Game of Thrones Season 7 Recap: Episode 5

Note: These recaps are usually posted on my main author site, ianthomasmalone.com, which is currently down.

Bronn’s upper body strength is pretty incredible, managing to lift Jaime and all his armor from the bottom of that river. Both of them must have pretty good lungs too since everyone was gone by the time they resurfaced. Jon could have sailed to Eastwatch and back in that amount of time!

Randyll Tarly was responsible for the only Targaryen victory in Robert’s Rebellion. I don’t mention that as a book fanatic nitpicking at a detail casual fans wouldn’t remember (like Littlefinger’s old scroll), since this fact was brought up this very season, when Randyll met with Jaime in King’s Landing. The idea that he would let himself and his son be burned to death in the name of Queen Cersei of all people, who he didn’t even support at the beginning of the season, is laughable. His excuse that Dany was foreigner with no ties to Westeros is one of the worst things the show has ever tried to pass off as logic. I guess Dickon Tarly won’t be the new Lyanna Mormont. Tragic.

That scene didn’t even really serve its function as a way to set up Dany as an unpolished ruler with potential anger management issues. Sure, Varys and Tyrion had a cute little chat about the need to curtail her death by dragon fire desires, but we were also later treated to a scene building up a potential romance with Jon, a reunion with Ser Jorah of House Greyscale, and to both of these men’s departures. Are we really supposed to be “that” worried that Dany likes to burn people when she’s busy giving this many hugs?

This episode marked the fourth time that Jorah has left Dany’s company since season four. Why is he still on this show? It is honestly beyond ridiculous at this point. He has had the most ridiculous storyline of any character on this show by far. We occasionally forget that rooted in his inability to die of incurable diseases, or to simply go away, is his creepy love of Dany, who will never reciprocate his affection. Please kill him. No more reunions. He should contract a new strain of greyscale from the ice zombies.

Let’s talk about this plan to get Jon back beyond the wall to have another battle with the White Walkers. Oops, I meant to write the plan to convince Cersei that the ice zombies are real, because that’s the reason the show has given us. Because apparently, that’s a smarter idea than just sending Davos and a team of assasins into King’s Landing like season two. Or you know, dragons.

This plan is absurd for a number of reasons. Perhaps the most ridiculous of them all is the likelihood that Cersei would still not care if they existed, even if she actually believed them. It seems like quite a gamble to send Jon on a suicide mission that probably wouldn’t work even if everything went according to plan. There are many ways to get rid of Cersei. The problem is that none of these plans take eight episodes and none include a battle with ice zombies featuring several popular characters. Alas.

Joer Mormont actually tried a similar plan to prove to King’s Landing that the White Walkers were real back in A Clash of Kings. He sent Ser Alliser Thorne with the zombified hand of the wight that tried to kill him in the first book/season to convince Tyrion, then Acting Hand. The wight died on the way there. Tyrion was not convinced.

The whole plan to go capture a White Walker seems designed strictly to get Jon off Dragonstone and to reunite Tyrion with Jaime. The reunion was fun from a fan perspective, especially seeing Jaime’s conflicted guilt over his role in Tywin’s death. This is actually a case where casting logic aside made sense. Tyrion could sit down and explain why he had to shoot their father with a crossbow and it could all be rational, but it wouldn’t change the fact that Jaime’s guilt is hardly misplaced. After all, Tywin was their father, even if he was willing to let Tyrion die for a crime he knew he didn’t commit.

The show did do two things I’ve been whining about all season. Davos finally brought up that Tyrion’s wildfire killed his son in the Battle of the Blackwater and we finally heard from the knights of the Vale! I’m glad D&D read these recaps.

Gendry is back! Davos even paid homage to the long running “still rowing” fan joke. Amazing. As if we needed another reason to love Davos.

The Arya/Sansa feud was kind of strange to watch, mostly because it felt like something out of season one. Arya has spent years training at the House of the Undying to become a deadly assassin. Sansa is governing Winterfell and all the political complexities that come with it. Seeing them bicker like that ignored the immense growth these two have undergone since they last shared the screen together.

Sansa was right to not take a firm stance defending Jon against the Vale lords. They owe him nothing. They didn’t come for Jon. They came for Sansa, who is still their liege lord’s cousin even if he never makes another appearance on the show. Jon is not. He is an illegitimate Night’s Watch deserter turned king, although probably not their king. I don’t say to belittle Jon, only to describe the current situation up North.

The messy political landscape is a big part of why Littlefinger is such a great character. We, the audience, hate him because of all the terrible things he’s done to characters we like. This doesn’t change the fact that he’s also the only reason any of them are in Winterfell, saving Jon at the Battle of the Bastards. I know a lot of people want Arya to kill him and I suspect that will happen sooner rather than later, but I’ll miss him when he’s gone.

For those wondering about the scroll, she found, it appears to be the letter Sansa was coerced into sending to Winterfell back in season one, calling her father a traitor and claiming that the Lannisters were nice hosts down in King’s Landing. This appears to be an effort to turn Arya against Sansa. If only there was an omniscient character at Winterfell who could foil this plan…

Why aren’t there any brothers of the Night’s Watch at Eastwatch-by-the-sea? Davos mentioned that Jon isn’t Lord Commander and can’t just wander around wherever he wants, except that seems to be exactly what he could do. I think I might have laughed if you told me a few years ago that Jon, Gendry, Jorah, Davos, Tormund, The Hound, Beric Dondarrion, and Thoros of Myr would all be headed beyond the Wall together. Now I guess it makes perfect sense, for some reason. Logic!

Finally, we get to that bombsell that Gilly casually mentioned to Sam, only to be ignored. Apparently, Rhaegar Targaryen received an annulment freeing him of his marriage to Elia Martell, allowing him to marry Lyanna Stark. This likely means that Jon is not a bastard and also now has the best claim to the Iron Throne under Westerosi law. This is also probably a major spoiler for the books, if George R.R. Martin ever finishes writing them.

Will Gilly ever mention this again? Maybe. She doesn’t necessarily need to, with Bran ex machina presumably also knowing that, and everything else. A marriage between Dany and Jon would render this point moot as well. It was a fun revelation for the fans, even if it is a big spoiler.

That’s it for this week. A lot happened. None of it involved Theon. Hopefully that continues next week. See you then.

Author Spotlight: Jessica Marie Baumgartner

“The Golden Rule” is for Everyone

 

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Share the Love
When a young girl starts to learn about the different ways to say it, she finds that every culture and faith has their own way to express the “Golden Rule”. Celebrate the love of diversity and acceptance in this beautifully illustrated tale.

The reviews are in
“The world is filled with so much harm and hurting right now, and The Golden Rule gives me hope that there may, indeed, be a better tomorrow in store for us.” – Readers’ Favorite

“This is a book that every person should read regardless of age.” – Keep Calm and Novel On

“The Golden Rule by Jessica Marie Baumgartner is a quiet reminder of the instinctive decency of children in interpreting the best that their religions (or life philosophies) can offer.” – The Pirate Learning Tree

Available at
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Golden-Rule-Jessica-Marie-Baumgartner/dp/1943755191/
And
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-golden-rule-jessica-marie-baumgartner/1126415594?ean=9781943755196

About the author:

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Jessica’s motto is: Adventure first, then write! When not running around exploring nature and chasing after two smaller versions of herself, she also…feeds the bunny. Somehow in there she has found the time to author the The Golden Rule, Embracing Entropy, Siren’s Snare, Tale of Two Bookends, and My Family Is Different. She also works as a freelance editor and is a current member of the Missouri Writers Guild and SCBWI. Her articles and stories have been featured in a wide variety of publications such as Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Teachers, Outposts of Beyond, Circle Magazine, and many more.

The Princess and the Clown ARC

Are you a book blogger that loves reviewing new books? ARCs for my seventh novel, The Princess and the Clown from Green Muffin Publishing are now available.

Here is the blurb for the book.ThePrincessandTheClown_BN

Clowning around isn’t all about red noses and rubber chickens… 

For Ralph, birthday parties and frat houses only bring nostalgia

For a better time. A time when the world still cared about the craft.

Living in the past can be tiring with nothing to look forward to.

 

Until Jules…

 

The princess. Struggling to make ends meet, she monetizes her

Best talent. The performance, plus the petticoats, hide her carnal desires. 

 

Ralph’s mind forgets its woes when lust takes over,

Breathing new life into pores caked with white makeup.

 

Time fades away, but the party never needs to end.

One question remains. Can Ralph handle her wild ways?

Please comment or send me an e-mail at asobaw@gmail.com if interested! Thank you.

 

 

Courting Mrs. McCarthy Mother’s Day Sale

CourtingeBookLooking for the perfect Mother’s Day gift? Courting Mrs. McCarthy is on sale this weekend for .99 cents on kindle. Get mom what she really wants, a scandalous tale of adultery!
Here is the synopsis!
Nathan is terrible at relationships…

Just ask his absent father, his controlling aunt and uncle…or his ex-girlfriend, Sarah. All he wants is to spend the summer before his senior year relaxing in the sun without any conflict or drama. But when he lays eyes on the beautiful, married mother of three at the opening of a yacht club, all bets are off.

Jacqueline McCarthy’s life is nothing but a façade…

Her husband is a disgraced former athlete who prefers to have his ego stroked by other women. Jackie fills her empty days with yacht club events with other bored, wealthy housewives she can’t stand, and she’d give anything to truly connect with someone.

When she meets Nathan and asks him to watch her children, she is captivated by the handsome, charismatic young man with a swimmer’s body.

Jacqueline’s attraction to Nathan doesn’t go unnoticed and one particular vindictive gossip is determined to expose what she considers an unsavory secret.

Her campaign of rumors and innuendo—and eventually physical evidence—draws the attention of friends and strangers alike, and threatens to bring their world crashing down.

However, sometimes those who are quickest to judge are the last ones who should be throwing stones…

Here is the link! Thank you for your support.
 

What is an “Indie” Author?

This a question that I’ve seen countless times over my writing career and wanted to weigh in. If you follow any book blogs or book related accounts on social media, you’ve probably seen the term “indie author” used before. While there are countless memes that say “support indie authors,” there’s also a fair amount of confusion as to what the term really encompasses.

Much of this blame falls on the word itself. People take indie to mean independent and therefore, self-published. That’s a fairly logical train of thought.16021_1543661555857821_4749658774172860935_n

Except for the fact that indie is a term that’s been used in the arts, including literature, for far longer than self-publishing has been a prominent practice. Indie films aren’t necessarily completely funded without studios and indie music isn’t always recorded without labels. To say that indie books must only be self-published takes an unrealistic deviation from the way we’ve used the term for decades.

Indie doesn’t mean independent. It means, independent from a major backer. The film, music, and publishing industries all have similar structural hierarchies in the sense that the top is dominated by a few huge companies, with smaller companies further down the ladder and self-funded artists at the bottom of the ladder.

For publishing, indie encompasses the books outside the big five: Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin/Random House, and Simon & Schuster. Vague, right? Well, it’s kind of supposed to be.

All the word “indie” reflects is the lack of a behemoth company producing the book. For those looking for a term than separates self-published and traditionally published books, you’re in luck. There’s an easy way to tell the two apart. Self-published books are self-published and traditionally published books are published through a publisher.

So why the indie label if we have easier terms to tell books apart based on their production history? There’s a simple answer for that too. Aesthetics.

Calling yourself an indie author is a lot more fun to say than telling people you were published at a small press. Say “indie” and “small press” out loud if you don’t believe me. Furthermore, the word “self-published” is still stigmatized by many people. In that regard, indie serves as a euphemism to use to those who may not check out your work otherwise.

Is it useful? Those memes exist for a reason. Some readers do like to feel like they’re supporting the underdog. There is of course, the flipside, the people that may view indie works as of a lesser quality. There isn’t really a right or wrong answer.

There is however, something to be conscious of with labels. I see authors who both traditionally and self-publish call themselves “hybrid authors,” a horrifically clunky term. Calling yourself a hybrid author essentially validates the self-publishing stigma as you admit that there’s a difference between traditionally and self-published work.

Beyond that, it’s a branding nightmare. Do you think an average reader knows what a hybrid author is? Do they care?

As an author, you need to be conscious of the image you project to yisupportbykm-002our readers. I see authors complain that their blog posts aren’t translating into sales when their blogs are basically all writing talk that an average reader wouldn’t find interested. I created ASOBAW to have a place to talk about books, while my general interest articles remain at my author site.

Does the indie label matter? Kind of. I don’t particularly think of it as a big selling point, but the amount of people who fumble to define an intentionally broad term is concerning. Pick your labels wisely and for good reasons.

Me? I’m just a writer. You should read my stuff.

Why I Don’t Do Cross-Promotion

There’s a disclaimer at the top of this site that explains my policy on blog tours. While you’ll see various promotional posts for other authors on ASOBAW, those are all from authors I know. Those posts aren’t cross-promotion as there hasn’t been a single instance where I’ve agreed to host an author here in exchange for promotion of my own work. I do it because they’re my friends and I know this is a tough business. Some of these people have hosted blog posts for my new work (which you should buy), but that’s also because they’re my friends.

I get e-mails and messages from people asking if I’ll post or tweet about their book in exchange for them doing the same for one of my books. Plenty of pe54efb434082d09699edefc8a637a5dfdople do this and there’s nothing inherently wrong with it. We have a flooded market and it’s hard for any author to get publicity.

I always refuse these requests, as well as any that say something like “I’ll gladly share anything of yours.” It’s nothing personal. I’m just not interested in telling my fans to buy something because there’s something in it for me.

If I wanted to have my work promoted by people I don’t know, I’d hire somebody or I’d ask bloggers who I know to help. That’s their role in the literary circle of life. Mine is to write and to spread the word about my own books (which again, you should buy). To help my friends promote their own books isn’t a job, but rather something friends do for each other. For strangers, not so much.

This post is not meant to be condemnatory toward the practice. If you’re an author who cross-promotes, go right ahead. You don’t need to justify yourself to anyone, nor do I in choosing to publicly state that I’m not an author who does that.

One of the beauties of publishing in this day and age is that I get to interact with my fans quite frequently. I see their messages and I respond to them. A relationship has been formed. One that does involving one party trying to get the other to buy something from them (plug number three to buy my books). At this in this scenario, I know that what’s being sold is worth buying (because I wrote it).

 

 

Dead Batteries Tell No Tales Is Out!

The exciting day is finally here! Dead Batteries Tell No Tales: A Prequel to Five High School Dialogues is out!

Here is the synopsis: 1257681.jpg

Public transportation is a new experience for Amber. So is not having access to a cell phone. Luckily, a classmate named Jason is there to help. During their travel, Amber quickly learns that her perspectives on life aren’t quite the same as her peers. As they make their way home, they try to break down the foundation of their social structure in this exciting prequel to Five High School Dialogues.

The Dialogues are truly a unique series in today’s market. This book is perfect for high school students and their families. I encourage you to pick up a copy for the low price of $1.99 on kindle!

Thank you for the support!

Here is the buy link for amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Batteries-Tell-Tales-Dialogues-ebook/dp/B01CVTBPG0/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1458934346&sr=1-1

And for Five High School Dialogues: http://www.amazon.com/Five-School-Dialogues-Thomas-Malone-ebook/product-reviews/B01BLPTGHU/ref=cm_cr_dp_synop?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=recent#R25EXMKIGX3U6J

 

Blog Tour: Embracing Entropy by Jessica Marie Baumgartner

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Available: March 15th, 2016

Title: Embracing Entropy
Author: Jessica Marie Baumgartner
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian

As Earth dies, leaving its inhabitants struggling to survive, an alien race offers an unimaginable option: to relocate humans to their own planet on the far end of the universe. The Campbells, one of the last surviving families, quickly realize humanity’s hope for survival may come with a price. Accepting a new way of life, acclimating to a new atmosphere, and trying to fight against a universe that seems set on tearing them apart offers many struggles. Can the Campbell’s make it through, together?
Amazon
Excerpt:

I used to have nightmares about this. I would wake up screaming as they forced me to leave. People giving up; abandoning Mother Earth. The thought alone caused my heart to race, my under arms to sweat.

Here I stand clutching my children, one on each side, as we prepare to be torn away from everything that’s tangible. Before me, a gargantuan structure glares from above. This beast, this ship is supposed to save humanity, or at least what’s left of it.

I’ve lived through mass devastation. It’s hardened me enough. But leaving? It still scares me.

We have no idea what’s out there for us.

My husband has faith in the alien colony that is aiding us. They made contact just in time. Said they had revolutionized their space program and stumbled upon our signal.

I don’t know what I believe.

As the line moves forward, I pull my girls along. They stumble ahead with fright, carrying their backpacks strapped to their bodies. Our packs are the only human luggage allowed on the crowded craft. But that’s not what they’re worried about.

It’s not the new race they fear. Or even the new world. It is the missing presence of their father.

He has his duty. He’ll stay with his men until we pilgrims are secure, then meet up with us in a smaller craft. I’m glad for it. They’ve already had to break up some fights. People get pretty riled up in situations like this. It’s good to have someone who remains behind to keep order for a while, and to try and find any last survivors before leaving.

Finally we’re ascending the dock and I’m able to see our temporary home. It’s nothing like I imagined. The smell is what draws my attention first.

“Eww mommy.” My youngest daughter, Gwen, pinches her nose.

The odiferous enclosure is beyond human comprehension. I’ve smelt plague pits, leaking sewage, the rank smell of sea life left to rot on beaches. Although this isn’t as horrendous, it does make my eyes water. Despite the nausea I’m fighting, I grind my teeth. “Gwen, these people are saving our lives. Don’t insult them.”

Win an eCopy of Embracing Entropy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

JessicaMarieBaumgartner.JPGThe Author:

Jessica is the author of: The Embracing Entropy Series, Siren’s Snare, Tale of Two Bookends, and My Family Is Different. Her stories have been featured in numerous publications such as Everyday Fiction, The Lorelei Signal, Fiction on the Web, The Horror Zine and many others. She is a member of the St. Louis Writer’s Guild and is always weaving new worlds in the webs of her tales.
You can check her out at www.jessicamariebaumgartner.com.

Embracing Entropy is a Printed collection of a series of three novellas.
This printed collection includes the novellas By the Stars, Wish for Survival, and Perfect Chaos.
The novellas are available in electronic format on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0128Z4FLE

 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CMU5CRQ

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CMVCQIS