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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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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HBO’s Game of Thrones: “House of Black and White” (S5E2)

April 22, 2015 Pop Culture, Reviews, Science Fiction & Fantasy Comments (0) 488

house_of_black_and_whiteWARNING: As usual I play fast and loose with spoilers, so if you aren’t caught up on the TV series AND books (including the Winds of Winter sample chapters) you may want to sit this one out.

After a generally underwhelming season premiere immediately delivered on the showrunners’ promise to deviate from the books, the second episode really hammered that point home with significant changes to almost every character’s arc. As Varys remarks to Tyrion that their kind will never be allowed to rule, and Jon Snow finds himself suddenly in charge, everybody who’s actually holding power spends their time struggling with it. Episodes like this explain why HBO went with the title of the first novel, rather than the book series; the “Game of Thrones” is not only about who sits it, but what that person does while their butt is in the seat.

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HBO’Game of Thrones: Some Surprises in WaPo’s Infographic

April 10, 2015 Pop Culture, Science Fiction & Fantasy Comments (0) 694

GoTThe Washington Post (specifically, Shelly Tan and Alberto Cuadra) put together an absolutely fantastic infographic that charts every on-screen death in the HBO series so far. It’s a great way to kill your productivity at work, but there are certainly a few surprises.

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