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 fi—aww seven hells, does it even matter at this point?
I’m not boasting, but I did get a fair amount of predictions right last week. (Though they were fairly easy to peg as we get closer to the end).
I predicted Dany would become the Mad Queen and torch King’s Landing, and though I did not predict the correct manner of death, I did predict the deaths of Euron, Qyburn, The Mountain, The Hound, Jaime, Cersei, and Varys. I also predicted they would bring the show back to Winterfell for the final episode, as Arya would escape the ruins of King’s Landing to let Sansa know the Mad Queen is coming for her.
So I did get some things right, amid the morass of things I got wrong.
I invite you to read last week’s blog post here. I hope it’s at least entertaining if not clairvoyant.
• • •
But moving forward and setting our sights on the series finale, I find myself pondering the epic amount of disappointment this season has wrought. I have my own opinions, of course, but I’ve also talked to a fair amount of GoT viewers and have yet to find someone who thinks the writers have been hitting home runs all season long. People are disappointed with the ending. It’s moving from opinion to fact as fast as Daenerys Targaryen turning from Breaker of Chains to Murderer of Children.
I mean, we all knew it wasn’t going to be a happy ending.
But did we think we were going to be left unsatisfied? I can’t say that I did.
Mother of Dragons fans were prepared for their heroine’s death, but were they prepared for her story arc to be far less than heroic, and logically problematic. Tyrion Lannister fans thought they would see their man go out as the “god of tits and wine,” not as the biggest fool in all of Westeros. We wanted to see Jaime dead, but redeemed. We wanted to see Cersei dead, but through Stark vengeance. We wanted another Red Wedding. We wanted Joffrey’s poisoning.
What we are getting this season can only be described as limp.
Quick side note: I’m not advocating for the happy ending. I’m comfortable with “things going wrong” such as the idea of Daenerys breaking bad. But it needs to be earned, and feel organic. With a shortened last season, and so much to tie up, they were never going to have enough time for added character building. They needed to lean on the character arcs of past seasons, so unfortunately Dany going cray-cray just doesn’t make sense. She’s been alone in the past; she’s lost loved ones in the past, yet she still maintained her cool, and her purpose. I mean we just watched her torch a city full of kids and innocent people because she couldn’t get laid. WTF? It was highly out of character, and I’m sorry, but that’s just lazy storytelling.
Think of your favorite character, large or small, and tell me you’ve been satisfied with their story this season. There are a few, sure, but mostly you can’t. From the Night King down to Ghost we wanted more. From Varys to Cersei we expected greater intrigue. From Jaime to Jon Snow we just wanted it all to have more gravity.
So I’m left to wonder. Is this incompetence? Are the show writers mailing it in? Is this just what happens when there are too many egos, too much money, and not enough time?
OR is disappointment the intended theme.
Maybe the existential battle we wanted was the Night King versus the living, but the existential battle we’re getting is our heroes versus the inevitability of failure.
So that is the theme I’m going to use for predicting episode six. Disappointment and the inevitability of failure. We wanted Jaime dead, but also wanted him to stand as proof that people can change. Except what we got was a reminder that change is hard, and more often than not people don’t change. More often than not an arrogant, callous, incestuous prick is just that and nothing more. Jaime doesn’t learn from his mistakes and make a life with Brienne, he tucks tail and runs back to his sister to be buried under the mess his family made.
It’s depressing… but that’s Game of Thrones. Here’s my predictions:
Tormund Giantsbane, Yara Greyjoy, Samwell Tarly, Gilly, Little Sam, Ghost and Nymeria – These characters are actually just gone. They won’t pop back up for the final episode to play some important part in defending Winterfell. We won’t get to see what’s going on with their new lives. It’s just done, because sometimes people leave and there is no closure. Sometimes people just go, and it’s awkward or depressing. Sometimes Jon doesn’t pet his dog goodbye, and it just ends that way. Stop crying! There’s no crying in Game of Thrones! Just stare off into the void and do nothing under the unbearable weight of existence like the rest of us…
Podrick Payne – Oh he’ll get like thirty seconds of camera time, standing behind Brienne or something, and that will literally be all he does. Because Game of Thrones wants to remind the try-hards of the world that no one actually cares.
Bran Stark – Speaking of doing next to nothing, that’ll be what Bran does too. He’ll probably just crawl into a hole under the Weirwood tree in Winterfell, get all comfy in the roots, and spend a generation seeing the world through other people’s eyes. Bran is that one friend you had in high school who was a really smart kid with a bright future, then smoked weed one time and it was over. That kid turned into a burn out, forever lost in a cloud of smoke, talking about weird shit like three-eyed ravens. Someone get Bran a bag of Cheetos for episode six.
Greyworm – is going to commit suicide amid the ashes of King’s Landing. This will be the intro scene for the episode. Good times.
Davos Seaworth – Davos will be the misplaced coffee cup in episode six. He won’t even be in costume. He’ll just show up in jeans and crocs, throwing out modern jargon like YOLO and resting bitch face (that’s for Daenerys). Jon Snow will laugh like he knows EXACTLY what his man Davos is talking about.
Drogon – Dany will inexplicably fly her dragon into the outer wall of Winterfell for some totally illogical reason like she saw Sansa glaring at her, and it just made her lose her mind. Because we all know, when Game of Thrones needs to get rid of the fantasy element of a show, they do so quickly and without any logical reason at all. Can I get a ‘hell yeah’ from the children of the forest?
Brienne – is actually going to die from shyness.
Tyrion Lannister – is going to get stabbed in the heart by a prostitute.
Sansa Stark – is going to stay alive forever just so she can tell everyone she meets “I tooold Jon not to trust her,” and “no I don’t feel sorry for him, he’s stuuupid.” And she’ll say it all in that Sansa Stark voice that sounds like what you’d imagine an eye-roll to sound like if an eye-roll had a voice. She will also do a lot of cross stitching.
Gendry and Arya Stark – Arya will hunt down Gendry and try to accept his marriage proposal, because for some reason she inexplicably decided there’s more to life than killing people, even though her character has literally never had one on camera moment of thinking that way, but you know, the Hound said some shit so everything changed. Then Gendry will rip off his face to reveal Jaqen H’ghar, (no I’m not letting this prediction die) who will kill Arya for the many-faced god, because even in our fantasy fiction there will always be assholes killing people for no reason because some god "told" them to.
Jon Snow – will do nothing important or intelligent or heroic in episode six. His destiny will be to travel north of the wall and build cabins for underprivileged wildling youth. No one will ever see him again, but he will die one day in an avalanche caused by a dire wolf.
Daenerys Targaryen – In the final episode of the series Daenerys will continue losing things, because that’s what she does. She’ll lose her army, lose her dragon, lose her alliance with anyone in Westeros, and continue to lose her mind. She will then be kidnapped and dropped off the side of a boat in a bundle of chains she will be ironically unable to break.
And who will do the kidnapping?
Bronn of the Blackwater – The final scene of Game of Thrones will be Bronn walking into the deserted former home of the Umbers, Last Hearth. You remember, the place the Night King tacked that dead kid to the wall in a spiral of body parts? Turns out Sansa gave it to Bronn in exchange for the kidnap and murder of the Mad Queen. Bronn will stroll in, arm in arm with some former brothel worker, and sit down in a big chair. He’ll pour himself some wine, raise a glass and then look at the woman.
“Don’t look so fucking disappointed,” he’ll say. “I’ve waited a long time for this.”
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
It seems my predictions for episode two did not come through. I predicted both Euron Greyjoy and Bran Stark would die, and neither of those characters met their maker (or is it makers?). Euron wasn’t even in the episode. Needless to say, I can claim zero points for last week.
However, I’m not giving up on my theories. In fact, the only thing I may have really gotten wrong was the show’s pacing. I expected episode two to be filled with more action given the time crunch for this season. Yet Thrones writers decided to give us one more episode filled with reunions and foreshadowing. So, I’m not admitting defeat on last week’s predictions, I’m going to fold them into this week, add a little salt, maybe some herbs, and throw the pot back on the fire. It’s time for episode three predictions.
A brief warning: if you are not up to date with the show, having watched season eight, episode two, you probably shouldn’t read on.
Definitely NOT Dying in Episode Three
The Night King
(new addition) Jaime Lannister
I probably should have had Jaime in this category last week due to his needing one more dramatic scene with Cersei. I just wasn’t willing to go 100% on his survival, given that Bran could have easily told his family what Jaime did all those years ago, effectively throwing Jaime to the wolves. (See what I did there? Wolves? Starks? Throw him to the wolves. I know, I know. You’re impressed. Let’s move on.)
A side note: I’m changing the categories a bit for this week, because the show has made it quite obvious they intend episode three to be a giant battle at Winterfell between the living and the dead. This means certain characters are not likely to die this week purely due to absence. This also means more characters could die than what you might see in a normal episode. With one third of the season in the books, and very little action having taken place (unless of course we’re talking about Arya and Gendry ;) Episode three is set up to be a game-changer.
So, for our first category:
Most likely not appearing in Episode Three = not dead yet.
Bronn of the Blackwater
Now, on to the next:
Will be at the battle, but just can’t die yet.
Where I’m Placing My Gold
Bran Stark will die in episode three.
Bran was my prediction for episode two, and nothing has happened to make me change my prediction of HOW he will die. In fact, the events of episode two only served to reinforce my idea that the Night King will kill Bran.
I predicted last week that Bran was referring to the Night King when he said he was “waiting for an old friend,” and Bran basically confirmed that theory in episode two by announcing that the Night King always comes for whomever is the three-eyed raven. That was my first reason for thinking Bran would die. My second reason deals with Bran’s ability to essentially see all, and how that ability can ruin a plot line. (Note how Doctor Strange was killed in Infinity War because they couldn’t have him spoiling the Endgame).
The third reason I’m predicting Bran to die uses logic I applied to my Euron Greyjoy prediction from last week, and that is Game of Thrones loves to reward arrogance with severe punishment. Using a crippled boy as bait to win a battle is arrogant if not completely reckless, and this is the exact kind of drama GoT thrives upon. Jon using Bran to smoke out the Night King is sure to backfire in the bloodiest of ways, give Jon a reason to doubt his leadership skills, and possibly even a reason to keep his birthright a secret, relinquishing his claim to the throne. Plus, it just feels like every one of our major characters at the Battle of Winterfell should lose someone symbolic of their journey. (More on this in a second).
Bold prediction for Episode Three: Everyone loses at the Battle of Winterfell.
Whether it’s your life, or the life of a loved one, almost everyone will feel the sting of death.
Episode three promises to be one of the show’s darkest ever. However, I think I’ve found a way to inject a little levity. Try this on for size: The crypt scene begins with pure silence, no screaming, no zombie noises, just silence. We see Davos scramble down into the crypts because he realizes what is about to happen too late. His eyes grow wide as he sees all the dead woman and children, the camera closes up on his face, and then the bass and drums drop from Michael Jackson’s Thriller. The dead begin to rise and dance toward Davos as Vincent Price’s voice echos over Winterfell:
“The foulest stench is in the air,
The funk of forty thousand years,
And grisly ghouls from every tomb,
Are closing in to seal your doom.
And though you fight to stay alive,
Your body starts to shiver,
For no mere mortal can resist,
The evil of the thriller.”
Cut to the Night King cackling, his arms raised in the air, as he stands next to Bran Stark in his chair, his decapitated head lying upon the snowy ground. (END SCENE)
(I know, I know. You’re impressed.)
Thanks for reading,
Dylan Lee Peters
Game of Thrones is back for Season 8 and I, for one, couldn’t be happier. I guess I just wouldn’t know what to do with myself if the night wasn’t dark and full of terrors, as those who have read my novels can attest. It’s once again time to raise a glass of wine, take the black, and cross names off our lists. What else does one need?
And speaking of crossing names off our lists, I thought I would share a little prognostication with you. As I tend to do while watching Thrones, I try to predict who will have their names crossed off next. I imagine I’m not alone in this endeavor, so let’s see if our picks match up, shall we?
A brief warning: if you are not up to date with the show, having watched season eight, episode one, you probably shouldn’t read on.
I think the best way to lay this out, in order to make it less painful, is in categories. You don’t really need to read a paragraph on why I don’t think Jon Snow will die in episode two. It’s all fairly obvious, so let’s get on with it.
Definitely NOT Dying This Episode
The Night King
These are the main characters, obviously, and their stories can’t end until we are closer to The End.
Have they fully served their purpose in the story? Not yet, so probably not dying this episode.
Brienne of Tarth
Bronn of the Blackwater
We didn’t even see Melisandre or Brienne in episode one. It’s difficult to imagine their first season eight appearance would be their last. Jaime might be considered a main character, though I haven’t placed him there. I do feel that he needs one more scene with his sister, at least, before he’s offed. Bronn was given a mighty task in the first episode, and it’s hard to imagine that plays out completely in episode two. As for the Clegane boys–let’s just say if we don’t get Clegane Bowl this season I might be forced to try my hand at fan fiction for the first time.
No clear purpose to this season’s story yet, so an early death would feel cheap. Unlikely to die this episode.
I don’t really need to say much more than the category title. If any of these characters die from an errant arrow, or a hungry dead man this early on it would just feel so cheap. I suppose something could happen to them within the space of one episode to meet a fitting end, but I’m just not betting on it.
Could satisfy their purpose through dying at this point. Might die in episode two.
You could sell me on any of these characters dying in episode two:
Have probably satisfied their purpose. Likely to die.
Now shit’s getting good. Something episode one gave away is that a major plot line of this season will be the wedge everyone is trying to drive between Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen, and our boy Samwell Tarly is just the man to hammer that wedge home. Khaleesi fried his dad and brother and Sam didn’t take that news well. It, in fact, pushed him to tell Jon who his true parents were, and reveal Jon’s birthright to the Iron Throne. I can see a scene where Sam gets pissed at Daenerys, announces to a room of important people that Jon Snow is actually Aegon Targaryen, then Dany cooks our doughboy under Drogon’s broiler, and then Jon has to pull her aside for a private conversation in the kitchen to say, “babe, why are you being such a bitch right now? Sam was my best friend, and I thought you’d be a little cooler about the whole ‘right to throne' thing. Why can’t you ever support my dreams!?”
Yet, I will concede that this scene looks better a couple more episodes into the season, so I’m not placing my money on it. Where am I placing my gold?
Where I’m Placing My Gold
Euron Greyjoy will die in episode two. If there is anything Games of Thrones has done consistently over the years, it’s to take arrogant men and put their heads on pikes. Euron is just the next in a long line. This wide-eyed weirdo has satisfied his purpose and his libido. He delivered the Golden Company and took his queen to bed. I see Yara marching into the throne room, battling Euron to his knees, and when Mister Mustache looks to his queen for help, she’ll simply shrug and suggest that if the Golden Company had delivered those elephants she so wanted, maybe she would have been more inclined to help. Yara wins, Euron dies… and then the Mountain crushes Yara’s head because I need to see the Mountain crush at least one more head before #CleganeBowl. #TeamHound #TalkersMakeMeThirsty
But… I’m not done.
Bold Prediction For Episode Two
Bran Stark will die, and there are two reasons I believe this to be true.
There we have it. I’m picking Euron Greyjoy and Bran Stark to go down in episode two. I’d love to read what you think and see your predictions in the comments.
And… I’ve got great news to report on the Everflame: Mystic Wild front. Revising and editing of the manuscript is progressing wonderfully, and I hope to have the novel available in early summer. If you haven’t already, please check out my page dedicated to the new book. It currently has a map, a book blurb, and a cover image. Sample chapters to come! I expect this to be a great adventure for fans of my previous Everflame series, as well as for new readers. You will not have to have read the last series to enjoy this new novel. I promise!
Thanks for reading,
Dylan Lee Peters
I went to see Thor: Ragnarok this weekend with my wife, and I left the theatre sort of disappointed. When my wife asked me if I liked the movie, I sort of shrugged, made some nondescript male grunting noise, and followed that up with, “I thought it was going to be like Guardians of the Galaxy.”
(Quick side note: when you type “gua” into Google search, Guardians of the Galaxy is the first thing that comes up. This is a heresy against guacamole I will not stand for).
My wife’s obvious but poignant comment was, “It’s a Thor movie, not a Guardians of the Galaxy movie.”
… and I guess the truth is I just wanted another Guardians of the Galaxy movie. So why did I go to a Thor movie wanting to see something other than Thor? Why did I expect that? Am I mentally defective?
While that last question can certainly be debated, it stands to reason that something caused me to think Thor: Ragnarok might be styled more like a Guardians movie. My only thought while walking out of the theatre was that the “buzz” had gotten to me. Damn it all, shaking a fist at the sky, I fell prey to one of the classic blunders. Inconceivable.
We’re all aware of the “buzz.” It’s the separate but not equal bastard child of all modern entertainment. It’s the shadow monster hanging over Hawkins, Indiana. It’s what makes people who don’t like high fantasy watch Game of Thrones. It’s the reason I know who Kendrick Lamar is even though I haven’t listened to rap music since I was in middle school. It’s the reason people who can’t even spell the word government think they know exactly who should be elected to each and every public office in our country. I mean can you imagine if we allowed the masses to elect other positions of societal importance like doctors? Or scientists? The species would be dead in a week…
Oh, shit… went off the rails… recalculating...
But the point is that it was the “buzz” around Thor: Ragnarok that had me thinking it would be like a Guardians movie. To be fair, the inclusion of bright cosmic colors in Thor were reminiscent of Guardians, there was a fair amount of comedy in Thor that was not present in the earlier movies, and there were two action sequences that happened while Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” were blaring from the speakers. And in those moments the movie did seem very Guardians-esque. However, if you’re going to the theatre expecting to see a Thor movie that is a Guardians of the Galaxy movie, like me, you will be disappointed.
Yet, the people who run Marvel Studios did this on purpose. This buzz was not organic. It was purposeful and intended. Thor was not as popular or profitable as Guardians of the Galaxy, so the executives used the power of Guardians to propel Thor. And it worked. The amount of money Marvel Studios made this past weekend is embarrassing. Now those executives are one step closer to replacing their souls with liquid cash. (Ah, the American Dream). All while fools like me forked over their money for something less than.
But I’m not complaining. Hell, I’m impressed. Touché, Marvel Studios executives. Because the truth is, we all want to replace our souls with liquid cash.
But seriously, all of us who create—whether it be movies, or books, or any product—we all wish we could generate that kind of buzz to drive people to our work. We all wish we could take something that already has power and use it to convince people to consume our goods. People who create are rarely also good sales people. I mean, trying to convince you to consume my goods sounds so dirty, doesn’t it?
Alas… I really want you to consume my goods (sigh)… so in homage to Marvel and the American Dream, let’s stir up some buzz for my newest series of novels, The Hands of Ruin.
The Hands of Ruin series has a secret family lineage thing, and a mystical force-like power thing just like Star Wars. So if you like Star Wars, you will love The Hands of Ruin!
The Hands of Ruin has two teenage kids being forced to live with a crappy family member, and have all sorts of bad stuff happen to them before they find out they have previously unknown powers, just like in Harry Potter. So if you liked Harry Potter, you will absolutely fall in love with The Hands of Ruin!
The Hands of Ruin has a badass female character both beautiful and strong who is constantly thrown into horrible situations where she has to fight against the establishment, just like The Hunger Games. If you like The Hunger Games than you are doing yourself an obscene and cruel injustice by not reading The Hands of Ruin!
The Hands of Ruin has shocking scenes like Game of Thrones. The Hands of Ruin and Game of Thrones might as well be exactly the same thing except different and not derivative!
Do you remember the fantastical things you loved from your childhood? Jim Henson stuff? Transformers stuff? Pokémon stuff? The Hands of Ruin is just like all of those things! Don’t deprive your inner child any longer!
Phew… there, I did it… and yes, I feel terribly dirty. But now there’s buzz, so go forth and spread the buzz. And I’ll leave you with this one more shameful and completely tangential connection from something you like to my new book series. I assume you came here because this blog post was about Thor: Ragnarok. I’m assuming you like Thor. Well…
The Hands Of Ruin is THOR in acronym. So there!
(insert hand gesture)
(insert fart noise)
(drop mic… walk away… prepare to rule the world after buzz takes hold)
• • •
Dylan Lee Peters is an unstable individual who has written seven novels all of which you should probably be reading. Actually, remove the probably from that sentence. It’s too wishy-washy.
Download book one of The Hands of Ruin series for FREE here.
I didn't come up with this theory, and in no way take credit for it. It’s just something I stumbled upon in bits and pieces as I traversed the inter-webs, and thought I should share. If you are a Game of Thrones fan who is not up to date on the television episodes, or someone who doesn’t want potential spoilers, do not read on. For everyone else, here is a fan theory about GOT that is too perfect not to be true.
Firstly, let’s follow the family tree of House Targaryen, starting with Aerys II, the Mad King. (This is the guy Jamie Lannister kills to earn the nickname "Kingslayer"). The Mad King had three children with his wife, Rhaelle. These children are Daenerys “Mother of Dragons,” Viserys (the d-bag from season one last seen wearing a scalding pot of gold, care of Khal Drogo), and Rhaegar (Died; never on the show).
So, the Mad King has three kids. However, as we have learned time and time again, Westeros is filled with illegitimate children. It’s likely a dude nicknamed the Mad King wasn't the most faithful guy in the world to his wife, and probably wasn't afraid to take whomever and whatever he wanted whenever he felt like it. In a world where you’re seemingly not a cool kid unless you have a bastard of your own, it seems pretty safe to assume the Mad King had at least one illegitimate child.
So that brings us to Tyrion Lannister. You know, the Tyrion whose father, Tywin Lannister, treated him like he wasn't actually his son, the Tyrion who recently displayed an amazing ability to calm caged dragons long enough to pet their necks and take the shackles off of them, the Tyrion who is described in George R. R. Martin’s books as having hair so blonde it almost seemed white. Doesn’t Tyrion almost seem like he isn’t really a Lannister? Maybe he isn’t a Lannister…
Maybe the Mad King had a thing for Tyrion's mother, Joanna Lannister, and maybe the Mad King had a secret affair with her, or maybe he just took what he wanted in the way a tyrant king might. If you believe this possibility, then it means Tyrion is yet another bastard in Westeros, and the half-brother of Daenerys. Does that make Tyrion the “Uncle of Dragons?”
Now let's go back to one of the Mad King's legitimate kids, Rhaegar Targaryen. We never met him, but we do know something about him. Namely, that he kidnapped Ned Stark's sister, Lyanna, and kept her prisoner until Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon started a war over it. Rhaegar dies at the hands of Robert Baratheon during the war, alas Lyanna Stark dies anyway. Oddly, we aren’t told exactly how Lyanna died.
This raises the obvious question: why would Rhaegar kidnap Lyanna? And it is surely to be followed by the obvious answer: to make more bastards. Because, as we have already learned, time and time again, the goal of every man in Westeros is seemingly to make more bastards. It’s as if they think it’s a game. Whoever has the most bastards when winter comes is the winner. (I digress).
It's not a huge logical leap to think that maybe Ned Stark wasn't unfaithful to his wife, Catelyn. He never really seemed like the kind of guy who would cheat. I mean, wasn’t the whole point of Ned Stark’s character to tell the world nice guy’s finish not only last, but also without their heads in the Game of Thrones? Maybe it’s not so hard to believe that Ned Stark didn’t raise his own bastard within the walls of Winterfell, but instead was doing something far nobler. Maybe he decided to raise his sister's orphaned son as his own. Maybe Jon Snow's mother is Lyanna Stark. It would explain why her character is brought up so often, as evidenced by Bran Stark's memory/dream in the most recent GOT episode. Also, this would obviously mean Jon Snow’s father is Rhaegar Targaryen.
This would also make Jon Snow (Targaryen) the nephew of Daenerys Targaryen, and Tyrion Lannister (Targaryen).
Hmm, aren’t there three dragons?
That is why I say this theory is too perfect not to be true, because let’s be honest, if you’re telling me this show could have Tyrion, Daenerys, and Jon Snow riding a trinity of dragons into battle against an army of White Walkers, yet someone said, “nah, I think we can come up with something better,” that person would be wrong. That person would be utterly, tragically, mind-bogglingly incorrect.
Don’t crush our dreams, HBO. Tyrion Lannister needs to ride a fire-breathing dragon.
• • •
Dylan Lee Peters
Author of The Dean Machine and The Everflame Series
Running is a pastime that’s been growing on me lately. I challenged myself to run 500 miles this year, and two months in, I have 379 miles to go. This past weekend my wife and I completed the Excalibur 10 Miler in Viera, Florida. The theme of the race was Medieval; somewhat like a Renaissance Fair. Some runners dressed up accordingly, and much of the race decorum maintained the theme. Before the race began, runners were entertained by a battle between two actors from the Medieval Times dinner show in Orlando. It was somewhat akin to the battle between the Mountain and the Red Viper from Game of Thrones, except no one’s head was crushed like a grape. It was entertaining though, and put a unique twist on the otherwise repetitive exercise of running ten miles. In fact, it was the unique theme of the race that first prompted my wife and I to participate.
My wife was really the impetus for my beginning to run. She was on the Cross Country Team in high school and decided to get back into running a couple years ago. I decided to join her, firstly as support, but secondly because I was looking to kick my own posterior into form. However, I could have chosen a multitude of different activities to become involved in. She gets the credit for making that choice to run. Because we live in Florida, she has been signing up for the RunDisney races that Disney World puts on throughout the year. (You can see some of her blog posts here). She loves getting involved with all things Disney, and the races give her a chance to do something active, while geeking out on her favorite childhood nostalgia. (Leave it to Disney to find great ways to merge events into marketing gold). It’s always amazed me how many people really love getting involved with these races, and especially, how many people like to dress up for them. So many people love the idea of showing off as their favorite characters. This all gave me an idea.
I don’t know how to get something like this started – it would certainly take people with more time and know-how than me – but I thought it would be a great idea to have an author run. The race could be any distance, or distances, and the obvious theme of the race would be literary. Racers could elect to dress as any of their favorite literary characters, (I can easily picture a hundred women dressed as Katniss Everdeen) and the race could serve as a sort of literary festival.
It is common, in these races, to have a festival-style area located at the finish. Vendors set up booths, mostly with food, drink, and products suited for runners. It becomes part of the event, something that makes it more than just a run, and it lends itself to creating a race that has a theme. I think it would be a great idea for an author race to have booths set up where you could meet local authors. They could give books away, talk to prospective readers, and gain exposure. It would be a great way for authors to get out from behind the computer and find fans in a unique way. I know I’d be happy to have a booth at an event like this.
So, help me out event planners and runners, let’s get this event off of the ground. I’m sure someone has some great ideas that could add to the event. Post in the comments. I’m interested to know what you think.