A Lannister is a soaring soul, as free as a mountain bird

Confused with the title?  Well don’t be!  Its a famous Gilbert and Sullivan song, from one of their better operettas “A Game of Thrones.”  The song goes like this
“A Lannister is a soaring soul,
As free as a mountain bird,
His energetic fist should be ready to insist
his dictatorial words.

His hair is gold,
and also it should curl,
His cheeks should flame
and his brow should furl,
His bosom should heave
and his heart should glow,
And his fist be ever ready
for a knock-down blow.”

See where I’m going with this?  Maybe not, so I guess I’ll just need to spell it out for you:

House Lannister is my favorite house in HBO’s  game of thrones (and in A Song of Ice and Fire, too)

Oh, and Warning!  If you haven’t seen every episode of Game of Thrones so far, up to 2 9, then beware of spoilers.

A Lannister always pays his debts… with bullets

Shocked?  Well you shouldn’t be.  If you have read some of my older posts, you would be aware that my favorite house in Harry Potter is Slytherin.  It is no wonder then that my favorite great house of Game of Thrones is the Slytherin of Westeros, the Lannisters.

Ah yes, the Lannisters.  The house everyone loves to hate.  I used to hate them too, back when I was reading through the first three books, but there eventually came a point where I really began to sympathize with the evil Lions, and eventually wished to join their ranks, despite a certain distaste for some of their leisure activities…

creepy cersei and jaime


To help you understand my decision, and inevitably bring you over to my side, thus swelling the ranks of the mighty Lannister host, I will first break down why it would suck to be a member of any of the other houses.

The Inferior Houses

At first glance, House Stark would seem to be the best house.  You would have awesome siblings (except for Sansa, that traitorous wench!), a super awesome murdered father who also happened to be Sean Bean, a family with a blood line that can be traced for thousands of years, all the way back to the first men, the largest land area in all of Westeros under your control, and demon wolves to do your bidding.  Plus, you get to worship the old Gods, who seem way cooler than the new ones.

I mean, who wouldn’t want to worship that?

It seems like the Starks have it made, but there’s a catch: if you are a Stark, then only horrible things will happen to you for the whole series.  It’s true, think about it.  Ned had to go take a horrible job that he didn’t want, then his leg got stabbed, then he got thrown and jail, then he had to tell a lie in front of thousands, breaking his code of honor, and then he was killed for it.  Sansa is just stupid and trapped in a castle full of scheming Lannisters, the worst of all fates, I’ve been told, unless of course you are a Lannister.  Bran had his legs paralyzed from pretty much day one, and they dont seem to be getting better.  He and Rickon got thrown out of their castle by a childhood friend and are forced to wander the wilds of the north with a mad woman and a retarded Giant.  Oh, and winter is coming.  Arya is pretty much a street urchin, though she is very good at it, and Jon joined to monk like brotherhood of the Nights watch, and is in the freezing north and kidnapped by crazy savages.  The only one who has anything going for him is Rob, but I have a feeling that his success just cant last.  Oh, and I almost forgot about Catlyn.  She literally ruins everything, and I think she knows it too.

I actually quite like house greyjoy.  They are essentially Vikings who worship Cthulhu.  Their emblem is an awesome Kraken, and they are evil jerks.  What’s not to like?  Oh wait, the place where they live:

How depressingly beautiful!

And worse still, the women that live there:

How depressingly depressing!

And the most worst still of all, she doesn’t even seem to know her own name!  She calls herself Yara, but I’m pretty sure her name is Asha.

I just get the feeling that when it comes to house Baratheon, no one cares.  They are just kind of usurpers to the Targaryen throne, and their emblem is a stupid stag.  None of them are exactly likeable, and they worship a fire god who can summon creepy demons, which they then use to murder each other.  Plus, it seems like ever since Robert defeated the Greyjoys, all they do is lose.

As a Targaryen, you have a 50/50 chance to be awesome or to be stupid and crazy.  A risky bet, I know, but what’s worse is you’ve been defeated by the Baratheons and scattered to the four winds.  Plus, you would either have a brother who is a moron and sucks, or a sister who is annoyingly stupid but has dragons.

House Arryn sucks, bad.  You’d have to put up with both Lysa and Robert, both of whom are creepy idiots who are disturbingly annoying.  Plus, you have to live in a castle up on a mountain.  Talk about a long trip to get groceries, unless of course you take the moon door…

As far as the HBO series is concerned, those are the only houses we have actually met.  Sure, we have seen Margery and Loras Tyrell, and we have heard talk (at least I think so) or the Martels in Dorne.  We’ve also kind of met the Tullys, but not really, so these are the houses up for consideration.

House Lannister is better than all of these, and there are several reasons why

  1. They have Lord Tywin:  Lord Tywin is possibly the most cunning of all the schemers in Westeros, or at least of all the schemers who are members of a major house.  He is also ruthless, and his banner men are terrified to betray him, especially after what he did to the Reynes of Casamere…
  2. They have a hilarious Dwarf:  Tyrion is awesome.  I would bet 10,000,000 dollars that he is almost everyone’s favorite character in the show, and if you were a Lannister, you would get to hang out with him all the time.
  3. They have infinity gold: They are famous for it, in fact.  Westeros runs on Lannister gold, so what do you think would happen if the gold supply suddenly dwindled?  That’s called economics, and the Lannisters have literal tons of the stuff.
  4. They currently hold the iron throne: It is a huge advantage to already have the thing that everyone is fighting for.
  5. They seem to have the Tyrells, too:  The tyrells produce the most food out of anyone in westeros, and I think they have the biggest army too, though as Lord Tywin says, armies don’t win wars, gold does.
  6. They are deliciously evil: This goes without saying.  The Lannisters revel in evil, even the good ones!  Sure, Tyrion is a good guy, but he also uses some rather unscrupulous means to achieve his ends.

So it’s house Lannister for me.  I can’t wait to see what the end of the season brings us.

GREat expectations -or- How I defeated the GRE in single combat and generally felt like a more successful human being

A cold wind blew through the door of the prometric testing center as I kicked it open, swirling my long, unkempt mane of hair about my face, making me seem to be some sort of demented lion/demon in a kilt and combat boots.  A tarten of clan McCalpan was draped across my chest and a bastard sword rested comfortably in my hands.

Like this, only with less Mel Gibson.

“I…AM….READY!” I shouted to the room in general, frightening the poor fellow who was sitting behind the sign in desk.

“rerereready f f f f for which t t t t t test?” he stammered, trembling i.

“Which test?  WHICH TEST??? THE ONLY TEST, SONNY JIM!!! I AM READY…. FOR THE G R EEEEEEEE!” I yelled, triumphantly lifting my mighty blade into the air, impaling the roof of the building.  Thunder clapped and lightning shuddered down my blade, enveloping me a fearsome cocoon of electricity.  Somewhere above a choir was singing.  Epicly.

The manager of the testing center stormed out of his office, his lords robes swirling angrily in the mini cyclone my power had created in the lobby.  He and the receptionist shielded their eyes until the display subsided.

“What’s all this about, then?”  He bellowed, pointing at me.  “Who does this young pup think he is?  Coming in here, shooting lightning everywhere and messing up all of our files with that damn cyclone!”  He pointed to the thousands of papers strewn about the room.  “I didnt even know we had paper records!  I thought we had gone electronic!”

“But, my lord…” stammered the receptionist, looking around nervously, “we are electronic!”  The Lord of the Prometric testing center eyed him suspiciously.

“Well, what’s he doing here?”

“He says he’s ready to take… to take the gre!”

“Bah!  This young pup?” he said, gesturing to me with a thumb.  “Think you’re ready for the GRE, eh?  Well see about that!”  He strode towards me and drew his sword.   “Do you see this blade, young pup?  It’s been in me family for generations.  Soulcrusher is it’s name, and it’s fashioned of the finest Valerian steel!  You don’t stand a chance!  Ha!”  He swung at me, a clumsy overhand affar which I deftly avoided, moving to one side as if i were bored.

“Bah!  Well now, you’ve learned to move horizontally, I’ll give ye that, but can you move…” he whipped his sword around in a powerful back swing, aiming directly for my midsection “…VERTICALLY?”  The blade was coming so fast there wasn’t any time to think, let alone move horizontally!  I did the only thing I could, a last minute 720 triple back flip from a standing position, barely completely avoiding the weapon as it sailed under me.  I landed 10 feet away, sliding slightly backwards, like Goku from Dragon Ball Z.  I slowly stood and lifted my mighty bastard sword.

A visual aide. Imagine this, but with extra doom.

“And now, fool of a took, let me introduce you to my blade, forged from the rarest/strongest/most magical/deadliest of all metals, Satan-Metal, in the heart of soviet russia by master sword-smith Aegar the Bold, I give you The Fucking Death Sword! ” I bellowed as I pointed the tip of Fucking Death Sword at my foe, and a brilliant bolt of lightning blasted forth, hitting Soulcrousher at the crosspiece and shattering the weapon into a million-squidillion pieces in the lord’s hand.

“No!  Thats impossible!  THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE!” he shouted as he was thrown backwards by the force of the blast, impacting a wall, which crumbled away while small explosion began to blast the room apart for no reason whatsoever.  2 Miles away a semi truck transporting raw gasoline suddenly flipped over, landing on top of a guy who was smoking a cigarrete.  KABLOOSH! The explosion rocked the entire intersection.   Suddenly cars were flipping through the air like crazy frogs due to all the explosions and stuff and people were screaming and running for cover.



The dust settled in the testing center as the Lord of Prometric stood up and brushed chunks of brick and sheet rock off his robes.

“By the gods,” he said, awestruck, “This young pup might be the one! Fetch father O’Leery, it’s time that the Door of 1000 Sorrows was opened once again.”

This is what i found when i googled door of 1000 sorrows. Lol

“At once, my lord!” cried the receptionist as he ran down a stone covered hallway that I could have sworn wasnt there when I entered.  In fact, the whole place was starting to look a-lot more like a castle than anything in Birmingham had a right to.  Well, except for that Hotel that looks like a castle.

The receptionist returned presently holding a torch and leading an elderly old man, bent over almost at a right angle and shuffling along with help of a cane.  He had a thick white beard that went down to the floor and then some, continuing for several feet behind him.

“My Lord,” he said, sounding like crumply old paper as he attempted to bow.  He was unable to adjust the angle of his upper body whatsoever, and after a few minutes of struggling merely smiled and waved his hand out wide as he ever so slightly inclined his spotted head.  “How may I be of service?”

“This young pup is the one!  I have… sensed it…” he said, rubbing his back where he had struck the wall, “You must take him to the door of 1000 sorrows and use your priestly magic to open the gateway to the realm of fire…”  The priest politely coughed.

“My lord, i dont see…there’s no way that…”

“My gods, out with it man!”

“How can we be sure he is the one?  The prophecies of Balor have been lost in the crypts of night for nearly 10,000 years, and none have found a copy since the great library of Amon-Hotep burned in 3000 BCE!”  The lord merely gestured to my sword, which was currently spewing forth copious amounts of blood at an alarming rate, like a fire hydrant.  Except with blood instead of water.  A blood hydrant.

“My lord…is that…could it be?”  He stammered, pulling out a pair of ancient spectacles and balancing them on his nose, “It is!  The Fucking Death Sword of Amon-Ra, forged from the rarest Satan-Stone and reforged in the heart of Soviet Russia by the master sword-smith Aegar the Bold!  Surely this is the man the prophecies would have spoken of if anyone knew where they were!”

“Bah!” said the lord,” The man?  He’s just a young pup!  But he’ll do, he’ll do.  Take him then… to the door of 1000 sorrows!”

“At once, your grace!  This way, young man!”

The priest led me down yet another stone hallway, different from the one he had come from.  This one led to stairs that traveled ominously downwards into darkness.  The priest grabbed a torch form a sconce in the wall and, muttering an incantation of some-sort, lit it aflame.

“Jesus take the wheel!” I exclaimed, stepping backwards and shielding my face, “What manner of sorcery is this?”  The old priest laughed lightly and turned towards me with a knowing look on his face.

“There is much you’ve yet to learn, herp,” he said, in a voice as old as the stars.  His face suddenly darkened as he turned away.  “And much hardship you’ve yet to face…”

We walked for what seemed like hours, down endless tunnels in a labyrinthine labyrinth of doom, through ancient archways covered in eldritch runes, past timeworn statues of long forgotten heroes.  At long last we came upon a large stone chamber, hewn from the living rock itself.  At the far end of the hall was a normal looking door, like one you might find in a business.  A sign was hanging on it that said “Quiet!  Testing in progress”

“From this point forward, my lord, I can no longer accompany you.  I must ask that you do not bring your cell phone into the testing room.  For your connivence there are some lockers by the door where you can store your personal belongings.  Testing time might take up to 5 hours, so be prepared to stay the full length of time.  There is a 10 minute break halfway through should you wish to take it.  I’ll take your cell phone now, if you would be so kind.”

“Oh, thank you,” I said, handing it to him before I strode confidentially toward the door.

“One more thing, good serrah.  The GRE is mighty foe and should not be taken lightly!  None who have ever faced him have come back!  Take this!” He cried dramatically, tossing a parcel into my hands.

“What is it?” I inquired, turning the package over as I inspected it.

“A mighty weapon.  They say the GRE knows fabled words of power, words able to bring the strongest warrior crashing to his knees in mere seconds!  This will help turn the tide, should the GRE call upon such foul witchcraft!  But only open it when your need is greatest!  Farewell!”  He called as he faded from sight.

“Wait, what about my phone?” I called back.  There was no answer.  I was alone now.  I opened the door and stepped through.

The room on the other side was not actually a room at all, but was a mighty forest.  Trees towered hundreds of feet, reaching toward the sky with greedy branches.  The air had a tint of green about it and there was a light mist upon the forest floor.  The woods were unnaturally quiet, as if nothing lived here.  Nothing alive, that is.  I slowly drew my terrible blade from it’s orphan-bone sheath across my back and waited.

“HA HA HA HA!” boomed a mighty voice, resonding throughout the woods like Pavoratti singing in the shower.  “WHO DARES ENTER THE REALM OF THE DREADED GRE?”

“It is I!”  I boomed back “Sir William!  Conqueror of the SAT!  Slayer of the ACT!  Destroyer of AP stats and World history!”

“PATHETIC.  I WILL END THIS QUICKLY.”  No sooner the words been said when a shadow darted up to me with preternatural speed, swinging a blade sheathed in flame directly at my forehead.  I hurled myself to the left, spinning and taking only a glancing blow on my shoulder.  Blood began to drip down my arm.

“AH!  I SEE YOU HAVE MASTERED THE ART OF MOVING HORIZONTALLY!  BUT CAN YOU MOVE…. VERTICALLY??” The voice boomed, as the shadow appeared again and struck hard at my bellybutton, faster than the eye could follow.  I however had anticipated the attack and was already in the process of doing a 12980 degree quadruple backflip mega spin that propelled me 123 feet in the air.  Simple, really, once you get down to it.  I landed 500 feet away, blasting a crater in the ground that was approximately 10,000 miles in diameter, leveling the forest.

“ENOUGH! Show yourself, GRE!!!!” I howled.

“VERY WELL.”  The voice resounded.  And suddenly a hobbit like creature standing in front of me, wearing heavy rimmed glasses frames with no lenses and a scarf, even though it wasn’t cold.

Like this, but with a scarf. And no gun

“I thought you’d be…well…”




“Unwise,” I stated matter of factly as I leveled Fucking Death Sword and unleased a torrent of electrical doom energy powerful enough to be seen all the way to Alpha Centauri.  The Alpha Centaurians mistook the terrible display for a sign from their god and immediately stopped construction of their mighty Space Armada, scrapping their plans to destroy earth once and for all, and adopted a peaceful and environmentally friendly lifestyle that would be the envy of the Space Hippie Planet for years to come.

“GAHHHHHHH!” I screamed untill the flood of destruction subsided.  The GRE was still there, if not slightly worse for the wear.

“AH,” it said, “I SEE YOU HAVE THE FABLED FUCKING DEATH SWORD.  IMPRESSIVE.  BUT IT WILL TAKE MORE THAN SWORDS TO SAVE YOU NOW. BEHOLD, ONE OF THE THAUMATURGIC WORDS OF POWER:  BELLICOSE!”  The last word resounded as if it were shouted by god in a large cave.  My sword began to shake violently as the earth rumbled.

“CONTUMACIOUS!  DENOUEMENT, DESULTORY, DIDACTIC!”  The ground itself was being rent asunder and split by the arcane words.  Fissures began to appear, bursting forth copious amounts of lava,magma, and hate.  This is it, I thought, the end.  A wall of magma rose in the air, towering over me like an insidious wave.  I shut my eyes and braced myself.

Nothing happened, apart from a faint bell sounding somewhere far off.

“DAMN.  YOU MAY NOW TAKE A 10 MINUTE BREAK, IF YOU SO DESIRE.” Sighed the GRE.  The fire and lava was suspended in the air, unmoving.

“Um yes, i would like that.  Thanks.”

“OK FINE.  YOU HAVE 10 MINUTES STARTING… NOW.  IF YOU DO NOT RETURN WITHIN THE TIME ALLOTTED YOUR TEST SCORES WILL BE MARKED AS INVALID.”  A door shimmered into existence  a few feet away and i stepped through it.  I stepped into a pleasant break room, complete with a snack machine, water fountain, bathroom and some furniture.  I sat dow, reaching into my belt pouch and pulling out the package the old priest had given me.  Gingerly, I removed the brown paper that wrapped it and gasped in surprise at the book contained within.

The Dictionary of Fucking Useless Words: Magic Edition!,” I exclaimed.  I opened up to a page at random and began to read.  All the words the GRE had been screaming at me during the fight were there!  A wicked grin spread across my face and I heard the old priest’s wispy voice quietly say ” turn the tide”  I made for the door.

The GRE had been sitting on the ground looking completely bored, and jumped excitedly to his feet when I stepped through the door.

“AH YOU’RE BACK.  GOOD, GOOD.  NOW, WHERE WERE WE?  AH YES.”  He said, and then raised his hands powerfully, cackling maniacally as the fire and lava swept down towards me.

“Bellicose!” I shouted as as my doom quickly approached, ” adj. inclined or eager to fight!”   The fire and lava halted immediately, and began to slowly recede.  The GRE stopped it’s maniacal laughter and slowly lowered it’s hands.  It looked…confused.


“CONTUMACIOUS!” I screamed, “ADJ. STUBBORNLY PERVERSE OR REBELLIOUS!”  The fire and lava were completely gone now.

“NO!!” It wailed, “IT CANNOT BE!”

“YES!” I roared, brandishing The Dictionary of Fucking Useless Words: Magic Edition! “DENOUEMENT!


“DE-NOUE-MENT!” I enunciated wickedly, each syllable wracking the GRE’s tiny frame with painful spasms of doom, “NOUN!  THE FINAL RESOLUTION OF THE INTRICACIES OF THE PLOT!”  The definition rang out across the wasteland like an angelic trumpet,  repairing the rent soil and restoring the forest in one mighty sounding.  The GRE was thrown off it’s feet and hit the ground with an unholy crack, defeated.

“How…?” It asked weakly, struggling to rise.

“No.” I said, striding toward its broken form.  “The question is not how.”  I thrust The Fucking Death Sword into it’s foul heart.  The GRE let out a death rattle terrible to hear, and burst into a dark, insubstantial mist, that slowly receded into the soil, as if it were never anything more substantial or fearsome than vaporized water droplets.

“The question… is why.  Why test people on such stupid vocabulary that no one would ever use?”  Moments later, a shimmering archway appeared in the air that was an exact replica of the door of 1000 sorrows.  I stepped through and returned to the lobby of the Prometric testing center.

“You did it!” shouted the receptionist gleefully.

“I knew you had it in you, young pup!” said the lord, bobbing his head happily.  The wizened old priest stepped forward and presented me with my phone.

“Masterfully done, my lord.  I must now take this time to remind you that you may not repeat an confidential specifics of the test to anyone else, dead or alive, by penalty of death.”

I nodded.  And then I left, just as mysteriously as I arrived.  Only with less lightening and cyclones


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