Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Wildlife Adoption Programs

My adopted wild animal family:
  • African Wild Dog
  • Palette surgeonfish
  • Stingray
  • Clownfish
  • Cownose ray
  • Sturgeon
  • Leopard shark
  • Flamingo
  • Hermit crab
  • Walrus
  • Kangaroo
  • Polar bear
[names: Picasso, Ilsa, Starla, Tango (only one whose plush didn't come from the charity), Bess, Tom Sturgeron, Leopold, Rick, Cassie, Chumley, Reuben, Snocap]

Other favorite species @ WWF:
  1. Hyena
  2. Macaw*
  3. Pangolin*
  4. Honey badger (though I prefer regular badger, badger, badger, mushroom mushroom, snake ahh snake oohh it's a snake)
  5. California condor
  6. seahorse*
  7. tree frog*
  8. octopus*
  9. bighorn sheep*
  10. bactrian camel*
  11. sockeye salmon
  12. rockhopper
  13. hammerhead
  14. anaconda
  15. prairie chicken
  16. cheetah*
  17. serval
  18. fennec
  19. pronghorn
  20. capybara
  21. arctic fox
  22. spotted turtle
  23. wolverine
  24. koala
  25. snowy owl
  26. arctic hare
  27. whale shark
  28. zebra
  29. okapi
  30. giraffe
  31. red-tailed hawk
  32. woodpecker
  33. barn owl
  34. emerald hummingbird
  35. tarantula
  36. monarch butterfly
  37. great white shark
  38. warthog
  39. red fox
  40. gray wolf
  41. leopard
  42. jaguar
  43. lion(ess)
  44. golden lion tamarin
  45. llama
  46. beluga [/143]
Fave bucket animals: Spotted eagle ray*, pink river dolphin, bonnethead shark; dart frogs* (esp. red/blue+red/black)

Other favorites @ NWF:
  1. horseshoe crab*
  2. blue crab*
  3. northern cardinal
  4. western diamondback
  5. great blue heron
  6. peregrine falcon
  7. roadrunner
  8. armadillo
  9. horned lizard
  10. desert tortoise
  11. mountain goat
  12. sandhill crane
  13. great horned/gray owls
  14. mallard
  15. eastern bluebird
  16. american goldfinch/robin
  17. redheaded woodpecker
  18. ruby-throated hummingbird
  19. red wolf
  20. whitetailed deer
  21. snowshoe hare
  22. red-eyed tree frog [/88]
*my plush/plastic/whatever versions came from elsewhere (Rio, June, Preston, Gabi, Cha-Cha, Dreamy, Rocky, Raymond, Royce, Renny, Leroy, Dagger, Armor, Cyril, etc. etc.)
How I miss my yellow IKEA camel with the one-red/one-blue humps and animal cracker-like poked-in eyes! ;; And Connie the koala. (And Gloria the grape...Joe's owl & watermelon, Fred's moose & lemon...my white happy face--for some reason we only retained Fred's red & Joe's yellow...)
Ofc I've many rays, sharks, & other fish+multiple flamingos, crabs...

Would probably pick a hyena next (& use either Jasiri or Shenzi as the name!)

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Sunday, May 19, 2019

Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 6: THE IRON THRONE. And now our watch is ended.

So. That's it then, is it...GRRM+D&D? The only character I can hope to see again is, happily, my fave Melisandre--because prequels are promised. But no sequels.

Well, I cannot say that the finale is truly satisfying or that I love it. I like parts of it. Mostly from the latter half. Because in the first, once again, fans have vastly outdone the actual plot. It would have made infinite sense for Bran to have warged Drogon and caused Dany to lose control--explaining why she suddenly changed course once we saw the dragon shadow from Bran's vision passing over the rooftops, and why we never saw any closeups of her attacking the city. Folks were suspicious of him from the first episode ("why did he choose that moment to have Sam tell Jon of his parentage...?") Instead, what goes down is more straightforward. Dany thanks her two foreign armies specifically (what about the northerners?), and claims that their continuing mission will be warring to liberate all oppressed peoples everywhere. Oh, okay. Where else exactly now? That's a bit new. (And except she started here by oppressing/eliminating a population for no reason. XD The conquering armies slayed her enemies, yes, and then some...the people she wanted to free and rule...suddenly she thinks she wants to just kill everyone in the world?? This fuckery, what even is it?)

Disappointed Tyrion chucks his HotQ pin and is taken prisoner. "Ho boi, errybuddy in Westeros gon' hate me now..." It still makes no sense. The whole thing hinges on something unbelievable. Of all the ways the story could've gone...this? The Daenerys of two fucking episodes ago was still rational. Losing Rhaegal and Missandei and whatnot really drove her to this kind of paranoia about Cersei--she used the innocence of the KL residents as a weapon against you? Kinda--her attempt to was dumb because you're on a fuckin' DRAGON and she didn't actually surround herself with a big ball of citizens. The bottom line is that all you needed to do was go roast her specifically. That was it. Precision strike. She'd lost. Of course there was no making peace with her. No getting past this. The rampage was a narrator's excuse to wreck KL and create an ending where neither she nor Jon sits on the throne. The person razing KL and from then on wasn't her. And the fact that I do not believe in her heel turn tarnishes this conclusion. They didn't make me believe it. I guess I just have to accept that the genetic predisposition combined with extreme trauma resulted in a psychological break. Still seems a cheap, shitty trick to pull on this awesome character. A few of her past choices might have been questionable, but nothing represented a fraction of this loss of logic. Trying to push that she was on a slippery slope to it is bull.

So now they're all traipsing through the ruins of the stupidass city ("I kinda forgot I wasn't going to be queen of the ashes and give myself a shit-ton of rebuilding to do!") But she seems fixated on the throne...which, momentarily will no longer exist. Her death is appropriately tragic. She is Jon's queen, now and always. Drogon melts not his last-Targ cousin or whatever the fuck Jon is to him, but the throne itself, then flies off eastward with his mother's body lying in a hind claw. ;-; If she can't have it, ain't nobody gon' have it. He sensed it was at the center of all this mayhem, like the One Ring or the money Lucy tried to return to the Monte Carlo casino...'cause he damn sure wasn't stupid enough to think the chair killed his mum.
Still no mention from any of these imbeciles that they should have considered just assassinating Cersei. Or telling KL to evacuate.

PAUSING TO ASK: WHO were the actors that surprised EW's Hibberd on set for the finale? There was literally nobody surprising here. Unless maybe it was Nikolaj & Lena, playing their characters' corpses. I was on the lookout for people we thought dead reappearing in some form, or people from way back in the series no one would've anticipated seeing again, or flashbacks, or SOMETHING. Shouldn't have read all those damn hyping articles; so much setup to be let down.
Pausing again: Fuck kind of lame-ass title is this? "The Iron Throne," really???? Not "A Dream of Spring?" None of the other better suggestions I've seen, just that?!?! Well, it was one of the casualties, anyway. Why were so many of the writing decisions phoned in this season? Looks like Bran's bloody wheelchair is the new Iron Throne! All came down to...that. And the whole "#ForTheThrone" campaign was supposed to be a distraction from the...oh, fuck it, I'm done being a broken record.

Backtracking a bit...
Tyrion painfully asked Jon to end Dany's reign. It apparently wasn't going to create the better world she'd had her sights on for so goddamn long after all...siiiiigh. They both love her and believed in her (same, boys. Same.) Jon tried to be understanding of why she made such an unwise decision. When Tyrion went and found Jaime's & Cersei's bodies, I'd thought HE was gonna find Dany and ask her to explain. Funny how the Imp ends up a Hand again. Even though he did a massively shit job last time and was on freakin' trial.
He concludes that Dany must have become high on power and ceased to be a killer only of the evil--that she's entirely lost sight of herself and everything, and her understanding of "break the wheel" and "liberate" and "better world" have become deluded. It's so fuckin' tragic. She became a senseless psychopath in ten seconds. You wanted to see her see it through, or die trying. Not becoming what she was determined not to be. Honestly, it would've been so much more acceptable to THINK she's gonna snap, then have her at the last minute pull back & NOT snap, and die somehow in pursuit of her goal. This was such a shitty end to the journey of someone who deserved A throne, if not the iron one. She could've returned to rule in Essos, if sailing to Westeros wasn't gonna work out so hot in the end. I'd be infinitely less sour if something had happened to Dany besides "went bonkers." Looking back over the series, it's just so...wrong...;; She was one of my fave POVs in the books. She and Jon did both know what good was and could have built a good world together. Mondo suckage. Dreaded it. I hate that it turns out Robert was right to want to kill her way back in S1, and Cersei was right to warn her people of the dangerous "foreign" invader with her savage foreign armies.

If the city were absolutely refusing to surrender...if Rhaegal and/or Missandei were still around and she lost them during/after this battle...if she saw citizens demonstrating that they saw her as an evil invader and actually somehow supported their cruel and tyrannical Cersei (shouldn't be the case especially since she has folks on her team who could/should've spread the truth about her to the smallfolk)...MAYBE THEN I could have bought what she did. Driving her to become the monster they thought she was.
However, the Dany we know wouldn’t randomly mass-murder a population of subjects who were posing no problem to her, who’d given her no reason to suspect them as guilty of anything worthy of execution. There was simply no reason, no motive if she was in her right mind. It wasn't vengeance or punishment for anything. Moments ago she wanted to rule over these people. Suddenly she’s nuts and only wants to liberate them from life itself (a perspective, okay, but not one she’s previously explored. I mean, it kinda eliminates or vastly reduces the "future generation" anyway, huh? xD) What they reduced Dany to was either "Blonde Targs be cray" or "She had headphones on and people in the streets were flipping her off." Damned shame.

Jon carries out prisoner-Tyrion's sad, terrible request when he realizes poor Dany's too far off the deep end to call back to reason (plus fucking Tyr's gonna be executed otherwise & tbh is probably just trying to save his own ass again more than anything...and I guess there's Sansa to consider too, eew. Plus Jon himself, Arya, etc.) This brand-new Dany is not our Dany; she's lost it and speaking totally uncharacteristic nonsense, save for wanting to rule side by side with Jon. As they should've wound up deciding to do in the first fucking place. But yeah, Jon has to Old Yeller her. And so he's 'banished' to Ye Olde Night Swatch for it, which ain't too shabby. (He'll be the only member? xD Have to retake them ol' vows? No biggie.) He didn't want to be king, and nobody could have forced him to accept it. Living up north with Tormund, Ghost, and the Wildlings--that's a pretty damn sweet ending for him, actually. Yanno, unless the dead rise again (watch out for Gilly's baby? WW relatives? Bran's still marked? What about Arya? Just spitballin' here. Wildlings can always act up again too, I guess.) Brienne should've gone and apologized to Tormund for making the wrong choice though. ;p
PETS FOR THE GOODEST OF DOGGOS, YES YES YES FINALLY. Pupper smoochings. Nymeria's pack never showed up to help, though, which was a definite downer. Only had the budget for a few pats, no more wolves? (It's one thing to subvert expectations, and another to straight-up let people down on countless counts. -.-)

Missandei's death has made poor Grey Worm ruthless against his queen's (perceived) enemies. He wants to execute the surrendered Lannister soldiers since 'the new world they want to build won't be built by those loyal to the old.' Course, your new world has a better shot at taking if you at least give them a chance to choose it, and you, instead. Truly say, "I'm here to break the wheel of tyranny and tit-for-tat violence. Embrace my radicalness. You'll dig it." In the end, GW sails the Unsullied to Naath, presumably to protect Missy's people. Just gotta avoid those butterflies, guys.

The council of lords and ladies and such gets kinda into Sam's suggestion of democracy after laughing it off (hey now let's not dismiss the idea of dogs & horses voting out of hand)--but stops short of collecting votes from everybody. They themselves settle pretty swiftly on silver-tongued Tyrion's suggestion. He explains the seemingly out-of-left-field choice of "King Bran." (Good story, lol--cool story bro. What a story, Mark. Did D&D kinda forget how to write one? ;p) You'd think Tyrion of all people could put forth a better case, at any rate. Maybe once upon a time. `-` And of course Sansa thinks it should be her. Bran's happy enough to accept, because apparently THAT was his destiny. Not living in some tree (so the prior 3ER didn't HAVE to do that?), or being Lord of Winterfell. This explains his uselessness all season? He refused to help anyone because this was all just destined? (When did he learn that? Sometime between season 7 & 8, by all accounts. How much tragedy could have been averted? How long's he gonna live?) Whatever. At this point I was still counting on his eyes turning blue at the end, our Little Shop of Horrors-esque hint that a reinstated Night's Watch is gonna have to be heavily restocked.

What's Bran done to earn this? Still feels a little random when he was never a contender, but could've been a logical advisor/Master of Whisperers or even Hand if he's ever actually willing to be useful. :/ (What do you do with a character to whom you've granted nearly unlimited potential knowledge? Have him sit around doing nothing for anyone and then crown him king, naturally!) He just seems to sit back and do nothing, volunteering little useful information unless prodded--and I couldn't believe nobody was prodding him!
As Jon's cousin, at least he is related to the "rightful" king; if they opened it up to everybody there'd be lots more choices to work through, just among people we know of. But was anyone gunning for him? At least we can reason that Hodor, Jojen, Summer, Leaf, etc., died for the sake of a decent ruler who'll start breaking the wheel for poor mad Dany? You might as well have considered nominating Sam or somebody, too, though, if you're deciding that the bloodline thing sucks and merit is where it's at. What good have Bran's powers done? He had to be prodded into helping take down Littlefinger. We're called back to the episode-2 moment where Tyrion sits down to hear Bran's tale. Maybe something in that helped convince him that of everybody left, he was the best candidate. Maybe his dispassionate raven-ness makes him more impartial and less prone to human stupidity. There's also the information access factor. Idk. Yay for the establishment of democracy, I suppose.
I’d feel better if more people had died and Bran was the clear best choice left. (And obviously if Dany had gotten a realistic end.) But tbh he and Sansa shouldn’t have been among the survivors. You want a king who can be a Peeping Tom whenever and on whomever he wants? 0_o “You looked beautiful [insert private situation...]” Bit Big Brotherish for my taste. Wild when leaks that sound like crack fanfic turn out to be for real.

...oh, fuck this. SAM OF ALL PEOPLE, AT THE VERY LEAST, SHOULD HAVE THE BRAINS TO PUT TWO AND TWO TOGETHER AND SEE THAT BRAN IS THE ULTIMATE VILLAIN. All this omniscient POS did was tell Sam to reveal Jon’s parentage at a hella shitty time, leading ultimately to this shituation wherein he’s king and Tyrion is back in the position he most enjoyed. Bran was interested solely in sowing discord. Yes, ultimately if they were intelligent they would’ve resolved things by simply announcing “Yes the crown would rightfully be mine, but seeing as how I DON’T WANT IT, I’m passing it to her.” “Kthx.” “Swell. I’ll help ya in some capacity.” “Cool beans.” 

-Davos is such a good mediator, lol.
-Whoa, let's not be threatenin' Yara, Arya. Your names are anagrams of one another. (And why'd you abandon your dream horse?)
-I think Bronn may have been wrong; not even death will shut Tyrion up.
-"You will be my Hand." *faux-fluster* "Oh, no, Your Grace, ME? Why, I never...oh, I couldn't...oh, well if you insist!"  
["I'll get food by pretending that I don't want food." "That's stupid." "I'll prove it!" "Oh, you don't have to prove it; I believe you're stupid."]
Tyrion's such a true Lannister through & through, right to the end. B-| And he's got the real power now. The Small Council will probably run most things while creepy-possibly-evil-possibly-entirely-disinterested-in-people-will-we-ever-really-know Bran snoozes...
-So Bran didn't attempt to tell Aerys to burn all the walkers, thereby accidentally driving him to "burn them all" madness? That would've been coolio, and called back to the Hodor thing...Hodor never even showed up as a wight, WTFH...

The happy little council of Sam, Davos, Brienne, Pod (?), & Bronn (lawwwwwl, love every one of his lines and the fact that this dude finally got everything he ever wanted xD) feels a bit pat. Throw together the surviving folks to aid and advise Bran, whom I guess still needs advising despite being an all-seeing birdman. x-p
That scene was almost straight comedy to lighten the mood. Right slap in the face for Tyrion not to even be mentioned in the book. xD But at least there we have a completed Song of Ice & Fire, teehee (and who hadn't seen that coming?) And oh, my outrage at not getting the honeycomb-and-jackass brothel joke punchline. Bet they only wrote the first line. -.- And Bran wants to find Drogon? Hunh. Interesting. To offer condolences? ;; (Sam's mum is Lady of Horn Hill? Davos' wife is...dead because he couldn't give less of a shit about her?)

Teared up a bit when Brienne filled in Jaime's pages, as I'd been counting on. (Should've written "Saved Brienne of Tarth from a bear, knighted her, and then took her virginity" or something. Notes about his performance. ;) AND WAS THAT INK DRY??? Again when Arya did what so many expected: decided to travel west of Westeros, to the edge of the maps, to find what's there. Chills when she said "That's where I'm going." It's probably just the eastern coast of Essos anyway. Be nice if she had a travel companion (or spin-off potential), but I'm sure she'll pick up at least one along the way. Maybe she'll destroy somebody's bike and they'll follow her around forever demanding she replace it...catching all the Pokemon along the edge of Planetos before falling off (what, we don't know their planet isn't flat...or what size it is...) Actually, she should take Hot Pie and operate a traveling food wagon!
"You were exactly where you were supposed to be." (Does that mean him yelling at undead-Viserion DID distract the WWs for Arya? Well, that makes sense...don't ask me to believe she got in there without assistance.)

In one of the most foreseeably dismaying results, fucking Sansa gets to be Queen in the North. Because of course her brother's got no problem turning "the Seven Kingdoms" into the less cool-sounding "Six Kingdoms." (And evidently no one else is interested in self-governance any longer?) So undeserved. Talk about unearned. That girl never did anything to change my view of her. She remained a selfish, lame, dumb, devious, untrustworthy, useless, whinging brat the entire way. Ew. "Uncle, please sit." Ugh, fuck her. The dragons should've eaten "ther quern irn ther nerth." The North could ask for better. She didn't give a single shit about the potential consequences of her oathbreaking. Being Ned's daughter is the best thing she's got going for her.
Disgusting that she gets a happy ending and Dany doesn't. Quick, fetch an assassin. The Starks really wound up doing pretty well for themselves after seasons of us pitying them, though. (Maybe a little too well...) Separated again, but fairly contentedly this time (way more so than last time xD), and they don't have to remain apart forever.
My my, how Sweetrobin's grown though, eh? Didn't recognize him the first time! Honestly his glo-up might be the most surprising thing in the whole finale.

Well then. Bring on the deleted scenes (please?), the 2-hour documentary, the prequels...Comic-Con...milk of the puppy (yes puppy)...

Other notable points:

-How long is Jon going to live up yonder, now that he's apparently fulfilled his purpose in resurrection (i.e., to protect the world from devastation and to unite all peoples within their nation? Perhaps he still needs to denounce the evils of truth and love, extend their reach to the stars above, etc.)
-No Jonerys baby after all that motherfucking foreshadowing, what the ever-loving unholy fuck. I was afraid of them letting things just fall by the wayside. Cersei's last baby may as well not have existed.
-Dany: *describes the book version of the Iron Throne from her naive vision*
-Tyrion: *helps my OCD by fixing the chairs but leaves one on the right side too far forward, making it even worse*
-"Not that I've seen." Well, the LoL was holding you for resurrection, boyo.
-"Lord of Lofty Titles"--oh, the legendary Davos/Bronn banter we'll never get to see! Even my dad laughed out loud at that. (Shouldn’t Bronn be master of WAR rather than coin tho??)
-STANNIS THE MANNIS LIVES ON!!! 8'D #OneTrueKingOfGrammar #MasterOfGrammar #AintGoneBeNoMoCoin
-Brothels>ships?
-Did I miss what happened to the Dothraki? Did they sail back home? (Oh wait, they went with the Unsullied to Naath? Or got dropped off where they came from? They just became tools for Dany's use?)
-Epic music at the end ;.; Thank you, Ramin.

And what else is MISSING that would have improved the final season/episode?

-Meera, Jaqen, Daario+Second Sons: How are they all? Guess they're just gonna keep doing their things, holding down their forts? Why no part in the final proceedings? Jaqen ought to be pretty proud. The new king wouldn't be here if not for Meera; she deserved one hell of a better sendoff, & where's Howland? How come no other Dany supporters from the east ever showed up to fight the dead or take KL even more easily--just the extra Dothraki and Unsullied she Amazon-Primed??
-HOT PIE, where is mah boi? Still bakin' dat bread, makin' dat dough??
-For the millionth time, all the red priest(esse)s of Essos, the Lord of Light's presence...I just wanted to feel that in the latter half of the season...wanted my girl to come back into it somehow (yeah Davos was pondering those mysteries at the feast, but not only should we have seen a special tribute to her, we NEED that damn prequel!) What did Varys hear in the flames--"Dracarys?" Was he suddenly a psychic in episodes 4+5 because the voice had predicted an inferno, and his own death by fire?
-Generally everything here: the Long Night should've been longer and intertwined with the Cersei/KL storyline rather than dividing the season into two awkwardly handled halves. That wasn't just another battle. It deserved at least a couple of 1v1 face-offs with the NK. Let's say TLN was the end of the series? Last shot=Mel? I'm for it.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 5: "The Bells" {INITIAL REACTIONS}

Okayyyyyy, so....the unbelievably shit leaks were for real then? These past three episodes, and especially this one, are the first time you can feel--no, SEE--the writers' hands moving the characters through inexplicably stupid actions from point A to point B, rather than watching a natural progression of events unfold organically. The illusion's breaking down. This penultimate episode is the one where Joe & Ma & I had to afterward really discuss the basic-ass bullshit box-ticking shenanigans D&D are pulling. (*Joe comes up from watching on the projector screen down the cellar* "Boy, they really ran this show into the ground, didn't they?" *proceeds to show me several painfully hilarious Reddit memes as we air some of our concerns and grievances*) I knew something was wrong as soon as the Night King shattered at the end of the third episode. The Long Night should have been multiple episodes. It conceivably could have gotten its own season. How much of this wonderfully, amazingly complex series is going to be thrown away because we only have one left? HBO should have insisted upon at least ten more eps, and found new showrunners if these guys weren't interested. And George, sir, pray tell how much of this came from you and your napkins?? Did you intentionally troll them and the world, perhaps to help figure out how NOT to end the story in your possibly-never-to-be-finished books? Or maybe you'll at least make it all make sense over a much longer period. I'll probably still hate it & be disappointed in Dany's fate (among other things...?), just maybe not as much. I assume this is the third surprise/twist (the first two being "Hold the door" and Stannis sacrificing Shireen only to lose.) It ain't a clever, surprising-yet-sensible subversion anymore, though; it’s just...straight-up bullshit...
Anyhow, my brother, the most spoiler-averse person I've ever known, read the leaks for this season. That's the amount of hope we're left with. Things are setting up for bitter shit, not bittersweet. A heaping helping of predictabullshit, with abundant amnesia.

Again I must start by asking Team Daenerys:
-Why didn't you set Gendry on some dragon armor?
-Why didn't you think to try assassinating Cersei instead of just letting Arya wander into King's Landing with the Hound on her own? (But no. The only assassination victim is seven-point-some-odd seasons' worth of character development.)
-Why didn't you ask Bran for ANY helpful information EVER, since he is clearly not forthcoming? He's so impartial and out of it and not-himself-anymore, he doesn't even "want" victory for the anti-Cersei side? Isaac couldn't have lied harder about "seeing a more human Bran again" this season, unless he was only thinking of the line right before Theon's departure... And Conleth may not have been lying about Bran not being the NK, but what of the hypothesis that Aerys went mad due to a voice attempting to tell him to burn all the DEAD?
Anyhow. Turns out Dany was dealt a bit of a shit Hand in Tyrion (who deserved that clocking from Bronn), and should have fully taken Olenna's advice to Be a Dragon in the first place. Could've saved us all a lot of grief.

Okay, so into the episode...first off, we gotta get rid of Varys. Whom I've loved since S1. He was so sure on Dany but now is all, "I don't know which side her coin landed on, but I'm pretty sure about yours Jon," even though poor. Jon. Doesn't. Fucking. Want it. He'd be her new Hand at most, and probably reluctant even to accept that. (And let's be real, Varys would prefer people he could more easily bend to HIS will.) But Jonno told, cunty Sansa told, Tyrion told, Varys spilled the beans more widely via letters and little birds...and Tyrion tattled on him. Plus he was actually trying to poison her already--what is he, clairvoyant?! Guess that's just his way ("an easy way out, and we'll release her from her suffering...") Yeah, guess he had to face the promised execution. Fair 'nuff. Truly hoped & believed it wouldn't happen, my guy. I know he feels guilty for the things he's done in the past despite having been overall well-intentioned, and thinks he's made a mistake in trying to restore the Targaryen dynasty in Westeros. The "Goodbye old friend" and Tyrion's touch got me. *cue So Long Old Friend from Garfield* This was no malicious ratting-out, even if Varys did save him from execution once. Oof. Sorry, buddy. BUT, hold up.

So we're not gonna find out what Varys heard in the flames when his parts were burned? His death IS just simple execution? What about Kinvara, what about all those red priestesses in Essos preaching Daenerys as the savior reborn from fire to remake the world and all that good stuff? They were really never gonna show up? How we gonna suddenly drop all kinds of mysteries and clues and prophecies and plot lines that have been built up so awesomely at the last moment because there's no time left thanks to D&D, and we gotta just kill everybody and hope the whole audience has forgotten everything that happened along the way as easily as Dany forgot about the Iron Fleet? Didn't want to have to fill in all the blanks myself. No Nymeria's pack to the rescue either? Yara, Daario, the Second Sons, they're all gone and irrelevant? No additional dragons, of course. So I have to surrender the hope of seeing Hot Pie, Meera, or Jaqen again? How many details, people, and foreshadowed things are we going to waste? What is the ending going to do to the series' rewatchability? My faith (and I had all the faith in the world!) has not been rewarded after all these years. I feel a bit chumpish. You can't really compare GoT to other shows; you have to compare it to the standard and expectations it's set for itself.

So da-da-da, Tyrion wants to try to spare his hometown, fine...he frees Jaime, who tries to make his way to Cersei, killing and being severely wounded by the ever-arrogant "King Euron" in the process. (Fuckin' a queen makes you a king, eh? Well, he'd thought he as good as had the promise in the bag...but no mention of whose baby it actually was? At least she finally looked somewhat pregnant. But it turned out not to matter a whit one way or another! No valonqar necessary to kill her either--so HOW did this come from GRRM?!?!?!?!?!?!!!!! His hands might have been around her neck, but by Jove did she deserve much worse than those bricks. I guess it was indirectly Tyrion, who aided Dany, which I suppose could also kinda count toward that prophecy,...but ugh, gimme the strangulation dammit!!) The Jaime/Euron fight reminded me of Beatrix Kiddo vs. Elle Driver--minus the eye-plucking and toilet-flushing of course, but a similar brutal knock-down, drag-out energy and some of the same moves. Definitely think they had to have been at least subconsciously inspired by that (superior) choreography. And naturally, I guess--Euro was a rival for Cersei's affections and finger-in-the-bumming. But then ultimately, Jaime and wimpy whiny cowardly Cersei just get crushed together, simultaneously crushing the hope of that disappointing idiot killing her and possibly returning to Brienne. Well, he was probably as good as dead after the battle with Euron anyway, but he could've tried. At least Cersei's finally been done in; that's what matters, eh? But no one will ever know wtf happened there? My golden lion-boi wasn't lying to Brie? Cersei, who'd just put a hit out on her bro, didn't even get to learn that he knighted her and took her virginity. ;p Ugh, okay? DAMN but I hope his last whispered words were "I fucked Brienne of Tarth, bitch." So anyway, Jaime tries to rescue his sis & their fetus but in the end, is unable. Ser Brienne of Tarth, you should've been the "woman he loved" in whose arms he died. Just go get Tormund, girl, honestly. Fuck all these dipshit dumbasses. Everyone who's dead already is so fucking lucky they didn't have to witness this braindead shit. Mel babe, I'm so sorry you dedicated your whole life to saving humanity, and they turned out...that way. Should've let 'em all rot tbh. #smdh

Now, everybody should've just fled King's Landing. The catfight was between Cersei and Dany. Doesn't need to involve anyone else. You know shit's gonna go down soon, so you pack up YOUR shit and move outta the way; that's what I'd have done. Evacuate, and head back in soon as they're done. Anything's better than being in the way. Perhaps we've bid logic and common sense a permanent farewell, though. (I mean, couldn't Cersei have rather easily won last week when she chose only to decapitate Missandei?) The census on this moronic population, Tyr--is it "tens of thousands" or a million? Regardless, I'd have skedaddled. Split. Adios, suckers.
Anyways, apropos of nothing, we gotta transform Dany into some bizarre sort of villain. Dany, who has WELL earned her way to where she is, who deserves better than letting "Targaryenitis" set in during the second-to-last episode triggered by her overwhelming losses (supposedly.) And does this look good from a feminist standpoint? Fuck no. "Woman goes crazy, is too emotionally unstable, can't handle power, will have to be cast down and replaced by good and sane men..." Whoopee. Cool. :/ The way the opening recap had all those lines from across the series racing through her head was pretty good. But the way it played out still makes no sense. Let's see:

Dany & Drogon handily got shit done the right way. (Ho boy, Harry Strickland--how'd ya like the performance and development on THAT exciting new character?! XD Golden Company who?) The bells rang. *cue Anita Ward* The swords were dropped. Things were looking good. Dany seemed to be making the beeline for Cersei--perfect!! But then suddenly...wait, how come we fighting again? How come Drogon's unleashing more fire-breath and knocking random shit down? What? This was pure "Well we got lotsa time left and needa wreck King's Landing, obvies. We need more explosive dragon action and wildfire activation and stone crumbling and chaos in the streets. Gotta fill out this long action episode!" There was no other reason for it but a writer's desire for drama/spectacle, together with the need to kill off more main characters (who should've died at Winterfell.) You don't as a character do that without necessity to the city you want to rule, and you don't create all that rebuilding work and expense for yourself, unless you REALLY fucking hate the architecture. She wouldn't even in her right mind have tried to wipe out the Lannister army after they'd surrendered. It was D&D feeling obligated to damage a King's Landing set, and nothing more. (Or a clinically insane Daenerys who cannot be held accountable for her otherwise entirely inexplicable actions.) Because what possible good could you even claim she was thinking that course of action would do her? You don’t achieve the aim for which you’ve been fighting like hell for years and years, then instead of claiming it follow a random brain-spazz that will lose you support and motivate others to take the hard-won goal from you because you’re unstable, illogical, and needlessly destructive. Unless you secretly want to sabotage yourself. Maybe she does on some level want Jon to be king. Who tf knows...

Cersei was the NK of the situation; how many times I was sitting there willing various people to "Just. Kill. Her. NOW," I don't even know. (And while you're at it, Drogon, swoop in and take care of the Mountain for Sandor, jfc tap-dancing on a cracker!!!! Dx)
Yes, of course you have to wrest the city (and land) free of Cersei's tyrannical grip. Not your fault that that's the task you're faced with. If she were a good queen, you might still think the throne had been stolen from the Targaryens, but it wouldn't be imperative to remove her. You could stay ruling in Essos, where you had liberated people practically worshiping you.
Send the remaining Unsullied & Dothraki home—“Thanks for helping us defeat our enemies, guys! Wish we could've crowned your queen!” :p
And Grey Worm, boy, he's made it through everything so far...driven now by the desire to avenge poor Missandei. ;;
Davos! Did I miss something? What was he supposed to be smuggling? All he did was stand with Jon and Grey Worm the whole time...?

Cleganebowl, we got, yep. Nearly ended in another Oberyn-style melon-squishing, but Sandor FINALLY made the right "zombie"-killin' move and went for the eye/face/head/neck. And even THEN, the bastard is still standing and pulling the blade from clean through his head. Qyburn mah dude, you created an indestructible being made of like, styrofoam? xD Fire or dragonglass might do the trick. ;p So then the only way to end him is apparently to charge, plunge, and die together. -_- Arya's KL quest was pointless in the end...she didn't even show up outta nowhere again to take out the Mountain for the Hound, or finish him off if he was mortally wounded or something. She ran around, tried rather ineffectively to save some folks, said no to the god of death yet again, had some fun maybe. All to give us the "on-the-ground" perspective.
Qyburn, who had been trying to talk sense to nutty Cersei the whole time (loved how her every statement kept getting disproved, like lmao bitch you thought!), should've just abandoned her and tried to save himself. Instead the monster killed its creator, and the cute lil' ol' creepy man got quickly dispatched by the hideous Ser Gregor (how long did Thor have to sit still for those prosthetics!)--whose hatred for his brother STILL overpowered his programming to obey Cersei. There remained some of his old evil self in his new, reanimated evil self. That most salient brother-loathing part anyway. xD;
...But yeah, Sandor, I wouldn't mind being like you; kinda already am, you're pretty awesome. Like the Squidward of Westeros. "Hate's as good a thing as any to keep a person going." Eeyup. Rest well, man. You finally got 'im. (Even if I guess he probably would've gotten crushed/burned as well anyway...it hadda be you, had to have that showdown...enjoy every fookin' chicken in the afterlife regardless...x) And I mean, potentially Arya could've just killed Cersei and been done with it; wouldn't have taken the rest of her life...;p The "don't be consumed by vengeance" thing was kinda dumb/lame; her righteous mission was nearly finished. I wanted it to be Jaime killin' his sis, though, & got bricks.

Ending? Arya takes for fucking ever to climb on a goddamn horse. Who got more pettings than Ghost. Preview? Not much. Of course you have no choice but to watch what'll probably be a continued trainwreck. I knew from the third one on that I was looking forward more to the documentary than to the remaining episodes. This is a colossal prank, right? They're holding the real Season 8 to air in a single-day marathon after next week. They've got to be.
Best aspect of this season since episode 2 has been Melisandre's stuff, but she deserved more.

ETA: It's called "The Bells." *cue "I Can Hear the Bells"* Sooooo...blonde Targaryens have an unavoidable, innate conditioning to flip their lids and do the least logical, most out-of-character thing possible upon hearing the sound of bells tolling? Seriously, what else could possibly be the explanation next week? "I prematurely gave up on earning love here so I decided to go extreme Machiavelli to instill even more fear even though that ain't what I'm about and it made less than no sense whatsoever?" sHoCk VaLuE, the only reason we may get anymore as these two loony locos finish the show out by giving you a gigantic middle finger? There was no valid reason to have her rage around the city that just surrendered and from which she sought to rule as a beloved queen. You can play it as if she's going to succumb to the darker side of her nature, but to actually have her go batty at the last moment is such a shamefully cheap disservice to a beautifully developed character. An immense slap in the face. Not one single thing short of inherent, incest-driven mental illness suggests anything believable about Dany winning the victory toward which she's striven for seven and a half seasons--only to immediately forego it in favor of pointless fire-breathing victory laps that only destroy most of the city she wanted, along with any credibility among the people she's killing and allowing to be raped/pillaged/looted by her armies for no reason. 8-p Throwing away EVERYTHING from 70+ episodes. It's a sheer WASTE of people, including ones on her side, and the city, and Cersei. Not one single past action of hers is remotely comparable to that spontaneous snap. It's just, "You got the unlucky coin flip and that's all there is to it; game over, sorry girl." "...And she's doing this why? To waste time and potentially give Cersei a chance to escape? To ultimately get herself killed? Okay." 8-\ I'd say they should've at least had her destroy Cersei FIRST, but...nah, nm, that'd be even worse. ><

The rest of KL had given her no reason to destroy it. Cersei was the reason two of her children were dead (Viserion died trying to rescue the jerks who were attempting to bring Cersei a wight so she’d agree to a truce and help them.) Her beef was with her. “mAd QuEeN dAnY” wasn’t foreshadowed half as strongly as BOATSEX BABY, but that went NOWHERE, so WHAT THE FUCKITY FUCKING FUCK?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Trying to paint her as turning villainous was too little too late.

After the BoW she feels rightly underappreciated, but c'mon, she hasn't yet even begun trying to win love throughout the wider world of Westeros. She hasn't given that a chance. Jon is not her beloved rival because he doesn't want it, so she doesn't need to resort to terror. No reason she wouldn't know this. Of course everyone should love you & hate Cersei, but you need to show them why.

Jonerys baby: are we tossing all that foreshadowing, or will it add to the tragedy when Jon has to kill his auntie-girlfriend queen? Sigh. Such a shitty, defeatist overall feeling, even for GoT. "Don't even bother trying to better yourself, it's impossible; you can't resist your evil twin, you can't overcome your inherent genetic insanity no matter how hard you try or how strong you are...everyone and everything is just doomed..."
Also, if that POS Sansa gets to rule the north, I will need a personal audience with D&D (maybe even George) for the million bones I have to pick with 'em...x-p How can this be salvaged in one more episode?

Interesting thought I just read: If when Jon has to sadly and solemnly "euthanize" Dany, his sword were to ignite...that'd make her Nissa Nissa, and him Azor Ahai after all (uggggghhh so obviously predictable, much as I love him.) The somewhat cool side of that would be that her spazz-out in "The Bells" was predestined, not really her fault; she actually lost her mind and carried out fate...and had to be the sacrifice to forge Lightbringer...although, that's a fucking stupid idea at this point because that prophecy was ultimately about defeating the dead. Unless Bran does become the second NK, or somehow they rise again, or something... I'm sticking with my Mel-Mel as the actual AA. People had been thinking she might be NN, but evidently not. Anyway. I just want some good 'splanation for why this big twist (Dany burning KL) was handled/presented as 'twas.

*~Curtain Calls*~ 
Get tae fuck! 

Monday, May 6, 2019

juss bc disqus=broked

Disqus is suddenly detecting comments as spam when there's nothing remotely spamlike about them, so I'll just save these couple because they were so good. "Thanks, we'll work on getting this corrected," my foot.
I wanted to translate this back into fruitspeak, but Google doesn't offer it--blasphemy!!! Lovely interview nonetheless. ;]

Well, I’m indebted to this show for, among other things, introducing me to my new all-time favorite actress. Carice may rightly be a Dutch national treasure and swimming in awards there, but it’s high time she gets proper global recognition. There could have been no finer portrayal of Melisandre, doing greater justice to the part--but as I check off as much of her filmography as I possibly can (including 20 films so far), I’m repeatedly struck by her immense talents and versatility. Just sensational! Phenomenal. And her gorgeous singing voice? Forget about it. Unfair how vastly overpowered she is in every category—talent, beauty, adorable sweetness, etc...gah. Can’t wait for Domino (with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) at the end of the month, and I look forward to all future projects of hers. The world needs to be blessed by witnessing the extent of her powers. ;) That she nevertheless always seems to be so shy, nervous, and insecure makes me want to cry, and wish I could hug her. ;;

Originally she was offered the role of Cersei, but prior commitments prevented her from accepting. That’s curious. It would’ve been interesting to see her approach to that part. Would she have perhaps succeeded in making me feel sympathetic towards Cersei? I’m unsure she could’ve pulled off the [female-dog] face as well as Lena does, at any rate. xD Mel was difficult enough for her.

So exactly how old IS Melly? 300? 800? 1000 or even more? The GoT prequel I most want is one that includes a Melisandre-backstory plot (especially since Carice is up for playing her as an adult!) She was told early on that the character was ancient, but wondered for a long time whether they'd ever return to that and what significance it would have. Mel didn't necessarily start out as one of my favorite characters, but she certainly became one somewhere along the line as I intuited an understanding of what she was about. (Yeah, I wrote a whole bloody essay about her and her wonderful contributions to the Battle of Winterfell on the recap...) She's such a fascinating, complicated character, and I knew that she'd prove heroic in the end. That's what she always wanted--not even to actually be a hero herself, but to aid them in, essentially, guarding the realms of men. All she did, she did not for own sake, knowing that in the end she wouldn't be sticking around for thanks or to enjoy the saved land if they were successful--but purely due to the desire to see it saved.

I also expected her to live a bit longer--indeed I'd anticipated the war expanding over more than one episode, giving everyone time to do more. (Still hoping for some juicy deleted scenes; I understand there are supposed to be a great many?)
I loved all the people who died in that episode (well, except for the Night King, though I still wish he'd been taken down an episode or two later.) But Melisandre's beautiful sendoff hit me the hardest. I can hear R'hllor saying at long last, "Well done. You can come home now."

"I get cold in the summer." Well, that's no wonder!!

AMEN to that!!

She told Varys she was going to Volantis, so one must assume she was powering up there? I expected her to return with red reinforcements to help take on the NK, but for some reason only she could be bothered, I suppose... ;p Guess she's the most powerful one and everybody else thought they'd be useless anyway so they all just said, "Nah you go girl, we'll just pray from here..."
(And of course the eye color list only became relevant to the undead+NK when the writers decided a few years back that they wanted to be "surprising" and have Arya kill him.)

Anyhows, I'll just copy/paste my "little" essay about her...

The use of Melisandre was probably my favorite single thing in the episode. She has always been among the most easily redeemable characters, doing wrong things for the right reasons. Unlike other murderers/attempted murderers with redemption arcs, she had only the purest and noblest of motives. Intent matters. It actually angers me when people are so lazy and dim as to see only the "wicked witch" that GRRM deliberately and explicitly did not create. While I'm not one to blame everything on misogyny, methinks I doth detect the stench.

Everything she's done has been ultimately aimed toward humanity's salvation. She did what she genuinely believed was needed to achieve that end. Her gaze has always been elevated. She knew what was coming. She's lived for centuries; when you've been around that long, individual sacrifices seem less drastic relative to the big picture, and the apocalypse. Yes, she's a fanatic--but not an evil one. Not malicious or sadistically cruel. Not a charlatan duping people into worshiping a false god. Not lacking in evidence to support her beliefs
like so many of the religious people in our world. She carries no anger, hatred, or personal vendettas. Burning of sacrifices and enemies of R'hllor? From the perspective of such a character, so steeped in this faith, they can only be great blessings. When delivering someone into the sacred, purifying flames and R'hllor's warm embrace, there is no question that screams of horror will give way to screams of ecstatic joy in the beyond. It's a glorious thing in a red priest's worldview. As a child slave sold to the Red Temple, Mel essentially underwent an extreme form of Stockholm Syndrome--discovering strength, stability, structure, guidance, meaning, and purpose in life by devoting herself utterly to the service of the Red God. The god of love, light, life, truth, joy, goodness. He must have become her only comfort. She's in truth one of the more altruistic characters, serving not herself but her Lord, faithfully and painstakingly and tirelessly. She considers herself a mere vessel, a conduit for his power and will. Her faith is in him rather than herself. Supporting Stannis and going as far as she did with him was a most grievous error; no one knows it better than she. It went unrewarded. Her entire foundation seemed to fall away beneath her when she thought she'd been deluded all along, & she was bereft and depressed for quite a while, even after resurrecting Jon. But she's also sincere--she'll own up to having made mistakes, no matter how awful, can plainly admit when she's been wrong, and then learns from it. She softens, moderates, reconsiders and adjusts her hard-line fanatical stances.
The only GoT prequel I strongly want is one that involves Melisandre's backstory. She's such a mysterious, fascinating, complex, intriguing character. (The one about the original Long Night would be good too, though that might well show up this one.) For one thing I'd like to know why she was so thoroughly convinced of Stannis for so long.

Melisandre helped bring the right groups of people together and ensured they'd stay united. She brought Jon back despite (or perhaps thanks to?) her brokenness. She gifted the Dothraki with fire (and the audience with illumination)--not her fault the horselords were (mostly? totally?) doomed. That's all on their strategist(s.) It's inevitable that their charge with regular arakhs would've been exponentially less effective without her. Mel bought the living crucial time by saving their trench plan. I like how her incantations tend to work when she's desperate, teary, shaky, pleading. The Lord of Light really makes you work for your miracles. That obviously used a ton of strength, and the unsuppressible self-doubt that's plagued her since Stannis' defeat was still present. Hope she also managed to summon some Dany-esque faith in herself at last--I see her & the LoL as partners, and ideally there'd be both. Every shot of her in this episode is stunningly gorgeous (actually, I should just change "this episode" to "ever.") But that iconic fire in her eyes...yeah. That wonder, amazement, gratitude..;0; And Arya wouldn't have attacked the Night King without her revelation & prodding.

And then, Mel's death scene. Poignant, dignified, beautiful. (And Mother Gothel-esque.) One of the multiple death scenarios I'd envisioned for her, though it happened too early for my liking. I don't want her gone yet. She strides silently through the corpse-littered field, discards her necklace and lets the ruby glow its last, walks on...and gradually transforms into the super-elderly her, finally disintegrating and blowing away into the wind. I'm just so glad that the episode ended so poignantly on her. She showed up early on to do her part, and she closed it out. Walking willingly into the overdue rest for which she's been ready a long time. Having fulfilled her purpose, she heads straight into her beloved Lord's embrace as the sun begins to rise. Reuniting, hopefully, with any whom she's loved and outlived. The weight of the world has lifted from her shoulders at long last, and she can finally sleep, after this long lifetime spent fighting with darkness. Remaining driven and focused and committed to her raison d'etre 'til the end. No more need to fear the dreams. She beautifully bookended the BoW, a true highlight of the season.
Ugh, I cry. Other time was "Hold the door." And Maester Aemon's death/funeral, the second time through. (Nearly on the demises of Sers Barristan & Jorah.)

Anyway, Mel is my MVP, Lightbringer, Azor Ahai, Princess Who Was Promised, the one before whom the darkness fled--regardless of whatever the heck the show ends up doing. (Maybe she's even Nissa Nissa too?) If it never addresses the prophecy despite that having been mentioned so many times, well, at least I know to be prepared for disappointment now. But one of my favorite theories was that it had been her all along, yet she never considered that as a possible interpretation of her visions. [abridged version of this]

"Melisandre...you're a good woman. Thank you." 
Thank you for being one of the greatest shields to guard the realms of men. 
You'll never be forgotten.


Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 4: "THE LAST OF THE STARKS" {INITIAL REACTIONS}

Verdict: This was a tense, busy, overall pretty great episode, but they still absolutely needed 2 or 3 for the Long Night. Only 6 total was a mistake. Maybe it just would've cost too much, so they had to abridge TLN and shift back to political infighting. Thankfully only 2 eps remain to resolve everything. I just fear so many loose plot threads and points and tracks that were laid but never picked up again, people who may simply never be mentioned again...I fear having to compile a list of those at the end. >< Surprise me, please. I wasn't left feeling cheated and deflated like last week, I am pumped for more, but...I kinda just want it to be over already, to see exactly what they've done to this story, to these characters. I get the sense they could've gone a couple more seasons doing buildup and introducing cool stuff that should come into play later, but when it came to actually writing the endgame, they may've choked. I just want to tear this band-aid off in one stroke.

[MINI SIDE-RANT: It's very difficult to be that excited at this point. There is NO FUCKING WAY you end S7 on the thrilling "OMFG THE DEAD HAVE FINALLY BROKEN THROUGH THE WALL AND ARE MARCHING SOUTH WITH AN UNDEAD DRAGON HOLY SHIT" note, only to face and defeat them in episode 3 out of 6. And then go, "Guess it's time to dethrone ol' Smirky McCuntface down south eh?" That is horseshit. That is not what I signed up for. I didn't know precisely what I signed up for of course, but I DO know it for DAMN well certain wasn't THAT. I haven't been hyperinvested in this show for years on end, to be let down like that. Surprise? Subverted expectations? Sure, it's nice to see that everyone actually can band together to defeat the greatest threat known to mankind. But there was still too much missing, and for it to happen that early/quickly...just ain't right...that said, do I still wanna see Cersei bite it? Naturally. Hate's as good a thing as any to keep you going. ;p I just can't believe I'm actually relieved that there are only two episodes left.]

Funeral scene: Touching moments with Dany/Jorah (NOW you kiss him!), Sansa/Theon (the pin! another loved non-boyfriend), Sam/Edd (yeah, ya got him killed, boyo), Arya/Beric (and likewise he died saving her, as apparently destined by the LoL.) They burn all the bodies but Mel's, since she turned to dust/ashes already. Jon gives a tremendously moving speech. Many actors are playing corpses ("ah, so that's why he's in the credits!" xD) Clearly this is what they meant about the "BoW" spilling over into ep. 4. And goddamn, how long did it take to assemble all those huge pyres? Each one didn't look like it even held that many bodies, and there would be friggin' thousands to burn...

Then, they go a-partying in the great hall to celebrate the survivors. Tormund, my man...omg. All the adulation and praise of Jon is making Dany long for the way the people of Essos had felt about her when she liberated them. Part of her must be regretting having ever set sail to Westeros. (And yeah, you've got Mel+Davos to thank for Jon being here at all. He does have a tendency to get himself killed or near-killed.)
"Blue eyes looking into blue eyes!" Tormund's having a ball, & seriously dug Jon's badass dragon-riding. (Man, you rode a dragon last season while the NK was hurling ice javelins at you. Sure, it is particularly impressive to pilot one against him by yourself when you're not its Targaryen parent and only recently flew for the first time. And I could be down with naming any of the people aboard that dragon king or queen, but anyhows...)
Dany's depressed that everybody would want Jon for a king more than her for a queen, even though Jon doesn't want it and she DOES want the chance to prove herself a good queen here. Which she kinda already fucking has, but they're not making as a big a deal out of HER war heroism (*cough Varys she's one too, she did at least as much as Jon did during that battle COUGH*), HER gargantuan sacrifices. It's just to drive the bloody wedge, to show how much they all love Jon as opposed to the "outsider." She certainly hasn't wronged anybody. The MoD is gonna be stinging because she's worked so damn hard since S1 for her queendom in order to do great things with it and make needed changes--yet the writers are going to have other people ridiculously say, "Oh look what a crazy madwoman she's becoming," when in actuality she's angry-mad, and rightfully so. Not gonna hint at Jon "going mad" because he's a Targaryen too, huh?

Dany makes Gendry Lord of Storm's End, yay! But Arya still flat-out doesn't wanna be a lady, perhaps failing to consider that she could be whatever sort of lady she pleases--figures. Just wants to be a casual couple? And okay, the gesture was "clever" of Dany, but...so what? It was cool too. Works out great for everybody. That's something a good ruler would do--legitimize a heroic bastard and inspire his loyalty by making him a lord.
Is Sandor sorta...jelly? XD; He kind of seems to hate Gendry. And he no wanty no hoes, even fearless ones. The doggo barks one off. Poor Tormy!! Damn pretty boy from the south stealing his girl. ;; Like "wtf, it's not my fault I couldn't knight you myself--it was my idea!" It's a hard af choice, Brie. Or would be for me. He's disheartened that he doesn't seem to appeal to southern women. But Pod the Rod, man...he gonna git hisself another ho and give her the ol' magic cock/voice combo.

Davos is still thinking about Meli, and likely about her true age and the mystery yet surrounding her. (You ain't the only one who's lived to a ripe old age, but props for being such a survivor!) He's theologically bamboozled, frustrated by "her god," wondering what R'hllor will is now that they've "won his battle." Defeated the greatest challenge--and now what'll they do? Just continue to kill each other? Perhaps his perspective on it is somewhat off? Davos is expecting some sort of reward. Mel was right, and her god guided them all to victory--saved them all or aided them in saving themselves. Ser, try to understand who she was. You two Stannis/Jon stans weren't that different in the end; you just had different means and paths to get there. Mel did so much, worked so hard, gave so much for so many many years, right to the end. (He pretty much only waved torches.) EVERYONE SHOULD BE TOASTING HER. "Arya Stark the hero of Winterfell," yes yes yes, but she WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN if not for Mel. LAY. SOME. GOD. DAMN. RESPECT. ON. MY. BITCH'S. NAME. She's among those men and women acting as the shields to guard the realms of men. She didn't have anyone close to her, possibly not for a long time. (DAMN, do we need a Valyrian prequel.) So Davos, a true man of his word, didn't have to keep it, because she/the LoL did...and it was beautiful...and she was evidently right about her lord all along. He helped defeat (seemingly) his enemy, The Great Other--what say has he in the affairs of humans now? Also...Davos my man, come ON. Your adopted daughter didn't burn because they WANTED to kill her. Meli basically just saved humanity, which is what she's wanted to do from the start--and I bet she could've ended the NK herself if Arya had failed. Now I wanted Mel still around to help with the whole monarch matter, since Stannis and Jon/possibly Dany (the people she'd been backing) were [potential] rulers before potential saviors.

Sandor is the only remaining "LoL rep," so to speak, in a SENSE. MIGHT he need to communicate with...any of the fire-priesty peeps again? R'hllor, Mel and Beric in the beyond, Kinvara and the other Dany supporters in Essos?!?!? Hello?!?!?! (What was their point if they weren't going to show tf up when the shit finally hit the fuckin' fan?!?!?) Why didn't Sandor and Arya talk about Mel and Beric? At least acknowledge the fact that Mel is the hero behind Arya's heroism, among her other valiant efforts on behalf of the living. Well, I suppose they're both well aware. Everyone is. My girl Arry and my man Sandor (and maybe Bran, but probably not because he's fucking useless) fully disclosed to all everything that went on in that room after Beric passed, the reason Arya headed toward the godswood--oh, and if Jon was actually distracting Viserion to allow her in there, that could not possibly have been any less clear. That notion is probably grasping at straws.) BUT! What did Sandor and Mel talk about while they were apparently locked in that room together? Anything?? They'd be such an excellent pair!!! We should have gotten a scene betwixt them!! It's what we deserve!!!! >8@
O Lord, I am praying for tons of amazing shouldn't-have-been-deleted scenes. At the very LEAST the Mel-vs-NK one, because why would the supposedly legit spoiler source lie about that? Unless he was mistaken or it was a scene filmed to throw people off. But even D&D couldn't be stupid enough not to use it...I mean, I guess they were...but if they DID go to the expense of recording it, it should have been a painful cut, not an intentional "probably not gonna show this" one from the get-go. Anyway. The Hound's a got a nice horse.

Food for SanSan shipping? Yuck, no. He deserves better anyway. Cane Corso=/=hounds, Sansa, learn your damn dog breeds. For the sake of the joke though, okay. That was pretty good. But tbh, you haven't improved much since being that original insufferable "little bird..."
Never seen Brienne so drunk, giddy, beaming, cheery, chuckling--hey, that wasn't her, that was Gwen. xD Anyhow, she's a virgin. So tf am I, I don't find it that personal a question...but then, in her case it's likely not by choice. I'm already mourning the giant world-conquering Tormienne/Briemund babies that could have been (and still could be, really, especially if Jaime dies.) Speaking of Braime...THAT happened, yo. :'3 Lawl, imagine Cersei's reaction. So yeah, Tormund's taking his people back home to the "real north," along with Ghost so they don't have to waste more CGI on him. Poor unpetted, unhugged doggo's like, "I thought I was your best friend?" when Jon tells the guy he didn't save from the swarm of wights who somehow fucking miraculously survived anyway that HE was his bff. At least he finally acknowledged your presence, Ghostie. (Please tell me they're at least trading one wolf for Nymeria and her pack next week? Haaa,yeah right, not gonna hold my breath.) Be good to Ghost, Tormund...he ish gud boi...;;
Tormy thinks Jonno would be happier up there too, and yeah, he probably would, but yanno...DUTY. And I KNEW Gilly was preggers--it was either that or Sam had just been ensuring that she was extremely well-fed, lol. xD Again, not that pregnancy necessarily involves weight gain aside from the middle, but sometimes it does, so I had a feeling. Proud papa Sam thinks Jon needs to hear how babies are made 'cause he still knows nothing, haaaa.

Dany wants Jon to keep the parentage secret forever so things can just return to the way they were before it got complicated. And she knows Sansa's been corrupted (sho' 'nuff, Littlefinger's alive and well in her.) She thinks the only way this lovely incestuous relationship can continue and they can all coexist is if word doesn't get out--so naturally, multiple people know by the end of the ep. She's thirsting for love atm, and the romantic attraction is overriding the biological relationship since, after all, a loving nephew you didn't even know was your nephew sure beats a shitty brother you grew up assuming you'd have to marry. (I mean, girl, Jorah Fine-As-Fuck Mormont is RIGHT TF THERE WAITING, but...hokai.)
Of course Jonny doesn't want the throne, but feels he owes his fam the truth. And truthfully they OUGHT to be able to co-rule and balance each other, not officially married but simply paired...Dany, you *should* be okay with that if it becomes a real possibility. Please be reasonable? Little more tractable? I'm still with you. The writers are pulling this hopefully misleading "unstable" bullshit I knew they would, but things can turn around at the last second. Like Tyrion, I believe in you! Exercise your free will! They want other characters to convince you she's about to go full-on cuckoo instead of just "darker" (if they go through with that I'll rip the TV off the wall, carry it to them, slam it on their heads, and force them to buy me a new one. That'd just be giving in to shocking-yet-predictable-yet-wrong mediocrity. No, less.) This is forced. It's manufactured.

Arya, I'm kind of fucking disappointed in you this season, honestly. The NK kill should've been Mel glamoured as a friggin' White Walker, dammit. Or something like that. Arry's had enough kills. She didn't deserve that one. It didn't do much for her anyway, and she's shut eyes of all colors in the past. "We don't trust your queen," "I don't need allies," "she's not one of us" (cue the Simba's Pride song), oh jfc. Quit siding with Sansa. You guys are sounding almost like Cersei ("our family's all that matters." "Everyone who isn't us is an enemy.") Fighting together for their species apparently taught these shitheads nothing. Lord of Light, just strike 'em all down, I'm fucking done...Arya and Dany should've gotten on swimmingly...
And Jonno, y u no swear Bran to secrecy? XD Just automatically trust him because he seems to have no desires anymore.

Fuuuuuuck you, Sansa, and your backstabbing vow-breaking. Sooo sick of this slimy girl. I knew you didn't enunciate well enough on "I swear it." Cheater. Still determined to be a troublesome stick in the mud while bringing nothing to the table. At least Arya respects Jon and was willing to keep whatever secret Bran revealed (the only use to which he's put, bafflingly, btw...???? #uselessbran strikes yet again. #orisitoverpoweredbrananditdmakethingstoosimple)

Tyrion is sticking to his guns and remaining loyal to Dany. Varys is remaining loyal to the realm. So there you go--he has been a good man all along, all about "the people" as he claimed. He does just want the greater good. He thinks about everybody else in the seven kingdoms, since he's one who came up from the bottom. And he's actually selfless. (So yes, very like Mel. They could have made a great pair if Varys weren't so understandably opposed to magical practitioners.) However. He may be turning on his chosen queen too quickly. It's understandable that she wants the quickest path to destroying Cersei, who will be the reason for bloodshed if it comes to that (and of COURSE it will, right? Already has. What can you do about this tyrant? What realistic options do you have? WELL, definitely some which the smart Team-Dany we know and love would try.)
I see some of Varys' points, but sided a bit more with Tyrion in the debates, I think...like, he's actively looking for reasons to betray Dany...but good on him keeping his word to her though? About looking her in the eye and being honest? Once? Before talking treasonously to Tyrion? =/ Y'all now have some pretty damn good reason to believe in destiny, at least some of the time.
But her worst impulses haven't come out yet. Sure, someone who's a good ruler but doesn't want power can still make a good ruler...Jon's already been forced into that position...still, he's living on borrowed time now? Will he even make it to the end? Was he resurrected in order to BE king, perhaps? Is that why Meli was able to bring him back? Perhaps if Dany has to sacrifice herself, Jon may rule...if either one, assuming there remains a throne at all...Idk, but has he fulfilled his ultimate purpose in resurrection, or is there more? What, indeed, will be the Lord of Light's input now?
Tyr trusts Dany to make the right choices; Varys the waffler is ready to change his mind again, thinking she's becoming a mistake who will only turn the people against her as well. Guess he just thinks he's perceiving familiar vibes or signs and is trying to preempt another possible mad-Targ situation. -.- At least he ain't down with incest, lululul. And he sure knows how gossip works. xD Again, Varys' foretold death better be somehow connected with what he heard in the flames and all the LoL stuff and Mel's prediction. Not bloody dragonfire, though you think you see where this shit is going. x_x Can Daenerys be a little more willing to bend and compromise? She is really being pushed to the limit here.

They're going in ye olde predicted direction at every turn, yeah. -.- We'll see where it ends up...

Bronn scene: Terrific dialog, he makes some great points. Thought it might be interrupted by someone attacking him from behind or something. xD He's now waiting for either Highgarden, or to get to kill Jaime and Tyrion. Kk. According to my dad, it takes longer than that to load a crossbow, though.
"I am happy that you are happy."--Tyrion-Entei

Hooooly shit, Cersei truly is a supreme evil who must die horribly. (But then what else is new?) Euron, I hate you again--like, truly loathe. I liked you for one episode. He's enamored of Cers, ofc, and she gonna pass off Jaime's kid as his. Hmm. Still no sign of a Jonerys babe...
Rhaegal's death was shocking and horrifying, Jesus Christ. *,-,* Get Gendry on crafting some damn dragon armor STAT. Dany's rage is palpable--they're taking even more from her. Another child. Her best friend. (Missandei...!! Oh, poor Grey Worm. He is now so hyper-invested in slaughtering this horrid evil incarnate and all of Dany's enemies mercilessly.) This is bullshit. I am fucking furious. Irate. Wish Euron's fleet could've been dracarys'd without risking Drogon getting hit by those super-scorpions.
"Dracarys"--was waiting for some effect from that, but it was just Missy proclaiming loyalty to her queen as her final word. (Also I half-expected a Frankensteined Rhaegal to appear because what else can go wrong, but nah, Qyburn couldn't possibly do it that quickly even after learning from the Mountain. Aka Cersei's headsman. ><)
That was some nice swimming though, Varys (A KNOWN MERMAN) and Tyrion and everybody else.

Cleganebowl=guaranteed now, right? Hells yeah. The Hound wants his brother. Arya wants Cersei, but I hope Jaime slowly chokes the life out of her. He ditched his totally heartbroken new gf, claiming he's still the kind of guy who'll do anything for his #1 hateful sis rather than the "good man" we know him to be. Please Jaim-boy, do da right thing again. (I predict he does feel guilty and want to go rid them of his psycho-sis, and was just trying to protect Brienne. Like Arya did with Nymeria, or Tyrion with Shae...grr.) If Jaime doesn't make it, Brie...go make those damned monster babies already, please. Tormund is an awesome guy who freakin' worships the ground you walk on, what more could you want?

Sandor & Arya are on the road together again (pleeeeeease discuss whatever you & Mel chatted about during the war, Clegane, I know it must've been good)--also heading toward King's Landing of their own accords, and not planning on returning north. 8-| [How come Dany's not using Arya to assassinate Cersei, and how come Arya's not telling Jon/Dany that she plans to do so...?]
HoQ (Hand of Queen) vs. HoQ...oh Qyburn, I kinda wanted to like you. But now you really have no reason to turn on Cersei, eh? Unless you wanted to make a sudden noble stand, but nah, she's been too good to you, and is in an advantageous position. The one who's using her hateful hated (and stupid af) people as human shields. Nope, Qyburn the mouthpiece ain't budging to compromise and work with Tyrion. "We seem to have reached an impasse." (Did he say they were in Naath? What did I hear?) And Tyrion, you fool. Cersei's a monster who loved her children in a selfish way because she, herself, her own wants--that was always what came first. She was always #1. Cersei only cares what she desires, what's best for her and by extension the people/things that "belong" to her. But not even what's truly best for those people...always her. Fuck everyone and everything else. She's the only mad queen on the block. Also, why do her fingers look so stubby? An illusion caused by that giant ring? Thought she was gonna push Missy...;0;

"Not a monster," huh Tyrion? Oh. It. Is. ON.
Maybe Dany should just burn all these fuckers down and start afresh. >8|
"'Cause baby you're a fiiiiiiiirework...!"

Casualties:
Rhaegal, Missandei
What have we learned so far this season? Vomiting=celebrating. Tormund's always had blue eyes. Uhh...he's our teacher? Oh, and good, we still have some Dothraki. Their charge wasn't genocidal, as had been suggested.

Preview: says basically nothing, looked similar. Oy.

Random: For some reason on the downstairs TV, the first scene with Dany & the dragons was the first time I ever momentarily perceived them as looking kind of...fake? OR sensing the green-screen? But I waited for it and it didn't happen again on my TV. Hunh. Maybe it was just me.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3: "The Long Night" {INITIAL REACTIONS}

Well, I'm speechless. I have now seen the Battle of Winterfell, and...it doesn't feel as if I've actually seen the Battle of Winterfell? Or all of it? I think if I'd been spoiled, I would have dismissed some of the spoilers as made-up bullshit. How, I'm wondering, is it possible to feel the way I do after having seen this particular episode? Winter has fallen at Winterfell...for a time? I need to just dive straight into this...

Okay, the episode was extremely suspenseful and adrenaline-rushy and stressful. The first time through was frustrating with the lighting, and no, it's not your TV. Unless you've got a set from the 50s. Between my dad and brother, there is no way we're ever watching anything at less than optimal quality, and the lights were out. The murky, swirly blurs of inky darkness and indistinguishable people and actions were, I'm sure, wholly deliberate. They plopped you right there into the "Can't see shit Captain" chaos. I have to prop my glasses up high the entire time to see with maximum sharpness. The screen would slow, lighten, and clear up a bit when a significant death or event occurred. But the first time through I was just going, "All right, so people could be dropping left and right and we won't know unless we see them as wights or they're named as casualties later or we simply don't see them again or...?" There were so many moments when main characters easily could have, perhaps even should have, died. At one point I was distinctly almost convinced Brienne had bitten it. Yet if we didn't specifically see it happen, we're evidently meant to assume they survived. Even if they looked rather overwhelmed and doomed. And that moment where you kinda thought Jon was gonna save Sam but he had to keep going...:o Miracle Sam survived at all, really. -_- Sure didn't live up to that episode-2 sass, boy. Were other people having to save his ass the whole time, or did Edd's death ignite his latent fighting skills?

Sam really struggled. (Like the whole damn time after the first few wights, how did he live...) At first he makes the brave choice of the battlefield over the crypt, and you're like, "Aw man, if Randyll could see him now!" Howeverrr...before long I was saying, "Okay buddy, you made a courageous go of it, but maybe you'd be better off with Gilly and Little Sam if you're mostly going to need continual rescuing?" There's always gonna be a lot of allies saving one another, but he seemed particularly unsuited to being out there.
OH EDD. ;-; He was the first to go, and I was not happy. Love that guy. (Also I should point out for anyone who goes around saying "Dolores Edd" that "dolorous" is "dollar us.")

MY MVP MELISANDRE came through in a big way, BRINGING THAT LIGHT. (although I thought she deserved bigger? Get to that later. She wasn't disguised at Winterfell either, as hypothesized.) The ignition of the arakhs was an epic, majestic "aww dude" moment. (And then "Sorry can't do the same for y'all Unsullied, but valar morghulis!") Thanks, Grey Worm. ^-^ Not like you guys needed fire, since you were actually armed with dragonglass. Loved the Dothraki moving as a field of fire, leading the battle off. It was an auspicious start to the ep. The loss of Dothraki is on Dany's strategy; however many wights they killed before going down, it would have been far fewer if not for Mel. Flaming weapons are never pointless.
Davos lets her in...oh yeah, & you also had Ghost charging--just to be seen briefly like, "Here ya go, wolf-starved audience, will this appease?" But he apparently also survived. (Might they as well have killed him for all the use they're making of him? :p)
Then Mel came in clutch with the trench-lighting. 8'D What. A. BLAZE!! Lots of stunningly gorgeous shots of her in this ep, especially the one with the fire in her eyes. The look of actual amazement on her face. Again her incantations work when she's desperate, teary, shaky, pleading with the Lord of Light. Damn, he really makes you work for your miracles. That obviously used a ton of strength, and  the unsuppressible self-doubt that had plagued her since Stannis' demise was still present. Hope she also managed to summon some Dany-esque faith in herself at last--I see her & the LoL as partners, and ideally there'd be both.
And I mean, I just...Carice is out of this world. She fully deserves ALL of the roles from here on out and ALL of the awards. I've chosen my new all-time favorite actress well. She can kill you without uttering a word. The only prequel I require is one that delves into Mel's past, with Carice playing adult-her. (Been saying all along that the "Valyria" prequel idea is the raddest.)  

"I don't know how to use it." Um. IT'S BASICALLY A FUCKING KNIFE. Stabby-stab, slashy-slash, cut-cut. It ain't rocket science, bitch.
Even if you don't hit 'em in the optimal spot, anything's better than nothing.
And at least Arya knows better than to "never aim." xD She better have mentally retracted the ill-considered "smartest person I've ever met" statement.

Dany wanted to get the dragons going early. She and Jon were mostly dragon-action, with dialog consisting primarily of gasps and pants and heavy breathing. xD She had more of consequence to do than he. Poor R&D having to battle their undead bro. Dany establishing the NK as a fellow Unburnt (by dragonfire, anyhow.) Which was plain to us, but poor her hoping she'd taken care of the bastard, only to have him standing there smirking at her. Felt so bad for Drogon getting swarmed and having to shake the wights off like fleas.
And then...the arm-raise! Dammit Jon. Well, the crypt prediction was right on, although I don't think we saw any recognizable wights who'd died prior to this episode--one of many weirdly missed opportunities. Still, watching all the dead open their now-blue eyes and rise was just like, "Ohhhh, we're sooooooo fucking fucked." And yup, hiding from dead people who can raise the dead in a room fulla dead folks was predictably brilliant.

SER JORAAAAAAHHHHHHH..;0; Ugh, got so misty. Dany sobbing over him, Drogon hugging around...omfg. Like, say "Khaleesi" or something one more time...;o; (And kiss him before he passes!!) But words weren't needed. 'Twas all felt. Ily Jorah. But let's also mention that Daenerys was being an excellent example for all reasonably able-bodied usual-noncombatants: you find yourself threatened, you pick up whatever weapon you can find and you make a goddamn effort! You don't need to have held one before. Figure it out. You've seen it a million times. Use your instincts. You go, girl. (Except for how in dafuq do you STILL not have armor...?!?!?!?!?!?!?!)

Lyanna's death was fittingly badass! Finally she was taken down a peg, but still boldly charged a fucking giant wight--and took him down with her. She'd begun to annoy me of late, but it's forgiven. (Crap, we lost both potential heads of House Mormont, and one assumes the whole house...le sigh.)

My man Varys for the third time needed more to contribute; hopefully that'll come within the sure-to-be-poltically-charged remaining episodes? Appreciated his pessimistic "at least we're already in a crypt" quip. But good on Tyrion for being frustrated down there and wanting to try to do SOMETHING.
At least Sansa recognizes her uselessness. -.- Damn right, he was the best of your husbands by lightyears. But even now I think he'd deserve better. Loved Missandei's clapback in defense of the dragon queen. After the dead rose, I thought Sansa was gearing up to actually slay some wights...but I guess not? Wouldn't we have clearly seen that rather than it just being doubtfully/vaguely implied? Idk, that part went so quickly. :/ There was the beautifully touching silent bit with Tyrion though, so maybe they will get together willingly this time? Theon's outta the picture already anyway. >< So, the crypt-hiders we care about survived then--Varys, Tyrion, Gilly, Sansa? Aiight. Disappointingly without having to fight or do much besides run and hide elsewhere down there 'til the dead re-died, apparently, but okay.

No seriously though, fuck Sansa, the more I think about this. "I'm not going to abandon my people--I don't want to do nothing down there, I want to do nothing up here where I can watch. Oh, you're giving me an extremely effective and easy-to-use weapon? Me no know how work it. Oh, the dead are reanimating? Better keep hiding and let my people perish!" This bish has a mere 3 episodes left to turn things around and make me like her, and I don't see it happening. Cersei Jr. 

Speaking of useless...BRAN! :D Did as little as ever. Perhaps less. "I'm gonna go now...for a ride in my wheelchair, wheeeeee, far from this frozen hellhole...naw I'm gonna be a birdie again, tweet-tweet..." N'really though. He was the NK's primary target, but at least it's not as if you could've said, "Well hey if we just give him Bran, he'll be satisfied and leave us alone." No, he wants you all gone, so that wouldn't have been feasible. Destroying the 3ER matters to him, even if the vast majority of people have no idea what he is. He wasn't crucial to mankind's survival, only to its memory after being wiped out. Our world gets on just fine without a living "three-eyed raven" individual. And I reckon a lot of people would be keen on killing such a person--creepy af to think of someone being able to watch anyone doing anything at any time, spy on you in your most private moments. On the other hand, it could be handy and interesting, if he's willing to truthfully divulge information to you.
But aaaanyhoozer. THEON!! I are le sad again. Best thing Bran did all episode was call him a good man and thank him. "Who's a gud boi? Besides Ghost?" *pets and ruffles* Like BoJack, he appreciated hearing that. And he is. :''} Bit o' sadness on the three-eyed raven there when he died. 'Course you could see his death coming a mile away and then STILL go "WAIT WHAT IT CAN'T POSSIBLY BE THAT EASY" when the Night King does shatter. "That's really it? Plus if you'd polled people on who would end up killing the Night King, sure, Jon and Dany would have been at the top, but Arya would've been up there too. We've got a whole gorgeous cast of possibilities. Where's all the other stuff most people wouldn't have seen coming?"

Definitely noticed the music, especially in the last 15-20 minutes, and thought, "Ramin's done it again." Now there's a dude who NEVER drops, or even fumbles, the ball.

Moving backwards, the Arya/Sandor/Beric stuff was cool & sweet. Nice callback to the Waif chase tumble. And Jaime & Brienne helping each other out (suppose if the dying-in-her-arms thing is gonna happen it'll be during the Cersei fight then.) Got Arya's "Zombie Library" horror-movie scene, the trailer material--and sure enough she was just being chased by a horde of wights. All that speculation that it had to be a reanimated somebody she knew or connected to Cleganebowl or something unpredictable, but nah, even the "fearless" would run like that from your run-of-the-mill, garden-variety zombies. xD
POOR BERIC!! ;.; Me so sad. Arya tried to save and then comfort him...I thought he might have dying words. But nope, same as Jorah.

This feels like the right time for...this.

"I know you...you were on my list at one point." So glad my girl's willing to revise as necessary.
"Blue eyes": I gasped, "Yours?! And, well, the undead in general, obviously...and who else with blue eyes might she need to kill for some reason? Certainly not Tormy-kins...oh." All right. Didn't have to be the NK himself, but why not I guess.
So FROM WHERE did Arya dive upon the Night King? A tree branch? A wall? Hadda be something. Because it was out of nowhere, without warning, apparently escaping the other WWs' attention somehow, but appeared to be from above. I'm going with tree; only thing that makes any sense.
"Faceless ninja assassin stealth" would be a flimsy answer in that case; she wasn't even disguised. If she could slip past them, others could as well. She's not THAT special. This big baddie's bodyguards actually let her slip by. Okay, let's say for the sake of argument she was just that swift. She never acquired the power of flight or impossibly high leaping. And nothing's lamer than claiming something happened "just because magic or whatever." The rules for what exists should be established relatively early, and how it works should be flexibly hinted. You can't all of a sudden rocket above your enemy in a "wtf" fashion.
Anyhow. He catches her by the neck, she drops and catches the dagger, shatters him--followed by the other WWs, and all the dead drop (including Viserion right in front of Jon, and the crypt corpses before harming our huddled bunch. Plus a few lucky others.)

Sandor and Mel emerge as the sun is beginning to rise. (I HOPE to R'hllor they had some productive conversations, and/or fought off wights together!!) She then strides silently through the corpse-littered field, discards her choker and lets the ruby glow its last, walks on...and gradually transforms into the super-elderly her, finally disintegrating and blowing away into the wind like Mother Gothel. And...I am just so glad that the episode ended so poignantly on her. She showed up early on to do her part, and she closed it out. Walking willingly into the overdue rest for which she's been ready a long time. A hero in the end. Having fulfilled her purpose, she heads straight into her beloved Lord's embrace at break of dawn. Reuniting, hopefully, with any whom she's loved and outlived. The weight of the world has lifted from her shoulders at long last, and she can finally sleep, after this long lifetime spent fighting with darkness. No more need to fear the dreams. This time, she can go home. I hope she and all the beloved deceased find peace. Hope she finds Shireen and does cool afterlife stuff for her in apology for the grievous error. This was one of multiple possible death scenes I'd envisioned for her. She beautifully bookended the BoW. Everybody had better lay some damn respect on her name. All she did, she did not for own sake, knowing she wouldn't in the end be sticking around for thanks or to enjoy the saved land should they succeed--but purely due to the desire to see it saved.
High time she receives the credit due her. She probably could've peaced outta this world long ago and said "Fuck y'all," but instead committed herself to the LoL and discovering his plan for her...stayed driven and focused on her raison d'etre 'til the end...
She may have thought she'd fulfilled her destiny in resurrecting Jon, but the LoL wasn't done with her yet. Ugh, I cry. (Initially I'd thought the first necklace-removal indicated that she'd sacrificed her life force to bring him back!) I know the old-lady reveal came before the resurrection, which I guess was her feeling unsure and vulnerable and looking at her true current form after being asked to attempt such a feat...but I love the thought of her kinda "trying to die" before her time (like "Can I be done now? No? You still want me here? Okay, your will is still mine...") I believe the LoL selected her because she wanted to live for his purpose; it was their combined wills that kept her going this long. He chose her because she chose herself, in a way.
The other time I cried was "Hold the door." Also Maester Aemon's death/funeral, the second time through. And almost on the demises of Sers Barristan & Jorah.

But I wanted that loss to happen in ep 4 or 5, with the plot carrying over. Dammit, Mel oughta be part of getting a decent monarch on the throne (i.e., not Cersei.) Her prime directive with Stannis was bringing the savior to power so he could rescue humanity from the Others (not necessarily by killing the NK personally ofc), but she & Davos both thought he'd make a just and honorable king too--and let's face it, of the five choices...it was his by right. But I suppose the LoL took her back now, & the lesser humans can sort their own shit out...still, be great for her to have received the adulation/praise/thanks/credit/acknowledgement due her in person. -.-

PREVIEW: "We have won the great war." ...In one episode, so it feels too quick-and-"easy!" Thanks anyway Yara, didn't need you after all. ;p Are we sure this isn't a wholeass fake-out?! The sneakiest mislead/misdirection ever?!?! Somehow?!?!?!? People and things we think are gone after the BoW will be back to blindside everybody?? *prays desperately to the LoL*  Hey, if it works for one witchy redhead...
Like...3 long episodes left for dealing with Cersei, and then "aftermath" (hashing out political positions and all survivors' futures and tying up loose ends, answering lingering questions, etc...I guess that'll work? Obviously it did...) But the bottom line is: CERSEI IS WORSE THAN DEATH. If we can defeat literal Death already but still have half the episodes to "rip her out root and stem," uh. Yeah. Guess that's humorously, ironically true. (Although, if it was, couldn't the LoL let us have Meli longer...and/or Beric...who's he got down here now, The Hound?)
And they have decimated forces now, so whatever's ahead is also definitely far from easy...
Cersei got off scott-free and -should- be appropriately impressed/grateful that those she betrayed actually managed to keep everyone south of Winterfell safe from the looming doom, but she's guaranteed pure sneering, self-centered smugness and evil as usual. :p So what is this...a proposal from Euron? A Gendrya smooch? Dragon-lovin' from Dany? Etc. Hokay. I just hope everything else doesn't feel totally underwhelming now, since "The Long Night" felt like the second-to-last episode. AND we seem to have lost one of the most powerful, mysterious, fascinating people. 8-\ There'll have to be some BoW aftermath/discussion (rn I'll be discussing what needs to be discussed.)
This was everyone’s war, the war for the dawn, and hopefully when all’s said and done those who remain will have had enough of fighting to settle things peacefully. (Hah. Fat chance? We’ll see.) 

I absolutely get the point of other flesh-and-blood humans remaining as threats even when the seemingly most dangerous enemy has (seemingly >_>) been eliminated. The one accidentally created by a race of humanoids. This STILL feels as if it needed more than one episode, even if it's the longest of the series. Seven seasons, eight years of buildup (much more in the show's world.) How could "The Long Night" last 82 minutes? How could it literally span one single night? The dead were this "ultimate enemy" from the very first scene of Season 1, the apocalyptic threat from which political machinations and thrones were truly mere distractions, and even if Cersei's worse than Death...they didn't even get past Winterfell. I was just left with a million things to say/ask. It's just that the episode/55-nights-to-shoot, most-mindblowing-thing-ever battle was hyped sky-friggin-high. Is it merciful or disappointingly difficult to believe that we had as few deaths as we did?
Hopefully with the rest of the series will come the answers and perspective I need...

Where were the ice spiders big as hounds? (I know, I know, budget; we barely saw Ghost.) Any chance of Nymeria's wolf pack traveling south to aid in fighting Cersei?
The Night King didn't head to King's Landing--which would've been a smart plan--thanks to his goddamn Raven-Bran obsession. People had some great predictions and theories that didn't play out, and may never be able to at this juncture. Certainly, every fan theory that takes hold should not and cannot prove true, but many have tended to pan out because they simply make too much damn sense. Not so in this case.
Is this indeed how the books will--uh, I mean would--end? I find it hard to imagine that GRRM would've neglected to give D&D any key plot points that he's firmly aware of and hasn't changed his mind about...

Clearly the battle was hell for the characters, but I fully expected the plan to go still further to hell, and for this problem to extend beyond the third episode and wind up intertwining with the Cersei issue. We're to understand that eps 3-5 are like three acts of one long story/film. Guess we just have to wait to see how that's the case. Truly agreed with the forecast that the dead would win at Winterfell, with survivors forced to flee south to regroup and finish battling on both fronts later. How phenomenally terrifying would that be...!!!!! These ain't the kind of expectations you really want subverted. Praying I won't reach the end still thinking how much I want a do-over. Please let the rest be loaded with shocking surprises that thrill me and undo every disappointment I currently feel...please.

Is there -any- possible way that you could have a "Little Shop of Horrors"-style ending, with signs of the undead returning? Probably not. But it felt like the start of that trope where everything gets suspiciously calm for a while and you think you've defeated Hexxus but then he rises again harder and stronger as an even more fucking petrifying, fire-breathing skeletal sludge-demon ("Surprise muthafuckaz, thought ya'd seen the last of me?"), and everybody's like, "All right, so it really wasn't that simple." I see the narrative poetry of Arya being given the would-be Bran-killing dagger in the spot where the NK was created as a human-destroying machine, then sneaking up on the NK as she had Jon. I mean honestly, Arya's been one of my top favorites since the beginning. I adore her, I identify with her. But we already knew she was awesome and badass. We've seen her do plenty of fist-pumping, cheer-inducing, rah-rah wicked-awesome and assassiny shit. Her training and missions thus far had been worthwhile in and of themselves, without that endgame. They've paid off in the vengeance and justice and triumphant moments she's achieved, plus already contributing mightily to the battle, shutting many a blue eye forever.

For the ultimate secret to just be guiding her to go stab the Night King felt so...eh? Meh? Not enough took place first? On the one hand, it is a great moment for Mel, letting Arya know the task she has to carry out and encouraging her to go get it done. However, Mel can also change her appearance at will, probably more easily than Arya (for whom face-changing didn't even come into play)--why not just let her grab a dagger and impale the guy, if that's all it was gonna take? Why did it HAVE to be Arya? Why is that leaving me a little cold and unimpressed? Sure she's a sneaky ninja assassin, but there's no magic to sneakiness, no impossible level of lightfootedness that renders you absolutely silent or invisible. Not that we have any reason to believe she achieved at her level of faceless study, anyway. There's a limit, training or no training. And she's not even as advanced as Jaqen or others, so you might as well have HIM come back and do it. That'd be more thrilling and shocking than seeing her get one more kill. (Not to mention he should've just snapped her fuckin' plot-armored neck...!!!!)
[OH AND IT'S SNEAKED NOT SNUCK, FFS PEOPLE.--courtesy of Stannis the Mannis, One True King of Grammar] Anyway, Arya's not the only person who can move quickly, lightly, and quietly, and also stab. That's not a superpower (or if it is, I'm Wonder Woman. People be always goin' "AH! I didn't know anyone was there" when I assumed they were aware of my presence...xD) People in horror/suspense/action films regularly have to do what she did. Ya wanna have her slide in from the side and shank the NK in his weak spot while he's distracted with somebody else at the end of ep 4 or 5, fine, but 3? Gimme a break. At least she wouldn't have attacked the NK without Mel's revelation & prodding.
Those other worthless Walkers shouldn't have allowed Arya to get close enough or impale their leader, though. -_-
{"COLONEL. I'm trying to sneak around, but I'm dummy thicc..."}

It was Melly's death that seemed like a nail in the coffin to the idea of there being a fake-out as far as the AotD. At any rate, if the NK/WWs could be reconstituted or reincarnated or reformed, Mel would have to be too. (And she does deserve to rest without being called right back to Planetos after being on it for like 3, 400 years or so? xD If the Great Other still presented a massive danger, the LoL wouldn't have taken her yet...) That it appeared to *conclude,* and not just leave off on a maddening cliffhanger for next week with the promise of more expected events concerning the dead, is what's got me buggin'. Something is so damned fishy about the whole thing.

Continuing my thought train: Who is/was Azor Ahai and/or the Prince(ss) Who Was Promised? What or who was/is Lightbringer? Entirely too much has been made of this key prophecy to discard it in the 11th hour because "Lul we just like badass Arya bein' a badass." It's actually unfair to Sansa at this point. Was it a combination of Mel and Arya? Another combo of people? Everyone collectively? This is a huge thing. Arya can't be AA/TPWWP. Mel would've at least sensed something beyond "you'll permanently shut eyes of all colors and we'll meet again." She'd have begun to see signs pointing to Arya, devoted herself instead to aiding her--but nope, she remained stuck on Stan the mistake. For her to suddenly realize at the very last minute that it's been Arya all along would be random, ridiculous nonsense. Obviously she recently saw an image in the flames (probably in Volantis before heading back to Westeros) of Arya slaying the NK and went, "Oh those blue eyes specifically, but I need to tell her to do it." But Arya does not fit the prophecy and is not AA/TPWWP...she was just...destined to do that one thing, becuz skillz? She didn't figuratively forge the catspaw dagger in any way, so I kinda doubt they thought of it as being Lightbringer. There's nothing truly special about it, is there? Any other weapon made of NK-killing material could've done the job. There was a pic of it in that citadel book, but who knows why, it could've been a glossary of undead-killing weaponry. Giving it to Arya was the fucking obvious thing to do even if Bran had no inkling of this fate. Idk, maybe it was destined to kill the NK without actually being Lightbringer.

And let's face it, that scene in S3 only concerned Arya becoming a faceless man; they turned it into a NK thing too when they decided they wanted her to kill him, and fortunately Mel had listed the three most common eye colors (in order tho), so they could focus in on the blue. :p Surely some of the humans Arya's felled were blue-eyed. D&D decided 3 years ago she'd kill the NK, but if she were the subject of the prophecy they'd have gotten that previously from George. The repetition of that prophecy was only to emphasize the blue, not to say that Arya still had one more green- and brown-eyed person to kill as well.

Now I suppose it could've just been a matter of needing people to be in the right place at the right time and ensuring the right groups unite, and the LoL was guiding her all along...but there MUST be a reason Mel was SO UNQUESTIONABLY CERTAIN that Stannis, an unrelated man, was the hero, and I demand to know what that is. I need all this shit addressed, writers. We can make our conjectures about how Mel needed to pass from Stan to Jon so things would work out as they did, but...  Mayhaps Shireen was a test of sorts which Stannis failed in his quest for kingship--something Mel wound up regretting deeply for multiple reasons. Would the true Prince/rightful king not have sacrificed his child? It depressed her for some time, but eventually compounded her determination to fulfill her goal and set things to rights

WHAT HAPPENED to last year's supposedly legit spoiler about Mel fighting the Night King one on one, turning wights against him, "holding her own but not winning?" I was waiting for this fucking glory. Maybe it's better to do what I'd done for every prior season and NOT closely follow for every last tidbit of news along the way. Regardless, THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN THERE. Made too much sense not to be. The Fiery Hand, red priests and priestesses from Essos arriving to reinforce ("the savior!") Daenerys' troops, Kinvara, cutaways to Mel powering up & prepping in Volantis, even additional dragons--where were any of these fantastic, logical ideas? They aren't crackpot tinfoil hypotheses or too-high hopes. They're story elements and likely possibilities that should be dealt with and included, not ignored. It just can't be over. What did Varys hear in the flames? It makes sense to extend the connections between him & Mel, and to connect their fates. Why'd he have to just sit there the whole damn time? My spyder deserves so much better. His death better have something to do with the flame thing and not just some bullshit getting roasted by "Mad Queen Dany" (GAG me) for betraying her after swearing not to go behind her back, or whatever they might try to pull after axing the NK too early.

No "Night Queen," no "ice priestess," no Nissa Nissa to forge Lightbringer. One jab. What, happened.
Also the plot armor thickens, alas, as you careen toward the end. The show built its reputation partly on the realistic willingness to kill anyone at anytime, but with the cast whittled down for the endgame, you KNOW certain people need to make it to certain points for certain things to happen. But whatever. ;p Even the ones who almost assuredly don't have a big part and aren't crucial made it against overwhelming odds, somehow.
Guess I'm no longer speechless! The night might not have been that long, but as always my feedback sure as shit is.
This is the first time I've been so let down by a GoT episode, and I never would have seriously imagined being anything less than blown away by this one delivering everything I dreamt of and then some. Hate the feeling, because it feels as if it shouldn't even be possible.
...Rewatching for a third time...it's a well-structured episode. Well-paced, well-edited and all that. *For what's in it.* If that's all that needed to happen before we apparently lost the AotD and Mel and moved past that plot. And I just, refuse to accept that that's the case. Lay some kinda twist on me, guys, I beg of you. I love the traditional political intrigue and throne shit as much as the next girl, but this is the final season. Last chance for everything There should be so much more, and it's unbelievable that the NK could've been ended just like that. Feel like I watched a severely edited-down version of his plot line. It shouldn't have been too much to ask to linger longer in the winter Old Nan described, or indeed to have truly experienced it. It can't take a promised prince or Azor Ahai one time, and a sneaky girl with a dagger the next. They need to pull out all the stops and go, "SIKE! We got you good!"
#BattleOfWinterfell #GameOfThrones #GoT #ForTheThrone #NotToday 

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P.S. And oh yeah, which scene was this then?: