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Game of Thrones: Finale and Season 4 Recap

Posted by Billy Gil, June 16, 2014 12:28pm | Post a Comment
game of thrones jon snow mance rayder
Jon Snow looks hot/pouty while Mance Rayder looks weary/sleepy

 

Warning: There will be spoilers.

“Game of Thrones” ended its fourth season in its own spectacular fashion of killing off as many characters as possible in an hour-long show. The finale “The Children” wrapped up a number of this season’s storylines, which I’ll review below.

The episode started with picking up off of last week’s exciting battle at the wall, with Jon Snow heading off to face (and possibly kill) Mance Rayder, the leader of the wildlings. If you’ll recall, the wildlings got some help to bolster their numbers from the cannibal Thenns in episode one. Jon Snow had returned from the wildlings, saying he traveled with them to gather information. Snow and others thwarted a group of mutineers at Craster’s Keep, saving his own brother, Bran, and his crew in the process without even knowing it (a diversion from the books, I’m told). Master-at-arms of the Night’s Watch Alisser Thorne grew weary of Snow’s increasing leadership or impetuousness, depending on how you look at it, but Snow proved to be right about sealing the tunnel beneath the wall, which was breached by a giant during the wildlings invasion of the wall, during which Snow’s ex-lover and wildling Ygritte was killed. In the finale, Snow believes killing Rayder will split up the wildlings, but he is somewhat disarmed by Rayder’s decidedly unbarbaric nature.

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"Game of Thrones" Season 4 Episode 9: The Wildlings and the Wall

Posted by Billy Gil, June 9, 2014 10:40am | Post a Comment

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Warning: There Will Be Spoilers.

Even with last week’s thrilling fight that ended in the deaths of two characters and the fate of Tyrion Lannister looking grim, last night’s episode of “Game of Thrones” might have been the most exciting yet. Dramatically though, it’s a different story.

The episode began with Jon Snow and Samwell Tarly talking about love like it’s a damn Lifetime movie, not a TV show where people are regularly bludgeoned to death onscreen. Cheesy as it might have been, we knew it was just the calm before the storm. And what a storm it was—basically a Gallagher concert’s worth of blood sprayed onto viewers for about 45 minutes, with the occasional flick of storytelling thrown in the mix. Look! There’s Gilly, miraculously finding her way to Castle Black. Hey! Janos Slynt is kind of a wuss, hiding from the battle in the food cellar with her. And we were all waiting to see what happened with Ygritte and Jon Snow. But mostly it was just one big bloody battle.

game of thrones season 4 episode 9

On one hand, the battle was a spectacle to behold. And for a fantasy show set in a place beset by constant battle, the show is surprisingly light on actual fighting (aside from, you know, major characters dying in terrible ways all the time). Barring the battle of the Blackwater in season two, this was the mother of all fights in the show on an episode that smartly eschewed the regular multitiered storytelling to keep us held in the grips of the battle. Truly stunning were the wildling giants riding on mastodons, terrifying and even seemingly realistic.

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Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 8: Pride and the Viper

Posted by Billy Gil, June 2, 2014 09:40am | Post a Comment

game of thrones the viper and the hound

Warning: There Will Be Spoilers.

Last night’s episode of “Game of Thrones” contained yet another major character’s death, which has especially been a trademark of this season of the show.

After Oberyn Martell aka The Viper revealed a long-held vendetta against The Mountain and all of the Lannisters for the rape and murder of his sister and her children, the cards seemed to be stacked against the ginormous Mountain. After all, what could a mountain of a man do against a deadly warrior with years of built up resentment do?

A lot, it turns out. The battle between The Viper and The Mountain was the most exciting fight sequence yet on “Game of Thrones,” pitting The Viper’s acrobatic skills against The Mountain’s brute strength, with many of the show’s major characters looking on, awaiting Tyrion Lannister’s fate via trial by battle. And The Viper did get the upper hand, mortally wounding The Mountain several times.

But true to its mythical, nearly Biblical allusions—“The Viper and The Mountain” sounds at least like a fable if not something out of the Old Testament—pride was the ultimate winner of this fight. Drunk and blinded by hatred, The Viper resisted finishing off The Mountain until he said Elia Martell’s name, the woman he raped and murdered. The Mountain finally obliged—while bludgeoning The Viper’s face until his brains exploded out of his skull, before dying himself. Not only was this the most exciting fight ever in GoT, it was also the most bloody disgusting.

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Game of Thrones' Season Four: Let the Bodies Hit the Floor!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, April 3, 2014 01:43pm | Post a Comment
The wait is almost over -- who's ready to play?
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This Sunday, April 6th, Game of Thrones' fourth season is set to get real. Really real. Real to death. And when HBO plays the Game of Thrones everyone wins, except maybe the cast. NO SPOILERS or anything but -- in the spirit of keeping it real --  everyone knows by now that no one in this high fantasy saga is "safe" by any meaning of the word. In a recent interview Scottish actor Rory McCann, who portrays Sandor "The Hound" Clegane in the series, claims to cautiously read through the ninth episode script for each season while quaffing a glass of whisky, prepped for death and distress not unlike that major drama bomb that dropped back in S1E9. Of course it doesn't help that the show's writers sometimes insert fake death scenes into scripts just to freak out their already nervous troupe, prompting stars to worry in advance about life and work after landing a hit series. British actor Kit HaringtonJohn Snow on the show, explains, "We all flip through the scripts when we get them to see if we live or die, but the writers are very cruel; they sometimes write fake scenes to kill someone off and then that actor will be kind of out of a job and scared." Even hunky Hawaiian actor Jason Momoa, undeterred by the premature demise of his beloved character, Khal Drogo, in season one, has attempted to write his own way back on to the show, saying, “It’s a fantasy world, sweetheart. You never know!” Yeah, no.
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To give non-readers an idea of just how much death the series deals in, on the left is an image of the five (of the planned seven) published books, collectively known as A Song of Ice and Fire, with each death marked by a brightly colored post-it, like a bizarre murder rainbow. It's difficult to assess who is more relentless, author George R.R. Martin or whoever went through the trouble of tallying every death in the books. At the moment, the HBO series is only halfway through that green book in the middle, A Storm of Swords, which means that the seasonal thinning of the cast will be no less brutal than anything we have previously seen. On a more positive note, the scope of the show stands to expand further this season, revealing new faces and places on the map we've only ever heard mentioned before while also returning to some of the previously established  family seats n' things that have been out of play for a while.

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Watch the Throne, Charge it to the Game: Getting to Know Game of Thrones 3.0

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, March 30, 2013 04:10pm | Post a Comment
game of thrones tits wine and violence season three

Whether you're a fan of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire epic fantasy series or just a nighttime TV junkie jonesing for HBO's explicit tits, violence, and wine approach to adapting Martin's opus into their small screen "prestige" drama, you're likely as fired up as I am for the season three premier of Game of Thrones this Easter Sunday night. Having enjoyed reading the books immensely, I'm itching with anticipation for the faces, places, and expirations, however abrupt, yet to receive HBO's patent sexpository book-to-show treatment. For those interested in getting to know the new additions to the series this season, I've compiled my own top ten anticipated new faces set to appear in Game of Thrones 3.0 (expect mild spoilers at best), including a smattering of other related hopes and fears I have concerning the page-to-performance transition (e.g. I'm beginning to think that we're not gonna hear anyone say "R'hllor").

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Also, NERD ALERT! if you're in San Francisco on Sunday and you're looking for some Throner-related nightlife I urge you to check out the Game of Thrones viewing party presented at Stage Werx beginning at 8pm with a screening of GoT season two, episode ten to get everyone up to speed. Episode one season three will screen at 9pm immediately followed by a live recording of Boars, Gore and Swords (the "third greatest," and my favorite, Game of Thrones podcast) by Red Scott and Ivan Hernandez so stick around, mingle with ye bannermen, and partake in some top-shelf insightful and opinionated infotainment.

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