1. GRRM and Dragonstone

    baratheon:

    You know, reading GRRM’s interviews, I find it really REALLY interesting how you see a lot of his own viewpoints reflected in a rather unlikely character (though perhaps it’s just because I often find myself reading a shitton on said character)

    GRRM on Woodrow Wilson

     He was despicable on racial issues. He was a Southern segregationist of the worst stripe, praising D.W. Griffith and The Birth of a Nation… however… in terms of foreign affairs, and the League of Nations, he had one of the great dreams of our time. The war to end all wars – we make fun of it now, but God, it was an idealistic dream. If he’d been able to achieve it, we’d be building statues of him a hundred feet high, and saying, “This was the greatest man in human history: This was the man who ended war.” He was a racist who tried to end war. Now, does one cancel out the other? Well, they don’t cancel out the other. You can’t make him a hero or a villain. He was both. And we’re all both.”

    Stannis Baratheon on human nature

    A good act does not wash out the bad, nor a bad act the good. Each should have its own reward. You were a hero and a smuggler.

    GRRM on religion

    And as for the gods, I’ve never been satisfied by any of the answers that are given. If there really is a benevolent loving god, why is the world full of rape and torture? Why do we even have pain? I was taught pain is to let us know when our body is breaking down. Well, why couldn’t we have a light? Like a dashboard light? If Chevrolet could come up with that, why couldn’t God? Why is agony a good way to handle things?

    Stannis Baratheon on religion

    I stopped believing in gods the day I saw the Windproud break up across the bay. Any gods so monstrous as to drown my mother and father would never have my worship, I vowed. The Septon would prattle at me of how all justice and goodness flowed from the Seven, but all I ever saw of either was made by men.

    GRRM on truth

    Truth is sometimes hard to hear…

    Stannis Baratheon on truth

    The truth is a bitter draught at times…

    And these are just three quotes off the top of my head, though IMHO, they do reflect some pretty big stances.

    (via stannisisthefury)

     
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  3. I’m so wrong, but not in the way I might have expected. My students taught me that. They watch Netflix, and they watch it hard. They watch it at the end of the night to wind down from studying, they watch it when they come home tipsy, they binge it on a lazy Saturday afternoon. Most use their family’s subscription; others filch passwords from friends. It’s so widely used that when I told my Mad Men class that their only text for the class was a streaming subscription, only one student had to acquire one. (I realize we’re talking about students at a liberal arts college, but I encountered the same levels of access at state universities. As for other populations, I really don’t know, because Netflix won’t tell me (or anyone) who’s using it.

    Some students use Hulu, but never Hulu Plus — when it comes to network shows and keeping current, they just don’t care. For some super buzzy shows, like Game of Thrones and Girls, they pirate or find illegal streams. But as far as I can tell, the general sentiment goes something like this: if it’s not on Netflix, why bother?

    It’s a sentiment dictated by economics (a season of a TV show on iTunes = at least 48 beers) and time. Let’s say you want to watch a season of Pretty Little Liars. You have three options:

    1) BitTorrent it and risk receiving a very stern cease-and-desist letter from either the school or your cable provider. Unless you can find a torrent of the entire season, you’ll have to wait for each episode to download. What do you do when it’s 1:30 am and you want a new episode now?

    2) Find sketchy, poor quality online streams that may or may not infect your computer with a porn virus (plus you have to find individual stable streams for 22 episodes)

    or

    3) Watch it on Netflix in beautiful, legal HD, with each episode leading seamlessly into the next. You can watch it on your phone, your tablet, your computer (or your television, if it’s equipped); even if you move from device to device, it picks up right where you stopped.

    It’s everything an overstressed yet media-hungry millennial could desire. And it’s not just millennials: I know more and more adults and parents who’ve cut the cable cord and acquired similar practices, mostly because they have no idea how to pirate and they only really want to watch about a dozen hours of (non-sports) television a month (who are these people, and what do they do after 8 pm every day?)

    Through this reliance on Netflix, I’ve seen a new television pantheon begin to take form: there’s what’s streaming on Netflix, and then there’s everything else.

    When I ask a student what they’re watching, the answers are varied: Friday Night LightsScandal, It’s Always Sunny, The League, Breaking Bad, Luther, Downton Abbey, Sherlock, Arrested Development, The Walking Dead, Pretty Little Liars, Weeds, Freaks & Geeks, The L Word, Twin Peaks, Archer, Louie, Portlandia. What all these shows have in common, however, is that they’re all available, in full, on Netflix.

    Things that they haven’t watched? The WireDeadwood. Veronica Mars, Rome, Six Feet UnderThe Sopranos.Even Sex in the City.

    It’s not that they don’t want to watch these shows — it’s that with so much out there, including so much so-called “quality” programs, such as Twin Peaks and Freaks & Geeks, to catch up on, why watch something that’s not on Netflix? Why work that hard when there’s something this easy — and arguably just as good or important — right in front of you?

    The split between Netflix and non-Netflix shows also dictates which shows can/still function as points of collective meaning. Talk to a group of 30-somethings today, and you can reference Tony Soprano and his various life decisions all day — in no small part because the viewing of The Sopranos was facilitated by DVD culture. Today, my students know the name and little else. I can’t make “cocksucker” Deadwood jokes (maybe I shouldn’t anyway?); I can’t use Veronica Mars as an example of neo-noir; I can’t reference the effectiveness of montage at finishing a series (Six Feet Under). These shows, arguably some of the most influential of the last decade, can’t be teaching tools unless I screen seasons of them for my students myself.

    Anne Helen Petersen, “The New Canon,” LA Review of Books

    This absolutely fascinating essay makes the persuasive argument that HBO’s absence from Netflix, the television viewing mechanism of choice for a generation, means what those of us who are slightly older consider key, canonical shows simply aren’t getting watched anymore. It makes a great deal of sense: My own love of The Sopranos, Deadwood, and The Wire was enabled by DVDs, which were at the time the easiest, quickest, cheapest technology for viewing. Now that’s streaming, and those shows didn’t (until the recent Amazon Prime deal anyway) stream without a prohibitively expensive HBO-inclusive cable subscription, and they still don’t stream on the service of many people’s choice, so there’s a whole lot of potential Seans out there who aren’t ever gonna come across these shows. Technology — DVDs, DVRs, Netflix, streaming, even just the proliferation of cable channels and the concomitant need for more programming — played such a crucial role in the creation of the New Golden Age; it’s engrossing to see how it will help transform it and alter our perceptions of it in retrospect as well.

    I should add that one of the reasons this article struck me so is that many of its lessons apply to another area of interest for me: Marvel Comics’ mismanagement of its backlist. Very quickly, even after its purchase by Disney, the company is still run by the man who bought it in, and brought it out of, bankruptcy in the late ’90s, Isaac Perlmutter. In many ways he still runs the place like the doors will close at any moment. Sometimes this makes headlines, as when the stars of Marvel’s films band together to demand higher wages; sometimes it’s fodder for jokes, like how Marvel’s publishing wing’s office space has a grand total of one available restroom per gender for hundreds of employees.

    But it has a real impact too, in that books are constantly allowed to go out of print rather than commit to the cost of keeping them in print and available to retailers. Marvel makes an end-run around this by continuously repackaging and reprinting, but the net effect is that if you wanted to purchase a seminal, artform-altering run on a Marvel series — the Stan Lee/Jack Kirby Fantastic Four in its entirety, say, or the Stan Lee/Steve Ditko/John Romita Sr. Amazing Spider-Man — this is literally impossible to just hop on Amazon or go to your comic shop and do. At best, you’ll be able to cobble together a collection with different trade dresses, at different sizes, with different cover stock. In many cases you’ll just give up.

    This costs Marvel money, obviously — I’d have plunked down $100 or whatever to buy all the Lee/Ditko Spidey and Lee/Kirby FF in one fell swoop years and years ago, if I could have. But it also costs them in terms of legacy — in terms of how readers and critics alike view their output. Compared to their nearest competitor, DC Comics, Marvel’s ’80s output never reached the heights of DC’s best work of the era, your Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One. But DC is equally adept at maintaining and selling B- and C-level books like Kingdom Come or the various Jeph Loeb Batman collections that Marvel can easily match or beat with things like Marvels or a solid Dark Phoenix Saga collection or Spider-Man: Kraven’s Last Hunt or even Daredevil: Born Again from the Year One creative team of Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli. But these titles are available sporadically at best, and have been in and out of print so many times that you’d be hard pressed to find two copies that even look alike. Compare that to how consistent, say, Watchmen has looked on store shelves for nearly three decades now. 

    Moreover, in terms of its 1960s Silver Age material, Marvel absolutely crushes DC. Artistically, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko were stylistic innovators who continue to influence the totality of the artform today, not just superhero comics but alternative and art comics as well. Narratively, too, ’60s Marvel basically invented the shared-universe template so much popular fiction follows today — sure, Batman and Superman teamed up from time to time, but the events that befell the Fantastic Four could change what happened to Iron Man or Spider-Man or whoever else. What’s more, those comics had a genuine sense of stakes their DC counterparts sorely lacked; I can’t tell you what an eye-opener it was to interview people as disparate as Gary Groth and Walt Simonson for the oral history of Marvel I did for Maxim a few years ago and hear that one of the things that impressed them about Marvel as kids was simply the fact that these superheroes actually got in fights. Such a basic component of how these stories are told to this day didn’t even exist before Lee, Kirby, Ditko et al did it. Finally, unlike DC, which has rebooted nearly half a dozen times, all those classic Marvel stories are still in continuity — they matter to the stories of those characters to this day. In all these respects those comics are valuable and readable to today’s readers; sure, they’re dated, but so is The Prisoner and The Twilight Zone, you know? A nice, uniformly designed collection of those runs would be invaluable to “fans,” to scholars, to cartoonists, to libraries, you name it. But no such collection exists. It’s not just money that’s left on the table, it’s the perception that the work is valuable and alive. And perhaps HBO, to a lesser but still significant degree, is weathering that exact same loss. 

     
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  5. from (x)

    heroes

    (Source: the-sopranos-blog, via homicidalbrunette)

     
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  7. One of the most amazing things about LIttlefinger is that he viewed murdering Ser Dontos right in front of Sansa as a crucial component of his “I’ll be your daddy now” sales pitch to her. Like, there was no “you go on to your cabin down below, I’ll see Ser Dontos off” and quietly having him murked while she was settling into her bunk. Nope, it was “You’re safe with me, Sansa. Wait, first, hey fellas, shoot this guy in the face with crossbows. Wow, that was fucked up, wasn’t it Sansa? Oh well, he was a dick anyways. Where was I? Oh right: You’re safe with me, Sansa.” Petyr you scamp!

    (Source: fairweatherfrey, via nobodysuspectsthebutterfly)

     
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  9. "From college campuses to Game of Thrones, why the sudden urge to re-name sexual assault?"

    Game of Thrones is in the dek of this op-ed, and a picture of Jaime and Cersei is used to illustrate this piece. I think it’s important to separate the decision to convert the Jaime/Cersei scene from consensual to nonconsensual — I think an argument can be made for why the change works as its own thing, and I’ve made it, as have many other critics — and Alex Graves’s subsequent and baffling description of the scene as consensual anyway, because it’s the latter that has really made the most impact in wider culture, in a deeply unfortunate way. It’s something I’d like to hear the showrunners address, though they may be waiting to let the storyline’s development in subsequent episodes address it for them.

     
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  13. kitharingtononmymind:

    Emma Franklin 

    Now that’s what I call a centerfold.

    (via homicidalbrunette)

     
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  15. mynewplaidpants:

    How the hell have I not posted these shots from this week’s Game of Thrones yet? For shame, me. Also bless the show for finally putting some penis where its mouth was.

    My old friend Jason mynewplaidpants keeps his eye on the prize

     
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  19. People tell me, don’t you care what they’ve done to your book? I tell them, they haven’t done anything to my book. It’s right there on the shelf. They paid me and that’s the end of it.
     
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  23. During Natalie’s recent appearance on the Today Show, eagle-eyed Kathie Lee Gifford spotted a small tattoo on Natalie’s arm and asked her to divulge its meaning. “That’s from the litany against fear,” Natalie says of her tattoo. “From the novel Dune, the Frank Herbert novel from the ‘60s … It’s to remind me to take me out of my comfort zone.” So apparently Natalie is into Dune, widely considered to be one of the best science fiction novels of all time. Who knew?
    While we can’t clearly make out Natalie’s tat in the video, the full litany of fear is as follows: “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing….only I will remain.”
     
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  25. The Seven Kingdoms are at war with one another… false kings destroying the country… the Usurper is dead. The Starks fight the Lannisters, the Baratheons fight each other. The time to strike is now.

    poor Mance Rayder

    (Source: herocastiel, via wicnet)

     
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  27. gpoy

    (Source: unomoralez)

     
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  29. This feels like Tywin’s episode. What was filming his scene with him and Tommen like?

    That was one of the greatest days I’ve ever had filming. To film Charles (Dance) kidnapping Lena’s son with words for three minutes of monologue — and to have Lena keeping up with him at the highest bar of acting possible with no words at all — was a joy. It was directorial crack to do that scene. It was one of my favorite scenes I’ve ever shot. It’s almost like a build from Ordinary People meets a Hitchcock movie, because you’re sitting here going, “This is so dysfunctional and bizarre.” She’s a wreck. Tywin is really going on about this historical stuff, and you slowly start to go, “He’s kidnapping her only boy,” because she’s not going to have him anymore. And then he succeeds, and then Jaime comes in and he rapes her. That was like — you read the scene and go, “Wait, who’s directing this?”

    That whole scene has to be one of the most taboo, disturbing things that has happened on the show.

    I’m never that excited about going to film forced sex.

    'Game of Thrones' Director on Controversial Scene: Jaime 'Traumatized,' Cersei 'a Wreck' (Q&A) - The Hollywood Reporter

    This is director Alex Graves, who’s described the Jaime/Cersei scene as consensual at length, calling the Jaime/Cersei scene “rape.” I don’t even know, man.

     
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