15 June, 2015

Season Five, Episode Ten "Mother's Mercy"

"Mother's Mercy"

Interesting name for the episode.  Not a lot of mercy being passed around in that 60 minutes.  For many of the characters, this episode should have been titled "I think I took a wrong turn at Albuquerque".

08 June, 2015

Season Five, Episode Nine "The Dance of Dragons"

"The Dance of Dragons"

This show continues to break new ground...or perhaps more accurately, it breaks new ground for a show that is high-budget, high-visibility, and therefore high stakes for the money behind the show. I'm sure there were shows on the fringes that truly broke that ground, but it's a lot easier to be edgy when you don't risk becoming known as the guy who greenlighted a multi-million dollar cf.

Remember the general disbelief among non-book readers when Ned Stark lost his head? How in the hell are you going to take the only bankable star on a massive HBO showcase and ace him in episode 9? I'm still convinced that HBO hadn't read all the way through the first season before they approved the show.

Now, almost every show has a star die suddenly, and frequently gruesomely.

And then there was the Red Wedding. I don't know if that sort of thing will catch on with network tv, but it is the only show I can remember where the interwebs boiled with vines and youtubes of people filming people watching that episode.

And now tonight. I hope Shireen's demise never catches on. As the father of a young daughter, that was hard to watch.

But it was undeniably compelling. And therefore it will be talked about. And someone, somewhere will feel the need to top it.

01 June, 2015

Season Five, Episode Eight "Hardhome"


When Stannis Baratheon decided to skip the quarreling in the South and instead take his men and ships to the fight at the Wall, he landed at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, the easternmost tower of the Night's Watch.  If you followed the coastline north from Eastwatch, you'd eventually find yourself on a peninsula, and at the tip of that peninsula is the city of Hardhome.  Hardhome is where the remnants of Mance Rayder's army fled after Stannis scattered their host.

***Slight book spoiler***
Some 300 years before Aegon the Conqueror brought dragons to the shores of Westeros, the Wildling city of Hardhome was destroyed.  Nobody is sure what happened and why, but homes burned and people died, and ever since the Wildlings have generally avoided the place.
***End slight book spoiler***

01 June, 2015

Season Five, Episode Seven "The Gift"

"The Gift"

The Gift is a stretch of land given by the Lords of the North to the Night's Watch.  If you remember Mole's Town, where Sam stashed Gilly for awhile (until the Wildlings raided and killed almost everyone) - that's part of the Gift.  And that has next to nothing to do with this week's episode.

18 May, 2015

Season Five Episode Six "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken"

"Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken"

Clearly, the title of this episode was not referring to Sansa Stark. Question for viewers - do you hate Ramsay more than you hated Joff? I say "no", but I think it's only because Ramsay is not a poser. As twisted as he was, Joff pretending to be a badass and then hiding behind a Kingsguard or the Hound or his mum - that adds a strong dose of contempt to the hatred. Still, I'd understand it if others differed. And what about Cersei? Guilty of incest, guilty of cheating on her brother (that sounds odd) with Lancel, guilty of raising Joff and abetting his douchetude, guilty of trying to have Tyrion killed. And, like Joff, guilty of thinking she's far more of a badass than she actually is. What say you?

11 May, 2015

Season Five Episode Five "Kill the Boy"

"Kill the Boy"


Missandei sits beside the bed of Grey Worm, faithfully awaiting his recovery from the attack from the Sons of the Harpy. Grey Worm was stabbed, collapsed and passed out, but not before he killed the last of the Sons.

Also stabbed in the attack was Barristan Selmy, known as Barristan the Bold. Unlike Grey Worm, Barristan will not recover. Knighted by Aegon V Targaryen, Kingsguard to Jaeherys II Targaryen and to Aerys II Targaryen (the Mad King), Lord Commander of the Kingsguard for Robert Baratheon, and of the Queensguard for Daenerys Targaryen. Considered by many to be the greatest living knight - slain in a back alley of Meereen.

Daenerys is not pleased.

04 May, 2015

Season Five Episode Four "Sons of the Harpy"

Jorah and Tyrion

Jorah sort of rents a fisherman's boat (he knocks the man out, but leaves coins behind) and loads his captive Tyrion into the boat.

Tyrion makes annoying noises until Jorah removes his gag. Tyrion notes that they are heading east, and wonders why, as Cersei is West. Jorah informs him that he is being taken to Daenerys, not Cersei. Tyrion uses his keen observational skills to figure out that his captor is Jorah. Tyrion throws it in Jorah's face that he was spying on Daenerys. His mouth is a little too smart, as he points out that it's possible that Jorah will be executed. Jorah knocks him out.

27 April, 2015

Season Five, Episode Three "High Sparrow"

They called this one "High Sparrow", but they could have called it "Duets". Lots of 1-on-1 conversations moving the story forward.

There was a new city build in the opening credits - Moat Cailin. Moat Cailin belongs to the North; it controls all land-based access to the Neck, which is the southernmost part of the lands formerly ruled by the Starks, and now ruled by the Boltons. More on this in the Ramsay/Sansa story arc.

21 April, 2015

Season Five, Episode Two "The House of Black and White"


Arya finds her way to the Free City of Braavos. Braavos was founded by people fleeing from the tyranny of the Valyrian empire many hundreds of years ago, and the city is home to pretty much every religion in the world. Arya is dropped by the ship's captain at the House of Black and White, where she is told she will find the man she seeks...the man who gave her the coin. "All men must die", the captain tells her as he starts to row back to his ship. "All men must serve", she replies. Her knock upon the door is answered by an elderly man with a cane. She shows the man the coin Jaqen gave her, and says "Valar Morghulis" as a code word, as she did with the ship's captain and as she was told by Jaqen to do.

13 April, 2015

Season Five, Episode One "The Wars to Come"

Welcome to another season. I know several episodes have leaked (and if you have watched them, keep your yapper shut in this thread), but I almost enjoy the anticipation of a Sunday night with family gathered around the TV as much as I do the actual show.

There are lots of rumors that this will be the season we see more significant divergence from the books, and possibly even some advancement of individual storylines ahead of where the books currently are. Book readers bemoan the absence of Strong Belwas, Lady Stoneheart, Cold Hands and other complexities that will always be easier to include on a written page than on film. But I recently read that GRRM himself stated that he recently had a good idea for a plot twist in his forthcoming book, and that it might be too late for the show producers to adjust to include it.

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