WILD SPECULATION: Game of Thrones – How It All Ends

Firstly and foremost, I’m aware this thought may or may not be out there somewhere, this is the internet after all, but I haven’t found it yet. I did, however, find a bunch of theories that flat out blew my mind. Check this site some time after the current season ends as I’m sure I’ll wind up compiling and dissecting the best of the best for the curious geek out there.

Before I get into my wild speculation, I’d be an all out asshole if I didn’t direct you to our discussion of the most recent episode of Game of Thrones.

If you don’t know, we do numerous weekly series discussing all of our favorite shows and geekly properties. To find out more about our discussions check out our youtube @ Geeks of the Round

In each of our shows we end with the Wild Speculations of the individual panel members of the discussion and in that spirit I’m offering my own Wild Speculation right here on the site. Warning: There will be spoilers from this point on.

I’ve recently been thinking about the potential futility of Arya Stark’s storyline. Sure, you can call it a trial by fire where all she’s going through is building her up to… ? That’s the problem. I don’t know how to finish that sentence. To do what? What’s her end game, really? Most, if not all, of her relevant enemies are dead. All she has is a list of insignificant names. Sure they mean something to her but not so much to the bigger picture. How exactly is she going to fit in to the coming war? Was this all just conditioning to give us a fierce warrior? OK so that’s one more to the fight. Add that to 62 soldiers that Lyanna Mormont pledged to the new Stark army. Cool but not exactly a story worth telling in my opinion. That’s like 6 seasons of training Rocky for the big fight. I’m not saying I don’t want Rocky in the big fight I’m just saying when looking at the story as a whole, the idea of six seasons of training seems like a waste of story time. I can all but hear Mickey screaming, “Go get em already, Rock!” 

But my speculation isn’t about Arya, she’s just what “got me there”… I realize now, that sounds gross. Thinking about the way these segregated storylines could come together, I noticed a stark (no pun intended) contrast between the way Daenerys Targaryen’s story and the rest of the world has been unfolding. To start let me ask this, what is Game of Thrones really known for? What about the show put it on the map? As someone who avoided the show all the way until the 4th season, I can tell you the buzz I would hear about it was how brutal and unrelenting and shocking it was. Before I ever laid eyes on the show, the hype machine had me convinced something wicked that way waited. It did not let me down.

All of Westeros has been in turmoil since the show began. I don’t need to go into the details, you know what happened and none of it was good. Good for the viewer yes but I can’t think of many instances of “justice” for the characters in Westeros. Sure there have been plenty of feel good moments, like Tyrion’s speech at his trial and Brienne kicking ass but none of those situations were good. Tyrion was in the middle of losing it all. Brienne was fighting The Hound who was really not that bad of a guy when you consider how it went down. So the lines are always blurred. You’re never quite sure who to root for.

We can say there’s a lot going on at the Wall and with the Night’s Watch that could be considered classical tales of heroism but despite Castle Black and these characters existing in Westeros they are not what I consider to be a part of the Main Westeros Story. I think this is being told in four pieces; Greater Westeros (Basically every storyline, including Arya’s, that’s not covered in the following three), The Wall and Beyond (Jon Snow, Night’s Watch, White Walkers… Winter is Coming) Bran and the Raven (The Gods, The Children etc.) and The Other Side of the Sea (Daenerys, Dragons, etc etc.).

We can easily see how the first three pieces of the story work together. Westeros is already at war with itself. Jon Snow has come back from the dead to unite the peoples in order to stop a greater threat, The Night King and his “army of darkness” (pun intended). The Children created the White Walkers to counter man’s threat to the planet. Easy connect the dots for those three. Arya is the only sort of rouge element that’s a little less easy to connect. Yes, she was “born from the initial fire” in Westeros. All the horrors of season one are what sent her on her path but season one was a long time ago and a lot has changed since she’s been “in training”. Let’s be honest, I don’t even need those quotes, everything about her story has been training going all the way back the The Water Dancer and the first episodes. From the way things are unfolding, the only way she fits in is as a soldier in the war, not a leader. Not a “main player”.

Let’s put a pin in that for a few and move on to story #4. The Other Side of the Sea and the stark contrast I opened this theory with. Daenerys Targaryen has been a true success story. While we’ve been weeping for or fearing for or hating on the characters in the other three stories, we have consistently been rooting for and cheering on The Great Dragon Queen. She has been kicking ass and taking names all along. Even when she’s down she’s not broken and you can always count on her to get back up even stronger in just a few episodes time at most. And what story is being told here, what does she keep getting back up for? To take the Iron Throne.

We are clearly leading to her crossing the sea with a massive army to conquer Westeros (soon it may be comprised of warriors from both sides of the sea if all goes well with the defected Greyjoy clan’s arrival) but what exactly are the consequences of this victory? She has no clue of the greater thread that ties the first three parts of the story together. She doesn’t know about The Night King. The Spider could tell her and she can decide to use her army to help defend Westeros, that’s more than logical and it would 100% justifiably tie the 4 stories together, but then what? Will all of Westeros bow to her and lay down their arms? Would Tommen, or whoever holds the position by this time, just step aside and give her the Iron Throne? I doubt it but let’s say they went that way, besides being an outright lame and uninspired ending to the series and being completely in opposition to the initial value of the show, it would still leave Arya as a pointless waste of screen time. It would further solidify her role as Rocky Balboa in a six season training montage.

Even if the whole Jon Snow is a Targaryen theory is true and that is what they use as the justification for Daenerys using her army not against Westeros but for Westeros and Fire and Ice rule together with their trusted advisers made up of all our favorite characters, you know, the happy ending… it still leaves Arya as a loose and futile thread in a much larger web of story that is otherwise well connected. So what’s missing? How does Arya fit in to the bigger picture? What happens when Daenerys crosses the sea? What’s the point of this whole damn article?

Here it is, the only way my stupid brain can give any meaning to Arya’s story is… by taking away the meaning of it and then taking away the meaning of all of it. My wild speculation is this, there are no threads in Game of Thrones. None that matter at least. While I used to have my finger on Littlefinger as the big winner of it all and assumed they would end with the message that even against motives like revenge, honor, entitlement, etc… Money trumps all. Now, I’m convinced the show is really about futility. In the end nothing will have mattered. With roughly 16 episodes left until it’s all over, we only have time to finish what’s been started. After all is said and done, Daenerys will conquer Westeros. She will take the throne and only after she does will she learn…

She has doomed them all. She will have crippled mankind in their fight against the Night King and so will begin the longest winter. A Song of Fire and Ice is not a song about the union of two forces and triumph. It’s not the song sung about the heroes who saved man from destruction. A Song of Fire and Ice is a song about the two elements that led to the end of everything. A song sung by the dead in the wake of great tragedy. This Twilight Zone like twist is the only possible ending I can see that will fully justify 6 seasons of Arya training to.. again, to do what? It’s the only thing that can make this a complete story. Otherwise it will just be a series of tales. That’s fine too but it’s not what I’ve come to expect from this show.

If my theory is correct it would justify the lighter tone the current season has taken. We did 5 seasons of suffering now they can spend the rest of the time convincing us we will get justice just to pull the rug from under our feet in the finale with one last wicked and unjust twist.

And there you have it, my Wild Speculation for how it’s all gonna end. Simplified, Daenarys takes the throne only to discover she has doomed all of mankind by further separating a force that needed to be united in the face of total extinction. What do you think, internet? Am I making sense or is this just more mad dribble? Let us know in the comments and feel free to share your own Wild Speculations for how it’s all gonna end.

 

The Walking Dead – Issue 155 {SPOILER-FILLED} Review

Forgive my lateness on this one, I was actually fortunate enough to be working right around the corner from the only comic book store in a “thousand mile radius” on the day 155 came out but unfortunately I was working on a roof for 8 straight hours and wound up with the worst sunburn of my life. In fact, one of only maybe half a dozen sunburns I’ve ever had. I don’t burn, I brown. I’m fucking sexy like that.

Speaking of fucking sexy, 155 is the issue that finally, to me, justifies The Whisperers. I’ve been on the fence about them the whole time. I don’t know what it is, while clearly being a formidable threat, this hasn’t felt like a war Rick couldn’t win. Maybe it was Alpha. She showed her weakness in her initial interactions with Rick when sending her daughter to live in his communities. A leader who fears her own people indicates a people who are disorderly. Disorder breeds chaos and chaos cannot a war win.

On the Alexandria side of this issue we delve into the propaganda which Rick uses to solidify his leadership role, for the good of his people. On The Whisperers side we learn they may not be as disorderly as first impressed. Surprisingly, it’s not the arrival of Negan that gives The Whisperers some clout. It’s the second consecutive appearance of Beta that shows us we finally have something to fear. His loyalty to Alpha and fierce nature coupled with what seems to be pretty tight security and an organized home base proves to us that not only are these people fucked in the head but they do in fact have their shit together.

Somewhere in the middle of Alexandria and The Whisperers camp, but definitely on The Whisperers side of the border is where 155 actually began with Michonne defending a STILL ALIVE Aaron from Beta and his gathered crew. Just as it seems like she may swing her Katana for the last time, Dwight and his own team show up and save the day. Beta escapes with a few of his men and a newfound knowledge of Negan’s deception from the last issue that gained him access to Alpha and their camp. Michonne makes Dwight promise to go after him and get revenge before heading off to get Aaron to safety.

Next we go to The Whipserers base camp where Negan is still trying to “woo” Alpha. The interactions between the two are instant classics. Your mouth says no but your eyes say, “Fuck me until your dick breaks off inside me and fuses into some kind of Barbie doll crotch.” Alpha doesn’t take to his charms and responds with a WRACK! across his mouth. Then along comes Beta to inform Alpha that Negan lied his way into their camp. This information puts Negan in a jam and he seemingly breaks down and admits he was scared. He also admits, “When I’m scared out of my fucking mind and pissing my pants, in the manliest way possible, I will lie through my fucking teeth.” By the end of their conversation, Negan tells them everything from issue 100 until now. We are left with what looks like a possible alliance as he promises to have so much to offer The Whipserers.

The issue ends with Michonne arriving at Hilltop with Aaron but not before showing big man Carl in bed waking up next to Alpha’s daughter, AKA Not Sophia, AKA they were doing it. The very last pages bring us back to Dwight and his crew (Dwight – Whose place will soon be taken in the AMC show’s version of things by actor, Stephen Ogg. How’s that for a Wild Speculation? TV DWIGHT MUST DIE!!!). They finally made it out of The Whisperers land and when asked why didn’t they follow after Beta like they promised, Dwight responds, “You don’t get it, do you? We crossed their border and they KNOW IT. We engaged the enemy on THEIR territory. This was and act of war.”

Bone chilling or boner inducing! Your choice. Either way you won’t come off this issue with bad feelings unless you’re a total jerkface like our own, {NAME REDACTED} and {NAME REDACTED}. I’m Turd Grendle and this was my review of Walking Dead 155. Good day to you.

 

Belated Reviews #2- Bill & Ted’s Most Triumphant Return (2015)

After that last nightmare, Belated Reviews #1, I am trying really hard this time to actually enjoy my reviewing experience. To that end I went out and grabbed what I considered a no-brainer. 2015’s six issue series, Bill & Ted’s Most Triumphant Return, from BOOM comics.

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Written by Brian Lynch who you may know as a screenwriter of stuff like Hop, Puss in Boots and Minions among others. As for his comic book work… only the hardcore have probably seen this name. Most of his work is with licensed film to comic adaptations (specifically a few Joss Whedon properties), a 3 issue TMNT microseries, an issue of Spider-Man, something about a zombie Julia Childs and some other stuff I care even less about. Ink and Pen work done by Jeremy and Penelope Gaylord, whose names I am afraid to Google and colors by Whitney Cogar. Marketed as the long lost 3rd film in the series, my inner child is going wild right now. I was a major fan. Saw both movies in the theater, owned just about all of the toys, played the NES game until blowing in the cartridge just wouldn’t work any more and even watched and loved the cartoon series. Like I said, this should be a no brainer.

And that leads us to…

Expectations

In case you skipped my intro to this article, I’m expecting a lot. Maybe too much. I will try too keep the whole expectation vs reality thing in check but that very well may be easier said than done. At first skim of the first issue, the art is fun and colorful. It feels like Bill & Ted. There seems to be a lot of talking and not too much action but with six issues, we should be good. I’m super excited to get started on this unlike last time when I nearly gave up from skimming the pages alone. Am I about to read a six issue Bill & Ted 3, will it be something completely different than expected or am I about to give up on these sort of adapted properties altogether? Let’s stop stretching words and find out right now.

Issue #1

Hold on to your blubber tires, here we go… This is in fact a continuation of the film series as the first issue kicks off shortly after the end of Bogus Journey (5 seconds after to be exact).  Their big, world changing, hit song is out, there’s even a cover band, “Wild Stallions” (who’ve already mastered that one song), and already they are being asked… when is the next song coming? They get to work on cranking out that next hit but so far all they’ve come up with is a tune called, “Girl (Why’d You Build Those Robots?)” which is really just a veiled confession of Bill’s feelings about De Nomolos not liking them. To remedy this, B&T decide they should head into the future in order to find out what their next song is supposed to be. And with that, the adventure begins.

After our main story ends there’s a shorter story called Bill & Ted and the Bogus Virus. (It’s the first of six self contained shorts that are tacked on to the end of each issue and for the most part, they are as enjoyable as the main story.)   

Verdict so far: I’m not going to give a lot of details because I’m enjoying this and at the very least I’m recommending the first issue. I’ve left you all plenty of cool to unwrap on your own. So far, it’s the Bill & Ted 3 than never was.

Issues #2-6

Once I got into this I couldn’t stop. The series is a quick and easy read. While it feels slightly more like Bill & Ted 3 by way of a Saturday morning cartoon than an actual 3rd movie, my fan fervor has been satisfied. The story is pretty straightforward, as it should be, so I’ll keep to the bare necessities to avoid spoiling your fun. After the events of issue one, Bill & Ted are in the future and meet the teen De Nomolos who has spent his life as the kid who would grow up to try and kill the founders of modern (or future depending on perspective) society. Despite his future (unfound as of yet) hatred and attempted murder of them, Bill & Ted set off to help young De Nomolos make friends and woo the punk rock girl he loves. To do this they set off with their tentative new best friend forever in the phone booth to teach him to art of kindness. First stop, Woodstock and an obligatory ’69 joke. *For the young: Woodstock was a mega-concert held in 1969.

This is where Issue #3 begins and the series takes us on a sort of montage throughout time where we visit characters from the previous films. The nostalgia value is strong from here on and this is pretty much where I knew the series was going to be a “one sit pony”. Roughly an hour later and it was all over.

Final Verdict: At the end of the day, this is Bill & Ted not some high brow entertainment full of twists and turns. Without any more information you can surely guess exactly where this series is going and that’s fine. Again, this is Bill & Ted and that’s exactly what I was expecting. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few twists in the story but you’ll see them coming a mile away and to discuss them would ruin your experience. This would have definitely been a worthy third film and it would have been awesome to see the two-headed evil robot Bill & Ted and robot Station battle it out on the silver screen but if we never do get the forever promised Bill & Ted 3 at the very least we’ll always have this and that’s not so bad. If you’re into this kind of thing and have some free time, definitely get your hands on these six issues. I hate myself for writing this but…. it was most excellent.

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Image+ Reveals Negan’s Profession Pre-TWD!!

It has finally happened, folks! Negan’s pre-apocalypse profession has been revealed and he was NOT a used car salesman as previously suspected. It’s even better…

He was a GYM TEACHER!!!

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Image+ is a new monthly mag from Image comics and in each issue for the next 12 months 4 pages of Negan’s backstory is being revealed totaling a 48 page story called Here’s Negan. The first issue came out April 27th and it started off as a simple game of ping pong in a garage between Negan and some teenage boys. Negan wins and gloats before challenging the other kids to step up and take him on. No one does and as the beaten boy runs off his friends follow but not before apologizing for him being ‘kind of a pussy’.

After they are gone a woman comes out and yells at Negan for cursing at children and says she just got a call from some parents complaining about him. He’s supposed to be a role model and if he keeps it up he could lose his job as a coach at the school. He defends himself by saying he was only trying to be the “cool teacher” and she should only hear some of the stuff the students say. Before she can argue, the woman collapses and Negan runs to her screaming, “Baby!?! Baby!?!?”

Are we all thinking the same thing here? Is the woman he’s calling baby his wife or girlfriend? One can only assume. What other assumptions come from that? Perhaps that woman’s name is…. LUCILLE!?!?!

Only 4 pages and I am freaking out with excitement. All will finally be revealed!!! …in a year. I can’t promise I’ll review each installment of Here’s Negan because they are only 4 pages each but if they are as good as this you can count on it. At the very least stay tuned here for all the major reveals over the next 12 months. So far so good and I’m glad I’m late to the party with this first issue because now I only have to wait a few days for the next one!

Star Trek: How Far Beyond?

I just got done watching a trailer for Star Trek: Beyond (#2 apparently and I never even saw trailer #1 or I did and I blocked it out) and I must say, I’m a bit tossed. As I watched I thought to myself, how far beyond the initial concept of Star Trek: The Original Series are they going? To me, the Star Trek franchise has always been about exploration of both outer and inner space. New worlds, strange new species and constantly unfolding character drama on the Enterprise. The first reboot/pseudo-sequel from J.J. Abrams was not too far from the source. While it did focus a bit on the over-the-top action it didn’t seem to rely on it. To me it seemed like a loving big screen adaptation of the franchise. Flashy, yes, but focused. If it wasn’t for the overuse of lens flare, I’d have to say they did better than we could have expected.

Star Trek Into Darkness manged to be a more authentic feeling installment and yet something was lost. The tone was right, the pacing was slow and deliberate but the action felt inserted. Not jarring but somehow off-putting. Despite that, to me it is a better representation of what the brand has always been about. By the end of the second movie I was confident in the direction they were heading. They went through a phase of trial and error and now they know what to do to make the third film one for the books. And then I saw this trailer…

I know a lot of you are gong to say, that trailer was AWESOME!!! Yes, it was awesome. I can’t wait to see it. It looks like a roller coaster of action and adventure. An explosive good time. I watch The Expendables movies, damnit! I enjoy mindless entertainment like the rest of the world. I love when things go boom too…. but this is Star Trek, man. This is the thinking man’s sci-fi. Murica’s attempt at a Doctor Who type show. The kind of show you sit down and WATCH. Hard sci-fi. This is not Star Wars. This is not a franchise that gets directed by the Fast and Furious guy. Look, Donkeys, I saw the first 3 FF movies in the theater like the rest of you greasy, coked-up weirdos. As I said, I like when things are shiny and go Vrrooom and Boom. I mean, you’re not going to catch me watching the sportsball shows or NASCAR (It’s cars driving in circles, you bastards!!!!) but I can enjoy loud movies… when that’s what I am looking for. That is NOT what I am looking for with Star Trek.

In my research for this rant I have discovered that Simon Pegg (the film’s writer and MFing Scotty!) has spoken against the trailer and asked fans to “hang in there” like that kitty on the branch. He claims there is so much more to the film Beyond its terrible trailer. As much as I like him, I don’t know if I can trust him because he was the guy the studio hired to rewrite the script because it was too Star Trekky. The official goal was to “make a western or a thriller or a heist movie, then populate that with Star Trek characters so it’s more inclusive to an audience that might be a little bit reticent.”

I don’t know… How far Beyond the heart of Star Trek are they going to go and how far beyond my own limits will my acceptance of these new cinematic additions go? I guess we’ll find out July 22, 2016.