Game Of Thrones Winner: “The Iron Throne”

And now our watch is ended. Winter has come and gone, and we have some winners. Well, today, we’ll talk about the winner of the final episode. Tomorrow we’ll get into what this all means in the grand scheme of a decade, a show, a lot of nerding out and well, it’s time to go home now.

So, who’s our last winner:

I think we have to give it to the one, the only, the fabulous:

Queen In The North Herself, Sansa Stark, long may she reign.

The Queen In The North

Sansa kept her people safe and free, and was crowned. She got to nope out of King’s Landing and do her thing.

I love Sansa. (I don’t know if y’all have been paying attention.) I’m very glad she got her happy Elsa ending and her cool crown and her badass wolf throne.

Runner up is Ghost, who is the goodest boy and deserves all of the snuggles and treats he wants. WHO’S A GOOD BOY?

Drogon is also a good boy. We’ll get to it.

Sansa’s Agency Watch

She’s the Queen In The North BITCHES. She should be Queen of Westeros but ya know…stories? I guess?

Arya Badass Watch

Arya is off to discover America. I bet in this world, America-equivalent has like Gryphons or something.

YOU SUNK ALL MY SHIPS

I wanted the tragic lovers ending for Dany and Jon. And Jaime and Missandei were already dead, so I appreciated that Brienne and Grey Worm ended their stories honoring their fallen lovers. But like, they all died. All of ’em.

Bran Stark’s Excellent Adventure

King Bran The Broken. (Terrible name Tyrion, I mean really.) I understand the trajectory and hey! Tyrion and Samm invented democracy, (of the Greek variety, where the oligarchy pick the leaders, but it’s better than hereditary monarchy.) And to quote Mary, “well, they picked a white guy but at least he’s disabled.”

#NotAStark #NotABastard

Whatever, man. Jon’s back at the wall, and he pet Ghost who is a good boy. A very good boy.

Who’s a good boy?

Good Boy

The Dragon Has Three Heads

There’s a whole lotta nothing going on there. But I might come back around to something about the three remaining Starks being the heads of the dragon, but I think it’s more that Benioff and Weiss aren’t particularly interested in the prophecies, so that’s why we also never really followed up on Jon being The Prince That Was Promised. (It’s definitely Jon though.)

We did get Dany’s ending though, and tragic, as she died in Jon’s arms. (CALLED IT!) And then Drogon. Drogon melting the Iron Throne was a good piece of spectacle. But I found the most stirring part of the whole situation (for me) was Drogon nudging Dany’s body was lovely.

You guys, thanks for going on this journey with me. This started as a goof and became something that I really looked forward to each year as the show came back. I’m not going to make promises about the spin offs…if they ever happen.

So what now? I mean, immediately? I’m rewatching Star Wars. All of it. All 10 movies, all 3 cartoon shows. So that’s what Monday will be until December. So just wait until next week…when I’ll talk about The Phantom Menace. Am I super psyched to watch The Phantom Menace again? I am not. But I will do it for you, dear readers, and also for my own brain weirdness.

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Game Of Thrones Winner: “The Bells”

I spent a lot of this episode going, “YOU MOTHER FUCKERS DID NOT!”

And then sighing.

Because the mother fuckers, indeed did.

Anyway, who’s our winner?

Sandor Clegane, because he helps Arya keep her humanity, and her life, by facing down his brother. He kills his brother which is nice. As you know in these final few seasons, when someone meets a goal, they get the win. Even if they die doing it.

game-of-thrones-hound-1557418129.jpg

So, good for you, Sandor Clegane, The Hound. You’re the winner this week. Also RIP. (Further RIPs, below.)

Runner Up Is Arya, you ride that horse right home to Winterfell and your man and your sister, girl, you do it NOW.

Arya And Gendry Watch

No Gendry. From a ship perspective this might be the worst episode of the whole series. Jaime and Cersei die together. (BOOOO) Missandei is dead and Grey Worm does not get nearly enough screen time to mourn the woman he loved properly. Jon and Dany had the most awkward breakup ever.

Sansa’s Agency Watch

No Sansa, but the legacy of her being kind of a big mouth is a big driver of this episode.

NO YOU MOTHER FUCKERS DID NOT

Varys’s death is a really fuck you moment for me. Honestly, last week was a big turning point for my relationship with this show, which I have loved so much over the past few years. It’s looking like this is not going to pay off and I’m bummed about it. Varys rules and that was a shitty death for a character that rules so hard.

RIP Varys, also RIP Jaime and Cersei and the Clegane brothers and like half the population of King’s Landing.

Next week is the last episode. I’m kind of, you know, whatever. It’s fine. This will be over soon.

Game Of Thrones Winner: “A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms”

Did, did I win this episode, you guys? Because it was pretty much everything I wanted it to be.

But, no, I didn’t win. There’s a clear winner here, y’all.

Rise, Ser Brienne of Tarth, Knight of The Seven Kingdoms.

JAIME KNIGHTED BRIENNE. And he did it after a knight of drinking and storytelling with Tyrion, Davos, Tormund and Podrick.

It was fucking beautiful and I was crying my eyes out. Also on the Brienne and Jaime front, he was only not executed by Dany and Sansa because Brienne spoke up for him, and Jaime noted that he had every intention of following her into death.

Yeah. You guys. That’s how you do it.

Sansa gets runner up, for reasons I will further outline below, but seriously, I also love her.

Arya And Gendry Watch

Welp, it happened. Arya Stark marched her cute little butt into that smithy, and told that hotty royal bastard boy she’d always had a crush on that she wanted to lose her virginity before being killed by ice zombies and sex was had, sass was shared and true love won! (In notes on this previous feature, Grey Worm and Missandei made plans to return to the summer isles after the war is won, because Westeros is hella racist.) (They’re going to die, and I’m not going to be able to handle it, especially since this weekend Captain America is also probably going to die, and you know what, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.)

Sansa’s Agency Watch

Quick reminder that the only reason anyone is still alive is because the northerners really really like Sansa. Theon came back to pledge for her, and Dany and she made peace (though we’ll get back to that whole mess in a hot sec) and she forgave Jaime because Brienne is a good judge of character, and everyone just went along with it.

Sansa rules.

Arya Badass Watch

I love her. I love her so much. I love her shooting arrows and straight up telling Gendry she wants to have sex. I love her demanding he build her weapon before anyone else’s, and that he tell her about the Night King and the White Walkers. She’s great.

Bran Stark’s Excellent Adventure

Kiss today goodbye
And point me toward tomorrow
We did what we had to do
Won’t forget, Can’t regret what I did for love…

(Bran’s entire storyline would be more compelling if he were singing showtunes the whole time.) (Also, he forgives Jaime, I guess, or whatever. And he realizes that he’s who the Night King is after.) (Whatever.)

#NotAStark #NotABastard

Dany was having come to Jesus moments with the Winterfell kids all over the place. Jon’s being very awkward, now that he knows she’s his aunt and also that his claim to the throne is better than hers, and he tells her. While standing in front of Lyanna’s tomb, right before the horns blow and the dead descend on Winterfell.

It’s a really good ending.

Sam Is A Ravenclaw

In the most Ravenclaw move ever, Sam hands Heartsbane over to Jorah, a Gryffindor if ever there was one on this show, (Besides Jon and Robb.) and brags about his book stealing.

In Westeros, We Don’t Shake Hands, In Westeros We Hug

So, it appears this season is going to be largely about heartwarming reuinions and hugs. This week, Jon and Sam hugged Edd, and Tormund. Sansa hugged Theon and Dany, I think. Brienne was definitely mentally hugging Jaime, and probably other things.

On A Scale Of Aragorn’s Speech Before The Gates Of Mordor To Sansa Being Raped While Theon Watches How LOTR Was This Episode?

It was somewhere in between the scene in the extended edition where Faramir sees Eowyn for the first time and Jon drawing his sword as the Bolton army charges at him.

Next week, well, it’s what it is right? It’s the battle. Things are about to turn. But it shouldn’t be lost on anyone that the seventh book that we’re likely never going to get to read, is entitled, “A Dream Of Spring.” Maybe it’s just the Easter feels, but I think even if “The Battle Of Winterfell,” is a loss, Westeros and mankind will make it to the Dawn and Thaw.

Game Of Thrones Winner: “Winterfell”

Hi everyone! Welcome back to Westeros. Welcome to Palace intrigue and incest you root for, and so much dragons and fur capes you guys.

This is our last few week crowning winners. Let’s savor it.

Anyway, I think it’s clear:

JON SNOW, or, should I say, Aegon Targaryen. You won.

Jon-Snow-1

Soo broody and handsome.

Jon rode Rhaegal! He made out with Danerys at a waterfall! He learned that he’s not who he believes he is and is actually Aegon Targaryen the rightful king of Westeros.

So…you know, yay?

Runner up is Euron. I’m very happy for him that he got to have sex with Cersei. I think that’s nice for him. Absurd Evil Pirate Wizard Kings need love too, you guys.

Missandei And Grey Worm Watch Renamed Arya And Gendry Watch

Now that our two favorite freed slaves have what I assume is a happy and stable relationship, based mostly around cunnilingus and snuggling, we need to move on to the CUTEST COUPLE OF MISFITS IN THE NORTH. I’m talking about Gendry Storm and Arya Stark. The flirting! The weapons! The Hound rolling his eyes.

I’ve been rolling with some “Gendry gets the throne,” theorizing, and you know, I could see it. Queen Arya would be fun too.

Sansa’s Agency Watch

You know that scene in an early episode of New Girl where Jess describes a coworker who told her she “rocked a lot of polka dots,” and Cece is outraged on Jess’s behalf and the guys don’t get it at all?

Sansa was the coworker and Danerys was Jess. HOLY CRAP, my girl was rocking the side eye and the passive agressive comments. Just all of it! Plus she reunited with her less dysfunctional husband. (To be fair, Sansa has had terrible, terrible luck in the marriage department.) I’m kinda rooting for her and Tyrion though. I think new sassy, takes no shit Sansa, and new tired, I believe in Danerys Targaryen Tyrion could do well together.

Arya Badass Watch

Not much straight up badassery on display, but we’ve really seen her growth. She lets Jon know she sees his point, without tearing down Sansa, she flirts with Gendry, she stares The Hound down. She’s sneaking up on people and scaring them right and left. It’s all GOLD. Maisie Williams has really grown into a remarkable actor.

Bran Stark’s Excellent Adventure

Bran didn’t time travel this week, but he did make Sam do his dirty work, and came face to face with the man who pushed him out of a window. We’ll see how that plays out next week, but guys, much like Sansa, and I think Sam a little bit, I’m wayyy over Bran’s whole, “I am the Three Eyed Raven, I have no feelings. Beep Boop,” schtick, so I hope it ends with him just grabbing a sword and swinging. (But I don’t want Jaime to die…yet…)

#NotAStark #NotABastard

So he knows now. Also he knows he’s been sticking it to his aunt. And he’s kind of pissy about all of it. Not that I blame him, it’s a lot to deal with.

Sam Is A Ravenclaw

SAM. STOLE. BOOKS. FROM. THE CITADEL. He stole books. He’s such a nerd, and it’s so awesome.

How Long Until Jaime Snaps?

Well, he’s in Winterfell and is going to be called to task on many, many of his past crimes. I could see Brienne standing up for him. I hope she does.

The Dragon Has Three Heads

JON RODE A DRAGON. Also, he knows now. That’s pretty important.

Other People Did Things

Yara gave Theon permission to go to Winterfell while she headed to the Iron Islands to get things in order in case of retreat from the North.

The Night King killed a bunch of people, arranged them in a shape, and then Beric set them on fire.

Varys called out Tyrion for his constant eunech jokes, by pointing out he hates jokes about his being a dwarf. Also Davos, did his whole, “I’m just saying what everyone’s thinking,” thing in regards to Dany and Jon. Because yeah…

Cersei was hoping the Golden Company would bring their elephants, but they didn’t and she’s kind of put out about it. I agree with her, because elephants in battle look really cool.

So, that’s where we’re at, so far. I was impressed by the episode. I’m worried about Jon. I love that Arya is home and uncreepy.

You Win Or You Die: Game Of Thrones: Seasons 6 & 7

There’s a moment in Act II of the brilliant musical Follies where the character of Buddy pokes his head out and exclaims, “Alright folks! We’re into the Follies now.” This moment is when Follies leaves behind any resemblance to a traditional book musical and becomes a series of sketches until it’s finale.

I think about this moment a lot when it comes to television, particularly long running TV, where shows evolve and become something different as they go along. Some people call this moment, “Jumping the shark,” but I’ve started thinking of it as “we’re into the follies.” For better or ill, shows push into the follies, and season 6 is when Game Of Thrones did it.

They had to let it happen, they had to change. (Another musical reference…sorry not sorry.) There were no more books to adapt, they had an outline and an ending but no more roadmap to go by. So they made it up, and while it feels a bit rushed and sketchy from time to time, I think they did an admirable job with making it up.

We get Daenerys out of Essos and to Westeros, Jon is The King In The North, the surviving Starks reunite and hold Winterfell, despite tensions between them.

But mainly, there’s “The Battle Of The Bastards,” watching this episode again was like breathing in air. Like “Blackwater,” I love this episode of TV so much, it takes my breath away. The technical aspects are stunning. Jon is at his most stupidly heroic. Sansa begins her journey towards being 1000% done with people who question her. The Deus Ex Machina of The Knights Of The Vale running in is heart churning.

There are moments of greatness in Season 7 too, the unleashing of the dragons in battle is incredible spectacle. But as much as I love the slide into home that we’re getting, it’s not as breathtakingly wonderful as those early seasons. The trick of the Follies is that you aren’t thinking about things, you don’t see the strings, just the flying.

Seasons 6 and 7 of Game of Thrones is magnificent as Folly, even if it’s not the great pop art that the first four seasons were. (My hatred of season 5 keeps it from entering into the conversation as either. It’s just so terrible.) Maybe season 8 will stick the landing in a way that redeems the quickness of the denoument, but that remains to be seen.

You guys, on Monday, we crown the first winner of the final season. I’m nervous and thrilled at the same time. I’m ready to go back to Westeros…winter is here. Let’s do it.

You Win Or You Die: Game Of Thrones Seasons 1-4

I rewatched the first four seasons of Game Of Thrones this past week. I’d told myself I wasn’t going to but then I started reading “get caught up articles,” and decided that I’d just watch again, because I have a problem, and also I’m out of Marvel movies, so you know what? Fine.

I hadn’t wanted to rewatch because it felt a little like a chore and I’m trying not to do that sort of thing anymore. And it’s not as though I haven’t given Game Of Thrones it’s due on this blog.

I’ve given hours upon hours and post after post of attention to Game Of Thrones. Once when I was late with getting a write up done because I was away on a Sunday night, a friend texted me and said, “Hey, I’m sure you’re busy but I really need to know who won last night!” I’ve had friends stop talking to me entirely during the season because I’m so bad at keeping in my excitement about upcoming plot points. (Hi Greg! Hope you’re having fun on your honeymoon!)

I’ve read the books twice and listened to their audio versions once. I’ve seen each episode of the TV show more times than is normal. (I’m still on the low end for nerds, but for normies, I’m basically a walking encyclopedia) I’ve dressed up as Maergary Tyrell and Sansa Stark and am currently considering investing in Daenerys Targaryen.

love Game Of Thrones. 

But last year, we all took a break. And I realized, this weekend, that rewatching to get back into the headspace of Westeros after nearly a year off, that I actually really needed the revisit, if I didn’t want to spend the seven upcoming Sunday evenings scouring my old writing for details, because there was some shit that I forgot about.

First of all, Seasons 1 & 2 of Game Of Thrones are so astoundingly well written, shot and acted, it’s really no wonder the show gained such traction. It’s really really stinking good. Season 3 is around when the seams start to crack. It’s still quite good, but it’s also probably my least favorite season, which might contribute to why I think it’s where the show changes from tightly written to a bit more sloppy. Season 4 is wonderful. It’s goofy and kind of dumb and really really into itself, but wonderful, and I love it very much.

But let’s start with season 1. The Westeros stuff is a tightly plotted mystery, tense, full of shifting alliances and bad choices and deep regrets from long ago shaping a present and future that’s completely untenable for a new generation. The Stark children and Joffrey Baratheon can’t breathe let alone thrive,they’re crushed by the weight of their parents guilt and secrets. It’s a hell of a way to start a story. Meanwhile, Danerys Targaryen is just learning that she’s a person, not a commodity or a accessory and it’s a wonder. Plus there are zombies and NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT IT.

Season 2 is equally excellent, if harsher. We’re at war now, and it’s brutal, bloody and complicated. I love Season 2, not only because it contains my all time favorite episode of television, “Blackwater.” Everything that builds to that moment, Renly and Stannis’s conflict, Arya and Tywin at Harrenhall, even Jon’s escapades north of the wall and Dany’s adventures in Quarth, makes the tension of the episode better. “Blackwater” is a perfect episode of TV, and everytime I watch it, I’m reminded of why.

I really don’t like season 3. I mean, I like it fine. It’s still got some good stuff, mostly the Jon and Dany action. But Robb’s storyline is all wrapped up in Talisa, which is a bad bad storyline, we get the Theon being tortured by Ramsey stuff, which is important but dull and repetetive, Sansa’s misery is at it’s peaks and valleys worst. (She’s doesn’t have to marry Joffrey! He’ll probably rape her anyway. She’s going to marry Loras and escape to Highgarden! She marries Tyrion instead. Tyrion’s looking out for her though! Little Finger keeps whispering in her ear to get her away.) Dany’s time in Slaver’s Bay is wonderful, fully pushing her brutal black and white sense of justice to the edge. And Jon’s storyline, working with the Wildlings and his affair with Ygritte is the best he gets over the course of the whole show.

I think there’s also some weirdness for me watching these early seasons again because my time with the show really started blooming in Season 4. That’s when I started crowning winners, really tracking the show in the kind of regular fashion that y’all have become accustomed to. Which was actually fun for me, as I started Season 4 on Monday. I smiled, as the familiarity with those episodes sunk in. The things I’ve come to love in the back half of the show, Missandei and Grey Worm, Cersei’s further unraveling, King Tommen The Adorable, #NotAStark, these things come into focus really quickly in Season 4.

Season 2 is my favorite season of the show, with 1 and 4 vying for second place. Next week I’ll talk about the final three seasons and we’ll all have some fun there. If you’re interested in my Game Of Thrones writing, there’s a shit tonne of it.  

Game of Thrones Winner: “The Dragon And The Wolf”

I hate this.

Every year, I hate this. I hate when the show ends, and this year, it’s even shorter and I don’t even have any episodes in the backlog to do winners for.

I’m gonna have to read the books again, and I’m still smack dab in the middle of The Stand, so I don’t think that’ likely to happen soon.

Anyway, who won?

The Stark Girls. Obviously.

Arya and Sansa

Because, look, these two finally learned to work together. AND THEY CUT LITTLE FINGER’S THROAT.

So he’s finally gone. And it’s at the hand of the two people who have more cause to do it than anyone else. Although, all of Westeros deserves a chance to spit on his corpse since every current non White Walker problem is pretty much all his fault.

Anyway, WAY TO GO Sansa and Arya, I think I could watch that scene of the two of them on top of Winterfell over and over again. (I’ve already watched it twice.)

Runner Up is a certain King In The North, who is also uh, you know, AEGON TARGARYEN THE TRUE HEIR TO THE IRON THRONE.

Missandei And Grey Worm Watch

They’re around and alive. Good.

JON AND DANY HAD SEX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He defied Cersei for her. AND THEN THEY HAD SEX. She reminded him that she can’t have children. He said that maybe that wasn’t the case. AND THEN THEY HAD SEX.

The point is they had sex.

OH, in other shipping news, Brienne convinced Jaime to do the right thing.

Sansa’s Agency Watch

See above.

Arya Bad Ass Watch

See above.

Bran Stark’s The Three Eyed Raven’s Excellent Adventure

Bran and Sam compared notes and learned the full truth about Jon’s identity. Rhaegar and Lyanna were in love and married, in a secret ceremony right out of the ending of Episode II. (Seriously…if you didn’t get Anakin and Padme vibes from the scene…) Jon is not a bastard, he is actually Aegan Targaryen, the heir to iron throne.

This is complicated for a lot of reasons…

#NotAStark #NotABastard

So, Jon and Theon have a long talk about Ned being a part of them, so I feel like that might come home to roost at one point.

Oh, also HE AND DANY HAD SEX! Did I mention that part? And we saw Kit Harrinton’s butt. Which is always a nice trick.

Sam is A Ravenclaw

I’ve decided because it was Sam’s book learnin that gave us our final answer.

How Long Until Jaime Snaps?

Jaime did the right thing! He’s riding north to help in the big fight. He’s leaving Cersei behind. He’s honoring his vow to Dany and to Tyrion and YESSS!!!!

The Dragon Has Three Heads

The two heads boned. Dany and Jon had sex.

The other head, rode his GODDAMN ZOMBIE ICE DRAGON to the wall, and had his ZOMBIE ICE DRAGON blow a hole in said wall. He’s marching to Winterfell.

RIP

Little Finger. FINALLY. I won’t miss him. I’ve spent this whole season wondering, “why the hell is this guy still alive?”

So What Comes Next?

I don’t know. I have a few ideas. I think I need to revist the books. I know I say that every year, but well, I mean, I know.

That there are only seven episodes left altogether is really throwing me for a loop, if I’m honest. I love this world and story and these characters so much.

Spin Off Speculation

I’m better HARD on the fall of Valeria. It’s what I want the most. I would also think that the war between the children of the forest and the first men. Or anything with Bran the builder.