Sunday, April 21, 2019

Discussing Game of Thrones: Winterfell

* Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen “Winterfell”

GAME OF THRONES IS BACK—WOOHOO! Well, it came back a week ago and the second episode just aired, but me being me and always running behind recapping, here I am running behind recapping the final season hahaha.

The Opening Credits Get a Makeover

Yup— there's now a hole in the Wall where the Night King and ice dragon Viserion blasted through at the end of Season 7. We also see super detailed renderings of Winterfell and King's Landing, including interior locations like Winterfell's Great Hall and crypt.

If This Seems Familiar . . . .

This episode features a lot of callbacks to the very first episode of the show, including this first scene of the Season 8 premiere. Instead of Robert Baratheon, Cersei, and their entourage rolling into Winterfell, we have Jon, Daenerys, Tyrion, Varys, et al arriving as the very wary Northerners look on. It's an incredibly impactful scene. Who would've thought we'd see Tyrion and the Hound return to Winterfell?

So many things have changed since the pilot episode—here stands Sansa as the Lady of Winterfell. Arya has done a lot of "needlework." And Bran has turned into a robot. There have been some awesome Bran Stare memes going around since last week. It's like, no matter where you go, you turn around, and there's Bran, staring creepily at you.

It's Really Cold Up Here

Daenerys quickly learns how cold it is up North, from Sansa's icy reception to another scene-stealing speech by Lyanna Mormont in the Great Hall. There was some great side-eye going on between Sansa and Daenerys throughout the episode as well that I'm sure somebody has already created a montage of and posted on YouTube. But Daenerys can also throw shade, and she gets in some fiery one-liners that make it clear who the Queen is, even in the North.

BEST REUNION EVER!

Jon is in the Godswood, and suddenly so is Arya! This was my favorite scene of the episode, and such a long time in the making. There's a bit of a chill to the scene, though, too, when Arya actually sticks up for Sansa and reminds Jon not to forget about family.

But What About the Elephants?

We now check in on the happenings in King's Landing, where Qyburn informs Cersei that the White Walkers have broken through the Wall. Her response? "Good." Her concern for Westeros is truly touching.

Ugh . . . Euron is back. And he's brought the sellsword Golden Company with him. Cersei is very much disappointed that they do not have elephants, thus sparking another GoT meme.

That F**king Family

Qyburn interrupts Bronn at a rather inopportune moment with a job offer from Cersei—to kill Tyrion and Jaime. With a crossbow, of course. Bronn has always done what's best for Bronn and he's never pretended to be other than a sellsword, so it'll be interesting to see how this story line turns out.

Rescue Redux

Yara is still Euron's prisoner, but not for much longer! Theon, who jumped overboard during the battle with Euron, has returned to rescue his sister! Yara's first reaction once cut free is to headbutt Theon. With that over and done with, they discuss their next move, which is to return to the Iron Islands, where the White Walkers can't reach. Yara senses, however, that Theon wants to go fight for the Starks, and she lets him take leave.

When Your Dragons Don't Approve of Your BF

Back in the North, Jon goes flying around on Rhaegal in a pretty impressive CGI sequence. Or more like Rhaegal lets Jon fly around because he's really a Targaryen. The best part of this scene, though, is the closeup of Drogon giving Jon a look that says, "If you ever hurt my mom, I'm going to barbecue your brooding little face off."

Arya Reunites with Her Old Crew. Sort Of.

Gendry is making a mean looking axe for the Hound when Arya walks in. The Hound is like, you left me to die, and Arya is like, first I robbed you. Man, Arya's as sharp with her words as she is with her sword. She asks Gendry to make a weapon for her, and I'm still trying to figure out what that drawing is supposed to be?

Where's Your Crown, Jon?

Sansa shares the news with Jon that House Glover will be sitting tight instead of assembling at Winterfell like the other Northern houses. She's upset that after rallying the North, he's abandoned his crown to Daenerys. Sansa straight out asks him if he bent the knee to save the North from the White Walkers, or because he loves Daenerys. Fortunately, he's spared from answering that question by cutting to . . . .

Sam Gets Bad News. REALLY Bad News.

Daenerys and Jorah surprise Sam with a visit so she can thank Sam for curing Jorah's greyscale. A flustered Sam mentions that he might need a pardon for borrowing a few books from the Citadel's library and also for swiping his father's sword. When Daenerys finds out who Sam's father is, or rather, was, the truth comes out that Randyll Tarly wouldn't bend the knee, and so he was executed. A shaken Sam tries to make the best of the news and says at least he can go home now where his brother will be lord . . . . Oh wait. Dickon Tarly stood with his father and was toasted, too. Yikes!

Poor Sam asks for a moment and flees outside to collect himself only to be met with a Bran Stare. Bran says it's time to tell Jon the truth about his parentage, and Sam, Jon's BFF, must be the one to do it. Wow does Sam's life suck in this episode.

Jon Snow, These Are Your Real Parents

The ever dutiful Samwell meets Jon down in the crypt, where of course the camera can zoom in on the tombs of Ned, who Jon thought was his father, and Lyanna, whom Jon is about to find out is really his mother. But first Sam asks Jon if he knew what Daenerys did to Sam's father and brother. Awkward.

Those Artistic White Walkers

It's Tormund and Beric! They survived the collapse of the Wall! Who's that around the corner? Dolorous Edd survived, too! Best exchange of the episode, even more than Arya and the Hound's and Sansa and Daenerys's salty little convo about what dragons eat, was Edd yelling that Tormund had been turned because his eyes were blue, and Tormund screaming back that he's always had blue eyes. I'm still chuckling at that!

Not so funny: the discovery of little Lord Ned Umber's body at Last Hearth. Early on in the episode, Sansa had sent him home to gather everyone and bring them to Winterfell. The White Walkers have left another one of their freaky messages. Even less funny: when Ned's eyes suddenly open and they're the blue Edd was afraid of. It's flame on for Beric's sword.

Don't They Check IDs at the Gate?

Back at Winterfell, there's a hooded figure approaching. Of course it's Jaime, and of course there's a Bran Stare waiting for him, too!

In the Next Episode

Jaime looks rather uncomfortable standing before the assembled crowd in the Great Hall. More side-eye. The White Walkers are about to knock on Winterfell's door.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Book Loot (35)

It's already April and I've only read 3 books so far this year, but I continue to hoard them, lol. Some of these were pre-orders for must-have new releases, like Defy Me.

I binge watched You a couple of months ago, breaking my typical rule of reading the book before seeing the movie/TV adaptation, lol. It was ridiculously addictive TV, and so I had to pick up the book.

I also picked up a mini haul on impulse at Books a Million. Their bargain books section is just a trove of temptation that I really should know better by now to avoid, hahaha. Most of the time I can walk through the aisles with my wallet unscathed, but this time, I caved, especially since I've been wanting to read Illuminae for the longest time.



Bought:

You by Caroline Kepnes
The Last Life of Prince Alastor by Alexandra Bracken
Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi
The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare & Wesley Chu
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch
Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau

eBooks:

Shadow Me by Tahereh Mafi
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Monday, April 15, 2019

Discussing Game of Thrones: Endgame

* THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE SHOW! *

Game of Thrones finally, FINALLY returned last night, after signing off way back in 2017 (!). I could have rewatched the series from the beginning multiple times during its sad hiatus from my TV AND reread the books, but as usual, neither of those things ever materialized, lol. I meant to post this sort of look back/look ahead before last night's Season 8 premiere, but yeah, that didn't happen either. See, my intentions are good, it's just the follow through that's a bit lacking, lol.

Getting back on topic—GoT—how's it going to end? How is everything going to wrap up in just 6 episodes?! Who will still be alive at the end of those 6 episodes? Will fire prevail over ice? Will Jon Snow finally know something?

There is A LOT to wind down over 6 measly episodes. Here are a few of the things that I'm especially keen to see resolved (or, maybe not, because you know how this show goes: every character is expendable):

  • The Secret Annulment: Last season, we learned that Jon's real parents are indeed Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, confirming a long-standing fan theory. But there was even more to this huge reveal: Jon isn't a bastard. Rhaegar's marriage to Elia Martell was annulled, and he then married Lyanna. While R + L = J wasn't a surprise, I need some more backstory on the annulment part. Like, the whole, how did this happen? part. I'm not overly optimistic that we'll get the lowdown this season with the fate of Westeros up in the air, but this fangirl can hope.
  • The Valonqar: I do really, really, really hope this one gets some screen time. "Valonqar" means "little brother" and was part of Maggy the Frog's prophecy to young Cersei in the books. The Valonqar is supposed to kill Cersei, and she assumes the little brother in question is Tyrion. Jaime, however, is also her younger brother. Or maybe The Valonqar, if this person exists in the world of the show, isn't even one of Cersei's own brothers?
  • Where's Melisandre? In her Season 7 convo with Varys, she made it sound like Westeros hadn't seen the last of her. It'll be interesting to see if/when/where she pops up again.
  • So Who Will Rule Westeros in the End? Daenerys? Jon? The Night King? White Walker #27? No one? (That was my lame attempt at a Jaqen H'ghar joke haha.) There are still quite a few players left in the game, and although I'm very invested in the answer to this question, I'm even more concerned about:
  • Who Will Be Alive at the End? Jon and Arya have been two of my favorite characters ever since I read the books back in 2011, so they'd better not die! I'm also pulling for Brienne—when she first appeared in A Clash of Kings, I thought her being a lady knight in a male-dominated world was the coolest thing ever. Still do.

What are you most excited to see during the final season? Any theories as to what's going to happen? Which characters are you rooting for to survive lol?

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Seven Years of Blogging!

So today is officially Blogoversary Number Seven, which seems impossible, and I've been here for all seven years, hahaha! In all seriousness, that number still seems unreal, especially to someone like me who struggles with sticking with anything. I've sort of become unstuck with both blogging and reading over the past two years and this post almost didn't happen, but I really am proud of how long the blog has been around, even if I'm not around it as much as when it first started.

I say this in every blogoversary post, but I don't think it ever gets old: I really do appreciate every one of you who stops by and every one of you who takes the time to leave a comment. Thinking about the wonderful bookish chats I've had here, on Twitter, etc. is what still motivates me to pick up a book or hit that New Post button. So thank you for an amazing seven years in the book blogosphere!

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