Pandragon Dan

Pandragon Dan

Author/Reviewer/Blogger

Legacy of the Dragonkin Tour Day 12

 

And so, we reach the last day of the Legacy of the Dragonkin blog tour. It has been a fun ride and I've enjoyed it immensely, speaking to all the people across all the blogs, answering interviews, writing guest posts - I never thought I'd enjoy talking about my work so much! :)

 

Anyway, today we visit Spellbindings for personal sort of post. Today, I talk about the personal struggles of my characters in the book and the problems that they go through. I'm a strong believer that Fantasy doesn't always have to be about huge battles or epic quests - but real life struggles of the characters involved. So that's what I talk about today.

 

 

Spellbindings

 

 

You still have time to get involved in the competition to win some great prizes. The link to it is in the blog post above.

 

Thanks to all the blog hosts and authors that allowed me to visit their blogs and to Page Turner Book Tours for organising this tour. Hope you guys all enjoyed it as much as I did!

 

 

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PANDRAGON

 

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Top Five Most Likeable Characters In A Song Of Ice And Fire

Last Saturday I looked at the Top Five Most Hateable Characters in A Song of Ice and Fire – so this week I’ll be looking at the most likeable characters within the series. Like I said last week, A Song of Ice and Fire doesn’t really have any heroes or villains, just people with their own motives and personalities. These are the characters that have traits which make them stand out as being some of the most honourable and likeable. They don’t have to be perfect or clean cut – just have enough interesting traits to make the audience like them as a character.

 

For this list, I am setting some ground rules. First of all, like last week’s Top Five THERE WILL BE HEAVY SPOILERS – at least up until A Feast for Crows, simply because I haven’t read A Dance of Dragons yet, but it is next on my list. So if you don’t want any spoilers, please look away now.

 

Secondly, this list is purely based on POV characters within the series that are still alive. Therefore, with regret, Eddard and Robb Stark won’t be making any appearances. Don’t get me wrong I think that they are amazing characters, but for the purpose of this list they won’t be appearing.

 

Ok, here we go! EDIT: Characters listed in no particular order - just the order I choose to show them.

 

1. Arya Stark
Many consider Arya the “heroine” of the series. I don’t necessarily think that is true – but she certainly is one of the strongest characters and one that has one of the most incredible journeys of all the characters.
Arya Stark completely goes against the conventions you’d expect of a Highborn girl. Whereas most ladies of high birth in Fantasy stories tend to be little more than just pretty maidens, Arya is a fighter and wants to learn how to fight and defend herself. She’s feisty, sometimes reckless, but she knows what has to be done and will always try to find her way out of a situation – even if it involves death.
Let’s just look at the journey that Arya’s had since she came to King’s Landing in A Game of Thrones. She was trained by a Braavosi swordsman, watched her father executed, sent to the Knights Watch, kidnapped by the Lannisters along the way, then became a slave of the Boltons before escaping and being picked up by the Brotherhood Without Banners, then kidnapped by the Hound and finally escaping to the Free Cities to join the Faceless Men. All this – and she’s only just a kid! But through this, Arya is forced to grow up quickly if she hopes to survive.
Through her hardships, Arya seems to pick up a rather unhealthy obsession with death – to the point where she recites a list of all the people that have wronged her and prays for their death. Some of which she has even killed herself. But given how most of the people on her list do deserve to die in some way then we can still vouch for her as a character.
We love Arya because of the incredible journey that she has had and the fact that she’s come out from it a much stronger person than she was before. Sure, there are times when she does show fear occasionally, but then she remembers her mantra – Fear cuts deeper than swords. Now that she is part of the House of Black and White, I am very interested to see where she goes from here – and whether her obsession with death will have any ill effects on her.
 
2. Sansa Stark
Poor Sansa Stark. She is the character I feel the most sorry for. She really has gone through a lot of crap during her life.
When she was to marry Prince Joffrey Baratheon she couldn’t be happier – after all, it’s always been a dream of her to marry a handsome prince. But boy does her life quickly descend into hell when Joffrey shows his true colours. Not only does he force her to watch when her father is executed, but he constantly has his guards beat her, strip her and humiliate her for his own amusement. And yet Sansa never does anything wrong!
Though she may be a kind of damsel in distress, Sansa is a very sweet and somewhat naive character that doesn’t mean harm to anyone. The fact that she is constantly beaten up as “punishment” every time her brother Robb Stark wins a battle in the War of the Five Kings really makes us feel for the poor girl. She’s trapped in a marriage that she cannot escape from, a prisoner of the Lannisters through no fault of her own.
She does eventually escape from the Lannisters thanks to a cunning plan by the treacherous Petyr Baelish, aka Littlefinger, but even then it doesn’t seem like she’s out of the woods just yet. He takes her to the Vale, dyes her hair and renames her Alayne Stone so that her true identity is hidden (given that Joffrey had been poisoned at this time and Sansa was the prime suspect) and reveals to her a plan to retake Winterfell and reveal her secret identity. Given Littlefinger’s track record, I’m suspicious of this.
Sansa is a character that we desperately want to turn out ok given the horror she has been forced to endure. I do wish that she would stand up for herself a bit more, but I reckon that she’ll show her strength soon enough and prove she’s not a punching bag.
 
3. Samwell Tarly
Samwell’s another character that I do find myself feeling sorry for – but unlike Sansa he actually has proved himself to an extent.
Sam is the son of Lord Randyll Tarly, a fierce military warrior. However, Sam is a fat, cowardly and incompetent fighter of which his father was disgraced with – so much so that he sent him to the Knight’s Watch so that he could not disgrace the family name. Under the Knights Watch he serves no better and ends up getting beaten up and bullied by the other members. Only Jon Snow shows Sam any kindness and the two do become close friends. It’s because of Jon Snow that Sam remains in the Knights Watch, although he still remains a bumbling coward.
Despite this, Sam is highly intelligent and of great knowledge. He becomes the steward to Maester Aemon and eventually does join the Knights Watch in a ranging quest to stop the wildings. It’s through this that Sam befriends a young wilding girl by the name of Gilly, whom he starts to get a bit of a crush on.
Sam is your typical “bullied” character that has little self esteem and constantly put down by others due to his ineptitude, so we do feel sorry for him. But Sam does actually show acts of bravery through the course of the book. He even slays an Other using a dragonglass dagger that he found – and there are few that can say they faced an Other and lived to tell the tale! I also love the relationship and “unspoken love” between him and Gilly, Sam really wants to be with her, but knows that he can’t break his vows (as those who take The Black have to forsake all others in duty to their brotherhood).
Sam has absolutely no malicious features about him and I think is one of the nicest people in the series. Maybe too nice for the world of Westeros. He’s a very likeable character and one that I really hope goes onto do well in the series.
4. Brienne of Tarth
Nicknamed “Brienne the Beauty” as an ironic statement, Brienne isn’t a lady known for her looks. In fact, she’s described as rather ugly and a source of a joke by many men – some of which make wages as to who will take her “maidenhead”. However, Brienne is an accomplished fighter and eager to prove herself as a knight to the naysayers.
Originally part of Renly Baratheon’s Rainbow Guard during the War of the Five Kings, she was in love with Renly and wished to prove her worth to him. However, when he was killed she swore revenge. At the request of Catelyn Stark, she swore an oath to protect her and rescue her daughters, who they believe are both being held captive by the Lannisters. Brienne swears her loyalty to her and makes it her mission to save Sansa Stark.
Brienne is a very headstrong, yet somewhat naive character in the series that is determined to prove herself as a knight. She has a slightly more idealistic view of what a knight should be and is often mocked for her values. Ironically though, she ends up being a better and nobler knight than many of the others in the series – to the point where even Jamie Lannister seems to gain a kind of mutual respect for her. He even gives her a sword of Valyrian steel when she continues her quest for Sansa alone.
At the end of A Feast for Crows, she is captured by the Brotherhood Without Banners, now lead by an undead Catelyn Stark (killed during the Red Wedding and brought back to life by Beric Dondarrion) who has now become a shell of her former self and believes Brienne to be a traitor working for the Lannisters. Brienne’s fate is unknown at this point – but I do hope that she survives (like I said I haven’t read A Dance of Dragons yet, so if anyone knows anything, please don’t spoil it for me!)
 
5. Tyrion Lannister
Hands down, Tyrion is my favourite character of the entire series. I love his wit, his cunning and generally the fact that he can often turn most situations round to his advantage. In fact, I like this character so much that I was most upset when he didn’t make any appearance in A Feast for Crows.
Born a dwarf, Tyrion Lannister was always hated by his father Tywin and his sister Cersei (mainly because he was responsible for the death of his mother). As such, Tyrion is often looked down upon (if you pardon the pun) by the rest of his family and even other members of Westeros society, a common nickname for him is the Imp. But what he lacks in size (and respect from his peers), he makes up for it in brains. He is a shrewd, cunning little man with high intelligence and believes that he has a lot to prove to gain his families respect. When he becomes the Hand of the King, he is able to manipulate members of his own household and family to gain power, knowing that his sister plans to do him harm and able to keep one step ahead of her – to start with anyway. But like any Lannister, he is capable of great cruelty to anyone who crosses him, even going so far as to torment Grand Maester Purcell when he realises that he betrayed him.
Of all the Lannisters, I think that Tyrion is the one with the most honour. He does show kindness to those who are mistreated and is also one of the few to stand up to King Joffrey, even rescuing Sansa from a beating. However, he isn’t completely a good guy and does look out for himself for the most part – even using the Lannister name and fortune to try and buy his way out of trouble, as he did when he was a prisoner at the Vale. That being said, when he meets Shae (a prostitute), he does genuinely care for her and does try and protect her, so he isn’t entirely selfish.
In the TV series, he is played by Peter Dinkage and I have to say this is one of the reasons why I love the character of Tyrion. More often than not I end up bursting out with laughter at one of his witty lines. He doesn’t play Tyrion for laughs necessarily, but his delivery of the lines are so brilliant and quick that you can’t help but chuckle. That being said, Dinkage also is able to portray the human element of Tyrion and I couldn’t help but feel really sorry for him.
Tyrion displays a much more harsher version of himself near the end of A Storm of Swords. Blamed for the death of Joffrey and sentenced to death, Tyrion is freed by his brother Jamie and Varys – but not before he confronts his father. In another of A Song of Ice and Fire’s most shocking scenes, he discovers Shae in his father’s bed (with his father on the privy), and then goes on to strangle Shae and then shoot his father. Now on the run, Tyrion’s future remains uncertain. But knowing this little guys cunning, I think he’ll find a way round it.
One of the more honourable members of the Lannister househould, Tyrion has a lot to prove and show that “size doesn’t matter.” He may be small in stature, but big on brains and usually able to turn things round to his advantage. He also is extremely witty and can put even the king down in just one word. And THAT is why, in my opinion, he is the most likable character in A Song of Ice and Fire.
 
So there we have it. I am aware that I did leave out some other popular characters, such as Bran Stark, Jon Snow and Catelyn Tully – but I wanted to try and mix up the Houses a little bit otherwise this list would be nothing but characters from House Stark. Also, I don’t really like the change in Jon Snow’s character in A Feast For Crows, and Catelyn Tully... well, let’s just say she’s under the name Lady Stoneheart from now on.
Please feel free to leave your comments below if you think I missed out another likeable character. We’ll have another Top Five next week!
Have a great weekend!

 

Pandragon

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All characters in A Song of Ice and Fire are copyright of George R.R. Martin, but the above artwork are copyright of their respective owners. I claim no ownership of any of the above.

Top Five Most Hateable Characters in A Song of Ice and Fire

Hands down, this is my favourite book series that I am currently reading. Alongside Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, A Song of Ice and Fire is by far the best written series of recent years – not just in Fantasy, but in ANY genre. I love the expansive history, the multiple plot lines that don’t always seem significant but always impact on the story in some way. I love the medieval setting, the battles, the political deception and, most of all, the characters.

 

I honestly think that the characters in A Song of Ice and Fire are some of the most complex in any Fantasy I’ve read. They show that Fantasy characters don’t have to always be typical archetypes and that they can stand out and be multi-layered as much as any other character in fiction. They are amazingly complex – even the secondary and background characters seem to have a personality to make them believable. Now THAT is a skill. There are no real heroes or villains, just people with their own motivations. Of course there are characters that you love and characters that you just love to hate! And that’s why I think this series is so great.

 

So today, in the first of a two part Top Five, I’m looking at the top five characters that I HATE or just DESPISE. These are five characters that have something about them I just can’t stand, but I still appreciate them as characters. So let’s dive in.

 

SPOILER WARNING: This Top Five is VERY spoiler heavy – if you haven’t read any of the A Song of Ice and Fire series or seen the Game of Thrones TV series, you might want to check that out first before reading.

 

1. Theon Greyjoy

Talk about being a “Judas” of the series. Theon was Robb’s most trusted friend during the War of the Five Kings – and he stabbed his friend in the back by attacking his home of Winterfell.

 

In many ways, you can kinda see why Theon would want to betray them – he was taken as a child by Eddard Stark during the Greyjoy Rebellion and raised by the Stark family as a ward. Although he never really fit in with them. During the way, he went back to the Iron Islands to try and broker a deal with the Greyjoys, which they refused. Seeing how much his sister has gained a reputation as a strong soldier (and desperate to prove to his father that he is still a Greyjoy at heart), he takes Winterfell with but a few men, hoping to show his father that he is still strong. This, however, proves to be his undoing.

 

Theon is a character that just wants to be accepted, but he found none at either the Stark family or his own people. He is desperate to prove himself as a strong warrior and try and win his father’s affection. But this causes him to make rash decisions. What I hate most about Theon is that he is such a whinny little b**** that stamps his foot like a petulant child if he doesn’t get his way. Not only that, but when Bran and Rickon escape Winterfell, he kills two other children and burns them alive when he fails to capture them. That I think makes him pretty hateable.

 

Now a prisoner of the Bolton’s, it looks like Theon is reaping what he sowed. And given that the Greyjoy’s motto is We do not sow, the irony is not lost on him!

 

2. Viserys Targaryen

Even though he only lasted one book, that was still long enough to know how much I despised him as a character. This guy was a petty, spiteful man that would abuse his sister and even tried to sell her off in his quest to become king – you gotta admit that makes him a d***!

 

One of the last descendants to the Targaryen bloodline (the true kings of Westeros), along with his sister Daenerys, Viserys is determined to win back his claim to the Iron Throne. To this end he arranges a marriage of his sister (against her will) to Khal Drogo, leader of the Dothraki, who promises him 10,000 soldiers to help him take back the Iron Throne – this earns him the title of Beggar King. Even though Daenerys is not comfortable with this, he forces her to do it, completely blind to her own suffering.

 

Amazingly, his actions seem to have the opposite effect. Daenerys becomes accepted within the Dothraki and Khal Drogo is a gentle and loving husband to her. Over time, Viserys is practically forgotten about – and Daenarys even gains the courage to stand up to her brother. After suffering numerous humiliations, Viserys threatens to kill Dany if the Dothraki don’t honour their bargain. Khal Drogo lives up to his end of the bargain by giving him a crown – of boiling hot gold! This ends up killing him, meaning that Daenerys is now free of his tyranny – and the sole heir to the Iron Throne.

 

Surprisingly enough, even though Viserys was a real monster, Daenerys does attempt to reclaim her birthright as revenge for her family. So in some ways, Viserys was a kind of inspiration for Daenerys, however cruel he was. Since then, Daenerys has been gathering support in the Free Cities, freeing slaves and raising an army – along with her three dragons.

 

3. Vargo Hoat

Leader of the Brave Companions, who are described on Wikipedia as “a particularly unsavoury sellsword company”. Personally, I think a better way to describe them would be the “scum of the planet”. All members of the Brave Companions are sick, twisted criminals who delight in torturing people – and Vargo Hoat is no exception.

 

I actually laughed at first at this character, because he talks in a lisp due to a swollen tongue – but he is no joke. He will kill or even maim you just because he feels like it, even if you did nothing wrong. He also has no sense of loyalty as when Tywin Lannister pays him to burn and pillage to draw out Robb Stark, he quickly turns coat when the Bolton’s get involve and he helps them take Harrenhal.

 

Perhaps his most hideous act is to cut off Jamie Lannister’s hand when he is their captor. I was shocked when this scene happened. Ok, so Jamie Lannister was a completely arrogant git, but even what he went through was too much to bear. This one act alone stays with Jamie for the rest of his life and diminishes his skill with a sword somewhat. Even though Vargo does eventually meet his end at the hands of Ser Gregor Clegane (in a manner most suited to him), Jamie is forever haunted by the crippling injury that Vargo Hoat gave him. Something he can never forget.

 

All in all, a particularly horrible character and not one I’m likely to miss.

 

4. Lord Roose Bolton

I gotta be honest, there is just something about this character I find very creepy. Maybe it’s because the sigil of his house is a flayed man (which is pretty sick in and of itself), maybe it’s the fact that he takes regular leechings to improve his health (which has given him the title of Leech Lord), or maybe it’s just the fact that the Bolton’s are sick people that delight in skinning their opponents. Either way, this guy gives me the chills as much as reason to hate him.

 

Though he is mild mannered and never raises his voice, he is chillingly cold and calculated. Also, he seems to take great pride in his son Ramsey, even though he’s a bastard. Ironically, he is one of the Stark’s bannermen that come to Robb Stark’s aid during the War of the Five Kings. A worthy ally in many ways, after all he does make a strong blow against the Lannisters by taking Harrenhal and his son is able to retake Winterfell (only to later betray the Northmen and take it for himself).

 

But what makes me hate this character so much is that he is one of the conspirators of the Red Wedding – one of the most horrific events in the book series that results in the death of some of the most loved characters. Orchestrated by Lord Walder Frey as punishment for Robb Stark’s breaking of a marriage pact with them, Lord Bolton is the one to slay Robb Stark in one of the most coldest of executions possible. After this, he is granted Warden of the North by Tywin Lannister, granted a gift by the very person he was fighting against. That makes Lord Bolton one of the biggest monsters in the series – he promised to help Robb Stark and yet stabbed him in the heart afterwards.

 

I have to be honest though, Lord Bolton is one of the few characters in the Game of Thrones series that I don’t think was cast very well. I’m not saying the actor playing him is bad, I just don’t think he fits the description of the book. He just looks a little to thuggish and not the kind of sickly noble that he’s described in the books. I honestly think that they could have kept to his appearance a little better – but that’s just my opinion.

 

Certainly one of the most underrated villains in the series, Lord Bolton is a cold hearted and wicked man that is responsible for one of the most horrific events in A Song of Ice and Fire. He’s one of the few villains yet to get his comeuppance – and I really hope that he does soon.

 

5. King Joffrey Baratheon

I really don’t think I can begin to describe how much I HATE this character. He is possibly not only the most hateable character in A Song of Ice and Fire – but possibly one of these most hated villains in fiction, essentially the Adolf Hitler of the Fantasy world.

 

Born of a secret incest between his mother Cersei and her brother Jamie Lannister, Joffery has always been mothered a lot as neither his true father or his supposed father (King Robert Baratheon) ever showed him much attention. Determined to prove himself, Joffrey rose to become king after his mother arranged for her husband to be killed on a hunting trip. He quickly gained a reputation as one of the most hated kings of all of Westeros.

 

Even before coming king, Joffrey was plain annoying. He was just a spoilt little rich kid with a rather nasty streak – even having one of Arya Starks friends killed just because he didn’t like him. Betrothed to Sansa Stark, he did come across as a charming prince at first – but when his true colours showed.

 

Joffrey has a horrific streak that no other character had in A Song of Ice and Fire and seemed to get off on seeing people hurt. On becoming king, he becomes hard to control and goes wild with power, even ignoring the advice of his mother. His first act as king (in one of the most shocking moments in A Game of Thrones) is to have Eddard Stark executed even after promising Sansa mercy. During his rule, he has Sansa beaten by his Kingsguard, stripped down and even left her to be raped by an angry mob! Seriously, this boy has no morals whatsoever – yet he gets away with it as he’s king. Only Tyrion Lannister has the courage to stand up to him and even tries to save Sansa from his clutches.

 

Overall, Joffrey is a character that is utterly despicable. He has no redeeming features and I just wished something bad would happen to him. Thankfully, near the end of A Storm of Swords, I got my wish. And let me tell you, Joffrey’s ultimate fate is one of the most satisfying deaths of any villain ever. It’s just a pity his death ends up putting Sansa and Tyrion in trouble.

 

If there is one good thing I can say about Joffrey is the actor Jack Gleeson, who plays him in Game of Thrones, the TV series. Jack Gleeson is a brilliant actor that plays him with such sneering hatefulness, yet also very petulant and whinny. He got the character down perfectly (and yet ironically, Jack Gleeson is supposed to be one of the nicest people on the planet) and I honestly think that this guy is destined to go onto play some great roles in the future as he is a brilliant actor.

 

Hands down the most hateable character in all of the series, Joffrey is a king that the people of Westeros would soon forget. Even members of his own family consider him a worst king than the Mad King himself. He’s a great villain, but one of those characters that you just love to hate.

 

 

That’s my list. Feel free to let me know your comments as to whom YOU love to hate within the A Song of Ice and Fire series. Next well, I’ll be looking at the Top Five likeable characters within A Song of Ice and Fire.

 

Until next time!
 

 

Pandragon

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All above mentioned characters are copyright of George R R Martin. Images drawn by Amoka.

No ownership is claimed for the above.

Oh, and have I mentioned that A Song of Ice and Fire is AWESOME!

The Dragons of Draconica

As you guys know, I have a huge love of dragons - this is the main inspiration for Trapped on Draconica. For those who don't know, the world of Draconica (where the novel is set) was created years ago by the race of dragons - mythical creatures who had learned the power of Universal Travel. This allowed them to visit various parts of the Universe and learn the many cultures and civilisations that existed. Draconica was created based on these worlds. Since their passing, the dragons have become almost like gods on the planet.

 

Dragons have always been my favourite type of mythical creature and, whilst I normally try and stay away from the usual fantasy creatures in my story, dragons are the one type that I like to stick to.

 

What follows is a list of just some of the major dragons within the world of Draconica - drawn by various artists. Click on the page to be taken to their profile page for more information. The page also contains a link to the artists DA page so that you can check out other parts of their work.

 

Enjoy!

 

By Alexis M Centeno

 

By Annalicia Vale
By Brenna Albert

 

Hope you like these pics as much as I do! Hopefully I'll have more of them on the wiki page in the future. Feel free to also check that our if you want to know more about the world of Draconica.

Next week we'll have an update to the upcoming prequel in the Draconica saga - All Hail Emperor Gothon. Make sure you check back for them for some teaser stuff!

 

 

Pandragon

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Legacy of the Dragonkin Teaser - Benji Dragonkin

Because you guys liked my last picture I put up (of Wispy the cat) from Legacy of the Dragonkin, I decided to show a little teaser of the main hero in the book.

Benji Dragonkin is the son of Daniar Dragonkin, the heroine of Trapped on Draconica (what do you mean you haven't read it yet? Shame on you!). He aspires to be a hero just like his mother and the second book basically involves him getting into scrapes. But he has a heroic fight at the end. He is named after Ben, the hero of Trapped on Draconica.

 

Benji is modelled after a lot of young heroes in shonen manga - such as Naruto, Yugi Moto and the like (although hopefully not as annoying!) I put him in to give the young adult readers a hero character and someone they can relate to. Much like his mother, he has a strong sense of duty and desire to do good - but he is a little naive on the ways to be warrior. Hopefully you guys will like him.

 

Next week I'm going to show an example of an artwork piece that features in the prologue of the book. Until then, keep checking back for more.

 

Also, I made a slight alteration on my "One Year On" blog. Check it out in the featured section (to your right ----->) to learn more.

 

Until then, catch you guys later.

 

Kindest

Pandragon

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Character design by Alexis M Centeno 2012. Character concept by Dan Wright

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