Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Another Summer's End

After two months of summer, I suppose it is time to break the silence and return to my little blog. Wow, I haven't blogged since... before the final episode of Game of Thrones aired - but I'm still intent on getting through my re-read of the combined A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons

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The holidays have been spent mostly offline, well, at least away from a decent computational device, and over the course of these long eight weeks I have basically been abstaining from geekery, aside from some late night reading of fantastical literature, following the Star Wars and Ice & Fire news (and lack thereof), and, doing something I was born to do, finally getting my ass on an airplane to partake in a so-called Star Wars Celebration, this year in London. It was a very nice weekend, I love London and I of course love Star Wars and to finally join such an event was a great experience (though I admit I was somewhat disappointed as well; it wasn't as spectacular as I had hoped it would be; also, what a blatant money-sucking scheme, good thing I didn't have that much with me to spend on merchandise..nerdchandise).

I've been hyped on that galaxy far, far away since The Force Awakens and I'm not getting less excited about the recent trailers for the upcoming spinoff, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story which looks set to satisfy my inner nerd even more so than Episode VII, so you'll have to bear with me if some of my future posts include this or that about the Skywalkers. 

That being said, this blog will remain mostly focused on George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire saga (as it always has been), with a smattering of other fantasy-related posts (when in the mood). To start off, here's what I thunk of the final episode of season six. Game of Thrones that is.

I actually haven't watched the episode since it aired, but when I did, I remember thinking that the music was odd during the opening sequence/montage, but I was quickly convinced it was a great artistic / stylistic choice. It was an unusual opening for an unusual episode, and I loved how the music and imagery created this sense of mystery which was finally blown up (see what I did there). Having both Loras and Margaery blow up in a burst of wildfire was very unexpected as I thought these two characters (Marge in any case) had more story left in them, but alas, just like that, they were gone. It feels kind of ... wrong...or un-story-like, if you will... to have such a long character journey and then bam! gone. Don't get me wrong, I've always appreciated the story for being a bit... rough toward characters, and so I have to wonder if the Tyrell (partial) extermination will actually enhance the story as much as, say, Lord Eddard's execution did. Of course, they have to be right quick about killing off characters in the show while the books will hopefully have a more convincing narrative related to the Tyrell siblings. I don't know. We'll have to wait and see. We know all about waiting.

There was a lot of other stuff going on in the finale, of course. I was surprised how quickly they breezed through the battle of Meereen, but thought that they managed to wrap it up neatly and to actually see Daenerys setting sail for Westeros was both jarring and a relief. "About time" should sum it up.

Arya showing up at Riverrun to slit Walder's throat was an underwhelming scene, in my opinion. It just comes out of nowhere, kind of. I had imagined a more epic scene for Walder's comeuppance, perhaps even at the hands of an entirely different character (who is absent from the show, so maybe we'll get Lady Stoneheart acting out the revenge in the books; in that case, the comeuppance would be all the more sweeter as Lady Stoneheart would, by slitting Walder's throat, repay by the same method of murder). Until proven otherwise, I'm hoping we'll see this instead of Arya just popping up like that.

The rest of the episode wasn't as memorable as I would have liked. I'm saying this because I'm struggling to remember anything else from the episode (in my defense, I haven't seen it since it aired, my memory isn't as sharp as many other Ice & Fire-fanatics', and well, maybe I am right a bit too about the episode not having that many memorable bits.) So, I was perhaps a bit underwhelmed. It's also strange to be in that position of having read the books and being a fan since 2000 and then suddenly the show is going places the books haven't been, and it becomes harder to accept what I'm seeing as the "truth"; in short, there's some serious messing going on with my head canon.

Oh, Sansa/Jon/Littlefinger. The White Wolf. Meh. Not really enjoying where this story went, I think they didn't properly show off the motivations of these characters at this point in the story, maybe on purpose what do I know, but I didn't really feel it; perhaps because I've always believed Jon Snow would end up leading the North and it became almost predictable? There are hints that maybe the Jon/Sansa-relationship isn't entirely healthy, and there is a look from Petyr Baelish that suggests that the Littlefinger isn't giving up quite yet, but overall I was a bit underwhelmed.

Generally speaking, season six had a fair number of sequences that were still tied to the already published books and I felt throughout that the showrunners could have produced scenes that were closer to the written material. As has been the case throughout all the six seasons, I often find Martin's original dialogue and descriptions to be more interesting than what we get in the show (though I also agree with certain decisions, like toning down Daario Naharis), and there are many times where I don't see why they didn't go with the books - as a case in point, the Iron Islands kingsmoot could have been expanded upon and used more of the book dialogue, instead of the extremely basic stuff we got. Or I could just be happy somebody's trying to film my favorite story....yeah I don't mind GoT's take on Martin's tale at all, just feel they could easily have made it even better.

Coming Up: Arya finally enters the House of Black and White, after lingering for two summer months outside its door.

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