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BethR

Game of Thrones

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NBooth   

My friend Andrew Johnson said on FB awhile back that the way GoT "should" end is

with the White Walkers winning.

 

The more I think about it, the more I like that, and I agree that it would be truly counter-cultural n its meta-message.  That said, I doubt it would ever happen.

 

And here's someone saying the same thing:

 

This might be how it ends; tragedy might become fantasy again. I hope not. I hope the White Walkers destroy the Seven Kingdoms and also that the peasants string up all the aristocrats and collectivize agriculture and establish a socialist utopia. That’s my fantasy, different than the one the crypto-royalists seem to cherish. But in the meantime, it’s spectacle without a purpose other than the pleasure of watching it. The show must go on because that’s what television does.

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Anders   

My take on Melisandre resurrecting Jon Snow is much the same as Myles at the AV Club. It would be a huge narrative red herring if it didn't happen.

 

One other point (spoilers for the books):

 

Is Stannis dead? Note that the episode leaves off showing the actual killing blow with a match cut to Ramsay [boo! hiss!] In a show where they haven't been shy on showing the on screen deaths of many characters, this stuck out to me. His fate is equally ambiguous where ADWD leaves off, with Ramsay claiming that Stannis was killed in a battle. But the excerpts so far from THE WINDS OF WINTER have Stannis still alive and plotting.

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NBooth   

My take on Melisandre resurrecting Jon Snow is much the same as Myles at the AV Club. It would be a huge narrative red herring if it didn't happen.

 

The more I think about it, the more I agree. Of course, as someone pointed out on my FB wall, that doesn't mean that the payoff will come next year--it could be another season before it happens. The question, then, will be whether Jon comes back as the same person. I don't really see any magicking away of the situation here that doesn't involve a pretty radical change in the character--which would, in a way, be even worse than if he stayed dead.

 

 
One other point (spoilers for the books):
 

Is Stannis dead? Note that the episode leaves off showing the actual killing blow with a match cut to Ramsay [boo! hiss!] In a show where they haven't been shy on showing the on screen deaths of many characters, this stuck out to me. His fate is equally ambiguous where ADWD leaves off, with Ramsay claiming that Stannis was killed in a battle. But the excerpts so far from THE WINDS OF WINTER have Stannis still alive and plotting.

 

Golly, I hope he's dead. Unlike Jon Snow's death--which, yes, was built up to but which also felt abrupt and unsatisfactory--Stannis had at got enough of a tragic arc to allow him to be written painlessly out of the show. Honestly, Stannis wasn't a particularly interesting character before this season, and with all the interesting stuff about his story dead in various ways I don't know where they could go with him.

Edited by NBooth

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BethR   

Guys, you can read reviews and recaps of season 6 all over the net. What I will say is that in the first few episode, this season has given me more reasons to jump up (sometimes literally) and shout "Yes!" than ever before. In fact, in previous seasons I've mostly shouted "No!" (Fortunately, I'm the only one in the room, so nobody worries about my sanity.) I admit there was one major "NO!" moment at the end of episode 3 which reinforces my conviction that Ramsey Bolton must die an even more gruesome and painful death than Joffrey. But on the whole, it may be that writing beyond the published novels is the best thing to happen to this series.

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NBooth   
On 5/18/2016 at 1:39 PM, BethR said:

Guys, you can read reviews and recaps of season 6 all over the net. What I will say is that in the first few episode, this season has given me more reasons to jump up (sometimes literally) and shout "Yes!" than ever before. In fact, in previous seasons I've mostly shouted "No!" (Fortunately, I'm the only one in the room, so nobody worries about my sanity.) I admit there was one major "NO!" moment at the end of episode 3 which reinforces my conviction that Ramsey Bolton must die an even more gruesome and painful death than Joffrey. But on the whole, it may be that writing beyond the published novels is the best thing to happen to this series.

I've been watching--and enjoying--the show, but it's not particularly done much for me beyond "yeah, that was fun"--except for the end of "The Door," which I think took everyone by surprise. I'm finding the Kings Landing stuff to be pretty unengaging (actually, there's lots of unengaging stuff going on this season), though I maintain that the only character I desperately don't want to see die is the one who must, thanks to Cersei's prophecy. I mean Tommen. I could handle anyone else dying and brush it off as the cost of doing business, but Tommen is a sacrificial lamb here. I think it's almost inevitable that he gets snuffed this season.

EDIT: I think that this last episode's

sudden conversion arc--which is 

wildly misread by the AV Club--has some potential, particularly if Margaery is doing what I think she's doing and consolidating her own power. But that whole narrative strand hasn't really worked for me this season, so we'll see. I did a little looking around and apparently the actor who plays Tommen has promised a bloodbath in episode eight...or nine...or ten (he's vague on it), so it could be that there's going to be some major fallout coming soon.

Edited by NBooth

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NBooth   

I don't read many episode recaps, but I always read Philip Sandifer's and the two published at The AV Club, and one thing that folks in both places have mentioned is the way this last episode, "No One," withholds so many scenes you'd expect them to show. Mostly, this withholding seems to be seen as a flaw, though the "newbie" review at AVC makes an excellent case for why one scene, at least, was truncated. I'm not sure it's a flaw, though--one of the commenters there links Tyrion's unfinished joke with the other scenes where Big Scenes are elided and climactic moments deliberately unplayed rather than underplayed. And that comment has gotten me thinking about whether that might be the point--like, a structural principle not only of this episode (though it certainly is that) but of the season. As good as much of the season has been, it's definitely shown a pronounced tendency for the cryptic as well as a habit of cutting off or abandoning storylines (Dorne, way back at the start of the season; lots of stuff surrounding Arya--heck, even the Three Eyed Raven turned out to be kind of a damp squib, considering who they got to play him). Which means either that the showrunners have forgotten how to plot satisfying narrative arcs (or never knew and coasted on GRRM's storytelling) or they're doing something deliberate here. The first is possible but so boring. So I'm going to stick with the second for now.

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NBooth   

It may just be me, but I think tonight's episode was the best-looking the show's been in a long time. And it had more humor, albeit of the pitch-black variety (mostly centering around how incredibly useless Jon Snow is at...well, pretty much everything. There's a sequence at the start of the Battle of the Bastards that made me laugh out loud).

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BethR   

It's not just you, NBooth. And although some critics were ho-hum, calling it "predictable," I found it quite effective. And

Spoiler

I got my wish: Ramsey Bolton died a horrible gruesome death of doom that he brought on himself. Sansa saying "Your words will disappear. Your house will disappear. Your name will disappear. All memory of you will disappear," was perfect.

Interesting discussion about GoT and violence from LA Review of Books (!) "Dear Television," Aaron Bady & Sarah Mesle consider whether this episode--and the series as a whole is an "incoherent text."

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NBooth   

Ok, yes. What a finale that was. The first fifteen or twenty minutes were brutally efficient, possibly my favorite thing the show has ever done, and the rest of the episode--while never quite reaching that level--was equally good at clearing the board a bit and setting up an end-game. I'm genuinely excited about the possibilities for next season, which I don't recall being about last year's, though that might be my mind playing tricks on me.

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BethR   

Best season so far, IMHO. Excellent finale.

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NBooth   
3 minutes ago, BethR said:

Best season so far, IMHO. 

Y'know, I might not have been inclined to agree with you a week ago, but looking back there have been some very remarkable episodes this season. And with this finale, which may be the best GoT finale ever, I'm almost certain that I do agree with you at this point.

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BethR   

FWIW (not much, but still!) season 6 finale "The Battle of the Bastards" and its director won Emmys last night, and GOT received the best drama award, so there's that.

I would have been just as pleased to see The Americans win best drama, though.

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BethR   

Roy Dotrice (Hallyne the Pyromancer) has died. He also narrated the ASoIaF audiobooks. Really, given his career on stage (emphasized in the linked obituary), screen, and TV, I could have posted this anywhere.

The role I first remember him in, though, is not mentioned here: "Father" in George R.R.Martin's 1980s fantasy series Beauty and the Beast. The series had a significant fandom (Henry Jenkins used it for a case study in his study of fan culture, Textual Poachers), and now seems quite weird, but it was a hit at the time. Here's a clip:

 

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