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  1. In the words of Maester Yandel, “The People of the Stormlands are like unto their weather. Tumultuous, violent, implacable, unpredictable." They are also some of the strongest, toughest, and most ready for war. I said in my last challenge that Dorne is my favorite of the seven kingdoms, but my favorite houses are all Stormlands, especially the Marcher Lords who guarded the lands of the Storm Kings of old against their enemies to the South (Dorne) and West (the Reach). Rather than doing a history challenge, I'm going to highlight the many amazing characters in show and book who are Stormlanders, and try to emulate them in some small way. (Once again, I’ll try to avoid spoilers, but there may be a few for Season/Book One that I can’t white out without whiting out the whole thing) I must start, of course, with House Baratheon. Storms End Durran’s Point, Shipbreaker Bay– King Robert Baratheon is a once-powerful man, now gone to seed. A man with enormous appetites and enormous temper, as well as a once-enormous strength. It’s folly to look to Robert for an example of wisdom, but for strength, stamina, and natural charisma, he is a paragon. I will honor Robert’s appetites (especially his love of hunting and meat) by ensuring I make my protein goals each day. Straight percentage of protein servings eaten. CON 2 King/Lord Stannis Baratheon embodies the implacable nature of Stormlanders. A grim and determined man, he survived a siege at Storms’ End during Robert’s Rebellion, until Davos Seaworthy smuggled in onions and salt pork. He also tirelessly leads his armies on forced marches during the War of the Five Kings, including through the unforgiving Northern autumn. I will honor Stannis’ endurance by putting one foot in front of another for the entirety of the challenge. 50,000 steps per week. STA 2 DEX 1 King/Lord Renly Baratheon, the youngest child of Lord Steffon Baratheon, is seen by many as Robert come again, in his hale and hearty youth. Like Robert, and unlike Stannis, he has the ability to make friends of his allies, binding men and women to him with love and admiration, not merely grim duty. As lord of Storms End, his support from the Stormlanders in unsurprising, but it is his alliance with Highgarden through Margery and Loras Tyrell which enabled him to boast that “You may have the better claim, but I have the bigger army”. Renly knows well that an army marches on its stomach, and the rich, fertile lands of the Reach are his best allies in face of the coming winter. In honor of Renly’s vigor and appreciation of beauty, as well as his alliance with Highgarden, I will add more produce to my diet. 5 fruits and veg daily – percentage of success. (to succeed, one serving of leafy greens or salad is necessary) CON 2 CHA 1 Moving south into the Red mountains brings us to House Selmy. Harvest Hall, in the Marches. As a major Marcher house, House Selmy has fielded many mighty warriors and fine knights. In the late second century after Aegon’s Conquest, no living knight is more famous and admied than Ser Barristan Selmy of the Kingsguard, called “the Bold”. He entered a joust at age ten as a Mystery Knight, and won renown not only on the Tourney field, but also serving as a member of the Kingsguard under King Jaehaerys II during the War of the Ninepenny Kings, King Aerys II during Robeert’s Rebellion, and King Robert I during Balon’s Rebellion. He is currently serving Daenerys Stormbord as Queensguard, and offering not only a strong sword arm, but also much-needed advice and insight into Westeros. In honor of Ser Barristan’s wisdom, I will keep up with the Omer daily. WIS 1 Continuing into the Marches brings us to another Marcher stronghold, Blackhaven, seat of House Dondarrion, in the Marches. While less famous than Ser Barristan, Lord Berric Dondarrion is nonetheless an honorable and able knight. Founder of the Brotherhood without Banners and walking miracle, Lord Berric is resurrected by the Red Priest Thoros of Myr and becomes more symbol than man, protecting the smallfolk from the ravages of war. However, Lord Berric’s renewal is a double-edged sword, as his memories and self are disappearing under the weight of mission. To honor his sacrifice and attempt to not fall into the trap of losing self in my mission, I will meditate and stretch 5 times per week. Stretch/Meditate 5 per week. A contemplative or restorative yoga session can work. WIS 1 DEX 1 Swinging southwest, we leave the Marches for Tarth, and island in the Narrow Sea, seat of House Tarth of Evenstar Hall. Its best-known scion (apart from Ser Galladon Tarth of legend, wielder of the sword Just Maid) is Brienne of Tarth, former member of Renly’s Rainbow Guard, now in service to the women of House Stark. Despite being no knight, Brienne is a model of knightly behavior and chivalry. She trained her entire life, and became strong and skilled enough to win the great melee of 166 knights at Bitterbridge, besting Loras Tyrell and much of the combined chivalry of the Reach and the Stormlands. She also fought and bested Ser Jaime “the Kingslayer” Lannister (though admittedly not at his best). In honor of her dedication to her cause and hard work, I will train for strength four times a week. Train for strength and health four times week. A video, a bodyweight, or a shovelglove session all count. STR 3 This leaves (among famous Stormlanders of recent history) two other “houses”, scattered and unknown. The first is (so spoilery for the books that [seriously] don’t read this unless you’ve read all the books through Dance or never ever intend to. I was going to leave this out completely, but I couldn’t. This is going to be all whited out, forever, because he doesn’t exist, as far as anyone in the Seven Kingdoms is concerned, and his goals are also hugely spoilery. Fair warning, seriously don’t read this. Also, for those of you who have, I’m going out on a limb and writing my opinion of what’s really going on, going a step beyond what we actually know. So half of this is fan theory/headcanon. Ok? Ok.)**** Ser/Lord Jon “Griff” Connington of Griffon’s Roost, located on Cape Wrath. A close friend of the late Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, Connington fled Westeros after the Battle of the Bells. While exiled in Essos, he joined the Golden Company, where he fell in with Blackfyre supporters and eventually was chosen by Illyrio Mopatis and Varys to be protector and guide to Aegon “Young Griff” Targaryen, a pretender to the Iron Throne and probable Blackfyre heir. (The Golden Company is literally led by Bittersteel’s gilded skull. He’s totally a pretender.)**** The second is the lost scions of House Baratheon, true (if not trueborn) heirs to Robert. Scattered throughout Westeros, got on highborn ladies, commoners, and prostitutes, there are Stones, Waterses, and Storms aplenty with the blue eyes and black hair of their father. Relevant to the current tale are Mya Stone (Robert’s probably firstborn) of the Vale, Gendry {Waters} of Kings’ Landing, and Edric Storm. In honor of these other Stormlanders, dispossessed and scattered, I will try one new thing over the next four weeks, once for each. Ideally, something climby for Mya, hammer for Gendry, educated for Edric, and ???? for Connington. This is purposefully vague, but it needs to be something a little big. Cooking a new dish would count, ordering a new thing at a restaurant wouldn’t. CHA 1 (I don't know why no one makes Edric Storm fanart)
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