Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Episode 9 Review

The high point of the season has arrived. This episode, 'Blackwater' was what the majority of the plot lines had been building up to all season. I'm so glad that it did not disappoint. Well, it was written by George r. r. Martin himself, and was allotted an extra effects budget, so that goes without saying.

Unlike most episodes, we did not jump all about Westeros this week. The entire episode focused on the events of Stannis' assault on king's landing. It was a nice change of pace having to only follow three characters's plots instead of a dozen.

I think Lena Headey really outdid herself this week as Cersei. As the battle rages outside, the Queen gets drunker and drunker. Unfortunately, that means more and more she goes from pretending to be on Sansa's side to openly fucking with her head in front of everyone. Her drunken rants are among the most funny, and, chilling moments of the episode. Oh, and the last scene, pretty intense.

So finally the Hound gets to fight someone for real. All throughout the series we've gotten hints to how much he just loves killing, he really enjoys it. Due to certain events... he loses his shit mid battle. The complete turnaround of his character is rather impressive, going from "kill, kill, killl.' To,. "meh, i don't want to fight anymore". We get to see the culmination of his run in's with Sansa all series long as well. While slightly altered from the book, this is one of my favorite scenes. Oh, and he gets the prize for best line of the week "Any man dies with a clean sword, I'll rape his fucking corpse!". now that's a Moral booster.

Lastly, we see Tyrion coming to grips with what it really means to be the hand of the king, and when the king is Joffrey, that means leading men into battle. This goes much better than it did last time, well until... ya know. I enjoyed this episode especially because it seemed to be written for book readers especially, small nods throughout to things to come,  like Tyrion's comment about the horror of weddings. Oh, and i was really, really, happy to see that he was wearing his 'hand' chain instead of the pin. i was concerned about this plot point from the moment Ned donned the pin last season. (this is all book talk, btw)

Of course, I haven't even mentioned the battle. It was quite the epic affair, especially for tv. The 'Pig shit' did not disappoint. There was plenty of gratuitous violence and over the top gore. While the events of the battle were not as protracted nor wild and crazy (no chain) it served as a great tv representation of the greatest battle of the series so far. 

Let us not forget the awesome rendition of "The Rains of Castamere" by the National that played over the credits. how cool is that, an altrock band doing a cover of an in-fiction song.

So, as you might have guessed, Seven out of Seven stars this week.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

You're Me...

A little 'Sherlock' Fanart.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Episode 8 Review

This past Sunday's Episode was really just filler to get to the next episode, "Blackwater". The episode was titled " Prince of Winterfell", oddly i feel, because it barely focused on Theon at all. We got one scene where his sister scolds him and calls him a stupid cunt, but not much else. 

For the most part, this episode focused on the preparations in Kings Landing for the impending seige. There were some great scenes here, of course all featuring Tyrion. Him with  Bronn, Varys,  and Cersei. I particularly enjoyed the scene with Cersei because she thinks she's got Tyrion Right were she wants him, but she's so bad at playing the game she doesn't realize she has made a giant mistake. This is My favorite part of her character, she plays at having power, and might even have it, but she's too stupid to exercise it properly. No Wonder Joffrey's a little shit and a terrible king.

We also move slightly ahead, way up north. Jon Finds out that the halfhand was captured too, and because of his selfish mistake, two brothers are dead. We also see hints of halfhand's plan coming to the surface as the wildlings march them to Mance rayder. Oh, and we got to meet the lord of bones aka, rattleshirt. He was a lot cooler looking than i expected. However, i'm still not keen on the look of the wildings. Their attire is way too uniform. they don't look wild to me. Let us not forget that Sam and Grenn find a cloak full of obsidian spear heads  back at the fist... wonder what those are for?

Other minor events include the start of Jamie and Brienne's road Trip, and Arya's (first) escape from harrenhal. Jamie and Brienne going at each other will always be entertaining, and there was some great stuff between Arya and J'aqen. 

My Main gripe this week comes from yet another inconstancy with the books. In ACoK, Robb and Cat make their respective blunders due to the news that has arrived from winterfell and their subsequent grief. They chose to change the story, so no ravens fly from Winterfell. Therefore Robb's infidelity and Cat's decision to release jamie become cheapened. They become less excusable. My problem with changes like these, not only do they not improve the narrative, they lessen it. 

Oh and dany's still sitting around Qarth waiting for someone to take her to the house of the undying. at this point i was shouting at my monitor for her to "Do something!". oddly i never had this issue when i read the book, as many did.

so, here's hoping "Blackwater" will be worth this meh episode. 4 out of 7 stars.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bass Heroes

Can't imagine that would have sold as well as Guitar Hero

A new caricature, my client's favorite bassists. Done in the same style as my drummer and guitarist caricatures from previous years.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Episode 7 Review

Sorry, once again I'm a little late this week.

This week's episode is called "A man without honor", a direct quote from Catlyn Stark, when she confronts Jamie Lannister. This episode, more than any other this season, really stuck to that theme. It's an intriguing theme because there are so many characters in this story with different ideas about honor. Jamie knows it's just a sham, Jon is still desperately clinging to the principles Ned taught him, and some characters like Theon are just totally confused.

It finally feels like Things are kicking into high gear this season. Even so, there's still plenty of time for chatting apparently. I didn't mind the conversational scenes as much this episode because they were so good. The couple of scenes with Jon and Ygritte are perfect, and pretty hilarious as well. While it's odd that Lord Tywin would get so friendly with his cup-bearer, the exposition scene between him and Arya was, again, brilliant. We get another little bit with Sansa and the hound again, his ideas about honor clashing with hers makes for an interesting relationship, I'm glad they carried that over from the books. However, the short scene between Tyrion and Cersei takes the cake this week. They've been at eachother's throats their whole lives and to see such a human moment between the characters is as awkward for us as it is for them.This was played perfectly by Dinklage and Headey.

There were a couple changes from the books this week. One minor and another quite significant.
The small change was how Karstark's son Torrhen came to die. I always thought it weird that in the books he hated Jamie for killing his sons on the battlefield, what did he expect him to do. They changed it so Jamie kills his son in attempt to escape. This, to me, makes a lot more sense, and justifies Karstark's rage. The other change came in Dany's storyline. As was pretty obvious, Pyat Pree and the warlocks stole the dragons. However, i have no idea why he's invited her to get them back. Hopefully the details of the plan make more sense by the end of the season.

Oh yeah, and there's the last scene, yet another big WTF for non book readers.Theon's Expression at the end is sooo perfect, and rather chilling. It's interesting that they've sort of made Dagmar Cleft-jaw the instigator of all Theon's follies. It makes Theon look even more pathetic and confused. At least in the book the really bad ideas were his, and you could hate him for it. That's what makes his punishment easier to take. In My opinion he's a little to sympathetic.

A very good episode. 7 out of 7 stars for "A man Without Honor"

A New Painting.

The First Half of a diptych painting I'm doing for my sister. They are two of the "Guardians of Traffic" statues on the Hope Memorial Bridge, here in Cleveland.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Episode 6 Review

Sorry for posting this one so late! Been very busy this weekend.

Anyway, Just got done with Episode 6. We've passed the halfway point and things should be kicking into high gear. Things are certainly getting Serious in Winterfell, King's landing and Qarth. These are the main focuses of the episode, with some stops off at Harrenhall and Robb's camp.

So, we start off With Theon taking Winterfell. Once again, you really feel awful for Theon one moment, and despise him the next. He is the most complex character in the story at the moment, i feel, and the most fun to watch. During this sequence A character that doesn't die till later in the books is beheaded, but in this instance it works to the advantage of the story. How he dies doesn't have much impact.  Oh, and i never thought I'd get to see Tonks from Harry Potter naked, i can cross that off my list. I'm curious how they'll handle what's to come with this storyline, whether they'll let the audience in on the secret or not.

We follow Jon as he Starts his trek with the Half-hand, and all of a sudden they're ambushing some wildlings. So, obviously we meet Ygritte this week. Personally, i think she's great so far, though not quite as fierce or dangerous as i imagined. Again, these scenes are great just cause they're on location and every shot is gorgeous.My only gripe is that it seems like the wildlings have some sort of uniform, like the nights watch. In my mind, they should all be wearing mismatched furs and really ratty looking clothes, they kinda looked like eskimos in this episode.

Things are starting to get real nasty in Kings landing. On the way back to the keep from Sending Myrcella away, a food riot breaks out around the King's Procession. Joffrey not only gets slapped this episode, but also gets shit in the face, so that's pretty great. It's also really great to see the Sansa/Hound relationship made it in to the show.

One major change from the books was made this week, the Dragons are kidnapped. I Guess it's supposed to keep things interesting but it just feels unnecessary to me.  Oh, and two more Book veterans that are still going strong in ADWD got killed in the process. we'll see what happens.

Elsewhere, Arya continues to impress Tywin, i feel to a dangerous degree, and finds a second life for the red god. We also get to see more of Robb this week, once again chatting up the Mysterious Volantis Girl, who may or may not be Jayne Westerling, not that it really matters, and we get a little more face time with Lord bolton, and hear about his bastard for the first time, i think.  However, his introduction doesn't come with the same foreboding expositon as the book, so we'll see how they sneak that in too.

this week's episode gets 5 out of 7 stars.