Friday Afternoon Open Thread

Game of Thrones returns Sunday at 9 PM Eastern. That calls for an “Every Fucking Chicken in the Room” Meal Deal.

I was late to the Thrones bandwagon — didn’t start watching it until a few years ago, and didn’t get really hooked on it until the wee dragons made their first appearance.

Among my favorite characters are Arya and the Hound. I read somewhere that George RR Martin’s wife said she’ll leave him if he kills off Arya, but is he even driving the plot of the TV version anymore?

Anyhoo, feel free to speculate about Thrones or discuss whatever. Open thread!






162 replies
  1. 1
    cain says:

    No thoughts on the new Star Wars trailer?

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  2. 2
    Brachiator says:

    No thoughts on the new Star Wars trailer?

    I love the arrogance of Disney. “We made a billion bucks with Captain Marvel, we got more Avengers coming out is 12 days. We are mad pimping the new Disney streaming service.

    Oh, and here’s some Star Wars Episode 9 for you.”

    Star Wars official trailer

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  3. 3
    Inventor says:

    I can’t seem to bring dragons in line with the laws of thermodynamics. In order to ingest enough calories to support metabolic rate, fly long distances, and breathe giant freakin’ plumes of fire hot enough to melt rock they would have to eat continuously.

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  4. 4
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    Some years ago at The Book Thing I came upon a near-pristine trade-paperback copy of GOT. Thinking it a sign from doG, I plunged into it…& the going got slower…& slower…& slllllllllowwwwwer… & somewhere around page 330 I understood why: I didn’t give a frying flock** about any of the characters. Nary a one. I was in “queue the meteor, sayonara Westeros, Easteros, Northeros & Southeros all at once” mode. Next week I turned the tome back in & walked away.

    Wear it in good health, Cracker, don’t spend it all in one place. Better you than me.

    ** How’s that for cleverly working in the vid? :^D

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  5. 5
    MattF says:

    Arya is my favorite– although I do sometimes wonder exactly why a ruthless and remorseless assassin is so attractive.

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  6. 6

    #TheRIseOfSkywalker #EpisodeIX

    Biggest takeaway from the teaser: OMFG WAS THAT PALPATINE LAUGHING AT THE END????????

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  7. 7
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    Notice on today’s NextDoor message that made me chuckle:

    Loose Cows
    Who’s missing 5 cows?
    Call me xxx-xxxx

    (The owner was found)

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  8. 8
    Brachiator says:

    I didn’t know Martin’s work, had not read the books or even watched the show initially. Dragons and faux-medieval stuff seemed like weak Dungeons and Dragons style crap. But people kept talking about the series. I binged watched through season 3 and … certain red celebrations and oh shit I was hooked.

    I recently went back and watched the first season, and really enjoyed how much was laid out in those early episodes. And I also enjoyed how much I knew about and cared for the characters, and had a sense of how they would grow (or not) in later seasons.

    The sad thing is that I know that many of the Thrones characters we have come to love must die during the course of the series. I just hope that their deaths are worthy of them.

    Valar Morghulis. “All men must die”

    OTOH, for a quick contrast, I have been mainly disappointed in Star Trek Discovery, and the fan wanking necrophilic nonsense that the series has become. I liked the main characters in the beginning, but think that they have been poorly served by the show runners. Oddly, I know that some “true fans” think this is a return to form of Trek, but I just can’t agree.

    I am curious about the new Star Wars. I didn’t think that the last film was all that good, but I still like the characters and want to see what becomes of them.

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  9. 9
    MattF says:

    @Inventor: Zero-point energy.

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  10. 10

    Just mentioning the next anthology of Strangely Funny (volume 6 officially but it’s the seventh one, I’ll explain later) is coming out soon with another of my wacky humor-horror stories. The editors have a cover lined up and a galley for me to proof and that should be it so maybe in another month or so it should be on the market.

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  11. 11

    @Inventor:

    Magic.

    Even in Prachett’s “GUARDS GUARDS” novel they spelled out the difference between real dragons – the size of dogs and prone to explode – and the magical one that flies about violating the cube-square law like nobody’s business.

    The thing about Game of Thrones is that there’s supposed to BE magic in that world, but it’s been dying out – the mistakes of the Children giving rise to the Night King is tied into it – and that the dragons seem to represent that last gasp attempt to bring that magic back (for example that wizard trying to steal them in Season Two).

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  12. 12
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Inventor: There was a 2002 movie, Reign of Fire, that finessed the fire-breathing pretty cleverly: The dragons had evolved to produce two different liquids & secrete them in separate glands next to the mouth, which they could spray out with muscle contractions. The fluids were hypergolic & burst into flame where the streams intersected. Probably all sorts of problems making that work in practice, but IMO whoever thought up the scheme deserves major partial credit.

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  13. 13
    lee says:

    So one of the stupider theories I’ve heard is that all 3 dragons get killed by the night king and then Daenerys then sides with the Night King because she is the ‘mother of dragons’.

    I’m not discounting it as I have a very poor opinion of Martin (so this could very well be ‘his’ ending).

    The best thing to every happen to him was HBO making the series. After book 5 it was clear he had no fucking idea how to get to the end of his story other than ‘X wins, Y loses, Z ends up here’.

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  14. 14
  15. 15
    ruemara says:

    @PaulWartenberg: Yes!

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  16. 16
    Paul T says:

    I am sick of Game of Thrones.

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  17. 17
    Catherine D. says:

    I couldn’t even finish the first series. To quote Sy Benson from My Favorite Year: Why am I wasting my eyesight on this crap? :)

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  18. 18
    Betty Cracker says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: When I was a teenager, there was a girl who lived down the street who kept a horse in her yard. It was a big yard, but this was a suburban neighborhood, so it was unusual to have a horse down the road. Anyway, every now and then, the horse would get loose, and it would always make a beeline to our house to nibble on a bush that grew under my bedroom window. In those days, I would sleep until noon on weekends (unthinkable now, no matter when I go to bed!), and I’d hear the familiar MUNCH-MUNCH-MUNCH and yell at my mom, “Call Cindy and tell her to come get her stupid horse!” Your “Loose Cows” alert reminded me of that. Hadn’t thought of it in years!

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  19. 19

    I blocked Greenwald and Michael Tracey on twitter but I keep seeing people quoting their tweets. I wish twitter blocking were more like the pie filter.

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  20. 20
    debit says:

    @lee:

    The best thing to every happen to him was HBO making the series. After book 5 it was clear he had no fucking idea how to get to the end of his story other than ‘X wins, Y loses, Z ends up here’.

    I stopped reading mid book 5. I realized that anyone I actually cared about was either dead or probably would die in a horrible, demeaning way after seeing everything they’d loved or cared for also killed in a horrible, demeaning way. I understand loss and tragedy, and appreciate its use in the dramatic form, but these books are nothing but GRRM’s self congratulatory jerk off to how grimdark he is. Fuck that.

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  21. 21
    SFAW says:

    @Brachiator:

    Star Wars official trailer

    WTF? Where are Kirk and Spock?

    ETA: I was wondering if they were going to bring back Billy Dee. Glad they did (well, technically, I guess I’m hoping I’ll be glad).

    ETA2: Looking good for 82 years old

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  22. 22
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Brachiator: I’m excited. Though the “Rey backflips over a lowskimming TIE interceptor and sabers it in half” is incredibly weird. Why would that sequence of events ever happen?

    @PaulWartenberg: Yep. I think we’re going to be spending a lot of time going back over the saga, including what Palpatine was up to and what the Skywalker line is intended (by the Force) to actually do. We’re going to wallow in PT/OT nostalgia and the entire saga, hence the ruined Death Star, the medal from the end of Ep IV, etc.

    I should note that I’m pretty damn okay with that.

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  23. 23
    JR says:

    I’m just mad they didn’t embrace Dany as an enlightened tyrant, in the vein of Napoleon or one of the “Greats”, Frederick or Catherine.

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  24. 24
    LeeM says:

    I liked the books and was excited to see HBO make the series. The series has latched onto the blood/gore/sex aspect of the novels more than is needed, but it follows The Tudors film tradition. The first three books were great, in a everyone you like gets screwed and every character you hate never seems to get their comeuppance way, but the last two dragged on and wandered about too much. Tyrion is definitely my favorite character, so of course he’ll get killed off somehow.

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  25. 25

    @PaulWartenberg: I really like what Stross did with dragons in the Laundry books.

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  26. 26
    lee says:

    @debit:

    5 was a tough read and it sucked. Luckily(?) I was not a fan from the get-go so 5 was already out when I started the series.

    We had a contractor at work a young lady in her mid/late 20’s. She was a fan from the get-go and waited all the years between 4 & 5. She hates Martin with the fire of a thousand suns for putting out that crap.

    …nothing but GRRM’s self congratulatory jerk off to how grimdark he is.

    Pretty much exactly sums it up. I’ll never read another word of his.

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  27. 27
    J R in WV says:

    @Inventor:

    I can’t seem to bring dragons in line with the laws of thermodynamics. In order to ingest enough calories to support metabolic rate, fly long distances, and breathe giant freakin’ plumes of fire hot enough to melt rock they would have to eat continuously.

    There’s a SF fantasy series by Elizabeth Bear that deals with that well. Dragon lairs are well known to be poisonous, even the hoard of gold and jewels will kill you if you succeed in penetrating a lair and stealing stuff.

    Because it’s radioactive. That’s where all that energy comes from. Now, even the well educated wizards don’t necessarily understand fission as a source of energy, but they know enough about radioactivity to avoid dragons, their lairs and the loot stolen by deceased adventurers.

    E. Bear writes both inspired fantasy and space opera Sci Fi, highly recommended.

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  28. 28
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Hell, I love what he did with Unicorns in the Laundry. :)

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  29. 29
    J R in WV says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I wish twitter blocking were more like the pie filter.

    Maybe a Firefox/Chrome plug-in? With ad revenue? just spitballin’ out loud… I don’t use twitter but to rarely follow a link. Paul B’s funny animal bits, for example. Politics on twitter seems like a terrible idea. Lowest common denominator!

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  30. 30
    MattF says:

    @lee: I think GRRM lost track somewhere in book 5. His style gets clotted and slows down to a crawl and then to an ooze. The whole thing has gotten too complicated. Keeping all the details and all the history in place, and then pushing everything forward is very hard. Seems that you need a team of writers, and that’s what HBO’s got.

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  31. 31
    rikyrah says:

    @Brachiator:
    Have they said how much they will charge for the streaming service?

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  32. 32
    Bostondreams says:

    @MisterForkbeard:

    I just do NOT want a retcon on Rey suddenly being related to, I don’t know, Skywalker or Kenobi or anyone else. I LIKE that part of Last Jedi where she learns she is, in fact, related to nobody special..

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  33. 33

    @MattF:

    Seems that you need a team of writers, and that’s what HBO’s got.

    And even then, sometimes you end up with the last two episodes of season seven.

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  34. 34
    rikyrah says:

    @Brachiator:
    Thanks for the link🤗

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  35. 35
    Miss Bianca says:

    Caught one episode at a friend’s house – or part of one episode, something about a snotty entitled psycho manbaby ruler and his magic sword – and it just seemed so creepy, violent, and unpleasant that I couldn’t see giving up my embargo any time soon. What am I not getting about why this show is supposed to be Must See TeeVee? Anyone? Bueller?

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  36. 36
    kindness says:

    I practice not having favorite GOT characters. All the one’s I decided to like got killed off within a season or 2. Of course I like the ‘good’ ones though. And the dragons. I like the dragons and will feel bad again when they kill off the ice dragon this season.

    For those who find the whole exercise to fantabulous to give time to care…..it is an action fantasy adventure. Underline fantasy there peoples.

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  37. 37
    debbie says:

    Betty, that scene where Daenerys has the baby dragons up on a table feeding them bits of meat which they barbecue with their newfound firey breaths is still my favorite.

    If I could walk into work with a baby dragon on my shoulder just once…

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  38. 38
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Bostondreams: I’d be happy to see something like an “Order of Skywalkers” be a thing. Based on the good parts of Anakin and Luke’s philosophies – basically an improvement and updating of the Jedi. That would be a nice way to make it happen. Rey’s a Skywalker because she’s doing doing the right thing and a tool of the force, etc.

    Though honestly, I’d be okay with her being a Skywalker offshoot. Especially if she was a Kenobi relation, but that’s just because Kenobi is the shit because it makes next to no sense narratively. I did like the “anyone could be called by the force” message of Ep VIII, but I also think they built up Rey’s parentage too much for the “nope, it doesn’t actually matter at all” reveal in VIII.

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  39. 39
    MattF says:

    @debbie: Only after you’ve set your office building on fire.

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  40. 40

    @Miss Bianca: It’s pretty much Unpleasant People Doing Unpleasant Things.

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  41. 41
    AliceBlue says:

    @Paul T: Come sit by me. Anytime I see anything remotely medieval, I start picturing Monty Python and the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog, etc. and I just can’t keep from giggling.

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  42. 42
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Bostondreams: Agreed. And if they retroactively give Rey a special bloodline, the end of The Last Jedi (where the broom kid displays powers) won’t make any sense. It was all about democratizing the Force!

    @MisterForkbeard:

    I did like the “anyone could be called by the force” message of Ep VIII, but I also think they built up Rey’s parentage too much for the “nope, it doesn’t actually matter at all” reveal in VIII.

    Sadly, you are probably correct.

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  43. 43
    Mayur says:

    @Bostondreams: If they’re really good about this, they’ll take the line that I love (and yes, it even gets me to like the Fast and Furious series more than any thinking person should) that family is whom you love, not whose genes you have.

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  44. 44
    Paul T says:

    @AliceBlue: When I hear this endless Game of Thrones hype hype hype all I can think of is: “Run Away! Run Away!”

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  45. 45
    J R in WV says:

    @MisterForkbeard:

    I love what he did with Unicorns in the Laundry.

    I love most of what happens in the Laundry series… except for the apparent probably win of the elder gods in the long picture. But the travel to get there sure is interesting. Carnivorous Unicorns may be the best… tho antiaircraft missiles being used against a dragon is pretty cool too.

    Do I recall that right? He’s been doing it for a long time now… and I read a lot, some of it gets cross-threaded in my memories.

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  46. 46

    I read the books, but we don’t get HBO so I haven’t watched the series. I read recaps to find out how things turn out. The books did get bogged down. The TV writers seem to have clarified the story.

    I once met GRRM at a writer workshop in Taos. After his talk, we all went out to lunch and I wound up sitting at a table with him and Connie Willis. It felt surreal.

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  47. 47
    trollhattan says:

    @kindness:
    I quit, unsuccessfully as it turned out, after Shireen. That was a place to which you do not go. And they did anyway, to make a point that could have been made via rather many other devices.

    Come for the incest, stay for dragons.

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  48. 48
    debit says:

    @Miss Bianca: I love Dany and her dragons and have watched just her scenes on You Tube. If the entire series was just Dany being a badass HBO would have my money.

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  49. 49
    trollhattan says:

    @kindness:
    I quit, unsuccessfully as it turned out, after Shireen. That was a place to which you do not go. And they did anyway, to make a point that could have been made via rather many other devices.

    Come for the 1ncest, stay for dragons.

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  50. 50
    Cacti says:

    Have never seen an episode of Game of Thrones. I’ll probably get around to it at some point. Not having HBO makes it easy to miss.

    Star Wars: dead to me.

    In general, I do a lot less TV and movie watching these days. My kids are in that age range where they’re involved in a lot of different things, but not quite old enough to drive themselves to it, so that consumes most of my free time.

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  51. 51
    debbie says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    It’s not must see, but it’s been entertaining. The production values are pretty impressive. And to be honest, compared to the actual Plantagenets, it’s pretty tame.

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  52. 52
    Mike in NC says:

    “Game of Thrones” started off strong but has pretty much run out of ideas. I hated the last season finale with the zombie dragon and might not even bother with the remaining six episodes.

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  53. 53
    Irony Abounds says:

    Hmmm, for me the dragons were a bridge too far. It was like having Godzilla appear during Shogun. And as much as I enjoy stories about times past, real or fictional, it is always a bit jarring to see people who live in awful conditions having the whitest and straightest teeth possible.

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  54. 54
    debbie says:

    @debit:

    I did enjoy her brother getting his comeuppance. Does that make me horrible?

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  55. 55
    lee says:

    @Bostondreams: I agree with you on this. I read a couple of articles that hinted she might be retconned into the skywalker line

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  56. 56
    NotMax says:

    Meh.

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  57. 57
    beef says:

    I have a theory about Game of Thrones. If you’ve read any of Martin’s other books, you’ll know that he usually writes about the endings of things. His novels concern, for example:

    * the last of the vampires fleeing down the Mississipi River,
    * the last 3 people on a dying planet, and
    * the last gasp of the music and idealism of the 1960s.

    My theory is this: At the end of Game of Thrones, everyone dies. They’ve been squabbling among themselves while an existential threat bears down, and when that threat arrives, they’re screwed. No happy endings. Winter comes. Everyone dies.

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  58. 58
    PST says:

    Seeing that it’s an open thread, I’m waiting to begin cataract surgery and no one has bothered to take my phone away. I can’t tell if the sedative has kicked in. This will be fast and painless, I’m sure.

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  59. 59
    blackcatsrule says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: A few years ago one of our steer got loose and meandered almost a mile down the road to the gas station. A neighbor recognized him and brought him back but animal control paid a visit and posted his mugshot on their Facebook page.

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  60. 60

    @Bostondreams:

    It’s amazing how split the fandom got on that issue.

    For many – myself included – the opening up of a Force-attuned hero(ine) to it being anyone breaks the monotony of “Oh you have to be born special” for it to happen. No you do not.

    But some people get it into their heads that only the chosen may wield power. It gets elitist and IMHO too much like how a Sith would think. ;-)

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  61. 61
    MomSense says:

    @Uncle Cosmo:

    I can’t get into it, either. I’ve tried but I don’t like any of them.

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  62. 62
    MattF says:

    @PST: The actual experience varies– some people forget the whole thing. When you wake up, it’s over.

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  63. 63
    lee says:

    @beef: That is one of the reasons the theories gave for Daenerys siding with the Night King (it’s Martin’s style).

    Yeah…fuck him if that’s the ending. I’m pretty sure he will need a body guard for the rest of his life if that is the ending.

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  64. 64

    @LeeM:

    The first three books were great, in a everyone you like gets screwed and every character you hate never seems to get their comeuppance way, but the last two dragged on and wandered about too much.

    I think GRRM has come across the major, continuing problem with big sprawling epic series: spreading attention too thin. He has a ton of major characters, which is OK when they’re all close enough together that they can easily interact with each other. But once they get spread out hither, thither, and yon, the story starts to bog down.

    First, the narrative is spread between too many threads, so no individual thread gets enough attention to move the story forward much. Second, it winds up being so long since the last time you saw what was happening with each character that the story needs to spend time getting you back up to speed on what was happening with them, which bogs things down further. Finally, and deadliest of all, having the primary characters spread out means the author needs to introduce secondary characters to fill out each primary character’s story, which leads to the temptation to give those secondary characters a bigger role and compounds the problem.

    I’ve seen this basic pattern show up in enough big fantasy series that I have started to get a sense for it. My feeling is that it’s one of the worst things that can happen to a promising series. There are two ways around it. The easiest is to avoid the profusion of POV characters and instead concentrate on one or a handful of characters. Of course that makes it harder to kill off a major character when needed, since the hole left by a POV character dying is bigger in proportion to their role in the story. The other, harder but better approach is to figure out how to bring major characters back together in different configurations so the total number of story lines you’re following is much smaller than the number of POV characters.

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  65. 65

    @PST: Good luck to you. Once you get underway, you’ll be fine.

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  66. 66
    Brachiator says:

    @rikyrah:

    Have they said how much they will charge for the streaming service?

    I think $7.

    Here’s a good article about it. Disney Drops All the Details on Its Upcoming Netflix Competitor

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  67. 67
    debit says:

    @debbie: No, I enjoyed that too. As I enjoyed her “burn everything down” moment/s. To be frank, I just like when she burns shit down. This possibly makes me a bad person.

    @beef: Considering that the very first chapter ends with a POV character dying, I am convinced you’re right.

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  68. 68
    debit says:

    @PST: Woah. Good luck.

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  69. 69
    MattF says:

    @Roger Moore: Another approach is to kill off a significant fraction of the characters every now and then, and get a fresh start. This, I think, is what GRRM tried to do– but then, ZOMBIES.

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  70. 70
    Gravenstone says:

    @J R in WV:

    tho antiaircraft missiles being used against a dragon is pretty cool too

    I’ll have to find the video clip another time, but there’s a bit in the anime Gate where the big bad summons three dragons to menace the locals and their Japanese allies. The beasties are first blown out of the air as they begin to take wing by a squadron of Japanese air defense fighters using air-to-air missiles, then finished off by co-ordinated artillery fire once they’ve been grounded.

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  71. 71
    James E Powell says:

    I’m watching Game of Thrones final season for the same reason and in the same mindset that I watched the final season of Lost. I watched them all so far, why not just finish it. I haven’t had an energetic interest in the story for a while, probably since [deleted spoiler] or maybe [deleted spoiler].

    My one prediction/hope is that The Hound is killed while saving Arya who then kills Cersei.

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  72. 72
    Martin says:

    @Inventor: Stop thinking like a chemist. Dragons produce energy from fusion. Problem solved.

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  73. 73
    Gravenstone says:

    @Irony Abounds: I dunno. When you have a major character named “the Mother of Dragons”, you can probably count on dragons figuring somewhat prominently at some future point.

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  74. 74
    James E Powell says:

    @beef:

    That’s Martin. That’s not HBO.

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  75. 75
    lee says:

    Another ‘hot take’ on how bad Martin i:

    The epic sci-fi series The Expanse is co-written by 2 guys that worked as writing assistants to Martin. They use the same exact style as Martin (each character gets a POV chapter and progresses the story).

    The difference is they make it work. It is a great series. The book before last (#7) dragged on a bit and was pretty depressing (probably worst in the series so far). This last book (#8) was probably the best book in the series.

    Here is the release dates of the books:

    Leviathan Wakes (2011)
    Caliban’s War (2012)
    Abaddon’s Gate (2013)
    Cibola Burn (2014)
    Nemesis Games (2015)
    Babylon’s Ashes (2016)
    Persepolis Rising (2017)
    Tiamat’s Wrath (2019)
    Unnamed novel 9 (2019)

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  76. 76
    RobertB says:

    @MattF: Daniel Abraham, half of James S.A Corey and author of several Fantasy books himself, is/was GRRM’s assistant. I assume that he had duties beyond ‘gofer’.

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  77. 77

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    I once met GRRM at a writer workshop in Taos. After his talk, we all went out to lunch and I wound up sitting at a table with him and Connie Willis. It felt surreal.

    This reminds me of one of my favorite memories. I went to the SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) convention, which was very fun. After the official end of the convention, a bunch of us wound up hanging out in a hotel bar watching the day’s highlights on SportsCenter. I somehow wound up at a table with Bill James and Rob Neyer, which is about as much of a privilege for somebody interested in baseball history and statistics as sitting with GRRM must be for a fantasy writer.

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  78. 78
    Martin says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: Not a great movie, but I agree they did a decent job. McConaughey and Christian Bale, so they had cast going in their favor as well. Some months back I threw out an offhand comment to my family that dragons didn’t necessarily indicate that a story was medieval fantasy and they challenged that. I gave them Reign of Fire which I thought did a passable effort at putting them in a modern context. Certainly no more willful suspension of disbelief needed than living under this administration now.

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  79. 79
    Gravenstone says:

    @blackcatsrule: When I was a teen, we had just gotten the latest in a line of mutts on the farm. A few days later one of our steers gets out and my stepdad is yelling for me to come help him chase it down. I try to come out to help, the new dog slips past me out of the house and goes tearing off after the steer. Stepdad is now yelling at me for letting the dog out, I’m trying to defend myself – then look up and start laughing. The new dog has not only run down the errant steer, but is chasing it back along the fence row, then right into the front of the barn. That dog earned his place right then and there.

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  80. 80
    Martin says:

    @James E Powell: Leave me out of this.

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  81. 81
    lee says:

    @James E Powell: That would be a good plot step. I think The Hound is probably going to die trying to put his brother out of his misery (and fail).

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  82. 82
    laura says:

    @Catherine D.: My Favorite Year
    It’s in my personal top 10 list.
    Casting Heaven, great story lines and mad, SIMPLY MAD characters.
    Everything stops when it is on the TV and nothing gets done til its it’s over.
    Love everything about it, especially Peter O’Toole who seems to have brought his A-game as the faded star.

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  83. 83
    MattF says:

    @Martin: Also, Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series has dragons in the Napoleonic era.

    ReplyReply
  84. 84
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: Devin Nunes?

    ReplyReply
  85. 85
    Mike J says:

    @Paul T: I watched the first two eps. The fantasy medieval setting bored me and I have access to the internet, so a bunch of naked actresses, while appealing, were available pretty much anywhere without sitting through overwrought nonsense.

    ReplyReply
  86. 86
    debit says:

    @Martin: Throw this one at them.

    ReplyReply
  87. 87
    Emma says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: Same here. I couldn’t even be bothered to attend the auto-da-fe of any of them. As I’ve said before, Italian pre-to-Renaissance history has enough unpleasant people to read about, and there’s no dialogue.

    ReplyReply
  88. 88

    @Roger Moore: That does sound like fun.

    ReplyReply
  89. 89
    Keith P. says:

    @lee: I love The Expanse. My cats are all named after Mao’s (Meow). I love that the authors crank out a new book every two years like clockwork, no bitching about how hard it is to wrap things up.

    ReplyReply
  90. 90
    J R in WV says:

    @lee:

    Did not remember the two guys were minions of GRRMartin in the past. They really tear up the scenery though, in their series! I just did finish Tiamat’s Wrath, pretty good book. Glad I’m not the only one who thought Persepolis Rising wasn’t up to the rest of the books. Not bad, just not as good as the others.

    ReplyReply
  91. 91
    blackcatsrule says:

    @Gravenstone: If we had more than two I think a good dog like that would be a necessity!

    ReplyReply
  92. 92
    NotMax says:

    @laura

    For some fine scenery chewing by O’Toole, The Stunt Man.

    ReplyReply
  93. 93
    rikyrah says:

    Amene (@Ange_Amene) Tweeted:
    I think it’s regrettable that there is no mention of civil rights being a huge deciding factor into Warren becoming a Democrat.

    Not one mention of it influencing her views or her pathway away from the GOP.

    She was 47.

    ‘Liz Was a Diehard Conservative’ https://t.co/LLhbbRHrGD https://twitter.com/Ange_Amene/status/1116696168602300416?s=17

    ReplyReply
  94. 94
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @beef:

    Everyone dies

    Cant happen soon enough for me

    ReplyReply
  95. 95
    Emma says:

    @J R in WV: Seconded. Elizabeth Bear is wonderful!

    ReplyReply
  96. 96
    trollhattan says:

    @Gravenstone:
    You must have been gobsmacked. Anybody can buy a dog but training a dog to do that? That’s work!

    “Yep, he’s a keeper.”

    ReplyReply
  97. 97
    RobertB says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: The producers ‘clarified the story’ by killing 3/4 of the cast. :)

    Seriously, I remember reading that the producers were given the word from HBO Central that the show had to wrap it up after three seasons, and this was after season 5. My thinking is that if they had a way to wrap this show up in a pretty bow they would have done so. But with the amount of time they had left, it was, “We have just about enough time to wrap up Daenerys, the White Walkers, and the Lannisters, so put the rest of ’em in a bus and drive ’em off a cliff.”

    ReplyReply
  98. 98

    @MattF:

    Another approach is to kill off a significant fraction of the characters every now and then, and get a fresh start.

    This works better in theory than in practice. An effective story should make the audience get invested in the characters, so that the death of a major character is a big, emotional moment, either positive or negative depending on how they see the character. If you kill characters off too frequently or in too big of bunches, it blunts the impact. Worse, if you make a habit of it, the audience will be reluctant to get invested in the new characters. That’s not to say that killing people off in droves can’t be done effectively, but it works best when used very, very sparingly.

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  99. 99
    trollhattan says:

    @Keith P.:
    The Expanse is pretty good. Trying to catch up by watching random episodes the DVR snags and I can’t recommend that method for anybody wishing to figure out who the hell these people are and what’s happened. Confess to only begin watching due to hearing they get the science basically correct.

    It’s no BSG reboot but then what is?

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  100. 100
    ruemara says:

    @Betty Cracker: You guys. Ben Skywalker is everyone’s fave Incel Cornfield Boy, Kylo Ren. Sheesh. I have HUGE doubts about the retconning theory.

    I found Martin dry, boring, misogynistic and did I mention boring? I’ve only seen the show as a preview screener without VFX, but I thought it well done, but too much sexposition.

    Dragons just are dragons and by adding biological science to it, you’re really just ruining things. Enjoy the fun things.

    ReplyReply
  101. 101
    Brachiator says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    The books did get bogged down. The TV writers seem to have clarified the story.

    Yes. Short and to the point with your observation!

    I kinda see what Martin was trying to do, not just moving the plot along, but showing the damaging effect of the political machinations on the various kingdoms. But he didn’t do this very well. The tv show runners, on the other hand, seemed to feel liberated by not having to follow the books anymore.

    @Roger Moore:

    My feeling is that it’s one of the worst things that can happen to a promising series. There are two ways around it. The easiest is to avoid the profusion of POV characters and instead concentrate on one or a handful of characters. Of course that makes it harder to kill off a major character when needed, since the hole left by a POV character dying is bigger in proportion to their role in the story. The other, harder but better approach is to figure out how to bring major characters back together in different configurations so the total number of story lines you’re following is much smaller than the number of POV characters.

    Harder still is to have a multi-generational saga and to introduce new characters who are as vibrant and interesting as the characters who have died off.

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  102. 102

    @RobertB:

    The producers ‘clarified the story’ by killing 3/4 of the cast. :)

    IIRC, in his writing book, Stephen King talks about how he’s found this helpful a couple of times.

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  103. 103
    MazeDancer says:

    Dragons will always be Anne McCaffrey’s “Dragonriders of Pern” to me.

    About to start my $28 a year HBO program. Turn it on for GoT. Turn it off. HBO actually encourages such behavior.

    Though, next year, not so likely to turn it on again.

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  104. 104
    trollhattan says:

    Yikes.

    Excavators have found up to another 27 suspected graves near the grounds of a notorious reform school in Florida.

    Workers hired to clear up a fuel storage site detected new “anomalies” buried near the state-run Dozier School for Boys, officials said. The school became infamous for the alleged abuse and murder of children over its 111-year history. It was one of the largest institutions for young offenders in the US, eventually closing in 2011.

    If confirmed, the latest finds would bring the total number of known burials on the campus to 82 – although researchers believe more than 100 children could have died at Dozier School.

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  105. 105
    RobertB says:

    @J R in WV: THANK YOU!!! I had preordered that book back in May of last year (must have been drunk) and forgotten completely about it.

    ReplyReply
  106. 106
    Brachiator says:

    @lee:

    The epic sci-fi series The Expanse is co-written by 2 guys that worked as writing assistants to Martin. They use the same exact style as Martin (each character gets a POV chapter and progresses the story).

    Love The Expanse tv series. I will probably never read the novels. I didn’t know of the connection of these authors to Martin. Thanks for this bit of info.

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  107. 107
    rikyrah says:

    @PST:
    Good luck and may it be completely successful 🙏

    ReplyReply
  108. 108
    Betty Cracker says:

    @ruemara:

    Incel Cornfield Boy

    LOL!

    ReplyReply
  109. 109
    David Evans says:

    @J R in WV: The other problem with those dragons is aerodynamics. They would have to flap much faster than they do to stay in the air. There’s a reason why no flying bird in history weighed more than a large man.

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  110. 110
    debit says:

    @MazeDancer: While you have HBO try Westworld (if you haven’t already). It is, IMO, the best TV of my lifetime.

    ReplyReply
  111. 111
    Mj_Oregon says:

    @Brachiator:
    The new Star Wars IX trailer was released today as part of the Star Wars Celebration convention happening in Chicago this weekend. I thought a teaser would come out this weekend at some point.

    ReplyReply
  112. 112
    R-Jud says:

    I unapologetically love GoT even though its best season happened almost five years ago (season 4). Just because it has bazillions of dollars, award cred, and high production values doesn’t mean you have to pretend to take it seriously, too. As a fantasy nerd, it’s my Real Housewives of Whatever (or Westeros, I guess). I love the Hound, Arya, and Varys. Sansa has grown on me. I was sad that Tyrion didn’t have a whole lot to do last season.

    I think anybody is expendable as we head toward the finale, but I will ugly-cry if they kill dear Davos the Onion Knight and when, inevitably, Jaime dies in Brienne’s arms. That’s gonna happen.

    I read the books during a summer break about two years ago, and I am so glad the TV show shut down about half the storylines from books four and five. Martin said himself that once he knows where a book is going he loses interest. I’d say he lost interest around the time HBO started shooting the pilot. Valar Morghulis, y’all.

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  113. 113
    kindness says:

    Folks….George Martin isn’t writing the HBO series since it passed his last book. That was 2 seasons ago. Yes, the showrunners say they let GRRM know what they have mapped out but he does not write this stuff any longer. He doesn’t even know how it would end in his books yet. I think the money and fame went to his head honestly.

    Here’s what I think will happen. 1/3 the cast that we like dies in the battles ahead. Cersi is removed from the throne because Arya kills her (payback for her Dad). Her brother Jamie saves the family’s name by riding into battle with his legion at just the right moment. The White Walkers are killed (but of course at least one will sneak off. Of course they will). The zombie hoard is likewise killed. Not before Winterfell is over-run and destroyed by said hoard. I figure John Snow & Daenerys live though. John’s other siblings….not sure. Bran I figure becomes the seer to replace the one that died a couple seasons ago. Sansa….not sure what happens to her. Probably becomes Ward of what is left of Winterfell.

    That is my GOT brackets.

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  114. 114
    rikyrah says:

    #FeminismIsTheRealRevolution (@GabbieKDrice) Tweeted:
    Oh yes, we need CONTEXT when it’s a white penis wielder seeking power. Nobody gave Hillary Clinton that benefit. Nah, we’re good, on rejecting Biden AND Sanders based on the 2016 rules. https://t.co/IYHcf9iBZd https://twitter.com/GabbieKDrice/status/1116684650984898561?s=17

    ReplyReply
  115. 115
    rikyrah says:

    In m-o-d-e-r-a-t-i-o-n, please help

    ReplyReply
  116. 116
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Irony Abounds: ok, “Godzilla appears during Shogun” did make me LOL. Don’t know if it actually makes me want to watch GOT, but love that image!

    ReplyReply
  117. 117
    Brachiator says:

    @Roger Moore:

    That’s not to say that killing people off in droves can’t be done effectively, but it works best when used very, very sparingly.

    Killing characters in droves kinda worked for Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, the ancient Greeks and Romans, etc.

    ReplyReply
  118. 118
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Betty Cracker: Lol. I was driving home the other day and had to stop for a bunch of horses that had made a break for freedom and were trotting down the county road. Their wrangler got them herded back to safety before I could snap a photo of the local traffic jam for my Chicago friends.

    ReplyReply
  119. 119
    gene108 says:

    @Brachiator:

    Other than the title, eh…could be good, could be bad…

    ReplyReply
  120. 120

    @Brachiator:

    Harder still is to have a multi-generational saga and to introduce new characters who are as vibrant and interesting as the characters who have died off.

    Norse sagas seemed to pull this off pretty frequently.

    @Brachiator:

    Killing characters in droves kinda worked for Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, the ancient Greeks and Romans, etc.

    There’s a fair bit of sci-fi with repeated time-skips that basically gets away with this too.

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  121. 121
    R-Jud says:

    In re Star Wars, I can take or leave any of the films since the turn of the century (I’m turning 40 this year, so was in the original trilogy’s demographic sweet spot). However, my daughter and I watched the Episode IX trailer, and to say she is stoked would be wayyyy understating things.

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  122. 122
    lee says:

    @kindness:

    He doesn’t even know how it would end in his books yet.

    Actually he did when the show started (he might have changed his mind by now). He told the show runners how it ends and who is where. They said they would probably follow his lead in the ending for the major characters but the journey to it would be different.

    @J R in WV:

    I completely understand why the book had to be the way it was (depressing) in order to set up the finale but it really did seem to drag on.

    ReplyReply
  123. 123
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    @RobertB: Abraham writing as MLN Hanover had a nice little urban fantasy series a few years back called “The Black Sun’s Daughter”. Nice tight writing, good story flow from book to book. It’s almost like Abraham used his time with GRRM to learn what not to do.

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  124. 124
    Brachiator says:

    @kindness:

    Here’s what I think will happen

    Don’t need no speculation.

    Enjoy the ride.

    The new Star Wars IX trailer was released today as part of the Star Wars Celebration convention happening in Chicago this weekend. I thought a teaser would come out this weekend at some point.

    Yep. I peeked in at parts of the convention, which was streamed on line. Cool to see Billy Dee Williams come out on the stage. Stephen Colbert was a good MC and obvious fan.

    ReplyReply
  125. 125
    MazeDancer says:

    @debit:

    Thanks for tip, but tried WestWorld last year. Little bit creepy for me.

    Actually fast-forward through the violence on GoT, which makes for quick viewing on some eps.

    The books were not as violent. Though, the last few I, uh, fast forwarded as well. Skimmed. Alot. And haven’t bought the latest. Wiill wait for the inevitable books vs show comparisons in years to come. When they’re doing the GoT spin-offs.

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  126. 126
    MoxieM says:

    @trollhattan: Hear you. Stephen Dillane is a helluvan actor, but . Yeah. I am an unashamed consumer of fantasy shit like this, since there has been a lot of drear in my own life, aside from politics, for past 6 years or so.

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  127. 127
    Fleeting Expletive says:

    @PST: Had both eyes done about 10 years ago along with lens implants for ridiculous myopia. It was indeed a wonder, a miracle of science. could see so much!!! The removal of cataracts was a revelation in seeing colors. I fell in love with cobalt blue glass and decorated every window with any kind of wine glass, shot glass, telephone line plug things, anything as long as it was translucent blue and caught the light. You’re going to be so glad you did this.

    well, about three years ago I had an unrelated kitchen trip and fall, and messed up my right eye pretty badly, but it all still works together well enough and my other eye still works very well after the implant. Good luck.

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  128. 128
    MoxieM says:

    @R-Jud: wait–how does that math check out? My dad died 30 years ago, and he went to the 1st SW movie the night his mother died … so, 1977. If you are 40, how are you in the sweet spot for the first 3 movies? I have a confused. (Me, I had finished HS the year before it came out, so…)

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  129. 129
    Cckids says:

    @kindness: Good ideas. I believe Jamie will kill Cersei (fulfilling the prophecy about her dying at the hands of her younger brother), then he joins the Night Watch to lead them in the final battle. And dies.

    I’m pretty sure Sansa will rule at Winterfell-“there must always be a Stark at Winterfell”; maybe that is part of the same Magic’s Bran the Builder put into the Wall? I think Danny lives & Jon dies, but not before she (Danny) gets pregnant.

    Arya probably lives, but I think she has more heartbreak coming.
    I’ve read that the huge battle between the Night King and, well, everyone else; comes in the middle of the season. So what will be left after that?? We shall see.

    Oh, and what of Euron Greyjoy & the fleet he’s bringing back? You know he’ll backstab Cersei first chance.
    I want Lyanna Mormont on the Iron Throne. But I think it’s going to get melted by a dragon first.

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  130. 130
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    Star Wars. The last good movie was the Empire Strikes Back. Return of the Jedi had those fuckin’ teddy bear things and the prequel trilogy was George Lucas showing us that he really went off the rails (this was the same guy that did American Graffiti and THX1138? Please…) Then the Evil Empire pays him a ton of bucks, and spews out Force Awakens (A New Hope Redux), Rogue One (good flick, but unnecessary and kind of an exercise in necrophilia), Solo (the movie no one asked for), and whateverthehell The Last Jedi was (other than a crap movie that went out of its way to subvert every fucking thing that had come before, which can be good if handled well, but wasn’t). But you gotta hand it to the Evil Empire’s hype machine: “Hey! Here’s a trailer! Here’s what the trailer means! We’re gonna fix everything that was bad! We promise! Trust us! Give us your money!”

    I don’t think so.

    ReplyReply
  131. 131
    Lee says:

    @Cckids: If that battle is actually in the middle of the season, the remaining part of the season will either be the battle for the Iron Throne or them fleeing across the ocean away from the Night king

    ReplyReply
  132. 132

    I remember reading an article in the New Yorker about Martin right before the 5th book came out…………..I don’t remember much about it because I don’t really care but it may offer some insights about the whole thing if anyone is so inclined.

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  133. 133

    @debit:

    Westworld

    I didn’t get into season one because I don’t like TV that makes me do homework to figure out what is going on. I also just couldn’t be made to care about William. I watched the first half of the second season at a friend’s weekly viewings, and the intentional obfuscation was starting to remind me way too much of Lost.

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  134. 134
    R-Jud says:

    @MoxieM: I take your point that I was on the young side, but for me it was THE THING until I was nearly ten. It was one of the first stories, visual or otherwise, that I remember. Return of the Jedi was my first filmgoing experience. My (blonde) older brother was never not being Luke Skywalker, and as his (brunette) younger sister I obviously had to be Leia, except when I was more interested in being Jabba the Hutt. I remember my father taking me to see an orchestra play music from the films, which is how I learned that music was a thing people made and not something that just sort of happened, like wind or sunrise.

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  135. 135
    Cacti says:

    @Comrade Scrutinizer:

    Be careful. Voicing the opinion that mouse house Star Wars blows will get you called many nasty names around here.

    ReplyReply
  136. 136
    Brachiator says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I didn’t get into season one because I don’t like TV that makes me do homework to figure out what is going on.

    Liked the movie when I saw it years ago. The tv series didn’t hook me. I kinda agree with you, I think. I guess there are SF nerds who like “puzzle works,” shows that they want to figure out what happens. I just like a compelling story, well told.

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  137. 137
    debit says:

    @Major Major Major Major: While I hung out on reddit to read theories and reactions, I didn’t feel like I needed to do additional work to know what was going on. If I didn’t understand something, I figured all would be made clear in the fullness of time. For me, Westworld was one of those rare TV experiences where I was genuinely surprised and delighted with each revelation.

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  138. 138

    @Brachiator:

    Killing characters in droves kinda worked for Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, the ancient Greeks and Romans, etc.

    Yeah, it works well as an ending. Endings are supposed to be cathartic, so deaths work well there. But the whole point is that you don’t have to worry about where the story goes after that because it’s at the end. Killing a bunch of major characters off to simplify the story line going forward is not such a good plan.

    ReplyReply
  139. 139
    Fair Economist says:

    @MattF:

    I think GRRM lost track somewhere in book 5. His style gets clotted and slows down to a crawl and then to an ooze.

    GRRM lost track at the start of book 4, and says as much in the postscript to book 5. He had a plan, decided it didn’t work after he wrote a couple chapters of what would have been book 4, threw it out, and has been improvising ever since. He just keeps writing chapter after chapter hoping he will come up with resolutions to various plot problems he’s been wrestling with. Book 5 seems particularly crawly because he had some kind of plan for a big denouement in Meereen but had to get all the characters there. Sometimes this ended up producing chapters with no effect on the story, like the extended Quentyn travelogue. All that work to get him there and then he ends up dead with no notable effect.

    ReplyReply
  140. 140
    ruemara says:

    @rikyrah: How she keeps getting a pass, but we keep hearing about Hillary being a Goldwater girl at 17 before she changed around 18, I do not know.

    I do.

    ReplyReply
  141. 141
    Fair Economist says:

    @Cckids:

    I’ve read that the huge battle between the Night King and, well, everyone else; comes in the middle of the season. So what will be left after that?? We shall see.

    Just from the situation at the end of Season 6, it seems pretty inevitable that Daenerys and Jon will have to deal with the Night King before Cersei. Rather similar to the last season of Babylon 5, where the good guys have to defeat the existential threat by themselves and then beat the bad guys. I hope it doesn’t feel rushed like that season did but I think it will.

    ReplyReply
  142. 142
    Brachiator says:

    @Comrade Scrutinizer:

    Star Wars. The last good movie was the Empire Strikes Back. Return of the Jedi had those fuckin’ teddy bear things

    Come on. Don’t pretend you don’t know about Ewoks. I bet you even had Ewok jammies as a kid.

    ReplyReply
  143. 143
    PST says:

    Thank you everyone wishing me well on the cataract surgery. It’s the second eye for me, so I knew what to expect. It was quick and painless, but my eye is still too dilated for me to see the results. It’s hard to imagine that a condition that for most of history consigned millions to blindness in their last decades now can be repaired in half an hour.

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  144. 144
    ruemara says:

    @PST: Welcome back and STOP USING YOUR EYES! At least for a bit. Speedy healing to you!

    ReplyReply
  145. 145
    Brachiator says:

    @Fair Economist:

    Rather similar to the last season of Babylon 5, where the good guys have to defeat the existential threat by themselves and then beat the bad guys. I hope it doesn’t feel rushed like that season did but I think it will.

    Wasn’t B5 beset with issues? The show had been cancelled and then renewed for its final season. JMS had an outline of where he wanted to go, but still ended up having to reshuffle a number of plots, etc.

    But I agree with your larger point. The GOT crew have had more time and a lot of blessings from HBO to figure out how they wanted to end things.

    A POTENTIAL MODEST SPOILER. VERY MODEST BUT IF YOU WISH TO BE ENTIRELY UNSULLIED, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

    NOT KIDDING

    REALLY

    I think it has been formally mentioned that Season 8 Episode 3 is entirely or almost entirely one long big ass battle. And this episode will also be longer than an hour.

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  146. 146
    Brachiator says:

    There is a disturbance in the Force. A number of SF podcasts are having emergency episodes to discuss the trailer for Episode 9. I will have fun listening to them on my commute home. Yeah, I will be getting my nerd on, too.

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  147. 147
    arrieve says:

    @Cckids: I’m agnostic as to who ends up on the Iron Throne, but I would love to see Tyrion and Sansa together — they’re still married, after all.

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  148. 148
    J R in WV says:

    @David Evans:

    So you don’t think a fire spouting alien beast could spout something vigorously from the rear end for thrust? Use the wings for steering and course changes? Or even levitation?!? The problem with you is no creative imagination !

    You need to read more serious Science Fiction, and Fantasy. Get yourself edumacated in the fine arts!!!

    ;-)

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  149. 149
    J R in WV says:

    I gotta confess, I lost interest in Star Wars in the long ago. Have seen a couple of the ones since the beginning, but, really I prefer a good read to a film. Not so much into TV or movies.

    If ya’ll wanna hate on that, it’s OK. I’m still a Jackal, gonna work for Kamala Harris.

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  150. 150
    soga98 says:

    @PST: Had it a few years ago. Doesn’t hurt at all, and improves eyesight enormously. Enjoy!

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  151. 151
    Marcopolo says:

    @ruemara: Having read the article, it says nada about Warren’s thoughts regarding race. Neither when she ID’d as an R or now. It describes her movement from being a free market economic conservative at the start of her career to where she is now—a firm believer in the role of govt to regulate markets so everyone is treated fairly. And her come to jesus moment was when she actually went across the country and looked at bankruptcy filings at local court houses & saw the financial system was just stacked against “regular” people. To that end, I found it a little eye opening. Her description of what happened was that her worldview “turned on its axis.” Hmm, Maybe sounds a little like J Cole only earlier. She also notes that despite IDing R until ‘85-86 that she wasn’t particularly political (until her axis turning moment) & that the 20 years prior she only voted for the R presidential candidate once.

    Anyways, if you want to freight Warren as insensitive to racial matters via this article (and it’s headline which is click baity) sure, go ahead, but it doesn’t address that at all. And I have heard (seen clips) of Warren addressing racial disparities across healthcare, criminal justice, education, housing, and wages & she also addressed the issue of reparations at the CNN town hall. She’s as progressive on those issues as any othe D candidate.

    But go ahead & drop some shade on her if you aren’t happy her political sensitivities managed to wake up fast enough for you.

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  152. 152
    Brachiator says:

    @Paul T:

    I am sick of Game of Thrones.

    When you are sick of Game of Thrones, you are sick of life.

    Or something like that.

    ReplyReply
  153. 153
    daize says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Late to the thread, but OMG, Connie Willis!!! I am such a fan of hers. It must have been wonderful!

    ReplyReply
  154. 154
    Walker says:

    For everyone talking about how GRRM has lost control of his story, just wait until Lin-Manuel Miranda produces Name of the Wind.

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  155. 155
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Funny you should mention it – back in the day, that was pretty much my one-line take on Swinefeld.

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  156. 156
    oatler. says:

    @Brachiator: “Bobdor”

    (from The Gayle Tales)

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  157. 157
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @J R in WV: Haven’t caught any of The Laundry, but stumbled across Empire Games at the local library & what I’ve sussed out of the previous 6 tomes in the Merchant Princes series fascinates me – 6 volumes set in 3, no make that 4, maybe more, alternate timelines all atangle. Surprisingly hard to find those earlier tomes in libraries though.

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  158. 158
    plato says:

    Nancy Pelosi: "With all due respect to the social media and that, that the president's tweets have cheapened the presidency … he's just being a freak, I mean, he's just terrible."https://t.co/IHtt0e7BSv— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 12, 2019

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  159. 159
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @lee: Big Expanse fan here, books & series both; finished Tiamat’s Wrath a couple of weeks ago. It’s going to be real interesting to see what Amazon’s done for Season 4, which is supposed to be largely based on Cibola Burn. I reread that recently & it’s a better book than I thought at the time – of course it was a heckuva change-of-gears when it came out.

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  160. 160
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Keith P.: They crank out a book every year. I have a hard time figuring out how they’re gonna wrap everything up in the ~500 pages (if tradition holds) of next year’s yet-unnamed finale (#9).

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  161. 161
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Fair Economist: In fact it was Season 4 of B5 that was massively rushed; Season 5 was pretty much an afterthought. IIRC the network told B5 creator Joe Straczynski at the end of Season 3 that they were pulling the plug after the next season, so he had to shoehorn the last two years of story arc into one. Then midway through Season 4 he was told there’d be a 5th season after all, & B5 ended up all tied up with nowhere much to go. Damn shame. I wonder what a reboot respecting the original 5-season arc would look like; I bet Joe has the episode outlines all tucked away & ready to go…

    (ETA: Consider this an expansion of Brachiator’s musings at #145 supra.)

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  162. 162
    J R in WV says:

    @Uncle Cosmo:

    Empire Games is also very good… Dick Cheney is a major player who facilitates the end of one world in atomic fury. Pretty sure IIRC that Dick eliminates his president to be sworn in as replacement president. Just as evil in the novels as in real life on the local timeline.

    One problem with reading the whole series is that the original novels were combined into larger novels for a second set of releases. Good stuff, tho. I had a hard time with the patriarchy and oppression of women, being a feminist liberationist kinda guy, but the women heroes do pretty well against the macho monsters.

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