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Game of Thrones

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“Dark Wings, Dumb Words.”

By way of Do You Feel Loved, various social media networks get their Westeros sigils. Theirs is the funny.

Valar Futbolis.


I believe.

I believe that.

I believe that we.

I believe that we will get what turns out to be an entirely acceptable result in our third group-stage game that, combined with the result between the other two teams, puts us through into the knockout round!”

As USA reaches the second round the hard way, MLS Soccer’s Matthew Doyle offers his tactical insights on the US-Germany match. “Whether it was Klinsmann’s own decisions, or his willingness to listen to others, I don’t really care. What matters is that he made the right moves to get us out of the group. I’m tipping my cap as I type this.”

Next up for we Americans, wily, athletic Belgium, who I feel bad rooting against, having lived there back in the day. Still, to mix my fantasy metaphors, there can be only one — on to Round 2.

You Win or You Restart/Discard.

Now here’s a Super Mario land that Bob Hoskins would’ve been more at home in — Game of Thrones, Mario-style.

In related news, Reddit users craft a GoT deck for Blizzard’s impressively addictive Hearthstone. Many more here.

Update: Now, Hyrule gets the same treatment.

Storm of Sabers.

Sigh…nobody ever listens to Ser Akbar. This has been languishing in the bookmarks for a bit: The Star Wars v. Game of Thrones subreddit. That’s cute.

His Watch Continues.

Quiet around here the past fortnight or so — sorry, busy as ever. In recompense, and since there’s been very little dog-blogging in recent months, here’s Maester Berk yesterday, maintaining his watch on the Wall…er, Table. Canine Dohaeris.

A Song of Ice and Flynn.

Less than a fortnight before the first half of A Storm of Swords gets its close-up, HBO releases an extended trailer for Game of Thrones Season 3. Looks solid as usual, although biting Daft Punk from the very memorable Tron: Legacy teaser is an odd choice.

Of course, if this TRON-Tyrion mash-up whetted your appetite for GRRM retro-style — Thatcher! Jazzercise! Lipgloss! — look no further than Game of Thrones‘s mid-90’s-style credits, not unlike the Firefly one making the rounds awhile back.

The Lion and the Mutants.

From facing off against the wolves of the north to battling a Canadian wolverine, word breaks that Peter Dinklage is set to play the villain in Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past. (That may mean he’s Sentinel creator Bolivar Trask, although the jury’s still out. Note also the Season 3 scar across Tyrion’s face above.)

I get the feeling X:DFP is either going to be amazing or an overstuffed Last Stand-like disaster. Still, it’s yet another testament to just how decisively fanboys have won the culture war when they’re making a movie of one of the most iconic X-Men tales with both casts from the previous films — the McAvoy/Fassbender/Lawrence team of First Class and the Stewart/McKellen/Jackman team of the first three films. An ensemble movie and no mistake.

Update: Even more X-Men: Now Singer is teasing the return of Cyclops and Jean Grey.

Game of Bricks.

“It took me and about 100 other builders a little over 4 months to build the whole thing. We estimate there are around 3000 unique buildings, all hand made and all fully decorated on the interior.”

Best build some wildfire…A group of audacious (and bored) GRRM-enthusiasts recreate the entirety of King’s Landing in Minecraft. I’ve yet to try Minecraft, since quite frankly I’m afraid to court another gaming addiction. But everything I read about it makes it seem like it’s eventually going to be the online world described in the namedroppy but compulsively readable Ready Player One.

The Caesar Beyond the Wall.

As revealed at Entertainment Weekly today, joining the rest of the new Game of Thrones casts members above — Diana Rigg? Awesome. — is HBO standby Ciaran Hinds as the King Beyond the Wall, Mance Rayder. Somebody on a fan board offered Robert Carlyle — who’s busy making a mint over on ABC’s Once Upon a Time — but Hinds is a great choice also, and a much more prominent actor than I suspected.

Game of Votes.

Still taking a break. Nonetheless, this was too on-the-nose not to share, for election 2012 is dark and full of terrors. Enjoy.

Half- and Half-Man Marathons.

To follow up on items mentioned here:

  • Two weeks ago, I did in fact finish the Baltimore Half-Marathon: Total running time was 2 hours, 3 minutes, 35 seconds, so I clocked in at just under nine and a half minute miles. I’m totally fine with that, especially given that I only got in six weekend-warriorish weeks of training beforehand. And, other than not being able to walk so well for a day or two afterwards, no serious damage done – I may be up for another long race as early as December. (This is quite a contrast with my failed attempt to run the DC Cherry Blossom ten-miler earlier this year: Then, my feet fell apart. I’m now an enthusiastic convert to the Vibram toe-shoes.)

  • Also, after a slog through A Feast of Crows in particular, I am now totally caught up with George R.R. Martin on A Song of Ice and Fire. And, well, there is a definite drop in quality after the first three books: Four and five are far more meandering (Martells and Tyrells? 1100 pages and Tyrion still hasn’t met up with Dany?) and repetitive (drink every time somebody says “words are wind“) than they need to be. Still, I’ve read worse: Count me in for Winds of Winter, if and when it ever drops. In the meantime, I’ll be ensconced in Steve Erikson’s ten-tome Malazan Book of the Fallen.

What’s the Frequency, Kevin?

And quiet ’round here once again. Several reasons this time, including an end-of-recess vacation to lovely Kauai, and a hugely busy work push upon my return. Also, I’ve been spending my off-hours reading the Game of Thrones books (yes, I succumbed — I’m currently 700 pages into Feast of Crows) and training for the upcoming Baltimore half-marathon (a.k.a. getting back into even a modicum of running shape.)

So, plenty busy. Plus, coming up on twelve years of doing this, I do find myself questioning the point of it all. I can’t really comment at length on the (dismal) political scene at the moment, due to the overlap with my day job. And, at the end of the day, does the world really need yet another web outlet for long-winded movie reviews and the other random items that get posted here? Judging from the years of dwindling hits and lack of comments: No, no it doesn’t.

Of course, if trying to “make it” as a blogger was my main motivation for GitM, I probably would’ve quit 8-9 years ago. Still, spending hours posting copy here that just molders away unread seems like less a good use of my free time than it used to. Sorry, bitching is unsightly, I know. But, you might as well know why this site has been back-burnered for the past month. I’m not planning to officially quit or anything — this too will pass, I’m sure — and I expect my collector’s OCD will compel me to keep up with the movie reviews, if nothing else. But, in all honesty, I just haven’t been feeling the spark of late.

Brother from Another Mother.

The debate about the parentage of the bastard Jon Snow has been one of the biggest concerning the series. In SSM #159, George R. R. Martin admitted that Jon’s parents will eventually be revealed in later volumes of the series. Thus, the reader can assume that the secret of his parentage will play some important point in the plot, and that there has been some sort of foreshadowing leading up to this. Currently, there are three pairs of parents that seem likely.

With the first book under my belt, I’m now fighting a losing war to stick to my original plan of not getting ahead of the TV show before Season 2. And, while A Clash of Kings remains unbought so far, I did read this extensively-evidenced and seemingly definitive essay on the parentage of Jon Snow. (It draws on the first three books, but mostly on Game of Thrones.) After reading this, I’d be very surprised if this wasn’t the truth of it.

Players Two, Game On.

This can mean only one thing — invasion. Game of Thrones Season 2 reloads with Liam Cunningham (Clash of the Titans) as Davos, the Onion Knight, Natalie Dormer (The Tudors) as Margaery Tyrell, Gwendoline Christie (The Imagnarium of Dr. Parnassus) as Brienne of Tarth, Carice Van Houten (Valkryie, Black Book) as Melisandre, Stephen Dillane (44 Inch Chest, John Adams‘s Jefferson) as Stannis Baratheon, and Oliver Ford Davies (The Phantom Menace‘s Sio Bibble) as Maester Cressen.

For now, I’m keeping with my plan to not read ahead of the show, so the only characters I’m even a little familiar with are Stannis and Margaery, and that’s only via foreshadowing in the first book. But I’m willing to bet Dillane is a great fit, just because, as far as I’ve seen, Dillane is a great fit in just about anything.

Hand of the King, Beware the Loose Seal.

I’ve been remiss here in posting anything here about HBO’s Game of Thrones, which I’ve been greatly enjoying over the past few months. (AMC’s The Killingless so. What a disaster that turned out to be.) So to remedy that, here’s Arrested Westeros, i.e. what happens you add House Bluth to the Lannister-Stark-Baratheon-Targaryen mix. I particularly like the one above and this one, and you can’t go wrong with any variation of “I’ve made a huge mistake.

In related Game of Thrones fun, see also: Stupid Ned Stark and One and a Half Man, the buddy-movie version of the story. As an aside, I think I’m going to continue into Season 2 without reading the books (or without reading past the first book, at any rate.) As someone who’s usually entering into these sorts of genre properties with full knowledge of the backstory and reams of preconceived expectations, it feels mighty strange to be on the other side of the fanboy/general audience divide for once, and I think I kinda like it.

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