Game of Thrones – the Payoff

Last season (Season 5), I was getting more and more worried about Game of Thrones. Sure I loved it kept me gripped and on the edge of my seat – wanting the next episode to come as quickly as possible.


But that in a way was my worry. Most of that tension came from the sudden twists in the plot, from the fact that no one was safe and you just could not predict what was going to happen next.

However – take that away – for example, watch it a second time when you know what is coming and what is left? A lot of sex and violence – and sexual violence.

What did that make it? Would it feel a very different and lessened show as the years passed and we got a different perspective on it?

Well, this season was the reason – this season was the payoff.


Well, we recently went to see the latest Star Wars film (The Force Awakens). It was entertaining enough – did a good job of what it is expected to do – it’s Star Wars, not Shakespeare.


But you don’t feel for the characters. OK you are tense when they are in danger but when the good guys beat the bad guys – as you know they will do – it doesn’t mean anything. They win because  they are the good guys – that’s all. In some respects, in a lot of modern films, the bad guys are often cooler!

This season’s Game of Thrones showed how to do it properly and gave meaning to all that violence. We have lived and suffered with the characters we love for a long time now. We have felt them suffer, we have felt their losses, we have shed tears over the many unjust deaths.

And we have learned to hate the perpetrators of evil – and this season without giving too much away has seen a few of the best get their comeuppance.  And we felt it! It mattered! We punched the air when they bit the dust and it mattered that the good guys won – it meant something.

The plot has played the long game properly! It has made the whole – so far – much more worthy in my opinion and one of the greats of the small screen.




Something to Look Forward To!

It’s been awhile since there’s been something exciting to come out of anywhere really.

Films have all been just the next instalment of the latest franchise, or reboots of old ones. Books similar.

Now there this!

The King’s Justice

Two new, original novellas—Donaldson’s first publication since finishing the Thomas Covenant series—are a sure cause for celebration among his many fans.

In The King’s Justice, a stranger dressed in black arrives in the village of Settle’s Crossways, following the scent of a terrible crime. He even calls himself “Black,” though almost certainly that is not his name. The people of the village discover that they have a surprising urge to cooperate with this stranger, though the desire of inhabitants of quiet villages to cooperate with strangers is not common in their land, or most lands. But this gift will not save him as he discovers the nature of the evil concealed in Settle’s Crossways.

The “Augur’s Gambit” is a daring plan created by Mayhew Gordian, Hieronomer to the Queen of Indemnie, a plan to save his Queen and his country. Gordian is a reader of entrails. In the bodies of chickens, lambs, piglets, and one stillborn infant he sees the same message: the island nation of Indemnie is doomed. But even in the face of certain destruction a man may fight, and the Hieronomer is utterly loyal to his beautiful Queen–and to her only daughter. The “Augur’s Gambit” is his mad attempt to save a kingdom.

Those who know me know that Stephen R Donaldson is my favourite author., and although I was a little disappointed in his last outing – being the next instalment in his old franchise – this looks a lot better.

Short stories and Novella’s are where he really shines! This looks similar to his Reave the Just tales and that collection was superb! It includes my favourite short story ever “The Killing Stroke”.

So this is going on my Christmas wish list 🙂

Peter Dinklage – an Idea….

I have just finished season two of Game and Thrones and I want to talk about one actor in particular – don’t worry no spoilers!

In a series packed with good writing, good directing, and good performances his is, for me, the stand-out performance of the show.

One of his early roles was in “Living in Oblivion” where he played a dwarf actor frustrated with the limited and two-dimensional roles he kept being offered. A feeling he must have been all too familiar with.

So the role of Tyrion Lannister must have been a godsend. A role to get your teeth into.

Even so  – it still could easily have come off like a pantomime role. Another, lesser actor, could have said all the same lines in the same situations and it would have been a comedy part with no depth.

Not so with Peter Dinklage. He has given the character real depth and humanity. You can see the fierce intelligence battling with his humour and situation. His basically good morals fighting with his lusts and passions. His expressions and eyes do most of the work.

There is a scene where he is trying to win an important argument. His opponent says –

“Oh you think you are so clever with your scheme and plots!”

In a look that lasts only a millisecond or two you see him fighting with his urge to correct her. Don’t get distracted – you can almost hear his mind screaming, stick to the point. He fails.

“Schemes and plots are the same thing.

He quickly moves on to his point.


Anyway – while I was contemplating all this a sudden thought struck me.  Maybe it is  almost sacrilegious to think about this seeing as the current incumbent has not even started yet (and I am excited about that too) but when he inevitably hangs up his coat how about this?

Peter Dinklage – as Doctor Who!