Tag Archives: jerome flynn

Television Tuesday :: a week removed from Game of Thrones season seven, I muse.

5 Sep

Here are my thoughts, in no particular order.

  • Dudes, I am furious about the decimation of Dorne. I could write an entire essay just about my anger about Dorne, and someday I will, but right now I’ll keep it to this: the gratuitous, ruthless, and disgustingly personal slaughtering of an entire family of women of color, who are in turn our only real ties to the only part of the entire country in which the show is based that is also natively populated by people of color, is no less than an affront. Yes, it proves Euron (Pilou Asbaek) and Cersei (Lena Headey) are evil, but guys, we knew that already. How many people have those two either killed or threatened to kill? How brutal have they already been? Cersei’s role in it was at least part of a narrative arc, although undoubtedly a problematic one (that would have been 1000x less problematic if B&W hadn’t gotten their sadistic, sexist, racist mitts on it – because need I remind you that in the books, [Arianne Martell and her cousins] the Sand Snakes support Myrcella to put her on the throne and actively work to take King’s Landing down from the inside while supporting a potentially matriarchal societal view), but Euron’s hand in the senseless murder of Obara and Nymeria was no better than torture porn and fan service. Yes, fan service. I went online the night it happened and every Tweet I saw popping up immediately after was rejoicing that these characters had been brutalized and murdered, because most casual viewers of the show had nothing but antipathy for the Sand Snakes, the main reason for which was that B&W completely misunderstood, underwrote, and embarrassed them and their plotline from nearly the beginning. Any crime the Sand Snakes committed, even hypothetically, could also be attributed to other (male) characters on the show that people have never raged against. (And some that people still hated, but often even with less vitriol than they hated the Sand Snakes.) After their disastrous season five appearances, my girls were reduced to almost nothing in season six and murder in season seven, and sure, B&W claim that fan reaction had nothing to do with that, but I think we all know better. They couldn’t be arsed to do it right, so they gave into the other sadistic, sexist, racist voices clamoring for their ends. And I haven’t given up on the show yet, but you’d better believe I’m watching especially some parts of it out of the side of my eyes even more than before.
  • On a very different and much more positive note, the culmination of the Sansa (Sophie Turner) as the Lady of Winterfell arc of the season was one of the most beautiful and emotionally satisfying things I’ve ever seen. I have always hated Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) just as much as I love Sansa and have been rooting for her to be instrumental in his end. She didn’t actually wield the weapon doing it, Arya (Maisie Williams) did, but it was after her ceremonious and brutal verbal undressing of him and deconstruction of every crime he’s committed and also her verbal reassurance that she and Arya are a team of awesome sisterhood. After watching him constantly trying to undermine and manipulate her for seasons on end but especially this last one, it was perfect.
  • Wow. My passion about these two subjects has exhausted me. The rest of this list is going to be short-form.
  • Con: underutilization of many characters. Most of this wasn’t to any criminal degree, but was still annoying. Where did Melisandre (Carice van Houten) go? Why did Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) not do as much as she could? Why was Yara (Gemma Whelan) captured and then ignored for episodes on end? (Okay, that one is kind of criminal, and I’m pretty cranky, but she’s not dead so there could still be hope. Bleh.) Etcetera.
  • Con: overutilization of some characters. Most of this was innocuous but annoying also. Jorah (Iain Glen) had so many opportunities to die and he hasn’t died yet and I’m getting really impatient and why did we have to cure him of greyscale again I hate him. Varys (Conleth Hill) is interesting but honestly the more we understand about his thought process and motivations the less I care and the more annoyed I sometimes get at him. The Hound (Rory McCann) is interesting, I guess, but not as interesting as a lot of characters who should have more screen time than they do and I’m still bitter at him because people ship him with Sansa and I am angered by people shipping any man with Sansa that’s not Willas Tyrell because Willas Tyrell, having never existed in the television show, is merely a polite cipher, the available heterosexual male Tyrell, and a bookish horse nerd so he’s probably fine.
  • Pro: what little we did get of Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) and Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson). Missandei is fabulous any time and could probably kill a man just with her cutting wit (a good thing, as the Tyrells have been also decimated and that art was primarily theirs to practice before). Missandei is also beautiful friends with Daenerys (Emilia Clarke). But mostly I’m talking about the scene between Missandei and Grey Worm, their shy but impassioned feelingsdump followed by largely implicit sexual activity. This scene was revolutionary. One, it’s beautiful that one of the only positive sex scenes this show has had in years was between two gorgeous black folks. Two, explicit consent is beautiful. Three, the fact remains that society at large has notions of what “conventional sex” entails (boy/girl p/v etc.) and while these two are a m/f couple it’s, for reasons of Grey’s past trauma and abuse, not p/v. Their intimacy took other (unseen but implicit) forms and the fact that Grey let Missandei in despite that past trauma and abuse and the fact that they found each other is really the most beautiful thing and I am comfortable amending their “best asexual couple” status to being “best demisexual couple” status. Okay, I actually had a lot to say about this too because it was the most gorgeous thing. Back to short-form, though.
  • Pro: Sansa is a good Lady of Winterfell, somewhat as mentioned.
  • Pro: Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey) is perfect and a shining star.
  • Pro: Nymeria the person may have been victim of horrible, but Nymeria the direwolf is still alive and kicking, although existing parallel to the plot instead of inside of the plot.
  • Pro: we noticed a motif of men quite literally running/jumping away from problems in battle. Theon (Alfie Allen) just nosediving off the boat, Bronn (Jerome Flynn) pitching himself off the crossbow platform and then pitching himself and Jaime (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau) into the body of water to avoid dragon attack, etcetera. That’s pretty funny and we like it.
  • Con: Theon. I am tired. He does something redeemable every season, but after having done two or three unredeemable things before that probably. I understand trauma! But your flight mode endangered Yara and that is not cool and you better get her back (but also let her get herself back because she ain’t no damsel).
  • Pro/con: Dany and Jon (Kit Harington). They have really great chemistry onscreen but not necessarily in a sexy way just in an actors playing off of each other way but I’ve known it was getting sexy for ages but it’s not great that it only got sexy because it’s now official canon that they’re related and ooh shock and also…
  • Con: I’m actually pretty ticked that they did that bull with “Rhaegar annulled his marriage to Elia and secretly married Lyanna so now Jon is not a bastard he’s the legitimate heir to the Iron Throne”? Like, I don’t care that Rhaegar and Lyanna was consensual obviously I’m good with that. But the problem with Rhaegar is that he fucked Elia over and that is just not cool but it’s especially not cool that he just officially handwaved their marriage away without her consent because shit, girl deserved at least some agency in the destruction of her life, damn. And it’s also really annoying that they’re yanking this “Jon is the legitimate heir” stuff out of nowhere. For the unknowing, this is not (yet) book canon. R + L = J is book canon, but “the legitimate heir” is some doofy convenient bull that B&W made up to create conflict between Jon and Dany and/or set up for Dany taking on a more evil queen role in the last season because she fights for what she’s worked for and really wants and Jon doesn’t even want the Iron Throne but still I can smell the conflict and/or set up for if not that Dany at least being made to submit. I don’t like any of this. The only option I like is Jon pulling a queensmoot and going “no, no, I just want to be the Warden of the North, leave me alone I hate sunshine, Aunt Dany who I only boinked one time before we realized we were related because then we stopped actually wants to rule the Seven Kingdoms so I’m going to let her because I’m a progressive feminist and I trust her and stuff.” At this point that’s starting to feel like a pipe dream, and that just fucking sucks.

There’s probably more, I’m sure there’s more. But that’s the big stuff.

–your fangirl heroine.

how20dare

Advertisements

Television Tuesday :: I can’t quit Game of Thrones.

23 Jun

One, I can’t quit it because I watch it with other groups of people.  Two, because I care too damn much about my girls and foolishly pray that they’ll eventually be done right by.  Three, because at this point I’m thinking of it as being essentially a pinboard for aesthetic so I can cosplay/visualize the books.  Four, I care too much about seeing it through because of the books.  Five, because occasionally nice things still happen.

Occasionally.

I have about fifty varieties of rage about the not-nice things that happened.  Upon repeat viewings with different groups of people, I actually just got up and left the room at the end of episode six (poor Sansa [Sophie Turner] who deserves so much better, who is still acting the hell out of it but shouldn’t have to be stuck in that shithole of a plot divergence); I spent my first viewing of episode nine repeatedly yelling the phrases “oh you evil douchebag” and “fuck you” in echo (poor Shireen [Kerry Ingram] who deserved so much better always); I cringed during the finale but understood sort of why that happened that way because of the plot divergence mess that entire line had devolved into (poor Myrcella [Nell Tiger Free, who is incidentally adorable]).  Etcetera.  The thing that made all of my people angry and/or befuddled I knew was coming, and I don’t know what its outcome will be because I’ve heard so damn many theories, but suffice to say: Kit Harington, you have consistently improved as an actor, good job buddy, Jon will forever be my boy in this series.

But in the grand tradition of this series, here is a list of 5 things that were pretty all right about this season.  Pretty much the only significant 5.

5. By the end of the finale episode, some things were actually sort of where they were supposed to be in reference to the book plotline, mostly.
Arya (Maisie Williams) had been made blind (it’ll go away, don’t worry show friends; I was about to write “it’s a learning experience” but if I do that I also have to qualify that holy shit watching the House of Black and White stuff made me so much more uncomfortable than reading it, and sorry ser who shares my roof who loves Jaqen H’ghar [Tom Wlaschiha], I kept mentally going “John Garrett?”) like she was supposed to be; Dany (Emilia Clarke) had been found by the Dothraki horde (and, book friends, can I just say how happy I am that we didn’t have to actually watch the events of the chapter preceding that in the book, which did make me physically uncomfortable to read); Sam (John Bradley) and Gilly (Hannah Murray) were finally on their way to Oldtown like they should have been oh, at the beginning of the season; Cersei (Lena Headey) had her walk of atonement and that, while horrible to watch, is as it was supposed to be; the Jon stuff resolved as it was supposed to, though it was unpleasant.  At this point the relief of things finally going back on-book almost feels like happiness.  And a different plotline was at an entirely different place than it was supposed to be and I was overjoyed, but I’m not going to talk any more about it because I don’t want to jinx it.

4.  Well, Tyene (Rosabell Laurenti Sellers) was crazy and did do poison.
When they announced that Tyene was going to be utilizing “double daggers” my initial reaction was to cringe.  I absolutely love book Tyene, as I’ve said before, and for y’all who don’t read the books let me just tell you why without spoiling plot points: book Tyene is Oberyn’s daughter not by Ellaria (Indira Varma) but by an unnamed septa, and she has inherited some of her mother’s devotion, at least outwardly, as well as inheriting her mother’s blonde hair and blue eyes.  She’s feminine and septaesque in demeanor and plays it up, but she’s also devious and prone to using poison as her weapon, her only weapon in contrast to her sisters.  All I needed for the Sand Snakes, really, was for Tyene to be crazy and do poison, but when they announced the double daggers I pretty well abandoned that hope. But!  Though she was Ellaria’s short-haired daughter fighting with double daggers, she coated those with poison and did injury with them, pretty much for the sole purpose of fucking with Bronn (Jerome Flynn) in a way that did have at least some of the crazy cadence that endeared Tyene to me in the first place.  This got carried too far, culminating in objectively one of the worst lines this season, but the initial moment of crazy and poison was perfect (and Obara [Keisha Castle-Hughes] and Nym [Jessica Henwick] sitting behind her rolling their eyes as if to say “come on, Tyene, everyone has seen your boobs, honestly” was perfect too).  This is a comfort, because the entire rest of the Dorne plotline was pretty much a giant mess.  Which sucks, because the Dorne chapters are the reason that A Feast for Crows is probably my favorite of the books, but honestly, deciding not to have Arianne in the show was a terrible decision for the plotline and they didn’t invest nearly any time in it like they should have, and that’s a whole other rant.  Suffice to say, at least Tyene was crazy and did poison.  That’s something, anyway.

3.  Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) is so freaking important.
Her relationship with Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson), as I said last year, is incredibly important because asexual relationship between characters of color.  And her relationship with Dany is incredibly important because when Dany is having a crap time of it, Missandei is the one she turns to for the truth.  Missandei and Dany spent that entire time in the pit clutching each other and trying to protect each other and yeah, this did make Dany leaving on Drogon’s back a little awkward but that happened in the book so whatever.  Daario (Michiel Huisman) describes Missandei as “the queen’s closest confidante” and says “who does she trust more than Missandei?  Certainly not me” and normally I don’t give a damn what Daario says but that’s lovely and important and I’m glad.  And what’s more, watching her face during virtually any scene where you can see her face is the most telling wonderful thing.

2. Easter eggs for book readers
The scene where Jon reads the letter to Stannis (Stephen Dillane) from Lyanna Mormont (“Bear Island knows no king except the King in the North, whose name is Stark) is a favorite; Sam’s line to Olly, along the lines of “I’ve been worrying about Jon for years… but he always comes back!” is another; certain gratuitous hints about a favorite fan theory that are still not obvious to people who don’t know to be looking for them are others.

1.  SHIREEN FREAKING BARATHEON TEACHING GILLY HOW TO READ
As evidenced by my loud virulent swearing through episode nine, and as evidenced by everything I’ve ever said before, I also freaking love Shireen.  There were theories I had either heard or had that Shireen could be Important, possibly because of her greyscale, so her ultimate fate disappointed me at best and enraged me at worst. But, the scene early in the season, so early that it feels like it was last season emotionally, where she was teaching Gilly how to read brought me the absolute most joy of anything I could imagine.  So there’s that.

–your fangirl heronie.

silly goose