Game of Thrones: Season 5 Episode 3 – High Sparrow

<–S5E2 – The House of Black and White                S5E4 – Sons of the Harpy–>

Welcome back to my unexpected but still enjoyable analyses of this season of GoT.  I’m kind of wishing I could write these on Monday or Tuesday, because while marinating is nice, forgetting is not.  Thankfully, I do take notes and have a fairly good idea of what I’d like to say.  That…generally changes and evolves as I go along, but onward and upward.

First I have to say that episode three has been the best one so far.  Two was better than one; three was better than two.  Hopefully Benioff and Weiss keep up this trend.

Smirking Margaery demands it

Again one of the theorists I follow, Bar de Porto, was the first one to come out with an analysis (she really must just record them right away, because they’re up by Monday morning).  This one is spoilerific btw (see the red dot).

I would also recommend watching this one from her, too.  It’s not an episode video, but rather an analysis of Tyrion and Greyscale in the Sorrows.

Note: I did try to embed the videos, but for some reason they kept showing up as links, so plan B it is.

Honestly, after watching that, all I could think about was drowning.  The end of T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock kept running through my head; I thought about the Drowned God of course; and kept visualizing Aeris’s “burial scene” in FFVII.

“What is dead may never die,
But rises again, harder and stronger.”

Chilling words considering they come from a story about ice zombies.

So in this rambling installment I shall discuss Cutting Cruel in King’s Landing, The Sansa Theories Were True, How Do You Face a Faceless Man, Walled Off Ambitions, and Tyrion’s Troubles With Whores.

Oh and of course SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS!

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Chapter 5 – Imminent Darkness

<<–Preamble/Prelude
<–Chapter 4                                                                                                    Chapter 6–>

Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VII, its characters, and settings are all property of Square Enix so I can take no credit nor claim any ownership of that. I do take some credit for the story’s plot.
Artwork Disclaimer:  The featured artwork for this chapter is entitled What Am I and was created by the very talented Deviant Artist TsukiNoKishi/Kali Mavromati who graciously granted me permission to use it here. All rights belong to the artist, and links are included for both her artist page and the work.
“Gott weiß ich will kein Engel sein.”
-Rammstein “Engel”

Chapter 5 - Imminent Darkness

It was clean, far too clean to dwell below in the slums. They must’ve decided at the very last minute that it wasn’t worthy of being above, but the sector remembered and kept some of its pride to shine white light near bright as day. The lamps were high here though the plate was even higher ascending again after its dip. In the miasma of smoke and fog the lamplight spread along the strands. It almost created an overcast sense as though beyond the mist waited the sun.

The populace ignored her even the street sweepers. Aeris dwelled below even their care. As for her escort, he slid past their vision, stunning and better than they. The fact that he was with her didn’t matter. Slum girls were easy to buy. This sector was only a layer away from the true city above. Even the destitute and poor have hierarchy, and Aeris flinched at another harsh glare.

Sephiroth sniffed. “This place reeks of Mako. The reactor here is fully active.”

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Game of Thrones: Season 5 Episode 2 – The House of Black and White

<–S5E1 – The Wars to Come                                                 S5E3 – High Sparrow–>

Well here I am…back again doing what I said I wouldn’t do last week, but since I started the precedence, I feel obligated to continue.  I’m going to try to get these out every Wednesday since I get home earlier than I do any other day of the week, plus it’s a long enough interim for the episode to marinate and stew in my brain.

First off, episode two was far superior to its predecessor but I still have a few gripes.  Now these are not “OMG the show totally sucks now.  I can’t believe they left that out!” type of gripes.  They’re more, “Hm, I wonder how they going to do this pretty relevant thing now?” gripe.  As before I took to the internet a day after viewing to see what my favorite theorists were saying.  Bar was the first one I found..

This is a book vs. show type of video and is therefore rife with spoilers for you non-booky folk.

This one is just a review of the episode and doesn’t give anything away…unless  you haven’t seen prior episodes.

So the four topics I’m going to cover are Brienne Can’t Keep “Quiet,” (No) Funerals and Fever Dreams, The Folly of Queens, and the House of (Meta) Black and White.  I know other things happen in the episode (Littlefinger and Sansa going…somewhere and the introduction of Doran Martell), but I’m only going to talk about these since they stood out as most significant to me.  Because this will be comparing/contrasting the book to the show, turn back now if you haven’t read up to A Dance With Dragons (Book 5).

***SPOILERS ARE UP AHEAD***

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Awesome Cosplay of the Day: 4/22/15

I forestall going on a rant and make a terrible pun.

The Caffeine Crew

It’s Earth Day or Earth Week or Earth Month…frankly it should be Earth All the Fucking Time, but that’s not a tirade I wish to unleash *deep breath*  Anyway, I couldn’t think of a better representative for this day than the below.

04222015Aeris would agree with me about the Earth ATFT thing…and then we’d both be silenced by the right wing #sorrynotsorry

Oh and just a side note.  How to know your cosplay game is on point…just ask princessadella above since this picture of her was autographed by Nomura Tetsuya himself.  When the designer of the character autographs your cosplay rendition of the character, you are pretty much okay to retire.

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Fast and Furious 7

I’m not ashamed to step out of my ivory tower, dismount from my high horse and review a car chase and explosions action movie.  I have seen a few of the films in the Fast and Furious series, but not all in their entirety.  I believe the only one I actually sat through was Fast Five, the one where The Rock is chasing them down.  I’m a fan of The Rock; he’s a fellow Taurus.

He’s welcoming us all to the gun show.

He manged to make the not that easy transition from the world of pro wrestling to film acting, so much respect, and Fast 5 was a really good film.  Some people scoff and poo poo the action genre as being vapid, meaningless violence, but I have a few arguments against that.  One, you know what you’re getting into when you see a movie like this.  I wasn’t expecting Pacific Rim to present some high transcendent ideas about existence, and whatever, it had Idris Elba in it!  He was Heimdall in Thor and was considered for the Doctor and possibly James Bond (not without some controversy *rolls eyes*).  Crap…thought train derailed.  My second point is that the F&F franchise has always been about a lot more than just the car chases and explosions, which I’ll get into once I start the review proper.

Furious 7

I’d been interested in seeing this movie from the first trailers as I’d enjoyed the prior ones I’d seen.  I’d also been told by many people that I HAD to see it because “FF7 Adrienne!”

My face

Yeah…I made many a Facebook scroll stop when I saw THAT abbreviation and was very glad they started using the ampersand in between the two F’s to help alleviate the confusion.

The plot is nothing complicated, no GRRM intricacies here, although I had to ask my husband to clear up a few things I didn’t know.  Quick note if you haven’t seen all of the movies, you will still be able to enjoy this installment.  There are a couple of things that might have you raising your brows, but they are fairly easy to figure out just by paying attention and using some common sense.

F&F7 is the first film to take place after Tokyo Drift with the older brother, Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), of the previous bad guy seeking vengeance on Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his gang for his younger sibling’s comatose condition.  Back in the states, the crew is trying to adjust to normal lives after securing amnesty from Luke Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson).  Unfortunately, nothing wanted is ever easily gained.  Shaw manages to break into the secure office where Hobbs works to extract profiles about his targets.  A fight ensues ending with a bomb severely injuring Hobbs and putting him the hospital and (supposedly) out of commission.

Meanwhile, Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker RIP ;_;) is attempting to accustom himself to the mundane life of husband to Mia (Jordana Brewster), Dom’s sister, and father to their son.  Mia is not an un-astute woman though and realizes that Brian is feeling the drain of banality, “missing the bullets” of his formerly faster life. She is reluctant to tell him that she is pregnant again, and Dom tries to convince her that Brian loves her more than he loved his former life and that she obviously needs to impart this information.  Before this can happen though, the package on their front porch explodes, destroying the house, but thankfully leaving Dom, the newly pregnant Mia, Brian, and their son unharmed.  It becomes quickly clear that they’re being hunted, and things get more complicated when the gang becomes involved with a Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) who promises Dom assistance if him and his crew will help him rescue a hacker named Ramsey from terrorists.

There are a couple of interesting surprises with the film such as the identity (or rather appearance) of Ramsey.  There’s a scene where they drop cars out of an airplane, jump a car between three towers, and use the eye of God.  The laws of physics are utterly obliterated, but you enjoy every minute of the break.

What really sets the Fast and Furious franchise apart for me is the message that lies at its heart: family.  Dom Toretto says, “I don’t have friends; I have family,” and that’s what he’s all about.  His crew is his family.  It doesn’t matter the distance (Han in Tokyo), their backgrounds (Brian used to be a cop), or blood ties; family is family.  I loved the message of intercultural and international bonds and made an observation that I’m sure many of you might have already picked up.  Paul Walker’s character Brian is the only white protagonist.  We do have Jason Statham, but he’s an antagonist alongside of Djimon Hounsou, who I’d honestly love to see in a non-bad guy role (Guardians of Galaxy had him as a secondary villain, too).  The F&F films show that you can have a successful film franchise where the majority of the main/hero characters aren’t white.  I think that is insanely important to show that such diversity can exist, and the way the characters interact with each solidifies this concept.  Brian is just as much a part of the group as Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Dom’s “Mrs. Alpha.”

This is not to say there weren’t some issues with the film.  Like most action movies, there was some serious female objectification, and sad to say, it’s just something you come to expect from the genre.  It becomes a complicated issue, because F&F7 also has women in good positions (which is a problematic statement in and of itself, but something I don’t want to get into here).  Bit of a spoiler, but…

This is Ramsey.

Roman (Tyrese Gibson) remarks that he would never put that kind of body behind a computer screen in reference to Ramsey’s (Nathalie Emmanuel who also plays Missandei on GoT) status as both female and hacker.  I was glad to see Tej (Chris “Ludicrous” Parker) set him straight by challenging him on what exactly a hacker should look like.  Now granted a few scenes later, we have her in a bikini *sigh* but baby steps.

I can’t finish up this review without mentioning the ending, which arguably bolsters this movie from 4 to 5 stars.  If you don’t want to know about the tribute to Paul Walker, you’ll want to stop reading, otherwise let me just tell you there were invisible ninjas cutting onions in the theater near me.

Just listening to it here brings tears to my eyes.  Now that I’m thinking about it…I’m not going to give away the tribute.  It will have much more resonance if you see it for yourself.  Let me just say that it was one of the best tributes to someone I have ever seen, and while it was obvious that that’s what they were doing, I felt it fit seamlessly into the movie.  Both Brian and Paul deserved to have that kind of happy ending.

Well it appears I didn’t have to leave my ivory tower after all. F&F7 will definitely go down in the annals as one of my favorite action movies if just for that ending alone.  Highly recommend seeing it in the theater just to witness some of the more action-y bits in silver screen format.  It was well worth the money.

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Chapter 4 – Blood Dance

<<–Preamble/Prelude

<–Chapter 3                                                                                                    Chapter 5–>

Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VII, its characters, and settings are all property of Square Enix so I can take no credit nor claim any ownership of that. I do take some credit for the story’s plot.
Artwork Disclaimer: I did not create and therefore own no rights to the featured artwork. I was unable to locate any source or artist for the work seen below, so was therefore unable to request permission or even give credit. If you are the creator of this phenomenal piece and you do not approve of me using it for my fanfiction, please let me know and I will remove it immediately from this site and all others. If you are the artist and are fine with me using it, please give me your information, and I will gladly give credit. I apologize that I was unable to locate the source in order to request permission prior.
Author’s Note – Music Suggestion: Years ago I had a creative writing teacher in undergrad and  later grad school who consistently insisted that life does not come with a soundtrack.  While I agree with her assessment, I respectfully disagree with this applying to stories.  I have been often inspired to write by music or find that certain melodies remind me of scenes or vice versa.  With this in mind I would highly recommend the song “God Help  the Outcasts” from Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame’s Soundtrack during the church scene in the middle of the chapter below.  I put the link in the song title so it’s only a click away.

***Warning: Extremely graphic violence occurs at the end of this chapter.***

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil…” -Psalm 23:4

Chapter 4 - Blood Dance

Sephiroth descended the stairs with chains jangling, leaving Aeris so that she could dress. The basement door was still shut to his glare as he heard the scratching ever below. Forcing away his gaze, he spied the leftover soup tightly covered in a bowl on the counter. He hoped that wouldn’t be her morning meal. The maid deserved a far better breakfast. There was a worn step stool in front of the cabinets, which was unneeded for his search within.

Upstairs Aeris brushed her hair until it was almost dry. The mirror was murky from moisture’s touch, but her pale image swam softly through. The flower maid could not dispel the absurdity that her murderer lurked downstairs, but she’d lived long enough in the belly of the wolf to know that safety was an illusion. Even here in her mother’s old house, the best refuge had been below.

Her fingers had threaded chestnut hair into braid without notice, and she carefully brushed her high bangs. No longer was she that pink ingénue…but that ribbon still twisted her hair. Her skin was whiter than the walls of her bathroom, the price of living beneath the stones. The maid wondered if age would ever touch her face for she seemed no older than when she had died.

Blowing out the candle when she was dressed, Aeris descended the stairs. Last night meandered like a lost dream that had trickled over to morning. The sight before dissolved that fancy like a spider web in a storm. Gone were the shackles around his wrists though they were still circled by silver bracers. That made her suddenly sad that even without chains he was still forever bound. The leather gloves were back on his hands so arm to finger was endless black. The latches on his coat matched the ones on his boots the former fastened at his waist.   Black leather flowed all the way to his ankles, and Aeris averted her eyes from the straps ‘cross his chest. He’d not only see her blush, but smell its heat beneath her skin. A lock of hair had fallen across his face, and he shook it away with nary a hush. He was all black and silver with winter white skin, a study in monochrome save for those eyes.

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