of that is learning to love one another through the imperfections and rough patches.

Now, just to be clear, Robert did take me out to dinner and did give me a very sweet Valentine’s Day present. One thing I do really love about him is that he treats me so well every day of the year, so I do think he’s hard to beat for a special occasion. This post isn’t at all bashing the evening we had together, rather I am trying to make a point that you absolutely cannot compare your own very real life to the lives you see crafted online.

Today’s lesson: I said it in my last post, and I’ll say it again. “Comparison is the thief of joy” (–Theodore Roosevelt). The more you can live in the present and focus on yourself, the more you will learn to feel content with what you have, rather than longing for things you do not have.

Facebook Is Actually The Bomb.com

Breakups are hard enough on their own, but when you keep seeing your ex everywhere you go it makes things a lot more difficult. That’s why social media can be tough. Regardless of whether or not you are seeing your ex at work or school, you definitely don’t need him in your house or at the gym with you too!

One thing that can be really dangerous these days, though, is social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and all of those pesky sites can make forgetting about your ex and moving forward with your life a real pain in the butt.

Somehow I’ve never really had a big problem with this when dealing with breakups, though, so wanted to share some of my insight and advice.

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First, block your ex on everything you can possibly think of. Block him from texting and calling you, block him on Facebook (don’t just unfriend — block. Blocking is better because you will not see him on any of your mutual friends’ pages and you won’t be able to send each other messages). Block on Instagram, Twitter, whatever else is out there. As I mentioned in a Facebook status awhile ago, you may need to do it on strange sites you wouldn’t even think of like Spotify and Venmo.

Second, get a bestie to come over and clean up all of your social media that might have things with him left over. For example, I had my best friend save a bunch of sweet voicemails from him “just in case, [we got back together].” I realized pretty shortly after that I wouldn’t need them back, but at the time it is a little easier deleting things when you can get them back again if you want them. Then she “unfollowed” a lot of his close friends and family on my Facebook for me, and untagged our most recent pictures together so I wouldn’t accidentally see any of them pop up anytime soon.

Third, box up all of his stuff, then shove it in the attic! If you’re not fortunate enough to have a tucked away attic you can get creative and use a closet, a cabinet, or whatever else you won’t be seeing at all in your everyday life. For me, this was the guest room. Do not contact your ex asking if they want any of their stuff back — this is just opening a door you do not need and offering another opportunity for both of you to get hurt. You gave him things, just as he gave you some — the only item you are ever really obligated to give back is an engagement ring. If you don’t have that, just call it even and move on.

Lastly, have an accountability buddy you can text whenever you feel like texting him. This has never a big problem for me, as I like to quit things cold-turkey. I do know, though, that even I would get reminders that would be hard or hurt, and enjoyed having a best friend to lean on when times were tough. She was someone I could cry to if I missed my ex, or just rely on her to have a little conversation about why it was good we broke up. Having someone to text instead of him is so important so that you don’t slip up! Real friends will understand this struggle and be more than happy to help — after all, they might need you for the exact same thing one day and will be grateful to you for listening.

Overall the best thing to do in a breakup is be kind and gentle with yourself, even if you do backslide. Ending any sort of relationship is hard, and good for you for deciding you didn’t want to settle for someone who isn’t right for you. Even if you were the one who got dumped, being strong and realizing that there was likely a pretty good reason for the breakup is a great start.