Game of Thrones – “Dragonstone” – Season 7, Ep. 1 (HBO) SPOILERS
“Through it all, the Wall has stood. And every winter that has come has ended.”
I can’t have been the only person yesterday whose afternoon and evening were spent keeping vigil in fairly rapt anticipation of the Game of Thrones premiere. “Are you ready for Sunday?” asked the amiable bartender (on Thursday), who’d seen me reading George R.R. Martin’s A Dance with Dragons in his fine establishment not two weeks earlier. Unprepared for the question, I was momentarily nonplussed. What the hell was Sunday? When he clued me (of all people) in, I did feel a touch foolish, but also realized at just what a remove from the hoopla surrounding Thrones’ return I’d inadvertently placed myself. This is, after all, a global phenomenon I heard not incorrectly described the other day as, “the last great water cooler discussion show in the history of television,” and I, as unabashed and informed a casual fan as you’d want to find without expending terrible effort in so doing, had paid the prospects of its revival embarrassingly short shrift. Much of that has to do with the fact that while the bulk of the show’s fans have waited with bated breath and rapidly deteriorating patience to re-enter the world of Westeros, I never really left Continue Reading
Did you ever have one of those weekends? I’m thinking of a tightly compressed span of days that was so abnormally packed with business and interest and distractions and various things of note that it exhausted and exhilarated in essentially equal – though, in real time, constantly shifting – measure? Yeah, me neither, or at least not with any regularity, though every once in a while the worm (or is it the screw?) just turns and turns. This debut edition of DAE’s (latest) new column, “Miscellanity”, may well end up being both its first and only issue. It’s a practical matter, really. This past weekend, which featured, in Saturday, the widely touted “busiest day in sports history” since at least the last one, was such a convergence of “must see” events in several of the arenas that most interest me – Music, Football, TV, Boxing – that I could well have emerged from it having written not one but four new columns.* Continue Reading
WARNING: This post will discuss George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” book series in varying degrees of detail, often in direct comparison with its TV adaptation, HBO’s “Game of Thrones”. I will endeavor to avoid spoiling events that have happened in the books but not yet on the show, nor to use prior knowledge gained from the books to speculate on the upcoming season of “GoT” in anything but the most general terms. Fair game for discussion will be any events occurring through the end of “GoT” season four, which roughly parallels the second half of “ASoIaF” book three (“A Storm of Swords”). FYI – Mentioning that something happened differently in the books than it did on TV does not, in my view, qualify as a bombshell anymore, merely a point of interest. I’m pretty sure there are no do-overs forthcoming. Valar spoilhaeris.
Now that its ubiquity in the popular mindset and conversation has marked it as not just a phenomenon, or an institution, but rather as cultural shorthand, it is tempting and altogether too easy, on the eve of its fifth season, to discount the intoxicating complexity and bottomless intrigue of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Both aspects are gifts passed down from its literary forebear (and, interestingly enough, contemporary…as we’ll get into later), George R.R. Martin’s towering A Song of Ice and Fire series, and though a great many fans of the HBO adaptation are not nearly so bewitched by the history and machinery behind Martin’s curtain as I am, the world of Westeros, in itself, remains a fairly breathtaking achievement. Continue Reading
Even before I started watching The Sopranos on a week-to-week basis (which was quite a reeducation to undertake for someone who gobbled up its first two seasons over the course of consecutive weekends), Sunday was still the destination of my TV week. I didn’t really start watching The Simpsons seriously until it moved from Thursday to Sunday. DIGRESSION: Yes, children, once upon a time, in the late 1980s, Thursday prime time was a hotly contested battleground where Bill Cosby and Bart Simpson vied, mana a mano, laugh track vs. South Korean animation, for the soul of America. It all seems kind of quaint now. Continue Reading
It was nice to see that the Golden Globes seemed to share the wealth last night, and gratifying that the trophy distribution seemed worthy as well as diverse. I had very few problems with any of the announced winners (go Spike Jonze, go both Amy Adams and Poehler, go Steve McQueen and co., go Brooklyn Nine-Nine), but that doesn’t mean I watched the show either. No, I normally have three big DVR days per week: Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. When I have enough to say about the prior evening’s programming, I’ve decided I’ll wrap my thoughts up into a semi-regular feature and post it here. It should hopefully be a breezy enough read. Continue Reading