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Speculating Saw: Deep Deconstruction of the SAW Franchise

Posted by Cat Voleur on September 20, 2017

saw movies

The infamous Saw franchise started back in 2004 and was immediately met with mixed reviews. For the most part, they’re the sort of movies that you love, hate, or love to hate, and people usually form pretty strong opinions about them. Regardless of personal views about the films, it’s hard to deny the massive impact that they made in the horror community, as this is possibly the most influential modern horror franchise in current existence.

What this article is going to do is take a look at each of the Saw installations as both individual movies and as part of the series, and then highlight some of the key points which will include a synopsis and then the strengths and weaknesses of that particular feature. I will warn you now of course, that this will reflect my own personal views on the series as the writer of the article, and there will be more than a little editorializing. Everyone is of course entitled to their own opinion, and I think it’s the different opinions about this franchise that make it one of the most interesting horror topics to discuss. That being said, let me tell you right now that I love each and every single one of the seven Saw movies, because even in the films that for whatever reason(s) didn’t work, they all had concepts that made you think, which is something I look for not just in my cinema, but in all entertainment. A strong, intriguing concept is one of the most important elements in a movie to me, and that puts me solidly on the side of loving these films. So, as a fan, I’m pretty excited to tear these apart analytically.

SPOILER WARNING: This article is an analysis of the Saw series, both in its parts and in its entirety and there are a ton of spoilers. If you haven’t seen them and are intending to, you should go watch them right now before reading any further.

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Saw:

My biggest problem with the first movie was, believe it or not, advertising. When I first started seeing previews for this back in 2004, I was already an avid horror fan, and this looked like the stupidest concept for a movie in the whole world. Between the trailers I had seen that were just random clips of a man trying to saw his foot off, and the posters with the phrase “He doesn’t kill his victims; he makes his victims kill themselves.” I was convinced that this had to be one of the worst horror movies ever, and I vowed never to see it. It wasn’t until a year later when trailers started coming out for the second one that my interest was piqued, and even then I was hesitant to watch the first one.

I am so glad that I did, because it was not at all what I was expecting. Due to its reputation for being the goriest movie of the year, I was surprised at how mild the violence was. The concepts were chillingly graphic, but very little of that was actually shown in the film. In fact, this movie plays out almost more like a psychological thriller than like a horror movie. The slogan that had given me so many doubts about the film was actually derived from one of Dr. Gordon’s quotes in the movie: “Technically, he’s not a killer. He’s never killed anyone. He finds ways for his victims to kill themselves.” In the scene, Dr. Gordon is trying to explain Jigsaw’s motives with the limited information he has on the subject. In the movie it makes sense and is a fine quote, but when paraphrased and then taken out of context, it just sounds terrible.

The motive behind Jigsaw’s games is so much more intriguing than a deranged man forcing his victims into violent suicides, and is in fact one of the more interesting aspects of the series. In each installment we get to find out a little bit more of his reasoning behind putting people through these “games” “tests” or “traps” depending on how you prefer to view them. We’ll get into more of that later of course, but for right now let’s take a closer look at the first movie in particular.

The movie shows two men in a room, each of them chained to opposite walls, with the corpse of a man in the center. One man (Adam) we learn, had been hired to take pictures of the other (Dr. Lawrence Gordon) and neither of them have any recollection of how they got there. As the movie progresses, we learn more about the situation at hand. This is part of a test. To win his personal game, Dr. Gordon has to kill Adam before 6:00, or he will be left for dead and his wife and daughter will be killed. Through flashbacks and conversation, we learn more about the previous victims of the “Jigsaw Killer.”

A lot happens in between the beginning and end of the film, it takes a few twists, but the biggest of course is at the end when the “corpse” in the center of the room stands up, pulls off his makeup, and reveals himself to be Jigsaw. This had to be one of my favorite movies of all time, because there was just this moment where it all clicked in. We had seen that man in the flashbacks, as he was Dr. Gordon’s patient. Zep, (who is assisting Jigsaw as part of his own test) has already brought up how interesting he was, and they also mention in one of the crime scene investigations how he likes to get front row seats to see his games play out in person. All the hints are there if you’re paying attention, but they were written in subtly enough so as to not be obvious.

The movie doesn’t spell out his motives for you, but you’re left with the impression that he simply wants people to appreciate their lives, as he’s been diagnosed with terminal cancer. You’re left not knowing the ultimate fate of either Adam or Lawrence (who we get to watch saw off his own foot in order to escape the room and get help.)

This movie worked. It worked as the start of a series, it worked on it’s own, and I can honestly say I think it’s one of the most underrated horror films of all time. The writing was incredible, it was paced excellently, and it was so much more than I ever expected it to be. The lighting and the scenery were outstanding, and even though it barely scratched the surface of the concept, it was captivating enough that I was hooked right away.

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Saw II:

The man being testing in this movie is our main protagonist, Eric Matthews, whose son has been missing for a number of days. He successfully tracks down Jigsaw, who we now know to be Jon Kramer, but can’t take him into custody because he sees that his own son is in one of Jigsaw’s traps, and continues to watch him through the monitors that Jon has set up for the occasion. He notices in short order that all of the people in the group test with his son, are people who he has sentenced to prison under false pretenses.

Jigsaw tells him straight at the beginning that his son is in a safe place, and all Eric has to do to pass his test is talk to him for long enough, which gives us a real insight into the nature of some of Jon’s less obvious games. Of course, Eric has a tough time doing that as he watches people getting picked off one at a time on the monitors.

We also get to see the test that Eric is watching on the monitors. It features 8 people who are all locked in a house. They will be released from the house in 3 hours, but are breathing a deadly toxin that will kill them within two hours unless they find an antidote. There are antidotes hidden around the house, but of course they will all come at a price. Among the victims of this trap is not only Eric’s son Daniel, but also Amanda (who we were introduced to in one of the flashbacks in the first movie. She was one of the first people to survive one of Jigsaw’s games.)

Eric eventually snaps, not being able to take it anymore, and he forces Jigsaw to take him to the house on the monitors. When he gets there, it’s revealed that the house is already empty, Daniel isn’t there, and the game that he had been watching on the monitors was pre-recorded. We learn that Daniel was in a safe back in the room where Eric and Jon had been talking. All Eric would have had to do was just talk to Jon for long enough, exactly like he was told.

Again, this movie worked. The directing was incredible, as was the writing, and again, the shock value was great. We also get some very interesting information for the overall story that the series is telling. Amanda was not just in the trap because of self harm, as she originally claims. She is working as Jon’s apprentice, and the end of the movie ends on her capturing Eric, and explaining how she will take over for Jon when he dies to carry on his legacy, which of course has strong implications for the upcoming installments.

I also need to take a moment to note the interesting backstory information that we get here in regards to Jon’s inspiration for his “tests” and how he got his name. After being diagnosed with the terminal cancer we learned about in the last movie, Jon drives himself off a cliff in a suicide attempt. He gets impaled, yet he still manages to survive. He’s baffled at how his body is simultaneously dying and still strong enough to survive an injury like that. After surviving, he vows to spend whatever days remain to him “testing the fabric of human nature.”

I think this is just beyond fascinating. Normally in movies, the killer is either motivated by a self-righteous sense of purpose, or is curious about how humans react under extreme situations. Jon Kramer, or “Jigsaw”, is both. Yes, he wants to help people in his own sick way, and yes he wants people to survive his games and come out the better for it, but it’s a morbid curiosity that makes him take each test to such an extreme. He simply wants to know what people are made out of.

We also get a more clear idea of how he gets the title “Jigsaw Killer.” This refers to the fact that he cuts a puzzle piece out of all of the deceased test subjects, to symbolize that they were missing what he views as the “most important piece of the human puzzle; the survival instinct.”

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Saw III: This was my personal favorite out of all seven. I think the writing was phenomenal, it was gross, it was shocking, and it definitely made me think, which I already mentioned is a huge selling point for me.

Early on, the topic of Amanda’s traps gets talked about in the film. Her traps are designed in a way that the people being tested cannot survive, even if they manage to do what the challenges ask of them. This goes against Jon’s mission statement of giving people a new life.

The movie then transitions into the tests of Lynn and Jeff who are playing through their games simultaneously. Lynn is charged with the task of keeping Jigsaw alive while Jeff (though she’s not told who he is at the time) gets through his tests. Amanda locks a collar on her neck that will detonate if Jon’s heart rate monitor flatlines, so if Jon dies, she dies. Jeff on the other hand is charged with numerous tasks of forgiveness, where he must endure a personal loss to help save the life of someone who was involved in the drunk driving accident responsible for the death of his son.

We see Amanda’s tension grow higher and higher as the movie progresses and she comes ever closer to the reality of living without Jon. Toward the end, she kills Lynn, just as Jeff is reaching the end of his tests and coming into the room. It is then that we learn Jeff and Lynn are husband and wife. Jeff kills Amanda instantly for shooting his wife, and then we get to the big twist ending, where we learn that the whole thing was actually Amanda’s test, not Lynn’s. Jon wanted to test her again before he died to see if she could follow the rules of the game no matter what, to see if she was worthy to carry on his work after he died. Of course, by shooting Lynn who completed her challenge, she broke the rules, failing her challenge and paying for it with her life.

Jeff has then gotten to his final test. Jon tells him that all he has to do to pass is forgive him for the pain that he has caused Jeff’s family that night. Jeff kills Jon which in turn detonates Lynn’s collar. We then find that Jeff’s daughter has also been taken, and Jon was allegedly the only person who know where she was at, leaving another cliffhanger aspect to the film.

This movie was a turning point in the series for two main reasons. The first is obviously in regards to plot. With Jon and Amanda both dead, it left it’s audience wondering how the series would be continued. The second is a bit more subtle in that it didn’t affect the story of the franchise, but rather the tone of it.

The Saw movies already had a reputation for being overly gory, which I’ve already mentioned, was misleading since neither of the first two were particularly graphic. That can not be said for the third installation, which was definitely not a film for anyone with a weak stomach. Three is arguably the most graphic film in the series, but from this point on in the series, they all earn their title of “gory”, leaving nothing to the imagination. Whether this was a good or a bad change is up for debate, but I have to say that I’m glad it happened here.

The continuity in the films falters after the first three, and I’m glad that they at least brought in the excessive gore before all the changes in the story, because otherwise continuity would be have been an even bigger issue. That being said, I think they might have gone overboard a couple of times trying to gross out the audience. (Particularly in three, which I believe was the biggest drawback of the movie.)

Still, this movie worked. It was a good film, as I already mentioned I adore the writing, the visual effects were disgusting, but even when the gore was over the top the special effects team really pulled it off. The story had the definite shock factor that I had at this point come to expect from the Saw films, and I was very pleased with this installment overall.

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Saw IV: This was the film where the series started to fall in part in my opinion. It pains me to say this not only because I think the storyline for this one had a lot of potential, but also because like the previous two Saw installations it was done by Darren Lynn Bousman, who is one of my favorite directors. I still love most of his work to pieces, but this movie was a trainwreck, and is without a doubt my least favorite of the series.

Part of my problem with this movie (and the fifth movie for that matter) was casting. Normally I do my best to overlook things like that, which have so little to do with the story, but it really got to me in this case. Agent Mark Hoffman (played by Costas Mandylor) and Special Agent Peter Strahm (played by Scott Patterson) simply looked too much alike. They had drastically different rolls in the film, yet it I often got them confused. This actually bothered me a little more in the fifth one than it did here, but this movie was the hardest to follow on its own, so the extra confusion was just unwelcome.

Confusion is also the reason that I disliked the editing in this movie. The story is complex, which is a staple of the films in this series, but unlike with the previous (and in fact later movies) the information is not presented in a way where you necessarily understand it the first time watching. I had to watch it multiple times before it really sank in and made sense, and even then it required a lot of thought.

The movie opens on Jigsaw’s autopsy, which is chronologically the last thing to happen in the film. While that’s supposed to be part of the big twist (that and of course the identity of the new Jigsaw) what it actually does is make the already complex timeline of the film more confusing.

While overall the film was the biggest let down of the series, it did have a lot of really interesting information that despite not being presented well, was vital to the series and very important to Jigsaw’s history. It’s in this film that we learn his terminal cancer and experience with suicide were not the only things fueling his desire to test the fabric of human nature in such a violent and disturbing way. He was also motivated by his wife miscarrying his son, Giddian. We also learn of Jon’s fascination with the Chinese Zodiac which explains some of the symbolism in the previous films. The pig mask that we see most often worn by Amanda, was to honor his son (who should have been born in the year of the pig.) This also became part of the ritual, as his first victim was abducted at a Year of the Pig Festival. I think it was really interesting to see Jon abduct someone in a decorative pig mask in this film after seeing him work with the hyper-realistic (and far more frightening) pig mask that he’s used in the previous films.

We also get to see Jon’s first trap, and more interestingly, his first victim. The man’s name is Cecil, and he was the addict who accidentally hit Jon’s wife (Jill Tuck), causing her to miscarry. This trap is more simple than anything we’re used to seeing by Jigsaw, and it was interesting to see the sort of things he started with. Another interesting thing to mention is that we see the iconic puppet that Jigsaw uses as a proxy in his videos. It was originally meant as a gift for his son, and it’s only later that Jon adds the mechanical factor to the doll and makes it exponentially more terrifying.

The main test in this film is that of detective Rigg, who is head of the SWAT team whose members keep dying off in Jigsaw related events. For this reason, he has become obsessed with the case (and finding the still-missing Eric Matthews), and the aim of his test is to rid him of the obsession. Each of the traps he encounters on his journey bring him a little closer to understanding why Jigsaw does what he does.

The thing I liked most about this movie was that in spite of its many faults, this one definitely made you think about the moral code that Jon lived by and used to guide his tests. While the people in traps from the previous films were placed there for not appreciating what they had, the people in this film had all done something wrong. They weren’t being tested for things like infidelity or substance abuse, but rather for things like rape and child abuse. The people who Riggs sees in these traps are bad people who have done something wrong to hurt others. This is of course not to say that they deserve what they get, but it does get one thinking about the morals and the flaws in the judicial system that let people get away with things like this. It also really gets you thinking about your own morals, because as you watch these particular tests, you find yourself not rooting for the victims as you might have in some of the previous traps.

Rigg is told early on that Eric Matthews is still alive and will have 90 minutes to save himself. Much like in Saw 2, all detective Rigg has to do is spend enough time away. Eric’s trap will end at the end of the 90 minutes, but of course the detective misunderstands the game and does his best to get there before the timer runs out. This results in the death of all the people involved in the trap except for Mark Hoffman. Throughout the whole movie we see him “trapped” in the same contraption holding Eric, but at the end he remains unharmed. It is then that he releases himself and identifies himself as the next Jigsaw.

The twist would have been much more effective had the timeline not been so confusing to figure out, but it still left us with a lot to ponder and, more importantly; it gave us a new Jigsaw killer to carry on the series with.

This film did not work. It certainly didn’t work on it’s own because it was entirely dependent on us knowing the story up to that point. It makes sense that you’re going to be confused if you jump in in the middle of a series, but I think that the other movies would have still been somewhat self sufficient if you had no idea what was going on. That was certainly not the case with this movie. This one also didn’t work as part of the series (at least not very effectively) because while all the information was there, it was jumbled up and confusing. The best thing that we can say it did to really further the story, was assure us that there was someone to carry on Jigsaw’s work, and let the audience know that there was more to come.

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Saw V: This was a decent addition to the franchise as it went back and explained a lot of the story that was confusing people in 4. It also had an interesting story for the people involved in the main trap. I didn’t like it much as a movie on its own though, simply because while it didn’t have any glaring problems like 4 did, the writing was a little underwhelming, there’s not much development in the Jigsaw storyline (since it mostly just goes back and explains the information we got in 4) and the stories just didn’t tie together very well. It had a lot of interesting things, but the writing was a lot sloppier than what I would have hoped for, and had come to expect from the Saw movies.

The film features a group test of 5 people who have all played a key role in a fire that took 8 lives. One person dies in each of the first three test rooms, as it is the shared belief of the victims that the tests are designed to pick off one person in each test. Of course, in the final room, they realize that all of the previous tests were made for five people, and that had they worked together not a single one of the tests would have been fatal. It was an interesting story, and it really was told well.

The rest of the movie goes back and tells about how Mark Hoffman got involved with Jon’s work. He wanted to kill a man named Seth Baxter, who got away with the murder of Mark’s sister, and he thought a good way to avoid suspicion was to pin the killing on Jigsaw. He sets up a trap for Seth that was impossible to escape and of course, the murder is attributed to Jon, who doesn’t appreciate taking credit for what he views as inferior work. He ultimately blackmails Mark into becoming his new recruit.

Strahm meanwhile is figuring out that Mark has been the accomplice that they’ve been looking for, but his obsession causes him to fail his test (much like with Rigg in the fourth film.) When he dies, he is of course pinned with being the very accomplice that he was trying to catch.

Again, it wasn’t a bad movie, and my biggest issue with it was simply that the stories were so minimally connected to one another, so it just seemed lacking in comparison to the others. That being said, it was still entertaining and furthered the overall story of the series. I’d definitely say that it worked better as an installment of the franchise than as a movie on it’s own.

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Saw VI: This was disappointing to me in many of the same ways that the fifth one was. I thought both storylines were really good, and while they seemed to connect a little more in this one than in 5, it still wasn’t as tied together as I would have liked. What I really did like about this one was the story of the people being tested, because once again it really made its audience think about morality.

The victims in this movie are chosen for having done something wrong (much like the victims in 4) only these people aren’t breaking any laws, they’re doing their jobs. The two people from the beginning are loan sharks who have ruined people’s lives because of their work. All the victims in the main game work for a health insurance company, which provides for some interesting social commentary.

There have been a lot of different takes on the issue of health insurance companies both through movies and television, but this was my personal favorite. Of course, it is the least factual which has its drawbacks, and the consequences are illustrated to an absurd degree, but I still think that as an eye opener and as a story it was effective.

The main test is performed by William Easton, an executive for the health insurance company who develops an equation to determine who they will consider for coverage. Of course, we find out this is the same man who declined coverage for an experimental cancer treatment for Jon. He passes through a series of tests that put his morals and his equation to the test.

Ultimately, we learn that the test wasn’t his however, and his fate lies in the hands of the wife of a man who was denied coverage as well. This was intended as the big twist, and while it was written in a way that could definitely have been shocking, I feel like this was a little easier to see through than the surprise endings of other films.

This movie tried to connect William’s story to the part of the story that dealt with Jon’s work being carried out, but this was done a lot sloppier than anything from the first three movies. William’s sister (who we see is also in the main trap) has written a book on the life of Jon Kramer for her own gain, and there are also the obvious ties to Jon’s backstory. William of course had a run in with Jon as well, but they’re just not as connected as I would have liked for them to be.

Mark in the meantime, struggles to keep his involvement with Jon Kramer and the more recent Jigsaw killings away from the police, who are almost on to him. He barely escapes, and even then he only does so by murdering a number of people when they learn the truth. We also see Jill trying to carry out the last request of her husband by testing Mark, a test that is supposed to be fatal to him but he manages to escape.

While overall I was disappointed with most of the story, I really liked some of the things we learned in flashbacks. For instance; Amanda didn’t fail her test because of emotional stress, she failed her test because she was being blackmailed by Mark. She had been with Cecil on the night that he forced Jill to miscarry, and Mark threatened to tell Jon about that if she didn’t shoot Lynn (knowing full well that she was being tested and that this would prove fatal to her.)

It had many of the same pros and cons that the fifth one had, but I think it did more to further the overall story and it was also more entertaining as a stand alone piece. It was one of my favorites after the original three.

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Saw 3D: The Final Chapter: I think that as an independent piece, this was my least favorite (other than 4) but as an ending to the series it was actually pretty effective. It opens with three members of a love triangle stuck in one of the traps. The woman has been sleeping with both of the men, and while I think this is a really weak motive for being chosen, I did like the opening overall. Unlike all the other traps, this one took place in a display case, right out in public, which there was of course a massive audience for. I think it would have been more effective if they had either carried the public theme throughout the other traps in the movie, or at the very least explained how it was set up. It seemed completely unconnected to everything else in the film, but it was very shocking, which was a good way to start off the final Saw movie.

In this film, we see the tests of a man name Bobby, who has written a book about his experience surviving a Jigsaw trap. This was a scam, as he had never been tested by Jigsaw prior to writing this book, but he is being tested now, along with all of the people who helped him with this illusion (even those who did it unknowingly.) While his story was fake, we do get to see into the lives of those who actually survived the killings, which was a very interesting addition to the film, and retroactively added a sense of depth to the story. We get to see how people were really affected, and the different reactions to Jigsaw’s tests.

It also lets us see Lawrence, who we have been wondering about since the end of the first movie. He did survive, and we get to see him briefly at the support group meeting, which was nice after not knowing what happened to him for so long.

One of the biggest complaints that I have about the movie is the set of traps that Bobby goes through in his test. They don’t seem particularly inventive or difficult in comparison to those that we’ve seen in previous movies. It’s not just the traps that Bobby goes through (because this could be explained away by the fact that Mark is the weakest engineer out of all those who have ever been involved with the Jigsaw killings) but also the ones that we see in the flashbacks of the survivors who are introduced in this film.

There’s also a bit of a contradiction here, as there were a lot more survivors at the meeting than there should have been. I didn’t worry about it too much, figuring that there were also a lot of family members of victims, but it still sort of negates a lot of what was implied in the first movie about the recent start of Jigsaw’s tests, and there’s not really a logical place to insert the new survivors into the timeline where it makes a lot of sense. That aside, I still really liked meeting new survivors and seeing the support group.

As the movie progresses, we see that Bobby is in charge of rescuing the people who helped him with his scam, and he ultimately is unable to pass a single one of Jigsaw’s tests, proving himself unworthy of being called a survivor after all. In the meantime, we meet Investigator Matt Gibson, who is working on the word of Jill Tuck to try and stop Hoffman.

The twists in this movie are extremely underwhelming where the traps and backstory are concerned, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with the ending. After going on another insanely implausible killing spree where he kills Detective Gibson, Jill Tuck and just about everyone else in the department, Mark Hoffman is brought down by three people who are wearing pig masks. While we don’t learn the identities of two of the figures, one pulls off his mask and we see that it’s none other than Dr. Lawrence Gordon. We then learn that he not only survived, but has been helping Jigsaw since the end of the first movie, performing medical procedures when they were needed in the tests. (Explaining how the key got behind the man’s eye in the opening of the second movie for instance.) He then leaves Mark for dead in the same room where he had his test, bringing the series full circle, which I for one felt was a very satisfying end.

I also have another marketing complaint for this one. It was called “Saw 3D: The Final Chapter” and as you can imagine, it was released to theaters in 3D. Now, like with many 3D movies, bits of the movie were obviously shot in a way that was supposed to be impressive with the 3D effect, but the special effects for the film seemed to be completely banking on the fact that you were seeing it in 3D. This was fine in the theater, but the DVD was only ever released in 2D, so, I’m sure you can see my issues with that.

Some story issues and major effects issues aside, I think that overall the movie did justice to wrapping up the film, and it did tie up a lot of loose ends while adding new information and giving us a more realistic connection to the survivors. It maybe didn’t work as well as some of the other ones, but I think it also deserves a little more credit than it got.

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So, with the seven movies covered, the only thing left to talk about is the series as a whole. Like the individual movies, the series had its ups and downs, but as I said in the beginning of this article, I’m a huge fan. I think it was worth watching just for the concept alone. I think if you enjoyed the first couple, then even the later ones which are not as good are worth watching just for the new information you get about the characters.

There’s also the fact that this series made a huge impact on other horror films. The “creative death apparatus” genre as I like to refer to it (more commonly referred to as “torture porn”) was practically defined by the Saw films. We have Saw to thanks for many movies that have been released since then, such as Gag, Are You Scared, Vile, Captivity, and countless other horror titles that were clearly inspired by this franchise.

Hopefully this has illustrated some of the opinions that other Saw fans have, and has made those who hated the series consider some of the finer points of the franchise in a new light, but either way, thank you guys for reading.

Last Day to Support Bloody Men

Posted by Edwina Caustic on September 11, 2017

Rubén Gerardo Alfaro Moreno a.k.a. Myrkky Photography is known for his horror special effects and male portraits. Well worth a follow on his Instagram. Today is the last day to back his Kickstarter RED – Male portraits by Myrkky Photography. I wish the Kickstarter had a video because I’d really like to see the blood splashing in real time, although the book does include some behind the scenes fun. Happily it appears he has completed initial production of the book and just needs to print it now, so this is a Kickstarter you can back knowing your coffee table will be that much gorier asap. Check out more images on his Kickstarter now.

Myrkky’s RED is titillating and disturbing collection where men are seen as both violent and vulnerable. In the series of photographs, one wonders whether the subject is a sexy male victim or the perpetrator of a gruesome crime. Either way, each photograph focuses on the emotional load behind RED: all of the subjects are deeply human: which do you see? When one feels emotional one is in a vulnerable state, and at the same time, there is great strength in their maleness, a contract that is often unseen, and perhaps uncomfortable to see.

Art Should Always Inspire: Exclusive Interview with Painter Vaughn Belak

Posted by Ed Grabianowski on September 8, 2017

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Vaughn Belak‘s artistic creations draw you in with a luminous, large-eyed gaze, spatters of shadow and light creating an alluring blend of fae mischief and gothic gloom. His upcoming collection, Dodging Knives and Throwing Bullets, will give art fans a close look at not just Belak’s art, but also the mind of the artist.

Ed Grabianowski: Your artistic style has really crystallized into a very iconic, recognizable form. As your work evolved over the years, was there a particular moment when you realized, “This is it, this is my style”?

Vaughn Belak: Not that I can pinpoint but I am keenly aware of an artist’s need for their own voice. What I think a lot of people comment on first in regards to my work is the speckled effect I use. That truly has become a part of my personal fingerprint. In my mind what I’m doing with the spatter is attempting to frame a moment. If you’ve ever watched an old black and white film where there’s a musician or a singer in a darkened, smokey room on a stage where you can see the dust particles in the spotlight….that is my spatter.

EG: Can you tell me about the techniques that you use to create your art? What role does digital technique play in your work?

VB: I very recently switched over from conventional brush work to airbrush as my primary tool. I use acrylics, inks and charcoal as my mediums. As far as any digital stuff I’d say primarily just in my sketching. Recently I have been doing all of my primary sketch work on a tablet in Procreate. This helps me to be more fluid and to make more choices before I get into the paint. I guess it helps me remove all the bad choices before things get permanent.

EG: The dark fae characters you portray have so much personality to them. Do you have your own mythology or backstory about them? Have you ever considered expanding on that aspect, whether through a graphic novel or short stories?

VB: Thank you. Those pieces were part of a solo show I did called “Changeling” a few years back. In that show I wanted to explore some mythologies I’d never really read about before. Primarily the Huldra. Huldra are similar to satyrs in appearance but female. Very aggressive and insidious creatures. The dark fae in the series I wanted to be strong and have more menace to them than an average fairy type image. They are not very nice beings in my world. I have been approached by people to illustrate books about darker myths but have yet to find a good fit stylistically. Totally open to the idea though. Darker the better.

EG: What can fans expect to find in Dodging Knives & Throwing Bullets?

VB: My hope is that they find some inspiration. Art should always inspire. There is some personal stuff in the book that speaks to how I came to where I am in life at this moment that I hope can inspire as well. This book is a dream come to life for me and a few years ago I was unable to see any future from the bottom of the bottle I was in. Art saved my life in a very literal way. It truly is a form of magick that when used in certain ways can bring about miraculous things.

EG: Are there any movies that you like to watch to set the mood or put you in the right frame of mind for your work?

VB: There is an animated film called Rock and Rule that inspired most of my recent work. Particularly the song My Name is Mok sung by Lou Reed. This film has been a part of my world since I was a kid and there is so much I love about it. Post apocalyptic Ziggy Stardust rat world meets Mad Max. Check it out.

EG: Do you ever attend horror conventions or other shows where people can buy originals or prints of your work?

VB: I will be at Spooky Empire in October here in Orlando. I’ve been getting more involved with the convention world and you will certainly see me there more. I feel most comfortable somewhere in between the horror and comic book worlds. My primary outlet is selling my work online. Most of my audience has found me on Facebook and I use that as a storefront as well as a way to connect with friends/fans. The thing I am most excited about right now is the Kickstarter for my book Dodging Knives and Throwing Bullets. This is a total dream come true moment for me here. Thank you so much, Gothic.net and everyone for all the years of support leading up to this book!

Two of a Kind Poe Arsmem Vampira Impling Edgar Lily Munster Nossy Nosferatu Faun Look and Listen Dark Princess Red Fae

Game of Thrones: The Dragon and The Wolf

Posted by MD Weems on August 28, 2017

Holy epic dragon fire my friends! I know this episode wasn’t as action packed as last week, but for a season finale, man, did they leave us with so much shit to worry about for a year. So let’s dig right into the recap of HBO’s Game of Thrones: The Dragon and The Wolf, season 7, episode 7:

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We begin in King’s Landing, where the Unsullied are standing at the ready while Bronn and the soldiers are getting ready for an attack. As Bronn and Jaime watch, the Dothraki come riding in at the ready. We zoom out to see Euron Greyjoy’s fleet just overwhelming the ocean around King’s Landing – while Jon, Davos, Tyrion and the others come sailing up on just a few ships. The hound goes below deck to check on their cargo, tapping on the box and hearing the undead inside go nuts.
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Our group is led to the arena where the Targaryens once fought their dragons and are met by Bronn, who has his own soldiers along with Brienne and Podrick. Podrick and Tyrion are happy to see each other after all this time. And we have some wonderful words between Bronn and Tyrion – again proving why I absolutely love both of these characters. The Hound and Brienne walk together for a bit, exchanging some words about how they last met and how Arya is doing. You can tell the Hound is actually glad to hear Arya is alive and at Winterfell. One of the soldiers asks what’s in the box, and the Hound tells him to fuck off.
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Inside the arena, there are tents set up and everyone is told to go in and wait. Bronn and Podrick exit so the “fancy people can talk” according to Bronn. Noticing they are surrounded by Lannister soldiers, the Hound tells Tyrion what a great idea this was. Finally, Cersei, Jaime and the others come in. But still, no Daenerys. After everyone is seated, Cersei is obviously irritated that Daenerys isn’t there. Once they are all seated, the Hound sees his brother and heads right out into the center of the area as his brother steps out to meet him. You can see that there is some pity in the Hound’s eyes as he sees what they’ve done to his brother – even though he hates him.
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And in grand fashion, comes our beloved Daenerys on her favorite dragon, making one hell of an entrance. Once she’s off her ride, he flies off to play with his brother – obviously showing the others there is only two dragons here now. Cersei makes a quip about how they’ve waited for a long time, even though they haven’t, and Daenerys apologizes to her for being late. As Tyrion steps out to start talking, Euron steps up too and makes some jokes about his height. Finally, Cersei tells him to sit down. Tyrion tries to talk a bit more and Cersei just is her normal bitchy self. Finally Jon gets up and interrupts.
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Then the Hound brings up the box with their prize. It takes him awhile to undo the latches and he finally just kicks the box over. The walker inside comes running out, right at Cersei. The Hound grabs its chain barely before it gets to her. Jon shows her that you can’t kill them when the Hound cuts it in half and it continues to try to attack him. He then shows her that you can burn them by burning one of its hands or kill them with dragonglass as he stabs it and kills it. Qyburn is obviously fascinated with this whole thing. Tyrion sees that this really has an impact on Cersei – which is what he wants. Daenerys tells them there is an army of these things and when Jaime asks how many, and she tells him, his face just falls.
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Euron gets up and tells them that this is more than he bargained for and he’s out. The undead lying there looks a lot like the brother that Euron killed to gain control of the Iron Islands. Cersei tells Daenerys that she’ll agree to the truce to fight against the monsters. Of course, then she says that she’ll only pull her armies back if Jon, the King in the North, agrees that he won’t take sides. He tells her no, that he’s already pledged his loyalty to Daenerys. Cersei doesn’t like this and takes off. Brienne tries to get Jaime to talk to Cersei. Daenerys gets more than a bit angry that Jon couldn’t have lied a little. Then Tyrion tells them he’ll go talk to her.
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Outside Cersei’s chambers, Tyrion is led in by the Mountain. Jaime is waiting. He tells Tyrion that Cersei kicked him out for trying to talk to her about it. Then Tyrion goes in. He and Cersei have a chat about how he’s destroyed their family and so on, then he tells her to just have the Mountain kill him. She doesn’t of course. They talk a little more and he figures out she’s pregnant.
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Back at the meeting site, Daenerys and Jon are talking. Daenerys tells him about what this place was used for and how the dragons grew smaller as they left them in there to rot. Then they also talk about how Daenerys can’t have kids and she tells Jon who told her that. Jon asks her if she ever thought that maybe the old hag was lying to her. Tyrion strolls back in and Cersei and her group are right behind him. Daenerys and everyone is amazed. Cersei tells Daenerys that she won’t stand her armies down – instead, she’ll have them march north to help fight against the undead. Anyone else remember when Cersei said she’ll befriend Daenerys and then stab her in the back? I do.
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Anyhow, at Winterfell, Sansa is getting another push from Littlefinger toward either having Arya killed or imprisoned. He does everything he can to set the two girls against each other. He tells Sansa his little “game” he uses to figure out people’s motives, thinking up the worst in everyone. He convinces her that Arya is there to kill her and take over her spot as Lady of Winterfell.
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At Dragonstone, they are talking about how they are going to go north. Jon wants Daenerys to sail with them to show a united front. Jorah tells her to fly on her dragon, that one arrow can ruin all they’ve worked for. Jon convinces her that a unified front is better and she agrees. Jorah doesn’t like this. As they leave the ready room, Theon hollers at Jon to wait for a moment. Theon tells Jon that he’s sorry for everything he’s done and Jon says that he can’t forgive him for everything because it’s not his place, but he does for things that Theon has done against Jon. Theon tells him that he has to go save Yara and Jon agrees.
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Theon goes to the beach where the remainder of Yara’s fleet is about to take off. He tries to convince them that they have to go save Yara. The Captain makes fun of him and tells him they are sailing off somewhere safe instead. Finally, he hits Theon as Theon keeps on telling him they are going to go get Yara. He then beats the crap out of Theon but Theon won’t stay down. Theon gets up and tries to tackle the captain. The captain tries to knee him in the nuts, but Theon doesn’t have any now – so he kind of just laughs and then headbutts the guy. Dude crashes to the sand and Theon gets on him and is beating the shit out of him. When he finally wins, he tells the others they are going to go get Yara and they all agree.
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At Winterfell, Sansa is on top the wall and tells one of the guards there to have Arya brought into the great hall. He goes to get Arya. Then we see Sansa and Bran seated at the table as Arya is brought in. There are guards all around the hall. Sansa and Arya keep solemn faces as Sansa reads the charges of murder and treason, with Littlefinger watching, smiling. Until Sansa says that the charges are against him. Of course, then he does his best to talk his way out of it, even trying to command the Vale knights to take him out of there at once. They refuse. Sansa sentences him to death and Arya just casually walks up and slits his throat as he’s begging for his life on his knees. While I’m glad he finally got it, I’m sad to see him go at the same time.
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Back at King’s Landing, Jaime is meeting with his commanders to get the armies ready to go north. Cersei comes in and tells them she needs to talk to Jaime. Once they leave, she asks what he’s doing. Then she says that she has no intention of helping Daenerys and to let the monsters fight it all out while they wait. She then says that they’ll deal with what’s left. She tells him she bought a mercenary army of 20,000 soldiers, horses and elephants. He tells her they won’t help if they are an ocean away. She lets him know that’s actually why Euron left – to go get her army – and that he still wants a queen. Jaime tells her that he gave his word he’d fight and she says that he’s betrayed her. He tells her that if that’s true, she needs to have the Mountain kill him. She even nods to the Mountain who draws his sword. Jaime says “I don’t believe you” and walks past the Mountain and out the door. It seems that both of her brothers have now abandoned her.
As Jaime is riding out of King’s Landing, he puts on his glove over his golden hand. Snowflakes fall on his glove and then we see the snow moving into the huge city.
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Finally! Sam arrives at Winterfell and goes to see Bran. Bran tells him that he knows Jon isn’t Ned’s son and that he is a Targaryen bastard. Sam then tells him that no, the grand maester of the time recorded where he married Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. So, Jon is actually a legitimized Targaryen named Aegon. (For those that don’t know the books, Aegon was the first conqueror and is one of the most powerful names the Targaryen’s give their sons.) On a side note, if you look closely in the flashbacks where Bran sees Lyanna and Rhaegar getting married – it totally is Daenery’s brother as the actor there. Ew.
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In the meantime, Jon goes to Dany’s quarters on the ship. Should be pretty easy for anyone to guess what’s going to happen at this point – Jon and Dany finally get naked. While everyone has been waiting for this, I’m still a little creeped out that she’s his aunt. Again, ew. Poor Tyrion is down the hall, watching Jon go into her room, with a weird look on his face.
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At Winterfell, Sansa and Arya are standing on top of the ramparts. Arya tells Sansa that she is the Lady of Winterfell and basically that she did the right thing. They have a touching moment finally and both agree they miss their dad, quoting some things that he used to say about winter and how a lone wolf dies while the pack lives.
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Then we see Bran under the tree, using his ravens to watch the Wall. Tormund and Beric are watching from the Wall as the army of the dead moves out of the trees and then just stops. One of the knights is riding just a badass undead horse. Then the horn is sounded and everything stands still.
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Then the sound they all fear – the Night King on his new mount, the undead dragon. Shooting blue flames at the Wall, the dragon begins to attack the ramparts and wipes them out. Tormund screams for everyone to run! The Night King blasts through the Wall and men start to fall off the stairs as they are trying to escape. Finally, the dragon manages to damage the wall enough that it actually crumbles and falls as the undead army just watches.
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Now, the undead army just starts walking all chill through the huge hole as the Night King flies past the rubble and into the north.

And that leaves us waiting almost a year to find out what happens in the final season. I’m gonna be pissed if they just killed off my favorite wildling and no one knows.

Game of Thrones: Beyond the Wall

Posted by MD Weems on August 21, 2017

Holy crap guys and gals! I know that I’m seriously traumatized after tonight’s Game of Thrones. I’m not gonna waste any time jumping into this one. Here we go with the recap of HBO’s Game of Thrones: Beyond the Wall, Season 7, Episode 6.

Note – My World of Warcraft playing friends, you will LOVE this episode and hopefully the screen shots I’ve grabbed for you. Everything beyond the wall is straight out of the game, from undead bears to the Death Knight’s bone dragon with the ice blue eyes. My WoW nerd brain was just cheering at seeing these things in a real life view.

We start with a long drawn out view of the epic table in Dany’s ready room which fades into the area beyond the wall. All snowy, icy and nasty, our wonderful rag tag group is trudging along. Jon asks Gendry if he’s ok, and he says that he’s never been north before or seen snow. Some humor from Tormund about how the south smells like pig shit and I’m reminded why I love the huge ginger. Then some advice about keeping warm and funny crap turns into Jon and Tormund talking about fighting. Tormund tells him he’s spent too much time with the wildlings to ever bend the knee. However, he also says that the King Beyond the Wall never kneeled either and look how many people got killed because of it.

Thoros asks Gendry if he’s still mad at the Brotherhood and Gendry tells him hell yeah, they sold him. He says that she wanted to kill him. The Hound makes fun of him a bit for whining like a girl, er, “whinging”. Thoros gives Gendry a swig of his magic potion in his flask and they march on.
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Jon tells Jorah the first time he ever went north of the wall. He tells Jorah his dad was a good man. Jorah asks if Jon was there when he died and Jon said he wasn’t, that he was a prisoner. But, Jon says, they killed all the bastards who killed him. Jorah tells him that he can’t think of a worse way to go, especially since the Night’s Watch was his whole life and he would have died for any of those men. Then they talk about Ned Stark and how he was a good man but still wanted to execute Jorah. Jon tells Jorah he’s glad Ned never caught him to execute him.
Then Jon pauses to give Jorah Longclaw back, the sword the elder Mormont gave to Jon. Jorah holds it lovingly and tells Jon he brought shame to his house and that his father gave the sword to Jon. He hands it back to Jon and tells Jon it will serve him and his family for generations to come.
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Back at Winterfell, Arya is standing on the balcony overlooking the square. Sansa comes up and they talk about how she remembers their father never allowing her to train with the boys. Then one day, she found Bran’s bow just left on the ground and started shooting it. She said she only had the one arrow and shot it over and over for a long time, until she hit the bullseye. She said that when she did, she heard clapping above her and looked up to see their dad, and he wasn’t angry at her for it. Then Arya brings up the scroll after telling Sansa that she knows she helped kill their father.
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Sansa tells her that they forced her to write it, but Arya doesn’t believe her. After some harsh sisterly words, Sansa realizes that Arya was there when Ned was beheaded. Sansa asks why she didn’t do something to help their dad and Arya tells her that at least she didn’t betray her entire family. Then Sansa gets mad and tells her that she should be on her knees thanking her for saving Winterfell. Sansa tells her that Jon had lost the Battle of the Bastards except the Knights of the Vale came to the rescue because Sansa asked them to. Then they both go through how horrible their journeys were to this point – not in full detail of course, but as sisterly ‘one ups’.

Sansa asks what she’s going to do with the letter and asks where she got it. Arya realizes that she’s scared. She’s not scared that Jon will be mad, she’s worried the Northern Lords would read it and rise against her. Arya pushes it in her face. You can see Littlefinger’s influence on both girls here as he’s worked them both to his advantage.
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Back beyond the wall, and our group is moving right along. Tormund and the Hound have some funny back and forth, with Tormund telling the Hound he heard he was mean and the Hound telling Tormund he hates gingers. Tormund tells him gingers were kissed by the fire, just like the Hound. Then they talk about that, ‘er Tormund does, but the Hound just normally replies ‘fuck off’. Then Tormund tells the Hound about Brienne and how he can’t wait to get back there. The Hound love this, and so did I, it was so funny. Tormund wants to make babies with her, giant babies that will take over the world.

Beric and Jon talk about Ned Stark and how the red woman brought Jon back. He says that the Lord of Light brought him back 6 times. Then they talk about how neither knows what the Lord of Light wants, but maybe it’s enough that they have to fight for life, even though the dead will win in the end. The group comes to a stop as the Hound sees the arrowhead-shaped mountain that he saw in the flames. He tells them they are getting close.
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At Dragonstone, Daenerys is telling Tyrion that she likes that he’s not a hero. She says that heroes do stupid things and they die. She tries to hide the fact that she’s mad and worried about Jon. He tells her that all of those heroes fell in love with her and she blows it off. The conversation shifts to Daenerys meeting Cersei if all goes well in the north and they bring back a walker. They then get into a huge talk about traps and trust and how Daenerys is worried about Tyrion’s loyalties. Then he tries to tell her that he’s worried about her getting hurt. He pushes the fact that he saw too many arrows almost hit her already and just one would end everything she’s worked for. He continues on that she needs to think about a successor to carry on what she’s started. Of course, she doesn’t like this one bit. She tells him that they’ll discuss it after she wears the crown.

Back beyond the wall, the group is caught in a major snowstorm and sees a huge bear in the distance. Gendry sees that the bear has blue eyes. Their scout takes off running like hell and out of fucking nowhere comes the bear and just obliterates the poor guy!
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(I know the screenshot isn’t the best, but holy shit, even with slow play software, I couldn’t get anything good because it’s so fast.) An epic battle ensues with the bear and it takes out a ton of their ‘extras’. I have to admit however that I seriously need a flaming sword in my life after seeing them light this undead bear on fire.
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Finally, it ends up getting Thoros because he tries to save the Hound when the big dumbass just stands there. The Hound stands there and almost lets Thoros get killed because he’s suddenly a coward. Instead of taking him back to Eastwatch, they cauterize the wounds and get him up and moving again and the group is on their way.
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At Winterfell, Sansa is telling Littlefinger about the note and Littlefinger is obviously denying it. He again boosts her confidence in the fact that she’s the ruler of Winterfell. He pushes that she’s been ruling wisely and that some of the lords prefer her over Jon. She then reminds him that the lords of the north are like weathervanes and she doesn’t trust them. Littlefinger tells her that Arya won’t betray her family and Sansa tells him she doesn’t know what Arya will do. Littlefinger then tells her that Brienne could help since she’s sworn to help both girls, Sansa could tell her that Arya might hurt Sansa and maybe put her in the middle of the girls’ fighting. He puts Sansa in the position that she knows Brienne would have to defend or stop the fighting between the girls.
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Beyond the wall again, Jorah and Thoros are talking about how drunk Thoros was when they charged the breach on Pyke. They laugh about how drunk he always is yet how he scared the shit out of the Ironborn. You can see at this point that Thoros doesn’t have long in this world. They come up a hill and Tormund has them stop. He and Jon sneak up to a rise and see a small group of walkers down below. They know this is their chance to grab one. They set a trap by putting a burning fire where they know the group will come to it. The leader of the walkers stops and so do the others. They’re led by one of the knights of the Night King.
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The group charges out and attacks the small band of walkers. They aren’t doing very well until Jon slices through the knight with Longclaw. Once he dies, all but one of the others do. They figure out that if they kill the one who made them, all of the low level walkers will die as well. They capture the only one left and it lets out a crazy huge scream. The group pauses and sees a massive wall of snow/walkers/insanity headed toward them at a run. Jon screams that Gendry has to run back to the Wall and get a raven to Daenerys asap. Gendry says that he’ll stay and fight but Jon says that he’s the fastest and he has to go NOW. Gendry takes off running and the others do the same. Tormund has Gendry leave his hammer behind so he’ll be faster.
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The group runs out toward a rock outcropping and freeze as they realize they are on a cracking lake that isn’t going to hold their weight. The horde is right behind them. They run toward the small rock outcropping in the middle as the horde surrounds the area. One of their ‘extras’ gets caught by one of the horde and that extra weight causes the ice to buckle under them. Our group is safe for the time being as the horde stops when they realize they can’t go any further. Gendry is running his ass off up and down the hills they just came through. Just as you think he’s going to just keel over, he sees the wall.
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Back at the outcropping, the walker they captured isn’t happy to be tied up. Our group is freezing as night hits. However, the horde still is kept at bay from the ice. Then we see Gendry fall in the snow and cannot get up. At least we hear the comforting sound of the gate rising and Davos is out there to get him. He’s screaming at him, where are the others?! Gendry tells him they have to send a raven now.
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In the morning, our group is still alive on the outcropping. The walker is still growling in his head bag. The Hound gets up and kicks him and the thing screeches. They find that Thoros is dead. The Hound starts to drink the rest of what’s in Thoros’ flask and Beric takes it from him. Jon says that they have to burn the body and they pour the rest of his liquor on Thoros and then use a sword to burn him. Jon says that they have to survive to take that thing back. He says that Daenerys is their only chance. Beric says no, there’s another chance – to kill the Night King. He points his sword up the hill at the Night King and his four remaining knights. Jon tells him he doesn’t understand. Beric says that the lord brought him and Jon back maybe just to kill the Night King.
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Again to Winterfell, Sansa has a raven that is inviting her to King’s Landing. She’s telling Brienne about it and she sends Brienne to King’s Landing. Brienne tells her that she’s worried about leaving Sansa there with Littlefinger and offers to leave Podrick with her. Sansa gets all pissy and tells her that she doesn’t need protection any longer. Sansa dismisses her very coldly as Brienne is trying to warn her about things there at Winterfell.
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Now we see our favorite dragons, laying in wait for Daenerys as she walks up. Tyrion is telling her she can’t go save Jon – they obviously got Gendry’s raven. Daenerys tells Tyrion that she already listened once when he told her not to do anything and she’s not just standing by again. She gets on Drogon and flies off, the other two in tow. She leaves Tyrion standing there on the cliff, watching her go.
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Beyond the wall, the Hound really needs to be shanked for this move. Apparently bored, he picks up a rock and throws it at the waiting horde. He lands a good hit right in the jaw of a particularly nasty looking walker, which knocks the whole jaw off. (I laughed, it was pretty funny.) However, his second rock falls short, but doesn’t fall through the ice – telling the whole horde that it’s now safe to go get their prize. The group realizes that the Hound just screwed them and get up and ready to fight.

Now, I’m gonna pause here and put in another screen shot of this dude because it’s so epic that it means the Walking Dead really better step their game up in October. They are now on notice.
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Ok, back to the story – our group is now in a crazy battle of nasty walkers coming at them across the ice slowly. At least they are coming at a rate where they can slice the majority of them down quick. The Hound finally gets smart and busts the ice, but it’s frozen enough that it doesn’t matter. Soon, they are almost overrun and Jon yells at them to fall back. Then my favorite Tormund goes down in a heap of walkers. Jorah slices them back as best he can. He gets all the walkers off and then ‘ole half-face starts pulling him into the water. Finally, the Hound cuts his cowardly shit out and saves him. They are all pushed into a little group at the top of the rock and pretty much know they are dead.

Jon stands watching the battle in slow motion – just like the Battle of the Bastards – knowing they are fucked.

And finally, the show brings something in just in time again… just like the Battle of the Bastards – Daenerys on her dragons.

I know I said the pirate battle was epic, but this is way better. I dare say it’s even better than her lighting up the Lannister army. I’m on the fence about that one however.
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She just absolutely decimates the walkers and I’m cheering. She lands Drogon by the group and they throw their prize and themselves on the dragon. Jon fights off a last group of walkers that’s about onto the rock.

And here is the part you pucker your butt and your whole body for: the Night King pulls one of their huge ice spears, walks right through the fire and throws it.
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He hits one of the dragons and kills it.

I cried like a baby.

Daenerys has a look of utter disbelief on her face and looks back to Jon who’s yelling for them to go without him. She’s unsure and stays just a little bit and Jon gets pulled into the icy water by a group of walkers. She sees the Night King grab another spear and she takes off – this spear barely misses her favorite, but they get away. They almost lose Jorah as Drogon moves to avoid the spear. She looks back to see the horde closing in on the ice where Jon went under. It looks like all she can do not to cry.
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The Night King gets on his horse and he and the horde start to move away. Then out of the ice comes our boy Jon. You know he’s not going down that easily. He gets out of the water and barely is breathing because he’s frozen. The horde starts to notice that he’s moving, actually getting up and has his sword at the ready for them. They turn to head his way and then riding right through them to save Jon again is Benjen Stark. He’s swinging a wicked firey bulb. He grabs Jon, throws him on his horse and sends him off. Then Benjen goes into the horde swinging. Jon rides off toward the gates, half dead.
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At the Wall, Daenerys and Jorah are standing on the lookout as the others are finishing loading the ship. Dany’s dragons are flying, and screaming – I assume at the loss of their brother. Jorah tells her they have to go and she waits one more minute. As they finally turn to leave, the horn sounds and a horse rides out of the woods. Now, we see Jon in a bed on the ship and they are almost chipping his icy clothes off his body. Daenerys sees all the crazy scars from all the stab wounds when he died.
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At Winterfell, Sansa sneaks into Arya’s room and looks for the scroll. She finds a bag under the bed and when she opens it, she finds Arya’s faces. Arya comes in and Sansa demands to know what the faces are. Arya tells her a little about her training and then tries to play the game of faces with Sansa. Sansa won’t answer the question and keeps wanting to know where the faces are from. Arya finally tells her that they are faces she took. That with anyone’s face, she can look like them, talk like them, etc – and all she’d need is Sansa’s face to be her. She takes the dagger off the desk and seems to be threatening Sansa, who looks like she’s about to cry or poop herself. Then, she just hands the dagger to Sansa and walks away.
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Daenerys is sitting by Jon’s bed when he wakes up. His first words to her are: “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” He tells her he’d take it back if he could, that he would never have sent the raven. He takes her hand as she tries not to cry. She said if she hadn’t gone, she wouldn’t have seen and now she knows. She tells him that the dragons arer her children and the only ones she’ll ever have. She then says that they will destroy the Night King together. He calls her Dany and she thinks that the last person who called her that was her brother. He tells her that she’s his queen and he’d gladly bend the knee but he can’t. She tells him to get some rest.

One last time to the north and the army of the dead is pulling the body of the dead dragon out of the water.

Yeah, you know what’s coming next.
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The Night King walks up, kneels and touches his nose. The camera pans around and the eye flips open, that crazy ice blue.
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RazorCandi Gothic Punk Deathrock Tattoo Pinup Icon Interview

Posted by Ed Grabianowski on August 15, 2017

Goth fashion shapeshifter and erotic model Razor Candi‘s return to the U.S. has sparked a surge of creative photoshoots and spicy videos, and her fans can enjoy her elaborately crafted personas in a new photobook, published by Blue Blood. It’s over 200 pages of nothing but pure Razor Candi. But to truly appreciate art, you have to understand the artist, so we talked with her about the book and her latest endeavors.

Ed Grabianowski: Since we last talked you’ve moved from Romania back to the U.S. What has that transition been like?
RazorCandi: It’s been a much easier transition than it was adjusting over there, but I expected it to be a little easier since I grew up in the U.S. My views have changed a lot on things over the past eight years and seeing it from the other side puts things in perspective so it’s still very different for me being back here. The fact that I didn’t settle back in my home state of Florida changes everything because it doesn’t feel the same. The most positive transition has been that my opportunities are greater here in the U.S. for my art and my modeling but most of all being free to be myself which is the most important change for me.

Book RazorCandi Ed Grabianowski: You’ve put out a massive coffee table book that’s page after page of amazing photos of you. I know that’s been a long-term dream of yours, how did the pieces finally come together to make it happen?
RazorCandi: It was actually not even really planned. I was thinking about a book, but it was a slow going process. In passing it came up between Blue Blood and I and they offered to help out with the project which was a massive step in making it a reality!

Ed Grabianowski: The range of looks you achieve in the photos in the book is astonishing. You’re truly a chameleon. In the foreword you mention that you don’t feel like your “natural” state, without makeup or styled hair, is the real you. Is there a particular version of your look that is the “true” you? Or is it all about the constant transformation?
RazorCandi: “True” for me would be my deathrock and darker alternative looks because I live an alternative lifestyle outside of modeling. My goth/deathrock image not only represents the alternative lifestyle to me but it also makes me stand apart as an individual within a mainstream world because I don’t relate to it and I have minimal things in common with it. I’m not saying that everyone who is into the alternative lifestyle should look like me or that people who do look like me live an alternative lifestyle, that’s all for the person to judge on an individual basis, but in order to judge someone it’s wise to talk to them and get to know them first which is why I think the “real you” term is all subjective.

Ed Grabianowski: Speaking of a more natural look, there are a few photos in the book where you do appear very natural and vulnerable, and they contrast sharply with the rest of the book. Was it hard for you to do those photos and show that aspect of yourself?
RazorCandi: It’s always hard for me to do more natural looks, and it’s not because I’m insecure or feel vulnerable with less make up but because I don’t think I’m convincing in those looks. I actually feel more like I’m in a costume when I dress up that way. I feel natural looks are not strong or bold enough especially because they play right into expectations of the female standard which I feel are ridiculous and unrealistic most of the time. I’m not saying that women shouldn’t strive to feel beautiful but again beauty is subjective.

Ed Grabianowski: In the last year or so we’ve lost some incredible, iconic musicians. Is there anyone whose passing really affected you, or someone you have (or plan to) do a tribute or homage photo shoot for?
RazorCandi: I haven’t really thought of any tribute shoots, though it would be nice to pay homage to some of my biggest inspirations. I guess I just feel it’s better off left to them, I wouldn’t want to feel like I’m riding any coat tails or anything like that when the focus should be on them and their work. I guess waiting until someone dies to show your appreciation seems little too late in a way.

Ed Grabianowski: In the last few years, cosplay has become this huge phenomenon. Some of your work feels like it shares some of the spirit of cosplay, although you generally create original characters (I see you snuck a Batgirl into the book, and your Bride of Frankenstein was amazing). Do you feel a connection to cosplay? Is there a pop culture fandom that you could see yourself portraying a character from at a convention or for a photo shoot?
RazorCandi: Cosplay does grab my attention a bit because I do think there is an art to it. I’m certainly not one to judge people who wanna get all done up in theatrics! Though my interest lay more with horror and darker themes (Batgirl and my naughty nun were custom requests) but I have thought of trying a few sub cultural or otherwise dark horror themes. The biggest barrier for me when it comes to cosplay is perfecting the outfits and only then after you make it through the planning stage you have to find the right location which is a lot harder than it seems, especially if there is nudity involved.

Ed Grabianowski: Among the many, many personas you take on in the book, is there one that’s a favorite of yours, or one that you’re proudest of because of the craft that went into making it happen?
RazorCandi: I’d say my Liberate Tutemet Ex Inferis (devil girl) set is one of my favorites. I just really like this one because it’s very dark but also alluring and empowering. I put a lot into all my looks and I don’t really feel that I put more into the craft when doing this one but I really feel the theme and look in Liberate is straight from the depths of hell. 😉

Ed Grabianowski: My personal favorite is the Medusa. Can you tell me how that look came together, from concept to final photo? How did you accomplish the hair?
RazorCandi: The Medusa shoot was a pretty crazy one! It was very exhausting and took about five hours to complete the look for that one. Though I also love the final concept and I was the one that came up with the whole look I still worked with a hair artist, make-up artist, nail artist and also a different photographer than I normally work with. It was mainly a collaboration for Soso, the hair stylist who owns the Exentric hair salon in Sibiu, Romania. I guess because none of it was really me besides just the posing it doesn’t really feel like my achievement to be proud of.

Ed Grabianowski: What role does eroticism play in your creative work? Is there a separate process: ok, this will be a fashion look, this one will be more erotic? Or is that part of your personality inseparable from your creativity?
RazorCandi: I kind of like that eroticism and adult concepts are controversial, I’d say it’s pretty inseparable from the creative process for me. I think it’s interesting to mix sex appeal with creativity especially when it involves alternative looks. I find it amusing when it makes people uncomfortable and I find it kinky when it makes people feel aroused. 😉

Ed Grabianowski: What should your fans be listening to when they’re looking through the Razor Candi photo book? What’s on the Razor Candi playlist these days?
RazorCandi: I think people should listen to whatever makes them feel good and whatever they can relate to. When it comes to my playlist it’s a mix of all kinds of things ranging from 80’s new wave, deathrock to punk and grunge all the way to doom metal and country goth. I have an always growing playlist of favorites which currently includes Current 93, Cinema Strange, Bauhaus, Die Form, Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Gene Loves Jezebel, Love and Rockets, Nine Inch Nails, Andi Sex Gang, Ghost, and more.

RazorCandi Devil Girl Razor Candi Medusa RazorCandi Scythe Death RazorCandi Zombie Melancholy Goth RazorCandi Skull Headdress Razor Candi Razor Candi Cemetary Girl Razor Candi Without Makeup RazorCandi Bloody Zombie Graveyard Deathhawk RazorCandi Train Tracks Deathrock RazorCandi Torn Fishnets Gothic RazorCandi Ballet Shoes Skull RazorCandi deathrock lace tutu Deathrocker RazorCandi RazorCandi Orange Hair Goth Spikes RazorCandi Punk

Game of Thrones: Eastwatch

Posted by MD Weems on August 14, 2017

Oh. My. Fecking. Gawd. Just when I think it can’t get any better: they bring back SO much that I almost don’t know where to start. Thank goodness this is a recap and I just go down the line right? Well, if you’re ready my friends, let’s dive right into the recap of Season 7, Episode 5: HBO’s Game of Thrones: Eastwatch.

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The episode begins with Bronn pulling a half-drowned Jaime from the lake. Thank fucking god. I knew they wouldn’t kill him off just yet, as I know they have plans for poor Jaime. However, the thought crossed my mind: hey, this is GoT, no one is safe. Bronn proceeds to tell Jaime he’s fucking stupid for charging a dragon with a spear. He also tells Jaime that dragons is where his alliance with Jaime ends, that he’ll fight all he can for him, but burning alive – ain’t nobody got time for that. Jaime tells Bronn that he’s got to tell Cersei what happened – and I swear that is the most scared I’ve ever seen him look in the whole damn show. Bronn tells him he might as well just jump back in the water and drown.
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Next, we go to the other side of the lake, where Daenerys has the survivors gathered up. Tyrion takes a solemn walk through the complete burnt carnage, with bodies and horses lying everywhere amid the ruins of the wagons. He comes up to the gathering set before Dany. She tells the men gathered there she’s not there to murder anyone, and gives them the option to bend the knee or die. A few bend. Then Drogon roars and more shoot down to the ground. Lord Tarly and Dickon Tarly, along with a group behind them, continue to stand.

Daenerys tells Lord Tarly to approach and gives him the option to join her or die. Tyrion pleads with Tarly to bend the knee. He even reminds Tarly that he switched sides to fight for Cersei, so he must not be too loyal. Tyrion tells Daenerys that she can make Tarly take the black, which Tarly says she’s not his queen so she can’t do that. Tarly will not and she sentences him to die. Then Dickon tells Daenerys that he’ll have to die as well because he won’t kneel either. Lord Tarly almost begs his son to bend the knee, Tyrion does beg him to, but he refuses. Tarly fights a small sad smile as Dickon is pulled over to join his father. Daenerys tells Tyrion that she didn’t come here to put men in chains.
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Tyrion tells Daenerys that if she starts cutting off heads, she’ll have problems. But she cuts him off and tells him she’s not cutting off heads. She goes through a long thing with her titles and then sentences them to die, spitting out ‘drakarras’. Tarly and Dickon are engulfed in flames, which continue until they are nothing more than piles of ash. Suddenly, everyone else wants to bend the knee.
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From here we’re taken to King’s Landing, where Cersei is sitting on her bed as Jaime comes in as Qyburn is leaving. She starts by asking how many men they’ve lost. Jaime says he hasn’t got a good count yet. She then begins to talk about how they can buy mercenaries, no worries. Then Jaime tells her how the Dothraki fought and how it won’t matter what mercenaries they have. He tells her how he watched the dragon burn everything and tells her they can’t win this war. She asks what they should do then, ask for peace? Then runs through the betrayals the Lannisters have made to Daenerys’ family.

Cersei says that maybe Tyrion can intercede for them as a way of apologizing for killing Lord Lannister and Joffery. Jaime then tells Cersei it wasn’t Tyrion that killed Joffery, it was Olenna Tyrell. At first, she doesn’t believe him, then he tells her more and asks her who should would rather her daughter marry: Joffery or Tommin and which one of those two sons could Margaerey control better? Cersei says that she should not have let Jaime talk her into letting Olenna just get off easy with poison. Jaime reminds her that the entire Tyrell house is now gone. The conversations turns back to what their options are now that their army is decimated. Then she gives Jaime the cold Cersei-ness that only she can provide, telling him he needs to know his place as a soldier.
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And now on to I think my favorite part of the episode. Jon stands on a cliff outside Dragonstone as Daenerys comes flying back on Drogon – apparently he’s all better now. She lands before Jon, maybe to show her power, I don’t know, and Drogon comes striding up to Jon, right to his face. Instead of cowering or running, Jon stands still and takes off a glove. He then reaches out to touch Drogon as the dragon is snarling in his face. Oh the special effects here are amazing, let me tell you. Not gonna lie – I cheered as Drogon let Jon pet him.
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Daenerys gets down and walks over to Jon as Drogon flies off to play with the other two. Dany says how beautiful they are and Jon says that’s not quite the word he was thinking of, but yes, they are gorgeous. He mentioned that she wasn’t gone long and she says now she has fewer enemies than she did yesterday. Jon doesn’t really like that but she asks how many men his armies killed taking back Winterfell. She says they both want to help people but they can’t do it without strength, which is terrible. She then mentioned the ‘knife in the heart’ thing and Jon says that Davos gets carried away.
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Enter in a convenient Dothraki group saying they have a friend of Daenerys to see her as a distraction from the knife in the heart. At this point, I actually did cheer when I saw that it was Jorah Mormont, all healed up and whole. You can tell that Daenerys is trying not to cry when she sees him too. After a short hello, she finally reaches up and hugs him tight.
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Now back to Winterfell, where Bran takes over the ravens there and sends them on a quest north. They fly over the wall, over mountains and throughout the north until they come over a ridge and find what they were looking for: the army of the dead. It has grown and is headed toward the wall faster than they thought. Close to the middle, perched on a little outcropping, is the Night King and his minions. As the ravens fly close to them, the Night King’s head snaps up and Bran loses his hold on the ravens as they scatter. Bran comes back to himself and tells the maester that they have to send ravens – now.
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At the Citadel, the Archmaester is sitting at a long table with a group of master maesters. Sam comes in to deliver some scrolls and books as they are going over the raven they just got from Winterfell. Sam listens for a moment as they talk about what nonsense it is. Finally, Sam gets mad and interrupts, telling them that he knows Bran Stark, that he let him out of the Wall to go north and that Bran somehow survived for years out there as a cripple. He says that Bran is telling the truth and they should listen to him. He also tells them that he’s seen the white walkers too.
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The Archmaester tells Sam that he knows Sam has more to say and Sam agrees. He tells the group that if they tell the other maesters about this threat, they will believe them. If they tell lords to send their armies north, they will do it. Basically, that they need to quit being little bitches in a tower and do something. Another maester there kind of dismisses the whole ‘magic three-eyed raven’ thing. But the Archmaester tells Sam that they will send a raven for clarification to Winterfell. Sam takes a stack of books and slams the door, angry that they are dismissing this so easily.

After he leaves, one maester asks the Archmaester if that is the son of Lord Tarly who was just burnt alive with Sam’s brother, Dickon. The Archmaester says yes, that Sam is a good kid and he hasn’t had the heart to tell him yet.
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Back at Dragonstone, Varys and Tyrion are sitting in the throne room, discussing what Daenerys just did to the Lannister army. Tyrion makes the comment that he can’t tell her what to do, that she’s making her own decisions. Varys says that’s what he told himself all the years that he was serving her father. He says that he kept telling himself that it was the Mad King who was burning people to death in the throne room, that Varys only found the traitors and such. Finally, he tells Tyrion that he has to find a way to make Daenerys listen to Tyrion’s advice.
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In Daenerys’ ready room, Dany, Tyrion, Jon, Davos, Jorah and Varys are meeting. They have the raven scroll that was sent to Jon, telling him that Bran and Arya are alive and at Winterfell. It also tells him about the army marching toward Eastwatch by the sea. Jon tells Daenerys that he has to go and fight them and he’ll go with just the army that he has unless Daenerys goes too. She almost laughs, saying if she leaves, Cersei will fly right in and take over. Tyrion says maybe not, that if they can make her believe the white walkers are coming, she will agree to fight with them against the dead. He says that Davos can smuggle Tyrion into King’s Landing to meet with Jaime.

Of course, the only way to do that is with proof, meaning that they have to capture one of the dead and bring to Cersei to show her. Jon agrees that could make Cersei believe there is a bigger threat than Dany. Davos says he will go but he won’t go beyond the Wall, Then Jorah says that he will go and serve Dany there too. They talk about who will go and Jon tells her that he has to go, and Dany doesn’t like that one bit. Jon says that he’s the only one who’s been beyond the Wall and who’s fought the dead. Daenerys says that she hasn’t given him permission to leave yet and he tells her he doesn’t need her permission. He says that he came to her castle knowing she could kill him easily but he still came, trusting a stranger. He asks her to trust him now.
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Back at Winterfell, things aren’t peachy cheery. Arya walks in to the great hall and sees Sansa sitting at the head of the table while the Lords badmouth Jon to her. She sees Arya and finally tells them that Jon is still King and she is there for him. The two girls walk to Sansa’s chambers afterward and talk about the Lords and what they said. Sansa tells Arya Jon is not making things easy for her and the Lords of the North are proud.
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They enter the chambers and Arya realizes that it’s their parent’s rooms. Sansa says “And?” Arya blows it off and Sansa tells her to say what she thinks. Arya basically tells Sansa that Sansa has always liked nicer things to show she’s better than everyone else. Sansa realizes that Arya is angry and asks why. Arya says that the lords were insulting Jon and Sansa did nothing about it. That she knows Sansa has been thinking about taking over Winterfell and can’t stop thinking about it now that Jon is gone. Sansa doesn’t admit it, but barely denies it. Finally, Sansa dismisses Arya and you can tell there’s a rift growing between these two.
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On the beaches below King’s Landing, Davos and Tyrion pull ashore in a small boat. Tyrion goes to meet with Jaime, Davos goes to the city as he has ‘business’ of his own. Tyrion is amazed they are leaving the boat unattended, so Davos says they better hurry then so no one takes it.
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Down in the crypt under the Red Keep, Bronn and Jaime are walking along the huge dragon heads, talking about training. They finally come to a stop and Jaime sees Tyrion walk out from between two heads. Bronn leaves Jaime and Tyrion alone. Jaime threatens to kill Tyrion, and Tyrion says he really can’t do that with a sparring sword. Finally, Tyrion tells Jaime why he’s there and tells him that Daenerys wants to have a truce for a more important reason than to win the war.
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In King’s Landing, Davos is walking along the blacksmithing shops. He comes up to one shop and stops. And YAY! Gendry is alive and well! Davos begins to nicely tell Gendry that he’s come to take Gendry away from here. Instead of resisting, Gendry says he’s ready. He grabs up his bag. Davos tells him he needs to grab a sword and Gendry pulls out a majorly insane hammer instead. They make their way back to the boat and as they are getting ready to pull off once Tyrion gets there, two guards appear. Davos pays them to go away, which they don’t right away. Instead, they want to search the boat. A seasoned smuggler, Davos is prepared for that and offers them an aphrodisiac and tells them to head to their favorite brothel before it puts a hole through their chain mail. As they are leaving, Tyrion comes down and heads to the boat.
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They recognize him and ask where he got that scar. They tell him they were looking for a dwarf with a scar not that long ago. Davos tries to pay them off again, but they say Cersei will pay better. Gendry ends up pulling out his hammer and smashing both of them in the face before they can do anything else. The trio leaves really quickly on their boat.
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Back in Cersei’s chambers, Jaime walks in as Qyburn is offering to give Cersei something medically. She refuses. Jaime tells her the he met with Tyrion and about Daenerys’ offer. Cersei laughs when she hears about the army of the dead. She then asks if Jaime is going to kill Bronn since he betrayed Jaime by setting up the meeting with Tyrion. Jaime is surprised but Cersei asks him if he really thinks that anything happens in the castle without her knowing about it. Jaime realizes that she’s controlling all this stuff and asks why. She says that she’s come to realize that working with the Dragon Queen would be in their best interest. Cersei is already conniving to befriend Dany and then kill her as soon as she can.
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She says that they have to fight her like their father would have. She says that anything that stands in their way, they will defeat. She says it’s for their house, for the kingdom and for ‘this’, then puts her hands on her belly. Jaime realizes that she’s preggers and almost cries. He asks who she’ll say the father is and she says him. People won’t like it but their father used to say the lion doesn’t worry about what the sheep think. They then hug and kiss and she whispers in his ear never to betray her again.
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Back at Dragonstone, Jon is gathering up dragonglass to leave as Davos and Gendry come up to the cave. Davos is going to introduce him to Jon and tells Gendry to keep quiet about who he is. Gendry agrees, but as soon as Davos tries to introduce him, Gendry tells Jon he’s Robert’s son. He then tells Jon that their fathers were good friends and they should be too. They share a little bit of fun, and then realize that they are like their fathers. Jon says he grew up on stories about their fathers and Gendry says all he ever knew is that they fought together and won. He says that Davos told him where they are going and why and he wants to go. After a little chat, Jon agrees to take Gendry with him.
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On the beach outside the cave, Tyrion and Jorah are talking as Jorah loads the boat. Tyrion pulls out a coin that the slaver gave them when they were caught. Tyrion gives it to Jorah for good luck but tells him to bring it back to him. As he hands Jorah the coin, Dany comes up to say good bye. Dany doesn’t like saying good bye to any of them.
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Jon comes up and he tells her if he doesn’t come back, at least she won’t have to worry about him anymore. She says that she’s gotten used to him though. They shove off, headed for the north.
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At Old Town, Sam and Gilly are going through books while Sam is copying them. Gilly starts rattling off stupid stuff one of the old maesters recorded, such as the number of steps in the citadel, number of windows at the Sept of Baylor and how many poops he ever took. She starts to tell Sam that one of the Targaryens had a marriage annulled and then was remarried to… and Sam cuts her off. He then gets up and leaves, goes to the citadel, steals a ton of books, and they pack up and head off to the north.
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At Winterfell, Arya is following Littlefinger around, watching him sneak here and there, pay off people, whisper to the maesters, etc. She follows him around and finally hears a conversation outside his door where the maester is giving Littlefinger something. Littlefinger asks if that is the only copy and the maester assures him it is. Littlefinger goes in his room and comes out a minute later. Arya breaks in his room and finds the scroll and reads it.
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While it seems that Littlefinger was trying to betray Sansa, it looks like he was taking the only copy of the letter that Cersei had Sansa write to Rob before the Red Wedding. Arya now will be looking differently at her sister. As she leaves his room, Littlefinger is watching from the corner.
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At Eastwatch, Jon and his party are meeting with our favorite Wildling, Tormund. He’s asking Davos why he’s letting Jon do stupid shit. Then he asks which one of the queens they have to convince that the walkers are real. Jon says both. As they agree to go north, with Davos staying behind, Tormund tells them there’s another group there that they caught trying to go north.
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He takes them down to the dungeon and there is the Hound and the brotherhood. Jon recognizes the Hound. Gendry recognizes the brotherhood. Jorah recognizes Beric, who says Jorah’s real name of Mormont, which Tormund recognizes as the lord who hunted and killed his people. Thoros says that it doesn’t matter who they all are or why they are going north, that they are all going for the same reason. He starts to talk more and the Hound tells him to shut up. But Jon agrees with him, saying they all are on the same side. When he gets weird looks, he says they all are still living.
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Now to the Wall, where the group is standing. The gate lifts and there is a crazy blizzard on the other side. The men pause for a moment then head out into the snow.

And this is where the episode ends my friends… we now have to try and wait a whole other week to find out what happens from here.

Game of Thrones: The Spoils of War Recap

Posted by MD Weems on August 6, 2017

Holy dragon shit! I think it’s going to take a couple of days for my heart to calm down after that ending. It has been a long time since I’ve sat on the edge of my couch and covered my face – yet peeked through my hands because I didn’t want to miss anything. This episode is why I fucking love Game of Thrones. If you haven’t watched the episode yet, head on to another article or site now, because there ARE spoilers ripe for the picking in his recap. That said, let’s get into our recap of HBO’s Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 4: The Spoils of War!

After a little refresher and our favorite song, we see the Lannister army traveling away from Highgarden. A wagon is stopped and Jaime pulls out a massive bag of money and hands it to Bronn. Bronn then complains that he hasn’t gotten his castle yet and asks about the one behind them. Jaime tells him that it is too close to Daenerys’ armies and that once Cersei wins, he can pick any castle he wants.
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Then we move to King’s Landing, where Cersei is meeting with the Iron Bank rep once again. He’s impressed that she’s paying off the crown’s debts in one swoop. She tells him Jaime is personally overseeing the gold arriving at the Iron Bank. He asks what she might need for backing to ensure her win against Daenerys and Cersei says that she needs some help collecting old debts. The rep tells her that they will do whatever she needs, after the gold arrives.
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From there, we go to Winterfell, where Littlefinger is sitting with Bran. Bran is in a new wheelchair that the maester had made for him. Littlefinger gives him the dagger that was meant to kill him after his fall (i.e. the one Cersei hired) and says that he figured Bran might want it. Littlefinger now goes into a speech about how he couldn’t protect Kat but he can protect her kids. Again, creepy Littlefinger vibes. Bran just listens to him talk. When Littlefinger says that it must be weird to come home to this chaos, Bran says: “Chaos is a ladder.” This stops Littlefinger in his tracks with a frightened look as it’s something he said in one of the first seasons about causing chaos and using it for his benefit.
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As they are talking, Meera comes in and interrupts. Littlefinger leaves. Bran knows she is leaving, and she says that she needs to be with her family when the dead come. She tells him that he’s safe and doesn’t need him now, and he just says: “No, I don’t.” Of course, this hurts her feelers and she says that her brother died for him, that Hodor died for him. He says: “Thank you.” Then she realizes that the real Bran died in the cave and this isn’t really all him anymore. She turns and leaves.
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Now we go to the top of a snowy hill outside Winterfell, where we see Arya Stark sitting atop her horse. Then we see her walking up to the gate. A couple of idiot guards come up and are extremely hateful to her about how she’s not Arya, that Arya is dead. They refuse to let her in and she tells them she will get in one way or another. She convinces them to go get Sansa and they tell her to stay put and argue about who is going to interrupt Sansa. When they turn around, she’s gone.
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The two dumbasses go to Sansa and tell her about the girl. When the mention the old maester’s name and that they told her to stay put but they’ll find her, she realizes that it is Arya. She knows where Arya is. Down in the crypt, Sansa finds Arya standing in front of her father’s statue. The two share a huge hug and talk about how the statue doesn’t look like their dad. Arya jokingly brings up that she has a list of people to kill. They both talk about how their journeys back to Winterfell haven’t been pleasant. Arya flat out asks if Sansa killed Joffery. Sansa says no, but she wishes she did. Arya said she wishes Sansa had too. Then they hug again and Sansa tells her Bran is home too.

They go to see Bran, who is in the garden by the tree with the red leaves. Arya hugs him tight too and he tells her that he saw her at the crossroads. He says that he thought she was going to go to King’s Landing, Arya says: “Me too.” Sansa asks why and Bran says Cersei is there, that Cersei is on Arya’s list. Sansa hides a smile but asks who else is on her list. Arya tells her most are dead already and Sansa smiles. Then Bran pulls out the dagger and begins to look at it. Both girls are astonished and he tells them that Littlefinger gave it to him. Sansa says Littlefinger does nothing without something in return. Bran doesn’t care, says he doesn’t want the dagger and gives it to Arya.
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The three Starks then go back into the main grounds and Brienne sees them come in. Podrick tells her she should be proud, that she kept her promise to Kat Stark. Brienne says she didn’t do anything. Podrick tells her BS.
Back to Dragonstone, and Missandei and Daenerys are walking down from the keep and talking about how there’s no word from the Unsullied yet. Daenerys tells her Grey Worm will come back and Missandei says he better. Dany asks what happened and Missandei says: “Many things.” Ha. I actually laughed here as Dany stops her and says: “Many things?”
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Jon Snow interrupts this moment between the two BFFs. He takes Daenerys and Missandei into the cave at the ocean where Davos is waiting. He tells her that he wants her to see everything before they start hacking it. The cave is massive and gorgeous, with dragonglass everywhere. Then he takes Dany into an older part of the cave to show her something else.
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Back in the very back are carvings. He tells her they were done by the children of the forest. As they are looking at them, she says they have to be old – older than men probably. Jon says no, and shows her where the children and men were together. She asks if they were fighting and he says no, they were fighting together and shows her a carving of the night king. His eyes are even crazy blue in the stone!
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Jon tells her that they all fought together against the dead and that they have to do the same. Dany tells him that she’ll fight for him … as long as he bends the knee. He says that his people chose him to lead and that they won’t be happy with a southern ruler after what they’ve seen. She says that they chose him to lead them and to protect them, that they are more important than his pride.

Enter in a ton of looks between these two characters.

They head back out to the beach where Tyrion and Varys are waiting. Tyrion tells her they took Casterly Rock but their ships and a lot of the Unsullied are gone. Daenerys gets pissed and says that’s it, she’s taking her dragons and burning King’s Landing to the ground. Tyrion tells her no. She turns and asks Jon what he’d do. He tells her that her dragons are an inspiration but if she uses them to burn people down and take over, she won’t be any different than other leaders.
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Back at Winterfell, Brienne is training Podrick again and beating him up again. Arya walks up and watches while they train. Arya interrupts. As Arya and Brienne are talking, Sansa and Littlefinger are walking along the balcony above and stop to watch. Arya asks to train with Brienne since she beat the Hound. Then Arya and Brienne begin to spar, much to Sansa’s disapproval. Brienne tells Arya that she can’t use her sword, Needle, because it’s too small. Arya tells her she’ll try not to cut Brienne. Arya beats Brienne a few times, while Podrick watches and tries not to smile too much. Sansa and Littlefinger watch with worried looks.
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This makes Brienne angry and she finally lands a good kick to Arya’s stomach, knocking the girl down. Brienne stops and walks over, worried she hurt the girl. Arya does a badass flip move and is suddenly on her feet, with a wicked look in her eyes.
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Brienne lets loose and knocks Arya’s sword from her hand. Then they both freeze, Brienne’s sword above Arya’s throat, and Arya’s dagger at Brienne’s throat.
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Both of these two are having a little too much fun I think. Brienne asks who taught her how to do that and Arya says “No one.” Both look up at Sansa, who walks away while Littlefinger watches with a worried look at Arya.

Back to Dragonstone, where Jon and Davos are walking along the walkway from the keep. Davos asks what Jon thinks of Dany and says he’s see how Jon looks at her. Jon tells him he doesn’t have time for that. As Jon is asking about how many men they have to fight, Davos is about to tell him they have less than Jon thinks, but stops as they come upon Missandei. Missandei asks about Jon’s last name and explains that they don’t have bastards where she comes from. As they are talking, Jon sees a ship and asks if it’s a Greyjoy ship.

Down at the beach, Jon and Theon meet up again. Theon tries to say him but Jon grabs him up and says that the only reason he doesn’t kill Theon right there is because he saved Sansa. Theon’s face shows how meek he is now. Davos asks about Yara. Theon says Euron has her and he’s there to ask for the Queen’s help in getting her back. Jon tells him the Queen is gone. Theon asks where she went.
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Enter in one of the most ruthless battle scenes in Game of Thrones on top of the Battle of the Bastards, the Red Wedding, and all of the others.

Daenerys finally brings out the Dothraki… and her dragons.

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Jaime and Bronn are sitting a bit back, looking out over the long string of the Lannister army. Bronn says that the gold has been taken into King’s Landing safely. Lord Tarly comes and says that they need to get across the river before nightfall otherwise if the head of the line is attacked, the rear can’t help. He offers to beat stragglers, but Jaime says no. Tarly goes to get the back of the line up and Jaime and Bronn ride down toward the line.

They come upon Dickon Tarly and ask how he thought the battle went. Dickon tells them it was his first battle and that some of the men he killed were his friends. Jaime says that they chose to fight for the wrong side. Dickon says that he didn’t think it’d smell like that, and Bronn tells him men shit when they die and he learned that at five years old. As Bronn and Jaime are about to poke a little more fun at Dickon, Bronn stops them when he hears something.

It sounds like crazy thunder coming their way.

Jaime screams to get the men in line to fight. Men start to jump up and get in formation as the Dothraki come barreling across the hills toward them. They show some of the men in the Lannister army clearly shaking. The Dothraki yelling and screaming, waving swords everywhere. Bronn tells Jaime to go, to get to King’s Landing. Jaime says he can’t leave his men. Both men freeze as they hear another sound – Daenerys’ dragon.
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The dragon flies right past the Dothraki and Dany gives the command to burn. The dragon just busts a huge hole of flaming soldiers right through the lines and the Dothraki actually ride through the flames in a seriously badass show. Everyone on the Lannister side watches in horror as burning men are running everywhere. The Dothraki are wiping everyone out as they reach them. Daenerys is flying right down the line, taking out the Lannister supplies. Hell, the Dothraki are even standing up on their horses, shooting arrows. What is more badass than that?
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During the fighting, Bronn reminds Jaime about the huge spear shooter that Qyburn gave to Cersei for the dragons. Jaime tells Bronn he can’t shoot it with one hand. Bronn rides through the flames and battle and comes up against a Dothraki who chops the whole leg off Bronn’s horse. After a fight, Bronn escapes (thank god) and runs to the wagon with the launcher. The Dothraki follows him and Bronn shoots him across the battlefield with the launcher. Bronn then starts to reload the launcher as I’m clutching my face, knowing he’s going to hit the dragon.

Jaime pulls archers together and tries to shoot at Dany, but the plain arrows just ping off the dragon’s scales. Daenerys roasts all the archers. Jaime is watching in horror as his army and supplies go up in flames and down in blood.

Tyrion and other Dothraki appear on the ridge above them. Tyrion is worried for his brother Jaime and quietly telling Jaime to run, to get out.
Bronn’s first shot misses the dragon and Daenerys takes out more of the lines.

Bronn’s second shot hits the dragon in the right shoulder.

Bronn leaps off the launcher just in time as the dragon incinerates it. The whole time, Tyrion is watching, worried about Dany and his brother Jaime at the same time.

Dany lands the dragon and tries to pull the huge spear. Jaime sees an opening and begins to charge. Tyrion is telling him to go the other way, telling him how stupid he is.
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Just as Jaime gets close to Dany, the dragon turns and shoots a massive burst of flame.

Bronn saves Jaime just in time it appears, by leaping off his charging horse and pushing them both down into the water beside them.
The episode ends with Jaime sinking down into the water.

Game of Thrones: The Queen’s Justice

Posted by MD Weems on July 30, 2017

Oooooooh the bombshell that was dropped at the end of this episode had me cheering in my seat like a crazed minion! Just the sheer amount of awesome that was this whole episode made me realize once more why I love Game of Thrones even without the dragons and the epic pirate battles. So, let’s get into this week’s recap of HBO’s Game of Thrones: The Queen’s Justice, Season 7, Episode 3.

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We start off with a beautiful beach, rolling waves, gorgeous rock formations and a small group of soldiers standing on the shore as another group disembarks from their ship. On the beaches of Dragonstone, Tyrion and Missandei are waiting for Jon Snow to arrive. After exchanging some much-needed humorous pleasantries between Jon and Tyrion, the visitors are asked to remove their weapons and head up to meet Daenerys. As they are walking up to the castle, the dragons buzz the group, causing Jon to hit the dirt.

Up on the cliff watching the group walk up to the castle is the Red Lady, Melisandre, is basically hiding from Jon and Davos. Varys comes up behind her, in his signature snarky voice, asking wtf she’s doing hiding since she is the one who told Daenerys to bring Jon here.got 7 3 ss 6 She tells him she didn’t leave on good terms due to ‘mistakes’ she made. Varys tells her to leave and not to come back. She then ominously tells him she’ll be back one more time because she’s supposed to die on this continent – just like he is. got 7 3 ss 7

Back up in the castle, Daenerys is sitting regally on her throne – looking a bit small on the huge thing.got 7 3 ss 8 Missandei goes through the whole long list of Daeny’s titles and the men aren’t sure what to do. Here starts the pissing contest. Jon won’t kneel. Daenerys slings words back. Both are just showing who has the bigger balls – but only because they have different perspectives and different goals. He tells her about the white walkers and the Night King as she’s giving him a history lesson on how his ancestor pledged the Stark loyalty to her family forever. Finally, Davos has had enough and starts to go through some of the shit that Jon’s been through, right up to the part where he says that Jon took a knife in the heart, then Jon stops him.got 7 3 ss 9

Just as things are about to get bad, here come Varys with news. Daenerys has Jon and Davos escorted to their rooms and dinner brought up to them. After Jon and Davos leave, Varys tells everyone quickly that Yara’s fleet has been lost and the Dornish queen has been captured.

Flash to a ship and Theon being pulled out of the water by ropes. One of the boats out of Yara’s fleet manages to pick him up. They tell him she’s dead and he says he tried to save her. The captain tells him if that were true, he wouldn’t be alive. Then they all leave poor Theon on the deck and walk off.
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Just as quick as we’re pulled to Theon – now we’re pulled to his uncle, Euron, who is quickly becoming one of my absolute favorite characters in the show this season right behind Tyrion, is riding through the streets of King’s Landing with Yara, Ellaria Sand and her daughter, Tyene, in chains. The crowd is cheering him, booing the chained ladies. They’re spitting on them, calling them whores, and so on, while Euron eats it up. Yara stays stoic but Ellaria spits back at the people. At the castle, Euron rides his horse right up into the throne room, the women in tow.got 7 3 ss 11

He presents Cersei with the Dornish queen and princess, as his gifts to her. Cersei is beyond happy with this and you can see the pleasure of the gift, the anger and revenge for her daughter’s death in her eyes.got 7 3 ss 12 She tells him that he’ll have whatever his heart’s desire after the war is won. Jaime doesn’t like this of course. Enter in some great barbs between Euron and Jaime to complete the deal… which have me absolutely cracking up. Euron leaves the Dornish prisoners in Cersei’s care and he leaves with Yara still tied behind him.got 7 3 ss 13

Cersei wastes no time in chaining the two women up in the dungeon facing each other. She tells Ellaria about all the different ways she thought of killing her or killing her daughter in front of her. Then, she turns and kisses Tyene and Ellaria knows exactly what just happened. Cersei turns and wipes the horrid pink lipstick off her lips and then thanks her little weasel, Qyburn, for finding out the exact poison that Ellaria used on her daughter. She tells Ellaria that she’ll make sure she lives to see her daughter die and then her daughter’s bones rot away in front of her. As she’s leaving the dungeon, she tells the guards to make sure there’s always a torch burning so she doesn’t miss a thing.

Now to crazy bed scene of Cersei and Jaime… ew. But ‘ole Jaime does have such a nice ass… A knock at the door tells Cersei that the Iron Bank Representative is there for her. She meets with the man, who basically tells her she owes a shitton, but they want to bet on the right queen since Daenerys is on the continent now. got 7 3 ss 14

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Back to the gorgeous scenery of Dragonstone and Jon and Tyrion standing up on a bluff. Seriously, these two guys are my two favorite characters when they are together. Jon asks Tyrion if he believes him or not about the walkers. Tyrion says that he always believes an honest man’s eyes over fairy tales and legends. He asks Jon if he has anything reasonable to ask of Daenrys to give her something that she can understand. Flip to Tyrion and Daenerys in her ready room and he talks her into letting Jon mine the dragonglass. Tyrion speaks very highly of Jon to her and explains that she needs to give him a reason to become an ally instead of forcing him to.
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Then we see Daenerys standing on a lookout, watching her dragons play and fly around the island. Jon comes down to talk to her. She turns and tells him he can mine the dragonglass, which really surprises him. They chat just a little and seem to come to a better understanding of each other, also showing us how alike they are. She tells him that anything he needs for mining, she’ll make sure he has. *Just a note, her hair is freaking epic in this episode.

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Now, to Winterfell. Sansa is getting briefed about them not having enough food. She tells the master to have the other houses in the north to start sending grain asap. Because, A) if the whole northern army is at Winterfell they won’t be able to feed them and B) if the white walkers come from the north people won’t have time to grab carts of grain to bring with them. As they walk through the common area, she also sees that the blacksmiths aren’t making the armor right and has that remedied. Littlefinger is following creepily and when they finally are alone, he tells her that she needs to start thinking differently – seeing every single outcome, every single choice, everyone is your enemy and everyone is your friend, so nothing surprises you. You can tell it’s his personal philosophy.

They are interrupted by someone at the gate. It’s finally Bran come home! She tears up and breaks the beautiful stern looks she’s adopted and cries as she hugs him.

Then they are sitting in the garden, under the red leafed tree, and she says that now he’s the rightful Lord of Winterfell and he tells her no. He says he’s the three-eyed raven. She is like wtf is that. He tells her a little bit about it but then tells her that he can see everything that has happened and will happen. Seeing her doubt, he tells her he’s sorry for all the things that have happened to her there in their home, how beautiful she looked on her wedding day here in her white dress. She starts to get upset and then leaves, letting him stay with the tree.
At the Citadel, Jorah Mormont is cured of the greyscale. The archmaester tells him he’s free to go, that they need the room for infected people. Then tells Sam he wants to see him this afternoon. Sam asks Jorah what he’ll do now and Jorah tells him he’s going to seek out Daenerys. Sam goes to the archmaester’s office and is actually praised for saving Jorah – but then given a shit duty of copying old manuscripts. But he doesn’t get kicked out of the citadel.

Then, to Casterly Rock, where the Unsullied are attacking. It flashes back and forth between the attack and Tyrion talking about the attack. He tells them that the Unsullied will be overpowered because of the army and the walls there. But he also says that his father had Tyrion build the sewers in the place, so Tyrion left a way to get his whores in and out – giving the Unsullied a back-way in. The Unsullied take Casterly Rock – but find that the main part of the army is gone. Then Grey Worm goes up onto the ramparts and sees that Euron’s fleet is wiping out the Unsullied ships in the harbor below.got 7 3 ss 18

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Our final scene starts with the Lanister army marching, and at first it looks like they are at Casterly Rock. We see that Lord Tarly, Brienne’s father, has decided to side with the Lanisters instead of the Tyrells. Which is exactly where they are going – the Tyrell castle. They overtake the castle easily and we see Jaime going up and talking with Olenna Tyrell. He pours some wine for them and she’s asking how he’s going to kill her. She tells him that Cersei is a monster and she’ll be Jaime’s downfall. He says maybe. She talks about how she’s done horrible things to protect her family but how Cersei has done things even she couldn’t imagine. He tells her the different ways that Cersei wanted him to kill her and then tells her that he talked her out of those and pulls out a vial of poison. He pours it in her wine and hands the wine to her.
Before she swigs it down – she tells Jaime how awful his son Joffery died with the poison, with his eyes bleeding, his skin turning purple, etc, all while both her, Olenna, and Jaime watched helplessly.got 7 3 ss 20

Then she tells him she is the one who poisoned the little fucker! Oh, my gawd, I cheered and laughed at the same time! I love this old woman. She makes sure to tell Jaime to tell Cersei that it was Olenna who killed Joffery.

I expected Jaime to slice her in half, but he walks out. The whole episode is over at this point – but, I’m going to leave my mind wondering if she doesn’t have some type of antidote in that huge cabinet behind her.

Game of Thrones: Stormborn

Posted by MD Weems on July 23, 2017

Oh don’t let that title fool you! While we see the beginnings of Daenerys’ plans, we also see the most epic pirate battle that overshadows anything else that happens in the entire episode. Let’s get into the recap for HBO’s Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 2: Stormborn!

So the episode starts out with a recap of some things that happened last week, such as Euron Greyjoy promising a gift for Cersei and the Dornish Queen meeting with Lady Tyrell. There’s no real front piece, like the epic giant white walker, which kind of sucked for me because usually these front pieces are pretty awesome.

After the Song of Fire and Ice, we are thrown into a crazy storm around Dragonstone where Daenerys and her cohorts are plotting their takeover of the Seven Kingdoms. As Tyrion is speaking to her about plans, she immediately lays into Varys about what a backstabbing ass he is and how she doesn’t trust his bald butt. He tells her he’s in it for the people, not for the rulers and lays things out straight. Impressed that he didn’t scheme to get out of it, she tells him to always tell her when he feels that she’s failing the people or she’ll burn him alive. Of course, he says “I’d expect nothing less from the Mother of Dragons.”varys 1

Aw. Well, sweet moment over as a Red Priestess arrives at Dragonstone. They all go down to meet her and who is it – well, you can guess I’m sure – Melisandre. After a nice little talk in slave tongue, Daenerys tells her that she’s always welcome in her castle. Melisandre tells her she needs to meet Jon Snow (even though he kicked her out of Winterfell last episode). Tyrion finds out his bastard friend has defeated Ramsay Bolton and is now King of the North. He tells Daenerys that Jon is a good man and he trusts him. She tells Tyrion to send a raven telling Jon to come meet her and ‘bend the knee’. Melisandre1

Then we move to Winterfell, where Jon has received the raven from Tyrion and is talking with Sansa and Davos about what Tyrion says. They all agree that Tyrion is to be trusted, and Jon is on the fence about going to meet her. He reminds Sansa that Daenerys has dragons and those are the only things that can beat the white walkers… well, that and the Dragonglass under her keep.

Now we move to King’s Landing, where Cersei has summoned those lords that are still loyal to her, trying to build up an army to fight Daenerys. She tells them that the Unsullied are slaves who do what they are told without any remorse and that the Dothraki will burn their villages and rape their women and children. After her little ‘scare speech’, one of the lords, Lord Tarly, asks bluntly how she’s going to deal with Daenerys’ dragons. Cersei’s little creeper maester, Qyburn, says they’re working on a solution. Uh huh. No one quite believes this.cersei1

Ser Jaime catches up with Lord Tarly after Cersei’s speech and basically tries to bribe him. He tells Tarly that he will make Tarly his main general and make sure that he is Lord of the South after Cersei wins. Of course, Tarly reminds Jaime that his house has always been loyal to the Tyrells and kind of leaves it at that. Jaime makes a couple of veiled threats and then end scene.

Next, we move to the Citadel, where Samwell is helping the Archmaester look at Jorah Mormont’s greyscale. The Archmaester tells him he’s screwed, that he’ll live another 10 to 20 years, but his mind will be gone in 6 months. Sam tries to talk about a treatment he heard of that will maybe cure it. Archmaester blows him off, then tells Mormont that he’ll let him stay one more night because he’s a knight but after that he has to be shipped off to the island with the other stone men. The Archmaester also looks to Mormont’s sword and tells him it’s up to Jorah how he spends his last night. I will say that the special effects on the greyscale is just fucking gnarly here. It truly looks like poor Jorah has been burnt to a crisp over most of his body. greyscale

We’re flung down below the Red Keep, where Qyburn is walking Cersei around all of the dragon skulls that Robert never got rid of. Ermagawd they are badass. Props or not, I want the huge one in my house. Cersei walks right up to the huge one, showing how big it is. Meanwhile, Qyburn is going through how evil the Mad King was, how badass his dragons were, etc. Then he shows her a huge spear launcher as he tells her that one of Daenerys’ dragons was injured during the battle in Slaver’s Bay. He tells her to pull the lever and when she does, a massive iron spear shoots right into the middle of the biggest dragon skull. I know my image here is a bit dark, but they sure didn’t put a lot of light on him, which sucked. dragon skull

Right here, I already got angry, because I can see where this is going. They’re going to kill one (or more) of the dragons and I’m assuming it will be the biggest one… which I love. And I will hate HBO for a while afterwards.

After shooting the big man in the head, we are taken to Dragonstone, where Daenerys is meeting with Olenna Tyrell, Yara Greyjoy and Ellaria Sand. Tyrion tells them their plans for taking the Red Keep after the women tell Daenerys to storm King’s Landing with her dragons. Tyrion tells them that will kill tens of thousands of people. Ellaira says “This is war.”, and a few barbs fly between them. Daenerys says no, that their armies will lay siege to the Keep and when they say ‘well, wtf, why not use your armies?!’, Tyrion tells them how the Unsullied are going to take Casterly Rock – his home. This kind of shuts them up. They all finally say they are behind the plan and Daenerys dismisses them, but asks to speak with Lady Tyrell alone. She tells Olenna that she knows Olenna is only there because she hates Cersei. Olenna gives her some good advice: telling her to be a dragon, not a sheep.

It seems while everyone else is getting ready for war, Missandrei goes in to find out why Grey Worm wasn’t going to tell her bye. He tells her that she’s his weakness, which she starts to take offence at, until he explains that the boys in the Unsullied always had their fears found out and then were thrown into them all the way. He says he never had any fear, that he was always the bravest. She believes this. Then he says that now, he has fear. Finally, he almost runs over and smooches her. She pulls away and BAM! Drops her dress. He allows her to take his clothes off, even his pants, and they get busy on the bed – except that he takes a southward approach instead of trying to fuck since he hasn’t got the parts. It’s been a long time since there was any type of a sex scene in GoT with boobs and all.

And after this hot sex scene – we’re thrown back to the Citadell. Wtf. Ok, anyway, Sam is trying to convince the Archmaester that he can do the treatment on Jorah. Archmaester says no fucking way, the dude that developed the treatment died from greyscale. Does Sam listen, fuck no. He gets all the stuff and goes to Jorah’s room while the knight is writing to Daenerys. Sam has Jorah drink a whole skin of rum and then bite down on a strap. He tells Jorah that it is going to hurt – a lot – and he has to be quiet or Sam will get kicked out and they’ll ship Jorah off. Sam tells Jorah that basically he’s his only hope. And, since they showed Daenery telling Jorah that she commands him to heal himself during the beginning recap… well, it’s almost predictable.

However, the treatment is downright nasty painful – even on TV. It’s peeling off the infected skin – which they show in all it’s gory detail. You can even hear the ripping of the skin… not gonna lie, it curled my toes and puckered my butt.greyscaletreatment

As Sam is diving in to remove more skin, the scene changes to Arya cutting into a breaded pie – which grossed me out until I realized it was a new scene lol. She’s back in the inn with the fat kid, Hot Pie, talking. He tells her about Jon being alive and the King of the North and she gets up and leaves. He tells her that when she’s not trying to look like a boy, she’s pretty – which cracked me up for some reason. Outside the inn, she hears people going to King’s Landing as she’s getting on her horse. After a moment or two, she finally turns and rides back to Winterfell.

Back at Winterfell, Jon is given a note from a raven from Sam about the Dragonglass under Daenerys’ keep. He meets with the lords and tells them about that note and the one from Daenerys asking him to come meet her. Everyone freaks out and tells him not to go – even Sansa. Sansa and Jon have a little fight in front of everyone when he says that he and Davos are going to Dragonstone. He says that Winterfell will be in good hands when he leaves because he’s leaving it in Sansa’s hands. This shuts her up for a moment and makes ‘ole creep Littlefinger happy.sansa

Jon goes down into the catacombs to see his dad before he leaves. Littlefinger follows him and tells him how he brought Ned’s body back to Winterfell for Kat, how Ned loved Kat, how he (Littlefinger) loved Kat, and reminds Jon how Kat never liked Jon at all. Then he tells Jon that he loves Sansa the same way that he loved Kat – to which Jon slams his ass against the wall and tells him he’ll kill him if he touches her. Jon then rides away, waving bye to Sansa who’s watching from the balcony. Littlefinger appears from the catacombs, watching Sansa too. Dude has always creeped me out, but this season so far, he is just seriously bad creeper vibes going every which way. jonlittlefinger

Now we’re back to Arya, who stops and builds a fire in the middle of the day for some reason, and we start hearing noises around her. Her horse freaks out a bit and finally she gets her sword. You’re sure it’s going to be soldiers or walkers or something but no! Wolves. Snarling, fang bearing wolves. Then, the biggest one – a dire wolf – comes up on a log above her and she realizes it’s Nymeria, her dire wolf. She lays down her sword and tries to talk to Nymeria, telling her to come back to Winterfell with her. The wolf stands there for a moment, then they all turn and leave. aryawolves

And now, this is the part that makes the whole episode just fucking epic: Mega crazy fiery pirate battle!!!

There will be whole massive book-type posts written about this battle all week. Jesus H Christ GoT, this was fucking awesome.

Ok, while Yara and Elliara are flirting with each other and about to get it on in front of poor Theon and Elliara’s crazy girls are plotting to kill each other (jokingly) so they don’t have to share things – BOOM! Huge ships attack. Euron Greyjoy’s fleet just fucking demolishes Yara’s and Euron himself kills two of the three Dornish princesses, hanging one from the bow of their ship and stabbing the other with a spear through the bow above her. yara theon

I am not going to go through too much of this because you HAVE to see it for yourself. I don’t want to spoil it. But, Euron captures Yara and Elliara as well as the last of her daughters. He tells Theon to come and save his sister, but Theon jumps off the side of the ship. At first, this pissed me off, but if he had tried to save her, Euron would have killed them both.euron yara

The episode ends with Theon seeing their fleet and the Dornish army just fucking wiped off the map.

Oooooooh I cannot wait for next week – how about you?!