Saturday, July 5, 2014

Stash Saturday: My Game Thrones Merchandise Collection – Books and DVDs (Part 1)

Being a fangirl is such a costly business. I mean, seriously. I’ve been a fan of one too many things for years, but this is probably the first time I’ve splurged on something that got me truly hooked. It probably helps that I can now buy whatever I want and no longer a poor teenager who had to beg my parents for fangirl funds. Haha! Not that I asked my parents to pay for my obsession back then. No. Not even once. I just had more control and self-discipline before… which was a way better situation, I guess.

Anyway, here are some GoT-related goodies I currently own:

Of course, I have this. My sister got a bit surprised that I bought them in set since the entire series isn't even complete yet. Oh well. I'm still thinking if I should also get the HBO version. You know, as part of my collection.

This is a collection of maps from Westeros and beyond the Narrow Seas. I haven't fully opened this one because I don't have anywhere to put the maps yet. My walls are still fully occupied. lol. For anyone interested, these are just what it says  maps. While they're very detailed, do not expect any text to go with them. But you'll see details on some of the characters' journey, so it's a bit spoiler-y if you haven't read the books.

This is my most favorite out of all the GoT books I have. It's a beautiful coffee table book that's perfect for hardcore GoT fans like myself. Haha. It has interviews, details on costuming (!), behind-the-scenes photos, and two of the fake scripts D&D handed out to Kit and Alfie as a prank. Haha. The text was written by Bryan Cogman, who's one of the show's episode writers and story editor.

I didn't know there was a collector's edition when I ordered this one, so I was pretty disappointed like some of the people from I might sell this copy and get the collector's edition since it's currently on sale. I don't know. I hope they sell the storyboards and the scrolled maps separately soon.

They're releasing another edition for the third and fourth seasons, which will be penned by Cat Taylor of Making of Game of Thrones. I'm definitely getting a copy!
 Definitely my favorite page. Haha! <3

I contemplated a lot before purchasing this one because it's a bit pricey, but alas! I still gave in to my cravings. Haha. It's a really well-made pop-up book with descriptions on each of the seats. I don't know if I just got a dodgy copy, but I can't seem to make The Eyrie pop properly. Haha. Lady Lysa is still giving me headaches. But overall, I still like it.
 The Wall
Beyond the Narrow Seas
This is my favorite page. :)

This was way larger than I expected. I thought it'll only be as big as a magazine and all the posters would be folded. Thankfully, they're huge and not made of thin paper. They're cardboard, so they're pretty sturdy. Plus, the photos are glossy and really beautifully printed. The posters were printed back-to-back though, so if you want to hang one on your wall, you'll end up covering the other side. I suggest you just leave it as it is - a nice book of posters.
The First Poster
I absolutely love those sigil details on the back cover.

Game of Thrones Season 1 and Season 2 DVDs 
I don't have a Blu-ray player at home, so I just bought the DVDs instead. I haven't ordered the third and fourth season DVDs yet. Soon. :)

I’ve also recently ordered “A Feast of Ice and Fire,” which is an official cookbook inspired by the books (even though I can't cook to save my life) and the three "Game of Thrones Graphic Novels.” But since I live on the other side of the world, it’ll take some time before they arrive at my doorstep. 

George RR Martin is about to release “The World of Ice and Fire” in October, so I have some saving up to do. And of course, I’m also waiting for the sixth ASOIAF book, “The Winds of Winter.” Only, like everyone else, I don’t know when I’ll get my hands on it. Soon, I hope.

For the second part of this post, I’ll share some of the collectibles I bought like figurines, T-shirts, and some Etsy stuff. I don't have them yet. They're still in transit. Haha!

Non-Sponsored Post. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Fashion Friday: Inside the Jewelry Box - Impressive Collections of Famous Women

For this week’s Fashion Friday, allow me to discuss one of the many things I truly admire (and long to have) in this world — quality jewelry pieces.

I love jewelry like the average girl. They’re not only nice to look at and wear, but the artistic skills that went behind their creation also deserve admiration. With the refined skills of talented jewelers, rough gemstones and precious metal ingots turn into exceptional pieces. They’re simply true artists.

Most women mainly use jewelry pieces for accessorizing, while others believe these ornaments have more function beyond style. Apart from being quality investments, jewelry pieces may serve as a symbol of the wearer’s social status. And it’s most certainly true in the case of these three women I’ve chosen for this post.

It isn’t surprising that many of the most powerful and influential women in the world own an impressive collection of jewelry pieces. Here are three of the most enviable women on earth, at least in terms of jewelry ownership:

Queen Elizabeth II, monarch
Her collection is so extensive it needs a special room. And it’s not just any other room. It’s needs one as big as an ice rink to keep them locked safely inside the Buckingham Palace. Excluding the British Crown Jewels, this queen’s personal jewelry collection is estimated to be worth $57 million, consists mostly of personal gifts. Yes, she’s got some generous friends.
One of the highlights of the collection is a 352.50-carat spinel called Timur Ruby. Its previous owners’ names —mostly Mughal emperors —are inscribed in it.

Diana, Princess of Wales
Among the late princess’ famous Diana jewels, the one that she’s most remembered for was her engagement ring. Personally chosen by Diana herself, the famous ring became as iconic as its owner. It was picked from a selection presented by Garrard Jewelers, and it was considered a rare choice for someone about to be a member of the royal family. This is because at that time, anyone could purchase the same item from the jeweler’s catalog. Even a regular girl and not a princess-to-be can have her own piece of a royal jewel. It somehow reminded me of The Princess Diaries (“Anyone can be a Princess.”).
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William's wife, and one of my favorite style icons at the moment, now owns this ring.

Elizabeth Taylor, British-American actress
Like the Queen of England’s collection, the jewelry pieces owned by one of the greatest screen actresses of Hollywood’s Golden Age consist largely of gifts. The actress received the 69.42-carat pear-shaped Taylor-Burton Diamond and the the 33.19-carat Krupp diamond from Richard Burton, actor and her on-and-off husband. Another one of Burton’s gifts is the heart-shaped yellow diamond which was originally a gift from Shah Jahan in 1621 to his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. This lady inspired one of India’s treasured wonders, the Taj Mahal.

You can read my previous Fashion Friday post here: Wardrobe Essentials - Must-Have Jacket Styles for Every Woman


Thursday, July 3, 2014

TV Thursday: Game of Thrones Season 4 Finale – “The Children” (Part 2)

This is the second part of my Game of Thrones S04E10 rant. If you want to see the first part, it’s right here: TV Thursday: Game of Thrones Season 4 Finale – “The Children” (Part 1)

I got too carried away when I started writing my thoughts about the final episode, so I decided to just split it in half… Just like what George RR Martin did with his last two ASOIAF books. Haha!

Disclaimer: I think of myself as a “semi-sullied” — someone who has read the books only once and not really that privy when it comes to details (It’s a crime, I know). So, forgive me if I miss anything important. Also, it may contain a bit of spoilers.

So, here are my thoughts on the final three scenes:

Scene #8 Brienne of F***ing Tarth vs The Bloody Hound; Arya leaves her travel companion
 Even her smile is getting creepier, but in a good way, I guess.
She's got a stoneheart now. 

An ASOIAF fanfiction made it to the small screen. Haha. I know D&D are huge fans of the book, and this is probably their fanfic contribution to the canon, only they could share it through TV.  That was a very brutal scene, especially when Brienne got kicked on her thing. But I felt really bad for The Hound. I never thought he’d ever look so pitiful. I still enjoyed The Mountain vs. The Viper more, though. Not only because I love Oberyn to pieces (who doesn’t?), but also because I like Wushu. It’s such an art.

And, it’s finally the end of the “Arya and The Hound Adventures.” I loved Maisie Williams’ expression while she was listening to The Hound saying his sort-of “last words.” It was deadpan yet still very powerful. And it’s become apparent that the Lone Wolf has truly become ice cold after she just left The Hound and ignored his request for a mercy death. In the books, it made sense for her to react that way towards him because they weren’t the buddy-buddy that they were portrayed in the show. Yet, after all the bonding moments they had in the series, she still left him like that. It’s not that it was out of character, but I understood why they did that. It made more impact, especially for TV.

Scene #9 The very eventful “Tyrion’s Escape” and “Tyrion’s killing spree” scenes
This was the finale’s biggest scene, what with the death of not one but two of the central characters in the Kings’ Landing storyline. 
 Big bro to the rescue.
 I like this shot of Peter Dinklage.
 Tyrion recognizes those thighs, for sure.
 She's got smokey eyeshadow now.
Okay, so it’s just one central character, but the way the show expounded on Shae made her pretty much as vital as any of the big shots.  And that I think was the primary reason book readers didn’t get to see the Tysha revelation from Jaime. Based on how the show developed Tyrion and Shae’s relationship, there’s no reason to go back to Tysha’s story just to bring out the killer in Tyrion.

But it’s understandable why the book fans got a bit upset. After all, the show did set up for that scene to appear, but it wasn’t enough to actually have the impact that it should have to bring Tyrion to kill his father just like how it did in the books. It makes me think the show really wasn’t sure how to go about with that part of the story at the beginning, so they thought, “Well, let’s just include it in case we need it later.” But then along the way, they realized the show watchers didn’t really need to hear it one more time just to be reminded of how awful Tywin has treated Tyrion his entire life. The audience would also relate more to a character they saw and connected with (Shae) than a character they only heard of for a few minutes (Tysha). Besides, the Unsullied may have forgotten about that bit from two seasons ago. Heck, the name “Tysha” wasn’t even mentioned, if I remembered correctly.

My only issue with the lack of Tysha reveal in the show is that it prevented the Jaime and Tyrion discord from happening. They parted in good terms, which was a great bromance moment. But the thing is, Tyrion is supposed to cut all of his connections to his former world — his family, his life in court, everything, including the only real relationship he’s had in his life — with his older brother. Him cutting ties with Jaime after the truth of his first marriage was revealed would have been a great indication that he’s got nothing left in Westeros. Nothing to go back to ever. Tyrion has become a completely broken man. Plus, it would’ve been a treat to hear him tell Jaime of Cersei’s infidelity. Oh well. But I guess we’ll still hear it somewhere in the next seasons.
 Joffrey's Crossbow
 Still smug.
 Reload. I like this bit a lot.
Shit happens...
And then you die.

And then there was Tywin’s death. My feelings towards this part have surely been affected by Charles Dance’s portrayal of the character. While reading the books, all I could think about was how much of a terrible guy this Lord Tywin is, and I was very happy that it was Tyrion who killed his arrogant ass. But seeing him in the show and how Charles Dance made him real, I didn’t feel the same satisfaction with his death. His portrayal was not far from the book character, but he made show Tywin a lot more likable than book Tywin. I never thought I’d be this sympathetic to that character, and I’ll surely miss seeing Charles in the show. He was really brilliant.
Total boat buds now.

Meanwhile, I wonder what the show is planning to do with Varys. Is he going to be Tyrion’s travel buddy instead of Illyrio? So, Varys has left everything he has established for himself in King’s Landing to join Tyrion in his new adventure? I’m confused. But if that means more Conleth Hill-Peter Dinklage exchange then I’m all for it.

Scene #10 Arya “Valar Morghulis”-es her way to The Free City of Braavos
 Badass bitchface.
 "What the...?"
 Valar Morghulis
 Valar Dohaeris

Arya finally made good use of Jaqen’s gift! So, the youngest Lady Stark originally wanted to go to the Wall and see her big brother, but after hearing where the ship’s heading to, Poof! Change of Plans! It’s refreshing to see someone other than Daenerys be the final batter. It’s still in line with my prediction, though, that it’ll be something related to “Ice.” The show seems to have this pattern of ending a series with either a fire or ice concept theme. First season ended with Fire (birth of Dragons), second season ended with Ice (White Walkers), and the third season ended with Fire again (a crowdsurfing Daenerys). The fourth season still ended with Ice (Arya of the cold North heading to Braavos), though I was expecting a different representative. I’m talking about that one Lady who didn’t appear… and will probably never appear ever in the entire show.

Anyway, is it Va-LAHR Morghulis or VAH-lar Morghulis? The show really needs to stick to one pronunciation guide. From what I heard from David Peterson, it’s actually the first one. It’s the same thing with the name “Tyrell.” I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be “TIH-RELL” and not “TIE-rell” because, well, that’s how GRRM pronounced it.

So, yeah. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the entire season. Some parts were a bit off, but the rest were spot on. The acting performances and the costumes were still as impressive as ever. Although the show is starting to become even more independent from the books, I like how they stick to the character’s development as close to the book as possible. It makes the show still an enjoyable piece to watch for the book readers despite the deviations.

On my next TV Thursday post, I’m going to share with you some of my predictions for the fifth season. I’m also going to talk about how I think they’ll change some of the details in the show to fit whatever they’ve set up in the previous seasons. But, I really need to read the books again to refresh my memory. Like, seriously.
The Stark kids say, "Hi!"

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