Here Lies Melisandre…

Posted: December 6, 2018 by patricksponaugle in Game of Thrones, Opinion, TV
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We’re a month closer to the premiere of the final season of Game of Thrones! Since I’m trying to get something Westeros-related written every month until the show airs (when I hope to have weekly content) – this month I was inspired by the longer and longer December nights to write something about Melisandre of Asshai, for the Watchers on the Wall website.

In her last appearance on the show, Melisandre hinted about a significant event that’ll be happening – most likely – in Season Eight, and I did some exhausting (if not totally exhaustive) speculation on that.

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As some of you may or may not know, my wife Lisa got involved in local acting a few years ago. It started with her responding to a call for extras on the Netflix show House of Cards.

Enjoying her time pretending to be at a political gala, Lisa began to audition for more background roles, and after taking some classes, studying, and auditioning for projects in the DC area, she began to get jobs in local commercials, print ads, and small TV bits. Besides those small-screen appearances, she’s been in a handful of student films, but this year she landed a role in D-Lemma: The Hard Truth. This indie film had a premiere last weekend in Washington DC, and I was honored to be invited by my wife to attend. (Look, she could have invited anyone else on the planet, but she chose me. Boom.)

On the Red Carpet (Left to Right): Millie Cupp (director of photography), Lisa Sponaugle (my wife), Tammy Hineline (director/writer), and Stephanie Kline (producer)

I’m often asked to read lines with Lisa when she preps for auditions, and the script for D-Lemma was hilarious. The big non-spoilery elevator pitch for the film: it’s a mockumentary where a prize-winning fictional journalist interviews so-called experts in men’s health – with a particular focus on men’s junk. It’s a feminist dick-centric comedy.

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Months ago, on the Fighting in the War Room podcast, one of the co-hosts (I am sure it was Da7e Gonzales) talked at length about the Indian cinematic epic Baahubali.

Several weekends ago I had some free time, so I decided to treat my dog Chi Chi and Willow to a movie. (Or rather, I comfortably watched Baahubali via Netflix with my dogs next to me on the couch, so I could prevent Willow from trying to crush Chi Chi with her affection.)

Because I’m so classy, when the dogs and I watch foreign films, I declare it to be the next in a series of Pug Film Festivals (because of Chi Chi the Pug. Look, you’re not here for why I do things, I understand.)

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A few days ago, I received some sad news: Dr. Rodney Slusher had died.

Rodney was thirty-nine.

I’d never met Rodney in person, and I can’t say that we’d had a lot of interactions over the years, but news of his death was a shock. Not just because he was young, which he was. But because I had been looking forward to talking to him specifically in the year to come. I knew Rodney because of HBO’s television show Game of Thrones, and it feels wrong that he should be gone before the final season.

Okay, I’m probably messing this up as a tribute.

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It’s November and the ongoing (thanks to the extended and legal counting of all the votes) Mid-Term Elections in the United States have been on my mind. But no one needs to know my thoughts on that hot mess, so I wrote a post tackling several political points in Game of Thrones for the Watchers on the Wall site.

I give an overview of the political landscape going into Season Eight of Game of Thrones (I even have a shout-out for the delightful Lollys Stokeworth.) And I definitively tell you who is ending up on the Iron Throne. Hopefully I avoid referencing political cliches.

Jon Snow: Hashtag I’m With Her. IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN!
Me: Keep it real, son.

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It’s November, so I went through my social media feeds and grabbed all of the MicroStories I’d tweeted during the month of October.

As a reminder, these represent story-essences composed using no more than 269 characters (so I could tweet them with the hashtag #MicroStory.)

Usually, I only tweet Science Fiction and Fantasy #MicroStories. October was pretty much no exception. (Some of them seem less obvious as Sci Fi/Fantasy. Your mileage may vary.)

For really great #MicroStory action, please follow @MicroSFF, the Twitter account that inspired me to participate in this minimalist writing exercise. That feed puts out great science fiction and fantasy MicroStories all the time.

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Here’s a special treat for Game of Thrones fans and Shakespeare lovers – an essay discussing witches and their significance in A Song of Ice and Fire. (Everyone should be aware of the work Shakespeare Of Thrones is doing. She’s the best.)

Shakespeare of Thrones

Witches.

One of the most easily recognizable archetypes in literature, yet transmutable into so many varying forms. Old, young, wise, prophetic, repulsive, tempting, ugly, beautiful–for every one witch characteristic, there seems to be a corresponding opposite.

Macbeth’s three Witches are old and ugly hags, endowed with the gift of prophecy. They begin and end the play—indeed serving as a centerpiece of the story—as they feed Macbeth’s ambition.  Lady Macbeth is, likewise, a witch figure. She is young and mortal, bereft of prophetic powers, but aligns herself with the Witches and has seductive power as she impels her husband to do wicked deeds.

In A Song of Ice and Fire, there are many more types of witches. Melisandre comes to mind  as the most prominent, plot-driving witch in the story, but there is also Maggy the Frog, Mirri Maz Duur, Ghost of High Heart, Lady Stoneheart, and even Cersei.  Quite…

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