Tag Archives: Game of Thrones

My Thoughts on: The Iron Throne (GoT S8 E6)

*warning, some spoilers are going to be mentioned here, it’s the series finale so it’s kind of unavoidable. I suggest not reading until you’ve seen the final episode.*

Oh wow.

Oh wow, wow, wow.

Of ALL the ways I imagined Game of Thrones coming to an end, I never imagined it ending quite like that. None of my theories even considered the possibility of the twists that we saw last night. Now on the one hand, that kind of makes me want to feel mad, since I could’ve sworn the show was indicating an entirely different ending. But on the other hand, the more I think about it, the more some of the twists make sense.

First of all, I don’t think anybody genuinely thought this character would be king at the end of the episode. I know when this character was chosen, my jaw smacked the floor. It made no sense, and really, despite some excellent arguing for why this character should be king, it’s the part of the episode that bugs me the most. I am convinced that this is NOT the character that will rule Westeros (most of it anyway, more on that in a minute) at the end of the books (assuming we ever see the end of the books). I do like how the system of monarchy is going to be changed…assuming it sticks anyway.

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Now I have to talk about Sansa, whose arc has been very hard for me to watch at times in the past few years. Of all the character arc endings on this show, I think I like Sansa’s the most because it makes the most sense. She’s completed her evolution from the perfect pawn to a master player in the game of thrones herself (Littlefinger would be so proud). She finally has real power, with no foreign queens to worry about, and no male claimants to take it away from her. I’m really happy for Sansa. I like Arya’s ending too, not quite as much as Sansa’s, since I was half-hoping that Arya would be with Gendry, but I understand why she can’t stay in Westeros. She’s seen too much of the world to go back to her home in the North. And even though we know Arya and Sansa love each other, if those two spend any length of time together, they’ll be bickering again in no time.

Okay, now I need to talk about the ending for Jon Snow, aka Aegon Targaryen. When Jon did…what he did, in the throne room, I thought all of my theories had been confirmed. He’s the sole Targaryen claimant, the throne will come to him one way or another. And then the episode moved forward and everything I thought I knew got thrown out the window. It hurt me, I admit it, and I was upset for most of the rest of the episode. It didn’t seem right that Jon’s true heritage should ultimately mean nothing, and I nearly howled in rage when Jon went back to Castle Black. But then I saw how his story ended, and suddenly I began to understand. No matter how much I or anyone else wanted it, Jon wouldn’t have made a good king. He’s too much like Ned Stark, and we all know what happened to him when he was just Hand of the King, imagine Jon trying to be king himself, and I don’t think it would’ve ended well. What changed my mind about Jon came at the very end, when I realized that he was leaving to go beyond the Wall (at first I thought he was just escorting the wildlings). And this morning it dawned on me; throughout this series, the happiest I ever saw Jon is when he was living with the wildlings, when he was with Ygritte. Jon never wanted to be king, he especially never wanted to be a Targaryen. Having had a taste of that power and not liking it, I realized Jon is all too happy to disappear into the forest and walk out of history forever. Furthermore, I think the person who ordered him sent back to the Wall KNEW this would happen.

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So in the end, am I completely happy with how Game of Thrones ended? No, to be honest no. It still feels wrong that this character became king, but really it’s not like there were many choices left. Now that I’ve had time to think about it though, I am mostly content with how it ends the story. The characters are in different places than I imagined, but at least we know where they all end up, more or less. They weren’t kidding when they said this would be a bittersweet ending. I think “bittersweet” hits the nail on the head.

And that’s the end of Game of Thrones. Next week I’m going back to the beginning and reviewing starting with season 1, episode 1. Let me know what you think about “The Iron Throne” in the comments below and have a great day.

See also:

My Thoughts on: The Bells (GoT S8 E5)

My Thoughts On: The Last of the Starks (GoT S8 E4)

My Thoughts on: The Battle of Winterfell (GoT S8 E3)

My Thoughts on: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (GoT S8 E2)

Film/TV Reviews

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My Thoughts on: Prospect (2018)

Ever since I’d seen the first trailer for Prospect, I’d been excited to see this movie, mostly because it was science fiction, but also because it looked like good science fiction. There was the added benefit of having Pedro Pascal (best known to me as Oberyn Martell on Game of Thrones) as part of the cast. I’d hoped to see this movie months ago, but it never screened on any theaters near me, and obtaining a copy to review proved…difficult. But I was finally able to get my hands on a copy this past week and sat down to watch it yesterday.

What a disappointment. I barely made it halfway through the film before I had to turn it off. That in itself is saying something, since I almost never turn a movie off in the middle. Now it’s entirely possible that I might be able to watch this film all the way through in the future and be able to appreciate details that bugged me, but not right now.

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Prospect isn’t all bad, don’t get me wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed the look of the alien moon. It’s strange to see such a lush environment that is actually toxic if you breathe the air in (though now that I think about it, the same scenario exists in Avatar). The film has this little detail I really enjoyed where, as the characters are walking through the alien forest, you can see these little particles floating in the air. My brain interpreted this as a sign of the moon’s toxicity.

I also liked the look of the drop ship that brings the main characters to the planet. Just looking at it was enough to make me question what year/century this was all occurring in. Everyone looks human enough, but if you look closely, the instruments are labeled in a strange language that isn’t English (even the main character writes in a language that isn’t English). So it made me wonder, does Prospect take place in a future so distant that English has ceased to be used as a language? It’s an interesting detail that I liked.

 

Now to talk about what I didn’t like, and that’s the dialogue. The reason I had to turn the film off is the dialogue was driving me crazy. Considering this is a science fiction film, the dialogue, especially from Pascal’s character Ezra, just felt all wrong to me. It didn’t fit. I can enjoy almost every aspect of a film, but is the dialogue is wrong, it just ruins the film for me.

While I enjoyed a few parts of Prospect, I was bitterly disappointed overall by the portion of the film I was able to watch. I couldn’t really get into the story because of the dialogue, which threw everything else off for me. Let me know what you think about Prospect in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Film/TV Reviews

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My Thoughts on: The Bells (GoT S8 E5)

*warning, there are some spoilers in this review, I’m trying very hard to avoid specifics but…if you’ve seen the episode you know why that might be hard to do

Holy sh*t.

I repeat, holy sh*t!

The events of last night’s episode “The Bells” has been teased for a while now and oh my god did the show deliver! This episode mostly centered on the Battle of King’s Landing and from the moment the fight started, my attention was held rapt to the screen. I’d been hoping that Daenerys wouldn’t go down this particular road, as I’ve been in extreme denial about her capacity to go mad like her father and brother Viserys before her. However, Daenerys has been bending and bending and BENDING for so long to accommodate what others want her to do, it was only a matter of time before she broke and unleashed dragonfire like no one has ever seen before.

And speaking of delivering…we finally got THAT fight. You know, the one that’s been teased and theorized for quite a while now? Pardon the spoiler, but I need to spell it out: Cleganebowl is real and it is INTENSE! I was never quite sure how this fight was going to play out, but I love how we got it. Intercutting the fight with other battle scenes was a wonderful touch. I think they changed the Mountain’s undead makeup for this fight too. There’s a glimpse of his undead feature in “The Winds of Winter” and it looks nothing like what we saw in this episode.  Despite that, I’m happy with how this fight concluded.

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I also have to say I feel terrible for Tyrion. He is trying so hard to do the right thing for a queen he genuinely believes in. But throughout the episode, we see more and more hints that his faith in his queen is being shaken to his very core. Tyrion tried so, so hard, to prevent what happened from happening. And I think my favorite part of the episode is this one moment where Daenerys can choose what happens next. The choice is hers and hers alone. And once she chooses…oh boy.

Now I also need to say that this episode was not perfect. Certain characters met their end in a way that did not satisfy me at all. I’m thinking of two characters in particular. I figured out years ago that both were going to die, but the way the show presented their deaths was far too peaceful and serene for everything they’ve done. Let’s just say I wanted one of the characters to really suffer as they died. I wanted their death to be brutal, painful, and I wanted a much more emotional breakdown than what I got. That being said, considering the show leaves out some critical plot details from the books, this is probably the best scenario I could hope for. I’m all but certain these two characters have a different death scene in the books. I also feel like the Golden Company was kind of wasted, though I know they play a bigger role in the books, so that doesn’t bother me as much.

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“The Bells” has me thoroughly excited for the finale of Game of Thrones. I have an in-depth theory up on my Patreon page about how I think the end is going to play out regarding who sits on the Iron Throne once and for all. Even if I’m wrong, I think there’s still a few insane things left to happen before the screen goes black for the last time. I know this season hasn’t quite met everyone’s expectations, but to be fair, we set the bar so freaking high I don’t think it could have ever pleased everyone. For me personally, I’m excited to see how the story ends.

What did you think of “The Bells”? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts On: The Last of the Starks (GoT S8 E4)

My Thoughts on: The Battle of Winterfell (GoT S8 E3)

My Thoughts on: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (GoT S8 E2)

Film/TV Reviews

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My Thoughts On: The Last of the Starks (GoT S8 E4)

*Note: I will try to avoid spoilers but it would probably be safest to read this review after you’ve seen the episode

I feel conflicted after watching “The Last of the Starks.” On the one hand, last night’s episode featured some MAJOR happenings, including two shocking moments that I was not emotionally prepared for after everything that happened in episode 3. But on the other hand, I think I was expecting more action to occur, though to be fair I was pretty spoiled by The Battle of Winterfell.

In a lot of ways, this episode felt like “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” in that a lot of the episode felt like set up for the final battle between Daenerys/Jon and Cersei. The difference is, I feel like episode 2 did it better. That isn’t to say that this episode was bad, it just didn’t leave me going “OMG” at the end like the previous three episodes. Instead, I actually felt disappointed that the episode was already over (minor spoiler: I was expecting a little more dragon action at the end based on what happened). One thing is for sure: this was an episode of farewells, in more ways than one.

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Assuming the rest of the series goes the way I think it will, I think this was the episode that established once and for all that Cersei is doomed. There was a key scene towards the end where I could see that last shred of Cersei’s humanity in her face. Despite everything she’s done, there IS one piece of Cersei that isn’t a monster, and I thought it was a nice touch for the show to bring that out. Unfortunately, that part of Cersei is also the smallest piece and it’s not going to save her now, not after this episode. Pieces are in motion now that I am almost positive will lead to her death one way or another.

My one big complaint in this episode is Sansa and her actions throughout the episode. Maybe I’ve missed something, but I do not understand why Sansa is acting the way she is. I’ve always been Team Stark and Team Dany since season one, but after this episode, I have a sinking feeling I’m going to need to choose between them (and I don’t know if that’s a choice I can make). Also: I understand that Sansa was trained by no less than Littlefinger in how to play the game of thrones, but I couldn’t believe she didn’t keep quiet on THAT little detail after promising to never tell a soul.

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This episode really brought home to me the expression that’s been going around about the end of Game of Thrones: “If you think this story has a happy ending, then you haven’t been paying attention.” Nowhere was this more true than in “The Last of the Starks.” Many of the happy endings fans have fantasized about were teased, only to be ripped away. How I feel about this episode in the future will greatly depend on how the last two episodes play out. This will either be seen as a good episode, or a missed opportunity. I sincerely hope it’s the former, but for now we’ll just have to wait and see.

What did you think about “The Last of the Starks”? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts on: The Battle of Winterfell (GoT S8 E3)

My Thoughts on: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (GoT S8 E2)

Film/TV Reviews

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My Thoughts on: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (GoT S8 E2)

*I know I’m going backwards here, but deep down I wasn’t expecting my review of the Battle of Winterfell to be so popular (so thank you for that). I will try to keep this review objective given that I know who makes it out of the battle alive and who doesn’t. It goes without saying that some spoilers follow.

There is so much that happens in “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” it’s hard to know where to begin. Just like the season premiere, there are multiple characters who are meeting for the first time, and some who haven’t met since season one. Most of the episode centers around everyone preparing themselves for the battle to come, knowing that there is every chance they’re all going to die. I enjoyed this episode very much, but I could always feel the tension hanging over the story.

One of my characters to follow in this episode was Jaime Lannister. From the previews, I really thought this might be it for the former Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. Jaime’s been on a redemptive arc for quite a while now, but I always had a feeling that this would not be enough to overcome his past sins (and he may yet still die before the series is over). If nothing else, I thought that Jaime would finally have a chance to explain to Daenerys why he killed her father (he’s told the story to Brienne, but I don’t think anyone else knows). That’s a scene I’ve imagined in my head many times and hopefully it may yet be told before all is said and done.

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The biggest moment by far in this episode is when Jon talks to Dany in the crypt and they have THAT conversation. I love Jon Snow, I really do, but right before the battle of the ages is NOT the time to tell your lover that you’re actually related (and you know, that he actually has a better claim to the Iron Throne than she does, never mind that he doesn’t actually want it). I expected that there would be a lot more arguing once this was revealed (hopefully they have a more in-depth conversation later).

And then I need to talk about what happened with Brienne and Jaime. For one, this scene actually made me cry (and I don’t cry easily, not for television shows anyway). For another, as awesome as this moment was, it practically guarantees that ONE of these characters will not make it to the end of the series alive. If I’ve learned anything from Game of Thrones, it’s that you don’t have happy moments like this without someone paying for it sooner rather than later. And honestly, it could easily be either Jaime or Brienne who dies in the end, or both (I don’t put that past the writers). But if both of them make it to the end of the finale alive I will be shocked.

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Lastly, I loved that we got to hear “Jenny of Oldstones” (sung by Podrick no less). Any time that one of the book’s songs is brought to life always feels special to me (I do study music after all) and this song is just beautiful. It completely brings home how everyone feels: they would rather stay in this moment, this last perfect moment together, before Death comes to rip them apart.

All in all, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” provided the perfect set up for the battle to come. Aside from the questionable timing of a certain family connection, I really have no problems with this episode. Let me know what you thought of this episode in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts on: The Battle of Winterfell (GoT S8 E3)

My Thoughts On: The Last of the Starks (GoT S8 E4)

Film/TV Reviews

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My Thoughts on: The Battle of Winterfell (GoT S8 E3)

*okay technically this episode is titled “The Long Night” but to me it will always be The Battle of Winterfell, so there you go. Also, I will try to keep spoilers to a minimum but it might be best to just read this after you see the episode.

Now I know I don’t typically review television episodes on my blog, but after last night, I HAVE to talk about the Battle of Winterfell, the episode the entire series has been building towards since the pilot (when we first saw the White Walkers). No matter what happened, this was going to be one of THE major climaxes in the overall story. For a long time I thought this battle would be the final climax, and it very well could be in the book version of the story. However, the show writers clearly felt differently as this episode arrived with three more still to come.

First I want to make it clear that I absolutely loved this episode. It’s not perfect, I too thought there were a few scenes where the lighting was a bit…off…which made it difficult to see here and there, but in all fairness the battle took place at night, so it’s supposed to be dark.

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Now I need to talk about the Army of the Dead and how much they terrified me. It might have seemed obvious to most, but it took me almost five whole seasons to realize that Game of Thrones has a zombie apocalypse as a major plot point. That the wights are zombies is made abundantly clear in this episode. The way the dead move and clamber to get over walls and obstacles at times reminded me of scenes straight out of World War Z (admittedly not as extreme but based on similar principles).

And then there was THAT scene in the Winterfell library. I think that will go down as the most terrifying scene in the entire series, even more than THAT scene at the end of “Hardhome.” Part of what makes the library scene so scary is the silence (minus the sounds of the wights). In this scene, silence means survival for a certain character, and for almost the entire scene I hardly dared to breathe. I both love and hate this kind of scene because on the hand, it draws me in so that I feel the character’s terror. But on the other hand, a scene like that is perfect for a jump scare, and I hate those the most.

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I knew going in that I was not emotionally prepared for the death toll this episode would bring and I was right. As we all predicted, we had to say goodbye to more than a few characters, some that I expected, and others that had me screaming at my television because I didn’t want them to go. That being said, from what I could tell by the end of the episode, more of my favorite characters actually made it through alive than I initially thought. This is likely because there’s still  at least one major battle to go before the series ends for good.

Now you might be wondering how I feel about THAT moment at the end of the episode (if you’ve seen it you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about). Of all the ways I thought that character arc would end, I never imagined THAT character would be the one to end it. I always assumed, and I think many others did as well, that it would be Dany or Jon, or a combination of the two, that would strike the final blow. And again, that may be true in the book version of these events, we simply don’t know yet. The show has left out several plot elements that are likely vital to the book’s endgame. That being said, in hindsight, it seems obvious now that THIS scene was predicted all the way back in season 3, which means perhaps the show writers know something about the books that we don’t.

In the end, I found the Battle of Winterfell to be very satisfying, an emotional ride to be sure, but one that ended in just the right way. It’s hard to believe there are only three episodes to go before the story ends, but as I go think about this. If they put the Battle of Winterfell HERE, in the middle of the season, in the name of the Old Gods and the New what on earth is still to come?

Once you’ve seen it, let me know what you thought about the Battle of Winterfell in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts on: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (GoT S8 E2)

My Thoughts On: The Last of the Starks (GoT S8 E4)

Film/TV Reviews

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Film 101: Unreliable Narrator

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

Yesterday in talking about the Rashomon effect I mentioned the term ‘unreliable narrator’ and I thought I would go into more detail about it today. This concept is one that has grown incredibly popular in recent years and is responsible for one of the biggest television hits of the 21st century.

The concept is simple enough at first glance: an unreliable narrator is any character who relays information about the story (either to the audience or another character (often serving as the audience surrogate)) that is untrue or a series of half-truths mixed together. In short, you cannot trust what this character says to be the truth. And as this character often serves as THE narrator (more or less) of the film/series/book, it makes the story that much more interesting because (assuming you are aware they are unreliable) the entire time you are wondering if you can believe anything being told to you.

 

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To really understand this concept though, you have to keep in mind that the unreliable narrator is, in my opinion, a relatively recent development. For most of film history, the narrator (if there is one) is a figure above reproach, one that will consistently let us (the audience) know what is really going on and who is doing what. It seems that the studios discovered that having an unreliable narrator made for a good story. Of course they weren’t the first: the big television hit I referred to at the beginning was none other than HBO’s Game of Thrones, which of course is based on George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series (that may or may not ever see completion, I finished reading A Dance with Dragons almost FIVE years ago). The books are notorious for having no overarching narrator that you might find in other book series. Instead, each chapter is told from one character’s point of view, meaning everything we see is biased by the perceptions of that character. Since none of the characters know the full picture (except for maybe Varys and I’m not sure even he knows about what’s going on north of the Wall), you can’t fully trust (and in the case of some like Littlefinger, not at all) what these characters see/know/think they know. And this mostly carries over to the TV show.

Other good examples of an unreliable narrator in film include:

  • Fight Club (1999): It turns out that only one of the two main protagonists actually exists, the other is in the main character’s head.
  • A Beautiful Mind (2001): The main character is eventually diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and it turns out several characters we’ve come to know are not real.
  • Atomic Blonde (2017): It could be said this film has several examples as the “true” story does not come out towards the end. Lorraine, being the main character, is probably the chief example as her search for “Satchel” is revealed to be based on a lie

And that’s pretty much what an unreliable narrator is 🙂 What are some examples of an unreliable narrator that you can think of? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day 🙂

See also:

Film 101

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