Category Archives: Article

Fortnite: It’s a Safe Space

Here’s the thing: I want to like PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS. I want to understand my friends’s obsession with this game, but for the life of me I can’t. Running around an empty world for 10 minutes to be sniped by hackers or just in general isn’t too much fun in my book. It was suggested that maybe I just wasn’t attune to the game enough, that more time practicing would help me see how fun this is. Or better yet, squad-ing with them would make the game more fun. And in this somewhat true, rolling with three others friends will always be more fun than the lone pubby whose lunch for someone’s chicken dinner.

At first I dismissed Fortnite, like I’m sure a lot of PUBG players probably still do, as a poor man’s imitator. You fly into an island map, you parachute to a location of your choice and you stay alive as long as possible. All similar and core functions of PUBG. However Fortnite adds complication where PUBG is pure simplicity and I’m sure that’s where many fans stop.

To be fair I’m not one for competitive shooters. Perhaps now as an adult the last thing I  need is additional stress on top of managing life, and PUBG can be quite fucking stressful. PUBG’s lessons are slow and hard, and vary depending on which map the game tries to push (Miramar sucks, obvs). This is all to say, I felt like I was chasing a high that yet to come. It wasn’t even about the winning moreso it was just feeling like I was just doing something other than running and hiding.

It’s counter-intuitive to a PUBG player to consider creating a wooden wall as cover versus finding the nearest thing for cover. Or even more so counter intuitive to build towers to post up in. Fortnite encourages general creation over circle management: matches are meant to be quick and very messy.

There’s a very different feeling when shit goes down in PUBG:

As opposed to how it goes down in Fortnite:

It’s like talking apples and oranges. Yeah their both fruits but obviously the flavor here is a bit different. Also I have to acknowledge the Fortnite clip was solo while I had a partner in PUBG, but trust me the footage would’ve been more boring without.

To be clear I hate battle royales in general. Even if I find myself craving an occasional match it’s in the same sense that I’m disgusted with myself that I still eat McDonald’s; but drunk at 2a and yeah I’ll get 40 chicken nuggets and large fries, sure. Truth be told, any game can be a lot of fun with the right friends, but PUBG in particular is a tough one to enjoy when cheaters are plenty.

All I’m saying right now is give Fortnite a chance. Yes it’s free, yes it has microtransactions (perhaps less onerous than PUBG’s bullshit crates), and yes it’s visuals are very Team Fortress 2-esqe. It’s also stupid fun and a safe space for PUBG refugees.

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At the Movies: Black Panther

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As usual I try to keep this spoiler free but I sometimes reference stuff so if you’re trying to keep your mind virginal until you see the movie, maybe stop now.

Up to this point in the MCU, global catastrophes have largely been concentrated to (or originate from) New York City. Sure, Doctor Strange took us locations like Nepal  and bizarre alternate dimensions, but ultimately the final showdown happened where? New York City. The Avengers even began their career defending what? New York City. Avengers 2 took us to Sokovia, but where did everything start?! That’s right. New York City. Black Panther represents our first genuine worldview into the MCU away from North America and the Avengers.

Black Panther’s fortunately continues the trend of better storytelling in MCU films, and represents a pleasant departure from the seemingly cookie-cutter nature of past MCU films. The movie doesn’t feel like another origin story instead focusing on a post-Civil War T’Challa coming to grips with his new position as king of Wakanda. What unfurls is plot that keeps things grounded to themes such as family and legacy in a very trippy, high-tech adventure.

Wakanda is an absolutely stunning location: an unfamiliar yet not totally alien mix of modern fashion with impossible future technology. It’s fun to see a world even Tony Stark (presumably) doesn’t know of, with technology that makes his inventions look like cheap crap.

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I came to really enjoy Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa, a somewhat reluctant hero only in that he is comfortable pummeling people but is well aware fighting and leading a nation are two wholly different things. This makes T’Challa, in my eyes, the most compelling character the MCU has at the moment. Yes, Captain America, Iron Man, and Hulk are all symbolic heroes, but none have the literal ability to enact widespread change quite like T’Challa can, who is an actual leader.

Like the last few Marvel films, women have taken an increased role in the fun, especially this time around with the stunningly badass head general Okoye (Danai Gurira) and T’Challa’s at-times unavailable love interest Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o). They aren’t the only ones kicking ass throughout the film, but they share a good portion of Black Panther’s 2hr 14min runtime in meaningful ways other than being given screen time to jack people up.

Ok, so some minor potential spoilers going forward.

I’m thankful Black Panther gave us a villain with actual reason other than insane global/galactic domination dreams. Erik Killmonger, despite what his name would imply, is a very sympathetic character. Orphaned at a young age and abandoned by the royal family he would come to learn of, Killmonger is driven by the knowledge he was literally thrown away to cover up a devastating secret for T’Challa’s father. Forced to be raised as an orphaned black boy on the streets of America, Killmonger became embittered and rage filled at the idea there is a place that could help disenfranchised blacks around the world but instead opts to live in secrecy with their technology. Admittedly at the same time, while I understood why Killmonger a total fuck boy, it felt a little too much especially when it came time to be taken serious as a regicidal usuper.

At the film’s core are two sons fighting for their fathers’s legacies: T’Challa seeking to be a great ruled like his father, while Killmonger wishes to proliferate vibranium weaponry worldwide to literally cause an armed uprising among blacks worldwide. T’Challa goes through the heroes journey of learning it was a mistake to want to follow in the past’s footsteps and must pay for its sins in the form of an overwhelmingly devastating Killmonger.

And because it’s the Internet, I’m sure there are some crocodile tears over the seemingly “racist” nature of Black Panther being a predominantly black-casted film. In no other uncertain terms, much of Black Panther is lifted by the cultural elements infused in nearly every pore of the film. This isn’t meant to be familiar, this is meant to show an extraordinary world within an already large, extraordinary world. By the end of the film (as much as I want to spoil it), it really feels like now that we know of Wakanda it’ll be hard to ignore how much it will definitely influence the MCU in years to come.

Without spoiling too much (more), my largest regret was how quickly Andy Serkis’ villain, Uysses Klaue (or better known in the MU as Klaw), came and went. Serkis easy captured the scenes he was in, even if sometimes it felt difficult to understand his maniacal gibbering. Regardless, he was gleefully evil presence in a movie filled with lots of gray space.

Black Panther is a legit fun movie and a breath of fresh air for a genre I feared was getting stale. While much of our good will shall eventually give way to the orgy that is Infinity War I and II, for now its exciting to see where Wakanda can take the MCU before the aliens start dropping from the skies again. We’ve been to outer space, to the edge of metaphysical reality, but we’ve yet to visit a place so culturally distinctive (and frankly as critical) as Wakanda.

Canelo vs GGG slug to a draw, predictably no one happy

In fight sports there is a popular parlance: “Never let it go to the judges.” If you need an explanation as to why just ask Gennady “GGG” Golovkin after last night’s controversial draw ruling. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez went the distance against Golovkin in a particularly brutal match of even skill. While Golden Boy Promotions really wanted you to believe this was going to be an all-out, ugly slug fest it was anything but one. Golovkin and Canelo each put the other to the test in a very skilled match-up.

Both have been accused of looking good on paper but a.) in Canelo’s case having yet to beat a great, still haunted by the specter of his 2013 loss to Mayweather and b.) Golovkin, while a certifiable wrecking ball, had yet to contend against “elite” fighters. In this case, the bout was to prove both their claims as elite, if there was ever any serious doubt.

The fight was ruled by judge Adalaide Byrd 118-110 Canelo,  Dave Moretti 115-113 Golovkin and Don Trella 114-114 for the split draw. Most under fire is Adalaide Byrd who is probably not having a great morning right now. Last night Bob Bennett, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, went ringside afterward to try and address Byrd’s decision:

Unfortunately, Adalaide was a little wide. I’m not making any excuses. I think she’s an outstanding judge, and in any business, sometimes you have a bad day. She saw the fight differently [than the other judges]. It happens.

True we all have bad days. For example, I ripped my pants right down the middle bending down at work the other day (true story). Though to dismiss this as a bad day for Byrd does Golovkin and Canelo disservice, especially after the two gave no ground and took the fight 12 rounds. While Canelo played careful tactician throughout most of the fight, picking his shots and primarily acting on counter-offense, Golovkin had volume. The numbers don’t lie, Canelo slowed down and GGG simply did not.

To a certain extent the fight was very much a draw as neither man gave ground to the other. Canelo carefully chose his spots for counter-attack, but Golovkin was absolutely relentless with his jabs which proved too much for Canelo at times. Hard shots were thrown but both men knew the other had an iron chin. Canelo set a fast pace for Golovkin early on, but around the third/fourth round the tide began to change and Golovkin found his rhythm just stifling Canelo with his barrage of jabs.

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So went the majority of the fight, with Canelo finding enough gas within to push back against Golovkin, reminding him that he too hits fucking hard and Golovkin pushing Canelo back into the ropes with his barrage of hard jabs. Canelo for his credit faced Golovkin head-on nearly every time never having been knocked down once. He ultimately didn’t land or throw enough either. It did get a bit chippy though, with Canelo throwing a cheap shot and GGG immediately returning the favor.

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Oscar De La Hoya literally cannot wait for a rematch as he, of course, immediately demanded one. In all likelihood he’ll get what he wants, as it seems neither fighter was happy to let this be a split draw. Miguel Cotto wants his absolute final fight to be against last night’s winner but who knows how that’ll pan out now.

This was definitely the fight boxing desperately needed after this summer’s other spectacle, but not at all the ending it was hoping for. Hard to believe a rematch won’t loom next year, but in the interim, what do we do with my man Cotto? And will Adalaide Byrd find respite from being the rogue judge once again? Probably not.

Here are some choice moments from last night’s brutal bout.

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Replay – Cities: Skylines

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There’s no serious way I can make Cities: Skylines sound sexy and I’ve tried at least six different drafts of this. It lacks the explosive action of popular games like PlayerUnknown’sBattlegroundsOverwatch, or anything that involves murdering people. Cities: Skylines is the complete antithesis of games like that: it’s slow, very mellow and about procedural growth. I’d forgive you if this is where you started tuning out but if you can, bear with me.

It probably explains a lot I smoke a decent amount of weed before zoning out for the next four hours in what is surely a bizarre stupor to any bystanders. There is no decipherable action to let you know you’re doing right aside from numbers being green, happy sounding noises, no angry looking icons floating above buildings, and the bright green smiley face at the bottom of the HUD telling me I’m doing a-ok. That’s not to say there aren’t frustrating moments. After all, nothing like spending an hour trying to revive a city imploded by my own lack of foresight.

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Skylines is without argument the best SimCity-esque game on the market today, beating out even the originator itself, SimCity. Of which was deeply shamed back in 2013 so badly EA had to do a LOT of damage control and probably won’t be heard from ever again. The goal is very simple: develop your provided property into a growing town and supervisor its development and growth into a full-blown city. However actually doing this is another, as unlike in SimCity 4 (the last decent SimCity), it’s pretty possible to fail making a town from the very start.

This is a supremely menu driven game, and many of your questions you’ll come across during your time building cities will often be answered looking for data within the myriad of menus, though perhaps not so obviously. Skylines asks the player to think ahead in terms of how to proceed, because while not impossible, it’s hard and damaging to your city to try and re-build segments after they’ve already started growing independently.

Your endgame is to create as large as city as possible, anyway you want so long as it is financially sustainable. This means watching your budget, finding ways to squeeze just a little more money from your properties without pissing off your constituents, and giving your city time to develop organically by letting its simulations run a bit. You’ll want to throw stadiums around and grow as fast as possible, however too fast growth can also mean your artificial population bubble will burst hard when the weight of the city collapses upon itself because you didn’t let its population catch-up to your rapid growth.

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Unlike the aforementioned SimCity, the world of Skylines feels organic and alive. Your citizens, each and every one, can be selected, followed and studied. They are born, they grow, they work, they die. They also unfortunately move into cities at the exact same age, causing what’s known in the Cities: Skylines community as a “death wave” if you grow a huge chunk of your city at the same time. Good luck keeping your cemeteries open.

Perhaps the biggest complaint against Cities: Skylines is the developer’s tendency to create weak DLC and charge premium prices. I don’t have any of the paid-DLC installed (there are bits of free DLC that are quite a bit of fun), but I can say I don’t feel like I’m missing anything. It’s also hard for me to justify spending $12.99 USD to include natural disasters, a feature I find myself asking why the fuck would I pay so much for. Seems like something basic that should’ve been included from the onset.

You could spend $5.99 USD to supplement the free Match Day DLC (which gives you the ability to place a large-scale football stadium in your city) with four actual recreations of real football stadiums such as FC Barcelona, Chelsea, PSG, and Juventus. Again, you might’ve missed where I said this $5.99 DLC just has four stadiums. This is the type of crap I was talking about.

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Look, again, none of this sounds sexy, like, at all. Cities: Skylines is meant for a particular audience: one tired of random violence and into methodical, zen-like construction. I enjoy the steady grind of slowly letting a city build its economy up itself. There is a sense of peace and focus I’ve never quite experienced with other games. Sure, it’s easy to zone out but the game also calls for a measure of attention to make sure your growing city doesn’t decay from within so easily. There is no end, just the infinite potential of growth and seeing what kind of civil creator you are. Or at least until you misappropriate the city’s funds.

 

Injustice 2 keeps it moving with Fighter Pack 2: Black Manta, Raiden & Hellboy

While we’re still busying enjoying the new ranged fighter Starfire, Netherrealm dropped details on the upcoming fighter pack 2 which will include Black Manta, Raiden, and Hellboy. Netherrealm put together a sexy video of the new combatants for your pleasure.

Hellboy is probably the greatest surprise of the bunch, while Raiden and Black Manta long having been guessed to be part of the roster. Black Manta will be the first of the new pack to be released. The release date has yet to be dropped but you can see Black Manta’s promo video below. If you’ve been lagging, I’ve also included a vid of Starfire’s abilities below that.

Game of Thrones Station: Season 7 Finale – The Dragon and the Wolf

We’re way behind with our Game of Thrones station threads and I’ve done my damnedest to avoid spoilers along the way thanks to those douchebags who leaked all final episodes. I’ve also spiced up this week’s GoT entry, so hopefully you enjoy the improved format. Anyway…

It’s all been laid bare and here we are, all roads inevitably lead to the same ending: the arrival of the Long Night. Before I can even begin to tackle where season 7 has taken us, first have to unpack what episode 7 has: the meeting of powerhouse characters long waited for. In between are some very deep revelations that will really fuck things up, as you’ll come to see.

The episode opened with Grey Worm in good health at the head of the Unsullied army alongside the Dothraki as Daenerys shows force to Cersei their meeting. Bronn and Jamie gaze in wonder at the massive army of Unsullied and Dothraki outside the castle walls, a last bit of calm they’ll receive. Jon gazes in wonder and disgust at King’s Landing, Tyrion being Tyrion quipping the brothels are superior to anywhere in the North.

Cersei, Jaime and Qyburn gather to listen to Cersei plot the possibility of Gregor murdering Daenerys and company when the opportunity arises. Neither Jaime nor Qyburn look particularly thrilled to hear this.

Bronn intercepts Tyrion and Jon’s company with his own. Sandor Clegane catches gaze of Briennne of Tarth, who can’t believe this fucking guy is still alive. Tyrion reunites with Podrick, all grown up, and of course Bronn delivering this gem at the insistence they save their hellos:

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Sandor catches up to Brienne, who is slightly worried he’s looking for vengeance. Instead they talk about their mutual interest in protecting Arya Stark, with Sandor seemingly genuinely content the girl was still alive and in Winterfell. Even if she left him dying choking on his own blood he still holds a soft spot for her. The two seem to have come to peace with each other through Arya’s safety and Sandor sorta completes his turn as a hero after years of scumbaggery.

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After everyone gets out their feelings, we are immediately brought to the stark seriousness of the situation. Jaime and Brienne pass a fleeting glance at each other (if you have forgotten their adventures in season one). However it is immediately the reunion of Sandor and Gregor that stands out. If Sandor was feeling alright a minute ago, his attitude immediately sours upon sight of Gregor. We have a teaser for a fight between Sandor and Gregor. Sandor is indifferent to what has befallen Gregor, reminding him he is still intent on killing him regardless. It’s unknown if Gregor even thinks for himself anymore but when he was normal, this was about the same standard.

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Daenerys is late to the meeting much to Cersei’s extreme chagrin. Not only that but Cersei catches Brienne and Jaime staring at each other a little too knowingly. Jaime realizes what he’s doing and tries super hard to shrink. The moment is broken by Dany showing up by dragon-back, with Cersei maintaining a hard poker face at the theatrics. Immediately their first meeting is off to a rocky start with Dany deliberately keeping Cersei waiting knowing it would piss her off.

Tyrion attempts to open the meeting but Euron starts by taunting Theon and Tyrion. Jon, frustrated, cuts in and gets the point: fuck their beef, there are White Walkers on the way right now. Cersei naturally doesn’t take this threat seriously. They begin to argue but Tyrion knows seeing is believing. The fruits of “Beyond the Wall” are shown when Sandor drags a crate with the captured White Walker within it. Tension builds when Sandor opens the crate and the walker doesn’t move. Everyone is held breathless, some in disbelief anything is happening, until Sandor kicks the crate over and the White Walker springs to life scaring the shit out of everyone.

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Sandor puts on a demonstration showing not evening cutting it with steel will stop it. He chops it in half and cuts off its hand, with Qyburn immediately showing interest in the severed hand. Cersei is mortified throughout the whole experience, for only the second time in the program she is unable to smug her way out of this. Jon shows her they can be defeated by fire and dragonglass though no one seems particularly relieved. Dany reveals there are easily over a 100,000 walkers en route.

Euron asks if they can cross water. Once he hears the answer no, Euron immediately turns tail and leaves, telling Cersei he is taking the Iron Fleet with him so they can wait out the apocalypse. He tells Dany to return to her island as he will his, saying they will be the only ones left alive once winter ends. Euron has very unceremoniously dumped Cersei, who thought she had him wrapped up.

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Cersei, seemingly fine with Euron running away, begins her talks for what she’ll accept as terms for a truce. She only commands Jon snow to return to Winterfell and remain neutral in the beef between herself and Dany. Jon Snow, however, can’t quit Dany and tells Cersei he’s declared for House Targaryen and is bound by honor to stand by her. Dany is moved. Everyone else there wants to face palm so damn hard right now. It was both noble and stupid.

Cersei offended tells them they’re on their own, as the White Walkers will kill the Northerners first then after, having apparently not listened to the presentation, threatens she’ll defeat the remainder after their deaths. All forward momentum immediate stopped and she storms out. Brienne attempts to reason with Jaime to reason with Cersei, though she discovers, like we the audience already know, she’s preaching to the choir. Cersei also stands watching, having heard this, making sure Jaime is still flying right.

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Tyrion wants to call Jon stupid, but in true House Stark fashion Jon believes he must stand by his principals. Otherwise what good is a man’s word? Tyrion, agreeing with its nobility, still points out their peace talks just literally walked out and they’re back to square one with the White Walkers en route now. Tyrion takes it upon himself to redeem the moment and tells the group he will talk to Cersei alone, much to his own peril. Dany objects but Tyrion convinces her its literally their last serious option. Immediately following Tyrion leaves to confront Cersei.
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Escorted by Gregor, Jamie intercepts Tyrion before meeting with Cersei. Both knowing there is no reasoning with Cersei, Jaime joking offers they should say their goodbyes, because in all likelihood this is probably their final meeting as brothers. Knowing what must be done, Jaime steps aside.

Their meeting goes predictably sour, with Cersei refusing to hear anything Tyrion has to say regardless of its validity. Tired of her threats, Tyrion offers to voluntarily succumb to death at her hands. Cersei is plenty tempted to take Tyrion’s offer and allow Gregor to murder him. She restrains herself and allows him to live, moreso in truth knowing Tyrion’s death would push Dany to light up King’s Landing right then and there.

Cersei hears Tyrion out, though I say that loosely, as they discuss what’s in this for both of them. Tyrion confesses he wants Daenerys on the throne, citing she will be a better ruler than Cersei who is widely despised. However in mid-conversation, Tyrion, always perceptive, quickly picks up cues Cersei is with child. Now knowing this, he appeals to Cersei to follow through on the truce for the sake of unborn child’s future so they can at least stop the White Walkers.

Back in the Pit, Jon Snow and Dany have a moment together, this time getting much closer than they have before. It’s clear something is brewing between them now more than ever. This is the power couple fans have both hoped for and now will soon cringe over.

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Interrupting the moment is Tyrion’s return, who came back with Cersei and posse in tow. Against all odds, Tyrion managed to convince Cersei to not only maintain a truce but offer troops to aid in their fight against the White Walkers. Cersei attempting to command the moment, cites she does this without assurance from Dany or Jon they won’t stab her in the back. But of course we know Cersei always has ulterior motives at play. In the end, though, Jon gains another powerful (albeit unlikely) ally against the Night King.

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After this we return to the North where we find Sansa talking to Littlefinger alone, which is always a dangerous thing. Littlefinger feeds Sansa’s frustrations over Jon and Arya, continuing to prod her to conspire against Jon and Arya. For the most part, Sansa goes along with Littlefinger’s conclusions, voicing her own concern over how dangerous she’s become. Like Emperor Palpatine of Star Wars, you can see the joy in Littlefinger’s face when he smugly tries to induce conclusions.

Dany, Jon and company return to Dany’s keep to plan how to proceed now that they have Cersei’s agreement for a truce. They discuss placement of forces, with Jon suggesting he and Dany travel by sail to meet Dothraki forces at Winterfell, in an attempt to race North as quickly as possible. Jorah Mormont intercedes Dany should ride by dragon back, as there are many people in the North who would still happily kill a Targaryen over past wars or for glory. Dany decides to ride with Jon. Below you can see Jorah giving Jon a disapproving dad look.

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As the meeting breaks out Theon asks to speak to Jon privately, asking his forgiveness for the bullshit of his past. Jon, though still rightfully upset with Theon being a shit-head for years, tells Theon it’s not his place to forgive him for all the bullshit he’s done, but he can forgive him for whatever he’s done to him. Theon tearfully tells him of Yara’s plight and how he wishes to save her, to which Jon simply asks, “So then why are you still talking to me?” Theon in this moment realizes while his literal testicles are gone, his metaphorical ones can still be reclaimed.

Immediately after this conversation, Theon confronts the commander of Yara’s rebels (who pulled him out of the sea when he fled Euron’s trap) to order them into a mission to save Yara. The commander dismisses Theon, reminding him he’s basically a pussy. Theon, having found his metaphorical testicles, stands against the commander and allows him to beat him up until he’s too tired to do so. Theon with his newfound courage keeps rising to his feet, until the commander is too tired to fight back. Then Theon beats the shit out of the commander, nearly killing him. All this in front of the remaining rebels. Theon shouts, “If not for me, for Yara!” The crew clearly convinced Theon has balls again. He immediately takes the boats and crew out to sea to find Yara.

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We return to Winterfell where Sansa is preparing a trial for Arya. She is brought before a hall filled with armed soldiers and a smirking Littlefinger leaning behind the crowd, as per the usual. It appears Sansa has Arya on trial…until she drops the motherfucking mic and names LITTLEFINGER THE ACCUSED. OH SHIT.

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I implore you to watch his double take again. Arya’s smirk. All of it. It’s pure gold. Believing he had fooled everyone, Littlefinger is in total shock he’s been called out. Sansa officially tries him for the murder of Lysa Arryn (Catelyn Stark’s sister with the sick kid) having pushed her out the moon door (which is still funny to think about), the conspiracy to murder Jon Arryn (Robert Baratheon’s original hand, and Ned Stark’s mentor), and for originating the conflict between the Starks and Lannisters. Yes, Littlefinger is finally getting his comeuppance. And how did he receive it?

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That’s right, Arya cut is throat. While Littlefinger’s death solves little, it does solidify the Stark household and avenges Ned’s death.

We return to Jaime and Cersei, of whom Jaime is busy attempting to organize the attack North. Cersei scoffs as Jaime’s attempts, calling him stupid for believing she genuinely plans to fight alongside them. She confirms she lied to Dany’s face about helping her, instead having secretly sent for a massive mercenary force funded by the Iron Bank. If all goes to plan, Cersei will fool Dany into believing her main forces have driven north, when in fact she’ll have a fresh army waiting in King’s Landing to attack her from within.

Jaime is rightfully horrified at this extremely bad idea. Even after having seen the living dead in person, she still plots against everyone. Jaime tells Cersei he has made a promise to lend his aid, and his honor demands he make good on his promise. Cersei, obviously not one for promises to anyone other than her, is pissed.

She is convinced the dragons can be defeated, as she noticed Dany only arrived with two, and that they can wait out the coming apocalypse from the safety of King’s Landing. Maddened by her absolute stubbornness, Jaime refuses to follow Cersei and opposes her, even as she threatens to have Gregor murder him. Knowing Cersei wouldn’t kill him, he defiantly leaves to prepare for their advancement north. With that, Cersei lost the last person standing by her side (aside from Gregor, because that’s literally all he does). At the same time, as Jaime leaves, snow begins to fall on King’s Landing for the first time in countless years. WINTER HAS COME.

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But wait, we aren’t done yet. Because tonight’s episode included 30 extra minutes, we got more! Next we follow-up with Samwell Tarly who is just arriving in Winterfell (at a good time too). He arrives to speak to Bran and give him tremendous information. Bran already assumes he knows what information Tarly brings, which involves Jon Snow’s true parentage. Bran believes he knows Jon isn’t a Snow but a Sand, child Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark born in Dorne, making him a Sand not a Snow (sorting out the proper surnames of bastards based on where they were born).

Samwell Tarly can’t believe he knows shit psychic Bran doesn’t. Neither does Bran, as Samwell reveals what his ladyfriend, Gilly, discovered some episodes back: Rhaegar Targaryen is the true husband of Lyanna Stark, of which they wed in secret. This throws the entire politics and world of Game of Thrones into a fucking tizzy. Bran quickly realizes this makes Robert’s Rebellion built on a total lie, to which the allegations were Rhaegar kidnapped and raped Lyanna. Instead this would make Jon Aegon Targaryen, Dany’s nephew.

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Of course we make this realization as we watch Dany and Jon start fucking. Where one family power-couple breaks, another is formed. Fun.

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Moving on, we rejoin Sansa and Arya as they process Littlefinger’s demise. Arya confessed she knows her role and she never would’ve been Lady of Winterfell, nor did she truly want to. She concedes Sansa personal power as a woman who endured the torment she experienced, saying she didn’t know if she’d have the strength to survive Sansa’s ordeals. They both lament the death of the father, bonding together and solidifying House Stark. The Starks have truly taken back the North.

Finally, we rejoin the Brotherhood and the wildlings as they survey Eastmarch for the impending walker army. Dondarrion and Tormund watch in horror as the army nonchalantly marches upon Eastwatch. In no time at all, the White Walkers make their full presence known. At first with a few men, then the entirety of the army. Of course, that’s the not the worst of it. As you may remember, last week Dany lost a dragon to which now the Night King rides upon. And with his new ice dragon, the Night King fells The Wall. For the first time in Westeros history, the Wall has fallen and so now comes the Long Night.

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End of episode. Welcome to the end.

I feel legit empty inside right now. I…I think I need to go lie down.