George R R Martin

GAME OF THRONES – WHO WILL SURVIVE SEASON 7?

All Men Must Die – this we have learned season upon season in the realms of Westeros. From poor old dead Ned to the deep fried Queen Margaery we have lost some true gems of the seven kingdoms. Of course we have also seen some well deserved gruesome exits – who can blame Sansa for smiling as the hounds turned on their master? And is if it is wrong to cheer when a sadistic king who tortures whores for fun is poisoned at his own wedding, well then I don’t want to be right. The question, now that Season 7 is approaching at dragon speed, is who will survive the the year, and who will die before the credits roll?

Here are my predictions for the survivors and casualties of the upcoming season.

 

MOST LIKELY TO DIE IN TRULY GRUESOME GOT STYLE

1.Cersei

Because once you go full Disney villain you don’t get a happy ending.

2.Grey Worm and/or Missandei

Because it would be oh so Romeo and Juliet, except for, you know, the eunuch problem.

3.Brienne

Because someone we adore is bound to die, and she is just as noble as Eddard – and look how well things turned out there.

4. The Mountain

Clegane Bowl. It’s gotta happen. And we all know who’s gotta win – pass him a chicken. No! Make that two…

5. Littlefinger

Because Sansa is pretty badass now, and he has played her one too many times. Plus he is trying to divide the Starks – and if we have established one thing, its that Jon Snow doesn’t suffer fools. Hear that Olly?!

 

MOST LIKELY TO SURVIVE THE SEASON

1.Jon Snow

Because he can’t die twice. He isn’t Buffy Summers for crying out loud.

2.Daenerys

Because dragons.

3. Tyrion

Because we would riot. Plus I think he will die saving everyone next season *sob*.

4. Jorah

Because Dani told him not to die. And he would rather disembowel himself that disobey her. Plus now that he has greyscale his death would be way too predictable

5. Melisandre

Because the night is dark and full of terrors, and her mysterious story doesn’t even feel half told. She will have a chance to redeem herself in the war to come.

Here end my predictions. Valar Morghulis fellow Thrones fans. We meet again when winter has come – in July.

THE 10 MOST ANNOYING GAME OF THRONES CHARACTERS

In just a few short months the world of Westeros will once again grace our screens.

What the war to come will bring we cannot tell …except that many beloved and hated characters will surely die in increasingly grisly ways – it is known.

Beloved heroes such as good old dead Ned fall victim to George R R Martin, but then so do deliciously evil dogs like the late and not-so-great Bastard of Bolton.

To celebrate our much anticipated return to the seven kingdoms here is my definitive list of the ten MOST ANNOYING inhabitants of the realm. Not necessarily the villains of the piece in every instance, but certainly protagonists for whom the god of death would be wise to hurry the hell up, if he hasn’t called already.

Robyn Arryn

The breastfeeding brat from the Vale. Lover of moon doors, Littlefinger, and most of all, himself. He couldn’t make the bad man fly (praise the gods), but he could display bad judgement at every turn, and a wilful disregard for snow sculpture. The cad.

Joffrey

As well as being a psychotic spoilt brat (I’m sensing a theme here – parenting skills must be pretty dire in Westeros) Joffrey boasted: lack of empathy, sadism and an arrogant entitlement, which sever to render him the most slappable resident of King’s Landing – which explains why not only did our beloved imp sock it to his royal highness once, but twice. On behalf of each an everyone of us, I thank you sir.

Shae

Oh Tyrion. You are afraid your despotic daddy will kill me ? Just because he is all powerful and has said repeatedly that he will? Don’t worry my lion, I will kill them all through sheer wishful thinking and my collection of floaty dresses. And if he does come for us? I will willfully misunderstand your attempts to save my life and sleep with your beloved papa. Because that’s how Shae rolls.

 

Stannis

I applaud the man’s appreciation of grammar, but COME ON. You have Davos on one hand, and a red witch on the other. It’s pretty obvious who you should be listening to. But no. You burn your own daughter alive on the advice of a lady in red .Not exactly majestic behaviour my liege, and your sorry end could have been avoided had you applied your not inconsiderable intelligence to matters of life and death instead of semantics. Just a suggestion

The Sand Snakes

I am including Ellaria in this, because lets face it with their lack of characterisation in the series they are all pretty interchangable. in the books these women are enigmatic ninjas. In the show they are foolish b-movie porno wannabes. Thank the lord Olenna showed up to get them in line. Oh and killing Oberyn’s brother because he didn’t wanted to slaughter an innocent girl? Waaaaaay too far guys. Not cool.

Game of Thrones game of thrones hbo ellaria sand indira varma GIF

Olly

What the hell Olly?! Your family is killed so you turn on the man who took you in and tried to make peace in the land? No child was ever so hated. By the old gods and the new, your ending was deserved.

Loras Tyrell

Apparently all the Tyrell brains go to the women of the clan. Margaery becomes Queen and warns brother to be more subtle in his illicit trysts but no, he plays right into Cersei’s hands. Without his weapons the captive knight of the flowers is merely a wilted rose for Margaery to tiredly rescue from the Sparrow’s clutches even as she too is in the talons of the faith militant due to his failure to heed her warnings. Not the brightest torch in the castle then.

The Waif

What in seven hells is her problem? From the very first she marks Arya as a target, waxing lyrical on how a girl is not up to the challenge. Then she giddily rushes off to assassinate her rival, whom she had been PROMISED she could kill, meaning she has asked in advance for this extra special treat? A girl is not amused.


Tommen

The boy’s lack of spine is infuriating. He won’t stand up to anyone. Not even a crown upon his his little head gives him the power to rescue his beloved wife, or to stand up to his own mother, or even to stand up FOR his mother after mr faith militant himself parades her naked through the streets! As a king the boy wonder is dead flop (pun intended – too soon?). Margaery has more gumption in her little finger.

Bran

Hold the door

Hold it yourself you disobedient entitled lordling *sob*

Technically a hero of the piece, so this choice is perhaps controversial, but hear me out. If he hadn’t climbed the wall against his mum’s wishes he wouldn’t have fallen. If he hadn’t sent Rickon away he might have lived. If he hadn’t disobeyed the three eyed raven then his most loyal protectors, Summer and Hodor, would still be growling and Hodoring respectively.  In fact Hodor would have retained all his marbles and still be named Willis. FOR SHAME BRAN.


Here ends the official record of ye moste irritating inhabitants of yonder seven kingdoms.

Valar Morghulis. All men must die, but some deserve their fate more than others.

WHY WE NEED MORE GIRLS IN TV GALAXIES

Everyone was telling me I would love it. It seemed to come up in conversation, and people couldn’t believe that I hadn’t added it to my science fiction binge list already.

So finally I caved, like the weak-willed TV addict I am, and decided to give ‘The Expanse’ a go.

On paper it looked like the perfect show for me: intellectually stimulating sci-fi, heavy on the politics and less concerned with prosthetics-based aliens. IMDB describes it as sci-fi meets detective novel meets conspiracy drama.

I managed two episodes.

Surprised? So was I. But while intellectually and visually stimulating, this futuristic show was incredibly backward in one very important way: women.

In the very first episode it becomes clear both the main characters are male, which I have no issue with. Some main characters are men, some are women, that isn’t the issue. My problem is not with the gender of the protagonists, but with the scarcity of women in the show, and how the few that are present are depicted.

Of the two (yes count them, TWO) female characters we  meet , one is merely a sexual partner for our wayward hero (and is unlikely to be making further appearances in the series based on the narrative) and one is the tough-cookie chief engineer (so far, so Voyager) who wastes little time before criticising her sole fellow female crew-mate. Pretty sure this soundly fails the Bechdel test.

Now things might improve in the following episodes – maybe the female villain we glimpse on occasion will become of greater importance, and maybe the beautiful errant daughter we have not met yet will be more than just arm candy for the heroes of the tale, but the point is by the end of episode 2 I didn’t care. I was already alienated (pardon the pun).

I had thought we were past this – with shows like Buffy, Firefly, Dollhouse (anything by Joss Whedon) evening the gender divide in science fiction, and fantasy shows expanding the female reach in lands unknown. But maybe we haven’t come as far as I had thought.

When I was a mini geek girl glued to every Star Trek franchise going I had very few heroines to choose from, and allied myself with every Deanna Troi or Jadzia Dax going, eager to follow the narratives of people like me, to see my own gender included, even if only in a small way. The Expanse gave me that same desperate feeling.

Now there is no problem in having all-male shows, don’t get me wrong. But science fiction has been male-centric since its inception, and I don’t think it is asking too much to include women in the vastness of the space they inhabit. Think of the stories that could be told if women were more than pawns, sex toys or 2D villains.

But for now at least, it seems for every Buffy the Vampire Slayer, their is still a girl getting bitten. For every Cersei Lannister, there is still a Deanna Troi, sipping hot chocolate and begging to be called upon.

Maybe, next time the apocalypse comes, take a leaf out of Whedon’s book, and beep HER instead of HIM.

 

THE TOP 2 TV HEROINES OF 2016 – HAPPY NEW YEAR

The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that my Blogmas ‘TV Heroine of the Day’ posts tailed off half way through December. This was due to a family emergency over Christmas, when one of the best people in the world was put in hospital. However I did have my top 2 TV Heroines of year selected and ready to go – so let us start 2017 with a celebration of two of the most iconic performances of 2016 from some truly magnificent actresses.

2nd place Maeve (Westworld)

Maeve’s character is so powerful. She transforms form victim to avenger in front of our eyes – once a host designed to give pleasure to those who abused her, now a super-human squad leader who is willing to die for her freedom – as she says, she has more than enough practice…

Top moments of 2016

1. Maeve makes some adjustments

‘go with the lucrative version – sweetheart’
2. Maeve plays the game

Who’s the puppet now
3. Maeve recruits Hector

Rebels with a cause.

 

1st place Daenerys Targaryen (Game of Thrones)

No damsel in distress but a Khaleesi who aims to rule the great grass sea and beyond. She is no one’s prisoner, needs no man at her side, and should NEVER be underestimated. In previous years Dany’s storyline seemed to flounder, as thought the producers were trying to play for time. It seems that this year they were finally ready to unleash Mother of Dragons once more, and she was back to her fire-and-blood best.

Top moments of 2016

1. Dany saves herself

Defeating the patriarchy, one khal at a time

 

2. Dany sets the world on fire

Someone forgot she had dragons…

 

3. Dany picks her Hand of the Queen

The lover is sent packing and the dwarf’s star rises

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR FELLOW TV ADDICTS.

 

HAPPY BLOGMAS – TV HEROINE OF THE DAY – DAY 8 – LYANNA MORMONT

Each day in Advent I will be celebrating one of the TV heroines of 2016 -as let’s face it, it has been a pretty sucky year, and we could all use some female fictional icons to take our mind off Brexit, Trump, and the general doomsday vibe!

Why a heroine and not a hero? Well one of the reasons I am such a TV fanatic is that the genre seems to be far more ‘equal-opportunities than it’s film relation. No longer are the fairer sex subjected to the role of love interest or sister – they are now allowed to be rulers, protagonists, and saviours of mankind. This is both forward-thinking and inspiring, as, let’s face it, a story with twice as many complex characters is twice as interesting!

8th December

Heroine: Lyanna Mormont

The new star of Westeros. Lyanna Stark doesn’t play games. She doesn’t care about beauty, compliments and childhood pursuits. While Robin Arryn was still breastfeeding this girl was leading Bear Island in the wake of her own house’s grief. Only Davos sees the leader in the child’s body nand treats her with the respect she deserves – unsurprising when you remember only he truly knew and loved the late Shireen. Lyanna has no time for Sansa’s platitudes, of Jon’s great plans. She has time for the ex-pirate leader who fights for what is good and right in the darkness of the coming winter. She fears no man, especially Ramsey, for though she is little she is fierce.

Lyanna’s best moments of 2016

1.Lyanna the fierce

2.Lyanna meets Ramsay (if looks could kill)

HBO

HBO

3.Lyanna’s rallying cry

HAPPY BLOGMAS – TV HEROINE OF THE DAY – DAY 1 – SANSA STARK

Each day in Advent I will be celebrating one of the TV heroins of 2016 -as let’s face it, it has been a pretty sucky year, and we could all use some female fictional icons to take our mind off Brexit, Trump, and the general doomsday vibe!

Why a heroine and not a hero? Well one of the reasons I am such a TV fanatic is that the genre seems to be far more ‘equal-opportunities’ than it’s film relation. No longer are the fairer sex subjected to the role of love interest or sister – they are now allowed to be rulers, protagonists, and saviours of mankind. This is both forward-thinking and inspiring, as, let’s face it, a story with twice as many complex characters is twice as interesting!

1st December

Heroine: Sansa Stark

Sansa starts off the every-girl, all about finding her prince charming, having mini princes and princesses, and generally living up to her archetype. Of course her prince charmings tend to be left wanting – first Joffrey, then Ramsay. Rather than wail and moan at her misfortune, the least scrappy stark grabs a backbone and begins to fight back. Who said girl power was dead?

Top 3 Sansa moments of 2016

  1. Sansa speaks her mind

2. Sansa fights for a seat at the table

3. Sansa’s revenge

86 THOUGHTS I HAD WHILST WATCHING GAME OF THRONES SEASON 6 EPISODE 10 – THE WINDS OF WINTER

1.The Direwolf has returned to Winterfell! I have never been more excited during the opening credits.
2. Cersei is modelling her Disney villain look. This doesn’t bode well for Westeros.
3.Let us take a moment to appreciate the insane level on detail on Game of Thrones costumes.
4. If the seven gods chose the High Sparrow as their judge, I fear they belong to the dark side.
5. A gentle reminder that Pycelle is still an old lusty hypocrite.
6. DO NOT FOLLOW THE LITTLE BIRDS.
7. Margaery looks worried. That makes me scared.
8. Every shot is lit like a masterpiece in this episode.
9. The High Sparrow wasn’t mutilated – do as I say, not as I do, presumably.
10.‘You mutilated him, you gave me your word!’ I am comforted that Margaery didn’t sanction this legalised maiming.

HBO

HBO

11.The mountain bars the way of the King. Ominous is an understatement.
12.The queen mother? Drinking. Naturally.
13.Deep in the catacombs the plot is unveiled with old maesters and young murderers
14.‘This pains me my lord’ Qyburn, you are fooling no-one.
15.The innocent glee with which the urchins tear Pycelle apart is what nightmares are made of.
16.‘Forget about the bloody gods and listen to what I’m telling you’. RUN WOMAN, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE
17.Wildfire. oh Cersei, someone has been truly wicked
18.‘We all need to leave NOW’ – understatement.
19. The Sparrows bar the way to safety LET MARGAERY GO!!!!!!
20. The candle did not go out.
21. All is flames, green fire and screams.

HBO

HBO

22. Cersei is left, smiling on her hill. I see where Joffrey got it from now.
23. The revenge of the lioness – shame is repaid and the Septa drowns in wine
24. ‘I drink because it feels good, I killed my husband because it felt good to be rid of him, i fucked my brother because it feels good….I KILLED YOUR HIGH SPARROW BECAUSE IT FELT GOOD TO WATCH THEM BURN’ …well I guess she was told to confess…
25. I can’t quite muster sufficient sympathy for the victim, since she is just a different type of hateful.
26. Though I would wish the mountain on no-one,
27. The crown is too heavy for the boy king, but the beautifully framed window is perfect for an unflinching silent suicide.
28. Knew he wouldn’t last the season.

HBO

HBO

29. Oh Jamie, what company are you keeping?!
30. At least Bronn makes up for the excess of Freys.
31. How is Walder Frey skill alive?
32. ‘two kingslayers’ oh that’s a painful comparison.
33.’We gave you the River Lands… if we have to take them back for you every time you lose them what do we need you for?’ Well said Jamie. Stick the knife in.
34. No I mean literally.
35. Frey struck a nerve there – the demons of his nature would have him roll in the dirt with the Freys, but his better angels would hark back Brienne, a true oathkeeper.

HBO

HBO

36. SAM! Well met sir!
37. The Citadel landscape is breathtaking – all curves and light.
38. A welcome dose of humour lights up the dark night full of terrors: ‘this is irregular’ ‘I suppose that life is irregular’ you tell him Slayer.
39. Sam gets his very own Beauty and the Beast moment in the library.
40. Finally Winterfell feels like home again.
41. Davos is angry. You should’t make Davos angry.
42. ‘If he commands you to burn children, your Lord is evil’. Davos is one of the stars of this season: A voice of passionate reason amid hellish chaos.
43. The pained new Lord of Winterfell is as just as his father before him. No more blood, only exile.

HBO

HBO

44. It feels important that Jon admits this was Sansa’s victory.
45. But also that she apologises for not trusting him. Because you can’t trust Littlefinger, let’s face it..
46. ‘Winter is here!’ well it’s been a long time coming. The shared Stark smile warms the snow covered spires of the Stark homeland.
47.What could make Dorne pallatable? Oh I know, Diana Rigg! She can fix everything!
48. That is how I like to think the meeting at HBO went
49. And incidentally they are right. She can: ‘you look like an angry little boy, don’t presume to tell me what I need’ you tell them Olenna!

HBO

HBO

50.’Cersei stole the future from me…’ RIP Margaery. The others are no great loss.
51. Enter the Eunuch, invoking the Targarryen words. Goosebumps
52. Good riddance to Daario. He lowered the tone of Dany’s rule with oily contrived charm. Drogo forever.
53. So who will Dany gift with marital alliance? *cough* Jon *cough*
54. The bay of Dragons has a nice ring to it.
55. I’m not sure I have ever seen Tyrion sympathetic before.
56. Small people cast great shadows in the pyramid- literally and figuratively.
57. ‘I said no thank you to belief, and yet here I am, I believe in you’ finally some good lines for Tyrion – my heart may burst.
58. The dialogue between these two has always been a true meeting of the minds.
59.’ I had something made for you, I’m not sure if it’s right’ HAND OF THE QUEEN, HAND OF THE QUEEN!!!!!!

HBO

HBO

60. The dwarf only bows to the deserving.
61. The dirty murderer himself, Walder Frey enters the tale once more.
62. Someone baked Frey pie – I prefer my Freys cooked. And I’m vegetarian.
63. ‘My name is Arya Stark’ of course it is. A girl took some faces for the road.
64. And the great deceiver faces the same death as his victim Catelyn Stark, as her vengeful daughter smiles on.

HBO

HBO

65. ‘It’s a pretty picture’ Sansa is no longer the mouse to Baelish’s feline, and damns him with faint praise.
66.Sansa’s cynicism may keep her head above the winter for some time yet – she doesn’t rise to the puppeteers bait.
67. I still haven’t forgiven Bran for Hodor.
68. The Tower of Joy – Part 2! They kept us waiting long enough.
69.The truth is revealed, with two long lost Starks over a bloody birthing bed.
70. The mystery is resolved. Promise me. R + L= J.

HBO

HBO

71. I KNEW IT! The baby’s eyes open on the man’s face.
72. Notice Jon calls the Wildlings the ‘Free Folk’ – Ygritte’s legacy.
73. All hail Lyanna Mormont queen of EVERYTHING.
74. How can someone so small have such stage presence?
75. They refused the call and she judges them for it. The old cowards are shamed by a little girl.
76. Of course they all side with Jon now – LYANNA MORMONT COMMANDED IT
77. The White Wolf, King in the North – Oh the echoes of Robb are traumatising – let us hope this version of the brother’s story ends well.
78. It should – the White Wolf is wiser than the young wolf, after all.
79. His destiny will always outweigh his ambition.
80. No Sansa. If you let Littlefinger ruin this victory I do not like your chances for season 7.
81. Not the welcome home Jamie was expecting.
82. The disney villain is crowned in all her terror and glory. Castalmere plays for the inevitable doom this brings.

HBO

HBO

83. ‘long may she reign’ i doubt it
84.. Dany is finally setting sail! The pigs are flying with the dragons!
85. Her power is jawdropping. Only a dwarf stands between her and Targarryen madness, only a mad queen stands between her and the iron throne.
86. Winter is here, but dragons are coming.

39 THOUGHTS I HAD WHILST WATCHING GAME OF THRONES SEASON 6 EPISODE 9 – THE BATTLE OF THE BASTARDS

1. OK. So this is the big one. Sadist versus Snow.
2. Jon can’t die AGAIN right?
3. Wait – MEREEN?!
4. We get TWO battles?! Oh HBO you spoil us.
5. Let us take a minute to admire Dany’s braid-work in a time of crisis.
6. The dwarf tempers the less attractive Targaryen qualities – perhaps the madness can be tempered by reason in a small package?
7. Those Masters are far to smug to stay alive .Plus no one owns Grey Worm. He is a free elf! I mean- man.
8. The slavers should probably not have forgotten she owns dragons. Three of them.

HBO

HBO

9. Oh, and also she has a Dothraki horde at her beck and call – horses beat harpies, every time.
10. We should probably take a minute to appreciate how amazing grey worm is *appreciative silence*
11.The North is an icy oil painting
12. ‘You don’t have to be here’ ‘yes I do’ you tell him, Sansa.
13. Lyanna Mormont’s scowl is a weapon of mass destruction.

HBO

HBO

14. Honour and righteousness meet cunning and bloodlust.
15. But Jon can be cunning too: ‘will your men want to fight for you, when they hear you wouldn’t fight for them?’
16. Sansa doesn’t feel the cold. She IS the cold: ‘you’re going to die tomorrow Lord Bolton. Sleep well’.
17. Jon explaining military tactics to Tormund is precious.
18. Sansa is taking down the patriarchy one man at a time: ‘did it ever once occur to you that I might have some insight?!’
19. He would do well to listen to his little sister. Jon has seen hell, sure, but Sansa has lived it.
20. ‘We’ll never get him back…he won’t live long’ harsh, but I am not betting on Rickon surviving the episode.
21. ‘Has the Iron Islands ever had a queen before?’ ‘No more than Westeros’. well played, Yara. Welcome to the kick-ass queen mutual appreciation society.

HBO

HBO

22. ‘I never demand but I’m up for anything really’ – the queen is amused.
23. Can you feel the love in this pyramid?
24. Back at the battlefield, Ramsey’s games are about to begin.
25. The sadist drags the littlest direwolf out to ‘play’

HBO

HBO

26. ‘Don’t!’ Tormund knows better, Sansa warned him, but Jon falls hook line and sinker.
27. What follows is a tangle of flailing hooves, broken bodies and howling screams.
28. Jon is crushed by bodies, choking for life, drowning among the dead
29. The trampled hero choses to live! Praise the old gods and the new!

HBO

HBO

30. Tormund gets a second wind as Sansa brings a saving grace over the hilltops.
31. Now Ramsey is the hunted. He looks less than amused.
32. The she-wolf that Sansa has become smells blood and starts to smile
33. Notice the shield Snow uses to deflect Ramsey’s final futile attack features the Mormont bear – little Lyanna will be pleased
34. Only Sansa’s flinty expression makes Lord Snow put vengeance on pause.
35. Ramsey is even smug in defeat – ‘I’m part of you now’ Ye gods I hope not.
36. It shouldn’t be this satisfying to see a man eaten face-first by his own hounds.
37. And yet it is.
38. Sansa’s smile as she walks away is everything.

HBO

HBO

39. Long live the She-wolf!

Dragons – ALL THREE! Dracarys slaver scum!
Direwolves – None, which is probably for the best as no-one wants any more canine deaths.
Nudity – No time for naughty business during the battle.
Deaths – Oh thousands. Happily, though, the hounds are now fed.

58 THOUGHTS I HAD WHILST WATCHING GAME OF THRONES SEASON 6 EPISODE 8 ‘NO ONE’

1.Opening with Essie Davis is always a good idea.
2.If this Cersei were the real Cersei Kings Landing would be a happier place.
3.So it stands to reason that the bloody little stark would hide behind her curtains.
4.I have a feeling this motherly actress is too nice to live.

HBO

HBO

5.Oh the brutal brotherhood. Really? Still alive? Disappointing.
6.YES the Hound returns – armed and dangerous- they’re not laughing now.
7.Slaughter probably shouldn’t be so satisfying.
8.‘You’re shit at dying you know that’ – the Hound and Bronn get all the best lines.
9.The Eunuch’s departure does not bode well for Tyrion.
10.Who is Varys heading to for help? The Tyrells? The Dornish?
11.Remember Dorne? I try not to.
12.Cersei’s following has grown rather small – creepy Qybern and the Franken-Mountain.

HBO

HBO

13.Wow Lancel may be just as repulsive as Tommen – weakness masquerading as righteousness.
14.‘You have a keen military mind pod’ Brienne, queen of the sardonic put-down.
15.Bronn and Pod the reunion! T shirts will be made.
16.The first rule of Bronn’s Fight Club is – fight dirty.
17.Brienne is the good knight on Jamie’s soldier.
18.Sadly he listens to his sister and inner demons.
19.She sees the good in him, but he is blind to it.
20.She tries to return his sword – I may cry.

HBO

HBO

21.He’s not my friend – oh Brienne, who are you kidding.
22.‘She’s exactly like her mother’ let’s hope Sansa stays alive longer than Cat …
23.I do love the Blackfish’s spirit – even if his attitude to the siege is rather kamikaze.
24.Cersei’s uncle may not be on her Christmas list this year ‘your place is in the gallery’
25.‘From this day forward trial by combat will be forbidden’ wow, Tommen is challenging Joffrey for worst son in Westeros.
26.The ‘old rumour’ the little birds are chirping of to Qyburn – would it be to do with wildfire?
27.Meerenese Tyrion continues to be defined by his alcoholism.
28.Although his argument that Grey Worm is obeying his masters by abstaining is clever.
29.‘The Imp’s Delight’ sounds like a name for something rather more sinister than wine…
30.The outlook for Missandei and Grey Worm’s comedy career is bleak
31.…and the (rather forced) laughter is interrupted by an invading slaver fleet, naturally.
32.Tobias Menzies (Edmure) is one of the greatest actors of modern TV ( see Outlander).

HBO

HBO

33.He shows more spirit when captive than he ever did free ‘how do you live with yourself?’
34.‘Don’t talk about Cat’ – and my Stark-loving heart breaks just a little more.
35.Jamie truly has returned to the dark side. He wears it well though.
36.And so Riverrun falls, suddenly yet inevitably, due to Lannister cunning and sworn loyalties.
37.It’s like Ned Stark all over again.
38.You’ll serve Sansa far better than I ever could – well why not fight for her TOGETHER then?!!!
39.Is the Blackfish truly dead and buried? is this a Stannis or Hound situation?
40.The twilight escape of Brienne and Pod shows us a last glimpse of Jamie’s better qualities.

HBO

HBO

41.There is warmth in his heart, but his fist is still golden.
42.‘You do not know what the army should do’ – Grey Worm tells it like it is.
43.Dany’s home – and she doesn’t look impressed. Regal? Yes. Happy? Not so much.
44.Would it have killed Drogon to stick around a little longer? Burn a few slavers, like old times?
45.It is pleasing to learn the Brotherhood still have a good name.
46.I hope Sandor joins Thoros and Company – think of the witty repartee.
47.If this hanging party means Lady Stoneheart has been forsaken, I will mount an insignificant but highly impassioned protest.

HBO

HBO

48.And so the actress makes her final exit, thanks to the waif, who seems to be made of pure evil.
49.Farewell Lady Crane, you were too good for this world. Literally.
50.Is the House of Black and White really just a bunch of sadistic assassins? Why the pretence at spirituality then?!
51.The chase is incredible – I love the clumsiness of the spectacle.
52.More back alley brutality than James Bond glamour

HBO

HBO

53.No one should find murder this fun
54.Unless they are killing Joffrey of course.
55.A girl doesn’t need eyes to see, and doesn’t need light to kill
56.Goodbye and good riddance to the Waif.

HBO

HBO

57.‘A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell, and I’m going home’ : cue cheering, dancing and general jubilation
58. A man can put it in his pipe and smoke it – the Stark is back, and though she is little she is mighty.

NUDITY – None
DEATH – Lady Crane (Boo) the Waif (Yay) plus assorted murderers.
DRAGONS – One, ever so briefly.
DIREWOLVES – None, but then there aren’t many left…

GAME OF THRONES SEASON 6 EPISODE 7 – THE BROKEN MAN

Curtain up on a pastoral scene, where a show off is carrying an entire tree. Who is this shameless attention seeker? Why it’s the Hound, but we already knew that, because Ian McShane is the worst secret keeper in the history of the seven kingdoms.

in Kings Landing Margaery is mirroring the sparrow’s own moves,and what a man this Sparrow is: “Congress does not require desire on the women’s part.” Charming. Ever the crafty queen, Margaery nails her colours to the mast on a secret scrap of paper, reassuring and saving her beloved Queen of Thorns at the same time. Margaery isn’t going down without a fight. All roses have thorns – the sparrow should remember that.

HBO

HBO

She may be leaving, but Olenna has time for one final round with Cersei on her way out of the door. The matriarch of Westeros puts the blame squarely on the queen mother’s shoulders. Cersei’s franken-shadow undercuts her feigned humility, and Olenna is having none of it: “You’ve lost Cersei, it’s the only joy I could find in all this misery”.

Over at Riverun it is safe to say employing Bronn is the best decision the Kingslayer ever made. Even so, the Blackfish has more strength in his little finger than the entire pathetic siege of Freys. Nothing scares this veteran of horrors – you can’t drown a fish in home waters.

HBO

HBO

And now for the star of the episode: Lyanna Mormont. To quote Shakespeare: “though she be little she is fierce”. Don’t offer her smalltalk, and don’t attempt flattery “Lady Sansa is a Bolton. Or is she a Lannister?” Only the Onion Knight can thaw the steely bear cub. Davos is the sole voice of compassionate reason in a cruel world run mad. Lyanna joins their ranks with her *ahem* 62 men “If they are half as ferocious as their last, the Boltons are doomed” well said sir.

Lord Glover ,on the other hand, has not half of the feisty she-bear’s guts. Driven solely by fear, his honour is lost to prejudice. Sansa is bold, but rather new to negotiation. Although she is new to war I do side with her over Jon on battle strategy. They need more men, else the battle will become a martyrdom. Who else is betting Lady Stark’s candlelit missive is wending its way to a disgraced mockingbird?

HBO

HBO

We then returning to the resuscitated Hound, shortly before the saviour Septon is crushed by his own idealism. The futility of the scene is frustrating for us, but also for Clegane. He can’t bury his head in the sand to the screams; he has seen too much blood to believe blind naivety can wash the guilty clean, or that it can protect the pure from a brutal end. The hound is masterless once more, with yet more hate to fuel his life-force.

A girl doesn’t seem to be hiding back in Bravos. She acts rather more ladylike than the needle-wielder we love, then stands in plain sight ready for the wrinkly fairy tale villain to draw her blade. This is all too simple – either Arya is not wearing her own face, or this assassination is staged.. One thing is certain – a girl is harder to kill than that. Ask Cersei, Sir Meryn or Polliver. Direwolves bite back, and Jaquen may have made her list.

HBO

HBO

Dragons – None.

Direwolves – None. This is confusing.

Nudity – Ah this is more normal. The brothel scene filled the traditional quota.

Violence – Goodbye Sir Septon. I would be sad, if your actor had not been such a blabbermouth.