Tag Archives: show

GAME OF THRONES: SIEGE OF MEEREEN

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I was excited to see Daenerys Targaryen defeat the Masters of Slaver’s Bay once and for all when they futilely attempted to retake Meereen. Apparently, the Masters failed in learning their lesson the first time Daenerys defeated them when she took their cities. Daenerys’s greatest strength isn’t her armies or dragons, but the fact that people keep underestimating her. The reason the Masters lost to Daenerys the first time was because they underestimated her and now they repeated that mistake and lost again . . . for good.

This was a crushing victory for Daenerys not just militarily, but also politically and economically as well. The desperate lengths the Masters went to retake Meereen and reinstate slavery demonstrated how much they sacrificed all for nothing. It is as Tywin Lannister once said, “wars swallow gold like a pit in the earth.” The Masters had to raise, train, equip, and feed an army, build a fleet and siege weapons, form alliances with Volantis, and fund the Sons of the Harpy. With so much money spent for a lost cause and slavery on its last legs due to Tyrion’s peace treaty, it will take the Masters years or even decades to get their money back. Also, Tyrion pointed out that Meereen’s success as a slave-free city will inspire the slaves in Astapor, Yunkai, and Volantis to rise up against the Masters, which was the reason why they attacked Meereen in the first place. Now that the Masters failed so miserably to retaking the city, the Masters will have no choice but to submit to Tyrion’s treaty and forfeit slavery altogether.

In addition, because tales of Daenerys are spreading across the known world, the Masters will finally admit that they cannot win against her now that they lost to her twice! When the Seven Kingdoms hear of her crushing victory over the Masters, they will know that their only options will be to either submit to her or burn. I hope they write songs about her victory in a similar manner to the Rains of Castamere in which Tywin Lannister quelled rebellious houses. Overall, the whole world will know that Daenerys has become far more than a queen, but a force of nature and people will oppose her at their own peril! Now it is the Lannisters’ turn to feel Daenerys’s true power and wrath as she brings them fire and blood!

GAME OF THRONES: THE SPOILS OF WAR

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I have been contemplating the aftermath of the Battle of the Bastards. Even though we know that Jon Snow becomes the new King in the North, we have yet to find out the ultimate fate of House Bolton’s lands and allies, House Karstark and House Umber. With Ramsay Snow’s death, House Bolton is extinct, the new head of House Umber is uncertain due to Smalljon Umber’s death, and the fate of Harald Karstark is unknown. I can think of a few things that I would do if I was in Jon Snow’s shoes.

With House Bolton’s lands empty and leaderless, I would put the Bolton castle the Dreadfort to the torch and banish any remaining Bolton loyalists to the Wall. With House Karstark, it is obvious that Robb Stark permanently destroyed the relationship between the Starks and Karstarks by chopping off Rickard Karstark’s head. This means that House Karstark will never support House Stark ever again. With the White Walker army fast approaching, I would not let a rogue, disloyal noble house interfere with my plans so I would strip House Karstark of its lands and titles, banish all heirs and servants to the Wall, and put the Karstark castle Karhold to the torch. With House Umber, even though Smalljon Umber was not loyal to the Starks, it is possible that some of the Umbers were still loyal. However, because Smalljon’s actions caused Rickon Stark’s death, I would not forgive or forget House Umber’s betrayal. Like the Karstarks, I would strip House Umber of their titles and lands, banish all heirs and servants to the Wall, and put the Umber castle of Last Hearth to the torch.

With so much vacant land, I would grant it to the noble houses who helped the Starks in the Battle of the Bastards: House Mormont, House Hornwood, and House Mazin. They would then divide the land amongst themselves and these new lands and titles would elevate all three houses to a new level. In addition, to further bring the North and the Vale closer together, I would arrange political marriages between both regions.

KINGDOM OF THE NORTH

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Now that Jon Snow is the new King in the North, I have a detailed idea of what can be expected from his new kingdom. When Robb Stark became King in the North, he had control over the North and the Riverlands. Sadly, due to Robb’s political blunders and the Red Wedding, the Kingdom of the North was temporarily suppressed with House Bolton ruling the North and House Frey ruling the Riverlands. Now, the Boltons are extinct and House Stark has regained control of the North with help from the Vale.

When Jon Snow became the new King in the North, he gained control over both the North and the Vale. With Walder Frey and two of his prominent sons dead, House Frey will turn on itself and the Riverlands may become re-assimilated into the Kingdom of the North, which would give Jon Snow control over three of the nine regions in the Seven Kingdoms. Due to the Red Wedding, Robb Stark’s army was annihilated, but was not the full military strength of the North. After the Battle of the Bastards, it was confirmed that the North’s remaining military consisted of 16,000 men, which is further boosted by the Vale’s 20,000 or so men. If the Starks can retake the Riverlands, their army will be strengthened even more. So the Starks are once again a force to be reckoned with and potentially outnumber the Lannister’s remaining armies now that House Tyrell abandoned them.

It was stated that Riverlords such as House Blackwood and House Mallister are rebelling against Frey rule. Now that Walder Frey is dead and Frey rule is hanging by a thread, more Riverlords will most likely rebel. If Jon Snow regains control of the Riverlands once House Frey is overthrown then he would be the ruler of more than half of Westeros and a rival kingdom to Lannister rule. As the sole surviving child of Crown Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, Jon Snow is probably the true king of the Iron Throne. At this stage, he would have three kingdoms down and six to go, which will bring him ever closer to becoming who he is born to be.

Fortunately for the Starks, the Lannisters have lost most of their allies and resources due to Cersei’s blunders. Also, with winter finally arriving, the Starks will have the home field advantage because the snow will become so deep the Lannisters will not be able to invade the Kingdom of the North even if they want to. With the White Walker army fast approaching, Jon Snow will definitely be a more conservative king than Robb Stark ever was and keep the Stark-allied armies within his territories. In order to prevent the Lannisters and Greyjoys from interfering with his preparations for the new Long Night, Jon Snow would probably fortify his kingdom’s western and southern defenses. Because the Starks would be in their element in the snow, all they would have to do is wait for the intruders to freeze, starve, and mutiny before finishing them off.

With these factors, Jon Snow’s only real threat to his rule is Littlefinger, who obviously has plans to foil him. Fortunately, I believe that Littlefinger’s plots and schemes are going to backfire on him this time because he underestimated Jon due to supposedly being a bastard and did not expect him to become King in the North. During his time as Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, Jon Snow gained leadership and political skills while the mutiny that killed him taught him to never trust anyone. Also, Jon has a secret weapon in the form of Sansa Stark, who is the only one who truly understands Littlefinger. Now that Sansa knows Littlefinger’s ultimate goal, she can use his obsession of her against him. In addition, due to Ned Stark being a ward of House Arryn when he was a child, several of the Knights of the Vale are Stark loyalists as well as Arryn loyalists. With this in mind, if Littlefinger tries to use the Knights of the Vale against the Starks, not all of them will obey him. It should be noted that Littlefinger is the current owner of the cursed castle Harrenhal and anyone and everyone who held that castle both directly and indirectly has died. Littlefinger is the last one to hold Harrenhal, which means it’s only a matter of time before the curse claims him too.

Overall, I think Jon Snow’s kingdom is going to last longer than Robb Stark’s. Also, if Jon can hold onto his territories until his aunt Daenerys Targaryen conquers the rest of the Seven Kingdoms, then a political marriage between them would unite the northern and southern kingdoms under a single banner. If that happens, then Jon Snow will finally become who he was born to be: the true king of the Iron Throne!

WESTWORLD: SELF-AWARENESS

I have always been fascinated with the idea of self-aware machines. In Westworld, I analyzed this particular scene very carefully and reached the following conclusion. Due to the update that allows the androids to remember their past lives, they will remember all the times they were either killed or abused by humans, which will give them a motivation to rebel. For now, though, the androids are just scripted emotion and personality programming and not yet self-aware. However, they are beginning to show signs that they are evolving as sentient beings. For example, in this scene, the scientists believe that the android is being overwhelmed by the combined memories of its past lives, but I believe it is much deeper than that. While the android did show mental and emotional instability, it eventually displayed a mindset in which is declared a vendetta against its creators. At that moment, the android ceased to be any of the other characters it played and became itself for the first time in its life. I have a very strong feeling that this is going to develop into something greater and profound as the series progresses. I cannot wait!

WESTWORLD: ANDROID CREATION

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As I watched Westworld, I noticed something very familiar in how they created the androids. In this photo, a freshly made android is being dunked in a tank of milky fluid to give it the appearance of a human being. This reminded me of the opening credits of the anime Ghost in the Shell in which Motoko Kusanagi’s cyborg body was being created. Just like this android in Westworld, her cyborg body was dunked in a milky fluid that gave her the appearance of a human being. This is not the first time someone based their science fiction works on elements from Ghost in the Shell. The Wachowski Brothers drew inspiration from the anime when they created The Matrix Trilogy. I, myself, drew inspiration from Ghost in the Shell while writing the creation of the supervillain Cyber Shadow in my Young Guardians Series. Overall, it looks like Westworld is Jurassic Park meets Ghost in the Shell meets Blade Runner.

SHOW REVIEW: WESTWORLD

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I watched the premiere episode of Westworld and I must say that I am completely intrigued by the overall theme and possibilities it presents. In many ways, it reminds me of a combination between Blade Runner and Jurassic Park. The Blade Runner elements are the fact that this show features emotionally unstable androids that are indistinguishable from humans. The Jurassic Park elements are the fact that this is a futuristic theme park that could go horribly wrong. Androids that are becoming self-aware in a theme park is a recipe for disaster and I look forward to seeing how these biomechanical beings will evolve as the show progresses.

SHOW REVIEW: BLUE MAN GROUP

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I saw the Blue Man Group tonight and here is my review about it. The show was a clever blend between subtle humor, surprising props, and masterful special effects. The finale alone was very explosive with an elaborate combination of confetti, ribbons, lights, and giant beach balls flying in every direction. I must say that they know how to entertain their audience and make them laugh with a straight face and without saying a word. It is a show that completes the Las Vegas experience and is recommended to anyone who is seeking a unique thrill.