Tuesday, May 31, 2016

I Drink and I Know Things: Game of Thrones Sn 6, Ep 6 – "Blood of My Blood"

"Blood of My Blood"

In a season that's been telling its story at a very fast pace I started to wonder when the show would take a breather and give us a "set up" episode. Enter: "Blood of My Blood."  I did like parts of this episode, (even a "boring" episode of GOT still tops most other shows) but I think we have been so spoiled this season with break neck storytelling that this episode just seemed to be slow by contrast. Upon a second viewing (I like to be thorough) I found that this episode actually sets up a LOT of exciting plot points that we are definitely going to want to see as this season wraps up. Let's head to the North first...

When all seemed lost for Bran and Meera they were saved by a Ringwraith. Wait, no... I'm getting this mixed up with my Lord of the Rings blog: Talking Tolkien. Anyway, their hero is a mysterious looking hooded figure on a black horse. He quickly disposes of the wights with a flaming ball-and-chain-and-scythe weapon, picks up Bran and Meera with one hand, and rides off to safety. Who is this badass on horseback you ask? Uncle Benjen Stark! He's back and better than ever! Well, aside from the whole "I was about to turn into a White Walker until the Children of the Forest stuck a piece of dragonglass in my heart which saved my life, but now I am cold like ALL the time which is annoying, but at least I got a cool flaming scythe thingy." In any case, he tells Bran that he has essentially become the new "Three-Eyed Raven" and that they must head south and prepare for the Night King's attack. It was interesting to see the Mad King in Bran's visions yelling, "Burn them all!" I really hope we'll get more to that story soon. 

We get our first glimpse of Horn Hill,  which is the seat of House Tarly, and Sam's hometown. Things get a little more awkward (at what was already the most awkward dinner ever) when Gilly slips up and reveals that she is a Wildling. Sam's father, Randyll Tarly, is just a little upset by this and banishes Sam from his home. Sam reacts as you would expect at first, but then grabs Gilly and Little Sam (Talking about the baby here, it's not that kind of blog) and they run off to Old Town. Before they leave Sam stops and grabs his family's Valyrian steel sword, "Heartsbane," and proclaims that he shall henceforth be known as Samwise the Brave! (Sorry, getting mixed up again.) 

A girl decides that she is Arya Stark after all. She comes very close to completing her assigned task, but ultimately cannot go through with it. Maybe she wanted to see if Lady Crane would take those acting notes and use them in the next show. This decision comes with great consequences as we find out that the Faceless Men have already put out a hit on Arya. She reunites with her old friend "Needle" and prepares for a showdown with her assassin, who may already be lurking somewhere in the shadows of Bravos. 

The Tyrell army arrives in King's Landing and we finally get our big battle with the Faith Militant! Wait... No we didn't. Instead it is revealed that the High Sparrow has fully manipulated King Tommen and for all intents and purposes is running the city. From a strategic standpoint I applaud the move. From a fan's standpoint... just fight it out already! Show me The Mountain! Tommen really botched this plan up for his family. It's almost like our king is just learning how to play checkers while everyone around him is using him as a pawn. He even fires Jaime from the Kingsguard and sends him to reclaim Riverrun. Good move, Tommen! You've just sacrificed your knight and allowed a bishop and a queen (I don't believe Margaery has atoned for a second) to move in for the kill. Checkmate.

Walder Frey returns and is somehow even older and more crotchety than ever. Can we get some vengeance for the Starks this season please? How great would it be for Walder to get his own "Red Wedding?" The North remembers. 

Dany's dragon sense is tingling on the way back to Meereen. She leaves her khalasar on the back of her horse and flies back on the back of a dragon! Drogon looks like he's been eating very well since we last saw him. Amazing what a steady diet of goat (and most likely Dany's horse as it did not return with her) can do for you. Using many of the same words that Khal Drogo once spoke, Dany rallies her troops and seems more determined to take the Iron Throne than ever. There's just that matter of getting back to Meereen first...and then dealing with the slavers...and possibly some red priests...and somehow acquiring roughly a thousand ships, but after that we are going to Westeros for sure! Whatever, she was on the back of a damn dragon!

Seriously, that poor horse.

Thoughts and Theories

  • I really want a flaming chain-scythe thingy.
  • Randyll Tarly is a douche, but does Sam really have it in him to fight his own father if it comes to it?
  • I hope the pointy end of Needle finds its way to the Faceless girl before she finds her way to Arya.
  • I think I would actually like to see that troupe of actors in Bravos recap every big event we've seen so far. 
  • I was wrong about Tommen. I only gave him three more episodes. He may have passed that, but I still don't see him making it to the end of this season. 
  • Cersei seems way too confident about her trial by combat. The High Sparrow is way too crafty to not have a plan to take out The Mountain. 
  • It sure seems like Margaery is playing him though, maybe he's not so crafty after all?
  • The Brotherhood without Banners was mentioned in this episode. Just saying.
  • Dany needs a thousand ships. Euron Greyjoy told his people to build him a thousand ships. We should see the significance of that by season 10 if all goes well.
  • Yara and Theon have a few ships...
We had some interesting comments last week for the recap of "The Door." Terry Anders pointed out that Arya was playing herself in the audience and she once again had to relive her father's death and Tom McMahon rightfully called me out on not mentioning the origin of the White Walkers. Who was that guy before he became the Night King? Is that important? As usual thanks for reading and let me know your thoughts and theories in the comments. It looks like the Blackfish is back in next week's trailer below.

"That's what I do. 
I drink and I know things."



Monday, May 23, 2016

I Drink and I Know Things: Game of Thrones Sn 6,
Ep 5 – "The Door"

"The Door"

Hold. The. Door.

We will definitely be getting into everything that happened north of The Wall, but we'll save that until the end. So before we venture down that Weirwood Tree Rabbit Hole let's briefly touch on some of the other scenes that played out in what could easily be considered a mid-season finale.

I used to hate Sansa Stark. She was whiny, spoiled, and kind of an awful person to other members of her family at times. She even wanted nothing more than to give Joffrey golden haired babies at one point. I hated her. Well, it only took 55 episodes, but after she stood toe to toe with Littlefinger it's safe to say that her fan club just grew ten fold. She even gave him the old "You're either too stupid or you're in on it" line that sounded like it came straight out of the movie "Casino." So you can consider me a Sansa fan! Also consider that Sansa may be in danger because of it. We all know what George likes to do to characters that we love to root for. 

A girl continues her training and is assigned her final exam. These Faceless Men certainly seem to have an affinity for the dramatic. She is tasked with "giving the gift" to an actress who is portraying Cersei Lannister (who still happens to be on Arya's list). There was a lot of time spent in Bravos this week. Especially on that play that seemed to recap Arya on season one in case she forgot what happened to her father. It will be interesting to see whether or not she can really become no one.

There was a Kingsmoot in Pyke and we now have a new king of the Iron Islands! It's Yara and Theon's uncle! He paid the "Iron Price" and.... The Drowned God........and he's going to take over Westeros by seducing the Mother of Dragons and.....Oh MY GOD WHO CARES! I did think it was a bit funny to see Yara and Theon steal an entire fleet of ships with a group of roughly a dozen people. All in all the Kingsmoot was exactly what it sounded like, a moot point. Unfortunately for us, what is dead may never die.

Did you cry a little when Jorah told Dany that he loved her? Or how about when she told him to find a cure and then come back to her? Did you? If not, then you have no soul. I really hope this isn't the last we will see of Jorah the Andal. 

Kinvara the High Priestess is a scary individual. If you can freak out Varys like that then you're not to be underestimated. Or rather the Lord of Light isn't to be underestimated. Or something like that. However it works with those red priests. Couldn't help but notice that Kinvara is wearing the same choker around her neck that another Red Woman we all know likes to wear. It makes you wonder if she was elected to be the First Servant of the Lord or if she was literally the FIRST servant of the Lord.

OK. Let's talk about the North. Bran encounters the Night's King when he is in his trance state and we find out that it was a costly mistake because now the White Walkers can enter their cave. So I started thinking, "OK, now we'll see them all just pack up and start to head south because there's no way the army of the dead will be there anytime soon right?" I was very happy to be wrong. It turns out the Night's King and his army were already in the neighborhood and decided to stop by for some coffee cake....and murder....lots of murder. This whole sequence was edge of your seat material. The casualties quickly added up as Summer, The Three-Eyed Raven, and Leaf (and the other Children of the Forest) all fall to the undead horde. Leaf certainly took a fair amount with her though using those magical hand grenades they have up there. Then we get to the door...

It was tragic. It was sad. It was damn heroic. Let's pour one out for our friend Hodor. In a great "WTF" moment that this show seems to thrive on, we get the origins of Bran's faithful companion and protector. As hard as this scene was to watch it also opened up the door (no pun intended I swear) to numerous possibilities for the future of Bran's story and the story of "A Song of Ice and Fire" overall. Bran wargs into Hodor in the present AND in the past simultaneously which causes Willis (young Hodor) to experience his own death in the future which in turn causes him to become the Hodor we all know in the present. Alright kids, join me as I put on my Valyrian tin foil hat for a minute. This means that this always happened this way. Bran had to go back into the past so that Hodor could become who he is and save him in the future. My question is, how many times has Bran done this? Will there be other events that he has influenced in the past? Ned once told him that he was named after Bran the Builder, a man who lived hundreds of years ago and built The Wall. What if Bran Stark was/is Bran the Builder and somehow built The Wall in the past to keep the White Walkers out in the future and...my head hurts. It's an amazing revelation that I think will definitely come into play later on in the story. Unfortunately, it came at the cost of Hodor's life. So the next time you're about to take an elevator ride and somebody says, "Hold the door," try to hold back your tears as you remember everybody's favorite half giant. 


Thoughts and Theories

  • Was Sansa letting Littlefinger live a smart decision? Doubtful.
  • Why couldn't the name Arya was given have been...oh I don't know...Ramsay Bolton!
  • Letting in the Red Priests to Meereen is a lot like letting the Sparrows in to King's Landing. Not great. 
  • I hope Bran wakes up soon and we get to see who's in that tower. 
  • Are Yara and Theon stealing their uncle's plan to team up with Dany? Do I care? Just get her to Westeros for the love of God!
  • Will we see a Zombie Hodor now? Because that's terrifying.
Next week's episode (below) shows us a glimpse of what might be that battle we've been waiting for at King's Landing. Speaking of that, what did the High Sparrow tell Tommen which he in turn told Cersei? A secret about about the Tyrells' involvement in a certain "Purple Wedding" perhaps?

As usual please let me know your thoughts and comments and any theories you might have about Game of Thrones. Here's last week's recap for "Book of the Stranger" in case you missed it. Thanks for reading!

"That's what I do. I drink and I know things."



Monday, May 16, 2016

I Drink and I Know Things: Game of Thrones S6, E4 – "Book of The Stranger"

"Book of The Stranger" Recap

The episode opens with a reunion at The Wall. My first thought was that this happened way too fast. My next thought was, "This is the first time two of the Stark children have been in the same place in a really long time!" So I'll go ahead and give the show a break and just assume that Sansa, Brienne, and Pod have the fastest horses in Westeros so that I can continue to enjoy the show. Jon and Sansa catch up and we find out that after hundreds of years the Men of the Night's Watch still can't seem to brew a good ale! Also Sansa wants Jon to help her raise an army so that they can take back Winterfell. With those horses they rode in on the entire trip should take no more than two hours.

Brienne the boss! She tells Ser Davos and Melisandre that she executed their beloved Stannis on the battlefield and then drops the mic and walks away. It was just perfect. 

We travel to The Vale and get a scene that reminds me of exactly why I love Littlefinger. He has manipulated his way into controlling Sweet Robin which in turn gives him control of The Vale and its army. We find out that Littlefinger also wants to attack Winterfell (to save Sansa of course, no ulterior motives I'm sure). I wonder how fast his horses are?

There are negotiations taking place in Meereen. Varys is there and doesn't say a word and yet Grey Worm and Missandei have the most lines of dialogue they have ever had on the show. It's all interesting I guess, but didn't Tyrion free a couple of dragons a few weeks ago? Let's get back to that part of the story.

Jorah and Daario: "Hey Dany! We've come all this way to save you!"
Dany: "No thanks. I got this." 
Jorah and Daario: "Oh. Ok, well... we found your earring..." 
Really Khaleesi?

Jonathan Pryce delivers a killer monologue and shows us all why he's the High Sparrow we love to hate. Cersei and Jaime get the small council on their side and talk more about revenge and taking back what's theirs. A bloodbath in King's Landing seems inevitable at this point. The Queen of Thorns said it best - "Many will die no matter what we do. Better them than us."

The ships are moving even faster than the horses on this show as Theon arrives back at Pyke. He gets a tongue lashing from his sister and agrees to help her become the ruler of the Iron Islands, a position that nobody cares about.

Ramsay speaks with Osha (who needs her own lesson in occupational safety) in Winterfell. You knew when she looked at that knife that it wasn't going to end well. This guy makes Joffrey look like a kitten. 

Jon gets a nice letter from Ramsay asking him to "come and see" all the great things he's done to his home since he's been gone. He's even given his brother Rickon free room and board in the dungeons! Good guy.

We once again see Dany emerging from flames, unburnt. The same cannot be said for the Khals. Apparently there is no Dothraki word for "fire exit." Seriously, do they treat the wood for their huts with gasoline before they build them?  Anyway, everyone kneels before Dany and I'm going to guess that Daario is rethinking his "ride the dragon" joke from earlier. In all honesty, this scene was a pretty great end to the episode and a nice nod to the season one finale. There were no dragons this time though! Where are the damn dragons?!

I like dragons. 

Thoughts and Theories

  • Jon Snow is a badass right? He was really whiny in this episode.
  • Sansa is usually whiny right? She was a real badass in this episode.
  • Tormund looking at Brienne as if she were a bear (that's what he likes remember) was hilarious and I can't wait to see if that goes anywhere. He's easily become one of my favorite characters. Unfortunately, that's dangerous on this show...
  • What's the over/under on Davos killing the Red Woman once he finds out what happened to Princess Shireen?
  • Can we push Sweet Robin out the Moondoor please?
  • Tyrion playing the game is fun to watch, but couldn't he have just fed the Masters to the dragons? I know, enough with the dragons already!
  • Zombie Mountain vs Loras Tyrell in a trial by combat. I'm calling it. 
  • In the episode 5 preview (below) Bran comes face to face with the Night's King. I wonder what they'll talk about?

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment and let me know your thoughts and theories as well! I would love to add some of them to next week's recap! 

Here's last week's recap "Oathkeeper" in case you missed it.

"That's what I do. I drink and I know things."



Monday, May 9, 2016

Civil War Almost Bored Me... Until The Epic Airport Scene

Like many people who went to the movies this weekend, I opted to see Captain America: Civil War, and I gotta be honest, it kind of bored me. Until the epic airport battle scene began!

First off, as part of the collection of movies known as the Marvel universe, Civil War is the follow up to The Winter Solder and Avengers: Age of Ultron, two action-packed adventures worth watching.

As for Civil War, it picks up where the two left off, chasing bad guys and destroying cities. This of course leads us to the plot of the movie, which is super heroes need to be governed in order to prevent the deaths of innocent people.

Don't get me wrong, it's a really good plot. But for some reason, the first hour felt like it was dragging. Then, just as I started to give up, one of the biggest super hero battles in cinematic history began to unfold. And like that, you had an epic 17-minute sequence featuring Iron Man going toe-to-toe with Captain America and each of their respective allies battling for what is right.

Throw in a not-so-tiny Antman, and a perfect comic-book depiction of Spiderman, and you have one hell of a good fight scene that left me wanting to watch it again. Well, the fight scene, not the whole movie. As a whole, I give it a 7. But that's just the opinion of a non-comic book nerd.

So what did you think? Was it amazingly great or a bit of a bore? Let us know in the comments below. And if you didn't see, watch the trailer here and decide for yourself if it's worth the watch.

I Drink and I Know Things: Game of Thrones Season 6, Episode 3 – "Oathbreaker"

"Oathbreaker" - Recap

"Good. Now go fail again." Davos Seaworth speaks these words to a newly revived Jon Snow and achieves in one sentence what normally takes an entire monologue to accomplish. Don't get me wrong, when it comes to motivational speeches I'll gladly recite to you some Al Pacino, Gene Hackman, and Denzel Washington, but when Liam Cunningham (Davos) dropped that line all I could hear in my head was the theme music from Rudy. I like what the show did here. They brought back our Lord Commander in a scene that had heart, humor, (Tormund explaining why Jon isn't a god) and it still left us wondering what would happen next. I know, we find out at the end of the episode what happens, but we'll get there later.

Our good friend Samwell Tarly is back and he's...still traveling to Old Town? He is seasick (shocking) and perhaps also sick at the thought of being a father. Here's to hoping he gets to his maester training sooner than later. 

We got a pretty decent flashback scene through the eyes of Bran. This time it is of a young Ned Stark and a small group of soldiers who take on Ser Arthur Dayne and an even smaller group of...well it's just him and some other knight guarding a tower for some unknown reason. After one of the better fight sequences we've seen in a while, Ned finally (with a little help from Meera's father) defeats the "Sword of the Morning" and heads for the tower after hearing a woman screaming from within. Bran does his best Brad Pitt impression and asks, "What's in the tower?" Come on, Bran. Keep up with the rest of us. We know who's in the tower. The question is why? The answer is...wait until next week.

Dany arrives in Vaes Dothrak which, oddly enough, still isn't Westeros. 

In Meereen, Varys does what he does best while Tyrion tries to play a drinking game with Grey Worm and Missandei. Oh, and we find out that the person backing the Sons of the Harpy is actually several different people from the other cities that had been "liberated" by Dany. I hope this doesn't mean we're backtracking to those places again. 

More Lannister revenge afoot at King's Landing. Another trial by combat in the works? Who does the Faith Militant have that can beat FrankenMountain?

Arya (or is it No-one?) has a training montage comparable to something out of a super hero movie and gets her sight back.

Ramsay gets a gift in Winterfell. It's Rickon Stark! Not good.

We wrap up the episode at The Wall where Jon Snow sentences his betrayers to death by hanging. This scene makes you wonder what Caesar would have done to the Senate if he had had a Red Woman around. Et tu, Ollie?

Oh, and Jon Snow quits.

Thoughts and Theories

  • There's a new job opening at The Wall. Ser Davos?
  • I'm pretty sure I could watch an episode of just Bran flashbacks and be completely fine with it.
  • Speaking of which, did Ned actually hear Bran? Is it possible to change the past?
  • I'm pretty sure I could watch an episode with just Tyrion and Varys and be completely fine with it.
  • FrankenMountain vs ??? The High Sparrow has to have something up his sleeve.
  • King Tommen has 2-3 episodes left. Max. 
  • Whose name will Arya speak first?
  • Poor Rickon. Going through those awkward teen years as a prisoner in his own house.
  • The Sneak Peek at next week's episode (below) shows us the return of Littlefinger! Plotting, scheming, and betrayal coming our way soon.

That's it for this week kids! I'll leave you with this thought... The episode was called "Oathbreaker" which probably refers to Jon Snow. Did he really break his oath though? Does death relieve him of his vows to the Night's Watch? Let me know what you think.

"That's what I do. I drink and I know things."



Friday, May 6, 2016

I Drink and I Know Things

Tyrion wine game of thrones

Thoughts and Theories about Thrones

Season 6 - Episodes 1 & 2

After many months of waiting, Game of Thrones has finally returned to dominate my Sunday evenings. There is much to talk about in these first two episodes, but I'll do my best to keep it short and hit some of the (in my opinion) major plot points. 

Episode 1 - "The Red Woman"
The season opens where the previous one ends. Jon Snow is dead. It is known. That's never been the question though. We haven't been led to believe that he might be dead, (looking at you Walking Dead) but rather we have been anticipating when and how he will come back. He has to come back right? Wrong. At least for this first episode he is still as dead as one would expect after having been stabbed roughly forty seven thousand times. Frankly, I was getting a bit tired of hearing about it for the past 10 months. It was getting old. Oh, and speaking of old...

The Red Woman, Melisandre, is old. Like centuries old. The episode ends with that reveal as Melisandre stares at her true self in the mirror wondering where it all went wrong. She goes to bed and the screen fades to black leaving us all to think the same thing, "Get your old ass out of bed and bring Jon Snow back you lazy hag!" Was that just me? Oh well.

Dany is stuck between a rock and the Dothraki equivalent of the Three Stooges. Not to worry though since Jorah and Daario, the Odd Couple of Westeros, are on her trail. Amazing how they just so happened to find Dany's earring in that very small patch of grass right?

Episode 2 - "Home"
Oh, hey Bran Stark. I remember you. Bran's debut after being absent for a season did not disappoint. He has been training with the Three-Eyed Raven and can now peek into the past. Not the last flashback we'll see this season I suspect. 

Things get wild at The Wall. Just as it seems like we might get an epic battle, a giant breaks down the door and ruins the party. Tormund Giantsbane and The Wildlings (Great name for a punk band)  make quick work of the few fools that actually decide to fight and Alliser Thorne and his mutineers (Another good name) hastily surrender. Ollie is still alive and annoying however, so there's that. 

Tyrion Lannister how I've missed you. The banter he has with Varys "The Spider" in the first episode was good enough, but in this scene he drops what is maybe the best line (and clearly the inspiration for this blog's title) in Game of Thrones to date. Oh and watching him speak to the dragons was awesome, touching, and nerve racking at the same time. If he does that again, punch him in the face. 

Oh, and Jon Snow comes back. 

Thoughts and Theories for this season...

  • Kill a few princes and suddenly Dorne gets a bit more interesting.
  • Jaime wants revenge. Lannisters always pay their debts.
  • Cersei mentions the prophecy about her children dying again.
    Not good for King Tommen.
  • I know Jon is back, but can we make the Onion Knight the new
    Lord Commander please?
  • Seriously, kill Ollie.
  • Tyrion the dragon tamer? Yes please. 
  • We have a new Lord Bolton which is not going to be good
    for anybody it seems. 
  • With Brienne at her side, Sansa could rally support in the North.
  • Arya begins her training to become Daredevil. 
  • Anybody else notice the blatant absence of Littlefinger?
    There's a twist coming and he's involved.
  • According to the Episode 3 trailer (featured below), Bran's next flashback features a young Ned Stark. Is it Sunday yet?

That's all for now kids. What are your thoughts on this season so far? Let me know in the comments below. Looking forward to the next episode!

"That's what I do. I drink and I know things."


- Bill