Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Storm of Feels

Friends, let's talk nerdy.



SPOILERS FORTHCOMING for recent Doctor Who, old Game of Thrones, and mild teasers for A Storm of Swords / upcoming Game of Thrones (assuming they follow the book.)


This is a special weekend for geeks.  Yesterday was the premiere for Doctor Who and today will be the premiere of Game of Thrones.  And if you'd told me a year ago which one I'd be spazzing with glee over and which one I'd consider not watching, I wouldn't have believed you.  This is partly because one of my FAVORITE BOOKS OF ALL TIME is going to be on TV (and it had better be good!) and partly because the last half-season of Who (and most crushingly disappointing, the Christmas special) makes me want to start flipping tables.

If you are one of those people who's all "no man, this is how the show should be! no purpose or plot, just rambling, half-baked, poorly thought out adventures playing out the same tired themes with boring one-off characters," please go away, because Steven Moffat listened to you and let a bunch of jokers write crappy episodes and waste precious time with the Ponds.  I CANNOT FORGIVE THIS!

I know what you'll say, theoretical mistaken Who fan.  And am I thrilled with the series 6 River reveal?  People always bring it back to this debate.  Sure I wish they could have made her just an awesome lady who stole the Doctor's hearts by virtue of her badassery alone, but I guess it had to be building up to something, and since it was pretty clear early on who River was to the Doctor, who she was in general had to be some kind of big surprise.  And was I happy that they managed to make a bowtie handfasting - which should have been easily the greatest thing ever - uncomfortable, unromantic and sexist?  Obviously not.  But though the intricacy and nuance and heart of series 5 was somewhat lacking in the latter part of 6, it was still clear the show was being run by a man with a plan.  A plan involving characters with great chemistry, fabulously witty dialogue and real emotional investment, and I appreciate that.

Besides, whats-her-name is no better.  Oh boy, another young lady to fawn over the Doctor whose existence is a mystery to be solved!  Can't he ever just like someone and want to be buds anymore?  Does there always have to be an ulterior motive?  And do they always have to be in love with him?!  We're already in love with him.  We don't need someone else to play that out on screen again (besides his wife, thanks!!)  Traveling with a married couple was such a great change of pace.  Not to mention I dearly love to see young married people kicking ass and having adventures - not a common trope in entertainment!  I have no desire to go back to more of the same.  Get the Doctor a long-term bro already!

I'm still gonna watch the rest of the season, of course.  Moffat has confirmed River is coming back (hopefully to teach her fella a lesson about how the proper way to respond to unwanted advances is not "say nothing, then invite them on adventures with you.") But I'm way more psyched for what must surely be the greatest season(s) of Game of Thrones.  And here are some doodles to tell you all about it.

You see, I found out that Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire was a thing in an unexpected and spoilery way...





(I had some doodles in progress for this part but I was too busy to finish them and this had to get posted SOMETIME.  So.)

I had weirdly mixed feelings about season one.  The casting was obviously spot-on, even if the Starks were all too old.  The opening rocks.  The content was basically accurate.  But it did not give me all the feels.  Whatever charm had grabbed hold of so many fans eluded me a bit.  Oh and of course there was the classic HBO touch.  "Let's have some people awkwardly doing it in the foreground while other people walk through talking about the actual point of this scene."  "No one's throat has spewed blood in a while, better throw in some boobs to compensate."  "These guys are gay so let's have a scene of them shaving each other's armpits?  That's what gay people do, right?"

The book was certainly masterfully written and I had enjoyed it, but I didn't see a series of political intrigue and no good deed going unpunished being something I wanted to pursue.  As a matter of fact, I picked up AGOT because I read some reviews calling George R R Martin the next Tolkien.  I... I do not think those reviewers know Tolkien very well.

Eventually I picked up A Clash of Kings.  And then I put it down for a few months and tried again.  And again.  I finally got through it when we went to Chicago and back by car, and I probably wouldn't have made it otherwise.  Season 2 was more entertaining than its written counterpart, I'd say.  My main takeaway being:


But the ending was just intriguing enough to have me pick up A Storm of Swords.  And oh man.  LET ME TELL YOU BOUT A STORM OF SWORDS.

First it took me by surprise.







AND IT DID NOT STOP THERE!  A Storm of Swords is the book that doesn't quit.  ACTION! ASS-KICKING! NON-CREEPY ROMANCE! FRIENDSHIP! DECISIVENESS! CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT! SHOCK AND AWE! SWAMP HIPPIES! HORROR AND VINDICATION! HEARTBREAK AND HOPE! SURPRISE TWISTS AND TURNS!  WTF were we just doing for a whole book kicking around waiting for Stannis to attack/ someone to give Dany ships/ whatever else was going on I don't even remember?  WHO CARES, EVERYTHING IS AWESOME NOW!

ASOS is solid gold (just like hands made for bitch-slapping sexist punks! the one shining moment of AFFC.)  And it's going to last two glorious seasons and it must be everything that I've hoped.  Because there are a whole lot of thousands of pages of snoozefest and a weird preoccupation with diarrhea (no, really) to come after that. :[  I think maybe Martin was taking that drug from the movie Limitless when he wrote A Storm of Swords and then lost his supply or something.  I don't know.  But let's just enjoy this while it lasts.

Friends, tell me about all your geeky feels!!

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