A Better Ending to HBO’s Game of Thrones. Part 1.

Game of Thrones ended in epic failure last night. There’s not much else to say. I can’t even go into the minutiae of every little failure of this episode and of this season. We all saw it first hand. Instead, I’m going to off the top of my head outline a better way to end GoT the show from when Danerys is sailing back to Dragonstone from Mereen, and after Jon Snow is proclaimed The King in the North. Cersei sits the Iron Throne.

Part 1)

Daenerys gets to Dragonstone with her three dragons. Here we see her practicing on how to ride her dragon. Tyrion has been studying some scrolls he found at Dragonstone he discovers secrets of dragon riding previously thought lost written in the hands of Aegon the conqueror. He helps teach Dany and one of the dragons takes to him. Tyrion becomes a second dragon rider. He also devises a saddle-type thing to ride on the dragons similar to what he did for Bran.

Together they lay waste to Euron Greyjoy’s fleet when they spot it in Blackwater Bay. As the scorpions from the ship are angled upwards to shoot the dragons from the sky. Dany and Tyrion dive low almost skimming about the water. The dragons torch them from sea level. This is a trick Tyrion read about in the scrolls. When the remaining ship angled the scorpions low the dragons climbed into the sky and reigned hell from above. Peace out Euron.

This would keep Tyrion looking like a smart character, and it would show Dany learning to become a warrior on dragon back, rather than her just automatically being adroit at it. Characters can continue to grow even in the later seasons’ guys. 

John is too fucking busy worrying about the goddamn night king to go all the way to Dragonstone looking for dragon glass. He instead sends Davos since he’s fucking good at sailing and diplomacy.

Davos convinces Dany and Tyrion of the danger to the North, they mine the dragon glass and Davos sails it back to the north meanwhile Tyrion flys north on his dragon to meet with Jon Snow and see first hand what Davos was talking about.

Cersei is legit worried about the fucking Dragons and Danerys as she should be. Jamie is also worried.

Dany flies her Dragon to Dorne and wins the support of the Dornish. They declare for her and march towards Casterly Rock.

The Major Problem with the show beyond so many other problems was that the writer’s lost sight of who the final boss should be and what was truly important. The Final Boss is the Army of the Dead and the Night King, not Cersei.

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Remember me? I’m the final boss, not a blonde milf.

Meanwhile up North at the Wall, the dead begin to gather and shamble about the wall. As the Night King comes winter comes with him and the wall is hit with a blizzard. As the snow falls the white walkers command the dead to start gathering the snow. With the snow of winter itself, they start building blocks of ice and with those blocks, they begin to build a giant ice-stair to climb over the wall. We see that they have an almost endless army. The Night King rides a giant spider like the ice spiders mentioned in the books, his lieutenants on other animals like mammoths and elk.

The Night’s Watch sees what’s happening and have to abandon Castle Black because they lack the men to mount a defense. They now must warn people what’s coming. “The stair is taking time to be built, but it will be built and the dead will come”

The Watch joins John at Winterfell. They tell him everyone in the north needs to go South. Everyone.

Back in the South Cersei knows she can’t fight her way out so she must try and use her wits. She is surrounded. She asks to talk to Queen Daenerys woman to woman. Cersei tells Dany how she loved her brother Rhaeger, how it should have been her that wed him not Elia. That if it had been her, he would have never run off with Lyanna Stark. Elia Martell was far too plain and frail to please a Dragon.

(this is all true – Cersei thought all these things at one point)

Then she tells Dany about how every part of the prophecy the woods witch told her has come true. She had three children, and they all died. She says how at first she thought Margery was the Queen “Younger and more beautiful” that came to cast her down, but now she sees that it was clearly Dany the witch spoke of.

“I never thought Margery was more beautiful though, so I had my doubts. But you Danerys are very beautiful and you’ve come to cast me down”

Cersei says she will abdicate peacefully, she asks that Jamie and all her men be spared. And she asks to be allowed to resume life as the Lady of Casterly Rock. Loyal to the new Queen. Dany is very pleased and she allows it. Cersei then respectfully asks if Dany would grant her a seat on the council so that she might help the Queen ease her transition. Missandei is skeptical, Jorah thinks its a bad idea, but Tyrion is not there to truly warn Dany that his sister will continue to plot and that she may yet desire to take the throne after all is said and done.

Cersei pays Bronn to Kill Varys for leaving her service to join Daenerys. This way we get rid of Varys who is useless without his little birds and we see Cersei has not changed her true nature.

Tyrion flies his dragon North to the Wall while John Snow rides there with a scouting party. They need to see the enemy first hand and Tyrion can see them the best from the sky. Except the blizzard clouds make it impossible to see. He comes out of the clouds at a low altitude and immediately sees the stair almost complete. He’s close to the top of the wall and Viscerion lets out dragonflame that melts the top of the stair and several dead thralls. As he passes back we see the Night King on his ice spider, the spider spits and Icy Web that takes Visceron full in the face, he can’t see and he can breathe flame. He fly-crashes down on the southern side of the wall right in front of John and his men as they ride up.

The Men using all their daggers cuts away the icy web on the dragon’s face and he will be ok but he’s hurt and Tyrion won’t ride him without an actual plan of attack – smart right? Tyrion saw what they needed to see anyway, the North Needs to be evacuated, everyone must make for White Harbor to take ship or Moat Caitlin along the King’s road. Tyrion says when Viscerion is ready he will find Daenerys and tell her about the danger.

Bran tells John that he’s actually the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna when John and Tyrion get back to Winterfell. He tells him that they must have Daenerys and her Dragons to defeat the Night King, he tells him the Dragon must have three heads and John is the third. John must learn to ride a Dragon as well.

Bran tells Tyrion that he is, in fact, the son of Joanna Lannister and The Mad King. That the Mad King raped his mother and that he was half Lannister and half Targaryen. That his mother tried to drink moon tea too late to kill the pregnancy, that’s why she died and he came out a dwarf. (Big Reveal John Dany and Tyrion are the Three-headed Dragon of House Targaryen.)

I’m going to pause here and come back tomorrow with how the rest of this shit maybe could have gone down.

 

Need bangers? I can give ’em to ya.

Watch the whole clip or skip to 1:08 for context…I can give it to ya.

Happy Friday, Rail Riders! It’s you mans, PBM, and I’m coming in HOT with bangers to kick off your weekend. Let’s start with two joints from the Super Group Pivot Gang. Love these dudes – bunch of original rhyme slayers led by Saba and Joseph Chilliams. Their track “Blood” is the one that put me on to them.

The track “Edward Scissorhands” is what sold me on them permanently.

“You don’t got to trim your bush, you don’t got to Edward Scissorhands!” Bar of the century, kids.

If Pivot Gang’s sound is too modern for ya, then rock with Benny the Butcher. He’s as throwback as they come, man. Conjures up “Cuban Linx” and “Infamous” vibes every time I hear him bust into a beat. “Fast Eddie” is my favorite joint from him, but his whole catalogue is on point.

Ya boy PBM has been on a soulful kick lately, and tracks like “Thinking ‘Bout You” are at the crest of that wave. Deante’ Hitchcock is a self-proclaimed Outkast disciple and he brings the flavor of someone who should believe such a bold declaration. His track “Postlude” is straight fire too, as is “Ascension.”

This track is a bit older, but I’m just now getting it into rotation.

The lyrics paint the message. The beat is fire. It’s alllll legit in that banger from EARTHGANG.

Last one will be left to the man with the best drop in the game right now…”TO BASS BE THE GLORY!” Here’s Bass Santana’s THUMPER “Mix It.”

Updated PBM Playlist on Spotify. Peep game, and be safe out there this weekend.

No More Parties in LA

 

I love making cross-cultural comparisons. Not like Bill Simmons does in his current form, but I’d be lying if I didn’t credit his younger, hungrier self for showing me the brilliance of using this method for humor + universal relevance. In my brain, I tend to use Hip Hop, wrestling, the NBA, and epic film or TV as baselines. Hip Hop is far and away my most used medium to cross-cultural compare because I know the most about it, and MC’s are highly visible publicly + in their art.

Now…I always thought I had LeBron pegged with Drake as his perfect MC equal. They’re both front running dudes who don’t have an ounce of “hard life” in them. They constantly are positioning themselves as the leaders of their craft without acknowledging era-specific advantages and/or glaring flaws that distance them from the true greats. It’s seemed like a match made in fake beef wins + meaningless stat accumulation heaven. Turns out Drake is actually a far better match for Steph Curry…you can’t ignore the fact that Drake is the biggest hitmaker alive and Steph being the GOAT shooter. They make their teams better (get Drake on a feature and explode), and neither one is a disruptive emotional being. Where does his leave the false prophet LeBron James?

ENTER LEBRONYE WEST.

I mean…just the wordplay is enough for me to be encapsulated with joy. But when you look at the complete and utter chaos + dysfunction of LeBron’s Lakers season, doesn’t it remind you of the false idol “Yeezus?!?!?” The two of them leave their hometown for LA with delusions of grandeur and their sights set on expanding their brands wayyyyy outside of their lanes – LeBron to join the iconic Lakers + produce films/TV/music and Kanye to bolster his media exposure through a marriage to Kim Kardashian + run for President + who knows what the fuck else. Each one fell of the rails really damn quickly – I don’t know if each one realized that the team/family they were joining was a false bag of goods or if their complete lack of self awareness simply caught up to their lifestyles, but you know the rest of the story. Let’s go over LeBron first because it’s so damn glorious to see all of it together:

  1. Got an absolute legend to step down out of nowhere – Magic basically pulled an Irish Goodbye
  2. Drank wine on the bench while nursing injuries
  3. Was all alone + fake crying while he passed Jordan in total points
  4. Got another team’s GM fired + torpedoed his chances at landing a premier free agent this off-season
  5. Missed the playoffs
  6. Got a game winner blocked by Mario Hezonjia

7. Throw an inbounds pass off the backboard as the Lakers playoff chances CRUMBLED due to his need to push for a trade for Anthony Davis

8. Got bitch made/forcefully shoved into a defensive position by Kyle Kuzma

9. Can’t get anyone to join him in “Space Jam 2” – rumors say Chris Bosh and Wade are in…so the Monstars are jacking the powers of a guy who had to retire b/c he almost died + a retired dude. That’s worse than Shawn Bradley, man. Honestly, if he wasn’t devoid of a semblance of creative impulse, he should have just used his Lakers teammates. Rondo, JaVale, Lance, and Lonzo/Ingram would be perfect Monstars! LeBron’s a moron.

10. Stole the plot from “The Running Man” to make a CBS show…with Tebow tied to it. Didn’t realize people like “The Running Man” because of death + comedic villainy, and the show tanks instantly.

11. Served as the Fake A&R for 2Chainz’s latest effort that was Tity Boi’s worst in years. Didn’t realize that knowledgeable people such as myself know what A&R’s do, and that there was no way he was inputting lyrics into Genius and/or negotiating features. He DEFINTITELY wasn’t clearing the fucking samples. LeBron’s a huge fucking moron.

12. Distanced himself from legends such as Kareem, Duncan, Kobe, Magic, and Russell in the All-Time greatest player rankings.

13. Was such an ass clown that it finally feels like everyone is tired of his antics, and expects a SHRED of maturity or awareness from him.

I’m engorged by that list. Kanye’s disruptive nonsense wasn’t as diverse, but extremely disturbing and indefensible nonetheless. The guy had the audacity to call slavery “a choice” and openly support + kiss the ass of our racist, buffoon of a President with zero regard for how people would receive such brazen ignorance. Didn’t turn out so well for him, I’d say. His “masterpiece” album “Yandhi” has been shelved (just like LeBron’s 4th championship hopes), and he lost the support of long-term allies such as Jay Z, Talib Kweli, Tip, and Common. I’m going to go ahead and say LeBron’s glass of red on the bunch was Kanye’s rocking of the red “MAGA” hat….SHEEEEEESH.

I’m working on developing a LeBronye West character – I hope to debut him when more of the Space Jam 2 cast is released. Hopefully each of these men will continue to surround themselves with people who don’t have the answers…I really like watching douche egomaniacs face consequences.

Quintessential Nipsey Hussle

It’s been over a week since Ermias Joseph Asghedom, more commonly known as Nipsey Hussle, was gunned down in front of his newly established Marathon clothing store in Los Angeles. He was there without his bodyguard because it was an emergency trip to dole out an entire wardrobe to a longtime friend whom just finished a twenty year bid. The store was built on Crenshaw, in the heart of the gang warzone, and was meant to be a beacon of hope + a place of unity. He was 33 years old.

I’m not going to say anything more about Nipsey the man. That’s all you need to know if you have a pulse. Please enjoy the following Nipsey joints – I believe they are his best. Rest in power, Nip.

  1. “Tha Mansion”

2. “Gangsta’s Life,” feat. Snoop

3. “Outro”

4. “Shell Shocked”

5. “All Get Right,” feat. J. Stone

6. “Rap N*ggas”

7. “Call From the Bank”

8. “Mercy,” feat. Stacy Barthe

9. “Status Symbol 2,” feat. Buddy

10. “Hussle in the House”

Here’s a link to a Spotify list I’m compiling on Spotify – it’s a larger selection of his best work. The ten tracks above are in order at the beginning of it. STREAM HIS MUSIC! He owned all of it, his family profits from it, and his legacy lives on.

The time Aurane Waters stole Queen Cersei’s entire fleet and set himself up as a pirate king.

I’m back for another deep dive into A Game of Thrones: What was left out. Where I talk about a small part of the books that were omitted from the series. This week we stay with the Lannisters, as we focus on one of the endless follies of Cersei, the Queen regent.

Queen Cersei as she is portrayed in the show is a far more sympathetic figure than the Queen Cersei of the novels. Lena Headly’s portrayal of the Queen is one of a far more cunning and capable ruler. Cersei of the written word is about as capable a ruler as the Mad King.

Each chapter in the series of A Song of Ice and Fire is written from the POV of a specific character. The name in bold next to the chapter denotes whose POV that chapter follows. Queen Cersei doesn’t have a POV chapter until the 4th book, meaning it’s not until A Feast for Crows that we get a peek inside her mind.

From A Feast for Crows: Jamie: Chapter 17

“I govern the realm!”

Seven save us all you do. His sister liked to think of herself as Lord Tywin with teats, but she was wrong. Their father had been as relentless and implacible as a glacier, where Cersei was all wildfire, especially when thwarted.

It certainly seems like Jamie doesn’t see his sister as the ruler her father was, what about Tyrion? This Quote comes from a part of the books that were completely scrubbed from the TV series. Tyrion is traveling to the Dragon Queen in the company of a boy who is presumably the firstborn son of Rhaegar with his Dornish wife Elia. It is to this boy (Aegon) that he is speaking

From A Dance with Dragons: Tyrion: Chapter 19

I would go west instead of east. Land in Dorne and raise my banners. The Seven Kingdoms will never be more ripe for conquest than they are now. A boy king sits the Iron Throne…

Who does that leave? Why only Cersei.

Westeros is torn and bleeding, and I do not doubt that even now my sweet sister is binding up the wounds…with salt. Cersei is as gentle as King Maegor, as selfless as Aegon the Unworthy, as wise as Mad Aerys. She never forgets a slight real or imagined. She takes caution for cowardice and dissent for defienance. And she is greedy. Greedy for power, for honor, for love. Tommens rule is bolstered by all the alliances my lord father built so carefully, but soon enough she will destroy them, every one.

That’s Book-Cersei in a nutshell for the unschooled. Who is Aurane Waters?

Waters like Snow or Flowers is the bastard name given to those born in the Crownlands. Aurane Waters is known as the Bastard of Driftmark. Driftmark is an island near Dragonstone and it’s ruled by House Velaryon.

House Velaryon is a renowned house that like the Targaryen’s traces its roots bad to Old Valyria. Like the Targaryens they are known to have the silvery-gold hair and purple eyes of Ancient Valyria. (This is important)

Driftmark is sworn to Dragonstone and during the Battle of the Blackwater Aurane Waters fought against Joffrey on the side of Stannis. He was captured and after the battle, he bent the knee to Joffrey and we don’t hear anything about him for a long time…

Until Cersei notices him. This quote comes from the wedding celebration for King Tommen and Queen Margary.

From A Feast for Crows: Cersei: Chapter 12

Margary was dancing with her cousin Alla, Megga with Ser Tallad the Tall. The other cousin, Elinor, was sharing a cup of wine with the handsome young Bastard of Driftmark, Aurane Waters. It was not the first time the queen had made note of Waters, a lean young man with grey-green eyes and long silver-gold hair. The first time she had seen him, for half a heartbeat she had almost thought Rhaegar Targaryen had returned from the ashes.

Rhaegar is the only guy Cersei ever crushed on harder than her brother Jamie. While Jamie had been in love with only his sister. Cersei, on the other hand, wanted more than anything to marry Rhaegar.

From A Feast for Crows: Cersei: Chapter 24

Had any man ever been so beautiful? He was more than a man, though. His blood was the blood of Old Valyria, the blood of dragons and gods. When she was just a little girl, her father had promised her that she would marry Rhaegar.

later in the chapter…

Next to Rhaegar, even her beautiful Jamie had seemed no more than a callow boy. The Prince is going to be my husband, she had thought, giddy with excitement, and when the old king dies I’ll be the queen.

Instead, the Mad King rejects the offer.

“Your father proposed the match,” Lady Genna told her, “but Aerys refused to hear of it. ‘You are my most able servant, Tywin’ the king said, ‘but a man does not marry his heir to his servants daughter’

(All time “get your fucking shinebox line” by the Mad King.)

So at this point, we have Cersei dubiously in charge of the realm noticing a boy who looks like her old crush. The one that got away…

From A Feast for Crows: Jamie: Chapter 16

Jamie speaking to Cersei:

“There is talk you mean to make Aurane Waters the Master of Ships”

“Has someone been informing on me?… Waters is well suited to the office. He has spent half his life on ships”

“Half his life he cannot be more than twenty.”

“… It is past time that Tommen had some young men about him in place of all these wrinkled old greybeards. Aurane is strong and vigorous”

Strong and vigorous and handsome…Jamie Thought

“Paxter Redwine would be a better choice. He commands the largest fleet in Westeros. Aurane Waters could command a skiff, but only if you gave him one”

“You are a child, Jamie. Redwine is Tyrell’s bannerman, and nephew to that hideous grandmother of his. I want none of Lord Tyrell’s creatures on my council”

Cersei wants no Tyrells on her small council…her allies who fought for her on the Blackwater. Aurane Waters was fighting in that battle but on the other side…this she overlooks because she thinks he is cute. She is already destroying alliances like the Imp predicted.

A Feast for Crows: Cersei: Chapter 17

This next bit all comes from Cersei’s first small council meeting as queen regent.

My councillors. Cersei had uprooted every rose, and those beholden to her brothers. In their places were men whose loyalty would be to her. She had even given them new styles, borrowed from the Free Cities; she would have no “masters” at court beside herself. Orton Merryweather was her justiciar, Gyles Rosby her lord treasurer, Aurane Waters, the dashing young Bastard of Driftmark would be her Grand Admiral.

I want to just take a small step back and put forth the theory that everything that leads to Cersei’s downfall and imprisonment by the High Sparrow can be traced back to making Aurane Waters her Grand Admiral instead of taking Jamie’s advice and choosing Paxter Redwyne. It creates a domino effect that I’m about to outline.

Domino #1: Aurane Waters is the new Grand Admiral.

Domino  #2: Aurane Waters suggests that they build a new fleet.

Chapter 17 during the council meeting:

“Might we discuss the fleet” asked Aurane Waters. “Fewer than a dozen of our ships survived the inferno on the Blackwater We must needs restore our strength at sea.”

“I propose we build new dromonds,” said Aurane Waters. “Ten to start with.”

Cersei Agrees…

The problem is that the crown is in debt and has no money to pay for a new fleet. Cersei thinks she has the answer but it’s actually the key domino in her downfall.

“Though large, the crown incomes are not large enough to keep abreast of Robert’s debts. Acordingly, I have decided to defer our repayment of the sums owed the Holy Faith and the Iron Bank of Bravos until war’s end.” …

“The monies saved will be used for the building of our new fleet”

The lickspittles that Cersei adorned her small council with all concur, only Pycelle speaks against the idea. Grand Maester Pycelle takes a lot of shit in the movies and the book as a bit of a fool, but throughout Cersei’s time in charge all he does is give her good advice and all she does is ignore it and do the exact opposite.

“Your Grace, this will cause more trouble than you know” – Pycelle

Domino #3: Cersei defers her payment to the Iron Bank and the Holy Faith.

At this point, the domino effect splits and now two rows of dominos are falling. One row is related to not paying the Iron Bank, the other is related to not paying the Holy Faith. For this blog, we will go down the path of not paying the Holy Faith. That Domino effect has the most immediately noticeable results.

Allow me a moment of digression to talk about what’s going on with the Holy Faith at this time in the story. The Bells are ringing due to the death of the High Septon. Cersei has the High Septon assassinated for no more reason than he was appointed by Tyrion and he may have heard Lancel confess to bedding her. At the same time, scores of religious people called “sparrows” are flooding into King’s Landing. Cersei doesn’t know who will be proclaimed the New High Septon at the time she decides not to repay the Faith.

The new High Septon, known as the High Sparrow is a direct result of Cersei’s scheming and plays a key role in her downfall.

There is a lot to unpack from  A Feast For Crows: Cersei: Chapter 28.

The Chapter opens with the Cersei traveling to Visenya’s Hill, to see the High Sparrow at the Sept of Baelor. She is traveling with her “best friend” Lady Taena Merryweather, wife of one of her councilors Orton Merryweather.

A note about Taena Merryweather, she is incredibly beautiful and much more than she seems but Cersei is too stupid to realize it. (It’s my personal theory that she is Littlefinger’s spy) Taena and Aurane Waters are both attractive in Cersei’s eyes and it doesn’t take much for them to win her favor.

The blessing was an empty ritual, she knew, but rituals and ceremonies had powers in the eyes of the ignorant. Aegon the Conqueror himself had dated the start of his realm from the day the High Septon anointed him in Oldtown. “This wretched priest will obey or learn how weak and human he really is”

“Orton says it is the gold he really wants. That he means to withhold his blessing until the crown resumes it’s payments”

“The Faith will have its gold as soon as we have peace”

____

We had to have those ships. She could not rely upon the Arbor for her navy; The Redwynes were too close to the Tyrells. She needed her own strength at sea.

The dromondss rising on the river would give her that. Her flagship would dip twice as many oars as King Robert’s Warhammer. Aurane had asked her leave to name her Lord Tywin which Cersei had been pleased to grant.

Another of the ships would be named Sweet Cersei and would bear a gilded figurehead carved in her likeness, clad in mail and a lion helm, with a spear in hand.

This next quote is from a previous chapter but I want to tie it in here as it relates to the fleet that Cersei is building.

The Grandmaester had been especially querulous in council of late. At the last session he had complained bitterly about the men that Aurane Waters had chosen to captain her dromonds. Waters meant to give the ships to younger men whilst Pycelle argued for experience, insisting the commands should go to the captains who had survived the fires of the Blackwater. “Seasoned men with proven loyalty,” he called them. Cersei called them old and sided with Waters.

Cersei has given Waters leave to build a Navy and decide who mans it. Waters who fought against them in the last major naval battle and lost his kinsmen in the bargain.

Eventually, Cersei makes it to the Great Sept of Baelor and has her meeting with the High Sparrow.

Domino #4: Cersei meets with the new High Sparrow. He forgives the crowns massive debt and will bless King Tommen with the seven holy oils and anoint him king, but in exchange is allowed to arm the Faith Militant.

What is the Faith Militant? It was two ancient military orders, The Warrior’s sons and The Poor Fellows. They had been abolished 300 years ago.

The Faith Militant reborn…that would be the answer to three hundred years of prayer, Your Grace.

Cersei thinks it the height of cleverness.

Cersei could not help but smile. Even her lord father could have done no better. At a stroke she had rid King’s Landing of the plague of sparrows, secured Tommen’s blessing, and lessened the crown’s debt by close to a million dragons. Her heart was soaring as she allowed the High Septon to escort her back to the Hall of Lamps.

In a stroke Cersei secures her downfall, she, a person with no moral code just gave an army to an unwavering religious fanatic. Then will later try to use him as a catspaw in her plot against Margery. It will backfire horribly in her face.

We cut to near the end of the book A Feast for Crows. Margery has been arrested for treason by the High Sparrow. Cersei thinks her plot is all going according to plan. She is planning to see the High Sparrow to “free Margery from false accusations” when in point of fact she’s trying to secure her death.

The problem that she won’t see until it’s too late is that if the High Sparrow now has the power to arrest one queen then why not another? That’s the last Domino.

Domino #5 The Faith now has the power to arrest queens because Cersei put aside the laws for her fleet and for Tommen’s blessing.

From A Feast for Crows: Cersei: Chapter 43

The remnants of her small council followed her out. Harys Swift appeared dazed. He stumbled at the door and might have fallen if Aurane Waters had not caught him by the arm. Even Orton Merryweather seemed anxious. “The smallfolk are fond of the little queen,” he said “They will not take well to this  I fear what might happen next, Your Grace.”

“Lord Merryweather is right,” said Lord Waters. “If it please Your Grace, I will launch the rest of our new dromonds. The sight of them upon the Blackwater with King Tommen’s banner flying from thier masts will remind the city who rules here, and keep them safe should the mobs decide to run riot again.”

“A prudent measure,” the queen announced “Until this storm has passed I want your ships crewed and on the water”

Waters now with the fleet completely built just needs a reason to put them in the water and now he has it. I don’t know if he was always planning to betray the queen because he knows he can get even more out of her. She had been thinking about giving him lands and making him a Lord in truth. The second she falls from power, he understands that the fleet can easily be taken from him and given to a different Lord Admiral. Waters was smart and made sure the crews were captained and crewed by men loyal to him. So the second the queen is arrested he just peaces out and takes the fleet with him…

Same Chapter 43 much later… 

“What of Lord Waters? His ships…If he brings the crews ashore, he could have enough men to…”

“As soon as word of Your Grace’s present troubles reached the river, Lord Waters raised sail, unshipped his oars, and took his fleet to sea. Ser Harys fears he means to join Lord Stannis. Pycelle believes that he is sail to the Stepstones to set himself up as a pirate.”

“All my lovely dromonds.” Cersei almost laughed. “My father used to say that bastards were treacherous by nature. Would that I had listened”

That last line is such classic Cersei. She is the ultimate hypocrite it was her treacherous nature that landed her in this position and all three of her children were bastards. Pycelle hits the nail on the head with Aurane Waters, he stole the fleet and turned to piracy. This is heavily insinuated in a pre-released Arianne Martel Chapter from The Winds of Winter

According to Valena Toland, A new pirate king has set himself up on Torture’s Deep in the Stepstones, styling himself, the Lord of the Waters.

So there you have it Cersei gives way to much power to a man who reminds her of a crush and creates a domino effect that crushes her.

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The Time Tyrion Lannister Apologized to Stew.

Game of Thrones hype is building. The trailer for the final season was recently released and I consider myself a Game of Thrones scholar. No, I am not going to break down the trailer. People are already doing that. When it comes to the Game of Thrones TV show I am now pretty apathetic. The show is fine, the early seasons were better but the whole ending has been rushed.

I’m not here to rip what the show has become. It’s just for a different type of audience now. My GoT expertise is in the books and it’s too the books I go for this blog. The purpose of these GoT blogs (this is going to be the first of a few) is to highlight these little subtle moments of brilliance that I am constantly finding in the writing of George R.R. Martin.

They are little moments where if you’re not reading carefully you miss the joke or the irony. The one I am going to start with is just a little joke Tyrion makes at Joffrey’s wedding feast.

It’s relatively early in the feast. Collio Quaynis of Tyrosh is the second singer in an order of seven that will be performing at the feast. The first singer Hamish the Harper had already performed “The Rains of Castemere” as part of his ensemble.

Peacocks  were served in their plumage, roasted whole and stuffed with dates, while Collio summoned a drummer, bowed low before Lord Tywin, and launched into “The Rains of Castemere”

If I have to hear seven versions of that I may go down to flea bottom an apologize to the stew. 

So he doesn’t actually apologize to stew, it’s just a frivolous thought he has but what does it mean exactly? It’s call callback to a minor thread in Tyrion’s storyline that they omitted from the TV show. Tyrion has Shae hidden at a brothel called Shataya’s on one of the occasions that he goes to visit her, she is being entertained by a singer named Symon Silvertongue.

Symon greets Tyrion as the Hand of the Kind but Tyrion basically threatens him right off the bat ordering him to forget that he ever saw him. Tyrion fears for Shae’s safety because his father threatened to hang the next whore he found in his bed. If word gets out she could be in danger.

Later Symon is hired by Lady Stokeworth to sing for her lackwit daughter Lollys. He becomes privy to the fact that there will be seven singers at Joffrey’s wedding and basically decides to blackmail Tyrion in an effort to be one of the seven and compete for a golden lute. He even suggests that an “accident” should happen to one of the singers and they call him in as the replacement.

He performs a song for Tyrion, a song about him…

He rode through the streets of the city,

down from his hill on high,

O’er the wynds and the steps and the cobbles,

he rode to a woman sigh,

For she was his secret treasure,

she was his shame and his bliss,

and a chain and a keep are nothing compared to a woman’s kiss

For hands of gold are always cold but a woman’s hands are warm…

(this song does make it into the show in the form of Ed Sheeran)

Symon is threatening to expose Shae unless Tyrion gets him on the list as one of the seven singers. Tyrion tells him no problem, Bronn will handle it. Then Tyrion tells Bronn to make Symon disappear. Bronn refers to a pot shop in flea bottom that makes “a savory bowl of brown, with ALL KINDS of meat in it.

Super Short Version:

Tyrion has the singer killed and cooked into stew, then when the singers are terrible he thinks about apologizing to Symon now in his final form of stew. This cracked me up. These are the little things that make Tyrion so great as a character, the little droll musings that only he and the reader get to experience. It also highlights that Tyrion in the book does way more shady shit then he does in the show. Shady book Tyrion that kills singers and has them fed to the poor should have come out more in the show.

Hope you enjoyed this little look back at just a tiny little sliver of the story.

ATrain Out.

You really need to be watching Deadly Class.

This show is fucking awesome. I blogged about the music in the pilot episode. But now I have to gush about this show again because I just finished episode #5 Saudade. It was psychedelic drug-fuelled mayhem pretty much from start to finish. The trip to Las Vegas was one of my favorite parts of the comics and the show really managed to capture the spirit of that trip and expand on it from a visual perspective.

Saudade by Love and Rockets, the song the episode was named after begins to play, and we are treated to a parade of different styles of animation as Marcus moves through his trip. (He took 7x the Acid everyone one else did)

Visually it’s really both clever and beautiful with subtle nods to the imagery of King’s Dominion, and to the previous episodes. I can’t stress enough how well the music pairs with the animation during the peak of Marcus’s trip. At one point it felt like I wasn’t watching a TV show but I was staring at a work of art.

I’m glad the show hasn’t let the fear of being cliche’ stop it from being true to the source material and true to the audience. Yes, trippy sequences have been done before so what? They haven’t been done this well and in the context of a narrative this compelling. So much of the negative reviews of Deadly Class has sounded something like “Oh another cliche’ explain-the-cliques in the cafeteria scene, or another cliche detention scene.” Shut up, just shut up please, there is nothing wrong with those scenes if you do them well and the characters are compelling. Deadly Class has compelling characters and great writing please pompous idiot reviewers just let this show have fun, please.

Marcus’s trip also dare-I-say gives a shout out to Benedict Wong’s portrayal Kubla Khan in the show Marco Polo, when Marcus comes across Master Lin and he’s being exalted atop a large palanquin carried by snake people.

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Benedict Wong who plays Master Lin in Deadly Class, pictured here as Kublai Khan in Netflix’s Marco Polo. 

The Snake is meant to be very symbolic here, it’s part of the school crest, and is shown throughout. It’s not hard to make the connection between snakes and rats. The school is meant for snakes but Marcus and other non-legacy student carry the title of “rat” The sequence culminates with Saya and Maria looking over Marcus in the Hotel Room telling him “everything’s gonna be ok”

But the trip isn’t over for Marcus, he’s going to be tripping balls for a while. Pretty much the whole rest of the episode.

I really don’t want to spoil the plot of this episode just say that you need to watch it. Watch episodes 1-4 of course but MAKE SURE YOU WATCH THIS ONE. It is Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas crossed with Natural Born Killers but with actors that look like they could be the cast of Saved by the Bell 2019.

“Can you and I be friends Teddy Ruxpin, tell me a story about friendship and caring”

-Willie

Make Friends with this show, you won’t regret it.

Breaking Down the Music of SyFy Network’s Deadly Class Pilot.

Deadly Class premiers on January 16th on the SyFy Network. The pilot got an early internet release and was up on the SyFy website and briefly youtube (no longer available).

What is Deadly Class? I wrote about it a little while back.

My already high expectations were actually surpassed by the first episode. One of my big questions and something I was excited about is the music they would use in the episode. Music is a big part of Deadly Class. There are countless musical references including an entire panel about the B52’s in the comic. The cycles themselves are named mostly after songs e.g. Reagan Youth, Kids of the Black Hole, A Love like Blood, The Snake Pit etc.

So how important would the music be on the show? Could it match the comic books awareness? Would the music set the tone? Would they pussy out and use basic 80’s songs that everyone knows or would they find the appropriately deeper cuts that the show would call for? These are some of the questions I would have going in.

They would set the tone immediately with a PERFECT choice to open the show. This is going to be a theme for this Blog because on several occasion they will pick the perfect song for the situation.

Depeche Mode: Behind the Wheel

The long rhythmic opening thumps like a racing and irregular heartbeat. There’s the perfect amount of time before the lyrics kick in for Marcus to tell us his situation in voice-over. He’s living on the streets and wanted for multiple murders. The police think he’s burned down his boy’s home killing everyone inside. The song’s lyrics:

Tonight

I’m in the hands of fate

I hand myself

Over on a plate

are quite literal to what Marcus is about to go through. As fate would have it the police are not the only ones looking for Marcus. A school for assassins called King’s Dominion has also heard of the boy wanted for multiple murders and they are looking to recruit him.

Marcus accidentally smokes some angel dust and wanders into The Day of the Dead Parade. He’s made by the police but assisted by his future classmates. We get

Agent Orange: Too Young to Die

The frantic pace of this song matches the frantic pace of the chase and Marcus narrowly evades capture by the cops. The song’s lyrics:

I didn’t expect them to know my name

Surrounding me like a black steel frame

are like Marcus not expecting all these King’s Dominion Kids to know who he is…but they do and they have him surrounded after he escapes the police.

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I’m too young to die

We’re all too young to die

is a very literal reminder that we are dealing with teenagers here. Marcus initially declines a spot a King’s Dominion but he doesn’t have many options and Saya convinces him to go with her. Our initial arrival is met with

The Cure: The Holy Hour

It was only a matter of time until The Cure showed up. The Holy Hour is the perfect entrance song for King’s Dominion The deep and ominous bass echoes as the lyrics

Kiss the ground and slip away.

Tell us that Marcus is about to slip away to a completely different world and he doesn’t really know what he’s getting into.

Marcus formally is accepted into King’s Dominion and we get a montage of him showering and putting on his King’s Dominion uniform.

Echo and the Bunnymen: The Killing Moon

Fate

Up against your will

Through thick and thin

He will wait until

You give yourself to him

Marcus is selling his soul to Master Lin and King’s Dominion. He knows he didn’t burn down the boys home, but he’s going to join anyway. And is it really his choice? Or was Master Lin not going to be denied. Was it fate? It’s fascinating how when you look at the lyrics to each song you can make very specific connections to the narrative. Also, this is just another fucking rad song from the eighties.

The montage ends and we are getting acquainted with what class is like in a school for assassins as Marcus makes his way through a day at King’s Dominion. When we get to the obligatory cafeteria scene where all the cliques and affiliations are explained to him by his new pal Billy.

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Saya is affiliated with the Yakuza.

This is where the music breaks from more sullen tones to remind us exactly where this is taking place in case you don’t already know we’re in the eighties.

Killing Joke: Eighties

I don’t need to dive into the lyrics here. We’re living in the 80’s.

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Marcus meeting Petra and Lex in the “Graveyard”

From the Cafeteria, we go to the “graveyard” which is the nickname for the rooftop that the students go to party. In the comics, it’s an actual graveyard. On the rooftop with Marcus and Billy are Petra and Lex. The boom-box is playing, presumably Petra’s tape:

Sister’s of Mercy: Dominion / Mother Russia

This is another song that just carries the banner for the sounds of the decade and the fact that it’s Petra’s tape give us some insight into her taste. Billy doesn’t really care for her taste and takes out her tape and puts in Milo Goes to College.

The Descendants: Bikeage

How very punk rock of you Billy.

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Billy played by Liam James was honestly one of the most well-cast characters of the pilot.

In the Graveyard Marcus reveals the answer to Master Lin’s question of who would you kill. Marcus wants to kill Ronald Reagan, which just gets him laughed at.

I’ve seen a couple other postings about the music from the pilot episode. Mostly they were just lists of the songs and they ALL are left one song featured off the list. I wonder if that is because it was the only rap song? For some reason none of the song-lists mention

Too $hort: Freaky Tales

This is playing in Willie’s car at around the 38-minute mark of the episode and it’s perfectly fitting for the character and scene. Too $hort being from Oakland and rapping about fucking is exactly what a 1987 brother in San Fran like Willie WOULD be listening too. Especially given the nature of the conversation where Willie admits he “knocked boots” with the ultra-racist Brandy,  but their teacher Miss Deluca is his “white whale.”

Willie and Marcus have an assignment for class…kill somebody who deserves it. Marcus knows just the person and after the killing is done while disposing of the body, we get another song that fits the narrative and the time period like a puzzle piece.

New Order: Elegia

In many ways, New Order is the most 80’s sounding band in existence. Elegia is an instrumental written in memory of Ian Curtis. It was featured in Pretty in Pink and Stranger Things but given the sound of the song and the nature of the scene, I think it’s most apropos here. Ominous and forlorn are the word’s I’d use to describe Elegia, the perfect song to play while disposing of your first murder victim.

The last song of the episode plays us out of the show to perfection

The Damned: Melody Lee

You get the piano opening and Marcus’s voice optimistic voice-over as he locks eyes with the lovely Saya, then the song changes to an ultra-fast pace as we fade out to the credits. If you have read the comics the story moves at breakneck speed and this song should indicate a lot of action yet to come. Also, the audience knows that Saya isn’t necessarily sincere in her intentions towards Marcus, whatever they may be. We have seen that she is Master Lin’s pet and he has a plan for Marcus. So the false beginning of this song echoes the false intentions of Saya. Just another totally rad song and perfect selection.

This show is going to be a hit, that’s my prediction and I just hope that future episodes can feature music close to this level going forward. Watch Deadly Class.

-Atrain Out.

Game of Thrones Fans: Do Not Buy – FIRE & BLOOD.

I am a long time George R. R. Martin Defender. For years I have defended him in conversations with friends and on internet message boards. I can no longer defend this guy. He’s not going to ever finish “A Song of Ice and Fire” and who knows when The Winds of Winter will come out if ever.

GRRM has decided to put out a bunch of bullshit material to try and appease fans while simultaneously making a huge cash grab. I’m here to say that enough is enough. It’s time for fans of ASOIAF to band together and boycott all things from GRRM until The Winds of Winter is released.

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Another picture of GRRM dressed in dark colors probably to hide food stains.

 

The kicker is that Fire & Blood is loaded with material that fans such as myself read years ago. “The Rogue Prince’ and “The Princess and the Queen” are a part of Fire & Blood. Why am I going to buy this when I read it in 2014? Meanwhile, A Dance of Dragons is nearing 8 years old. I don’t really know how the author can rationalize churning out this fluff material at the expense of The Winds of Winter.

I’m already resigned to the fact that he won’t ever finish the series, and that A Dream of Spring is just that…a dream. I just want to read The Winds of Winter.