Posts tagged "Game of Thrones"

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…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

On TV: Checking in with Game of Thrones

On TV: Checking in with Game of Thrones

1. Rolling Stone yesterday published previously unreleased GRRM material, editorial outtakes from an interview with Martin from last week. Among other great material, this gem on low anthropology, followed by a great redemption quote from the published interview, ht AOC:

On the show’s ambiguous line between good and evil:

We see a moral evolution, perhaps, on the part of the human race. But there are collapses and detours, and strange periods of aberration. Remember, we had democracy in ancient Greece. We had a republic in ancient Rome, and yet then somehow for the better part of 2000 years, we forget about those forms of…

Read More »

Another Week Ends: Homo Animatus and Adventure Time, Dreher Reads Dante, Eulogies (not Résumés), Smugness Is For Real, Everybody Dies, Nuremberg Chaplains, and Christian Rap

Another Week Ends: Homo Animatus and Adventure Time, Dreher Reads Dante, Eulogies (not Résumés), Smugness Is For Real, Everybody Dies, Nuremberg Chaplains, and Christian Rap

1. In TV: Game of Thrones continues with a strong fourth season, despite some controversy on Sunday as it plumbed the worst of Martin Luther’s incurvatus in se (sin as being “curved-in on oneself”) in a scene horrific even by GOT standards. In animated television, it’s recently come to our attention that Rick and Morty on Adult Swim is absolutely brilliant, ht SA, if you have a high threshold for (lots of) ribaldry. Its first season has been perhaps the most creative in recent TV memory, as a boy (Morty) is dragged along into bizarre sci-fi escapades by his grandfather (Rick), a mentally damaged man whose…

Read More »

Disgruntled Millennials and Theology of the Cross

Disgruntled Millennials and Theology of the Cross

It’s hard to talk about millennials without feeling the same confusion as Whit Stillman’s post-college prep, Des McGrath, over the term “yuppie”, ht DZ:

Des McGrath: Do yuppies even exist? No one says, “I am a yuppie,” it’s always the other guy who’s a yuppie. I think for a group to exist, somebody has to admit to be part of it.

Dan Powers: Of course yuppies exist. Most people would say you two are prime specimens.

Someone asked me the other day what the term ‘millennials’ means, and though I seem to check most of the boxes (20-something, anxious, on a misguided quest…

Read More »

Apocalypse Now?

Apocalypse Now?

Another terrific one from Stephanie Phillips:

“Should we do it? Are you up for it?” my husband asked from his couch cushion. I shrugged, considering, from mine. Finally I answered. “Sure. I can handle it.” He grabbed the remote and queued up our Netflix-sponsored episode of The Walking Dead, season three. Also known as The Season with the Governor. Also known as sixteen of the most hard-to-stomach hours of television I’ve ever seen.

I remember when entertainment wasn’t this difficult—and I don’t know which has changed more, it or me. Before we had our son, I could watch anything. Horror movies? I…

Read More »

On TV: “Two Swords”, Game of Thrones (4.1)

On TV: “Two Swords”, Game of Thrones (4.1)

Spoilers Below

“Chaos isn’t a pit; chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some are given a chance to climb, but they refuse. They cling to the realm or the gods or love – illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.”

-Littlefinger, Season 3

By the end of Season 3, the realm-spanning “War of the Five Kings” was well at a close. After the Blackwater, the Lannisters had eliminated their main threat from the South, and the Red Wedding took care of the…

Read More »

Another Week Ends: Perfectionistic Pride, Spufford Bathes, Country Priests, Shoplifting Grace, Quitting Baseball, Katy Perry, Funeral Selfies, and William Peter Blatty

Another Week Ends: Perfectionistic Pride, Spufford Bathes, Country Priests, Shoplifting Grace, Quitting Baseball, Katy Perry, Funeral Selfies, and William Peter Blatty

1. In the Harvard Business Review, Greg McKeown explores the problem of perfectionism, urging us “Today, Just Be Average”. Easier said than done, but a few of the observations are worth reproducing here, ht RW:

Unlike other obsessions and addictions, perfectionism is something a lot of people celebrate, believing it’s an asset. But true perfectionism can actually get in the way of productivity and happiness. I recently interviewed David Burns, author of “Feeling Good” has made this exact connection. In his more than 35,000 therapy sessions he has learned that the pursuit of perfection is arguably the surest way to undermine…

Read More »

“A Great Prince Died So A Hedge Knight Might Live” – Grace in Dunk and Egg

“A Great Prince Died So A Hedge Knight Might Live” – Grace in Dunk and Egg

Nerd Alert! George R.R. Martin is a master of story, and Tales of Dunk and Egg is him at (or very near) his best. Good storytellers know that triumph is proper material for fiction, but only so long as it is unearned and at a cost. Good Christian fiction focuses on the final two qualities (e.g. Flannery O’Connor), and good ‘secular’ fiction too. It’s easy to forget how utterly inept Luke Skywalker was when it came to fighting Sith; only his sonship (1 Jn 3:1!) and the fatherly love it evokes saves him. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

To give a quick…

Read More »

Why Cheaters Never Lose in the Game of Thrones

Why Cheaters Never Lose in the Game of Thrones

Spoiler Alert! This post deals with the most recent episode of Game of Thrones.

When Ned Stark was executed in the next-to-last episode of Season 1, there was universal shock and outrage. George R.R. Martin is one of the most simultaneously loved and hated people in the fantasy-geek (and now TV-watching) community, and he reportedly left the country this past week because, well, there have been death threats, hate mail, and the like whenever he decides to casually sacrifice some of the series’ best characters.

And the same thing this week – the outrage is understandable, but why the surprise? Isn’t this sort…

Read More »