George rr Martin
Writing fiction is hard work. Writing an actual fantasy hit series is probably very much like breaking rocks in the hot sun while being pelted with snarling ferrets. Despite claims made that the latest book in his Song Of Ice And Fire series would be published in time for Game Of Thrones’ Season 6 premiere in April, George R. R. Martin prefaced his latest blog post stating some not so good news. (more…)
Hey, why isn’t Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin on Twitter? Because he’s already killed all 140 characters, that’s why! Ah-ha, that’s my favorite internet joke. But seriously, Martin has never been shy about letting his opinions be known, and he recently took to his blog to wax poetic about his displeasure with the current crop of bad guys being portrayed in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Game of Thrones has long made fans understand that no character is safe. George R. R. Martin seemingly kills any character which he sees, doing away with what’s expected and instead putting the characters through a meat grinder as we make our way to the eventual conclusion of the tale. There’s always lots of speculation about who’ll make it to end of each book and even who’ll still be alive by the time we see the end of book 7. It’s all just been theories on internet message boards with nothing to back it up beyond obscure clues and references within the various books themselves. (more…)
“Happy fucking Father’s Day.” — The Season Four Finale of Game of Thrones
The TV adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Storm of Swords has now come to a close and, at the end of it all, what is the overall lesson this tale has taught us? Really, it’s the same overarching message that the climax of nearly every slasher film ever made has attempted to hand down: don’t count your opponent as being out of the fight until you are setting fire to his breathless corpse. Though Joffrey may have fallen, Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage, whose work this year has been damn near transcendent) found himself at the mercy of the cruelest members of his family. For a moment, Tyrion believed he may have discovered a sliver of hope in his trial-by-combat “champion”, until Prince Oberyn of Dorne wasted one too many seconds taunting his downed foe before he found himself on his back, Ser Gregor Clegane’s thumbs deep in his eye sockets. But tonight, Tyrion got to dole out a few teachings of his own to his tyrannical father, as the imp was once again underestimated by those who look down their nose at him. The resulting patricide is one of the most heart-wrenchingly sad moments in Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire saga, and show-runners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff have translated it into the perfect capper for what may be the series’ strongest season. (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…)
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.
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.