How did you find out about the community? If it's through an LJ user, please tell us who it is (individual user if possible, not just a community name!): I saw it mentioned on a Jaime/Brienne rec list on tumblr.
All About You
1. Describe your ideal house/home. Please go into as much detail as possible, and be sure to include your ideal geographical location in the description!.
Clever, fun, function-driven. I love the Marshmallow House because it's colorful, bizarre, airy, and made for watching movies. My home could be small and simple, but I'd like a kitchen on the fancier side. Having two ovens and a top-of-the-line blender would be heaven. The ideal location: I've never been to Scandinavia, but golly, it sounds delightful. Social services and cold weather? Yes, please. But I'd also love to live in or near Portland, London, Paris, Seattle (in case it's unclear, I like cool, rainy, overcast places).
2. Imagine you’re given the classic opportunity: a genie granting you three wishes. What would you wish for? Please be as elaborate as you can. Wishing for more wishes is not permitted!
a) Magical mastery of self-discipline/time management!
I'm a really inefficient writer. When I'm afraid of writing, which is usually, I let research expand to fill all the time I have. I take frequent breaks, procrastinate, and go on a fun roller coaster of self-loathing. Maybe this is just my process. I hate it, and I'd love to instantly have the ability to manage my time well and keep to the tasks I've set myself.
b) Ability to breathe underwater (without visible gills).
c) End injustice.
Too broad? Okay, how about ending global oppression in healthcare? Everyone should be able to access high-quality care, regardless of income, gender identity, race, sexuality, etc.
3. In your life so far, what accomplishment are you the most proud of? Why? You can list more than one if you have trouble deciding. ;)
I'm proud of my reproductive health activism. Some of what I do is direct service, which means I get to witness how my efforts help people. That feels really meaningful and gratifying. Recently a college friend e-mailed me to say that I helped him learn about social justice and become more politically active. I hadn't been in touch with this guy for a few years, and reading that made me feel super proud.
4. Which of the following is most important to you: Love, Money, Knowledge, Family, Friendship, Adventure, or Pleasure? Which is the least important to you? Please explain why for each choice.
Friendship is tops. It feels the most constant, most consistently rewarding. I'm dissatisfied with a lot of things in my life, but I always feel grateful to have kind, funny, supportive friends.
I guess the contenders for least are money, family, or adventure. Though I'm often reclusive, I do sometimes go out into the world and have adventures, and I value that. Wouldn't want to give it up. I rank family lower because I only feel close to three members of my family; usually I feel alienated from everyone else. But those three people are very important to me, so... money. Money feels the least important to me, but then again, I'm not living hand to mouth right now, so that's easy for me to say.
5. What's one quote (or passage, song lyric, etc.) that effectively describes you and your values? Explain.
"I was going to die, if not sooner then later, whether or not I had ever spoken myself. My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you." --Audre Lorde, "The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action"
I'm not sure this describes me, but it certainly describes my values and the kind of person I want to be: brave, uncompromising, committed to speaking my truth and carving out space for other people to do the same. The whole essay is beautiful--I really recommend it--and I could just as easily have picked another quotation from it, like "We have been socialized to respect fear more than our own needs for language and definition, and while we wait in silence for that final luxury of fearlessness, the weight of that silence will choke us." Audre Lorde, dude. You know?
6. How do you manage your money? On that note, how important is money/financial security to you? Go into as much detail as you can.
Carefully. Until recently, I had a job that paid enough that I could save up money to live on while I focus on finishing my degree. So I'm pretty lucky. Financial security (as in, being able to afford essentials like rent, groceries, and gas) is important to me. Having disposable income would be nice, but it's not a high priority.
7. Name (and elaborate on) some of your hobbies. What are your favorite things to do outside of school/the office?
a) Cooking/baking. I make mean vegan food, especially soups and pies. Although I've cooked since I was a kid, I didn't start baking until two years ago.
b) Watching TV and movies with friends. I threw a big party for the Game of Thrones season three premiere, complete with vegan pigeon pie and lemoncakes.
c) Swimming. When my roommates and I went apartment hunting, we thought, "oh, it would be nice to have a swimming pool, but it's not a big deal." Now that we live somewhere with a pool, it turns out it is a very big deal. It's unbelievably nice to be able to swim every day for free. I would love to learn open-water swimming--I mean, I've swum in oceans before, but I couldn't swim distances without getting lost and probably drowning.
d) Board games. I like playing euro games (like Settlers of Catan, Twilight Struggle, Dominion) with friends. I've tried out gaming groups several times, but so far I've always gotten tired of the gender ratio and the sexist trash-talking. During my misspent youth, I played tabletop RPGs, and I'd love to do that again--if I could find a group I liked.
8. Name three things you are afraid of. Explain.
a) Falling. I don't mind heights if they feel secure. The top of the Empire State Building is fine. But I'm always really slow and cautious when I'm hiking downhill, and I hesitate when I step onto down escalators. I used to be afraid of walking down stairs, but I got over that when I lived in New York.
b) Sickness. I was chronically ill for about seven years, and my symptoms could resurface any time. So that's fun.
c) Police. They have guns and almost never face consequences for perpetrating violence.
9. Name (and elaborate on) your top three BEST and top three WORST qualities (personality-related, not physical). Please answer as fully as you can, as this is an important question.
a) I'm a good conversationalist. I read widely, listen well, and I'm funny.
b) I go out of my way to help people, including strangers. This doesn't extend to every human being every minute of the day--I have boundaries--but when someone needs help I can provide, and when I feel safe doing so, I will put that ahead of other commitments or activities.
c) Emotional resilience. I think my capacity to withstand stress and hostility is pretty high, which is useful!
a) My depression. Sometimes I'm fine, and sometimes there is no point to anything and why would I get out of bed. I'm getting better at distinguishing between how I feel right now and reality, but it's still challenging for me to get things done when I'm depressed, rather than giving into the habits that prolong my depressive periods.
b) Flightiness. I get obsessively interested in something until I find a new thing, and then I usually abandon my old uncompleted projects. It's a bummer.
c) I can be selfish and mean. I don't think I'm very instinctively kind. It's something I have to consciously consider and deliberately work on.
A Song of Ice and Fire Related
1. How many books from the series have you completed?
The main five.
2. Who are your favorite three characters in the series? Why?
Brienne is METAL AS FUCK. She's so tough and sweet. I love that she teaches Jaime that you can believe that the world is garbage and still reject nihilism. I know a lot of people don't like Brienne's AFFC chapters, but I really disagree. I loved seeing her quest and her views get more complicated, seeing her self-doubt develop.
I wish we had at least one long-running smallfolk POV, but Davos is the closest we get. I like that Davos sold onions to the people under siege at Storm's End not out of the goodness of his heart or political calculation but because you can get a better price for onions when your customers are starving. And it's kind of admirable, but mostly sad, that Davos stops being self-interested when he's knighted (or, at least, it becomes more complicated for him to figure out what his self-interest is).
Ned and Cat really screwed the pooch with Sansa, huh? Don't let your daughter grow up believing that honor exists and knights are cool! Chivalry kills! Sansa has my absolute favorite arc in the books; she starts out spoiled and sheltered and becomes so perceptive and strong. Of course, lots of characters have great arcs, but I love that Sansa's struggle isn't showy. She isn't on the road having adventures. She's just enduring, and quietly learning. I'm so excited for her chapters in TWOW.
Honorable mentions. Arya, Daenerys, Mirri Maz Duur, Septon Meribald, Missandei, Mance Rayder, Margaery (though my judgment may be clouded by Natalie Dormer's performance at this point; she's so great), Olenna, Varys, Littlefinger (he's a fun villain, and I'm sure his gruesome demise will be extra fun!), Sam, Asha, post-amputation Jaime, pre-POV Cersei.
3. Who are your least favorite three characters in the series? Why?
I think I found Ramsay interesting once, but at this point, I feel like he just takes up space. He loves doing torture. Got it. Can we check out something else now? What's the deal with Valyria? Let's wander around the ruins.
Victarion was boring as hell from his first appearance. When I read AFFC, I wondered if making him a POV character was supposed to be some kind of punishment for readers. He's joyless, stupid, and, hold on, he feels bad for himself because he had to murder his wife? Bluhhhhh. That said, he'll probably be a dragon snack soon, so whatever.
And then there's Tyrion. I used to love him. I made excuses for his misogyny and his Nice Guy TM self-pitying schtick because he was funny and clever and his life did genuinely suck (for a noble from one of the most powerful families of his continent). Then he murdered a sex worker because she hurt his feelings! Ha ha! Very cool, bro!
Dishonorable mentions. For being terrible: King Robert, Joff, Tywin (Rest In Toilet), Euron, Walder Frey, Roose, Gregor. For being tedious: Ned, Stannis, Robb, Jorah, TV!Podrick's Magical Penis.
4. #1 Favorite moment in all of ASOIAF so far? Why?
I love the scene during the Battle of the Blackwater when Cersei gets drunk and tells Sansa how much it sucked to be Jaime's twin sister: "We were so much alike, I could never understand why they treated us so differently." And Septon Meribald's speech about broken men. But, real talk, my favorite moment has to be the bath at Harrenhal, because in the end I am a marshmallow.
5. In your dream-world, how would you like to see the series end, and why?
I would love to see Sansa on the Iron Throne, having clawed her way there over Littlefinger's corpse. I don't think anybody can rule a feudal society well, but Sansa seems like she'd be comparatively kind to the smallfolk. Plus, fuck the haters.
I like Daenerys, but her liberal imperialist excursion through Slaver's Bay made me lose enthusiasm for her as a leader. And as cool as dragons are (they are very damn cool), I'm not sold on the asymmetry of one political actor holding a nuclear option and making any revolt suicidal. So I guess it would be ideal for me if Dany ended up heroically dead or heroically off on adventures.
Tyrion gets killed by a woman, very suddenly, in a surprisingly anticlimactic chapter.
Stannis, he of the boundless entitlement, gets nothing he wanted and learns that he's not Azor Ahai reborn. Deserve's got nothing to do with it.
The Knight of Flowers kills Tommen--it's not that I want Tommen to die, but it's gonna happen, and I'd like to see Jaime-hating Loras become a Kingslayer.
Sam reintegrates magic into the Citadel.
I'd love to see Jaime and Brienne happy in Tarth together; failing that, they confess their love, he dies in her arms, and Brienne joins the Queensguard.
I DON'T want a reenactment of Azor Ahai killing Nissa Nissa. If we absolutely have to go through that, l hope Dany will be Azor Ahai, and her NN will be Daario or Jorah or Jon. Just don't make me read about a heroic man stabbing his girlfriend in the heart, you know? I read a theory suggesting that Jaime will end up sacrificing Brienne, which would make me angrier than any other ending possibly could. I would honestly prefer that the series end with the Others exterminating humanity.