Anthony jones me once again as we discuss the second third of GRRM’s new Fire & Blood, as we consider from “Jaehaerys and Alysanne: Their Triumphs and Tragedies” to “The Dying of the Dragons: Rhaenyra Triumphant”. Firewyrms! Mysteries of the wall! Dragon eggs beneath Winterfell! And many other interesting twists and tidbits we found in this fake history book detailing the first 150 years of Targaryen reign over Westeros.
My Gods of Thrones co-author Anthony is back once again as we do a deep dive on GRRM’s latest work, Fire & Blood! We talk about events up to but not including “Jaehaerys and Alysanne, Their Triumphs and Tragedies”. Next week we’ll be reading up to “The Dying of the Dragons, Rhaenyra Triumphant”, before finishing the book the week after. This week’s all about Aegon, Maegor, and the third generation Targaryen that really steals the show, Jaehaerys! We talk about the gossipy tone the Maester sometimes takes, the doctrinal concept of “Targaryen Exceptionalism”, missing dragon eggs, maester conspiracy theories, and that most well worn Thrones hobbyhorse, incest.
Amazon Prime’s The Romanoffs arrives at the finish line in “The One That Holds Everything”. If you were hoping that this would be the one that really brings into focus Weiner’s thesis for The Romanoffs, you’re probably walking away disappointed. An ambitious story framing device that doesn’t quite work leads to a surprise ending that doesn’t feel earned, and we’re still left at the end of it all confused and asking “why?” What is so fascinating about the Romanovs and their lives of various levels of privledge and quiet desperation that justifies the time and expense that went into making this, or watching it? We don’t have great answers, but we’re relieved to see this particular line of Romanoffs brought to an end.
Anthony and I talk about GRRM’s latest book, Fire and Blood, which is a complete and in-depth historical account of the 300 year old Targaryen dynasty in Westeros. We discuss our initial thoughts, anything that might have changed some of our thoughts in Gods of Thrones, any intriguing jumping off points for theory-crafting, and consider fan feedback. Also, Anthony has some stunning revelations about the possible origins of the rib-bone that God took from Adam to make the first woman in the Genesis creation story. You don’t want to miss this!
This, by our estimation, is the second best episode of Amazon Prime’s The Romanoffs, but unfortunately, that’s not saying much about “End of the Line”. It features fairly engaging material involving a couple desperate to have a child engaging in grey-market adoption shenanigans in Russia, and the man and woman in question are appealing and sympathetic as leads. The script also approaches “crackling” in places, as these potential parents begin to fight over how far they’re willing to go and what compromises they’re willing to accept for their child, as the adoption environment itself plays on their paranoia and prejudice. Unfortunately, all this is betrayed by what has become as much of a Romanoffs trademark as it’s nebulous connection to the titular theme; uninspired directing and editing.
Cecily and A.Ron open up the mailbag and consider feedback for the latest episode of FX’s American Horror Story: Apocalypse, “Apocalypse Then”.
Anthony and A.Ron continue their deep dive into the characters and themes from their new book, “Gods of Thrones”. Now available on paperback! Today we’re talking about a polarizing character among the fandom, Catelyn Stark. What are the essential differences between Book!Cat and TV!Cat? What is her worst move in playing the Game? Who would win in an all-female Houseoff? How vital is Lady Stoneheart’s arc to understanding Catelyn, and why does the show skip it entirely? We discuss and debate all this and more!
We’re not saying the latest episode of FX’s American Horror Story, “Apocalypse Then” is a disappointment, exactly. But it sure wasn’t a success. Honestly, we’d have rather gotten a “to be continued” rather than a slap dash climax with a too long and puzzling denouement that offers a breezy, cheesy Harry Potter “all is well” wrap up before immediately blowing it up. It’s hard to shake the feeling that Cordelia’s coven, and indeed Michael the Antichrist deserved better, to say nothing of Hawthorne’s School and their Exceptional Young Men. Midway through the season we just wanted more, more! And we kept getting less, and less. Ah well, that’s what we thought. How about you! Meet you back here in two so we can hash it out on the FINAL FEEDBACK FRIDAY of the season!
Jim and A.Ron think this latest episode of Amazon’s The Romanoffs, “Panorama” is a mess. At best, it’s a mildly interesting yet gorgeous travelogue for Mexico City. At worst, it’s a poorly, written, directed, acted, and edited mess that seems to have no idea what it wants to say, and doesn’t know enough about the topics to offer any depth to the things it reaches for. The only thing that kind of works is the relationship between the two ridiculously photogenic protagonists, but they are also the least interesting of the premises. Our hope for this series is now that Weiner can make one really exceptional episode out of the next two, or the finale episode is truly “The One That Holds Everything” and somehow ties this all together.
Cecily and A.Ron open up the mailbag and consider feedback for the latest episode of FX’s American Horror Story: Apocalypse.