Monthly Archives: April 2011

Winter is Coming: Game of Thrones HBO series

game-of-thrones

I know I’m a little bit behind with a review of the series or at least the opening of the series and this has been down to a few factors. The first being that I had family over for Easter, when the series opened and after asking them if they were interested in seeing the first episode were given a less than emphatic response (yes, there has been talk of disownment, which is still on going).

I then became ill and decided to catch up on a few of the other series I’ve been following (Fringe, Supernatural, The Event) before settling down to this one.

And yes, let’s come out and say it, I was completely anxious about it all. I pointedly missed every trailer out there and skimmed over any blog posts mentioning the thing, lest I upped the anxiety. I mean this is probably my favourite fantasy series ever written (Katherine Kerr’s Deverry series its only real contender) and the thought of them not doing it justice was a little too much for me.

Yes I know that George R. R. Martin is one of the executive producers and from what I had read he was very satisfied with the result but…

The but is that the book may well fulfil his (Martin’s) interpretation of the book but he’s only the author after all and we see the book differently.

I need not have worried.

My saving grace before putting episode one on was that HBO have been responsible for some of my favourite TV over the last few years: Carnivale, Dexter, and Deadwood to name three of the best. However, even with this pedigree behind the show, I was shocked by how well the cast fit my picture of the characters in the book. The two farthest away from how I pictured them would be Eddard Stark (Sean Bean), pictured above, and his bastard son, Jon Snow. The others are freakishly alike for words.

As the books ebb and flow so do my favourite characters and my favourite two this early on are: Tyrion Lannister (the imp) and Arya Stark, daughter of Eddard.

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All dwarves are bastards in the eyes of their fathers

Tyrion is the wily, intelligent, cunning, disreputable member of the Lannister family, making him instantly one of the most likeable characters in both the book and TV series and Peter Dinklage captures him excellently. There’s much I admire about Tyrion in the book but will keep from giving any spoilerage for those who have not read the book.

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Arya (Maisie Williams) is the Stark brat, the girl who won’t be a girl, more intrigued by the sounds of archery outside than focusing on her needlework indoors. Arya sets off a massive chain of events very early on (episode two) and is a very interesting character, possessing many qualities that most of the knights of the seven kingdoms would be proud to have.

The first episode deals with a lot and deals with it well, beginning and ending with two very powerful and significant events in the first book. I was riveted for the whole hour by the dialogue, the authenticity, the feeling and overall devotion to the words penned by Martin.

Winter may be coming but I just hope that HBO have the sense to follow this series through the whole story (even though, I, myself am a little bit anxious about how they will pull off the fourth book, A Feast for Crows).

Read the books, watch the TV series, it’s really that simple!

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30 Day Song Challenge: Day 18

Day 18: A song you wish you heard on the radio

I’m not seeming to play by any of the rules here, which I can live with as long as you all can. Winking smile

A tough one this in that I don’t ever listen to the radio, being as there is so much good music out there that I don’t have time to listen to masses of weak music, hoping for a nugget of genius to shine through. I leave my friends and Last.fm, Metacritic and Pitchfork to find them for me.

However, if I did listen to the radio, I’m pretty sure they never play these guys as they are so undervalued and I’ve never loved a band so much and found that so many of my friends have not heard of them, as I hear with these (maybe with the exception of Sufjan Stevens and Eluvium).

 

Anyway, a radio station playing these guys might well have me tuning in. They’d need to play a hell of a lot of other great stuff too but this might well be a good start!


30 Day Song Challenge: Day 19

Day 19: A song from your favourite album

Oh so easy! Not only has it been my favourite album for over ten years now but it only has five tracks too!

If I have to explain this decision then we don’t really need to speak about music ever again, do we?

 

Incredible, absolutely incredible!


Tour 2: Östra Husby via the E22, Tåby. Back on the 209–10th April 2011

Well yesterday’s route was much easier than I had first predicted, being as it was quite windy and hard going at times. Added to that was the fact that it is only my second cycle of the year meant that the distance and time were exceptional in comparison to previous years.

Route: Östra Husby
Time: 02:15:21
KM: 52.69
Average (KM/H): 23.9
Max (KM/H): 40.7
Calories: 1,347.11
Record: 10th April 2011
 
I’ve just read that the first time I did a distance like this last year wasn’t until 16th May, which was Glan Runt, a cycle I am taking part in this year too. So there was a lot to be positive about!
 
I also went back to music on the tour, which I gave up on a couple of years ago, due to the danger factor (not hearing traffic being the biggest). This time I took the mobile phone and the headset that includes one earphone and it worked OK. I do prefer the stereo effect but this was a decent enough compromise. It was The Dodos, Ladytron and Radiohead who accompanied me yesterday afternoon…
 
And then I went to play floorball for an hour…madness abounds!

30 Day Song Challenge: Day 20

Day 20: A song that you listen to when you’re angry

I think I missed yesterday didn’t I? Did I? Oh well, never mind, I’m here now…

My first thought was Rage Against the Machine’s Wake Up, as that is one of the regulars on my angry list (yes, I need the angst to get me out of the angst) but then remembered that first on the playlist is ALWAYS this one:

 

It’s sheer raw power this one and has the lyrics to match. You hear this at volume in my gaff and you know there’s trouble!


30 Day Song Challenge: Day 21

Day 21: A song that you listen to when you’re happy

But I’m never happy…*cough*…

Pretty much millions to choose from here and so I’m going to go for a song that I heard for the first time, very recently, thanks to my friend Aleksander. One of those bands that make you wonder how you’ve missed them before!

 

It’s one of those pop songs by an artist that knows how to make pop songs!


30 Day Song Challenge: Day 22

Day 22: A song that you listen to when you’re sad

Well, the first song that springs to mind is actually my number one song of all time (again), which shows me up for the jolly old soul that I am but the more I thought about it, there was another one that I tend to play too – not because it cheers me up but more because it gives me perspective (and I like perspective).

 

It’s a masterpiece this (featured in my top 40 songs of all time) and I found it interesting that when I looked for a video for it, I found a montage of Only Fools & Horses and Red Dwarf clips to accompany one clip, as the creator of the vid thought that the song needed cheering up!


30 Day Song Challenge: Day 23

Day 23: A song you want to play at your wedding

I is married, I is, making this a very easy one! This was the song that was chosen for our first dance at our wedding, mostly due to how eerily accurate the lyrics were in reference to our relationship up until Etina agreed to marry me.

Yep, I’m a sucker for the lyrics and for one of the best love songs ever written!

 

Oozing with perfection this one!