Posts Tagged ‘asoiaf’

Game of Thrones’ Kristofer Hivju on Tormund’s Fate, That Huge Cliffhanger, and His Wish List for Season 8

September 2, 2017

One of the big themes of the show is putting aside differences to fight the common threat. As the wildling who made peace with the Night’s Watch, Tormund lives the values that Jon and Davos are preaching.

Yeah, exactly. It’s something my mother said to me today, actually: “Forgiveness is the most difficult way to go forward, but it’s still the only way.” You have to turn the page and let bygones be bygones. It’s nice to play a character who has that ability, because there’s so much revenge and the wish to kill each other in this show. It’s nice to have a character that’s able to turn the page and get the overall view. And it’s a skill of necessity, because you have to adapt or else you’re lost.

Your mom makes a great point. Revenge is a major plot driver for a huge number of story lines, but it’s not on Tormund’s mind at all.
No. His mentor and father figure was Mance Rayder, who gathered all the Free Folk for the reason of taking down the Night’s Watch and secure his people — but by war. That didn’t work, and I think, hopefully, that Tormund has learned from his mentor’s mistakes. I’m reflecting on the line [about Mance] that really surprised me when I came to it, in episode six, when Tormund says to Jon, “How many died for his pride because he didn’t kneel?” That’s a perspective I didn’t see coming from him.

I interviewed the marvelous Kristofer Hivju about Tormund Giantsbane and his current Schrödinger’s-cat state in Game of Thrones for Vulture.

“Game of Thrones”’ Isaac Hempstead Wright Debunks the Night King Theory

August 30, 2017

Congratulations on creeping everybody out this season.

[Laughs.] Yeah, sorry about that. There were some cool bits to get to play, less so that creepy moment with Sansa. That was weird. I don’t think Bran meant that in a weird way; I don’t think he’s trying to freak his sister out by going, “Yeah, I know everything. Don’t fuck with me.” It’s more like Bran is processing everything he’s seen, like, “I’ve seen you there. That happened to you. I’m sorry for what happened to you.” Bran has lost that emotional connection. He just states what he sees in an almost autistic way, not really connecting with things but just saying how they are.

Saying “chaos is a ladder” to Littlefinger was so cool, though. I felt so badass in that scene, like, “Chaos is a ladder … yeeaaaah. How do you like that, Littlefinger?”

I went deep on Bran’s powers and motives as the Three-Eyed Raven with Isaac Hempstead Wright for Vulture.

“Game of Thrones” Director Jeremy Podeswa on Shooting That Gigantic Season Finale

August 30, 2017

Beyond Sansa and Arya’s rapprochement, the episode ends with Dany and Jon’s love scene and the fall of the Wall.

Yeah. It’s what the whole show is talking about, really, and why there is a summit at the Dragonpit in the first place. The show is so much about people fighting for power and one-upmanship and control, but at the end of the day, it’s a metaphor for life. Whatever we try — to be rich, to be happy — death is unavoidable. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, it doesn’t matter how much love you have. At the end of the day, it’s all heading that way. It puts all this gamesmanship and fight for power in relief, and it’s a big part of what this show is about.

Coming so hot on the heels of the Jon and Dany scene, which was about life and love and all those powerful forces, I was really struck by the shot you did of the zombies just watching as the Night King and the dragon destroy the Wall. There was an awful sense of violation about that.

Something that Game of Thrones always does successfully is that action sequences are never just action sequences. There’s always a point of view, and you’re always identifying with one person or one group of people. I think in this case, it’s not that you identify with the White Walkers, but there is a strange consciousness among them. It’s not spectacle just for the sake of spectacle. There’s actually a human drama that’s being played out here, and in this case this is the implacable enemy. It’s the forces of death over the forces of life. You have to believe in them as a kind of real, living, breathing, sentient mass.

The way to create drama in a sequence like this is by making it about these figures, not just about a Wall coming down. It’s really about the forces of good versus evil, and evil has a face.

I got to ask director Jeremy Podeswa about one of my favorite shots in the finale, as well as all kinds of stuff about the Dragonpit summit, Lena Headey, Aidan Gillen, and more, for Vulture.

Game of Thrones’ Liam Cunningham on the Dragonpit Summit, Davos’s Sex Appeal, and Why He Hasn’t Read the Books

August 29, 2017

I’ll try to be circumspect here: Many of my female friends like you a lot. Is this something you’ve noticed?

You know what? As I like to say, the star of Game of Thrones is Game of Thrones. The show is the star. I love the whole ensemble aspect of it. The best work I’ve ever done has been ensemble work, not leading-man stuff. I love doing character roles.

I think there is a certain amount of … [pauses.] Because there are so many morally ambiguous characters in this, maybe some of your female friends have daddy issues or something like that, because Davos would certainly make a wonderful father. Listen, I’d love to be like Davos. I aspire to be that man. You know where you are with this guy. He has a sense of fun, and he’s not fearful of life. As he said to Stannis, he’s not fearful of his death, either. He’s a guy you’d love in your corner. He’s a quiet hero. He’s kind of what we all aspire to be. But if it’s anything other than that, you need to speak to your friends. [Laughs.]

I interviewed Liam Cunningham, Game of Thrones’ Ser Davos Seaworth and a thoroughly delightful man, for Vulture.

Every “Game of Thrones” Episode, Ranked from Worst to Best

August 28, 2017

14. “The Dragon and the Wolf” (Season 7, Episode 7)
The giant-size finale of what was simultaneously the series’ shortest and most epic season played like a Game of Thrones superfan’s winning bingo card. Jon and Daenerys finally hooked up, even as we learned for certain that they’re related. Jaime and Cersei finally split up, as the Kingslayer realized his sister is beyond even his concepts of morality. The Stark siblings put an end to Littlefinger’s reign of error. Winter comes to King’s Landing as snow falls on the capital. And the Night King unleashed his zombie dragon’s blue fire to send the ice of the Wall plummeting to earth, allowing his undead army to pass through. The end is nigh, folks.

I revisited, revised, and fully updated my ranking of all 67 episodes of Game of Thrones thus far in ascending order of quality for Vulture.

“Game of Thrones” Season 7: Who Lived, Who Died, What We Learned

August 28, 2017

Call us crazy, but for a definitive visual for Game of Thrones Season Seven, we’d rewind a few minutes back from the fall of the Wall to Jaime’s departure from his life in King’s Landing. As he rides away from the city, snow begins to fall, soon covering the familiar red roofs and imposing towers of the capital. The weather has proven his wisdom. Jon and Dany, Sansa and Arya, Tyrion and his big brother, even the freaking Hound, who spent most of the entire season bumping into people who once tried to kill him – everyone put aside their differences for the greater good.

There’s no riding out the storm that’s on its way. If you care about your family, your friends, your people and your world, you have to ride right into that storm and face whatever you find there. Only one season and six episodes remain before we discover what’s left when the snow melts and the smoke clears.

I wrote an overview of what happened during Game of Thrones Season Seven and what it means for the story for Rolling Stone.

“Game of Thrones” thoughts, Season Seven, Episode Seven: “The Dragon and the Wolf”

August 28, 2017

Game of Thrones’ penultimate season has rocketed along from place to place, person to person, long-awaited meeting to long-dreaded conflagration for all seven of its episodes. That pace has thrown some viewers off balance. But in these final moments, the purpose becomes clear: This story, this world, has been hurtling toward a point of no return. We’ve now reached that point. The lies, betrayals, power plays, and murders we’ve witnessed for seven years, and which still continue in this episode – they are all a distraction. We’re all in this together, and we’d better realize it ASAP. Is there a more urgent message for all of us to hear at this moment?

I reviewed the finale of Game of Thrones Season Seven, which I enjoyed a great deal, for Vulture.

The Boiled Leather Audio Hour Episode 65!

August 1, 2017

Azor Ahai a Hound? (A Patreon Production)

The Pooch Who Was Promised! In this episode of the Boiled Leather Audio Hour, Sean & Stefan respond to the request of one of our $50-a-month Patreon subscribers, Ryan, to evaluate the odds that Azor Ahai Reborn is none other than Sandor “The Hound” Clegane. Working with material from both the books and the show, the illustrious co-hosts branch out from there to discuss the nature of this pivotal prophecy itself, their own preferred candidates for the messianic role, and what qualities we should look for in a savior. Hmm, is that salt and smoke in the air?

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A Wiki of Ice and Fire’s Azor Ahai rundown.

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“Game of Thrones” thoughts, Season Seven, Episode Three: “The Queen’s Justice”

July 31, 2017

Game of Thrones sends a message. You can focus on worldly, bloody matters like revenge. Or you can make the leap of faith and focus on the lives of your fellow human beings. “People’s minds aren’t made for problems that large,” Tyrion frets. Almost in response, Bran Stark tells his sister “I can see everything that’s ever happened to everyone” — a mystical callback to the far more self-interested seven-dimensional-chess advice Sansa’s advisor Littlefinger gave her. Seek triumph, and you’re merely a killer. Seek solidarity, and … well, that’s not quite clear yet. But if winter is here, which of the two would you count on to turn back the cold?

I reviewed last night’s Game of Thrones for Rolling Stone.

The Boiled Leather Audio Moment #8!

July 30, 2017

Moment 08 | Our POV Preferences

This month’s subscriber-only mini-podcast question, or questions plural, courtesy of the folks at DalyPlanetFilms: Who are our favorite POV characters, and which minor POV characters would we like to see more from in the final two volumes of A Song of Ice and Fire? As you might expect when the topic is “tell us stuff you like,” this was a fun BLAM to record. Thanks to the DPF guys, and thanks to everyone who subscribes to our Patreon at the $2 level to hear these Boiled Leather Audio Moments, at the $5 level to ask a question we’ll answer in an episode, and at the $10 level to ensure your question goes to the front of the queue!

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The Boiled Leather Audio Moment #7

June 16, 2017

Moment 07: Bran and the Time Travel Effect

On this month’s subscriber-only Boiled Leather Audio Moment, we’re going back…to the future! Okay, not really—that’s sort of the point of the discussion. In our first-ever BLAM available at our new $2 reward level, Sean & Stefan answer a question from listener Max B. about whether recent events on the Game of Thrones adaptation indicate that Bran Stark, everyone’s favorite paraplegic telepath, will have an increasingly dramatic effect on past events in the world of the story. Paradoxes abound, and to borrow Ser Barristan’s unfortunate phrasing we slice through them like a knife through cheese. Hit that $2 subscription button, then press play!

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The Boiled Leather Audio Moment #6!

May 31, 2017

Moment 06: Renly Baratheon: Threat or Menace?

On this all-new installment of our subscriber-only mini-podcast, we’re examining the character of one Renly Baratheon, courtesy of listener John Spinella. Was his move to cut ahead of his older brother Stannis in the line to the Iron Throne the ethical and political disaster many observers have said, or has dying before we could learn how he would really rule earned him a bad rap? Subscribe, listen, and find out!

The Boiled Leather Audio Hour Episode 62!

May 1, 2017

A Game of Thrones Revisited
The Boiled Leather Audio Hour goes back to the beginning! Sean & Stefan kick off their great A Song of Ice and Fire reread project with an episode dedicated entirely to A Game of Thrones, the novel that started it all. What did George R.R. Martin do as a writer to distinguish his work from the epic fantasy hordes? How has he changed as a writer since? Which elements turned out to matter, which didn’t, and which are we still scratching our heads about? The answers to all these questions, plus our takes on all the major characters (teaser: Sean compares Ned Stark to the Dude from The Big Lebowski), await you in this episode!

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The Boiled Leather Audio Hour Episode 61!

March 31, 2017

The Boiled Leather Children’s Hour

BLAH is for the children! In this episode, Sean and Stefan take a look at two issues uniquely relevant to the younger characters of A Song of Ice and Fire: bullying and education. Inspired by our recent re-reads of A Game of Thrones, our conversation touches on the pervasiveness of verbal and physical bullying, the degree to which it is or isn’t encouraged by adults, and how the ideas passed on to children by their parents and teachers through the official education system (for nobles, anyway) impact those receiving them. It’s a topic close to our hearts, and to our understanding of what the whole series is really about. Enjoy!

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And remember, if you like what you hear, subscribe to our Patreon to hear more of it via our subscriber-exclusive Boiled Leather Audio Moment mini-podcast!

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BLAH 09: Our episode on violence against children.

BLAH 11: Our episode on sexualized violence and violence against women (with Alyssa Rosenberg).

The latest BLAM mini-episode (click to subscribe).

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The Boiled Leather Audio Moment #4!

March 10, 2017

Moment 04 | Cersei’s Breaking Point

This month’s Patreon subscriber-exclusive BLAM hits close to home, as Sean & Stefan answer a listener question about the madness of Queen Cersei. We first gain access to her point of view after the deaths of her son Joffrey and father Tywin; does this push her past a breaking point, or would her POV have been materially similar had it started earlier? The BLAM Boys apply lessons from life and literature to arrive at the answer. Click here to subscribe to our Patreon so you can hear the episode, and thank you so much for your patronage!

The Boiled Leather Audio Moment #1!

January 10, 2017

Moment 01 | The Fate of the Direwolves

I’m pleased to announce that the first installment of the Boiled Leather Audio Moment, our subscriber-exclusive new podcast, is now up! Each BLAM will be a mini-episode in which Stefan and I focus (for now anyway) on your questions about A Song of Ice and Fire. Our inaugural installment answers a question posed by subscriber and longtime friend of the podcast Leslie Jividen: What will be the fate of the surviving Stark/Snow direwolves, from Ghost on down? If you’re already a patron, click here to hear us give it the ol’ greenseer try, and please accept our very sincere thanks for your patronage! If not, go to patreon.com/boiledleatheraudiohour and subscribe at the low low limited-time level of $1/month for access to all our ASoIaF wisdom!

The 25 Greatest ‘Game of Thrones’ Moments

November 2, 2016

jon-and-ygritte-kiss-on-top-of-the-wall-587a4b4c-3fe5-41b6-9e1e-2e19b95ca533

10. The Kiss on the Wall

Season 3, Episode 6: “The Climb”
To paraphrase David Bowie, let’s remember Jon Snow and Ygritte standing on the Wall, where they kissed as though nothing could fall. The star-crossed couple’s big moment came after a pulse-pounding sequence in which their raiding party scaled the treacherous icy obstacle, nearly dying in the process, so their mere survival was cathartic enough. But the future Lord Commander and his wildling lover seized the moment – and the stunning, sunlit view – and locked lips in the series’ single most romantic shot to date. Game of Thrones so rarely gives us reasons to simply be happy; these two crazy kids never got one again.

I ranked and wrote about the 25 Greatest Game of Thrones Moments for Rolling Stone. If you like my writing about this show at all, I think what you like about it probably comes through very strongly in the nature, order, and explanation of my selections. I hope you enjoy them.

The Boiled Leather Audio Hour Episode 55!

October 29, 2016

Forecasting The Winds of Winter, Part 3: The South

We’ve tackled the North and the lands of Essos. Now our popular series of podcasts predicting the events of The Winds of Winter returns with a look at what Northern partisans such as ourselves would call “the South” — aka the rest(eros) of Westeros! With our usual emphasis on thematic and narrative resonance — and our usual caveat that this is all just fun speculation — we’re offering our theories on the fates of every major player and region. What does Book Six hold in store for our POV characters Sansa Stark, Cersei Lannister, Jon Connington, Arianne Martell, Brienne of Tarth, Jaime Lannister, Areo Hotah (hey, blame George), Samwell Tarly, and Aeron “the Damphair” Greyjoy? What about key supporting cast members like Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish, the Tyrells, the Faith Militant, Doran Martell, the Sand Snakes, (f)Aegon Targaryen, Varys, Catelyn “Lady Stoneheart” Stark, Brynden “the Blackfish” Tully, Tommen and Myrcella Lannister, Walder Frey, and so on? What fates will befall King’s Landing, Oldtown, Highgarden, Storm’s End, Sunspear, and Casterly Rock? And of course, where and when will the Others and the dragons strike first? We’re taking our best guesses. See what you think!

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Additional links:

Forecasting The Winds of Winter, Part 1: The North

Forecasting The Winds of Winter, Part 2: Essos

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The Boiled Leather Audio Hour Episode 54!

September 23, 2016

Book of the Stranger Things

We’re turing the podcast Upside Down this episode with an in-depth discussion of Stranger Things, the hit summer thriller series from Netflix and the Duffer Brothers. Wearing its many, many genre influences on its sleeve so proudly that said sleeves might as well have had “STEVEN SPIELBERG” and “STEPHEN KING” directly embroidered on them, the show gave its fans an ‘80s nostalgia fix like few others. But is there more to the whole than the sum of its parts? Sean and Stefan explore that question at length, touching on related issues such as the nature of horror, the hegemony of nerd culture, the ever-increasing prominence of the ‘80s in contemporary entertainment, and of course the show’s similarities with and differences from the approach to genre taken by A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones. Grab your D&D dice and roll for initiative with us!

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Additional links:

Sean’s essay on Stranger Things for Vulture.

Emily Yoshida’s key tweet about the show.

Chris Ott’s Shallow Rewards podcast, featuring a two-parter with Sean.

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The Boiled Leather Audio Hour Episode 53!

August 14, 2016

The Theory of Everything: Analyzing Popular Theories from a Narrative & Thematic Perspective, Part II (A Patreon Production)

One of our most requested episode formats is back, thanks to our loyal patrons! Subscribers to our Patreon have selected the topic of this episode, a sequel to a much-loved previous installment in which we took a look at prominent fan theories not just in terms of whether they’re possible or even plausible, but whether they make sense in the framework of the kind of story George R.R. Martin is trying to tell and his overall vibe as a writer. This time around, the individual topics have been pitched in by our patrons as well, and there’s a wide range, from what we think happened at Summerhall to whether we believe Bran is essentially a godlike figure to which fool we like best. Give it a listen, and if you like what you here, become a Patreon contributor so you can select future podcast topics yourself!

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Additional links:

The Theory of Everything, Part I

Our Vulture article on the biggest fan theories

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