Game of Thrones: Book of the Stranger – Review

Game of Thrones: Book of the Stranger (Season 6, Episode 4)

“We never should have left WInterfell.”

Finally: Game of Thrones has been good this season but this episode demonstrated the level that the show is capable of and it was amazing – like, literal jaw-dropping amazing-ness. As always, there so many different stories so let’s go chronologically.

As Jon got ready to leave Castle Black, Sansa turned up with Brienne and Podrick. It’s been a while since any Stark children have been together and of all of them, Sansa and Jon probably have the least love between them but none of that mattered. We saw them embrace and it really reminded us of how much they had been through and how much they have lost. Jon wanted to leave quietly but for the first time in a long time Sansa felt safe and she wants to fight.

Littlefinger made his first appearance of the season. I love his character and it appears that he is still as devious as ever. Whilst he may not control the Vale, he certainly controls the little Lord Arryn and now he’s managed to manipulate the launching of a war against the Boltons. Littlefinger wants to kill him; Sansa wants to kill him: I don’t see Ramsay making it out of this season alive.

As wonderful as Tyrion and Varys are, even they can’t stop Meereen from being the least interesting story-line of the show at the moment. Tyrion negotiated with the masters and has made a shaky deal to end slavery (in seven years): I’m sure nothing will go wrong there.

Daario and Jorah finally reached Dany and along the way Daario made plenty of jokes at Jorah’s expense before realising that he carried a deadly disease and could end his life with a touch.

The Tyrell siblings are in dire straits – Loras more so than Margaery. The High Sparrow took Margaery from her cell and told her about what led him to a life of religion. The more we learn about the High Sparrow, the more confusing he becomes. Is he truly motivated by morality? Does he want power? Everybody wants something in this show and to have no idea what that something is makes him the most dangerous and unpredictable character.

The High Sparrow may have to reveal a bit more of himself as Cersei has rallied the King’s Small Council to wage war on the Sparrows in the city and reclaim their power. Not that Tommen was particularly helpful before, but now he seems like even less than a figure-head: everybody that he talks to is able to manipulate him which is no real help to anybody.

Theon returned to the Iron Islands and received a less-than-warm welcome from his sister but now that she knows that he’s not a threat it could be the beginning of a beautiful alliance.

If you were anything like me then you were hoping that Ramsay had met his match in Osha, but when is the world ever that good? In a normal episode this would have been the most captivating scene (but that happens at the very end) – the sense of danger was enormous yet it hard to work out who was going to strike first. It came down to the last second but Ramsay came out on top.

Back at Castle Black, Jon received a disgusting letter from Ramsay that spurred some action. Not only is Jon going to try and take Winterfell back, he’s going to have an army of Wildlings with him. Jon may not want the Iron Throne but with this manoeuvre, he’s placing himself in the game.

This season the episodes have been ending at Castle Black but that changed this week. Dany was at Vaes Dothrak awaiting judgement on her fate from the Khals when Jorah and Daario came to save her. Now, she could have left with her rescue party or even hoped that the Khals would let her stay but none of that was anywhere near as bad-ass as burning down the building and all the Khals with it. The Dothraki bowed down to her and once again, Dany has an army. Now she just needs to get some more ships…

What did you think of this week’s episode? Whose story are you most invested in? Let me know in the comments.

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Game of Thrones: Oathbreaker – Review

Game of Thrones: Oathbreaker (Season 6, Episode 3)

“Good. Now go fail again.”

The first two episodes of the season felt like they were setting up the show but now we are definitely in the action and it’s great. As usual, there was a lot happening so this is part-recap, part-review.

We first went to Castle Black and met the re-born Jon Snow who (understandably) had a minor panic attack. Jon’s being alive has a lot of consequences for plenty of people but the glint in Melisandre’s eye was unmissable – she wants Jon to be her new Stannis and going forwards maybe he will be. The typically grim north didn’t miss out on the chance to make a few jokes at Jon’s expense, including one about the size of his “pecker”.

From Jon we went to Sam: as much as I like Sam as a character, I had honestly forgotten about him and it took a while to remember what his story-arc was. He is travelling to the Citadel with Gilly and her child but he intends to first drop Gilly with his parents. Previously I wasn’t particularly interested in this story but now that the show is diverging from the books, it would be fantastic to actually meet Sam’s father.

Bran and the Three-Eyed Raven continued in their trips to the past – this time watching an older Eddard Stark do battle in order to gain access to a building. So far the common thread in the flashbacks is Lyanna Stark which means that this season we may unwrap some of the mystery around her and according to some fan theories that could change the entire landscape of the game of thrones.

Dany’s future is looking less and less certain: when will the girl learn that introducing herself that way does not endear people to her? She was delivered to Vaes Dothrak but whether she will stay there or be killed will be voted on by the Khals when they arrive. Now that her dragons are free I wonder if they will arrive in time to save her from whatever fate awaits her.

In Meereen, Varys was able to find out who was funding the attacks on Dany’s men and the show hilariously addressed the fact that Grey Worm and Missandei are perhaps the most boring characters in Westeros.

In King’s Landing, Maester Qyburn has commandeered the use of Varys’ “little birds” and the little power that the Lannisters had is quickly diminishing. Lady Olenna made an appearance and was just as perfect as always. Tommen tried to assert some dominance (tried is truly a key word here) and get the High Sparrow to allow his mother to see Myrcella’s grave. The High Sparrow clearly came out on top but it was amazing how easily manipulated Tommen is. There’s no way that Tommen is going to keep the throne but rather than killing him, they could probably just politely ask him to hand over the crown and he would do it.

Once again Arya was senselessly beaten by a girl who seems to enjoy it all too much but there was more this week. Finally Arya is stripping away her identity and becoming no-one. She got her eyesight back and the Hound even got a mention: is he really dead?

Ramsay continues to rule over the North and was given an unexpected gift by one of his liege lords. Rickon Stark – the last time we saw him he was a tiny kid disappearing into the forest with the Wilding, Osha – is back and that can’t be good news. He was the final Stark that was free: now he either becomes Ramsay’s ward (what kid wouldn’t want Ramsay as a mentor?) or more likely, he’s tortured until he dies.

Our final scene took us back to the Wall where Jon hanged the people that killed him. They all gave their final words but worst of all was the unfiltered anger on Olly’s face as he looked at Jon. There was a lot of hate towards Olly after he stabbed Jon in the heart at the end of last season but seeing his dead body brought home the fact that he was really just a kid. This was the funniest episode of the season so far but Olly’s death reminded us how cruel this world really is.

We learned that Jon is leaving the Night’s Watch but for what?

Will he make a play for the Iron Throne? Did you want Olly to die? Will Dany survive this season? Let me know in the comments.

Game of Thrones: Home – Review

Game of Thrones: Home (Season 6, Episode 2)

“Jaime Lannister is half an inch shy of an inch.”

If you were missing the gory violence and unexpected murder last week, then I hope that this episode satisfied you. This is Game of Thrones so there were a lot of different things going on which means that this is part recap part review.

Bran made a return this episode after his absence last season and we saw how his training with the Three-Eyed Raven was progressing. I’m sure that the Bran story-line is going to go somewhere amazing eventually but right now it’s boring – just as it was boring in Season 4. The best part of this story was discovering that Hodor’s name is actually Willis and as a boy he was able to speak. The only way that I can see Bran’s story as something to look forward to is if we delve further into events of the past.

Then, in the shortest battle in the history of the Night’s Watch, the Wildlings took Castle Black. Whilst it was short, this was an epic scene – they knocked down the gate, they brought a giant, and the fact that the Night’s Watch gave up immediately after one of their rank was killed (why did he shoot the giant?) was a funnier and more realistic response than if they had decided to fight.

We visited King’s Landing where Cersei has a new bodyguard in the form of a seemingly mute but just as terrifying Gregor Clegane (The Mountain). Jaime tried to threaten the High Sparrow but it became abundantly clear that killing the High Sparrow would lead to his death. Their conversation was interesting – last season we learned that the High Sparrow had effectively taken control of King’s Landing but now we see him revelling in that: what is it that he wants? Also, it’s official: I support Cersei this season. I just feel sorry for her and I guess I’d rather the evil that I know than that I don’t.

In Meereen we had more delightfully funny conversations between Tyrion and Varys with Grey Worm and Missandei making a very stiff return to events. Tyrion freed the dragons and they didn’t kill him which is a victory on his part. Now the dragons are free, will they find Dany? I would love to see the Dothraki hoard react to a couple of dragons landing in their camp.

This week Arya was attacked on the street again and then Jaqen H’ghar led her away. As much as I love Arya, this felt very much like the same thing that we saw last week. In fact, they could have used this scene in last week’s episode and then something could actually have happened this time around.

Then we went north again and paid a visit to the Boltons who provided the first real moment of shock in the episode as Ramsay killed his father. I knew that Ramsay wasn’t happy with the birth of his new brother and I had assumed that he would kill the baby (which he did do a little bit later) but the dagger in his father’s side was unexpected and brilliant. Ramsay isn’t mad, but he is an unseen level of cruel – perhaps surpassing Joffrey – so wherever his story takes us this season, I expect high stakes.

We briefly looked upon Brienne, Theon, Sansa and Podrick who plan to head north to seek sanctuary with Jon at Castle Black.

We saw the Iron Islands again – a nation long since forgotten but who want to get back into the running for the Iron Throne. The King (Theon’s father) was killed by his brother and now there is the question of succession. Yara sees it as her right but as a woman, that isn’t exactly a popular point of view. I would love for this to turn into a political espionage story-arc but I think there may be a lot more outright murder.

Finally, after spending too much time staring at Jon’s inert body it happened. Jon Snow is alive and well! Possibly… I mean, he opened his eyes so at the very least, he’s alive. Despite her doubts, Melisandre was able to revive Jon with what looked like a spa treatment.

I think this marks the point in the season that we have finished with any exposition and from next week we should be in the thick of it.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Did you know that they would bring Jon back? What was your favourite story? Let me know in the comments.

Game of Thrones: The Red Woman – Review

Game of Thrones: The Red Woman (Season 6, Episode 1)

“Jon was my friend. And those fuckers butchered him. Now we return the favour.”

It’s baaaaaaack. Where do I even begin with this episode? The first episode of the new season re-introduced us to what was happening in and around Westeros and there were about seven different stories in play so let’s go chronologically.

Jury’s out: Jon Snow is dead (at least, for now). Ser Alliser has taken over the Night’s Watch with only Davos and a few members of the Watch standing against him although it looks as though the tiny resistance may be trying to enlist the help of the Wildlings. This was probably the most boring story of the episode but that’s just because it was a great episode. With this divide at Castle Black the season is shaping up so that there may be another battle of epic proportions in the North. Especially if Jon is resurrected. Please bring back Jon Snow. Please.

Moving a bit further south, we saw Ramsay in the wake of his battle against Stannis’ army as he mourned the death of his partner in torture, Myranda. The word ‘mourned’ makes it seem as though Ramsay is a remotely sympathetic character so I feel like it’s important to note that he was happy to feed her dead body to the dogs. First Jon, then Myranda: there was a lot of looking over dead bodies this episode.

Then we saw Sansa and Theon fleeing from Ramsay’s men. From this episode it looks as though this season we’re going to be seeing Theon rather than Reek which should be interesting as far as the development of his relationship with Sansa goes (he destroyed her home). They were rescued by Brienne and Podrick which led to a very emotional exchange in which Sansa accepted Brienne’s help. We saw how incredibly broken and removed Sansa was from her past life as a noble which was heart-breaking. People talk a lot about Sansa’s development but we really saw the cost at which that came.

Jaime returned to King’s Landing with the body of his dead daughter which triggered the strangest feeling within me. I pitied Cersei? After the Shame Walk last season, I opened my heart up a bit to Cersei and I couldn’t help but feel her pain this time around. Perhaps this season will mean a redemption arc for both Theon and Cersei.

In Dorne the Sand Snakes killed the men and basically took the nation for themselves. I have no idea where that’s going but I’m a fan of them all the same.

Tyrion and Varys walked around a derelict Meereen and had large-scale discussions as Varys does in all of his scenes. The situation seems fraught to say the least and we did not get to see Grey Worm or Missandei but the overwhelming feeling was that Meereen is currently a power vacuum. Who is going to rise up and take it? The owners? The slaves? Tyrion?

Daario Naharis and Jorah went in search of Dany only to discover that she had been taken by Dothraki (I could have told you that, guys) but we did get a reminder that Jorah was slowly being infected by greyscale from the Stone Men. How many more episodes do you think it will be before he goes rabid and attacks Daario?

Who knew that the Dothraki would be the funniest part of the show? I certainly wouldn’t have guessed it but here we are. Dany was delivered to a Khal and managed to save herself from another marriage but after revealing herself to be the widow of Khal Drogo it looks like she will be making a one-way trip to Vaes Dothrak (essentially a Dothraki retirement village of ex-Khaleesis).

Finally, we returned to Castle Black and whilst Davos stalled for time, we saw Melisandre… I have no idea what Melisandre was doing. She was naked and young, then she was naked and old. She looked sad? For an episode called The Red Woman, the Red Woman storyline was surprisingly unclear.

Overall, I think that this was a great start to the new season and I can’t wait for more – obviously, you can come back here every Monday to hear what I thought about the new episode but until then:

What did you think of Game of Thrones? What was your favourite story-line? Who do you think will die next? Let me know in the comments.

It’s Not All Death & Dicks: Game Of Thrones Funniest Moments

Game of Thrones returns in less than a week and sure, it’s known for its brutal murders, graphic sex scenes and just the general uncertainty of whether or not a character is going to make it the end of a scene or not. I love all of those things about the show but when I’m not flinching away from the image of a man having his skull shattered (I will never be over it), I’m usually laughing. Here are five of the funniest scenes that the show has had over the last five seasons.

Arya Loses It.

Before this point in Season 4, Episode 8 of the show, Arya had been through about as much as a kid could, yet seeing her burst into complete hysterics at the news that her last living relative was dead was hilarious. The Hound’s face makes it even better, right?

Joffrey Gets Bitch-Slapped.

Two episodes into the show it was clear that Joffrey was the worst of humanity so this scene was perfection. Tyrion doesn’t slap his nephew once, not twice – he slaps Joffrey three times and it gets better each time.

Edmure’s Arrow Flop.

Funerals can’t be funny, right? Wrong. Apparently all funny things come in threes because just like Joffrey’s three slaps, Edmure Tully misses three shots before his uncle finally takes the bow away from him.

Lady Olenna. Enough Said.

Lady Olenna is a gift to the world: every scene that she stars in is instantly funny and she delivers the best lines in an episode. Honestly, it was too difficult to choose a single moment so let’s just enjoy some highlights.

Tyrion’s Eyrie Confessions.

The first two minutes of this video are possibly the best two minutes in Game of Thrones. Tyrion stands trial at the Eyrie for crimes that he didn’t commit but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t take this opportunity to confess any other crimes that he may have committed.

What Game of Thrones moment never fails to make you laugh? Are there any moments that I missed that you love? Let me know in the comments.

Incest Is Increasingly Popular??

Season 1 of Shadowhunters ended last week and one of the biggest shocks to come out of the season (if you haven’t read the books) was the fact that the two main characters (who had spent the entire 13 episodes having intense eye-sex or just plain making out) were actually brother and sister.

For some reason, incest is seen by a lot of writers as the pinnacle of shocking plot devices. Personally, I associate it with soap opera – and there is no shortage of it in soap operas – but that isn’t where it ends.

Game of Thrones’ Jaime and Cersei Lannister are perhaps the “closest” siblings (wink wink, nudge nudge) on television and indeed, when the series first started in Season 1, that was pretty much all that anybody could talk about. Of course, the show then went ahead and killed off Ned Stark, Robb Stark, a lot of Starks… there was rape, and dragons and suddenly incest wasn’t as big a deal as anybody had once thought.

Even in film: Back to the Future, Cruel Intentions – incest is in! That’s where my problem lies. I have no issues with watching some siblings make kissy-eyes at each other but when those pesky writers make the story so compelling that I’m rooting for it, I start to feel a little bit strange.

Fortunately, Shadowhunters is so badly written that I have no problem in not believing that particular relationship and even if Jaime and Cersei weren’t siblings, that relationship goes beyond damaged – hours upon of hours of therapy are needed – but then there are films like Clueless. 

Watching Clueless as a child, Josh and Cher’s relationship was adorable and “of course they should have been together”. Re-watching, I just, I suddenly realised – they’re brother and sister. But not by blood… says the little voice in my head rooting for true love. It doesn’t make it better and suddenly I’m that person stuck defending the tabbo I-word.

I could debate why there’s a stigma around incest: is it really wrong or is that just Western society’s perception? Can you control who you fall in love with and does it simply make more sense that you’d fall for someone that you’ve known your entire life? I could talk about all of that but this isn’t that kind of site and ultimately, I think it’s kind of icky.

So, to all of the screen-writers out there: please, please, stop writing incest story-arcs. Actually, just stop writing good incest story-arcs that make me feel like trash.

How do you feel about the incest trope? Do you personally have a favourite sibling-couple (you can comment anonymously)? Let me know in the comments.

What’s New? || Geek News

Obviously the MTV Movie Awards happened and with them, we got a wealth of new clips and trailers that I can’t wait to talk about but there’s so much, that I’ll be posting an MTV Movie Awards-specific breakdown later. Now, the other news…

Tessa Thompson Cast In Thor: Ragnarok

Last week’s fears have been proven to be incorrect: Marvel have not entirely run out of actors. In fact, they’ve just added Tessa Thompson to Thor: Ragnarok. If you don’t know Thompson, then why did you not watch Creed? (she also has a ton of other great films).

The Jungle Book 2 Is Already In Motion

The first film isn’t out yet but Disney are already setting plans in motion for a sequel to (what I’m sure will be wildly popular) The Jungle Book. Better still, they’re keeping the creative team together for this potential sequel – Jon Favreau as director and Justin Marks as writer.

New Game of Thrones Trailer

As if we weren’t already incredibly psyched for this new season, HBO only went and dropped another trailer for Season 6 of Game of Thrones. I probably don’t even need to say it but it’s gorgeous: intense and potentially terrifying but gorgeous. The show had its LA premiere this week and everybody was asked whether Jon Snow was alive. In a shocking turn of events, we still know nothing.

Warner Bros. Adds Two New DC Movies

Despite Batman v Superman not making as much money as the studio had expected, Warner Bros. are charging ahead with their DC slate. They have announced two unnamed DC movies with releases on October 5, 2018 & November 1, 2019. Could one of these movies be Ben Affleck’s solo Batman script?

That’s it today but keep looking out for that MTV Movie Awards piece later. Until then:

Do you want to see more Ben Affleck Batman? Are you excited to see The Jungle Book? Let me know in the comments.