How Game of Thrones sabotaged Emilia Clarke and betrayed Daenerys Targaryen

May 13, 2019 Science Fiction & Fantasy Comments (1) 32

The night is dark and full of spoilers!

First of all, holy crap. I guess we know why this season of GoT took so much time and money to film—the epic destruction of King’s Landing is unlike anything we’ve seen from this show so far, even the Battle of Winterfell two episodes ago.

However, like many fans, I came away feeling unsatisfied by Daenerys Targaryen’s heel turn. While plenty of people predicted she might be on a path toward villainy, the moment itself felt unearned and out of character. Already, dozens of essays explain how this is a betrayal of the fans of Game of Thrones, a betrayal of Dany, a betrayal of feminism…the list goes on. In the end, I think there were subtle failures on the parts of the writers that left viewers unprepared, and more importantly a real betrayal of trust between the show runners and Emilia Clarke, who portrays Dany on screen, that sabotaged her ability as an actor to fully present her character. Continue Reading

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The Winterfell Crypts Secret: My Bold Game of Thrones Prediction

April 24, 2019 Pop Culture, Science Fiction & Fantasy Comments (0) 20

I’ve talked about this on Twitter a couple of times, but with Season 8 Episode 3 impending, I wanted to write it up in full here, so I have proof if I turn out to be correct.

But first, my standard Game of Thrones warning: This post includes spoilers for every episode of the HBO series, and every book in the Song of Ice and Fire books, and all supplemental books. Basically, if there’s anything you don’t want spoiled, turn away now. The post is dark and full of spoilers.

With that out of the way…

Following Sunday’s “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” as Winterfell prepares for battle, many fans were distressed by the oft-repeated plan to put the most vulnerable people in the crypts–and with good reason! You don’t have to be a strategic genius to think hey, with an army that reanimates the dead approaching, maybe that chamber filled with eight thousand years of dead Starks might not be the safest place!

I find it frustrating, personally, that this thought didn’t occur to a single character–not Jon or Tormund, who were at Hardhome; not Sam, who is going into the crypts himself; not Tyrion or Davos or Jorah, all of whom are basically strategic geniuses. Not even Bran considered this possibility–or maybe he knows better? Maybe Bran knows something I have suspected since Season Six, that most fans have not considered:

Maybe the Starks are immune to being “wighted.”

Consider a few facts we know to be true, at least according to accepted Westeros history:

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HBO’s Game of Thrones: Bran is not the Night King, he’s the Old Gods.

April 18, 2019 Featured, Science Fiction & Fantasy Comments (0) 56

My standard Game of Thrones warning applies here: I am playing fast and loose with spoilers from the books, the TV series, and all tangential materials including interviews with George R. R. Martin. Consider yourself warned: The night is dark and full of spoilers.

As the end of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” draws near, fan theories are flying faster than ever. Heck, I’ve even tossed a few out myself. One I’m seeing more frequently, however, is that “Bran is the Night King.” The case for this theory typically centers on his ability to exist in many different times (an ability I do think will be important to the story’s end) but I’m not a subscriber. It makes little sense to the narrative–Bran has already watched the creation of the Night King, after all–but more importantly, the Three-Eyed Raven outright told Bran he’ll never walk again. The Night King walks. So, debunked.

Another theory says “The Night King is a Targaryen.” This one also makes little sense, especially since Targaryens didn’t exist in Westeros when the Night King was created. The “evidence” for this theory is pretty much just that the Night King rides a dragon–something only Targaryens can do. But I’m confident the Night King’s ability to ride his undead dragon is due to his command over dead things–and to the core ability behind much of Westeros’s magic: The ability to warg.

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Game of Thrones: Mother’s Mercy

June 15, 2015 Science Fiction & Fantasy Comments (2) 858

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Read on and you may encounter spoilers from the show, the books, Winds of Winter sample chapters, and fan theories. You have been warned.

Okay, for starters: We can all agree that Season Five was a big steaming mess, right? I mean, it had its high points, but mostly it reaffirmed that the more the writing departs from the source material, the more it falls into repetition and cliche and rape. Lots and lots of rape.

We’re all in agreement? Good. With that out of the way, the Season Finale was at least a solid effort, getting the show back on track and hitting the right notes with the last two major plot points book readers have been waiting for. It also left us with a number of cliffhangers (semi-literally) so that the readers and non-readers can, for the first time, fall into speculation together. The books and the show are pretty much caught up at this point, other than a few points here or there, and we’re all in the same boat, wondering what will come in Season Six–and whether The Winds of Winter might manage to reach bookstores first.

Just a thought: Maybe the words of House Martin should be “The Winds of Winter is coming.” I’m sure no one has ever made that joke before.

As usual, I’m departing from a formal structure and just tossing out thoughts in bullet-form. I’d love if you contribute your own random thoughts in the comment section.

  • Sam asking to go to Oldtown was an odd change. With Jon having just confronted the Night King at Hardhome, and talking to Sam about that exact event, I fully expected him to say “We need to know everything we can about the White Walkers, go do research Sam.” Instead Sam asks to go primarily to protect Gilly and the baby, and him becoming a maester seems almost an afterthought. It’s a more human motivation for a TV character, sure, but it’s also a very strange motive for an order (of which Jon is Lord Commander) that’s sworn off sex. Then Jon figures out that Sam and Gilly did it, and he just smiles and pats Sam on the back. The show has come a long way from the reverence Sam and Jon showed before that Weirwood in Season One–now Jon’s all “Good job betraying your oath, Samwisewell.”
  • Has any scene on the show ever felt flatter than the throne room scene in Mereen? Even Dinklage couldn’t breathe life into that stinker–it was like watching a bad improv act. Maybe the other actors all conspired against Daario 2.0 and vowed not to bail out his boring ass in hopes they’ll get a 3.0.

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