Tag Archives: Game of Thrones

The Walking Dead Kills the Mood

I watch The Walking Dead every Sunday night. I wouldn’t call myself a fan, though; in fact, I kind of hate the show. I’m tired of the characters not really existing outside of what happens during each episode. No one makes any decent survival plans. No one seems to act like normal humans do. Instead, what we have are a bunch of characters who move about as the tragic plot dictates. Basically, no character feels like a living, breathing person that I can relate to.

However, I watch the show because my wife watches it. She watches the show because she writes about it. And I’ve noticed one thing that The Walking Dead almost always does.

It kills the mood.

I’m a married guy in my early 30s. I have two kids. My wife and I work full-time jobs. There isn’t a whole lot of time when it comes to spontaneity in our romantic endeavors.  Sometimes, we mean to get intimate, but we end up just falling asleep from the rigors of our day. It’s not that we lack intimacy. It’s that our time for such things is rather limited.

That 10 o’clock hour on Sunday nights is a great time to just be alone together for some “marital fun time.”

BUT..

The Walking Dead.

Invariably, it will kill any romantic feelings we had before the episode started. Scenes of death, dismemberment, stupidity, children in danger, flesh eating, and brain splattering don’t really put either one of us in the mood. In fact, it makes us actively seek out a different form of entertainment in order to get our mind off the show.

Here’s the thing: there are other dark, terrifying, heavy shows that don’t make me feel this way. The Americans routinely goes into the dark depths of espionage, including murder. Game of Thrones frequently goes to uncomfortable places, as well.

I guess the difference is in how well thought-out everything is. The Walking Dead seems half-baked, including shock for shock’s sake, rather than using it as a storytelling device. The zombies on The Walking Dead (and really, any of the bad guys on the show) are an obstacle to climb over rather than a catalyst for our characters to change and grow.

Michonne finally gets her revenge. Image courtesy of AMC.

These guys will never make it out alive. Sorry. Image courtesy of AMC.

And maybe  what kills the mood is also the fact that things on that show will never change. With Game of Thrones, the book series isn’t finished yet, and it still could end up well. With The Americans, the main characters show remorse for what they have to do. And when they don’t, at least they worry about the consequences of their actions on their family.

But with The Walking Dead, you have no hope for Rick and co. Things aren’t getting better, and they won’t. I’ve always contended that the “The Walking Dead” doesn’t refer to the zombies, but to the main characters of the story. They’re all dead; they just haven’t laid down yet.

And that’s a mood killer.

 

 

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The Week in Geek: Oct. 5, 2012

You may not know what you’re going to do this weekend, but after reading this you know you you’ll be doing it full of fantastical Internet knowledge!

Also, whatever you’re doing this weekend, bring a jacket. It looks like a cold snap could be coming. Don’t give me that look! Just leave it in your car. You’ll be glad you have it when it gets dark.

Princess Sally by matthewhoworth

Maybe Sally’s never been considered a Disney Princess because she doesn’t dress like one. This lovely portrait takes care of that! Image courtesy of DeviantArtist matthewhoworth.

You know the silhouettes of you and your siblings that Ma and Pa have over the sofa? Yeah, photographer David Reeves’ action and occasionally zombie-packed vignettes are nothing like those. (via Geeks are Sexy via Geekologie)

TJ is a little excited that Halo: Forward Until Dawn is here.

Etsy seller Tannim is selling Game of Thrones-themed Converse All Stars (aka: “Chucks”) that he or she designed themselves. Insert overplayed play on,”Winter is coming,” here. (via Geekologie)

These kicks might be perfect for John since he just can’t stop discussing Game of Thrones!

What in the World (of Warcraft)?! Maine Democratic state senate candidate Colleen Lachowicz is under fire for her participation in the MMORPG. It has also led to an inadvertently hilarious press release. (via Kotaku)

What the hell is up with these non sequitur covers of classics put out by publisher Tutis? I’m 90 percent convinced this is a Dadaist art project that has gone too far. (via The Mary Sue)

Love the new Leatherface? A fan of the facelifted Freddy’s? Jonesing for some more Jason? Rob’s got a list of his favorite horror remakes.

You’re cold, but you’re too weak to carry a fresh taun taun carcass everywhere for warmth. Think Geek’s got you(r head) covered with these adorable Star Wars hats. Yoda you will look like. (via Laughing Squid)

a_tip_of_the_hat_by_matthewhoworth-d4c43b8

Deviant Artist matthewhoworth has a fantastic series of classic Disney villains done in this style! Image courtesy of DeviantArtist matthewhoworth.

May have guessed this because I’ve told you, but I’m a wee bit on the blue side of the Congressional fence. Because I very much disagree with Mitt Romney (And I’m the writer here), I’m sharing this link showing just what public television contributes to America. (Thanks to my friend Jess for the tip!)

Megan’s Movie Alphabet is not just an example of stunning graphic design; it also makes for some potentially twisted kids’ room art. (via Laughing Squid)

The Doctor Puppet is a blog that’s about pretty much what it says on the tin. I sit sad when you’re envious of a puppet’s globe-trotting lifestyle? (via I forget where! I’m sorry!)

Voters, listen up (You should all be listening since you should all be registered to vote!)! J. Fortune knows you’ve been guilty of fraudulent reasoning.

Are you a lady in possession of a larger than average bosom (counts me out)? Are you an experienced DM? Do you have a half hour to spare? Do you either have very high self-esteem or very low? Then you might want to answer this ad for a topless Dungeons + Dragons DM for a bachelor party. (via Nerd Approved)

Adele’s theme for the upcoming James Bond flick Skyfall was released yesterday. I haven’t listened it yet because I forgot my earbuds.

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The Week in Geek: Sept. 28, 2012

You may have added pumpkin spice to everything you’re eating and drinking, but I’ve got some geeky spice to add to your weekend! (Not my strongest opener,  I’ll grant you. I just got back from the dentist. I’m traumatized; cut me some slack!)

Avengers part 1 by La-Chapeliere-Folle

What if Tim Burton had been given the reigns of The Avengers instead of Joss Whedon? Deviantartist La-Chapeliere-Folle has a pretty good idea. Image courtesy of La-Chapeliere-Folle on DeviantArt.

Edgar Wright screened test footage for his finally confirmed Ant-Man. Thanks to talented Deviantartist Samurai Jack, who storyboarded his recollection of the footage, I can pretend I hopped a plane to San Diego, spent seven hours standing in line for a panel, and then spent two more in a massive room that slowly became filled with fanboy/girl farts. (via Topless Robot)

A Reddit user with the handle “european_douchebag” took a surreptitious photo of a Sikh woman with facial hair and posted it to be mocked. Her dignified, lovely, and forgiving response would have been enough. But then, the internet imploded and the original poster actually wrote a sincere apology. Internet, just when I think I know you, you surprise me. (Thanks to Colleen Carow for the Facebook tip!)

TJ has found a way to make his boredom disappear in a Flash (game)! (Come on, stop groaning! That was moderately clever! No? Alright, then.)

Hope Larson explains why she said, “Yes!” to adapting A Wrinkle in Time. I think the reasoning should be, “They asked me to adapt A Wrinkle in Time. What other answer is there?” (via Huffington Post)

Avengers part 2 by La-Chapeliere-Folle

Loving the Hulk interpretation here. Which is your favorite? Image courtesy of La-Chapeliere-Folle on DeviantArt.

Nerd Approved thinks that this Thor and Loki snuggle blanket is bizarre. I have two alternate synonyms to suggest: “Sold out online” and “Perfect for my living room.” (via The Mary Sue)

You’ll be able to download your tweets before 2013. That’s great because I was getting worried that all my shameless self-promotion on Twitter was just going to be lost forever. (via Geekosystem)

Gabrielle showed us where you can buy fabulous comic-covered kicks; but let’s assume you don’t have cash to burn on these nerdgasmic shoes. The Offbeat Bride has tips on how to make them yourself. (via Offbeat Bride)

Hey, what exactly do you get a search engine for its 14th birthday?

The companion of the Clown Prince of Crime, Harley Quinn, is 20 this year. What better way to remember many women’s (and men’s) favorite felon-ess than with a stunning sculpt…that (ugh) features her Arkham Asylum Juggalette of Death outfit. (via Kotaku)

Rapunzel by La-Chapeliere-Folle

A waifish, innocent blonde pulled into a mysterious world? I’m surprised Tim Burton hasn’t made an interpretation of Rapunzel already! Image courtesy of La-Chapeliere-Folle on DeviantArt.

They’re creepy, kooky, spooky, and all related. Rob runs down his favorite Halloweenie families.

Why were the Nazis obsessed with this Buddhist statue carved from a meteorite? If you have to ask, you’ve clearly never seen an Indiana Jones movie. (via io9)

Mark Millar, the creator of Kick Ass, has signed on to consult Fox on the future of the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises. As much as I loved X-Men: First Class, I’m hoping this means 100 percent more Nic Cage insanity in future installments. (via CBR)

These adorable images prove Dr. Seuss and Star Wars go together like Boba Fett and a sarlacc. (via Neatorama)

Like sands in the hourglass so goes the flow of power in Game of Thrones. Not really, but John’s back with part two of his hella insightful analysis of the series.

A long time ago in a yarn shop far, far away, a motivated crafter bought patterns for these squee-worthy Star Wars ships amigurumi. Then she gave me one just because I’m awesome, and it’s that kind of story. (via Laughing Squid)

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Covering the Angles: YouTube Artists

(Bonus points for anyone who recognized Mitch Miller of “Sing Along with Mitch” fame on the cover photo!)

Cracking into the music business has changed drastically over the past decade. In years past, one had to be signed with some big record company to gain a certain amount of success.

Peter Hollens. He’s just a dude with a great voice. Image courtesy of Google play.

These days? Not necessarily. Take a stroll over to YouTube to see the good, the bad, and the terribly disfigured all desperately trying to catch the eye of someone who will let them make a lot of money. Many are already making money by making their songs and/or albums available for download, circumventing the system altogether. I love these guys! (The good ones, of course.)

And because I have a certain amount of geekery abiding in my soul, I tend to gravitate toward covers of themes from video games, movies and television shows.

And no, I’m not talking about that cat that meowed through the Game of Thrones intro. (Okay, so I chuckled. I’m not made of stone!)

Check out this awesome cover of the theme to Skyrim:

I’m not going to lie; I’m a bit addicted to Peter Hollens, now. I’ve always been a sucker for a capella music, and this guy’s got it going on for real. I’ve already spent way too much time on his YouTube channel listening to his other covers. I approve.

Hollens inevitably leads to another favorite of mine: Lindsey Stirling. (Here’s her contribution to Hollens’ Skyrim, which he actually recorded at her request in the first place. So, I guess it’s his contribution to her’s? Eh. Note the sweet silliness of costuming! Seriously, I love it.)

Stirling has a ton of great covers and some original stuff, as well. Here’s her “Lord of the Rings Medley.”

And, my husband would make a sad beard face if I didn’t include her terrific “Zelda Medley.”

I could literally spend all day on these two guys’ channels. Okay, maybe a couple of hours. I could literally spend a couple of hours on these two guys’ channels.

Here’s another fun one by YouTuber SUPRICKY06 (Seriously, that’s what you’re going by, dude? Um, okay.)

Name that tune(s)! A former Friday night favorite of mine for sure. Or, favorites, I should say. And more a capella!

*Happy sigh.

Who are your favorite YouTube cover artists? Share in the comments!

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Follies Of An Iron Throne

I walked away from GenCon with the newest edition of A Song Of Ice And Fire RPG. Since then, I’ve been trying to wrap my head around running the game for friends. How do you put a series so detailed and beautiful into a sandbox for players? It’s not as if I’m lacking for materials, but the flavor and voice of the series is so nuanced and addictive I almost don’t know where to start in order to do it justice.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

So, I’m putting together a plan. I’m going to create the perfect ASIF game for my friends and they are going to have the most fun anyone has ever had imagining they were doing something, ever. And I fully intend to write about soon, but not today.

Today I want to talk about rereading A Game Of Thrones.I first read the book some years ago when my dad threw it at me and said it was good. I was like, “Whatever, old man. I’m gonna replay KOTOR until the sun rises.”Eventually, I did come around to opening the pages, and I must say, I was really, really… bored. I quit two chapters in and went back to video games.

But six or so months later, I found the book and decided to give it another go. This time I read the first THREE chapters before I quit. I didn’t have time for this shit.

About a year after that, I decided to give it one last chance. Maybe I had low blood sugar or was especially poor, but I got over that three chapter hump and started to really enjoy the book. There is just something about the way George R. R. Martin describes his characters and settings that enthralled me.

So, I read the whole series… up to A Feast For Crows and then went on with the rest of my life . I haven’t looked back until now.

But I need (and it is a need) to run this game, and I haven’t even read A Dance With Dragons. I’m trying to run a game in this world, and I’m not up on anything that’s happening. Seriously, I can’t even remember what happens at the wall for the entire series.

Clearly, I needed to go back to the source material.

But now I’m more than half way in, and we’re getting to one of the two deaths I’ve been dreading.

For those that haven’t read the books/watched the show, what I’m about to talk about is the brutal murder of what we were lead to believe was the main character of the book. At least, I had always thought Ned Stark was the protagonist because his family made up most of the POV characters.

Ned Stark’s death hurt my soul when I read it the first time, and now that I have the advantage of hindsight, watching him barrel past the shrewd wisdom of everyone in King’s Landing on his way to a beheading makes it so much worse. I can’t even say what bothers me about it so much. His honor is such a fault that it gets him killed and leads to a five-way war, the death of his wife and son, and the sacking of their castle. Actually, it pretty much destroys the seven kingdoms.

In the few chapters before his death, I read no less than four different plans people came up with to help him sieze power, much less avoid his own death. People are literally walking up to him and asking his permission to stop exactly what he is trying to stop, but they want to do it with sneaky court intrigue. All of them point out how doing it the honorable way will not only endanger his life, but also the entire realm.

I really should have titled this post “Ned Stark Is A Selfish Dick” because real honor would necessitate the sacrifice of one’s own values to save lives and keep the peace. Ned got caught up in this idea of legitimate succession that didn’t matter. Robert Baratheon got his throne by violence, as did the line of kings he rebelled against. Did it really matter who’s DNA sat on the Throne?

Blarg.

So now I have to listen (bought the book on Audible for when I drive) to Ned set himself up for death, and I don’t even know why it bugs me so much. Tyrian and Baelish are infinitely more interesting. Even Jaime Lannister gets super fascinating once you learn why he killed king Aerys.

At least if my players prove this honorable/dumb, I know it will be easy to keep them waylaid in their own castle.

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