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  • 803 - “The Long Night”

    The good (or just ok), the bad, and the ugly

    1. Dragons in the Mist.  The shot of the dragons above the clouds in the moonlight was almost on its own worth the price of admission.  D&D are obviously huge matrix: revolutions fans, and who can blame them...amirite?  In fact much of this episode is beautiful in spite of #4 below.  For me it was like watching Magic the Gathering cards come to life (yes I'm a nerd, but so are you if you're on a GoT message board)
    2. Going big. The scale of this episode is mesmerizing, and despite what you think about the framework surrounding it, mad props to the show for putting this to screen.  
    3. Down goes Frasier!!  The killing of the Night King is cathartic no matter how you spin it.  I had to rewatch the scene a couple times just to relive the vanquishing of the army of the dead (more on this later).  
    4. Napalm Dragons...can never get enough.  
    5. Lady Mormont's eye jab.  Great moment for this spunky character.  Larry, Moe, and Curly would be proud  nyuk nyuk nyuk.  
    6. Jorah and Theon's Arc encounters - They both get their moments and while I like Jorah's better, they are both satisfying.  RIP good sirs; others will be joining you momentarily no doubt.

    1. Constant cutaways from heroes in peril.  I'm going to count this next time, but I know its a bunch.  The one that sticks out the most to me is when Theon's troop is getting ready to fling arrows.  We see them get off a volley and then an overhead shot of wights running at them; scene cuts with a running wight 2 feet from Theon I think.  Cut back to scene and they are still sending arrows into wights no worse for wear.  Brienne and Jaime fake outs have already been mentioned.  
    2. Battle tactics 101 - Probably not best to mount a charge when you are the inferior force and defending a fixed position.  They even talk about this before the BotB and Jon decides to go all Willam Wallace when Rickon dies and fuck everything up.  it's even worse here because all of the forces should be in defense mode.  Someone previously mentioned WWI tactics and that is exactly what should have been used here.  Fire booby traps for days.  obstacles on the whole of the field...a zombie horde's strength is in it's numbers and speed if they are of the zombio sprintus species.  You can negate the speed with the obstacles.  The other thing you need to do is funnel the horde.  This negates their numbers advantage and creates kill zones where you have a chance with your inferior numbers.  Also, why in the holy hell are the trebuchets in the front?  They should be in the rear in guarded positions so they can get off more than one goddamn volley.   
    3. Caution: Wights may be flammable?  The lore surrounding the wights is they go up like balsa soaked in kerosene.  This should mean fire is your best weapon against them.  You light one up, and the fire should spread like, well, dragonfire.  When Mel lit the Dothraki's araks I thought they were going this route, but in their wasted charge no fires spread, and in fact we see the Dothraki flames extinquished one by one (which admittedly was a cool visual).  After that, fire really wasn't a problem for the dead army.  Ya, dragon strafing did blow them up, but this would have the same effect on a regular army.  Wights were even laying themselves down on the trench flame without going up like tinder.  Treubchet bombs were completely ineffective...wtf???
    4. Dark wings Dark Blurs - So I'm about 15 minutes into the episode watching on a mid range nothing special 40" OLED and I cannot see shit.  So I know my tv cannot render blacks to save its life, but I'm sure I'm not the only one.  Gray splotches for days.  I was so frustrated, I had to go watch on a tablet which was better but not by much.  I appreciate going for tension with not being able to see, but c'mon man...Throw your audience a bone.  If we cannot see what is going on, we cannot maintain an emotional connection to what our characters are going through.

    1. Azor Awho?  Does this mean Arya fills the bill here?  If so, we got a major prophecy fulfillment problem.  Alt shift X talked about this in the recap for 802 with a deeper dive in a video specifically about this prophecy which is like all of ASX vids a must watch.    Considering the Jenny of Oldstones song from 802, the Ghost of High Heart's prophecy is primed and on the table.  Per this prophecy, Azor should come from the line of Aerys and Rhaella.  Only two who can fit this are Dany and Jon.  And yet Arya is the one given the duty of killing the Night King thus saving the world, no?  Someone got an explanation I'm missing?
    2. Night King falls flat - So I said his death was cathartic, and it was; however, on a macro scale it's also disappointing.  In this show's context he ends up a simple, boring, 2 dimensional big bad.  We've come to expect more from ASOF and should have gotten it here.  An actual conversation between him and Bran would have been amazing.  We've never heard WW's speak, so in this moment, at the end, the truth about who he is and revealing his deeper motivations could have gone a long way into rounding him out.  Unanswered questions: Why did he turn on the Children of the Forest?  When the world is all darkness, why is that fun?  Can't we all just get along?  Think about it...they do that whole slow motion build up with the amazing music.  All of that drops out and it is silent.  There's a pregnant pause while each of them look at each other.  Bran with his patented Bran expression (ya, you know the one).  The NK with a mocking grin.  The NK says to Bran, "???"  Nope, it's Arya off the top turnbucle..end scene...segue to next topic:
    3. Bran Flakes - Seriously, what good are you?  Bran does not provide any tactical help let alone some counter to the NK.  I had a couple hypothesis coming off last episode:  1) Bran would have some yet unknown power to counter the NK in this moment either to kill him outright or provide the opportunity for the real Azor Ahai to do their thing. 2)  After the aforementioned conversation and as the NK is preparing the killing blow, Bran goes all Obi Wan Crow-nobi and says, "Strike me down now, and I will become more powerful than you could possibly imagine"  He does and something amazing happens only a team full of writers can dream up (hey, I'm not going to do all the work here).  I mention these things not because I'm butt hurt my expectations were subverted (looking at you Rian Johsnon), but to illustrate some more interesting possibilities and ultimately, for Bran to, you know, acutally do something with his power???

    That's it and that's all. loved it or hate it, I'm never stop never stopping watching this show.  
  • Name Bran's Emo Band

    CapeGabe said:
    Falling From Incest

    All My Roots Are Gone

    Warg Stare

    Can't Hear The Whispers
    Falling from Incest...brilliant
  • Star Wars Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker

    The Skywalker in the title most likely does not refer to a person but a new order of some kind.  The 3 titles of the third film in each trilogy:

    Revenge of the Sith
    Return of the Jedi
    Rise of Skywalker

    The first two follow the pattern of verb beginning with R, 'of' preposition, Order.  If we extrapolate to the new title Skywalker = some kind of order which makes sense since the Jedi are essentially extinct and something new must take its place.  Initially, I hoped the final trilogy would be a melding of dark and light to fight some new existential threat.  Kind of a Dark Crystal idea where when the two sides come together and balance each other out (Balance to the Force..where have I heard that before?), the true power of the Force can finally be realized.  This power is needed to overcome this new threat.  It makes for an appropriate thematical story arc:

    1st trilogy = Dark side coming to power
    2nd trilogy = Light side defeats the Dark side
    3rd trilogy = Light and Dark side merge to realize full Force potential.  

    Unfortunately, the corporate think tank decided to play it safe with the first one (fun game:  each time you see/hear resistance replace with rebellion and do the same with first order/empire) and then completely botch the second by trying to be ironically clever and guardians of the galaxy in tone.   Perhaps this new Skywalker order will be this melding I have been hoping for and will be the good movie we have been waiting for since '83.  I'll be over here holding my breath.