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BALLS.54 A word from our sponsor

Posted Thursday by beeso

In which Beeso and the Doc talk SPOOORRRRRT, fake ad reads, Brownie's bro-code bollocks, Olympic selections, Alan Jones' audience, improving golf, Cairns goes downhill, totes awks combox convos, Thibs to the Wolves, Beeso's Coaching Corner, foonkle injuries, TrueHoop, KD AIN'T CLUTCH part 37 and a half, Heroball Forever, is Westbrook's wifi working, edited highlights of other people's podcasts, a new Grand Wizard, MOAR Thibs to the Wolves, WHUFC to the EPL: fuck your narrative, whither the North East, Wallys with Brollys, relegation resets, getting owned badly, parachute payments, EVEN MOAR Thibs to the Wolves because Beeso has a compulsive obsession with a team that hasn't made the playoffs since the neolithic era and are run by muppets. So, much like his Suns then. by Dr Yobbo

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2 Responses to ‘BALLS.54 A word from our sponsor’

Therbs reckons...

Posted Friday
Thibs to the Wolves is like walking backwards for Christmas. This would be like Madge Maguire going from Souths to the Raiders after failing to fire up the Burgess Collective.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon mutters...

Posted Friday
I'm positive this is written in english . . . . . : )

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Stephen King's Cell. First trailer, and a book review

Posted Wednesday into Movies by John Birmingham

Stephen King's zombie project, Cell, has moved the big screen. From the trailer below it seems they've dialed back on the zed-axis and amped up the technophobia. Possibly to put a little daylight between Cell and the 28 Days/Weeks franchise which first popularised the fast-zombie trope, and Brad Pitt's World War Z sequel which will be along any moment now to give you a little nibble.

Anyways, the book gave me nightmares when I had to review it, which doesn't normally happen with the King's stuff. It was also one of his last 'pure' horror novels before he started to stretch out into speculative literature with 63 and, arguably, Under the Dome.

My book review is below. It's interesting to speculate on what's been changed for the movie adaptation. The sympathetic gay guy is the most obvious switch, making way for Sam Jackson's cranky but sympathetic black guy. The zeds also look more WWZ than 28 Days, which is not the case in the book:

The supermarkets and mega stores will probably discount Stephen King's latest novel, Cell, using it as a loss leader to drag punters into the shop. You might even get it for less than twenty bucks, but don't imagine for a second that's all you're going to pay. There'll be a heavy toll levied on anyone who reads this thing from cover to cover; vivid nightmares that wreck your sleep for however long it takes you finish and get the creepy thing out of your system

As with the best of King's work, Cell comes with a simple premise. At 3.03pm, US Eastern Standard Time, some sort of Pulse runs through every mobile phone in the world. Anyone using their natty little Erricson at that time goes violently insane. And as the author points out, who doesn't own a mobile nowadays? As millions of zombie's possessed by their batphones suddenly turn on the rest of the population, those not affected at first begin to ring friends and
family to warn them or to find out what's happening, and they too get zapped by Satan's Own telco. Only a small percentage of people remain unaffected, either because they don't have mobiles, or they stay off them long to realise that they are the source of the problems.

Keeping such a global disaster personalised is the role of Clay Riddell, 'a young man of no particular importance to history', a graphic artist caught in Boston during the Pulse. The book follows his attempts to make it home, a hundred miles away, to his twelve year old son, for whom he had only just purchased a mobile phone. Clay throws in his lot with an ensemble cast of suppporting survivors; notably Alice, a traumatised teenager and Tom, a confirmed bachelor of much less than heroic stature, who turns out to be one of the most sympathetically drawn gay men you'll ever find in pulp fiction.

Possibly the goriest of Stephen King's books so far, it won't be for everybody. Never one to resile from painting humanity in the worst light, recent events seem to have darkened his view of us even further. The book is current enough to include references to Hurricane Katrina, and the aftermath of that disaster informs the shocking and occasionally sickening portrait of a world in collapse which takes up the first part of the narrative.

With it's legions of blank-eyed, shuffling undead unpeople, Cell quickly reveals itself as a zombie horror story, in the style of George Romero, one of King's favorite auteurs. And like Romero, King uses the iconic figure of the zombie for satircal as well as scarifying purposes. When the phone crazies, as they are quickly dubbed, begin to exhibit flocking behaviour, and march in jerky lockstep to nearest mega mall to strip it clean of rapidly decaying foodstuffs, they recall scenes from Romero's Dawn of Dead, which was as much a commentary on American materialism as it was a low budget splatterfest.

As usual, King's story is loaded with references to the world of real things – a phrase of which he is very fond – and while some of these merely provide verisimilutde, others point to a deeper intent on the writer's part. The opening scenes are purposely drawn in the shadow of 9/11, and Al Qaeda's mass casualty attack haunts both the action and the thoughts of the main characters throughout. King is also The King however, and a world full of flesh eating zombies isn't nearly
interesting enough to keep him at the keyboard. He amps up the story wattage with a developing subplot about the victims of the Pulse beginning to act as a single organism with weirdly otherworldly Stephen Kingly-type super powers.

It might all sound like a load of old cods, but all of his books would, when viewed in blurb form. King pulls them off because he has that rare facility of making you believe it could happen. I challenge anyone to read this book and feel comfortable making a phone call right afterwards. Indeed, like all true art, the Cell lingers in your mind, having its greatest effect when the immediate experience of the work is over. It's like a depth charge, sinking deeper and deeper into your subconcious and detonating days afterwards in the form of some
very unpleasant dreams.

It can and will be read on different levels. As simple freak show carnography. As a satire on commercial culture. A homage to Romero. Even as a reflection on the war in Iraq. (One character makes this link explicit). For me though, it marks a stunning return to form of the heaviest hitter in the world of the airport novel. If you don't mind being pursued through your dreams by a ravening host of zombies, this one is for you.

12 Responses to ‘Stephen King's Cell. First trailer, and a book review’

Murphy_of_Missouri reckons...

Posted Wednesday
Nice. Love the cellphone zombie tie in. Seems obvious now that I see it in the trailer.

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insomniac has opinions thus...

Posted Wednesday
Judging from the morning commute it would seem the zombification has already occurred. All that needs to happen is the activation code to be sent.

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Paul mutters...

Posted Wednesday
Well summed up review...trailer looks quite good, too. This one may not be a disappointment!

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Barnesm mumbles...

Posted Wednesday
Thanks for the tip, I missed 'Cell' from my list of zombie reading bibliography. I will immediately go out and rectify this oversight.

Dave W mumbles...

Posted Wednesday
I was just thinking the exact same thing.

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Kmay would have you know...

Posted Wednesday
I'm glad I'm not the only one who got nightmares from this book. I think I'll give the movie a miss.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon reckons...

Posted Thursday
Glad they are finally releasing this. Cell was the first King book i picked up after a long hiatus and started me back on a binge. I must admit i was avoiding reading it due to the title cell which i was confusing between the thing that holds prisoners and the US term for a phone (not sure why). I thought the opening gambit in the book was brilliant and it only got better as they went on the road trip. I picked up Duma Key after that and it gave me the willies like the King of old as well. Nothing like revenants from the sea leaving fading water footprints in your nightmares

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DarrenBloomfield mutters...

Posted Thursday
I was a young teenager, or possibly tween, when I finished "Christine" - staying up late reading it in bed. I finished, turned off my debside lamp to go to sleep. Ten seconds later someone in my street started up there car and revved it. Scared. The. Shit. Out. Of. Me.

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The girl who watches ducks in to say...

Posted Thursday
Great review. I loved Cell but then I'm slightly addicted to SK novels. Unfortunately the movies are too much for my tender psyche so will probably miss this one too. The only book to give me nightmares was Misery.

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NBlob mumbles...

Posted Friday
I am keen as a little jelly bean, I'm afraid this one slipped past me. Hopefully when things return to normal I'll have some time to catch up on my latent shame pile. I loved The Stand in a way that surprised & scared me a little. When I first read it as a young tacker I didn't understand that there was technique, skill involved. I just new he gripped me viscerally and the idea of closing the book and going to sleep was not a viable option. I can count how many times I woke from dreams of Stu, Nick, Harold and Mr Flagg with the book on my face.

NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted Friday
*new* = Knew

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Muffet asserts...

Posted Yesterday
What then?

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Raven On S6E1: The Red Woman

Posted Monday into Raven On by girlclumsy

***SPOILER WARNING!***

Only read if you have seen Game of Thrones Season Six, Episode One.

Oh, Brienne’s face! Oh, Cersei’s face! Oh, Melisandre’s face (and parts beyond)!

Beloved Throners, come here. Come into the light. Let your Mother of Kittens see your beautiful faces. It’s been too long, but look, you’re as sensual as ever. Your lips are like firm ripe sausages, your skin as soft as a fluffy towel, and your eyes as piercing as a Dornish spear through the back of a skull.

Your humble recappespondent is so glad to be back with you. Let us shake off any initial awkwardness (perhaps along with our robes?) and buckle down to some hardcore recapping.

It’s all become clear why the Hall of Faces has been the lynchpin of HBO’s advertising for Season Six of Game of Thrones.

For not only did this debut episode do its usual job of going around the Westeros/Essos grounds more efficiently than a hoarder on kerbside collection day, it put its faces right in our face. Whether it was facing off, facing up, facing facts or saving face, we were left in no doubt how our favourites and not-so-favourites (that’s you, Ramsay, you c***g*****m s***h***t) are positioned for the season ahead.

Of course our most beloved face remained heart-stoppingly still for the entire episode, but don’t worry, I’m not panicking about that at all. Sure, I gulped a Xanax smoothie directly after the episode finished, but I remain confident we’re going to see a Snow drift back into our lives very soon. Somebody turn on Jefferson Airplane - it’s time to dive down the rabbit hole and get fr-ea-ky.

Episode 1: The Red Woman

It began as it ended - with Jon Snow dead in his namesake. Luckily Ghost’s howls of pain were loud enough to be heard over the biting north winds, drawing Ser Davos to the sight of Jon’s exquisite corpse.

Dolorous Edd and a small pool of other faithful friends gathered to help Davos take Jon inside and lay him on his Lord Commander’s desk. A good choice; I too would lay Jon on his Lord Commander’s desk should the opportunity ever arise. There’s a joke there about rigor mortis, but I am far too classy a recappespondent to make it.

This coming together of like-minded, Jon-friendly souls - aka, decent godsdamn people - was such a joy to watch. Edd figured out immediately that Ser Alliser Thorne, a guy who’d give Richard Nixon a run in the shitty personality stakes, was responsible for Jon’s death, and only a few people (and Ghost!) could be trusted.

I suspect Ser Davos, a one-time smuggler, was always a natural leader, before Stannis showed him mercy by chopping off his fingers. Stannis is gone, but that has not left Ser Davos floundering like any run-of-the-mill dependant lieutenant. We see ample evidence of his natural capacity to give orders, act wisely, and judge character as he works out how to deal with this latest turn of events. He’s the one who figures out despite being outgunned, outmanned, and outplanned by the rest of the traitorous watch, there is no point in facing a quick death by trying to kill as many traitorous Night’s Watchmen as possible, which was Edd’s initial plan.

Ser Davos reminds him they weren’t the only friends Jon had, and Edd gets the message - it's the Wildlings, stupid! He slips out to no doubt light a fire under Tormund Giantsbane’s capacious bottom, while the others stay holed up to protect Jon’s body.

The always antagonistic relationship between Melisandre and Davos appears to be thawing, as she’s the only person the faithful group will let in to examine the corpse. It makes sense, given they have a lot more in common now. Crestfallen by the realisation Stannis was not her mythical warrior of prophecy, she suffers a double blow with the loss of Jon, and her face is truly worth pitying. “I saw him in the flames, fighting at Winterfell,” she intones, no doubt crushed by the thought of not having the opportunity to knock up a shadow baby with him. Sorry, Kate Bush, but there’s nothing in that man’s eyes, let alone a child.

Thorne himself is quite happy to declare his role in The Most Beautiful Boy in the World’s demise, convincing the Black Brothers he had to do what he did because Jon would have ruined the Watch with all that “tolerance” and “big picture thinking”. Actually, forget Nixon, Alliser Thorne is really Donald Trump. Next he’ll be making the Wildlings pay for repairs to The Wall.

Jon’s temporary mausoleum is surrounded by his one-time brothers, and Ser Alliser Trump insists they’ll be treated fairly if they give up. He even offers to let Ser Davos ride south as a free man, complete with a fresh horse. “And mutton,” Ser Davos demands, with more cheek than a faulty g-string.

For the Onion Knight has Ser Alliser Trump’s measure, and the group agrees that if they let him in, they will be slaughtered. While they hope Edd and the Wildlings can make it back before sundown, Ser Davos suggests recruiting Melisandre. “What can one woman do against forty men?” one watchmen cries, and Seaworth’s face is priceless. “You haven’t seen her do what I’ve seen her do,” he responds, his seemingly forgotten hatred of Melisandre a confirmation of his status as a good guy. Which puts him in terrible, terrible risk. Please don’t kill Ser Davos.

And quick aside - anybody else notice that Olly sure did age up between last night when he stabbed Jon Snow, and this morning when he attended the Watch meeting with Ser Alliser? Must have been one of those growth spurts.

Of course we waited the rest of the episode (don’t worry, I’ll get to that) to see Kate Bush launch into a stirring rendition of Don’t Give Up, do some spooky Asshai magic and un-Avada Kedavra Jon Snow. But no.

It turns out that Kate Bush isn’t the only chanteuse with whom Melisandre has something in common. She goes a little bit Barbra Streisand when she removes her robe and her bejewelled choker to show us that The Mirror Has Two Faces. Beneath her porcelain skin and firm, youthful musculature (and boobs) stands the face and body of a woman far, far older. Stooped, sagged, grey, glorious.

In one image, it’s an indictment on what a woman must do to have power in this world. Melisandre draws on sexual energy; ergo, the face she presents must remain young, beautiful, tempting. My reaction is a classic contemporary feminazi dilemma - my soul screams hooray, but my vanity wonders where I could pick up one of those handy chokers. I’m generally a rationalist type, but if following the Lord of Light means being able to magick yourself into a slim seductress, sign me up. My overly extensive collection of make-up and diet shakes indicates I’m already a sucker for any cult that promises eternal youth and pert buns.

Still, I hope resurrection will be on the cards in episode two. After all, Jon Snow’s body has yet to be burned, so it’s still ripe for re-entry. Into the world, of course. And I’m sure Kate Bush will bounce back. She is the Rubbaband Girl after all.

In Winterfell, BOOOO HISSSS Ramsay Bolton is “mourning” his mistress Myranda, who face-planted into the cobblestones courtesy of a well-timed Theon Greyjoy shove. A kennel master’s daughter, she was one fearless bitch, and he pledges to repay the pain she suffered one thousand times over. Oh joy, as if Ramsay needed more levels.

BOOO HISSSS Roose Bolton congratulates his son on routing Stannis’s army, and confirms that the last Baratheon brother did indeed met his end. Suck on that, Stannis-Is-Alive conspiracy theorists. Roose, calm as always, then works to undermine Ramsay’s confidence by reminding him that a broken Baratheon army is no match for a properly prepped Lannister onslaught. And if Ramsay doesn’t find Sansa, his legitimising claim-bride, that’s exactly what will happen. “A reckoning will come,” Roose monotones, intriguingly calm about potential ruination at the hands of angry North Men.

The elder Bolton then issues the mother of all passive-aggressive threats. If there’s no Sansa, then Ramsay can’t sire an heir. And if he has no heir, well… “Let us hope the maesters are right and Lady Walla will have a boy.” Oh GOSH I hope that happens. Actually, wait, maybe I don’t. I get the feeling Ramsay will treat a boy child worse than old Craster north of the wall.

Ramsay’s hounds are in hot pursuit of Theon Greyjoy and Sansa Stark, who are running through wintry forest in an exemplary tribute to Taylor Swift’s Out of the Woods video clip. Sansa can’t face going into a freezing river to hide their scent, but Theon gently but urgently convinces her. It’s a gorgeous moment of trust, and another step in the Redemption of Reek. And it makes us realise there was an upside to the whole whiskaway-willy situation - no shrinkage.

The tactic is in vain however, since Bolton’s men eventually find the pair. Theon tries to hide Sansa in the roots of a fallen tree, but it’s no good. All seems lost, with the Flayed Man decorative motifs on the soldier’s backs a stark reminder of what punishment may await them back at Winterfell.

AND THEN THE MOST AWESOME OF AWESOME THINGS TO EVER AWESOME HAPPENS.

Brienne, beautiful, mighty, brave Brienne, gallops up on her horse and F***S SHIT RIGHT UP.

Oh man, what utter joy. She is thrown from her horse, set upon by Boltonese bastards, but gets back up and keeps fighting, slitting throats with glorious gusto. Even Podrick Payne, her batman (or should that be Robin to Brienne’s Batman?) manages to stab off a goon.

And when Podrick himself is threatened, it’s Theon who grabs a discarded sword and plunges it into the back of the attacker. It’s a callback to Season One, when Theon shot the Wildling holding Bran hostage. Despite all that has happened to him, all his own screw ups, loyalty to the Starks remains a deeply held value. Oh Gods, I think I’ve developed a massive soft spot for Theon. This cannot end well (for a variety of reasons).

With the BOOOO HISSSS Bolton drones dispensed with, it only remains for Brienne to once again pledge her sword and service to Sansa, just as she did to her mother Catelyn. Sansa, long past her “brave knights and fair ladies” stage, still knows how to conjour the courtly language when the need arises. Although she doesn’t quite get through her part of the pledge without a little help from Pod, which is possibly the most adorable moment of the show.

Brienne’s face as she is accepted by Sansa is transformatively beautiful. She is not whole without a purpose, a reason to fight, someone to protect. Her face glows, and it’s not just the glare off the snow. Once again, it’s the women of Game of Thrones showing what true courage looks like, and I couldn’t be more thrilled at this new Scooby gang.

Down in King’s Landing Cersei Lannister gave us good face as she waited for the boat bringing Myrcella Water back to her. After her Walk of Shame, the arrival of her beloved only daughter would be some welcome news. And as much as I loathe Cersei in so many ways, I couldn’t help my heart breaking for her as she realised her daughter was dead.

Later, as she and Jaime reflected on their loss, she talked about how good, sweet and pure Myrcella Water was. “I don’t know where she came from,” she said. “She was nothing like me, no meanness or jealousy.” Throners, I couldn’t help it. I LOVED Cersei in that instant. The self-awareness is stinging. I had never thought Cersei really knew herself, but she does, she really does. She knows she is incapable of basic decency, and so her fight to keep her children safe was not just lioness pride, but the knowledge that they kept a check on her character flaws. They gave her humanity.

Of course, right on cue, Jaime was there to fire her up again with his stirring mantra: “F*** prophecy, f*** fate, f*** everyone who isn’t us.” Reflective Cersei will no doubt be boxed away again quickly, clamped down on more tightly than extreme kegels. Let off the leash to indulge in her flaws, Cersei will no doubt cause chaos once more.

We catch a brief glimpse of Margaery Tyrell, aka the Queen of King Tommen, aka Royal Clothes Horse and Baby Maker Kate Middleton. Huddled away in her cell, her former finery reduced to rags her life appears to have become an episode of Prisoner, with the stern Septa Unella doing a fine impression of The Freak, interrupting scripture readings with calls to “Confess!”.

“She is over zealous,” explains the High Sparrow, who comes in to offer nothing much more than cheap talk to Margaery, frankly. He doesn’t give her any information on whether her brother Slow Lorus is OK, and despite her insistence that she doesn’t have any crimes to confess to, maintains she has a long road to travel. Before what? Will she be made do a Cersei strut herself? Honestly, what is Big Bird playing at? He’s a true believer, surely. But what good is all this relentless purging? Will he only be happy when everyone else is wearing grubby oversized nightshirts like him?

And hey, what about all that death in Dorne? Poor Prince Doran, so trusting of the villainous and passionate Ellaria Sand. He told her to stop plotting, so she must have stopped. Like seven hells she did. That was a classic Game of Thrones "Surprise! Murder!" moment, when Doran opened up the raven's note, gasped in surprise at the news of Myrcella Water's death, then copped a dagger to the chest courtesy of his dead brother's paramour. Daughter Nymeria was in action too, taking out Area Hotah (possibly the most thankless role in the show to date?), and the messenger, while the guards stood silent.

It was a particularly brutal scene, watching Ellaria stand tall over a bleeding Prince Doran, begging for the life of his son. Doran knew himself; knew he was not an adventurer like the dead Oberyn, but was the kind of ruler the Red Viper never could be. Who cares, says Ellaria. You're weak, you don't know your people, you don't know that they hate you. Of course, we don't really know either, given the Dornish scenes so far show only royals and palace guards in the damn place, but that's a budget issue. "Weak men will not be allowed to rule Dorne anymore," she declares. Valar Morghulis, indeed.

Over in Meereen (home of the prized Meereeno wool), Varys and Tyrion are taking a stroll around a city at a standstill. Disguised as merchants, they see the damage caused by the Sons of the Harpy rebellion and Daenarys’ flight. Hungry citizens, scrappy prayer meetings, Lord of Light infiltration, murderers around every corner, insubordinate street art - and the whole of Daenarys’ fleet up in flames. “I guess we’re not going to Westeros after all,” quips Tyrion. How will they rule a city where they are no longer welcome (“Mhysa is a Master/Kill the Masters”), and have lost their one unifying symbol, the Queen?

Jorah Mormont and Daario “Maario” Noharis are on the hunt for the Khaleesi, following a trail of dragon leftovers up into the mountains of the Dothraki Sea. They discuss reasons why she might not have come back, including, as Maario suggests, escaping from “men like us”. “I’ve been all over the world,” replies Jorah. “And there’s no escaping men like us.”

Oh, boom. “Men like us”. Men who mean well, but do bad things. JORAH SUMS UP THE PATRIARCHY, YO.

He also manages to find Daenarys’ pearl ring, a really lucky coincidence when you think about it. But the ring confirms that she’s been taken by a Dothraki horde, and he and Maario continue their rescue mission. Because they are men like them. Jorah’s greyscale is spreading, but he says nothing of it. Because he is a man like him.

As for Dany herself, she’s busy being subjected to physical flagellation and verbal affronts courtesy of two Dothraki bloodriders.

They make all manner of lewd suggestions about her hair, whether the carpets match the drapes, all that sort of thing. They threaten her with sexual violence, although one does cheerfully suggest that he prefers his sexual conquests to be able to talk, “otherwise we are just dogs”. Ahh, the sensitivity the Dothraki are known for.

Eventually Dany is brought before a new Khal, Moro. Now Moro in my dictionary means the Cadbury Mars Bar ripoff currently only found clogging up boxes of Favourites (closely followed by the Cherry Ripe and the Turkish Delight), so he sounds too delicious to be scary.

Dany informs Khal Chocolate Bar that she is Daenarys Stormborn, of House Targaryen, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Breaker of Chains, Mother of Dragons, Yada of Yada. He doesn’t seem impressed, and intends to have her for himself that night, despite the protestations of his wives that she must be a witch.

Like a true dudebro, he only backs off when Dany tells him she was married to Khal Drogo. It turns out to be forbidden to touch widows of former Khals. And, it is known, that the only suitable life for a former Khaleesi is hanging about in Vaes Dothrak with all the other widows. Dany is not impressed. Jorah said she was too smart to enjoy being Queen of Meereen. That remains true, but it’s got to be a better option than, to misquote Satre, “Hell with Other Horse People”.

Yay! Best Moments

Honestly, the Brienne/Bolton Battle was hard to beat. But for comedy’s sake, I have to make it the Python-esque scenario of Khal Nougat-and-Caramel describing seeing a beautiful woman naked for the first time as the finest thing in life, only to be challenged by his bloodriders. “OK fine!” he eventually concedes. “Seeing a beautiful woman naked for the first time is one of the top five finest things in life!” I tell you, nobody expected that from this episode.

Zing! Best Lines

I was sorry to see poor Trystane Martell dispensed with so early in the piece. He was a very dishy young thing, and was very likely going to be added to my ogling roster. However, the master stroke - Obara Sand’s spear through the back of his head - really was a master stroke. And it allowed her sister Tyene to deliver the corker line “You’re a greedy bitch, you know that?” I noticed that the Sand Snakes had sexy new costumes this time around; maybe they’re going to step up the zingers as well.

Ewww, gross

Ramsay Bolton’s breathtaking declaration that Myranda’s body was “good meat” and should be fed to the dogs was as disgustingly messed up as it was completely and utterly expected.

Boo, sucks

Arya’s brief appearance as a blind beggar on the streets of Braavos seemed a bit tacked on. Don’t get me wrong, I love Arya as much as the next gal, but I want her plotline to move faster. I know, I know, she’s got to pay for her mistake in taking a face when she wasn’t yet No One, but damn it, Meryn Trant deserved that eye stabbing. And a bit of street biffo with That-other-chick-from-the-House-of-Black-and-White-who-doesn’t-seem-to-have-a-name-and-so-is-really-hard-to-reference just wasn’t that exciting.

Apart from that, my only complaint was the lack of action for some characters we so love to watch/hate watch. For example - no Littlefinger? I mean, I hate the guy like I hate tomato on a sandwich, but it would’ve been nice to place him somewhere so I can keep a watchful eye on the creep. A glimpse of the gorgeously goofy Sam Tarly would have been a sight for sore eyes. And I was so hoping to see Bran and Hodor again! No Hodor! Denied!

That’s it for our first episode, beloved Throners. Another nine juicy hour-long morsels to savour. Oooh, my mouth is watering more than a sweaty gardener flagrantly ignoring drought restrictions.

Remember, you can comment here on the ‘Burger, or join up at my Facebook page. I’m also experimenting with a Patreon campaign this season. If you like these recaps and can afford it, I’m asking you to consider paying $1 per recap.

Thank you all SO much for joining me again this season. These recaps honestly are soul food for me, and your comments and discussion points are the most delicious of desserts. Valar Morghulis!

95 Responses to ‘Raven On S6E1: The Red Woman’

Cee has opinions thus...

Posted Monday
I feel I need more time to digest the amazing first episode and this pun-tastic recap before I respond but I wanted to chip in now to say hooray for season 6 and hooray for your recaps.

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MONICA asserts...

Posted Monday
Fabulous, Ive missed you!

bruiser asserts...

Posted Tuesday
I missed you most!

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Catherine is gonna tell you...

Posted Monday
I love your work. I think you have written more words about one episode than you have an entire series.

girlclumsy puts forth...

Posted Tuesday
That would not surprise me. I am overly verbose. But there are so many things to say! :)

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Bob asserts...

Posted Monday
Excellent review. Please send all leftover Moros and Turkish delights.

trib mutters...

Posted Tuesday
Greedy! You can have the Moros and I'll take the Turkish Delights. Or we can split, even though I'm not really a fan of Moros.
Also, yay for excellent recaps - with here, AV Club, and Pajiba, we are blessed indeed.

girlclumsy puts forth...

Posted Tuesday
Now, now, let there be no fighting over chocolates.
Actually, scratch that, I'm taking the Mint Bubbly and Dream bars and you two can duke it out in Draznak's Pit. :)

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vitas has opinions thus...

Posted Monday
It took me a while to track down where these recaps would be, but it was worth the effort. It's not really Game of Thrones without Nat's recap.

I'm really keen on the story up north this season - the Wall, the wildlings, Sansa & Theon, Bran (?), the Bolton's, Littlefinger and that bastard Snow

As always 9/10. You've lost points previously for liking that damn Kevin Costner Robin Hood movie, and this time you lost a point for dissing Cherry Ripe's.

girlclumsy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Tuesday
"Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" is solid, Vitas. SOLID.

I agree with you on the northern storylines though! They'll certainly be crucial to the long game. Now that Sansa has teamed up with Brienne, I'm also hoping for stabbing. LOTS of stabbing.

Melissa mumbles...

Posted Tuesday

Respond to this thread

Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted Monday
My goodness this recap went up promptly, your speed of recapping only exceeded by your witty bom mots.

girlclumsy asserts...

Posted Tuesday
Don't get used to it - I had the public holiday on my side!

Respond to this thread

Trent swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Monday
Yeah I dont know about that comedy routine with the Dothraki. It was like sitcom humour and didnt fit with the rest of the thrones subtle humour. Felt very out of place to me.

girlclumsy ducks in to say...

Posted Tuesday
I take your point. I think because it was in Dothraki they got away with it. Had it been in the Common Tongue it would have been too obvious.

KP mutters...

Posted Tuesday
Me too. It really jarred. It was funny, but nobody expects funny from the Dothraki do they?

Gingernuts reckons...

Posted Tuesday
Jeez, I dunno. When Dany's brother asked for a crown of gold, the Dothraki pulled one of the funniest practical jokes ever, I thought.

Respond to this thread

Steerforth swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Monday
"more efficiently than a hoarder on kerbside collection day." Just for that, I'll track your Patreon down and give you a dollar.
(If there is more laying of Jon down on his Lord Commander's desk I'll give you two.)

girlclumsy mumbles...

Posted Tuesday
Under great suffering, I will take all the Patreon monies to lay with Jon Snow. I am generous and selfless like that.

Shanti would have you know...

Posted Tuesday
I would lay with Jon Snow for nothing! Hang on - that's necrophilia! Maybe not!

girlclumsy mutters...

Posted Wednesday
He's not dead, Shanti, just resting! Until I get my hands on him, that is...

Respond to this thread

ReadYouIWill ducks in to say...

Posted Monday
So glad I tracked your recaps down to their new home. You give great pun. And bonus points for the local kerbside collection reference. For she who has no name, may I suggest something referencing her other cool role, as an earnest but daffy uni student in Fresh Meat. Or maybe just a descriptor like "the Nutty Apprentice"? She spooks the heck outta me!

girlclumsy asserts...

Posted Tuesday
I've not seen Fresh Meat! I remember her primarily as Queen Anne Neville from the sumptous "White Queen" drama from the UK a few years ago. But I fear that nickname would be totally lost on people.

Respond to this thread

Allen puts forth...

Posted Monday
Good to see you back Nat

girlclumsy ducks in to say...

Posted Tuesday
Thanks Allen!

Respond to this thread

Mark is gonna tell you...

Posted Monday
I'm a little shocked at your review... I mean I knew you weren't the average person but to learn that you don't like tomatoes on a sandwich... man that's seriously messed up. What other aberrations will you reveal in the coming weeks?
Other than that I agreed and enjoyed everything you wrote!

girlclumsy reckons...

Posted Tuesday
I am just not a fan of raw tomato.
Mush it up into a delicious pasta sauce though, and I'm your gal. It's a strange thing, but there you go.
Where do you stand on pineapple on pizza? I'm all for it.

BillBixby219 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Wednesday
pineapple on pizza? and to think, i thought i was falling in love with you.

girlclumsy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Wednesday
SURELY OUR LOVE CAN OVERCOME OUR DIFFERENCES ON SAVOURY SNACKS

Mark asserts...

Posted Wednesday
Pineapple on pizza!! OMG So sad that a girl like you has such dark and weird tastes. To quote BillBixby219 "and I thought I was falling in love with you"... too.

Respond to this thread

Craig reckons...

Posted Monday
I could so rock tinder with a Melisandre necklace:P

girlclumsy asserts...

Posted Tuesday
Head to Lovisa at lunch my friend, and make it happen. :)

Sleepdeprived puts forth...

Posted Tuesday
I chocked when I read that. Lol

Respond to this thread

Rhino asserts...

Posted Tuesday
My summer weekend ritual is now complete. Dinner at Chef Larry's and watching the show followed by this recap. Puts me in my comfy space it does.
Great job, Nat (may I call you Nat? Cause I feel like we're buddies.)
Looking forward to more.

girlclumsy ducks in to say...

Posted Tuesday
Of course! I've been called a lot worse than Nat. :)

Respond to this thread

she_jedi mutters...

Posted Tuesday
Brienne's entry stage right was the most awesome thing in the history of awesome. I actually cheered and clapped as she came galloping to the rescue. So much awesome. And Pod! Go Pod!

Suffice to say it's the women of Game of Thrones who are (literally) killing it this episode, here's hoping the trend continues for the rest of the season.

I've possibly missed your recaps more than the show. I agree wholeheartedly about tomato on a sandwich, but don't dis the Moro - it's a miniature Cadbury Whip, which was sadly discontinued, and was a totally better Mars Bar than a Mars Bar ever was. Give me your Moros, your Cherry Ripes, your Turkish Delights and the other huddled masses from your box of Favourites if you're not going to appreciate them properly :P

girlclumsy puts forth...

Posted Tuesday
Fine with me, take all the Moros. I'll have the Crunchies. If I can wrangle them off JB, of course. He is the King of Crunchies.
And yes, there was much whooping for Brienne from my end as well. :)

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Paul asserts...

Posted Tuesday
1. Wait months.2. Decide will wait until end of season and buy on iTunes.3. Realise can't wait for NatRecaps.4. Pay money to Foxtel.5. Watch crappy SD stream - but it doesn't matter: Brienne still rocked.6. Allow a few hours.7. Go to Faifax, see substandard, highly unamusing attempt at recap.8. Panic. Then frantically Google. 9. Find. Read. Laugh. 10. All is well with the world. Stars back in their courses. Thanks Nat.

girlclumsy would have you know...

Posted Tuesday
Awwww. May you be blessed by the Seven. :)

Respond to this thread

WT Gator swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Tuesday
It was all over so fast. Thank you for the ability to relive it vicariously via your recap. Well done.

girlclumsy asserts...

Posted Tuesday
An hour just flies by, doesn't it? I love being swept away like that. Glad the recaps preserve a little bit of the joy. :)

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Ser PK asserts...

Posted Tuesday
Nice work!

girlclumsy reckons...

Posted Tuesday
Taa very much!

Respond to this thread

Dropbear mumbles...

Posted Tuesday
what the hell is wrong with tomato on a sandwhich??

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Jo .... asserts...

Posted Tuesday
Oh wow thanks and now I'm happy.....phew! A fantastic recap which I almost couldn't wait for yesterday - I did think at one point "hurry up Nat and hit post"!!!! But then I also realised you actually have a job and have kitten babies to feed and well it was sunny so maybe you walked along the beach....so NOW I'm happy ! Funny, clever and topped with a Cadbury Cherry (Ripe).

girlclumsy is gonna tell you...

Posted Tuesday
I would love to be quicker at these damn things, but there's just so much. My brain needs some time to process it. Otherwise it would just be "OH GOD DID YOU SEE WHEN X DID Y AND JON SNOW IS HOT" like, the whole way through. :)

Respond to this thread

pedrogb would have you know...

Posted Tuesday
I did enjoy watching it, but I must admit to enjoying the recap almost as much. Worth the price of admission!
Thanks

girlclumsy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Tuesday
Yay! Thank you so much for your kind words. :)

Respond to this thread

The Light Walker is gonna tell you...

Posted Tuesday
A tribute to The Raven Woman...and her fandom!WOW !...you could make a book out of your recaps...they spark the imagination, and attract a really cool fandom. My favourite "post show world" to visit...love the recap...love the comments...

girlclumsy asserts...

Posted Tuesday
I have pondered the whole e-Book idea. I'd need to find an illustrator I think to break it up a bit.
Also I never recapped the first season, so I'd have to go back and try to do it from hindsight. Which would be weird.

she_jedi would have you know...

Posted Tuesday
I'm all for an ebook of your recaps, perhaps when the entire show has ended. Recapping season one wouldn't be totally weird, you and Stu are already doing it on the podcast. You could just put a disclaimer in about season one and move on.

In short I would totes throw money at you for an ebook collection of all your recaps :)

Respond to this thread

Dick swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Tuesday
I agree

bruiser would have you know...

Posted Tuesday
Me too! SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY

Respond to this thread

Janice has opinions thus...

Posted Tuesday
I appreciate the 'Hamilton' reference (It was a reference? Or am I too obsessed?). Great recap, I'll be back

girlclumsy mumbles...

Posted Tuesday
Well done! You're the first person who got that. It's been on high rotation on my playlist, with "My Shot" my current motivational music. I wrote that line then realised Oh! It's Hamilton! Figured I'd let it fly and see if anyone noticed. :)

Respond to this thread

Wendyemily mutters...

Posted Tuesday

Nat, I admit to a moment of panic, like Tyrion gets when he can't find a drink, when I thought that your recaps were no more. Luckily some wonderful soul over on the very ordinary recap on SMH told us where to find you! And thanks to the Gods, both old & new, I have found my way home! For what is GoT without your wise words of counsel? Methinks it would all be not quite the same watching my fav show without you! Loved the first ep and thought it was done well, filling us in on what most of our favs were up to. And I also cheered when Brienne turned up to save Sansa and Theon. Had me leaping up and shouting "you get em girl". Wonderful stuff. Hurry up next week. And I too, haven't given up on Jon Snow yet. We must live in hope!


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Gingernuts mutters...

Posted Tuesday
GoT is back - great! But in the best news ever...
girlclumsy's recaps are back -wahoooo!!!!
Magnificent effort as ever, Nat.

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Rob puts forth...

Posted Tuesday
Choice! More devilry than a Lannister plot, more flamboyant than a Braavosi sword dancer, flashier than Oberyn Martell's spear point, all we need now is for you to reveal your inner love for Ramsay and your complexity will be truly epic enough to be Queen of King's Landing!

girlclumsy mutters...

Posted Wednesday
Ramsay Bolton? NEVER! Oberyn's flashy spear point though....meow!

Respond to this thread

taezar mutters...

Posted Tuesday
I totally LOLed at dothraki sketch comedy!

girlclumsy mutters...

Posted Wednesday
They need their own twee sitcom: "Dothraki About the House" "Dothraki and Son" "Open All Dothraki" "Keeping Up Dothraki" "As Dothraki Goes By"

Respond to this thread

Jen mumbles...

Posted Tuesday
Oh, how I wish they'd released the whole season a la Netflix!
But then I would have finished watching them all by now, and would be waiting a whole year for the next season!
Thanks for the redirection, SMH people!

girlclumsy ducks in to say...

Posted Wednesday
I, for one, am happy we have to wait. If only because I'd be exhausted trying to recap 10 episodes in a few days! But also because it gives us that wonderful shared experience of waiting and theorising. :)

Respond to this thread

Marcus ducks in to say...

Posted Tuesday
Loved having you back, Nat. Brilliant review as always. I know a newspaper that is missing out big time but their loss is definitely our gain. I would like to see everyone in Westeros try on that necklace and see what effect it has on each. Who knows? Walder Frey may actually be Fabio...

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Marcus mutters...

Posted Tuesday
Loved having you back, Nat. Brilliant review as always. I know a newspaper that is missing out big time but their loss is definitely our gain. I would like to see everyone in Westeros try on that necklace and see what effect it has on each. Who knows? Walder Frey may actually be Fabio...

girlclumsy mumbles...

Posted Wednesday
Oh dear God, no, surely not even the necklace from Titanic could make Walder Frey look good?

Respond to this thread

Drogon the Kitten blurts loudly... asserts...

Posted Tuesday
Mhysa !!! Thank the Gods I found you, for without you this kitten frets in incompleteness, much like Reek watching Ramsey eat a sausage. Brilliant and hilarious yet again...... Seven Blessings

girlclumsy ducks in to say...

Posted Wednesday
Shhhh, shhhh, there there now, it's all going to be okay. The Mother of Kittens will protect you from the Night which is Dark and full of Terrors.

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Drogon the Kitten is gonna tell you...

Posted Tuesday
The recap on Fairfax totally sucked the pus......

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John Layne has opinions thus...

Posted Tuesday
I went looking for this recap in the usual place, thank heavens I found this blog! The day after GOT day, just wouldn't be the same without your recap.

girlclumsy would have you know...

Posted Wednesday
Nawwww.

Respond to this thread

Kate ducks in to say...

Posted Tuesday
Wow! Everyone is so much more patient than I am... I have waited months and months and months to finally know if Jon Snow is actually dead dead or if he has warged or if he will reappear from flames or something else theorists haven't thought of .... and no answer! So peeved now I have to wait another week or even two ... Ps I know you adore Kit Harington but I saw him in a war movie and he was not as good as he is as Jon Snow.... I know the actor wants to do more movies but I really think his best role is Jon Snow..

girlclumsy reckons...

Posted Wednesday
Kit Harington? Who is Kit Harington? Jon Snow is real, yeah? He's real, damnit!

Respond to this thread

Peter Bradley ducks in to say...

Posted Tuesday
Absolute gold. I knew it was going to be good when I read "your eyes as piercing as a Dornish spear through the back of a skull".

Respond to this comment

Therbs swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Tuesday
This is aces. I'm not going to have to watch GoT, just read the recaps here.

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Shanti swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Tuesday
So glad that GoT is back and so glad that your recaps are as well - they are the icing on the cake!

girlclumsy asserts...

Posted Wednesday
Oh man, I hope they're butter cream icing. That stuff's the best.

Respond to this thread

Sparty has opinions thus...

Posted Tuesday
Kate; agree- he wears fur and leather better than cotton slacks. One bjt which jarred was the protest graphity which was written in the wall in English. Tyrion read it out aloud to us so it should have just been in made up Valarian. Even Starwars knows that English lettering seems strange when you go to the effort of subtitling Dothraki / Huttesse.

girlclumsy asserts...

Posted Wednesday
THIS! Sparty, you're so on point. Stu and I actually discuss this on this week's podcast, because I remembered reading it somewhere, but couldn't remember where exactly! So thank you. :)

Respond to this thread

SZF would have you know...

Posted Tuesday
What's the Dothraki word for "aqueduct"?

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Dylan reckons...

Posted Wednesday
I'll pay to read your recaps anyday! :)

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Lorna has opinions thus...

Posted Wednesday
Awesome as always Nat ...someone's already said it but absolutely the icing on the cake following GOT return ...Yay!

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Stormy has opinions thus...

Posted Wednesday
Having searched the length & breadth of Fairfax to find you I finally arrived! Would have been quicker getting to Braavos. LTR (love the recap) MoK (mother of kittens). Any Carravagio fans out there? Relook at Kate Bush moving into the Lord Commander's room. Near stillness, slow movement, beautiful light source, deep shadows. The scenery in GoT is a knockout, but this was one of the most beautifully composed shots I've seen. Congrats to the DoP.

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girlclumsy ducks in to say...

Posted Wednesday
Stormy! Love the Caravaggio reference! My goodness, thinking about it, wouldn't he just be ALL over Game of Thrones? It's like, his world. And yes, the deep red of Melisandre's robes, the darkness pricked only by light through a window - it's a bit "Death of the Virgin", isn't it?

Stormy would have you know...

Posted Wednesday
Absolutely. Have a quiz at the long lost Caravaggio, "Judith Beheading Holofernes" He's foretold Brienne's fine work.

Stormy asserts...

Posted Wednesday
Squiz!

Respond to this thread

Dornish Pasty puts her two cents worth swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Wednesday
Havent seen this ep yet but content to read your blog....hilare!!

Dornish Pasty puts her two cents worth puts forth...

Posted Wednesday
Yes girlclumsy is right - the design has just got better and betterer....I watched season 1 -3 recently with a mate who seems to have had her head under water for the last three years - and one can see how the design gets more lavish, the camera work more complex. Some of the scene's in semi dark are masterful, the camera framing is fantastic, editing superb.

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Luke mutters...

Posted Wednesday
So glad you are still doing recaps! I was disappointed when I went to the Brisbane Times page and some other dude was doing it! It's like when they replaced the guy playing Daario Neharis but worse! I look forward to the recaps almost as much as the episodes, keep it up!

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Where'sMyDragon mutters...

Posted Wednesday
Life is complete now that I've found these recaps again. Definitely will send some cash your way. C'mon gang - surely we can all manage that. Now, that bitchy bit of nonsense from the House of Black & White is called the Waif (or in my house, 'that nasty chick with a face like a busted arseh0le') for future reference. Definitely the best bit was Brienne - except when you watch the episode the 2nd and 3rd (and more) times, the look does look somewhat akin to constipation - which is a shame. Great episode - fantastic recap. Welcome back Nat! :)

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BMM would have you know...

Posted Wednesday
Happy to send you cash, Recapcorrespondent. You're too funny to starve. That would be a tragedy too hideous for even George R R Martin to dream up. How does one do this?

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Marty has opinions thus...

Posted Thursday
Nat - I must confess, when I saw that brilliant sight of Brienne of f...... Tarth come out of nowhere, I actually thought of you! I thought 'that Nat will be loving this.' What a great scene it was and I love how you recapped it. Loving your reviews, especially this one.

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The girl who watches has opinions thus...

Posted Thursday
Nat! I found you! Thank the old gods and the new! Wouldn't be a season of GoT without you.

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Drogon The Kitten mumbles...

Posted Yesterday
I don't get it, how did the Sand Snakes get on the boat with Marcella and Trystane to kill him ??? He got on the boat at Dorn but Obara & Nymeria were still sitting' on the dock of the bay, do they have a Teleporter ???

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Respond to 'Raven On S6E1: The Red Woman'

One. More. Sleep

Posted Sunday into Telly by girlclumsy

Greetings, Burgers and Beloved Throners!

There is just one more sleep until Game of Thrones Season Six is unleashed on the world with the kind of terrifying passion I would unleash on Jon Snow if only he would let me.

I'm so thrilled to be writing my Raven On recaps here on Cheeseburger Gothic, a blog I've followed ever since I met JB in 2007.

If you'd have asked my teenaged self, giggling at her favourite book The Tasmanian Babes Fiasco, whether a mere *cough cough* years later, she would be writing deep, mature analysis on a worldwide phenomenon on that same author's website, she would have been stunned. In fact, current Natalie is also stunned, as I usually stick to juvenile ogling and overly emotional rants, so I'm going to have to pull something sensible out of the fire this season.

Season Six is particularly special because of how it has united the book readers and the show watchers for the very first time. We are all in - to quote a playwright who coincidentally died 400 years ago this weekend - "the undiscovered country".

To mark the occasion, my podcast buddy Stuart Layt and I recorded a preview podcast in which we ramble on like Sam Tarly after a few good books.

You can subscribe to Raven On via iTunes, or find it here.

I'm also experimenting with Patreon this season - asking readers who can afford it to pledge $1 per recap. You can check out details of why I'm trialling this here.

I also have a Facebook page, which is full of the most delightful people, all obsessed Throners.

And please join me this week for my first recap of the season - and very first one here at Cheeseburger Gothic.

Valar Morghulis!

4 Responses to ‘One. More. Sleep’

dweeze is gonna tell you...

Posted Sunday
Yay for Clumsy Nat. Boo for not being able to watch Se06 until it's all over. Boo for not being able to join in the party. Boo for no Raven On for me. Can you archive these columns (posts and communts) please?

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Murphy_of_Missouri puts forth...

Posted Sunday
Not a Game of Thrones fan myself but I am a GirlClumsy Fan. I've got your back.

As soon as I get paid this Friday.

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JBtoo would have you know...

Posted Monday
I can't find your Facebook page Natalie, what should I search for?

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Quokka ducks in to say...

Posted Wednesday
Does that help? https://www.facebook.com/nataliesthrone

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Respond to 'One. More. Sleep'

Paris teaser and cover art. (Beware. Mild Cairo spoiler)

Posted Sunday by John Birmingham

Seriously. There's a little Cairo spoiler comin' right up below the cover art. By the way... cover art!

So stop reading if you haven't finished Cairo.

I thought I knew how I wanted to start Paris. The first chapter would pick up where Cairo ended, but shift to the PoV of the only member of Viv's crew to get away – the young female operator. You might remember he sent her off a few seconds before everything turned to custard.

Having tried to come at that opener for a week, however, I found it just wasn't working. I knew who the operator was. I understood how she'd come to work for Viv. But that didn't seem to be enough. I needed more back story to explain her motivation and her skillset, which is extreme even by the standards of the uptimers.

And then, it came to me. The first par of the prologue:

Camp 5. Cabanatuan

21 June, 1942.

They came like ghosts from the future, but Gracie was not scared of them. They were her friends. The little girl was something of a ghost herself, the way she spooked around the camp, running errands and messages for the women, avoiding the guards, hiding food and medicine from them, even sneaking into the hut where the Japanese kept their own supplies and stealing away with a tin of beans and a small bag of rice. She only did that once, however. When the Japanese found out somebody had stolen the food, they had been very angry and had done terrible things to the grown ups. They had beaten the little girls and some of the smaller boys with canes too, but what they did to the grown ups was worse – so bad that for a long time Gracie was convinced it brought the ghosts.

She was the first to see them.

24 Responses to ‘Paris teaser and cover art. (Beware. Mild Cairo spoiler)’

Turlogh Dubh O'Brien reckons...

Posted Sunday
I like! What made you think of the ghost analogy, as opposed to say angels or what have you?
Since this is Stalin's Hammer: Paris, are you going to work in that anecdote with an American diplomat who asked Stalin how it feels to be in Berlin at the Potsdam Conference and he replies, deadpan "Tsar Alexander got to Paris"?

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted Sunday
To say, would be to give away spoilers.

Turlogh Dubh O'Brien is gonna tell you...

Posted Sunday
Understood....but you can't blame a guy for trying ;-)

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Dirk ducks in to say...

Posted Sunday
*teeth watering* Don't kill her off :)

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Alister Taylor is gonna tell you...

Posted Monday
Goddamn...
That is an utterly brilliant link to create the backstory.
So, so looking forward to Paris. The Stalin's Hammer series is building most nicely onto AoT (which I've re-read at least annually since the trilogy was completed.)
You have blown away so much of my time, Birmo.
Thank you!

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she_jedi mumbles...

Posted Monday
OMG that was awesome. I can't wait. I also adore the cover art, just beautiful.

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HAVOCK21 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Monday
" INCOMING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"


THAT ROCKS!!!!!!

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Guy ducks in to say...

Posted Monday
I'm still trying to find out how to get SH: Cairo. Can someone enlighten me please? Thanks

she_jedi is gonna tell you...

Posted Tuesday
I believe if you join JB's bookclub you'll get a free download. It's only available in ebook format at the moment. I'm sure JB's got a link to the bookclub on the Burger somewhere

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Rhino has opinions thus...

Posted Tuesday
Love, love, love that.

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Therbs would have you know...

Posted Tuesday

That's a great back link.


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Surtac puts forth...

Posted Tuesday
Gracie? Or is it meant to be Charlie?

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted Tuesday
You'll see.

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted Tuesday
You'll see.

Surtac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Wednesday
Very much looking forward to it.

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Guy mumbles...

Posted Tuesday
I just joined the JB Book Club to get my sweaty paws on SH:Cairo, but apparently "The download limit for this book has been reached. If you need more let me know". I still want my copy!!

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted Tuesday
Try again. There was a bug.

Guy puts forth...

Posted Tuesday
It worked. Much appreciated - that's my entertainment on the train home tonight taken care of. Also looking forward to Paris.

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Dave W mutters...

Posted Wednesday
Vis a vis SH:Cairo, I have obtained my BookFunnel version, but my preferred reading method is kindle. Will there be a compatible version? I'm not averse to contributing to the hovercraft fund...

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted Wednesday
Dave, did you grab the kindle version from Bookfunnel? There is a mobi file there. But to answer your question, yes, Cairo will be in store at Amazon, probably next week. It's doing good work for me right now, building my mailing list.

Dave W would have you know...

Posted Wednesday
Maybe it's just my lack of tech-savvy. I'll keep avoiding the spoilers and wait a week more.

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Peter L reckons...

Posted Yesterday
John, desperate to read Cairo but don't know how to buy it. Not available on IBooks this time?

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Don Bagert mumbles...

Posted 1 hour ago
I that I've figured out the color scheme for the covers. The red of the first book appears to be for the USSR and the communist powers, the sandy color of Cairo for the locale, but it's also kind of a neutral color, so I am assuming that the blue of the Paris cover stands for NATO.

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Respond to 'Paris teaser and cover art. (Beware. Mild Cairo spoiler)'

Balls 53 and BALLS After Dark 43

Posted April 22 into Music by beeso

Beeso and Dr Yobbo do a conscise and relevant (right up until the first night of games) breakdown of the start of the NBA finals and still manage to wedge in some mountain bike, F1 and soccccccer. Get that here

Then in the After Dark, we break format to talk festivals and why they are so retro, whether the Avalanches will ever do a second album and the Doc watches Coachella. Get that here

This week we will probably have a bit of a chat about Prince, considering the news, so drop us a facebook line here or tweet us @theballspodcast if you have any cool memories or sweet youtube links.

4 Responses to ‘Balls 53 and BALLS After Dark 43’

SZF ducks in to say...

Posted April 22
Man, the hits just keep coming. Lemmy, Weiland, Wright, Bowie and now Prince. His own catalogue aside, check out his guitar solo at the George Harrison tribute on the toobz. Fucking epic.
Link already flicked to Balls Facebook.

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Lulu would have you know...

Posted April 22
Prince today, and also (on a slightly different note) Victoria Wood yesterday. Bowie at the beginning of the year. Can someone check on Springsteen & Tina Turner? I feel as if The Dark Side is threatening my childhood favourites.

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Quokka ducks in to say...

Posted April 22
Think on the bright side. Glen Campbell turned 80 today. Perhaps he's got a few more tunes up his sleeve.And before you all scoff, have you heard Cassandra Wilson's 'Wichita Lineman'?cassandra wilson wichita lineman youtube

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AuntyLou asserts...

Posted April 22
Oh Quokka! Thank you for that! I have never experienced Cassandra Wilson before. ..what a revelation! Glen Campbell has always been in my world (especially after marrying a cowboy type...yeah got over that) but that voice! And I have spent a bunch of time just listening to that rumbling glorious timbre...wow.

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