Winter is coming. In Wales, we call it ‘summer’.

This wet, miserable season that passes for summer in Wales is showing no immediate signs of clearing up. Previous plans to go for a walk in the countryside have been postponed in favour of writing and drinnking tea.

Of note: there is a new issue of Hortulus, a journal with which I have been involved for some time. (That makes it sound more suspicious, I suppose, than it really is.)  It’s a very good postgraduate journal and a very good issue, dealing with space and place in some thought-provoking ways. It also has a new website, as the old webmistress has graduated and gone on to grander things.

Because I just caught up on the end of Game of Thrones last night, I can’t help mentioning that, too. I’ve read all the books (and some of the issues I have with them will probably be fuel for a post later) and so have, of course, noticed a lot of changes. Which is generally okay–they’re really big books, and while I don’t think audiences are stupid, I do know how much trouble I personally have keeping actors straight, so if some things need to be streamlined, fair enough.  Hmm, I should maybe cut some of this for people who’d like to stay spoiler-free…Obviously we’re all agreed that Arya and Tywin are brilliant, right?  It does make it a little unclear why she doesn’t use one of her kills on him before–also, Arya in the books has killed several people already by this point, and in the show she doesn’t seem qutie so dangerous as, well, she really is.

Sansa’s had some great moments, but I didn’t think they did a terrific job of explaining her motivations for staying in King’s Landing. (To be honest, I can’t even quite remember what they are. I think she didn’t go with the Hound because he was drunk and scaring her, which didn’t quite come through on TV.) The Hound and Littlefinger both tell her they’ll take her home, which you’d think she’d jump at, and she just says ‘no, I think I’ll stay here thanks.’ It’s like a line got left out somewhere.

I don’t mind the kidnapping of Dany’s dragons–Qarth dragged a bit in the books and adding some excitement is a reasonable editorial decision. I don’t like that Irri is dead, or that she locked Xaro and Doreah in the vault–it just doesn’t suit Dany’s style. She can be ruthless, but she’s notcruel. 

But what I really don’t like or understand is what’s going on in the Riverlands. In the books, Robb and Catelyn find out Theon has murdered Bran and Rickon, and despair leads them to do some ill-considered things: Robb sleeps with the daughter of the lord he’s just defeated (Jeyne Westerling) and tries to salvage the situation by marrying her.  Catelyn releases Jaime because she’s completely devastated that two of her children have been killed and she REALLY WANTS THE OTHERS BACK. They’re stupid moves, but understandable.  But in the show, they don’t know that’s happened. They think Bran and Rickon are still alive, which makes both their actions look selfish and petulant–especially Robb, whose love interest has been replaced entirely (what exactly IS the point of replacing Jeyne with a random foreign healer?); now he’s had a chance to consider his actions, hear other people’s viewpoints, and then goes and does what he wants anyway, which is totally out of character for Ned Stark’s son. I despair–all this is supposed to lead up to one of the most traumatic events many of us have ever read ever, why lessen the impact of that?

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