A very happy one hundred and fifteenth birthday to Duke Ellington.
Let’s celebrate with a recording of “I Ain’t Got Nothing But The Blues”
This was certainly one of the more interesting episodes this season. Not do to cool things that happened not due to complex plot points that will have to be remembered for the rest of the season to see what they lead to but what was added.
The logistics of splitting the one book into two seasons is certainly complex and because of this you frequently find the writers trimming unnecessary subplots (sometimes embellishing them. Because they made him older in this season Margaery Tyrell’s approach to her new betrothed Tommen Baratheon is quite different (scaring the poor little virgin out of his mind)) dropping tertiary characters who are little more than ongoing cameos… until they are not. A good example there’s a minstrel who accompanied Catelyn to the Aerie in Game of Thrones (season 1) He would have reappeared in the next episode to be a lesser but necessary piece in the game. At least he would have if Joffrey hadn’t destroyed his career in the first season. Not really a problem and it’s easy enough for the writers to replace the lost Marillion with another completely expendable minstrel and none will be overly concerned.
The problem goes both ways though while some of the storylines are complex that could be show in their own right others move more slowly or had most of their plot points handled in the previous season and if things went as they do in the books they wouldn’t have any screen time until the last few episodes.
This is the case of Bran and Jon Snow. In Bran’s case his role in the book Sword of Storms ends with his band crossing the Wall. They’ll reappear in the next few books heading farther north. In the case of Jon, he is preparing for the inevitable Wilding attack which I expect the creators to have spent the bulk of the season’s budget on. In either case this makes for great prose in the book but rather dull television.
Because of this the writers have padded with several lesser subplots involving deserter Black Brothers, a Bolton operative hunting Bran and Rickon and since Jon Snow has been told that Bran is alive in the show (In the book Sam, who is the only one who knows that Bran is alive and north of the wall has been sworn to secrecy by Coldhands) it looks like the two brothers paths will cross. I’m sure this will be fun to watch but it surprised me as this was the farthest from the path I’ve seen the writers go so far.
Not to say that this wasn’t fun to watch and the stuff they added with the White Walkers was lots of fun to watch!
I’m a big fan of different performers doing their unique takes on the same song. The different takes on these friends are always fascinating both in arrangements and even context. Take the song “House of the Rising Sun” for example. Growing up on my parents’ folk music collection, I was introduced to it through the Weavers and Joan Baez. When I heard the Animals’ version of it in high school I was very surprised by how different it was from the folk versions (for one thing the original version I heard I was pretty sure it was a song about a brothel where the Animals‘ version is clearly about a casino).
Anyway a while back I shared Tres Chicas’ version of Alejandro Escovedo’s Rhapsody from the album Por Vida: A Tribute To The Songs Of Alejandro Escovedo. I liked the song enough that I hadn’t even noticed that Escovedo had done it first. So here’s the original. I’m not sure if I like one better than the other, but it’s a damn good song.
Well now that we’ve gotten past the long awaited Purple Wedding we have a nice slower episode that moves more pieces into place and providing more examples of how the show is wonderfully different from the book.
The most noticeable changes were the absences of characters from the book it looks like it’s official that Kevan Lannister and Fat Belwas have been written out. There’s still a chance they’ll be brought in in season five since both have very important roles in the next two books. To a certain extent it’s almost a shame since Belwas’s finest moment occurs in this episode and it’s given to Daario Naharis.
The other big changes are characters that are so radically changed to the point they are different characters with the same name. The most blatant example is the introduction of Joffrey’s younger brother Tommen. (technically not an introduction he’s been around in the last three episodes but he was pretty much just a prop and he is now been replaced with another actor) He is now noticeably older than he is in the book with the actor’s voice just beginning to break. This makes a huge different. While I’m sure he’ll still do everything his mother and grandfather want him to do, he certainly isn’t the sweet little boy who will sign any paper put in front of him. A lesser example of these changes is Ser Alliser Thorne he’s just as much of a bastard as he is in the book but in this season he’s a useful bastard one who you’ll want in your corner when the chips are down.
Beyond that things continue to meander in ways I can’t predict. I don’t know how Arya and Sandor’s story will go since they started their story with what in the book was it’s end (except that the Hound survived), It Looks like they are padding the Night Watches preparation for the inevitable attack from the Wildings and the stuff going on in King’s Landing is just getting very interesting. At the moment in fact the only plot line that is “On Schedule” is Sansa’s and I don’t intend to bet money on that.
All in all a fun episode. My favorites being Tyrion in prison where he sends his squire Podrick Payne away from King’s Landing after Pod made the ethical, and suicidal, choice of refusing to testify against him.
For the last couple of months I’ve been getting spam with a recurring theme. Generally they would be what looked like badly written court orders with an attachment. Usually they pretend to be eviction orders, something with my annual paranoia about my apartment (which a month ago proved that a broken clock can be right every now and again.) that makes me a very easy mark. One time they had me going just enough that I made the mistake of opening the attachment. Fortunatly thanks to spam filters all it was gibberish. I learned after the fact that the whole point of this spamming campaign was to get you to unleash a virus on your system.
While they have mostly gone away I still get a few now and again each one faker than the last. The two I got today pretended to be court summons to New York. Of course I would have to open the attachment to find out where in New York I’d have to go to and why.
Kevin waited as Fedya to unlock the door to his apartment. “Why am I here again?” He asked
“You not like the company?” Fedya asked opening the door.
Kevin paused trying to think of an answer. “ You said it was an emergency.” He said finally.
“No… Is no emergency. I just forget my smokes. So we had to go back home and make sure I have them for gig. “ Fedya turned and walked into his apartment.
“How did you forget your cigarettes?”
Fedya spun around and glared at Kevin, but how had he forgotten his cigarettes. He had told himself that it was because he had just changed his jacket but that didn’t make any sense. He always made sure he had packs in all of his jackets… maybe it was because he had just bought that navel donkey jacket a week ago but still…. “That is not important,” He said. “What is important now is to get smoke and go to gig.”
“So this is all you’ve got?” Kevin asked.
“What?” Fedya turned to see Kevin holding a box of cigarettes he had taken from the top of the refrigerator. Fedya grabbed it rummaging through it. It was barely half full.
This is not good. He said.
“So just get some more.”
“I can’t there is no place in country that sell these. I have to make trip and next week we have very busy schedule and you know what that means…”
Fedya sighed. “It mean there no way to get smoke before this run out.”
“You know… there’s plenty of tobacco stores all over the place just get something else to tide you over.”
Fedya rolled his eyes in exasperation. “Are you kidding? American cigarettes are like how you say? Little girl smoke, is no good, like breath of fresh air. “ He took a pack and put it in his pocket. “For this I have to ration.”