Game of Thrones – Quarantine Edition!

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Starved Game of Thrones fans: I, too, have been suffering from EDOGOTN (Extreme Drought of Game of Thrones News). To cure this, I’d been hard at work these last few months wondering what our favorite characters have been up to all this time. However, it turned out the task was too mighty to undertake on my own, and so reinforcements needed to be called in. Enter fellow Watchers on the Wall writers Petra, Akash, and Samantha, who ably stepped in to help complete this vitally important work. So, what exactly has EVERY CHARACTER who has ever appeared on GOT think of quarantine? Dive in, and let’s find out.

Every character below appears in the show at some point. While 98% of the jokes pertain to the show, please note that if you don’t get the reference, it is possible that the joke derives from the ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ novels on which GOT is based, which means you have the envy-inducing prospect of reading the books for the first time still ahead of you. I’m sure I speak for many when I say, I am extremely jealous; what a wonderful activity you have to look forward to in all your quarantining ahead! With this disclaimer behind us, let’s get to the main event. What are our GOT characters up to in quarantine? Well…

Ned Stark 101

House Stark:

Ned Stark: Has known for 16 years that a quarantine would one day be necessary, but for the protection of his family, has never told anyone. – David

Eventually has to leave Winterfell for emergency supplies, but tells the wrong person who he actually is, and dies. – Akash

Catelyn Stark: Has seen what paranoia has done to her sister, and will not succumb to such madness. – David

Urges Ned not to go to get emergency supplies and to send someone else instead. – Akash

Quietly stocked up on toilet paper while it was still available. – Samantha

Habitually argues with Ned over how many rolls Jon gets to use. – Petra

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Benjen Stark: Left to get groceries; never came back. – David

Robb Stark: Organizes front yard ‘togetherness’ parties for the northern lords, while regulating 6 foot distance at all times. Unites the heads of neighborhood households to rise up and survive the quarantine together. – David

Talisa Maegyr: Poised to give birth to the world’s first quarantweenager. – David

Helps lead Winterfell’s medical response team. – Akash

Sansa Stark: Is using this as an opportunity to learn to bake lemon cakes, and practice her needlework. – David

Ignores Jeyne Poole’s hysterics and Facebook conspiracy posts, because if a lady must quarantine, she will do so with dignity. – Samantha

Keeps a keen eye on Winterfell’s emergency supplies. – Akash

Arya Stark: Prowls the grocery store aisle, using others’ faces as her masks, and ensures everyone is keeping their 6 feet distance. Practices her own needlework on those not adhering to the rules. – David

Makes masks from people who harass essential workers. – Akash

Bran Stark: Spends his time sitting inside muttering vague and blunt prognostications on how this all will end; nothing he says is positive or encouraging in any way, shape, or form. – David

Repeats everything Dr. Fauci says. Always muted by host of Zoom chats. – Akash

Rickon Stark: Zigs and zags his way around the backyard. He’s getting really good! – David

Runs wild through suspected infection areas with Summer and somehow avoids getting sick. – Samantha

Jon Snow: Uses this time to brood. He really needed it. – David

Took the virus seriously before anyone else did but refuses to feel smug about it. – Petra

Never turns the Zoom camera on. – Akash

Cersei Jaime Lannister Red Keep Season 8 806

House Lannister:

Tywin Lannister: Look at the sheep, how they flock to the store for toilet paper. If any child of mine is found to be amongst them, they will return home naked as the day they were born.” – David

Kevan Lannister: “Um…what Tywin said.” – David

Cersei Lannister: Orders anyone quarantining nearby her to be hurled out of their windows; the safety of her children is paramount. – David

Stocks up on emergency wine supplies. – Akash

Jaime Lannister: Can’t decide whether to quarantine with Cersei or Brienne and keeps travelling between them. – Petra

…because he’s an ass who ignores social distancing guidelines. – Samantha

…eventually infects both himself and Cersei. – Akash

Tyrion Lannister: Drinks and reads. Plays drinking games with Bronn over Zoom. – David

Critiques the historical accuracy of the Assassin’s Creed games. – Akash

Joffrey Baratheon: Finally has an opportunity to force King’s Landing denizens to kill and cannibalize one another for his enjoyment. Organizes a “volunteer” tournament to “boost quarantine morale.” – David

Forces King’s Landing merchants to reopen against Varys’ recommendations. – Akash

Myrcella Baratheon: Upset that her semester in Dorne gets cut short. Refuses Ellaria’s kiss goodbye in favor of remaining six feet apart. – Petra

Moodily listens to Dua Lipa the entire trip back home to King’s Landing. – Akash

Tommen Baratheon: Ser Pounce has never been so lucky. – David

Pouts when Cersei tells him to wear his mask, but agrees when she allows him to use the wax seal to send out quarantine orders. – Samantha

Lancel Lannister: Joins a quarancult. – David

Drinks bleach to “avoid” getting infected. – Akash

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House Baratheon:

Robert Baratheon: Drunkenly challenges anyone violating stay-at-home orders to publicly duel him. – David

…violates the order and gets infected while drunk. – Akash

Stannis Baratheon: Will not let social distancing come between him and his throne. Ventures outside to rally the people to his cause, although grudgingly encourages them to wear masks. Will charge on no matter what it takes. Thousands will die. Children will be sacrificed. It matters not. He presses on. – David

Renly Baratheon: This is the best time to really take stock, and enjoy the good things in life.” With good intent, he organizes his retinue within the castle so that they can have a “Keep Quarantine Safe” party. Masks are requested but not required, and the merriment is contagious. Despite his intent, infection lingers and spreads like wildfire. Half the castle population gets sick and many die. No one meant for this to happen. – David

Issues a Notes app apology three days later. Goes to a party on Fire Island anyway. – Akash

Selyse Baratheon: More time spent in the lab to work on concocting shrunken head potion! – David

Convinced that the real medicine is being hidden. – Akash

Shireen Baratheon: The extended quarantine has given her ample time to train more guards to read, because a more literate castle means a better world for all. Great things are in her future! She’s all fired up and ready to go! – David

Gendry [Baratheon]: Less time to go out means more time to tinker inside with his shirt off. Few complain. – David

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House Greyjoy:

Balon Greyjoy: Stays home. Broods. Gets up from chair. Walks to fireplace. Broods. – David

Euron Greyjoy: Angrily storms out of Pyke and on to his ship. Insists that his entire crew go with him, or they will face a fate worse than contagion. Sets sail for the open ocean, but one crew member gets sick; Euron presses on. Infection worsens; Euron presses on. No invisible enemy will take down Euron Greyjoy. Most of his crew gets sick, but not him, for he is the toughest amongst them. His crew around him worsens; Euron presses on. What is dead may never die, but rises again harder and stronger; Euron presses on. – David

Yara Greyjoy: With patronage at the brothel dropping, Yara takes it upon herself to visit each of its employees and pay for their services. She knows she might get infected, but her heart is in the right place and she does not want the brothel’s inhabitants to suffer. She is declared a hero of the downtrodden during these downtimes for her dedication to the most vulnerable. – David

Is still angry at Theon for initially quarantining with Ramsay instead of her. – Petra

Disobeys her father and goes on raids to garner emergency supplies. – Akash

Theon Greyjoy: Knits. Has the time of his life. Such a lack of misery has never been so present for so long. – David

Discovers Talkspace. – Petra

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House Tyrell:

Olenna Tyrell: Grows increasingly tired of her (grown adult) son following her around, and assigns guards to him to ensure he can’t be in her presence 24/7; there’s work to be done, and Mace is not up to the challenge. – David

Organizes mass grain shipments to be sent throughout the Seven Kingdoms with the Tyrell rose on them. – Akash

Mace Tyrell: His bowling league is cancelled and he is left with little else to do but bother his mother. – David

Margaery Tyrell: Refuses to fade from the public consciousness during quarantine. She and her ladies sow face masks embroidered with the Tyrell rose and deliver them to hospitals, regularly visiting the Covid-19 section of the children’s ward (hospital protocol is no match against Tyrell guards). – Petra

Becomes the public messenger for the Westerosi Disease Center. – Akash

Loras Tyrell: Starts a fundraiser for “NHS Charities Together” in Renly’s name. – Petra

Ellaira killes Prince Doran Martell

House Martell:

Doran Martell: Sits. Waits. – David

Stress eating has infinitely worsened his gout but he can’t justify a hospital trip. – Petra

Oberyn Tyrell: Life is free and a gift. A little virus like this could never stop him. Daringly and brazenly he wanders off into town. Makes sure to keep his 6 feet of difference, perfectly measuring each foot mentally, down to the nearest inch, as he dances around town. Somehow, he never gets sick nor infects anyone else. Inexplicably, though unsurprisingly, the people still love him. – David

Single-handedly keeps the entire Dornish herbal economy from collapsing. – Akash

Ellaria Sand: Organizes a militia with very little plan of action or clearheaded mission statement. Its motive might be to combat the pandemic, but no one is really sure. Several people die as a direct result of her recklessness. – David

Tyene Sand: Is her mother’s second in command and shuts down any insurrection. – David

Takes shuffle dancing lessons to fend off boredom. – Akash

Nymeria Sand: Quarantines in the Water Gardens with the Fowler twins, brooding as ever. – Petra

Obara Sand: So bored she’s started to wonder if she should have picked her mother’s tears over her father’s spear and stayed in Oldtown. – Petra

Daenerys Targaryen King's Landing Season 8 806 The Bells

House Targaryen:

Daenerys Targaryen: She will take what is hers with vaccines and science, but right now that’s not possible, so she stays. Rules. Distributes free masks and sanitizers. And is a Queen. – David and Akash

Viserys Targaryen: Would trade the lives of every member of his household 10 times over to buy his freedom and escape quarantine. – David

Maester Aemon Targaryen: There was once a time he had the opportunity to be part of the CDC and become a world-renowned epidemiologist. Some might have called it a duty. He shirked that duty, and now lives out his days in safety, but considerable regret. – David

Khal Drogo: Refuses to wear a mask. Says it’s itchy. – Petra

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House Mormont:

Jeor Mormont: Craster continues to supply the Night’s Watch with necessities, but this quarantine has really tested the Night’s Watch reliance on him, and Commander Mormont is finally having second thoughts. – David

Jorah Mormont: Keeping 6 feet apart from his Khaleesi at all times is killing him, but if it will keep her safe, he will do it until the end of time. – David

Lyanna Mormont: The virus tries to take her but she won’t let it. She talks it down, then stabs it. Defeats it. Becomes the Chuck Norris of her era. – David

Is managing Bear Island on her own while Maege is MIA due to travel restrictions. – Petra

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House Tully:

Brynden ‘The Blackfish’ Tully: Really doubles down on holding Riverrun. Tells Jaime that Jeyne Westerling has been coughing a lot lately, so, really, the Lannisters and the Freys are just putting themselves at risk by laying siege. – Petra

Happy to sacrifice Edmure for not wearing a mask. – Akash

Edmure Tully: This time calls for a new kind of leader. Never fear, Edmure is here to be the fearless leader who will help everyone out. “Oh, I’ve been asked to sit down? Well I tried.” – David

Doesn’t wear a mask in order to prove himself “a real man.” – Akash

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House Arryn:

Lysa Arryn: Executes three of her personal guards who she suspects were conspiring to manufacture and distribute the virus; they were not. – David

Robin Arryn: Mom can’t go anywhere, which means more milk for me!” – David

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House Tarly:

Randyll Tarly: Polishes Heartsbane alone, grumbling about gender roles under his breath. – Petra

Melessa Tarly: Glares at Randyll whenever he complains about not being on the battlefield. Occasionally locks her husband in the Horn Hill armory. – Akash

Dickon Tarly: Organizes a socially distanced hunting party. It’s moderately successful. – Petra

Samwell Tarly: “Finally! A time to catch up on all those books I never got to!” – David

…orders them from local indie bookstores. – Akash

Gilly [Tarly?]: Homeschools Little Sam; wishes his teachers would only use one online learning platforms. – Petra

Little Sam: Streams Little Maesters on Netflix Kids. – Petra

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House Bolton:

Roose Bolton: Hangs flayed corpses six feet apart to demonstrate proper social distancing, insisting that he only wants “a peaceful land, a quarantined people.” – Petra

Ramsay Bolton: Designs a “game” to keep everyone quarantined in his castle “entertained.” – David

Watches a documentary on Ed Gein, which inspires him to make his own on-brand PPE masks. – Petra

Walda Bolton: Is crocheting little flesh-colored onesies in preparation for Roose/Walda Jr. – Petra

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Winterfell Retinue:

Hodor: Hodor. – David

Osha: Was en route to Skagos when the pandemic broke out and has had to hunker down at Last Hearth until further notice. – Petra

Ros: Sex workers continue working in even more hazardous conditions during quarantine with no recompense from the monarchy. What else is new? – David

Rodrik Cassel: Quarantines at Torrhen’s Square due to travel restrictions, and isn’t sure whether to stay put, or brave the virus to return to Winterfell and kick Theon’s ass. – Petra

Jory Cassel: Guards the Stark family closely, and makes sure no one gets within 6 feet of them. – Petra

Maester Luwin: Joins a WhatsApp group for Maesters teaching from home. – Petra

Old Nan: Survived the first sickness 100 years ago, and will not succumb to this one. – David

Septa Mordane: Teaches embroidery classes over Zoom. – Petra

Maester Wolkan: Is too relieved that he is quarantining with the Starks instead of the the Boltons to be worried about anything else. – Petra

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King’s Landing Retinue:

Sandor ‘The Hound’ Clegane: Quarantines at the Quiet Isle digging graves. – Petra

Gregor ‘The Mountain’ Clegane: Didn’t understand that when health experts said to avoid touching your eyes, that also meant avoiding touching other peoples’ eyes as well. Begins to exhibit secondary symptoms. All evidence points to Oberyn. – Petra

Petyr ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish: Little does everyone know that that Littlefinger actually orchestrated the entire pandemic. Chaos is a ladder, pandemics cause chaos, and he is flying high on the top rung. He did warn you not to trust him, after all. – David

Varys: Genuinely struggles to be the Master of Whispers now that all his Little Birds are in quarantine. To compensate, he’s Zooming with Illyrio regularly. – Petra

Partners with Margaery to run a shadowy public health campaign to save the realm. – Akash

Grand Maester Pycelle: Wears his mask below his nose and insists that it makes no difference. – Petra

Bronn: Posts YouTube videos of himself building forts with all the toilet paper he’s hoarded. – Petra

Shae: Quarantines at Chataya’s whorehouse. Teaches its denizens Tyrion’s drinking game and it’s a big hit. – Petra

Maester Qyburn: Is “working” on a “vaccine.” – Petra

The High Sparrow: Had insisted on keeping the Sept of Baelor open; is now exhibiting secondary symptoms. – Petra

Septa Unella: Chants “Shame, Shame” at anyone seen without a mask (from at least six feet away.) – Petra

Meryn Trant: Gets coughed on. – Petra

Janos Slynt: Has his mask stolen by Mhaegen (baby Barra’s mother); is now exhibiting secondary symptoms. – Petra

Dontos Hollard: Reads online that consuming alcohol destroys the virus and has been blackout drunk ever since. – Petra

Davos

Stannis Retinue:

Davos Seaworth: Finally, *finally* returns home to quarantine with his wife. Is using the extra time to work on his reading comprehension. – Petra

Matthos SeaworthUses this time to document all the ways in which Melisandre is going to change the world. He has finally seen the (lord of) light, and it is vital that everyone else does too. – David

Melisandre: Sees “Corona” in the flames and thinks the Lord of Light is warning her against the beer. – Petra

Sets up a religious conversion apparatus on Zoom. – Akash

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Salladhor Saan: Finds piracy to be a lot easier now that everyone he’s stealing from refuses to get within 6 feet of him. – Petra

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Daenerys Retinue:

Daario Naharis: Slowly becomes a brunette again; Jon Connington cleared all the stores out of blue dye. – Petra

Grey Worm: Overcomes his initial dismay at not having drills in the morning and has committed to mastering the Common Tongue… and the Westerosi language too, if there’s still time. 😛 – Petra

Missandei: Has been inoculated by Naathi butterflies. – Petra

Issues regular pandemic updates and reports to the public. – Akash

Barristan Selmy: Has a hard time rooting out the leader of the Sons of the Harpy while juggling following quarantine protocol. – Petra

Doreah: Has been …eh, quarantining in that vault for a while now. – Petra

Mirri Maz Duur: Spams Khal Drogo with conspiracy theories that Covid is a hoax; meanwhile works ’round the clock at the Lhazareen clinic. – Petra

Illyrio Mopatis: Was completely blindsided by the pandemic. Starts a Google Doc titled “How Covid Can Help Us Get Aegon on the Throne” but hasn’t invited Varys to edit it yet. – Petra

Xaro Xhoan Daxos: Sends Daenerys crates of Purell bottles, hand wipes, and toilet paper with a request that she quarantine with him. When she refuses, he orders a bloody glove off of Amazon and has it delivered to her. – Petra

Pyat Pree: Is currently under the impression that the virus is Euron Greyjoy’s invention and blames himself for teaching him black magic. – Petra

The Spice King: Blames the spread of sickness on outsiders and quadruple-locks the gates of Qarth. – Petra

…gets infected anyway because he didn’t wear a mask. – Akash

Hizdahr zo Loraq: Petitions Daenerys to reopen Daznak’s Pit for fighters and their coaches only. Proposes livestreaming the fights so that fans can watch. – Petra

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Arya Retinue:

Jaqen H’Ghar: Can populate a Zoom meeting all by himself. – Petra

Makes a mean profit off of Zoom masks. – Akash

The Waif: Teaches stick fighting on the House of Black and White’s app, FacelessTime™. – Petra

Lommy Greenhands: Washes his hands so many times the green dye comes off. Is now called Lommy Blandhands. – Petra

Hot Pie: Masters baking sourdough bread from scratch. – Petra

Yoren: Starts telling potential recruits for the Night’s Watch that the weather at the Wall is so cold it kills the virus. – Petra

Syrio Forel: Holds off a mob of people demanding haircuts long enough for Arya to escape. He may have caught the disease, he may have returned to Braavos in good health, he may have avoided contracting the virus by swapping out his contaminated Syrio face for his Jaqen face. Everybody has a different theory. – Petra

Lady Crane: Copiously taking notes so she will be ready when the play about this finally comes out. – David

Signs the petitions for Braavos to re-issue the artists relief funds. – Akash

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Wildlings:

Mance Rayder: After finally uniting all the clans and tribes of the Free Folk, Mance is having a hell of a time explaining why they now need to split up and self-quarantine. – Petra

Ygritte: Scoffs that only Kneelers quarantine, but agrees to hunker down in a cave with Jon. – Petra

Tormund Giantsbane: Suckling the milk from a giant’s tit keeps him good and strong. His body swarms with natural antibodies. – David

Orell: Is actually really glad to be an eagle now. – Petra

Wun-Wun: Quarantines with Val, per Jon’s instructions. Starts watching American football and becomes a fan of Phil Simms. – Petra

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Brotherhood Without Banners:

Beric Dondarrion: Considers killing himself and having Thoros resurrect him after this is all over. – Petra

Thoros of Myr: Remains devoted to the Lord of Light but has returned to his wino habits. Finds it incredibly frustrating that FaceTiming with someone on the other side of the planet is easier than seeing visions in flames. – Petra

Anguy: Runs archery target practice with the gang. Not many know it, but he was brought into the brotherhood to train the others. The harsh winters turned him into a hardened fella, so he rather welcomes the respite and calm. – David

Starts to wonder if it was a mistake not to stay with Lady Stoneheart since she can’t contract the disease and is really good at keeping people 6 feet away. – Petra

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The Night’s Watch:

Alliser Thorne: Goes out of his way to lick, cough, and sneeze on everything Jon owns when he doesn’t think Jon’s looking. – Petra

Eddison Tollett: Keeps cracking jokes about how he’s certain he’s got the virus. It stopped being funny weeks ago. – Petra

Grenn: Washes his hands for 20 seconds, wears a mask when he goes outside, and practices social distancing. He knows he has a reputation for being dumb, so he thinks it’s strange how simple and straightforward these rules are when so many people are finding them difficult to follow. – Petra

Pyp: Quarantines with Grenn. His feelings are hurt that Jon has been so emotionally distant since becoming Lord Commander, and even more socially distant since the pandemic broke out. – Petra

Qhorin Halfhand: Commands Jon to sneeze on him in front of virus conspiracy theorists so that Jon may gain their trust and infiltrate their ranks. – Petra

Brienne of Tarth Season 8 806 Kingsguard White Book of Brothers

Other Various Characters:

Brienne of Tarth: Has read through the White Book so many times at this point, she’s figured out that she’s descended from Lord Commander Duncan the Tall. – Petra

Podrick Payne: Writes a ballad about the virus to the tune of “Jenny of Oldstones.” – Petra

Craster: Offers Purell bottles alongside the babies he leaves for the White Walkers in exchange for protection from the virus. – Petra

Meera Reed: After dragging Bran around beyond the wall for so long, Meera is quite happy to be quarantined, safe and warm, at Greywater Watch. – Petra

Jojen Reed: Had a green dream months ago of a sea of Corona beer flooding Westeros. He’s really getting annoyed that green dreams only make sense in hindsight. – Petra

Walder Frey: His sons and grandsons circle him and cough on him together. Inexplicably, he remains the very picture of health. – Petra

Yohn Royce: Really can’t stand being quarantined with Sweet Robyn much longer. – Petra

The Three-Eyed Raven: Is glad to see that everything is going according to plan…the plan that he has…the plan that he’s been working on since the time of Dunk and Egg…yeah…that plan. – Petra

Leaf: Teaches paste-making classes over Zoom. Part of her hopes the Children of the Forest get to reclaim Westeros after all this. – Petra

Areo Hotah: Watches. Waits. Gets sick but doesn’t speak up because it is not his place to do so. – David

Tycho Nestoris: Is none too happy that unemployment is skyrocketing and the economy is tanking, because most people aren’t paying their debts to the Iron Bank. He can’t even repossess their belongings due to travel restrictions. – Petra

Harry Strickland: Studies for the CPA exam. Maybe he will finally become the accountant his mother always dreamed of. “Strickland and Associates” does have a nice ring to it. – David

Spends quarantine sitting around and letting his blisters heel. Has over two thousand unread e-mails in his inbox and keeps saying he’ll get around to sorting them. – Petra

The Night King: Decides to stay in the Land of Always Winter until further notice. Travel’s just too risky right now. – Petra

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74 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. Cersei expects the north to deal with the threat. she will deal with what is left. she´s obviously full scale florida.

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    2. ”Ros: Sex workers continue working in even more hazardous conditions during quarantine with no recompense from the monarchy. What else is new? – David”

      ——
      Ros: Super-spreader.

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    3. death by chickenfire:
      Cersei expects the north to deal with the threat. she will deal with what is left. She’s obviously full scale florida.

      “It’s a hoax! A fairy tale, like grumpkins, snarks and White Walkers! Nothing to fear, nothing to worry about, it’ll magically disappear in the warm weather. We will not let those fearmongers besiege us in our homes.

      We are lions, not sheep!”

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    4. (Small Council Meeting)

      Grandmaester Fauci: “This disease is highly contagious and as yet there is no effective cure. We need to keep the city on lockdown. Our people need to stay at home, and avoid congregating in public.”

      Master of Coin LF: “But thousands of people are planning to converge on the city for the upcoming Tourney. Our merchants and innkeepers are counting on this. Think of the economy, think of the tax revenue.”

      Grandmaester Fauci: “This disease is worse than greyscale and progresses much faster.”

      LF: “Fake news. What do you so-called “experts” know anyway? It’s no worse than the common cold. It’s going to disappear soon enough. My whores want to get back to work. I’m losing money. My brothels will go out of business if we don’t reopen.”

      Grandmaester Fauci: “But it’ll spread like wildfire, and then everybody’s business will be destroyed when people start dropping like flies. Dead people can’t f*ck your whores, buy armor on the Street of Steel, or buy bowls of brown brown in Flea Bottom.”

      Sandor Clegane: “Dead men don’t need silver.”

      Grandmaester Fauci: “Exactly.”

      LF: “My lord, think about the gold for our treasury. The old and infirm are a burden anyway; they’ll die soon enough. The rest of us need to live our lives. Besides, lots of people are saying an alchemist came up with a concoction that’s effective in treating the disease. I’ve already purchased millions of doses for our stockpile. It’s called hydroxychl…”

      Grandmaester Fauci: “… We’ve tested it. That sh*t is worthless.”

      Lord DeSantis: “But the Maesters at the Citadel tell me hundreds of thousands of our people are going to die if we don’t take immediate preventative action, and right now it’s not safe even for me to go outside.”

      LF: “It’s not safe inside. People die at their dinner tables. They die in their beds. They die sweating over their chamber pots. Everybody dies sooner or later. Don’t worry about your death. Worry about your life. Take charge of your life for as long as it lasts. That is what it means to be Lord of the Sunshine State.”

      Grandmaester Fauci: “My lord! I beseech you! Order a mandatory lockdown, please! Keep the city gates shut. If you don’t, you’ll be governing an army of the dead. The people of Florida are looking to you for real leadership at a time like this!”

      LF: “Real leaders don’t cower in fear to invisible enemies. The people don’t fear death. Neither should you.”

      Lord DeSantis: “Open the gates! I command it.”

      Sandor Clegane: “Dumb c*nt.”

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    5. HBO makes a show on the premise that Daenerys didn’t die, and she is currently ruling the 7 kingdoms. Instead of Man in the High Castle, they call it “Woman in the Dragon Castle”

      In this universe, Qyburn is still alive. The Hound and Arya never make it to Kings Landing. While traveling off of the Kings Road, Arya discovers a Weirwood tree gate. After Arya disappears through the gate, Sandor follows her through. Even though Dragon fire couldn’t kill the Night King, it certainly fried the Mountain and Cersei! Qyburn managed to escape.

      Qyburn works in his lab to create a bio weapon that can kill dragons. He infects his “Little Birds” and designs the virus so that children are carriers, but most will not come down with the malady. He sends out his “Little Birds” to infiltrate Dany’s camp.
      Unfortunately, Qyburn rushes his virus to market, and didn’t realize it would infect adult humans as well as dragons. As the series begins, The Little Birds haven’t made it to Dany and her dragons yet, but they have infected many adults in Westeros along the way.

      Sansa is held captive at Winterfell by Rance Bolton, the new Lord of the Boltons who allied himself with Daenerys. He was away in his summer home in Dorne while his uncle and nephew were killed. Sansa plots while locked in the tower. Her Northern loyalists help her spread rumors that the pandemic is all Dany’s fault. She finds out that the Flux (Pale Mare) is also still prevalent in Meereen. She spreads rumors that Dany did a horrible job handling the Flux when she was ruling Meereen. She brands Dany as a totally incompetent ruler. Sansa also makes it known that Dany was only worried about the Dragon Bay merchants reopening their shops and getting their commerce going again. Dany ignored the greater threat of the Flux, and now can’t get a handle on the “Dragon Flu”.

      Oh, and the best selling face mask is the same kind worn by Quaithe, the shadowbinder, from Qarth. That was actually a pretty cool looking mask!

      Anyway, I would probably rather follow Arya and Sandor through the weirwood gate instead of finding out what happened to the Dragon Flu, so I may have to write more of their story another time. For now I have to log off…

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    6. Ten Bears:
      Tron79,

      You had me at “Arya and Sandor through the weirwood gate.”

      Yeah, I thought you may enjoy that part. I have always thought Arya’s journey runs parallel to Alice in Wonderland (or Alice through the looking glass), so Arya through the Black Gate sounds like an awesome movie.

      Here are a couple of mild spoilers from the book about the Black Gate. Adrianacandle would be proud of me with my book quotes…

      In the books, Sam leads Bran, Hodor, Jojen and crew down the well to find the Weirwood “Black Gate”. This is how Bran gets to the other side of the wall in the books. You have to say the magic words to open it… Only someone from the Nights Watch can open this particular gate, and you have to recite your Nights Watch vow…

      This was one of the cool magical elements of the book that I loved. D&D decided to leave out alot of the magic from the show.

      Here’s an excerpt from Storm of Swords, Bran IV

      “Bran and Hodor and six feet farther down, yet Bran could barely see him. He could see the door, though. The Black Gate, Sam had called it, but it wasn’t black at all. It was white weirwood, and there was a face on it. A glow came from the wood, like milk and moonlight, so faint it scarcely seemed to touch anything beyond the door itself, not even Sam standing right before it. The face was old and pale, wrinkled and shrunken. It looks dead. Its mouth was closed, and its eyes; its cheeks were sunken, its brow withered, its chin sagging. If a man could live for a thousand years and never die but just grow older, his face might come to look like that. The door opened its eyes. They were white too, and blind.

      “Who are you?” the door asked, and the well whispered, “Who-who-who-who-who-who-who.”

      “I am the sword in the darkness,” Samwell Tarly said. “I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers. I am the shield that guards the realms of men.”

      “Then pass,” the door said.

      Its lips opened, wide and wider and wider still, until nothing at all remained but a great gaping mouth in a ring of wrinkles. Sam stepped aside and waved Jojen through ahead of him. Summer followed, sniffing as he went, and then it was Bran’s turn. Hodor ducked, but not low enough. The door’s upper lip brushed softly against the top of Bran’s head, and a drop of water fell on him and ran slowly down his nose. It was strangely warm, and salty as a tear.”

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    7. Tron79,

      I am proud! 😉

      I like that quote you picked out — that passage does sound kind of Alice-in-Wonderland-esque as well, especially with the, “Who-who-who-who-who-who-who.” With just a few more riddles, I would have thought they would be in Wonderland 🙂

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    8. Adrianacandle:
      Tron79,

      I am proud! 😉

      I like that quote you picked out — that passage does sound kind of Alice-in-Wonderland-esque as well, especially with the, “Who-who-who-who-who-who-who.” With just a few more riddles, I would have thought they would be in Wonderland 🙂

      Thanks!! Yeah, I figure there could be other Weirwood gates.. Perhaps she has to say something related to a Faceless Man to get through…or perhaps a Stark saying.. .Anyway, there are a ton of possibilities…

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    9. Tron79: Ooh. I watched Labyrinth several months ago.It might have been from your recommendation!

      no wait… I was thinking of a different Labyrinth.. .”Pan’s Labyrinth” from 2006.
      I never saw the David Bowie Labyrinth (1986)… Should I take the plunge…

        Quote  Reply

    10. Tron79: Ooh. I watched Labyrinth several months ago. It might have been from your recommendation!

      Really?? 😀 It’s a strange movie, hey?? If you’re ever wanting a laugh, Nostalgia Critic did a pretty entertaining review of it here. (I especially like the intro — an advert for utilizing traumatizing 80s movies for scaring life lessons into your kids featuring Return to Oz, The Secret of Nihm, Watership Down, and more!)

        Quote  Reply

    11. Tron79: no wait… I was thinking of a different Labyrinth.. .”Pan’s Labyrinth” from 2006.
      I never saw the David Bowie Labyrinth (1986)… Should I take the plunge…

      Oooh! Yes, Pan’s Labyrinth is quite different (and a very good movie!)

      Do take the plunge with Bowie’s Labyrinth!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 (To quote from the review above: sparkle, goddamn, sparkle!)

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    12. Adrianacandle,

      BTW, I was looking up if anything is happening with HDM.
      I read that they actually filmed season 2 together with season 1, so Dafne wouldn’t age too much. So it’s already in the can, and HBO’s site says “coming soon” for season 2…
      No other dates that I can see, but good news that it won’t be delayed because of COVID.

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    13. Tron79: BTW, I was looking up if anything is happening with HDM.
      I read that they actually filmed season 2 together with season 1, so Dafne wouldn’t age too much. So it’s already in the can, and HBO’s site says “coming soon” for season 2…
      No other dates that I can see, but good news that it won’t be delayed because of COVID.

      Oh, thank-you! That is good news!

      Yes, I was concerned about DK maturing too much since Lyra is only 11 in the first book, 12 in the second, and 13 in the last while DK — at the time of filming S1 — is 14 and looks 14 (admittedly, this did cause a bit of a disconnect for me in season 1. DK is very slender but she’s pretty clearly 14 when portraying an 11 year old Lyra. It would have been easy to age Lyra up if her age weren’t so important to the plot, given the effects of Dust and the whole

      Second Eve revelation.)

      (Another note, I think MW had an advantage here in GoT since MW is pretty teeny tiny vertically and horizontally with a round face, enabling her to play younger, longer. I don’t think DK has that same advantage).

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    14. Adrianacandle: Oh, thank-you! That is good news!

      Yes,I was concerned about DK maturing too much since Lyra is only 11 in the first book, 12 in the second, and 13 in the last while DK — at the time of filming S1 — is 14 and looks 14 (admittedly, this did cause a bit of a disconnect for me in season 1. DK is very slender but she’s pretty clearly 14 when portraying an 11 year old Lyra. It would have been easy to age Lyra up if her age weren’t so important to the plot, given the effects of Dust and the whole

      (Another note, I think MW had an advantage here in GoT since MW is pretty teeny tiny vertically and horizontally with a round face, enabling her to play younger, longer. I don’t think DK has that same advantage).

      Yeah, hard to say. I only saw Dafne Keen before this in “Logan” and she was pretty teeny then. They made Maisie wear that uncomfortable strap when she started getting older, and it sounded from her interviews that it was quite emotional for her to have to wear it. She was extremely relieved to get to wear a new costume when she made it to Braavos. Reading about her own real life identity journey, I think wearing a costume to hide her maturity was difficult on her.

      Yes, you’re right about season 3. They have some leeway on her aging since..

      it’s all about getting to that age where she’s becoming a woman isn’t it, so it’s good that she will age a little in real life.. and yes there is that Garden of Eden second fall theme throughout. Instead of Winter is Coming, the mantra in HDM is “The Fall is Coming”.

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    15. Tron79,

      Yeah, hard to say. I only saw Dafne Keen before this in “Logan” and she was pretty teeny then. They made Maisie wear that uncomfortable strap when she started getting older, and it sounded from her interviews that it was quite emotional for her to have to wear it. She was extremely relieved to get to wear a new costume when she made it to Braavos. Following her own identity journey, I think having to look like a boy even through she was maturing was difficult on her.

      That’s a good point (and breast binding is difficult — physically and emotionally — that would be really tough to experience when it feels like this action is suppressing important parts of you). For me, with DK in season 1, she appears quite a bit older than the other kids she’s surrounded by (like Roger, who is the same age as Lyra, so that results in a disconnect for me). I don’t know, to me, she’s a just a few years too old to play Lyra at this point. I’d rather they had hired an actress in the 10-12 range since just 3 years can make such a difference but YMMV!

      it’s all about getting to that age where she’s becoming a woman isn’t it, so it’s good that she will age a little in real life.. and yes there is that Garden of Eden second fall theme throughout. Instead of Winter is Coming, the mantra in HDM is “The Fall is Coming”.

      You’re right, it is. The issue for me is that it looks like she’s already reached that age in season 1 so I don’t know if there’s that transition anymore. Emotionally, yes, she may still need to make that transition! But she already looks like a young woman rather than a child in season 1, especially in comparison to the other kids, when I think Lyra is supposed to look like a child here.

      It feels so weird to talk about this! But I think this is a plot point in the books — puberty, Dust, and the Second Eve.

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    16. Adrianacandle:
      Tron79,

      That’s a good point (and breast binding is difficult — physically and emotionally — that would be really tough to experience when it feels like this action is suppressing important parts of you). For me, with DK in season 1, she appears quite a bit older than the other kids she’s surrounded by (like Roger). I don’t know, to me, she’s a just a few years too old to play Lyra at this point.

      I understand how you feel about her age in season 1. I don’t think it bugged me quite as much. She still looked really young to me but you’re right that it would have been better if she was a little younger at the start of the story. I see what you are saying now with comparing her to Roger. Of course I used to be tall when I was her age and I played Center on my basketball team. Then I stopped growing in 6th or 7th grade and everyone else got taller. You also …

      You read the book first so you know right away that her age would be important later on. I had no idea so i wasn’t focused on it as much. If I rewatched now that I read the books I would definitely notice it more

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    17. Tron79,

      Yeah, that might be it! While it’s her height a bit, I think her face (while very pretty!) looks more in teen-zone to me than the 11-year old zone but this stuff is totally subjective and YMMV completely. She looks young — she is, she’s only 14! But a teenager young, not really a 10/11-year old young to me.

      At the same time, she doesn’t look quite 18 either 😉 So not really an adult! But in that awkward 14-16 range. Not a kid, not an adult. The awkward in-between — the point I think Lyra is supposed to hit by the end of HDM.

      Perhaps if the other kids were older, it might have played better for me?

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    18. Tron79,

      Oh wait — they did age Lyra up from 11 to 13 (much like they did with Sansa, Arya, and other ASOIAF kids on GoT: Sansa going from 11 to 13, Arya going from 9 to 11, Robb/Jon/Dany going from 13/14 to 17/18, etc. I think all ASOIAF kids were aged up by a few years on GoT).

      Makes a bit more sense now 🙂

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    19. Adrianacandle:
      Tron79,

      Oh wait — they did age Lyra up from 11 to 13 (much like they did with Sansa, Arya, and other ASOIAF kids on GoT: Sansa going from 11 to 13, Arya going from 9 to 11, Robb/Jon/Dany going from 13/14 to 17/18, etc. I think all ASOIAF kids were aged up by a few years on GoT).

      Makes a bit more sense now 🙂

      Humm.. i just read that article you link to from back in 2018… How could they reconfigure her as a 13 year old as the article suggests..

      if she’s already 13, she’s really too old at the start of the series. It sounds like she aged while they waited for the director and started shooting so they decided to make her 13 instead of 11… No wonder you were bothered… I think I’m reading the article correctly. It makes it sound like she starts off as 13…. Perhaps they will say her 16th birthday is when her daemon will settle… Seeing Dafne in the photo of that article from 2018, she already looks at least 15 to me.

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    20. Tron79,

      Yeah….

      Humm.. i just read that article you link to from back in 2018… How could they reconfigure her as a 13 year old as the article suggests..

      if she’s already 13, she’s really too old at the start of the series. It sounds like she aged while they waited for the director and started shooting so they decided to make her 13 instead of 11… No wonder you were bothered… I think I’m reading the article correctly. It makes it sound like she starts off as 13…. Perhaps they will say her 16th birthday is when her daemon will settle… Seeing Dafne in the photo of that article from 2018, she already looks at least 15 to me.

      Yeah, that’s kind of my issue too. It feels like a band-aid solution — just aging Lyra up to 13 to account for DK’s maturation during the casting process. In-universe, 11 is supposed to be among the last points before Dust takes effect, before the daemons settle, which is why the experiments are being performed on kids this age and under. To prevent Dust from taking effect. Why people believe there’s still time to stop (kill) Lyra from becoming the Second Eve. So having Lyra start off as 13 sort of messes with the in-universe Dust logic here a bit. I think 13 is when Lyra’s daemon does finally settle and much of the story happens before this point.

      I also had the impression that Lyra’s emotional maturity and growth transitioned into this settling too — her feelings for Will, her changing worldview, her view of her parents, etc. I guess it can be argued this happens at later ages but I think this development is supposed to coincide with the physical time when Dust settles in this world?

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    21. Adrianacandle:
      Tron79,

      Yeah….

      Yep that really does put them in a tough place since

      Age/maturity is such a major element in the story.

      Well I’m excited to see what they do in season 2 and it might not be that long to wait. Season 3 may be a huge age jump for her depending on Dafne and perhaps three years between filming season 2 and 3 since they filmed season 2 right after season 1.

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    22. Tron79,

      Exactly.

      And this time being the first flush of that development, those changing feelings as one enters teen hood.

      And I think HDM is intended to take place in the 90s. I don’t think anybody in their right mind could argue 13/14 is an adult, nowhere close, but like what so many teen shows explore, it’s about that first stage of maturation, the first transition from childhood to teenhood, and the changes that go on there. So much of the story’s mythology seems to depend on this. Action can be taken before this first stage occurs, to preserve their innocence/purity (or ignorance of maturation and what it entails) as the Church sees it. To keep them as children forever.

      Well I’m excited to see what they do in season 2 and it might not be that long to wait. Season 3 may be a huge age jump for her depending on Dafne and perhaps three years between filming season 2 and 3 since they filmed season 2 right after season 1.

      Me too!!

      Especially given what we know about the ultimate choice Mrs Coulter and Lord Asriel ultimately make. I’m curious to see how Ruth Wilson plays this.

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    23. Adrianacandle,

      ”Another note, I think MW had an advantage here in GoT since MW is pretty teeny tiny vertically and horizontally…”

      That is good! The target is smaller.

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    24. Ten Bears:
      Adrianacandle,

      ”Another note, I think MW had an advantage here in GoT since MW is pretty teeny tiny vertically and horizontally…”

      That is good! The target is smaller.

      Yeah height makes people think you are younger too. My daughter is vertically challenged. She’s stayed just under 5 feet and is now in her late 20s. She could still pass for a kid partly because of her height. I’m sure this helped maisie play a kid longer (and stay alive longer with the smaller target) but it also may make it more difficult for her to land certain roles now that she is older.

      I forget the line in the Warrior Nun about getting your a*ss kicked by a petite ninja but it made me think of Maisie.

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    25. Tron79: That’s funny. I was thinking about her last night. I was thinking she could have been a good one to cast as Lyra. She’s feisty and younger. She starred in an awful kids tv series. I think it was called the Worst Witch. It was not up to her talents but probably paid the bills. I wonder who she would play in HDM season 2.

      Yeah, I gave Worst Witch a chance and could not get through it!

      So this is the character Ramsey will be playing (I needed a refresher):

      A girl named Angelica who lives in the world Lord Asriel created a bridge to at the end of Northern Lights (season 1). Lyra and Will will probably meet her in season 2.

      I agree Ramsey would have also been a nice choice for Lyra too — especially with the attitude Ramsey can embody 🙂 I’m excited to see her in this role though! I think HDM is a good fit for her!

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    26. Tron79: Yeah height makes people think you are younger too….She could still pass for a kid partly because of her height. I’m sure this helped Maisie play a kid longer (and stay alive longer with the smaller target)…

      Guess it could have been the diminutive stature making her a smaller target that helped her stay alive. More likely it was because she was “a cold little bitch.” 🐶💕👸🏻

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    27. Ten Bears,

      …. Here’s their heartwarming reunion in S8e1.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmkTINJp574

      🐶💕👸🏻

      For rewatch purposes, I like to juxtapose this S8e1 scene in which Sandor and Arya posture and glare at each other with their S8e5 farewell scene in which they both drop their gruff, angry facades and show genuine warmth for one another, e.g., Sandor yanking her arm and barking “look at me!” and Arya snarling “I’m going to kill her!”… to Sandor gently cupping Arya’s head and speaking softly to her; and Arya looking back up at him with puppy dog eyes, and then calling out to him: “Sandor! … Thank you.

      Though I may sometimes grouse about the brevity of their scenes together in S8, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. As the old show business adage goes: “Always leave ‘em wanting more.”

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    28. Tron79: That’s funny. I was thinking about her last night. I was thinking she could have been a good one to cast as Lyra. She’s feisty and younger. She starred in an awful kids tv series. I think it was called the Worst Witch.It was not up to her talents but probably paid the bills. I wonder who she would play in HDM season 2.

      Interesting. I remember reading that Bella Ramsey dropped out of “The Worst Witch” because of “mental health issues” or something; I feared that yet another promising young child actress had suffered early burnout.

      Now it looks like she may have made a calculated career move to escape a “comedic” role as a bumbling witch trainee in a fluffy Hogwarts 2.0 retread, in order to take on more challenging roles.

      I had watched a few episodes of “The Worst Witch.” Though it wasn’t terrible, any number of child actresses could’ve played that role, and I got the feeling that successive seasons would’ve had Bella Ramsey playing the same one-note character in redundant story lines. Perhaps she found the prospect of continuing on in that show to be frustrating, and bugged out using her “mental state” as a justification.

      I was pleasantly surprised to read your post with news that she landed a role in S2 of “His Dark Materials,” even though I have not watched that show or read any of the books on which it’s based.

      Out of curiosity: What do you know about the character (Angelica?) she will be playing? I assume that character is more nuanced and morally complex than the affable tween witch she portrayed in the Nickelodeon-type comedy, “The Worst Witch.”

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    29. Adrianacandle: Yeah, I gave Worst Witch a chance and could not get through it!

      So this is the character Ramsey will be playing (I needed a refresher):

      Angelica

      I agree Ramsey would have also been a nice choice for Lyra too — especially with the attitude Ramsey can embody 🙂 I’m excited to see her in this role though! I think HDM is a good fit for her!

      As I wrote a few minutes ago, I too gave “The Worst Witch” a chance. I can’t say I couldn’t get through it, and yet, after watching a few episodes, I never felt a compelling urge to watch some more. Part of the reason may have been that Bella Ramsey’s portrayal of the precocious, no-nonsense Lyanna Mormont on Game of Thrones made it difficult to watch her as a self-effacing novice broomstick-riding screw-up. Don’t get me wrong: I enjoyed watching her play the “good guy” underdog and loyal friend on “The Worst Witch.” It’s just that this type of role seemed limiting, considering the talents she displayed on GoT.

      I had wondered whether giving up a steady paycheck as the star of a series was a wise move for a young actress, and felt kind of bad when I read that she was suffering from “mental health issues” that compelled her to drop out. After all, as Maisie Williams and her mom wisely concluded (despite bloviating critics who questioned their decision for MW to continue playing Arya, instead of attending public school full time), such opportunities don’t come along very often, even for the most talented actresses; it’s foolhardy to forego what may be a once in a lifetime opportunity, and expect that lightning will strike twice down the road.

      Anyway, I’m curious what kind of role Bella R will be playing on HDM.

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    30. Ten Bears: Anyway, I’m curious what kind of role Bella R will be playing on HDM.

      From what I remember of the character Ramsey will be playing, Angelica is not at all like her Worst Witch character. Nor is she so much like Lyanna. Angelica is closer to Lyanna but… I think the best words I could use to describe Angelica are scrappy and willful. She’s not a big role in the series but the character is pretty impactful.

      Anyway, because the HDM role isn’t so major as her WW role, maybe it’ll work out better for Ramsey? HDM is a pretty interesting universe 🙂

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    31. Ten Bears: Anyway, I’m curious what kind of role Bella R will be playing on HDM.

      In addition to my above post, I’d also say Angelica ends up being an emotional role and on the angrier side. She’s also kind of a leader in a way but not like the noble, stoic Lyanna. Angelica’s not stoic or wise beyond her years, she’s very much a kid more or less on her own with her brother and the city’s other kids. It’s hard to say much without spoiling but I think this role will give Ramsey a lot of stuff to work with.

      Angelica is also a red-head so I wonder if Ramsey will have red hair in HDM or remain brunette.

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    32. Ten Bears:
      Tron79,

      FYI: Here’s one (of many articles) back in February of this year about Bella Ramsey leaving “The Worst Witch to “prioritize” her mental health – whatever that meant.
      https://metro.co.uk/2020/02/13/game-thrones-bella-ramsey-leaves-worst-witch-four-years-prioritise-mental-health-12231527/amp/

      Well, her agent probably should have made her leave sooner. That sounds sad though that she thinks she needs to leave for her mental health. I do think the role of Mildred could be played by many child actors. It probably looked like a nice gig at the time, but The Worst Witch is no Game of Thrones! It would have been time to move on after three years anyway, if she’s interested in meatier roles. But she may not be interested. She still is a kid and she may want to do some kid things for awhile. Kid actors often have a tutor and give up their social experience of having friends in school. If you think about high school, it’s usually filled with various “clubs” where you can begin to find your own identity. I’m sure much of this gets lost for child actors who are around adults all of the time. It’s making me sad thinking about the pandemic again. There is a push by some not to go back to in person classes, or to only have a couple days a week in person. I could see the effect over the first few months of the pandemic on my young students. I tutor them over facetime or zoom, but after months of home isolation, the children started to become different people. I noticed they were harder on themselves for every small mistake. I was letting most mistakes go, because I was more concerned about their mental health than correcting them! I’m getting better at the distance teaching thing, but it’s not even close to the same learning experience. I’m not sure if the world is supposed to stay stuck until there is a rushed to market vaccine? Even though some kids have died, the risk isn’t nearly as high as other demographics. There’s a good deal of risk just riding or driving a car, for example, based on yearly stats, and we still ride and drive cars. It’s a balance of weighing risks. Life is never without risk or it’s not life, it’s isolation. So, I’m not sure exactly why talking about Bella Ramsey got me back on COVID talk, but I think it’s mostly because of some issues I’m seeing. My own place of employment has a “virus reaction committee” that keeps changing the rules on parents just when they think they have a plan to move forward. This is stressful on them, and the mental health aspects are never taken into account, and it’s always trying to figure out how to live in as much of a bubble as possible. I think we need to change focus to figuring out how to live with the virus in the safest way possible, but still go on living, since a vaccine may never come, and as I said, I’m not sure how many will jump at the chance to take a rushed to market vaccine if one does come out by the end of the year like some have promised…

      Adrianacandle did a good job explaining the HDM character Bella would play. It’s not a major role, but it’s a significant one, and Bella I’m sure will make it memorable.

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    33. Tron79: It’s not a major role, but it’s a significant one, and Bella I’m sure will make it memorable.

      Yeah, I think she’ll do a good job with that role. We were discussing upthread how Ramsey would be a good fit for Lyra and in some ways, Angelica feels like a darker Lyra. Angelica is definitely a harsher role though and I think Ramsey will do amazing with her.

        Quote  Reply

    34. Adrianacandle: Yeah, I think she’ll do a good job with that role. We were discussing upthread how Ramsey would be a good fit for Lyra and in some ways, Angelica feels like a darker Lyra. Angelica is definitely a harsher role though and I think Ramsey will do amazing with her.

      First thanks to WotW for the great article. I’m sorry if I haven’t been commenting directly on it. There were many creative and funny thoughts throughout the article on each GOT character. The COVID talk has got me thinking of some decisions that were just made where I work that have me totally bummed out for a lack of a better phrase… Committees are worried about liability. Perhaps in GOT, they could have had a society from the time of the Children of the Forest who lived in complete isolation for 10,000 years. Their scientist still have not come up with a cure to the ailment that sent them into isolation. They discovered a way to hibernate for most of the time. Every 17 years like locusts/cicadas, they would come out to live within their isolated cave system they created. As they come out of hibernation this time, they are greeted by living corpses from the bones of their ancestors who kill them all… So what did their isolation get them? Sorry, I made a long story short! We were just about to put a little life back into our building with some very minor things going on with plenty of social distancing, but now committees are saying no and we have to go back into hibernation…. I guess my point is that the virus isn’t the only thing out there that could get us! While we wait for a vaccine, we have to find a way to live as safely as possible…Otherwise, if a virus comes, we may get hit by a bus on the way to the hospital to get our shot… And I’m not joking about getting hit by a bus. I know someone who lost a daughter that way. I’ve lost family in car accidents. The virus isn’t the only thing out there that can harm us. I wish we could figure out a way to be as safe as possible, but still go on living some.. Things are beginning to shut back down where I live in the US, and it’s going to be a very long night if everyone goes back to be totally shut down again…

        Quote  Reply

    35. Habitually argues with Ned over how many rolls Jon gets to use. – Petra

      And followed by that angry Catelyn gif… this made me laugh out loud! I agree with Tron, a great, creative and fun article!

      Tron79,

      I’m concerned things will experience the same re-lockdown here too. I’m bummed to hear it’s already happening where you are. I don’t think we can truly be lockdown-free until a vaccine is developed and that’ll take some time…

        Quote  Reply

    36. Adrianacandle,

      I saw the comment without seeing the whole thread and thought it was referring to Ramsay the GoT character i.e. Bolton.

      In general and not addressing Adriana in particular, I haven’t watched HDM. I’m not saying I’ve NEVER watched a show with a supernatural element but when I was younger I used to get nightmares sometimes. Some horror shows can freak me out; I couldn’t read Dennis Wheatley’s supernatural type books and “Penny Dreadful” might not have been my type of show even without the dodgy accents.

        Quote  Reply

    37. Dame of Mercia,

      I saw the comment without seeing the whole thread and thought it was referring to Ramsay the GoT character i.e. Bolton.

      I can see how that’d be cause for confusion 🙂

      In general and not addressing Adriana in particular, I haven’t watched HDM. I’m not saying I’ve NEVER watched a show with a supernatural element but when I was younger I used to get nightmares sometimes. Some horror shows can freak me out; I couldn’t read Dennis Wheatley’s supernatural type books and “Penny Dreadful” might not have been my type of show even without the dodgy accents.

      I’d recommend giving HDM a go if you’re up for it! I wouldn’t call it frightening or in the horror realm. What do you think, Tron? But I think there are some disturbing elements.

        Quote  Reply

    38. Adrianacandle:
      Dame of Mercia,

      I can see how that’d be cause for confusion 🙂

      I’d recommend giving HDM a go if you’re up for it! I wouldn’t call it frightening or in the horror realm. What do you think, Tron? But I think there are some disturbing elements.

      Well, there are a few disturbing themes in season 1, but overall I think it’s pretty mild in the nightmare category for me anyway.

      (I’m thinking about the machine they are building and what it does). That could be pretty disturbing as you think about being torn apart from your soul)

        Quote  Reply

    39. Since my other comment is taking his sweet time in getting here, let’s try something different.

      Here is some GoT news. Game of Thrones will be released in 4K UHD! Here is the official announcement.

      BURBANK, CA, July 9, 2020 – The #1 selling home entertainment television series of all time*, and most-watched series in HBO history, Game of Thrones remains a blockbuster hit and cultural sensation. Now, for the first time ever, the entire series can be owned in spectacular 4K Ultra HD when Warner Bros. Home Entertainment releases Game of Thrones®: The Complete Collection on 4K Ultra HD Blu-rayTM on November 3, 2020. Featuring all 73 episodes along with over 15 hours of bonus content, plus Digital Copy (US only), this must-have set is priced to own at $254.99 SRP ($289.99 in Canada). Game of Thrones Seasons 1-8 are also available to own on Digital in HD via purchase from digital retailers.

      *Source: WHV Category Management, Market Insights. Data thru 6/20/20, United States.

      Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection on 4K Ultra HD will also be available in an exclusive limited-edition version at Best Buy for $285.43 SRP ($320.43 in Canada). Containing the same episode and bonus content, all eight epic seasons will be featured in individual steelbooks and housed in a striking individually numbered metal case.

      Based on the best-selling novel series by George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones has earned a total of 161 Emmy® nominations and 59 wins, which are the most nominations and wins of any Comedy or Drama series in Emmy history. The Cultural Phenomenon also stands as HBO’s most-viewed program ever, with the final season averaging a record-setting 44 million viewers in the U.S.

      The ensemble cast includes Emmy® and Golden Globe® winner Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) and Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont).

      “We are thrilled to offer Game of Thrones fans an in-home viewing experience worthy of the groundbreaking show with the long-awaited release of Game of Thrones: The Complete Series on 4K Ultra HD,” said Rosemary Markson, WBHE Senior Vice President, Television Marketing. “For the first time ever and unavailable anywhere else, loyal fans and collectors will be able to enjoy every extraordinary moment of this iconic show in eye-popping 4K Ultra HD with Dolby Vision HDR. Packed with over 15 hours of special features spanning all 8 seasons and a digital copy of every episode, this collectable set also makes a perfect holiday gift!”

      The 4K Ultra HD discs of Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection will feature Dolby VisionTM HDR that dramatically expands the color palette and contrast range and uses dynamic metadata to automatically optimize the picture for every screen, frame by frame.

      Also, the 4K Ultra HD discs of Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection will feature Dolby Atmos® soundtracks remixed specifically for the home theater environment to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead. To experience Dolby Atmos at home, a Dolby Atmos enabled AV receiver and additional speakers are required, or a Dolby Atmos enabled sound bar; however, Dolby Atmos soundtracks are also fully backward compatible with traditional audio configurations and legacy home entertainment equipment.

      The 4K Ultra HD release includes over 15 hours of bonus features originally released on the 2019 Game of Thrones: The Complete Series and The Complete Collection (Limited Collector’s Edition) Blu-ray sets.

      MORE THAN 15 HOURS OF BONUS FEATURES INCLUDING

      · Game of Thrones: Reunion Special: A two-part reunion show shot live in Belfast with the cast, both past and present, hosted by Conan O’Brien and available exclusively on these complete series collections. The reunion special is assembled in segments focused on Houses Lannister, Stark, & Targaryen and concludes with the key players all onstage for their final reflections on the years they shared in Westeros and Essos.

      · Game of Thrones: The Last Watch: A documentary by filmmaker Jeanie Finlay chronicling the making of the final season.

      · Conquest & Rebellion: An Animated History of Seven Kingdoms

      · Audio Commentaries, Deleted and Extended Scenes, Behind-the-scenes featurettes and much more from all 8 seasons!

      DIGITAL

      Game of Thrones Seasons 1-8 and The Complete Series are currently available to own on Digital. Digital purchase allows consumers to instantly stream and download to watch anywhere and anytime on their favorite devices. Digital movies and TV shows are available from various digital retailers including Prime Video, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu and others.

      4K ULTRA HD

      Street Date: November 3, 2020

      Rating: TV-MA

      33 Discs (23 BD-100s, 7 BD-66s, 3 BD-50s)

      4K UHD Presented in 16×9 widescreen format

      Audio: English, French, Spanish

      Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

      Runtime: Feature Approx. 75 hours

      Enhanced Content: Approx. 15 hours

      National 4K UHD Price: $254.99 SRP US / $289.99 SRP Canada

      Best Buy 4K UHD Exclusive Limited-Edition Price: $285.43 SRP US / $320.43 SRP Canada

      About Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Inc.

      Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment’s home video, digital distribution and interactive entertainment businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. An industry leader since its inception, WBHE oversees the global distribution of content through packaged goods (Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD) and digital media in the form of electronic sell-through and video-on-demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels, and is a significant developer and publisher for console and online video game titles worldwide. WBHE distributes its product through third party retail partners and licensees, as well as directly to consumers through WBShop.com and WB Ultra

        Quote  Reply

    40. Tron79,

      “She [Bella Ramsey] still is a kid and she may want to do some kid things for awhile. Kid actors often have a tutor and give up their social experience of having friends in school. If you think about high school, it’s usually filled with various “clubs” where you can begin to find your own identity. I’m sure much of this gets lost for child actors who are around adults all of the time. It’s making me sad thinking about the pandemic again. There is a push by some not to go back to in person classes, or to only have a couple days a week in person. I could see the effect over the first few months of the pandemic on my young students. I tutor them over facetime or zoom, but after months of home isolation, the children started to become different people. I noticed they were harder on themselves for every small mistake. I was letting most mistakes go, because I was more concerned about their mental health than correcting them! I’m getting better at the distance teaching thing, but it’s not even close to the same learning experience. I’m not sure if the world is supposed to stay stuck until there is a rushed to market vaccine? Even though some kids have died, the risk isn’t nearly as high as other demographics. There’s a good deal of risk just riding or driving a car, for example, based on yearly stats, and we still ride and drive cars. It’s a balance of weighing risks. Life is never without risk or it’s not life, it’s isolation. So, I’m not sure exactly why talking about Bella Ramsey got me back on COVID talk, but I think it’s mostly because of some issues I’m seeing. My own place of employment has a “virus reaction committee” that keeps changing the rules on parents just when they think they have a plan to move forward. This is stressful on them, and the mental health aspects are never taken into account, and it’s always trying to figure out how to live in as much of a bubble as possible. I think we need to change focus to figuring out how to live with the virus in the safest way possible, but still go on living, since a vaccine may never come, and as I said, I’m not sure how many will jump at the chance to take a rushed to market vaccine if one does come out by the end of the year like some have promised…”

      Greetings from my Sky Cell in the heart of the epicenter (South Florida):

      About the quandary facing parents and administrators in reopening schools in the midst of a pandemic, I touched on this in my snarky “Small Council Meeting” comment on 7/6/20 at 5:42 pm, above.

      It’s frustrating for me, since we had and have the wherewithal to reduce the risks to school children, and yet politicians (at least down here) seem to have this attitude, “F*ck it. Let ‘em live with it.” There’s $ billions for bailouts for big corporate donors, but not to retrofit schools???

      Since the opportunity to nip the pandemic in the bud (with massive testing, contact tracing and quarantining) has come and gone, and keeping kids at home indefinitely is apparently not palatable, the least we could do is spend whatever it takes to minimize the risks of returning to the classroom. It’s barbaric that there are politicians willing to send little kids to fight on the front lines – and serve as guinea pigs.

      Or in GoT terms, conscript boys and girls “to fight in someone else’s war.”

      [Sorry for the tone. I’m pissed off. 😡]

        Quote  Reply

    41. Adrianacandle,

      “I’m concerned things will experience the same re-lockdown here too. I’m bummed to hear it’s already happening where you are. I don’t think we can truly be lockdown-free until a vaccine is developed and that’ll take some time…”

      I’m afraid that people [down here at least] lack the collective will to make the necessary short-term sacrifices to beat back the spread of the contagion. Combined with the segment of the population who are anti-science Kool Aid drinkers buying into the “it’s a hoax” or “it’s no worse than a cold” propaganda, there is probably no way to avoid lockdowns until a vaccine is developed.

      What a terrible shame.

      (to be cont.)

        Quote  Reply

    42. Ten Bears,

      Thanks, Ten Bears!

      And yes, I think that’s true. Until a covid vaccine is developed, lockdowns probably can’t be avoided… But it doesn’t appear some are willing to accept this, going forward as normal anyway.

        Quote  Reply

    43. Adrianacandle,

      Con of Thrones was supposed to take place next weekend, July 17-20, in Orlando, Florida.

      Thank the gods it was postponed until 2021. We would’ve been totally f*cked:

      Disney World in Orlando is going ahead with its reopening tomorrow, despite the uncontained pandemic raging in Florida. Tens or hundreds of thousands of people, converging in Orlando…

      https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/09/media/disney-world-reopening/index.html

      It’s insane.

      Mickey Mouse: “Your Grace! Hundreds will die!
      King Stannis: “Thousands.”

      I shudder to think about the resulting fatalities we’ll see in two or three weeks. This is going to make Dany’s democidal rampage look like a fender bender.

      It’d be like throngs of clueless tourists from KL sailing to Old Valyria for vacation.

      Come see the Ruins of Old Valyria! Don’t mind the Stone Men. They’re harmless! Don’t worry about contracting greyscale. No worse than a flea bite.”

        Quote  Reply

    44. Ten Bears,

      Yep. And to play with another Dany-ism, doing this is really playing with fire. Amusement parks have so many high-contract surfaces, it’s practically made of high-contact surfaces and people will be in close quarters as they line up for rides, drinks, vendors, the midway… I mean, I guess they could put measures in but will they be meticulously cleaning every touched handle bar when somebody lays their hand on one every 0.5 seconds? What about the rides? It doesn’t seem doable to implement the measures needed to keep the worldwide pandemic under control.

      Around this time, Calgary wound be holding the Stampede — which is an outdoor festival with rides, vendors, midway games, weird experimental carnival foods (me and my best friend would use Reddit to decide what we were going to let induce us into a vomitfest this time) — but for the first time ever, it’s been cancelled due to covid. It feels weird to have a summer without the Stampede.

      Even I find myself forgetting about covid sometimes… Another friend, who now lives in the Netherlands, had to cancel her trip to Canada to see her parents and I had to ask her, “Wait, why? Oh…”

      It’s going to be a hard set of years until a vaccine can be developed.

      That was a good article in The Atlantic btw.

        Quote  Reply

    45. Adrianacandle,

      ”Yep. And to play with another Dany-ism, doing this is really playing with fire. Amusement parks have so many high-contract surfaces, it’s practically made of high-contact surfaces and people will be in close quarters as they line up for rides, drinks, vendors, the midway… I mean, I guess they could put measures in but will they be meticulously cleaning every touched handle bar when somebody lays their hand on one every 0.5 seconds? What about the rides? It doesn’t seem doable to implement the measures needed to keep the worldwide pandemic under control.”

      The biggest problem, as I see it, is that it’s sweltering hot. Throngs of visitors will be indoors together, in air-conditioned (i.e., recirculated air) restaurants and shops, to escape the heat. Mickey Mouse may be remembered as a demon.

      (… Hey wait. Am I subconsciously pilfering lyrics from a song? Lemme think about that…)

      Sorry to hear about the cancellation of the Calgary Stampede. I had only ever heard of a sports team by that name. I didn’t know it was a festival. I am going to google research it. (P.S. I got a nice chuckle out of your “vomitfest” description.)

        Quote  Reply

    46. Ten Bears,

      The biggest problem, as I see it, is that it’s sweltering hot. Throngs of visitors will be indoors together, in air-conditioned (i.e., recirculated air) restaurants and shops, to escape the heat. Mickey Mouse may be remembered as a demon.

      Yeah — and I had wondered about sweat being able to transmit the virus but from what I’ve read, no, sweat isn’t a vehicle for the virus.

      Sorry to hear about the cancellation of the Calgary Stampede. I had only ever heard of a sports team by that name. I didn’t know it was a festival. I am going to google research it. (P.S. I got a nice chuckle out of your “vomitfest” description.)

      Yes, it is a sports team too! And the Stampede — the outdoor festival — usually takes place in early to mid July! In their post-wedding tour, Will and Kate stopped by the Stampede and other celebrities have also attended (I think a few perform on the Coca-Cola stage at Stampede every year). But I wouldn’t say it’s well-known outside of Alberta… less so, outside of Canada. I’d consider it lucky if a Torontonian who had never been to Calgary was aware of it. Most of my university friends in Toronto didn’t know about Stampede.

      Anyway, I like it! Every year, there are lists of the strangest foods Stampede has to offer that year (like roach pizza). But I really like rides and g-force… which don’t mix so well with carnival food 🙁 In which, yes, vomitfest is a cruel cruel teacher — but a worthwhile one 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    47. During quarantine I had many bowls of brown and worked on my sword skills in preparation for the Winds of Winter on the horizon of Westeros…

        Quote  Reply

    48. Adrianacandle,

      —-
      Update to 7:42 am comment

      I wrote: “The biggest problem, as I see it, is that it’s sweltering hot. Throngs of visitors will be indoors together, in air-conditioned (i.e., recirculated air) restaurants and shops, to escape the heat. Mickey Mouse may be remembered as a demon.

      (… Hey wait. Am I subconsciously pilfering lyrics from a song? Lemme think about that…)”

      —————-
      Yes. I was subconsciously pilfering song lyrics:

      🎶“Children, I want to warn ya,
      ‘Cause I’ve been to California,
      Where Mickey Mouse is such a demon,
      Where Mickey Mouse is as big as a house!🎵

      🎶Life is wasted on illusion.
      Tom and Jerry’s no solution.
      Evil games for cartoon demons,
      Pinocchio’s a real boy, look around!
      ”🎶

      – from ”Do You Want to Hold Me” (1982), by Bow Wow Wow (Link below to goofy lip synced music video filmed February, 1983):

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDXi4yqVd9g

      And for no other reason than I think their lead singer Annabella Lwin was such a dynamic performer, I’m including a link to this clip of two other songs from a live performance on Feb. 25, 1982:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxLqzZE2l2g
      ———

        Quote  Reply

    49. Quarantining with a bowl of brown and a hand-written copy of the Winds of Winter (I know people)– Davos

        Quote  Reply

    50. Ten Bears:
      Adrianacandle,

      —-
      Update to 7:42 am comment

      I wrote: “The biggest problem, as I see it, is that it’s sweltering hot. Throngs of visitors will be indoors together, in air-conditioned (i.e., recirculated air) restaurants and shops, to escape the heat. Mickey Mouse may be remembered as a demon.

      (… Hey wait. Am I subconsciously pilfering lyrics from a song? Lemme think about that…)”

      —————- Yes. I was subconsciously pilfering song lyrics:

      🎶“Children, I want to warn ya,
      ‘Cause I’ve been to California,
      Where Mickey Mouse is such a demon,
      Where Mickey Mouse is as big as a house!🎵


      🎶Life is wasted on illusion.
      Tom and Jerry’s no solution.
      Evil games for cartoon demons,
      Pinocchio’s a real boy, look around!
      ”🎶

      – from ”Do You Want to Hold Me” (1982), by Bow Wow Wow(Link below to goofy lip synced music video filmed February, 1983):

      And for no other reason than I think their lead singer Annabella Lwin was such a dynamic performer, I’m including a link to this clip of two other songs from a live performance on Feb. 25, 1982:
      ———

      Nice catch! 😀

        Quote  Reply

    51. ”Game of Thrones – Quarantine Edition!
      Posted on July 6, 2020 by David Rosenblatt

      Starved Game of Thrones fans: I, too, have been suffering from EDOGOTN (Extreme Drought of Game of Thrones News). To cure this, I’d been hard at work these last few months wondering what our favorite characters have been up to all this time…. So, what exactly has EVERY CHARACTER who has ever appeared on GOT think of quarantine? Dive in, and let’s find out.”

      —————

      Every character? Did I miss references to Kinvara, Maggy the Frog, Rabbit Stew Sally, Pyromancer Hallyne, and Karsi?

        Quote  Reply

    52. Ten Bears: and Karsi?

      We know what happened to Karsi! She changed her name to Kommissar and became a lead in a German acappella group 🙂 She may or may not have reunited with Beca 😉

        Quote  Reply

    53. Ten Bears,

      TB, when I was recuperating from extreme anaemia I had in late 2016 I somehow got sidetracked on to conspiracy theory videos on YouTube. There are some folks who think the way Walt Disney signed his name included the number 666 and he was part of the loominarty. There was a nutty side of YouTube even then though the quarantine has seen it grow.

        Quote  Reply

    54. I’ve mentioned Tyrion, I mean Peter Dinklage, being in a ‘Lassie’ film circa 2005 before. This is only a small clip as I don’t want to ‘spoil’ in case anyone decides to watch it. It’s a kid’s film really but even a flinty old crone likes something sentimental on occasion. If anyone thinks about watching it with their (young) children, it is a good film, but be aware there is a death of another dog (not Lassie) which may be a tearjerker part way through. The dialogue at 0.10 of this very short clip will be familiar. https://youtu.be/lu85hSJT0JY

      Fun fact – the Lassie dogs in the films have I think always been played by male dogs (in case the child actors suddenly shot up in height – the male dogs were usually larger than the females). Also in one of the early films a bitch (as in female dog not as in detrimental term) didn’t want to do a stunt swimming in a river.

        Quote  Reply

    55. Dame of Mercia:
      Ten Bears,

      TB, when I was recuperating from extreme anaemia I had in late 2016 I somehow got sidetracked on to conspiracy theory videos on YouTube.There are some folks who think the way Walt Disney signed his name included the number 666 and he was part of the loominarty.There was a nutty side of YouTube even then though the quarantine has seen it grow.

      as you mention Disney: Disneyworld has reopened, ok. but when will Valyria finally reopen for visitors? will it stay locked down forever just because there were some mild cases of acne?

      and, as i mention acne: over here in switzistan, some folks suffering badly from QAnonism distributed flyers against mandatory face covering in public transportation. they faked the layout of publications by the health authorities pretty nice. just, one of their points was that wearing a face mask would cause acne. not kidding.
      QAnonism is such a terrible disease. it really pisses straight into the skulls of people.

      “we can kill them with fire. we can kill them with dragonglass. we can help them with Clearasil.” (Jon Snow, adolescence expert)

        Quote  Reply

    56. death by chickenfire,

      Thinking of hoaxes and faking things, I remember (I think last year) somebody made a fake email address for a French politician and sent an email to more than one address saying the French equivalent of “Don’t vote for me”. I always think of Switzerland as being a calm country without too many social problems. Though I suppose going back in time Johanna Spyri wrote about family alienation in “Heidi”. I did some background reading about Frau Spyri. She wrote lots of stories but for some reason “Heidi” is the one that became famous. She lost her husband and son which was very sad.

        Quote  Reply

    57. “Melisandre: Sees “Corona” in the flames and thinks the Lord of Light is warning her against the beer. – Petra

      Sets up a religious conversion apparatus on Zoom. – Akash”

      I am howling over this. 😂

        Quote  Reply

    58. A face mask on Drogon?
      A new challenge for the CGI team.

      That could give rise to a new “as much use as” idiom.
      Instead of “as much use as a handbrake on a canoe” or “an ashtray on a motorbike”
      you could have “as much use as a face mask on Drogon”.

        Quote  Reply

    59. Well, this Game of Thrones-themed headline got my attention…

      “Winter is Coming”
      8-10-2020
      (Statnews.com, Boston Globe)

      America’s window of opportunity to beat back Covid-19 is closing

      Winter is coming: Why America’s window of opportunity to beat back Covid-19 is closing

      By HELEN BRANSWELL @HelenBranswell
      AUGUST 10, 2020

      The good news: The United States has a window of opportunity to beat back Covid-19 before things get much, much worse.

      The bad news: That window is rapidly closing. And the country seems unwilling or unable to seize the moment.

      Winter is coming. Winter means cold and flu season, which is all but sure to complicate the task of figuring out who is sick with Covid-19 and who is suffering from a less threatening respiratory tract infection. It also means that cherished outdoor freedoms that link us to pre-Covid life — pop-up restaurant patios, picnics in parks, trips to the beach — will soon be out of reach, at least in northern parts of the country.

      Unless Americans use the dwindling weeks between now and the onset of “indoor weather” to tamp down transmission in the country, this winter could be Dickensianly bleak, public health experts warn.

      “I think November, December, January, February are going to be tough months in this country without a vaccine,” said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Diseases Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

      It is possible, of course, that some vaccines could be approved by then, thanks to historically rapid scientific work. But there is little prospect that vast numbers of Americans will be vaccinated in time to forestall the grim winter Osterholm and others foresee.
      Human coronaviruses, the distant cold-causing cousins of the virus that causes Covid-19, circulate year-round. Now is typically the low season for transmission. But in this summer of America’s failed Covid-19 response, the SARS-CoV-2 virus is widespread across the country, and pandemic-weary Americans seem more interested in resuming pre-Covid lifestyles than in suppressing the virus to the point where schools can be reopened, and stay open, and restaurants, movie theaters, and gyms can function with some restrictions.

      “We should be aiming for no transmission before we open the schools and we put kids in harm’s way — kids and teachers and their caregivers. And so, if that means no gym, no movie theaters, so be it,” said Caroline Buckee, associate director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
      “We seem to be choosing leisure activities now over children’s safety in a month’s time. And I cannot understand that tradeoff.”

      While many countries managed to suppress spread of SARS-CoV-2, the United States has failed miserably. Countries in Europe and Asia are worrying about a second wave. Here, the first wave rages on, engulfing rural as well as urban parts of the country. Though there’s been a slight decline in cases in the past couple of weeks, more than 50,000 Americans a day are being diagnosed with Covid-19. And those are just the confirmed cases.
      To put that in perspective, at this rate the U.S. is racking up more cases in a week than Britain has accumulated since the start of the pandemic.

      Public health officials had hoped transmission of the virus would abate with the warm temperatures of summer and the tendency — heightened this year — of people to take their recreational activities outdoors. Experts do believe people are less likely to transmit the virus outside, especially if they are wearing face coverings and keeping a safe distance apart.

      But in some places, people have been throwing Covid cautions to the wind, flouting public health orders in the process. Kristen Ehresmann, director of infectious disease epidemiology, prevention, and control for the Minnesota Department of Health, points to a large, three-day rodeo that was held recently in her state. Organizers knew they were supposed to limit the number of attendees to 250 but refused; thousands attended. In Sturgis, S.D., an estimated quarter of a million motorcyclists were expected to descend on the city this past weekend for an annual rally that spans 10 days.

      Even on smaller scales, public health authorities know some people are letting down their guard. Others have never embraced the need to try to prevent spread of the virus. Ehresmann’s father was recently invited to visit some friends; he went, she said, but wore his mask, elbow bumping instead of shaking proffered hands. “And the people kind of acted like, … ‘Oh, you drank that Kool-Aid,’ rather than, ‘We all need to be doing this.’”

      Ehresmann and others in public health are flummoxed by the phenomenon of people refusing to acknowledge the risk the virus poses.

      “Just this idea of, ‘I just don’t want to believe it so therefore it’s not going to be true’ — honestly, I have not really dealt with that as it relates to disease before,” she said.

      Buckee, the Harvard expert, wonders if the magical thinking that seems to have infected swaths of the country is due to the fact many of the people who have died were elderly. For many Americans, she said, the disease has not yet touched their lives — but the movement restrictions and other response measures have.
      “I think if children were dying, this would be … a different situation, quite honestly,” she said.

      Epidemiologist Michael Mina despairs that an important chance to wrestle the virus under control is being lost, as Americans ignore the realities of the pandemic in favor of trying to resume pre-Covid life.
      “We just continue to squander every bit of opportunity we get with this epidemic to get it under control,’’ said Mina, an assistant professor in Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and associate medical director of clinical microbiology at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
      “The best time to squash a pandemic is when the environmental characteristics slow transmission. It’s your one opportunity in the year, really, to leverage that extra assistance and get transmission under control,” he said, his frustration audible.

      Driving back transmission would require people to continue to make sacrifices, to accept the fact that life post-Covid cannot proceed as normal, not while so many people remain vulnerable to the virus. Instead, people are giddily throwing off the shackles of coronavirus suppression efforts, seemingly convinced that a few weeks of sacrifice during the spring was a one-time solution.

      Osterholm has for months warned that people were being misled about how long the restrictions on daily life would need to be in place. He now thinks the time has come for another lockdown. “What we did before and more,” he said.

      The country has fallen into a dangerous pattern, Osterholm said, where a spike in cases in a location leads to some temporary restraint from people who eventually become alarmed enough to start to take precautions. But as soon as cases start to plateau or decline a little, victory over the virus is declared and people think it’s safe to resume normal life.

      “It’s like an all or nothing phenomenon, right?” said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “You all locked down or you get so discouraged with being locked down that you decide you’re going to be in crowded bars … you can have indoor parties with no masks. You can do all the things that are going to get you in trouble.”

      Osterholm said with the K-12 school year resuming in some parts of the country or set to start — along with universities — in a few weeks, transmission will take off and cases will start to climb again. He predicted the next peaks will “exceed by far the peak we have just experienced. Winter is only going to reinforce that. Indoor air,” he said.

      Buckee thinks that if the country doesn’t alter the trajectory it is on, more shutdowns are inevitable. “I can’t see a way that we’re going to have restaurants and bars open in the winter, frankly. We’ll have resurgence. Everything will get shut down again.”

      Fauci favors a reset of the reopening measures, with a strong messaging component aimed at explaining to people why driving down transmission now will pay off later. Young people in particular need to understand that even if they are less likely to die from Covid-19, statistically speaking, transmission among 20-somethings will eventually lead to infections among their parents and grandparents, where the risk of severe infections and fatal outcomes is higher. (Young people can also develop long-term health problems as a result of the virus.)

      “It’s not them alone in a vacuum,” Fauci said. “They are spreading it to the people who are going to wind up in the hospital.”
      Everyone has to work together to get cases down to more manageable levels, if the country hopes to avoid “a disastrous winter,” he said.
      “I think we can get it under much better control, between now and the mid-to-late fall when we get influenza or we get whatever it is we get in the fall and the winter. I’m not giving up,” said Fauci.
      But without an all-in effort “the cases are not going to come down,” he warned. “They’re not. They’re just not.”

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