Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Game of Thrones Finale: Thanks to Tyrion the "throne" has new meaning...

So the finale happened =( It had it's share of "holy crap!!!" moments to be sure, but it lacked a certain "finale-ish" quality. I don't know. Maybe I was still processing how Tyrion actually had the cajones to kill his father whilst on the toilet? Could be. But it was a really good episode with lots that happened, so let's get into it!

We see Jon Snow again (thankfully!) very much alive and going to meet with Mance. Mance agrees to meet with him and they sit down for a very civil discussion. Jon states that he's there because he wants to end this war, Mance tells him that he knows the Watchers are down to about 50 men and will never beat them. All he wants is the safety of the wall for himself and his men as he knows winter is coming and they will never survive the White Walkers out there. They need the protection of the wall. Jon knows his men will never go for it, but then they drink to Ygritte with real alcohol instead of wine (which poor Jon is not used to!) and are disrupted by shouting. Mance asks if Jon set him up and Jon says no. He's just as surprised as Mance is. They go out to see what is going on and its an army-STANNIS BARATHEON'S ARMY! HOLY CRAP!! Did not see that one coming! Stannis and Mance have a "who's is bigger" type showdown with Stannis insisting he's the King and Mance insisting he has no King-and that he's not exactly dressed for the weather. LOL.  Mance says a few times he will never kneel-and he ain't lyin. He doesn't. Jon introduces himself to Stannis as Ned Stark's son and you can't really tell if Stannis believes him or not. Stannis asks Jon what Ned would do. Jon tells him that since Mance had him as a hostage and did not mistreat him, Ned would do the same. They take Mance, and Jon heads back to the wall where the men are burning all of the bodies. Through the flames Jon sees Melisandre...oh 7 hells. That's never good. He then takes Ygrittes body to burn it-and I don't think she ever looked that pretty. Death really becomes her. Jon walks away from the burning body in tears. Jon has become the leader he was meant to be...but I have a feeling his tests are only beginning.

So remember with Prince Oberyn we had a bit of a Princess Bride thing going on? Well it happened again-the Mountain is only MOSTLY dead it seems! Cersei is having some warlock-lookin "doctor" get The Mountain mostly alive. She is warned that he could be "changed"-she doesn't care. She just wants her protection back. So where else does she go? To go see daddy. She tells Tywin she will never marry Loras and that if he tries to force her to, she will expose their family. He genuinely doesn't know what she could expose them about. She cannot believe that her father doesn't know but then she realizes how he couldn't know-he was too busy idealizing his dream of a dynasty to actually see his children for what they were. And it's then she drops the bomb-her children are Jamie's and NOT the rightful Kings. For the first time in all 4 seasons (and probably ever), we see Tywin like we never have before: he's shaken. He doesn't believe it."Your legacy is a lie" Cersei spews before running off to Jamie. She declares that she's in love with him, that she's choosing him and that she told their father. Jamie looks scared but then Cersei kisses him and all his fear goes away. Ewwwe.

Dany is sitting on her throne seeing all the city folk that have issues that she created freeing the slaves-which turns out to be a lot. An elderly gentleman tells her that he had it made with his master and she effed up his good life! Dany seems baffled that all her good work is not working out. She allows the man to sell himself back to his master. Another man comes in with the charred remains of his three year old daughter-all thanks to that rascal dragon Drogo who has gone missing. Dany goes to the two dragons that are still somewhat behaved and chains them up. They cry and so does she. She's devastated to do this as she is the breaker of chains, but dragons will be dragons and she cannot have them burning up innocent children.I hope they develop Dany more next season. I feel like a lot of time was wasted with her.

We see Bran and company still looking for that tree. They FINALLY freakin find it-and it's all Bran thought it would be and more. They walk towards it when suddenly Jojen is grabbed at his feet and pulled by a skeleton. This is what happens to un-burned bodies here! Hodor goes to help him but is overcome by fear-Bran does his "eyes in the back of his head thing", takes over Hodor and fights off the skeletons. One skeleton gets Jojen and stabs him over and over. His sister sees this and runs to his side. Jojen tells her to run but she won't-until what appears to be a child tells them to run to her. His sister mercifully kills Jojen and the child throws fireballs at the skeletons to kill them and-throws one at Jojen so that he won't turn. They run into the tree and the child leads them down a cave of tree roots. Hodor puts Bran down and Bran crawls towards the person sitting in the middle of a bunch of roots-it's the "three-eyed raven" Bran would see in visions. He informs them that Jojen knew of his death and brought them all there anyway. He tells Bran that he will never walk again-but that he WILL fly. Dayyyum!

Next up we see Brienne waking up pissed at Pod because he lost the horses. #lovethem. Brienne then sees Arya doing her sword practice. Arya is mesmerized by the statuesque woman in armor. Arya asks her how she became a knight and Brienne basically tells her that she's not a knight but can fight like one! Her father only trained her when she wouldn't quit fighting-and losing-to the boys. Arya looks empowered by this. The Hound comes over and breaks up girl time. He stumbles over and Brienne gives him the most kick ass greeting that I will be using from here on in: "Seven blessings to you sir"  I LOVE HER! The Hound has no time for pleasantry's and demands to know who she is. Pod recognizes the Hound and tells Brienne who he is. Brienne then realizes that the girl is Arya and apologizes to her for not keeping her mother safe. She tells Arya she made a vow to her mother that she would find Arya and bring her to safety. The Hound scoffs and says " Her Aunt's dead. Her mother's dead. Her father's dead. Her brother's are dead. She HAS no safety." #truth. The Hound has a point but Brienne will keep her word.  Sensing what was coming, Arya runs and Pod runs after her. Hound and Brienne begin to fight (the scenery was AMAZING. I think they filmed it in Ireland and it was gorgeous. I had to watch again when I could ignore the ensuing fight to really take in the beauty but it was stunning) and the fight  was soooo good but sooo bad since I didn't want either one of them to die. At first it was a skillful sword fight that turned into a ghetto "I'm gonna bite your ear off Hound" kind of fight!!! She ripped his ear off like it was a piece of steak, Hound kicked Brienne so hard in her lady parts that she almost spit out her womb...it was nasty. But Brienne got the upper hand and sent Hound spiraling over the cliff. She started screaming "ARYA!!!! ARYA!!!" and finds Pod who had lost her. Poor Pod probably got his butt handed to him but we won't find out until next season =( Arya comes upon the Hound who looks mostly dead as well. She asks him if he's dying and he says he is. He tells her to go with Brienne because she won't last a day alone. Arya says no, she won't go with her. Hound can see her resolve and says sadly "Ok. Remember where the heart is". Awwe. He really does care for her. He begs Arya to kill him, to cross his name off her list but she just stares at him. She goes over to him, takes his money and leaves without a word. Hound screams for her to just kill him but she's already gone. The Hound taught her well. It was a sad end to their relationship though. Arya has become hardened and bitter, and The Hound grew softer because of her.

FINALLY we see Tyrion!! He's still alive, awaiting his death sentence the following day. Jamie opens the door and tells his brother that he does in fact have friends and they are breaking him out. Varys helped Jamie get him out and he's waiting for Tyrion upstairs. Since this is probably the last time they will see each other, Jamie and Tyrion share a heartfelt, wordless hug. Their love for each other is deep and they don't need to say it. Tyrion goes but not to Varys-he goes to find Tywin. I think he went to find Tywin because he needed that last bit of validation, of closure. But what he got instead was a naked Shae waiting for her "Lion" Tywin. Tyrion's betrayal overcomes him and he attacks Shae. She fights back but when he manages to grab her necklace, he pulls it tight and chokes the life out of her. When he snaps out of his rage, he whispers "I'm sorry" and gets up. He grabs a crossbow and goes to find Tywin. And he does find him...while on the actual throne-the toilet. Tyrion is broken and confronts his father about how he knew that he always hated him, always wanted him dead. Twyin admits it but wants to talk somewhere that isn't the toilet. Tyrion isn't having a change of scenery just to appease Tywin and speaks of the betrayal with Tyrion's only love Shae. Tywin flippantly asks "Who, the whore?"  Tyrion warns him not to call her that again-and of course he does. Tyrion shoots him! Stunned, Tywin falls back but I don't believe he thinks Tyrion will actually kill him. Tywin says "You're no son of mine". That's when Tyrion digs deep and says "Oh I am YOUR son. I have always been YOUR son" and shoots the crossbow again, right into Tywin's heart. Tyrion then goes to Varys, who immediatly knows something is wrong. "What did you do???" Varys asks. Tyrion says nothing. Varys helps him into the crate with breathing holes and the crate gets loaded on a boat. Bells begin to sound as Varys walks to return to the castle. He looks back at the crate, thinks better of it and goes and sits next to it. I smell a Varys/Tyrion show next season!!

Arya found Brienne's horse and rides off into the sunset-kind of. She spots a fleet of ships and goes up to the Captain. She asks where they're going, says she will work and sleep on the floor. He tells her they're going to Braavos, which is no place for her. She finds her piece of iron that the creepy man from season 2 gave her and said the magic words he told her to use: "Valar Morghulis" which translates to: All men must die. That very much gets the Captain's attention, he promises her a cabin and off they sail toward Braavos, Arya all alone.

What a season!!! I would argue that this was the best one yet. If Peter Dinklage does not get an Emmy for his work as Tyrion, Valar Morghulis indeed!!!He has been nothing short of spectacular all season long. And this might be just me, but I hope the Hound lives. I hope he's only mostly dead too because the relationship he developed with Arya was redeeming him. The one and only flaw from this season that I can see is that Jamie raped Cersei and there was never any more mention of it. Rape is so commonplace on this show but to see Jamie do it unsettles me to this day. Otherwise, this will be a LONG ten months until it's return. Hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did!!! I will be recapping "True Blood" now that Games is over =( Hope to see you all then!!! =)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Another break from pop culture: Relationships. Oh yeah, we're going there!

Relationships. Familial relationships, relationships with friends, loved ones-we all have them. Most are complicated, or can be for certain periods of time. We may not understand our parents, fight with our siblings, go to couples counseling...basically nothing is perfect. What prompted this here blog is a conversation I had with someone, who is like my brother, and is going through a breakup. He is heartbroken and quite honestly it pisses me off. Yes it PISSES ME OFF. I hate to see someone I love in pain of course, but it's more than that. It's the utter disregard we seem to have for other people's feelings. It seems especially as we get older, it happens more often. My inner circle knows that for the past few months I've been struggling with the actions (or in-actions honestly) of someone I was in a relationship with. After speaking with my friend and hearing the story, it's eerily similar what is happening to him had happened to me. I have had quite a few relationships in my day, and I have to say that I can't ever remember things being as bad as they are now with how people handle things. I mean, you would think the older we get the more we would value others and how they feel, right? That we would tread a little more carefully because with age supposedly comes wisdom-and we wisely value other people who actually care about us, right?!?!? WRONG! I had better endings in high school than I've had the past few years and my friend has too. So, to be Carrie-esque here, I have to wonder: Why are we so irresponsible with others and their feelings? About a year ago, I started dating someone who my friends aptly nicknamed "Turtledove". He was very sweet, very nice but there was no magic there. I tried hard to like him because good men are truly hard to find, but I just couldn't make myself like him the way he liked me. So, ashamed to say, I just started distancing myself from him. It killed me to think of having THAT conversation with him. But, he kept pursuing so I finally had to. And he took it well. He was upset, sure. But he would have been a million times more upset had we not had that talk. And he had closure. There were no open endings, nothing to misinterpret or misunderstand, it was done maturely and respectfully and there was a finality to it. He was able to move on completely. That is a gift I'm finding more and more hard to come by. Some people never get that closure and though "experts" claim we don't need it, I disagree. I think we really do. My closure over someone I was in love with years ago came to me in a dream. We no longer spoke, my heart was broken and he had moved on. He wasn't about to give me anything, never mind closure. This went on for a while and then it's almost like my mind had to have it-so it came in a dream. In my dream I was able to get the apology I had so wanted and I also got to apologize-which is something I had badly wanted to do as well. Because it would never happen in real life, I had to dream about it in order to let it go. It's what I needed to finally let go and move on myself.. But does it really have to come to that? I don't think so. I think the more we distance ourselves and avoid, the more we hurt people. And it's a really selfish, cowardly act in general. No one deserves that, especially not someone with whom you were close to. So, in short, just try to be kind. Try to value people that actually do care about you and think about their best interest, as well as your own. Karma is a real bitch and she keeps notes. You want to be on her good side, because it all does come back around eventually. And I hope for my friend, and myself as well, that we find people who will value us and our feelings. It may be with these people or may not be. But in the end, we deserve to have people who would do anything to NOT hurt us. Because we're good enough. We're smart enough. And gosh darn it, people like us! You're welcome for the obscure SNL reference =) Just be kind and thoughtful. That is the moral of this here story.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

GOT recap: Castle Black

Have you processed last week's GOT? I still have not. I wanted so badly to have a big "Dallas" scene where Prince Oberyn comes out of the shower saying "It was all a dream. I beat the Mountain, Tyrion is safe and all is right with the world!". Alas, that didn't happen =(  This will be an unusually easy episode to recap as we have one main scene: The battle for Castle Black. I must admit, I have not particularly enjoyed all the Castle Black lead up. But this past Sunday's episode lived up to the hype! The special effects were pretty damn amazing. We had giants AND mammoths. Giants riding mammoths! Giants shooting fiery arrows! It was pretty damn cool. But this episode mostly showed the strength (and weaknesses) of it's watchers. Jon Snow dominated and (le sigh) he lived!

The episode begins with Sam and Jon on the wall lamenting  their impending deaths, and Sam is mourning what he thinks is Gilly's death. He asks Jon what it was like to "be" with a woman. Jon, ever the gentleman, kind of sidesteps it, basically says it's amazing but says "I'm not a damn poet!" Jon was kind of surprised that Sam would contemplate breaking his vows, but Sam found a loophole: the vows state never to marry or have children, but says nothing about getting one's groove on. Jon is highly impressed and so was I. Never underestimate Sam the Man!!! Sam then goes to the library because he cannot shake the horrors of what he thinks happened to Gilly. Master Aemon appears and asks why Sam is burning precious candles just to read. Sam can't get Gilly out of his mind and that's when Master Aemon reminds Sam that he too was once young and in love. Sam gets startled and says "NO! I don't love her". Master Aemon says "oh yes you do boy" and that leaves Sam all riled up. Master Aemon says "Nothing makes the past as sweet a place to visit than imminent death". #TRUTH. Sam leaves the library and hears a scuttle: It's Gilly trying to get into the castle!!! Pyp is still abiding by the rules like they aren't going to die soon and refuses to let her in. Sam swears and tells him to open the damn gate. Pyp never heard Sam swear before-Sam says to get used to it! hahahahaha. Gilly comes in and Sam embraces her with the promise to never leave her again-until a few minutes later when he brings her to a room he feels she will be safe in. She calls him out on breaking his promise not even five minutes after making it and he says that he must fight and that he will be back for her. Lets hope.

Ser Alliser and Jon are looking out and see the night sky will up with flames, signaling that the battle will begin. It's really cool how they did that. Ser Alliser admits to Jon that he should have listened to Jon and blocked the tunnels but he couldn't be second guessed in front of all his men. I wanted to him to tell Jon that he underestimated and deep down likes him, but nope. He basically said  "I still don't like you and your girlfriend should have finished you off". Oh well. I will say that if you ever find yourself in a battle with giants, mammoths and cannibals, Ser Alliser is who you want to lead you. While they are up on the wall sending flaming arrows down to try to stop the impending thousands heading their way, they are unable to keep them at bay. The wildlings-lead by Ygritte, get through the south doors and Ser Alliser turns the top of the wall over to another Ser (who ends up hiding with Gilly. Yup.) and heads down the elevator. He gives a surging rally speech to his men about not dying today and goes sword first into the fray. He can be a jerk but he's not a hypocritical jerk-he went right into the thick of the fight. He is impressive but ultimately gets hurt and his men have to take him to safety. Alliser screams "HOLD DOWN THE GATE!!!" He knows if they get through the gate, they are in trouble. Meanwhile, Sam is trying to train Pyp how to use a crossbow. Sam steps up BIG as he has his girl and her baby to live for now. Pyp shot his first wildling and was so proud-then Ygritte ends up shooting him with an arrow right through the heart. Sam pleads for Pyp to stay alive but to no avail. Sam is PISSED. He takes the crossbow and heads up to the top of the wall to get Jon and more men. They are clearly losing this battle. Ollie, the little boy they took in when the wildlings killed and ate his parents, is terrified and helpless. Sam tells him that he has to get Sam up (and the back down) the elevator and he knows Ollie can do it. Ollie regains some sense and starts the elevator. Sam tells Ollie to get a weapon. Ollie obliges.

On the top of the wall Jon and company are doing what they can to keep the wildlings from getting up the wall and near the gate. There are giants and mammoths that are trying to take down the gate! When Sam reaches Jon and tells him what's going on downstairs, Jon again hands the wall over telling his men to "light them all up". And they DO! Jon and Sam go down the elevator where Jon takes in all that's going on-and he is fired up! This has been three years in the making here and he is ready for it. Jon is fighting with the biggest, ugliest cannibal there and then Ygritte see him and Jon fighting. Ygritte has them in her sight-you think she will kill the cannibal since she warned them all that Jon Snow was her kill, or that she will kill Jon right there but she does neither. Jon gets hold of a hammer and nails it into the guys skull. YES!!! Jon then sees Ygritte but doesn't see her taking aim at him, he just sees her. And he smiles. Swoooooooon. It's the sweetest smile because with all the fighting and killing around them, and despite the crossbow in her hands, his gut reaction is HAPPY to see her. And she is confused. But that lasts all of a second because an arrow "perforates" (thank you JT!!! lol) her and she falls to the ground. Jon runs after her, looks up and sees little Ollie who nods like "you're welcome". Jon holds her in his arms and she once again reminds him "You know nothing Jon Snow". Then she says "We should have stayed in the cave" and dies in Jon's arms. The poetic justice of Ollie killing his parents killer and Ygritte being difficult til the end was really poignant. Jon takes a minute to mourn then goes back to killing. With the giants and the mammoth failing to take down the gate, and all but one wildling (Tormund) surviving in the battle, the wildlings retreat. The men on top of the wall cheer (but are told to keep it down! lol) but it's Jon who feels the defeat of his lost Ygritte and the promise that the wildlings will be back the next night. Sam runs to Gilly who says "See? I promised" and they kiss!!! It was SO SWEET!!! Sam has become a man-and what a good man. He is smarter, braver and just an all around better man for meeting Gilly and falling in love. Le sigh. Sam goes to find Jon who informs him that he is going to see Mance to kill him. Jon knows that Mance is the one he has to face down in order for the wildlings to stop-and they won't stop as long as Mance is leading this fight. Sam tries to get Jon to stay but there is no other option. So Sam escorts Jon to the gate and tells him to make sure he stays alive and to "come back". Then Jon leaves Castle Black behind him and goes to find Mance.

It was a really great episode. The special effects were phenomenal but the growth of characters we love is what really drove it. Plus, our favorites stayed alive!! YESSSSSSSSS!!!

Next week is the finale. I'm so scared. I can't believe it's almost over...but Tyrion better live. That's all I have to say about that!!! =)

Friday, June 6, 2014

Game of Thrones....The Mountain vs The Red Viper vs The Shocked Viewers

Ummmm...so Game Of Thrones happened last night. I honestly don't even know how to start this as I my mouth is still gaped open and though I shielded my eyes, I cannot un-see what I know happened. HOLY CRAP. A lot of stuff happened and I will do my best to make sense out of it.

The episode begins with Ygritte and friends invading the brothel where Gilly and the baby are suppose to be "safe" (Oh simple Sam). Ygritte hears the baby, finds Gilly terrified and holding him, and allows them to live. Yiggy has gone soft yo. News travels back to the wall that the brothel was invaded and Sam is beside himself. His boys try to console him, telling him that Gilly fought a white walker-she's a tough chick. They try to strategize how they will win when the inevitable wall battle comes to their door. They don't know what they'll do.

Khaleesi's crew is all bathing, men on one side of the water, women on the other. Grey Worm spies Missandei in all her nude splendor and he likes what he sees. There's a love connection happening here and it's stinkin cute! Khaleesi is just like us y'all and she all girlfriendy is doing Massendei's hair. They discuss boys as we girls always do when doing hair and Khaleesi wonders if "the pillar and stones" were removed when the unsullied were castrated. LOL. Poor Missandei doesn't really know what that means, and though she isn't comfortable with nudity, she knows a good man when she sees one-pillarless or not! Gery Worm goes to her later and apologizes for making her uncomfortable. She says she wasn't. She apologizes for him being castrated and suffering through that horror-he says "don't be sorry". She looked surprised and said "Why? No-one should have to endure that". He says "Then I wouldn't have met you". Awwwwwwe! They really are sweet. Grey Worm got some game-unsullied or not!

Speaking of castration, poor Theon continues to be tortured. He is "playing" himself, though he is Reek now. I never, ever thought I would feel so badly for this character but I really do. He is so badly beaten down that he cannot even convince the new sick guy in charge at Moat Cailin that he actually is Theon Greyjoy. It's sad. What's sadder yet is, after sickman gets axed to the head by not listening to Theon and giving the people hope at going home, Ramsay FLAYS and kills all the people Theon just gave hope to. And Theon cannot care. He just wants to "go home". With Moat Cailin being conquered by Ramsay, daddy dearest rewards Ramsay with his last name. Awesome.

Arya and The Hound FINALLY make it to Lysa's and it is at the gates they are informed that Lysa is dead. Arya starts hysterically laughing! I mean, what else can she do at that point? So it looks like we have more of The Hound/Arya show and I, for one, am happy about that. LOVE those two together!

Littlefinger is now on trial for the murder of Lysa. They call Sansa in as a witness and Littlefinger is scuuured. But Sansa totally goes for an Oscar nominee and gives the performance of her life. She states that Lysa was sick (truth) and jealous of her, that she thought Sansa and Littlefinger were having an affair and that she killed herself. She paints Littlefinger as her hero and he is IMPRESSED. Sansa goes to her room looking like an innocent victim and comes out looking like Darth Sansa! She's all in black, hair darker and she's all vampy. Our little Sansa isn't so little anymore!

Now to what we've all been waiting for: The battle for Tyrion's life. Red Viper is all pumped up and states "I do not die today". Tyrion warns him to wear a helmet, but Prince O feels that it will ruin his championship coif. The match begins and Prince O took a page from The Princess Bride (my fave movie ever so I LOVED this!!) went all Inigo Montoya and repeated over and over "You raped and killed my sister. You killed her children. Prepare to die!" Ok, not the last part but it's all that was missing. They go around in circles, Prince O showboating his truly amazing swordsman skills and acrobatics. It really was an epic showdown. And then Prince O bests The Mountain and has him on the ground. He screams over him "ADMIT IT! Admit you raped and killed my sister and killed her children!!!" It's that moment that The Mountain gains control, gets Prince O on his back and admits it. Then he proceeds to GAUGE HIS EYES OUT and CRUSH HIS SKULL! Literally!!!! After killing Prince O, The Mountain collapses next to him and Tywin announces that Tyrion will be sent to death. Tyrion went from ecstatic to utterly defeated in one fell swoop. It was AWFUL.

It's almost a week later and I'm still not over this. It was one of the best episodes to date-and it was only episode 8! Usually it's episode 9 that has us all aflutter. I'm nervous for this coming Sunday because, it will be episode 9. Gods help us all!!!