Cutthroat Diversity

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Thrones SYGU‘d in a significant fashion this year picking up Emmy awards for Outstanding Drama Series, as well as Outstanding Directing, Outstanding Writing, Outstanding Casting, Outstanding Supporting Actor, and Outstanding Special Visual Effects among others.

Season 6 premieres two weeks from tonight and will essentially feature brand new content that George R.R. Martin has not yet written.  So now all the snobby GoT book nerds will have to wait an entire week to find out what happens just like the rest of us plebs.

***HBONOW is now available exclusively online for a 30 day free trial available here.***

*** SPOILERS AHEAD ***

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Daenerys Targaryen is the only surviving child of King Aerys II Targaryen, populary known as the “Mad King”.  Daenerys was born in the throws of a military coup known as “Robert’s Rebellion” during which her father and family were deposed from the Iron Throne.  Dany’s mother was able to escape to Dragonstone but died soon after giving birth to her in a raging storm, hence the moniker “Daenerys Stormborn”.  She is given safe refuge in Essos by Magister Ilyrio Mopatis along with her brother Viserys.

Viserys gifts her off as a bride to a Dothraki warlord Khal Drogo, with the intention of utilizing his army to take back the Iron Throne.  Dany and Khal’s relationship is tenuous at first, but the two eventually develop a rapport and a romantic relationship.  Drogo sustains a wound that festers, and subsequently takes his life with the assistance of a vengeful Dothraki slave magi named Mirri Maz Duur.

Daenarys has a miscarriage and is basically left for dead.  She preps a funeral pyre for her deceased husband and decides to go up in flames with it and her dragon eggs.  Instead of dying, she emerges unharmed by the flames and three dragon eggs hatch from the heat.

She takes her deceased husbands ‘Khalasar’ and seeks refuge in the free city of Qarth after a grim stint in the desert of the Red Waste.  In Qarth Dany is treated humanely, but is not given the resources that she requires to launch a proper assault on Westeros.  She takes a business meeting with slave owners in Astapor, where she commandeers a slave army of “unsullied” and liberates them.  Given her initiative and compassion, the army vows to fight for her after they are given their freedom.

With an army to accompany her dragons, Daenerys is able to sack the city of Astapor with the tactical assistance of Jorah Mormont and Daario Naharis.  She then begins her “slavery” campaign, liberating several slave cities within the area including Yunkai, and Meereen.

This noble sentiment runs into logistical longevity issues however, most notably financial repercussions on local nobility.  After several displays of dissent, Dany reluctantly reopens the “fighting pits” in order to ease tensions and appease her people.  At the first match of the fighting pits Dany is ambushed by an insurgency force named the Sons of the Harpy.  Her distress is surmised by her largest dragon Drogon who flies in and rescues her, and takes her to a local habitat of his.

Drogon unwittingly puts his mother in dire straits however, as she can’t escape the high elevation cave and begins to starve and is subsequently taken into custody by a group of local Dothraki.

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Compassionate, amiable, gracious, and humanitarian Daenerys Targaryen is an Idealist.

You do not owe me your freedom, i cannot give it to you.
Your freedom is not mine to give, it belongs to you and you alone. If you want it back, you must take it for yourselves. Each and every one of you.”  
—  Daenerys Targaryen

“You’re both here to advise me.  I value your advice, but if you ever question me infront of strangers again, you’ll be advising someone else.  Is that understood?” — Daenerys Targaryen

“I am a Khaleesi of the Dothraki.  I am the wife of the great Khal and I carry his son inside me.  The next time you raise a hand to me will be the last time you have hands.”  — Daenerys

“I am no ordinary woman.  My dreams come true.”  — Daenerys Targaryen

“A mother does not flee without her children.”  — Daenerys Targeryen

Quote1Yes, all men must die.  But we are not men.Quote2  — Daenerys Targrayen

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Brienne is the sole surviving child and heir of Lord Selwyn Tarth.  Her large frame and figure made her susceptible to teasing as a child, which turned her towards martial activity.

After an unfortunate experience with a group of male suitors Brienne pledges her sword to Renley Baratheon, who stood up for her.  She officially enlists in his Kingsguard during the War of the Five Kings after she defeats his paramoor Ser Loras Tyrell in hand-to-hand combat.

Soon after, Renley is slain by an assassin sent from his brother Stannis, right in front of Brienne’s eyes.  She then vows to execute Stannis and offers her services to Lady Catelyn Stark.

Lady Catelyn is forced to attend to her own family affairs in Riverrun, and entrusts Brienne to take a captive Jaime Lannister to King’s Landing in order to negotiate a prisoner exchange.  The pair is captured by a warlorn Bolton batallion fighting for the Starks, and Jaime’s hand is severed.  The two eventually make it back to King’s Landing and Jaime gifts her a Valyrian steel sword “Oathkeeper” along with the task of protecting Sansa Stark.

Brienne tracks down Sansa and Petyr Baelish near the Riverlands and offers her protective services but is denied by a Sansa who is very wary of strangers.  Brienne concedes but follows Sansa back to Winterfell.

She insists that Sansa is in danger, and implores her to light a candle in the watch tower should she find herself in need of assistance.  Sansa finally decides to  light the candle as Stannis’ army marches on Winterfell and Brienne barely misses seeing the signal.  In the ensuing battle Stannis’s forces are defeated and Brienne slays Stannis.

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Stalwart, sentientvirtuous, and humble Lady Brienne is a Guardian.

Quote1All I ever wanted was to fight for a lord I believed in.Quote2  —  Brienne of Tarth

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Petyr Baelish was born of relatively sparse means in a small region called The Fingers.  Petyr’s father served well in battle and developed a rapport with Lord Hoster Tully, and through their relationship Tully agreed to foster Petyr at Riverrun.

Petyr also had a knack for befriending his superiors, quickly becoming close with both Catelyn and Lysa Tully.  Petyr soon developed an unrequited love for Lady Catelyn, who married Brandon Stark, and subsequently his little brother Eddard Stark.

Petyr brushed it off and settled in the Vale where Lysa’s husband Jon Arryn began to cultivate him as an accountant.  Impressed with Petyr’s financial acumen Jon brings him to King’s Landing and appoints him Master of Coin on King Roberth Baratheon’s Small-Council.

Littlefinger quickly learned how to play the proverbial “Game of Thrones” with a knack for gaining the trust and respect of powerful individuals.  A savvy political mind, Baelish invests in several brothels throughout the city with a specialization in catering to noble clientele.

With such easy access to the sensitive personal information of many of the high-lords of Westeros, Littlefinger soon became a dangerous adversary.  His vast spy network allows him to accrue critical political and military intelligence and use that plethora of knowledge to his advantage.

He essentially orchestrated the War of the Five Kings and subsequently conferred with Lady Olenna Tyrell about the murder of King Joffrey Baratheon.  He is now Lord of the Vale after marrying Lysa Tully and subsequently slaying her.

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Shrewd, prudent, cunning, with unrivaled strategic prowess Petyr Baelish is a Rational.

“Which is more dangerous, the dagger brandished by an enemy, or the hidden one pressed to your back by someone you never even see?”  — Petyr Baelish

“Distrusting me was the wisest thing you’ve done since you climbed off your horse.” — Petyr Baelish

“Always keep your foes confused.  If they are never certain who you are or what you want, they cannot know what you are like to do next.  Sometimes the best way to baffle them is to make moves that have no purpose, or even seem to work against you.” — Petyr Baelish

“Chaos isn’t a pit, chaos is a ladder, and the climb is all there is.” — Petyr Baelish

“Even the most dangerous men can be outmaneuvered.”  — Petyr Baelish

“Sickly little boys sometimes become powerful men.” — Petyr Baelish

“What she doesn’t know won’t hurt her.

Quote1A stupid saying.  What we don’t know is usually what gets us killed.Quote2 — Petyr Baelish

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Arya Stark is the youngest daughter of Lord Eddard Stark and his wife Lady Catelyn Stark.  Showing an early passion for the martial arts, Arya trained with a Braavosi sword master during her time in King’s Landing.

Soon after arriving in King’s Landing her father was betrayed and executed for procuring some unseemly information, she is saved however by a family friend Yoren and heads north disguised as an orphan boy “arry”.  She is taken captive by a Lannister force bunkered in at Harrenhaal, and serves an unsuspecting Tywin Lannister briefly as a cup-bearer.  She escapes and runs into a rebel guerrilla force known as the Brotherhood without Banners.

Ultimately unsatisfied with the cause of the Brotherhood she escapes again but is recaptured by a wandering Ser Sandor Clegane a.k.a. “The Hound”.  His intentions were to claim a reward from her family but as they arrive to her brother’s wedding, the grim events of the Red Wedding occur and most of her family is essentially slaughtered.

Clegane gets mortally wounded in a subsequent battle and she quickly abandons him.  Finally she makes her way to the free city of Braavos via a coin she was given through her interactions with the assassin Jaqen Hagar during her time at Harrenhaal.  She arrives at the House of Black and White and begins her training regimen with the guild of assassins known as the Faceless Men.

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Visceral, rancorous, martially adept, concerned with little but technique and skill Arya Stark is an Artisan.

“I am a wolf and I’ll not be afraid.”  — Arya Stark

“Stick ’em with the pointy end.” — Arya Stark

“A little lady shouldn’t play with swords.

“I wasn’t playing.  And I don’t want to be a lady.”  — Arya Stark

“Fear cuts deeper than swords.” — Arya Stark

“Anyone can be killed.” — Arya Stark

Quote1Nothing’s worth anything to dead men.Quote2  — Arya Stark

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*** SPOILERS ***

***SPOILERS***

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