Fantasy

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Now that’ve we’ve gotten the first big death of Season Four out of the way, it’s time to move on and remember that Westeros is a big place, with seemingly every corner stuffed with stories.

‘The sprawl’ is one of the biggest attractions to Game of Thrones’ unconventional style of story-telling, and also what makes it somewhat frustratingly impossible to sum up in an easy fashion. After the longest prolonged scene in the series’ history last week (which concluded with us saying goodbye to one of its most hated characters), Benioff, Weiss & Martin’s proverbial omnipotent camera doesn’t just zoom out in Episode Four, it proceeds to pull a full-blow Don Siegel-style helicopter shot, in which we get a God’s Eye view of many goings-on. Despite resolving the cliffhanger we were left on by ‘The Lion and the Rose’ in its initial scene, ‘Breaker of Chains’ is a (possibly healthy) reminder that the world is what take precedence in Game of Thrones, not a singular, easy-to-circumscribe narrative arc.

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Does anybody remember The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? The movie, not the comic book? With all the weird literary figures teaming up to fight…something? My mind’s kind of hazy but I think it ended Stephen Norrington’s directorial career. If we’re lucky, maybe this new Showtime horror series will put Josh Hartnett down for good.

I kid Hartnett, as anybody who’s ever worked with Brian De Palma is cool by me, but Penny Dreadful definitely gives off an LXE vibe, what with its teaming of Dr. Frankenstein, Dorian Gray and figures from Bram Stoker’s Dracula in a Victorian England setting. I might be cynical, but it also doesn’t help that Showtime is responsible for perhaps the most heartbreaking attempt at a horror series in the history of cable (the failed Masters of Horror experiment). Maybe I’ll give this one a try if Stephen King calls me up and says “hey…it’s aight by me”. I don’t see that happening, though and today’s new trailer does nothing to convince me otherwise.

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Get your mind out of the gutter. We’re talking about ACTUAL dragons, not George R.R. Martin’s…um…

Anyway, Game of Thrones mastermind George R.R. Martin has spoiled just how big Daenerys Targaryen’ dragons could get when they aren’t tiny, scaly, fire-burping babies anymore. Martin posted the above image, along with an an excerpt from his upcoming companion piece, The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the World of Game of Thrones. The image shows Aegon the Conqueror riding his dragon Balerion the Black Dread and is quite explicit in its depiction of the beast.

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*** Caution: Here There Be Spoilers… ***

Of all the visceral emotions Game of Thrones evokes in its viewers, ‘relief’ is rarely amongst them. George R.R. Matin’s dragon-filled soap opera is often cruel and treats even its biggest fans with borderline contempt. First, Ned Stark was beheaded at the behest of sniveling King Joffrey while his daughters helplessly watched. The road to avenging his death seemed like it was well paved for young Robb Stark, King of the North, until he, his mother and pregnant wife were massacred by the Lannisters at the now infamous ‘Red Wedding’. The modus operandi for both the novels and the series seems to be providing a sliver of false hope for those willing to immerse themselves in the sex and violence stuffed world to cling to; a hero that stands tall as many snakes slither in the grass at their feet. Only when those snakes strike, Martin (along with show-runners David Benioff & D.B. Weiss) seem to revel in watching your champion die a slow, painful death, knowing full well  that you’re in just as much agony as the fictional character you’re mourning. It’s a mean-spirited streak not found in most mainstream media, black-hearted to the core and a big part of what makes the HBO series so special (or despicable, depending on your threshold for suffering).

But what happens when one of the villains finally gets their just desserts? Is it such a shock that the story would finally give us what we want? Or are there strings attached, as Martin & Co. just can’t help but add a caveat to our catharsis? Ladies and gentlemen, I present The Lion & The Rose, a detailed guide to how Game of Thrones doles out justice for its audience. 

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***Warning: Spoilers Be Nigh…***

All men must die.

The tag line for Game of Thrones’ fourth season doesn’t read like a warning so much as it does a maxim of inevitability. Last season saw the end of Robb Stark, along with his mother, Catelyn, his wife, Talisa, and an army of Stark banner-men, as they were slaughtered by Walder Frey and Roose Bolton (with a nice tactical assist from the Lannisters) at the now infamous “Red Wedding” (the second event, after the beheading of Ned Stark, that launched a thousand hilarious YouTube “reaction videos”). The Stark rebellion has been crushed, it seems, and there are no more imminent threats to the Iron Throne (unless you count that pesky “Mother of Dragons”, who still needs to cross a vast ocean in order to make a serious play). For once, the characters in the show (as well as the folks who root for them from their couches) can finally sit back and relax — nobody’s going to die anytime soon, it seems. The Lannisters are all in King’s Landing, settling into their domestic roles and midlife crises as their sneering boy king plans for his wedding.

But all men must die. And all peace, as well as the comfort that goes along with it, is only temporary. 

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Ridley Scott Joins the YA Novel Trilogy Adaptation Parade

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Proof positive that even legendary and accomplished filmmakers can’t escape broad Hollywood trends, Ridley Scott, the filmmaker behind Alien, Blade Runner, and Gladiator, has optioned a trilogy of young adult fantasy novels according to Deadline. We know Twilight, The Hunger Games and The Mortal Instruments have all been taken, so what’s Sir Ridley going to make? Ever heard of a little book called Fae by Colet and Jasmine Abedi. Yeah, me neither. (more…)

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Happy Memorial Day everyone. To celebrate go to the official site for Thor: The Dark World. The film comes out on November 8th, but you can go to the website now and see photos, get downloads and other stuff.

But seriously, you want something a little more spoilery than a studio sanctioned website. I hear you. Which is why we now present these new photos from Empire Magazine. I actually lied just then about the spoilers, there’s really nothing resembling spoiler, but unless I’m mistaken, this is our first look at Christopher Eccleston as Dark Elf leader Malekith. Check out the photo gallery below:

Thor: The Dark World, starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgard, Idris Elba, Christopher Eccleston, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Tadanobu Asano, Jaimie Alexander, Rene Russo and Anthony Hopkins, and directed by Alan Taylor comes out in theaters this fall.

Source: Coming Soon

‘Merlin’ Recap – The Beginning of the End

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It seems like forever since we recapped Merlin, which makes it all the more sadder since we’ve nearly reached the end of our adventures with him and the rest of the Camelot gang. Friday night kicked off the first of the two-part series finale, “Diamond of the Day, Part 1” and set up Arthur’s final (?) battle against Morgana and Mordred for the future of Albion. But who will win? Whose secrets will be revealed? And how did Merlin get so good at medieval craps? The answers are below.

We begin where we left off: Mordred has spilled the beans to Morgana that Emrys is, in fact, Merlin. Morgana has a plan to rob Merlin of his power, and since this is Morgana we’re talking about, it involves a horrible slug-like thing that hugs your face and seemingly sucks out your magic through your mouth. Gross. But that was the last thing on Merlin’s mind when he got sprung by the creature, which was sneakily left under his bed while he was reliving his fraternity days with Arthur and the knights at the Rising Sun pub.

Step one of Morgana’s plan is to rid Merlin of his powers. Step two is to draw out her brother and his army and engage them in battle with the her Saxon forces. As fate would have it, the scene for their inevitable face-off is Camlann. Merlin is stuck, he knows what’s coming, but he’s powerless to do anything about it. What can a powerless wizard do to change the inevitable?

For Merlin, the answer is in the Crystal Caves, the mythological birthplace of magic. Journeying there with the help of Gwaine, Merlin misses Arthur’s departure to Camlann. Arthur too is disappointed that Merlin won’t be there, in fact it seems to hit him harder than Mordred’s betrayal. But Merlin’s gotta do what he’s gotta do, and so does Eira, a nice young lady who Gwaine’s been seeing. Too bad she’s actually one of Morgana’s spies who spills the beans, not only of Arthur’s plans, but of Gwaine’s side trip to the Crystal Caves with Merlin. Morgana knows that there are some doings transpiring.

At the Crystal Caves, Merlin and Gwaine part ways, but someone else is there to meet up with Merlin: Morgana. Morgana taunts Merlin, and Merlin does a pretty good job standing up for himself without magic, but Morgana ends up getting the upper hand and traps Merlin in a cave-in. Without magic, and trapped, Merlin loses hope, but the spirit of his father Balinor appears to him. Offering him words of encouragement, Balinor helps Merlin get his magic back, and just in time too.

On the fields of Camlann, Morgana and Mordred aim to out-flank Camelot’s forces through a difficult to find passage, but Merlin can see it. From the Crystal Caves, Merlin telepathically alerts Arthur, who sounds the alarm: Morgana and the Saxons are attacking tonight! Merlin follows the crystals deeper into the cave and finds the source of magic, and the source of an even greater power. More powerful than ever, he emerges from the caves ready to rejoin the fight for the future of the united kingdoms.

To be continued…

EPISODE NOTES

*Didn’t it seem wicked easy to both lose your magic and get it back?

*Mordred gets a sword forged in fire’s breath? Well, that takes some of the specialness out of Excalibur. I mean if anybody can have sword forged in fire’s breath, right?

*So it’s Old Merlin who comes out of the cave? Is that a disguise, or a magic trick, or did Merlin just age like 60 years in two minutes?

*Oh yeah, Arrested Development’s back this weekend, so maybe there’s hope that Merlin will be back in the future.

NEXT WEEK: “I’m a sorcerer. I have magic…”

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It was supposed to be a day of big change, but everything fell apart in the end. Instead of “Hail to the Chief,” the record of choice was R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine).” With a missing doctor, missing Fae, and a whole lot of questions left unanswered, we open last week’s installment of Lost Girl.

Bo and Dyson go to Lauren’s apartment and find it empty, worse still everything there screams that she abandoned it. Later, Dyson updates Hale on the mass grave he and Tamsin found, 18 dead Fae, Light and Dark, were buried there.

Bo tries to relax before the inauguration with a bath, only to be interrupted by a completely drunken Tamsin. “Where do you get off being so perfect?” Tamsin says in sweet, beautiful drunk talk. Tamsin’s clearly on about something, but Bo’s hardly in a mood to try and figure it out, or play along. Especially after Tamsin gets in the tub with her.

Meanwhile, Kenzi helps set up the celebration at the Dal for Hale’s inauguration, and given the way Hale’s treated her lately, she’s not pleased. Maybe I’ll start a union for human companions to the Fae, Kenzi opines. But Trick warns her that that didn’t work out so well for Jimmy Hoffa. Natch. During the course of the evening, Kenzi keeps bumping up against a Fae named Mossimo, he warns her that she will always feel like an outsider to the Fae, and, if she wants, he can make the impossible happen for her. As in he can make her Fae.

At Isaac’s lab, Lauren’s making a breakthrough, but there’s something about these organic compounds that Isaac’s developed that seems all too familiar. Lauren is more than a little curious about Isaac’s intentions, and he tells her that all he wants to do is make humans better through genetics, to help humanity evolve to another level. Undaunted, Lauren does a little snooping of her own and discovers exactly where Isaac gets his material: he’s the man behind the Fae mass grave, and he’s using Fae genes to make humans better.

Back at the Dal, Dyson gets kidnapped by human paramedics posing as Fae, and some incriminating evidence left at the scene points to Lauren’s involvement. The Morrigan, who was at Hale’s inauguration at the new Ash’s invitation, calls for a gathering of the Fae elders to decide on a course of action, and to hold a vote of non-confidence in Hale. More than that though, The Morrigan calls for the immediate arrest of all human companions to the Fae, starting with the unaligned succubus’ favourite, Kenzi.

But while all this is going on, Bo returns to Lauren’s apartment only to find a slightly more sober Tamsin squatting there. Reluctantly, Bo recruits Tamsin to help her track down Dyson, but in the process Bo discovers Tamsin’s little secret, or rather a piece of it. She finds the mystical pill bottle where Tamsin has the hairs meant to bind Bo for her mysterious former boss.

As the hour winds down, Tamsin and Bo manage to find Dyson’s location at Isaac’s heavily protected compound, but before they can get a closer look, they’re jumped by some guards and Tamsin is shot. Meanwhile back at the Dal, Trick manages an escape only to get kidnapped and tossed in the trunk of a car. Kenzi is arrested, but before she’s taken away, Hale gives a little trinket to protect her, and a big, passionate kiss.

As for our man Dyson, it appears that Isaac puts his subjects through a fight club to determine that he’s got the best specimen. Dyson defeats his opponent, and ends up back in the stocks. When Lauren discovers the full extent of Isaac’s operation, including Dyson, she too ends up imprisoned. But they’re not alone. In the plastic cage across the room, none other than Aife, Bo’s mother, is imprisoned right beside them.

Which brings us to this week’s season finale. Here’s the precap:

1) The Plot Thickens – Last week I compared Isaac to Brian Cox’s character from X2: X-Men United, but it turns out that he’s more like Syndrome from The Incredibles, a wannabe driven by anger and jealousy to become Fae himself. Oh, and he’s a little crazy too.

2) Case of the Week – The Great Escape. Dyson and several other Fae, including Bo’s mother Aife, are trapped in Isaac’s compound. Tamsin’s been shot and Bo is unable to revive her. The Fae are in turmoil, now locked in a presumptive state of war with the human race. The Ash is missing, so to the Blood King. And Bo’s BFF is in the custody of the Morrigan. Could things get any worse?

3) Things Get Worse – It turns out that Dyson became Isaac’s target because of Aife’s white lie. Isaac wanted to know who the most powerful Fae of all was, and Aife told him it was Dyson rather than the real answer, which is Bo. Also, one of the Sunshine Happy Gang is dying, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. And hey, does anyone else think that being the Ash is a lot like being Defense Against the Dark Arts professor at Hogwarts?

4) What About Kenzi? – After being arrested at the end of last week’s episode, Kenzi finds herself in the company of The Morrigan and her hired goon, Bruce. So Kenzi’s in a bad way, right? Never underestimate the sidekick. She can stand up to The Morrigan, convince another loyal sidekick to betray his boss, and make sudden, life-altering decisions.

5) Seduced By the Dark Side? – Lauren’s in big, big trouble. Isaac is pushing her to continue with her experiments, but Lauren won’t hear it. She can’t go back to the Fae either, they all think she’s a traitor. So what is doc, ex-con human going to do? Does “if you can’t beat them, join them” ring a bell?

6) Old Friends – Keep an eye out for the reappearance of a couple of old friends during the hour. One Dark Fae in particular will be welcome returnee for long-term fans of the show.

7) Don’t Trust Aife – No, really. Even when you think she just might be crazy enough to trust, don’t trust her. I can’t stress that enough.

8) Who Snatched the Blood King? – Let’s just say it’s someone we know, and their motives may not be as sinister as originally thought?

9) Burning Questions – “Do we have time for a makeover?” “Is my daughter okay?” “Are you losing your edge?” “Do you guys know where the mall is?” “Did you know my name isn’t even Lauren?”

10) How Does it End? – The Wanderer card left behind now has two figures standing in it.

SEE YOU NEXT SEASON!

Craigslist WTF – Seeking Robb Stark Look-Alike

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Strange, quirky ads are not a new thing on Craigslist. You can find just about anything on Craigslist, new and used clothing, toys, records, services of one (Cough-Cough) type or another. Many people browse Craigslist just to find gems like this one.

Seeking Robb Stark Look-alike from GOT – w4m – 25 (New Orleans)

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The Iron throne replica goes for upwards of $30,000 dollars so she’s obviously a lady of means. Cosplayers in the area might want to question any friends that look like Robb Stark and suddenly want to borrow a few fur laced cosplay piece of armor or cloak.

What do you think about this? Kudos for trying to live out any of your fantasies, sexual or not, but I would never suggest this route to any of my friends or relatives. No medical testing, no names, it just seems unsafe. Imagine that, a Craigslist that’s unsafe. Perhaps this is part of the thrill she is seeking.

I wonder what Richard Madden thinks about the whole thing? Rumor is that he secretly married his long time girl friend recently.

If she can’t find a Robb Stark Look-alike then maybe a Jon Snow would do, he knows where to put it after all.

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Chime in, would you ever consider answering this ad or making on like it to fufill your fantasies

Via: MTVGeek