Someone the other day asked me what current shows I’m absolutely crazy about. I couldn’t come up with something. Then someone else mentioned GAME OF THRONES and I said OK yes that. But I couldn’t think of anything else.
We have new shows we watch and enjoy, but nothing (other than GAME OF THRONES) that I’m excited to watch. We’re rewatching about a half-dozen favorites from the 90s and early 2000s. But it’s all just comfort watching, something to slow down the brain before bedtime.
I may be singing a different tune when we get a chance to watch WESTWORLD. The previews looked great and I’m hearing great things about it.
Anthropologist Gabriella Coleman tells us about her book Coding Freedom and the time she spent among the Hackers, “Chris” makes his TOE debut with a story about the alleged hacking of the New York Times by the Chinese, and your host wonders if it might be possible to hire a hacker to break into George RR Martin’s computer so that he can read the rest of the Game of Thrones story without having to wait 10 years like everyone else.
George R.R. Martin started an annual tradition at the 1976 World Science Fiction Convention in Kansas City. The “Game of Thrones” author hosts a Losers Party for people who’d lost the Hugo Awards, which are awarded at WorldCon every year.
The con returns to KC this year.
David Frese, the Kansas City Star:
Sometimes, legends turn out to be true.
The stories go that back in 1976, when the world science fiction convention Worldcon came to town, Kansas Citians were among the very first to glimpse a little cinematic space opera called “Star Wars.”
Not only that, but at the same convention, author George R.R. Martin threw a party so epic that it continues as an annual event some 40 years later.
The “Game of Thrones” author’s Wild Cards series are set in an alternate history where an alien virus in the 1940s gave superpowers to a tiny fraction of humanity. Martin worked on the books with Melinda Snodgrass and a team of about 30 collaborators, each writing individual stories in the larger universe.
I loved the first dozen or so volumes of the series, and I’m looking forward to the TV show.
Dalya Alberge at The Guardian:
It is a sprawling fantasy featuring deformed humans, superheroes who can read minds and fly, and plot lines exploring issues such as bigotry and raw political ambition. Like the blockbuster TV hit Game of Thrones, it is also based in part on the work of the cult fantasy writer George RR Martin.
Now Hollywood is betting that a major TV adaptation of Wild Cards, a series of science fiction books grounded in gritty realism that Martin began writing 30 years ago, can emulate the extraordinary worldwide success of the HBO show. If it does, it will fulfil the dreams of Martin’s collaborator on Wild Cards, Melinda Snodgrass, who has struggled in vain for 12 years to interest film and television producers.
The US writer and editor was praised by executives, only to be given excuses about why the books were not for them. She refused to be bowed by rejection and her determination has finally paid off. She is now heading an ambitious TV adaption of the series backed by Universal Pictures.
Most obviously, almost of the rulers are now women (or are poised to be women in future seasons). Outside of Jon Snow, it’s hard to even imagine a male ruler in the GoT universe anymore—or at least one who doesn’t totally make a mess of his reign. Daenerys decisively quelled the Masters’ rebellion in Mereen and is headed across the Narrow Sea to conquer Westeros. Yara Greyjoy sails out with her, aiming to capture the throne of the Iron Islands and reclaim their sovereignty. Ellaria and the Sand Snakes rule over Dorne, conspiring with Oleanna Tyrell — the Queen of Thorns — now the sole proprietor of her house. I even got a morbid sense of pleasure (actually, “morbid sense of pleasure” could describe most GoT viewing experiences) at watching Cersei literally annihilate an oppressive religion in one fell swoop and be subsequently crowned Queen of the Seven Kingdoms.
Not to mention the ferocious Lady Mormont (can you imagine how hard it would be to babysit that kid?), and the queenly aspirations Sansa is no doubt mulling over in that shared look with Littlefinger during the “King of the North” scene in the finale. Overall, the Women of Westeros (book club name, anyone?) have maneuvered, manipulated, and all-out fought their way into the throne room — and already seem better equipped to handle the burdens of ruling than their weak, sociopathic, or blatantly incompetent male predecessors.” …
One of my favorite peripheral jokes of this season was Tormund Giantsbane’s blatant crush on Brienne. It would appear to be an empty gag, were it not for the fact that Brienne also seems to be the only woman besides Cersei who is capable of [piquing] Jamie Lannister’s interest. And why shouldn’t a male character desire Brienne? She can have typically “masculine” qualities and still be desirable as a woman.
There’s no mystery to Cersei’s appeal. She’s the Hannibal Lector of GoT — the villain you cheer for.
I really, really want to hate the Queen, but she keeps doing classy stuff like this.
Also: She worked as a mechanic in World War II. And it wasn’t just for show. By all accounts, she was good at it.
And the time she personally drive a Saudi royal around one of her estates, and scared the piss out of him, because women aren’t allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia. I picture her afterwards, alone in the royal apartments with her Corgis, remembering the Saudi prince’s face and laughing her ass off.
The prop used for Jon Snow’s Valyrian steel sword when sheathed works just fine in non-action scenes. However, when he hurriedly mounted his horse in the most recent episode, The Battle of the Bastards, it certainly didn’t behave like an object forged from an incredibly strong metal whose recipe is lost to history.
Follow the link for animated GIF goodness.
[Joe deVilla/The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the Twenty-First Century]
A medieval historian explores why A Game of Thrones has so many more battles than the real Middle Ages — five in one year for Robb Stark, compared with three in the entire career of the real life Edward the Black Prince.
The answer: Dragons warped military strategy, government and economy.