Milk and Cigarettes

Rambles about stuff I like.

A ramble about video games and juuuust a bit of GoT

It’s a rainy Tuesday. One would expect the weather to be a bit colder, but it’s stupid humid and hot out. An unpleasant day. Added to the fact that I don’t know what I’m going to write about. Oh well, let’s just throw some words down and see what happens.

(How does a man with two broken arms push against a door?)

But first…

A related pic from yesterday that I couldn’t find a place for.

 

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This is the smoldering look Cersei reserves for her brother. I’m grossed out and aroused.

This book 4 is going slowly. George R. R. Martin likes to harp on and on about stuff. For example, this previous chapter I just read was all about Sansa, and how she has to lie for Petyr to cover up for Lysa’s death. This scene was dealt with in the show in a rather straight forward manner – but the book has so much more nuance.

Not to mention political implications. Petyr signs over Lord of the Moon Doors to… some guy with a name I’ll have to look up. But Petyr’s politicking is infinitely more interesting than Sansa convincing herself that a lie told in kindness is ok. (Whatever gets you through the day, sweetling.)

Anyhoo – enough Game of Thrones for now. Actually, more on Game of Thrones…

I had a great deal of fun throwing up a snarky synopsis for a couple of the episodes earlier this season. I figure a fun and ambitious project would be to watch each and every episode of GoT again – but this time, doing a snarky synopsis for each episode. This will be a good way to reintroduce me to which characters are which – I’ve forgotten who most of these people are, aside from all the Stark kids and Lannister folk. There’s just too many names that sound the same.

So that’s my plan for GoT for the summer. I figure it will tide me over until the start of Season 5 – and it might just happen that little things in earlier episodes that I missed come up again in later episodes. That’ll be cool if that happens – similar to Arrested Development and all it’s self-referential meta-ness.

But GoT is over for the summer – and I really need a new series I can sink my teeth into. Utopia was good (really good, in fact) but Season 2 comes out god know’s when, and it’s a British show, so it’ll only be 5 episodes and a Christmas special. One thing about those Brits, they sure know how to make a good show for a short time.

What else is going on? Ooh – the Steam Summer Sale is going on as I type this. I picked up Skyrim for $5 the other day and thats it so far. I sort of feel silly buying Dishonored for $20 a month ago, when I could’ve had it for $5 today. Oh well, there’s always more money where that came from.

Recently I’ve been playing a lot of Kerbal Space Program. That game is awesome (when it’s not crashing.) If you haven’t played KSP – you should. Basically, you’re given a bunch of parts, and you have to put together a rocket and go into space. The game is still in early release – and has been for quite some time now – and will probably take another couple years before it’s in a stable condition.

This is frustrating – because the game keeps adding new and cool stuff. But this stuff they introduce causes new bugs – and currently I’m suffering from “Change of Scene” bug – which means I can only play about 1 mission before the game crashes. This is hugely frustrating – as I want to zip back and forth between scenes. (i.e., from the rocket launch to the space center, etc…)

One workaround is to set all the graphics settings to the lowest possible. This is an outrage! I own the mighty Black Beauty – an intel 4770k with 16gb of Ram and a 2GB graphics card – it will be a couple years before I’m forced to set the graphics on any game anything less than “ultra super premium.” Thus, I can play KSP – but it looks pretty terrible, and I don’t get cool graphics effects – like my capsule burning up on reentry, or various shadows and textures, etc…

Regardless, even with all the graphics set to “potato”, the game is still fun as hell. Currently, I’m trying to get a man onto the moon. (Or mun, as it’s known in the world of KSP.) This is harder than it looks! I’ve managed to send an unmanned lander onto my nearest moon – but it only juuuuust made it there, and has no fuel to get it back. I’ve got to come up with some wacky redesign so I can get my kerbal there and back safe and sound.

NB: KSP takes place on a planet called Kerbin, inhabited by kerbals. Little green men who love sitting in rockets and getting blown up.

I don’t know if I mentioned this in one of my many rambles, but I recently picked up an Xbox controller for the PC. Man does this make games fun to play! I started playing Batman: Arkham Asylum again. I had played it before – but the controls on the keyboard were too frustrating. But as soon as I moved to a handheld controller, the game became much more user friendly.

I have various games waiting in my Steam list which need to be played: Dark Souls, Arkham Asylum, Skyrim, Deus Ex: HR,  Tomb Raider, The Witcher, The Witcher 2, etc… I would very much like to play these in a “Let’s Play” format – that is, record myself playing the game with my commentary. I think it’s fun to discover a game for the first time – and I’d like all my Let’s Plays to reflect that.

This whole “Let’s Play” thing is just a hobby at the moment – but since I can post my creations on Youtube, there does exist the possibility of me making money of my videos. I don’t see myself making $4,000,000 a year like PewDiePie – but if I could pull in a couple hundred a month just by making video game LP’s, then I sure wouldn’t be averse to that.

The dream, of course, would be to find my voice as an LP’er – then subsequently find my audience and make a 6-figure living doing that. Ooooh man, I think that’d be pretty close to the dream. Get paid to play video games – I’m sure that was what I wanted to be when I grew up when I was about 11. Then I’d be closer to achieving my ultimate goal of being a crazy hermit that lives far away from everyone in the woods… but with a Gigabit internet connection.

Anyhoo… getting close to 30 minutes now. Dunno what else to write about? Hmm…

Well, I can write about goals, I ‘spose. I’m almost done all my goals for the day – only a Guacamelee LP to do after this. Then I’ll look towards upgrading my version of Windows to 64 bit – that’s supposed to be one of the fixes for KSP Scene Switch bug. Then what?

I’m currently working on understanding the prime gaps problem and prime k-tuples conjecture problem. This means I have to first learn about the Bombieri-Vinogradov theorem, then use that to understand the GPY sieve. Lemme tell ya, if you think you’ve got a good handle on your sanity, then I’d like to introduce you to math: the craziest thing the world has ever seen.

Did you know there’s different kinds of infinity? Yeah – messed up.

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June 24, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oh, right… the title.

Well, that was an invigorating week off.

I was at a math conference all last week. It was exhausting. Think of the hardest math class you’ve ever had, cross that with the craziest true fact you know, then times that by a million, and sit in a room for hours at a time paying rapt attention to what’s going on. See if you’re not visited by Mr. Sandman after 20 minutes.

Plus, it’s expected we socialize during the breaks of each talk. I’m pretty introverted, so social interaction is tiring for me. So I’m supposed to socialize after listening to this guy drone on about modular forms for 30 minutes. Guh. Exhausting.

Anyhoo, I’m back on the writing bandwagon and ready to ramble damble.

First things first. Game of Thrones. It’s over for a year. Last episode was epic. I’ll do a focused thing on that this week.

Actually, I will talk about GoT for a bit, because it’s my favorite non-animated show at the moment. The finale was awesome. A brief recap:

  • Jon Snow goes to talk to Mance Rayder, and just when things look their darkest, Stannis comes roaring in with his massive army. Sweet. Not to mention Stannis attacking Mance in a classic pincers movement.
  • We learn that the Mountain isn’t dead. He’s been very badly poisoned, and is definitely dying. But this weasel-y little maester comes in and starts doing some bloodletting. It’s implied he’s gonna turn the Mountain into some sort of non-stop killing zombie. Awesome. Got that to look forward to.
  • Then Cersei gets all up in Tywin’s face about not marrying Loras. But then she loses her cool and tells her father (not explicitly) that she and Jaimie have been “schtupping.” (Her exact words are something like, “All the rumours they say about us are true!”) Then she goes and makes out with Jaimie in a confusingly erotic scene.
  • Daenery’s dragons are out of control. (Well, just the big black one. Hey, racist!) They’re burning up people’s children now. So Dany has to lock up 2 out of her 3 dragons, the black one has flown off somewhere and is doing whatever it wants.
  • There’s also this sort of grey, political dribble about how some older free-men would rather be slaves again. I suppose this is to hammer home the point that ruling isn’t all black and white, and an iron fist and dragons don’t a ruler make.
  • Jon burns Ygritte. (I mean, there’s this whole big scene between Jon Snow and Tormund Giantsbane, where Tormund is like, “Did you love her?” All serious like, and blah blah blah… I get it, move on.)
  • In the best scene of the episode, Bran and his companions find the tree where the 3-eyed crow lives. But as they walk towards the tree, they get accosted by warrior skeletons! (Oh no! I hate when that happens!) Bran wargs into Hodor and starts taking out the trash – but meanwhile, Jojen is down and it looks like curtains for him. Suddenly, just as Hodor (controlled by Bran) is about to get overrun, big explosions come out of nowhere! And we see a shadowy figure by the godswood throwing bombs at the skeleton! (Cool!) But then this only buys our heroes a bit of time, so Jojen says farewell to his sister and dies, and Bran, Hodor and the sister meet up with this shadowy looking figure. They all walk into the tree, and Bran talks to an old man trapped in a bunch of branches about flying. (Seriously, go watch this episode – the whole thing is like an episode of The Prisoner in its wacked-out-ness, but it’s wicked awesome.)
  • Arya and the Hound run into Brienne and Pod. (That didn’t happen in the books.) But then things get misconstrued because Pod (who was in service with Tyrion) recognizes the Hound. Yadda yadda yadda, the Hound and Brienne fight. It’s a pretty brutal fight, with plenty of dirty hits and shots to the groin (of both fighters!) – but in the end, Brienne manages to throw the Hound off a ledge, and he gets crippled. Arya then stares him down as he dies – in a brilliant scene, showing how cold Arya is. Brienne loses Arya, and Arya gives her “Jaqar H’aqn” (sp?) coin and begins her voyage across the narrow sea to Braavos.
  • Finally, Tyrion is facing execution, but is rescued at the last moment by Jaimie. He tells Tyrion that Varys is waiting outside this door, and then rushes off. Tyrion, however, decides not to go see Varys just yet. He sneaks into his father’s room – only to find Shae there! (Burrrn! But again, she’s a whore, this is his own fault.) Tyrion kills Shae (in a rather accidental/heat of the moment fashion). Then grabs a crossbow off the wall and goes in search of Tywin. He finds Tywin in the privy (AKA: shithouse) and they have a brief chat. Naturally, Tyrion shoots his father with the crossbow (oddly, he only does it when Tywin refers to Shae as a “whore”. This sort of carrying the torch for someone who doesn’t love him is weird at this juncture, especially as he just murdered Shae.) Anyhoo, Tywin dies, Tyrion escapes and him and Varys set out for some unknown location.

WOWZERS! Wicked awesome episode! So much shit happened – and nothing felt rushed. (Except for the whole Jon Snow talks with Tormund. Yeesh.)

I’m currently reading book 4, so I’ve got some insight into how next season will play out. So far, not much has happened. George RR Martin writes each book from a POV perspective – and it changes every chapter. This book so far has chapters featuring Cersei, Jaimie, Brienne, Arya, Jon Snow and one of the Martells (Oberyn’s brother.) Some things are definitely going to change in Brienne’s story, and we’ll be introduced to the relatives and offspring of Oberyn. (Which I think, will be awesome – as the chapter about the Martells was all about how fierce and badass Oberyn’s daughters are.)

But best of all, Arya is going to join an assassin group, basically. And so she’ll turn into this super-badass lil’ assassin, which I think will be adorable and terrifying.

Cute pet pics!

Mrs. Kitty and Honey Bunches 001

Mrs. Kitty and Honey Bunches 004

Mrs. Kitty and Honey Bunches 006

June 23, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A ramble about burgers, math and video games

Oh man am I ever hungry. I decided earlier today that I was gonna get McDoonalls [sic] after work tonight. But since my diet calls for a 2000 calorie ceiling, and I plan on getting 4 mcdoubles, I will have to wait for another 6 hours to eat. This morning I had a 400 calorie protein shake, and that’ll be it until tonight. (Mcdoubles are 390 calories – so I’ll have a mouth-watering 1560 calories as an after school snack.)

Anyhoo, I had my protein shake over 3 hours ago, and so my hunger is starting to grow. I don’t mind being hungry, but I’m a little concerned that my stomach will be growling when I’m teaching my class. Oh well… man I can’t wait to eat those mcdoubles!

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I order mine with no pickles, so they’re made fresh when I order them.

As far as the McDoonalls value menu goes, mcdoubles are the best deal. It’s $1.59 (or so) for a double-patty cheeseburger. Each patty is about 1/8th of a pound, so a mcdouble is very close to being a quarter pounder with cheese. Except at half the price! (Also, there’s a great new thing where you can get bacon on them, for like, 60 extra cents. If I wasn’t concerned about calories, I’d get 4 bacon mcdoubles.)

Anyhoo – that’s what’s preoccupying most of my brain at the moment.

The other big thing I’m thinking about is this math conference next week in which I’ll be giving a talk. I don’t mind talking in front of an audience, especially when I’m talking about math. Better still, my talk is the 1st day of the conference, so the pressure will be off after Monday night.

However, I’m still stressing about that, because no matter how prepared I am, I’ll still get a bit nervous before I give my talk. I plan on finishing the slides for my talk by tomorrow, then I can rehearse on Saturday & Sunday. On top of that, I also have to prepare a test for my class on Tuesday. So it’s going to be a busy weekend.

But then I’m on holidays! I don’t have class until the 3rd of July, so I’m gonna spend some sweet time off playing video games and smoking weed.

A great new video game I started playing recently is called Dishonored, and it’s awesome.

A brief synopsis of the game: you play a supernatural assassin called Corvo. Your employer has just been killed and you’ve been framed for her murder. Luckily, you escape just before you’re scheduled to be executed, and now you’re on the run. You hook up with a sympathetic band of miscreants, and it’s up to you to seek vengeance for your dead employer. (There’s also a B-story about a mysterious, supernatural man called, “The Outsdier”, who periodically appears to give you magic powers.)

This game is wicked awesome, mainly because of the myriad ways you have of playing the game. You can play the game stealthily, and try to complete all the missions without being seen. Or you can go full kill mode and be the baddest badass to ever badass, and murder anyone and everything that gets in your way. The story will also progress based on how you’re playing. If you’re a wicked badass, then the story will get progressively darker as the bodies pile up. But if you instead play stealthily and only killing a few people, then the story will be more optimistic.

I just finished the game last night, and already I’m looking to go back and do another playthrough. It’s an mission-based RPG. What I mean by that is, you can level up and gain new powers, like in an RPG, but there’s only a select number of missions to play. Of course, within each mission there’s collectibles and easter eggs and side quests and stuff. Not to mention there’s a bunch of DLC I can get too. Lemme tell ya, this game is friggin awesome.

More in video game news: E3 is currently going on. (E3 is a big video games expo where all the studios show off their latest and greatest games for the upcoming year.) There’s a bunch of cool games that have been presented, but most of these games are console specific. That is, these games are all presented to be released primarily for the Xbone or Ps4 (and in some cases whatever Nintendo thing is out there.) This doesn’t really matter to me, as I’m a member of the PC master race.

However, there is one console game I play religiously, namely, the EA NHL series. It’s a sports game, so it gets an annual release. But this year, EA is releasing NHL 15 for the next-gen consoles. What that means is that now the game looks fuckin’ super good. Check out the gameplay trailer.

It looks a lot like standard NHL 14 gameplay, but now the graphics are super spicy! Realistically though, this is a poor thing to focus on. Gameplay beats graphics everytime – NHL 15 could be done in Minecraft textures, but if the gameplay is better than last years, no one will notice. Conversely, if the game looks super awesome, but still features unnatural goalie movement and crazy puck bounces, it will be deemed a ‘shit game.’

Anyhoo, the other thing is that this year, NHL 15 will be released for the PC. So I think I will probably just get the PC version. I’ve already got an Xbox controller for my PC – and my PC specs are still way better than either the Xbone or the PS4. Thank heavens EA decided to make a PC release – that means I won’t have to buy a next-gen console in order to get this game. (In fact, that probably means I just wont buy a next-gen console.)

Really, the PC is the way to go if you’re a fan of gaming. Sure, it may cost a little more (or a lot more), but the graphics are better, there’s no console-specific nonsense, and you still have access to games released years ago. (Whatever console claims backward compatibility, I still doubt it.)

Of course, the problem with having a PC for gaming is that I never want to stop upgrading it. There will always be new PC parts and better graphics cards, etc… One thing the console can offer is a solid, 5-year investment. Still, I’ll stick with my Black Beauty, thankyouverymuch.

June 12, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Game of Thrones Season Finale Predictions – Nothing but Spoilers!

Another writer’s block Wednesday!

Let’s stick with Game of Thrones then. I’m reading book 4 at the moment – and as I read more and more, I realize that I’ve already read it. But since I’ve forgotten basically everything that happens, it does me no harm to read it again.

The problem with book 4 is that it only focuses on a few characters, and most of them I’m uninterested in: Cersei, Brienne, for example. However, the books do talk about the men of the Night’s Watch and Arya. But Arya has now crossed the narrow sea in book 4 – so just re-reading the start makes me realize that I don’t really recall what happened in Book 3 either. I think this is because 

  1. There’s too many damn characters, all with names that sound frightfully similar
  2. I used to do most of my reading before bed.

Reading before bed was how I used to like to fall asleep. But then I realized that when I started reading the next day, I only had a very tenuous grasp on just what the hell was happening. When it comes to cheesy pulp action novels – like Jack Reacher – no problemo, I can generally pick up on who’s who and what’s happening. But for a monstrous epic like GoT, it’s problematic.

Anyhoo, with the penultimate episode of GoT done, there’s only the season finale to go. It seems likely that a crapload of stuff is gonna happen this episode. Well, it’s either a crapload of stuff, or the whole episode takes place in King’s landing.

Here’s my predictions as to what happens in the season finale (with some knowledge as to what happens in the books.)

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  • The Hound dies. I don’t see any way around this. Despite the fact that the show and the book have diverged on a number of different key issues, I still think it’s in Arya’s future to end up across the narrow sea. In the books, (IIRC), Arya doesn’t kill The Hound, but just watches him die. I think the show might have her kill the Hound. In any case, almost certainly she’ll use her Valar Morghulis coin to cross the sea. Also, since the writer’s love toying with our emotions so much, I think Arya and Sansa will just barely miss meeting each other, similar to how Bran and Jon Snow almost met.
  • Sansa gains the upper hand on Petyr Baelish. I think Sansa hasn’t been given enough credit for how well she’s able to lie and manipulate those around her. She was able to manipulate Joffrey somewhat, and especially a couple episode’s ago she manipulated the board of inquiry as to Lysa’s death. I sort of think we’ll see her grow to be more and more manipulative, since basically, ever since her father dies, she’s been in the company of people who are trying to manipulate her. Growing up in this environment, it follows that she’ll turn it around and start to be the one doing the manipulating. Although, going up against Littlefinger, that might be a tall task.
  • Ramsey Bolton dies. I don’t know why, but I just have a feeling that Reek wont be around for too much longer. 
  • The show’s final scene, I can almost guarantee, will be the killing of Tywin Lannister by Tyrion Lannister. It may happen that the whole episode takes place in King’s Landing, and we learn just how Tyrion escapes from his impending execution, and how he kills his father. I’m almost 99% certain the show will fade to black on a long, trailing shot of blood oozing out of Tywin’s stomach, where the arrow has pierced him. I also think it’s Varys who helps Tyrion escape, and then Varys takes off from King’s Landing as well.
  • Stannis rides to the wall and kicks the shit out of the wildlings and Mance Rayder. Well, we’ll see about that one – I don’t remember Jon going to talk to Mance in the books. In the books, from what I can piece together, Stannis shows up to save the day, and takes Mance Rayder’s daughter (or wife or gf or something) hostage. It may happen that Jon Snow takes her hostage instead, or that Stannis doesn’t even show up at all! It’s going to be a hell of a finale, that I know for shizzle.

I tell ya, my lack of reading retention of book 3 is somewhat staggering. I think this can easily happen when you’re dealing with a 10,000+ page epic – involving non-stop backstabbing, and twists and turns, and characters who all sound alike. Wait? Aren’t they in Duskendale? No, they’re in Hollyhale. Is that Thoros of Mir? No, it’s Boros of Tyr. Nonsense.

Anyhoo, anyone else I’m missing in my season finale guesses? I think Brienne doesn’t show up until next season. Maybe the Tyrell’s manipulate Tommen a bit – they’re still heavily involved in the King’s Landing drama. I don’t know if we see Daenerys or not – I pray they don’t waste time on the eunuch love story. No one cares about Grey Worm – unless he’s doing cool Unsullied type maneuvers. 

Oooh – there actually could be a different cliffhanger than Tywin’s death. Remember the Red Wedding? (Of course you friggin do.) Well, in the books, at some point it’s hinted at that Catelyn has survived, and is something of a freaky zombie now, bent on revenge. It could be that the last shot of the season is a fade out on what appears to be a corpse, then the eyes open, and as the body stumbles forward, we realize it’s Catelyn, alive! That would be a hell of an ending too!

Suffice it to say, I’m super stoked for Sunday! 

 

June 11, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Brawl at the Wall – GoT Recap – Spoilers all over

Oh man, what an episode of Game of Thrones! As you’ll recall, yesterday I made a bunch of predictions about what would happen. First, let’s look at all the things I got right; there was a battle at the wall, Jerk Commander (AKA: Lord Alistair) dies and Jon Snow becomes the leader, and the maester reveals he was Aemon Targaryen in a previous life.

And that about does it for accurate predictions. Everything else I said didn’t happen at all – mostly because the whole episode took place at the wall.

So what happened?

Well, Jon Snow and Sam are atop the wall, on lookout. Sam awkwardly brings up the fact that Jon Snow was in love with Ygritte, and that Sam probably feels the same way about Gilly.

Star wipe to: the wildlings, where Ygritte proclaims loudly for anyone to hear that “Jon Sneeew is mine!” – and that she’ll kill anyone who tries to kill Jon Snow before she can kill him. (Got it?)

Smash cut to: Gilly sneaking away from the wildlings. She shows up at Castle Black and Sam takes her in. They have a tearful reunion, whereby Sam proclaims, “From now on, wherever you go, I go too.” Well, that’s a noble sentiment and all, Sam, but you do have this whole “Night’s Watch” thing to do.

Because just as Sam’s telling Gilly that he’s gonna be her man, the alarm sounds. Mance Rayder is attacking and it’s fucking on!

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Here come the wildlings!

The Wall comes to life, and there’s hustle and bustle atop the wall as the men of the Night’s Watch prepare for battle. Jon Snow and Jerk Commander have an awkward conversation – but agree to put their differences behind them in order to kill all the wildlings and save the wall.

Uh... I'm gonna take my break now.

Uh… I’m gonna take my break now.

(Aside: Wow – that’s a lot darker than it looks on my screen.)

While all this is going on, Sam hides Gilly in a store room and tells her to stay there. Gilly gives him grief and whines at him. “You said we’d stay together forever.” Out of nowhere, Sam grows a pair, tells her to sit tight while he goes and fights the bad guys that are trying to kill all of us. And then this happens:

And everyone watching goes, "ooooooh!"

And everyone watching goes, “ooooooh!”

Then, for the rest of the episode, Sam’s badassery is second only to Jon Snow. Finally, I can stop hating Sam and his moaning ways.

Meanwhile, we soon learn that the band of wildlings that has been terrorizing the small villages south of the wall (which contain Ygritte and Tormund Giantsbane) will attack the gates of Castle Black. (In an brilliant pincers movement.) Sir Alistair goes down to fight them off. After a bit of kerfuffling, Jon Snow takes control atop the wall.

Which is a good thing, as giants and woolly mammoths are attacking the wall!

Then all hell starts to break loose. Tormund Giantsbane gets inside Castle Black and starts murdering just about everyone. Sam’s running around, keeping up Pip’s spirits and shooting cannibals in the face. Ygritte is shooting a bunch of people with arrows and effortlessly looking hot as a redhead.

Hot.

Hot.

Shit starts to get even more out of control. Two giants and their wooly mammoth start attacking the gate to the wall. Jon Snow dumps a bunch of flaming oil on them, and kills the mammoth, but a giant manages to get through the gate. Jon Snow sends down a few men with the instruction, “Hold the gate!”

Ok lads, we hold the gate no matter what comes at us!!!

Ok lads, we hold the gate no matter what comes at us!!!

I'm a giant and I'll rip your heart out!

I’m a giant and I’ll rip your heart out!

Ohhhh shit.

Ohhhh shit.

Anyhoo, Castle Black is about to be overrun by wildlings, so Jon Snow goes down to help fight. (He rips shit up with his fancy sword.)

Finally, Ygritte and Jon Snow meet. Ygritte has an arrow pointed at Jon Snow’s heart, but can’t bring herself to shoot. Just as Jon Snow is about to say something to her, Ygritte gets show.

So there’s a big thing I totally forgot, Ygritte fucking dies!!!

Goodbye hotness.

Goodbye hotness.

After that, not much happens. The sun rises, Tormund Giantsbane gets taken prisoner, and at a heavy cost, the men of the Night’s Watch win the battle.

Then, to end the episode, Jon Snow goes out beyond the wall, unarmed, to find Mance Rayder. (I don’t remember this happening in the books, so maybe Stannis doesn’t come rescue the wall at all?)

This was a brief synopsis, but DAMN, what an episode. If you like long, bloody battles, then this is the episode to watch.

 

June 10, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Game of Thrones Guesstacular – Spoilers!

Well, I wasn’t exactly tearing it up last week with the ol’ blog post-a-roonies. I’ll try and do better this week.

Now, it’s Monday morning, and you know what that means!! Game of Thrones round-up time! Wooo!

Except for one problem, I haven’t watched Game of Thrones yet. I was going to watch it last night with my brother, but both of us were super tired and we each went to bed before 10:00. But we taped it on the PVR, so we’ll watch it today sometime.

Now, since I have no information on what happened in last night’s episode (I’ve avoided surfing the internet today for fear of spoilers), I can go ahead and make some scientific wild-ass guesses (SWAG) about what happened. Remember, I’ve read book 3, and although I can’t remember much of book 4, I think I read it (that’s what happens when I read right before going to bed) – so I may remember a few things by osmosis. I haven’t even sniffed book 5, which is where Daenerys’ story picks up again, so all my Khaleesi posts are total guesses.

Anyhoo, my number one guess as to what happened last night is that some crazy mega-fight went down at the wall. This happened near the end of book 3, so Mance Rayder and his army of giants and wooly mammoths and other unpleasant folk, all storm the wall. And they’re looking to kick the shit out of the Night’s Watch – and basically proceed to do so, until Stannis shows up with his army and slaughters all the wildlings.

Now, in the books, I think Sam sends a couple ravens to all the people who’ve got a claim on the throne for help, and only Stannis shows up. So if I had to guess, I think the beginning of the episode will contain a brief scene of Sam and the maester (Aegon, I think) sending the ravens.

Some other cool stuff happens as a result of the fight at the wall. I think whoever the jerk commander is, he gets killed, and the men elect Jon Snow to be their leader. Also, we learn that the maester of the Night’s Watch used to be one of the Targaryen’s. Hence the previous foreshadowing, “I grew up in King’s Landing”, spoken by the maester sometime this season.

What else could happen? Oh right, well, since Tyrion is about to be put to death, he’ll have to escape somehow. In the books, I think Jamie helps Tyrion escape (or maybe Varys), and Tyrion sneaks out of his cell and gets ahold of a crossbow and kills his father, Tywin. Although, since I’m guessing about the episode I’ll watch later, I think they’ll probably save this for the final scene of the final episode. That’s right around where book 3 ends, so I guess that’s probably where they will want to end this season.

What else could happen? These are for sure guesses – I’m about 90% certain that a huge rumble will happen at the wall this episode. As for the other stuff, I’m not sure.

  • Arya and the Hound get in a fight somewhere and the Hound dies. (This happened in the books, but I can’t remember if it’s book 3 or 4. I can’t remember the circumstances of why they get in a fight either – so this could possibly happen this episode, or next episode, or not at all – since EVERYONE loves watching the Hound and Arya going around, having adventures, and stabbing people.)
  • Daenerys has to deal with a slave uprising or other extreme discontent that causes her to stop being Queen. (I can’t remember the last thing Daenerys does in book 3 – but since her dragons are grown, I’m lead to believe the writers are pulling info from book 5 to use. I have no clue what happens in this case, but I’m guessing that now that Jorah’s gone, Khaleesi will get fed up with being Queen, and then an uprising from her subjects will cause her to pull up stakes and go find some other city to maraud. Since she’s adopted the Dothraki ways, I see her staying true to their nomadic lifestyle, and growing tired of staying in one place.) But then again, I could easily be wrong, and she could lay around all day in her skimpy dress getting plowed by her swarthy looking lover with the unpronounceable name.
  • Bran doesn’t find the 3-eyed crow. (He’ll be up north with Jojen and his sister forever. Hodor.)
  • Theon stops being Reek and becomes Theon again. (In the beginning of the 4th book, Balon Greyjoy is dead, and the Ironborn are coming together for a kingsmoot – which is just a ceremony where they choose a new king. I don’t remember much of the Reek storyline from book 3, so I assume that in book 4, Theon will stop being Reek and come to the kingsmoot to be king – or have a fight with Asha. I could easily see that happening this episode – since last episode, Ramsey has overcome being a bastard and gained inheritance from Roose Bolton. So it would make sense that the writers would almost immediately kill of Ramsey, making the death all the more ironic for his recent fortune.)
  • We don’t hear anything from the Dornish until after the death of Tywin. Again, in the beginning of book 4, the relatives of Oberyn are discussing how best to respond to his death. But I’m not through that chapter yet, and I don’t quite recall anything specific said about the death of Tywin, so maybe that news hasn’t reached them yet. Regardless, I see eventually Margaery Tyrell taking advantage of the death of Tywin and seducing Tommen. So maybe that continues in this episode. I don’t mind watching Natalie Dormer acting seductive for 10 minutes. Especially since she doesn’t have that godawful Skrillex haircut in the show.
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That haircut is atrocious.

Anyone else I’ve forgotten? Oh right, maybe Brienne and Pod go on an adventure in order to pad out the show.

Right – what’s Petyr Baelish going to do? Last we saw Sansa, it looked like she had accepted Petyr as her protector, and will use his desire against him to get what she wants. Perhaps Robin learns how to ride a horse this episode, and then gets (hopefully) smacked around a couple of times for being a little whiny bitch. Or Petyr makes a move on Sansa. We’ll see.

But I’m willing to bet money that a crapton of action happens at the wall this episode.

Maaaan! Now I’m incredibly stoked for this episode. I will be seriously disappointed if I don’t see a giant get a flaming arrow to the face, and a CGI wooly mammoth get its head crushed in by a giant rock. If this isn’t the greatest episode yet of Game of Thrones, then I’m going to plotz.

Tomorrow’s post: What I got right, and what I got terribly, terribly wrong.

EDIT: Just finished watching the episode. It was sweet. I got some things right and many, many things wrong. Stay tuned.

June 9, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tyrion’s Beetle Speech and Somewhat Wild Guesses of Things to Come: Spoilers!

Well, I got a lot of hits yesterday from people looking for discussion on Game of Thrones, so I’ll continue in that vein today. 

My first thought is about Tyrion’s beetle speech, and why it was necessary. First, let’s review the context. Tyrion and Jaimie, (AKA: The Kingslayer Brothers) are sitting in prison, awaiting the dawn and Tyrion’s trial. There seems to be little to discuss, as it definitely looks like Tyrion’s champion Oberyn will be killed by the Mountain.

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To pass the time, Tyrion starts prattling on about their moron cousin Orson and how he became simple after a wet nurse dropped him on his head. As a result, all Orson now wants to do is smash beetles in the garden. This enraptures Tyrion, who can’t understand why Orson would so such a thing. To what end?

Asking Orson exactly why gives Tyrion no answer, as Orson is simple and can’t speak other than a few monosyllabic grunts. This mystery as to why Orson does what he does puzzles Tyrion right up until the time that Orson dies after being kicked by a mule. 

At the end of this anecdote, the bells ring and Tyrion gets called to trial.

So why use this valuable tv time on this speech? Especially in light of the fact that there’s so many other characters and adventures to explain, if we’re wasting 8 minutes on this beetle speech, it better be important.

Here’s what I think. 

First, notice that the reason Orson smashes the beetles is never resolved. Tyrion never finds an answer as to why Orson does what he does. I think this is used to hammer home the fact that the world of Game of Thrones is chaotic. Good and bad are essentially arbitrary decisions – we’ve seen time and time again how those who are ‘good’ in the GoT universe still get killed all the same along with those who are ‘bad.’ The speech by Tyrion just underlines the fact that Tyrion is possibly going to die very soon, and it doesn’t matter what ‘good’ he did up to this point.

Let’s not forget, Tyrion basically saved King’s landing at the Battle of the Blackwater. While Cersei frittered away her time drinking and coddling Joffrey, Tyrion set up that whole deal with the green fire. (And in the books his role in saving King’s Landing is even greater, as he rigs up some chain in the bay to decimate the boats of Stannis.) Of course, one might argue that Tywin and the Tyrells saved the day – but that was just mop-up work. Tyrion was the real hero.

But ultimately, that doesn’t matter. Hero or not, he’s still on trial for regicide and will likely die. 

Yeah, if there’s one thing GoT likes to harp on about, it’s that morals are largely up to the individual, and the world is a hard, nasty fight for your life. This is precisely why Ned Stark had to die. Arguably, he was the character who was the ‘noblest’ (aside from the whole bastard Jon Snow cheating on his wife thing). He was fair and just in his dealings with his people, and he expected the best from everybody. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter, as he’s framed for treason and executed. (And he’s basically executed on a whim.) Life means very little in GoT.

But even if that was the reason for Tyrion’s speech, I still think it was unnecessary. Yeah, we’ve heard this message before – many times, over and over. We don’t need to waste another scene harping on about it. Get to the fight, crush some skulls in and let’s get cracking already!

Anyhoo, I figured that since I sort of remember what happens in the books – I know a few key events – but the events of the show are pulling elements from book 4 and 5, I might try and guess what will happen to the main characters based on what I know.

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In Westeros there’s a few principal players:

  • The Night’s Watch and the Wildlings
  • The Stark Family
  • The Ironborn and the Greyjoys
  • The Bolton’s
  • The Lannisters
  • The Tyrells
  • Petyr Baelish
  • Varys
  • Stannis Baratheon and Melisandre.
  • Brienne and Pod

And in the East there’s Daenerys and no one else, I think. Maybe some people from Braavos come to be characters in the later books.

Here’s some things that I know happen:

  • Mance Rayder attacks the wall, and looks to be kicking the shit out of the Night’s Watch, but then at the last minute, Stannis comes in and saves Jon Snow and the rest of the men. Also, finally, Jon Snow is made commander of the watch.
  • Tyrion gets put in jail, and is scheduled to be executed. But before he can be killed, Tyrion manages to escape from prison, kill his father Tywin, and disappear. (I think either Jaimie or Varys or both help Tyrion escape his prison cell, I can’t remember.)
  • Arya kills the Hound (or he gets killed and she finishes him off) and crosses the narrow sea towards the East. She uses her Valar Morghulis coin to do so.

I don’t much remember what happens after that. I think Petyr arranges to kill Robin or have him deposed or something. I’ve no idea what happens to anyone else. So here are my guesses based on what I sort of half-remember from reading book 4 just before going to bed.

  • Margaery Tyrell weds Tommen and becomes Queen. With Tywin dead, Cersei becomes defacto ruler, but can’t handle it and starts being manipulated by others.
  • Sansa uses Petyr’s horniness to get control of the North. I’m guessing she arranges it to get Petyr to kill all the Bolton’s, possibly with the help of the Greyjoys.
  • Actually, now I’m sort of half-remembering that Stannis starts fighting the Bolton’s? I sort of think Stannis fights his way down from the wall rather than sail back the way he came. But I could be wrong. Regardless, that’s what I think happens there.
  • Also, Theon Greyjoy will kill Ramsey at some point. I just can’t see him being “Reek” for the rest of his days – chopped off wiener or not.
  • Bran either finds the 3-eyed crow or manages to figure out how to influence the White Walkers and any other spooky things that might be coming towards the wall.
  • I also vaguely remember that Catelyn stark becomes some sort of zombie. So she’ll influence Petyr I’m sure.
  • The Tyrells will likely be the ones to manipulate Cersei – especially in light of the fact that the Lannisters owe so much money to the Iron Bank. I’m sure Gramma Tyrell will be snarky.
  • Varys will be an interesting character – precisely because I’m not sure what side he’s on. He’s basically the chief spy – but is like a mercenary, since he seems to play by his own rules. I don’t know whether he functions as a big Deus Ex Machina for George R. R. Martin, but Varys is definitely up to something.
  • Danerys will conquer the East, and ride across the narrow see with a 100,000 strong slaver army and 3 dragons. Maybe she meets up with Arya for some reason?

Who knows? That’s a lot of speculation – and ultimately pretty futile, since I’ll eventually get around to reading books 4 and 5. Until then, my future predictions will have to do!

 

June 3, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oberyn vs. The Mountain – Game of Thrones Spoilerama!

Well I have a new writing plan – instead of 15 minutes, now I’m going to write for 30 minutes. Maybe this will lead to more thoughtful pieces, and maybe it wont. Maybe it’ll lead to wackier rambles and maybe it wont. Point is, I’ll be scribbling for 30 minutes now – so get ready for some good ol’ rambling.

Now then… what to write about?

I just finished watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones. It was pretty righteous. Here’s a semi-recap of what went down:

  • The town where Gilly is staying, Molestown they call it, is raided by Wildlings. Gilly manages to survive, after Ygritte sees her and takes mercy on her and her baby. Star wipe to the wall, where Sam is blubbering about how he never should’ve left her there. The boys try and pluck up his spirits – but the men of the Black Watch know that the Wildlings are coming, and it’s 100,000 of them against 100 of our boys. Looks pretty grim.
  • In Daenerys town – Worm and Frizzy Black Hair Translator are falling in love. Awwww… I ‘unno how they’re going to do it, but I’m sure we’ll get some good shots of Worm’s mutilated genitals.
  • More important in Daenerys town, Daenerys learns that Jorah “Friendzone” Mormont originally became her sellsword so he could spy on her for Robert Baratheon. This spying on Khaleesi lead to Jorah gaining a royal pardon. Anyhoo, Daenerys learns of this treachery and bans Jorah from her side. At least he’s not in the friend zone anymore.
  • In the Vale, Lord Baelish has been called before some sort of council to account for Lysa’s death. Sansa is called to testify, and lies for Petyr, saying that Lysa committed suicide. They then have a brief encounter where Petyr says something like, “Are you sure you know what I want?” and Sansa says something like, “My hot, young, body.” – Except she doesn’t say that, and just gives him a look.
  • In more ominous foreshadowing in the Vale – Petyr has taken stewardship of Robin “Titsucker” Arryn, and is going to take him out of the house for the first time. Ostensibly, Petyr wants Robin to become Lord of the Vale, and in order to do this Robin will have to learn how to ride a horse, swing a sword, and listen to the pleas of his people. Although, I would bet money on the fact that Petyr will probably kill Robin somehow so he can be Lord of the Vale, and then somehow convince Sansa to sleep with him. I’m sure his creepy demeanor, gravely voice and muddled Irish accent will win her over.
  • Ramsey Snow gets Theon “Reek” Greyjoy to convince the forces at Moat Cailin to surrender, promising them safe passage. They surrender, and are immediately slaughtered by Ramsey. Subsequently, Ramsey speaks to Lord Bolton – now that Moat Cailin is taken, Bolton is Warden of the North. As thanks, Ramsey Snow is officially adopted by Bolton, and given the name Ramsey Bolton. This is significant, as now Ramsey will have inheritance privileges. But otherwise, Ramsey is a bit of a cunt.
  • The Hound and Arya show up at the Vale, where the Hound looks to hand over Arya to Lysa. But they learn that Lysa died a few days earlier, which means the Hound can’t get any money for Arya. This causes Arya to erupt in hysterics. Better still, we get to continue on with the adventures of Arya and the Hound – I’m sure this is absolutely everyone’s favorite storyline to follow.
  • Finally, we get to King’s Landing – where Tyrion and Jaimie are in prison. Tyrion gives some filler speech about his moron cousin and his ways while we wait for the fight between Oberyn and The Mountain. I ‘unno why they took so long with this speech – there was no point to it, no resolution to the anecdote, and seemed like a waste of time when there’s so much other important stuff to cover.
  • Anyhoo, the bell sounds and Tyrion is carted off to the ring, where Oberyn and The Mountain fight. The Mountain is in heavy armor and is big and lumbering. Oberyn is lightly armored (if at all) and is quick on his feet. The Mountain gets in a few harmless shots, but eventually Oberyn cuts down the Mountain. During the fight, Oberyn gradually begins to lose his composure, yelling at the Mountain about his dead and raped sister Ellia. (Or D’Elia or some crazy spelling.)
  • Finally, with The Mountain on the ground, Oberyn preens around, yelling furiously at The Mountain, inquiring as to who gave the order to kill D’Elia. We think the Mountain is dead, but out of nowhere, the Mountain kicks Oberyn’s leg out, gets on top of him, confesses to murdering and raping D’Elia, then FREAKIN’ CRUSHES HIS SKULL IN WITH HIS BARE HANDS!!!!
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Gooo!!!!

 

Anyhoo – this was a hell of an episode. Aside from all the filler. Seriously, who cares if Worm and Whozits fall in love? And I can really do without ever seeing Gilly ever again – and especially Sam mooning and moaning over Gilly. Also, the whole Tyrion speech about beetles seemed pretty pointless.

But aside from all that, this episode was rock solid. I saw a man’s skull get crushed, Jorah got kicked out of the camp, Petyr solidified his hold on the Vale and Sansa… Some good stuff.

Now, I’m at the point where I think the story has caught up to where I was in the books. I don’t really remember anything about Book 4 – so what follows are complete guesses about the story. (Well, I do remember some stuff about Arya, and we’re still in the middle of Book 3, so I know what’s going to happen to Tyrion. But I don’t know any of the Daenerys stuff. Oh, and I do know what’s going to happen with Stannis.)

But the Daenerys stuff will be all guesses – and here’s what I guess is going to happen. First, Jorah will still seek to help Daenerys, and likely follow her wagon train from the shadows. Then whatever Latin Lover’s name is, he’ll keep on banging and seducing Daenerys… but then he’ll be given an order to kill her from his mysterious master in the shadows, and Jorah will be all like, “No!!” and jump in at the last second and kill him. Since the tale of Jorah is one of Friendzone, I’m assuming Jorah will be slain in the process, and he’ll look into Daenerys’ eyes as he dies and say something trite like, “I’ve always loved you.” And Daenerys will be like, “Yyeeeah… I still only like you as a friend.” And then he’ll die. That would be fitting.

But there’s still lost of unresolved storylines. Brienne and Pod still need to have a wacky adventure. Gendry, the bastard son of Robert Baratheon is still kicking around somewhere. I ‘unno what Varys is up to, but it can’t be any good. Boobula Tyrell still wants to be Queen, and wont hesitate to seduce 12 year old Tommen. Asha is still alive, and will probably want to dispute Bolton’s ownership of the North. Bran and his mystic band still have to find the 3-eyed crow.

Yup, still lots of excitement to come. Only 2 episodes left this season. Gonna be an epic episode next week I can feel it!

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For no reason, here’s Mr. Honey Bunches.

EDIT: It’s Oberyn, not Oberon.

June 2, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment