1. Anonymous said: I'm confused with the whole head canon that the Martell's are of Indian or Middle Eastern descent. They're all described as olive skinned, and olive skinned can mean so many races. Why are people so headstrong on this subject? A curvy Bulgarian olive skinned woman matches Arianne's description just as a Spanish woman or Saudi Arabian woman could. Can't people have their opinions without receiving such blacklash as long as the fancast is ethnic? (I'm asking other people too to get an opinion)



    continued: by the way, I don’t mean any offense I’m just new to the community of online game of thrones fandom and kinda confused and intimidated.

    The ASOIAF fandom (especially on Tumblr) can be a scary place, but you’re not offending anyone — simply trying to understand is a huge step in the right direction. I’ll try to help!

    I think that the discussion stems from quite a few places; namely …

    1. The lack of racial representation in the ASOIAF books. We’ve got the Dothraki, some Dornish, and some Free City people, but for the most part, the “Western” section of the world, Westeros — the “rich” and “civilized” portion — is almost entirely white. That’s why, in many peoples’ opinions (and certainly mine), the characters whose race is not specified should almost always be cast as PoC. That’s not saying that they one hundred percent of the time have to be, but it would be pretty swell if they were.
    2. "The salty Dornishmen were lithe and dark, with smooth olive skin and long black hair streaming in the wind.” Doran is dark. Pretty self explanatory. Just to continue, “The sandy Dornishmen were even darker, their faces burned brown by the hot Dornish sun.”
    3. GRRM has stated that Janina Gavankar looks like Nymeria Sand. Janina Gavankar is Indian (well, three quarters).
    4. Geographically, Dorne is most similar to Egypt and other North African countries. Now, though we can’t know for certain, in order to talk about race at all, we have to assume that in GRRM’s world, genetics and biology work the same way as they do in ours. In this environment, Dornishmen (well, Rhoynar-Dornishmen) would have evolved as PoC, just like how they have in Northern Africa.
    5. The Martells are the only high-profile PoC (or even PoC passing, if you interpreted “olive skinned” as still white). The rest are servants, slaves, slavers (arguably worse), “uncivilized” (e.g. Dothraki), sailors, etc.

    Ethnic diversity isn’t the same as racial diversity, and the problem here is with the latter. I hope this helps. If anyone else has something to say, feel free to keep the discussion going!

    In total agreement about the Dornish.

    However, I really have to take issue with this: “the Western portion of the world, Westeros - the rich and civilized portion.” This isn’t true.

    1. Westeros is poorer and less economically developed than Essos. It’s far less urbanized than Essos. It’s an exporter primarily of natural resources and can’t produce the advanced manufactured goods it imports from the Free Cities. Its financial system is really quite crude, especially in comparison to the large banks and insurance companies of Braavos. It has very few roads and none of them Valyrian; main thoroughfares like the Kingsroad don’t have bridges over major rivers but use fords instead; it lacks internal canals to connect major river systems.  

    2. Westeros is less politically developed. It’s only been politically unified for 300 years, and even that weak feudal state is extremely shaky and may not survive. Essos has had continent-spanning empires that lasted for thousands of years. It has much more diversity of political systems - republics with separation of powers and political parties, merchant oligarchies, elected tyrants, etc. 

    3. Westeros is considered less culturally developed. Essosi call Westerosi unwashed barbarians, referring to them by the inaccurate title of “Andals.” (reminds me of the way Americans and Europeans labeled various nationalities by incorrect names because they didn’t speak the language) The Essosi of the Free Cities are the blood of Old Valyria; the Ghiscari have their empire, the Dothraki have their prophecies of manifest destiny, and the Qartheen are the pureblooded descendants of the greatest city that ever was or ever will be. Westerosi nobles are sent to the Free Cities to get culturally enriched, not the other way around. In terms of cultural production, most mummers are imported from Essos, as Westeros has no tradition of theater. 

    When engaging with ASOIAF, you have to analyze the world of Planetos as it is, rather than automatically applying heuristics based on our own world. Assuming that west = rich, civilized, and east = the Other (because that’s how it’s been presented in the past) is falling into the same essentialist trap that Edward Said and others are critiquing. 

    "Assuming that west = rich, civilized, and east = the Other (because that’s how it’s been presented in the past) is falling into the same essentialist trap that Edward Said and others are critiquing."

    For real, Westerosi cultural superiority to Essos is just not borne out by the text in any way.

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  3. doopliss:

    A wedding video in which Simon is a beautiful bride and a very special boy, Michael DeForge demonstrates his trademark comedic deadpan, I’m a slouchy doofus, Sean T. Collins looks extremely handsome in a suit, Gary Groth is the king of the sexy murder dads, and Jacq Cohen is the best comics wedding planner in the business. Taken by Heidi MacDonald last Saturday night at SPX 2014.

    This weekend me and my special lady got dolled up and watched our friend Simon marry the art form of comics.

    (Source: youtube.com)

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  5. presidentobarna said: You've probably heard this before, but if R+L=J, then Jon is the prince who was LITERALLY promised. "Promise me, Ned..."


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  7. Elsewhere, Gretchen Mol demonstrates why she may be Boardwalk's MVP as Gillian Darmody. This has always been a show that’s had a hard time with its women, even more so than many of its macho peers. Margaret has often felt tangential to the action (remember that sex-ed subplot?). Angela…

    Fixed the link!

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  9. I’ll be on HuffPost Live again at 5pm today, talking Boardwalk Empire and the 10th anniversary of LostTune in here! 

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  11. At first glance, Gabrielle Bell’s six-panel daily diary comics don’t have a lot in common with the Mines of Moria sequence in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings . Or at any number of subsequent glances, I suppose. But the more Bell I read, the more I think they share a primary strength: a sense of space, of environment. Autobio slice-of-life comics, by the nature of what most of us tend to do with our lives every day, often consist in large part of conversations, either with a small number of other parties or within the head of the diarist as they go about their day. Unless those conversations reference a specific landmark, cartooned depictions of them can, and often do, devolve into dialogues that could be taking place anywhere, or nowhere. They have all the spatial context of action figures or dolls or sock puppets held aloft by the cartoonist, one in each hand, and made to speak with the voices of the participants.

    Not so with Bell, and not so in the most recent iteration of her annual July Diary project. Hers is a world where rooms, furniture, streets, buildings, and human bodies are arrayed in a three-quarter cheat to the audience, enabling us to see into corners, grasp the depth and dimensionality of each space. Her inimitable spotted blacks — little jagged-edged rectangular smudges — set off the surfaces of the objects with which she is surrounded, and pool in the wrinkles of her characters’ clothes like ink. It’s impossible to look at a Gabrielle Bell diary-comic page and reduce it to stick figures against a blank backdrop, any more than you could do so with the fellowship of the Ring dodging orc arrows as they flee down those crumbling steps. Her apartment, her garden, the streets of her neighborhood, the wilderness surrounding the trailer where her mother lives following the house fire that understandably dominates the diary — Bell makes them distinct, inhabitable, navigable spaces. That her rigid, six-panel grid closes those spaces off is a feature, not a bug. Each panel feels like a tiny, beautifully constructed diorama, where Bell and her acquaintances will act out the same moment forever.

    I reviewed Gabrielle Bell’s July Diary 2014 for The Comics Journal.

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  13. Elsewhere, Gretchen Mol demonstrates why she may be Boardwalk's MVP as Gillian Darmody. This has always been a show that’s had a hard time with its women, even more so than many of its macho peers. Margaret has often felt tangential to the action (remember that sex-ed subplot?). Angela Darmody's entire story depended on her not being able to do anything she actually wanted to do. Nucky's string of showgirl girlfriends (beginning with the delightfully batshit Paz De La Huerta) had little to do but be frivolous and naked. The two women around whom Chalky's storyline centered last season, his daughter Maitland and singer Maybelle White, were both fascinating — and were each gone by the finale.

    Gillian is different. As a character, she’s required to get naked on command as much as anyone — it used to be her job as a showgirl, and her route to continued influence over the Commodore; now, in an insane asylum following her unwitting confession to a murder last season, it’s a condition of her imprisonment. But her nudity has a terrible energy to it, informed by her rape when she was a girl, and her subsequent determination to turn that victimization to her advantage. Here, that energy is reflected in the freakish image of a room full of mental patients erupting out of strait-jacketed bathtubs like aliens from chest cavities. When Gillian herself finally emerges, slowly and deliberately instead of in a panicked fit, her naked body is both a come-hither and a middle finger all at once. That’s part of what made the shaggy-dog-joke nature of her caged-heat storyline in this episode so satisfying. No, her female warden isn’t the queer-predator cliché she seems; she’s just one woman bargaining for a taste of the good life with another woman who fought tooth and nail to taste it herself.

    I reviewed last night’s Boardwalk Empire for Rolling Stone.

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  15. doopliss:

    Hey everybody, I’m going to be at SPX this weekend! I’ll have minicomics, prints, and original art for sale at table W43B. Sean T. Collins and I also collaborated on a four-page horror comic in the new Study Group Magazine which debuts at the show! On Saturday at 12:30 PM, Eleanor Davis, Meghan Turbitt and I will be discussing sex, humor and the grotesque in a panel moderated by Katie Skelly! Come say hi to me. Today is my birthday.


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  17. kallielef:

    Saw this on the Game of Thrones reddit page!

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  19. I’m going to be at SPX, the Small Press Expo, in Bethesda, Maryland this weekend. I look like the person in the photo up top. I’m going to have work in the new Study Group Magazine #3D, which will debut at the show; I wrote a brand-new four-page comic about werewolves and secrets called “Hiders” that was drawn by Julia Gfrörer. Julia will also be selling our comic In Pace Requiescat, a pornographic extrapolation from “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe; I should have copies of Flash Forward, the horror comic Jonny Negron and I made about seeing and being seen, as well. I suspect you’ll find me mostly at Julia’s table, W34B. We look like the people in the photo at the bottom. SPX is a terrific show, and if you’re anywhere in the DC/Baltimore area and have any interest in alternative comics at all it’s well worth the trip. I would love to see you there!

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  21. You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or even despair—the sense that you can never completely put on the page what’s in your mind and heart. You can come to the act with your fists clenched and your eyes narrowed, ready to kick ass and take down names. You can come to it because you want a girl to marry you or because you want to change the world. Come to it any way but lightly.
    Let me say it again: you must not come lightly to the blank page.

    On Writing by Stephen King

    (via wilburwhateley)

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  23. Here I am talking about The Leftovers, Boardwalk Empire, and Masters of Sex with Ricky Camilleri, Drew Grant, and Matthew Jacobs on the debut episode of Spoiler Alert, HuffPost Live’s new talk show about TV. Hooray!

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  25. kallielef:

    Game of Thrones - 60’s/Saul Bass style title sequence

    (Source: youtube.com)

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  27. Kit Harington filming Spooks: The Greater Good in London.

    (Source: lordcrow, via smilingblackmoon)

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  29. STC on HuffPost Live

    I’ll be talking The LeftoversBoardwalk Empire, and so forth on HuffPost Live’s Spoiler Alert show, tonight at 5:30pm. This link will take you right to the show when it airs. Hope to be seen by you then!

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