Again, much thanks to Life of B for this month’s Squares Challenge: Walking Squares! So much fun to create a gallery of memorable walks!
In April, self finally crossed Belfast off her bucket list. She’d been wanting to go ever since she got into Game of Thrones, the HBO series. She was a huge Gendrya fan, and every time Joe Dempsie showed up in Belfast she would cheer!
She stayed at the Europa Hotel, which was fantastic, and each day she explored a different area of Belfast. One day, she went to Queen’s University and explored the botanic garden, right alongside:
It’s nearly the end of Northanger Abbey, Henry Tilney still hasn’t declared any feelings for Catherine Morland, but self loves loves loves this him: his diffidence, his wit, his tenderness towards his sister Eleanor. So far, this is her favorite Jane Austen ever (a close second: Emma)
Still reading about Game of Thrones‘ final season because it hurt self to the core. Still more from yesterday’s USA Today (the first thing self grabbed during afternoon tea at the hotel yesterday):
Much like Cersei’s death last week, Dany’s demise felt like a dull, anticlimactic end.
Bran “hasn’t had a personality since Season 6 and is the least-helpful all-seeing magical reason ever.”
Self is still bitter that they brought Gendry back in Season 7 just to function as Arya’s boy toy in Season 8 (also, if you really want to know, she thinks Ed Sheeran’s pointless cameo in Season 7 should have warned her: You’re not going to like the way this ends.) Cleganebowl happened too late to really matter. Bronn stayed on-brand as the No. 1 Advocate for Brothels. Nice job, Sansa Stark, becoming Queen of the North. The melting down of the Iron Throne was whatever. Jon got to keep his melancholy look. And Davos was sitting right next to Gendry during the gathering of all the remaining families of Westeros, so these two will get to become each other’s family.
Self thinks the wriers’ interest in the story ended with Season 6. After, they were just making sure they dotted their “i’s” and crossed their “t’s” per contractual basis.
Dracarys! Dracarys! So bored with Dracarys but whatever, there’s another episode tomorrow, self’s attitude is somewhat tepid. Meh?
This morning, in front of Paradiso, there was a man (who looked exactly like a hippy, even though this is Cork) holding up a sign that said FREE HUGS. It was ADORABLE. There were people actually enthusiastically hugging each other. And self was so slow grabbing her camera that she got nothing.
Anyhoo, back to Game of Thrones. This is a penultimate episode — YES! Who knew that self is almost regretting how much time she had to spend to: a) sign up for HBO Now; b) un-sign-up for HBO Now when she found out it didn’t work in England; c) sign up for Sky TV; d) find out how VPN works (Honestly, before she left the States, she had no idea what VPN was)
She has not yet managed to finish watching Episode 4. It is really, really hard to watch, ESPECIALLY the Brienne/Jamie hook-up which generates NO HEAT WHATSOEVER. Also it is hard to watch Joe Dempsie doing probably the worst acting of his life (Who is that he’s pretending to be? That’s not Gendry! Just an HBO construct! He might be off the show now — except for maybe five seconds in the finale. He might be luckier than Arya, though. SHE has to keep up that stone-cold assassin act all the way to the bitter end. And, girl, you’re doing yourself no favors by suddenly assuming the mantle of Savior of All Mankind. Just look at what happened to Emilia Clarke. Being a Messiah really interferes with a performance)
A Forbes writer was saying something about how easy it was for Euron to kill a dragon, all he had to do was aim his “magical giant ballista” at “a measly dragon” and self does agree that it is pretty ludicrous, twice as ludicrous because it’s EURON and all he does is chew up scenery. It would have been better to have CERSEI aim the “magical giant ballista” but the script has her everlastingly stuck on a stone balcony, bringing her A+ sneer game.
Self will watch the opening credits. If it doesn’t have a particular name, YAWN she won’t bother watching.
Those nasty nasty showrunners knew from Season 2 that we would end up here. The minute Season 8 Gendry stuck his sword into that vat of whatever-sends-up-steam-like-a-veritable-fog-machine, it was Gendrya, all the way. This scene has happened before, only back then Arya was 11 or 12 and Gendry had never been with a woman. Now, Arya is 17 or 18, and post-Melisandre Gendry has apparently not been traumatized for life because he admitted to Lady Arya that he’s been with three women. THREE! (Self loves the moment when Arya oh-so-casually drops the “Was that the first time you’ve been with a woman” and Gendry’s astonished “What???!!!!” Gendry, and all the viewers who’d seen 12-year-old Arya making heart eyes at Gendry’s abs, were STUNNED! STUNNED! But surely we wouldn’t have wanted another unrequited love — like self’s other favorite ship, Brienne and Jaime! — for our Dear Little Murder Child!)
Looking forward to this Sunday. For these specific reasons:
More of Arya’s raised eyebrows. When Arya’s eyebrow goes up, it means she’s ready for business.
More of Gendry, in any shape or form, though preferably hot and sweaty in the forge, with exposed clavicles.
Crypt turning into a foodfest for White Walkers — what can self say, she really likes The Walking Dead! Since no less than six different characters (Gendry, Jon, Dany, Sam, Gilly and Ser Jorah) were made to state out loud (in Episode 2) that the crypts were “the safest place,” the feeding frenzy will probably be worse than an American high school cafeteria at lunch!
Season 8, Episode 2 joins self’s favorite Game of Thrones episodes of all time:
the one where Brienne is about to get eaten by a bear, otherwise known as The Bear and the Maiden Fair
the one where the Kingslayer goes au naturel in a pool with Brienne and then very conveniently faints in Brienne’s arms (Unfortunately this episode marked the high point in their relationship, for Jaime subsequently returned to his sister’s loving arms, and self lost all respect for the character and wished he’d crawl off somewhere and die)
Self knows not why Season 7’s Gendry was so wimpy. In Season 8, he is decidedly NOT wimpy. He’s back at the forge, where he can be observed (by Arya. And the viewers) in the best possible light (steamy, with sparks of metal upon metal: self could go on).
. . . who can I give a -500 for the utterly ridiculous sequencing of this episode? Jorah is writing Daenerys a rueful love letter, and it’s unclear who is going to agree to mail his toxic germs to the new self-proclaimed Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. He is like a walking 180 pounds of anthrax and very, very sad. But luckily, Sam is now practicing experimental medicine.
Hey, did someone decide to write Gendry out of Season 8 because how come Joe Dempsie is not in Belfast right now, when the rest of the cast is? It’s all the fault of those thousands of people who threw shade on him for his run to Eastwatch. Self’s right arm got so tired from all the blocks she had to do so that her Twitter feed would be Gendry Shade-Free.
Wonder if Joe ever responded to her editor’s request for an interview? If he hasn’t (yet), self will volunteer to do the interview (and hounding) because, hey, she’ll be in London soon. So this interview can be conducted in person. Which means it will be so good, so mind-blowingly good.
First order of business: Self has been perusing Gendrya and found a really badass one-shot. An excerpt:
She wielded two swords when she reached the tower. The Red Priestess wasn’t alone.
The girl wielded her swords, blood swiping tracks on the floor.
And he came out of nowhere, wielding a hammer.
Her other reading of the night is of course Waterloo (never mind the subtitle, which goes on forever). The battle is at midday of 18 June 1815. Napoleon has finally ordered his artillery to let loose on Wellington’s forces.
Here are the numbers:
Napoleon has 246 cannon, Wellington 157.
The French had 12-pounder cannon, The British 9-pounders.
Napoleon used his Grand Battery “as an offensive, as against a defensive, weapon.” He had used them this way before, most spectacularly at Wagram in 1809, where 112 French cannon “tore the heart out of the Austrian army.”
Wellington, on the other hand, had scattered his artillery “along the whole of his line” and used them “defensively . . . they were absolutely forbidden to engage in counter-battery fire.” Wellington was serious. When Wellington saw one of his batteries attempting to counter the French artillery fire by opening up, “he ordered the arrest of the battery commander.”
Here self would like to interject with an account of her first visit to the British Imperial War Museum, two months ago, in June. At the entrance are the biggest long-range guns self has ever seen. They are massive. About as massive as an Egyptian pyramid. She can only imagine a whole battery of these guns firing away. The sound would shatter eardrums.
You have to walk right beneath these guns to get into the museum. It gave self a chill.
Inside the museum is a gorgeous engine called the Merlin. Shined to a high polish. Looks like Geiger art. Manufactured by Rolls Royce. For use in British World War I fighter planes.
Because, seriously, the way he was front and center of all the fight scenes.
Self’s beloved Gendry was tucked safely out of harm’s way by his newfound bestie, Jon Snow. “Go run back to Eastwatch, Gendry!”
Points to the King of the North for doing his best to keep the last Baratheon Bastard alive until Season 8!
Most Heartstopping Moment: When she thought Tormund was going to be dragged through A HOLE IN THE ICE with white walkers grabbing his legs (Self thought they hated water???)
Come to think of it, there was another heartstopping moment, that she learned about on Twitter via spoiler, but she did not expect to worry that Tormund might die, so she’ll give the Heartstopping Moment Award to Tormund.
Self forgets everything said back at Winterfell. Oh! Brienne spoke. And she was honorable and doomed. Revealing her distrust of Littlefinger to Sansa? Not perhaps the best idea.
Arya’s collection of creepy Fun-House faces: probably a B. Sansa registered the requisite shock, but the mask (Frey’s?) looked like self’s neighborhood costume shop Halloween latex. To Arya’s overall affect this episode: also a B.
Sansa gets an A because the poor dear was so worried that her own sister might carve off her face. No one deserves to endure that kind of fear. No one. Not even Sansa.
A+ Wight: The one dragging the sword across the ice
B+ Wight: The captive wight; for sending the alarm, despite having half its jaw torn off by The Hound
Gendry’s buzzcut finally revealed its utility in this episode: it is easier to tell who he is, with hood down and buzzcut.
Also, the man does NOT run like a penguin. Do viewers understand the mechanics of running through snow? He did the best he could, considering he had never seen snow before and was probably falling into snow drifts and slipping and sliding and what-not.
Hmmm, what else?
Oh yes. The wounds on Jon Snow’s torso: they looked exceedingly fresh. And he looked very pale, almost corpse-like. Jon Snow’s wounds = B+
Gendry collapsing right in front of the Wall: YES! A+ !!!!
Ser Davos being the first of the rescuers to reach Gendry: All the FEELZ! A++
In the final scene of tonight’s episode, all your Game of Thrones boyfriends (Jon! Jorah! Gendry! Tormund!) find themselves together in Eastwatch castle, and it’s like the angriest sitcom crossover episode you’ve ever seen.
Ha, ha! Good one Vulture writer Nina Shen Rastogi!