Posts Tagged ‘Game of Thrones’

Wow, the titles are getting long on these posts.

HBO once again released a trailer for their upcoming House of the Dragon show, a series that takes place roughly 150-170 years before the time period of Game of Thrones. (I’m giving myself a fudge on the dates because there are two different time periods that will be shown. AT LEAST two different time periods. Since we have two different actors playing younger and older versions of two of the characters.) I covered the previous trailer and the series of cast photos that was released a few months ago here on the blog, specifically designed for my dad.

My dad has read the main series books – A Song of Ice and Fire, but has not read the Targaryen history volume Fire and Blood (part 1 – there is no part 2 yet) that House of the Dragon is drawing on. So I’ve been wanting to provide him with some casual context. Mostly non-spoilery, I just want him to be familiar with the cast of characters, and some background info that will probably be appropriately communicated via the show, but one never knows about these things. Anyway, this is for you, Dad, but if anyone else is reading this, hey there.

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Woohoo! HBO saw fit to announce the date of House of the Dragon‘s first episode (it’ll be August 21st, 2022.) Right now is the time where Game of Thrones seasons would typically air (right around the end of March, beginning of April) so getting more Westeros content at this time, even if it was just photos, was still welcome.

Back when the first (and at the moment, only) trailer came out for House of the Dragon, I wrote up an explainer breakdown for my dad, who has read the main series books but is not too familiar with the setting of the Targaryen Civil War. I wrote it up to be more or less spoiler-free, but to give some context for him. (I’m very pleased that my dad watches the shows and has read the main books, it makes for fun conversation.)

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HBO has released a teaser trailer for their upcoming fantasy show House of the Dragon, taking place in the same universe as their hit show Game of Thrones. It’s the first of several potential prequel series in the world of Westeros. Nearly everyone and their relations have already scrambled to put out trailer breakdowns via YouTube videos or podcasts or whatever. That’s cool. But I wanted to do one, specifically for my dad.

Sometime after Game of Thrones first aired, I got my dad a copy of the first book – A Game of Thrones – as a Father’s Day gift. My dad likes to read, and we’ve had good experiences talking about books we’ve read in common. (I got my dad to read science fiction books when I was a teen – he probably wanted to figure out some way to have a conversation with me – and that has carried on through my adult life.)

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The 2020 quarantine time has encouraged a lot of TV binge-watching, with people either catching up on shows they’ve never seen or getting a chance to re-watch some old beloved shows. My wife started listening to Joel McHale and Ken Jeong’s podcast The Darkest Timeline, which is a blend of medical info, observations on the dystopia we’re currently in, and nostalgia for the television series Community. My wife and I started re-watching Community, and to our delight, the cast reunited recently for a table read of one of the season 5 episodes.

One of the hallmarks of Community was its meta-referentiality. Although not necessarily a rule, episodes would often be constructed on pop cultural properties: nods to The Right Stuff, Star Wars, Spaghetti Westerns, Mafia movies, zombie outbreaks, all can be found in exemplary episodes of Community. The show was excellent at adapting pop culture for engaging storylines about seven study group misfits at Greendale community college.

Coincidentally, one year ago Game of Thrones had its finale. The bulk of my blogging career hobby has been writing about Game of Thrones (or the source material, A Song of Ice and Fire) and when I get a reason to write about Game of Thrones, I do. Even if the reason is extremely thin. Bear with me. Also, spoilers for Community will be in this post. If you haven’t seen the show, reconsider reading further. I must emphasize that you would be much better served to stop reading this and watch Community. All of Community. Even Season 4.

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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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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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The final season of Game of Thrones has come and gone, closing the chapter on the conflict between Starks, Lannisters, and Targaryens with battles, betrayals, and the unexpected choice of a boy-king to rule over (most) of the kingdoms of Westeros. The conclusion of the story was tied in with the tragic fall of Daenerys Targaryen, who ambitiously considered herself The Last Dragon and had long sought to reclaim the seat of power that had been literally forged by her ancestors.

There’s solid analysis talking about Daenerys as a tragic hero in the Shakespearean mold. I’ll be happy to recommend articles from ShakespeareOfThrones discussing the Shakespearean ending to the series, as well as /r/asoiaf subreddit moderator glass_table_girl and her epic opus on Daenerys which predicted a literary-inspired tragic fall. But I’m not here to talk about Shakespeare. Instead, I’d like to talk about Daenerys and her association with the other prominent Targaryen in the story, Jon Snow, from an Arthurian perspective.

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Con of Thrones 2019

Posted: July 22, 2019 by patricksponaugle in Diary, Game of Thrones
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For three days mid-July, 2019, Nashville Tennessee played host to the third Con of Thrones. (If the name doesn’t make it clear, this is a convention for fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones – as well as the book series the show is based on.)

The convention returned to Nashville where it debuted in 2017 after spending 2018 in Dallas, Texas. As a resident of the East Coast, I was happy that the convention was once again within driving distance.

This year’s featured guest was the Kingslayer himself, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, along with Jerome Flynn who played the upwardly-mobile sellsword Bronn on the show. Returning guests included Hannah “Gilly” Murray and Miltos Yerolemou, who taught Arya Stark to water dance as Syrio Forel and has given fencing workshops at all previous Con of Thrones.

Guests aside, the convention featured a tremendous amount programming in the form of discussion panels. Con of Thrones has always had a great deal of fan engagement, not only in the audience attending panels covering various topics related to the show and books, but also in the wide variety of fan-expert panelists. The panels were stacked with entertainment writers, authors, podcasters, Reddit moderators, bloggers, YouTubers, cosplayers, lawyers, therapists, and actors.

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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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