I’m not one of the million-plus who signed a petition begging HBO to redo this season of Game of Thrones. The whole concept of a redo is unreasonable and impossible for a multitude of reasons. But it just goes to show how upset over a million people are. I can’t say that I’m upset anymore… just resigned.
I sat watching the series finale much like Bran Stark has sat watching the world for the past few seasons: still, unimpressed, apathetic. My wife asked me just before the finale aired what I wanted to happen, and my response was something akin to what Bran Stark would say. “I don’t want anything anymore.”
So congratulations to HBO and the GoT writers! I began the season excited for what was to come, and ended the season with Bran Stark as my spirit animal. Kudos! (And by the way, I noticed that little charge come through this morning for another month of HBO NOW. Way to sneak that in before everybody unsubscribes!)
I really don’t want to pile on the writers anymore though. It was probably never in the cards for HBO to succeed with this season. All the expectations, all the money, all the egos, and never enough time. Of course, time will tell if George R. R. Martin can do better, and if nothing else we know he will use the advantages of time.
And to be honest, the finale wasn’t all bad, was it?
Hey, Bronn got his castle! Jon, Ghost and Tormund are gonna be best bros forever! Our man Tyrion is running the show! Arya is going out into the world to have adventures! Brienne and Pod are gonna get to write all sorts of cool knight stories! And Sam Tarly just gave a huge middle finger to the entire Citadel! (Look who’s Grand Maester now, bitches!)
It was all really… really… happy. Oddly happy.
We entered the season with four Starks, they all survived and get to live the rest of their lives pretty well, considering. All the bad guys died (Night King, Cersei, Batshit Dany). I mean, as the show panned out on the small council with Bronn joking (probably not joking) about prioritizing the funding of brothels, I couldn’t help but have a happy little song playing in my head. It was a tune from my childhood, when everything had a mellow golden glow, and all things were full of hope, dreams, laughter and love.
I’d like to share it with you now.
But wait, wait, WAIT a second… Hold the door… this wasn’t a happy ending. Now that I think about it, the bad guy won. Seriously, why is everyone so damned happy?
Bran Stark is the most self-centered, sociopathic MFer in all of Westeros. Let’s lay it out:
EVERYTHING IS BRAN’S FAULT! He is likely aware that everything is his fault. AND he’s smugly accepting the royal nomination with jokes. Damn that’s cold.
So there you go. Our watch has ended, and the bad guy won, after all. Show me that smile!
Thanks for reading,
Dylan Lee Peters
A brief warning: if you are not up to date with the show, having watched season eight, episode three, you probably shouldn’t read on.
My predictions took some major losses in last Sunday’s Game of Thrones episode. I had the Night King as a “definitely NOT dying” character, Melisandre as “most likely not dying,” Beric Dondarrion as “can’t die yet,” and I predicted a lot of characters would die that didn’t. My predictions were mostly made under the assumption that the Night King would survive until the final episode and lay waste to Winterfell. Obviously, Arya Stark put all that to bed.
I did predict Ed, Theon, and Jorah would meet their ends last Sunday, but honestly… who didn’t see those departures coming? I don’t feel especially proud that I was able to guess those correct.
Truly, the premature end of the Night King busted my entire theory about the show, as I’m sure it did for many others. I guess the Night King had served his purpose and the Lord of Light was done with him, just like he was done with ole’ Beric. Speaking of the Lord of Light–it seems the Lord has a heavier hand in how the Game will play out than I previously thought. Melisandre lit the night up like it was a Rob Zombie concert, and her prophecy about Arya played out so smoothly she decided to go out on top and become dust in the wind. Mic drop. Last week’s GoT MVP might have been Melisandre, might have been Arya, but when you think about it, was definitely the Lord of Light.
So that’s going to be the theme of this week’s predictions, because it seems the Lord of Light truly has a plan for all in the world of GoT. At least until someone else’s god decides to get in on the fun, anyway. (I’m looking at you Drowned God of the Iron Islands. Can we get a Biblical flood for episode five, please?)
Anyway, let’s get on to predicting where the Lord will lay his light.
The Lord is Definitely Not Done With:
After pulling the plug on the Night King so early, it feels like these are the only two characters we can definitively say will survive episode four. The Lord is not done with them (more on that in a bit).
The Lord is Probably Not Done With:
I was wrong about Bran. I thought his character, after helping along the Aegon Targaryen reveal, had satisfied his purpose and needed to be removed. But there is something more going on with Bran that we just haven’t seen enough of yet. Hopefully we get more clues in episode four.
Here’s an early prediction for episode five: Sansa Stark will be the one who kills Cersei. I believe that is the Lord’s plan for her. The Lannisters are responsible for taking her childhood fantasy and turning it on its head. While it would be heartbreaking if Jaime killed his sister, it would be just and poetic for Sansa to kill her. After all, Cersei is the woman who is more or less responsible for making Sansa the hardened woman she is now. It all goes back to Cersei.
If Jaime has any role in his sister’s death, I believe it will be through inaction rather than action. The things he has “done for love” have defined his character, but his final act will be about what he refuses to do going forward, namely, kill for Cersei. Cersei will look to Jaime as her last line of defense, and he will not be there for her. While all of this could happen in episode four, it feels much more like episode five fare.
I also think episode five will give me the main event I’ve been waiting for… (can you hear them chanting? Two men enter; one man leaves. Two men enter; one man leaves). I give you CLEGANEBOWL!! If Jaime is not there as Cersei’s last line of defense, that means the Mountain will be and he’ll need to be taken down. Unleash the Hound!
The Shepard Needs a Flock:
Gilly and Little Sam
In my original theories for this last season of Game of Thrones I conceived of a story where no one wins, no one lives, the slate is wiped completely. However, if this is all about the Lord’s will, doesn’t our shepherd need a flock? Some people have to survive to move the world forward in the light of the Lord. So he’ll take a little bit of this, a little bit of that, sprinkle in some Unsullied, add a dash of Giantsbane. Shiny happy people holding hands, et cetera, et cetera. I specifically wonder about the group of Tyrion Lannister, Davos Seaworth, and Lord Varys–a new small council, perhaps? Three wise men? (cough, cough). Or maybe the new world will not need a monarch, but an oligarchy?
The Lord Should Be Done With:
These characters seem more than extraneous, at this point. I’d wager some gold on their deaths if I thought they were important enough to care about. They might die, they might not, but I’m not betting either way.
And of course that leads me to…
Where I’m Placing My Gold (and my faith if we’re talking about gods)
Brienne of Tarth
Bronn of the Blackwater
Bronn was given a directive: kill the Brothers Lannister. I don’t expect him to achieve this goal, but I do expect someone to perish by way of his attempt. I am conjuring a scene where Bronn spies Jamie from a distance, and with crossbow in hand the shot is there for the taking. Alas, just as his finger hits the trigger our favorite mercenary has an affliction of conscience. He jerks the shot just a bit, knowing his shot will graze the one-handed man, and not kill him. Unfortunately, at just that moment, Brienne spies the assassin and dives in front of the crossbow’s bolt. It finds its way into Brienne’s heart, just as she found her way into Jaime’s. Poor Brienne of Tarth will pass from this world in the arms of Jamie Lannister. Bronn will be revealed as the assassin, and before he is executed he’ll spill the beans on Cersei as the hiring hand. Brienne’s death at the hands of Cersei will give Jaime the motivation he needs to let his sister go in spirit and in life. A Shakespearean tragedy unfolds, and sets up Cersei’s demise in episode five.
But a good tragedy needs a true shocker.
Bold prediction for Episode Four
Arya Stark will die at the hands of Jaqen H’ghar while he is using Gendry’s face. (which means Gendry is dead too, because… well… his face will be gone). After all, if the Lord of Light was done with Beric Dondarrion, and he was done with Melisandre, then he is definitely done with Arya Stark. He gave that girl more light than anyone. She got to kill the Night King. That will live in the lore of the land for ages upon ages. Besides, a man needs a name… and a paycheck. The fiery Lord giveth to young Arya and the fiery Lord taketh away. Remember, this dude has a plan.
And speaking of that plan… what’s his plan for Jon Snow? After all, Melisandre was very clear that Beric was brought back to fulfill a purpose and be done. Well, Jon was brought back, too. After seasons and seasons of build up, I think a lot of viewers assumed that purpose was to take down the Night King, yet here we are, left with no Night King, and a lot of Snow. If Jon’s purpose wasn’t to come back just for the Night King, who was he brought back for? And more importantly, if the Lord of Light takes you down after you’ve fulfilled your purpose, doesn’t that mean Jon won’t survive the season?
Looks like we have more questions than answers, yet again. The Lord is kind of a dick, isn’t he?
Thanks for reading,
Dylan Lee Peters
I came to this party late. Very late. I abstained from watching The Walking Dead until last year. I’ve never been into the zombie genre. It always seemed so one-dimensional. Zombies attack, everyone runs, and ultimately no one escapes. The story ends in the inevitable pig pile of death. So, for a very long time, I assumed The Walking Dead would follow the same arc. I had even watched Season One: Episode One a few years ago, and concluded that the show would be exactly what I thought it was going to be. So I judged it unworthy of my time, and forgot about it.
It turned out that I was wrong. After years of hearing others call the show “the best on TV,” my wife and I reluctantly gave the show another chance. Our reasoning, if for nothing else, was that we needed to find out why everyone was hooked on The Walking Dead. We needed the mania to at least make sense. Season one of the show is still utterly boring in my opinion, but about halfway through season two, we were hooked. The story was certainly not one-dimensional; in fact, it was going places I didn’t think a television show ever would. We were binge watching on Netflix, night after night, loving the character building, the shocking deaths, and finding ourselves admitting we were wrong about The Walking Dead. It wasn’t just a show about zombies. It was a show about people, survival, and finding hope against seemingly insurmountable odds.
We caught up to the show just after Rick Grimes and his group found themselves behind the walls of Alexandria. At this point we were hooked. At this point we were Walking Dead fans.
But that’s where everything changed for me. In my opinion, the show has devolved into something lesser since that point. The characters had been sufficiently built, but in Alexandria we are forced to watch them stagnate. Carol is no longer bad-ass, and Daryl’s crossbow never seems to get enough of the spotlight. The plotline has fits and starts, and the show has lost the ability to make me believe they just might kill off anyone. The Walking Dead had never been boring, but now it felt like it was becoming so. It all came to a head with last night’s season finale, as I watched Rick and his group held hostage, on their knees, waiting for the next blow to come, and it never came. Not for the audience anyway. As the screen went black, the credits rolled, and the realization that I had just wasted another 90 minutes of my life washed over me. A much more sobering epiphany struck.
This is when I realized that as an audience, we were just like the characters of the show. We were hostages, on our knees, waiting for something to happen so we can stand back up… but nothing really happened.
Ask yourself this: what are the enduring images of last night’s episode? You will certainly see Negan with his baseball bat, Lucille, but think past that, what else do you remember? What stands prominently in your mind? For me it’s the repeated ads pushing us to watch Better Call Saul, or Fear The Walking Dead. Ask yourself why last might needed 90 minutes to tell a story that went nowhere instead of 60. Ask yourself why, when you hear the echoes of last night in your mind, you hear “AMC’s The Walking Dead.” I’ve never felt like I was watching HBO’s Game of Thrones, or USA’s Mr. Robot, but it’s definitely AMC’s The Walking Dead.
And this is why, when after 90 minutes of watching filler and commercials just to see who Negan was going to kill–because let’s be honest with ourselves, that’s all last night was–and then not be told who got that baseball bat to the head, I’m absolutely done watching this show. Last night was my series finale.
I will endure advertising for a good story, but I refuse to be strung along like some mindless fool, hooked up to the advertising machine, allowing myself to be shown ad, after ad, after ad, and be given nothing in return. We received no quality entertainment, no story, no resolution, and this has been happening since the walls of Alexandria appeared on the horizon. We’re all just kneeling in the mud, and watching commercials.
AMC’s Negan was exactly right, and it felt like he was speaking to AMC’s audience.
“Give me your shit or I will kill you. Today was career day. We invested a lot, and you know who I am, and what I can do. You work for me now. You have shit; you give it to me. That’s your job. Now I know that is a mighty big, nasty pill to swallow, but swallow it you most certainly will.”
Nah. I’m good. I’m not giving AMC half my shit anymore.
You really want to know who AMC’s The Walking Dead killed off last night?
I am a Continuum fan. I never expected much from the show when I first gave it a chance on Netflix. I love good science fiction, but I rarely seem to find good science fiction. Most of the time, science fiction fans are fed the same tired storylines that fail to hold interest. Or often, the ideas are interesting, but the entertainment money machine knows it won’t be able to effectively market to a slack-witted populace, so the project ultimately fails due to poor acting and poor funding. The latter of those two options is what I expected, at best, from Continuum.
I found myself pleasantly surprised.
The acting is good, and the writing buoys it. The series has allowed for character building in ways that you don’t usually find in science fiction. The characters stay indelibly human, and it makes them relatable amid a storyline that couldn’t possibly relate to anyone. (I think). Suspended disbelief is an understatement in any storyline that deals with time travel, but Continuum pulls it off wonderfully and leaves you wanting to watch each character’s progress.
The show also dares to walk amid the gray fog that stands between right and wrong, which is always a theme that interests me. In a world where the future can be changed, the ethics of exacting that change is a daily conundrum for the characters. I know it may not be a popular feeling, but I greatly enjoy stories that make me think more deeply about my own world and my own life. A “question everything” credo has always been a guilty pleasure I won’t relinquish.
So, needless to say, when the third season concluded and there was no contract for a fourth, I was upset. I wanted this show to finish. Not just because of the human need for closure in any situation, or because I liked the show, but because this show had done something different, and it deserved to be able to continue its story. Success for Continuum could mean success for other shows that make you think as much as they make you feel, while still entertaining.
After months of wondering and waiting, Showcase, the Canadian channel that has rights to Continuum, released all Continuum fans from their self-imposed purgatory.
The show would be renewed. (Cheers come from the crowd.) For a fourth and final season. (Hmm. Really?) That will consist of six episodes. (Shit.)
Great news, that turned into just good news, that eventually settled on a giant cloud of impending doom. If you’ve never watched the show, or even if you haven’t watched the first three seasons, you may not understand why I would react that way. However, for those who have watched the first three seasons, the immediate question is:
How in the world are they going to tie this story up in six episodes without completely destroying everything that was good about Continuum?
I am dubious… insanely dubious.
For fans of the show, you know that the end of the third season was almost akin to a sucker punch, but in a good way. (What? You’ve never been punched and liked it?) It was one of those moments in a storyline that tells you “everything you know is wrong.” Continuum had taken you off in one direction for three seasons, for the shear purpose of building you up to tear you down. It was the kind of breaking point that left you saying, “wow, this is going to get so good. They’re going to have to keep this going for another four seasons, at least.”
Nope… six episodes.
Simon Barry is a great writer, but six episodes?
If he can pull it off I’ll be amazed, and honestly, I’m really pulling for him. Continuum is a show I recommend, and a show I can’t wait to watch again. The SyFy Channel gets the right to broadcast it to us in the States, and when the fourth season premieres, I’ll be watching it full of hope.
But I’ll be watching it in the way I watch a basketball team, down ten points, with one minute to play. I’m pulling for you, but you’re going to have to pull off a miracle to win this one.