Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

Game of Thrones is over, but that shouldn’t stop us from talking about the show or the logical consequences of what might happen going forward in this fictional universe. Particularly in regards to politics, because the political situation in Westeros was a topic that we could all (mostly) discuss with our family at Thanksgiving, without fear of being written out of the will or something.

Arya: Cowards! Challenge your Republican relatives to Trial by Combat!

The final storyline in the show, after Season 8 dealt with the White Walkers (Arya took care of business by stabbing the icy Night King), dealt with the treacherous Lannisters (Daenerys Targaryen brought the Red Keep down on Cersei and Jaime Lannister), dealt with a Daenerys who was tired-of-not-being-taken-seriously (Jon Snow took her seriously and pulled an Arya on her), was the show dealing with the question of who would be on the Iron Throne at the end.

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While Game of Thrones was on the air, I was fortunate enough to write about the show over on the excellent show-centric website Watchers on the Wall. But, even though the show has concluded, there are still books due to be published. Over on the WotW site, I have a new feature that largely involves book speculation. Sort of.

In the post, I speculate that Bran Stark’s book storyline might act as a reference to the failed ambitions of his grace, King Stannis Baratheon.

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In Defense of the Witcher

Posted: January 1, 2020 by patricksponaugle in Opinion, TV
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This post will be about the Netflix show The Witcher. Full disclosure, I’ve only seen four episodes, and I will totally be dropping spoilers about what I’ve seen roughly halfway through this post. I will give a warning when things are going to get revealing.

I’m calling this post In Defense of the Witcher, but there’s very little that needs defending in my opinion. It’s a good show; but your mileage may vary. And early on in its release, the show might have needed some defending.

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When Words Fail: Trial by Combat

Posted: December 19, 2019 by patricksponaugle in Game of Thrones, Opinion
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The legal system in Westeros leaves much to be desired. There is no dedicated feudal analog of a judicial branch, ideally guided with fairness, objectivity, and the concept of justice. Instead, legal disputes are adjudicated by lords who often have vested interests in the outcomes and the overpowered ability to settle disputes by fiat (and with the martial support to have their decisions enforced.)

Tyrion is not impressed with this episode of Law and Order: King’s Landing

One would hope that disputes aren’t entirely decided arbitrarily by feudal lords; that local customs, precedents, and traditions might hold sway. But that’s not a given when the common-folk are facing the sharp end of Westeros justice.

Although the smallfolk of the Seven Kingdoms have less flexibility when it comes to facing legal issues, those with more status and privilege do have the option to take decision-making out of the hands of overlords and into their own. If they can accept the risks of Trial by Combat.

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As is traditional for me in September, in recognition of International Batman Day I try to have a post about my favorite superhero: the Caped Crusader. But with a Joker movie on the horizon, starring Joaquin Phoenix in the titular role, it seems fair to talk a little bit about the clown prince of crime and my observations over the years.

It’s not surprising that in the ~80 years that the Joker has been Batman’s number one nemesis (arguably) the character has had changes and experienced evolution in concept.

Introduced in the 30s as more-or-less another criminal with a schtick, the Joker’s clown-persona was more of a sharp contrast to his cold, calculating murderous ways than someone committing wacky (but still murderous) crimes.

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Game of Thrones does not always give you what you want. Anyone who has seen the latest and penultimate episode “The Bells” knows what I’m talking about.

The wonderful people over on the Watchers on the Wall fansite have kindly given me the opportunity to discuss the decisions and actions of one of the main characters, Daenerys Targaryen. And what exactly she might have wanted as part of the Stark/Targaryen coalition fight against the Lannister faction holding King’s Landing, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms.

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Judging Jaime

Posted: May 9, 2019 by patricksponaugle in Game of Thrones, Opinion, TV
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Tonight is the penultimate Game of Thrones episode, of the season and of the series. Right down to the wire, the good folks at Watchers on the Wall graciously allowed me to publish a feature article about last week’s episode, talking about one of the more controversial characters. The Kingslayer.

Ser Jaime, like John Shaft I can dig it) is a complicated man.

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