Monday, April 28, 2014

Game of Thrones "Oathkeeper" Recap

In case it’s not readily apparent, spoilers are ahead.
I’ve always wondered how new White Walkers are born. It seemed out of sorts to think of them as producing in any fashion human. That was a damn good ending and the first time I’ve seen the Land of Always Winter, the frosty home of the White Walkers. Craster’s policy of providing infant boys to the White Walkers served to protect him from the ravages of those unearthly monsters. But it served another more sinister purpose of swelling their ranks. How many infant boys do you think Craster gave them over the years?

Friday, April 25, 2014

King's Crier Podcast 4/25/14

And I Feel Fine

It’s the end of the world. No really. The fundamentalists really, really mean it this time. The blood moons we’ll be seeing over the next 18 months are an indicator of Jesus’ imminent return. Seriously, everyone from John Hagee (who’s a special kind of Texas batshit) to Ray Comfort (the world-famous Banana Man) is claiming the blood moons herald the end of days.
Not excited about it?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Game of Thrones Season 4 Episode 3 Recap

The King is dead. Long live the King.
That single line can be heard countless times in ancient history and the stories we’ve developed regarding that history. The old king dies and the new king takes his place. It’s a moment that can be met with anticipation or dread. In the case of Westeros, anticipation and relief would seem to be the emotions of the day, at least for some. Joffrey Baratheon, the first of his name, lies in state, Widow’s Wail clutched to his prostrate frame. The only one mourning his death is Cersei, who despite her numerous flaws, did love her son.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Game of Thrones Season 4 Episode 2 Recap

Ding dong, the bastard’s dead!
There has not been as highly anticipated a moment as Joffrey’s death for fans of this show. Since episode 2 of the first season (“The Kingsroad”), we’ve seen how sadistic and cruel Joffrey can be. Each season has seen the bastard grow more and more despicable. His pettiness and cowardice have been shown countless times. The Purple Wedding is the culmination of all those hideous moments.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

F is for Fantasy

Of the many genres I’ve encountered over the years, Fantasy remains my favorite. It was the first one I was introduced to as a child. When I was very young, my mother would read the Chronicles of Narnia books to me and my brother before bed. Some of my favorite characters call this genre home. In fantasy there are stories capable of evoking powerful emotions and breathtaking worlds begging to be explored. If one were to examine the fantasy genre closely one would find classical archetypes, philosophical debates, and themes that connect to an audience on a deep, emotional level.
The roots of fantasy stories are the mythologies of human history. Bygone cultures are rife with stories of supernatural deeds, monsters prowling the dark corners of the world, and the eternal struggle between good and evil. These stories (mostly conveyed through oral traditions) were meant to highlight societal norms while simultaneously showing actions a given culture felt were abhorrent. The tales of the Greek gods, the Egyptian pantheon, and the poetry of the Bhagavad Gita are just a few examples of Old World stories containing the elements of fantasy.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Game of Thrones "Two Swords" Recap

Trying something a little different for the next few weeks. I'll be posting a recap of Game of Thrones episodes after they've aired. Since I work Sunday nights, the recaps won't go up until Monday morning. 

April has arrived and with it comes a new season of Game of Thrones. It’s been just under a year since the last episode aired. The images from the Red Wedding are still haunting some fans of the show. The landscape of Westeros has changed and it will not be the same story it once was. This, as the old adage goes, is where the plot thickens.
“Two Swords”, the premiere episode of season 4 starts off with a wordless scene. A greatsword is unsheathed from a wolf scabbard. Keen-eyed fans recognize it from season 1 as Ice, the ancestral Valyrian Steel blade of House Stark. Tywin Lannister, everyone’s favorite abusive father, oversees a pair of smiths as they melt down the steel and begin crafting two new blades. The final moment is Tywin tossing the wolf scabbard into the forge to burn.

Friday, April 4, 2014

City of the Victorious- A Poem

Lost in a fight, a struggle
as pointless as Jacob’s; the infirmity
has been given like a pestilence
that surrounds, envelops,
encroaching upon

the very last safe haven.

Mud-brick walls, metal chain link
fences buckle but don’t break
against a storm of writhing, maggot-infested bodies.

We fight the Long Defeat, a winnowing
of numbers down to the last.
The living dead have brought a
reckoning, a judgment from which
the living are as doomed as
the Hindenberg’s boarding party.

Tolkien and Martin: Fantasy Reinvented

It’s become almost cliché how fantasy stories are presented. Dark Lords of evil, armies of races that are always evil, farm boys who are secretly heirs to the king, and all of that are so commonplace now as to make most fantasy series completely interchangeable. J.R.R. Tolkien and George R.R. Martin reinvented the fantasy genre in their own ways. Both took what came before and created an environment where fantasy could present rich storytelling possibilities.