Saturday Waffling (May 23rd, 2015)


Let's see. Got the edits back on the first two seasons of Eruditorum 6. About 3-4000 words from the end of Book One of Last War in Albion. Logopolis books will finally go out Wednesday.

Several unrelated things kicking around that I'd love to find time for, but I'm not quite sure where that time would go right now.

"Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken" is still very much on my mind right now, and rather making moving on to A Brief Treatise on the Rules of Thrones 2.x a bit of a sour experience. I'd been going to roll out a new feature on the GoT reviews for the back half of the season in which I made next episode predictions, and was left in far too foul a mood after that episode to do it. But anyway, here's predictions for "The Gift," based on officially released HBO material and the books.

It looks like we have the Wall, Winterfell, Dorne, King's Landing, and Meereen up this episode, but no Braavos.

The Wall: Probably where the episode's title comes from. Jon Snow will commence the rescue mission of the Wildlings at Hardhome. Dissent in the ranks will continue. This looks straightforward.

King's Landing: The arc here is clearly that Oleanna is going to throw Cersei in the path of the High Sparrow as well, with Lancel providing evidence of her crimes. Whether Oleanna will enact that plan this episode, or merely fail at talking Margery out out of jail is unclear. I'll bet on her enacting it, though.

Winterfell The presence of snow and the repeated talk of "the snows starting" suggest we are going to do a variation of the plot in which Stannis gets bogged down in a snowstorm. But I think we'll be in the early stages of that here. As for Sansa, my guess is that she's going to be a functional prisoner, but that she's going to get Theon to signal for Brienne. I hope this plot advances pretty far, obviously. It's perfectly plausible that Ramsey is going to die this episode.

Dorne: Tricky, as Jaime's presence now prevents most of the obvious plot arcs. I've seen speculation of Bronn being poisoned. Could happen. All we know for certain is that Jaime and Myrcella are going to have a chat. It's entirely possible that's all there will be; they've hardly been putting Dorne at the forefront of the plot, and there's not necessarily a lot more to do with it either. Really all that's guaranteed is a big Doran scene in the next four episodes.

Meereen: By far the hardest to predict. It wasn't clear Daenerys was in it until some publicity photos emerged. All we have to go on is that Daenerys is in it, and a trailer shot of Tyrion (looks like indoors, but in theory could be on a ship). This could be a straight plate-spin. Obviously we're building to a Tyrion/Jorah/Daenerys/Drogo collision, but as with Winterfell and Dorne, it's very hard to tell how far we'll go in this episode.

Past that... I found myself wondering the other day about my non-male readership. My comments section is very good for an Internet comment section, but it's still male-dominated. So let's do a non-male only comment section, and just ask for thoughts on topics of social justice, and particularly feminism that this blog has covered lately. Whether Vox Day and the Hugos, Moffat, Game of Thrones, ethics in video game criticism, or anything else. If your Internet presence does not identify as male, please fire away.

Back tomorrow night with "The Gift." Hopefully Marcelo Camargo and The Ark in Space both next week.


jane 5 years, 8 months ago

I'll go with "anything else" for 500. Let's see... went to the movies last week, for the first time this year, and saw Ex Machina. Would love to talk about Ex Machina, and not just for the feminist readings therein, but also how it stands as a metaphor for the formation of identity, and of course its sense of poetic justice, which I think are interwoven.

I'm in Book Four of The Dark Tower.

And I have only one more week in Utah. Then I'll be driving back home across the Continental Divide, with stops in Moab, Boulder, Lincoln or Omaha, and Chicago, before finally getting back to Valparaiso. The week after I go to Richmond for a short vacation, and then... and then I'll be looking for work, yeesh!

Busy times for Jane.

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Ray 5 years, 8 months ago

I'm not sure how genuine your interest is in actually listening to your readership, as the first and only time I worked up the nerve to use your comment section, my question was dismissed and ignored, and in a rather dismissive and insulting way. My understanding was that if you received a certain level of financial support, you would provide certain 'rewards' in return. It has now been almost a week, and you have yet to provide the State of Play for the previous GoT episode.

Somehow over the past week you have had the time to buy and review about a dozen comic books, and wax philosophically about video games, but can't seem to find the time to do a second viewing of the episode and fulfill your promise. This is no small matter, because you used the prompt publication of the State of Play as an incentive to encourage your readers to support you financially. It is not unreasonable to question when that changes.

It would seem that you have serious hang ups about the last episode of GoT, and I wasn't planning to say anything until the State of Play went up, but you claim to genuinely want to hear from your female readership before doing that - so here is my take.

The show has featured a countless parade of people doing bad things to each other. Where was your concern when various other characters were abused, tortured, mutilated, psychologically punished and even killed? I'm frankly stunned that you have somehow managed to follow GoT for so long given your current squeamishness.

Sansa is a female character, and something truly horrific has now happened to her, as horrific actions have happened to countless others on the show - but it is with her situation that you 'clutch your pearls' and have a virtual meltdown. Why does Theon's abuse get a pass, but not Sansa?

Honestly, quit trying to 'protect' us womenfolk. If you can't treat this episode and this situation as you treat the others, then perhaps you should go ahead and abandon reviews of GoT and stick to your comics and video games.

Finally, perhaps the next time someone genuinely inquires as to your planned schedule, you might actually answer the question, rather than try and play 'detective' and 'determine' if the person asking 'deserves' to have an answer.

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Anna Wiggins 5 years, 8 months ago

Phil actually asked all of his Patreon backers (the stakeholders you're so concerned about) whether we had any objections to him omitting the State of Play for this episode. No one has complained so far. If someone does, and he ignores their wishes, I'll be sure to let you know. Until then, quit concern trolling.

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Ray 5 years, 8 months ago

With all due respect, and I do appreciate that someone is finally willing to come forward and explain this delay, Phil should have been the one to explain this change in direction to his readers.

Thinking that this episode's State of Play had merely been delayed due to his inability to rewatch the episode at the time, as that is what he has announced publicly, it is frustrating to have waited six days for it to show up, only to now be told that he isn't even willing to do it for this episode... because... reasons?

After all, every other State of Play this season has gone up the same night, so waiting six days for this 'announcement' is annoying. It appears that Phil had no intention of ever coming forward with this information.

I know that plans change. I just urge better communication in future.

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Elizabeth Sandifer 5 years, 8 months ago

I wasn't going to weigh in here, since my online presence identifies as male, but since you're curiously unwilling to let this go, I will clarify one more time.

I am perfectly willing to do a State of Play for "Unbowed, Unbent,

All it will take is a single one of my patrons replying to the post in which I asked them if any of them actually minded my decision to skip it and saying "yeah, actually, I was kinda bummed there wasn't one." If you missed it, it was the post where I ran a preview of my "The North Remembers" post.

Seriously. Go ask for it there, and as soon as I see the comment I will put down what I'm doing and write it up. That's literally all you have to do.

But I'll delete further comments on this point here, as it's firmly a dead horse at this point.

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Matt Marshall 5 years, 8 months ago

The main difference between say, Theon and Sansa is that GoT is a book adaption. They gave Sansa a completely new plot in season 5 from the books as she needed 'something to do' rather than just play at Vale politics.

In Game of Thrones world, apparently 'give character something to do' equals 'get raped'. Which like... yeah, wow.

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Desdemona Gc 5 years, 8 months ago

My husband has been following you for a long time and is a Patreon supporter, but I've only started reading when you reached the Moffat stories and then Game. I don't normally get into these sorts of discussions, but lately I've become most pissed off at the amount of 'feminist' writing about, by women and especially by men. Frankly I am over reading and hearing about it; the bleating of over-educated academics who don't seem to have lived in the real world and do not represent or speak for me or the women I know.

I am the mother of four boys and work in a majority female staffed school. All I can see that the current crop of self-promoting, self-serving feminists are doing is furthering their own careers by standing on the shoulders of the great women from the early days of the Women's Lib movement (who actually did something and not just sit around bitching on youtube and tumblr) and turning it into something I can not get behind. Something that is creating an education system that is poison for boys and almost seems designed to systematically eliminate them from the game. Unless they become feminised!

The rape scene; yeah it happened. If it offended you, Phil, that's your personal reaction, and I can understand that, and I can sympathise with that. But please don't be offended for me. That is my choice. It didn't. In the world of Game, that sort of thing happens. Rape culture? I'm not convinced by that particular argument either.

I don't mean this as an attack on you personally. Just a trend that annoys me.

Having sons changed my view of the world. The amount of accepted female on male violence in the popular media is appalling to me. If Clara, or any other companion, slaps the Doctor or a male companion once more without him slapping her back I will be handing in my Doctor Who watchers card. It is not acceptable. Violence is violence.

And as for a female Doctor. One of the only, if not 'the' only, non-violent (almost), thoughtful, educated, positive male role models for teen boys on television. One that is not a muscle bound superhero, or gun toting, stubble jawed, Alpha male, or arrogant sociopath; yeah, let's make the role a female!

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The Genie 5 years, 8 months ago

Absolutely agreed. Especially on the slapping point - Clara's meant to be a teacher. She's trying to educate and guide the Doctor, and that slap in Into the Dalek seemed to just show that the only way she could communicate to him was through violence. Otherwise, she's a magnificent character, I just wish they'd get rid of the needless threats/acts of violence and focus on her as a woman of words and reason. At which she excels.

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Ibu Profin 5 years, 8 months ago

I can follow your logic.

As someone whose only exposure to GoT has been through the television series and not the novels - the Sansa rape scene just didn't surprise me or seem particularly out of place for this show. I took it as just another in a long series of examples of how life really sucks in Westeros (and Essos too!).

So, I was genuinely surprised by the extreme reaction some have had to this latest plot development. Were we watching the same show, I wondered? It seemed odd to quibble over the level of agony for Sansa, when so many other characters had had been abused in previous episodes. I guess by not watching it as a book adaptation but rather, as a show on its own terms... it gives me a different perspective on it and all that.

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