Monkeys and Mountains



The Best Places to See Monkeys in Central America

Central America is famous for its extensive jungles and forests, which also makes for exceptional homes for monkeys! In fact, connecting with nature is one […]

You can read the original article here: The Best Places to See Monkeys in Central America. Monkeys and Mountains | Adventure Travel Blog - Outdoor Adventures | Hiking Trips| Cycling Trips | Active Holidays


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Posted on 21 July 2016 | 2:52 pm

Indian Country



On a Scaffold to His Ancestors: Chief David Beautiful Bald Eagle Walks On

 “… I can remember everything: From horses and cart days right up until today; jet planes and computers....


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Posted on 29 July 2016 | 4:46 pm

Vancity



Tonight is the finale of the 2016 Honda Celebration of Light

Perhaps the most eagerly anticipated fireworks show in Vancouver history kicks off tonight at English Bay as Disney Parks Entertainment, representing Team USA takes to the air in the finale of the 2016 Honda Celebration of Light

The post Tonight is the finale of the 2016 Honda Celebration of Light appeared first on Hello Vancity.


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Posted on 30 July 2016 | 6:06 pm

List Verse



10 Fantastic Creatures From Medieval Bestiaries

Medieval bestiaries were hugely popular works that told the stories of not only animals, but also plants, rocks, and fantastic creatures that people living in Europe could only dream of. Most came out of the 12th and 13th centuries but took their inspiration from writers as far back as Isidore of Seville and Pliny. The […]

The post 10 Fantastic Creatures From Medieval Bestiaries appeared first on Listverse.


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Posted on 30 July 2016 | 7:01 am

The Fur Files



Loving Animals More Than Humans

This blog post was inspired by Sarah Silverman’s comedy special We Are Miracles in which she says – amidst a bunch of other awesome, off-the-wall things – something about the fact that if Africa were a land full of stray labradoodles, our desire to care for and/or help its inhabitants would be way higher. And […]

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Posted on 11 March 2014 | 9:21 pm

The Gate



Antoine Fuqua’s ‘The Magnificent Seven’ to open 41st TIFF

Antoine Fuqua's The Magnificent Seven will make it's world premiere this September at the 41st Toronto International Film Festival, Piers Handling, director and CEO of TIFF announced this morning during the first press conference for the TIFF 2016.

The post Antoine Fuqua’s ‘The Magnificent Seven’ to open 41st TIFF appeared first on The GATE.


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Posted on 26 July 2016 | 3:52 pm

Rabble



Buzzwords will not save us from climate disaster

read more


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Posted on 29 July 2016 | 5:42 pm

This hungry Kitten



Easy Chicken Shawarma Kebobs

My last post was almost a month ago! Life gets busy sometimes and finding moments to sit and reflect don’t come around often enough. I have been on a journey to better health, and it’s been wonderful! I think we’ve … Continue reading

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Posted on 10 July 2014 | 3:45 pm

The cat from Hell



Goodbye Dear Furrends

This is said with a heavy heart, but it is time to say goodbye. Wes has been blogging since August …

Continue reading


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Posted on 22 September 2015 | 4:28 pm

The Future Soon



Octopus killing a seagull - THE KRAKEN WAKES

Octopus killing a seagull off Ogden Point breakwater


I love octopuses. Smart, powerful, adaptive, and deadly.


These are the first ever photos of a Giant Pacific Octopus catching and killing a Glaucous-winged seagull.


And they provide two important lessons: One, always carry a camera with you because you may happen upon a scientifically important event. And two, keep an eye out for the unusual.


I loved finding and booking this story for my local CBC morning show, On The Island. 


Take a listen to Ginger Morneau, the woman who took these photos.
Here she is speaking with CBC On The Island host, Gregor Craigie.







And this is where I found this story.


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Posted on 3 May 2012 | 6:21 pm

Urban Toronto



CityPlace: Public Art Officially Unveiled at Quartz and Spectra

From the expressway, the coloured strata of Katharine Harvey's Gardiner Streams stare back at the nighttime traffic, transposing the banality of the road into a work of art. Installed in 2014, the glass artwork finds unexpected beauty in the headlights and taillights below it, becoming a prominent presence in the daily commute. Now, two years later, the completion of Concord's Quartz condominium—and the nearby Spectra—saw Harvey's wok officially unveiled alongside installations by Pierre Poussin and Adrian Göllner. 

Gardiner Streams, image by Justin HaneClose up view of Gardiner Streams, image by Justin Hane

For the Concord CityPlace community, the new installations attempt to bring vitality—and a sense of place—to a young neighbourhood where public art is already a prominent presence. Joining nearby works such as Douglas Cardinal's Canoe Landing Park and Eldon Garnet's Chinese Railroad Workers Memorial, the three new installations contribute to nurturing—and shapingthe neighbourhood's emerging identity.

Part of the Mitosis Courtyard seen below Gardiner Streams, image by Craig WhitePart of the Mitosis Courtyard seen below Gardiner Streams, image by Craig White

At ground level, Pierre Poussin's Variegation offers a variation on the artist's nearby Mitosis Courtyard (above, left). While the latter installation's blue world enlivens the previously desolate space under the Gardiner, Variegation takes on a sunnier site. Located directly across the street from Canoe Landing Park, Poussin's green clearing joins the landscaped pathway just north of Quartz, and figures in other locations around the site.

Variegation, image by Craig WhiteVariegation, image by Craig White

Inspired by the area's indigenous flora, Variegation offers a 'fossil' of natural heritage, bringing the conspicuously new neighbourhood into a playful dialogue with the rhythm of evolution. "On this very land, about 100,000 years ago, we would have been surrounded by thousands of small white flowers… clematis virginiana," says Poussin. A number of the laser-cut light columns also double as windscreens and benches, providing custom public seating that invites passerby to linger.

A closer view of Variegation, image by Craig WhiteA closer view of Variegation, image by Craig White

Hundreds of feet above, Göllner's Drift adds to the Warm By Night rooftop lighting program that characterizes the CityPlace skyline at night. As with their CityPlace counterparts, the glazing that encloses Quartz and Spectra's mechanical penthouses is lit up by LED installations. Commissioned as a CityPlace artist since the first towers were completed in 2001, Göllner's Warm By Night has grown with the neighbourhood, with each new building topped by a colourful display. 

LED lights top the towers, image by Craig WhiteLED lights top the towers, image by Craig White

While lighting the roof of a new condo is now a very common—and cost-effective—way of bringing personality to residential high-rises, the first CityPlace towers stood out against what was an almost overwhelmingly commercial skyline. "Concord was looking for a way to distinguish and define their towers against what was still a very corporate Downtown," Göllner explains, looking for colours that spoke to domesticity, adding that the older displays have since been upgraded with more efficient LED lights, which also allow for much greater visual variety.

Glowing penthouses are now a staple of the area, image by Craig WhiteGlowing penthouses are now a staple of the area, image by Craig White

Though Göllner's recent work follows a well-established precedent, Drift pushes the concept further, with the displays atop Quartz and Spectra programmed to cycle through colour tones at slightly different rates. If you watch for long enough, a slow dance unfolds above, with each tower seemingly reacting to its partner. 

Already established as an eye-catching CityPlace icon from the expressway to the south, Harvey's Gardiner Streams now begins its second life from the other side of the glass. The work is enclosed in 60 glass panels, spanning a width of 75 feet and a height of almost three storeys.

Gardiner Streams from the inside, image by Craig WhiteGardiner Streams from the inside, image by Craig White

"I like to take subject matter that people don't think is beautiful, and make it magical," says Harvey, adding that the image comes from photos taken of traffic on the Gardiner. For residents of the condo, Gardiner Streams bathes the indoor pool in soft and complex colour, enriching a recreational space that might otherwise suffer for its concrete and steel view. To the drivers on the other side, the figures walking by the pool emerge as shadowy silhouettes. 

Concord's latest installations were appointed in partnership with Toronto-based Public Art Management, who have overseen the art throughout the CityPlace community. We will keep you updated as CityPlace towers continue to rise, accompanied by new public art. In the meantime, make sure to check out our dataBase files, linked below. Want to share your thoughts? Leave a message in the space below this page, or join in the ongoing conversation in our associated Forum threads.


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Posted on 29 July 2016 | 9:00 pm

The Hook (B.C. News)



Body Cameras for Police, Urges Ex-MP (in National)

Yatim shooting shows officers too easily skew written reports, says Goldring.

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Posted on 29 July 2016 | 3:33 pm

The Greater Fool



A little screwed

Andrew just bought a condo in DT Calgary. Poor Andrew. Unlucky in love, now horny over property. “A few years ago my life changed and I stopped owning a house (along with a wife and a couple dogs, I really miss the dogs) but with my divorce winnings (I mean home equity buyout) I put […]

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Posted on 22 September 2015 | 9:39 pm

Vice.ca



An Exhibition of Seats Taken From Deadly Car Crashes

The eerie spectacle aimed to raise awareness of wearing a seatbelt.

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Posted on 30 July 2016 | 8:30 pm

Michael Geist



The Trouble with the TPP’s Copyright Rules

For the past two months, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has been publishing an exceptionally important series on the problems with Trans Pacific Partnership. I was pleased to participate in this initiative and yesterday the CCPA posted my contribution. The Trouble with the TPP's Copyright Rules draws on my earlier Trouble with the TPP series to highlight several of the copyright concerns associated with the agreement, including copyright term extension, the limited applicability of Canada's notice-and-notice rules, and the expanded criminalization of copyright law.

The post The Trouble with the TPP’s Copyright Rules appeared first on Michael Geist.


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Posted on 29 July 2016 | 1:00 pm

The Tyee / The Hook



Body Cameras for Police, Urges Ex-MP (in National)

Yatim shooting shows officers too easily skew written reports, says Goldring.

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Posted on 29 July 2016 | 3:33 pm

Straight.com



30 things to do in Metro Vancouver on Saturday, July 30

Keep busy with these events.

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Posted on 29 July 2016 | 9:00 pm

A View from the Edge



Merry Christmas!



I just want to take this opportunity to thank all of you
for following my blog. I have been blogging since 2005; 3 years on 
another site and 5 1/2 years on this site. I started the blog mainly as a
diary and for my friends and family to keep track of our doings and 
whereabouts when we decided to hit the road in our RV. We got off the
road in April 2012. I have decided to step away from blogging for awhile, if not
permanently. I have many ideas in my head for books, and, in fact, have started
a few of them! I am hoping to spend more time this new year on writing. I
might check in from time-to-time on your blogs; may not comment, but just to
see how you all are doing. I've made some good friends over the years through
blogging, and I know that we will stay in touch.

Have a WONDERFUL Christmas and a HAPPY and HEALTHY
New Year!

Love, Pat

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Posted on 22 December 2013 | 2:24 pm

Cottage Country Reflections



What goes there in the night: sphinx moths

More critters hosted by Eileen#137 I guess I grossed out a few people with my snake tale. As several blog buddies said, it is gruesome, in an eerie sort of fascination. Death is inevitable for all of us. I've had a discussion on Facebook, whether we need to show abused humans and animals when we make a point, or ask for money for fundraisers.  I think not. Anyone I know, even in cyberspace

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Posted on 30 July 2016 | 11:35 am

Margaret Wente



Hillary (mostly) hits her marks

To the extent that conventions matter any more, the Democrats had a triumphant week

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Posted on 29 July 2016 | 2:14 pm

Lauren Out Loud



HIATUS: LaurenOutLoud.com re-launching sometime, maybe, in the future

Tweet This Post

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Posted on 24 July 2014 | 6:54 pm

Rants n Rascals



DIY Instax Mini 8 Emoticon Photo Frame

Fujifilm Brand Publisher So for anyone who knows me, I’m in love with my Instax Mini 8 Camera by Fujifilm. Something about being able to take on the spot, ready now, hold in my hands photos like from when I was a kid using mom’s old Polaroid. It warms my heart. First you need a […]

The post DIY Instax Mini 8 Emoticon Photo Frame appeared first on Rants n' Rascals.


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Posted on 30 July 2016 | 3:23 pm

Bow. James Bow



The Long Game

I am amazed at this man’s dedication to his one art piece that has been evolving through the decades. I long to see it:...

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Posted on 29 July 2016 | 1:00 pm

A Toronto Blog



Carnival Grand Parade 2016

Toronto Caribbean Carnival brings the bold colours of Masquerade to Exhibition Place and Lake Shore Boulevard on Saturday, July 30 from 10am to 8pm. Fences along the parade route have been lowered from 10 to 4 feet so it should be easier to take photos of the dancers and floats.
"The Grand Parade continues to attract local, regional, national, and international attention by visitors and media as it is the highlight of the three-week Festival. This event continues to draw millions from all over the world to see the live performing street art year after year and on live streaming. After months of preparation, masqueraders in colourful and striking costumes wind their way from the assembly area at Exhibition Place along Lake Shore Boulevard. Admission applies to Exhibition Place where patrons have the opportunity to enjoy the parade of the Mas Bands. Masquerade bands end up in Exhibition Place where masqueraders can party until 8:00 pm. Guest bands, cultural bands and steel bands also participate in the parade. Guest bands start from the staging area within Exhibition Place and wind their way along Lakeshore Boulevard to disperse west of the Boulevard Club. Steel bands stage on Lakeshore Boulevard south of the All Stream Centre and also proceed along Lakeshore Boulevard to the Boulevard Club."
This is the first year without the sponsorship of Scotiabank (they really did bankroll quite a few community events in Toronto) and it was reported that they have a $2 million shortfall when the bank dropped out. The parade will still go on as they continue to scout out corporate sponsorship.

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Posted on 30 July 2016 | 7:00 am

Robyn Urbak on Campus



Revenge of the arts: Why a liberal arts education pays off

New uOttawa research challenges the age-old rhetoric around “soft skill” degrees

The post Revenge of the arts: Why a liberal arts education pays off appeared first on Macleans.ca.


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Posted on 26 July 2016 | 8:22 pm

Postcards From the Mothership



Photo of the day: Our annual Flavour Shack family portrait

Back in 2014 when we visited PEI for the first time, one of our favourite stops was Chef Michael Smith’s Flavour Shack on Souris Beach. We met a passel of lovely women who all seemed to work for Chef Michael in some form or another, and one of them was a photographer named Loretta. She […] Related posts (automatically generated):
  1. Photo of the day: Stalking Chef Michael Smith at the Flavour Shack
  2. Photo of the day: Basin Head beach
  3. Planning for PEI: Stalking Chef Michael Smith redux

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Posted on 25 July 2016 | 11:07 am

David Akins on the Hill



Trudeau government signals new course on Sri Lanka

During its time in office, the government of Stephen Harper had some serious problems with Sri Lanka for its government’s failure to address and investigate allegations of serious human rights violations and war crimes committed by the government against the minority Tamil population during the 2009 civil war. Read more here. The Harper government was […]

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Posted on 29 July 2016 | 12:52 pm

Dutch Blitz



Only The Lonely

My kids attend a sleep away camp every year and are gone for six nights straight. I know that many people rejoice for the parenting break that comes when their kids are away, and some have kids who go away for an entire summer (!), but I have to admit that it’s a little hard […]

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Posted on 18 July 2016 | 5:23 pm

Nik at Night



Game of Thrones 6.10: The Winds of Winter



And welcome to the final recap of season 6, and just as I was proclaiming last week's episode to be the best episode of Game of Thrones ever, they go and one-up themselves by bringing us the most insanely amazing and shocking episode we could have imagined. It was a super-sized episode with a super-sized recap to match (and the most glorious library EVER), so without any further ado, I'll let Chris start us off. 

Christopher: Game of Thrones has gotten us used to having a pretty spectacular penultimate episode, followed by a finale that is more about housekeeping than anything else, with perhaps one or two “Holy shit!” moments to prime us for the next season (see: Jon Snow, murder of). But I think it’s safe to say that this finale was wall-to-wall holy shit moments. To wit: Cersei blows up EVERYBODY real good; Tommen offs himself; Varys shows up in Dorne; Jon Snow’s lineage is CONFIRMED, and he’s named King in the North (much to Littlefinger’s, and possibly Sansa’s, dismay); Arya, having presumably left Braavos with a bunch of spare faces in her carry-on, feeds Walder Frey’s sons to him and cuts his throat; Daenerys finally sets sail for Westeros; and Cersei, dressed like every evil sorceress from every 80s fantasy film, is crowned the MOTHERFUCKING QUEEN OF WESTEROS.

All I can say is: enjoy it while you can, Cersei. Dragons a-comin’.



We begin with a rather lovely view of King’s Landing, as Cersei looks down from her rooms over the city, peering specifically at the Sept of Baelor. Then follows an interesting musical montage of several key individuals dressing (or in the case of everyone but the Sparrow, being dressed). Knowing as we do that Cersei and Loras’ trials are nigh, this sequence feels not unlike the sequence in a sports film when the athletes don their gear. It is, in essence, a pre-battle scene, except that two of the four people pictured do not show up: only the Sparrow (clad in what I assume is his formal burlap) and Margaery go to the sept. Tommen remains broodingly in his chambers, and Cersei is well into her morning wine.



I loved the use of music in this sequence. It was just this side of verging on overdone, but the rather anachronistic piano score lent the scenes a melancholic, almost dirge-like quality—especially when, as Lancel is stabbed, it changes from piano to pipe organ. And it’s worth noting that there was a lot more cutting between scenes than this show tends to employ: usually we have little parlor dramas that go on for five to ten minutes before cutting away to a different story. In this case however, we get the scene in the sept, Cersei in her chambers, Tommen in his, Pycelle’s murder, and Lancel’s discovery of the wildfire. All of which is brought together as we watch Cersei watch the Sept of Baelor go up in flames.

I should note that there is an interestingly tangential intersection with A Dance With Dragons in terms of Qyburn’s use of murderous children to do away with both Lancel and Pycelle. Two episodes ago, Varys departed from Meereen for unspoken reasons, referring cryptically to a “mission” he was undertaking. I, and presumably everyone else who has read the novels, speculated that perhaps he was heading to King’s Landing to stir the pot. Dance’s epilogue has Ser Kevan Lannister (who is a far more sympathetic character in the novels) cautiously optimistic: having done her walk of shame, Cersei seems properly contrite and sedate, and unlikely to rock the boat; and after a long period of unrest, things seem to be settling down in King’s Landing, and in the Seven Kingdoms more generally. He receives a message from Grand Maester Pycelle asking to see him, but when he arrives at his chambers he finds him dead. He is himself shot with a crossbow … shot by Varys, in the eunuch’s first appearance since he abetted Tyrion’s escape in A Storm of Swords, two novels ago.

Why has he killed Kevan? Because he was “threatening to undo all the queen’s good work,” by which he means Cersei’s catastrophic misrule that has continued the chaos of the war. In bringing stability, Kevan threatens to undermine Varys’ ultimate goal—the re-installation of Targaryen rule in Westeros. And while Varys has shot him with a crossbow, it is not the eunuch that deals the killing blow:

“Ser Kevan was cold as ice, and every labored breath sent a fresh stab of pain through him. He glimpsed movement, heard the soft scuffling sound of slippered feet on stone. A child emerged from a pool of darkness, a pale boy in a ragged robe, no more than nine or ten. Another rose up behind the Grand Maester’s chair. The girl who had opened the door for him was there as well. They were all around him, half a dozen of them, white-faced children with dark eyes, boys and girls together. And in their hands, the daggers.”

But as it turns out, Varys has gone to Dorne, to stir the pot in an entirely other fashion. More on that later.

Meanwhile, the children with daggers are in the employ of Qyburn, and visit death first upon Pycelle in a manner that very closely mirrors Ser Kevan’s death in Dance. Qybrurn’s apology, indeed, is almost identical to Varys’ in the novel. And one of the children lures Lancel away into the vaults in what is, unfortunately, a rather contrived sequence. Why does he follow the child? What does he care if some urchin runs down the cathedral steps? His task, after all, is to go and bring Cersei, kicking and screaming if necessary, to her own trial. I have to imagine this is a task he relishes. But no, he follows the kid down into the basement of the sept, only to discover that part of Bran’s wildfire vision was not of the past, but the future.

Margaery, meanwhile, gets the screaming heebie-jeebies when Cersei doesn’t show, and when she attempts to share her fears with the Sparrow, is condescendingly mansplained to. It is unthinkable to him to end or postpone the trial—this, after all, is his moment of triumph. He has cowed and humbled two great houses, robbing one of its heir; he makes it clear that he’s entirely prepared to level judgment on Cersei whether she shows up or not.



And then … BOOM.

What did you think of this episode’s opening, Nikki?



Nikki: I’ve often referred to episodes of television that cause one to feel all kinds of emotions (sorry, I can’t bring myself to use the term “all the feels”) as the best kinds of rollercoasters. But if other TV episodes are rollercoasters, this is the Leviathan. I don’t recall ever screaming, gasping, and throwing my hands up in the air as often as I did with this one. There were no tears, so I guess that would be the only thing it was lacking, but to use the word “lacking” with any part of this episode would be nitpicking in the extreme. I think the episode was damn near perfect.

In the previous episode, as Daenerys talked about burning her city down, Tyrion calmly reminded her that her father had once stuffed all of King’s Landing’s underground tunnels with wildfire, and that the reason her father was truly the Mad King is that he was willing to burn to death every man, woman, and child, every innocent person in the way, just to get to the few people he wanted to kill. Only a truly mad person would do such a thing. I wondered why they were repeating this story — just last season he told the same story to Daenerys as the two of them sat across a table and he explained what her father was really like, and how in her quest to become queen she must never, ever be like him. And now I realized they needed that story fresh in our minds, because as Tyrion is warning Daenerys about her father planting the explosives in the first place, it never even occurs to him that his own sister might be the one to use it.



And use it she does. My GOD when Lancel looked up and I saw the glowing green goop on the ground I dropped my pen and gasped aloud. “WILDFIRE!!!” And immediately the consequences of the action — before it had even been set off — were in my head. She’s going to kill everyone in the Sept of Baelor. A few episodes ago Cersei was told that the “little birds” had returned and that the rumours were true. What rumours, we wondered. And now it would appear the little birds found all that wildfire under the city, and from that point on, Cersei has been planning this.



Now, I will admit to some, um, stupidity on my part. It never occurred to me that the sept and the castle were in two completely different locations — for some reason I always pictured them as adjacent to one another. They always seem to be in their chambers, then say, “Walk with me” in an Aaron Sorkin sort of way and then... they’re in the sept. I thought the buildings were pretty much attached. And yet now I realize well DUH, Cersei had to have done her walk of atonement from the sept to the castle, and therefore they must be in two different spots. But I never realized they were THAT far apart. That was one longwalk of atonement.

I also had a horrifying moment when the Mountain stopped Tommen in his doorway that Cersei — bedecked in her black dress as if vying for the role of Evil Queen in some King’s Landing Disney musical production — had actually ordered her own son’s death in retaliation for him removing her right to choose a champion and have a trial by combat. And I was baffled: no matter what Tommen would do, she would NEVER kill one of her children. They mean everything to her. Of course, she wasn’t going to kill Tommen — she was just going to destroy him emotionally and psychologically, and kill everyone he ever loved. No big.



We go from the wildfire killing everyone and everything to Cersei waterboarding a nun (or maybe “wineboarding” would be the more accurate word), and I couldn’t help but think, “Cersei, seriously, you’re OK with wasting all that wine?” The only person worse than Cersei in this scene is Septa Unella, who has been a hateful, horrible character from the moment we first saw her. Despite everything Cersei had done, watching Unella ring that bell and shouting, “Shame!” in that holier-than-thou voice of hers put our sympathies with a Lannister, and for that alone, she should be punished. Cersei tells her to confess that she enjoyed torturing Cersei, before Cersei happily lists all of her favourite things. And no, they don’t include whiskers on kittens or snowflakes that stay on her nose and eyelashes.
           
I drink because it feels good to be drinking
            I killed my husband because he was stinking
            I fucked my brother and clipped Sparrow’s wings,
            These are a few of my favourite things!

But she can’t reach Unella and her piousness. The nun just looks at her smugly and says she’s ready to meet her god. To which Cersei has a hearty chuckle, and in lumbers Ser Gregor Clegane. I was chatting about what to expect in this week’s episode with another parent at my son’s soccer game last week, and both of us thought they were going to show the Mountain’s face this week. I didn’t want to see it; he totally did. “This is Ser Gregor Clegane,” says Cersei as she walks out, leaving Septa Unella to untold amounts of torture. “He is your god now.” And with the tiniest bit of joy she can muster, Cersei begins chanting, “Shame! Shame! Shame!” as she shuts the door.

And we cut to Tommen looking out over the city. You mentioned the gorgeous score in this episode, Chris, and because it’s so different than the music we heard before, you’re right in that it stands out a lot. It was gorgeous. But in this scene, there’s no music whatsoever — the only score is the screaming coming from the streets below as green smoke billows out of the Sept of Baelor. Which is why no one was prepared for what happened next. When Tommen removes his crown and turns to leave, the camera holds on the window for what seems like too long a time, I suddenly gasped in horror about two seconds before Tommen came back into view, realizing exactly what was going to happen. It’s a horrifying moment, and he acts quickly before he can think his way out of it. And there’s no heightened drama in the moment at all — no music, no sound effects, no opening of his arms and screaming, nothing. He simply walks back to the window, steps up onto the windowsill, and falls forward silently, like a log.



His mother has just killed his wife without a second thought. And his wife’s father and brother. And the High Sparrow and the acolytes — to which Tommen had just pledged his fealty. He loved Margaery, even if she didn’t love him, and he was willing to change his entire belief system to match hers. And now he realizes his mother is a monster. That his personal happiness doesn’t mean anything to her because if she doesn’t like someone, she will have them killed. It doesn’t matter if it happens to be Tommen’s beloved wife.

And with that, Cersei has lost all three of her children. Joffrey died because he was a sadistic tit, but he had always been that way, urged on by Cersei, who never said no to him and who encouraged his evil ways. Myrcella died because Cersei made the ill-fated decision to have the Mountain squash Oberyn’s head like a melon, and it forced Ellaria to wreak her revenge on Cersei in the most painful way. And now Tommen, her youngest, who was just a kindergartner when this whole story began, is gone. All their deaths were caused by her desire for power, but we know she would do anything for her children. They’re all gone. How does a mother continue after this? What is there left to even live for? Any piece of humanity that Cersei had left in her body went out the window with Tommen, and her heart is nothing but a sliver of flint now. She wept and screamed and raged at Joffrey’s death. She cried quietly when Myrcella died and wondered if she’d just lost the only thing that reminded her she was a good person. And now, with Tommen’s death, she bears it without even changing her demeanour. “Burn him and bury his ashes where the sept once stood,” she says.

And all of THAT, our dear readers, was just the opening of the episode. Jeepers. The only downside to all of this? Now we’ll never know what Margaery had been planning all this time. But one thing’s for sure: Grandma Tyrell is gonna be pissed.

And now we’re back over to Riverrun and Walder Frey, who is aligned with the Lannisters. (Snicker.) What did you think of Jaime and Bronn’s verbal sparring here, Chris?

Christopher: It was a lot different on rewatching as I realized that the girl Bronn’s initially ogling, whom he assumes is all hot and bothered for Jaime, is actually Arya in disguise. The first time around, the scene was just vaguely annoying—I love Bronn as a character except when he goes all frat-boy—but the second time around the coy look the serving girl gives Jaime is vaguely chilling. Knowing that’s Arya, in my head I was imagining her calculation: “Can I kill Walder Frey AND the Kingslayer? Nah, best to stick with Frey. Jaime was never on my list.” That little shiver up Jaime’s back is his lizard brain being suddenly grateful that Arya doesn’t know he shoved Bran out a window.


I’m beginning to think that the worst fate in Westeros is to be born a Frey, as it seems to entail being congenitally petty, incompetent, and jealous of other people’s successes. Walder Frey’s little speech at the beginning of this scene is quite possibly the most insufferable bit of oration we’ve heard in this series, and I’m including all of Joffrey’s pronouncements. His suggestion that from this day forth, everyone in that room should accompany killing blows to their enemies with the words “The Freys and the Lannisters send their regards!” is a bit of piggybacking self-aggrandizement that would make Erlich from Silicon Valley blush.

(Walder Frey is one of those characters I can insult just because of whom he played in another fantasy franchise. During his speech I kept thinking, “Oh, just shut the fuck up Argus Filch, you fucking squib wizard wannabe”).

Jaime is quite obviously unimpressed. Wait, did I say unimpressed? I think I mean he would sooner cut off his other hand and use it to gouge out his eyes than listen to another word from Walder Frey. But these are the tasks nobility drops on the 1%, I suppose. His indifference to Bronn’s frat-boy banter is one indicator of his desire to be Anywhere But Here. He manages to divest himself of Bronn by being wing-man extraordinaire, but must immediately regret his helpfulness when Bronn’s seat is immediately taken by none other than Frey the Elder himself.



I loved Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in this scene. I think he’s done a fantastic job of realizing Jaime Lannister anyway, but in this moment he’s the audience’s proxy, radiating contempt for this useless cocknapkin of a lord, and finally expressing what we’re all thinking throughout the scene: precisely what fucking use ARE you, Walder Frey? The expression on his face as Frey tries to equate himself with Jaime is priceless. “Here we are now. Two kingslayers! We know what it’s like to have them grovel to our faces, and snigger behind our backs. We don’t mind, do we? Fear! It’s a marvelous thing.” If we recall Jaime’s account of what led him to kill the Mad King, it’s a bit of miraculous self-control that he doesn’t just beat Frey to death with his golden hand. Instead, he settles for pointing out that no one fears the Freys—they fear the Lannisters, and if the Lannisters have to ride north to recapture the Riverlands every time the Freys lose them, “then why do we need you?”

We cut from a discomfited Walder Frey to Sam, Gilly, and Little Sam as they arrive at Oldtown—which is a moment probably somewhat more poignant for readers of the novels, as this ancient southern city has been imbued with so much myth and legend and significance. It is the site of the Citadel, the university (basically) that trains maesters, as well as being one of the oldest cities in all of Westeros. It’s worth noting that as Sam and Gilly arrive, they see a flight of white birds leaving the city—one of which we later see gliding into Winterfell. Theses are the white ravens, which in the GoT world are sent from the Citadel when the Maesters agree that yes, in fact, winter has arrived.

I loved this scene, as Sam’s first view of the Citadel’s library is essentially book lovers’ porn. I remember having a similar expression to Sam’s the first time I walked into the Robarts Library Rare Books Collection at U of T … except that the stacks there are far less impressive than what CGI has done for the Citadel. I also loved that Sam’s nascent feminism founders on the shoals of books. “No women or children!” the functionary at the desk thunders at Gilly, and Sam’s expression—in which apology wars with excitement—is priceless. “Sorry, babe. I’d express solidarity with you, but … BOOKS!”

I hope that next season we just cut from whatever momentous events are happening to Sam reading an ever-growing stack of books. Just a few seconds. DRAGONS LAYING WASTE TO LANNISTERS! Sam reading. WHITE WALKERS ASSAULTING THE WALL! Sam reading. CERSEI DRINKING WINE! Sam reading.

Repeat as necessary, GoT writing room. You’re welcome.



We then cut to of those white ravens Sam and Gilly see (Jeebus, these birds fly as fast as Yara’s ships can sail) gliding down to Winterfell. Jon is having a bit of difficulty adjusting to his new position, observing to Melisandre that he was never permitted to sit at the high table during feasts. “It could have been worse, Jon Snow,” she points out. “You had a family. You had feasts.” Good observation, murderous red woman! It’s that kind of common-sense advice we’ll miss because you thought it was a good idea to burn the innocent child of the would-be king whom you thought, erroneously, was the child of prophecy.

How awesome was Liam Cunningham in this scene? Twelve years ago I saw Much Ado About Nothing at Shakespeare in the Park in New York, with Sam Waterston as Leonato. The speech he delivers to Claudio, in which he accuses Claudio of essentially killing his daughter, Hero, from grief, was spoken with such spitting, shuddering, barely contained rage that even sitting in the back row I felt it in my bones. That’s what I thought of while watching Davos put Melisandre on the spot. “If he commands you to burn children, your lord is evil!” You know what? That’s a fantastic rule of thumb when it comes to choosing your deity. “I loved that girl!” Davos thunders. “Like she was my own! She was good, she was kind, and you KILLED her!” Honestly, my heart was breaking in these moments. Davos has lost everything—his sons, his family, the man he believed should be king. And he’s lost Shireen, the little girl who taught him to read and who might have given Lyanna Mormont a run for her precocious money.



In a promising moment of wise compromise, Jon Snow sends her south. He can’t ignore the fact that he’s only alive because of Melisandre, but he also cannot ignore the enormity of her trespass. I doubt Davos thinks it sufficient, but it’s a good first gesture for the man who’ll become the King in the North by the end of the episode.

Jon watches her ride away from the battlements, and is joined by Sansa, who addresses the fact that she hadn’t shared her communications with Littlefinger with him. In our last post, I said that Sansa’s omission was bad writing; others have suggested that Sansa is actually far more savvy and ruthless than I was giving her credit for. What did you think of her apology, re: Knights of the Vale, Nikki?

Nikki: First I just have to concur that Sam walking into that room of infinite books almost made me forget every other moment of the entire series. If you get to choose your heaven where you will spend all of eternity, the showrunners just gave everyone a glimpse of mine. I pictured Gilly and little Sam sitting out in the waiting room for YEARS as little Sam grows up, hits puberty, moves out of the Citadel, all while Sam Tarly just stood in that same spot, mouth agape, staring at the wonder and beauty that surrounded him. And Chris, I thought EXACTLY the same thing when I saw it: I had the same reaction you did when I walked into the Robarts Rare Book room (maybe you and I were in the same bibliography class?) and when they pulled out the original Shakespeare folio I thought I was going to faint. I remember putting on the gloves to slowly turn the pages of a first edition of Dickens, and my eyes kept glancing upwards at all of the stacks of books around me all the time. GLORIOUS.



People always imagine what character they’d want to be on Game of Thrones. In that moment, it was clear to me: I want to be Samwell Tarly.



But now back over to our Sansa. Yes, you said Sansa’s omission was bad writing, others said it was just more evidence of Sansa’s stupidity and that Rickon’s death was on her head, while I held my ground that we all know Littlefinger is a complete dick so why are we assuming that Sansa knew he was coming and that sheis the bad guy? And of course this scene didn’t really answer anything. All she said is that she’s sorry she didn’t tell him, but she didn’t elaborate what there was to tell: that she’d sent the raven to Littlefinger? That she’d gotten a raven back saying he was coming? That she knew all along or that it was a mere possibility? Either way, Jon is clearly far more forgiving than the fans, and has a much longer memory and knows they’re stronger as a family than breaking apart. He knows what his sister has been through, and he knows that where he was shuffled off to the Wall, she was betrothed to Joffrey, mocked by the court, ridiculed by Cersei, watched her own father’s execution, became a prisoner, thought she would die at the Battle of Blackwater, heard of the deaths of her mother and brother, assumed Arya was dead, was married to a monster against her own will, escaped at the last minute before she could be executed for standing nearby while Joffrey died, was brought to the Eyrie and was there when her aunt died, had creepy Uncle Baelish come on to her, then was shuffled off to House Bolton where she discovered what a REAL monster was and where her memories of Winterfell would forever be tarnished, thought her two brothers had been murdered, was raped and beaten repeatedly before finding the fortitude to escape, found out what her ward/brother had gone through at the hands of Ramsay, escaped through the snow chased by Ramsay’s dogs, and THEN was reunited with Jon. So yeah, she’s been through some stuff, and while the men have been trained in weaponry and war from the moment they were big enough to pick up a wooden sword, she was trained in embroidery and how to curtsey, and yet by osmosis this little girl has grown into a woman who can help strategize against the enemy.



In that moment he realized the fault was as much his as it was hers — she didn’t tell him about Littlefinger, and he didn’t listen to her when he should have. He tells her they have to trust each other, because right now, they’re all the other one has. He tells her that he’s going to have the lord’s room made up for her — she should have the chamber that had previously been occupied by Ned and Catelyn. She says he should have the room, because he’s the lord. (It wasn’t clear to me if their chamber was the same one in which Ramsay had repeatedly raped her — if it was, I can imagine it’s not a room she’s keen on having.) He shakes his head and says no, he can’t, because he’s not a Stark. “You are to me,” she says, and for all they know, she’s the last surviving Stark, and if she says he’s a Stark, he’s a Stark. (Even though we know he’s also something else, but more on that later.) She tells him that a white raven has come from the Citadel: “Winter is here.”

I don’t know about you, but that line elicited a gasp from me that was as loud as anything else in the episode. For SIX YEARS we’ve heard that “Winter is coming,” which was something Ned Stark said all the time. And it seemed like it would never come — it was just that thing that everyone warned about, but I started to wonder if the show would end with winter still on the horizon. Here come the white walkers.

But as the snowflakes swirl in the air above Winterfell, we now move to Dorne, where Lady Olenna is dressed all in black, showing us that she knows, and she is FURIOUS. And she’s gone to the one place where she knows she has a bunch of women with a SERIOUS beef against the Lannisters, and most importantly, Cersei. Olenna has never hidden her disdain for Cersei Lannister, as if she knew if House Tyrell ever had a downfall, it would be at Cersei’s hand. But of all the Tyrells Cersei killed, she left the most powerful one still standing, which is her biggest mistake. 



As I said earlier, everything that has happened to Cersei happened because of her own mistakes — the deaths of her children, the rise of the High Sparrow — and two of the three children died because someone took revenge on them to get back at Cersei. And in the case of the first child, it was Lady Olenna who did it. And now she’s back. She can’t come at Cersei through her children, so she needs to think bigger. Cersei took away her future — she killed her son and both grandchildren. What does Cersei have left? King’s Landing and Westeros. OK, let’s take that from her. Ellaria looks at Olenna (who is not threatened one bit by the Sand Snakes, telling them to shut the hell up and telling Elbara she looks like an angry little boy) and tells her that she will give Olenna her heart’s desire. “And what is my heart’s desire?” asks Olenna, with an eyeroll and a pfft. “Vengeance,” says Ellaria.

“Justice.”

Varys.

Last week the soccer dad and I were discussing where Varys could have gone, and we both agreed it was Dorne. If he basically lives to see Daenerys Stormborn take back Westeros, who are the people who hate Cersei the most? Who are powerful enough to topple empires like they did in Dorne? Who are, like Daenerys, women? (Her alliances now are with the Sand Snakes and Yara Greyjoy.)

“Fire and blood,” he says as he emerges from the shadows, all Doctor Evil–like. And...



We cut to the fire: Daenerys Targaryen. Guys, it is ALL COMING TOGETHER!!! Daenerys is making her plans to go to Westeros, and tells Daario that he has to stay to keep peace in Meereen, but he’s having none of it. And she’s having none of him having none of it. She holds her ground and tells him she needs to think politically now, and needs to marry someone with power to gain power, but Daario loves her fiercely, and won’t let her go. She just stares at him coolly and tells him his instructions are awaiting him, there shall be no more dalliances with this dragon. It’s a heartbreaking scene, mostly because of the lack of emotion she shows and Daario having nothing but emotion. He blames Tyrion, and she says this isn’t Tyrion, it’s her decision (it’s Tyrion’s) and Daario pleads with her. “Let me fight for you,” he says. But Tyrion knows Daenerys really does have a single-minded purpose, and Cersei didn’t: Cersei wanted the power, but she loved her children so much she allowed her enemies to get at her through them. When you love someone, they will become your greatest weakness. And Daenerys can’t afford any weaknesses right now. “You’ll get the throne,” says Daario. “I hope it brings you happiness.” He tells her that he pities the lords of Westeros right now, for they have no idea what’s coming for them.



She shows far more emotion with Tyrion, and tells him that she just said goodbye to a man she loved and felt nothing. And we realize what she just didn’t wasn’t some tough love act to save Daario’s life — she truly never loved him the way he loved her. Tyrion says this is all happening right now: all she’s ever wanted are ships, armies, and dragons, and now she has all of them. “You’re in the great game now,” he tells her. “And the great game is terrifying.”

And then, like Spike to Buffy in the penultimate episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, he looks at her and tells that he’s never believed in anything in his life. He was taught to believe in certain gods, in family, in power, in the monarchy, in the military, in his father, in his brother and sister, even in himself, and believing in any of those things never got him anywhere. “And yet, here I am,” he says. “I believe in you. It’s embarrassing, really... I’d swear you my sword, but... I don’t actually have a sword.” And with that she makes him the Hand of the Queen, even pinning the brooch on him that Ned Stark wore back in season one. The pin didn’t get Ned anywhere positive. And when Tyrion himself wore it as Joffrey’s Hand, things were just as bad. But he’s not following Robert Baratheon, or Joffrey Baratheon — he’s the Hand of Daenerys Stormborn, a woman who has shown herself to be an excellent leader, and who has learned to listen to her advisors, which is something no other monarch in Westeros has done in recent memory. He looks genuinely touched, and bows before her.



And from there we cut to Walder Frey eating what looks to be a delicious pie! How much were you squeeing in this scene, Chris??

Christopher:  Squeeing and throwing up a little in my mouth. That finger in the pie didn’t look like it had been washed. That’s how you end up with the Norwalk virus, you know.



It occurs to me that Arya’s actually done a pretty impressive job of checking the names off her death list. A man wonders if she’ll be the one to finally take Cersei off the board? Wouldn’t that piss off Olenna and the Dorne women!

There isn’t much to say about this scene aside from how perfect it is. As revenge killings go, it’s almost as satisfying and poetic as Ramsay’s. Walder Frey spent his long life obsessed with the status of his family, creating many Freys with his succession of young wives, to the point where he’s not sure if the serving girl is his daughter. And when he is assured that she is not, he proceeds to be gross and gropey. Ick. That just kind of puts the cherry on the vengeance cake, though, as the random girl he feels so entitled to take liberties with fools him into literally eating his family legacy before revealing the face of a Stark Who Got Away. It’s particularly satisfying that he dies while sitting in the very same seat from which he presided over the Red Wedding.

A lot of viewers have expressed dissatisfaction with Arya’s sojourn in Braavos. Two seasons worth of apprenticeship to the Faceless Men, only to finally reject them and head home? Isn’t that just a whole lot of wasted storyline? I must admit, I felt a little like this myself … until this moment. If the payoff of the Braavos storyline is that Arya becomes an uber-assassin who starts knocking off Stark enemies, starting with the man who killed her mother and brother, then I say that was time well spent. It’s almost a little sad that Joffrey is no longer around for her to kill.



From one Stark daughter to the other, we cut from Arya’s satisfied smile to the Winterfell godswood, where Littlefinger finds Sansa hanging out under the weirwood tree, reflecting on all the times as a child she’s prayed to be elsewhere. She’s come full circle, returning to one of the sites of her childhood, and in this moment we see how much she has grown, learned, and matured. She has certainly learned enough not to trust Littlefinger. “What do you want?” she asks him, and he responds with one of the more shocking revelations of the season. “Every time I’m faced with a decision,” he tells her, “I close my eyes and see the same picture. Every time I consider an action, I ask myself: will this action help to make this picture a reality? Pull it out of my mind and into the world? And I only act if the answer is yes.” As he speaks he leans in closer to her, his voice dropping conspiratorially, suggesting that he’s about to confess his love and desire for Sansa. But what is the picture in his head? “A picture of me on the Iron Throne, and you by my side.”



Wow. I’m not surprised or shocked that Littlefinger’s end game will be a play for the crown; I’m gobsmacked that he would say it out loud, and make clear his overweening ambition to Sansa. We’ve always known, as Varys once put it, that Littlefinger would watch the world burn if he could be king over the ashes, but it seems at least a little presumptuous to declare as much when there’s really no path for him to claim the throne outside of outright conquest.

Sansa has learned enough to take everything he says with a boatload of salt, and the moment she pushes him away when he goes in for the kiss made me cheer almost as much as I did when Arya pulled off her disguise. He might have told her that the picture in his head includes her at his side, but Sansa knows too well by now that if he had a choice between the Iron Throne but no Sansa, or Sansa but no Iron Throne, you wouldn’t get the sentence out before he plunked his arse down on the ugly old chair. “It’s a pretty picture,” she says dismissively, and when he points out that he has very publicly allied himself with House Stark, she says, “You’ve declared for other houses before, Lord Baelish. It’s never stopped you from serving yourself.”

I think it’s safe to say that this is the season in which Sansa came into her own (and I may or may not have said “You go, girl!” when she tells him off), but Petyr Baelish is not so easily ignored. “Who should the North rally behind?” he asks her. “The trueborn daughter of Ned and Catelyn Stark of Winterfell? Or a motherless bastard born in the south?” Sowing the seeds of dissension already … I have a feeling that next season will see a lot of that sort of thing.

Maybe Arya will arrive and take care of him.

We then cut to “the motherless bastard born in the south” by way of a quick scene far to the north as Benjen brings Meera and Bran to the Wall. He cannot pass the Wall, he tells them, as it has ancient spells carved into its foundations. “And while it stands,” he says, “the dead cannot pass.” Which raises an interesting question for the coming war: will we see the destruction of the Wall when the Night King and his minions come south in force? Because if they’re just kind of stymied by the Wall, standing there saying “Well, fuck,” that would be a bit anticlimactic.

But having arrived at a weirwood tree, Bran is like an impatient binge-watcher who’s been away from the DVR too long, and just has to get back to the interrupted story of his father. “I’m the Three-Eyed Raven now,” he tells Meera, “I have to be ready for this,” but really, he’s just saying “Let me get back to my stories already!”



Which, let’s admit it, is what we were all thinking, and what we have been thinking since Bran first had his vision of the Tower of Joy. FINALLY, we basically have confirmation of the most pervasive fan theory about Jon Snow’s parentage. Or … well, mostly.

To back up a moment for those casual viewers who somehow missed all the hints (but honestly, I doubt that any of those strange creatures would be reading this blog), it’s always been suggested that Jon Snow is not, in fact, Ned Stark’s son. Rather, it’s believed by almost everyone now that he is in fact the child of Rhaegar Targaryen (Daenerys’ brother) and Lyanna Stark—the latter of whom we see in this scene. The “official” narrative put about after Robert Baratheon took the throne was that Rhaegar kidnapped and raped Lyanna, and that she died from his abuse. Is however more popularly believed (and there are a lot more hints to this effect in the novels than in the show) that Rhaegar did not kidnap Lyanna; that the two of them were in fact in love, and she willingly ran off with him; and furthermore that the child she births in the Tower of Joy is Jon Snow, whom Ned pretends—at Lyanna’s desperate plea—to be his own bastard fathered on a nameless woman in the south.



This he does to protect Jon. Remember, the Targaryen dynasty is toppled, and Robert Baratheon has a very acute and specific loathing for them—he sends assassins after Viserys and Daenerys, and later Ned attempts to resign the Handship when Robert tries to have Daenerys murdered. Anyone with Targaryen blood would be a threat to the crown, and therefore in danger.

It is one of the sticking-points of Ned’s character in the novels that Mr. Honour would have dishonoured himself and his new bride (he married Catelyn to cement the allegiance between Houses Stark and Tully) by fathering and acknowledging an illegitimate son. It is the one grievance held by Catelyn in their marriage. If you’ll recall, way back at the start of season one, just as Ned heads south to King’s Landing and Jon heads north to the Wall, Ned promises that when he sees Jon next, they’ll have a long and serious talk. Presumably, he meant to reveal to him his parentage.

But of course, Joffrey put an end to that when he peremptorily decided to execute Ned rather than let him take the black. Can Qyburn resurrect him too, so that Arya can kill him all over again?

Of course, the scene does not unequivocally establish, as the equation on the interwebs has gone, that R + L = J. We don’t hear what Lyanna whispers to Ned, but the graphic match edit that cuts from the face of the baby to that of Jon Snow makes it pretty damn clear that he’s not Ned’s son, but Lyanna’s. The scene that follows, in which the northern houses pledge their loyalty to the new King in the North, plays a little ironically on what we now know. Littlefinger has planted the first seed of doubt for Sansa, and we see her smile fade when she meets his gaze at the end of the scene. The North rallies around a “motherless bastard” whom they all assume is Ned Stark’s son; but we (think we) know that he is in reality equal parts Stark and Targaryen, which would seem to signal that he will be one head of the three-headed dragon when Daenerys finds out his parentage and discovers that he is, in fact, her nephew.



Which probably means she’ll marry him. To paraphrase something Sterling Archer once said, Westeros sometimes seems like the Alabama of fantasy worlds.

I love that it’s everyone’s new favourite character, Lyanna Mormont, who consolidates Jon’s leadership. As the crowd grumbles and rumbles, we get a quick shot of Littlefinger’s calculating expression, and Jon’s own blank one as he peers out over the room. But young Lyanna isn’t taking anyone’s shit, and calls out all the other lords who did not stand with the Starks against the Boltons. The scene ends with a callback to season one, when all of Robb Stark’s bannermen acclaim him “King in the North.” It’s a stirring scene, but also a worrisome one, for that very reason … and because we don’t quite know how to interpret the look that passes between Sansa and Littlefinger.

From the King in the North to the Queen in the South—Jaime Lannister rides up to King’s Landing and is treated to the sight of smoke rising over the city, and the episode ends with images of rival queens.

Take us home, Nikki.

Nikki: I have my money on Daenerys and Podrick, for the record. Ahem.

Yes, I agree that the scene of all of the houses of the North chanting, “King in the North!” was meant to hearken back to Jon Snow’s brother — er... cousin? — Robb when he was proclaimed the same.



While Daenerys, Cersei, and Littlefinger have their eye on the Iron Throne, Jon is looking no further than to unite the north and help lead them in their battle to defeat the white walkers. Cersei and Daenerys don’t have a clue about the white walkers, so they can continue their little battle to the south, but for now, they have a much bigger problem on their hands in the north. And if the white walkers manage to get past them... gods help those who live in warmer climes. The problem is, he’s seen them — as far as the other houses are concerned, the white walkers are just bogeymen they use to scare their children out of staying in their beds at night. He’s going to have his work cut out for them on that front, but he can’t even get them to unite behind him. They all grumble and complain about the winter coming, and since no one thought to put winter chains on their horses’ hoofs they’re itching to get home right now. And as you said, Chris, it’s Lyanna Mormont — Lyanna Stark’s namesake, we shouldn’t forget — who stands up and tells off the room. Here is a room full of the leaders of ancient houses, of Free Folk and warriors, of men who just fought in a battle and who are now weary, all arguing amongst themselves, and sitting in the middle, quietly surveying the room, is a 10-year-old girl.



Let’s just ponder that for a second: she’s 10. The first time we heard of her was last season, when Stannis was at Castle Black and trying to get the northern houses to rally around him, and Lyanna sent a raven to him basically telling him to fuck right off, that she would only bend at the knee for House Stark. And she has stayed absolutely true to her word. She stands up and reminds the first dissenter, Manderly, that his son had been killed at the Red Wedding. “But you refused the call.” She then turns to Glover, and reminds him that despite his fealty to House Stark, “In their hour of need, you refused the call.” Then she turns to the young head of House Cerwyn, and tells him that his father had been flayed by Ramsay. “Still, you refused the call.”

“But House Mormont remembers. THE NORTH REMEMBERS. We know no king but the king in the north whose name is Stark. I don’t care if he’s a bastard, Ned Stark’s blood runs through his veins. He’s my king, from this day until his last day.” And then she sits. YAAAAAAASSSSSS!!!!! Oh how I love this young woman. All these men do is fight in every meeting, and then a girl stands up, tells them exactly who each one of them is (and she’s right on all counts, including suggesting that Stark blood runs in Jon’s veins), and they begin to respond, and agree they’ve all been pretty shit at running the houses of the north, and that they should have bent the knee to Jon Snow long ago. Jon just looks gobsmacked, like he doesn’t know where this girl came from but maybe SHE should run the North.

Fiercest 10-year-old EVER.

And then Jaime returns to King’s Landing to see it burning to the ground, and his face is a mix of shock, confusion, and “Oh my god, she didn’t” all over it.

We cut to Cersei Lannister walking solemnly and singlemindedly into the throne room, marching straight for the throne with purpose. And can I just pause to comment on that outfit? I don’t know what sort of Badass Queens R Us boutique just showed up in King’s Landing, but I’m so glad she opened an account there. Black leather dress punctured with holes that make it look like metal studs are over it, with actual metal shoulder pads and a chain connecting them in the front, that outfit was ca-ray-zee, and SO PERFECT for this moment. “The Rains of Castamere” begins playing somberly in the background as Jaime wanders into the gallery, and listens to Qyburn make the announcement. “I now proclaim Cersei of the House Lannister, first of her name, queen of the Andals and the First Men, protector of the Seven Kingdoms.” Some people die on battlefields to become the ruler of Westeros. Some are simply born into it. Others burn down the whole fucking city and walk into the room.



As she sits on the Iron Throne and glances over to the gallery and sees Jaime standing there, her face doesn’t change at all. And we know what he must be thinking: his son is dead. The only way Cersei could be sitting on that throne is if their son is dead. What a way to find out you no longer have any children. And not only that, but there’s nothing behind her eyes but complete deadness. He knows the Cersei he has loved for so long is gone, and what is left is this black-leather-clad person who once loved him and their children. Now all she has is that throne.




And, as I wrote in my notes, “Don’t worry, Cersei, Daenerys will soon be there to ruin everything.” For here she comes, riding across the waves in the fleet of ships that Yara and Theon brought to her.

Long ago, when Robert Baratheon wanted to have Daenerys killed because he found out she was pregnant, Ned Stark talked him out of it. He said there was nothing to fear with the Dothraki, because, as he said, “I’ll fear the Dothraki the day they teach their hoses to run on water.”

They didn’t have to teach them to run on water; they’ve simply boarded them onto the ships that are now making their way over to King’s Landing.



As the majestic music swirls over this glorious final scene, we see the Greyjoys and their armies on the ships, we see the Dothraki and the Unsullied steering others, and we pan up into the sky to see Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion flying freely over the water, where we finally zero in on the front ship, where Daenerys stands proudly at the prow, Tyrion by her side, and Varys and Missandei right behind her.



Winter has come to the North, and fire is coming to the South.

And with that, we end what is probably the best episode of Game of Thronesever... and now we have to wait another 10 months for more. Uggggghhhhh... What will be next? Will Arya come straight to Winterfell or will she sneak her way through the countryside, being the girl of many faces? Or could she come to Winterfell not as Arya but as another person, just to check up on her family and see where their loyalties still lie? Speaking of loyalties, will Sansa remain loyal to Jon Snow or could there be dissension between the two? After all, he was named King of the North when she is actually the true heir of Ned and Catelyn’s (as far as they’re concerned) and she was the one who brought the army that won back Winterfell. What will happen between Jaime and Cersei? He already killed one mad monarch for threatening to burn down King’s Landing — will he be forced to kill another for actually following through with it? The Sand Snakes weren’t on any of the ships; are they going to be pulled out as Olenna’s wild card later in the game?

All of these questions and many more will be answered... in approximately 300 more days. Sigh.

Thank you to everyone for reading our posts week after week, especially this 8600-word one (yeesh). And thank you, as always, to my partner Christopher Lockett, who peppers his brilliant commentary with phrases like “formal burlap” that have me spit out my tea laughing every time we pass these back and forth. I can’t believe we’ve already come to the end of another season. Until next time, Valar Morghulis.



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Posted on 29 June 2016 | 12:30 pm

Word Grrrls



Have you Experienced Pareidolia Today?

Pareidolia is the ability to find pictures in inanimate objects like rocks, potatoes, linens, the moon, inkblots, and anything else. Most often people will see faces but it can also be whole bodies, animals and cultural icons. You could look at dots of this and that on the wall and find an image represented in ... Read more...

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Posted on 28 July 2016 | 4:46 am

Elfshot - sticks and stones



Fisher's Loft, Port Rexton

Lori overlooking the view
beyond the two main
buildings at Fishers' Loft
Earlier this spring, Lori and I spent a few days at Fishers' Loft in Port Rexton.  We lucked into perfect weather and had a fantastic time hiking, dining, and exploring the surrounding coasts and communities on the Bonavista Peninsula.  The trip was a much needed breather from a hectic spring and what promises to be an even busier summer.  It also gave me a chance to reconnect with an established Elfshot customer and send out a new order of Newfoundland and Labrador inspired knapped jewellery. Here's a look at Fishers' Loft and the neighbouring towns, plus a sneak peak at the Elfshot jewellery that you can now find in the Fishers' Loft gift shop. 

Port Rexton

Puffins nesting near the town of Elliston.

Moose at Fishers' Loft 
The beautiful dining room and guest house at Fishers Loft.

Sunset glow over Trinity

Reproduction Beothuk earrings available at Fishers' Loft Gift Shop
 
The full order of chert necklaces and earrings, plus a few colourful fibre optic pieces. 

Brilliant fibre optic glass
Dorset Palaeoeskimo necklace and earrings
 Photo Credits: Tim Rast


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Posted on 27 June 2016 | 4:05 pm

Adam Radwanski



Democrats emerge with leftward bent for a new America

Here are some of the things we learned about the Democrats at their national convention this week

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Posted on 30 July 2016 | 1:22 am

How to Survive Life in the Suburbs



Four Hours From Home

Just over four hours from home, and yet, it feels like we are a million miles away. For the first time in months?  Yes, months.  This family has unplugged, kicked backed and re-connected.  We’re at a cottage “up north” and soaking up every moment of joy.  Our days have consisted of long indulgent breakfasts on […]

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Posted on 28 July 2016 | 4:01 am

Apt. 613



Hello, My Name Is… Black Currant

Maybe, just maybe, black currants need to be cooked to taste good.

The post Hello, My Name Is… Black Currant appeared first on Apt613.


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Posted on 30 July 2016 | 2:05 pm

A Peek Inside the Fishbowl



Weekend reading: July 30 edition

Worst. Bugs. Ever. A wilderness survival story: https://t.co/SHoJSwFPpl pic.twitter.com/NoD9v4qHPL — Maclean’s Magazine (@MacleansMag) July 24, 2016 Madeleine Albright’s glass ceiling pin is some next-level cool feminist sh*t, dailydot.com First ever use of a city-wide persistent surveillance camera–like a living Google Maps–at a sporting event, fastcompany.com Bill Clinton wore a fetching navy pantsuit to honor Hillary […]

The post Weekend reading: July 30 edition appeared first on a peek inside the fishbowl.


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Posted on 30 July 2016 | 1:13 pm

Dawg’s Blawg



The Bernie Or Bust Movement

Because I KNOW Dawg is dying to get into this topic…...

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Posted on 27 July 2016 | 12:21 am

Dammit Janet



Fatally Flawed Survey on C225, "Cassie and Molly's Law"

It's a truism because it's true: You get what you pay for.

Cathay Wagantall, sponsor of the latest sneak attack on abortion rights, C225, glurgily nicknamed "Cassie and Molly's Law," bought six questions on a Nanos omnibus poll.

Here's her media release trumpeting the results.
According to the Nanos poll, a majority of Canadians are in favour of Cassie and Molly’s Law, with nearly 70% of respondents saying that they support a law that would make it a separate crime to harm or cause the death of a preborn child while harming a pregnant woman.
The release contains no links, no details, no methodology.

So I asked on Twitter and Nik Nanos supplied a link to the power point presentation of the survey (PDF).

Here are the excerpted highlights (numbers added).
1. Half of Canadians say causing harm to a pregnant woman should carry a more severe punishment

2. Canadians support charging those who harm unborn children with a separate crime - Seven in ten Canadians either support (47%) or somewhat support (22%) creating a law that would make it a separate crime to cause harm or the death of an unborn child....

3. Canadians more likely to support the legislation if it has no impact on current abortion laws

4. Majority of Canadians feel it is possible to create the new law and keep abortion legal

5. Canadians feel it is important that offenders be charged separately for harming a fetus

6. Half of Canadians support rights to abortion within a time limit

Number 1: More severe punishment. Dumb question. Offenders in Canada already face stiffer sentencing in cases like this through "aggravating factors" which judges are required to consider.

Number 2: Support for a separate criminal charge. Compare here with Ms Wagantall's media release. She is playing a little loose with the numbers. Her "nearly 70%" is actually made up of 47% who support plus 22% who somewhat support.

But that's nuancy, beyond the typical cognitive powers of fetus freaks.

Number 3: More likely to support law if no impact on abortion laws. Another dumb question. There are NO abortion laws in Canada.

Leaving that aside, while Ms Wagantall stomps her feet and shrieks insists that her bill was verrrry carefully written to exclude any impact on abortion rights, others disagree. See links to posts below for many examples, but here's a recent one, from Indiana.

Indiana, home to Governor Mike Pence, now Donald Trump's pick for Vice President of Homophobia and Misogyny, has a "personhood" law that criminalizes any harm to fetuses. So far, it has imprisoned at least one woman, Purvi Patel, for using abortion drugs bought online to end an unwanted pregnancy. Ms Patel was sentenced to 20 years in prison for "feticide." But her conviction was overturned today.

The Indiana Legislature did not intend for the state’s feticide statute to apply to pregnant women or illegal abortions, including the one a northern Indiana woman executed by taking drugs ordered from Hong Kong, the Court of Appeals held Friday.
The legislation was NOT intended to criminalize pregnant women, but it fucking well did, in the hands of overzealous cops and prosecutors.

And this is precisely why Ms Wagantall's bill is incredibly dangerous.

Number 4: Too stupid to comment on. What is the point of asking ordinary people what they "feel" about possible implications of a new law?

Number 5: Importance of such a law. Again, why ask this? If they support it, they support it.

But Number 6 is where the alarm bells really go off. "Half of Canadians support rights to abortion within a time limit."

From the PDF
Question: Which of the following most closely represents your personal view about the legal status of abortion?


This is so glaringly opposed to what all other recent polls report on Canadian attitudes to abortion that the whole survey should be kicked down a long flight of stairs.

In February this year, Global News commissioned an exclusive poll from Ipsos.
Canadian attitudes toward abortion appear to be shifting, according to a new Ipsos poll, as six in ten say abortion should be permitted whenever a woman decides she wants.
"Whenever a woman decides she wants."

Whenever. No time limits.

Similarly, the National Post reported in 2012 that 60% of Canadians say that abortion should be legal "always". (Original emphasis.)

On Twitter last night @Demolition Woman, who is an opinion pollster, offered some thoughts on the survey's methodology.






So, what did Ms Wagantall, or her enthusiastic fetus freak colleagues like Dominionist Mike Schouten, pay for this piece of dreck?

Nanos charges $1000 per closed question -- these are all closed questions -- on a Canadian omnibus survey, so $6000.

Supporters of C225, or the Wolf in Sheep's Clothing Anti-Abortion Bill, got the results they wanted, at a price they found acceptable.

Too bad the survey itself doesn't stand up to even casual scrutiny.


REMINDER: If you haven't already, please sign the e-petition opposing this backdoor attack on abortion rights. The petition needs 500 signatures to be presented to Parliament. It's got just over 350 now.

Previous DJ! posts on the Wolf in Sheep's Clothing bill:
Dead as a Door Nail

Exploiting Grief to Attack Abortion Rights

Vengeance Drives "Unborn Victims" Law

It's Baaaack: Unborn Victims Bill C484 Redux

Nope, This "Pre-born Victims Bill Won't Pass Either

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Posted on 22 July 2016 | 7:40 pm

That Artist Woman



3D Fluttering Butterfly






Looking for something bright and fun for your last bulletin board....why not these fluttering butterflies.
















Made from 2 butterflies to look like it's fluttering off your display.
















MATERIALS REQUIRED:

- nice painting paper for background, I use Sunworks white construction paper.  It's not really construction paper but a great drawing paper.  You could also use 90lb wc paper.
- white cardstock
- disk tempera paint
- green, red, white and yellow acrylic or liquid tempera
- paper scraps, book pages, brown kraft paper, recycling
- coloured cardstock scraps
- pipe cleaner
- tacky glue
- oil pastels or crayons
- optional: rubbing alcohol and eye dropper

PROCEDURE:







Tape background paper to art board.










Draw in a rough horizon line.










Paint in your sky with blue disk tempera.  I wanted to give it some texture, like all the fluff flying around right now from trees and dandelions.

So while it is wet I take an eye dropper and some rubbing alcohol.








Drop onto your wet paint.  It creates this effect.  Don't panic if it looks a little brown or grey in the center of the drop.  That will dry and go away.

This technique also works with acrylic paint but the secret is having wet watery paint.  Brush on a little bit of water to your wet acrylic to get it to work.




Paint in the green grass.  Set aside to dry.





Take your scraps of paper and tear some strips.

Glue onto a sheet of white cardstock.  This will be your extra grass.

Let glue set up for a while.





When set,  paint with acrylic or liquid tempera.  You want the paint thin enough you can still read the words of the text.

Set aside to dry.









While your papers are drying take a 1/2 sheet of copier paper and a 1/2 sheet of cardstock.

Sketch your butterfly shape.  You want 2 the same size. You could draw one, cut it out and then trace around it or use a template.

I added some oil pastel.  You could also use wax crayon.




Paint with disk tempera.





Paint the back of the cardstock one as well.






When the background and grass paper are dry start cutting out strips (pointy at top) and glue onto your background.









I added some extra details to my butterflies with scraps of coloured cardstock and.....







a little extra paint just to jazz them up a bit.








Glue the copier paper butterfly into place on the background.








Bend 1/2 a pipe cleaner and glue in place for the antennae.










take the cardstock butterfly and fold in half.










Run some glue on that fold line.







Stick into center of other butterfly. Let it set up for awhile and then close the fold a bit again.  You want to keep a nice flutter to it.









That's it.

See you next time.

Gail




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Posted on 6 June 2016 | 11:36 pm

A pretty Life in the Suburbs



Summer Galette Recipe Ideas

Take the stress out of pie-making and make a galette instead!  Galettes are a delicious way to enjoy all of the fruits of summer!  – – – – – – Oh galettes how do I love thee?  All rustic and free form and living the life in a perfectly un-perfect way.  That imperfection is why I love this kind of pie.  You get all the deliciousness of a traditional pie without all the fuss, and who can’t love that?  Not me. There are 2 ways to make a galette, one is to use a bought puff pastry crust and the other is to make a traditional pie crust.  I like both crusts for different reasons.  When I’m in a hurry or don’t feel like fussing with making pie dough, bought puff pastry crust is the best because it’s already made, and it’s delicious.  Other times when I’m craving a good old fashioned pie but don’t feel like fussing too much with the crust, I will make the traditional pie crust dough and shape it into a free form pie.  Traditional dough isn’t hard to make, and when you use it for a galette the pressure of a perfect pie is removed and I […]

The post Summer Galette Recipe Ideas appeared first on A Pretty Life In The Suburbs.


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Posted on 29 July 2016 | 4:25 pm

Canada's Adventure couple



Canada’s Greatest Explorer – The Campfire Cookout Challenge

Dave and I tried foraging for our food once. It was a morning spent searching for mushrooms in Spain with Michelin Star Chef, Francesc Rovira. These mushrooms were going to be used as the main ingredient for our lunch. After a quick lesson of showing us which mushrooms were good, which were poisonous, and which [...]

Read the original post Canada’s Greatest Explorer – The Campfire Cookout Challenge on The Planet D: Adventure Travel Blog.


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Posted on 28 July 2016 | 9:00 am

My New Life in Canada, under the snow!



Good News for People Who Like Bad News

The state of emergency was declared in the wake of the November 2015 attacks. I was scared of these three little words—what does it mean, exactly, to live under this state of emergency?

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Posted on 29 July 2016 | 2:53 pm

Live From Waterloo



WW#402 - Mississauga in the haze

 
20160704_133518
 
 
 
Wordless Wednesday links
 
 
Miércoles Mudo, the Spanish version of Wordless Wednesday
 

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Posted on 13 July 2016 | 7:00 am