April 2019 Month-in-Review

April was another whirlwind of a month.  I finished my watch of all 67 then-existing Game of Thrones episodes in the 67 days before season 8 premiered.  I have been recapping each episode the night it airs and those posts dominated my stats this month.

I am back home in the mountains now after completing another grueling year in the academic salt mines.  In addition to finishing my grading, I am celebrating accepting an offer to publish my latest academic work.

Read on for more on my April stats and my plans for May!

When the Night King is coming so you put on your red pants.

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Revisiting George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire: A Storm of Swords

With HBO’s adaptation of Martin’s epic fantasy series almost finished, even if the series itself certainly isn’t, I will be revisiting my original reviews from 2011 of the five books in the series completed by Martin.  You can find my reviews of A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings here and here, respectively.  You can find my review of A Feast for Crows here and my review of A Dance with Dragons here.

In A Storm of Swords, Martin takes the action, intrigue, and gut punches from the first two books in his grand epic A Song of Ice and Fire and cranks them up to 11.  As the book opens, war continues to rage on in the Riverlands, a massive invasion of Wildlings has begun to move toward the Wall, and Daenerys is about to embark on a spree of conquest on the continent of Essos.

Martin keeps the suspense taut and is not afraid to drive the knife in deep and twist.  A Storm of Swords includes a scene as sure to invoke as visceral reaction from the reader as anything in the first three books.  Unexpected deaths and plot twists are never in short supply.

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Game of Thrones Recap: Season 8, Episode 3

This really feels like the culmination of the entire series.  “The Long Night” gives us  dragons, ice zombies, and Starks in Winterfell—what more could we ask for?  I have a sinking suspicion going in that this is it for the North.

The battle is as epic as advertised, even if I do have my quibbles.  The 1.5 hour episode itself consists entirely of the battle.  As I understand it, all of the episodes will be movie length from here on out.

I’m traveling and had to use my laptop to watch and my wife’s iPad to take notes, so this will be a more truncated recap and reaction than normal.

FULL SPOILERS below the cut.

Pic courtesy of HBO

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Revisiting George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire: A Clash of Kings

With HBO’s adaptation of Martin’s epic fantasy series almost finished, even if the series itself certainly isn’t, I will be revisiting my original reviews from 2011 of the five books in the series completed by Martin.  You can find my review of A Game of Thrones here and my reviews of A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance with Dragons herehere, and here respectively.

A Clash of Kings is the follow-up to A Game of Thrones and the second of a projected seven books in the Song of Ice and Fire series (upon which HBO’s Game of Thrones is based).  Following the events of the first book, as many as five different kings are vying for the iron throne.  Needless to say, the political situation dramatically changes again over the course of the book, and the series adds to the already impressive body count from A Game of Thrones.

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Game of Thrones Recap: Season 8, Episode 2

Episode 2, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, is another slow episode, but it is vastly better than episode 1.  The first half of the episode drags as expected guests arrive at Winterfell and long-separated characters have conversations about things we already know.  But it is a very good episode nonetheless.  One, because the impending attack by the Night King—before the next sunrise after Tormund arrives, as we know from the previews—gives everything that happens in the second half of the episode an extra edge.  Two, because the writing is killer.  There are so, so many great one liners.

The previously-on suggests that this episode will be dominated by the tension between Dany and Jon now that Jon knows the truth of his parentage.  The one clip that isn’t recent is Jaime pushing Bran out of the window at the end of the first episode.  Well, yeah, now I can see why we won’t quite yet get to the Battle for Winterfell this episode, although those two aspects play a surprisingly small role.

Full SPOILERS below the cut.

Pic courtesy of HBO

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Revisiting George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire: A Game of Thrones

With HBO’s adaptation of Martin’s epic fantasy series almost finished, even if the series itself certainly isn’t, I will be revisiting my original reviews from 2011 of the five books in the series completed by Martin.  My revised reviews of A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance with Dragons have now been posted as well.

A Game of Thrones invites comparisons to J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time.  The series rivals those in quality but is very different in style and tone.  The Lord of the Rings and The Wheel of Time are about epic battles between good and evil; A Game of Thrones is similarly epic in scope, but the good and evil are contained within each character.  It is, at its heart, about power and its acquisition.  The tone is far darker than the aforementioned series and is unrelenting.

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Game of Thrones Recap: Season 8, Episode 1

It’s happening!  Episode one of Game of Throne’s final season is mostly about reunions and moving pieces around the board.  Too much time for the former, I think, as much as we fans want to see them.  We learn almost nothing in this episode.  The characters, on the other hand, learn a lot.  The writers also put an enlarged F/X budget to great use.

Full SPOILERS under the cut.

Photo courtesy of HBO

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