“Rains of Castamere”

Game of Thrones is getting increasingly clever in its use of the rather mournful “Rains of Castamere” as a leitmotif for the mounting tragedy of the Lannister clan. Best use to date, I think, was the most recent episode, where the “And so he spoke, and so he spoke” part, played on cellos, emerges out of the mostly unrelated background music immediately after Tyrion’s (amazing, potentially Emmy-worthy) speech at the end of his trial, leading into a full, cello-heavy instrumental version playing behind the ending credits. Ramin Djawadi, the composer for the series, doesn’t get anywhere near enough credit, in my opinion.


So, who’s more badass, Toph Bei Fong or Arya Stark?

I mean, in terms of who wins in a fight, that’s pretty obvious. Arya is a surprisingly good fencer for her age. Toph is a master martial artist, has magical powers, 360-degree vision as long as her opponent is touching the ground, and is the greatest earthbender in the world.

But that’s not the question. The question is which is more badass–and I think the answer, whatever it is, is likely to cast interesting light on how we define what makes a person badass.

What do Aragorn, Danaerys Targaryen, and Dream of the Endless have in common?

In case you missed it, yesterday’s The Very Soil entry went up late.

They’re all relatively rare instances of heroic kings in an era when the everyman hero is far more common. Fascinating article on the typical folkloric king in the European tradition, and the ways in which these modern instances of the hero-king both do and do not conform to that tradition. Link below, and it’s definitely worth clicking through to the PDF of the full article, if only to see serious, scholarly work saying in effect, “Yeah, this is a hero on a journey, and Campbell’s bloody useless to understand it.”


The Wall in the North

Sorry about lateness, I just straight up forgot that I hadn’t already made and queued this post.

This is a post about one of the most awesome characters in all of animation, Major General Olivier Mira Armstrong from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.


If Major General Armstrong commanded the North Wall of Westeros instead of Briggs, Game of Thrones would be a standalone book. Of about 200 pages.

Just saying.