Rewind the Realm: Game of Thrones, Season 1, “Winter is Coming”

Hello all you Watchers on the Couch, and welcome to the first installment of Rewind the Realm; my thinly veiled excuse for rewatching Game of Thrones while pretending to be productive. HBO recently broke our hearts by announcing Game of Thrones won’t be back until 2019 so to get through this dark and terrible year I’m going to try and do a recap of one episode per week.

If you read any of our Recap the Realm posts it’ll basically be like that but (probably) much shorter and somehow less structured. Also Nikki won’t be joining me on this except for maybe a few select episodes. So let’s get this started! Continue reading “Rewind the Realm: Game of Thrones, Season 1, “Winter is Coming””

A Fantasy Scrub vs. The Wheel of Time pt. 3

Wheel of Time Book 3: The Dragon Reborn, aka The McGuffin that glows, aka aka The Chosen One pisses everybody off, aka aka aka Perry lays some game.

So the book starts with Randy Thor running away from the camp he’s staying at. Which pisses everyone off. ‘Cus it’s a very inconsiderate thing to do, and you can only say “The Wheel turns as the Wheel wills” so many times before people break your jaw. This happens after the camp gets a visitor, and Min sees death in her immediate future. Spoiler alert: the visitor dies, but not before Min gets faked out and thinks that her death prophecy was wrong. So she feels good about life, then feels terrible about it. All the while, she’s fawning over Rand, and it’s annoying. Then, Moiraine sends her away to Tar Valon again to go tell the Amyrlin Seat what’s happened.
Lan, Perrin, and Loial all go hunting for Rand. Eventually, Perrin meets a young lady who notices his weird-ass eyes. They fight a lot. Then, they fall in love. You know—the usual.

The majority of the book is taken up by the stories of Perrin and Egwene, both of whom are learning the extent of their powers. Egwene is a “Dreamer,” which is exactly what it sounds like. She sees things in her dreams that are happening elsewhere and has some form of control in her dreams. Later in the book, we’ll learn that she has access to a place called Tel’aran’rhiod. (Fantasy books and their DAMN apostrophes!) This is a dream world that no Aes Sedai has been able to enter or use in centuries. Long story short: Egwene is kind of a big deal. Perrin’s wolf dreams are connected to this dream world as well.

So Egwene gets a glimpse of the big glowing McGuffin that Rand is going after and realizes that she has to go to where he’s going—a city called Tear—to keep him from being ambushed by the Black Ajah. She and her Angels all head out to beat him to Tear and stop the Black Ajah in their tracks. Elayne gives Mat a letter to deliver to the Queen of Andor; Mat finds Thom in Tar Valon, and they sneak out of the city together. While in Andor, Mat overhears a plot by the Queen’s new lover and General to kill Elayne. So he too is on the way to Tear.

So once again, everyone is split up and yet all being drawn to the same place. Also, we find out that some more of those Forsaken bastards have escaped their confinement and have now taken control of major cities. One is currently in Tear. Also, the reason Rand is going to Tear is to get something called callandor, which is a magic sword s’angreal that’ll make him crazy powerful.

And here’s the thing: not a lot really happens in this book. Not a lot has happened in any of the books really, despite being very long. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can get tiring waiting for something to happen.

I really like Perrin’s romance with the new girl named Faile, and I like Faile as a character. I really liked Egwene and her Angels working on their secret mission to find and stop the Black Ajah. The rest… I barely remember.

I’m excited for the next book, as this one set up a lot of stuff that could be really cool. But I think I gotta take a break for now. These books are slow reads, and my backlog is piling up. Sooooo I’ll be back eventually. Because I will not let these books beat me!

Current Ranking:
The Great Hunt
The Dragon Reborn
The Eye of the World

Until I return: Let the Dragon Ride Again on the Winds of Time



The Return to Ice and Fire

It’s another glorious day at MWB, and ya girl Nikkie is here to bring you that sweet, sweet bookish babble.

If you couldn’t surmise from the title of this post, I am going to be talking about George R.R. Martin’s acclaimed fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire (a.k.a. the book series that Game of Thrones is based on). In the wake of season six, I decided to reread the series, and since I didn’t really blog about it the first time I read it, I figured I’d talk about it now.

Did you really think there would ever come a time when we were done with Thrones talk? You sweet summer child. That time will never come.

Now, this post is mostly just going to be some observations I made—no hard theorizing or anything. I tend not to theorize on my own about the series because there’s just too much going on; I can’t even begin to fathom what is going on in that fantastic head of GRRM’s. (I enjoy other people’s theorizing a great deal, though.) So all my ramblings here will mainly consist of questions that occurred to me while reading, comparisons to the show (of course), and some of my more random thoughts.

Ready? Then, follow me to Westeros! (Where you’ll find dwarves, magic, and SPOILERS!!!)

Continue reading “The Return to Ice and Fire”

A Fantasy Scrub vs. The Wheel of Time, Pt. 1

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Hello, all. Super Hubs here!

Confession time: I don’t read a lot of fantasy. I love the idea of fantasy. I love being whisked away to another world where the laws of physics don’t adhere to the boring bullshit of our stupid, normal world; I love imagining sprawling landscapes full of impossible geology and incredible cultures; I love crazy monsters and magic. Everything about fantasy seems like it should appeal to me…and yet, the only fantasy I’ve read has been the Harry Potter series, the Lord of the Rings series, and GRRM’s A Song of Ice and Fire series.

There are lots of reasons for this, all of them pretty dumb. However, the dumbest reason I have thus far avoided most fantasy novels is also probably the biggest reason: almost as a rule, I hate fantasy language. By that, I mean I hate the way that almost every fantasy I’ve ever tried to read has been very…insistent…about how alien the language is supposed to be. All the characters are speaking English, but their names are all craaaaaaaaazy. They have unnecessary apostrophes, lots of consonants, and no real reason for being as weird as they are considering how, again, everyone is speaking English and almost always with an implied English accent. For an example:

Tua’t’thallamon cocked an eyebrow at his companion, the question lingering between them unspoken but powerful.
Baalroar bellowed, and pulled the hood of his cloak forward, shielding his eyes. His voice was rough-hewn and brimming with anger. “Piss off. I’ll tell you when I bloody well know.”

That’s how I imagine all fantasy. Stupid names and English accents. Like I said, my reasons for avoiding fantasy are insanely dumb. I’m not even really sure where this aversion came from—probably from forcing my way through Lord of the Rings in seventh grade and being bored out of my mind. Yes, Internet: I don’t like Lord of the Rings. I love the story and the lore, but the writing bores me to tears. COME AT ME BROS!
Regardless, it has been a part of my life for a long time. Which is unacceptable. I’m supposed to be a ReaderNot just a reader. I can’t let the trappings of genre discourage me from trying new things. That’s what scrubs do! My wife is a semi-devout follower of the Church of TLC, and rule 1 is that scrubs can’t get no love from them!

And so, having been faced with the nigh-inevitable dissolution of my marriage, I decided to stop being a scrub and open my damn mind. There are many options for the burgeoning fantasy fanatic out there, but I decided to jump straight into the deep end and go with the universally acclaimed Wheel of Time series, the highest of high fantasies.

wheeltimemap Continue reading “A Fantasy Scrub vs. The Wheel of Time, Pt. 1”