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  1. Ravenya003

    Sansa Stark: A Direwolf In Sheep's Clothing?

    I was delighted that Sansa was immune to Dany's charms and unimpressed with the dragons, I was just hoping that it would eventually lead to a grudging two-way respect between the two women instead of...what actually ended up happening.
  2. Ravenya003

    Sansa Stark: A Direwolf In Sheep's Clothing?

    Sansa will never be as needlessly cruel and vindictive as Cersei (I don't think ANYONE could ever be), but it's also naive to think she didn't pick up a LITTLE on some of Cersei's mentality that outsiders were not to be trusted. The problem is that the show ends right when Sansa's reign begins, so what kind of queen she'll be is largely left up to our own imaginations. Queen of the North is a VERY different gig from Lady of Winterfell. Here's a hypothetical: for the sake of peace and an important alliance, a Northern Lord wants to marry a much younger girl from another House. Queen Sansa knows the strategic importance of the match, all of her male counsellors are encouraging her to give her blessing, and granting this lord the boon of a young bride means he owes her a favour. But the girl in question really, really doesn't want to marry this man, who is twice her age, not very attractive, and who clearly has mercenary motivations. She's come to beg Sansa to let her off the hook. So, does Queen Sansa make the girl go through with the marriage? Or does she risk the ire of all the men around her by denying social tradition, ignoring their perfectly reasonable request, and siding with the girl for no other reason but to rescue her from what Sansa had to go through? What version of Sansa did D&D leave us with? The one who says yes to this scenario, or the one who says no? (This is largely rhetorical BTW, I'm just trying to illustrate the fact that we're left with no real understanding about what kind of ruler Sansa is going to be. In comparison, Cersei would have clearly made the girl go through with it, and relished her despair. On the other hand, Dany of the first eight-and-a-half seasons, never would have done so - because she explicitly empathized with women in this position, and had the hard power (dragons) to ensure no one could undermine her decision. When it comes to Sansa, I honestly can't see which way she would have gone).
  3. Ravenya003

    S03.E08: Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt

    I'll give em this: the Duffer Brothers know how to do a finale. In all, this was a solid, exciting, amusing season of entertainment, very much like an eight-hour movie in its three-act structure with very little flab. There were a couple of loose ends (why were the Flayed eating chemicals? And what was the green goo in the Russian compound? Did Nancy ever write up the story for another newspaper?) a few characters/dynamics that were neglected (poor Jonathan; even his big moment in doing impromptu surgery was a failure) and a lack of proper closure (we really needed to see the community grieving for the missing Flayed - let's not forget there was a little boy among them - , not to mention the reaction of Billy's father to his son's death) but hey - it was all good. That said, I wasn't quite as captivated with season three as I was the previous two. On reflection, I think it's because there was no obvious main character or key relationship. The first two seasons it was Eleven/Mike and then Eleven/Hopper. Here the most important dynamics were Eleven/Mike/Max, Hopper/Joyce and Steve/Robin, with everyone else spread a little thinly across the plate. So for the first time in the show's progression, this was truly an ensemble piece - and yet without a protagonist it did feel a little center-less. As such, I was never truly moved in the way I have been previously: Mike and Eleven's emotional reunion after a year apart is still the highest bar the show has set for itself. Other observations: For the comments on Winona's frumpy appearance: I have no doubt that she'll get to glam up when she and Hopper finally get to Enzo's. What's an eighties-based TV show without a female lead getting the "beautiful all along" transformation scene? I didn't quite buy the calmness with which Mike and Eleven allowed themselves to be separated. Yes, a big theme of this season was growing up, and yes, the two needed to be less co-dependent, but after everything they've been through and the times they've been forcibly apart, they would NOT have handled this well. As Murray said: shared trauma. That said, I'm interested in seeing Will and Jonathan as brothers to Eleven. Will/El is a dynamic I was looking forward to this season, and didn't get much of, even though they have so much in common. Nice of the air ducts to magically expand themselves to accommodate Murray when it was a big plot-point that only a child Erica's size could fit (okay, so Erica's ducts were in the ceiling and Murray's were in the floor, so maybe that accounted for the difference. BUT STILL). The Mayor was a bit of a pointless character; largely there to get Cary Elwes in the cast - but hey, I said the same thing about Billy last season, so maybe he'll be back next time. I have no real opinion over the Robin/Steve not!ship, only that it clears the way for the potential ship I'm really interested in: Steve/Kali. DON'T roll your eyes. Just THINK about it for a minute... On that note, I hope that season four really expands itself outside of Hawkins. Obviously we're not done with the Russia plot yet, the Byers have relocated, and it strikes me as interesting that no one visited the Upside Down this season. More than this, I want to know more about El's childhood, her mother, the government facility and the other subjects there. She's Eleven and Kali is Eight, that leaves at least nine other lost brothers and sisters...
  4. Ravenya003

    S03.E06: Chapter Six: E Pluribus Unum

    So Erica finds the weapon and Dustin is the one who gets to use it? Urgh. (Sorry, still salty about the time I ran and grabbed the fire extinguisher and some douche yanked it out of my hands because he just COULD NOT allow a woman to save the day). I liked the Mike/Max argument simply because I could see both sides. Mike is right: she's been working overtime lately, and Max is right: El knows her own limits. Also, glad she got called out over spying on the boys. Not cool, girls. Trying to sell Robin as a loser nerd at high school doesn't work when she's clearly the daughter of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke. That said, she's just the latest in a VERY long line of stunners that films/TV tries to pass off as pathetic losers. Not buying that Joyce and Hopper wouldn't immediately be high-tailing it to Hawkins to reach the kids - heck, the fact they've spent so much time away from El and Will this season is a little hard to fathom. All these episodes are starting to blur, so maybe this was the last episode, but I liked seeing Lucas distract Max with a "can you catch this in your mouth?" competition to give Mike a chance to talk to El. That's probably the smoothest we've ever seen Lucas. Loved that Erica believed everything Dustin told her about the Upside Down... but not that her brother was involved.
  5. Ravenya003

    S03.E05: Chapter Five: The Flayed

    After complaining about it last episode, this one granted my wish: two of the groups team up! And the immediately split up again at the hospital. Ah well. This was a bit of a step-down after the last episode, as everyone regroups and shares information, and the action sequences at the hospital weren't as exciting as those at the sauna/air ducts. Jonathan should have been seriously injured by the beating he took, not wandering around. Glad both Joyce and Nancy got vindicated by circumstances, and the dudes who kept talking over them acknowledged as such. The goop is disgusting.
  6. Ravenya003

    S03.E04: Chapter Four: The Sauna Test

    As they say: shit got real. This was definitely the best episode so far, and I loved the intercutting between all the secret plans that were initially going pretty well: Dustin/Steve/Robin/Erica at the mall, Nancy at the hospital and the rest of the gang at the swimming pool. The staredown between Eleven/Max and whatever's in Billy was intense and frightening, so kudos to Dacre: you could really see something cold and cruel staring out of him (one that's much crueller than Billy at the best of times). Also, I'm glad the show has finally justified Billy's existence. Last season he seemed so extraneous - just an eighties Stephen King bully for the sake of having an eighties Stephen King bully. Liked Will stepping up and taking charge of the operation, though I'd dearly love to see some more interaction between him and Eleven. They're the most scarred and traumatized of all the kids, and they have so much in common (not to mention a bit of competition over Mike) so I'd like to see that potential mined. Erica reminds me of Lyanna Mormont in Game of Thrones: wildly popular in her first appearance, leading to the show bumping up her appearances, after which she's immediately disliked by audiences. I enjoyed her in this episode - girl knows how get the best out of a situation. "I die, you die," was adorable, but Steve's nonchalant reaction was amusing: it was such an over-the-top pre-teen thing to say that you can really only shrug it off. As someone with claustrophobia, I was wincing at Erica's air duct crawl and the room suddenly being an elevator. *shudder* Oh, and Mrs Wheeler finally gets to be a mother to one of her children! That was lovely, and you could see the regret in her face when she thinks of her own life choices. I hope it works out and Nancy DOES sell the story to a much bigger newspaper.
  7. Everyone's a detective! It was mentioned in the thread for the last episode, but this can now be considered the show's formula: characters are separated into different groups and seemingly disparate storylines that eventually converge as the finale approaches. It's a formula that works, so I can understand why they don't want to mess with it, but at the same time, I'm feeling the separation a bit more this time around. A little more of the characters weaving in and out of each other's subplots would go a long way, even if it was just acknowledging each other on the way to the next plot-point. I mean, it's hilarious to me that Mike, Nancy and Mrs Wheeler are all leads, all belong to the same family, and never interact with each other. Likewise, is Dustin really going to spend all his time hanging out with Steve and not his friends? I can't complain too much though - I mean, at least they've got the dynamics right: Steve/Dustin/Robin chemistry is fantastic, so is the Max/Eleven friendship (I remember well that female friendships in eighties movies were never served particularly well, if they existed at all). The Lucas/Mike/Will stuff is incredibly poignant, as it makes sense that Will wants to recapture his childhood: partly due to PTSD, partly due to increasing hints that he might be gay, partly due to being the inevitable friend in any group who doesn't want to grow up as quickly as the others. (I was that kid). That leaves Nancy/Jonathan... well, let's be honest, the show has always struggled with these two a little bit. Possibly because they only ever get to interact with each other. What would happen if they actually got to talk to their siblings? Nancy/El would be fun. Jonathan/Steve has potential given their former rivalry. I love you Joyce, but you owed Hopper an apology for standing him up. Heck, the fact she didn't even register the fact that she's ditched him was a bit much.
  8. Ravenya003

    S03.E02: Chapter Two: The Mall Rats

    I haven't read the rest of the posts yet, so apologies if I repeat anything. During the hiatus and after seeing the first trailer, I was actually a little concerned about what they would do with Eleven/Max. I definitely wanted the two girls to be friends with each other, but I also wanted there to be a "sizing each other up" period given their cool reception at the end of season two. I was afraid the writing would gloss over their initial awkwardness and leap straight to "besties at the mall". So I'm pretty happy with what we got here: it's clear that in the year that passed the two have been in each other's orbit without really interacting one-on-one, and that El's insecurity over Max/Mike has (obviously) passed. When El approaches Max it's as a girl with a genuine lack of understanding over what it means to be a girl, and Max rose to the occasion with a girl's day out. Too often female relationships are depicted as either Super Best Friends Forever or I Immediately and Unequivocally Hate You (*side-eyes the last season of Game of Thrones*) and don't take into account the HUGE spectrum of feelings and attitudes that can exist between women. Just like, you know, dudes. So basically: nicely done, Duffer Brothers. The wedge that Hopper has put between Mike/Eleven is annoying - yes, I get that he's concerned, and yes, they were definitely being obnoxious, and yes, it's very good that El is interacting with other people (ie Max). But there's nothing you can do about teens in the throes of first love but batten down the hatches and wait it out. Scaring Mike into lying to El? Is just gonna backfire. That said, what exactly is the Eleven situation? Because she was a little freaked out at going to the mall ("so many people"), and when they ran into Mike he said that she shouldn't be there. So... is she still being kept hidden at the cabin? Clearly she's not going to school, so where's her education coming from? Hasn't she been legally adopted by Hopper? Are they planning to integrate her into society at some point? I just don't know what the Plan is here - and honestly, if Hopper is that concerned about Mike/El spending every waking moment together, he should enroll her at the local school. Maya Hawke fits in nicely - I saw her first in last year's Little Women (the BBC version) in which she instantly became my favourite Jo March. (Sorry Winona).
  9. Ravenya003

    S03.E01: Chapter One: Suzie, Do You Copy?

    First episode down! This was pretty much designed to reintroduce the characters and reset the board, but there was some good stuff in here too. I see Mike/Eleven have made the natural leap from puppy love to "we're obsessed with each other" love, as per any pre-teen in the throes of first love. It was inevitable really, though I have some mixed feelings, especially with Hopper's dad panic playing out in the background. Still, I like that there's a bit of a custody battle for El (or father/boyfriend/daughter love triangle) going on; at the end of season two Mike was pissed that Hopper kept El a secret from him, so this very much feels like Mike asserting himself as alpha male (god I hate that term, but that was totally what was going on). Of course, this backfired hilariously. I'd like a better understanding of how Will fits into this new friend dynamic. He obviously wants to go back to the good old days, so how does he feel about Max and El? Is he friends with them outside the group? Or does he think of them as interlopers? Looks like Joyce/Hopper is gonna happen. Thankfully Karen/Billy isn't... at least not yet. That said, I want her to have some fun, and the flirting is fun to watch, but ultimately Billy is such a sleaze (and possibly a vessel for some Mind Flayer action). I've no idea how the Russian angle is going to play into all this, but we'll see...
  10. Ravenya003

    Bloodmoon (Working Title)

    Well, that actually raises an interesting question: will this be compliant with D&D's vision, or will it be more to do with Martin's? For instance (and this is a pure hypothetical) what if they strew clues/foreshadowing/prophecies throughout this prequel that a "young she-wolf" will eventually be the ones to destroy the WW? That would connect it definitively to D&D's version of events. Likewise, will they stick with the established origin of the WW: that the Children of the Forest created them? Was that a Martin idea, or something D&D came up with themselves? Will they have the Night King (played by Vladimír Furdík again), even though no such character exists in the novels? I guess simple curiosity over these issues would lead to me keeping tabs on this show at the very least.
  11. Ravenya003

    Bloodmoon (Working Title)

    I think my main problem with this is that it's going to be a prequel that specifically deals with the (first) Long Night and the White Walkers. Fundamentally, prequels are about exploring the lead-up to a massive pay-off. And that pay-off HAS to be massive because we already KNOW what it is. So it makes sense that Smallville took ten seasons to get to Clark becoming Superman, or that an entire Star Wars trilogy was devoted to the hows and whys of Darth Vader. Because (however botched those projects were) the end result of Superman and Darth Vader is a Big Deal. In this case? We get the backstory of a mysterious and dangerous species that threaten life itself... who are eventually destroyed by a single ninja after a few hours of combat. The pay-off is already a complete dud.
  12. Ravenya003

    Our Favorite GOT Moments: It Is Known

    All these big moments are great, but for me what really made it was the little ones: Ygritte sparing Gilly's life and signalling her to be quiet despite having no idea who she was. No one will ever know, but that act of mercy paid off considering Gilly made it to the end. Sansa and Jon's reunion. We knew the Starklings would reunite at some point, but did anyone think that Jon/Sansa would be first? Or that the two characters that had the LEAST to do with each other would channel such pure emotion at seeing each other again? Somehow the fact that they were the most unlikely Stark pairing when it came to audience investment was what made it so powerful. Missandei's wicked little smile just before Dany unleashes the Unsullied and Drogo on the slavers. Also her quiet, dignified defense of Dany in the crypts after the Two Smartest People Ever don't even notice her sitting right there next to them. The Hound burying the father/daughter he robbed and saying: "I'm sorry you're dead." At Hardhome, that vile Thenn realizing there was a bigger picture at work and sacrificing himself to the White Walker to buy time for Jon to get the dragonglass. Jorah and Lyanna getting a moment before the battle. I had given up on the writers remembering they were cousins, and yet there it was. The nameless, silent wife (or widow) of Craster that stabbed Karl in the back, saving Jon's life in the process. Unnamed Dornish Prince's obvious boredom at the Council Meeting. Hats off to that actor; they gave him nothing to work with and yet is there any doubt that the Dornish uprising is imminent? And on a wider note, anything between Dany/Jorah. To me, they comprised the most beautiful love story on the show.
  13. Ravenya003

    Sansa Stark: A Direwolf In Sheep's Clothing?

    So I've been a long-time lurker on the GoT boards, and a week having passed since the finale, I really, really have to just vent a little, because my frustration still hasn't gone away. First of all, I was always a Sansa fan - even back in season one. My absolute favourite character arc is "spoiled brat gets exposed to the real world and because a wiser, more compassionate person because of it" (for example, Cordelia Chase in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Prince Arthur in Merlin). Sansa's arc was clearly a little harsher than most, but the idea of a young woman going through hell but realizing "if I am queen, I will make them love me" was totally my jam. But looking back, this trajectory in Sansa's story got botched from the moment D&D decided to give her Jeyne Poole's storyline, turning her into a rape/trauma victim instead of whatever Martin has planned for her (which I'm certain involves her becoming more of a negotiator/diplomat/spy). She was always going to come out of this a colder, more closed-off person (and don't get me started on her crediting her strength to the abuse she suffered. Gross). Still, they had time to course-correct...and didn't. I thought Dany's story-arc this season was ghastly, but it was somehow Sansa's that really made me angry. I waited nine years to see fully-formed Sansa as a master politician, having learned manipulation from Littlefinger, flattery/courtesy from Margaery, cunning from Tyrion and (most importantly) what NOT to do from Cersei, and yet almost every power-play she made this season was a rookie move that works out in her favour due to authorial fiat. For instance, I don't have a problem with her worrying about food supplies, but why would she announce these concerns to the room, which only a) undermines the King, b) alienates an important ally, and c) brings more stress and worry to a situation that is already on the brink of the literal apocalypse? (She was supposed to LEARN from Littlefinger, not BECOME him, and this just felt like his brand of pointless chaos-sowing nonsense). Then she decides to break her vow to Jon and spill the beans on his parentage, which only puts him in extreme danger from a woman she admits she's frightened of (and makes those red leaves on her coronation dress rather hypocritical considering she broke the vow she made under the weirwood tree). Again, only authorial fiat protects Jon from dying immediately at Grey Worm's hands once the fallout of the secret's exposure runs its course, and in the end he's exiled - costing her one of her most loyal allies. (Cos seriously, that boy is outta there. He ain't coming back). And finally, she gets independence for the North, not through intrigue or force or clever politicking, but because she ... hoo boy ... just ASKS her brother the king for it. In front of all the other delegates of the Seven Kingdoms. Who are ... totally cool with that? (And again, the direwolf crown she wears is a pretty big indicator that this isn't Northern Independence, it's the North under Stark rule). As others have pointed out, they needed Arya to shill her as "the smartest person I've ever met" to guide the audience into accepting she was right about everything, because D&D also required her to make some of the worst political/leadership moves EVER in order to push their story in the direction they wanted it to go. And it would one thing if I believed (for example) that she deliberately pushed Jon into harm's way in order to claim queenship for herself, but that obviously wasn't what D&D were going for. The culmination of her story certainly should have been her as ruler of the North/Winterfell in some capacity (I've foreseen that for YEARS, and would have bet money on it), but D&D clearly had no idea how to get her to that point in a way that made sense, and are obviously oblivious to how vulnerable a position they've left her in. First of all, she's lost all her most important allies - Arya, Brienne and Jon (that last one due to her own machinations). There was not a single familiar face at her coronation, and of the remaining Northern Houses we DO know of, the Mormonts are dead, the Umbers are dead, the Glovers are either dead or disloyal, and Alys Karstark surely isn't a fan considering Sansa wanted to have her disinherited a few seasons back. Likewise, (as I mentioned above) the fact she's "won" Northern independence through the obvious favouritism of her brother only paints a giant target on her back (especially when she antagonized Yara Greyjoy at the council meeting. Um, maybe don't piss off the pirate-queen who knows Northern forces are severely depleted and no longer has any reason to stop raiding and pillaging as per her agreement with the now-dead Daenerys?) Does anyone doubt that Dornish and Ironborn uprisings aren't imminent as a direct result of watching Sansa just get handed independence by a family member? Finally (and this is especially strange since she herself pointed out Bran's inability to have children is a problem), it seemed pretty clear to me in her body language and clothing choices throughout this season that Sansa has no intention of getting married or (subsequently) bearing children. And I don't blame her for one second given what she's been through, but it's also a big problem when you live in a patriarchal system where power flows through primogeniture. Best case scenario, she's going to be badgered incessantly by a bunch of old men that she has to get married and produce children ASAP, ESPECIALLY after a devastating war that's just ravaged the population. They'll want stability and they'll want an heir, and that means Sansa will either eventually be pressured into another political match, or be forced to name a male heir (like Queen Elizabeth I did with King James) and resign herself to the end of the Stark line. Sounds like fun. Because of course, we just spent eight seasons being told that anyone who reaches for power and crowns themselves king/queen is doomed to either death or misery. That has been the fate of every single other ruling monarch featured on this show, so I'm still struggling to see how this is a "happy" ending for Sansa: a queen with no strong allies, a bunch of pissed-off neighbours, and no desire to marry/have children despite this being a job requirement. TL;DR I am not a Sansa hater, but a disappointed lover. So much more care and thought should have gone into all of this, and I've spent the last week feeling cognitive dissonance at the fact so many other fans seem to be totally delighted with this ending for her. The coronation scene was gorgeous - so gorgeous in fact that I'm pretty sure D&D hoped to wave it around like a flag to distract us from the fact Sansa is sitting on a powder-keg and has more or less lit the fuse herself. The wheel turns on, I suppose.
  14. Ravenya003

    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

    Fasten your tin-hat, because I've got a theory! Reading between the lines of that Vanity Fair article, I'm going to go out on a limb and say: Kylo murdered Rey's parents. First of all, JJ Abrams has already said that there's more to Rey's backstory than has been revealed. I don't think he'll retcon Johnson's decision to make her a nobody, but I do think Kylo was lying when he said they sold Rey for drinking money. It was a half-truth designed to make her join the Dark Side. In watching TFA, it's painfully clear that JJ originally meant for Rey and Kylo to have met previously. His "what GIRL?" response to hearing that the droid had escaped with a girl, to Rey's Force abilities growing stronger in his presence all pointed to her having been in Luke's Academy as a child, only to escape the massacre and forget the trauma (explaining why her powers came back to her so strongly after they re-met). Heck, in the fim's novelization, Kylo actually says: "so it IS you," when she pulls the lightsabre out of his reach. Of course, that theory went kaput with TLJ, BUT JJ could still work with Johnson's idea that Rey was born with preternatural Force abilities to balance out Kylo (which is a stupid idea, but we're stuck with it now). In which case, if Snoke and Kylo knew that such a person would come along, it makes sense that they would try to find her and kill her as a child. Then there's Rey's vision, which included the Knights of Ren and Kylo seemingly killing this random guy: What if that's Rey's father? And apparently this scene made another appearance in the footage at the latest Star Wars convention, suggesting it's important. If you look at the actual quotes from Adam Driver and Daisy Ridley in the article about their "maybe-bond" and that it "runs deeper than expected" (the writer tries to crouch it in romantic terms, but I still seriously doubt that Disney is going to hook up a teenage girl with the grown Space Nazi that's been terrorizing her for the past two movies) then it could be referring to this shared history in which Kylo and the KoR deliberately went out killing Jedi apprentices - including Rey's parents, who presumably managed to hide her on Jakku. Finally, there's an emphasis on parents in both actors' quotes. I roll my eyes at the idea that we're apparently meant to feel sorry for Kylo for having the coolest people in the galaxy as his mother and father, but this is the second time Daisy has made the claim that Rey is furious at Kylo for having had a loving family and then throwing them away, which is interesting. If the original trilogy had as its big twist the fact that the murderer of Luke's father was actually his true father, then there's a nice symmetry in Rey realizing that her great nemesis put her on the path she's on by hunting down and killing her parents. Also, there was a rumour a while back that It fits together, but then I've been wrong before. And "subverting audience expectations" seems to be everyone's MO these days, whether or not it actually makes sense.
  15. Ravenya003

    Season 8: Speculation and Spoilers Discussion

    It reminded me of that interview with Emilia Clarke in which she's joking about the reception that Sansa and Arya give her at Winterfell: "And so I need to be like: 'Can I braid your hair, Sansa? Little Arya, come over here, let's play some cricket.' So there's that. And then, very, very quickly, it's like: 'Wait, is it just me, or do they hate me?'" This wouldn't be the first time Sansa's hair has been used to demonstrate her alliances, as she's adopted the hairstyles of Catlyn, Cersei and Margaery throughout different points of the show. So maybe at some point we'll see her with Dany's braids? (Okay, it's a reach, but I found it interesting that both actresses casually drop the subject of hair-braiding into their interviews).