Friday, May 24, 2013
Alright boys and girls, you asked for it and I'm delivering. Never say I never got you anything.
This is the second episode of my own spoilery segment, and I used a different mic so hopefully you can hear the difference. This was a challenging episode to review because it felt like there were a lot more bits and pieces that I kept forgetting to talk about, I recorded a ton of small files and had to cut them together in editing. It was a nightmare. Note to self; take more notes next time.
There are so many great moments this episode; Tyrion and Bronn, Tywin and Joffrey, Daenerys and MoaX-Zo-Whats-His-F'ace. I think this might be one of my favorite episodes of the season so far. I'm glad that I have one more to go before I catch up, but I'm thinking about going back and recording podcasts for the first five as well. I'm still deciding about that.
For those of you who saw the post from late last night detailing the project that Brendan and I are thinking of starting, I wanted to give some ideas of shows that I'm considering doing by myself. If you could tell me, since I haven't seen any of these, which show you think would be more effective with two people reviewing it, and which would be cool with just me? I'm trying to narrow it down. Once I do, I will post a poll for folks to vote on the one they'd best like me to cover.
2) The Wire
3) Dr. Who
7) Mad Men
8) Breaking Bad
9) Walking Dead
12) Babylon 5
13) Veronica Mars
14) Six Feet Under
Thanks for your help and input, everyone! Hope you enjoy the episode, see you again soon!
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Okay, everyone, time for a serious discussion about serious things. Namely, me.
Kidding. I'm the least serious thing.
So, yesterday I posted my very first ever solo podcast. I was super nervous about it, since many solo podcasts can be extremely fucking boring and monotonous, but Brendan was really encouraging and the Facebook poll said y'all wanted it. So I gave it to you.
I was surprised at how much fun it was to record, and the response in the short time it's been up so far has been extremely positive. So positive, in fact, that Brendan and I are talking about making it a five-day-a-week thing.
Here's our issue: we want to do the two of us five days a week as much as we still can, but the fact is that Brendan's work schedule can be totally overwhelming and unpredictable. The past three nights, for example, he's been getting home after 10 PM, and over the weekend we had company visiting so we weren't able to record then, either.
If we had an additional segment that was just me, it would be a million percent easier to at least have something to post five days a week. To top it off, we've been a bit worried about the upcoming TV projects because on average it takes about fifteen minutes to read a chapter of the book, while the average episode length of the shows we've chosen is about 45 minutes. So while it takes about 11-13 hours of work to do 5 episodes per week now, once it becomes television we're looking at about 15-18 hours per week.
So here's our idea; I would have my own solo UNspoiled! podcast covering TV shows, running alongside our joint book-based UNspoiled! podcast. Not to say that Brendan and I would never do a TV-based podcast together, but if we did, chances are we would have to change our goal to 3 episodes a week instead of 5.
So what do you guys think? Would you be interested in something like this? I have been contemplating what I would call my separate episodes, but I can't think of anything good. And what TV show would I even start with? So many questions!
Thanks for your input, everyone! See you tomorrow!
Okay kids, here's something new: the first episode of my separate, spoilerific segment, Natasha's Spoiler Hour.
I posted a poll on Facebook yesterday asking folks if they preferred I keep my reviews as an article or if they would be interested in having the whole thing be a podcast of it's own. I really didn't think anyone would want to listen to just me, but Brendan kept suggesting it, and finally I decided to see what our audience has to say. To my surprise, so far the votes have been unanimously pro podcast, so I decided to give it a try. I guess you guys just can't get enough of my dulcet tones!
Please forgive the audio quality, I wasn't sure how to use some of the recording equipment without Brendan so I wound up having to wing it and record directly into my computer with a different mic. I hope you guys enjoy this, and if any of you have ideas for fun things I could add to these episodes, please let me know in the comments!
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Not that this wasn't a great episode, with some amazing moments, because it was. But it didn't make me want to give all the writers blowjobs like the last one did. (I'm joking. Maybe.)
THERE WILL BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW FOR ALL FIVE BOOKS. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
Yunkai is in the opening credits! The Harpy statue is even there! So awesome.
A CAVE IN THE RIVERLANDS:
I was glad that we opened with this scene, getting right down to business with some action and revenge-type shit. This scene was just another example of the writers and the set designers all absolutely nailing exactly how everything looked in my head.
I do have to admit something that I think is an unpopular opinion. Rory McCann, the actor that plays Sandor Clegane, is not my favorite. I just don't like or buy his acting, almost ever. He tries too hard to sneer and growl and doesn't have that careless sort of threatening demeanor I imagine of someone who's such a renowned swordsman (and also someone as massive as him). I guess I just feel like he's overacting, and that became a little too apparent to me when he was faced by fire. His reactions were too exaggerated. But hey, that's just my opinion.
Other than that gripe in particular, I thought this was beautifully done. I like that they had everyone who was on the sidelines of the fight scrambling to get out of the way, something that's frequently overlooked in these kinds of fights (which GRRM deals with brutally in the scene with the Viper and the Mountain).
When the Hound delivers the fatal blow to Beric, I love that everyone who had been chanting "Guilty!" suddenly just shuts the fuck up; the fact that they were chanting it in the first place just shows how much everyone hates Clegane, whether he deserves it or not. A trial by combat was probably the best justice he could have hoped for.
Then Arya freaks the fuck out and grabs a dagger and lunges for him. Her acting is great in this scene, manic and desperate and intense, and I totally believed that she would have stabbed a million holes in him if given the chance.
They pull her back as she screams, "Burn in hell!" and then we hear Beric say, "He will. But not today."
BEYOND THE WALL:
Jon is being quizzed by Tormund and Orell (whom I kept calling Varamyr in previous reviews, and whom I keep calling Varamyr in my head) about which castles on the Wall are still manned, and how many men are at each. Jon plainly lies through his teeth when he tells them "A thousand," and while Orell seems to know that Jon is lying, he's got enough doubt to be worried. I did love the line, "Just because you want him inside you doesn't make him one of us." Teehehehe.
Ygritte then decides to swipe Jon's sword to get him to follow her into some sweet caves with hot springs in them, and it suddenly occurs to me how odd it is that nobody else was interested in using these awesome hot springs, even in the books. Are we supposed to assume that there are so many of the hot springs that everyone gets their own? Or that only Ygritte and a few other select people know about them?
In any case, Ygritte gets nekkid real quick, and my first thoughts were, "Wow, she's so scrawny," and then, "Wow, she's so filthy." Then, when she goes straight up to Jon and kisses him and he drops to his knees, all I could think was "Ew ew ew ew ew, let her wash off in the hot spring first at least, Chrissakes! I mean really, it's right there!"
But it's kind of cute a second later when they're laying together and Jon actually seems relaxed and happy for the first time in...a while. I liked how he tells Ygritte that she's his first, and she proceeds to tell him about the other dudes she's been with, prompting him to basically ask her to STFU. Aw, Jon's jealous. So sweet.
THEN they jump in the hot spring, which makes no sense, and Ygritte tells Jon she never wants to leave the cave. I'm sure that they could get away with hiding there, since it seems like nobody else knows where these hot springs are.
Brienne is kneeling and looking very pissed off, and we hear Vargo/Locke say, "The Kingslayer!" and shoves Jaime to his knees. Jaime keeps falling forward until he's face-down a gross puddle, and Roose looks none too pleased with Locke. There's a cold moment where he tells Locke to GTFO with that gross hand, and to cut Brienne free. He's obviously not approving of what has happened, but Locke doesn't really seem to give a fuck.
He apologizes to Brienne for their treatment of her, and is about to walk away when Jaime asks him if there has been news from King's Landing. Roose seems to have the same penchant for psychological torture that his bastard son has, because he lets Jaime squirm and panic for what seems like an eternity before telling him that Tywin won and Cersei is fine. Roose, you son of a bitch.
Jaime falls and Roose tells them to take him to Qyburn. I enjoyed Jaime basically telling Qyburn "No way are you knocking me out with drugs, dude, I don't know you. NO WAY." And Qyburn's face as he starts to cut into Jaime's arm is so perfect. He's way too eager and excited about this. RED FLAG.
MOAR QUEEN OF THORNS!
Lady Olenna is having a meeting with mister Tyrion Lannister concerning the costs of the royal wedding. I love this scene so much. First, I love her snapping at Pod when he goes to refill her cup, and then saying she takes figs mid-afternoon because "they move the bowels". Lovely. Thanks, lady.
Tyrion goes into his discussion of the expenses almost as if she's dim; when she asks what the problem could be with an extravagant wedding, he says, "We are at war," as if she isn't quite grasping it.
But then she crushes him with the very insightful explanation of why they need this royal wedding, how important it is, and what it could mean for all of them if the people aren't properly distracted. Tyrion sits back and looks at the table after she's finished with that, already cowed, but she ain't done. She then describes how many foot soldiers, mounted cavalry, archers, sheep, pigs, and every other commodity that is literally keeping King's Landing afloat the Tyrells have provided. Basically she's telling him to quit bitching about paying for the royal wedding, when Highgarden is already feeding and defending half the realm.
Tyrion seems like he has given up, and then comes her final surprise. She briskly stands up and announces that Highgarden will cover half the expenses, which she had obviously planned on doing all along anyways...she just wanted a chance to debate with Tyrion and put him and his family in their place a little.
Tyrion is taken aback, but grateful, until she comments on how disappointed she is to find, not the paragon of vice she had been hoping for, but instead a brow-beaten bookkeeper. Tyrion doesn't even seem to want to argue that point. It appears he knows all too well that she's right.
I love this whole scene. I love the Queen of Thorns too much. Bless.
I'm not sure exactly when this scene happens, but there's a moment when Cersei tracks down Petyr Baelish and tells him to find out if the Tyrells are up to something. "My father is almost as generous to those who help us as he is unpleasant to those who don't." Oh Cersei, you really think that you're clever and subtle, don't you. But hey, I shouldn't laugh at her, since it turns out that she was totally right.
Ugh, I forgot about this whole thing in the books. I liked how absolutely no background was given before this; the scene just opens in the cell with the children, and the Karstarks break in and murder them without the poor things knowing why, any more than we do as viewers.
When the boys are on the floor in front of Robb, the rage in his face is evident. I really wish that Robb had been harsher with Catelyn, but that's a story for another day. Here, Karstark is brought before Robb and says something like, "He's just going to scold me before he lets me go." DUDE. SHUT UP. I don't necessarily think that Robb wouldn't have hung everyone and executed him if he hadn't been poking at Robb's pride like that, but I'm sure it didn't fucking help.
Catelyn and Talisa both tell Robb that if he executes Karstark, he will lose all his men and ultimately lose the war. I dont think that Robb even disagrees with them, but his pride has been wounded and his mettle as a leader has been questioned. What the fuck is he supposed to do?
The scene where he executes Karstark is very effective. Karstark curses him, and Robb's sword-stroke seems full of fury; when he walks away in the rain, his hand twitching, it feels like he is trying to wrap his head around what he's just done. I just really like how quickly they moved into the execution, it makes it feel a lot more impulsive and borne of anger.
When Robb meets with Talisa and is looking at the map, all I could think was "Ugh, Talisa, go away." I don't know, there's just something about her that I don't care for, and having all of his plans and tactical maneuvers be told to her doesn't carry the same excitement to me that it would if he were talking to someone like the Blackfish. Also, he is planning on taking Casterly Rock?! Was that in the books? However, I was really glad that they mentioned the Freys at the end, so all of us book readers know where this is headed.
I have mixed feelings about all of this. I'm sure that later on they will hammer home how Robb's marriage to Talisa was really his undoing, but I think the choice Robb has to make on whether to execute Karstark was given too much weight here. They make it seem like this choice is the make-or-break moment.
It could be that I just don't like the way the show handled Catelyn releasing Jaime, though; it still doesn't make a lot of sense to me that she didn't even know that Bran and Rickon were "dead" yet (and don't even get me started that their bodies weren't found so both she and Robb don't even "know" the boys are dead. I hate it.) I think if you haven't read the books, this works perfectly fine, but I dunno...it just seems to make a little less sense. I mean, we didn't even get to see the Freys get offended and leave when the news of his marriage came out, so I'm not sure the viewers even realize how much of an effect that had. Hmmm.
CAVE IN THE RIVERLANDS:
I felt bad for Arya here. She feels like she's being abandoned at every turn, and while I get Hot Pie and Gendry's reasons and don't fault them, it does suck. She really is alone, and no matter how much she tries to create a kind of family for herself, it's unlikely that will ever happen.
I have read some speculation that when she says "I can be your family," and Gendry says, "No, you would be milady," that there is some sort of romantic insinuation there. I couldn't disagree more. It's obvious that he's saying he's too lowborn to be on even footing with her as family, especially once she's returned to her family at Riverrun. I get why people would want to believe that they're somehow going to end up together, but judging from their age difference in the show and the utter lack of that kind of implication up until now, they're not planning on pursuing anything between the two of them. At least, not for a while.
When Arya goes and sits with Thoros and Beric, the show that Beric makes of opening his shirt and pulling up his eye patch to display all his scars is kind of fun. I liked them describing all of the different ways he's died, especially the "Second time I've been killed by a Clegane". Teehee.
I also loved Arya confronting them about using her as a hostage; the back and forth between the two of them when he's trying to say "It is and it isn't like that", and she replies, "More 'is' than 'isn't'", made me smile to myself. Oh, Arya, you ain't no fool.
Okay, I'm going to come right out and say it. Stannis' storyline on this show bores me, and I really don't know where they're going with things. I just find the scenes on Dragonstone to be a slog, and even finally getting to see Selyse and Shireen didn't do much to keep me interested.
I could have sworn that in an earlier episode, possibly from Season 2 when Melisandre is seducing Stannis, she describes his wife as being "locked up in a tower". I couldn't really understand that, and I still don't, really. Why is she isolating herself? And why doesn't she want Stannis to see Shireen? Is she afraid he will contract greyscale, or is it that she's ashamed of her only child being a daughter instead of a son?
Also... what is with the fetuses?! That wasn't in the book, right? That is creepy as fuck, and I can't decide is it's the little ones or that big one that makes me the most queasy. Urrrghh. Why.
So Selyse isn't stupid; she not only knows that Stannis has been sleeping with Melisandre, but has actually discussed it with Melisandre and was happy about it because he did it in service to the Lord of Light. Alright, lady. Whatevs.
Stannis sees Shireen (who by the way is singing one of Patchface's creepy songs and it's awesome) and he's kind of a dick, telling her that her buddy Davos is "a traitor and rotting in the dungeons". Seriously, Stannis? C'mon, man, don't be a cunt.
JAIME'S BUTT! Damn, he's a blessed man.
I love love love this scene. Nikolaj is just a fucking gifted actor. First he makes that crack about "No wonder Renly died with you guarding him", at which moment Brienne stands up and we get some more butt (Brienne the BOOTY, amirite???). Jaime looks so sincerely ashamed of himself that I actually buy it. I just wish he would get a bowl or a bucket and pour some water over his head, because damn he looks grimy.
When he begins to tell Brienne the truth about Aerys and the wildfire, the detached, dreamy way he tells it is so fucking perfect. He comes back into the moment here and there, when he demands to know if Brienne would have kept her vow. But for the most part his voice is faint and almost sarcastic, like he's trying not to feel it, especially when he says "I don't think he expected to die, he expected to be reborn as a dragon." He sees the absurdity of it, but it still cuts him, and he's haunted.
UGH, JAIME, YOU'RE BREAKING MY FUCKING HEART.
Then he gets distraught, muttering, "By what right does the wolf judge the lion?!" and collapses. Brienne calls out for help with the Kingslayer, and he whispers, "Jaime...my name is Jaime." Heart = broken.
I swear, the two of them are so good together. I love all their scenes. I want to watch the Brienne and Jaime show.
Maybe we aren't quite at Yunkai yet, but close enough.
Here's another place where I'm not totally sure how they're going to handle the changes they've made. Barristan and Jorah are talking about when Jorah was knighted, cracking jokes and remembering home, when Barristan brings up the fact that Jorah has a controversial past. Okay, sure, that's true, but what about the part where Jorah betrayed Daenerys by spying for King Robert? I find it pretty hard to believe that Barristan wouldn't at least suspect that Jorah was behind all of the intel they were receiving, but instead he's really focusing on Jorah's involvement causing people to not be on Dany's side.
I find this odd, because Daenerys' plan is to wait till her dragons are grown and then swoop into Westeros and conquer it with "Fire and Blood", so wtf difference does it make whether Jorah is by her side? It doesn't seem like the people are going to have much of a say over it in the end anyway. I dunno, Barristan, you seem like you just kind of wanted to be a dick here, and even though I know Jorah is also full of shit, I was kinda glad he told you to shove it up your ass and rode away.
Meeting Grey Worm was a little disappointing. I did't care for the dude's acting (he honestly seemed like he was trying not to laugh) and he just doesn't look strong or impressive enough in any way to make me believe that he would have been selected as a captain. Eh, whatever, doesn't matter right now, we shall see how he does when there's a battle or something.
Sansa is watching Loras fighting, and turns to Margaery and asks if she has any idea when they will...get married? Bone down? I suppose it's all one in the same. She's so blissfully unaware, it's really kind of heart breaking.
Meanwhile, Loras is getting his armor removed by some hottie with a smile full of promises, and the next thing we see is the two of them in bed together. Loras is all surprised that this guy knew he was gay (not as big a secret as you think, Loras) and then totally spills the beans that he's secretly engaged to Sansa. Turns out the hottie is a plant of Littlefinger's, and Littlefinger immediately meets with Sansa to see whether she will confirm the story. And she sort of does, saying that she doesn't want to risk putting Petyr in danger by sneaking away after all, blah blah blah. All it boils down to is not wanting to leave King's Landing. Petyr plays dumb, lying right back to her that he's touched about her concern for his welfare, but he's obviously furious, and evidently runs right to Cersei with the news.
So now we get to one of my favorite scenes in the episode. Tywin and Cersei are waiting for Tyrion, and when Tyrion tries to brag that he's "gotten the Tyrells to agree" to paying for half the wedding, I giggled a little. It's all about the spin, baby.
Tyrion is rightly very uncomfortable with how happy Cersei seems, and a moment later we find out why. Tywin intends to thwart the Tyrell plot to marry Sansa to Loras by marrying her to Tyrion instead. (Notably, when Tywin says that she's the "key to the North" and Tyrion mentions Robb, Tywin replies dismissively that "his days are numbered".)
Tyrion is disgusted by the proposal, more out of compassion for Sansa and what it will be like for the poor girl. Cersei, meanwhile, seems elated by the news, which is actually a little odd because I would have thought she'd begrudge Tyrion actually getting to have a pretty wife. It seems, however, that she knows Tyrion pretty well, and knew how much he would hate this whole idea.
But Tywin ain't done.
Cersei should have known that she wouldn't come away from this whole thing unscathed, but she's blindsided by the proposed match between her and Ser Loras. Once again, I must have missed something somewhere, because I really thought that Loras had been put on the Kingsguard last season, but he's not wearing the uniform so I must have imagined it. Hmmm.
Cersei is horrified, and when Tywin says she must "marry and breed" she snaps, but not loudly enough to drown him out. He shouts that she is his daughter, and maybe this marriage will put an end to the disgusting rumors about her, so we finally know that Tywin is aware of the possibility of incest. He doesn't say Jaime's name, though, which is interesting. It's like he doesn't want to admit it to himself that his golden-boy could have done something so "disgusting".
The one moment when I actually felt for Cersei was when she practically whimpered, "Please, Father, don't make me do it again." She just sounds so sad and pathetic and beaten. However, I don't feel that she tried to make the best of her situation with Robert; she was so attached to Jaime already and she was determined to let Robert know how much she despised him. I have very mixed feelings on Cersei.
So the show ends with Tywin storming out and leaving Cersei and Tyrion sitting and contemplating their fate, and then we hear Shireen singing the songs from Patchface's Classic Collection of Sinister Songs. They really are unsettling, aren't they?
This episode was miles ahead of most of Season 2, but so far this season I found it to be the least gripping. What did you think?
By the way, I'm considering turning the last 5 episode reviews into their own podcasts, what do you think? Go over to our Facebook page to vote and let me know!
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
|Great Sept, by *inSOLense via deviantART|
Brendan is growing to love Cersei more and more with every passing chapter. Her lack of self-awareness and preoccupation with petty things that don't matter while ignoring the big picture really seems to tickle his heart.
She's such a great, realistic character. I mean, we all know people like this, who are more than willing to cut off their noses to spite their faces and don't even realize they're doing it. People who think that the only way to be taken seriously is to be an asshole and threaten everyone. If someone told Cersei, "You catch more flies with honey than vinegar," I think she'd just reply, "You catch even more with a pile of rotting corpses."
Cersei's meeting with the High Septon doesn't go according to plan; she expects another clueless figurehead who can be cowed, and instead is faced with the new poster-boy for ascetic devotion. Despite being caught off her guard, she seems very pleased with herself at the end of the meeting, and Brendan really thinks she shouldn't. As he puts it, it seems like Cersei has signed her own death warrant. But how exactly will that play out?
Thanks for listening, we'll see you soon with another chapter and another review!
Monday, May 20, 2013
|Jaime and Ser Ilyn Payne, by ~Pojypojy via deviantART|
A Feast For Crows has without doubt the longest, most winding chapters of any of the books so far. Characters go to four or five different locations, have conversations with ten or fifteen different people, and get updates or backstory on what feels like thirty different plot points. It's nearly impossible to keep track of everything.
But we're trying, we swear! Is it our fault that an ice cream showed up to distract us part way through our earnest discussion? We needed that ice cream, guys. We needed it.
Jaime is all over the map here, from King's Landing to the Kingsroad to Harrenhal, and are seeing more and more evidence of his critical thinking skills coming to the forefront now that he can't just rely on his sword anymore. He is doing what Cersei doesn't; looking beyond the surface of events to see what they could mean for the big picture, and tries to see who could be behind them. He's starting to think more like his little brother, or his father.
Oh and guys, sorry for the messiness of our episodes lately. We're trying to get back into the swing but it's been tough. It's happening, though, slowly but surely. :)
Thanks for listening!
Friday, May 17, 2013
Sorry for falling so far behind on my reviews! As you can imagine, with everything that's been going on I haven't been able to keep up, especially since my reviews are usually VERY in-depth.
But lordy, what an episode to come back on. Is it just me, or is HBO knocking it out of the fucking park this season? Like, seriously, there have been maybe one or two things per episode that kind of annoy me, unlike last season, in which entire plot points made me want to flip tables and light fires. They have been so on-point, keeping the original dialogue in most places, and when they don't it's sometimes even better than the book. There, I said it. And then there are scenes like the one above, which was truthfully even better on the show than it was in my head. Holy. Shit.
So. Let's start at the beginning, shall we?
As usual, there are spoilers for all five book everywhere in these reviews, so be warned!
Nikolaj is such a great actor. He's gorgeous, but not an actor most people know, so I think maybe he wasn't taken that seriously at the outset, but I have to say I think he might be in my top 3 favorites on the show. He nails that cockiness and golden-boy attitude that Jamie has in one second, and then a second later we see his pain and loss and totally believe it. UGH, MY HEART.
Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) is great here too; I think she's finally warming up to the role and doesn't seem as stiff and forced as she did in the first episode. Her concern for Jamie is genuine here, and seeing him fall and then get handed a skin full of horse-piss is so fucking humiliating. Also, gross.
Jamie tries unsuccessfully to fight and escape, swinging his stolen sword wildly with his left hand, malnourished and weak and barely even able to stand. When he's finally knocked back down, it's like we're watching his will to live get knocked out of him.
Bran is dreaming of the three-eyed crow again. It's odd how none of these dreams were in the book, but they don't seem entirely out of place. I'm just not exactly sure what they're supposed to mean? Last time he was in a memory gone weird as well, with Robb and Jon and his father's voice. In this one, Jojen tells him to follow the crow, and when he's up in the tree he comes across his mother, who yells at him for climbing in the same way she did in the first episode of the show. Only this time she keeps yelling, and grabs Bran so forcefully that she knocks him out of the tree.
Is this just supposed to be Bran working through the jumble of memories surrounding his accident, things that he hadn't been willing to deal with when asked about them before, or maybe that he legitimately didn't remember? Hopefully this will come together.
Varys! I have missed you in the books, it's so good to see your powdered face on the show.
This is a weird scene, in that something happens which I almost wonder may be a spoiler for a book that hasn't even been written yet?
Varys greets Tyrion and we find out that Tyrion suspects his sister of the attempt on his life during the Blackwater, and he wants Varys to provide some proof of this. Varys says something cryptic about needing a strong stomach for revenge, and then seemingly out of nowhere launches into the story of how he lost his manhood. In the book, Tyrion plainly doesn't believe him, but here it appears that he does.
When Varys yanks off the crate lid to reveal the sorcerer inside, with his mouth sewn shut (uuuughhhh) we see where Varys was going with his earlier statement. He is gonna need a strong stomach himself.
So WTF, writers?! Was this just a whim? Was this something GRRM approved? I wanna know where this is going! Agh, so intrigued. I can't even be mad, I'm kinda impressed.
Sam wanders off to see Gilly, who is nursing her baby, and she basically throws the thimble he gave her in his face, and says, "I don't want your bullshit promise, I want you to grow a pair and actually follow through on it." And Sam seems to recognize that she's right, but he's at a loss as to what to do.
The guys are digging trenches and bitching about the fact that they've basically been put to work by their "host", who refuses to even feed them properly. I can't say I blame them. Craster seems to enjoy rubbing it in their faces that he's got food and isn't giving it to them.
I love that they reference that they seem to always be digging ditches, too. I had noticed that. What it this, Law&Order? They always need some sort of activity I guess.
Ros is talking to Varys about Pod's prowess, while Tyrion tries unsuccessfully to deduce what could make this unassuming young man the "most extraordinary man they have ever had". You're not alone, Tyrion, I wanna know too!
Ros moves on to tell Varys that Littlefinger has ordered TWO featherbeds for his ship, which makes Varys wonder who could be as important to Littlefinger as Littlefinger. And then they basically just tell us that he's going to be scooping Sansa up and taking her away.
Okay, if I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times. THEY HAVE FUCKED UP PETYR BAELISH. This is the only thing about the show that I continue to hate with unending passion, even in this amazing season. WHY WHY WHY are they telling the audience all of Petyr's plans ahead of time? The twist where we find out just how much of the story was organized by Littlefinger is one of the best parts of the books. Sure, some of it is still secret, but they are really making him look like an incompetent, unsubtle fool. Grrrrrrrrr.
Elsewhere in King's Landing, Joffrey is showing Margaery Tyrell around the Great Sept of Baelor, which as far as I can tell is like the Tower of London in that everything that happened there was bloody and horrible. Margaery genuinely seems to be enjoying herself, and Joffrey seems positively delighted to have found a buddy who enjoys pain and torture as much as he does.
Cersei, meanwhile, is watching Margaery through narrowed eyes, and being very chilly with the always-awesome Queen of Thorns. The sound of the crowd outside draws Margaery to the door, and she convinces Joffrey to greet them and do some positive PR. Cersei is obviously really uncomfortable with this, and tries to stop them, but Joffrey only has eyes for Margaery. Awwww, it's almost sweet.
Theon. Oh god.
This is the scene that I've been dreading. It starts out with the Boy essentially telling Theon that his father Balon knew he was being tortured and wasn't planning on doing anything about it because Theon had fucked up so badly. At first Theon seems hurt, saying that he was doing something to restore the Greyjoys to glory, and that he could never have been a Stark.
As they go down into the tunnels though, his lie to himself begins to unravel, and he finally says, "My real father died at King's Landing. I made a choice, and I chose wrong." It's such a sad moment, one of the first times that we see him actually being honest with himself, and it feels like his character has taken a major step in development.
And then Boy holds up the torch and we see the chilling X-shaped silhouette of the cross Theon escaped from only a few episodes ago. Uuuuugh, the expression on his face is so heartwrenching, he just doesn't understand what's going on. THEON, MY HEART.
Definitely The Riverlands
Jamie has clearly given up. When Brienne asks him WTF he's doing, he answers, "Dying." Her reaction is so much better than I pictured; she quickly stops trying to convince him and in the end just tells him to get the fuck over himself and stop being a little bitch, which seems to work. He gives her a grudging look and then takes a bite of bread, and thus begins his road to recovery.
She watches him eating and then asks why he helped save her from rape by lying about the Sapphire Isle and what it meant. He doesn't make a reply, probably because he isn't even sure why he ever stretched so far as to help someone other than himself.
Their chemistry is so good, I love the two of them together. I can't wait to see more of their scenes, especially a CERTAIN ONE WITH A CERTAIN HAIRY MAMMAL.
Cersei waits impatiently at her father's desk until he finally acknowledges her. She demands an opportunity to "contribute" to the Lannister legacy, but immediately ruins her chance by zeroing in on the Tyrells as a "problem". Tywin points out that the Tyrells are their only ally of importance, and that without the Tyrell's stepping in at the Blackwater, Cersei and all her children might very well be dead. Cersei seems unimpressed by this.
Tywin then says one of my favorite lines of all time in the show: "I don't distrust you because you're a woman, I distrust you because you're not as smart as you think you are," something I really wish someone had said to Cersei in the books (not that it would have made the slightest bit of difference). When she whines about Margaery manipulating Joffrey, he verbally slaps her, saying, "Good, I wish you did." YES. I hate you and love you, Tywin.
When Cersei challenges him to control Joffrey, he just says, "I will," and lord knows I want to believe him. Whatcha gonna do, Tywin? Hopefully more than you did in the book. *fingers crossed*
Elsewhere in King's Landing, Lady Olenna (aka Queen of Thorns) is berating some poor anonymous Tyrell girl for embroidering their boring rose sigil and the words "Growing Strong". She admires the words of house Greyjoy and Stark, for their fierceness, but finds their own words to be weak and flaccid in comparison. (Privately, I agree.)
Varys comes floating up, and she asks if he's going to seduce her, prompting the priceless line, "What happens when the non-existant bumps against the decrepit? A question for the philosophers." Oh, writers, you make me like Olenna even more before, and I didn't think that was possible. I love how lost for words even Varys seems, the one who always seems to know exactly what to say. Has he finally met his match?
They walk together, discussing what to do about the plot that Littlefinger is hatching to spirit away Sansa Stark, and Varys says that he (very wisely) considers Petyr to be one of the most dangerous men in Westeros. So what does he think Olenna should do?
We find out shortly afterward, when Margaery comes to Sansa as she prays and takes her for a walk. She shares a story about "porridge plague", horrifying Sansa, and then bursts out laughing at the poor girl's gullibility. It was actually a cute scene, and it's so nice to see Sansa not suffering horribly for a change.
Then Margaery asks Sansa what she would think of marrying Loras, and while this was an impossibility in the books because of his vows, it makes sense that for the sake of simplicity's sake they would remove the other Tyrell brother and just make it Loras. Hell, if they were able to fire Barristan Selmy in Season 1, why can't they have Loras lay aside his vows for marriage? I'm totally okay with this. And so is Sansa, evidently.
Oh Sansa. Sweetie. Don't get your hopes up.
We start off with the funeral pyre of one of the men who died from the Watch, and they're all talking about how it wasn't the cold or the Walkers or battle that killed him, it was hunger. Plainly, everyone is blaming Craster for this guy's death, and they're getting to the point where they feel like they have nothing to lose.
The tension here is so palpable, and it's one of those things where I sort of agree with the Night's Watch mutineers because Craster is obviously an evil fuck, but did they have to kill Mormont? (Answer: yes, they did, of course, or they all would have wound up dead later anyways. Sigh.)
The dude who actually kills Craster plays the bad guy in like, everything, amirite? And as slimy as he seems here, I have to admit I'm squarely on his side. He calls Craster a "daughter-fucking Wildling bastard", which is exactly what he is, and this enrages Craster into foolishly attacking him and getting stabbed.
Mormont, horrified that his men would violate the laws of hospitality (they've eaten Craster's bread and salt), steps forward to defend Craster and is very literally stabbed in the back. I get that Mormont is a man of honor, but Craster was already dead, couldn't you have just let your men eat and dealt with the punishment later after lulling them into a false sense of security? But maybe I'm just manipulative like that.
Sam goes straight to Gilly and tells her they have to GTFO. Last we see is them grabbing her baby and a horse, and booking it out of the keep.
I liked this scene a lot. The men's desperation is so evident and understandable, and the way the fight unfolds seems really natural and inevitable. Two big thumbs up.
A Cave In The Riverlands
It's almost here!
Sandor is dragged into the cave and confronted by Beric Dondarrion, who accuses him of murdering women and children up and down the countryside. After getting in some jibes about the fact that Beric's "soldiers" are just a bunch of masons and pig farmers with shitty weapons, Sandor denies murdering anyone. And for a second their accusations do seem to be directed at the wrong Clegane, but then Arya pipes up.
The Hound doesn't deny killing Mycah, but he justifies it by saying that he served Joffrey and was sworn to protect him, and that since Mycah hurt Joffrey it was his responsibility to take the kid down. But Arya says that everyone knew that Mycah hadn't done it, that it was her, and besides, Mycah was a defenseless child and the Hound still chose to run him down on his horse.
This seems enough for Beric, who appeared to be looking for a reason to hold onto Sandor anyways, and he says that Sandor can fight for his life via a trial by combat. Yay! I can't wait. Wheeeeeeeeee.
Aside: still not sure what's going on with their version of Thoros, the Red Priest. Is he pious and devout already? Doesn't seem it. Hmmm.
Oh my fucking GOD, THIS SCENE. Seriously. This scene. It murders every other scene in television history that I can think of offhand, and even most films. It's beautifully acted, the score is fucking perfect, and it's just so goddamn satisfying to watch. FINALLY SOMETHING BAD HAPPENS TO BAD GUYS. YESSSSSSSSSS.
Oh god, where to start.
Emilia Clarke is a fucking goddess in this scene. She is Athena, she is Khali, she is a hurricane of total destruction and justice, and it's glorious to behold. The coldness when she looks on Kraznys, the way she delivers her lines (in a completely made-up language, mind you), the satisfaction in her eyes when she watches the Unsullied obey her every command without question...it's just too good. TOO GOOD.
Kraznys can't control his new pet, and that's when Daenerys turns and says, "A dragon is not a slave." I love the moment the translator Missandei looks at her, realizing that Daenerys understood every word of every conversation they've ever had, and then the dawning that something serious is about to happen. And the expression on Jorah's face as he also starts to catch on.
I love that when Daenerys tells the Unsullied to kill every man with a whip, there's just the briefest pause, as if all of the Unsullied don't quite believe it, or think they will be punished for carrying out her orders...but their obedience runs deep. One master gets a spear through the torso, and Kraznys shouts for the guards to kill Daenerys.
AND THEN, Daenerys turns and says, "Dracarys," and everything is on fire.
Her eyes as she watches the slavers killed are just chilling. This, in her mind, is utter justice, and her satisfaction is so beautiful to see. She is enjoying this.
When we jump ahead to the moment she and her army are filling through the gates of Astapor, it's just so fucking epic. The dragons wheeling and screeching overhead, Daenerys casting away the whip and trampling it under her horse's hooves, the pounding march of the army, the booming score...AAGHH! It was perfect. Truly. I wouldn't change a fucking thing.
So! I know I'm about a month behind on my reviews, but what did y'all think of this episode? Tell me in the comments!
|Cat of the Canals, by ~Bodach via deviantART|
We're back, and we're better than ever!
(JK, not really any better, pretty much as unprofessional and terrible as before.)
There isn't much art of Samwell in Braavos, it's almost all of him up at the wall, so I decided to go with an illustration of Cat of the Canals instead, because let's be honest, that's the most interesting part of the whole chapter (and yeah, based on the caption on deviantART, I'm pretty sure that the artist is aware that he made a mistake calling it Cat of the Channels). It's always fun when storylines overlap.
There isn't much art of Samwell in Braavos, it's almost all of him up at the wall, so I decided to go with an illustration of Cat of the Canals instead, because let's be honest, that's the most interesting part of the whole chapter (and yeah, based on the caption on deviantART, I'm pretty sure that the artist is aware that he made a mistake calling it Cat of the Channels). It's always fun when storylines overlap.
This chapter is super depressing, as both Brendan and I are quick to point out, and it's probably a combination of the chapter and our own battle with recent depressing events that causes us both to go completely off the rails this episode. Brendan comes up with a new voice for Arya, I lose my shit completely, and the whole episode dissolves into a stream of bad jokes.
So. Enjoy that.
Thanks for listening, everyone, and we will see you soon!
Friday, May 3, 2013
|Brienne and Podrick by ~kyupons via deviantART|
Happy Friday, everybody!
Today we have our first Brienne chapter that Brendan actually enjoyed! It's a pretty long chapter with several different scenes, much like the Cersei chapter was. It's starting to make sense that this book is so much longer than the others even though it has fewer chapters. Each of our episodes are getting to be longer than the last!
Brienne makes her way back to Maidenpool and faces that ole charmer Randyll Tarly again, who (as Ser Hyle puts it) thinks Brienne could benefit from a "good hard raping". He won't allow her to stay under his roof, so Brienne and Pod have to go and find somewhere to stay, and wind up weathering a storm aboard a half -sunken ship.
The next day, after a complete and nutritious breakfast at the Stinking Goose, Brienne sets out with Hyle and the Septon and we get some insight into what it's like to be smallfolk in Westeros. In a nutshell, it mostly sucks.
Have a great weekend everyone. See you soon.
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Hey, guys. I just wanted to let you know that this upcoming week we will not be putting out any episodes. We seem to have been getting hammered with bad news over the past year, and today was the crushing blow. My father passed away unexpectedly this morning, in his bed, from a heart attack.
I live in Philly, but my family are back in Connecticut, so we will be traveling for the funeral this week. Part of me wants to record anyways, to distract myself, but anything we put up is going to be purely unplanned.
My dad's name was Eduardo Diosa, and he was a little crazy and a little dorky, like most fathers are. He was born in Colombia, and never lost his accent, even after living in the states for forty years. He was always making jokes, building things, and dancing, and as I got older I really began to appreciate what a good father I had been blessed with.
I will always be thankful that something pushed me to call him yesterday. We had a good, lighthearted chat, and his last words to me were, "Te quiero, I love you, mi hija".
I love you too, Papito. And I will miss you.