And Now His Watch Is Ended

I used to be an avid reader. I was the kid who would camp out with a flashlight under the blankets after the lights were out and stay up half the night because I just needed to know what happened next. Just one more chapter. The one who read ahead in class. The one who broke out a book whenever I had free time. However, like most things that I once enjoyed, it has taken a backseat to parenting. With two small, very busy children, I simply do not have a lot of time to myself. And when I do have time, the peace is usually too short-lived to dig into a good book. But I sorely missed reading.
A few years ago, I discovered the closest thing to a compromise that exists: audiobooks. Sure, you miss a few things that you get from reading the book (like the ability to assign your own tone/intent to characters’ words), but I think you gain a few worthwhile things, as well. There is a wonderful performance aspect to it. And you can take in a story while folding laundry or cleaning the playroom or driving your kids all over creation.
Prior to subscribing to Audible, I had made several attempts at reading A Game of Thrones. I enjoyed the show and I knew I would enjoy the books. But as much as I loved the story and the writing, it was simply too complicated for me to keep up in between screaming at parenting my kids. After reading the first five chapters, for the billionth time, I decided to try out the audiobook.
Screenshot_20180208-090722I was instantly hooked. The narrator, an acclaimed British actor who I had somehow never heard of named Roy Dotrice, was incredible. He had a unique voice for every one of the 200+ characters and read the book the way I expect it was meant to be read. It was dramatic and passionate, and I couldn’t get enough of his performance. I went on to download the entire series, and have since listened to it four times.
Whenever  I have heard people complain about GRRM dragging his feet on Winds of Winter, my thoughts have drifted to Roy, wondering if he would live long enough to narrate it, because truly, I cannot imagine anyone doing half as good a job.

Last night, I was on my favorite online forum and someone mentioned that they were listening to the ASOIAF books for the first time. I was typing a reply, and I googled Roy to figure out his exact age (I knew it was ninety-something) and I found out that Roy had passed away in October.
I felt stunned. I felt hollow. I felt bereaved. And, in truth, I also felt a little ridiculous. After all, I had never met this man that I am currently crying actual tears for. I hadn’t even followed him closely enough to realize that he had died.
But I had spent more than 800 hours listening to his voice. He had gotten me through long drives and dark days. He had lulled me to sleep countless times. He had given life to a story that has come to mean more to me than I had ever anticipated. We shall never see his like again.

67 Thoughts I Had While Watching Game of Thrones: The Spoils of War

Whilst settling in to watch Season 7, episode 4, I realized that few things could bring me more joy than live blogging it. And here we are.

  1. Why doesn’t HBO’s episode description, ya know, describe anything?
  2. Ah, we’re reminding everyone about the catspaw dagger. Iss back.
  3. Check out the Lannister host leaving Highgarden with the *hehe* “spoils of war”.
  4. BRONN! And he has dialogue!
  5. I prefer Bronn with the other Lannister bro. He and Jaime are too much the same character.
  6. Oh hey, Dickon. Giggle. 🙊
  7. Cersei’s eyes glazing over while Tycho is jabbering about being an instrument of his institution…same, girl.
  8. Trying to get a credit line increase. Royalty. They’re just like us.
  9. Bran and Littlefinger having a creep-off.
  10. Whoop, there it is (the dagger, o’ course).
  11. He ain’t falling for your shit, Baelish. He’s the goddamned three eyed raven.
  12. Chaos is a ladder, indeed. *mic drop*
  13. Let it out Meera, oh, my sweet audience avatar.
  14. A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell. And she is HOME!
  15. These poor, stupid guards have no idea who they’re fucking with.
  16. The shot of Arya with the direwolf banner behind her. Chills.
  17. Poor Sansa is not getting any gratification from these sibling reunions.
  18. I have a bad feeling that these already lukewarm feelings betwixt the Stark sisters will cool rapidly.
  19. So, like, how does Bran know everything but how to talk to other humans?
  20. Can’t wait to see Arya fuck shit up with that dagger.
  21. Pod telling Brienne that Catelyn would be proud. I’m not crying; you’re crying.
  22. Missy and Dany having girl talk about Grey Worm is on point.
  23. Watch out Khaleesi. I’ve seen what Jon Snow does to girls in caves.
  24. Ooh what else you gonna show her Jon? Huh? Huh? Something that Southren Lords do to their ladies?
  25. Oh, undead army runes. Bo-ring.
  26. But important…obvi.
  27. That is some intense eye contact.
  28. I love Emilia Clark. Really I do. But there is something ‘nails on a chalkboard’esque about the way she says “bend the knee”.
  29. Varys and Tyrion are the bad news bears.
  30. Oooh, Dany taking Tyrion to task. I both love and hate this.
  31. More intense eye contact. Not gonna lie, I’m shipping it. It’s fine.
  32. Poor Pod. He gets knocked down, but he gets up again.
  33. Ooh la la. Arya vs Brienne is bound to be amaze-balls.
  34. And there’s Sansa being melodramatic for literally no reason. Don’t let Littlefinger see you sweat.
  35. Make Syrio proud, you beautiful faceless, water dancing badass.
  36. Excellent action angle.
  37. NO ONE.
  38. Sansa, get ye over thyself.
  39. Arya is going to return that dagger to Petyr…in spades. I’m certain of it.
  40. I love this Dragonstone camera work they keep doing. I wonder how many times this camera dude has fallen down.
  41. Davos, what is this weird thing you’re doing with Missandei?
  42. I need a bestie who loves me like Missy loves Dany.
  43. HOLY HELL. Jon and Theon. The intensity.
  44. I’d have been cool with it if Jon had punched him in the face.
  45. Hope you aren’t too attached to that loot Jaime. Mama’s coming for it.
  46. Ooh, I hope someone lights Randyll Tarly on fire.
  47. Dickon. Never gets old.
  48. IS THAT THE HORSE LORDS’ MUSIC?!?!?!
  49. Cannot wait to see these proper soldier against some bloodriders.
  50. Someday, I may not get goosebumps when Daenerys says dracarys. Today is not that day.
  51. Everybody was Arakh fighting. *whistles*
  52. Not even taking the food. Just burn it to the ground. I sorta dig it.
  53. Oh no. Don’t kill Bronn.
  54. This ish is intense. Fab cinematography.
  55. Oh no, but, like, don’t hurt Drogon, either.
  56. Wait, Tyrion’s there?!
  57. This must be hard for him.
  58. I mean, it’s hard for me. And I’m not related to and/or serving as hand to anyone here.
  59. WTF NOOOOO. DROGON!!!!!!!!!!
  60. Oh he’s okay-ish. Dany, please be careful on the ground.
  61. Jaime don’t be dumb! I see you looking like you’re going to be dumb.
  62. See? Tyrion agrees.
  63. Ugh, how will they get him out of this?
  64. Bronn with the assist.
  65. How deep is that water at the shoreline, really?
  66. Is he unconscious? Or is his armor too heavy? Why is he sinking?
  67. THAT is how we’re leaving it?