A Song of Fire and Ice Cream: Reimagining Game of Thrones Characters as Your Favorite Summer TreatsOctober 9, 2018
- Addi dela CruzWords
This summer, the third and latest season of Game of Thrones returned with new characters and more shocking plot twists (I knew Brienne of Tarth had a little something going on underneath that armor). Each episode of the HBO series makes our non-vacation days much more bearable, be it by pushing us to the edge of our seats as we watch Bran’s escape to the North, or by reminding us to turn the air-conditioning on during the occasional sex scene gorgeous outdoor shots of Daenerys’s army marching through the desert.
Since it’s the middle of May, and most of us are stuck in the Philippines, the terrible heat had us thinking some pretty odd thoughts. With winter not likely to come anytime soon, we passed the time by trying to figure out whether or not Dany’s more leche flan than garbanzos.
Daenerys Targaryen: The Classic Halo-Halo
Of Valyrian descent, Daenerys Stormborn is the last member of the ancient Targaryen clan. Her selfish brother married her off to the fearsome Khal Drogo in exchange for a crown. It wasn’t a wise investment on his part. Now a Khaleesi, Daenerys tragically loses her husband and unborn son early in their marriage, but she also hatches three dragon eggs on her dead hubby’s funeral pyre so it wasn’t all bad. Awed by the mythical creatures, the Dothraki pledged to follow Dany in her quest to build an army and reclaim the Iron Throne of Westeros.
Descending from an ancient line of rulers, backed by wise and faithful advisers, leading an ever-growing army, and accompanied by a trio of actual dragons, Daenerys Targaryen seems to be a frontrunner in the race to rule the Seven Kingdoms.
She is also woman of many different aspects—mother, warrior, lover, and queen. Like the Classic Halo-Halo, with its assortment of premium ingredients all in one colorful goblet, the Khaleesi is a mixture of many different things that, when combined, are greater than the sum of their parts. Just as this summer staple has always been king of local Filipino desserts, others of Daenerys’s bloodline have likewise ruled for generations.
We Filipinos encounter many variants of this dish, from the famous Pampanga version, with just five ingredients yet sell at almost a hundred bucks an order, to the cheap substitutes sold at almost every street corner, without the more special ingredients. Why we settle for lesser copies is a mystery. The whole point of the halo-halo is its hodgepodge ridiculousness. We forget that eating this Filipino favorite without the ube or the leche flan is like going to war without your fire-breathing babies. Don”t even bother.
Jamie Lannister: A Magnum Ice Cream Bar
While Jaime Lannister, dressed in his white Kingsguard armor with matching floor-length coat, is physical perfection and princely charisma personified, he’s also an incestuous, self-proclaimed douche whose only redeeming qualities are his impeccable sword skills and handsome face. Regardless of whether you love him or hate him, he will always be the man who pushed little Bran Stark out a window tower after the poor kid caught him screwing his equally evil twin sister. Although I give him props for being the only Lannister who actually cares for his dwarf brother, Tyrion, and for saving Brienne of Tarth from being raped, I still believe he deserves the recent, brutal dismemberment of his sword hand.
Much like this pretty boy, Magnum Ice Cream is 75% mesmerizing branding, and 25% the glorious creation it claims to be. Now, don”t get me wrong, I also enjoy the occasional bar of Belgian chocolate-covered vanilla ice cream from time to time, but at the end of the day, it”s just like everything else inside the convenience store cooler—sticky, overpriced, and induces self-loathing immediately after consumption. It’s ultimately unsatisfying.
Tyrion Lannister: Mochi Ice Cream
I remember the first time I encountered Mochi Ice Cream. It looked like a piece of soap to me. I gingerly licked its starch-covered skin (which I later found out was made from pounded sticky rice) with the tip of my tongue. That powdery, fist-sized ball didn’t look edible until I sliced it in half and had that first epiphanic bite.
Much like my initial misgivings towards the Japanese dessert, I felt bad for Tyrion the first time I saw him on the series. Even before he appeared on screen, he was referred to as “The Imp”—a freak show. But he later turned out to be one of the more exciting and dynamic characters. Whatever The Imp lacks in appearance, he makes up for with his cunning, wit, and by being the one decent Lannister. Similarly, just as the Mochi Ice Cream’s strange appearance conceals something delicious, Tyrion’s first-rate qualities belie his somewhat uninspiring looks. And, if I may add, I think Peter Dinklage gets a bit more attractive with every episode.
Joffrey Baratheon: The Commercial Milk Tea
The day Joffrey became king was the day we almost lost hope that good would prevail. He”s a cruel yet cowardly ruler who truly believes that he”s the legitimate heir to the Iron Throne. This inbred bastard enjoys having people executed and orders women beaten for his pleasure, but hides under his mother”s skirts when his city is attacked. Joffrey just isn’t capable of doing anything to prove he deserves the crown or our respect.
We peg Ball-less Blondie here as your typical cup of commercialized milk tea. Like Joffrey who’s living the high life he never earned, this overrated food trend still sits comfortably at the top of people’s go-to refreshment list. Never mind the fact that it is ridiculously priced for its mostly synthetic ingredients. These drinks pretentiously market themselves as a healthy alternative to carbonated drinks, all the while brimming with unnecessary calories (and ice cubes that leave you short-changed). As we”ve expressed in the past, this food trend has got to go, preferably taking its despicable “Baratheon” counterpart with it.
Margaery Tyrell: A Profiterole
Like the profiterole, with its delicate and beautiful pastry crust that hides a rich whipped or ice cream filling, Margaery’s character shouldn’t be taken at face value. Though she earns points for reaching out to the poor, treating Sansa like a sister, and slyly gaining King Joffrey’s trust, Margaery Tyrell’s true intentions remain unknown. Underneath her gleeful and sexy demeanor, effortless gift for diplomacy, and really, really likeable character, I think we’re in for a cold, wicked surprise.
Arya Stark: Ice Candy
Ice candy has a special place in my childhood. My aunt made perfect ice candies in all sorts of flavors (buko, ube, chocolate, mango, and pandan, to name a few), and would sell them from her mini sari-sari store every summer. I remember snatching up any flavor I fancied and slurping down that plastic-wrapped frozen treat like a newborn frantically feeding for the first time. As an alternative to ice cream, ice candy is inexpensive, easy to eat, and can feed an entire barangay for a much cheaper price. You have to try really hard not to like it.
Similarly, Arya Stark is small, clever, and beloved by everyone. She finds herself in the most dangerous circumstances. She escaped from King’s Landing after her father’s execution, became a prisoner and Tywin Lannister’s own cupbearer at the same time, and now found herself stuck with the Brotherhood Without Banners. In spite of it all, Arya always survives, the odds seemingly ever in her favor. She reminds us of ourselves as children, full of little hopes and joys and convinced that anything is possible as long as we have a stick of humble ice candy to suck. *Wipes a tear*
Jon Snow: Artisanal Ice Cream
Before anything else, I’d like to point out that artisanal ice cream is pricey because it’s supposedly handmade from unique ingredients. If you’re looking for flavors that contain rare, seasonal fruits or other unusual locally sourced ingredients, say carabao’s milk, this is where you’ll find it. Just don’t complain about paying an entrée’s price for a cup of ice cream. For all artisanal products, you’re paying for a novel, carefully-crafted creation, and not just some commercialized grab bag of vanilla, caramel, brownies, nuts, and whatnot.
One GoT character who knows all about the need to measure up is Jon Snow, Ned Stark’s bastard. Many look at him as an outcast, not necessarily bad but simply alien and unfamiliar. It’s similar to how people flock towards the everyday ice cream booths spread all over malls while giving the highbrow gelato kiosks a few longing looks but no real business. Like expensive artisanal ice cream, Jon Snow is nice to look at, but a precious few actually make an effort to get closer. It really isn’t his fault he was made that way.
Because of his pretty face, coupled with his ridiculously compassionate and just nature, Jon has easily become the Justin Bieber of the series. Teenage girls gladly sit through gory swordfights and sloppy, inhuman humping just to get to the next Jon Snow scene, their dose of quality winter on hot summer nights.
Do you agree with these comparisons? And what cold summer treat would you peg Cersei Lannister, Sansa Stark, and Petyr Baelish as? Sound off with your comments below!
[Image sources: Tyrion-lannister-imp | Blushing Ambition | Wit & Fancy | Bubble News | Fuckyeahjamielannister | Dessert Comes First | Tyrion-lannister-imp | Bubbies Ice Cream | | Tumblr | Comic Vine | Patikim | | She Knows | TV Fanatic | The Kitchn]