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Game of Thrones Season 5 - Episode 3

Game of Thrones, Season 5- Episode 3

Hmmm. Well, that was interesting. SPOILERS of course.
- We're inside the temple of Black and White, and it seems we're going with Jaqen being the representative there. Ok, he's a familiar face, so this works. Arya's sweeping and not exactly happy about it, but all men must serve dear girl.
- Back at King's Landing, Margaery is going for wedding #3! Third time's the charm Margaery! Oh, and she and Tommen consummate the marriage. Considering he's like... 10 in the book, that obviously didn't happen there. Margaery skillfully handles the poor kid, but her handling of Cersei? Not so skillful. Poking the lioness there Margaery, not a good idea.
- Winterfell is not such a cheery place under the Bolton regime. Unless your idea of decorating involves flayed men. So the Boltons are talking marriage and I put the pieces together and then I FREAK OUT. No really. WTF? How is this happening? So obviously they're forgoing the whole "Jeyne-Poole-being-forced-into-impersonating-Arya" plot, but really, holy shit Littlefinger, this is a rotten thing to spring on Sansa.
- Good to know Brienne and Pod are following though. They bond a little, cause Pod is a sweetie. Huh. I seem to remember book Renly keeping Brienne around precisely 'cause he thought she was a joke. However, her decision to set herself against Stannis is a good one; Brienne needs a focus since we don't have all the Lady Stoneheart stuff to rely on. So following Sansa to Winterfell works.
- Lord Commander Jon Snow refuses Stannis' offer of legitimacy. "You're as stubborn as your father". Oh Stannis you stubborn pot calling the black kettle stubborn. So I have to say, I don't really like Stannis giving Jon all this advice that Jon actually decides himself in the book. It robs Jon of his authority, authority that he actually already had by this point. Then to compound it, we have Davos offering more advice. Of course, we also know that ultimately, Davos is wrong, it is more important that Jon man's the Wall. Cause y'know, White Walkers.
- Arya making friends as she usually does. Arya learns that she isn't no one, she is still too much Arya Stark. She gets rid of all her stuff, but she cannot get rid of Needle of course. And if you're read one of the preview chapters of Winds of Winter, you know it's a good thing she doesn't. Goes back to sweeping and then helping prepare the body of one of those who have given themselves to the Many Faced God.
- Sansa's at Winterfell. SANSA'S AT WINTERFELL!!! This is going to be so bad. I don't see how this is going to be anything but bad. Ramsey's such a fucking psychopath.
- At the Wall , Jon's making some command decisions and winning over the men. Even Alliser Thorne, who Jon makes 1st Ranger (Benjen Stark's old position remember). Janos Slynt tries out some insubordination, but gets abandoned by Thorne in the process when he takes it too far. Oh do it Jon, just do it, you'll feel so much better... Atta boy! (the execution of Slynt in A Dance With Dragons was, to me, that book's first "Fuck Yeah!" moment).
- Guessing this is the High Septon? Yup, good call me. He goes and complains he was manhandled outside of the brothel as that wasn't the manhandling he'd paid for. Mace Tyrell is such a hoot. And we see the wheels turning in Cersei's head, and if they go as they do in the book, this is where she begins to make an absolute mess of everything. And such a glorious mess it will be. Oh and you must be the High Sparrow because you're Jonathan Pryce.
- Qyburn you sick, sick puppy.
- Reek sees Sansa, and doesn't deal well with that. Oh this is going to be SO BAD! Littlefinger, you're such a bastard. And how could you NOT have heard what a monster Ramsey is? But you gotta hand it to Roose Bolton, he's no idiot, he knows Baelish is going to play him, but he's not sure how.
- The Tyrion/Varys roadshow! Tyrion's feeling a little cooped up. These two are hilarious. "One more drunk dwarf". Hey! What's Katana from Arrow doing evangelizing for R'hllor? Weird. Oh and here's Jorah Mormont drinking himself to death in a brothel that features a Mother of Dragons lookalike because he's still so very, very sad Dany sent him away. His grand plan is to take Tyrion to where Tyrion was already going. Albeit, I bet Tyrion's gonna wish he was back in the box with Varys... I must say, even though I'm wondering about if they're eliminating Young Griff or if they're going to introduce him later, this fast forwarding of Tyrion's plotline to get him to Dany faster is a welcome thing.
- Last thought? I'm really fucking worried about Sansa...

Game of Thrones Season 5 - Episode 2

SPOILERS! It is known.
I have been... wary of this whole idea of going off page because, even though I acknowledge the books have their flaws, I do love them very much and so wasn't sure about the show outpacing the books thing. (even though also knew that would happen). But this episode? Fuck yeah!!! So off we go where no book has gone before!
- Arya! Braavos! The House of Black and White of course. She's barred entry right away, but Arya, being Arya, sticks it out. The List has grown shorter though.
- Stop me if you've heard this one before; Pod and Brienne go to an inn and... OH GET OUT! Sansa and Petyr are there too? WTF?? And they see Sansa! OMFG! Brienne spends an entire fucking BOOK looking for Sansa. My mind? It is blown. Brienne, being Brienne, swears to protect Sansa, but Petyr's a slimy jerk as always and discredits Brienne. Oh Sansa, I have a feeling you should take her with you. (An aside: Dude playing Pod is a really good rider. He's adept at looking like he has no idea what he's doing on the back of a horse, but he's totally in control. Hats off dude). Oh and Brienne? You are awesome. Which brings me to this...
- I CAN'T BELIEVE BRIENNE HAS NOW SEEN BOTH STARK GIRLS OMG!
- Ahem. Cersei and Jaime. ooohhh 'our daughter'. Them there's some dangerous words. So of course Cersei gives Jaime shit over his lack of parental affection but like what was he supposed to do Cersei you dummy? Anyway.. Jaime's going to Dorne! I knew this was coming yet still I am half surprised. Book Jaime goes to Riverrun to treat with the Blackfish. That is not happening here. What's happening here is even better cause we are going to get...
- JAIME AND BRONN ROADSHOW! Shit. I didn't know I needed this till right now. And Jaime looks awesome in that red jacket and cocky smile.
- DORNE! Hello Prince Doran Martell. So nice to finally meet you. Along with Varys and Baelish, Doran Martell is the final player who is playing the long game. Or at least I think he is...
- Sigh. Back to Mereen and my usual refrain of 'shut up Daario'. Appreciate Barristan trying to help Dany learn how to be a benevolent ruler. And I love Barristan's stories of Aerys. It's important Dany hears them. After all, her sainted brother Rhaegar was going to take steps to depose Aerys, but Robert rebelled before that could happen.
- Tyrion and Varys in a box. Lots of talk of boxes. And going for walks. "I find us repulsive", lol.
- Yes, Cersei is going to kill all the dwarves in her quest to find Tyrion. Ugh, Qyburn and his Dr. Frankenstein tendencies. At the small council, we see Cersei not so subtly gathering power. But Uncle Kevan, bless him, is having none of it.
- The Shireen Baratheon school of literacy is once again in session. There is talk of Lord Commanders and grey scale. And what is left unsaid is that Gilly's father left her greyscale afflicted sisters in the woods for the Others to claim. Duh smile emoticon (PS. Selyse is a terrible mother)
- Jon is meanwhile getting shit from Stannis. Cause Stannis is "pure iron, black and hard and strong, yes, but brittle, the way iron gets" (RIP Donal Noye). Quick mention of the Mormonts, I miss Maege and Dacey Mormont. Stannis, after being told the Wildings won't follow him, wants to legitimize Jon and give him Winterfell so that the North will follow him (and Stannis by extension). Jon, being Jon, refuses.
- Lord Commander elections! Thorne is of course nominated by toady Janos Slynt. Ancient Denys Mallister is also nominated. And Sam, following in the illustrious, fantasy footsteps of other loyal Sams, of course nominates Jon. There are speeches and attack ads, (and I am a little sorry we can't see all of Sam's Realpolitiking on Jon's behalf, but I also wasn't really expecting it, so nicely done in having Maester Aemon cast the deciding vote) and eventually, Jon Snow is elected the 998th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. Congratulations Jon!
- Arya's making friends of course when the Kindly Man returns. Only it's... Jaqen H'gar? (well not really, but still. Nice.) "No one. And that is who a girl must become." Oh yeah. Let's do this!
- Back to Mereen. Sigh again. Well, that's a message to the Sons of the Harpy all right. Dany's trying to rule, I'll give her that, but sometimes, there's no right answer and shit gets out of hand. But the good thing? DROGON!
- So aside from the Mereen stuff, this was all AWESOMESAUCE.
(Forgive me for my overabundance of capital letters and shouting. I felt them justified smile emoticon )

Game of Thrones Season 5 - Episode 1

This is something I've been doing over on FB since season 3, but thought I'd put them here too for posterity.

Warning, there will be SPOILERS (for both the episode involved and I will talk of book events as I sort out differences)

- We open with something this show has studiously avoided so far in this series (despite ample, ample opportunities), a flashback. Cersei and her friend on their way to see the hedgewitch Maggy the Frog to have her fortune told. For the most part, they do the prophecy bang on; no she'll never marry the prince (Rhaegar), but she'll marry the King (Robert). The thing about the number of kids is amusing, for like a moment. Question for book readers, did I miss the last part, about the valonqar, or did they leave that out? Cause if they did, I'm hoping we get another flashback, cause that's really freaking important. It answers so many questions about Cersei.
- Tywin's funeral is the fun affair you expect it to be. Cersei's awfully bitchy to Jaime, mainly 'cause "He loved you more than anyone else in the world." Which yeah, but it's also Tywin, so that's really not saying much.
- "What's in the boooxxx?" Oh hai Tyrion. Varys looks suitably grossed out. I love that fussy eunuch. They're at Illyrio's of course, head of the Targaryen restoration front in Essos.
- Speaking of Targaryen restoration... here we are in Mereen pulling down the Harpy. I'm sure this is symbolic somehow. Oh yes it is, since the Sons of the Harpy are now killing Dany's people. Poor White Rat. He just wanted to be held.
- Yeah... not seeing the need to expand the (non-existent in the book) relationship between Grey Worm and Missandei.
- Hullo Jon. Jon's training, Allister Thorne's still being an a-hole, Sam is whipped and I miss Pip and Grenn. Ugh. Melisandre. Keep that healthy mistrust for her Jon. It's... healthy. Stannis meets with Jon and Stannis requests that the Wildings are let through so he can use them as an army to conquer Winterfell. Uhh... wasn't it Jon who wants to let the Wildings through the Wall because y'know... White Walkers? So this is an interesting change.
- Meanwhile at the Vale, poor Robin Arryn is displaying his lack of martial prowess as Sansa stiffly looks on. Not much to do here except drop thinly valed hints that Robin is weak and Sansa has the right name.
- Yay! Pod and Brienne! Don't be mean Brienne. Pod's kinda awesome. Oh ok, she's having a crisis of faith that she's failed Catelyn in finding her daughters...
- And there goes Sansa. Where is Sansa going? (an aside, I'm going to complain one more time that we didn't get a proper ascent from the Eyrie with Mya Stone and mules and all. Those were such great passages in the books.)
- Tywin's wake. Oh right, Lancel's become a zealot. Nice introduction of the Sparrows (and Kevan Lannister again).Haha Lancel, you're still a dweeb (typical Lannister, making everything all about them).
- Uhhh... Loras. Ok, I truly believe they are doing a great disservice to Loras in the show. In the books, he really did love Renly and grieved for him. He certainly wasn't promiscuous or indiscreet. But anyway, we do get Margaery breaking up the festivities and what are you plotting Maergery?
- Name calling contest between the Imp and Spider . I'm liking this whole thing of having Varys take Illyrio's place so far. But... with "who said anything about 'him'" I question that with this statement they are getting rid of an entire plot from A Dance With Dragons that felt like it should be fairly important but now I'm questioning it as a complete redherring? So book readers, what of Young Griff?
- Back to Mereen and reopening the fighting pits. Oh please, please, please let this lead to Strong Belwas.
- Shut up Daario. I don't care what you have to say.
- Where's Drogon? Not with his bros chained in the basement. I felt bad for Viseryon and Rhaegal.
- Hey Mance. Is it just me or did his conversation with Jon basically boil down to 'you know nothing Jon Snow'? So they're gonna burn Mance cause y'know, Melisandre. But that's all Imma gonna say about this.

Well they packed a lot into that, and I'm pleased, even though the idea that I don't really know what's coming to be a little disturbing, but also a little exciting. Season premieres are never great as they have to do a lot of table setting, but I'm ok with that. Hopefully next week, we'll get some Arya though.

Divergences

Despite divergences from the book in Game of Thrones this season, I am still finding myself enjoying it a lot. Which surprises the hell out of me actually.

I freaking love these books. I've lost track how many times I've reread them over the years, so I thought that if major divergences happened, I'd be a petulant little fan girl pouting "well it's not like that in the books".

(don't get me wrong, I'm still doing that. My husband must hear that phrase at least 10 times per episode yet he's still willing to watch with me. He also doesn't question why I have certain, violent reactions when some characters show up for the first time. He's a trooper.)

There are some divergences that bother me and actually most of them have to do with Arya (whom I adore):

1) I wish the Tywin/Arya show was her and Roose Bolton the way it should be. I think we need a little more time with him... just because.

2) The choice of who Arya has Jaqen kill is quite different from the books and in one case, should drastically change a later scene that is one of my favourites in the entire series.

3) Not liking making any Lannisters other than Tyrion and... one other, sympathetic. Attempting to make Tywin and Cersei sympathetic takes away from what makes Tyrion different from most of his family, and erodes from... someone else's incredible redemption arc. Well, in my opinion it does.

Things I do like:

1) I was never a big fan of Ygritte in the books. Nothing I could ever put my finger on, but she just kinda annoyed me. However, loving her in the show. The actress they've cast as her is knocking it out of the park.

2) Hey we got some Jaime in this lastest episode finally! Whoo!


I guess what it comes down to is, while they are taking different ways to get where they should be, the show is still getting where it should be. They are hittting the major points and hitting them well, so they are definitely preserving the overall plots and spirit of the books. And I very much appreciate that.

GRRM Live!

Last night, George R.R. Martin was in Toronto, doing a talk at TIFF's Lightbox. I had heard about this very early on and managed to snag myself a ticket back in January before it sold out.

It was such a great evening :)

I started off by seeing the Game of Thrones exhibit there which was... ok. Well, for free, it was great :) There's not a lot to it and much of the exhibit is made up of production stills, but a few of the costumes are pretty neat (Jon Snow's gear looks so... fake seen close up, which I found very interesting), the dragon egg looks smaller than it did on tv, but the workmanship on Renly's sword and scabbard was amazing. I did not join the rather long lineup to have my picture taken on the Iron Throne because I wanted to get upstairs and join the queue to get into the theatre.

I got myself a good seat, saw a couple of friends in the crowd and went to chat with them, then it was time for the main event.

It was a great talk and GRRM covered topics from the regular stuff such as his favourite character (Tyrion, Dany and Jon) to who is the hardest for him to write (Bran), to where he gets his inspirations (he told a particularly great anecdote how a trip to Hadrian's Wall in the mid 80s stayed with him and gave him his inspriration for the Wall), to how difficult it is for him to kill off characters (he put off writing a particular scene in A Storm of Swords till the very, very end because he found it so difficult to write), to trying to adapt his work and the work of others for television. It was all quite interesting, and he's a very entertaining and funny speaker.

As an added bonus, he read us an excerpt from The Winds of Winter. I feel bad in complaining that it was a Victarion chapter (as I find the Ironborn chapters in any of his books the most boring), but still, I appreciated the peek.

GRRM was also kind enough to stick around and do a signing afterwards. I had lugged two of my massive hardcovers with me (Game of Thrones and Storm of Swords), and I must admit, I had a moment of geek superiority whilst in the lineup as I didn't notice anyone else around me with original hardcover editions of the book. I know, I know, not my finest moment, and I should just be happy that people are reading his books now, but I couldn't help it. Anyway, you really only get about 45 seconds with GRRM as he signs, so I just thanked him for everything, and he thanked me and then (in what is obviously a stock question that he asks fans), he asked who my favourite character is. "Jaime Lannister" I of course blurted out. He chuckled and said "Ah, you like the bad boys do you?" And I had to laugh, because that's not the first time I've heard that. I just said "I do. And he's a fantastic bad boy". GRRM thanked me again and I was on my way.

Such a happy, happy fangirl :)

B-ball

So somehow I've gotten roped into playing on the intramural basketball team for my department here at work.

Now, I am fairly athletic and can passibly play most sports, but basketball is not my sport. I'm a pretty darn good tennis player, and can hold my own on the soccer field as well... but being a whopping not even 5'3", lets just say I've never really seriously pursued basketball aside from being forced to play it during gym in highschool, and happhazardly tossing balls at the net on our garage as a kid.

The R&D team needs at least two women on the team, else they'll forfit, I said I would contribute. It is just for fun, so what the hell...

But I'm kinda nervous for one reason... and that's because of my younger brother.

My brother also used to work here. He was one of the founding members of the weekly basketball games here. And he is a helluva basketball player. My brother stands 6'2" (he got all the height in our family, damn him), and he plays a lot and enetered tournaments etc. He's really good.

My brother hasn't worked here for 4 years now. But they STILL talk about him and his mad basketball skills. How do I know this? The player recruiting female players joined the company after my brother left. He never worked with him or played basketball with him. However, as we talked about my playing, I mentioned my brother's name, forgetting that they didn't know each other, and co-workers eyes went wide; "He's your brother? They still talk about how good he was..."

Oh great :)

Don't get me wrong. I'm proud my (not so) little brother has left such a legacy here. I just hope I won't embarass him too much :)

First game is this coming Thursday. We'll see how it goes.

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Doubles!

Last week, husband and I had a bit of a conversation about 'doubling up'; basically, having more than one copy of a comic book, whether it be having the issues as well as the trades, or having multiple copies of the same issue (husband got sucked into this a lot during the 90s speculator market as he was a stupid teenager at the time :) ) or even having multiple versions of the same trade. We were having this conversation as we're gearing up to get rid of a fairly sizable portion of our comic collection and we're making sure that anything in the 'sell' boxes really should be there.

But anyway, with a few exceptions, I never really did this. At one time I did have all of the Chuck Dixon penned issues of Nightwing as well as the trades, but I eventually sold the individual issues (I do kinda kick myself for that now, but it came at a time where money was really tight and those issues were worth a bit), and I have multiple copies of Impulse #10 which is probably my favourite individual comic in the entire world. But that's it. When I got my trades of Fables, for example, I 'bought' them by trading in my issues.

Right now, husband and I do have some multiples left over from when we got married and merged our comic collections. We currently have two complete runs of Starman and two (mostly) complete runs of Sandman. Aside from those, we have managed to divest ourselves of our doubles of JLA and JSA and a myriad of other things. We realize we just don't have the space to keep 'extras' of things anymore, so if they're duplicated, they need to go.

But...

When it comes to books... I'm actually really bad about having multiple copies of books I love. Off the top of my head I can tell you I have multiple copies of the following:

A Game of Thrones: Hardcover and paperback editions
A Clash of Kings: Hardcover and trade paperback editions
Guy Kay's Fionavar Tapestry: All three in hardcover, paperback and a trade paperback copy that collects all three books. (so that means... 7 copies of 3 books)
A Song for Arbonne (also Guy Kay): Hardcover and paperback
Fool on the Hill (Matt Ruff): paperback and trade paperback
Dragon Riders of Pern: The first three (Dragonflight, Dragonquest and the White Dragon) I have individual copies in paperback and I have a trade paperback that collects all three books (in my defense, the last was a gift, and it is signed, so I will not part with it)
Le Morte D'Arthur: I have... shit, four different editions/versions of this running around, including one written in the original Middle English. Can you say nerd?
Chronicles of Narnia: All seven in paperback and a hardcover collected edition as well.
And there are various Shakespearean plays I have two or more editions of as well.


As I said, and those are just off the top of my head. I have worked at paring down the doubles a bit; at one time, I kid you not, I had 11 copies of various Guy Kay books when he'd only written 5 books. I've calmed down a tad since then.

I try not to buy doubles anymore, but sometimes I can't help myself. I wanted a hardcover copy of A Game of Thrones to go with all my other hardcovers in that series. I wanted a collected edition of the Fionavar Tapestry especially since my paperbacks have been read so much they're falling apart... See, sometimes it's necessary.

But basically, this whole preamble is really just my way of trying to justify wanting to buy the limited edition, illustrated version of A Game of Thrones when it comes out. I'm so weak :)

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Tonight on the National... me!

(well now that I can FINALLY post again... sheesh)

Two Wednesdays ago, I did an interview with the CBC for a piece they were doing on George R.R. Martin. They wanted to talk to a fan, and my friend who works for the best sci-fi/fantasy bookstore in Toronto immediately thought of me and put my name forth. Basically K's thought was a) I'm a huge fan b) I've been with the series since it started back in 1996, c) I'd already finished A Dance With Dragons d) I'm a woman and not a 'stereotypical' fantasy fan.

The interview went well, they seemed perfectly pleased with my answers and with me. We talked for about 15 minutes, with the usual "How did you get into these books", "why do you love them so much", "did you like the HBO addaptation", "if you could ask GRRM a question what would it be?" (I lamed out and said I'd ask "Is ANY character going to come out of this happy?" and the loaded "Why do you think this series appeals to more than just the stereotypical fantasy fan?" (ugh. not fair) They were most thrilled with the fact though that the day A Dance With Dragons came out, I took the day off work (booked it off, legally!) to do nothing but read it.

So the piece aired on Sunday (July 24th), on The National no less! I'm on it for like 30 seconds (they went with the whole taking the day off work thing, like I thought they would), and they got my name wrong (my last name is Kent), but still, there I am along with interviews with George himself and Guy Gavriel Kay, who is undoubtedly, my favourite author. Supreme geek moment as far as I'm concered :)

Here's a link to the piece: http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/News/TV_Shows/The_National/1233408557/ID=2068554409

A Dance With Dragons

10am last Tuesday (July 12th), the moment my local Chapters opened, I was there to get my copy. On Graig's urging I took the day off work to read it because I knew I wouldn't be able to concentrate all day.

I finished it Friday night.

It was FUCKING AWESOME!

Only complaint was it needs more Jaime.

So when does the Winds of Winter come out? Cause shit, I need to know what happens next.

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Jul. 13th, 2011

One of the interesting things I've noted on FB is the proliferation of "RIP so and so" whenever someone remotely famous dies. Perhaps I'm a totally cold-hearted bitch, but most of the time, I see these posts and my reaction is often 'who?' and 'really? This person had such an impact upon your life that you care about their passing?'

Or maybe, I just don't buy into the whole celebrity death thing. I dunno.

In the past bunch of years, I can count on my fingers the number of celebrity deaths that I truly took notice of; 3 (I could say 4, but one of which was a comic book artist and I don't really think I can say such a person is a celebrity outside of the small circle of comicdom). And even then, most of those were 'oh, I liked them, I'm sorry they're gone'. I think I may have made posts about two of those individuals here, but that's it.

I think I perhaps find the whole thing a little... ghoulish? Or is that, due to the sheer plethora of it sometimes, that I question the sincerity of it. It almost seems to me a lot of it is 'oh look so and so died. And I'm cool for knowing it and commenting on it". I don't want to have a such a cynical outlook on it, but sometimes I just can't help but feel that way.

I'm not saying I'm immune, as I'm sure at some point, some celebrity whose work I've thoroughly enjoyed over the years will pass away, and I will end up commenting on it on my FB. But I'm just not certain who that might be. Not that I'm really looking to find out though either, mind you.

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