Category Archives: TV Theatre

Game of Thrones Station: The Queen’s Justice

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As per the usual there’s a lot to unpack, especially tonight, so let’s just dive right into this filthy beast. This one is going to be a long one, grab a drink.

Tonight’s episode opened once again on Dragonstone, as Jon Snow touches down on its shores with Davos alongside. Awaiting is a troop of Dothraki with Tyrion and diplomat Missandei in tow. The uneasy greeting is made easier once Jon and Tyrion pick up conversation, however quickly become uneasy again once the Dothraki take Jon’s boat and weapons (provided voluntarily).

Varys sees Melisandre hiding among the cliffs watching Jon Snow arrive. Without a second’s hesitation, he begins prodding at her intentions. If it was so important for Jon Snow to meet Daenerys, then why wouldn’t she be present during his arrival? She confesses bad history with both Jon and Davos, and that her presence would cause more problems. Varys warns Melisandre she should leave and never return, however she makes a veiled threat both her and Varys are destined to die in Westeros. Varys is rightfully troubled by the shit she’s saying.

Jon and Daenerys finally meet face to face, though it would be a mostly awkward experience for Snow. While Missandei lists Daenerys many titles, Jon and Davos are awestruck as what to do. Awkwardly, Jon looks to Davos to say something. Davos can only utter out, “This is Jon Snow. He’s King in the North.”

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Daenerys immediately questions Jon’s claim as king, saying he’s only a lord until he bends the knee to his true queen. She cites ancient agreement to which the Starks owe loyalty to House Targaryen. Jon Snow refuses to bend the knee, but instead pleads there isn’t time to debate. The Night King is on the march and there will be no world to rule if the Night King wins.

Daenerys stands firm, feeling disrespected by the albeit too blunt Jon Snow. She refuses to give him assistance until he bends the knee, and Snow refuses. Davos attempts to plead to Tyrion the seriousness of the situation and how much Jon has personally sacrificed to fight the threat, including taking a knife to the heart. This particularly catches Daenerys attention, though Jon side eyes Davos to stop talking further on it.

The meeting concludes poorly, with both sides clearly standing firm on their beliefs. She warns that if Jon refuses to bend the knee and continues to be called King in the North, she considers it an open act of rebellion against her. Jon immediately finds himself in a dangerous situation, trapped within Dragonstone’s halls. In the nick of time, Varys arrives with grave news. This shakes Daenerys to where she immediately concludes the meeting, saying he is a guest of the island for the time being, though Jon knows he cannot leave. He asks if he is a prisoner, to which she replies, “Not yet.”

Varys informs Daenerys of Ellaria Sands’ and Yara’s capture and the destruction of her fleets. She asks if all of them have been captured, to which we cut to Theon being fished out of the sea by a loyalist ship. The sight of Theon upsets the men, asking him what has happened. Theon tells them Yara is dead and that he tried to save her. The lead soldier is disgusted, replies why is he still alive if he tried? Theon can only look down defeated because Theon is this program’s Jerry (little reference for ya).

Meanwhile, Euron Greyjoy parades Ellaria, her daughter and Yara through the streets of King’s Landing. The crowd is cheering his successful campaign and he can’t help himself but bear a shit-eating grin, mocking Yara of Theon’s cowardice. He marches them into Cersei’s throne room, where Ellaria is thrown to her knees before Cersei and The Mountain. Euron gloats of his capture, pushing further his desire to wed Cersei. She says he will have what he wants, once the war has been won. Jaime is obvious upset by this.

Euron takes the time to mock Jaime in front of cheering crowds to his ear, poking how he is going to have Cersei. He prods far enough to where Jaime wants to outburst but silences him, reminding him of where they are. Euron leaves smiling with Yara in tow. Ellaria and her daughter are thrown into a dungeon to await their fate.

Which didn’t take long, because the next scene is Cersei playing with Ellaria like a cat playing with a dead bird. Cersei is saving every second of this scene, pondering out loud the many ways she’s dreamed of killing her. Instead, she opts for the most sadistic option she could think of: kissing her daughter with the same poison used by Ellaria on Cersei’s daughter. She realizes mid-kiss what she’s done and squirms in her chains. Her smarmy number two, Qyburn, gives her the antidote to the poison, sealing Ellaria’s worst fears as to what’s happened. Cersei tells Ellaria she is going to ensure she stays alive to watch her daughter die her slow horrible death. She walks out very satisfied.

This gets Cersei extremely riled up, because in the very next scene she is banging the shit out of Jaime, who initially wasn’t having it after being upset over Euron, but she very quickly changes his mind. She also makes their affair public again by allowing a chambermaid to outright see them together. Jaime chuckles, but seems conflicted by this.

She receives news she has been visited by a representative of the Iron Bankers, the same organization that bankrolled Tywin Lannister’s wars. He has come to collect on Tywin’s debt though he offers something else. He offers to fund Cersei’s war against her enemies. Knowing there’s no alternatives, she asserts their investment in her will be well placed. She now has the gold required to fund her war against pretty much everyone.

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We return to Dragonstone, where Tyrion and Jon talk privately. Jon is frustrated over the day’s events, however Tyrion isn’t willing to let this potential partnership fall apart just yet. He convinces Jon to make a more reasonable request, since “Give me an army to fight zombies you’ve never seen before, I swear it’s true” doesn’t quite ring with much confidence. Jon heeds his advice and instead asks for just the dragonglass.

Tyrion next approaches Daenerys to make the arrangement solid, and convince Daenerys that an alliance with Jon Snow would be valuable. Daenerys is still puzzled by Davos’ comment on Jon taking a dagger to the heart comment, though Tyrion brushes it aside as Northern imagination. She appears unconvinced. Jon and Daenerys meet privately, and this engagement goes more fruitfully. Daenerys is convinced of Jon’s intentions and agrees to allow him to mine the glass. Jon asks if she believes him about the Night King, to which she replies “You’d better get to work Jon Snow.”

The next scene returns to Sansa at Winterfell, where she is acting lord of the keep in Jon’s absence. Littlefinger walks amongst her inner circle helping her manage the day to day operations of the keep. Littlefinger comments how command suits Sansa, though she quickly replies to any of his comments with barbed quips, and probably rightfully so. Except today Littlefinger drops knowledge on Sansa, telling her his secret to strategy. How he fights every battle against everyone, be it friend or foe, in his head. And that is how Sansa will keep alive, that she will need to outwit her opponents at all times. Sansa is at a loss for words at the advice.

However the moment is interrupted by the arrival of Bran to Winterfell. It is the first meeting of Sansa and Bran since season one. Sansa is moved to tears while Bran is emotionless. Sansa reminds Bran he is the last living heir to Ned, meaning he is now the keep’s true lord. Bran refuses, saying he cannot as he must be the three eyed-raven. Something he cannot explain to Sansa, except by giving her descriptions of her wedding night he never saw. This severely bothered Sansa, who leaves their reunion early, quietly in tears.

The next scene follows up Samwell’s attempts to cure Jorah Mormont via surgery. He manages to successfuly peel every bit of greyscale off with precision, curing Jorah of the affliction. He is freed from the Citadel, where he says he will return to Daenerys. The two shake hands and part ways. Following, Samwell is slightly chewed out by his superior but was given a commendation for doing a damn fine job. However he is also then punished for his recklessness.

Daenerys humors the idea of flying in by herself with her three dragons and exacting immediate revenge against Euron and his fleet. They are also awaiting news from their campaign against Casterly Rock, which the Unsullied are currently en route to invade. Grey Worm heads the attack, managing to sneak into the island and mount an offense despite suffering losses. Tyrion knew a secret entrance to the keep which would allow for a sneak attack, which succeeded.

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However Grey Worm realizes at the conclusion of the invasion that keep fell too easily. In that moment he reailizes it was a trap, and the Unsullied are now surrounded by fleets of Euron’s navy, trapping them on the island. Grey Worm realizes this all too late, and can only watch his ships burn from Casterly Rock. The bulk of the Lannister force was sent to invade the Tyrell’s lands (with a familiar face, it’s Bronn) to kill Olenna Tyrell. Her keep is taken effortlessly and she is confronted by Jaime.

Jaime has words with Olenna, of whom warns he is blind to Cersei’s madness. Jaime confesses he truly does love her and won’t betray her. He says he’s convinced Cersei not to execute her barbarically but instead offers her a different choice: to voluntarily poison herself. Without hesitation, Olenna drinks the poison and tells Jaime how saddened she was to see Joffery die viciously. In that moment she reveals to Jaime it was Olenna who killed Joffery, and let Cersei think Tyrion did it. Olenna, smiling, tells Jaime to send a message to Cersei: “Tell her I did it.” Like that, Olenna went out like a G. Jaime is horrified and quickly leaves probably to tell Cersei.

Drop.the.fucking.mic.

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Game of Thrones Station Episode 2, Stormborn

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Man there’s a lot to unpack here from last night’s episode, so let’s take this bit by bit.

The episode opens on a stormy night on Dragonstone Isle with Daenerys and crew. Tyrion begins a plot to invade Westeros, though Daenerys isn’t totally comfortable with everyone in her council. She questions Varys and his loyalties, and understandably so given his position, though he makes his intentions clear when he says he serves the people and not the various royalties he has had to serve, a similar speech he once had with Tyrion some seasons back. Daenerys proves to her council she’s watching her ass.

They are unexpectedly met by the red priestess Melisandre, who brings a similar pitch she’s attempted in the past: that the Lord of Light has prophesied someone will save them from the Long Night. However she is met with suspicion and mistrust from both Varys and Daenerys. This time she comes with a suggestion: to contact Jon Snow, newly minted King of the North.

Melisandre and Tyrion both suggest Jon’s knowledge of the White Walkers and his position against Cersei make him a valuable ally. Daenerys agrees but under the condition Jon Snow would bend the knee to her upon their meeting. Tyrion is visible concerned but knows this is the only way.

We immediately follow up to Jon receiving Tyrion’s message. Jon and Sansa discuss the validity of the message, and though they both testify to Tyrion’s character, they are concerned yet another throne chaser may be leading them into serious trouble. Davos agrees with their concerns but reminds them dragons make very powerful allies, especially against the White Walkers.

Cersei prepares her own defense against Daenerys’ incoming invasion and Olenna Tyrell’s rebellion against the crown. Cersei finds herself in a precarious situation as fewer houses support her than her father, since so many of them are dead at this point. Jaime attempts to shore up trusted allies to assemble an army for Cersei, but finds few willing to betray allegiances for Cersei, not to mention many of the lords fearful of the dragons. Cersei’s right hand, ever the schemer, quietly has been developing massive ballistas to shoot down the dragons.

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We rejoin Samwell who, with assistance, is attempting to treat Jorah Mormont and his greyscale affliction. The disease has spread quickly throughout his entire body and the senior maester is content to leave Jorah for dead, offering Jorah the option of killing himself or being shipped out to a diseased colony. Samwell, ever the optimist, believes he may have found a solution in his studies. As per the usual, no one listens to him so he takes it upon himself to treat Jorah personally, risking his life in the process. The procedure proves less than pleasant for Jorah.

 

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We return to Daenerys and Tyrion who are with the full council at Dragonstone. There is infighting as Ellaria Sand still harbors a grudge against Tyrion for Oberyn’s death back in 2014. Tyrion wishes to use the Dornish and Tyrell houses to build a rebellion against King’s Landing while Daenerys enters amidst the fighting. Olenna also attempts to privately counsel Daenerys to follow her own instinct and openly attack King’s Landing, not blindly follow Tyrion’s suggestions to attack subtly.

We run into the ever precocious Arya who has met again with Hot Pie at his inn. He notes how much she’s changed, then she realizes how much she’s changed and it bums her out. Hot Pie reveals Jon Snow is king, which causes Arya to leave in a rush to rejoin him. En route, she is trapped by a pack of dire wolves, whose alpha just so happens to be the baby dire wolf Arya was forced to abandon some years back. They recognize each other, but being the alpha he isn’t interested in joining Arya. We are all left sad.

We rejoin Jon Snow again who is discussing his plans for meeting with Daenerys, which is met with mixed reaction. He reminds them all of their dire need for dragonglass, of which he learned thanks to Samwell is sitting right under Dragonstone Isle. Sansa is not pleased Jon is going to meet her, surprises her by charging her as regent until his return. Baelish attempts to counsel with Jon, who them promptly attempts to choke him for saying he loves Sansa. Jon threatens to outright kill him if he discovers him attempting to touch her. Baelish is finding himself with fewer and fewer allies, though his presence still needed thanks to the forces he has at his disposal.

The episode concludes in a huge way, as we join the Greyjoys as they ferry Ellaria to Dorne to prepare for their attack. However they are met with terrible misfortune as Euron intercepts her ships at night and forces her into a dire sea battle. In the midst of the battle, Obara and Nymeria Sand are killed, while Ellaria and Tyene Sand are taken prisoner by Euron’s troops. Yara is captured by Euron and Theon flees like a pussy once confronted by Euron with a knife to Yara’s throat. Her fate now is in Euron’s fucked up hands.

Also things that happened:

  • Grey Worm and Missandei get it on. Yes, you read that right. It was pretty hot.

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It’s Back! Game of Thrones is back!

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I normally avoid spoilers as best I can but I’m going to go ahead and warn SPOILERS AHEAD IT’S ALL SPOILERS

Winter is finally upon us, but with this being the season opener let’s not get too crazy here. When we last left the program, there have been seismic shifts in power throughout the world. Cersei has claimed the Iron Throne following Tommen’s suicide following Cersei’s revenge bombing which claimed Margaery’s life; Jon Snow and Sansa have managed to defeat Ramsay Bolton and are organizing remaining loyalists in a desperate stand against the impending White Walker army; Arya cut Walder Frey’s throat as she makes her way toward King’s Landing and Cersei; and Daenerys is en route to Westeros with a navy thanks to her alliance with Theon and Yara Greyjoy, who are also being hunted by their murderous uncle Euron, who himself is attempting to court Cersei into wedlock. And this is just covering the major characters.

Sunday’s episode began with…Walder Frey? Who is toasting with his vassals to the deaths of their enemies, namely the Starks. However, with this being Game of Thrones, of course the wine is probably poisoned. Granted, the fact it’s poisoned isn’t the surprise so much as that wasn’t really Walder it WAS ARYA EXACTING REVENGEOHGODYES! Arya takes a quick break from murdering to make a detour to hang out with Ed Sheeran and his band of young Lannister soldiers gathered around a bonfire. This cameo has set the Internet either into a swoon or a rage as most issues tend to go.

Next, we see Jon Snow who is still congregating with loyalists to figure out how to defend themselves against the impending White Walker invasion, who if you’ve also forgotten now count giants amongst the ranks. Jon knows their only hope is locating large caches of dragonglass though they don’t know where to begin. Beyond that Jon finds the houses fall in line quickly, though Sansa has grown frustrated with Jon’s unwillingness to heed her counsel.

Sansa is also still forced to deal with the increasingly creepy Lord Baelish who too is quickly running out of allies and may soon find himself in serious shit. We are also left wondering if Brienne will ever fall for the lumberjack wiles of a very thirsty Tormund. We briefly catch up with Samwell afterward still at the Citadel, toiling as a shitty apprentice maester doing literal shitty work. Knowing time is against him, Samwell dangerously attempts to learn forbidden knowledge, which has fortuitously shown him the location to a ton of dragonglass conveniently located beneath Dragonstone Island.

Against most odds, Sandor is still kicking and still hanging around his strange frenemies in the Brotherhood Without Banners. While always the cynic and asshole, Sandor is forced to confront that their visions in the fires are real, and the truth he too is seeing the impending doom the White Walkers will bring.

The episode concludes with a triumphant scene of Daenerys and crew landing on, wouldn’t you know it, Dragonstone Island, her ancestral home. Dragonstone, if you’ve already forgotten, was the former base of operations for Stannis Baratheon and is also the locations of the dragonglass Samwell discovered that Jon Snow needs. The episode concludes with Daenerys standing beside an absolutely bewildered Tyrion and a giant map of Westeros saying, “Shall we begin?” Yes Daenerys, oh god yes let us begin.

There aren’t going to be as many episodes in season seven , with only six remaining leading to an 81-minute long season finale August 28th (versus the usual 10 episode runs), then you can be left to your empty-inside wait for the grand finale next year. Then…well we won’t even think about after that.

TV Theatre – Castlevania

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Netflix has shown they’re willing to be a little out-there when it comes to their original programming. Castlevania, from the Konami franchise that’s basically been abandoned to being licensed pachinko machines, is the latest in that trend. It’s an animated mini-series telling the story of Dracula himself raining literal hell down on stupid mortals for crossing him. The show is written by Warren Ellis who has penned some of the best comic book arcs around. That fact alone should make you feel more at ease that this is going to be good.

The season is extremely short with only four episodes that are no more than 22-23 minutes a piece. The animation is a bit inconsistent, with some scenes looking better than others (some of the action scenes are unfortunately choppy). However the voice acting and music help tie everything into a rather pleasantly cool show. It also makes certain this is not a cartoon for kiddies, as it revels in being a mature program from the copious, detailed gore to the pretty straight-up adult dialogue.

And speaking about pleasant, this show is incredibly gory and filled with lots of surprising dark humor. Did I say it was gory? It’s the type of mixture that had me reminiscing on HBO’s Spawn, though without the nudity (at least so far). It plays off its source material really well, though let’s not kid ourselves that Castlevania was ever really that deep to begin with. The franchise is about monster slaying and season one lays the groundwork of that well enough.

Season one was at best an appetizer, as inaugural seasons tend to be. However in this case binge watching this show should be mandatory. For example, I’d argue the 80 some minutes you could spend watching Castlevania would be better served than watching something like, I don’t know, Transformers: The Last Knight which was, ha ha, fucking horrible.

It surprised me in certain ways (the dark humor was legit very funny) and disappointed in others (super short, ends way too soon). I feel like I watched a very long trailer for a pretty cool TV series. I guess the question now is when does this series really start? Netflix has already renewed Castlevania for a second season.