The unifying idea that ran under all the stories in “The Spoils of War” was the return of magic – including both literal magic, like voodoo and dragons, and the magic of the story, as scattered plot threads are stitched back together like Beric Dondarrion’s flesh and bone.
This year, I’ve been watching Outlander alongside Game of Thrones. The STARZ show is based on Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, which is 90% historical fiction and 10% fantasy. It’s a tightly-focused character drama centering on Claire Randall, who is transported back in time to the Jacobite uprising centered around Bonnie Prince Charlie.
The advantage to Outlander is how focused it is. There are two main characters, Jamie and Claire. And that’s it. Oh sure, sometimes the show does scenes from other POVs, but it’s still just one story, as opposed to the six or seven in Game of Thrones. So for all you people hungering for in-depth politicking, drawn-out tension, and breathing room in general, go watch Outlander. The latest episode, “Prestonpans,” is a great example of the kind of battle episode that really works on TV.
Anyway, let’s talk about Game of Thrones.
I was lucky enough to get to watch “Blood of My Blood” at the Balticon 50 screening of the episode. I don’t know that I’ve ever watched a GOT episode with that many fellow nerds in the same room, and it was truly wonderful to join with the applause, boos, and gasps. There’ll be a full Balticon 50 post on Wednesday, so stay tuned to this channel!
After the vortex of Establishing in the first two episodes, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Episode 3. Overall? Felt pretty good, coming out of this one. There were definitely weaker points, but I also want to highlight some of the stuff that I thought worked ultragoodlywell. (Strap in, folks, this might be a long one).
Alright, my spoiler-blocking paragraph is done…spoilers follow below the fold.
At long last, the wait is over. 47 days before Season 6, HBO has dropped the real, genuine, no-foolin trailer for Game of Thrones Season 6:
HBO has released 20 new photos from Game of Thrones Season 6, probably because everyone and they mamas is assuming there’ll be a trailer released on Sunday. Here’s my take on the 20 photos, grouped by type. SPOILERS ABOUND! I’ll be discussing some light rumors about Season 6, so if you’re trying to stay Unsullied, click somewhere else on your computer screen!
POST EDIT – scroll to the bottom for an update with the extra pictures from the GOT Facebook!
To Hot Link Sunday. A new weekly feature where both Michael and Mikell contribute what they believe are the best things to read from the previous week! So dive on into these fresh hot links and let us know what you think!
Michael’s ASOIAF Highlights of the Week:
Hey all! I’m a mod on the /r/asoiaf subreddit, so I see a lot of good stuff come through the new queue. Here’s the highlights from the past week (and beyond. Since this is the first edition, I’m including some stuff that really should be in the highlights reel on merit alone).
First off…I’d be remiss to leave out the Best of 2015 awards for /r/asoiaf! The subreddit voted on 10 different categories with a look back at all of 2015. There’s some great stuff in there, whether it’s JoeMagician’s “A Cold Death in the Snow” theory or the insufferably memetic “Dany + Drogo = Tyrion” theory (seriously).
Sticking with reddit, on Jan 25 user jdylopa posted an insightful look into Arya’s story arc entitled “When people call Arya ‘No One,’ they miss the point of her arc.” I gotta say, I agree with jdylopa – Arya hasn’t lost her Stark-ness. Far from it.
Next up on reddit, we have a summary post from YezenIRL explaining his massive blog post series “The Weirwood Leviathan.” There are ASOIAF fans and there are ASOIAF fans, and YezenIRL is the latter. Is the writeup nutty in places? Absolutely. Does it make occasional, chilling sense? You betcha.
Moving beyond reddit, let’s also move beyond the limit of 1 week to give a shout-out to BryndenBFish’s Complete Notablog ASOIAF Resource. Here’s what this lunatic did – he went through the entire history of GRRM’s blog and compiled every comment and post that pertained to ASOIAF. Then he sorted them. It’s immensely useful and took immense effort, so check it out!
For those looking to re-read ASOIAF, look no further than the new “A FEAST WITH DRAGONS” combined reading order for Book 4 and 5. There are some great combined orders that already exist (see All Leather Must be Boiled), but this one’s got some great new tweaks and was made by a team of hardworking nerds in the internet factory!
Finally, everyone should go check out tumblr user PoorQuentyn’s “A Defense of Tyrion’s ADWD Storyline,” which just wrapped up this week but has been going for months. It’s a wonderfully-written, incisive, and altogether critical analysis of what’s going on in Tyrion’s chapters in book 5.
AND COMING NEXT WEEK…
VK will begin his contribution to the Hot Link Sunday Feature. He’s been hard at work at his other two jobs so that has kept him away from the site recently but don’t you fret his return is on the horizon!! His focus will mainly go into technology and gaming news, along with any opinion pieces he sees.