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Posts tagged "Game of Thrones"

Faith of Thrones

Faith of Thrones

There are already scores of recaps of Game of Thrones season finale readily available online (see this fine one from NPR for starters). I feel no compulsion to add to the already abundant list. But there was something that stuck out to me that is worth a little reflection. It’s something that has characterized the entirety of the series but of late, for me at least, has become more pronounced. The genre of Game of Thrones is of course fantasy, and like most fantasy stories it’s set in a premodern world. The technology, culture, and religion all seem pre-modern through…

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Another Week Ends: Self-Citation, GoT Fatigue, Pros and Cons of Moral Lit, Wonder in Children's Books (and Movies), Millennial GENESI$, and Funeral Etiquette

Another Week Ends: Self-Citation, GoT Fatigue, Pros and Cons of Moral Lit, Wonder in Children’s Books (and Movies), Millennial GENESI$, and Funeral Etiquette

1. In the academic world this week, a new study looks at self-citations among academics. One had 7,000 citations, which is pretty good–but more than 1400 of those came from his own (later) work. There’s some ‘bootstrapping’ for you. The study also found that men over the last couple hundred years have cited to themselves 56% more than women, with 70% more from 1991 to 2011.

In a footnote, the paper’s authors — three women and two men — dryly note that the pattern holds among themselves as well: “The men authors of this paper cite themselves at nearly three times the average…

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Checking in with Game of Thrones (Season 6 Finale Edition)

Checking in with Game of Thrones (Season 6 Finale Edition)

Into the interregnum – spoilers abound. (Click here to listen to a special GoT episode of The Mockingcast, in which a few of us try to make sense of the religious elements of the show/books.)

Cersei Lannister, first of her name: married to King Robert Baratheon in the wake of Robert’s Rebellion. Bereaved of Robert in a boar hunt gone awry, thwarted a power-grab traitor Eddard Stark in its wake, and consolidated the Kingdoms behind Joffrey I. Helped broker an alliance between Tyrell and Lannister, bedrock of security in the Seven Kingdoms during rebellions by the North, the Iron Islands, and Stannis Baratheon….

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Another Week Ends: Smashed Pottery, Broken People, the Laws of Beauty, Celebrity Workaholics, Moral Licensing, and Watermelon Zombies

Another Week Ends: Smashed Pottery, Broken People, the Laws of Beauty, Celebrity Workaholics, Moral Licensing, and Watermelon Zombies

First, if you haven’t seen our latest newsletter, check it out here–some very exciting things in store for the year ahead! And click here to listen to this week’s episode of The Mockingcast (“The Ecumenical Apocalypse”), featuring an interview with writer/scholar Liel Liebowitz.

1. Let’s start off with this lovely piece from The Wall Street Journal:

There is a Japanese word, kintsukuroi, that means “golden repair.” It is the art of restoring broken pottery with gold so the fractures are literally illuminated—a kind of physical expression of its spirit. As a philosophy, kintsukuroi celebrates imperfection as an integral part of the story, not something…

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Nothing New: Notes on Game of Thrones, with an Eye on the Books

Nothing New: Notes on Game of Thrones, with an Eye on the Books

[Spoilers for s6e8 abound below:]

“There is nothing new under the sun” -Solomon, Ecclesiastes 1:9

“To go forward you must go back, and to touch the light you must pass beneath the shadow.” -Quaithe of Asshai

The most recent episode of Game of Thrones, “No One”, centered on return. For Brienne, Jaime, Daenerys, Sansa, Jon, and notably Arya, going forward means going back. Like the hobbits who set the Shire straight at the end of book six in Lord of the Rings, our characters must go forward, and then return to where they were, armed with new knowledge, new experience to either better “meet…

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More Thoughts on Hodor: Felix Culpa and the Identity of God in Game of Thrones

More Thoughts on Hodor: Felix Culpa and the Identity of God in Game of Thrones

Will McDavid wrote the definitive summary, critical review and reflection on last Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones, “The Door.” If you haven’t read it go directly there now. Do not pass go. Do not collect 200 hundred dollars. The short reflection that follows on the revelation of Hodor’s raison d’ etre is indebted to and dependent on Will’s insights. He did most of the heavy lifting already.

In his Poetics Aristotle observes that we will forgive a good story told badly, but never a bad story wrapped up in even the best of prose. For Aristotle plot is everything. The story…

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The Door and the Stories We Tell: Reviewing Game of Thrones

The Door and the Stories We Tell: Reviewing Game of Thrones

Spoiler Alert for those who have not yet seen this past week’s episode of Game of Thrones (Season 6, Episode 5).

A drunk King Robert gallivants across a wooden stage, two conspicuous stagehands tracking his movements with a poorly-painted backdrop of woods behind him, setting the scene. Bawdiness, drinking jokes, and other low-comedy staples ensue, until dunderhead Ned Stark, idiot/villein Northern companion of the lecherous Robert, tries to grab the Throne for himself, until Joffrey, Cersei, and Littlefinger intervene to keep the pretender from taking power.

Last night’s Game of Thrones episode was brilliant in lots of ways, but from a…

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This Ain't No Garden of Eden

This Ain’t No Garden of Eden

Five years ago, I became a grownup. The process involved the following steps: leave New York City, get married, buy a house in the suburbs, have two kids. Recently added into that mix is the forsaking of narrative-driven TV for shows like House Hunters (or House Hunters International, if you’re nasty), the Food Network (love you, Ina), and, for the love of fanny packs, Rick Steves travel shows. With two small kids, I simply have less time and brain space to devote to character development, slow-burn romantic entanglements, and complicated plotlines. Not to mention the emotional toll: The Walking Dead depressed…

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Ideology and Its Discontents (an Apology for Eutyches)

Ideology and Its Discontents (an Apology for Eutyches)

Maybe you’ve noticed this trend too: Lena Dunham’s Girls, despite critical acclaim, has suffered from reviewers saying it’s not racially diverse enough. Game of Thrones has been lambasted for its sexism and weak female characters. The Cosmopolitans has been written off for lacking socioeconomic variety.

Such things can be painful and troubling to watch, and sometimes it’s best not to view them, perhaps not even to screen them. But such criticisms, for me, are also strangely reminiscent of the one-dimensional cultural lenses prevalent in the Christian world. Drugs are bad, so watching media which contains drug use should be avoided. Affairs are bad, so Madame Bovary was listed…

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The Nerdy Pharisees

The Nerdy Pharisees

When I was in college, a group of pledges from one of the socially-elite fraternities on campus painted “NERDS” in large capital letter on the roof of my fraternity’s house. It was a pejorative statement.

Until that act of vandalism, we didn’t know that we were nerds. We dressed nicely. We drank a lot. We were involved in campus activities. We weren’t the glasses-wearing, teetotaling, social pariahs portrayed in movies like Revenge of the Nerds. We were nice people.

But our niceness was precisely what made us nerds. The ever-evolving landscape of social distinctions can be difficult to discern. And, unless you’re one of…

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Which Game of Thrones Character Are You? No, Really.

Which Game of Thrones Character Are You? No, Really.

Night and day for months now, one single question has nagged at the back and front recesses of my troubled mind. I go to sleep thinking about it, mull over it while sipping my morning coffee, and try not to let it get in the way of my day-to-day business of being a semi-attentive stay-at-home mom. The Question: If I were a character on HBO’s Game of Thrones, who would I be?

This question is essential because right now I am sitting on the couch while my ten-month old son takes his afternoon nap. I spent the first half an hour…

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Checking in with Game of Thrones (4.8)

Checking in with Game of Thrones (4.8)

Spoilers to episode 8 follow:

As Tyrion awaits his trial by combat, which will determine his capital guilt or innocence, he tells the story of a cousin back at Casterly Rock who was dropped on his head by a maester and spent all his boyhood crushing beetles with rocks. The implication is clear: once everything else is stripped away, man’s base instinct is that of violence. Tyrion wanted to know why Orson Lannister killed beetles all day, and Tyrion, whose one weakness in the game is faith in others’ rationality, can’t figure out why Orson would waste his time. In Martin’s world, all…

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