Monthly Archives

June 2014

Lawyering, Personal

Bar prep is a study in contrasts

June 29, 2014

I’m a little over a month out, y’all, and even if the rest of the time were rainbows and butterflies, this would still be the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  It is also just a ridiculous process.

(Realtalk before I get silly: it would be awesome if you could check in on me, because this is the worst, and if I see you in real life and snap at you it’s not you, it’s me/bar prep)

I no longer have any idea how smart I am
I will do like, 60-ish practice questions and get a decent number right because I just made a whole bunch of flashcards for the topic and I’ll sit there like I AM THE SMARTEST (WO)MAN ALIVE and have grandiose visions of fist-bumping Ruth Bader Ginsburg and getting an Oscar for portraying myself in my own biographical movie and being chosen to lead the free world BECAUSE I AM THE GREATEST

Aaaaaand then I’ll read a practice essay, skip happily to a conclusion about what the issue is, write an outline for it, and then read the sample answer which is roughly the length of all the One Direction fanfic put together and realize that my outline is about as quality as the average One Direction fanfic because I missed literally everything important about the question (“there was a torts issue here? what? since when? oh since forever and you learned that 4 days ago”) and then I just want to dive into my bed of shame and stay there until my brain reaches its goddamn potential which is NEVER.

I have a lot of feelings about the prep program I chose
(in all seriousness, Barbri has been great so far: the experience itself obviously sucks but in no way do I feel like they’re leading me astray or that I don’t have enough prep, and I really appreciate their graded essay program…disclaimer over)

I’ll sit in class or watch a recorded lecture and be like “lawls bro made a Kenny G joke and I’m actually impressed with the level of fun in this horrendously boring topic” and I’ll do a practice essay and get useful but non-soul-crushing feedback about the stuff I did right and the stuff I missed, and the program is inherently impossible to keep up with but definitely makes sure you cover everything important.

Then I’ll get to a torts question that includes this:

“Once she confirmed with the bank teller that the charges from the escort service were not an error in the bank’s system, she went outside to the driveway, where her husband’s car was parked.  She took a baseball bat to his headlights and carved her name in the leather seats.”

did u just



Also all the lecturers thus far have been white and all the lecturers except three have been men and this has therefore become a study in “if one more old white dude on a power trip with no hair and a nasally voice tells me how to run my life I will SNAP”

My emotions are both all over the place and no longer related to reality
Yep, saw a really cute dog the other day and started crying.  Because it was cute.  Really cute.

That’s my major one right now: tearing up at things that are cute or pretty or some other equally benign adjective.  Songs are a big one, but I’ve also teared up at a really delicious piece of chocolate, Game of Thrones, a text my mom sent me, Johann de Meij’s “Hobbits”, my new running sneakers, and, most embarrassingly, I teared up because I was laughing so hard at Jason Derulo’s “Wiggle” being played at my spin class.  Yeah, apparently what to do with that big fat butt is “burst into tears.”

There’s also what those in the biz call “bargression,” which is hating pretty much the entire world.  This means getting really upset at legitimate things, like racism, or an email from Sallie Mae, or the fact that “The Bachelorette” exists, but also little things.  Everything becomes a trigger for Hulk-like levels of rage.

A non-exhaustive list of things that have set me off in the past month:
dropping my bar of soap while in the shower
a child’s laughter
someone unironically using the expression “the bae” on Twitter
someone yelling their orders at Chipotle
someone ordering too quietly at Chipotle and needing to repeat everything
low battery on my Kindle when I am sitting next to the charger
engagement photos
the Red Cross emailing me to donate blood
cars (just cars, being on the road, at the same time as me)
someone looking at me in the gym
a commercial being on all 6 of my radio presets
texts from my apartment complex
“kaleesi” (sic)
not being able to find the specific pair of workout pants that I want that day
doing laundry
the sun

My brain can store a lot of things!…none of which are important
There is a LOT of stuff required for the bar, and although you’re basically told that you can’t really learn everything, you should know a lot.  Which includes the dozen or so exceptions to the hearsay rule in evidence, the five elements of a negligence claim, roughly 8 goddamn million ways you can leave your stupid, stupid property to another person (no I’m not bitter why do you ask) and all the overlapping “who’s in charge of THIS topic” shenanigans that is our three-branch federalist system of government. No but seriously states are the dumbest thing why do we have states I hate states one law only forever

At any given point, I am confident of about ten percent of the above material.  Fun fact: ten percent competency does not let you pass the bar.

HOWEVER, I am about 95% competent on: Harry Potter spells, quotes from the movies Clueless and The Princess Bride, the words to “Welcome to Duloc” from the first Shrek movie, the words to “Guy Love” from the musical episode of Scrubs, which season of Say Yes to the Dress I’m watching by who the consultants are, the timing of the Rifftrax lines for all but the last of the Twilight movies, drawing a visual of Westeros’ Seven Kingdoms, what Panem’s districts specialize in manufacturing, and the Allomantic powers in the Mistborn novels.

You don’t have to be disgusted: I already disgust myself, don’t worry.

Basically if the bar exam has Harry Potter trivia, Titanic history, or Mean Girls quotes I’m golden; if it’s on any other topic I am barely/possibly competent.  (Hogwarts is a tort waiting to happen and some people who felt personally victimized by Regina George may have a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress and/or slander.)

My wardrobe is incredibly varied
lololol NOPE I get up, change into my daytime pajamas, study forever, shower, change into my nighttime pajamas, sleep, wake up, and repeat.

Yes, I have different pajamas for daytime and nighttime.  It’s important to be comfortable but not so comfortable that my brain just goes “screw this” and goes to sleep in the middle of a real property lecture review.

My energy level is basically a lightswitch
At about 7 PM or so I go full on Rip van Christina and my eyelids droop regardless of how much work still remains and I either 1. take an Ambien like a good little girl and then proceed off to sleepland to have my weird dreams (sleep meds are fun, y’all) 2. act like I’ll calm down enough to not need an Ambien and attempt to read myself to sleep and toss and turn in a mattress of anxiety for the next four hours.

The next day, I get my first two hits of caffeine in AM hours, and that gets me functional, usually.  Sometimes, I get a third thing of coffee in the afternoon, and then I’m just SO EXCITED to be ALIVE and STUDY EVERYTHING and OH MY GOSH I’m gonna make ALL THE FLASHCARDS and watch ALL THE LECTURES and do ALL THE ESSAYS and WHY ARE MY HANDS SHAKING WHEN I TRY TO WRITE IS THAT MY HEARTBEAT THAT’S MY HEARTBEAT AWESOME

The next few weeks should be better because the lectures taper off and I don’t have to wake up to go in if I slept terribly the night before, but I can’t quit caffeine right now.  (They legit tell you before prep starts to not change any of your habits, up to and including “if you’re doing cocaine regularly, keep doing cocaine. Quit after the bar.”)

I am both the healthiest and least healthy I’ve ever been
I am at the gym like, ALL the time.  I am running out my bargression (that’s bar + aggression) and going to spin class and running more.  I should go to yoga, but I walked in this week, felt like punching a wall, realized I shouldn’t scare all the nice people, walked out, and did speedwork on the treadmill for like half an hour. I’m drinking a ton of water, exercising like a beast, and sleeping like a log a LOT.

However.  My diet is all over the place, because some days I’m like “hell yeah, salad” and other days I’m like “every carb in the world represents one of my feelings and they’re all going into my mouth right now.”  My posture is shit because I’m in a desk chair for like 10-12 hours a day, and as my prep program slowly crushes me, my spine bends like a pipe cleaner in a kindergartener’s craft project and everything hurts and nothing is beautiful.  I’m hoping bar prep-induced acne is a thing, because otherwise something is seriously wrong with my face, and my hair is legitimately drying out.  I cut a ton of it off recently as well (and came really close to a “fuck it, we’ll shave it off” moment while in the stylist’s chair because I don’t have time for shenanigans) so as a total package, I look like the Monster Book of Monsters.  Again, if I progress this way…world’s first orc lawyer.

Everything is really, really hard, but I am four weeks away from the exam, and I took a practice exam on Friday that went okay-ish, and this will not kill me.  Andrew has the patience of a dozen saints, Twitter is full of hilarious bar preppers, and this too shall pass, and SO SHALL I.  And then I get to go watch three of my friends get married over the month of August, and I’m planning a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  I can do this.

Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire

Game of Thrones Season 4 Episode 10, “The Children”

June 17, 2014

AKA “lol what source material” and also “HBO stop touching things I love”

Because I need it, this was what made me laugh the hardest after the episode.
Andrew: “Wait, so where’s Dorne?”
Me: “It’s where Oberyn was from.  He’s got a lot of bastard daughters.  And he’s got a brother, the guy actually in charge, and there’s a lot of plot that takes place there-”
Me: “I wish.”
Pedro we miss youuuuuuu

Although there were some good moments in tonight’s episode, I’m overall just really pissed.  I am committed to a no-book-spoilers post, but I do have my LSH thoughts at the very end, so if you’ve read the books, go ahead; if you haven’t, just stop where I say stop.

There’s a ton of nerdrage in this post, and also a ton of just general rage.  I’m…tired, guys.  This show has turned into a microcosm of a lot of the stuff that gets me mad in the real world, but the series was supposed to be a bit of a safe place for me, as silly as that sounds about a series that’s notorious for killing people off.  But it was familiar, and I could discuss things with people like “who would you like to sit the Iron Throne?” and “who would you love to see as a POV character who isn’t one?” but now I’m sitting on Twitter watching people type things like “kaleesi’s got a set of balls on her” and “Shae got what she deserved, that bitch” and I’m just so, so tired.  Obviously I’m not implying that you’re trash if you just watch the show (the show’s not going to make you a misogynist if you’re not one), but it hands up these stereotypes and ruins complicated characters and just generally talks down to the viewers and makes it easy for people who are misogynists to jump into the show.  The books don’t.  This is not a “books>show” argument, because they are different forms of media and you are not smarter or better because you read instead of watching TV.  This is a “these books>>>>this show” argument.  Maybe after I take the bar I’ll be up for arguing this more, but I legit might cry if I have to do it now, so just hold off, please. And if you see me in real life just give me a hug?

The Wall
It’s nice to see that they got the camera man from the first three Bourne movies to shakily follow Jon around for the first ten minutes

We are apparently paying Ciaran Hinds by the minute but I’m glad to finally see him.  I guess he doesn’t have his kid, though?  I don’t remember seeing Dalla or Val yet, and I’m assuming that means we don’t get them, which could be a problem? And the Horn?  Mance’s threats seem to hold no water without the Horn (“if you don’t let us in will continue to throw mammoths at your Wall and you’ll, uh, set them on fire but uh, YEAH COME AT ME BRO”), and seriously, the dialogue was handed to you.  We’ll see. Stannis’ arrival should have been the end of last week’s episode, hands down.  I’m not sure how long they’re gonna keep Davos around but I guess he’s there too.  Again, lol what source material. HOWEVER, this scene was great.  Listening to Mance and Stannis play a wordgame version of “my kingly penis is larger than yours” was perhaps my favorite bit of dialogue in the episode, and the attack looked great, and people seemed legitimately surprised.  If you rewatch, look at Davos’ face while Mance is sassing Stannis: I was waiting for him to bust out with a “in Soviet Russia” joke.  “In Soviet Dragonstone, weather dresses for you!” #AllHailStannis

I’m okay with the fact they gave some of Mance’s lines to Tormund, because I did want to hear some of them. (They’re gonna switch his role with Rattleshirt, aren’t they…dammit.)  I also know they have to portray Jon’s sadness over Ygritte somehow, but goddamn it dragging her funeral pyre out there and then pulling a Sad Boys Drop Their Torches Behind Them Without Looking is just ugh.  I would not have been so upset with all the funeral stuff if that was the only scene from the Wall, but they had ALL of last week and still wasted time there, so much time.  We also apparently don’t care that no one’s in charge?  What’s happening next?  Idk Jon you go kiss your girl by the fire because you now Know Something or whatever I don’t know screw this show.

Brandon and the Argonauts: tonight’s special effects brought to you by Harryhausen

Outside the cave: total bullshit scene. (I was hoping the first hand was gonna be Coldhands but yeah he’s never showing up) Once inside the cave: actually kind of great?  I liked it once they got in there, it was exactly as I had pictured it.  You know what’s gonna be THRILLING to watch? Bran, Meera and Hodor dicking around in that cave for the next two seasons.  I’m joking.  Lol what’s pacing idk

I guess Thomas Brodie-Sangster had to go shoot “Love Actually 2: Die Harder” because okay, Jojen’s dead?  Sure?  Can no one do anything on this show with out “I didn’t want anyone to die for meeeee”? Like clearly the show runners have no respect for their audience but did they not think we could feel things correctly without killing off characters?

Brienne/Arya/Pod/The Hound
#IncomPodence (love you Podrick)

The little “we both named our swords, GIRL POWER” scene was 100% unnecessary and once again, show runners, can you stop attempting to spoon feed “Strong Women” to us?  We got it, or we don’t got it, but that’s not helping.  Just stahp.  Brienne’s dialogue with Sandor, however: yep.  Works.  The difference between the two characters in thinking that there’s somewhere safe left was wonderful. Not in the books, but works.  That’s when I don’t really get mad: you made stuff up, but it makes sense both in-universe and for the character (see last week’s Sam Tarly).

Fight scene, and Arya and Sandor after the fight scene = A++++.  Actually quite pleased with this whole thing.  Maisie and Rory, Rory especially, nailed this scene, and the grossness of Brienne’s fight with him was just spot on.  Not glorious sword-spinning and pretty dance-fighting, just blood and screaming because yep, that’s how it be.  Also oh hey Brienne will destroy you.  Like she wears that armor for a reason, and I’m really, really happy the show demonstrated just how good a warrior she is.  It’s also excellent that she beat Sandor, tried to be noble about it, and when he did his weird “I’ma hold your sword now” (which reminded me of that Uruk-hai from “Fellowship” when he like grabs the sword that’s in his stomach right before Aragorn beheads him because he’s so BA, or whatever) she was straight up like “oh that’s how it’s gonna be? BRING IT.”  Brienne of Fucking Tarth, but in a good way.

SO, I was in a good mood about the show getting something right, and then I walked in to bar prep and overheard some bro saying “I like Arya, I just don’t know if I’ll keep liking her as much if she’s not with the Hound anymore.”  Just fuck everything, seriously, I’m so done.  Friendly reminder, once again, that the Hound, while totes getting his face burned off, is still an actual piece of shit who robs and kills and was 100% serious about that Sansa thing.  And I saw people defending him like “but he didn’t do it!” and I’m like “you’re mounting a defense for a 35-year-old dude who was going to rape a 13-year-old girl and the entire defense, beginning and end, is that he DIDN’T ACTUALLY RAPE HER? Is that what’s happening here? Jesus, people.”  And yes, I know that part of what he said was to incense Arya into finishing him off (so please don’t try to mansplain it because that shit happened to me already and I’m not stupid…just bitter), but he DID kill Mycah and he DID kill a ton of other people on Joffrey’s orders and he DID rob that farmer and he considered raping Sansa.  He’s not a good guy, okay?  This is really a difficult set of characters for me, because I think the actors (and even the writers, mostly) did a great job with them this season, but the misogyny of the show fans comes out so hard with Arya and the Hound.  Okay, so to sum up my feelings: Maisie, Rory, most of the dialogue (especially in this episode) = really great.  Defending Sandor = not great.

We are now in the beginning of book 5 for her, who’s looking forward to the Meereenese knot HAHA no one good luck show peeps.  The old man who comes in and asks if he can reenslave himself was actually a great scene: she gets the information differently in the books, but it worked.  She’s starting to realize that for some of those who were enslaved, her arrival and dramatic freeing does not fix everything.  I’m hoping the show makes it clear what the other issues are, because as important as the old man’s plight is, I’m worried leaving people on that note will somehow turn into “yeah slavery’s not that bad and it wasn’t that bad in the real world, either!” because I straight up do not trust a large portion of the show’s fanbase.  That said, it was a pretty great scene (the actor playing the old man rode the line of allllllmost insubordinate very, very well) and introduced a problem neatly and quickly.  The scene with Hazzea’s father bringing her bones was also very well done, and if they had shortened the dramatic Closing of the Doors or whatever that was with her dragons, I would have actually said this was a very solid Dany week, but I mean, I guess we paid for the CGI or whatever so DRAGON IT UP.

King’s Landing
NOOOOOPE.  Just all around nope.  Nope-ier as we go along

Firstly, hated the Cersei and Tywin scene: like let’s not pretend that Cersei can out-do Tywin at anything.  When I was reading, I was always under the impression that Tywin totally knows where all the kids come from, he’s just dedicated to not letting it become public/accepted as true.  The show decided instead to give him a “na na na can’t HEEEEAAAAR youuuu” to Cersei’s “yeah no the kids are totes incest babies” instead of a “yeah, I know, shut your face or I’ll do something worse.”  She and Jaime are apparently still cool, as well, even though by this point in the books he’s super pro-Tyrion and she’s really pissed at him but now we get to watch them bang again because nothing gets twins ready like “our brother’s about to be executed but only one of us is conflicted about it.”  Ughh.

Now, on to the important thing.  HBO you done fucked up and not just in a “ruin several characters” way, in a “let’s not so subtly make violence against women okay again.”

In the show’s second season, you may recall that Tyrion mentions his first wife, Tysha, as a peasant girl who he believed genuinely fell in love with him, and they got married, and then Jaime and Tywin told him that no, she was actually a whore (I don’t like using this word but I’m using it here because it’s important later), and Tywin makes Tyrion watch as a whole garrison of Lannister men have sex with her for money, and then Tyrion has to do it, and gives her more money, because “a Lannister is worth more.”  This understandably screwed him up a little.  This is also true in the books.  In this scene from A Storm of Swords, Jaime, with Varys’ help, comes to rescue him (it’s the first time they’ve seen each other since Jaime’s return), and because Jaime’s gotten some kind of conscience, he tells Tyrion the truth during the escape: Tysha was in fact just a peasant girl and she had fallen in love with Tyrion, so the stuff orchestrated by Tywin (with Jaime’s participation) was a gang rape of a teenage girl.  Tyrion loses it, and tells Jaime not only that he’s responsible for Joffrey’s death (which is false), but also that Cersei has been unfaithful to him while he’s been at war, which is 100% true: she uses sex to control and she’s been using it a lot.  Jaime leaves pretty messed up, and Tyrion tells Varys to wait for him while he goes to find Tywin.  He discovers Shae in his father’s bed (which makes Tywin a huge hypocrite, just to remind you: no whores unless you’re me, I guess?), and she attempts to smooth things over, but Tyrion strangles her.  He then gets a crossbow, finds his dad in the privy, and asks him about Tysha, who Tywin barely remembers, and calls a whore.  Tyrion warns him not to use that word, and asks Tywin where Tysha went.  Tywin says, “Wherever whores go,” and Tyrion shoots him.  We see all this from Tyrion’s perspective, and it’s pretty damn clear that he’s snapped a bit with what Jaime told him.  There is nothing heroic about either of the acts, especially not killing Shae, but we see the motivation.

The scene in the show?

  • Destroy Jaime’s character going forward because he’s still cool with Cersei and helped organize the gang rape of his brother’s first wife, and then they bro-hug
  • Tyrion decides to go on a happy little jaunt for no goddamn reason even though he’s free (I guess to get more Solid Lannister Parenting from Tywin the Great?)
  • Shae’s death is turned into “well he had to because it was self-defense” even though he could have legit just turned around and walked out of the room when he saw her, and her actions were more self-defense than his were
  • I get to watch Twitter blow up with “good, Tyrion got his revenge, I hated that stupid bitch” so I cry forever
  • Tyrion apologizes to her dead body (not in the books) because yeah I guess that totes fixes it, plus the Tyrion fans don’t want anything to be wrong with their most precious Tyrion even though he is just as flawed as literally everyone else on this show and is now officially a murderer
  • Goes to find Tywin, who decides to pull a sky-Mufasa “REMEMBAHHH WHO YOU AAAAHHHH” with “you’re my son” and “I was never going to let them kill you” (LOL YES YOU TOTES WERE)
  • Tyrion defends Shae and tells his father not to call her a whore.  Not Tysha, Shae.  The woman he just strangled.  I’m sure she’s way more pissed about the “whore” thing than the strangulation.  How dare you call her a whore, but killing her? Totes okay.
  • Tywin calls her a whore again and Tyrion shoots him not because he organized the repeated rape of his teenage wife or he butchered a ton of northmen at the Red Wedding or that he wiped out an entire noble family or that the smallfolk are starving under his rule or that he’s just generally a terrible human being but because he called Tyrion’s murder victim a woman who has sex for money happy father’s day
  • Varys didn’t know this was going on (LOL RITE) and gets on a ship with Tyrion The Bestest Ever Who Can Do No Wrong
  • I quit everything

Jaime, Tywin, and Tyrion are significantly changed by the show doing it this way, and obviously I’m mad about that, because the dialogue, backstory, pacing, and everything else was literally handed to you, HBO.  However, I’m way more upset at the continual erasure of women and the acceptance of violence against them.  They justified the murder of Shae because it was revenge, or jealousy, or retaliation for her testimony, or something.  We let Tyrion look like the hero because he won’t let people call her a whore.  We erase Tysha and all of the things Tywin and Jaime did to her (and just to remind you, Tyrion participated!) because Jaime’s cool now and Charles Dance is a great casting decision.  NO. Everything that happened to Shae was nothing short of an unjustifiable murder, and cutting out Tysha allows the terrible, terrible actions of fan-favorite male characters to go unpunished.  The scene was ruined for me because of the changes, but more importantly, the changes hurt women, and this is just the most recent in a long line of terribleness: incomprehension of what rape looks like, gratuitous nudity of non-named female characters, Ros’s death, and so on forever.  I’m so tired of this happening, the show runners have given no indication it will ever get better, and I’m just sad, y’all.  I know you read these recaps to laugh and think a bit, but I really don’t know how to keep my feelings out of this one.

The rest of it is below the gif.


I love Toothless and I’m not sorry.

Lady Stoneheart
I swore so much when they cut to the credits and left her out.  I’ve been reading some reactions and other things about the lack of Lady Stoneheart: one that made me angry was someone arguing that it’s a waste of a plot point because we only see her one more time so where are we going with that? (Okay??? that doesn’t even make sense, we see like a jillion people once or twice, including Beric!)  However, the most frustrating one by far was from the director of the episode. Alex “We Didn’t Shoot a Rape Scene” Graves.  He thought it was hilarious that the fans were gearing up for that scene, because it was never ever a possibility, and they might cut her out entirely.  Mostly because they’d “have to call back Michelle Fairley, who’s this amazing actress, and she’s just a zombie who runs around…killing people? Why would we like that?”

Get the fuck out of here.  First of all, don’t act like “running around killing people” is not enough of a characterization for you.  You’ve got like 2 dozen men whose entire story is “I run around and kill people.”  Secondly, “running around and killing people” is what you got out of Lady Stoneheart?  Really? Not the fact that she’s targeting Freys?  Not the fact that she’s not Catelyn anymore, she’s a dead, vengeful thing who is no longer a mother and just now made up of straight murder and anger?  Not that Brienne is going to meet up with her later?  Not that the Lord of Light’s power can be transferred from person to person?  Not that Beric is now dead, and maybe something happened to Thoros because he transferred the power?  Not that Catelyn in this form could conceivably run into her living children and oh my God what if that happened?  None of that occurred to you? Oh, no, I’m sorry, she’s a murder-zombie, what was I thinking.  Thirdly, fuck you for pretending to care about Catelyn’s characterization.  The show’s creators had so much of a broner for Robb Stark that they made up an entire wife storyline for him with a backstory and lines and Robb’s unborn Nedbaby, while leaving Catelyn to weave prayer wheels and sit there saying “if only I had loved Jon Snow” and getting put in a cell by her son.  Don’t you DARE act like you suddenly care about this woman who is just *~*not COOOL like Dany and Arya**~~* because she’s only a mother and doesn’t fight and she’s whiny and she started the war and etc etc all this other shit you’ve let the fandom think because you did NOTHING with her character.  Finally, you’re laughing at the bookreaders for expecting the end of a season that loosely followed the end of book three to end at its actual fucking ending.  This is funny to you?  We’ve read the books, some of us many, many times.  We hyped up your show.  We put in money to this series.  Our interest is the only reason you have a goddamn show to work with, and instead of responding with “hey, I know it was a really epic scene in the books, but we chose to go in a different direction/it didn’t work well on-screen” you decided the best possible response was “LOL fuck you for wanting things, fandom.”  And many of the comments I’ve seen from people who watch the show have been along the same lines: “congrats, you read the books? what do you want, a cookie?”

I mean, yeah, I do, because cookies are delicious, but I’d settle for some acknowledgment by the show’s directors and writers that there is source material and a fandom built around it, and both of them are the reason you have a show in the first place.  The overarching attitude about them has never read as “this is a gorgeous series and we’re honored to write for it and adapt it and we’re so thankful to Martin,”  it’s read as “we are literally those three models in Zoolander having a gasoline fight on the source material and lol fuck your feelings.”  I’m not going to pretend like I’ll stop watching, but it’s getting to the point that I kinda wish the show had never happened.

Sorry, y’all, I know. *Sad trombone noise*  Anyway, I’m checking out.  Maybe I’ll want to talk about this after a couple weeks, but not so much right now.

Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire

Game of Thrones Season 4 Episode 9: “The Watchers on the Wall”

June 15, 2014

Guys this one took me forever because I can’t talk about spoilers and I had to go back and reread Jon’s chapters and I just don’t care enough?  I like Jon in the books, I really do, I just feel like they tried to pull a “Blackwater” with this episode because “ooooh episode 9 is the craaaaazy one every time” and nope.  Blackwater made sense because it was a short siege with enough POV characters all in that one place, but I just didn’t feel like it worked for the siege of the Wall, especially since it takes place over like, a full week, and way more stuff happens, and it’s not like Ygritte gets POV chapters so it’s like “kay cool Jon we’re gonna just…use you.”  PLUS THEY KILLED PYP WHY.

For the record, I have had Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb” stuck in my head since last year’s episode of the same name, and it comes back in every time I see anything remotely related to the Wall.  Because bar prep is screwing with my emotions so badly, I started singing it in my head after episode 8 and started laughing so hard I teared up, because the chorus goes “there’s always gonna be another mountain” and I was like “LOL RIGHT BECAUSE THEY RECAST GREGOR SO MANY TIMES, ANOTHER ‘MOUNTAIN’ GEDDIT”

…the episode 10 recap will be better, I promise. I PROMISE.

Obviously I can’t break this thing down into areas so I’m just gonna do my thoughts? I guess? Plus I can’t say much because of spoilers in Jon’s storyline? I don’t really know?  Let’s be real y’all I’m just sitting around waiting for the finale which they’d better not mess up or we will have WORDS, BENIOFF AND WEISS

So, Kit Harington, as much as I sass him about pouting and being vaguely damp all the time and having pretty hair, is a lovely young man who has, as far as I know, actually read all the books, and has mentioned in interviews that he’s really trying to let the viewers see into Jon’s thoughts, especially in that he reeeeeally misses Ygritte.  The dialogue this season has given him like NOTHING to work with so he’s trying really hard, and I actually think he’s been basically as close to spot on as he can be with that in place.  They’ve dragged his plotline as much as possible this season, and I really think he’s Doing His Best.  Maybe I’m totally off on this, but I really just enjoy his portrayal and any frustration I have with Jon’s character is really not on Kit (minus his squinting all the time like can we turn off the wind machine or whatever it is? his hair will be JUST as pretty staying still).

So they changed a LOT here.  For one, Sam’s not there, like, at all. Tormund’s not there.  Alliser’s not there.  Janos Slynt in all of his jowly goodness is not there.  It’s Jon, whose leg is arrow-shot and is not like even a little bit ready to do much more than get propped up and shoot some more arrows, who controls the 20 or so dudes who are all vaguely incompetent, who holds the Thenn attack, and then a bunch of days later, the mammoth and giant attack.  The mammoths and giants looked great, for the record, but those are two separate attacks.  And for you bookreaders: I don’t think they cast Donal Noye in the TV adaptation, and I did appreciate the kind of epic last stand some of the men had at the gate with the giant, and I guess they can’t really shove Donal in for this episode only, but I did kind of miss that.  His death made me sad in the books, just because he’s such a supporter of Jon, I guess?  Anyway, #feelingz

No, Sam is not there in the books, he’s still off wandering with Gilly, but dear God I loved John Bradley in this episode.  His excellent “oh, is it over? Then keep shooting” line was the greatest in the episode, and although his entire presence is not canon, it worked for me, somehow: he talks about how Gilly makes him braver, if not brave, and her arrival at Castle Black right before the battle makes it work.  I’m sad they had to kill Pyp for Sam’s character development, but that’s about it.  Like once I got past the “oh, okay, Sam’s definitely here, then?” I was totally on board with everything they did.  Also I kinda got tingles when he swore.  #TeamSamwell

Just one little shoutout for what a friend called “Tormund’s murder face” because it’s great.  The original “it’s just a flesh wound, come at me, bro.”

The Award for Grossness in a Death Scene goes to Styr, the Magnar of Thenn, for “hammer in his skull courtesy of Lord Snow.”  Again, Jon’s not able to fight in the books, but this fight scene was very well choreographed (in an episode that I thought did very well with fight choreography), and I’m fine with it.  I still don’t know why they made the Thenns cannibals but it did add to the bleh factor and the group I was watching with all went “OOOHHHH” when Hammer-In-Skull happened, so I’ll allow it.

Not so on board with Ygritte’s death.  I know TV shows and movies are really big on the “slow down the battle around people so they can have Their Moment” but I really did not like it here, especially since dude, she def would have shot him, I’m sorry.  In the books, Jon finds her dying after the fight’s over, so having a moment where they won’t just like get hacked at (what, is there a special bubble of “don’t hit these guys for a minute, they’re in lurrrrrrv”?) is totally legit.  This is not to criticize either Kit or Rose Leslie, because they worked with what they got, and I was still sad, there were just too many “these people are special so don’t touch them” aspects to her death scene and that’s the exact opposite of what GRRM tries to do.

Lastly, I’m not super happy with Jon’s decision to go find Mance Rayder (and apparently, we are paying Ciaran Hinds by the goddamn minute because it’s gonna be the last episode and the leader of the freaking army has yet to make an appearance but MORE MAMMOTHS I don’t even know, guys).  In the books, the Night’s Watch dudes who don’t like Jon (cue Alliser and Janos, which I just wrote as “Jason” lolol oh God nothing is funny why am I laughing) send him to treat with the wildlings, which really means “we don’t want to hang you for being a turncloak so we’ll just send you to die,” and Jon’s kinda like “well, shit.  I guess I’ll go.”  He’s not like “I am the NOBLEST and MOST IMPORTANT of the sworn brothers and MUST GO ON MY OWN, DON’T TRY TO STOP ME SAM” and it’s a very “no, I will carry the Ring to Mordor on my own because I’m special” and I just didn’t like it.  Jon’s definitely got a hero complex, it’s inherent in his character, but he’s not that dumb.  I also thought they could have ended the episode differently (later in the plot, considering Ygritte’s death is page 620 something and the book is 920 something pages) but I can’t talk because spoilers.  They can’t wrap up Jon’s plotline next episode without screwing over a bunch of other plots, so I have a feeling we’ll have some of his ASoS plot left.

Sorry for the lackluster post, I Tried.  I am going to thoroughly enjoy people losing their minds over episode 10, but I have had expectations of how it needs to be since like 10 months ago so please, please, PLEASE get this right, HBO.

Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire

Game of Thrones Season 4 Episode 8: “The Mountain and The Viper”

June 3, 2014

…how’s everybody doing?  Not great?  Yeah, I feel that.

Kiiiiiinda didn’t like this episode?  Was kind of grumpy the whole time?  Best thing I heard about it was “yeah I think the interns wrote this episode” and I’m in agreement.  There were a few very bright moments and a lot of “you done fucked up the pacing and this is filler, and BAD filler at that” so idk y’all.  Def a little frustrated with the show. I’m also neck-deep in bar prep and feeling like it’s regularly Ygritte-ing me because I legitimately know nothing so I’m just cranky in general but this episode was definitely attempting to forge a maester’s chain of bullshit so I’m swearing more in this post than I usually do because they’re ruining everything and I just want things the way I want them OKAY

My new fave joke I saw this week:
“on a scale from one to Sansa Stark how much do you regret your first crush”

The Wall
Aight, Benioff and Weiss, I know you wanna do an hour-long Battle o’ The Hairy People next week, and I know Season 2’s “Blackwater” was insanely good, but I’m not so sure that was a good call.  Everything but “I’m bored” is spoilers so I gotta hold off.  I shall patiently wait and then probably post whatever opinion I’ve got formed already.  Jon your hair is still pretty.

Oh LOOK Jon’s still sad and Sam’s sad and everyone is sad and literally nothing has happened all season that matters RIP Moletown MOVING RIGHT ALONG

I’m oddly very angry about the fact that Braavos is still in the opening credits when we haven’t seen people there, but my queen Sansa’s current location is not.  Please to fix right now.

So, Missandei and Grey Worm.  I am Team Missandei and Grey Worm so much it’s out of control.  Yes, once again, we are catering to the male gaze (Nathalie Emmanuel is so gorgeous it’s scary), but this was one time in the show where I was only like 40% pissed off that they showed a naked woman and no naked men.  I’m pretty sure it’s because the male gaze was played this week by Grey Worm, and I trust Grey Worm because Missandei does.  I kinda loved her little girlfreeeen time with Dany: as a friend pointed out, they are both still teenage girls, maybe a bit older, but it just fit so well.  And then the dialogue between her and Grey Worm broke my heart so badddddd guysssss ahhhh.  His speech was beautiful, especially since he used the Common Tongue to show Missandei she is teacher good, but he also clearly needs to work through some stuff, because duuuuude she’s great but literally nothing is worth going through Unsullied training.  “I never meet Missandei” shut up I’m not crying YOU’RE crying

The hatred I had for the stupid, stupid, stupid Talisa/Robb storyline from Season 3 made me doubt the ability of the producers and writers to add anything to the storyline that wasn’t already in there and have it be a positive addition.  I’m totally taking that back.  This is easily my favorite relationship of this season and it makes me feel so so much.  There’s book purism, and then there’s having a goddamn heart, so if you’re mad that they added this WE CAN’T BE FRIENDS  justkiddingsortof.  I’m so so happy we’re spending time on these two and the way this season’s been going maybe I’ll just stop watching and annoy HBO until we get a spin-off where Missandei and Grey Worm rule the world.

Bye Jorah byyyyye.  I eye-rolled so hard at his “no but it’s okay that I spied on you and as a direct result you almost died because I LUVVV you” and I eye-rolled just as hard in the books.  I’m glad he got his, in particular because he’s like the grossest “I WOULD DO ANYYYTHIIIIN FOR LOVE, BUT I WON’T DO THAT (unless “that” is “get into the slave trade” because then I’LL DO THAAAAAT)” of any character in this series.  No seriously, guys, fun fact, he tried to make his second wife so happy on his sad, cold Bear Island and she wouldn’t be happy so he went into crazy debt trying to buy her shit and tried to get out of it by trading in slaves.  Soooo romantic.  Ugh.  We read this scene from Dany’s POV in the books, and therefore I remember her being less “FU” and more “FU but I’m sad and conflicted about it” but that is kinda hard to portray in the show.

Andrew has started sometimes referring to himself, for no reason, as “The Daddy of Dragons,” so now I’m laughing at a lot of the Dany scenes and now you must join me

BOW. DOWN. YOUR QUEEN IS SPEAKING.  I was kinda annoyed at “Lysa’s suicide…she was always a troubled woman” because what but seriously Sansa I love you and Littlefinger’s little grin because he’s so proud and goddamn I’m so proud also.  I know I can’t retroactively get everyone on board the Sansa ship four years ago but I can damn well give high-fives to everyone now.  I can also make sure people don’t start calling her “badass” suddenly and talk about how she’s starting to play the game because shut up, sit there in your eternal error and I’ll come fetch you when you’ve figured it out.

Also I am assuming Cinna helped her with her new dress.  Sansa Stark is: The Mockingjay

Arya and the Hound
Arya’s laugh was perhaps my favorite “little” thing just far this season because it’s just this great LOL EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE AND NEVER GETS BETTER and it’s just spot on with the show.  The fact that we just got to the Vale worries me plot-wise but eh.  Maisie Williams you wonderful human keep it up.

Our blades are sharp
So, my Asshole Moment of the Week was right after Theon tells his Ironbros “no we’ll totally make sure you’re safe no worries.”  One of the people I watch with was like “are they really gonna be safe” and my reaction, because I am a punk, was “*SNORT* nooooope” because nope.  Oh yeah and in case you forgot the Boltons flay people, so glad we got to see that, everything is gross and sad and made of mud, I guess but Ramsay’s gonna tell us with his puppy dog face how it’s an art ughhhhhh

More importantly, ROOOOOOOSE.

tutimon886:  Father and son moment

I can’t decide if I like bearded Roose or clean shaven Roose more but his cloak-swishing remains magnificent, and his shade-throwing remains pristine, and he is a stone-cold motherfucker forever and I love it.  That said, the hell was this scene?  My tweet for this was legit “the hell is this Simba shit, can u not Ramsay” and I stand by that.  Like can we not spend time on the most messed up family dynamic in the Seven Kingdoms (“I killed all these people for YOU, Daddy!”) by doing a weird-ass “just don’t go to the elephant graveyard” thing and making Ramsay even a little bit likable?  Stop it.  This scene was dumb.  As much as I love Roose’s “the incompetence around me is incredible” face I really hope we spend no more time than necessary on some weird “daddy look I brought you Moat Cailin aren’t you proooooud” BS.  I’d rather watch Jon be sad and wet and cold and we know how much I love watching that.

That being said, I would pay so much money to see a choreographed Bolton and Lannister production of “Be Prepared” with the one and only Lord Bolton as Scar.  I need this and now you need it too.


Trial by battle
I’ll get there in a second but can I just…the fuck was up with that beetles speech, dear GOD.  Someone put the interns back in their cages.  It’s like someone went “so Dinklage probably has the Emmy nom wrapped up but let’s try to fix that by giving him the dumbest speech ever.”  Also seriously this weird “let’s hang in my dungeon” thing he’s doing with Jaime? Not a fan.  I just…this scene, man.  We could have had another five minutes of Oberyn and we got some beetles.

On to my beautiful Pedro.  I liked Oberyn in the books, not necessarily because he’s a good guy, but because he’s such a good character.  In the show? I like him so much more, and I really hope Pedro Pascal gets an Emmy for his portrayal because I was liking it more and more but this episode made it for me.  I didn’t necessarily even agree with all the lines he got, or his costuming, or anything, but I just really think Pedro MADE a character out of what is frankly not a ton of book material and I loved it.  Also apparently he did acrobatic martial arts training for this scene and UNF it looked so good and he tweeted “Ouch.” on Sunday night and he’s just lovely and it’s truly a shame the show won’t have him anymore.

Ellaria’s “don’t leave me alone in this world” and the cut to her screaming no really it’s fine it’s just my tears themselves are crying, goddamn it I knew it was coming and it was still terrible.  I wish they had kept out Oberyn’s pointing to Tywin and had just kept him doing “You raped her.  You murdered her.  You killed her children.”  because even though it’s very Inigo Montoya it was SO effective in the book and to hear the Mountain admit it right as he kills Oberyn was just MY HEART EVERYTHING IS PAIN.

I’m pissed at the show for leaving out what I thought was a very important point: why do they call him the Red Viper?  Andrew figured it out and I’m bursting with pride for him but I’m also mad at the show.  Basically, I thought the battle itself was well done, but most of the stuff around it was not so great.  I’m not explaining myself well but I’ve deleted and rewritten this paragraph several times and it hasn’t gotten better so hopefully it makes sense but I can clarify if needed? Maybe?

There’s some casting out for Dorne for next season and that’s easing the pain a bit but the combination of a weak episode and the most gruesome death of a liked character so far is getting me down, guys.  And next week I have to watch Jon Snow’s hair fight off Mance Rayder who is like not even in this show any more and ughhhhh.  Stupid bar exam.  Stupid Mountain. Stupid series.

cheer me up guyz I need ittttttt