Bad news for those who hate dragons, sex, dragon sex and/or dismemberment. It doesn’t look like Game of Thrones is going to be leaving HBO anytime soon, as a new ratings report indicates that the divisive fantasy series has officially become the most popular show in its history, beating The Sopranos, Sex and the City and everything else the critically acclaimed network has put into production. (more…)
We’ve all been waiting patiently for damn near three years now for George R.R. Martin to finish up the sixth book in his Song of Ice and Fire series. People are somewhat concerned that, at the pace Martin is going, he may pull a Robert Jordan and up-and-die on us before we get to read the end. Now, some rumors, hearsay and general sewing-circle chatter is suggesting that Song of Ice and Fire may actually end up being eight books instead of just seven. Scroll on for more. (more…)
Lena Headey (a/k/a Cersei Lannister on HBO’s hit fantasy series Game of Thrones) is the queen of dropping spoiler hints via her Instagram account. That major death that just occurred this week? Yeah…she spoiled that TWO MONTHS AGO (with quite the cutesy little pic of Pedro Pascal). Now she’s at it again, blowing the spot of what I’m guessing to be the final shot of Season Four. Read on…if you dare. (more…)
Two Star Wars posts before noon (Central Time)! Lordy Lordy!
While you were scanning those recent set pics, JJ Abrams & Co. committed a casting coup right under your nose. As if attempting to answer the overwhelming cries for ‘more diversity’ amongst the cast, Episode Seven added Academy Award Winner Lupita Nyong’o and Game of Thrones series regular Gwendoline Christie (a/k/a Brienne of Tarth) to the already impressive cast. Is June 2nd, 2014 the day Star Wars: Episode VII actually became interesting? I’d definitely say so. (more…)
A trial by combat.
While the title of this is week’s Episode tells you all you need to know in terms of what to expect narratively-speaking, to focus only on the brutal one-on-one battle that occurs between Oberyn “The Viper” Martell and Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane would be doing the rest of Season Four’s eighth hour a grave disservice. Yes, the two duel to the death in an adequately shot and cut bit of medieval warfare (more on this in a minute), but the rest of “The Mountain and the Viper” is made up of thrilling moments of dogged birth and re-birth. Not only does Sansa Stark get to come into her own and finally use her family name to actually improve her status, but Ramsay Snow earns the moniker of his father and “Reek” is able to slip back into the skin of Theon Greyjoy, even if for a chilling moment of murderous complicity. Unfortunately, not all ends well for some of our favorites, as Episode Eight contains yet another grisly, shocking moment sure to upset even those who knew it was coming. (more…)
Last week, I quoted Longfellow in an effort to illustrate the fluctuations in quality Game of Thrones often presents its viewers on a week-to-week basis; a poetic re-appropriation in the purposes of critical evaluation. This week, with “Mockingbird” — the seventh episode of this tumultuous Fourth Season — David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have proven that no such juvenile attempt at literary posturing is necessary, as they have delivered as strong an installment as the series has ever seen. Brimming with a near deluge of rousing dramatic scenes, “Mockingbird” stands as a fitting cliffhanger of a transitional episode, causing (hopefully) everyone who watched to shake their fists in anger at the fact that HBO is having the season go on a brief hiatus for Memorial Day Weekend.
“When she was good,
She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid.”
This short excerpt from Longfellow’s equally brief “There Was a Little Girl” can be re-jiggered and re-appropriated to describe a lot of different things. In the current media landscape, no work feels more deserving of the description than HBO’s Game of Thrones. Season Four has seen its fair share of highs (the death of one sniveling Boy King) while also delivering some truly dismal lows (the rape of Cersei by her otherwise redemption-bound brother, not to mention the general mistreatment/prop-relegation of many of the show’s female characters). But this season’s sixth episode, “The Laws of Gods and Men”, is a healthy reminder of why we shouldn’t just throw out the proverbial “baby with the bathwater”. Yes, some moments might be extremely “problematic” for most viewers (a word I’m learning to despise due to its overuse by seemingly joyless cultural watchdogs), yet to discount the series as a whole because of a few (admittedly major) missteps would be doing many viewers a rather large disservice. Because the final twenty minutes of “The Laws of Gods and Men” represent televised drama at its finest.
Game of Thrones, whether you’re talking about the books or the television series, is rife with scenes of violence. Sometimes this violence pushes the boundaries of what many readers/viewers are comfortable with. This is, of course, why the scenes produce such strong emotional reactions and arguably what makes George R.R. Martin such a good writer. One particular aspect, however, has begun drawing attention – that of the sometimes graphic rape scenes. (more…)
A king is crowned. A queen questions her way. A true assassin is revealed.
While certainly not the most viscerally thrilling episode the series has ever seen, “First of His Name” was slyly stunning, filled with tiny moments that seemed to change everything. Whether it was Littlefinger whispering nefarious nothings into his bride-to-be’s ear or Arya Stark letting The Hound know that he’s still very much on her shit list, Episode Five of Season Four was all about the tense intimate moments that seem to bring characters together while still keeping them at arm’s length from both each other and the audience. We’re now halfway through what might be the most pivotal chapter in the HBO fantasy series’ history, and the proverbial pot seems to be just on the verge of boiling over.
It had to happen eventually. After setting a near-breakneck pace for the first three episodes, Game of Thrones finally pumped the brakes and slowed it down a bit. Unfortunately, the show-runners also pulled the emergency lever, as the fourth episode came to a grinding halt, sacrificing momentum in favor of meticulously setting up the future. The good news? They tossed out the books as they went, committing a solid fifteen minutes of run-time to brand new material that was sure to throw George R.R. Martin devotees for a loop.