RANTING ABOUT GAME OF THRONES: A WEEK OF IRK AND IRE – Zom-be serious for a second. What the fuck are the White Walkers doing?

RANTING ABOUT GAME OF THRONES: A WEEK OF IRK AND IRE – Zom-be serious for a second. What the fuck are the White Walkers doing?

So this is will most likely be my final post in my week of Irk and Ire. It’s my sister’s hen do thing tomorrow so I won’t get much time for writing. However, I think 5 posts of petty ranting seems like plenty. There’s obviously still more I can say; I mean I’ve barely started to scratch the surface when it comes to Dany’s unsuitability to rule Westeros. However, the season has been over for a while now and we’ve got a long wait until the next one. Especially now that Winter is here and the creators have to wait for suitable weather to film in. What I will say, as a final thought, is that no matter what I may make it sound I love this show more than anything I’ve watched and I love the books just as much. I know there’s a lot of things the show has got rid of that I was angry about but, honestly, when the show is this good I don’t fucking care. However, season 6 felt different to me. It felt rushed and everything felt all over the place. I know timelines don’t have to match up but it seemed too unstructured. Maybe without the guidance of George’s books the show is just too eager to get to where it wants to be. It’s worrying in a way because the books are less about the journey and more about the characters. Now the show just seems bothered about getting dragons in the Seven Kingdoms. I hope things settle down next season or we risk Game of Thrones going down the same route as Lost and nobody wants that.

We’re getting close to the end of Game of Thrones as a whole which means after years of waiting we’ll finally see who gets to permanently sit on the Iron Throne. I still have my fingers and toes crossed that Dany the grumpy teenage doesn’t take possession of Westeros’ most uncomfortable seat but it’s highly unlikely. Anyone that takes 6 fucking seasons to finally get round to doing what she’s been threatening to do better bring some fucking results. There two seasons left for the HBO series with a potential combined total of 13 episodes. We don’t know exactly how it will pan out but it seems to safe to say Dany’s taking of King’s Landing will happen before the end of season 7. Once Cersei has self-destructed and been killed, in all liklihood, by her twin brother in a mirroring of his first Kingslaying, then the crown is essentially just being left untouched for Dany to pick up unchallenged. I mean there’s literally only one other person who wants the throne and Littlefinger really wouldn’t be that hard to take in a fight. I mean does he even know how to hold a fucking sword? Look at his track record with duels. It doesn’t bode well.

If I’m honest, the leader of the Seven Kingdoms isn’t really the major thing I’m concerned about any more. I mean we’ve playing the same fucking game for so long it feels like we’re in the middle of an epic Monopoly showdown. Besides, the way season 6 has been rushing through its storylines and missing out chunks of time, it’s painfully clear how this will end. Even if we all still have slightly squiffy feelings about Dany’s unhealthy blood-lust and very rapey Dothraki hoard. Season 6 has basically taken the last 5 seasons and said “that was all just the warm up. Lannisters, Baratheons, Tyrells and Starks? It doesn’t actually matter.” The great houses of Westeros have been battling for power since before Ned Stark’s head fell off and very little has changed. Winter was still coming, people were still hungry, and crazy religious people were spouting their nonsense. Plus, you know, there was the threat of a zombie invasion. Nothing to fret about. That’s the most frustrating thing about A Song of Ice and Fire. It’s telling two very different stories at incredibly frustrating speeds: one of politics and crowns and the other of impending doom.

Now I don’t care that everything has taken so long because that’s a problem with the genre. What I object to is that everything is dragged out without an update. Especially because the story of the White Walkers is by far the more interesting part of the plot. After last seasons amazing episode ‘Hardhome’ I was super pumped for more White Walker action and the growing need to get shit sorted. Of course, season 6 gave us the fabulous yet emotional ‘Hold the Door’ which suggested shit was about to go down real soon. It wasn’t. I realise they’re waiting for Winter and the Wall has magical powers and stuff. However, it surely can’t take this long for the Walkers to do something. I mean clearly that magic thing is a bit dicey because of the Wight that attack Jeor Mormont back in season 1. There’s got to be a loophole or two. Surely dead animal zombies could be springing up all over the place and causing havoc?

The White Walkers have been a growing evil that’s always been lurking on the outskirts of the rest of the action and, as such, have become nothing more than an afterthought. I mean look at Jon Snow: one minute he’s all about stopping the zombie attack and the next he happily goes off to Winterfell to get his old bedroom back. I mean has he even stopped to think about what could happen at the Wall when he’s gallivanting around the North? Nah, mate. He doesn’t give a shit… and he’s actually fought the Night’s King. Naming the show Game of Thrones meant that they were sort of penning themselves in to the whole “who will be King question” which means that the White Walkers become much less important. Which, frankly, was a fucking mistake. Cersei Lannister might be batshit crazy but there is no greater menace in that show than what lies beyond the Wall. Anything that scares Tormund Giantsbane into trusting the Crows is definitely something you don’t wanna fuck with. So, I don’t really understand why they’ve had so little to do so far. Yes, they’ve been getting more prominent but I can’t help but feel all that time Arya spent pissing about as a bling girl in Braavos could have been taken out for more White Walker clashes.

Yeah, maybe the writers are just keeping them for the show’s big finale but that in itself is just as bad. I mean we know that in all likelihood season 7 will have 7 episodes and season 8 will have 6. This means 7 will be concerned with tying up the Throne plot and 8 will probably focus more in everyone’s impending death at the hand’s of the Walkers. It just doesn’t seem like enough time. Especially withe the way season 6 went down. Now the show isn’t being restricted by the books the creators have fucking flown forward as qucikly as they can. We’ve leisurely reached the point we were at by the end of season 5 and now we’re fucking steaming ahead. I can’t help but worry that the episode after the big Azor Ahai reveal is made we’ll see an end to the White Walkers. After all, it’s starting to feel as though they’ve become something of problem for the show, which has no idea how best to use them. They should be more than a visual treat intended to create intrigue.

RANTING ABOUT GAME OF THRONES: A WEEK OF IRK AND IRE – Cer-say what you want but she really fucking loves her kids

RANTING ABOUT GAME OF THRONES: A WEEK OF IRK AND IRE – Cer-say what you want but she really fucking loves her kids

I’m a very petty person. I realise this is kind of a given considering I’ve just dedicated a week of my life to moaning about my favourite television show on the blog I write that very few people know exists. But there you have it, I’m really fucking petty. How did I come to this startling discovery? Recently on Facebook I saw a comment on a friends Game of Thrones related status that spelt the name “Cersei” incorrectly. It was something like “Cercey”and I honestly cringed at the sight of it. Now I don’t know the guy who made the mistake but I was incredibly tempted to correct it for him. Which is fucking stupid. The only reason I know how to spell it is because I’ve read the books. It’s not exactly a common name. It’s also completely pointless because it’s a fucking TV show. It’s not as if I’m defending the person’s honour because the person isn’t real. It all comes down to me being a massive dick that likes proving people wrong.

Cersei Lannister is the evil bitch that everyone loves to hate. She’s the person who has been secretly pulling the strings that caused most of you beloved characters to die. I mean, let’s not forget that the whole War of the Five Kings came about so nobody would find out she was shagging her brother. She’s half of the reason that everything kicked off in Westeros and she’s continued to fuck shit up with every subsequent move she’s made. She out her psychotic son on the throne, gave power to the wrong people and became so drunk and paranoid that she stopped making logical decisions. Basically, she’s the worst thing to happen to the Seven Kingdoms since the Mad King.

However, as we have so often been reminded, Cersei has one redeeming feature. Her one shining point amidst all the hatred was the love of her children… well that and her cheekbones. There is perhaps no mother in the series who has done more to protect and care for her children than the Queen. Of course, that’s mostly down to the fact that she’s one of the few mothers that we meet and the other notable one, Catelyn Stark, spent most of her time in the series away from her brood. All Cersei has done in the show is to ensure that her children get the respect and power that she thinks they deserve. There isn’t a fucking thing that woman wouldn’t do if she thought it was in her kids’ best interests.

She loves her children unquestionably, even when they are super creepy and really fucking evil. She was afraid of what Joffrey could do but she still loved him. So, it seemed wildly out of character that, in the final episode of season 6, Cersei would face the death of her only living child in such a calm way. She blew up the Sept of Baelor because she was batshit crazy and to rid herself of her enemies in one go. She tried to keep Tommen safe by locking him in his room. Of course, she could have guessed that the death of his wife would hit the King hard. Although, she probably didn’t expect him to jump out of a fucking window or she’d have at least ensured the thing was locked.

When her children have died previously we’ve seen Cersei suffer. Even the death of Joffrey the crazy motherfucker, hit her hard. Myrcella’s death nearly finished her off completely. Yet, we have no emotional reaction at all regarding Tommen. He jumps out of the window and the next thing we know Cersei is very calmly telling people they’ll have the ceremony in the Throne Room… on account of some psycho blowing up the Sept and shit. Then she goes and names herself Queen cool as a cucumber. You know, as if her only living child hadn’t just splattered himself all over King’s Landing.

You could argue that Tommen was such a dull and non-existent character that even Cersei didn’t care about his death. I mean it was thanks to him that we’re still unsure if Clegane bowl will ever happen. The most interesting thing about Tommen is his fucking cat, Ser Pounce, and fuck knows what’ll happen to him now his owner is dead. Still, if she’s the kind of mother that we we’re supposed to believe then we deserved more of an emotional breakdown. If we’re meant to believe that this final death, part of the prophecy that has haunted Cersei her entire life, pushes her into becoming the Mad Queen then I would have liked some recognition of that on screen.

We’ve always known that Cersei wanted power but that never came at the expense of her children. She was always whispering in their ears but she knew that them becoming rulers was just as good as her becoming one. So it’s fucking crazy that the TV show makes it seem as though Tommen’s death was actually advantageous to her. If she’d wanted the Iron Throne then she should have let Tommen die with Margaery. She clearly wanted him safe. Not getting to see her emotional reaction to her youngest son’s death takes away the only aspect of her character that ever humanised her. It deletes everything that ever made her feel real. Now she’s literally just the Mad Queen intent on killing everyone with Wild Fire. Instead of a woman so angry at the world because of the deaths of her children that she decides everyone must pay. The one thing Cersei always had was depth. Until she was robbed of it in the finale.

Top Ten Wen-sday: A Week of Irk and Ire Special – Top 10 Most Boring Game of Thrones Moments

Top Ten Wen-sday: A Week of Irk and Ire Special – Top 10 Most Boring Game of Thrones Moments

There can be no denying that Game of Thrones has been one of the most exciting and dramatic television shows around these days. However, that does not mean it isn’t also guilty of being fucking boring at times. George RR Martin created an epic landscape in which to tell his tale which meant he created a lot of characters to get the job done. The fact that there are so many perspectives on offer means that there are times when people aren’t really doing a great deal. Book readers will be familiar with the dull affair that is the entirety of book 4 where we essentially read about Cersei getting drunk and fucking as many of the men in King’s Landing as possible. So, I decided as I’m already well into my week of Game of Thrones ranting, that I’d finally make it known which moments throughout the six seasons were the least entertaining.


Ten: Bran Beyond the Wall

Ah season 5, how we miss your Bran-less ways. Bran has always been an irritating character. He moans, gets angry and mopes about more than he should. For the first season he did nothing of note but fall our of a window. Then we had the whole Theon debacle which gave him a bit more to do and gave more time to his great friendship with Osha. Then he met the world’s most boring teenager Jojen Reed. The whole trip to take Bran to the Three Eyed Raven has been so bloody time consuming. He’s done nothing but be carried through snow for years. Then when he got there the biggest reveal of the season was teased until the very last moment. The only reason Bran was really in season 6 was to reveal R+L=J and to reintroduce the undead Benjen Stark. His journey to become the Three Eyed Raven was just unmemorable aside from this. It, of course, doesn’t help that he also caused the most heartbreaking death in Game of Thrones history

     Nine: Tyrion in Meereen

Now this is only as high as it is because nothing starring Tyrion Lannister could be described as boring. The guy is a genius and Peter Dinklage is amazing. Still, it can’t be ignore that Tyrion’s journey to and time in Meereen has been utterly pointless. All he does is get drunk, walk around and make awkward conversation with Greyworm and that chick who used to be on Hollyoaks. He should be doing bigger and better things instead of making the situation with the slavers even worse. I admit, the moment that Dany asked him to be her hand had me weeping like a baby. Aside from that, Tyrion hasn’t really done himself any favours since he swore fealty to the Mother of Dragons. 

Eight: Sam and Gilly

There can be no doubt that Sam is the most adorable and kind character left in Westeros these days. He’s so pure and good that it’s nearly impossible not to love him. Nearly because, when all is said and done, he’s really fucking dull. Yes, he had that awesome moment where he killed wight with Dragonglass which was fucking awesome but, since that point, he’s really only been the soppy idiot travelling around the coutry with Gilly. These two have done absolutely nothing of note since they first met. I mean Sam fell in love with first woman he spoke to. Then we’ve just seen them making eyes at each other and go on a boat. It’s taking precious time away from better stories. Yes, it could get better now he’s at the Citadel but Sam and Gilly have added nothing this season. The whole sorry affair at Horn Hill was utterly pointless and, as gratifying as it was to see Sam stand up to his father, I could have done with more Brienne or something.

Seven: Gendry

I don’t really understand why HBO decided to make such a big thing about Gendry. Unless, I’m forgetting a whole section of the books, he wasn’t that important. He left Arya pretty quickly and was hardly relevant before that. In the TV show he obviously came to fill the void left by Edric Storm so the writers made it seem like he was important. We got all this build up to something great and it ended up quietly sailing away. I mean it was a massive set-up for such a fucking boring storyline with Melisandre and Ser Davos. If we were happy to ignore Edric then we should have been happy to ignore the need for obtaining King’s blood from one of Robert’s bastards. It really added nothing except the world of Game of Thrones memes.
 Six: Jorah Mormont the lovesick puppy


As you should all know by now, I have an intense passion for Iain Glenn’s Jorah Mormont. I love everything about him and would happily move to Bear Island to be his Lady and wear fur coats for the rest of my days. However, it has to be said that most of his story has fast become nothing more than “oh I’m so helplessly in love with the Queen” moping. He’s so one note these days that it’s just boring. I preferred the early days Jorah who was trying desperately to get back to his home and would do anything to make that happen. It’s like the Doctor Who thing, romance just makes potentially interesting relationships more boring. This pair would have worked much better if it had been based solely on mutual respect. Jorah saw how powerful Dany was and decided to join her cause. Similarly, Dany could see how great a warrior and useful ally Jorah could be. It could have been a great Queen/Older Adviser relationship (like she had with Ser Barristan) instead of him following her round drooling and making puppy eyes. He’s better than that. 

 Five: Jon Beyond the Wall

I’ve always found Jon to be really boring. The only interesting thing about him was the whole R+L=J and even that wasn’t much of a mystery. Jon is the emo kid of A Song of Ice and Fire who sits in his room listening to MCR whilst the rest of the world are out sorting shit. He broods about every little thing and it’s fucking boring. So, when season 2 took Jon away from the much needed comic relief of his fellow Night’s Watch it made it even more apparent how dull and irritating he was. Also, how fucking useless he is. Letting Ygritte go and causing the deaths of all those Rangers? Smooth move Snow. Now, I know there is a lot of love for the Jon/Ygritte romance but, to be honest, I just didn’t get it. She was far too good for him and if I’d been her I’d have ended up with Tormund instead. Seriously, that guys a fox. This plot in the books plays out better because we hear Jon’s thoughts as he weighs up his true loyalties. He really thinks about joining Mance Rayder and comes to respect his ways. In the show we see him falling for the first girl who shows him some interest and waiting for the moment he can betray everyone around him. I hated every minute of this.   

Four: Daenerys in Qarth

Dany Dany Dany, where did it all go wrong? I mean we know where it all went wrong: your husband died, you tried to bring him back and that started your unbreakable habit of fucking everything up. Getting stuck in the Red Waste without provisions was stupid and trusting the people of Qarth to take you in was even more so. The whole time Dany and co. were at Qarth was a fucking waste of time for everyone. It didn’t move her story along at all and didn’t get her any closer to Westeros. Dany spent most of her time shouting at people or wondering where her fucking dragons were. The only good thing about the whole sorry mess was her time in the House of the Undying. But one thing in an entire season does not make up for hours of “WHERE ARE MY DRAGONS!”

Three: Everything that’s happened in Dorne

Anyone who’s been around for a while may remember my Top 5 Female Role Models in A Song of Ice and Fire. Number 5 on that list were the Sand Snakes and Arianne Martell. They stood out in the books for their fucking awesome skills as a warrior and their desire to avenge the death of Oberyn Martell. So I was fucking excited when it was announced we’d finally see Dorne on screen. Unfotunately the Dorne that HBO introduced us to was nothing like the one we knew from the books. The characters were all weak and fucking boring. Prince Doran was just the naive and shitty ruler that he was pretending to be in the books. Arianne Martell didn’t seduce Ser Arys and try and kidnap Princess Myrcella. There has been no reveal of the Dornish pacts with Viserys Targaryen and no sightings of Quentyn Martell making his way to Meereen to try and wed Dany. What we’ve had is lots of talking and arguing in the Water Gardens and the sand snakes being played by fucking awful actors. 


Two: Arya in Braavos

As I mentioned yesterday, I loved Arya Stark when I first read the books. She was a great character until she got stuck in the most boring story in the world. Something that is all the more upsetting considering she was starting her training to be a crazy, face-changing killer. I realise that every good warrior needs to be taught the tricks of the trade but this was ridiculous. We wanted to see Arya kickin arse not begging on the streets of Braavos. It was a boring idea in the book and, weirdly, even more boring on the show. We can only hope Arya has some more exciting things in her future. 

     
One: Daenerys in Meereen

I remember first reading the books and having such high hopes for Dany. The journey she went on from being the poor little wife of Khal Drogo to being a fully fledged Khaleesi who meant business. From the moment she decided she hatched her dragons and swore to take Westeros the entire audience have been on tenterhooks. That was at the end of season 1. It’s taken 5 more seasons for her to even try and get back to her home. Instead, she decided to be a fucking idiot and stop slavery. I admit, that isn’t bad in principal but her whole storyline has been an example of the West forcing their beliefs on the East. It’s shown what a terrible leader Dany is and distracted her from the bigger picture. The whole Meereen Saga has been super repetitive with Dany trying and failing to keep the ex-slavers on side. Her new marriage barely registered and the whole dragons killing people thing was dull. Even her affair with Daario wasn’t enough to make up for the boredom. The end of this story was the best thing in Game of Thrones history. 
Ranting about Game of Thrones: A Week of Irk and Ire – Ar-ya fucking kidding me with this plot?

Ranting about Game of Thrones: A Week of Irk and Ire – Ar-ya fucking kidding me with this plot?

Arya Stark has always been one of my favourite characters. She’s a feisty, tomboy who doesn’t play by everyone else’s rules. She’s a fucking hero. A girl who is much more comfortable with a sword in her hand than a sewing needle. Like a much better and medieval version of the girl I was growing up. So, yeah, an Arya Stark fan. I’ve been willing her on through her entire storyline. Those early days with Syrio, her time with Yoren, the Harrenhal situation, travelling with Sandor Clegane and even the most boring ninja apprenticeship in the history of ninja apprenticeships. Yeah, not since Dany failed to do a fucking thing for five books have we had such an underwhelming story. Arya’s time in Braavos was time-consuming, fucking boring and completely pointless in terms of moving her story along.

Well after about 3 seasons of hoping we all got our deepest desire and Arya finally got the balls to stand up to Jaqhen. She reclaimed her name and vowed to go back to Winterfell where she belongs. It was a fucking empowering moment that took far too long to come to pass. Of course, as we now know, she had a little pit stop along the way to cross another name off her kill list. Now as gratifying as it was to see Walder Frey finally get his comeuppance it does make me concerned about Arya’s fate. I mean she’s now gone further down a path that she really can’t get off. She’s giving out her own form of justice instead of the kind that her father honoured.

I guess part of my concern comes down to the fact that the TV show has diverged so far away from the books. Now I’m not one of those book fans that wants to complain about the fact that HBO isn’t sticking to the books. There’s a lot that I don’t mind the producers changing or adding. Really the only thing that I am missing enough to get angry about is Lady Stoneheart. She is the missing piece that was going to get revenge for the Starks. Along with the Brotherhood Without Banners, she was taking out everyone involved in the Red Wedding in her fucking brutal zombie way.

So when the show’s runners made the fucking stupid decision not to bring undead Catelyn back they had to come up with a new way to kill off the people behind the death of Robb Stark. That’s obviously where Arya comes in which, in terms of her general bad assery, is fine. However, it’s taking her down a very dark road that isn’t fitting for a member of the most honourable family in Westeros. This isn’t what Ned would have wanted for her.

Also, what life is there left for her? She can’t exactly go back to a normal life after she’s finished, ca she? She’s seen so many things and carried out some fucking gruesome tasks. She’s not the little girl she was when Ned was beheaded. We all ready had reason to worry about Arya’s fate when Eddard admitted she had inherited his sibling’s feisty nature.

You have a wildness in you, child. ‘the wolf blood,’ my father used to call it. Lyanna had a touch of it, and my brother Brandon more than a touch. It brought them both to an early grave. (A Game of Thrones)

Eddard worries about his daughter’s “wildness” and even suggests that she will die young. Arya is walking down a path of death so should we be worried about her safety? After all, “the lone wolf dies but the pack survives”. Even if she somehow manages to get back to her family what will they do with her? I can’t imagine either Sansa, Jon or Bran feeling too happy about the sheer number of people Arya has gone out of her way to kill. The fact that it was bloody revenge that kept her going over the years instead of the hope of getting home.

Let’s not forget the other female figure in the book who favours a more violent retribution for her enemies. Cersei Lannister has gone further down the batshit crazy road as time moves on and, provided the TV show is sticking to the major book moments, blows up the Citadel and half of King’s Landing’s movers and shakers. She hates Margaery and the High Sparrow and the obvious solution to her problem is to kill a fuck-load of people. The more people Arya crosses off her list the less Stark like she becomes.

The Lannisters had taken everything: father, friends, home, hope, courage. (A Clash of Kings)

The things that have transpired have taken so much from Arya and it’s already started to take away her identity. Even if she took back her name, she’s hardly following in her father’s footsteps. Ned wanted to avoid bloodshed and would only have killed for honourable reasons. We need Lady Stoneheart to come in and prevent Arya from following up with her threats. Only Zombie Cat can save Arya’s soul at this point.

Ranting about Game of Thrones: A Week of Irk and Ire – Jon Snow-Way Should He Be King

Ranting about Game of Thrones: A Week of Irk and Ire – Jon Snow-Way Should He Be King

So, I promised you all a week dedicated to all my angry thoughts about Game of Thrones after the end of season and I fucking delivered. I’ve already spent a long time ranting to my friends and co-workers about the events that transpired this season but there a few massive points that I feel need reiterating here. Now, don’t worry, there won’t be any lengthy, petty rants about how Rickon was a fucking idiot to run in a straight line because, by this point, I’m starting to believe the kid’s better off dead. I mean I’m sad that another Stark has bitten the dust but he was a fucking moron for not even trying to zig-zag. Who, after being captured by Ramsay Bolton and being set free, doesn’t think “hmm, this is awfully convenient. I can’t imagine anything going wrong in this scenario.” I don’t think I’ve ever screamed at an episode of television as much as I have during ‘The Battle of the Bastards’. What a bunch of idiots. None more so, of course, than our new King in the North, Jon Snow.

Now, being upfront with you all, I’ve never had any warm and fuzzy feelings for Jon Snow. Obviously, having read the books, I’ve realised his importance but that doesn’t make me like him. I mean Dany is obviously important but that doesn’t stop her being an irritating fuck all the time. So yeah, knew he was destined for greatness but never believed he deserved it. For one thing, his fucking man ponytail has been the worst thing about season 6. I mean his hair has always looked shit but this takes the fucking cake. Then, let us not forget that Jon Snow has royally fucked up everything he’s ever tried to do.

  1. He was desperate to join the Night’s Watch and then instantly regretted his decision. He immediately made a ton of enemies and beat the shit out of many of his fellow wannabe brothers. Not a great start. 
  2. Almost as soon as he has said his vows Jon is ready to break them to join the fight with Robb. If it hadn’t been for his friends, Jon would have been branded a deserter and killed… helping nobody fight anybody,
  3. (TV show only) Jon pisses off Crastor by not following the Old Bear’s commands and gets the Night’s Watch kicked out into the fucking cold. 
  4. Lets Ygritte go causing him and Qhorin to get captured. This leads to Jon having to pretend to turn traitor and kill Halfhand to prove it. Once again, Jon breaks his vows by succumbing to Ygritte’s womanly wiles. Like a bloody idiot. 
  5. Leaves his post as Mormont’s steward leaving him vulnerable to a murderous mutiny. Like a bloody idiot. 
  6. Becomes Commander of the Night’s Watch, sends his only ally away and pisses off the rest of his brothers to the point that they all stab him repeatedly… to the death.
  7. (TV show only so far) Vows revenge of Ramsay Bolton for taking his home, kidnapping his brother and raping his sister. Fails to take any advice from aforementioned sister and walks straight into Ramsay’s trap. Nearly gets himself and Tormund the Epic killed. Like a bloody idiot. 
  8. (TV show only so far) Somehow manages to get Winterfell back but, instead of keeping Ramsay alive for potential political leverage, he allows his sister to set starving dogs on him. No matter how justified it was it was a fucking stupid military move to kill your greatest prisoner.
  9. (TV show only so far) Becomes King of the North whilst failing to see the potential enemies he has in Sansa and Little Finger. Also, fails to have his main source of protection, a fucking Direwolf, with at all times. Like a bloody idiot.  
So, yeah, that’s Jon Snow. As my old Graphic Design teacher once told me, “you have good ideas but lack the skill needed to carry them out”. Jon desperately wants to live up to the kind of leader that his (believed) father was but he isn’t anywhere near as great a man as Eddard. Yes, Ned was too trusting and didn’t have a great idea of the game but he was also the kind of man that people rally behind. Jon isn’t that kind of man. He focuses on doing what is right without thinking about the consequences of his actions. 
Even Robb, the last man to be named King of the North, was a great leader and was shrewd in terms of battle. Robb understood his enemies and managed to catch them all unawares. The only way the Lannister’s could kill him was by doing something unimaginably evil with the help of the sadistic Bolton’s. Robb Stark deserved the name King of the North because he showed great potential, understanding and had actual victories behind him. Jon’s victories only come with the help of the slimiest man in the seven kingdoms. Not a great start. 
Jon is even more trusting than Ned was and is incredibly naive. If the Stark patriarch didn’t understand the game of thrones then Jon definitely doesn’t. It wasn’t for nothing that Ygritte kept reminding us all “you know nothing, Jon Snow”. He really doesn’t. What are his plans now? Hold up in Winterfell and hope for the best. He must know there will be repercussions. He needs to get a plan and he needs to start listening to fucking Sansa. Without her the battle would have ended with everyone being killed. Jon needs to get her advice more often. 
The mark of a good King is realising your limitations and making up for them. Jon knew he didn’t know Ramsay and he knew that he had a great resource in Sansa. Out of brotherly love or just ignorance he failed to utilise her and look what happened. On the battle field he let his emotions get the better of him and he rushed into a fight he was ill-prepared for. If he’s got any chance of keeping Winterfell and earning his title then he needs to do a bit of boning up on battle strategy. I mean, who has a fucking Giant fighting for them and fails to provide him with any weapons or protection. That guy could have saved Rickon, stomped on Ramsay and ended the whole fucking battle himself. Instead, he’s dead.
So, for all you people out there suggesting Jon Snow deserves to sit on the Iron Throne at the end of this or, at least, wed Dany when she does, I urge you to think again. I cried more when the Red Woman brought him back to life than I did when he “died”. He’s a fucking idiot who has too much of a temper. We don’t need another ruler that lets his heart rule instead of his head. I get that people out there like his face but, looks aside, is this really the man you want protecting the Seven Kingdoms? Does he deserve it? Let’s ask Wun Wun shall we… oh, wait, we can’t.
SUNDAY RUNDOWN – THAT’S WHAT SHE READ

SUNDAY RUNDOWN – THAT’S WHAT SHE READ

A month ago I told you all I was putting off writing any more Monday posts because I was doing an online course. I’ve just finished that course and am now planning to do the advanced course. This is obviously more intensive and longer so I will continue to be a bit lax with my posting schedule for the next few weeks. Not only will this let me continue my Summer of sorting my shit out. After I’ve finished the course I’ve got some plans to get this blog in order. After all, how can I sort out my own shit if I can’t even sort out this shit? I’ve started with the name and the layout, neither of which I’m convinced of by the way, and then I’m going to focus on content. I’m not pretending I’m going to try and make a career out of blogging but I want to see if I can make the whole thing more successful. Until I get a proper job I can at least use the skills I’m learning here to get some practice.

Currently Reading

  • A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George RR Martin

I realised today that I’ve been reading this fucking book for nearly a month now. I started it just after I finished reading Jaws and I’ve only just finished reading the second of the three stories. I don’t know whether it’s the book or me. I’m thinking about taking a break and going back to it at some point but if I do that I’ll probably never finish the damn thing. I’m off work this week so I’ll see how I go. If we get nice weather then I’ll probably bosh it off in no time.

Recently Purchased

  • Fate and Furies by Lauren Groff (Kindle Edition)

Wanted to own this for ages and have come so close to buying the beautiful paperback on so many occasions. It was only after seeing it on offer in the Kindle store that I decided to. No doubt I’ll still buy the actual book because I’m a fucking loser like that. Did I mention that I’ve got every possible format of Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant. And have I finished it yet? Have I fuck! Anyway, Fates and Furies tells the story of a picture perfect marriage that isn’t quite so idyllic on the inside. It’s about the two sides to every story and the lies that make up every relationship. 

  • So Much for That Winter by Dorthe Nors

I’ve read so much about this book recently and I have desperately wanted it from that point on. The book contains two novellas and much has been made about the style of Nors’ writing. She utlisises the lists that we all make on a daily basis to tell her stories. It sounds amazing and I couldn’t be more excited about reading it.

Recently Watched

  • Game of Thrones

Still re-watching an still amzaing. I’m midway through season 2 and all I can do is squeal whenever Brienne comes on screen. I fucking love her so much. Also, I have so much more love for Margaery Tyrell after the finale. She was fucking gorgeous but I was never that attached to her. Now she’s dead I’m realising how great she was. Still, maybe there’s a secret way to resist Wildfire that I just don’t know about yet? 

  • Spotless

Literally just started watching this new Netflix series. It sounds fucking awesome but it’s still too early to tell. I’m so bad at getting around to watching Netflix originals if I’m honest. I need to get up-to-date with House of Cards and then I need to start Jessica Jones, Daredevil and god knows what else. I still haven’t finished Love but I think that’s because I started to realise it’s unconventional rom-com element wasn’t as original or as exciting as I wanted it to be. 

TBT – Celeste and Jesse Forever (2012)

TBT – Celeste and Jesse Forever (2012)

You may have noticed that I recently changed my blog name. This is the third time I’ve done this since I started writing it. The first time was because, whilst in my final year of university, I chose the most pretentious name possible. Transcribing Thought was taken from the Marshall McLuhan quotation (yes, I’m that awful guy in the cinema queue in Annie Hall. I hate myself too.) “A typewriter is a means of transcribing thought, not expressing it.” I thought it was deep and meaningful but it also didn’t really tell you anything about my blog. The second name, Much Review About Nothing, satisfied my love of puns and Shakespeare whilst also sufficiently lowering people’s expectations of my writing. Still, it didn’t ever thing it fit the relaxed and sweary atmosphere I wanted here. It took ages to think of something I was happy enough with and, if I’m honest, I still don’t think it’ll stick. Still, it’ll do for now unless anyone out there has any better ideas. Seriously, I need all the fucking help I can get.

To be honest with you, I never watched Celeste and Jesse Forever when it first came out because I’m a stubborn hater of all things of the rom-com genre. I just don’t have time to watch awfully realised characters do exactly what I knew they were going to do from the start. Also, I didn’t really know anything about Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg was just that silly guy from the SNL sketches. I really didn’t think anything good could come of their union. However, after watching Popstar the other week and getting nostalgic feelings every time I see a Parks and Rec meme on Instagram, I decided it was time to see what all the fuss was about.

The Celeste and Jesse from the title have been best friends for years and, because this is Hollywood, they grew up, fell in love and got married. In the opening credits we see a cutesy montage of their life together. It sums up the idea that their relationship was perfect. Well, until it wasn’t. The final scene in our pre-movie montage shows Celeste walking away from Jesse following a row. Turns out, when the film finally starts, that the pair couldn’t make their marriage work and are now living a weird not-really-married marriage. Celeste taking residence in the couple’s house whilst Jesse lives in his art studio behind the house. Why are they so close? Even after everything they’re still best friends.

Probably sharing the opinion of most of the audience, Celeste and Jesse’s friends are outraged by the strange set-up and try to convince the two to move on. That proves to be more difficult for Celeste than Jesse who soon discovers a one-night stand is pregnant with his child. Whilst her ex-husband grows up and prepares for fatherhood, Celeste is left wondering if she’s made a massive mistake. She’s not ready for dating and finds consumed with jealousy that not only has Jesse moved on but that he did it first. It’s a very realistic portrayal of the one-upmanship displayed after a breakup.

The script, written by Rashida Jones and writing partner Will McCormack, is a pretty solid if not groundbreaking affair. It feels well grounded in the real-world and there is something in Celeste’s post-relationship life that anyone who has gone through a break-up will realise. Despite knowing that the end of their relationship is probably for the best, neither are willing or able to admit that it’s over. The pair themselves are complete opposites, because this is Hollywood, with Celeste being the controlling, ambitious one and Jesse being the relaxed, jokey one. The couple were doomed never to work but they have a undeniable connection that constantly draws them back together.

Both Jones and Andy Samberg are great as the leads and have a good enough chemistry on screen that you can see what the fuss is about. They easily fall into the dorky in-jokes that the couple have clearly shared for years. Samberg, especially, shows a deftness here and is great in the more subdued and emotional moments. For someone who was, up until this point, just that silly guy from the sketches, he shows the range and subtleness that he possesses. I have to be honest, though it’ll come of no surprise to avid readers of this blog, that as the credits rolled I was a little bit in love with Samberg.

And the film as a whole I suppose. Although, Celeste and Jesse Forever is hardly revolutionising the genre but it does manage to avoid many of the pitfalls of the worst examples. It manages to create realistic characters and surrounds the leads in well-written supporting players. There are moments are sheer brilliance and realim on show here and some fantastic subplots to keep you busy. However, I was left a little disappointed by the ending. Celeste goes through an emotional journey to accept her failed marriage and it is quickly diminished thanks to the rom-com standard. I could so have easily fallen head-over-heels for this film but, as it goes, I think we’d be about as likely a couple as the on gracing this title.

Tuesday’s Reviews – Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016)

Tuesday’s Reviews – Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016)

I don’t quite trust people who don’t like The Lonely Island, the comedy music trio formed by Akiva Schaffer, Andy Samberg, and Jorma Taccone. Yes, it’s completely childish and base humour but that doesn’t stop it being funny. I’ve come up against a few people over the years who dismiss the trio as unfunny but I know at least one of those people voted to leave the EU this week so, clearly, their opinions aren’t worth listening to. I’ve permanently got their music on my everyday Spotify playlist and at 630 am there is nothing quite like listening to ‘I’m on a Boat’ to get you ready for a shift. So, suffice it to say, when I heard the trio were starring in a new music mockumentary then I was excited. Particularly in this new and awful world where the likes of Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and One Direction were all getting their time on the big screen. It’s about time someone came along and showed us all how absurd this all is. It’s probably also the first time I’ve ever been this keen to see a film produced by Judd Apatow.

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is essentially a copy of Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never but with actual jokes. The film, written by the Lonely Island trio, sees Andy Samberg play the Bieber-esque figure Connor4Real who, after a runaway success of a first album, is awaiting the release of his follow-up. Connor is trying to make a name for himself as a solo act following his departure from boyband The Style Boyz. The other Style Boyz have faired less well than Connor, of course. The guy who wrote the musis, Owen (played by fellow Lonely Island Member Jorma Taccone) is using his talents as Connor’s DJ, which mainly consists of pressing play on a iPod. The band’s lyricist, Lawrence (played by last Lonely Islander Akiva Schaffer) is living a lonely existence as a farmer after falling out with Connor over the rights to an award-winning verse. Although, it soon becomes clear that life after The Style Boyz is going to be more difficult than Connor though as his second album fails to live up to its predecessor.

Connor’s path is laid out pretty obviously in front of the audience and the final act won’t cause any real surprises. Although, the lack of originality doesn’t make it any less entertaining and the final act will give the emotional pay-off that the film needs. Popstar isn’t a film that wanted to break any boundaries and it never claimed to be the next This Is Spinal Tap. It’s unfortunate that the film will constantly be compared to this pinnacle of the genre because Popstar is actually a pretty good mockumentary. It doesn’t just try exaggerate the modern day obsession with pop stars but parodies this world really well. Connor’s songs are as outlandish as any Lonely Island song but with the added benefit of sound like the kind of music youths are blasting out of their phones these days.

The best, and possibly worst, thing about the film is that Connor4Real is exactly the kind of personality that could make it big in today’s world. He has the massive ego and lack of self-awareness that the likes of Justin Bieber have made such a common feature of the pop scene. This film is about more than just taking cheap shots at celebrities but has some entertaining satire about the entertainment industry. It’s very easy to mock the vapid stars of today but, thankfully, The Lonely Island find a more intelligent way to go about things. It takes on the topics of branding modern pop stars and the importance of social media in ensuring a musicians value. There is more to this film than just “isn’t Bieber a fucking idiot”.

Although, is it impossible to ignore the sense that The Lonely Island aren’t comfortable with the elongated format. Their short music videos are filled with great writing, music and visual gags but this film often revisits jokes to stretch the narrative out a bit. You often get the feeling that this film is nothing more than a few of their new songs stuck together using a flimsy but inconsequential plot. A plot that is nothing more than a few episodic situations that get characters to where they need to be in the strangest or funniest way possible. It’s basically a few funny sketches with a few funny songs and some extra words in between. This doesn’t mean it’s not funny but it also means it’s nothing to write home about.

What saves the film from total failure is the cast and the sheer number of celeb cameos that litter the run time. Now, obviously the three main stars have a tried and tested chemistry but they probably would have benefited from better written characters. As it is, they often get overlooked by the secondary figures, most obviously Conner’s rival rapper Hunter (Chris Redd) and his manager (Tim Meadows) and publicist (Sarah Silverman). Then we have the obligatory appearances from Samberg’s fellow SNL-alumni, inlcuding Maya Rudolph, Bill Hader and Will Forte. In order to keep up the appearance of a documentary there are the occasional breakaways for talking heads from a host of famous faces, like Simon Cowell, Maria Carey and DJ Khaled. Whilst there are some funny moments from these many cameos, it was clearly a quantity over quality kind of deal.

Still, there is something about Popstar that just works. It’s not the greatest nor is it the funniest example of this kind of film but it is harmlessly silly. It has the same feel that The Lonely Island back catalogue has. It’ll make you laugh even if you think you’re better than that kind of humour. It is a pretty shrewd parody of modern pop stars and, you can’t deny, it could easily have been a much more tragic affair had The Lonely Island not been in charge. Yes, Popstar can’t quite elevate itself to the heights of Spinal Tap but it will give enough laughs to keep anyone with even a vague knowledge of current music entertained enough. And sometimes that should be enough.

SUNDAY RUNDOWN – THAT’S WHAT SHE READ

SUNDAY RUNDOWN – THAT’S WHAT SHE READ

This week the United Kingdom took part in a huge political decision that had the power to rock the whole world. The decision to leave the EU isn’t one I voted for nor was it one that I believe we should have been left to decide in this manner. Politicians have made massive gambles to gain power and it has royally fucked the country. It has also created a situation in which hatred, anger and prejudice are becoming the norm. It’s a sickening and worrying time to be here and there’s fuck all we can do about it. I’ve spent days trying to understand what has happened and try to find some positives. But I can’t. Instead I’m thinking of all the opportunists that have been ripped away from young people. All the chances that have been ripped away from me because Boris Johnston and co. have fed lies to us all for months. All I can feel is numb. Numb and upset that things are so bad in this country that a large proportion of people felt so marginalised that they targeted our connection with Europe as the reason for their suffering. Instead of getting back their rights they only voted for a situation in which their suffering will only get worse before it could possibly get better. They have created such uncertainty that we will get a Prime Minister who will, if anything, care about them even less. When they can’t blame Europe who are they going to blame for their lack of benefits? This country is slowly being torn apart and we can do nothing but wait. The EU wasn’t great but living in a country that is defined by its isolation and xenophobia can be no better for anyone. I never wanted to use this as a platform for this kind of thing but its where my thoughts are this week. The real world is a fucking mess and the only thing I want to do is retreat into a fictional world. I imagine my reading slump will come to an end any day now.

Currently Reading

  • A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George RR Martin

I know I know. I’m still reading this and it’s fucking ridiculous. It’s been weeks and I feel like I’m getting no further with it. That’s not because it isn’t good but because I’m just not in the mood. It’s really well written and, in my opinion, easier to read than A Song of Ice and Fire. It’s less intense and more fun than that but still as detailed and engrossing. I just need to get into the reading spirit or I’ll never move on. 

Recently Purchased

  • A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin

I already own this book but my old edition is so battered by this point that I wanted a nice one again. I decided it was time to start amassing the beautiful photographic covers that were released a few years ago. I’m not sure I’m completely on board with them but they look a lot sleeker than the previous illustrated ones. At the very least they’ll look better on my bookshelf. The main reason I bought it? I contemplating reading the series again. At the very least, I think I need to go back to all of book 5 before book 6 comes out. There’s so much I think I rushed through and the whole Mance Rayder at Winterfell plot needs to be revisited. Otherwise I’m going to be fucking clueless by the time The Winds of Winter comes out. 

  • The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall

Not really sure where the idea for this one came from. I think I read it on one of those stupid lists I’m so fond of. However, here I am with a copy and no real idea what the book is about. It’s something to do with memory and loss or something. Still, I’ve heard good things about it so I’ll give it a chance. A few Amazon reviews claim it’s too weird and “out there” and I’m always a lover of that kind of thing. 

  • The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King

Stephen King writing a Medieval murder mystery? Doesn’t that sound perfect? Yeah, I know my relationship with King has been iffy in the past but I’m always willing to give it another go. This book seems more relaxed than his other books but I’m looking forward to seeing his spin on the genre.

Recently Watched

  • Game of Thrones

Started re-watching this in time for the finale of the current season. The last episode was so good but I have many issues. So much so I think I’m planning a week of Game of Thrones related rants starting next week. It’s a change to our scheduled programming but I need to get a few things off my chest. 

  • The Avengers: Age of Ultron

I haven’t seen Age of Ultron since it came out in the cinema but, when buying a Father’s Day gift last week, I couldn’t resist an offer. Age of Ultron still isn’t that great but it let me see just how many great lines Ultron had. I mean just look at the scene where he accidentally rips of Ulysses Klaue’s arm and tells him it’ll heal up nicely. There are some really funny moments in this film but it still doesn’t live up to what I hoped that it would be. It’s a shame.

TBT – Now You See Me (2013)

TBT – Now You See Me (2013)

We all have those people that irritate us for no real reason. You know what I mean, when literally everything they do just makes you irrationally angry. There’s a girl at work who is highly annoying me at the moment and I really don’t understand why. We have a lot in common so should get on. However, every time she opens her mouth I just feel my entire body scrunching up in annoyance. I mean, I guess it’s partly down the fact that I’m an awful person who hates pretty much all other people but I also put the blame partly on her. I mention this because Dave Franco is another of these people. I think it’s because he was in that awful final season of Scrubs but I just prepare for the worst whenever he’s in a film I’m watching. It’s stupid, I know, to hate someone because they played a really annoying character on a TV show I didn’t even really like many years ago. However, I’m just that petty and ridiculous. Which is why I was surprised to find, upon rewatching the first Now You See Me film, that I actually enjoyed Franco’s work. He was funny and got into the spirit of it. Maybe I’m growing as a person? Or maybe I was just realising how stupid this film really is?

Now You See Me always sounded like a great concept. Thieves who use their careers as magicians to carry out their crimes on a very public and very global scale.  Now that’s a concept that someone like me could get behind. Like Ocean’s Eleven meets Gob Bluth: who could ask for more? Still, Now You See Me just doesn’t quite live up to it’s massive potential. Now You See Me is the worst kind of magic trick where the performer is so concerned with surprising the audience that the actual process becomes less important than the reveal. Director, Louis Leterrier, is less worried about creating a clever film that tricks the audience into believing what he wants. He just points the camera in the opposite direction or changes history when he needs to.

Still, that’s not to say that getting there isn’t fun. The reason people are such fans of magic is because they want to believe that what they are seeing is real. That isn’t to say you won’t enjoy the film but you must be willing to let go of all reason and logic. This film works best if you are okay to play the fool that it needs you to be. If you’re willing to ignore the clumsy fumbles along the way in order to get to the finale. After all, on a basic level the film is entertaining. It has gathered a great cast together and they all do admirably with what is given to them. It can’t have been easy but they manage to keep it together. There is even some interesting chemistry between the group of magicians and the detective chasing them.

However, Leterrier attempts to pull off too much and throws things together in such a small running time. The result is a confusing and badly edited narrative that doesn’t make as much sense as it should. In order to get everything in that it wanted to certain pesky details have been ignored. You know, silly things like character development, common sense, and a strong narrative. Instead, this film is all about surprising you. It gets to the point that, by the final reveal, so many absurd things have taken place that anything could have been possible. This isn’t a finely crafted tale like Ocean’s Eleven it is something that has been cobbled together with enough distractions to keep you preoccupied.

There are things to like, of course. It might just be me but angry magician Jesse Eisenberg is hot. That pretty much made the film for me. Then there are certain sequences that are visually interesting and it’s fun watching the four magicians do their craft, even if it is in a very Hollywood fake manner. There are some great showdowns between Eisenberg and Mark Ruffalo’s detective and Morgan Freeman’s magic debunker is a joy because, well, Morgan Freeman. Plus, Woody Harrelson seems born to play a big-headed mentalist who likes to swindle people using his skills.

However, that doesn’t make up for the fact that, ultimately, this film doesn’t stick. Remember in The Prestige when Michael Caine told us about the three stages of magic? Well, Now You See Me is a trick missing the all important final stage. In the first stage, the pledge, Leterrier takes the simple yet astounding premise of criminal magicians and makes you believe that’s what you’re seeing. In the second, the turn, that plot gets lost in the middle of an unnecessary revenge plot where so many secrets are revealed that the previous hour or so is almost made redundant. What Now You See Me lacks is the all important final act, the prestige. Leterrier forgets to bring the damn thing back.

Of course, this being magic, you want to believe and, if you’re like me, you’ll let the ridiculous nature of the film wash over you. Instead, you’ll be happy to get swept away with the drama and energy on display. You will purposefully ignore what you need to and you’ll take someone else’s word on something that makes absolutely not sense. Somehow, Leterrier manages to convince you that this technically terrible film is actually better than it is. I’m think what I’m saying is, Now You See Me may just be the greatest magic trick of all time.