Tag Archives: HBO

Game of Thrones Season Six Finale Review

SPOILER ALERT

The Game of Thrones season six finale raised just as many questions as it answered. Where one door closed, another was opened. While audiences everywhere breathe a collective sigh of relief over long overdue grievances finally being settled, we reel in anticipation of what is to come next season.

The annihilation of House Tyrell, the unification of the North, the destruction of the Great Sept, Bran Stark finally assuming the role of the three-eyed raven, the slaughter of the faith militant, and Daenerys finally setting sail for Westeros, army, dragons n’ all. And we finally got confirmation of what we all already suspected was the case – that Jon Snow is the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. Many a reign have ended. Many a feuds have been settled. But bad blood has been created that may shift the tides of power.

The Age of Women

In previous seasons of GOT there was a strong theme of the young replacing the old. We’ve seen Rob Stark assume the head of House Stark and ultimately be declared the King of the North. We’ve seen Jon Snow become the leader of the Night’s Watch. We’ve seen Geoffrey claim the throne previously held by his father Robert. The ancient Greek story of Cronus devouring his father Uranus has been a recurring theme as well, with Ramsey Bolton killing his father Roose Bolton, Tyrion killing Tywin, and Euron Greyjoy killing Balon Greyjoy.

Now, we enter The Age of Women. Cersei Lannister is now the Queen of Westeros, and arguably the head of House Lannister. Olenna Tyrell is the head of House Tyrell. Ellaria Sand rules Dorne. And of course let’s not forget Daenerys Targaryen commands an army of unsullied, Dothraki, the Second Sons, a massive fleet of ships, and drumroll… three dragons. Sansa Stark has done quite well for herself, outliving her enemies and managing to take back Winterfell. Arya Stark is making a name- er… lack thereof? for herself and has crossed quite a few names off her list. Brienne of Tarth is the most trusted confident of several high ranking persons. But perhaps my favorite character of Womandom and certainly the most worthy of admiration is the young, thunderous Lyanna Mormont. This girl is going places. Her stature inversely corresponds to the respect she commands. Her age inversely corresponds to her wisdom. And let’s just be real: Lyanna Mormont is a badass.

Cersei Unchained

My better half noticed that Cersei is also not adorned with the usual Lannister gold. Neither does she appear ravishing, per her norm. Instead her attire strikes a more stern, and militaristic look. Besides her cheekbones (did you catch that reference?), Cersei only had one redeeming trait and that was the love she had for her children. The only thing that kept Cersei in check in the earlier seasons was her concern for her children. Acting too hastily could jeopardize the wellbeing of her children. Now husbandless, fatherless, and childless, Cersei no longer has any moral restraints towards violence and doing anything to acquire and keep power. I am interested, and worried to see what Cersei unchained is capable of.

The North United

This was the biggest highlight of the episode to me. It was a long time coming when Jon Snow and Sansa Stark finally met each other once again. Then came the battle for Winterfell, after an unsuccessful wooing of other houses. But now the day has finally come when a wolf flag flutters over the turrets of Winterfell, and one by one the Northern houses are falling into line, pledging their loyalty. And we know that Bran is but a stone’s throw away, and even Arya is now back in Westeros and ready for action. We’ve never had so many Starks in such close proximity and in such good standing since the first season. This to me is so great because Game of Thrones rarely rewards Team Stark with good news.

From the crippling of Bran Stark, the beheading of Ned Stark, to the Red Wedding, to the rape of Sansa Stark, the blinding of Arya Stark, to the betrayal and murder of Jon Snow, the Stark family has had a very hard run. Nothing has come easy for them. But the one thing we can take from this is that the Starks are hard sons of bitches. They don’t go down easy. Despite their humble demeanors, the Starks are to be reckoned with and it is very nice to finally get a taste of justice.

Starks United Against No Enemy

I’ll always be Team Stark and though they aren’t jousting for the Iron throne I do hope they deliver one hell of an ass kicking. Except that there isn’t really any living ass to kick. Ned Stark was killed by Geoffrey who is dead. Rickon Stark was killed by Ramsey Bolton, who is dead. Anyone who was once captured and worth saving is now dead. The Starks are united now, but against who? I suppose against the white walkers but I feel like delivering an ass whooping to a bunch of snow zombies just doesn’t have the same appeal as say, killing a bunch of Lannisters would. When God gives you lemons, I guess…

Perhaps the Starks could rally and retake Riverrun, the ancestral home of their mother.

Whichever direction the wolves point their fangs, I hope to see Bran and Arya get back into the fold. Imagine the powerhouse of having John Snow, King of the North, leader of the Freefolk, and technically still commander of the Night’s Watch, teamed up with the now savvy Sansa Stark, along with Bran the mind-controlling warg / omniscient raven, and Arya the ruthless assassin who can change faces. They would be an unstoppable force that could rain down vengeance on their enemies. I get goosebumps just thinking about it. But with Daenerys and her dragons coming, Bran might want to practice warging out on something a little larger than Hodor…

Redemption of Theon

What I love about this show is that you can really like a character and then have them do something you totally disagree with. Good people that do bad things. Bad people that do good things or have the occasionally pearl of wisdom. The story is full of multilayered characters that are complex and ever evolving. Theon Greyjoy is one such character. Theon was not a prominent character in the season finale, it even season six, but I felt he deserved an honorable mention. Despite some seriously bad decisions (chiefly, groping his own sister), I really like the guy. He betrayed the Starks, yes, but life also dealt him a Karmic blow and he has since atoned for his sins. Despite everything thrown against him, Theon has also managed to push through. Perhaps being raised with the Starks rubbed off on him, and that tenacity that makes Starks so hard to kill is part of Theon’s character as well. Deep down, I think Theon always considered himself a Stark, and he knows now that he made a horrible mistake when he betrayed them. I am curious to see how his story unfolds, and if he ever officially redeems himself in the eyes of the Starks.

I Love Daenerys Targaryen…’s Entourage

I’ll just come out and say it. Dany’s is okay. She’s okay. She’s not awesome. I don’t hate her. But I don’t love her either. But you know what I always have loved? Her entourage! Say what you will about Dany, the girl keeps some good company.

Khal Drogo was a beast! That guys knew how to fight and I wish we got to see him past the first season. Jorah Mormont is an intriguing character who would go to hell and back for Dany, even after being banished by her twice and contracting greyscale. Sir Barristan Selmy, former Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, traveled half the known world to serve Dany and give the figurative bird to the Lannisters and he too could throw down. Then we have Greyworm, the leader of the unsullied who can kill two men with one swing of the dagger. Then we have the gorgeous Missandei who speaks like a million languages. And then we have Daario Naharis, leader of the Second Sons. A man who is so bad ass he can kill a charging horse with a quick throw of a knife and kill a man on horseback without breaking a sweat. Also in Dany’s ensemble are three fire breathing dragons. And of course let’s not forget the latest addition to Dany’s ever impressive cast – Tyrion Motherf**king Lannister.

While there are a great many characters in Game of Thrones, I think it is safe to say that Dany doesn’t make that list – at least not without her entourage.

Finale the Highlight of Season Six

It’s my humble opinion that season six has been the slowest, and dullest of most of the seasons. Blasphemy, I know. Not that I thought S6 was bad, but prior to it I thought every season was progressively better than the one preceding it. Season six to me seemed to flounder and stagnate. The last two (or few) episodes salvaged the season for me.

Had it not been for Jon Snow kicking the shit out of Ramsey Bolton the entire thing would have been a miss for me. I don’t know which made me happier: Geoffrey pathetically choking and spurting to death in front of his own mom, or John Snow beating Ramsey Bolton half to death with a shield and his bare hands only to then have his face mauled off by his own dogs as Sansa smugged.

Lyanna Mormont spearheading the North’s rally around Jon Snow as the rightful King of the North was another show stopper to me. I am completely done in by Lyanna Mormont. She sold the season finale and season seven will not be worthy without her. I sincerely hope we get to see more of this little titan in future episodes.

Although Cersei is not one of my favorite characters by any stretch, I was delighted to see her enact vengeance against the High Septon and faith militant. I just really dislike that guy. You’d think because I dislike Cersei, and the High Sparrow basically tortured her and then parading her through the streets naked and humiliated that I would consider him the enemy of my enemy. But I suppose my disdain for religious zealotry overshadows it, and it did please me so to see him blown to green smithereens… even if… ya know… Cersei also killed everyone else in town.

All said and done, season six was a success. While not as fast as I would have liked – it took about 3 episodes to really get some traction – it was thoroughly enjoyable and tied up a lot of the loose ends we had on the heels of season five. Season six was maaaaaarginally better than season five and to me it was the finale and pre-finale that pushed me over the edge. And now we have to wait nine excruciatingly horrible months for season seven.

Will Dany’s ships land safely in Westeros? Will the North be able to fend off the army of white walkers at their door? Will Cersei go bat shit crazy and kill everyone? Will Samwell Tarly figure out how to make Valyrian steel? Will Bran and Arya ever team back up with their siblings? Will Sandor Clegane find peace? Will Theon Greyjoy find redemption? Will Jorah Mormont find a cure? Will Jon Snow learn who his parents are and fight for his rightful place on the Iron Throne?

Many questions abound. But we now know one thing for certain.

Winter is here.

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Game of Thrones: Season Finale Review

SPOILER ALERTS! BE WARNED!

Oh, and profanity, a lot of that ahead too.

Like every other person on the planet with a TV and pirated access to HBOGO, I just watched Game of Thrones’ Season 5 season finale.

Here’s what I got to say, in a nutshell:

Arya Stark is a Champ

Arya Stark is a mother fucking champ. Did you see how she took that beating with the stick without a wince? And then she pounces up and stabs that douche bag right in the face? That was one of those Bob Barker coming back from the dead and beating up Happy Gilmore type moments. Just when you aren’t sure what’s about to happen, she springs to life and pounces on you like a tiger!

Arya was my # 1 favorite character of the episode.

The price is wrong, bitch!

Cersei Lannister deserved what happened to her

If Cersei hasn’t been a total bitch the entire series this episode might have been hard to watch, but it wasn’t. She got what she deserved. She probably deserved worse, actually.

Can we please get an encore?

Myrcella Baratheon did not

Man, Ellaria Sand is such a bitch. Like really. Yeah, Oberyn dying was a low point for me in the series. But he wasn’t murdered or anything. He sorta signed himself up for a death match against a guy called The Mountain, and got his head crushed in fair and square.

So her revenge is… take it out on a girl who knows jack about jack?

Given, Myrcella wasn’t anyone’s favorite character but killing her was unnecessary, stupid and is probably going to start a war now.

Ellaria Sand

Would someone kill this bitch already?

Bitchy McBitcherson

Tyene Sand and Bronn

Tyene Sand is legit. She’s crazy. But she’s legit.

Bronn is legit too. A dick, but legit.

I like the Tyene-Bronn romance we got going on. I’m hoping to see some more action between these two. If the Lannisters don’t go to war with Martells and force them to kill each other first. Which would be some Mr. and Mrs. Stuff sex violence stuff, so I guess it’s a win win either way.

Stannis Baratheon

Who didn’t see this guys fall coming? He’s an asshole that few people like, he’s a religious fanatic who chops off his best friends fingers, kills his own brother, and burns his daughter alive. If his army wasn’t slaughtered in the field, they would have eventually mutinied against him or just been all “fuck this guy…” and left in the middle of the night.

Brienne of Tarth

She finally got to exact justice for the murder of Remly Baratheon. Except, ya know, Stannis was already dying in a pool of his own blood and shit. And, well… it took her 4 goddamn seasons to find him.

But score one for Brienne! Now her true moment of redemption will be if/when she ever saves Sansa Stark.

Brienne was my # 3 favorite character of the episode.

Christian Grey

Err… I mean Ramsay Bolton. When is someone gonna kill this fucking guy already? Granted I don’t think he’s as bad as Geoffrey (yet) but still, we got no closure on this character in the last episode. Hopefully Brienne of Tarth gets to him before he gets to Sansa.

Sansa Stark

She was never my fave, but she earned pity points after that scene a couple episodes back. The girl’s strong, I’ll give her that. And she’s no longer an idiot like she was in the first four seasons, so it’s been less annoying to watch her this season.

Oh, and a lot of people were probably wondering how she planned on surviving a jump off a six story castle wall… It’s been snowing like crazy in Winterfell. There’s probably 7-8 feet of fresh powder at the bottom of the wall. Her and Reek/Theon will be just fine. Cold as hell, but fine.

Theon  Greyjoy

He had a moment of redemption saving Sansa and throwing that jelly hoe off the balcony to her much needed death.

Is it weird that Theon is my # 2 favorite character of this episode?

Well he is. Suck it.

The Daenerys Entourage

I’ll be stoned for this one, but Daenerys isn’t really all that interesting. Her entourage is super cool, but she’s kinda meh.

Better than HBO’s other Entourage.

She definitely inspires a lot of awe, but of alllll the characters in the show, is she really on anyone’s top 3 list of people they would want to have a beer with?

(BTW, my list for drinking buddies goes Tyrion, Bronn, and that assassin dude, Daario Naharis.)

Anywho, I’m glad Jorah Mormont is back in the picture. That dude is hardcore. It’ll be interesting to see how Tyrion adjusts to his new position in charge of Meereen. Oh, and Greyworm is up and about! WOOHOO!

Last but not least….

Jon motherfuckin’ Snow

What…. the…. fuck? Seriously? Just like that? Valar Morghulis be damned!!!!!

But I don’t think he’s actually dead. Here’s why.

That super hot, super crazy Lord of Light chick, Melisandre, has had the hots for Jon Snow since she first met him this season. She’s always eye raping him and she tried to actually rape him just a few episodes back.

We also know that the Lord of Light has brought people back from the dead in this show. Remember that one eyes dude from the Lord of Light clan who was killed by the hound? He was brought back to life… like 8 times!

Plus, we all kind of suspect that Jon has some royal blood in him. Whether it’s Baratheon, Stark, Targaryen or some combination thereof.

AND, we know that Melisandre is now at Castle Black, she arrived there shortly before Snow was betrayed.

I bet $20 Melisandre brings him back from the grave. And then I hope he goes town on all the people who betrayed him, including the kid Olly.

Who is John Snow?

Everyone everywhere is eagerly awaiting the second to last episode of Game of Thrones Season 5 which airs later today.

Last week’s episode, Hardhome, was dedicated almost entirely to John Snow’s story arc, concerning his attempts to unify the Wildlings with those south of the wall. Any time John Snow comes up in discussion between Jenny and I also comes a heated debated about who John’s parents really are.

Of course the common consensus in Westeros and the story the audience is led to believe is that John Snow is the bastard son (hence the last name Snow) of Eddard Stark, and presumably some whore he met during Roberts’s rebellion.

John Snow is Not Ned’s Son

But this doesn’t quite settle with me. First off, Ned Stark is (was) probably the only honorable man in all the Seven Kingdoms. War or not I don’t see him cheating on his wife. So I’ve ruled out Ned Stark as his father entirely.

John Snow is the Son of Lyanna Stark

If John isn’t Ned’s son, then why bring the child home to Winterfell? Snow must have had some kind of significance or value to Ned to not only be brought to the North, but also raised as one of his sons, and not only that, but as an equal among them. My guess is that John is the son of his sister, Lyanna who was killed during rebellion, making John Ned’s nephew.

But Who is the Father?

Robert Baratheon?

This is where the point of debate comes up. I think John Snow is the child of Lyanna Stark and Robert Baratheon. His dark hair and curls remind me of the late, great Robert’s hair, as well as Renly Baratheon. Stannis isn’t a good indicator since he always keeps his hair short. A couple holes in this argument are that Robert and Lyanna barely knew each other, they were betrothed to one another but were not officially wed. And if John was Robert’s son, you think he’s have known or at last suspected, and raised him in Kings Landing.

Rhaegar Targaryen?

Jenny thinks John is the child of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, which is admittedly a hell of a lot more interesting, and might make sense. Ned tells John in Season 1 that he knows who his mother is and will tell him one day. What reason would there be to keep a secret about John’s identity unless it could endanger him? Being a son of Lyanna Stark is no crime, but being the son of Rhargar Targaryen or any Targaryen for that matter would have resulted in John Snow having been strangled in his crib if anyone had found out. Lyanna must have given her son to Ned for protection, under the guise that it was actually his.

But that’s not the story is it? Everyone in Westeros knows that Rhaegar Targaryen violently kidnapped Lyanna, and that’s what started the rebellion. Right?

Maybe. Apparently growing up, Daenerys was told a different story, one of a secret love between Rhaegar and Lyanna. In parts of Essos, it’s told that Lyanna was not kidnapped, but that she fled with her lover, Prince Rhaegar.

This is interesting because it’s a direct analogy to the story of Helen of Troy, and goes to show how history is written by the victors. In Homer’s Illiad, Helen runs off with Prince Paris, but King Menelaus tells Agamemnon that Paris kidnapped her. Touché, George R. R. Martin.

Why It Matters

What difference does it make who the parents of a bastard child are?

It makes a difference because if either of our theories are correct, it means that John Snow is heir to the Iron Throne. Either he’s a Targaryen and technically has direct lineage to the original Mad King, or is a Baratheon should have been the rightful heir instead of Geoffrey.

Dragon’s Blood

The John Snow-Targaryen theory pushes us into one more fun direction. Last week we saw John Snow show down against the White Walkers and their army of dead. Last week we learned that Valyrian steel can kill a White Walker and stop their magic. We’ve learned in previous seasons that dragon glass can also kill a White Walker, as can fire. What’s the common denominator here? Valyrian Steel and dragon glass are both created by dragons.

It’s said that some Targaryens have dragon’s blood in them, and this bestows upon them magical powers. Daenerys already proved this, and just like dragons, she cannot be harmed by fire.

If John Snow is in fact a Targaryen, what if he also has this dragon blood trait? And if he does, perhaps he is somehow less vulnerable to damage and magic from White Walkers.

This would be very fortuitous for him since the White Walkers have started their march south and all of Westeros will soon be at war. The only thing stopping their march on the wall is winter, but as the North always reminds us: Winter is Coming.

Summer 2015 TV Shows I’m Looking Forward To

It has been a turbulent past 7 years in the realm of TV. We saw the rise (and fall) of some very notable and much applauded series. Sons of Anarchy, Breaking Bad, Justified, Dexter, Trueblood, How I Met Your Mother, Boardwalk Empire and other door buster shows started, soared to stardom, and ended though on very good notes.

With so many of the biggest names on TV now relegated to the dusty binge watching archives of Netflix and Hulu, one has to wonder, what is there to look forward to on TV these days?

Game of Thrones continues to get better and better with each season, and each episode. But with just two episodes left, audiences are about to have their favorite dish knocked rudely off the table. After that, it will take almost 10 months to cook up another serving of GOT. Likewise Gotham, Arrow, Flash and Supernatural are over. We’re doomed. Or are we?

I have not given up hope. It’s going to take TV providers some time to gain traction with new series and only time will tell what the next fan favorites are going to be, but here is what I am personally looking forward to in 2015.

Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

This show is truly like no other show on television. First of all it’s a Netflix series which means all the episodes are released at once for immediate binge watching pleasure. Another peculiarity is that the cast is almost entirely female, giving the show a much needed unique perspective and attitude.

Orange is already coming into its junior year and I am looking forward to a third serving of Taylor Schilling at the tenacious Piper Chapman as she scrambles to learn the ropes in the US Penitentiary System.

See Also: How ‘Orange Is the New Black’ Revolutionized TV

The show features such a wide range of characters that there is something for everyone. The show also stars Laura Prepon (That 70’s Show) as the femme fatale Alex Vause, Uzo Aduba as Crazy Eyes (no explanation needed), Natasha Lyonne (American Pie) as the scrapper Nicole Nichols, Kate Mulgrew as prison yard honcho Red Reznikov, and the gorgeous Samira Wiley as Poussey Washington.

The 3rd season will be released by Netflix on June 12, 2015, and this season while be one episode longer than the previous two.

Ballers (HBO)

Every episode of GOT this season on HBOGO featured a trailer for this new show Ballers coming to HBO.

It’s safe to assume I will give anything a shot if it has Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) in it. The guys is just cool as hell. I would love to see how The Rock performs when he is taken off the big screen and into the living room.

I don’t know much about the show, but from the trailers I have seen I imagine the show is about a former professional football player who is looking for new ways to grow his fortune. His ambition sends him on a wild journey of wealth, debauchery and crime which I am thoroughly looking forward to watching.

After all, who doesn’t want a piece of the American Dream? Grab a slice when Ballers premiers on June 21, 2015.

Tyrant (FX)

I think FX is the single best network on television these days when it comes to original series. Archer, Justified, Sons of Anarchy, Wilfred, in my book FX can do no wrong.

Following on the heels of these shows is Tyrant. Entering its second season, the show focuses on Barry Al-Fayeed (played by Adam Rayner), an expatriate, and son of a Middle Eastern tyrant of the country Abbudin, a fictional country mashup of Saudi Arabia and Iran. Barry returns home to help steer his family, the country they rule, towards democracy.

The show wasn’t particularly well received by critics, but I enjoyed it plenty. FX did grace it with a second season and I am looking for to seeing where the writers take the show in light of all the strife happening in the region currently.

The second season premiers on June 16, 2015.

The Strain (FX)

Another FX show being granted a second season is The Strain, a fantasy-sci-fi horror series created by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. Del Toro’s brushstrokes are all over the canvas of this show about a virus caused by vampires in a centuries old plot to dominate humanity. A rogue group of CDC doctors team up with a holocaust survivor, a gangbanger, and a pest exterminator to vanquish the vampire threat while the government fails to act.

The show is creepy, suspension, and has a fair amount of action. Most interesting is how the show blends the folklore with science and with history. The combination of Nazi occultism, ancient mythology and modern science makes for a fun cocktail.

The series frontrunners are Corey Stoll as CDC head Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, David Bradley as Abraham Setrakian, a Jewish Holocaust survivor turned New York pawn-shop owner, Mía Maestro, Kevin Durand, Richard Sammel, Sean Astin, and Miguel Gomez.

The second season premiers on July 12, 2015.

The Brink (HBO)

With Trueblood gone and Game of Thrones approaching its offseason, HBO needed more than just one show to fill the summer void. In addition to Ballers, I am looking forward to another HBO franchise, The Brink, starring Jack Black and Tim Robbins.

Again, I am not fully versed on this show but it looks like Black plays a diplomat of sorts stuck in the armpit that is the Middle East in this comedic-action-packed-political steaming mess of a show.

Jack Black has been acting a long time and despite his popularity and name recognition, he’s always been somewhat of a B movie actor. Note, I didn’t say B actor, but rather an actor who is in B movies.

I am also looking forward to taking a peek at this show which also premiers on June 21, 2015.

Sen. Claire McCaskill Ditches Game of Thrones After Sansa Scene

Possible Spoiler Alert: Last night May 24, 2015 was the most recent episode of Game of Thrones. But the Sunday prior was an episode that shook GOT audiences everywhere. To put it concisely, Sansa Stark, a series original character was brutally raped.

Relative to TV at large, the scene itself wasn’t that graphic compared to other movies/series I’ve seen. The rape was entirely off camera. I think Sons of Anarchy had a much more explicit rape scene in Season 2 Episode 1 when Gemma Teller was raped by a white supremacist gang.

Either way, the point is that it was a scene that left a horrible feeling in your stomach, especially watching it happen to such an innocent, young character like Sansa Stark.

Some fans of the show were apparently really upset, and one such fan, a senator who admittedly I never heard of before has stopped watching because of the scene. See her recent tweet.

I’m not saying the scene wasn’t horrible, but I am a little surprised that this was the “last straw” that ended her viewership in light of everything else that has happened. I mean, we’ve seen people murdered, skinned alive, burned alive, eaten alive, castrated, tortured (A LOT), had their hands cut off, beheaded, and thrown off cliffs. We’ve seen animal cruelty. We’ve seen women get their throats sliced open and children being murdered and hung in town squares. We’ve seen heads on spikes. Men crush each others skulls in with their bare hands (long live Prince Oberyn!) We’ve seen pregnant women get stabbed dozens of times in the belly. We’ve seen incest, and cruelty. Heck, this wasn’t even the first (or second) time we’ve seen rape in the series.

I guess I’m just a little confused as to why of allllllll the horrible things that have happened on and off camera, this scene was the Richter 8.0 event for some viewers, and sent some away from the series entirely.