Game of Thrones 6.10 Review: “The Winds of Winter”

*Remember kids, when dealing with SPOILERS, it’s important to duck and cover beneath your desk without checking the internet for a few days.*

Hello again blog readers, Kevin here bringing you my (now late) review of the Game of Thrones season six finale. It’s been an amazing season thus far, and I can hardly wait for season seven next year. But before I get into my review, I think it’s time I start reviewing some other shows besides Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. I’ve all but lost my love for reading books since college ended, and I don’t enjoy reviewing pop music anymore, but television still manages to bring me a lot of joy because it’s a genre that somewhat still values creativity for mainstream audiences. If anyone has any recommendations for what I should start reviewing next, then just leave me a comment below! Anyways, let’s get onto the show.

This episode is probably my favorite episode of Game of Thrones for a lot of reasons, the least not being that the writing of old story arcs and opening of new story arcs was done so magnificently in this episode. I think this was also the best season finale since season four because the season five finale was just such a cluster f**k of negative events happening to all of the characters. This season finale covered a lot of events that have been moving the story towards the second round of the battle for the Iron Throne to what potentially could be called “The Battle of the Five Queens”. I’ll spare people any plot summaries and get straight into what I enjoyed, and what I feel like were the negative aspects of this episode.

What I enjoyed:

I love the way Cersei enacted her vengeance on all of her enemies in one foul swoop by destroying the Sept of Baelor with wild fire. That act of destruction is something that Mad King Aerys would have done if he were more calculating (and less insane). I think that entire first twenty minutes of this episode were very well directed and acted out, the tension was so thick before the explosion that you could cut it all with a knife. I enjoyed seeing how Margeary caught onto Cersei laying a trap for the people in the Sept, and how the Faith Militant wouldn’t allow anyone to leave before the Sept was destroyed. I love how the show handled Danny preparing the coming war for the Iron Throne, and her character development in letting Daario out of her love life, and naming Tyrion as her Hand of The Queen.

I loved Tyrion’s speech about how never believed in anything until Tryrion met Danny.  I enjoyed seeing Jon being crowned the new King in the North from help by Lyanna Mormont, even if I think that role will eventually go to Sansa. I enjoyed Little Finger being rejected by Sansa as it shows us that love isn’t something that Little Finger (or anyone else) can scheme their way towards. I loved seeing how Dorne and High Garden have sworn fealty to House Targaryen with help from Lord Varys. It was also fantastic seeing Arya get revenge for her family by killing Walder Frey after feeding Frey his own sons to him, which is vengeance on par with Sweeney Todd in terms of creativity. It was amazing to see the show producers confirm the “Lyanna Stark plus Rhaegar Targaryen equals Jon” theory of who Jon Snow’s parents truly are. And lastly, I loved seeing Danny’s fleet sail towards Westeros with help from the Iron Fleet and the ships she acquired from The Masters. Danny’s ship sailing for Westeros was was probably the most grandiose scene in the whole season, matched only by The Battle of The Bastards last week. There were many positives, but still there were some aspects of the episode that I didn’t enjoy.

What I Didn’t Enjoy:

It makes me sad to see that Tommen committed suicide shortly after the Sept of Baelor was destroyed, but it’s easy to understand his reasons seeing as his wife and most of his close friends were killed in the explosion. It was great seeing Cersei get her revenge against that overzealous Nun Septa Unella, and seeing the Mountain remove his helmet to torture Unella. It’s just that I feel like this scene only served to show us that Cersei is heir to taking Joffrey and Ramsay’s place as the new “evil character” in the seven kingdoms. I know someone had to fill the void, but I feel like we had viewed a more human side of Cersei these past two seasons. Seeing as all of Cersei’s children are dead, I think that it’s safe to say that next season the writers will try and have her outdo both Joffrey and Ramsay in terms of just how evil someone can really be (in a position of power). Lastly, it was great seeing Ser Davos confront Melisandre over the burning of Shireen from last season, but I fear that Melisandre leaving Jon’s side will hurt Jon in the coming of future conflicts in The North.

This was the best episode of Game of Thrones so far in my opinion, and I hate the fact that I need to wait another year to see where things will be progressing. I suppose this could the year I finally pick up the books for GOT and find outwhat I’ve been missing out on all these years, but I’ll cross that bridge when I’m ready to do so.

In the meanwhile, I leave you with today’s song “Frontiers” by Omnium Gatherum because it seems like the perfect theme for the journey of Daenerys Targereyn as she sails for Westeros.

-KCard

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Game of Thrones 6.1 “The Red Woman” Review

*WARNING! THIS BLOG CONTAINS GAME OF THRONE SPOILERS! AND LOTS OF OTHER ONLINE SACRILEGE THAT REQUIRES CONTENT WARNINGS FOR DISCLOSURE PURPOSES!*

HELLO EVERYONE, I mean, Hello everyone! Oops, I didn’t mean to shout at you all by leaving my caps lock on. Anyways, I’m happy that Game of Thrones has made it’s return back to television in full swing. This episode overall was pretty awesome, even though it debate-ably left things with Jon Snow’s fate up in the air still.

My reaction to this episode can be summed up as this: It’s like they gave us half of what we wanted, and then said “screw you” for the other half. I guess that is what makes Game of Thrones so different from other shows on television right now: It doesn’t give us what we want, but keeps on going on with it’s plot and popularity anyways. There are definitely things I enjoyed, and things that left me feeling angry in this episode.

For starters , I’m so happy Brienne saved Sansa and Theon, and that they are safe (for now). That whole scene was really well made, where we feel the end is near for Sansa and Theon from them being tracked by the Bolton’s hounds, and then by Brienne coming in and killing most of them in the course of three minutes. I’m happy that Danny didn’t get beheaded by the Dothraki, even though it’s annoying that she is currently their prisoner. Danny may yet turn the situation around, so who knows. Lastly, I’m happy Ser Davos is trying to help Jon’s friends at the risk of his own life. I’m willing to bet Davos suggested that it was the Wildlings help Jon’s friends, but we’ll see.

I’m sad about Stannis being confirmed dead, but I’m sure many other people aren’t sad considering that he sacrificed his own daughter last season. I’m sad that Jon was confirmed dead for the moment, but I’m still hopeful for Jon being revived by Melisandre. Speaking of Melisandre, I felt uncomfortable watching the last five minutes of the episode when Melisandre took off her amulet and we saw her true age. I didn’t need to see an old woman naked! But, I suppose it’s only fair that the show give us uncomfortable nudity as opposed to regular HBO fan service nudity to remind us that our bodies aren’t perfect, nor will they ever be.

In the coming episodes, I think it will be interesting to see how things play out in the civil war of the seven kingdoms with the Martells in Dorne, and the Bolton’s in the north. I’m guessing that things are just going to destabilize entirely for the Lannisters at some point in the show. Except Dorne overthrew it’s pacifist leaders by killing them, and the north is barely being held together by fear (plus we still need to see what the Wildlings have to play). I’m looking forward to the rest of the season, even if somethings in this episode left me a bit disappointed.

-KCard

 

Walking Dead 6.3 Review: “Thank You”

*Spoiler alert: If you haven’t watched the episode yet then please do so, or else we may all be dragons. I mean, you’ll be pissed at me for posting spoilers of this show.*

Hello again world of WordPress, Kevin here bringing you the opinions on my favorite television shows once again. First I would like to apologize for waiting two days to send out this review, life is hectic for a musician who also works a full time job. Also, many may have noticed I haven’t reviewed a lot of music this past year. The reason why is simply that I’ve grown tired of living in an age accelerated one hit wonders, and I want to switch mediums because I feel the most popular television shows right now offer way more creativity than the popular songs out today (your move, billboard 100). That being said, I still will do my annual yearly music awards blog this coming January. I will also continue to review local bands who reach out to me on Twitter (“@KevinJCard” is my Twitter handle). Now then, onto the show.

Walking Dead started off strong this season, but I get the impression they are really drawing out and milking this whole massive heard arc. I’m really pissed that a major character died in this week’s episode as well. Walking Dead is starting to rival Game of Thrones season five levels of frustration and sadness with who they’re killing off. Also, I’m starting to see what the comic book fans are referring too with their criticism on the show. In the comics, the walker heard just showed up and stormed Alexandria after hearing gun fire from a small group of thugs who were trying to invade Alexandria. This heard has been taking their sweet time to get back to Alexandria and were manipulated by The Wolves to wipe out Alexandria in a fashion that even survivalist and gun nut Burt Gummer from Tremors would call overkill.

What I liked: It was interesting to see how Rick’s group managed to stay ahead of the heard for most of the episode, I enjoyed seeing the minor characters bond with each other, and I enjoyed the scenes where Michonne and the other groups members were hiding out in the old pet store since it offered great dialogue in an otherwise action and tragedy themed episode. I did enjoy that the writers used the death of the minor character (the guy who wanted to say goodbye to his wife) as foreshadowing Glenn’s fate. I won’t say this episode was awful as tragic episodes are supposed to leave a bad taste in your mouth, but I don’t have many other positive things to say about this episode.

What I didn’t like:

I’ll answer that with a question, WHY DID THEY HAVE TO KILL OFF GLENN SO SOON?! Dammit, I don’t remember him dying at that point in the comics, and I feel like he deserved better than that. It seems like it’s up in the air still, so I’ll save any ranting about my favorite couple ending on The Walking Dead ending for next week if it’s confirmed that he died. With that in mind, I really don’t see how he could have escaped being cornered by that heard of walkers. It’s also tragic that Nick had to take his own life rather than try to work with Glenn to climb that pair of stairs in the background. Also, I’m not happy that Rick’s fate is left up in the air with him being trapped in that camper, and that Daryl accomplished nothing by taking that detour. We ultimately need to see where things go next week, I just figure the mid-season finale will be where the Walkers finally arrive at Alexandria.

Today’s song is Symphony in E minor, I mean, Dear Agony by Breaking Benjamin. This’s definitely the kind of episode that left a lot of fans in despair, and this particular song is an anthem for our shared pain this past week.

-KCard

Walking Dead 6.2 Review: “Just Survive Somehow”

*Warning! This blog contains:

nl_images_fi_river_song_spoilers_10_12_2013

So says River Song from Doctor Who!

Now that the spoiler warning is out of the way, let me start off by saying that I met George Romero, Doug Bradley, and Howard Sherman at Rock and Shock (a Horror Film convention that happens every year in New England). I’ll post pics of my meeting at the end of the review. Now then, this episode was more intense than last years super bowl. I’m not normally a sports fan, but the air of this episode was so thick you could cut it with a knife, much like a big sports game where everything is on the line. I will say the pace of this episode was much smoother than last week’s episode with how they did the switching between flashbacks. There were some great and not so great things about this episode.

What I enjoyed:

I enjoyed how the first 10 minutes of the episode were completely peaceful and slow, but then things went from zero to shit hitting the fan in five seconds when The Wolves started attacking Alexandria. They had everything figured out when they scouted the place out and helped the writers by killing off all of the extra minor characters (just kidding, those characters were killed to move the story along). Such gore, much Wolves killing, wow. I loved seeing Morgan and Carol turn the tide on the assault of Alexandria against The Wolves, as well as the bit of Tension that occurs between Carol and Morgan where Morgan told Carol to not kill their attackers. Carol has once again proven to be a badass by disguising herself as one of the Wolves and taking them out almost single handed. I’m glad they answered the question about where that truck horn was coming from too, who’d have thought it was a zombie in the truck?! Lastly, I think it’s amusing how the writers are treating father Gabriel now with how awkward he’s been acting towards the other members in Rick’s group.

What I didn’t enjoy:

Where on Earth was Rick and the rest of the group this episode?! I get that it was meant to be a “this is what happened here” type of episode, but I’m bummed out that I have to wait for next week too see what happens with that massive heard of Walkers. Also, I know that Morgan acted in self defense against the guy with the black hair (the guy from the end of season 5), but it did feel a little cheap given that he was telling Carol to not kill the other members of The Wolves 30 minutes prior. Beyond that, I have no other real complaints given that this episode was pretty damn perfect by my expectations.

I look forward to next week’s episode and how the group will deal with the heard of Walkers coming towards Alexandria.

Now here are the pictures mentioned from earlier (with my Merle Dixon cosplay):

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Today’s song is called “Gift of Pain” by Metal Allegiance, which is exactly what the Wolves attacking Alexandria gave to it’s unsuspecting residents.

-KCard

Walking Dead 6.1 “First Time Again” Review

*WARNING! WARNING! Spoilers of plot points along with stuff, and other general thangs imminent! Ye all have been warned, now excuse me while I stop talking like a pirate. Arr!*

Hello again folks of WordPress, I’m back in time to post my review of this season’s epic season premier. But first I just want to say I had intended to post reviews of Fear The Walking Dead, but I’ve been too caught up with life to keep on top of the episodes coming out. As soon as I see the last two episodes of FTWD On Demand I’ll post  a season recap review. Now onto the review!

This episode was paced a little oddly cycling between the current struggle with diverting the walker heard away from Alexandria, and the flashbacks with how things progressed up to that very moment. It was an interesting cinematic idea, but the pacing in the 90 minutes threw me off a little bit due to constant switching at random and climactic moments. It’s very interesting to see how Rick is slowly descending back into Rick-tatorship mode again like at the end of season two (except worse) with how he’s treating the folks of Alexandria and how he killed Carter. Lastly, I enjoyed that it was left a (simple) mystery who amassed the walker herd into that ravine. Now let’s get into the strengths and weaknesses of this episode.

What I enjoyed:

It’s interesting to see how power is slowly corrupting Rick into becoming a tyrant hell bent on doing the right thing, it’s been a long time since I’ve read the comics, but I can see that they’re going to go deeper into the Rick-tatorship in the show than they did in the comics with how he’s acting he owns Alexandria and how killed Carter to keep the plan intact. It was amazing seeing how many extras they had in the crowd of walkers, and funny to note they had some people wearing masks instead of makeup due to the sheer amount of extras in the crowd. It was epic seeing Abraham be the complete badass that he is single-handed take out that splinter group of walkers from the heard. I enjoyed seeing the tensions boil between Rick’s group and the members of Alexandria, and how Rick’s plan was built to divert the walker heard north. Lastly, it was both funny and annoyingly tragic when Glenn’s group opened the door only to find another metal door behind it.

What I didn’t enjoy:

Two words: cliff hangers! It’s such an annoying way to end an episode! Still, I’ll bet the ones ringing that truck horn are the Wolves that Morgan met last season, the same ones who set up the traps to capture that walker heard in the ravine. I’m also not happy about how they kept switching between flashbacks and present time scenes in such an odd way. It could be worse though, at least they didn’t use the flashbacks in the same way as they do in Naruto Shippuden: drawing out the episode longer to avoid adding canon source material. I don’t have many other complaints aside from the pacing since the acting, camera work, and writing were amazing. It’s not as action packed as the season five opener, but it still packs a great punch for people who’ve been waiting to see The Walking Dead since this past March.

Today’s music video is another Breaking Benjamin song, “Angels Fall” off of their album “Darkness Before Dawn”. It reminds me of the struggle many of the characters have too deal with in the zombie apocalypse. Their angels have fallen, but they refuse to give up or give in.

-KCard