Game Of Thrones: House Of The Dragon Winner: Episode 2

No need for explanations let’s dive right in. I think there’s an obvious choice tonight!

This Week’s Winner: Otto Hightower

Ser Otto Hightower, you played the winning hand.

Otto’s very creepy move of having his teenage daughter hang out with the still grieving King Viserys paid off by Alicent and Viserys getting engaged. This isn’t a good thing, but it’s definitely a win for Otto.

Do I Ship It?

Still living for Rhaenyra and Alicent, now with a sexy step mom complication!

Also, love Rhaenyra just giving her crush Ser Cristen a spot in The Kingsguard cause she can. I’m gonna go write some fic about it.

I feel like Misaria and Daemon have a rough road ahead of them, but those two crazy kids might just make it!

Dragons Are Great

Did you know that Targaryens used to have Dragon Eggs in their baby cradles? THAT’S REALLY FUCKING COOL. We learn this because Daemon claims Misaria is pregnant and he needs an egg. (She’s not, he’s just being kind of a butthead.)

When Otto threatens Daemon, Caraxes almost attacks, until Rhaenyra and Syrax show up. And I get so excited because I love dragons.

Queen Alicent Hightower Is The Prettiest

I don’t have a lot to say on this matter, I just think she’s super pretty and I think I love her more than Sansa and even Margaery.

Hey! I Know That Guy!

Did I realize Simon Pegg was going to be on this show? Nope! Am I psyched that he is? YUP!

Opening Credits

COOL. I love the locks and sound effects.

But In The Book…

I got Fire & Blood from the library this week and I’m diving into it today. I will soon become insufferable again saying, “Well, in the books…” so I hope you’re ready for THAT!

104 New To Me Movies: Spartacus (1960)


Title: Spartacus
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick
Written By: Dalton Trumbo
Release Year: 1960
Star Rating: 3
Recommended By: Blank Check With Griffin And David, AFI Top 100 Films


I like big old epics. I love Gone With The Wind, and happily curl up to watch The 10 Commandments every year at Easter. I’ve been putting off watching Lawrence of Arabia for this project until I have suitable bandwith to really take it in.

So, while I was uh, less than thrilled with Blank Check’s Kubrick choice, I was really excited to watch Spartacus.

Oh boy, this movie is boring. It feels flat and slow, and the battles aren’t particularly interesting, and Kirk Douglas is super wooden (after last week and his really great performance in Paths Of Glory I was especially disappointed.)

This movie isn’t lavish enough to fit into it’s genre and it’s not interesting enough to be as stripped down as it is. It’s competent and not much more.

Part of it, I think, is that Kubrick’s super technical approach is just a bad fit for an epic. There needs to be romance, and feeling, over logic and structure. That wasn’t his jam.

But ugh, this was a let down.

Fangirl Loves Star Wars: The Princess And The Scoundrel By Beth Revis

We’re throwing back all over the place this week here at The Fangirl’s Dilemma! Game Of Thrones winners, and a Star Wars release so momentous, it was worth bringing back a review.

The Princess And The Scoundrel is a newly released Star Wars novel by Beth Revis, it tells the story of Han and Leia’s quick engagement and wedding after the events of Return Of The Jedi and then their kind of chaotic honeymoon aboard The Halcyon, (AKA the ship you are on in The Star Wars hotel in Disney World!)

There’s banter and kissing and reckoning with legacy and Han gets obsessed with a pastry, while Leia just CAN’T PUT HER PHONE AWAY AND BE ON VACATION! Han asks Luke to use the force to break up his bachelor party, which Luke refuses to do. Lando produces wine glasses as if from the air. Han has a panic attack diving into icy water because of PTSD from being frozen in carbonite.

It’s just all really really fun and right up my alley and I cried a lot while reading it. But I’ve been waiting most of my life to think about Han and Leia getting to live happily ever after. (They didn’t, but at least, happy for now!) The Princess And The Scoundrel did not disappoint.

Game Of Thrones: House Of The Dragon Winner: Episode 1

Hello Friends! In the name of The Old Gods and New, I welcome you back to Westeros and my excited and unhinged ranting about who I personally think deserves to be sitting in that big spiky chair week to week.

If you’re new around here, welcome, and please, read my previous Game Of Thrones writing, where a half baked joke about someone “winning” the show, developed into some of the most fun I’ve ever had writing, several strange fixations, and most of the people in my life texting me congratulations when Grey Worm and Missandei got together. (I miss them…I’ll always simp for unstoppable badass and sweetie pie nerd ships.)

But this is a new show! I’m sure I’ll have new faves, new pet obsessions, new patterns to pick up on.

This Week’s Winner: Rhaenyra Targaryen

After her mother dies giving birth to her baby brother, who also dies, the only child of King Viserys, first of his name, is declared his heir. Breaking the precedent set by his own ascension, of having a male heir.

The choice was made because Viserys’s younger brother Daemon is a brutal shit head who no one likes, so the king instead chooses his totally rad daughter to rule after him and entrusts her with “The Song Of Ice And Fire” prophecy about how The Prince That Was Promised has to be a Targaryen to save the world from doom that overtook Valeria.

Anyway, as the lords of Westeros kneel before Rhaenyra, I know she’s got a long road ahead, but tonight’s a win for her. (And for Milly Alcock, who I found very compelling)

Do I Ship It?

Oh, my babies, of course I’m building ships. I’ll have a fleet soon.

Alicent Hightower and Rhaenyra? I ship it!

Rhaenyra and Ser Cristen Cole of Dorne? SHIPPING IT!

More to come, I AM SURE.

Dragons Are Great

You want to know what’s the coolest thing about this show taking place 172 years before the death of The Mad King? SO MANY DRAGONS.

Rhaenyra rides her Syrax, even though her parents are nervous about it. Daemon leaves King’s Landing with his mistress, Mysaria on the great red Caraxes.

The giant fucking skull of Valerian The Great is hanging in it’s place of honor, not smashed and hidden underground by the paranoid pretender Robert Baratheon. Dragons are cool man.


Viserys tells Rhaenaera about the greatest burden of all Targaryens, that the line MUST continue in order to save the world from the great darkness, by producing The Prince That Was Promised.

Funny how for three seasons no one seemed to give a shit about that anymore, but WHATEVER! I’m glad to be thinking about The Prophecy again, and the prologue specifically highlighted Dany, not Jon…which is interesting…

Random Line That Made Me Laugh

I will not be addressing “The Prequel Problem” for the most part because I don’t believe in it. But I’m going to highlight something prequelly that made me giggle. This time, it was, “Baratheon tongues will wag, it doesn’t change anything!”

Yeah, we’ve got a few generations before that tongue wagging comes to anything!

I’m so excited to be back, y’all, talking about Westeros. I have NO IDEA if these sections will continue, but they feel as good as anywhere to start. (It’s hard to know this first time out if we’ll ever get ANYTHING as epic as Missandei and Grey Worm Watch or Robb Is A King And Kind Of Bad At It, but we might.)

104 New To Me Movies: Paths Of Glory (1957)


Title: Paths Of Glory
Release Year: 1957
Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
Written by: Stanley Kubrick, Calder Willingham, Jim Thompson, from the book by Humphrey Cobb
Recommended by: Blank Check With Griffin and David
Star Rating: 3.5


And here we head into it. The style of Stanley Kubrick that I know well, am deeply impressed by, and leaves me completely cold.

I like Paths Of Glory, a satirical look at the way the elite of the military ignore the men fighting on the ground in France during World War II. In a hope to bring about a decisive victory a group of generals fire on their own troops, and when their leader, (Kirk Douglas) catches on, he keeps as many of the men behind as he can, to save their lives.

This leads to several kangaroo court trials for cowardice on the part of the soldiers, which is glory for the French army, at great personal cost to the men.

Seriously, this movie is MEAN. And dark. And not particularly funny, but you see the seeds that have been planted and will grow into Doctor Strangelove and also, Douglas is phenomenal in this movie and you totally see why Kubrick wanted to work with him again for Spartacus. (Which we’ll watch next week!)

104 New To Me Movies: Predator (1987)


Title: Predator
Release Year: 1987
Directed By: John McTiernan
Written By: Jim Thomas, John Thomas
Recommended By: Every One is talking about Prey, as I was about to start it, I realized, I have never watched the Predator movies, so we’re gonna do that.
Star Rating: 3


A team of green berets trek through the jungle, and are methodically picked off by an alien. One survives and learns to defeat the beast, two great hunters, face off, and a movie monster legend is born.

If I’m honest, I was mostly bored by Predator, until the final set piece, which is incredible. The suspense wasn’t grabbing me, and even my eternal love of Carl Weathers was just not getting me there. Although the final fight where Arnold covers himself in mud to hide from The Predator and then The Predator is revealed in all it’s unarmored glory.

It’s possible I was asking too much of the movie, which has some cool stuff, is clearly about Vietnam, even though it’s set in Central America, but all 80s action movies are a little bit about Vietnam. I like the heat vision effects, and Schwarzanegger is stoic and great in it.

Overall, this was serviceable and took up some time on Monday night.

104 New To Me Movies: The Killing (1956)


Title: The Killing
Release Year: 1956
Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
Written by: Stanley Kubrick, Jim Thompson, based on Clean Break by Lionel White
Recommended By: Blank Check With Griffin And David
Star Rating: 4


Oh, this is my kind of movie. It’s both a noir and a heist, it’s smartly written, excitingly shot and well acted. (Is Kubrick winning me over after only 3 movies? We’ve got time, and the stuff that annoys me about him doesn’t come until later.)

A newly released ex con, comes up with a plan to rob a race track and assembles a team of other down on their luck guys to pull off the job, each with a specific piece of the picture, but nobody knowing the whole plan but him. (Sound familiar? I was amazed by how much of my favorite movie Ocean’s 11 pulls from this, even more from the movie it’s remaking!) While the job does come off, the mobster who run the track carefully pick off each team member in revenge.

I was gripped by this movie and really enjoyed watching it.

104 New To Me Movies: Xanadu (1980)


Title: Xanadu
Release Year: 1980
Directed by: Robert Greenwald
Written by: Richard Christian Danus, Marc Reid Rubel
Recommended By: RIP Olivia Newton John, a singular pop vocalist and true bright light. This movie wasn’t on my list, but it felt right to watch it.
Star Rating: 3


Xanadu is the butt of a lot of jokes. And it shouldn’t be. It’s a delightful little confection of a musical with two really incredible musical performances at it’s center. (And one black hole of anti charisma, in it’s leading man Michael Beck.)

Sonny is an artist who is frustrated with his corporate job and lack of inspiration, one day, his frustration awakens the muses of Greek Myth, and one, who goes by Kira, (A LUMINOUS Olivia Newton-John) stumbles upon him and reignites his passion. He’s nudged towards one of Kira’s former cases, the aging band leader Danny (Gene Kelly, WONDERFUL in this role, I was blown away) and they decided to open a nightclub together.

After that it’s a lose connection of song and dance numbers, disco songs, and love conquering all. Truly a delight. I was really really blown away by Kelly’s performance, though. He’s in full pathos and charm mode. And he could still really move too, watching him dance with Newton-John in several numbers is a real gift.

104 New To Me Movies: Killer’s Kiss (1955)


Title: Killer’s Kiss
Release Year: 1955
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick
Written by: Howard Sackler
Recommended by: Blank Check With Griffin And David
Star Rating: 3


This is a quick and dirty little noir, about a boxer and a dancehall hostess who get in over their heads when she’s a witness to some mob action. She also has some kind of dark past involving her ballerina sister, I didn’t quite track that, but this was a pretty fun watch.

Unlike Fear And Desire I don’t see a lot of Kubrick’s future in this one, it’s much more by the numbers, a lot less thoughtful, but it’s also a good deal more fun.

This is really straightforward and once again short. (67 minutes but I watched on Pluto, so it wound up being like 80 with commercials) Mostly I’m psyched because I’m now caught up! We’ll be back to 2 a week for the foreseable future, which I am really excited about.

104 New To Me Movies: Fear And Desire  (1953)


Title: Fear And Desire
Release Year: 1953
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick
Written by: Howard Sackler
Recommended By: Blank Check With Griffin And David (They’re starting Kubrick, time for some blind spot filling and movies that I know are technically great but I don’t actually like very much! WOO HOO) (This was their March Madness winner. I was pulling for Mel Brooks)
Star Rating: 2.5


This is an oversized Twilight Zone episode and I was very bored. But it’s about how war turns men into animals and human alienation so you know, Stanley was on his bullshit from the beginning I guess.

Whatever, I didn’t care for it, I found it dull, but it’s short! Only just over an hour long! And it was available on Kanopy, a service I am always happy to use and support because libraries are great.

Every character here is a symbol, not a person, which is not a conceit I find particularly good in film. (In literature, I find often find it great!) Anyway, four soldiers are stranded in the woods, they become overly paranoid, one of them almost rapes a young girl who is unfortunate enough to stumble on them, but then kills her. They find a dog and they all die.

I just didn’t care for this. There’s not a lot more to day about it.