Fashion

Comment on 3 Powerful Ways To Heal From The Toxic Triangulation Of Narcissists by 7 coisas sorrateiras que os narcisistas dizem para ter você de volta – Quase Astronauta

Comment on 3 Powerful Ways To Heal From The Toxic Triangulation Of Narcissists by 7 coisas sorrateiras que os narcisistas dizem para ter você de volta – Quase Astronauta

Shahida Arabi Updated October 9, 2018
Survivors of intimate relationships with malignant narcissists are often put through the psychological wringer. This is not surprising, as they have been chronically mistreated, demeaned and diminished by character-disordered individuals who are masters of interpersonal exploitation and who show severe deficiencies in their ability to empathize. Dr. George Simon asserts that grandiose, malignant narcissists feel entitled to abuse and exploit empathic individuals for their own gain because they truly believe in the delusion of their own superiority.
Abusive narcissists are contemptuous, haughty, condescending and cruel beyond words. They are also insatiable attention-seekers, constantly looking for validation from the outside world to bolster their grandiose egos.
We’ve all heard the saying, “Never trust the date that is rude to the waiter,” but what about the partner who is overly flirtatious with the waitress, each and every time? Survivors of intimate relationships with narcissists can attest to the insatiable attention-seeking that a narcissistic abuser exhibits as he or she tries to gain narcissistic supply (ex. attention, praise, admiration, sex, status, etc.) from anyone and everyone they meet. TOXIC TRIANGULATION – WHAT IS IT?
This leads us to talk about one of the common ways malignant narcissists demean their victims and retain narcissistic supply: triangulation. Triangulation in the context of narcissistic abuse is the act of bringing another person or a group of people into the dynamic of a relationship or interaction to belittle the victim and make the victim “vie” for the attention of the narcissist.
This method is often used to create love triangles among the people that the narcissistic abuser depends on for his or her daily “fix” of attention. Triangulation is one of the most insidious, heartbreaking tools malignant narcissists use to manipulate their former partners, their current partners, their harem members as well as their new sources of supply.
Narcissists enjoy using triangulation as a mind game that enables them to gain a sense of power and control over multiple people simultaneously. It confirms to them their own grandiosity – after all, aren’t they superior if they have all these people competing for their approval and validation? They certainly think so.
The ways narcissists triangulate include but are certainly not limited to: flirting with others in front of their partners, emotional and physical infidelity, as well as comparing their partners to others as a way to manufacture insecurities in them. They may also report back falsehoods about what one person is saying about another, in order to pit their victims against each other so that neither one of them approaches the other about the abuse taking place.
This form of triangulation can enables victims to doubt the reality of the abuse (ex. “My ex never had this problem with me!”) and serves to make the victim feel unworthy and doubtful of their own experiences. As survivors who have met the ex-partners of their narcissistic abusers and have had honest conversations with them can testify, these claims are far from the truth. You will find that malignant narcissists deplete and drain each and every one of their victims, who all have similar horror stories about the relationship.
Triangulation also has the added “reward” of allowing narcissists access to resources from each and every victim – whether that resource be wealth, status or simply the delicious compassion of an unsuspecting empath . The need for narcissistic supply can be almost gratifyingly sadistic – a way to punish victims for seeking to be independent agents and to keep them reliant on the narcissist’s approval.
You may be wondering: why would anyone fall into this trap? It’s because triangulation can happen in covert, underhanded ways meant to subtly make victims question themselves. The narcissist’s false mask helps to reinforce his or her charming presence, which lures both potential victims as well previous partners into a horrific abuse cycle filled with love-bombing idealization, cruel and callous devaluation and a comfort-punishment dynamic that creates trauma bonding between victim and predator.
What survivors must understand is that triangulation is not an indication of anyone’s worth or desirability. Nor are the narcissist’s new victims immune to encountering this tactic. It is ammunition and leverage to devalue former victims to new partners (ex. “My ex was so crazy!”) or re-idealize old partners while devaluing new ones (ex. “My last girlfriend/boyfriend got my jokes, why can’t you?”). It is also used to annihilate a former partner’s sense of self by flaunting the new source of supply shortly after a discard .
This is something narcissists are prone to doing publicly post-breakup, especially if you discarded them first. It is done in order to regain power over your emotions, hoover you back into the abuse cycle or provoke you into breaking No Contact . How to Heal from Triangulation
There are many excellent resources in the survivor community about the methods of triangulation and its effects. What is lacking are more tips on how to best address the wounding that can result from triangulation and how to begin healing from it. Rejection on its own is hurtful enough, but manipulative, deliberately damaging comparisons set up by an emotional terrorist is quite another affair.
This can be a complex and daunting undertaking, as narcissists not only trigger old wounds, they also manufacture new ones – creating what I like to call “simultaneous wounding.” It is important that in resisting triangulation, one minimizes as much contact as possible with the narcissistic abuser (even in a co-parenting situation where Low Contact is more appropriate). This entails blocking the abuser on all social media platforms, cutting off contact with the abuser’s harem members to ensure peace of mind as well as taking any steps you can to legally protect yourself from potential stalking and harassment after the break-up.
Healing from the effects of toxic triangulation is not an easy task, but gaining self-mastery, self-confidence and learning how to self-validate is essential to the recovery journey. You may also require professional support to address any symptoms of trauma in addition to these methods, as well as any other traditional or alternative healing modalities that can assist you in the healing journey.
Here are three powerful ways survivors of abuse can begin to heal from the impact of toxic triangulation and rise in their authentic, glorious selves: 1. Know that you are irreplaceable and learn exactly why.
Toxic partners work hard to instill in us a belief that we can be easily replaced with another source of supply. This is why survivors of narcissistic abuse can be so devastated after they’ve been abused, devalued, discarded and not too soon after, seemingly replaced by a shiny new target. They reminisce about the ways their narcissistic partners treated them in the idealization phase, wondering if the new person in the abuser’s life is being treated better.
We all know logically that narcissists put each and every partner through this cycle of abuse regardless of who that person is. The fantasy relationship they display on Facebook or in public spaces is an illusion – you know that for a fact because they concocted the same fantasy with you, posting happy images on social media or bragging about you to their friends even when they began abusing you behind closed doors.
The abuser’s lack of empathy and sense of entitlement carries forward in every relationship – even the person they eventually seem to ‘settle down’ with (and let’s all say a collective prayer for this person). Yet on a subconscious level, we may still be plagued by victim-shaming ideas cultivated by the blameshifting, projection and gaslighting that we endured throughout the relationship.
Our abusers, after all, have brainwashed and conditioned us over time into believing that we were the problem, and this is an ingrained belief system that needs to be addressed at its core in order for healing to take place.
It is this belief that arises not only during toxic triangulation in the relationship, but after the ending of it. Not only do trauma bonds with the narcissist need to be severed, our cognitive distortions need to be replaced with healthier, more realistic beliefs about the toxic nature of the narcissistic ex-partner, the reality of the abuse we experienced as well as the integrity of our identity that the abuser attempted to erode, erase and diminish.
That’s where the power of self-appreciation and self-validation come in. Combating triangulation requires knowing that you are truly irreplaceable and why. I am sure you’ve heard it before, but the fact of the matter is, your particular “package” cannot be replicated. The dynamic combination of your unique inner and outer beauty, success, talents, skills, can never be found in another.
Remember also that narcissists see their victims as objects, not as individual beings, making them unlikely to even appreciate the complexity of the various identities they work hard to erase. Additionally, you as a person can never be ‘copied.’
It is interesting to note that narcissistic abusers may also triangulate their victims with targets that are “surprising” to say the least – people that victims did not realize the narcissist would ever have an interest in due to the narcissist’s so-called “preferences.” This can get us wondering whether the narcissist even liked our “type.” The truth is – the narcissist’s preferences quickly go out the window because they are overridden by the need for supply. It is just further evidence that narcissists don’t discriminate when they need sources of supply after the ending of a significant relationship…they’ll gain attention, praise, adulation and validation from whoever offers it to them.
The fact that the abuser has seemingly ‘replaced’ you only means that they have replaced you with who they see as yet another object to cater to their needs. They do not see their new sources of supply as human beings nor do they truly appreciate the intricacies of who they are beyond a shallow representation.
The narcissistic abuser is so self-absorbed that they rarely ‘know’ the true personalities of their victims – only the aspects that can be used to serve them and their image. They may know that their partner Sally is a talented, good-looking musician, but they don’t truly ‘know’ Sally as a person. You’ll discover that even after a long-term relationship, asking a narcissist what they liked about their ex-partner will elicit only baffled looks. Even asking a narcissist what they like about you while in the idealization phase will only result in shallow responses. That’s because throughout the abuse cycle, the narcissistic abuser focuses on the traits of the victim that could be used to prop up the narcissist’s ego – not on the deeper qualities that defined who they were. Therefore, it is a waste of time to ever compare yourself to a narcissist’s old or new sources of supply or their harem members.
This can be difficult to accept when the narcissist is pulling out all stops to create a happy public image of his or her new or old relationship – but remember that appreciating what makes you who you are can act as an antidote to their poisonous efforts to diminish you. HOW TO STOP IDEALIZING THE NEW SOURCE OF SUPPLY.
When a narcissistic abuser moves onto a new target, survivors may begin to ‘idealize’ the target! They may begin to compare themselves unfavorably with the new source of supply, nullifying who they are in the process. They forget that they can never truly be replaced – with anyone. Sure, narcissistic Brad can date new target Melissa who is attractive and sporty, but they can’t get you . Not only are you attractive, you may also be intellectual, have a successful career, a passion for helping others, a quirky sense of humor, and a penchant for making the best dirty jokes. You could be a head-turner on the dance floor, be financially stable, deeply spiritual and have an active lifestyle. What are the cool and interesting things you’re forgetting about yourself ? There are so many incredible things about you and your life that you tend to dismiss or minimize because you’re so busy focusing on the new victim.
You have all sorts of quirky facets to your identity that fit together in a scrumptious way that frankly, no one could mirror even if they tried. Maybe I am drawn to Cory with the six-pack and smooth pick-up lines, but at the end of the day it might be Zach with the sweet smile, who is not only smooth but also emotionally validating, empathic, mature beyond his years and has a deep voice that would probably make me melt in the long run. Attractiveness is not a one-dimensional thing: it is a kaleidoscope of factors. It is not just one or two qualities that define us and make us desirable to people. It is a whole spectrum of nuanced attributes and larger-than-life traits that are stirred to make the magical potion that is your essence.
Everything from your intelligence, passions, hobbies, interests to the twinkle in your eye – beautiful qualities and attributes that anyone who is not a narcissist will be sure to cherish about you. So ask yourself: what is the potent cocktail of qualities that make you extra delicious and irreplaceable?
I am serious – there is something absolutely yummy about your particular mind, body and spirit – about your soul . There are parts of us – sometimes even the very ones we’d rather hide from society – that make us unique in ways people wouldn’t expect. Maybe the way you laugh is captivating; there might be something about your energy that is magnetic or your strong stride that catches the eye of everyone in the room. People pick up on those things about you because they’re seeing you with fresh eyes – and now it’s time for you to value these things in yourself too.
Remember, this rule of people being multifaceted applies to your abuser too, but in a way that gives survivors the advantage in moving forward. The once appealing and charming narcissist gets pretty boring in the long run when we factor in the attributes of their true selves – their flat affect, their inability to be happy for others, their cruelty, their pathological envy and a number of other undesirable traits. Who are they to compare or triangulate your badass self to anyone? No one. I want you to take the time to acknowledge those parts of yourself – both light and dark, that make up the sum of the complex, nuanced and multidimensional human being you are. That is the magic key to unlocking the safe to your sense of security – knowing who you are and owning all of it.
That is why it helps, after we’ve addressed any wounds left behind by blameshifting, to cultivate and reinforce our own strengths rather than needlessly emphasizing any perceived weaknesses, flaws or deficiencies that the abuser has pushed us to internalize. It is a waste of your beautiful, divine self to diminish or nullify your qualities just because of the petty and immature games that narcissists play. I find that when survivors of narcissistic abuse begin to compare themselves to new targets or old ones, they begin to feed right into the narcissist’s desire to see their survivors sabotage themselves. It’s emotional rape and murder without a trace – and it’s done by your own hand!
Here are some ideas on how to embrace our irreplaceability and celebrate ourselves: Make an epic “love list” and refer to it daily. This will get you in the habit of waking up in the morning with an attitude of being grateful for all that you are and have, rather than feeling lacking in any way.
What sort of miracles in your life, in your personality and in your abilities could you be missing out on as you waste time comparing yourself to another person? This is all about moving forward with the determination to refocus on what you do well and to celebrate the most attractive and desirable qualities about yourself. Every day, honor the qualities, traits and attributes that you are proud of – even if the narcissist put them down.
What successes did they downplay? Reminisce lovingly about them, knowing that the reason they were diminished in the first place were because they evoked the narcissist’s pathological envy. What intellectual, spiritual, emotional and physical attributes do you find people most notice about you and are captivated by? Your abuser probably tried to idealize you with them, only to later devalue them so that you wouldn’t feel as confident about yourself or your ability to get a better partner. Now it’s your turn to see these qualities again with fresh eyes. What do you see within yourself that you know makes you special and unique? Make an entire list if you have to, about the things you like and love about yourself and your life. Also make another list for your goals, dreams and anything you want to enhance in your life and brainstorm the steps to do so (such as your existing financial success or good health). Tackle things that you need to breed more confidence in head-on. Use whatever the narcissist diminished you in as motivation or fuel to celebrate, improve or enhance loving that specific part of yourself.
If you have insecurities about your appearance, do some heavy-duty mirror work each morning and night before going to sleep. Find joy in the various characteristics that make you beautiful and breed acceptance for any perceived flaws. What you might see as a flaw, another person might see as a treasured part of you. If you find this exercise difficult, start with staring into your own eyes in the mirror and saying, “I love you and I care about you, and goddamnit, I am going to fight for you. You are THAT worth it.” If you struggle with harmful messages about your body, do some yoga to increase appreciation for what your body is capable of rather than engaging in judgments about what it looks like. You will find that when you focus more on appreciating and honoring your body, you’ll also begin to treat it more mindfully and everything else you want will fall into place naturally.
According to research , yoga is also helpful for releasing trauma from the body – it’s a win-win! You may also want to engage in daily exercise to release endorphins and increase an overall sense of joy and well-being – meeting your fitness goals will just be the icing on the (gluten-free?) cake. If your narcissistic abuser insulted your intuition or intelligence, get mindful and attend a meditation workshop to reconnect with your sacred inner guidance or pursue any academic goals you put on the back burner – ones that reconnect you with your brilliance. Those are just some ideas for how to use the bullying messages of your abuser to get you moving in a positive direction. Don’t hold back on celebrating yourself – even if the voices of society, your abuser or your own inner critic seems to interfere.
If you normally shy away from complimenting yourself, it’s time to heap on some healthy self-appreciation and self-praise. If you’re one to belittle or judge everything you do or say, it’s time to take a step back and observe the inner critic without engaging the negative self-talk or feeding into it. You may think that I am asking you to get somewhat “narcissistic” in the process of loving yourself – but don’t worry, this is not about being cocky, shallow or self-aggrandizing like the narcissist is prone to being. It’s about appreciating yourself more fully and increasing your sense of self-efficacy, power and agency. It’s about recognizing your own desirability (inside and out) and foregoing the dark voices of your abusers and bullies saying otherwise. It’s about owning your strength and your ability to validate who you really are, not what the abuser tried to make you out to be. If the voice of your abuser arises and tries to squash your burgeoning confidence, learn how to distinguish that voice from those who truly love and care about you. Check in with yourself and say explicitly, “That’s not what I truly think and feel. That’s what the abuser tried to make me believe about myself.” Do something to ‘interrupt’ the pattern of negative self-talk and get yourself back into the habit of nourishing yourself with empowering affirmations.
Think of hypercritical feedback from the narcissist as criticism from an angry, jealous toddler – it is not valid nor has it been given to you with the best intentions. It is a pathological defense mechanism and has very little to do with your worth or value. Realize that feedback from grounded, emotionally stable individuals as well as your own inner voice are the anchors and true testaments to your character and potential.This is all about getting the focus off of the narcissist and onto the magic that is within you. Pull in some healthy external feedback when you need to and distinguish it from the harsh words of your abuser.
These exercises are all about what you enjoy in yourself, but don’t be afraid to also pull in positive feedback from healthier past partners, friends, family members, co-workers and acquaintances about what they cherish and positively regard about you as well. Keep a running document of any and all compliments you’ve ever received in your life that you can refer to whenever you’re feeling especially low or find yourself getting into a space of self-doubt. 2. Eradicate subconscious wounding that says you’re not enough and cultivate new seeds of self-worth.
Many (but not all) survivors who have been in unhealthy, abusive relationships in adulthood also come from unhealthy family dynamics. Childhood is where many survivors first learn to dim their own light.
Survivors of childhood abuse by narcissistic parents may have been pitted against a sibling or a group of siblings growing up. Your parents may have tried to “bury” your gifts because they were abusive narcissists and wanted to see you fail. They knew your potential, but they worked hard to stifle it to meet their own selfish agendas.
That being said, there are a variety of circumstances that can lead to a child growing up believing that he or she is not meant to shine. Maybe you always had a more athletic brother or a “prettier” sister (at least from society’s perspective). Perhaps you had a best friend that tended to outshine you in social circles. It’s possible you were bullied or were made to feel invisible by toxic teachers who paid more attention to their favorite students. You may have also endured complex trauma and were the victim of all of these scenarios and more.
Whatever your situation was growing up, even if it was a healthy and happy childhood where you were nourished and supported, there may still be beliefs lingering about not being good enough – whether it is from the influence of society, culture or childhood programming. Identifying these experiences and the associated beliefs that came with them can go a long way in tackling any wounding that is being reinforced when triangulation is used as a method to provoke or further diminish you. Ask yourself: in what ways have I been made to feel invisible throughout my life? Know that what you experienced was not okay: no child deserves to feel unseen, unheard or unwanted – and frankly, no adult does either. You deserved to be visible, you deserved to shine and you deserve to embrace all of the amazing qualities that make you stand out.
After you’ve identified the ways in which you have been brought down in the past, ask yourself the following questions and explore:
In what ways can I embrace my visibility? For example, is there a dream you’ve been holding off on pursuing due to self-doubt or sabotage from your abusive partner? Now is the time to start working on or rebuilding that dream to make it come to life, bigger and brighter than ever – it represents an authentic desire you’re meant to fulfill.
What parts of myself and what gifts have I resisted showcasing as a way to hide myself the way I’ve been taught to hide? We were taught to minimize our talents and desirable traits due to the pathological envy of the narcissist and their put-downs, as well as any childhood programming. Perhaps you’re an incredible artist and your abuser told you negative things about your potential for achieving your dreams because it took the spotlight off of them . Now it’s time to embrace those again and remember the gifts that made us who we truly were before the abusive relationship.
What ways has being invisible protected me from what I’ve been taught to fear (such as criticism) and how can I cultivate the type of confidence that allows me to overcome those fears? Childhood abuse survivors can learn to fear success of any kind due to being punished for daring to succeed by their their abusive caretakers. Similarly, survivors of narcissistic abuse in adulthood can be taught that with success comes punishment via the callous put-downs of their intimate partners whenever they were daring to achieve something that enabled them to become independent of the narcissist. You may have developed an extreme fear of ‘displaying’ who you are as a person and the things that make you truly special. Beneath this fear is an underlying need to protect yourself.
Perhaps your five year-old self still fears being noticed by others because your abusive mother taught you weren’t worthy of being acknowledged or instilled a deep fear in you about the dangers of being too pretty or smart. Or maybe your 23-year-old self is still reeling from that abusive ex who told you that you were too ‘damaged’ to find anyone better – this is a common fear these toxic types try to convince their partners of in order to hold them back from pursuing healthier relationships.
Suppressing or acting on these fears might have been a go-to coping mechanism for you, but now it’s time to unravel these fears and invite curiousity about what they are protecting you from as well as what they’re preventing you from obtaining. These lingering fears may come with protective intentions, but they are ultimately holding you back from what is meant to flourish within you.
How can I rise above the people who tried to keep me behind the curtain, when I really deserved my chance at the spotlight too? If you find yourself fearing criticism or envy from others as a result of outshining them, remember that everyone deserves recognition – and that there’s plenty of it to go around. Unlike predatory narcissists, survivors of abuse know deep down that they don’t ever have to rob someone else of their light in order to be seen.
We can celebrate the accomplishments of others as well as our own – in fact, we take special joy in it. So why not extend that same courtesy of being happy for others to ourselves? We don’t have to be made to feel ashamed or guilty about being proud of who we are. What are more ways you can allow yourself to be in the spotlight and truly enjoy yourself? For example, your abuser may have pushed you to be quiet in social groups whenever you were with them so you wouldn’t get attention from anyone else – now is the perfect time to relearn how to speak out and show off your personality.
Here’s a truth-bomb for the people-pleasers out there: you’re allowed to take up space and own that space without apologies. You’re allowed to speak your voice. You’re allowed to be beautiful (or handsome) inside and out, brilliant, worthy, valuable, seen and heard. You’re allowed to be successful and be proud of yourself in a healthy way. You’re allowed to accept compliments. You’re allowed to compliment yourself. You’re allowed to set boundaries and say “no” when you mean no and say “yes” to the things your heart and soul say “hell yes” to. You’re allowed to realize that the narcissistic abuser who put you through this mess is just another incredibly flawed (and dysfunctional) human being who has no say on your worth or abilities. You’re allowed to see the new source of supply as also another flawed human being who is not worth any of your time, energy or competition.
Yep, you heard me. You never have to compete with anyone – and a healthy partner would never want anyone who they truly love and cherish to feel like they’re competing with anybody anyway. Narcissists want us to compete for their love and attention but what we’re pulled in to fight for is ultimately meaningless, as narcissists don’t even have the capacity to love anyone in a healthy manner.
Let the new source of supply get the consolatory prize: the abusive narcissist who will make them compete with others too – while you move onto bigger and better things. Your biggest prize is your new life of freedom and a path back to your true, authentic self – and, if you’re looking for it, an open space for true, authentic love to enter your life – the kind with empathy, compassion and respect. The kind that is so deliciously appreciative of everything that makes you so beautiful and worthy. 3. Minimize unnecessary comparisons and reprogram negative self-talk.
One of the most damaging lies we can learn from narcissistic parents or partners is that we have to compete with others in order to prove our worth. Whether it be the golden child or the new source of supply, victims of narcissistic abuse are made to feel deficient and worthless by the toxic, destructive conditioning of the relationship. They begin to compare themselves to others as a form of self-sabotage, continuing the abuse even after the relationship has ended.
If we spent our lives comparing ourselves to every person we came across, we would drive ourselves certifiably insane. Similarly, the last thing we want to be doing on our journey to healing is to make unnecessary comparisons to someone a toxic person has triangulated us with.
Narcissistic abusers are masters of triangulating us with people who may be very different from us – this is done intentionally to provoke a sense of unease and self-questioning about qualities we may “lack.” Yet what you have to remember is that down the line, your narcissistic ex-partner will start to compare their new supply to you – talking nonsense about how their ex (you) did this or that and suddenly putting you back on the pedestal.
They don’t discriminate on who they criticize and for what – they’re looking to feed off of the emotional reactions they get with all of their sources of supply and they will continue the same cycle of triangulation with their new partners as well.
The truth is that we are not lacking in any shape, way or form. We are “full” of the very things we need. We are absolutely sufficient in what we have now, because within that unique brand of quirks, flaws, strengths – is exactly who we are and who we need to be. We are already whole and we need to work on the negative self-talk and inner critic that may pounce to detract from our own wholeness. There are many ways to reprogram this negative voice in your head. Some ideas might be: Engaging in a daily habit of positive affirmations customized to your unique needs and triggers. This is especially helpful when your abuser’s voice comes up. You may want to record these affirmations in your own voice and play them back (or have a trusted, loving friend do these for you). If you have severe anxiety over hardcore affirmations, start small. Maybe you don’t start with “I am beautiful,” but begin with “Everyone has beauty and I have beauty in me too.” instead. Do whatever it takes to make the affirmation believable to you before moving onto bigger and better confirmations of your value. A weekly meditation practice (best to do this on a day you are most vulnerable to cravings to break No Contact) to help you to listen and observe your train of thoughts rather than become increasingly reactive to them. Mindfully approaching these cravings or ruminations can help to ease the ‘addictive’ pull we often develop to keeping tabs on an abusive ex. This addiction is formed by the trauma bond and needs time, space, effort and practice in order to heal. Emotional Freedom Technique , EMDR and/or hypnotherapy to clear negative thought patterns and target subconscious beliefs from the trauma that we may not even be aware of that are holding us back. Breaking the triangle and integrating wholeness.
You might be catching on that this part of the journey is not about the love triangle itself but what the triangle represents, the core wounds it reveals and learning how to navigate the pathway to deeper, richer self-love. Don’t get me wrong – triangulation hurts no matter what sort of wounding you may have, because no matter what insecurities you have, triangulation is still abuse. It is a form of devaluation from a toxic partner that no one should ever have to go through. Narcissistic abuse erodes our identity, our self-esteem and threatens to destroy the dreams we’re meant to fulfill. As survivors heal, triangulation comes up as a common way they’ve been dehumanized and traumatized.
However, as you begin to work on core wounds, self-sabotaging beliefs and any issues with self-confidence in conjunction with No Contact, you’ll find that your emotional resonance with the narcissist’s ploys is not as heightened as before. You’re able to move on a bit more quickly rather than tethering yourself to comparisons or creating new ones in your mind. On some level, even subconsciously, we feel trapped to remain within the toxic triangle because we have forgotten to honor our wholeness and we’re still attached to the abuser through traumatic bonding.
Regardless of whichever context you might be facing triangulation, it’s important to remember and honor that wholeness. Comparing ourselves is a dishonor to the very things that make us who we are. If you have a need to constantly compare yourself to the people your abuser pitted you against, why not compare yourself to who you used to be in the abusive relationship or to a healthy role model that you aspire to be more like?
Now that you’ve paved the path to freedom, you’re probably stronger, more resilient, and more determined to succeed. You’ve grown a great deal since the abuse. You’ve survived the worst moments of your life and are now on your way to thriving. Don’t allow the narcissist’s attempts to make you feel less than detract you from the independence you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Post-breakup triangulation is deliberately staged to get you off of your journey to freedom and right back into the narcissist’s trap. Instead, “reverse triangulate” the narcissist with a new support network, a new flourishing life and a new sense of confidence that births your revolution and victory after abuse. Want more writing like this? Read the book POWER: Surviving and Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse by Shahida Arabi . 0

I Rewatched “Game Of Thrones” Season 1 And Noticed Some Interesting Details

The best way to prepare for the final season is to go back to the start. HBO After nearly two long years of waiting, it’s finally almost time for new Game of Thrones . Which means it’s time to refresh our collective memories about everything that’s happened so far. For me, that means commencing my annual rewatch of the series (honestly what will I do with my life once it’s over?!), beginning with the first season, naturally. And to save you the hassle of doing it yourself (or just to have some fun talking about it if you are rewatching it), here’s my take on the season…
Episode 1: “Winter Is Coming” HBO The Big Plot Stuff: • Literally so much is set up here (I mean, of course, it’s the first ep!).
• We get our first glimpse of the White Walkers (it’s wild that they telegraphed them RIGHT FROM THE START but it kind of got lost amongst everything else happening).
• The Starks are happy and together (sob!), except for the minor fact that Catelyn hates Jon and there’s tension between Arya and Sansa. We get to know their values – “winter is coming” and “the man who passes the sentence must swing the sword”. We learn Theon is their ward (although tbh it took me a few episodes to really gather that the first time around!).
• We discover that Jaime and Cersei Lannister are twins who bang and that they probably had something to do with the murder of Jon Arryn – and definitely had something to do with Bran’s fall (seriously, rewatching it is startling considering Jaime became one of my fave characters. HE BOINKED HIS SISTER AND PUSHED A CHILD OUT THE WINDOW!!! What has this show done to me?!). Meanwhile, Tyrion Lannister is a smart-arse who loves drinking and sex.
• King Robert Baratheon names Ned, his best friend, Hand of the King, and Ned is reluctant AF about it but accepts anyway after learning the Lannisters might have killed Jon Arryn. Robert also wants Sansa and Joffrey to marry. Oh, and he really, really hates Targaryens and was in love with Lyanna Stark.
• Daenerys Targaryen is young, naive and timid (such a contrast to who she is now!). All she wants to is to go home. Her brother Viserys is domineering, slightly mad, a little bit incesty, and obsessed with reclaiming the Iron Throne. He marries her off to Khal Drogo in order to access his army, and Drogo rapes Dany on their wedding night (ugh, how did I go on to ship them the first time I watched this?!). Ser Jorah Mormont gets on Dany’s good side by giving her books about the Seven Kingdoms, while Illyrio Mopatis gives her three “stone” dragon eggs.
HBO Symbolism and foreshadowing: • The White Walkers make their first “artwork” and create a symbol in the snow using the dismembered body parts of the slaughtered wildlings. This image will crop up again in later seasons.
• The Starks stumble upon a direwolf and a stag that have killed each other, and Theon mentions a mountain lion might have been involved. It’s almost on the nose it’s all so obvious, but I love it. Then they discover the direwolf pups, and Jon notices there’s one for each of the Stark children, plus a spare for him. The connection the kids have with the direwolves, as we know, is almost magical, and kind of a living metaphor for their Starkness. It’s also important to note that when they find the pups, Jon says “I’m not a Stark”, unwittingly foreshadowing the truth about his parentage, something that is reinforced in his discovery of Ghost – a pup who is related and part of the pack, but separate and different.
• When they arrive at Winterfell and Robert heads straight for the crypts, Cersei says “surely the dead can wait”, which pretty much sums up her whole character these days. Meanwhile, Robert places a feather on Lyanna Stark’s statue which crops up again in Season 5 , and which we also saw in the Season 8 teaser . The conversation Robert and Ned have in front of her statue highlights Robert’s hatred of Targaryens and is an early indication as to why Ned would need to protect Jon (Aegon!) from him.
• Sansa says being queen is “the only thing I’ve ever wanted”. H .
• Benjen tells Jon not to rush to join the Night’s Watch because he doesn’t know what it really means to never father children. This could indicate that he knew the truth – and the larger implications – about Jon’s bloodline but at this stage it seems unlikely.
• When Daenerys enters her bath, her maid protests it’s too hot, but Dany is unfazed – foreshadowing her magical fire immunity. Also, when Dany receives the dragon eggs, she immediately picks up Rhaegal’s – the dragon who is named for Jon’s father, and who Jon may just ride in Season 8.
• The shot of Ned deciding whether to become Hand, with Cat (“love”) over one shoulder and Luwin (“duty/honour”) over another is not only beautiful, it sets up one of the central themes of the series.
Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO Stray observations:
• The lead ranger in the cold open who gets killed by the White Walkers is Waymar Royce, son of Yohn Royce (you know, the old guy who is the leader of the Knights of the Vale).
• How did Will escape the White Walkers? That seems…impossible. Did they let him go? Also, imagine if ANYONE had taken Will seriously way back. Wow. He warned them from the start.
• Cat and Ned talk in the godswood – not too signficant in itself, but it’s a visual that has popped up again since the Starks returned to Winterfell, and will no doubt return in Season 8.
• I appreciated the scene of Robb, Theon and Jon getting haircuts. For obvious reasons. Like, uh, it was important to the plot.
• King Robert’s arrival at Winterfell will be echoed by Jon and Dany’s in Season 8, so that scene is worth a rewatch if nothing else.
• I can never get over how much Jaime looks like Prince Charming from Shrek .
• The conversation Tyrion has with Jon about being a bastard and to “wear it like armour” is so important for Jon’s arc and the growth he has had from being a sulky little boy.
Episode 2: “The Kingsroad” HBO The Big Plot Stuff: • Ned, Sansa and Arya leave Winterfell to go to King’s Landing, while Jon heads north to join the Night’s Watch. Before they both leave, Jon gives Arya Needle and tells her “stick ’em with the pointy end” (I can’t wait until they reunite in Season 8!!!). Meanwhile, Bran is unconscious after Jaime PUSHED HIM OUT OF THAT WINDOW, and Cat refuses to leave his bedside – until an attempt on his life. She discovers a Lannister hair in the tower Bran fell from and is convinced they’re behind it all. She decides to travel to King’s Landing to inform Ned.
• On the journey south, Arya chases off Nymeria and Ned has to execute Lady in her place after Joffrey is “attacked” (really he was being his usual asshole self). Tensions grow between Arya and Sansa as a result, and Arya’s friend Mycah is killed by the Hound.
• Dany is miserable in her life with the Dothraki. Khal Drogo rapes her again. Doreah then gives Dany a sex lesson. Dany learns that she enjoys being on top – especially because it gives her her very first taste of power (shame it had to be with her rapist).
• We learn Ned wanted to behead Jorah for selling poachers to slavers, which is why he exiled himself (read: ran away).
HBO Symbolism and foreshadowing: • Jorah reveals the Dothraki believe a pale ghost grass from the Shadowlands beyond Asshai will eventually cover everything and bring the end of the world. Which seems very ~winter is coming~ vibes.
• Jaime says he’d rather a “good clean death” than be crippled, which of course is the exact opposite of what happens to him.
• Jaime questions Tyrion’s loyalty to House Lannister, to which he replies “you wound me. You know how much I love my family.” Big HMMM over that family loyalty thing going into Season 8.
• Jon says “you Starks are hard to kill” which is, uh, questionable, although true for himself at least. Meanwhile Robb tells him “next time I see you, you’ll be all in black”, and Jon replies “it was always my colour” which is extra symbolic because black is a Targaryen colour. (Side note: this farewell made me cry.)
• It’s significant that Ned was against Jon joining the Night’s Watch until he himself was leaving Winterfell and would no longer around to protect Jon. By joining the Night’s Watch, Jon renounces any claims to family titles (in his case, the throne!!), so this is Ned’s way of keeping him safe from Robert and his hatred of Targaryens.
• Jon and Ned’s farewell conversation is super important when it comes to the whole R+L=J secret . Ned emphasises Jon’s Stark blood without saying he’s his son. Jon is curious about his mother, and Ned says they’ll talk about her “next time we see each other, I promise”, which echoes Ned’s “promise” to Lyanna and gives some weight to Jon being the “prince that was promised” (I mean, he literally is that). But, as we know, they never see each other again. It’s all very devastating tbh.
• More R+L=J goodness: Ned gets very angry when Robert talks about his hatred of the Targaryens (Ned’s line of “you can’t get your hand’s on this one” seems to apply to Jon as well as Dany). Ned is also very closed off when Robert asks him about Jon’s mother. Robert, meanwhile, emphasises Ned’s honour and how unbelievable it is that he would ever cheat on his wife (because he didn’t!).
• The Valyrian steel dagger used in the attempt to kill Bran is the one Arya will later use to kill Littlefinger. She still has it in Season 8, and it should come in handy against the White Walkers.
• Cat tells Robb he has to stay in Winterfell because “there must always be a Stark in Winterfell”. We hear this line repeated throughout the series – and it’s true things go from bad to worse for the Starks when they leave their home. Could there be more to this saying than just symbolic power? Is there actually something magical at play?
• Both Stark girls lose their direwolves in one way or another in this episode. They’ve left Winterfell, and already their ties to their family and the security that offers are weakening.
• Bran opens his eyes just as Lady dies, which seems SIGNIFICANT.
Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO Stray observations:
• It’s oh-so-satisfying to watch Tyrion slap Joffrey. Repeatedly. Although it will come back to bite him.
• Tyrion is skeptical about White Walkers and doesn’t believe in them. Oh, my sweet summer child.
• Cersei talks about having a child to Robert that she lost – “a little black-haired beauty”. Some fans think this is actually secretly Gendry, but I don’t buy it AT ALL.
• Cat mentions how betrayed she felt that Ned came back from war with another woman’s son, and it KILLS me that she’ll never know that Ned was always faithful to her.
• More than a month has passed since Bran’s fall. It was much easier to track the passage of time in Season 1!
Episode 3: “Lord Snow” HBO The Big Plot Stuff: • Ned and his entourage arrive in King’s Landing. Ned is basically thrown straight into a small council meeting and learns that Robert is truly a terrible king who has left the crown severely in debt to the Lannisters. We also meet Littlefinger, Varys, Pycelle and Renly for the first time. Sansa and Arya, meanwhile, are grieving the loss of Nymeria, Lady, and Mycah in their own ways and drifting further and further apart. Ned gets Arya a “dancing master”, Syrio, to teach her how to use Needle.
• Cat arrives at King’s Landing and Littlefinger brings her to his brothel, where she shows the dagger used to attack Bran to him and Varys. Littlefinger says it’s his dagger but Tyrion won it from him, which implicates the Lannister’s in Bran’s attack once again. Of course, we know now that Littlefinger was behind it (and a bunch of other stuff!). Ned and Cat briefly reunite and Cat urges Ned to trust Littlefinger (big mistake).
• Jon Snow is training at Castle Black and is better than everyone else and he knows it. Tyrion tells him to check his privilege, and he amazingly does, bonding with Grenn and Pyp as a result. Jon also stands on top of the Wall for the first time, which is nice, but then he’s disappointed when Benjen won’t take him on a mission. Benjen says “we’ll speak when I return”, which are famous last words on this show. Tyrion also takes his leave of Jon and the Wall, but not before pissing off the edge of it like he dreamed of doing.
• Dany is embracing her power, much to Viserys’ displeasure. Jorah and Rakharo both defend Dany against him. It’s a big tipping point in changing their dynamic. Plus! Dany learns she is pregnant.
Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO Symbolism and foreshadowing:
• When Ned walks into the throne room and sees Jaime seated on the steps in front of the throne, it must have reminded him of the time he walked in to find Jaime on the throne, with the Mad King dead at his feet. It’s interesting that we very much (harshly) judge Jaime through Ned’s lens in this scene, when we learn to sympathise with him and understand his actions later. In retrospect, Jaime seems to be attempting to connect and reconcile with Ned here. Ned, of course, has no time for it.
• Jaime also talks about the Mad King yelling “burn them all” as he killed him – a story he’ll expand upon when he meets Brienne, a huge turning point for his character.
• Cersei tells Joffrey, “someday you’ll sit on the throne and the truth will be what you make of it”, which is totally how she rules herself.
• Ned says to Arya, “in the winter we must protect ourselves. Look after one another. We cannot fight a war amongst ourselves.” Jon repeats almost these exact words to Sansa in Season 6 – he really does take after Ned. He even chokes Littlefinger just like Ned does.
• Old Nan tells Bran about the White Walkers and their GIANT ICE SPIDERS. It’ll be interesting (read: terrifying) if we see those in Season 8.
• Dany is wearing a Dothraki outfit and has her hair braided for the first time. She’s learning to look like a khaleesi as well as act like one.
• Upon learning Dany is pregnant, Jorah has to go for a ride, which is NOT SUSPICIOUS AT ALL.
• Maester Aemon warns Tyrion about the White Walkers and begs for more men from King’s Landing. They really were warning us the whole time.
Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO Stray observations:
• The talk of the tournament made me almost nostalgic for a Westeros that wasn’t at war, when they had time for entertaining frivolities like tournaments.
–Cersei seems smarter and more strategic here than she has been in recent seasons – more human, too. I guess it’s before the grief monster got her, not to mention the Walk of Shame.
• The scene when Ned tries to give Sansa a doll and she refuses it BREAKS MY HEART. I can’t take it.
• The fact Ned also organises for Arya to get fighting lessons also breaks my heart, but in a good way. He was such a good dad.
• It’s so upsetting to watch Ned and Cat say goodbye, knowing it’s for the last time.
• Robert can remember every face of the men he’s killed, and yet he can’t remember what Lyanna looks like. Priorities!
• Lancel Lannister looks SO different in these early days as Robert’s squire.
• I was surprised at how full of rage Jon is in these episodes. He thinks he’s better than everyone and is mad when others don’t recognise that. I’d forgotten how arrogant he was.
• There are a lot of parallels in Dany and Jon’s journeys, one of them being that they’re both mentored by members of the Mormont family – Jorah for Dany, and Jorah’s father Jeor (the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch) for Jon. In this episode, it’s moving to hear Jorah talk about how he felt like he’d failed his father.
Episode 4: “Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things” HBO The Big Plot Stuff: • Bran gets a vision for the first time: the Three Eyed Raven (in bird form) leading him into the crypts at Winterfell. Hodor becomes Bran’s designated ride. Tyrion is surprised by the frosty welcome from Robb at Winterfell, but gives Bran a design for a saddle that will allow him to ride a horse without the use of his legs.
• Sam arrives at Castle Black and tbh he’s hard to like, but Jon tries anyway and forces everyone else to be nice to him, especially after he learns that Sam’s dad wanted to murder him. Ser Alliser Thorne is NOT impressed.
• Ned learns more about Jon Arryn’s death – including that he kept repeating “the seed is strong” and he was looking into a book of lineages and histories of the great houses of the Seven Kingdoms before he died. He also learns Jon Arryn’s squire has been seemingly rewarded since his death. To top it all off, Ned finds Gendry (!!!) and realises he’s Robert’s bastard.
• The tournament begins and Littlefinger ingratiates himself with Sansa. Ser Hugh, Jon Arryn’s former squire, is killed by the Mountain and the murder mystery plot thickens. Littlefinger tells Sansa and Arya the story of how the Mountain shoved the Hound’s face in a fire when they were kids.
• Dany tries to make Viserys more comfortable with Dothraki life and he responds by hitting her. She fights back and tells him “the next time you raise a hand to me will be the last time you have hands”. It’s extremely awesome.
• Cat runs into Tyrion at the Inn at the Crossroads and calls upon her father’s bannermen to arrest him for his part in the plot to kill Bran. It’s a powerful moment, but also truly the beginning of the end for her family, so it hurts to watch.
HBO Symbolism and foreshadowing: • When Tyrion sees Theon again in Season 6, he’s quite harsh to him, suggesting Theon was rude the last time they met. But that meeting was in this episode, and it’s actually Tyrion who was rude to Theon.
• Viserys and Doreah have a conversation about dragons in the bath and it’s all very interesting, but what is most interesting is that Doreah spills some wax on Viserys’ chest and he cries out in pain – foreshadowing he is no true “dragon”.
• Septa Mordane takes Sansa to the throne room and says “one day your husband will sit there and you will sit by his side.” She’s talking about Joffrey, which obviously doesn’t happen, but it’s worth remembering as we head into the final season. It may come true after all!
• Ned and Arya discuss Bran’s injury, and how he can no longer be a knight of the kingsguard as he wanted. Ned says “he might raise castles, like Brandon the Builder”, which is fodder for “Bran is EVERY Bran” theorists (I don’t think it’s true, but it’s interesting!
• Littlefinger tells Ned “distrusting me was the wisest thing you’ve done since you climbed off your horse”, and it’s the truest thing he says in the whole damn series.
• Gendry’s line about his mother having “yellow hair” is often used as evidence that Cersei was his mother, but I think it’s just a coincidence.
• Jaime and Jory (Ned’s right-hand man) have a conversation about fighting together in the siege of Pyke. Jory says he nearly lost an eye, which is FORESHADOWING. They also mention Thoros of Myr and his flaming sword – we’ll meet him in Season 3. On top of all that, Jory describes Theon as a “good lad” and Jaime says that’s doubtful, which shows a lot of foresight considering Theon’s later actions.
• Jon mentions to Sam that his father would never talk about his mother, and admits he’s never had sex because he didn’t want to father a bastard. I wonder if he’ll marry Daenerys when she learns that she’s pregnant ( which she definitely is ), or if the whole aunt thing (or, you know, the end of the world) is going to get in the way? Also: in this scene, there’s what looks like an R and an L carved into the pole near Jon’s head.
• Jorah tells Dany “your brother Rhaegar was the last dragon” which is not tr e.
• One of the bannermen Cat calls in to help with Tyrion is a Frey. Ew! Also, Bronn is there and that’s how he ends up working for Tyrion later.
Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO Stray observations:
• Jorah mentions his wife is alive but “in another place with another man”. Where is she? Who is she with? Is she still alive?
• Sansa still being mad at Ned for killing Lady is both understandable and absolutely gut-wrenching, given what’s ahead.
• I never realised before, but so much of Season 1 is basically a murder mystery.
• Jon actually smiles and laughs in this episode, it’s wild.
• Also Jon’s hair is so curly and pretty and luscious, as much as I love the man bun, it is nice to see it out here.
• GENDRY!!!! That is all.
Episode 5: “The Wolf and the Lion” HBO The Big Plot Stuff: • At the tournament, Ser Loras Tyrell goes up against the Mountain and wins thanks to his mare being on heat. The Mountain is furious and CUTS OFF HIS HORSE’S HEAD with a single swing of his sword. We get a mini Cleganebowl (GET HYPE) when the Hound jumps in to protect Ser Loras from the Mountain’s wrath. The latter storms off. Later, Loras and Renly share an intimate moment and Loras convinces Renly he’d be a great king and suggests the Tyrells and all their gold could back him.
• On the road to the Eyrie, Cat and co are attacked by hill tribes. Tyrion kills his first man – with a shield – and bonds with Bronn over it. Cat arrives at the Eyrie and discovers her sister, Lysa, is not quite the woman she remembers (she’s frankly lost her mind). Tyrion is put in the TERRIFYING Eyrie dungeon.
• We get a lot of talk about Theon’s dick in a sexposition scene with Ros…which is weirdly relevant to his plot.
• Varys tells Ned that Jon Arryn was murdered with Tears of Lys and that his squire poisoned him. Thanks to Arya chasing a cat into the dungeon and hiding out in a dragon skull, we learn that Varys is secretly meeting with Illyrio and the two of them are trying to stir shit up between the Lannisters and the Starks in order to destabilise the realm and make way for a Targaryen resurgence.
• Ned resigns as Hand in disgust when Robert orders the death of Dany after learning she’s pregnant. Ned is packing to go home to Winterfell and is SO close to leaving when Littlefinger interrupts him to drag him to the brothel and show him another one of Robert’s bastards who was born to one of the sex workers there. It’s there that Jaime attacks him over the fact that Cat has Tyrion. Jaime’s men slaughter Ned’s, and Jaime kills Jory by STABBING HIM IN THE EYE. Ned is injured and Jaime runs away.
Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO Symbolism and foreshadowing:
• Bran says “I’ll never shoot another arrow” which is probably him just being sad but I don’t know, what if he somehow defeats the Night King with an arrow out of nowhere?! Very slim chance I know but at this point I’ve got my tinfoil on and am looking for foreshadowing in everything.
• Arya escapes the dungeons through a secret (?) passage out of the Red Keep, which she’ll later use when Ned is captured. She’s stopped at the gates by two prick guards, which will happen again in Season 7 when she returns to Winterfell. When she finally does get in, she meets Yoren in Ned’s office, which is relevant for what goes down in Episode 9.
• Ned’s anger at Robert isn’t just his general disgust at murdering a “child” – he has a personal stake in preventing Robert from wiping out the Targaryens thanks to Jon.
• Jory assures Arya that Ned is definitely safe in the capital, which is frankly rude of the show.
• Lysa mentions Jon Arryn’s last words were “the seed is strong”. She claims he was talking about his son Robin (the breastfeeding little letch) but we all know he was talking about Robert’s seed and its magical black hair-giving abilities.
• Robin Arryn calls Tyrion “the bad man”. With them both on the same side in Season 8, I wonder if this will come up at all.
• Cersei and Robert have a conversation that includes him telling her “only a fool would meet the Dothraki on the open field” (relevant in Season 7), and her saying “what harm could Lyanna Stark’s ghost do to either of us?” (*cough* JON SNOW *cough*).
• This episode really showcases how important Tyrion is to Jaime. It’ll be interesting to see them back on the same side in Season 8. Also, when Ned fights with Jaime, the latter disengages when one of his men dishonourably injures Ned. Honour is central to Jaime’s arc so it’s great to see the foundation of that being built here.
Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO Stray observations:
• I never thought I’d say this, but I miss Robert Baratheon. BRING ME THE BREASTPLATE STRETCHER.
• I wish the story about what happened between the Hound and the Mountain hadn’t been given to Littlefinger in the show. It would have made the mini Cleganebowl (GET HYPE) even more meaningful if Sandor had told his own story.
• I forgot how good Theon is at archery. I wonder if it will come back into play in Season 8, especially as he reclaims himself more and more.
• Ned and the girls have been in the capital a month at this stage.
• Varys is a little bitch!
• Littlefinger is an even bigger little bitch! I do NOT miss him.
• The conversation between Robert and Cersei is one of my fave scenes of the series. It’s wild that it wasn’t in the original script. I get the sense from it that Robert didn’t love Lyanna so much as he wanted to possess her.
Episode 6: “A Golden Crown” HBO The Big Plot Stuff: • Robert tells an injured Ned he must become Hand again, then he leaves to go hunting.
• While Bran tries out his new saddle he gets attacked by three wildlings – two men, and Osha. Robb kills one of the men while Theon shoots the man holding Bran with his bow and arrow. Rob chastises him, saying “you don’t have the right”, which plays into Theon’s insecurities about being an outsider in the family. They take Osha prisoner.
• Tyrion demands a trial by combat at the Eyrie, and Bronn becomes his champion, defeating Lysa’s knight and winning Tyrion his freedom. Thus begins a beautiful (business) friendship.
• Lancel Lannister plows Robert with wine on his boar hunt, while Renly gets mad at him for his rose-coloured view of the “old days”.
• Ned, acting in Robert’s stead, orders Lord Beric Dondarrion (played by a different actor here than in later series) to take 100 men and find and execute the Mountain, after he and his men raid a village. Ned also summons Tywin Lannister to court to answer for his the Mountain’s crimes, since he is his bannerman. This is another step closer to outright war between the Lannisters and the Starks..
• Joffrey starts being nice to Sansa just in time for her to be upset that Ned wants to send the girls back to Winterfell for their safety. Arya also wants to stay in King’s Landing. That sound you hear is me screaming at them to JUST GO HOME! YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING. Anyway, something Sansa says makes Ned put all the puzzle pieces together and realise Joffrey is Jaime’s son and not Robert’s.
• Dany eats a horse heart as part of a Dothraki ceremony and her unborn child is prophesied to be “the stallion who mounts the world”. Viserys is jealous and angry, and drunkenly demands Drogo give him the crown he was promised. Drogo delivers by pouring molten gold onto his head, killing him. Dany doesn’t mind because Viserys threatened her baby, and he was basically dead to her as soon as he did that.
Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO Symbolism and foreshadowing:
• Cersei says to Robert “I should wear the armour, and you the gown.” Armour later becomes a part of her gowns, and we’ll see more of it in Season 8. This early reference sets it up as a symbol of power for Cersei.
• Dany puts Drogon’s egg on hot coals and isn’t burned by picking it up, unlike her handmaid Irri.
• Bran has his Three Eyed Raven in the crypts dream again. I know it was foreshadowing Ned’s death, but I also wonder if something significant will happen in the crypts this season – especially given the fact the teaser placed emphasis on the location.
• Osha mentions Mance Rayder, who will become a prominent character in later seasons.
• Syrio says his famous line to Arya, which sets up a lot of her arc: “There is only one god and his name is Death. And there is only one thing we say to Death. Not today.”
• While “confessing” to Lysa and Cat at the Eyrie, Tyrion starts his story, “I once brought a jackass and a honeycomb into a brothel…” This line will come up again, and it’s a running joke that Tyrion is never able to finish it. Here’s hoping he gets to before the show is over!
• Sansa has started wearing her hair in the southern style like Cersei – the first of many hair changes that indicate where her allegiances and influences lie.
• A lot of people who ship Jon and Sansa take Ned’s line that he will find her a match who is “brave and gentle and strong” as signficant. I personally don’t reaaaally think it’s going to happen, but it’s worth noting! You know, just in case.
• Viserys says about Dany’s unborn child, “He won’t be a real Targaryen. He won’t be a true dragon.” Which is very interesting considering she’s almost definitely going to be pregnant with an extra “true” Targaryen this season thanks to Jon! Meanwhile, Dany herself became “the stallion who mounts the world” – she united the Dothraki and took them to conquer other lands. Here’s hoping some of them survive this season!
Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO Stray observations:
• As soon as Robert slaps Cersei I stopped missing him.
• When Bran says “I’m Brandon Stark of Winterfell” I teared up. I hope he gets some of his old personality back in Season 8.
• Renly is one of the most progressive characters in the series and he would have probably been a great king.
• Sansa accidentally drags Joffrey, saying, “I don’t want someone who is brave and gentle and strong, I want him” – and there’s a really lovely moment where Ned and Arya exchange amused looks.
• Before Viserys dies, he screams “Dany, please!” It’s the last time anyone within the show calls her “Dany” until Jon does in Season 7.
• On Viserys death, Dany says “he was no dragon. Fire cannot kill a dragon.” Some tinfoily theorists take this as evidence Jon isn’t really a Targaryen, since we’ve seen him get burned. But Viserys was also a Targaryen – he just wasn’t a “dragon”, i.e. one with super special fire-immunity like Dany. She’s a rare case, even amongst Targs.
Episode 7: “You Win Or You Die” HBO The Big Plot Stuff: • We meet Tywin for the first time! The Lannisters are preparing for war. Yikes.
• At the wall, Benjen’s horse returns with no rider, but Jon believes he’s still alive (he’s not wrong – kind of). Jon officially joins the Night’s Watch as a steward, much to his disappointment – until Sam convinces him that being the Lord Commander’s personal steward will be advantageous. When Jon and Sam go beyond the Wall to say their Night’s Watch vows, Ghost finds a frozen dead body.
• Jorah receives a royal pardon from Robert/Varys for his spying on Dany, but he’s become attached to her and is just in time to rescue her from a Westerosi wine supplier who tries to poison her. Drogo is enraged by the assassination attempt and finally gives in to Dany’s desire to travel to/conquer Westeros.
• Ned confronts Cersei with the truth about her and Jaime’s relationship and the parentage of their children, and tells her she needs to leave the palace because he’ll tell Robert everything as soon as he’s back from his hunt. Big mistake. Robert returns injured, and Ned doesn’t get a chance to tell him anything before he dies. He does, however, write down Robert’s will and changes the name “Joffrey” to “rightful heir”, which is maybe the sneakiest thing Ned ever did (except, you know, concealing a secret Targaryen in his home for 17 years). Ned sends a letter to Stannis revealing the truth about the line of succession, and enlists Littlefinger to get the gold cloaks to help him depose Joffrey and Cersei. Littlefinger betrays him, the gold cloaks slaughter what’s left of Ned’s staff, and Littlefinger gleefuly captures Ned himself with a dagger to his throat.
Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO Symbolism and foreshadowing:
• Of course our first introduction to Tywin Lannister is him skinning a dead stag. Incredible. He also says to Jaime, “before long I’ll be dead and you and your brother and your sister and all of her children.” I know he was just talking about how everyone dies but, like, he wasn’t wrong about the “before long” part.
• Cersei says “when you play the game of thrones, you win or you die”, which is the only time the name of the show is mentioned in the show. Also Cersei is currently the only one still ~playing~ (although Dany intends to get back to it if she can survive the White Walkers).
• There’s a long piece of sexposition in the brothel which the show became famous for in the early seasons. It’s a bit much, but it weirdly does fit Littlefinger’s character and reveal a lot about him, if you can actually pay attention to what he’s saying. He talks about his history with Ned, Cat and Ned’s brother Brandon, and how being defeated by Brandon in a duel gave him his first lesson in needing to be underhanded. “I’m not going to fight them. I’m going to fuck them,” he says. It’s so satisfying to know he was the one that finally got screwed over in the end.
• Osha talks a lot about the threat of the White Walkers and needing to get further south. Everyone should have paid more attention to her.
Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO Stray observations:
• It’s jarring to see Jaime out of kingsguard armour for the first time. Also, Tywin tells Jaime he needs to become the man he was always meant to be, which feels like exactly what he’s finally doing now .
• I totally forgot that Robert relented on his desire to murder Dany right before he died.
• The scene where Dany does Drogo’s hair is really cute – or at least it would be if they hadn’t had him rape her repeatedly earlier in the season. Or had him talk about wanting to rape all the women of Westeros “for” her.
• Some Night’s Watch steward named Dareon gets sent to Eastwatch. I wonder if he made it out okay in the Season 7 finale.
• I’ve always been puzzled by the popular idea that Jon isn’t ambitious. In these Season 1 episodes he burns with ambition. He wants to be a prestigious ranger, and only begrudgingly accepts the idea of being a steward when Sam plants the idea that Jeor Mormont is grooming Jon for command.
• I’m so glad Arya killed Littlefinger with a knife to his throat in Season 7 as payback for the way he betrays Ned in this episode.
Episode 8: “The Pointy End” HBO The Big Plot Stuff: • Ned is in prison, and is visited by Varys, who says he serves “the realm”. Each of the Stark girls are able to run away from the Lannister men thanks to the protection of Septa Mordane and Syrio. Arya manages to leave the Red Keep altogether, but not before reclaiming Needle and making her first kill. Sansa, meanwhile, is at the mercy of Cersei and the small council, who manipulate her into publicly begging for mercy for Ned, and also writing a letter to Robb telling him to bend the knee. Robb sees through it and immediately calls his banners. War is on. He leaves Winterfell (for the last time, SOB) with a host of 18,000 men. Cat leaves the Eyrie and joins him.
• Tyrion and Bronn encounter hill tribes on their way out of the Vale, and Tyrion makes a deal with them so they won’t kill him. He brings them to Tywin’s army camp.
• Jon and Ghost save the Lord Commander from the (un)dead body they found in the previous episode, which turns out to be a wight. Jon burns his hand. Sam reveals what (little) he knows about the White Walkers thanks to a book he found in Maester Aemon’s library.
• The Dothraki raid a village in order to take slaves to sell so they can fund their campaign to Westeros. Dany is horrified to find them raping all the women, and she brings as many as she can under her protection, including Mirri Maz Duur. When Drogo’s bloodrider Mago gets mad Dany took away his conquests, Drogo sides with Dany, resulting in a fight with Mago that leaves Mago dead and Drogo with a scratch. Mirri Maz Duur “treats” it at Dany’s request.
Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO Symbolism and foreshadowing:
• Tyrion says he wants to die “in my own bed, at age 80, with a belly full of wine and a woman’s mouth around my cock”. I’ve got a bad feeling about this.
• Ser Barristan is dismissed from the kingsguard and angrily proclaims “I shall die a knight”, which he did. 🙁
• It’s interesting to see Bran praying to the old gods in the godswood, considering that’s where he spent a lot of time when he returned home in Season 7, and where no doubt major things will happen in Season 8.
• Bran tells Rickon the family will be “back soon”. “No they won’t”, Rickon replies. He was the smartest Stark, let’s be honest. At least until the whole zig zag debacle.
Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO Stray observations:
• It’s touching that Jon’s first thought upon learning about Ned’s arrest is the safety of his sisters.
• When Robb says “tell Lord Tywin winter is coming for him”, I felt that.
• HODOR.
Episode 9: “Baelor” HBO The Big Plot Stuff: • Cat makes a bargain with Lord Frey in order to allow Robb and his army to cross the river at the Twins. Robb must take on Olyvar Frey as his personal squire and marry a Frey girl, while Arya is betrothed to Waldron Frey. We all know how well that plan turned out…
• The night before going into battle, Bronn introduces Tyrion to Shae and she gives him a night to remember. Tywin sends Tyrion and his hill tribe to the frontline. Tyrion is knocked out and misses the whole thing, but the Lannisters win. It’s too bad it’s not the main fight – Robb has reserved most of his troops to attack Jaime at Riverrun. They win, and Jaime is captured and held hostage.
• Jeor gives Jon the Mormont family sword, Longclaw, after having the pommel made to resemble a wolf rather than the Mormont bear. Jon is nevertheless tempted to leave Castle Black when he hears Robb has gone to war. Maester Aemon lectures him about his duty, and Jon realises Aemon is a Targaryen. What neither of them realise is that Jon is, too.
• Drogo’s wound becomes infected and Dany asks Mirri Maz Duur to save him. Mirri Maz Duur tells her “only death pays for life”. Dany goes into labour and Jorah carries her into the tent where Mirri Maz Duur is performing her blood magic.
• Varys visits Ned in prison and urges him to confess to being a traitor in order to save his life – or at least his daughter’s lives. It’s the latter consideration which eventually leads Ned to “confessing”, but of course Joffrey is a right royal prick and orders his death anyway. It’s brutal to watch, every single time.
Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO Symbolism and foreshadowing:
• The conversation Maester Aemon has with Jon is quite significant. Aemon talks to Jon about honour vs love, and having to do your duty even when those you care about are at risk. Jon says Ned would always do “whatever was right”. Aemon reflects that’s easier said than done, because “what is honour compared to a woman’s love? What is duty against the feel of a newborn son in your arms?” This conversation really highlights what Jon doesn’t know about Ned – as honourable as he is, he does choose love, again and again. Most significantly when he sacrificed his own honour for the love of his sister and her newborn son – Jon himself. Ned also chooses love over honour when he lies about being a traitor in order to protect Sansa and Arya. It’ll be interesting to see if the love vs honour and duty themes come into play now that Jon has a woman he loves and is likely facing the prospect of becoming a father while the world crumbles around him. One other thing to note in this conversation: it’s kind of surreal to hear Aemon talk about his brother Aegon, unwittingly speaking to the boy that was named for him (and the other Aegons in the family).
• Jaime offers to fight Robb one-on-one to end the war immediately, and Robb refuses. In Season 6, Jon offers Ramsay the same deal, and this time it’s Ramsay who refuses. Robb and Ramsay don’t have much else in common, but there’s that.
• I’ll probably be wondering what Ned’s final words are until the day I die. Some fans think he says “I kept my promise”, but I’ve watched this scene MANY times and it’s impossible to tell. I doubt we’ll ever get an answer.
Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO Stray observations:
• Tyrion tells the heartbreaking story of his first wife, Tysha. I wonder if she’s still alive and out there somewhere. I’d love to see more closure around this storyline, but I doubt it’s going to happen.
• I can’t help wondering if Jon ever looked back on the decision to stay with the Night’s Watch rather than ride to Robb and Ned’s aid with regret.
• It’s truly bizarre to watch this episode, in which TWO battles happen off screen, and consider the fact they had no budget for battles back then – in contrast to now, when they’re promising the biggest on-screen battle EVER in Season 8. I mean, I can’t believe they got around the lack of budget by knocking Tyrion out and then having Robb ride out of the trees looking dirty (glorious, but dirty), and we just let them.
• It’s pretty sickening to watch the negotiations between the Freys and the Starks, knowing what happens as a result.
• It’s also kinda sickening to think about the fact Robb sacrificed 2000 men in order to win against the Lannisters. I still love him though.
• It’s REALLY sickening watching Ned Stark die all over again. Why do I do this to myself every year?! Also, this year I watched it with captions on for the first time, and I never realised Cersei was saying to Joffrey “my son, this is madness” after he orders Ned’s execution. Meanwhile, Sansa is screaming “daddy”. Just when I thought the scene couldn’t get more heartbreaking! Bless Yoren for protecting Arya from watching, though.
• I miss Ned. 🙁
Episode 10: “Fire and Blood” HBO The Big Plot Stuff: • Bran tells Osha about his raven dream again, and how this time he saw Ned in the crypts. Bran gets Osha to take him down there. He tells the story of how Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna (or so everyone thought!), and then they run into Rickon and Shaggydog who “came to see father”. Luwin then breaks the news of Ned’s death.
• Cat and Robb grieve Ned’s death together and vow to get the Stark girls back and then kill all their enemies (if only). Robb is crowned King in the North, and Cat attacks Jaime but leaves him alive, even after he confesses to hurting Bran. She’s playing the long game.
• Jon really does run away from the Night’s Watch after he learns of Ned’s death, but Sam, Grenn and Pyp bring him back. Jeor convinces him the more important war is the war against the dead (it really was right there from the beginning!), and they all go beyond the Wall in order to investigate Benjen’s disappearance and learn more about the wights and White Walkers.
• Joffrey tortures Sansa by forcing her to look at her father and Septa’s heads displayed on the Red Keep’s walls. The Hound prevents Sansa from pushing Joffrey over the edge (damn).
• Yoren disguises Arya as a boy and takes her with him on his trip north. Arya meets Hot Pie and (more importantly!) Gendry, who are joining the Night’s Watch.
• Tywin starts strategising how to get Jaime back from the Starks, and reveals that both Stannis and Renly Baratheon have taken up arms. Tywin appoints Tyrion Hand of the King in his absence, recognising his intelligence for the first time. He instructs Tyrion to return to King’s Landing to manage Joffrey and Cersei, but tells him to leave Shae behind. Tyrion disobeys the last command.
• Dany wakes up to find her baby is dead, Drogo is in a vegetative state, and most of the khalasar has abandoned them. Dany is forced to kill Drogo, then she chains Mirri Maz Duur to his funeral pyre and burns her alive. Both the dragon eggs and Dany enter the pyre, with Dany emererging ~unburnt~ and the dragons hatching.
Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO Symbolism and foreshadowing:
• Both Osha and Hodor are afraid of the crypts. I’m so curious about whether more will come of the mystery surrounding them. Also, when Bran sees Rickon and Shaggydog in the crypts and says Shaggydog should be chained up, Rickon says “he doesn’t like chains”. Which is very ominous considering he’ll later be murdered by House Umber, whose sigil is four linked chains.
• Robb’s King in the North scene is later mirrorws when Jon is declared King in the North. Also, when Greatjon Umber proclaims Robb King in the North, he says “it was the dragons we bowed to, and now the dragons are dead.” I am so interested in how the North will react not only to Dany and her dragons, but also to the news that their leader, Jon, is actually a Targaryen too.
• Arya clocks three prisoners in a carriage, one of whom has his head covered. We’ll learn in Season 2 that that is Jaqen H’Ghar. Some people believe that he’s secretly Syrio in disguise! But I don’t think that’s true – at least in the show.
• Mirri Maz Duurs tells Dany that Drogo will return to her “When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east, when the seas go dry, when the mountains blow in the wind like leaves.” This is also when Dany believes she’ll get pregnant again (i.e. never). I subscribe to the theory that this prophecy/curse has already come to pass (it’s clearer in the books), and also that it doesn’t mean Drogo will literally return to her, but that she’ll find love again (hello, Jon).
• The shape of Drogo’s funeral pyre resembles the circular patterns we see associated with the White Walkers.
• The position of the dragons after they’ve hatched is interesting. Drogon, the leader and Dany’s favourite, sits on her shoulder, while Dany cradles Rhaegal (the dragon most associated with Jon) close to her belly/womb. Viserion, the first dragon to die, is on the bottom of the hierarchy, clinging to her leg.
Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO Stray observations:
• Watching Cat’s desire for vengeance, I wished for about the 1000th time that the show had kept the Lady Stoneheart plot.
• Despite knowing it’ll all go to shit, the King in the North scene gets me EVERY TIME. It’s so good.
• The scene where Sam, Grenn and Pyp recite the Night’s Watch vows to stop Jon from deserting is also very moving. And it’s nice to see Ghost just chilling in the background. I miss those days. You know, when he was actually in the show.
• Sansa’s encounter with Joffrey is the first indication of the steel beneath her delicate exterior. It’s a powerful moment. Also, it’ll be fascinating to see the Hound reunite with Sansa in Season 8 and see how much she’s changed.
• Jeor sent Thorne to King’s Landing with the wight hand to prove to Joffrey that the dead are coming. This literally never gets addressed again. Hmmm.
• Lancel and Cersei’s relationship is gross on so many levels.
• There are many characters to hate on this show, but Pycelle is one of the worst.
• Did Rhaego actually look like a dragon or was Mirri Maz Duur just being a bitch? Also, did Jorah carrying Dany into the tent kill Rhaego, or would he have always died anyway?
• All in all, this season ends on such a triumphant and exciting note. I feel like I was such a sweet summer child the first time I watched it. Now my soul feels how Mel looks without her necklace.
And that’s a wrap on Season 1! Stay tuned for my rewatch of Season 2, dropping soon. In the meantime, check out: The Important “Game Of Thrones” Details You Might Have Missed Jenna Guillaume · Aug. 28, 2017 The Important “Game Of Thrones” History You Need To Know Jenna Guillaume · Aug. 9, 2017 This “Game Of Thrones” Theory Is Probably The Most Important One Jenna Guillaume · May 12, 2016

I Rewatched “Game Of Thrones” Season 1 And Noticed Some Interesting Details

The best way to prepare for the final season is to go back to the start. HBO After nearly two long years of waiting, it’s finally almost time for new Game of Thrones . Which means it’s time to refresh our collective memories about everything that’s happened so far. For me, that means commencing my annual rewatch of the series (honestly what will I do with my life once it’s over?!), beginning with the first season, naturally. And to save you the hassle of doing it yourself (or just to have some fun talking about it if you are rewatching it), here’s my take on the season…
Episode 1: “Winter Is Coming” HBO The Big Plot Stuff: • Literally so much is set up here (I mean, of course, it’s the first ep!).
• We get our first glimpse of the White Walkers (it’s wild that they telegraphed them RIGHT FROM THE START but it kind of got lost amongst everything else happening).
• The Starks are happy and together (sob!), except for the minor fact that Catelyn hates Jon and there’s tension between Arya and Sansa. We get to know their values – “winter is coming” and “the man who passes the sentence must swing the sword”. We learn Theon is their ward (although tbh it took me a few episodes to really gather that the first time around!).
• We discover that Jaime and Cersei Lannister are twins who bang and that they probably had something to do with the murder of Jon Arryn – and definitely had something to do with Bran’s fall (seriously, rewatching it is startling considering Jaime became one of my fave characters. HE BOINKED HIS SISTER AND PUSHED A CHILD OUT THE WINDOW!!! What has this show done to me?!). Meanwhile, Tyrion Lannister is a smart-arse who loves drinking and sex.
• King Robert Baratheon names Ned, his best friend, Hand of the King, and Ned is reluctant AF about it but accepts anyway after learning the Lannisters might have killed Jon Arryn. Robert also wants Sansa and Joffrey to marry. Oh, and he really, really hates Targaryens and was in love with Lyanna Stark.
• Daenerys Targaryen is young, naive and timid (such a contrast to who she is now!). All she wants to is to go home. Her brother Viserys is domineering, slightly mad, a little bit incesty, and obsessed with reclaiming the Iron Throne. He marries her off to Khal Drogo in order to access his army, and Drogo rapes Dany on their wedding night (ugh, how did I go on to ship them the first time I watched this?!). Ser Jorah Mormont gets on Dany’s good side by giving her books about the Seven Kingdoms, while Illyrio Mopatis gives her three “stone” dragon eggs.
HBO Symbolism and foreshadowing: • The White Walkers make their first “artwork” and create a symbol in the snow using the dismembered body parts of the slaughtered wildlings. This image will crop up again in later seasons.
• The Starks stumble upon a direwolf and a stag that have killed each other, and Theon mentions a mountain lion might have been involved. It’s almost on the nose it’s all so obvious, but I love it. Then they discover the direwolf pups, and Jon notices there’s one for each of the Stark children, plus a spare for him. The connection the kids have with the direwolves, as we know, is almost magical, and kind of a living metaphor for their Starkness. It’s also important to note that when they find the pups, Jon says “I’m not a Stark”, unwittingly foreshadowing the truth about his parentage, something that is reinforced in his discovery of Ghost – a pup who is related and part of the pack, but separate and different.
• When they arrive at Winterfell and Robert heads straight for the crypts, Cersei says “surely the dead can wait”, which pretty much sums up her whole character these days. Meanwhile, Robert places a feather on Lyanna Stark’s statue which crops up again in Season 5 , and which we also saw in the Season 8 teaser . The conversation Robert and Ned have in front of her statue highlights Robert’s hatred of Targaryens and is an early indication as to why Ned would need to protect Jon (Aegon!) from him.
• Sansa says being queen is “the only thing I’ve ever wanted”. H .
• Benjen tells Jon not to rush to join the Night’s Watch because he doesn’t know what it really means to never father children. This could indicate that he knew the truth – and the larger implications – about Jon’s bloodline but at this stage it seems unlikely.
• When Daenerys enters her bath, her maid protests it’s too hot, but Dany is unfazed – foreshadowing her magical fire immunity. Also, when Dany receives the dragon eggs, she immediately picks up Rhaegal’s – the dragon who is named for Jon’s father, and who Jon may just ride in Season 8.
• The shot of Ned deciding whether to become Hand, with Cat (“love”) over one shoulder and Luwin (“duty/honour”) over another is not only beautiful, it sets up one of the central themes of the series.
Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO Stray observations:
• The lead ranger in the cold open who gets killed by the White Walkers is Waymar Royce, son of Yohn Royce (you know, the old guy who is the leader of the Knights of the Vale).
• How did Will escape the White Walkers? That seems…impossible. Did they let him go? Also, imagine if ANYONE had taken Will seriously way back. Wow. He warned them from the start.
• Cat and Ned talk in the godswood – not too signficant in itself, but it’s a visual that has popped up again since the Starks returned to Winterfell, and will no doubt return in Season 8.
• I appreciated the scene of Robb, Theon and Jon getting haircuts. For obvious reasons. Like, uh, it was important to the plot.
• King Robert’s arrival at Winterfell will be echoed by Jon and Dany’s in Season 8, so that scene is worth a rewatch if nothing else.
• I can never get over how much Jaime looks like Prince Charming from Shrek .
• The conversation Tyrion has with Jon about being a bastard and to “wear it like armour” is so important for Jon’s arc and the growth he has had from being a sulky little boy.
Episode 2: “The Kingsroad” HBO The Big Plot Stuff: • Ned, Sansa and Arya leave Winterfell to go to King’s Landing, while Jon heads north to join the Night’s Watch. Before they both leave, Jon gives Arya Needle and tells her “stick ’em with the pointy end” (I can’t wait until they reunite in Season 8!!!). Meanwhile, Bran is unconscious after Jaime PUSHED HIM OUT OF THAT WINDOW, and Cat refuses to leave his bedside – until an attempt on his life. She discovers a Lannister hair in the tower Bran fell from and is convinced they’re behind it all. She decides to travel to King’s Landing to inform Ned.
• On the journey south, Arya chases off Nymeria and Ned has to execute Lady in her place after Joffrey is “attacked” (really he was being his usual asshole self). Tensions grow between Arya and Sansa as a result, and Arya’s friend Mycah is killed by the Hound.
• Dany is miserable in her life with the Dothraki. Khal Drogo rapes her again. Doreah then gives Dany a sex lesson. Dany learns that she enjoys being on top – especially because it gives her her very first taste of power (shame it had to be with her rapist).
• We learn Ned wanted to behead Jorah for selling poachers to slavers, which is why he exiled himself (read: ran away).
HBO Symbolism and foreshadowing: • Jorah reveals the Dothraki believe a pale ghost grass from the Shadowlands beyond Asshai will eventually cover everything and bring the end of the world. Which seems very ~winter is coming~ vibes.
• Jaime says he’d rather a “good clean death” than be crippled, which of course is the exact opposite of what happens to him.
• Jaime questions Tyrion’s loyalty to House Lannister, to which he replies “you wound me. You know how much I love my family.” Big HMMM over that family loyalty thing going into Season 8.
• Jon says “you Starks are hard to kill” which is, uh, questionable, although true for himself at least. Meanwhile Robb tells him “next time I see you, you’ll be all in black”, and Jon replies “it was always my colour” which is extra symbolic because black is a Targaryen colour. (Side note: this farewell made me cry.)
• It’s significant that Ned was against Jon joining the Night’s Watch until he himself was leaving Winterfell and would no longer around to protect Jon. By joining the Night’s Watch, Jon renounces any claims to family titles (in his case, the throne!!), so this is Ned’s way of keeping him safe from Robert and his hatred of Targaryens.
• Jon and Ned’s farewell conversation is super important when it comes to the whole R+L=J secret . Ned emphasises Jon’s Stark blood without saying he’s his son. Jon is curious about his mother, and Ned says they’ll talk about her “next time we see each other, I promise”, which echoes Ned’s “promise” to Lyanna and gives some weight to Jon being the “prince that was promised” (I mean, he literally is that). But, as we know, they never see each other again. It’s all very devastating tbh.
• More R+L=J goodness: Ned gets very angry when Robert talks about his hatred of the Targaryens (Ned’s line of “you can’t get your hand’s on this one” seems to apply to Jon as well as Dany). Ned is also very closed off when Robert asks him about Jon’s mother. Robert, meanwhile, emphasises Ned’s honour and how unbelievable it is that he would ever cheat on his wife (because he didn’t!).
• The Valyrian steel dagger used in the attempt to kill Bran is the one Arya will later use to kill Littlefinger. She still has it in Season 8, and it should come in handy against the White Walkers.
• Cat tells Robb he has to stay in Winterfell because “there must always be a Stark in Winterfell”. We hear this line repeated throughout the series – and it’s true things go from bad to worse for the Starks when they leave their home. Could there be more to this saying than just symbolic power? Is there actually something magical at play?
• Both Stark girls lose their direwolves in one way or another in this episode. They’ve left Winterfell, and already their ties to their family and the security that offers are weakening.
• Bran opens his eyes just as Lady dies, which seems SIGNIFICANT.
Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO Stray observations:
• It’s oh-so-satisfying to watch Tyrion slap Joffrey. Repeatedly. Although it will come back to bite him.
• Tyrion is skeptical about White Walkers and doesn’t believe in them. Oh, my sweet summer child.
• Cersei talks about having a child to Robert that she lost – “a little black-haired beauty”. Some fans think this is actually secretly Gendry, but I don’t buy it AT ALL.
• Cat mentions how betrayed she felt that Ned came back from war with another woman’s son, and it KILLS me that she’ll never know that Ned was always faithful to her.
• More than a month has passed since Bran’s fall. It was much easier to track the passage of time in Season 1!
Episode 3: “Lord Snow” HBO The Big Plot Stuff: • Ned and his entourage arrive in King’s Landing. Ned is basically thrown straight into a small council meeting and learns that Robert is truly a terrible king who has left the crown severely in debt to the Lannisters. We also meet Littlefinger, Varys, Pycelle and Renly for the first time. Sansa and Arya, meanwhile, are grieving the loss of Nymeria, Lady, and Mycah in their own ways and drifting further and further apart. Ned gets Arya a “dancing master”, Syrio, to teach her how to use Needle.
• Cat arrives at King’s Landing and Littlefinger brings her to his brothel, where she shows the dagger used to attack Bran to him and Varys. Littlefinger says it’s his dagger but Tyrion won it from him, which implicates the Lannister’s in Bran’s attack once again. Of course, we know now that Littlefinger was behind it (and a bunch of other stuff!). Ned and Cat briefly reunite and Cat urges Ned to trust Littlefinger (big mistake).
• Jon Snow is training at Castle Black and is better than everyone else and he knows it. Tyrion tells him to check his privilege, and he amazingly does, bonding with Grenn and Pyp as a result. Jon also stands on top of the Wall for the first time, which is nice, but then he’s disappointed when Benjen won’t take him on a mission. Benjen says “we’ll speak when I return”, which are famous last words on this show. Tyrion also takes his leave of Jon and the Wall, but not before pissing off the edge of it like he dreamed of doing.
• Dany is embracing her power, much to Viserys’ displeasure. Jorah and Rakharo both defend Dany against him. It’s a big tipping point in changing their dynamic. Plus! Dany learns she is pregnant.
Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO Symbolism and foreshadowing:
• When Ned walks into the throne room and sees Jaime seated on the steps in front of the throne, it must have reminded him of the time he walked in to find Jaime on the throne, with the Mad King dead at his feet. It’s interesting that we very much (harshly) judge Jaime through Ned’s lens in this scene, when we learn to sympathise with him and understand his actions later. In retrospect, Jaime seems to be attempting to connect and reconcile with Ned here. Ned, of course, has no time for it.
• Jaime also talks about the Mad King yelling “burn them all” as he killed him – a story he’ll expand upon when he meets Brienne, a huge turning point for his character.
• Cersei tells Joffrey, “someday you’ll sit on the throne and the truth will be what you make of it”, which is totally how she rules herself.
• Ned says to Arya, “in the winter we must protect ourselves. Look after one another. We cannot fight a war amongst ourselves.” Jon repeats almost these exact words to Sansa in Season 6 – he really does take after Ned. He even chokes Littlefinger just like Ned does.
• Old Nan tells Bran about the White Walkers and their GIANT ICE SPIDERS. It’ll be interesting (read: terrifying) if we see those in Season 8.
• Dany is wearing a Dothraki outfit and has her hair braided for the first time. She’s learning to look like a khaleesi as well as act like one.
• Upon learning Dany is pregnant, Jorah has to go for a ride, which is NOT SUSPICIOUS AT ALL.
• Maester Aemon warns Tyrion about the White Walkers and begs for more men from King’s Landing. They really were warning us the whole time.
Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO Stray observations:
• The talk of the tournament made me almost nostalgic for a Westeros that wasn’t at war, when they had time for entertaining frivolities like tournaments.
–Cersei seems smarter and more strategic here than she has been in recent seasons – more human, too. I guess it’s before the grief monster got her, not to mention the Walk of Shame.
• The scene when Ned tries to give Sansa a doll and she refuses it BREAKS MY HEART. I can’t take it.
• The fact Ned also organises for Arya to get fighting lessons also breaks my heart, but in a good way. He was such a good dad.
• It’s so upsetting to watch Ned and Cat say goodbye, knowing it’s for the last time.
• Robert can remember every face of the men he’s killed, and yet he can’t remember what Lyanna looks like. Priorities!
• Lancel Lannister looks SO different in these early days as Robert’s squire.
• I was surprised at how full of rage Jon is in these episodes. He thinks he’s better than everyone and is mad when others don’t recognise that. I’d forgotten how arrogant he was.
• There are a lot of parallels in Dany and Jon’s journeys, one of them being that they’re both mentored by members of the Mormont family – Jorah for Dany, and Jorah’s father Jeor (the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch) for Jon. In this episode, it’s moving to hear Jorah talk about how he felt like he’d failed his father.
Episode 4: “Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things” HBO The Big Plot Stuff: • Bran gets a vision for the first time: the Three Eyed Raven (in bird form) leading him into the crypts at Winterfell. Hodor becomes Bran’s designated ride. Tyrion is surprised by the frosty welcome from Robb at Winterfell, but gives Bran a design for a saddle that will allow him to ride a horse without the use of his legs.
• Sam arrives at Castle Black and tbh he’s hard to like, but Jon tries anyway and forces everyone else to be nice to him, especially after he learns that Sam’s dad wanted to murder him. Ser Alliser Thorne is NOT impressed.
• Ned learns more about Jon Arryn’s death – including that he kept repeating “the seed is strong” and he was looking into a book of lineages and histories of the great houses of the Seven Kingdoms before he died. He also learns Jon Arryn’s squire has been seemingly rewarded since his death. To top it all off, Ned finds Gendry (!!!) and realises he’s Robert’s bastard.
• The tournament begins and Littlefinger ingratiates himself with Sansa. Ser Hugh, Jon Arryn’s former squire, is killed by the Mountain and the murder mystery plot thickens. Littlefinger tells Sansa and Arya the story of how the Mountain shoved the Hound’s face in a fire when they were kids.
• Dany tries to make Viserys more comfortable with Dothraki life and he responds by hitting her. She fights back and tells him “the next time you raise a hand to me will be the last time you have hands”. It’s extremely awesome.
• Cat runs into Tyrion at the Inn at the Crossroads and calls upon her father’s bannermen to arrest him for his part in the plot to kill Bran. It’s a powerful moment, but also truly the beginning of the end for her family, so it hurts to watch.
HBO Symbolism and foreshadowing: • When Tyrion sees Theon again in Season 6, he’s quite harsh to him, suggesting Theon was rude the last time they met. But that meeting was in this episode, and it’s actually Tyrion who was rude to Theon.
• Viserys and Doreah have a conversation about dragons in the bath and it’s all very interesting, but what is most interesting is that Doreah spills some wax on Viserys’ chest and he cries out in pain – foreshadowing he is no true “dragon”.
• Septa Mordane takes Sansa to the throne room and says “one day your husband will sit there and you will sit by his side.” She’s talking about Joffrey, which obviously doesn’t happen, but it’s worth remembering as we head into the final season. It may come true after all!
• Ned and Arya discuss Bran’s injury, and how he can no longer be a knight of the kingsguard as he wanted. Ned says “he might raise castles, like Brandon the Builder”, which is fodder for “Bran is EVERY Bran” theorists (I don’t think it’s true, but it’s interesting!
• Littlefinger tells Ned “distrusting me was the wisest thing you’ve done since you climbed off your horse”, and it’s the truest thing he says in the whole damn series.
• Gendry’s line about his mother having “yellow hair” is often used as evidence that Cersei was his mother, but I think it’s just a coincidence.
• Jaime and Jory (Ned’s right-hand man) have a conversation about fighting together in the siege of Pyke. Jory says he nearly lost an eye, which is FORESHADOWING. They also mention Thoros of Myr and his flaming sword – we’ll meet him in Season 3. On top of all that, Jory describes Theon as a “good lad” and Jaime says that’s doubtful, which shows a lot of foresight considering Theon’s later actions.
• Jon mentions to Sam that his father would never talk about his mother, and admits he’s never had sex because he didn’t want to father a bastard. I wonder if he’ll marry Daenerys when she learns that she’s pregnant ( which she definitely is ), or if the whole aunt thing (or, you know, the end of the world) is going to get in the way? Also: in this scene, there’s what looks like an R and an L carved into the pole near Jon’s head.
• Jorah tells Dany “your brother Rhaegar was the last dragon” which is not tr e.
• One of the bannermen Cat calls in to help with Tyrion is a Frey. Ew! Also, Bronn is there and that’s how he ends up working for Tyrion later.
Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO Stray observations:
• Jorah mentions his wife is alive but “in another place with another man”. Where is she? Who is she with? Is she still alive?
• Sansa still being mad at Ned for killing Lady is both understandable and absolutely gut-wrenching, given what’s ahead.
• I never realised before, but so much of Season 1 is basically a murder mystery.
• Jon actually smiles and laughs in this episode, it’s wild.
• Also Jon’s hair is so curly and pretty and luscious, as much as I love the man bun, it is nice to see it out here.
• GENDRY!!!! That is all.
Episode 5: “The Wolf and the Lion” HBO The Big Plot Stuff: • At the tournament, Ser Loras Tyrell goes up against the Mountain and wins thanks to his mare being on heat. The Mountain is furious and CUTS OFF HIS HORSE’S HEAD with a single swing of his sword. We get a mini Cleganebowl (GET HYPE) when the Hound jumps in to protect Ser Loras from the Mountain’s wrath. The latter storms off. Later, Loras and Renly share an intimate moment and Loras convinces Renly he’d be a great king and suggests the Tyrells and all their gold could back him.
• On the road to the Eyrie, Cat and co are attacked by hill tribes. Tyrion kills his first man – with a shield – and bonds with Bronn over it. Cat arrives at the Eyrie and discovers her sister, Lysa, is not quite the woman she remembers (she’s frankly lost her mind). Tyrion is put in the TERRIFYING Eyrie dungeon.
• We get a lot of talk about Theon’s dick in a sexposition scene with Ros…which is weirdly relevant to his plot.
• Varys tells Ned that Jon Arryn was murdered with Tears of Lys and that his squire poisoned him. Thanks to Arya chasing a cat into the dungeon and hiding out in a dragon skull, we learn that Varys is secretly meeting with Illyrio and the two of them are trying to stir shit up between the Lannisters and the Starks in order to destabilise the realm and make way for a Targaryen resurgence.
• Ned resigns as Hand in disgust when Robert orders the death of Dany after learning she’s pregnant. Ned is packing to go home to Winterfell and is SO close to leaving when Littlefinger interrupts him to drag him to the brothel and show him another one of Robert’s bastards who was born to one of the sex workers there. It’s there that Jaime attacks him over the fact that Cat has Tyrion. Jaime’s men slaughter Ned’s, and Jaime kills Jory by STABBING HIM IN THE EYE. Ned is injured and Jaime runs away.
Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO Symbolism and foreshadowing:
• Bran says “I’ll never shoot another arrow” which is probably him just being sad but I don’t know, what if he somehow defeats the Night King with an arrow out of nowhere?! Very slim chance I know but at this point I’ve got my tinfoil on and am looking for foreshadowing in everything.
• Arya escapes the dungeons through a secret (?) passage out of the Red Keep, which she’ll later use when Ned is captured. She’s stopped at the gates by two prick guards, which will happen again in Season 7 when she returns to Winterfell. When she finally does get in, she meets Yoren in Ned’s office, which is relevant for what goes down in Episode 9.
• Ned’s anger at Robert isn’t just his general disgust at murdering a “child” – he has a personal stake in preventing Robert from wiping out the Targaryens thanks to Jon.
• Jory assures Arya that Ned is definitely safe in the capital, which is frankly rude of the show.
• Lysa mentions Jon Arryn’s last words were “the seed is strong”. She claims he was talking about his son Robin (the breastfeeding little letch) but we all know he was talking about Robert’s seed and its magical black hair-giving abilities.
• Robin Arryn calls Tyrion “the bad man”. With them both on the same side in Season 8, I wonder if this will come up at all.
• Cersei and Robert have a conversation that includes him telling her “only a fool would meet the Dothraki on the open field” (relevant in Season 7), and her saying “what harm could Lyanna Stark’s ghost do to either of us?” (*cough* JON SNOW *cough*).
• This episode really showcases how important Tyrion is to Jaime. It’ll be interesting to see them back on the same side in Season 8. Also, when Ned fights with Jaime, the latter disengages when one of his men dishonourably injures Ned. Honour is central to Jaime’s arc so it’s great to see the foundation of that being built here.
Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO Stray observations:
• I never thought I’d say this, but I miss Robert Baratheon. BRING ME THE BREASTPLATE STRETCHER.
• I wish the story about what happened between the Hound and the Mountain hadn’t been given to Littlefinger in the show. It would have made the mini Cleganebowl (GET HYPE) even more meaningful if Sandor had told his own story.
• I forgot how good Theon is at archery. I wonder if it will come back into play in Season 8, especially as he reclaims himself more and more.
• Ned and the girls have been in the capital a month at this stage.
• Varys is a little bitch!
• Littlefinger is an even bigger little bitch! I do NOT miss him.
• The conversation between Robert and Cersei is one of my fave scenes of the series. It’s wild that it wasn’t in the original script. I get the sense from it that Robert didn’t love Lyanna so much as he wanted to possess her.
Episode 6: “A Golden Crown” HBO The Big Plot Stuff: • Robert tells an injured Ned he must become Hand again, then he leaves to go hunting.
• While Bran tries out his new saddle he gets attacked by three wildlings – two men, and Osha. Robb kills one of the men while Theon shoots the man holding Bran with his bow and arrow. Rob chastises him, saying “you don’t have the right”, which plays into Theon’s insecurities about being an outsider in the family. They take Osha prisoner.
• Tyrion demands a trial by combat at the Eyrie, and Bronn becomes his champion, defeating Lysa’s knight and winning Tyrion his freedom. Thus begins a beautiful (business) friendship.
• Lancel Lannister plows Robert with wine on his boar hunt, while Renly gets mad at him for his rose-coloured view of the “old days”.
• Ned, acting in Robert’s stead, orders Lord Beric Dondarrion (played by a different actor here than in later series) to take 100 men and find and execute the Mountain, after he and his men raid a village. Ned also summons Tywin Lannister to court to answer for his the Mountain’s crimes, since he is his bannerman. This is another step closer to outright war between the Lannisters and the Starks..
• Joffrey starts being nice to Sansa just in time for her to be upset that Ned wants to send the girls back to Winterfell for their safety. Arya also wants to stay in King’s Landing. That sound you hear is me screaming at them to JUST GO HOME! YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING. Anyway, something Sansa says makes Ned put all the puzzle pieces together and realise Joffrey is Jaime’s son and not Robert’s.
• Dany eats a horse heart as part of a Dothraki ceremony and her unborn child is prophesied to be “the stallion who mounts the world”. Viserys is jealous and angry, and drunkenly demands Drogo give him the crown he was promised. Drogo delivers by pouring molten gold onto his head, killing him. Dany doesn’t mind because Viserys threatened her baby, and he was basically dead to her as soon as he did that.
Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO Symbolism and foreshadowing:
• Cersei says to Robert “I should wear the armour, and you the gown.” Armour later becomes a part of her gowns, and we’ll see more of it in Season 8. This early reference sets it up as a symbol of power for Cersei.
• Dany puts Drogon’s egg on hot coals and isn’t burned by picking it up, unlike her handmaid Irri.
• Bran has his Three Eyed Raven in the crypts dream again. I know it was foreshadowing Ned’s death, but I also wonder if something significant will happen in the crypts this season – especially given the fact the teaser placed emphasis on the location.
• Osha mentions Mance Rayder, who will become a prominent character in later seasons.
• Syrio says his famous line to Arya, which sets up a lot of her arc: “There is only one god and his name is Death. And there is only one thing we say to Death. Not today.”
• While “confessing” to Lysa and Cat at the Eyrie, Tyrion starts his story, “I once brought a jackass and a honeycomb into a brothel…” This line will come up again, and it’s a running joke that Tyrion is never able to finish it. Here’s hoping he gets to before the show is over!
• Sansa has started wearing her hair in the southern style like Cersei – the first of many hair changes that indicate where her allegiances and influences lie.
• A lot of people who ship Jon and Sansa take Ned’s line that he will find her a match who is “brave and gentle and strong” as signficant. I personally don’t reaaaally think it’s going to happen, but it’s worth noting! You know, just in case.
• Viserys says about Dany’s unborn child, “He won’t be a real Targaryen. He won’t be a true dragon.” Which is very interesting considering she’s almost definitely going to be pregnant with an extra “true” Targaryen this season thanks to Jon! Meanwhile, Dany herself became “the stallion who mounts the world” – she united the Dothraki and took them to conquer other lands. Here’s hoping some of them survive this season!
Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO Stray observations:
• As soon as Robert slaps Cersei I stopped missing him.
• When Bran says “I’m Brandon Stark of Winterfell” I teared up. I hope he gets some of his old personality back in Season 8.
• Renly is one of the most progressive characters in the series and he would have probably been a great king.
• Sansa accidentally drags Joffrey, saying, “I don’t want someone who is brave and gentle and strong, I want him” – and there’s a really lovely moment where Ned and Arya exchange amused looks.
• Before Viserys dies, he screams “Dany, please!” It’s the last time anyone within the show calls her “Dany” until Jon does in Season 7.
• On Viserys death, Dany says “he was no dragon. Fire cannot kill a dragon.” Some tinfoily theorists take this as evidence Jon isn’t really a Targaryen, since we’ve seen him get burned. But Viserys was also a Targaryen – he just wasn’t a “dragon”, i.e. one with super special fire-immunity like Dany. She’s a rare case, even amongst Targs.
Episode 7: “You Win Or You Die” HBO The Big Plot Stuff: • We meet Tywin for the first time! The Lannisters are preparing for war. Yikes.
• At the wall, Benjen’s horse returns with no rider, but Jon believes he’s still alive (he’s not wrong – kind of). Jon officially joins the Night’s Watch as a steward, much to his disappointment – until Sam convinces him that being the Lord Commander’s personal steward will be advantageous. When Jon and Sam go beyond the Wall to say their Night’s Watch vows, Ghost finds a frozen dead body.
• Jorah receives a royal pardon from Robert/Varys for his spying on Dany, but he’s become attached to her and is just in time to rescue her from a Westerosi wine supplier who tries to poison her. Drogo is enraged by the assassination attempt and finally gives in to Dany’s desire to travel to/conquer Westeros.
• Ned confronts Cersei with the truth about her and Jaime’s relationship and the parentage of their children, and tells her she needs to leave the palace because he’ll tell Robert everything as soon as he’s back from his hunt. Big mistake. Robert returns injured, and Ned doesn’t get a chance to tell him anything before he dies. He does, however, write down Robert’s will and changes the name “Joffrey” to “rightful heir”, which is maybe the sneakiest thing Ned ever did (except, you know, concealing a secret Targaryen in his home for 17 years). Ned sends a letter to Stannis revealing the truth about the line of succession, and enlists Littlefinger to get the gold cloaks to help him depose Joffrey and Cersei. Littlefinger betrays him, the gold cloaks slaughter what’s left of Ned’s staff, and Littlefinger gleefuly captures Ned himself with a dagger to his throat.
Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO Symbolism and foreshadowing:
• Of course our first introduction to Tywin Lannister is him skinning a dead stag. Incredible. He also says to Jaime, “before long I’ll be dead and you and your brother and your sister and all of her children.” I know he was just talking about how everyone dies but, like, he wasn’t wrong about the “before long” part.
• Cersei says “when you play the game of thrones, you win or you die”, which is the only time the name of the show is mentioned in the show. Also Cersei is currently the only one still ~playing~ (although Dany intends to get back to it if she can survive the White Walkers).
• There’s a long piece of sexposition in the brothel which the show became famous for in the early seasons. It’s a bit much, but it weirdly does fit Littlefinger’s character and reveal a lot about him, if you can actually pay attention to what he’s saying. He talks about his history with Ned, Cat and Ned’s brother Brandon, and how being defeated by Brandon in a duel gave him his first lesson in needing to be underhanded. “I’m not going to fight them. I’m going to fuck them,” he says. It’s so satisfying to know he was the one that finally got screwed over in the end.
• Osha talks a lot about the threat of the White Walkers and needing to get further south. Everyone should have paid more attention to her.
Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO Stray observations:
• It’s jarring to see Jaime out of kingsguard armour for the first time. Also, Tywin tells Jaime he needs to become the man he was always meant to be, which feels like exactly what he’s finally doing now .
• I totally forgot that Robert relented on his desire to murder Dany right before he died.
• The scene where Dany does Drogo’s hair is really cute – or at least it would be if they hadn’t had him rape her repeatedly earlier in the season. Or had him talk about wanting to rape all the women of Westeros “for” her.
• Some Night’s Watch steward named Dareon gets sent to Eastwatch. I wonder if he made it out okay in the Season 7 finale.
• I’ve always been puzzled by the popular idea that Jon isn’t ambitious. In these Season 1 episodes he burns with ambition. He wants to be a prestigious ranger, and only begrudgingly accepts the idea of being a steward when Sam plants the idea that Jeor Mormont is grooming Jon for command.
• I’m so glad Arya killed Littlefinger with a knife to his throat in Season 7 as payback for the way he betrays Ned in this episode.
Episode 8: “The Pointy End” HBO The Big Plot Stuff: • Ned is in prison, and is visited by Varys, who says he serves “the realm”. Each of the Stark girls are able to run away from the Lannister men thanks to the protection of Septa Mordane and Syrio. Arya manages to leave the Red Keep altogether, but not before reclaiming Needle and making her first kill. Sansa, meanwhile, is at the mercy of Cersei and the small council, who manipulate her into publicly begging for mercy for Ned, and also writing a letter to Robb telling him to bend the knee. Robb sees through it and immediately calls his banners. War is on. He leaves Winterfell (for the last time, SOB) with a host of 18,000 men. Cat leaves the Eyrie and joins him.
• Tyrion and Bronn encounter hill tribes on their way out of the Vale, and Tyrion makes a deal with them so they won’t kill him. He brings them to Tywin’s army camp.
• Jon and Ghost save the Lord Commander from the (un)dead body they found in the previous episode, which turns out to be a wight. Jon burns his hand. Sam reveals what (little) he knows about the White Walkers thanks to a book he found in Maester Aemon’s library.
• The Dothraki raid a village in order to take slaves to sell so they can fund their campaign to Westeros. Dany is horrified to find them raping all the women, and she brings as many as she can under her protection, including Mirri Maz Duur. When Drogo’s bloodrider Mago gets mad Dany took away his conquests, Drogo sides with Dany, resulting in a fight with Mago that leaves Mago dead and Drogo with a scratch. Mirri Maz Duur “treats” it at Dany’s request.
Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO Symbolism and foreshadowing:
• Tyrion says he wants to die “in my own bed, at age 80, with a belly full of wine and a woman’s mouth around my cock”. I’ve got a bad feeling about this.
• Ser Barristan is dismissed from the kingsguard and angrily proclaims “I shall die a knight”, which he did. 🙁
• It’s interesting to see Bran praying to the old gods in the godswood, considering that’s where he spent a lot of time when he returned home in Season 7, and where no doubt major things will happen in Season 8.
• Bran tells Rickon the family will be “back soon”. “No they won’t”, Rickon replies. He was the smartest Stark, let’s be honest. At least until the whole zig zag debacle.
Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO Stray observations:
• It’s touching that Jon’s first thought upon learning about Ned’s arrest is the safety of his sisters.
• When Robb says “tell Lord Tywin winter is coming for him”, I felt that.
• HODOR.
Episode 9: “Baelor” HBO The Big Plot Stuff: • Cat makes a bargain with Lord Frey in order to allow Robb and his army to cross the river at the Twins. Robb must take on Olyvar Frey as his personal squire and marry a Frey girl, while Arya is betrothed to Waldron Frey. We all know how well that plan turned out…
• The night before going into battle, Bronn introduces Tyrion to Shae and she gives him a night to remember. Tywin sends Tyrion and his hill tribe to the frontline. Tyrion is knocked out and misses the whole thing, but the Lannisters win. It’s too bad it’s not the main fight – Robb has reserved most of his troops to attack Jaime at Riverrun. They win, and Jaime is captured and held hostage.
• Jeor gives Jon the Mormont family sword, Longclaw, after having the pommel made to resemble a wolf rather than the Mormont bear. Jon is nevertheless tempted to leave Castle Black when he hears Robb has gone to war. Maester Aemon lectures him about his duty, and Jon realises Aemon is a Targaryen. What neither of them realise is that Jon is, too.
• Drogo’s wound becomes infected and Dany asks Mirri Maz Duur to save him. Mirri Maz Duur tells her “only death pays for life”. Dany goes into labour and Jorah carries her into the tent where Mirri Maz Duur is performing her blood magic.
• Varys visits Ned in prison and urges him to confess to being a traitor in order to save his life – or at least his daughter’s lives. It’s the latter consideration which eventually leads Ned to “confessing”, but of course Joffrey is a right royal prick and orders his death anyway. It’s brutal to watch, every single time.
Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO Symbolism and foreshadowing:
• The conversation Maester Aemon has with Jon is quite significant. Aemon talks to Jon about honour vs love, and having to do your duty even when those you care about are at risk. Jon says Ned would always do “whatever was right”. Aemon reflects that’s easier said than done, because “what is honour compared to a woman’s love? What is duty against the feel of a newborn son in your arms?” This conversation really highlights what Jon doesn’t know about Ned – as honourable as he is, he does choose love, again and again. Most significantly when he sacrificed his own honour for the love of his sister and her newborn son – Jon himself. Ned also chooses love over honour when he lies about being a traitor in order to protect Sansa and Arya. It’ll be interesting to see if the love vs honour and duty themes come into play now that Jon has a woman he loves and is likely facing the prospect of becoming a father while the world crumbles around him. One other thing to note in this conversation: it’s kind of surreal to hear Aemon talk about his brother Aegon, unwittingly speaking to the boy that was named for him (and the other Aegons in the family).
• Jaime offers to fight Robb one-on-one to end the war immediately, and Robb refuses. In Season 6, Jon offers Ramsay the same deal, and this time it’s Ramsay who refuses. Robb and Ramsay don’t have much else in common, but there’s that.
• I’ll probably be wondering what Ned’s final words are until the day I die. Some fans think he says “I kept my promise”, but I’ve watched this scene MANY times and it’s impossible to tell. I doubt we’ll ever get an answer.
Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO Stray observations:
• Tyrion tells the heartbreaking story of his first wife, Tysha. I wonder if she’s still alive and out there somewhere. I’d love to see more closure around this storyline, but I doubt it’s going to happen.
• I can’t help wondering if Jon ever looked back on the decision to stay with the Night’s Watch rather than ride to Robb and Ned’s aid with regret.
• It’s truly bizarre to watch this episode, in which TWO battles happen off screen, and consider the fact they had no budget for battles back then – in contrast to now, when they’re promising the biggest on-screen battle EVER in Season 8. I mean, I can’t believe they got around the lack of budget by knocking Tyrion out and then having Robb ride out of the trees looking dirty (glorious, but dirty), and we just let them.
• It’s pretty sickening to watch the negotiations between the Freys and the Starks, knowing what happens as a result.
• It’s also kinda sickening to think about the fact Robb sacrificed 2000 men in order to win against the Lannisters. I still love him though.
• It’s REALLY sickening watching Ned Stark die all over again. Why do I do this to myself every year?! Also, this year I watched it with captions on for the first time, and I never realised Cersei was saying to Joffrey “my son, this is madness” after he orders Ned’s execution. Meanwhile, Sansa is screaming “daddy”. Just when I thought the scene couldn’t get more heartbreaking! Bless Yoren for protecting Arya from watching, though.
• I miss Ned. 🙁
Episode 10: “Fire and Blood” HBO The Big Plot Stuff: • Bran tells Osha about his raven dream again, and how this time he saw Ned in the crypts. Bran gets Osha to take him down there. He tells the story of how Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna (or so everyone thought!), and then they run into Rickon and Shaggydog who “came to see father”. Luwin then breaks the news of Ned’s death.
• Cat and Robb grieve Ned’s death together and vow to get the Stark girls back and then kill all their enemies (if only). Robb is crowned King in the North, and Cat attacks Jaime but leaves him alive, even after he confesses to hurting Bran. She’s playing the long game.
• Jon really does run away from the Night’s Watch after he learns of Ned’s death, but Sam, Grenn and Pyp bring him back. Jeor convinces him the more important war is the war against the dead (it really was right there from the beginning!), and they all go beyond the Wall in order to investigate Benjen’s disappearance and learn more about the wights and White Walkers.
• Joffrey tortures Sansa by forcing her to look at her father and Septa’s heads displayed on the Red Keep’s walls. The Hound prevents Sansa from pushing Joffrey over the edge (damn).
• Yoren disguises Arya as a boy and takes her with him on his trip north. Arya meets Hot Pie and (more importantly!) Gendry, who are joining the Night’s Watch.
• Tywin starts strategising how to get Jaime back from the Starks, and reveals that both Stannis and Renly Baratheon have taken up arms. Tywin appoints Tyrion Hand of the King in his absence, recognising his intelligence for the first time. He instructs Tyrion to return to King’s Landing to manage Joffrey and Cersei, but tells him to leave Shae behind. Tyrion disobeys the last command.
• Dany wakes up to find her baby is dead, Drogo is in a vegetative state, and most of the khalasar has abandoned them. Dany is forced to kill Drogo, then she chains Mirri Maz Duur to his funeral pyre and burns her alive. Both the dragon eggs and Dany enter the pyre, with Dany emererging ~unburnt~ and the dragons hatching.
Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO Symbolism and foreshadowing:
• Both Osha and Hodor are afraid of the crypts. I’m so curious about whether more will come of the mystery surrounding them. Also, when Bran sees Rickon and Shaggydog in the crypts and says Shaggydog should be chained up, Rickon says “he doesn’t like chains”. Which is very ominous considering he’ll later be murdered by House Umber, whose sigil is four linked chains.
• Robb’s King in the North scene is later mirrorws when Jon is declared King in the North. Also, when Greatjon Umber proclaims Robb King in the North, he says “it was the dragons we bowed to, and now the dragons are dead.” I am so interested in how the North will react not only to Dany and her dragons, but also to the news that their leader, Jon, is actually a Targaryen too.
• Arya clocks three prisoners in a carriage, one of whom has his head covered. We’ll learn in Season 2 that that is Jaqen H’Ghar. Some people believe that he’s secretly Syrio in disguise! But I don’t think that’s true – at least in the show.
• Mirri Maz Duurs tells Dany that Drogo will return to her “When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east, when the seas go dry, when the mountains blow in the wind like leaves.” This is also when Dany believes she’ll get pregnant again (i.e. never). I subscribe to the theory that this prophecy/curse has already come to pass (it’s clearer in the books), and also that it doesn’t mean Drogo will literally return to her, but that she’ll find love again (hello, Jon).
• The shape of Drogo’s funeral pyre resembles the circular patterns we see associated with the White Walkers.
• The position of the dragons after they’ve hatched is interesting. Drogon, the leader and Dany’s favourite, sits on her shoulder, while Dany cradles Rhaegal (the dragon most associated with Jon) close to her belly/womb. Viserion, the first dragon to die, is on the bottom of the hierarchy, clinging to her leg.
Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO Stray observations:
• Watching Cat’s desire for vengeance, I wished for about the 1000th time that the show had kept the Lady Stoneheart plot.
• Despite knowing it’ll all go to shit, the King in the North scene gets me EVERY TIME. It’s so good.
• The scene where Sam, Grenn and Pyp recite the Night’s Watch vows to stop Jon from deserting is also very moving. And it’s nice to see Ghost just chilling in the background. I miss those days. You know, when he was actually in the show.
• Sansa’s encounter with Joffrey is the first indication of the steel beneath her delicate exterior. It’s a powerful moment. Also, it’ll be fascinating to see the Hound reunite with Sansa in Season 8 and see how much she’s changed.
• Jeor sent Thorne to King’s Landing with the wight hand to prove to Joffrey that the dead are coming. This literally never gets addressed again. Hmmm.
• Lancel and Cersei’s relationship is gross on so many levels.
• There are many characters to hate on this show, but Pycelle is one of the worst.
• Did Rhaego actually look like a dragon or was Mirri Maz Duur just being a bitch? Also, did Jorah carrying Dany into the tent kill Rhaego, or would he have always died anyway?
• All in all, this season ends on such a triumphant and exciting note. I feel like I was such a sweet summer child the first time I watched it. Now my soul feels how Mel looks without her necklace.
And that’s a wrap on Season 1! Stay tuned for my rewatch of Season 2, dropping soon. In the meantime, check out: The Important “Game Of Thrones” Details You Might Have Missed Jenna Guillaume · Aug. 28, 2017 The Important “Game Of Thrones” History You Need To Know Jenna Guillaume · Aug. 9, 2017 This “Game Of Thrones” Theory Is Probably The Most Important One Jenna Guillaume · May 12, 2016

Tourists are flocking to locations threatened by climate change. That only makes things worse

The Galapagos Islands, which are vulnerable to rising sea temperatures and increasing land tourism. Getty Images Plopped in the Florida Reef is a 4,000-pound bronze Jesus named “Christ of the Abyss.” The statue is one of the most photographed sites in the Florida Keys, and at Lobster Trap Art you can buy his portrait printed on ceramic tiles for $24. Like many of the products at this local photography shop, pictures of Christ of the Abyss look almost photoshopped — Jesus being circled by tropical fish, a sea turtle, and a shark. But Lobster Trap Art owner Glenn Lahti says that when he moved to the Keys 27 years ago, the beauty was even more surreal: “The water was clearer, there were more fish and even more coral.” Christ of the Abyss, in the Florida Keys. Getty Images/iStockphoto Home to the only tropical coral reef in the continental United States , Monroe County, which includes the Florida Keys and Everglades National Park, rakes in $2.7 billion a year in tourism , much of it from those coming to see its national treasure. However, the city’s tourism-dependent economy has put the region in jeopardy, as travelers may also be killing the area’s biggest asset; Lahti’s is one of many businesses in the Keys that simultaneously profit from and are threatened by travelers. Today, the net effect of human traffic and its hand in climate change have done possibly irreparable damage to the landmark. When confronted with direct contact from humans or reef-damaging sunscreen chemicals, corals experience stress , leading to coral bleaching. And this isn’t the only issue; the carbon footprint involved in travel also has a deleterious effect on the reef. The cloud of destruction that looms over the Keys hovers over many tourist destinations affected by climate change: the Great Barrier Reef, the Galapagos, Montana’s National Glacier Park. And in recent years, these sites’ anticipated disappearance has been a large part of their draw. Labeled “last-chance tourism,” this is the practice of visiting a location before it vanishes or is irreparably changed. As climate change worsens, last-chance tourism grows When Canadian researchers started exploring last-chance tourism almost a decade ago, they faced backlash from scientists who feared this term was too alarmist, according to E&E News , a news organization focused on energy and climate. But with 71 percent of the American population now agreeing that climate change is real , the term last-chance tourism is more statement than prediction. Their 2010 study , done in Churchill, Manitoba, a city that offers dozens of tours of the dwindling polar bear population , found that the increasing vulnerability of polar bears motivated a majority of visitors to travel there. Sixty percent of visitors said they would still want to see polar bears even if they looked emaciated, and 71 percent said that if the polar bear population in Churchill were destroyed, they would simply go somewhere else to view them. Researchers found that almost 70 percent of visitors wanted to visit the reef “before it was gone” Since its introduction, the phenomenon has been identified at other destinations. In a 2016 study of the Great Barrier Reef, researchers found that almost 70 percent of visitors wanted to visit the reef “before it was gone.” For $1,500 , tourists go gorilla trekking in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, which houses 880 of the 100,000 to 200,000 gorillas left in the world. Lauren Alley, a representative from National Glacier Park, told E&E that many visitors tell her they want to see the glaciers before they melt away. In the mid-1800s, the park had 150 glaciers; only 26 are left . Whether or not these destinations are being marketed specifically as last-chance destinations, their imminent disappearance is definitely part of their appeal. The irony is that by visiting these fragile ecosystems, travelers are actually accelerating their demise. And as cities try to deal with the damage tourism leaves behind, they must ask themselves: How does a region limit an industry that drives its economy? Last-chance destinations are profiting from their own demise — but trying to guard against accelerating damage According to the Rhodium Group , greenhouse gas emissions rose 3.4 percent since last year, and the largest contributor to this increase was the transportation sector, which includes air travel. Flying adds planet-warming gases into the air at a much higher rate than other modes of transportation, including driving. According to the New York Times , a round-trip flight between New York and California generates about 20 percent of the greenhouse gases that your car emits over an entire year. This increase in greenhouse gases results in rising sea temperatures, which has alarming consequences in the Keys and elsewhere. Glacier National Park once contained 150 glaciers; now there are 26. Getty Images On the Galápagos Islands — where visitors can get an up-close look at tropical penguins, sea lions, giant tortoises, and marine iguanas — the consequences of rising sea temperatures are predictable, because it’s happened before. In 1982 , warm El Niño waters prevented nutrients from rising to the ocean surface, and many animals starved to death. Seabirds stopped laying eggs, and 80 percent of the penguins died. Today, overtourism threatens these same species — so much so that UNESCO listed tourism as one of the Galapagos’s biggest threats . The area experienced a 92 percent increase in visitors on land-based tours from 2007 to 2016 thanks to the rapid development of budget-friendly hotels. Additionally, cruises are being more tightly regulated than they were in years past — protecting the surrounding waters but driving visitors onto the land. Land tourism itself is damaging, as the influx of tourists and workers have spurred the development of wildlife-replacing infrastructure. Tourism is a “double-edged sword” Executive director of the Center for Responsible Travel Martha Honey says tourism is a “double-edged sword,” but if city governments can regulate the infrastructures that support tourism, they can give visitors a valuable, sustainable experience. This is the exact tactic taken in the Galapagos. The Galapagos National Park Authority has “put in place rather strict limits on the number of boats [that can dock] on various islands. These kinds of things are the reason the Galapagos are still with us now.” The island has also limited the population; by law, property in the Galapagos can only be purchased by residents and their families. Honey also says we can learn some lessons from Barcelona, which, in an effort to prevent pollution, is limiting the construction of hotels and cars can be in the city center . In the Florida Keys, rising water temperatures disrupt the symbiotic relationship between algae and coral . In a healthy system, algae provide coral with energy, and in return, coral provides algae with a safe home. But when water gets too warm, coral will get rid of the algae and turn white, giving off a bleaching effect. Without energy from algae, coral reef system growth can slow down or completely halt. Some initiatives have already started to rejuvenate the reefs. For example, areas where no fishing is allowed, also known as no-take zones , were implemented in 1997. The nonprofit Coral Restoration Foundation has been growing endangered staghorn coral in undersea nurseries and implanting them throughout the reef . And this year, the city outlawed sunscreen with oxybenzone and octinoxate, chemicals that contribute to coral bleaching. The legislation goes into effect in 2021 . Business owners in the Florida Keys understand the predicament of being tourism-dependent Danielle Hill has owned Shell World since the 1980s, but the business has been around since 1972. Its first home was in a gas station. She says the conversation about what saving the reef will mean for tourism and, in turn, area businesses is one that locals have a lot, especially since visits have increased over the past decade. “When I first started in the ’80s we always had a very short window of ‘season,’ and that was around spring break,” she says. “In the summer there was basically no one here. But now, July is one of our biggest months.” Along with the more constant stream of tourists, Hill says she and other locals have noticed more and more visitors taking advantage of the Key’s resources during special events, such as lobster mini season . This two-day event has regulations that limit the number of lobsters caught per day to six per person in Monroe County (where the Keys is located) and 12 in the rest of Florida. However, Hill says they often get reports of people traveling down before the season even starts and taking 250 lobsters. “That’s the kind of thing where we’re already impacting it with our daily activities; then we have people who come down and don’t have any idea of the impact they are making on earth and our sea life,” she says. “We want to be successful, but we don’t want to be successful on the backs of our environment.” Reef wildlife in the Florida is in danger due to tourism. Getty Images/Image Source Karen Haught, the sales and marketing director of Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe , agrees that something has to be done, but she’s not sure it’s possible to limit tourism. “We couldn’t exist on local business alone,” she tells me. Lahti of Lobster Trap Art says when the government first started implementing no-take zones and other sanctions, he didn’t like it. “I thought, ‘Well, here’s the government trying to screw us again,’” he says. “I used to fish a lot more and I thought, ‘Why can’t I fish where I want to fish? You know, I’m an American citizen, why are you telling me I can’t fish here?’” But upon seeing the results of the no-take zones — more fish and brighter coral — he concluded they were actually “a good thing.” Why humans don’t think their own travel affects climate change Although travelers might understand that a specific ecosystem is more endangered due to climate change, they still struggle to grasp the effect of their own choices. In the aforementioned 2010 study in Churchill, 88 percent of tourists said human were contributing to climate change, but only 69 percent agreed that air travel plays a role in climate change. 88 percent of tourists said human were contributing to climate change, but only 69 percent agreed that air travel plays a role Even Lahti, who cares deeply about preserving the reef in his hometown, admits he is doing a lot of “carbon footprinting” himself. He flies often and takes cruises through the Caribbean. When asked if he thinks his vacations affect the climate, he tells me that he believes cruises are actually environmentally conscious about their water consumption and their overboard discharge, though plenty of research says otherwise . John Fraser, founder of the nonprofit New Knowledge , which studies what motivates people to get involved in climate change resilience, says tourists’ inability to reckon with their own contributions to climate change is partly due to confirmation bias — you believe you are a good person, so of course what you’re doing isn’t bad — and partly due to how we perceive activities that only take up a few days of our year. “People tend to discount things that are quick as not as important,” he says. “With travel, for example, someone will say, ‘Well, I only do that a few times a year and it’s not an everyday behavior.’ People think a one-time investment in a trip comes with an extra get-out-of-jail-free card because they believe they will do good in the end.” Because travel is a treat, an indulgence detached from our everyday life, it’s easy to dismiss its impact and tell yourself, “This one trip isn’t really going to make a difference.” When your motivation for traveling is to appreciate nature, it’s all the more difficult and unpleasant to accept your role in destroying it.

Comment on Read This If You’re An Old Soul Who Feels Lost by O que é o ego da sombra? E como faço o trabalho de sombra? – Quase Astronauta

Shahida Arabi Updated January 21, 2019
If you often feel like a centuries-old soul trapped in a twenty-something body, you’re not alone. Regardless of what your belief systems may be, it’s undeniable that there are certain people who are dealt very difficult cards in life and they reap hard-earned insights from their adversity. We call these people by many names: trauma survivors, wounded warriors, “old souls,” empaths, misfits, outsiders.
Whatever label they fall under, their souls feel absolutely ancient and there is often a great deal of personal obstacles that come with their journey. They go through life constantly in search of a place that feels like “home” – mentally, physically and spiritually.
Old souls have to play the hell out of the cards they’ve been dealt in order to tap into the wisdom of this lifetime. Here are the eleven life-changing truths old souls learn – the hard way: 1. You are here to break the cycle.
Whether it be generational abuse, harmful beliefs passed down from parent to child or toxic habits that have plagued you for what seems like a lifetime, you were not meant to live a life repeating the same dysfunctional patterns that have hindered your peace of mind time and time again. Cycles were meant to be disrupted and broken, but they have to be recognized before they are dismantled.
Whatever destructive patterns you’re engaging in, it’s fruitful to understand how the cycle first began and how it was cemented, over and over again into a seemingly endless loop. Doing so can be counterintuitive, because it means not giving up the pattern cold turkey but actively listening to and honoring what it has to tell you.
If you have an unhealthy pattern of negative self-talk and self-sabotage that keeps hindering the manifestation of your desires, find the source of the voice.
Then, understand why it thinks it has to protect you by sabotaging you. In many ways, self-sabotage is a misguided form of protection. Self-sabotage “protects” you from playing big in a world where you were taught to play small.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.” – Marianne Williamson, A Return To Love “Old souls” have a deep terror of being seen, because with visibility often comes persecution.
That’s why self-sabotage can be an automatic reflex for someone who has been traumatized in the past, a defense against the fear of annihilation. Once you’ve addressed the terror driving your self-limiting beliefs, however, you’ll start to disturb the cycle.
You’ll learn that regardless of whether you are praised or persecuted, you are worthy of being seen and heard. These cycles go way beyond the personal; they leave an impact on the world as well. When you’re achieving your full potential, you have the ability to affect the lives of others in revolutionary ways.
If you’ve been the victim of a larger injustice, you can use your adversity as an incentive to begin to challenge the systems that creates these injustices. In many ways, the cycle repeats itself when no one bothers with healing the core wounds underlying it.
You can be the one who interrupts the status quo. You are here to learn how to break the cycle and create a new one for future generations. 2. There is no such thing as a truly “safe” relationship until there is safety from within. With each new relationship, there is a risk of vulnerability. Risk is intrinsic to intimacy but the growth is inevitable.
This newfound habit of interrupting dysfunctional cycles extends beyond just your relationship with yourself; we break and reinforce cycles when we engage in relationships with others.
Old souls can fall into a pattern of becoming ensnared in toxic relationships. They are seemingly forced to continually step outside of their comfort zone in turbulent relationships that challenge their identity and beliefs. In reality, however, in dating the same people with different faces, they actually build new “comfort zones” that feed into existing patterns.
These patterns are ingrained in ancient wounds that demand a second look. If you have a habit of chasing emotionally unavailable people, it’s necessary to look at your own emotional unavailability which may be keeping you trapped in unsatisfying relationships. While this is usually subconscious, there may be something ultimately enticing about the emotionally unavailable partner that allows you to build the illusion of “safety” where there is actually grave danger.
Consider children who are severely bullied or neglected. They do not feel safe trusting in another human being that could potentially harm them, yet they are later drawn to similarly dangerous people in adulthood because they have been programmed to seek out the familiar. The emotional unavailability and toxicity of a partner can be inviting for them as adults, if only because it represents a form of psychological distance. After all, if you are always chasing someone who can never be caught, is there truly any risk?
Old souls learn the hard way, time and time again, that there is in fact great risk in investing in such a precarious and false sense of safety by engaging in the same types of relationships over and over again. With every leap they take to the comfort zone disguised as the unknown, they might still grow and learn new lessons. Only when they learn to choose themselves over inauthentic partnerships, however, will they truly be taking the risk that will reap the benefits of true intimacy. They will find the sacred intimacy of knowing themselves. 3. Being compassionate doesn’t mean you have to be anyone’s emotional punching bag. It often means being your own “guru” in setting healthy boundaries.
Many spiritual gurus purport that we’re here on this planet to learn how to love unconditionally. This belief, however, is disgracefully exploited by toxic people and should always be taken with a grain of salt when it comes to sacrificing your needs for emotional predators. Cultivate that sense of unconditional love for yourself, first and foremost, and you’ll learn that abuse has no place in self-reverence. Your soul knows it was not here to be abused, exploited and mistreated by anyone – no matter who they are. You are just as worthy of respect, consideration and validation as anyone you might be currently coddling, if not more.
Those who preach “love and light” without including the art of self-compassion and boundary setting are missing the crucial ingredients of self-respect and authentic growth. The truth is, enabling toxicity doesn’t do you or the person you’re excusing any favors.
Loving everyone indiscriminately has its dangers; it doesn’t give your soul the navigation it needs to find the tribe that resonates with how exquisite you truly are. It doesn’t give other souls the accountability they need to learn their own lessons, either.
It always bears repeating that you are a divine being and you are here to be cherished as such. You can in fact still be a loving, respectful and compassionate human being without taking anyone else’s shit or overlooking the transgressions that are at the root of conflict and incompatibility. Setting boundaries or calling out toxic behavior isn’t hateful – it’s sacred and it should be taught in every spiritual practice. 4. Contributing to someone’s mission is wonderful, but your true purpose may be larger than life.
Inside of every old soul is an aching longing for something greater than themselves; they know intuitively that they are meant for something more than the life they’re living. Your current 9-to-5 job, while suitable and convenient, may not be what makes your heart skip a beat or your soul jumpstart into ecstasy. Whether it’s a side hustle or the courage to live out your true passion full-time, don’t devote your entire life to building someone else’s empire when you could also be spending some time building your own.
It’s possible to be both practical and passionate. Make space and time for your own talents, goals and dreams. Give back to the communities that have fostered your own growth and the causes that are a part of your life story. Your hardships can be the guide to the populations you’re here to help and serve. Honor what authentically excites you and become a leader in the field that makes you motivated to get up every morning; don’t sacrifice or eradicate your true gifts just so you can cultivate someone else’s mission.
You have your own mission to carry out and the possibilities are infinite; there are multiple ways to explore the gifts that you’ve been given. Even if you have no clue what that might be, start small by thinking about what makes your soul feel most alive. Chances are, your soul already knows deep down what that is. 5. The ability to enjoy being alone is a goddamn superpower.
Society might try to convince you to partner up as quickly as possible, to surround yourself with a plethora of friends and to self-medicate by constantly socializing. Yet how are you meant to grow as an individual, if you spend most of your time drowning out what your soul is dying to tell you with the noise of other people’s neuroses and projections? Melt into the silence every day – on a yoga mat, snuggled under the blanket with a cup of hot tea, or listening to the quiet calm before a storm.
Take a year off of relationships to self-reflect and “date” yourself; being single can be a revolutionary period that can teach you how to give to yourself more fully and become rooted in your own authenticity without requiring anyone else’s validation. You’re meant to spend some time alone – growing, reflecting, and flourishing. Learning how to enjoy being alone can be one of your greatest assets as a human being and a natural way to filter out toxic people from your life. After all, when you learn how to enjoy your own company, you’ll find that it is much more preferable to tolerating someone else’s bullshit just for the sake of avoiding solitude. 6. You don’t exist to do things half-assed.
You’re here to dive in deep and savor everything just as much as you are here to fulfill your true potential. You’re here to have careers, friends and relationship partners that nourish you on a level that you haven’t been before – not superficial alliances that deplete and drain you. You’re not here to settle for or bow down to those who give you crumbs. You’re not here to waste time catering to people that couldn’t care less if they destroyed you in the process of getting what they want.
Cherish quality over quantity; one good friend is more satisfying than several false ones. A career you love is far more enriching than one you have to force yourself to pursue just because of the title it offers. Life is simultaneously too short and far too long to be spending your time doing anything or being with anyone less than what genuinely nurtures you. 7. Your disowned parts are just as important as your public persona .
We all have an “ideal” person we would love to be 24/7. These are authentic parts of us that also happen to be socially acceptable. It’s wonderful to be friendly, generous and kind. But if there are parts you’re not owning about yourself, there are also facets of your identity that you’re not allowing to become integrated in a healthy way. Maybe let your dark sense of humor come out to play or your coy sensuality take over for a decadent evening. These inner parts deserve just as much air to breathe.
In fact, you’ll find that when you don’t give these inner parts air time, they’ll find mischievous ways of coming out nonetheless. Your hidden desires always have a way of speaking through your choices, no matter how hard you try to repress or silence them.
Your buried anger? It’ll eventually blow up in unexpected ways. Your clandestine shame? It’ll reflect itself in your choices of friends, relationship partners and how much crap you’re willing to take before you finally assert yourself. To avoid this predicament, have a little chat with your ‘shadow self’ or tumultuous inner child – what needs are being unmet? What desires are being silenced? In what ways can you gently invite these parts in, without allowing them to steal the show and sabotage you? Your inner parts are not meant to be disowned – they’re meant to be addressed and rediscovered in healthier ways. The darkest parts of us are often the portals to greater healing and integration. 8. Abundance and miracles are your birthright.
Your soul knows deep down that you are meant to be wealthy in every aspect – in relationships, in finances, in career success. Everyone defines abundance in different ways. Whatever “wealth” means to you, you are deserving of it.
You are so worthy of it all, even if your internal programming, childhood wounding and societal conditioning have convinced you otherwise.
Society wants to feed you a limited version of what life can be because it is deeply terrified of people who not only go after their big dreams, but require no one else to depend on for their victories. Small-minded people are also haunted by those who succeed in areas that they have yet to thrive in.
Instead of allowing these limiting core beliefs and naysayers to drive you into a scarcity mindset that doesn’t truly belong to you, you can be open to enhancing success in all areas of your life. You are a divine being and you deserve to feel “rich” in everything you do. 9. Ecstasy is your love letter to yourself.
Self-discipline is admirable and should be cultivated in all areas of your life. However, your lifeline to success shouldn’t be dependent on deprivation.
Old souls often find comfort in restricting themselves, but what they forget is that relishing the beauties of the physical world can be just as spiritual as sitting down to meditate. Pleasure gives you access to a world where resistance and inhibition loosen, façades drop, instinct reigns and the primal is honored for what it is.
Give yourself permission to surrender to what gives you pure, unadulterated ecstasy from time to time. You’re not here to starve, emotionally, psychologically or physically. You’re here to slow down and take it all in – every touch, every scent, every extravagant source of bliss. You’re here to be mindful of every delightful moment – from savoring a breathtaking sunset to relishing the rapture of a lover. Denying your soul the luxuries of the human experience is a surefire way to cut yourself off from your divine inheritance. Joy is best served without a side of shame. Grant your spirit space to play, to laugh, to experience the physical world down to every exquisite detail.
Most of us internalize guilt as a way of life; we’re taught that any form of pleasure is shameful, spiritually unsound, ego-driven, dirty, immoral, gluttonous, best kept a secret. Yet you don’t have to compromise your personal moral compass just to enjoy the parts of life that don’t exist on your to-do list or diet.
The detours you take are just another part of your journey. Don’t feel ashamed of taking your power back and making your pleasure a priority; there are times when it can be just as important and fulfilling for your well-being as meeting that work deadline – it’s all about moderation and balance.
It is vital to allow yourself some indulgences that set your body, mind and soul on fire. Remind yourself on a daily basis, “I am worthy of pleasure. I am worthy of the ecstasy that makes life so worth living.” 10. Emotionally desensitizing yourself or spiritually bypassing the pain cuts you off from the power of self-transformation. Gratitude means celebrating the things that are working, not sugarcoating or sweeping everything under the rug.
New age philosophies emphasize the power of positive thinking – sometimes to an extent where it can be more harmful than helpful.
The practice of gratitude comes with a caveat, because being grateful isn’t about being in denial. It’s about acknowledging the basic needs that are being met every day that you might otherwise take for granted. It’s about remembering what you already have and celebrating the incredible manifestations in your life that you were praying for years ago. Bless your newfound career, the roof over your head, the clean water you’re able to drink, your loving friends, the kind compliment you received – bless them all, every day in every way – without invalidating any pain or trauma you may be encountering. Remember that gratitude isn’t meant to be a pill-popping, escapist, mindless, desensitizing ritual. It’s meant to be a way of life that will shape and mold how you experience things.
As humans, our natural instincts drive us to focus on the negative aspects of life to avoid and mitigate potential threats; gratitude helps you balance the emotional seesaw without sacrificing your authenticity. You’re here to lead a charmed life – one filled with miracles, synchronicity and abundance beyond your wildest dreams.
That doesn’t mean closing yourself off to uncomfortable emotions in the process, because in the midst of the discomfort is where true change and catharsis can happen.
It doesn’t mean not being angry or outraged when you are violated; in fact, honoring your anger is just as sacred of a practice as being grateful. It gives you access to the boundary-building that you might feel otherwise too timid to undertake.
It doesn’ t mean refusing to seek help that will heal you; on the contrary, you’re receptive to it all because you know that with pain comes the potential for self-examination and transformation.
Being open to the pain of life as well as its beauty gives your soul the breathing room it needs to fully function, grow and evolve. Darkness becomes a lot easier to manage when you know that it is giving birth to light. 11. Not forcing what isn’t there can speed up the process of what’s actually meant to be.
Many of us spend our whole lives “pushing” for life’s ideal outcomes rather than accepting the holy truths of messy and nuanced situations. We try to convince an employer why we’re the perfect person for the job, bend over backwards to become well-liked in a social circle, sacrifice precious energy to meet every requirement on someone else’s dream partner list.
Yet you’ll find that your soul thrives and manifests on a deeper level when nothing is forced at all, but honored for what it is, right here and now. Big dreams accelerate and come to life precisely when you’re willing to give up the resistance to what could be, rather than how you think they should be.
Acknowledging that some things are better left broken and that some people are better off left to their own devices is the passport to your own liberation.
Finally leaving the toxic people and experiences that we are most terrified to leave actually upgrades our experience. As our soul exits damaging environments, it uplevels into higher planes of thinking, feeling and being. Peace becomes our default setting and the chaos that once uprooted our world and aided in our expansion is now a distant memory, a foreign land we visit from time to time to remember what we learned – but it is one we no longer have to take residence in.
Maybe you’re not meant to get that promotion at work because you were meant to launch your own business, become even more abundant and reach more people than you ever did before; maybe you weren’t right for that relationship because it would’ve altered the course of your destiny; perhaps that practical degree you were trying so hard to make fit into your resume actually isn’t the field you’re meant to study.
Because deep down, your soul knows: sometimes the very things we think will save us are the things we need to be saved from – to pursue something even greater than we ever imagined. 0
Image Credit: God & Man Read This If You’re An Old Soul Who Feels Lost is cataloged in Old Souls , Self Awareness

54 Comments

  1. Rueben September 11, 2019
  2. Amber September 11, 2019
  3. Elmer September 11, 2019
  4. Clint September 11, 2019
  5. Laverne September 12, 2019
  6. Efren September 12, 2019
  7. Ernest September 12, 2019
  8. Autumn September 12, 2019
  9. Cedric September 14, 2019
  10. Garrett September 14, 2019
  11. Trinidad September 14, 2019
  12. Harlan September 14, 2019
  13. Clinton September 15, 2019
  14. Pedro September 15, 2019
  15. Wesley September 15, 2019
  16. Darryl September 15, 2019
  17. Randall September 15, 2019
  18. Goodsam September 16, 2019
  19. Gayle September 16, 2019
  20. Dexter September 16, 2019
  21. Norman September 22, 2019
  22. Alfred September 25, 2019
  23. Flyman September 26, 2019
  24. Jackie September 27, 2019
  25. Jessica September 27, 2019
  26. Cedrick September 27, 2019
  27. Maurice September 27, 2019
  28. Roosevelt September 27, 2019
  29. Nogood87 September 27, 2019
  30. Layla September 28, 2019
  31. Cecil September 28, 2019
  32. Randy September 29, 2019
  33. Freelife September 30, 2019
  34. Morris October 1, 2019
  35. Raphael October 2, 2019
  36. Sydney October 2, 2019
  37. Gustavo October 16, 2019
  38. Chase October 17, 2019
  39. Carol October 19, 2019
  40. Peter October 23, 2019
  41. Edwardo October 27, 2019
  42. Ariel October 28, 2019
  43. Antwan October 29, 2019
  44. Victor October 31, 2019
  45. Dghonson October 31, 2019
  46. Rocco November 1, 2019
  47. Matthew November 6, 2019
  48. Mariano November 6, 2019
  49. Jordon November 7, 2019
  50. Chong November 9, 2019
  51. Jerrold November 10, 2019
  52. Roland November 14, 2019
  53. Madelyn November 14, 2019
  54. Crazyfrog November 16, 2019

Leave a Reply

Instagram