Episode Review: Game of Thrones, Season 6, Episode 1

The Red Woman

SO I’m finally ready to review GoT Season 6. It is time, and I must say I’ve avoided it for a while because five was a bit of a waste in my opinion. I’ll do one episode per week, so if you’ve seen it, please feel free to discuss below – but if you haven’t and the internet hasn’t spoiled literally every surprise for you, note that that all of these posts contain spoilers.

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First and foremost is the hopelessness that surrounds Jon Snow’s death. Seeing him lying there so lifelessly is quite depressing, and it truly seems at this stage like yet another Stark has perished. I’m loving Ser Davos still, he’s probably one of my favorite guys at this point. He obviously has no point what Melisandre has done to Shireen Baratheon. I hope when he finds out Melisandre will volunteer to face Ramsay’s dogs before facing his wrath. Speaking of Melisandre – how hilarious and creepy is that scene where she drops all pretenses and we see just how well she’s handled aging? I felt some vindictive pleasure in that.

I didn’t really get Ramsay mourning for Myranda and then feeding her to the dogs, but hey, it’s Ramsay here. Iwan Rheon is working his heart out in this role and he really deserves all the praise. I don’t know how I can constantly wish that he would be a decent human being, even knowing what he’s done. It’s probably that innocent face that hides such a deplorable character.

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Sophie Turner and Alfie Allen are both also doing outstanding work in this season. It really looks like they are freezing to death (I’m sure they did looking at that hopefully non-CGI weather), and they are both just so hopeless. I was exceptionally happy when Brienne and Podrick turned up, and things finally started looking better for Sansa. And yay to Theon for his bravery – atonement for his past transgressions, though I am not sure that I will ever completely like him after that Robb business.

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Cersei’s grief is still showcasing the only humane thing about her when she learns of Myrcella’s death. I liked that, as I always do, and I think that is why people aren’t quite ready yet to hate Cersei like they hated Joffrey. What I really didn’t like was the Sand Snakes – Ellaria and the Sand Snakes seem petty, bitchy and just plain unnecessary at this point. I would have liked if they could have been slightly more like Brienne – still kicking ass but not being such pains about it. I’m not sure what is planned for The Sand Snakes in the upcoming episodes, but it seems a waste of time to be in Sunspear right now.

Everyone’s other favorite Tyrion Lannister keeps his wit and personality in Mereen. He’s still teamed up with Varys, who always manages to have little birds. No one is particularly happy with Daenerys at this point, who has been captured by the Dothraki in what really is the homebrand version of Khal Drogo. I must say, Daenerys is okay, but I’m really much more interested in Castle Black and Ramsay Bolton at this point.

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To finish off the character focus, Arya is blind and begging on the streets of Braavos. I really hope the Waif dies, and soon, because I hate her. Not overly interested in this storyline right now, but Maisie Williams is also doing a fine job.

Rating: 7/10

For a season starter episode it went quite well. The characters are all over the place at this point, and there are a whole lot of story lines involved. I’m not necessarily wishing that the body count rise, but it would be more helpful if some of these characters can get to one location and reconcile a few things. I’m particularly uninterested in Ellaria and her Snakes, it was just Season three / four business and while it was cool then, it’s just a waste of screen time now.

Book Review: Definitely Dead (Charlaine Harris)

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Book #6 in the Southern Vampire Mysteries Chronicles

Plot: Since Louisiana cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse has so few living relatives, she hates to lose one – even her cousin Hadley, undead consort of the vampire Queen of Louisiana. Hadley’s left everything she has to Sookie, but claiming that inheritance has a high risk factor. Some people don’t want her looking too deeply into Hadley’s past, or Hadley’s possessions. And they’re prepared to do anything in their power to stop her. Whoever it is, they’re definitely dangerous – and Sookie’s life is definitely on the line…

Rating: 7/10

I reviewed these books way back here, and boy, I seemed to have hated it quite a bit back then. It sucks, because I really seemed to enjoy it this time around. I was a bit worried that I would get confused because I started in the middle of the series, but luckily Harris doesn’t mind reminding her readers of previous events (incessantly so) and repeating information all the time here and there. Is Definitely Dead a literary masterpiece? Oh hell no. What it has is very grownup vampire business, and it a significant amount of sexy time in it, and the characters have a way of talking southern that is so obvious that the author really wanted them to sound southern. So if you don’t mind some hillbilly vampires, you are headed in for a good time.

Anyway, I enjoyed the following:

Quinn – he comes across as so big and masculine and human. I liked that. I know the whole story is mostly about Sookie and vampires, but this guy was at least partly human and I thoroughly enjoyed that. Let me just say it – totally my type of guy.

Bill fessing up to his true reasons for arriving in Bon Temps. I am so not team Bill, I’ll tell you that. He’s just too ick and grouchy and needy and a general pain in the ass. Sookie is welcome to choose Eric, Quinn, Alcide or even Sam Merlotte, but I won’t deal with her ultimately choosing Bill.

Sookie having fairy blood – her breakdown about it was super annoying but I did appreciate it that it explained the attraction all the supernatural creatures had towards her.

The books are surprisingly well written. Like I said, no masterpiece, but it doesn’t drag and the characters aren’t insufferable. I really hated Tara in the TV series, but she is much more tolerable in the books. Pretty much everyone is more tolerable in the books – even Bill – because I felt suicidal every time Stephan Moyer said “soookie” in the series. UGH.

What I didn’t like:

It annoyed my quite a bit that so many things happen to Sookie. Yep, I get that she’s the heroine and I get that things need to happen to move the plot along, but sheesh, if someone isn’t killing her cousin they are trying to kill her. The attack on Sookie and Quinn by the young vampires?Quinn taking her to that strange bar? Is he a dumb dumb? Like WHY? Jake Purifoy? I mean come on, he was written into the story for absolutely no reason – and I’m not on board with what happens with him in the next book either. I think adding so many witches was the first mistake Charlaine Harris made in this series – You can only pile so many supernatural creatures into a book and expect it to work out.

I also have some grief with the Queen of Louisiana. If we can focus on the little fact that there is a vampire Queen for Louisiana first. It is so preposterous. I have no idea about the gross capital income of that State or even its’ size, but allocating a Queen to it seems quite severe. And then her name is Sophie-Anne LeClerq. I understand that I’m dealing with a book where the main character’s name is Sookie Stackhouse, but I need good names for characters or I always feel a little bit done in. Sophie-Anne is also a bit of a pain and seems to have no real reason for her inclusion in the story except for Sookie to meet hot men, get rich and travel. Okay, apparently I need a Sophie-Anne in my life, so there we go.

I didn’t like that Alcide was just cut from the book. I love me some Alcide man. The fact that they chose to keep the Pelt melodrama and chuck Alcide was yet another bad choice, but anyhoo.

It sounds like I wasn’t all that fond of the book – but I actually was! It is in a nutshell some very vacant reading, it doesn’t require any brainpower (I have none to spare while exams are ongoing) and the story is fun. If I can deliver some honesty here, while I am MUCH more tolerant of Twilight than the usual populace on the internet, I do think the idea of virgin 100-year vampires is ludicrous. The vampires might have zero sexual inhibition in The Southern Vampire Mysteries, but at least that is more believable than all that prudishness.

Have you read the Southern Vampire Mysteries, and in particular Definitely Dead? What is your opinion of the book? Let me know!