Cheeseburger Gothic

The Dave returns. Sort of

Posted 7 hours ago into The Dave by John Birmingham

Both of the Hooper ebooks have gone live at Amazon. They should drop on iBooks, Kobo and the other stores within 24 hours, but most of the action will be with the Beast of Bezos.

Some folks will heave early copies. Beta readers, as a thank you. Anyone who left a review of Cairo and a name I could track down, also in thanks. (If you did leave a review but didn't hear from me with a thankyou link to free Dave, let me know and I'll sort you out).

For everyone else, the first links are here:

A Protocol for Monsters, and

Soul Full of Guns.

I'll drop other links in my own bookshoppe as they go live. Most of you will also be getting an email about the release in the next day or so.

For now, what would really help are early reviews on both titles. They don't need hundreds. (The magic number is apparently eleven). If you're inclined to help out, you will find I can be a very generous master indeed.

Or, you know, you could just buy the fucking things.

13 Responses to ‘The Dave returns. Sort of’

Therbs puts forth...

Posted 6 hours ago
That looks like reasonable pricing for these e-books. Volume I guess is the aim hence positioning these beauties in the top seller lists via the agency of reviews. I can see the value in dishing out a couple of freebies but sooner or later that'd have to be scaled back. Those bunnies in the hovercraft need grapes to peel and grapes cost money.

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted 5 hours ago
They do, but I'm willing to give away a small percentage of the total sales to get those reviews up. I'm so committed to it I'm thinking of setting up a new mailing list, ruthlessly policed, for people who simply want the books early in exchange for a review.

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WarDog ducks in to say...

Posted 3 hours ago
John thanks, I **really** enjoyed Protocol. Just a heads up for anyone else leaving reviews on Amazon. Apparently they are very picky about what words are allowable in a review. I had to submit several times before I squeezed past their censor goons.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted 43 minutes ago
Yeah, Facebook just told me I can't use the word 'cockpunch' in an ad.

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Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted 3 hours ago
I can see that. I was kinda thinking this early stage of self publishing for you is like someone opening a new bar/bistro.Comp some early punters, get them spreading the word about a new venue. Have the occasional happy hour with free bar snacks. But not so many as makes them too well fed for a proper meal.

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted 43 minutes ago
Zactly.

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Mike reckons...

Posted 3 hours ago
Reading em both now and I must say im quite happy with these micro releases. They help build the Dave universe, the backstory of the supporting actors and create immersion. Do I i yearn for the main course, the next Dave book? Yes, of course, but these novellas remind me of the 1632-verse setup and how all the companion books and novels help create a rich, immersive universe. Reviews coming soon!

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted 42 minutes ago
Next Dave, full length, should be out in October. But I too enjoy these shorter adventures. Especially seeing him through other character's eyes.

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pedrogb reckons...

Posted 2 hours ago
Hi JB You gave me the books. I downloaded them to my kindle via bookfunnel I read them both. I loved them both. However, it appears I can review on my kindle using the "5 star" system, but nothing else. My account is with amazon oz, I don't seem to be able to provide a written review, they aren't for sale on there, therefore can't buy or review? Please help me help you.... Pedro

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted 1 hour ago
That's very odd, Pedro. I'll suss it out. It's not the first time I've seen issues like this. The opening of the Australian store buggered up a lot of things.

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Joe ducks in to say...

Posted 2 hours ago
Ahhhhh forgot to review Cario (which was great btw). I'll lash out and get both Dave-verse titles and review them instead......

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted 42 minutes ago
You 'New Favourite' status awaits you.

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jl swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted 14 minutes ago
Lemme bust out my morning coffee and I will fulfill my duties re: Protocol. Been on a serious Dave binge as of late, Protocol is the last one in line.

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Russia is Hoth

Posted Thursday by John Birmingham

Wired links to a great collection of photos from Russia by Danila Kachenko. Taken for a project called Restricted Areas, they're eerily sci-fi.

Kachenko describes the project thus:

I travel in search of places which used to have great importance for the technical progress - and which are now deserted. Those places lost their significance together with the utopian ideology which is now obsolete. Secret cities that cannot be found on maps, forgotten scientific triumphs, abandoned buildings of almost inhuman complexity. The perfect technocratic future that never came.

I've bookmarked the page in case I ever have to write a story set on a post apocalyptic ice planet.

You can check out the entire collection here.

8 Responses to ‘Russia is Hoth’

Aaron mutters...

Posted Yesterday
It could be an ice age brought on by a wormhole event in an alternate timeline, a nice little tie in...

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Surtac reckons...

Posted Yesterday
Some wonderful images there. Have also bookmarked it.

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Lulu asserts...

Posted Yesterday
I'll bookmark that in my file of "Things which I look at for comfort on 40degC Melbourne summer days".

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insomniac puts forth...

Posted Yesterday
Looks coldth to me

FormerlyKnownAsSimon swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted 11 hours ago
Being a dad i give you an A+ for that one.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon mumbles...

Posted 11 hours ago
Amazing about Chelyabinsk 40. Never heard of it. A mate and his girlfriend rode their bikes through the province a couple of years back as well and expressed surprise. A disaster as big as Chernobyl. Bloody hell

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jl mumbles...

Posted 11 hours ago
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

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Therbs mutters...

Posted 7 hours ago
Those pics look like a montage From Stalin's Hammer of the path of destruction left in the wake of Harry's escape from one of Beria's AirBnB's..

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A free book for you, and it's not even mine

Posted Wednesday into Books by John Birmingham

Steve Vincent is a thriller writer whose work I dig, so I was pleased to see him giving it away. (In return for the usual consideration of an email address and a tiny little piece of your soul. Seriously, a very small piece. You won't even notice the sting).

Steve's got a copy of Fireplay for you, right here.

And I have the prologue below:

PROLOGUE
A flash of lightning illuminated the cell with pale light for only a split second, long enough for Hewad Ghilzai to see his friend on the floor. Positioned unnaturally, he hadn’t moved since the American soldiers had left several hours ago. Hewad hadn’t moved either. He was too scared. He’d been hurt too many times.
Hewad held his knees to his chest and kept his back against the wall. His mind was empty and his tear ducts were dry. Only his grief and the smell of human feces kept his attention in this world at all. He awaited the next. He’d taken the fight to the infidel and ended up in a place worse than hell.
He’d done everything right. Had Allah abandoned him? On most nights the stars provided enough light to see the outline of his bed, the latrine pail and the grilled steel that penned him in, but tonight he couldn’t see an inch in front of his hand. The world was as dark as the heart of his captors, except when lightning lashed at the mountains.
Footsteps approached and a feint light lit the corridor outside his cell. He instinctively hugged his knees tighter and his eyes shot towards the door. As he waited the footsteps grew louder and the light brighter. He whimpered as the heavy door unlocked with a clunk and opened with a squeal.
“Evening haji.” The soldier’s drawl was unmistakable, even as the cell door slammed shut. “I thought you could use some company, what with the storm and all.”
Hewad said nothing. He hadn’t always been so passive and afraid. The blows from combat boots and rifle butts had started a conversion that mutilations and degradation had completed. He was a broken man, a spent soul trapped in a body that had nearly expired.
“Nothing to say?” The soldier sighed as he held the flashlight up to Hewad’s face. “You had some spunk, haji, but now you’re as lively as your friend over there.”
Hewad lifted his hands to shield his eyes as the soldier laughed at his own joke. The light felt like another assault after so much darkness, though it was nothing compared to whatever struck him across the side of the head. It staggered him. He fell onto his side, curled into a ball and tried to protect himself as best he could.
Blows rained on him and he felt himself starting to black out when he heard an earsplitting boom and felt an enormous shockwave. He rolled onto his back and opened his eyes, confused. The flashlight was on the ground, illuminating the chaos. The soldier lay still and half of the wall was missing.
Hewad blinked several times and his senses slowly returned. His pain was intense but in the depths of his mind excitement sparked. He looked at the soldier for several minutes, waiting for him to move. Finally he inched closer, paused and then scurried over and felt for a pulse. None. Allah had delivered him.
He shoved the man. When the body didn’t move Hewad’s eyes widened and he clawed for the man’s canteen, unscrewed the lid and drank deeply. Some of the water spilled to the sand as he sucked at it, gulping and coughing as he fought to overcome the most incredible thirst.
When the water ran out he glanced at the soldier’s sidearm. To take it would be to re-enter the fight, to forget the next life for the moment and take up arms again in this world. He stared at the pistol for several long moments and then looked at the hole that had been blown in the wall. He knew the will of Allah.
Hewad took the soldier’s pistol and boots and then staggered to his feet. He walked towards the hole in the wall, where the lightning had struck the steel window grill and fractured much of the poor quality wall. He hesitated briefly. To step through would mean death if he was captured, but to stay would be to spit in the face of Allah’s mercy. He spat on the soldier instead.
Hewad stepped outside.

11 Responses to ‘A free book for you, and it's not even mine’

Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted Wednesday
Done. I also received an email with downloady links to "Protocol" and "Soul". Cheers guv.

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she_jedi ducks in to say...

Posted Wednesday
Done! Does this mean I have two masters now?

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Dave W is gonna tell you...

Posted Wednesday
I devoured his other three books (it was during one of JB's 'fallow periods'), I'd be happy to spend $ on this. I just don't have enough soul to spare.

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Surtac ducks in to say...

Posted Wednesday
Done here also. Free 'splosions are good.

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Moz of Yarramulla has opinions thus...

Posted Yesterday
Yeah, I got hooked at the prologue, so now I'm 1% less soulful. Or 1% more soulless. It seems weird to me that someone would release free ePub but require a Kindle or iDevice for paid content. Maybe the assumption is that people like me don't buy books (which in this case is probably true, since I'm not coughing up for an otherwise-useless Kindle just to read one author). Yeah, it's my hobby-horse and I'm gunna ride it 'til it's dead. Then I'll flog it.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted Yesterday
You'll get your iBook, or Kobo, or whatever. I'm just having issues with iTunes Producer at the moment. When the next Hooper book comes out it actually be exclusive to iBooks for two weeks.

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Moz of Yarramulla reckons...

Posted Yesterday
Cool, so it's probably safe to start reading book one in a month or so, safe in the knowledge that I'll be able to get the rest of the books by then (I have all the patience of a chicken, I know).

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Steve P Vincent mutters...

Posted Yesterday
Quick thanks to everyone who's given Fireplay a go. The soul-o-meter is positively bulging.

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Gutz asserts...

Posted 12 hours ago
Doneski, shall give it a berl? whirl? read? BTW, belatedly finally extracted the keyboard pressing things to review Cairo. Not much on any in-depth analysis type stuff but i think i got the star thingo to give you several thumbs up?

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted 10 hours ago
Excellent, all I ask is unquestioning obedience.

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Game of Thrones Raven On Recap S6E5: The Door

Posted Tuesday into Raven On by girlclumsy

Hello. I am writing this recap from a foetal position on the floor.

The tiles are cold. I would like a pillow to put under my head, but there is no point. I would take little comfort from its softness. What is the point of softness anyway, in such a cruel world? It is but a brief distraction from the unrelenting pain, horror and loss that torments us daily. It is like kindness, empathy and warmth - merely an illusion.

I have cried, wailed, and beaten my breast (which made me cry again, because oww). I have no emotion left. I am an empty tank, a discarded shell, a half-chewed cheesy crust of what was once a living, breathing, feeling person. Also, I am covered in cat hair.

Oh, Hodor.

They killed him. They took him away for a season, they brought him back, and now they’ve killed him.

I feel sick just thinking about it. That may be the episode, or it may be the fried chicken regret I piggishly scarfed down for dinner. Either way, the end result is the same: several hours of rocking back and forth, retching, and muttering “Why? Why?! WHY?!?!”

Of course, it was bittersweet, it was brilliant, it was heroic, it was everything you would want Hodor to have in a valiant final stand. It gave us everything we wanted to know, and imbued those simple words “Hold the door” with a meaning that will echo through Throner fandom forever more. But still, it took Hodor from us, something we had never, never wanted to see.

I need something to bring me back. Something to pinch some rouge back into my cheeks, something to light a candle in me, that by the Gods’ grace, I trust shall never be put out. Or at least not put out until I’ve finished this recap and can retreat to my darkened bedroom to soak my doona with tears.

WHOOP THERE IT IS.

OK, fine. The sight of Tormund ogling Brienne once more (Horseback Edition) is enough of a drink to give this weak and feeble recappespondent some vulvic fortitude.

Of course, I’m not the only one girding my loins for a pounding, as this episode was all about icy cold reality. The Indian summer of last week gave way to the brutal truth of sacrifice, subjection, struggle, spookiness... and amateur dramatics.

So for Gods’ sake, let us sit upon the ground, and tell sad stories of the death of kings. And more importantly, the death of giants.

Season 6, Episode 5: “The Door”

Let us start with something sweet, something pure, something radiant and lovely.

Daenarys Targaryen, the Unburnt and Unburnter, realising that no matter how much she tried to hate him, she just couldn’t rid herself of Ser Jorah Mormont.

She’d banished him twice, he returned twice and he saved her life (a few more times than twice, truth be told). But her initial attempts at a hardass attitude crumbled into the dust of Vaes Dothrak when Ser Jorah revealed his stony forearm.

In an instant, the Mother of Dragons, the Breaker of Chains, the badass avenging warrior goddess who strolled naked from the flames vanished. In her stead was the cowed younger sister and the teenaged virgin bride that Dany was when she first met Ser Jorah. Since her wedding day, he had been the one constant in her life. Even when she sent him away, she had never considered the prospect of him actually dying.

"Why can't I quit you?"

Jorah’s simple confession of love touched me in so many special places. “Tyrion was right. I love you… I’ll always love you. Goodbye Khaleesi.” Ugh, that was so perfect, it belongs in a BBC Jane Austen adaptation. If I was Daenarys, I would have commanded him to go jump in a lake immediately. She’s more practical than me though, and insists he ride off, find the cure for greyscale, and come back to her in time for her big assault on Westeros. You’d think maybe she could have helped in some way, given her power and all, but whatevs. Run free, Jorah!

Of course, we happen to know a cure for greyscale exists, because Shireen Baratheon survived the disease, albeit with some disfigurement. Jorah will need to seek careful treatment, and who better than the Maesters in Old Town to dish out the remedy? This means - oh yes - we could potentially see Ser Jorah Mormont meet Sam Tarly.

It would be a wonderful connection. Sam could break the news of his father Jeor’s death beyond the wall, and Jon Snow’s possession of his family sword Longclaw. And remember Jeor’s dying words to Sam? That he find his son and forgive him of his crimes. The two get to talking, Sam hooks Jorah up with Jon, Sansa and co, Jorah would be more than willing to make up for his past indiscretions by helping out the Starks, conveniently hooking them up with the incoming Targaryen army… oooooh, I sense a mutually satisfying swipe right on the way, people.

Meanwhile in Meereen, Tyrion & co are evaluating the city’s uneasy peace in the wake of their deal with the slave masters. Varys is quite happy with progress, but Tyrion knows deeper change is required to truly calm the masses.

Enter Salma Hayek, another smoking hot priestess and ambassador for the Lord of Light, aka Red God, aka R’hllor. She wears similar clothes to Kate Bush, and indeed, sports the same necklace. Can we then assume under her luscious black locks and Instagram-worthy eyebrows there lurks a more realistic and gravity-affected version?

Brows on fleek, girl.

Kinvara, for that is apparently her name, agrees to Tyrion’s request to send her priests out to preach Daenarys’ glory. Hearts and minds, people, hearts and minds. Salma Hayek is happy to do this, for Dany is the One Who Was Promised, which is an interesting turn of phrase given Kate Bush’s conviction that Jon Snow is in fact the Prince That Was Promised.

Such a label raises the ire of Varys, who’s not particularly gung-ho for religion and heroes heralded in legend. He raises the slightly inconvenient legacy of Stannis Baratheon, who was the Red God’s Number One Guy… right up until the point he wasn’t.

“I suppose it’s hard for a fanatic to admit a mistake,” he purrs at her. “Isn’t that the whole point of being a fanatic? You’re always right.” Man, I really hope Americans thinking of voting Trump saw that bit.

Tyrion tries gallantly to smooth things over, but Salma Hayek is not fazed. Rather, she pulls the pin on a couple of truth bombs and explodes them right in Varys’ increasingly freaked out visage. “Knowledge has made you powerful, but there’s still so much you don’t know.”

It turns out Salma Hayek knows a little too much about Varys’ eunuching, including the fact that a mysterious voice cried out to him just at the moment his rough-chopped meat and two veg were thrown unseasoned onto an Essos barbeque by a Masterchef contestant disqualifed for sauce-ery.

"Dafuq?"

Speaking of junk, huzzah, we finally saw some! Over in Braavos, we were treated to the sight of a young actor’s warty wang. OK, so it wasn’t the best reward for all our careful attention, but still at least they’ve thrown us a few scraps (just not in the Varys way, please).

The young actor in question was playing King Joffrey in A Most Scandalous Tale of The Kings of Westeros (With Nudity and Lust). Can we all please stand and applaud for RICHARD E. GRANT in the role of Fake King Robert? Richard E. Grant, people! Not only Withnail in the classic drunken tale Withnail & I, not only The Great Intelligence from Doctor Who, but most importantly of all, the manager of the Spice Girls in Spice World: The Movie! I am sure you all agree in the fundamental brilliance of that movie. Roger Moore stroking a rabbit! Meatloaf as the bus driver! Posh Spice doing the obstacle course in a camouflage mini-dress and heels!

Not for the first time, I’m getting sidetracked by the Spice Girls (hello, 1997). Both the wang and the subplot about the local theatre company were longer than I expected them to be, but I still adored it. Mostly because I have been in local theatre productions of a strikingly similar nature. I had my cleavage groped in a Terry Pratchett adaptation (admittedly they were roped in under a metal breastplate at the time); and I’ve worn my fair share of novelty wigs. Ahh, the theatre. You guys really need to get out and take more of it in. It’s brilliant. Particularly the rhyming couplets, of which there were many splendid examples here.

"I need something that rhymes with 'art'. Think, people, think!"

Arya is watching because her orders from the Faceless Men are that she is to kill Miss Fisher from Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, who’s left 1920s detective work to pursue a career imitating Cersei Lannister for the cheap seats. It’s all funny enough watching her hated enemy Joffrey cry into his mother’s arms, but seeing their interpretation of her father Ned as a buffoonish caricature must’ve hurt. And I can’t even remember if Arya knew about Sansa’s marriage to Tyrion - if not, that must have been something of a gut punch.

Arya sees Miss Fisher backstage, and seems to doubt why she should kill an ostensibly nice woman. Certainly it can’t be because of her acting skills; she’s the best one there and that poor Sansa impersonator knows it. But Jaqen H’ghar insists - if she wants to serve the Many Faced God, then she musn’t ask questions. Break free, Arya, go on! Break free and return as Arya Stark, fiercer than ever!

A significant portion of this episode was turned over to the Greyjoy storyline, which I actually found myself rather enjoying. Who would have thought that a bit of extra time in their crazy salty world might actually pay off with some genuinely interesting plot momentum?

It’s “Pick the New King” Day on Pyke, a game Yara is hoping to upset by becoming the first Queen in the history of the Ironborn. After initial scepticism, Theon’s soulful support helps turn the tide of opinion in Yara’s favour, and her name is hailed by all.

And then Uncle Euron turns up.

This batshit-crazy but admittedly forthright and gutsy fellow runs in opposition to his niece, on a platform of “I’m going to marry Daenarys Targaryen and with her army and our ships we’ll take the Seven Kingdoms”. Sensible Policies for a Better Westeros.

He doesn’t try to deny Yara’s accusation that he murdered her father Balon; indeed if anything it ticks another box for the grizzled MRAs of the Iron Islands. Euron paid the Iron Price, you see. Being sensible and having achievable goals is no match to having paid the Iron Price for the kingdom. So at the end of the day it’s Yara and Sustainable Change zero, and the Euron Insanity Ticket a chorus of ayes.

Euron’s watery coronation, in which he was plunged into the sea until he blacked out and began to drown (“What is dead may never die” makes a lot more sense now), was almost comedic, especially that long pause while he lay seemingly done for on the shore. Sadly he spluttered himself back to life, thus proving his worthiness for the bony/sticky crown they thrust on him.

"Barry, you're going to have to give him mouth-to-mouth. No, it is NOT gay."

Meanwhile Yara and Theon had done the sensible thing and high-tailed it out of Pyke on the best ships of the fleet. No big deal for Euron, he simply commanded all his men to cut down every tree and build him 1000 ships. Sure, bro. I mean, the Iron Islands have never struck me as a particularly fertile, foresty place, but I’m sure you know best.

Let’s head to Castle Black, where Sansa, Jon and the gang are in tactical mode with the big Game of Thrones board game out on the table ahead of a battle for Winterfell.

Ser Davos is worried about their numbers, and whether the great houses of the North will follow them. Sansa is confident; after all, she’s a Stark, and even though Jon isn’t, he’s as much a Stark as Ramsay is a Bolton (a comparison which didn’t seem to impress Jon, and fair enough really).

Also, Sansa’s holding onto a key piece of information, one she received from Petyr Baelish in Molestown (more on that scene below). Her uncle, Brynden Tully, has retaken Riverrun, which means there is a big potential army there ready to support her. The Onion Knight is thrilled by that prospect, and they all break for lunch and a final change of clothes before heading due south.

Sansa orders Brienne to Riverrun and recruit the Blackfish’s help, which she is reluctant to do. She doesn’t trust Davos and Melisandre, and it is a bit of a reality check moment for us. Oh yeah, they really did change allegiances quickly. She’s got a point. But we know Davos is awesome, and Melisandre just seems happy to fall into line. But then there’s “that wildling with the beard…” Oh yes, she’s been noticing him noticing her, big time. Tormienne is still on, people.

Of course, Brienne does point out that Sansa didn't exactly tell the truth when it came to where she got the Tully information from. Does she really trust Jon? I think it's more that Sansa doesn't want Baelish's help, but we'll see in coming weeks.

Finally, in an act of sisterly love that may just be a first for Sansa, she presents Jon Snow with a new riding habit, one with the direwolf of Winterfell stitched into the straps, to match her own. Jon’s completely genuine “Thank you Sansa” may have left me swooning a bit. And the sight of him mounting a horse… let’s just say I was giving him a look rather similar to the one Tormund threw Brienne’s way.

"Have you noticed my wildling staring at your bodyguard?"

Now. Let’s head beyond The Wall.

First, there was a short scene earlier in the episode that just happened to drop the pretty massive bombshell that it was actually the Children of the Forest who created the White Walkers in the first place! Stupid barky bastards, what were they thinking? Oh boo hoo, invading colonialists are wiping us out and taking our land, we’d better try to resist…. Oh. Oh wait. Ummm. Awkward.

Bran is getting more and more impatient with his astral travels up in the Magical Meth Den. He wants to see more of the past, but the Three-Eyed Raven is really killing his buzz. So he does what any foolish teenage boy does and measures his own dose. Pffft. This was never going to end well, and of course it does not, as Bran wargs out into a field of zombie wights, overseen by the Nights’ King and a few other badass White Walker top brass.

Overly curious for a guy with legs that only move when he’s tripping balls, he of course gets man-handled by a White Walker, who leaves his physical mark on Bran’s forearm. “He knows where you are,” the Raven intones sadly. It’s all over bar the shouting now. And boy, isn’t there shouting.

After being ordered to pack up and get Bran the hell out, Meera valiantly discusses her immediate plans (breakfast, a gal after my own heart), but gets suspicious when Bran’s breathing becomes rather chilly. Racing to the front of the Meth Den, she’s confronted with the sight of the same warg army Bran saw in his dream. They’ve all just rocked on down to destroy everything.

"Damn it feels good to be a gangster."

Bran is still in the dream world, of course, seeing his father Ned as a boy, being packed off tho the Eyrie. I think the final words we hear Ned Stark’s father tell him as he departs for the Eerie “If you must fight, win,” are important. A mantra for future Bran, perhaps? I also think the Raven’s message that it is time for Bran to “become me” is interesting. Does this mean the Three-Eyed Raven IS Bran? That Bran exists in some sort of time loop, forever looking out for his young self to tutor in how to save the Seven Kingdoms? Is this like a Battlestar Galactica thing? All this has happened before, all this will happen again?

Back in the cave, all hell has broken loose. The Children of the Forest managed to stave off the wights with a circle of fire, but the White Walkers just breeze through that like it ain’t no thing. Meera manages to successfully dispatch of them with an obsidian spear, but is too busy trying to wake Bran and get Hodor moving to grab it.

The Nights’ King stabs the Three-Eyed Raven through the heart, and in the dreamscape he atomises into black nothingness and disappears.

Eventually Bran, in his dream state, gets the message that he must enlist Hodor’s help. Hodor is overtaken, and manages to start dragging Bran’s sled towards another exit.

Poor Summer, Bran’s faithful direwolf, is the next casualty, torn to shreds while defending his master. Oh, you silly puppy dog! Don’t you know you should have followed your master! Go with your master! Bad dog. Oh, I can’t say that. Brave dog. Good dog.

As a terrifying pack of swarming wights, who’ve gotten in through the top of the cave, race their way on all sides of the tunnel towards them, one of the remaining Children of the Forest ushers Meera, Hodor and Bran ahead, and lets herself be taken. She primes one of her energy balls and releases it just as she is subsumed, knocking out a good few dozen in the process.

But it’s not enough, and the wights just keep on coming.

At this point, the dreamscape and the real world merge into a truly epic tragedy. Bran, still controlling Hodor by Warg powers, sees the young Hodor in his vision. Hodor and Meera manage to get the door to the outside open and bundle Bran’s sled through it.

Older Hodor then hears Meera shouting “Hold the door!” and through Bran, younger Hodor hears it too. He starts to fit, yelling “Hold the door… hold the door… hold the door…. Hold door… hol door…. Ho dooor…. Hodor.”

It was the most heartbreaking realisation I think I’ve ever had in the six series of watching this show. Finally, Hodor’s simpleness and limited speech are explained, and it is as satisfying as it is devastating.

As the wights pushed against the door, tearing at Hodor’s face and flesh, and as the big giant pushed back with all his strength, I wept. My tears both mourned and celebrated him, this faithful friend, who never questioned, never argued, and was always there.

Hodor.

Hodor’s death - and life - are possibly the most meaningful of the series so far. Some may say his very existence was some sort of cosmic joke, a cruel twist of fate. But if this world is an ouroborus, Hodor just closed the loop. He didn’t die; he just fulfilled his destiny. And how many Game of Thrones characters can say that?

Yay! Best Moments

Sansa’s interrogation of Petyr Baelish was spell-binding, fearsome, righteous, regal and intoxicating in its satisfaction for viewers. For those who stopped watching the show after last season’s controversial rape sequence, I urge you to seek out this particular scene. It’s an irony that without that horrific scene, this one would not have been as powerful. That’s art for you, I guess.

Sansa’s takedown of Baelish’s pathetic excuses and apologies was masterful. “What do you think he did to me?” she asks, again and again. For the first time ever, the usually unflappable Littlefinger is completely and utterly flapped. But Sansa - beautiful, strong, unyielding - Sansa doesn’t relent.

“I can still feel it… I can still feel what he did in my body standing here right now.” I have never been the victim of sexual assault and don’t presume to speak for those who have, but that sentiment certainly hit me in the gut like a lightning bolt of truth.

With Brienne at her side, it was another hells yeah moment, and may just be the best scene of the season so far.

Zing! Best Lines

Brienne’s description of Jon Snow is perfect in every way: “He seems trustworthy. A bit brooding, perhaps. I suppose that’s understandable, considering.” YES BRIENNE, IT IS. IT IS UNDERSTANDABLE.

Eww, gross

Euron on being told his niece and nephew had scarpered: “Let’s go and murder them.” Way too much kinky pleasure in the way he phrased it.

Boo, sucks

Clearly Hodor’s death is the boo, sucks to end all boo, sucks, but special mention to Bran for being an upstart jerk and summoning White Walker doom on them all BEFORE WE GOT TO SEE WHAT WAS IN THE GOD DAMN TOWER OF JOY.

Thank you so much for joining me again this week - and for grieving with me. I can't wait to read your comments and thoughts, either here on the 'Burger, or via my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/nataliesthrone

Another reminder that I'm running a Patreon campaign this season. If you like the recaps and wish to become a patron, you can sign up and pledge the suggested $1 per recap. Here's the link: www.patreon.com/girlclumsy.

Valar Morghulis... and Hodor.

Valar Morghulis! And of course.... Hodor.

98 Responses to ‘Game of Thrones Raven On Recap S6E5: The Door’

Chacharas reckons...

Posted Tuesday
Just discovered your recaps, and must say they are of the finest quality. Extra points for "So for Gods’ sake, let us sit upon the ground, and tell sad stories of the death of kings."

girlclumsy has opinions thus...

Posted Tuesday
I feel like throwing in the odd Shakespeare allows me to get away with most of the rubbish I write. ;)

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Sousy Wench ducks in to say...

Posted Tuesday
Not going to discuss Hodor, it's too much, I just, no. In my internet quest for some kind of meaning or mere distraction, I stumbled upon some complainy folk, specifically whiney in regards to Selma Hayak. (I did not engage, I'm mostly a lurker when not here.) See in the books she was priest with a penis and now she's not. The outrage. Also discussed was that she was probably a hag underneath that bodacious vampire stripper facade... But, I can't help but think that if a person in GRRiMm world were trans, born in the wrong gendered body, a magic full body makeover necklace might be an asset. In conclusion, after subjecting myself to forum horrors in order to distract myself from actual horrors (the Walking Dead Westeros, sobbing and cat scratches on my face), I suggest an entirely unprovable theory that Kinvara is trans (and possibly a sorcerer, just how are those magic necklaces made anyway? Fire and a young mans symbol of power.... Though that takes it back to a dark place - maybe scratch that part - I'm too tired to be a decent judge of how offensive that bit is right now). So, I've shared, I'm off to attempt to conquer my insomnia for the evening. Stellar recapesponance as always. *salutes and trudges off in the general direction of bed*

Sousy Wench ducks in to say...

Posted Tuesday
Yeah, I've decided that's offensive, I just clocked an entirely fictional stranger - if Selma decides to come out about her past as a man or a child mangling sorcerer - that's got to be her own choice. My bad.

Sam asserts...

Posted Tuesday
Can't be the same person. Varys had the sourcerer delivered in a crate in an earlier season when he was telling Tyrion about how he was cut

Sousy Wench is gonna tell you...

Posted Tuesday
Yes, thank you. You have freed me from my dark imaginings.

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David Ball reckons...

Posted Tuesday
Natalie, I had a startling thought while watching last night. If Jon Snow is really Neds sisters son, does it open up a Jon/Sansa union. He does like a redhead. Classic romance. She treats him like dirt, realizes his qualities and bam. All she needs is to see him without a shirt. Over. Vale Hodor, but will he turn into an ice zombie now. And if he does, who will stop him?

Sousy Wench asserts...

Posted Tuesday
Re: Hodor. Tormand and Brienne Giantsbane?

girlclumsy asserts...

Posted Tuesday
Jon Snow and Sansa?!?!? NOOOOOOOO. Even if they're not siblings, they're still first cousins. GROSSSSSS. Let them have their sibling fondness and don't read anything more into it. I COMMAND IT. I sincerely hope Hodor was ripped apart enough to not be able to come back as a wight.

sadim ducks in to say...

Posted Tuesday
First cousins = gross? For this lot, that's quite a distant relationship, when you consider the Targaryans, and the Lannisters, and Craster and his Daughter-wives ...

girlclumsy would have you know...

Posted Tuesday
STILL GROSS. J + S = PURE SIBLING LOVE, THAT IS ALL.

seekanny the obvious states..... puts forth...

Posted Tuesday
and what about the six-fingered psychopath offspring?? re the Twincesters? = boo hiss Joffrey?

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Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Tuesday
"chopped meat and two veg were thrown unseasoned onto an Essos barbeque by a Masterchef contestant disqualifed for sauce-ery". Ladies and Gentlemen we have a weiner! but the highlight for me Bryden The Blackfish Tully is back after being last heard escaping with his armed men from the Red Wedding. YAY.

girlclumsy ducks in to say...

Posted Tuesday
Heh. Weiner. Snigger.

sadim mumbles...

Posted Tuesday
Ah, we only have Littlefinger's word that the Blackfish is back in the game ...

girlclumsy mumbles...

Posted Tuesday
OMG YOU'RE RIGHT. BASTARD COULD BE PLAYING US.

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Stephen ducks in to say...

Posted Tuesday
Ah yes, Kinvara's instagram-worthy....um, eyebrows. Yes, eyebrows...I'm sure that was it.

Ken Father of Dire Wolves would have you know...

Posted Tuesday
Yes, I'm sure it was the eyebrows, totally mesmerising they were. I'm certainly not thinking of her running with those eyebrows.

girlclumsy would have you know...

Posted Tuesday
Salma Hayek had it ALL going on.

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PK asserts...

Posted Tuesday
Yeah we knew something really bad was coming after the Sansa/Jon joyous reunion. You can picture GRRM chuckling to himself as he set us up for that one.

girlclumsy mumbles...

Posted Tuesday
But was it Georgie Porgie? Or was it Benioff and Weiss? WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?!?!

Lady EFL ducks in to say...

Posted Tuesday
I read somewhere that B and W said in 'Inside Game of Thrones' that it was GRRM (the world's most prolific serial killer) who is to blame

girlclumsy would have you know...

Posted Tuesday
Makes sense.

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Rhino reckons...

Posted Tuesday
If Bran has the mark of the Night King on his forearm, what is to stop them from tracking them across the ice? Not as if that girl has the same upper body strength as Hodor ... how fast is she going to be able to drag him anyway?

girlclumsy puts forth...

Posted Tuesday
These are all excellent points. Let's hope they're just a bit distracted.

kate ducks in to say...

Posted Tuesday
Ah yes, Meera may not have the same strength as Hodor (bless him, I cry buckets) but it is amazing what adrenalin does to a person and boy, would she have adrenalin shooting through her veins.... plus she would be sliding the sled mostly on ice which would make it easier than through dirt and rocks... ps it is a tv show that has dragons, white walkers, wights, children of the forest and a 1,000 year old 3 eyed raven... a person has to suspend disbelief and some credibility in reality when watching it...

Steve mumbles...

Posted 24 hours ago
I have it on good authority (imdb.com) that Uncle Benjen arrives to help Meera and Bran.

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Rob the Merciless puts forth...

Posted Tuesday
And it was brilliant. All the flim flammery and slackness of recent seasons cut away, twas a return to the essence of Thrones. And it was magnificent. In truth Hodor was never a great character, just a lumbering simpleton. But his death, his destiny fulfilled, tied it all together so superbly with more pathos than Shakespeare (and Ned MacBeth). Now have Tormund become a Walker or Zombie and fight Brienne to the death. You know you want it.

Ken Father of Dire Wolves asserts...

Posted Tuesday
Like a Klingonesque mating scene, to the death.

girlclumsy is gonna tell you...

Posted Tuesday
No, I want them to live happily ever after fighting bad guys and having big badass babies.

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vitas mutters...

Posted Tuesday
Some dong action for the ladies. That Sansa scene though, holy shot, that has to be the most powerful in the whole show. As a dude I can't fathom what some women have gone through, but geez,,, I hope Ayra stays a Stark. It seems she can't fully commit to Mr Miyagi's Jedi School. She just wants some Badlands action, but without the discipline.

vitas swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Tuesday
Also saw this (in an inferior recap) elsewhere: Novelist Michael Ventrella told a story on his personal blog in April 2014 about meeting George R. R. Martin at a convention in the fall of 2013 and sharing a not-very-funny joke about being an elevator operator as a fallback career. According to Ventrella, the conversation continued with this exchange: Ventrella: I was thinking about your comment about wanting to be an elevator operator. It's clear to me now that "Hodor" is short for "Hold the door." Martin: (laughing) You don't know how close to the truth you are

Mother of nothing asserts...

Posted Wednesday
" A bit of dong action for the ladies" There is so much like of insight in that statement I'm really not quite sure where to start. One simply does not expect to see A dangly pair of testicles and foreskin in medical detail displayed for quite some time on one's TV screen. I was so stunned I had to rewind it and just make sure that I actually saw what I thought I saw, and not -for example- a dead chicken's neck. It's certainly wasn't a pleasant sight, and not one that I would suffer from not having seen again. Men's bits simply aren't attractive. No need to keep equity with women's bits thanks anyway GoT.

Mother of nothing. would have you know...

Posted Wednesday
Bugger, reading below that will teach me for writing before I read the whole thread

vitas is gonna tell you...

Posted Wednesday
Yeh, tounge was planted firmly in cheek

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Ms. Naughty would have you know...

Posted Tuesday
Poor Hodor. The idea of his entire life being an eternal loop, that his destiny was always to die like that... And perhaps more horrifying, did he spend his entire life knowing about the moment of his death? I must admit, I'm almost a bit disappointed that this is how Hodor's story turned out. I was hoping that Bran could restore his speech, that he would be able to tell us something about the past, that he would have one great secret to tell us all. Instead, we have simple bravery and a desire to help. Which should be enough, I know. Also interesting: this theory from 3 years ago that was half right about "hold the door" http://winryrockbells.tumblr.com/post/45875388824/i-have-a-theory-on-aegon-theres-a-boy-claimed And that scene with Sansa and Littlefinger. Wow. So beautifully done. One more thing: After all the clamouring for more full-frontal male nudity, they give us a closeup of a penis accompanied by talk of warts. How nice of them. I've seen people say this is the writers giving us "equal opportunity nudity." Bollocks. In contrast, the flashes of boobs this episode were still shot in an ogling way. Why can't we just have some decent, female-gaze-oriented male nudity? Jon Snow's bum glimpse was glorious but one crack does not a summer make.

kate would have you know...

Posted Tuesday
Ms Naughty, the problem with male nudity is that it is hard (pun intended) to make it look attractive on film. Buttocks yes but the front, not so much. When flaccid, just look limp sausage and accompanied by swollen plum like objects... when erect, looks red and veiny. Michelangelo made it work but he used artistic licence and it was carved in marble so no popping blood vessels. I am all for equal opportunity but it is hard to get the right angles.

Ms. Naughty ducks in to say...

Posted Tuesday
I've spent the last five years filming male and female nudity and, rest assured, a penis can look perfectly lovely on film, flaccid or erect. The problem isn't how it looks, it's with people's attitudes to penises and male bodies. Society tells us that only women's bodies are worth looking at and I know it's just not true. Thus, my call for a bit more female-gaze-type ogling opportunities. The other problem is censorship which won't allow an erect penis to be shown because that makes it porn. And then there's the whole issue of getting your actor to HAVE an erect penis when shooting, which is tricky in any situation. But still, I'm totally up for seeing Daario starkers at any opportunity.

girlclumsy has opinions thus...

Posted Tuesday
Interesting thread. Ms Naughty, I feel you should send me some of your intelligent films featuring male nudity. I can examine them critically for you. In terms of wangs on screen - my theory as a director for the stage has been the following: Female genitals are seen as POWERFUL (giver of life etc) or TERRIFYING (mysterious, entrapment etc). Male genitals are seen as STRONG (testosterone, power, dominance) or HILARIOUS (they look funny, it hurts when you whack them and that is sensational). Somewhere in the difference between those two is why female nudity is more tolerated than male. Also because traditionally it's been blokes in charge, of course. :)

Second-rate thespian mumbles...

Posted Yesterday
Well ladies, you wanted some male nudity. You got it, warts and all!

Kharl Drogo's other wife mutters...

Posted 4 hours ago
Didn't we see Hodor's wang in season2??

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Ken Father of Dire Wolves asserts...

Posted Tuesday
A magnificent and heart felt recap. The love, the duty, the selfish stupidity for which we all pay, Grand sacrifices amongst the indifferent brutality. You've encapsulated it all. How you managed to emerge from the pit of despairany caring being now finds themselves to present your observations is astound. All my life I've generally been a very polite person, always saying please and thank you, giving up my seat for the ELDERLY, pregnant mothers and physically impaied. But now I must of needs appear rude and uncaring, no longer on leaving or entering will I be able to Hold The Door. Such an act would reduce me to an almost comatose tightly curled puddle of tears wracked by anguished sobs. Of course that presumes I'm able to emerge from my bed where I lie wracked by anguished sobs in a tightly curled puddle of tears clinging to my own dire wolf Freyja, descendent of my Skadi the goddess of winter. .............Oh Winter! you magnificent brave and selfless beast. You're watch has ended. May you retire to soft fluffy snowfields of snow bunnies, log fires, mulled wine and log fires.

girlclumsy mutters...

Posted Tuesday
Yep. No more mercy shown to the elderly or pregnant mothers. My mental state can't handle it. ;)

Stephen swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Tuesday
You have to admire the self-restraint of writing that separates a set-up and pay-off with five-and-a-half seasons of intervening story. Even more admirable, that Hodor's mumbled 'hodors' were something of a running joke was a genius piece of misdirection that invested the final revelation with so much epic tragedy. GOT's best (and saddest) moment for me.

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Emma mutters...

Posted Tuesday
Brilliant recap as always. That Sansa/Baelish scene - calling him out on selling her for some power grab left me in awe. Makes you wonder how many girls he's handed over to sadists over the years. But how did Baelish get to Molestown so fast? It took Tyrion and Bronn almost a season to travel into the Vale. And two seasons or so for Arya, Brienne, Jaime, etc, to move around Westoros but now people pop up all over the place within a day or two. Have they found a teleporter in a cupboard somewhere?

girlclumsy has opinions thus...

Posted Tuesday
Yep, more convenient pacing issues. But we just have to overlook them. :)

she_jedi ducks in to say...

Posted Tuesday
it could be implausibly argued that Baelish had the advantages of being on horseback, not needing to hide from a bunch of scary people wanting to kill him, and having the resources to travel overnight if he needed to, whereas everyone else was on foot, on the run, and foraging for food when they made their journeys. But yeah, pacing issues :)

Mike puts forth...

Posted Tuesday
To be fair, several of the last few episodes continued straight after each other, where as in Mereen this week they state "two weeks of peace"

girlclumsy is gonna tell you...

Posted Tuesday
Well spotted, Eagle Ears Mike!

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wendyemily has opinions thus...

Posted Tuesday
Tragedy, thy name is Game of Thrones! Poor Hodor, a simple but brave man, dying to save his master from his own stupidity. Bran should never have taken a bite of the Apple that caused the Zombie horde to find them. But of course, teenagers! What can you say? They always know best, until they don't. So very sad. As for the rest of the ep, I loved Dany saying goodbye to Ser Jorah. It was a romantic moment and we know we will see him back, all cured and ready to stand by her side once again. And what can I say about Sansa and her take down of the evil Petyr? I must admit to being somewhat disappointed that she didn't let Brienne slice his sleazy, scheming head off! Now that would have been payback. I don't trust him and hope Sansa is very wary of anything he says. I am not happy about Brienne leaving her as I have a sick feeling in my stomach that she may not come back. After all in the books..... Still I do think this is the best season ever and it's all bringing it all together for an epic battle for Winterfell. The good guys had better win this time! And as always, Nat, I would give you my dire wolf fur cape (if I had one) for your excellent recap.

girlclumsy ducks in to say...

Posted Tuesday
Nawww, thank you Emily. :)

kate puts forth...

Posted Tuesday
Gosh, what a 180 for Sophie Turner, the actress who plays Sansa... in the first few seasons, she got hate mail from fans who didn't like her character as she was a rose coloured glasses spoilt girl who idolised Joffrey. Now she is really showing her great acting skills and I am saw all the previous haters are well and truly on her side...

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Halwes is gonna tell you...

Posted Tuesday
Where's NBlob? Have the conservatives placed him in a secure facility for the duration of the election campaign ( read waterboarding and sensory deprivation) for his own good of course just in case he decides to get onto an old boat and fuck off somewhere.

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Blue is gonna tell you...

Posted Tuesday
I'm disappointed with the Kings Moot. The introduction of Euron was weak. Very weak. In the books it was far more grand and spectacular, with a meatier back story, a whole posse of interesting henchmen, and a mighty horn said to control dragons (which is more convincing than just "I'll go marry the mother of dragons"). I was looking forward to this scene but the show let me down. (Note re horns: the horn of Joramun is still to be found - I predict the white walkers have it and will use it to bring down the wall) Also - wights climbing along the walls and ceiling as fast as others can run on the ground? WTF? They've previously been stopped by a simple wooden barricade, so where does this sudden gravity-defying agility come from? I hated it with the orcs/goblins in LOTR's Moria, and I hate it just as much in GoT. Rubbish like this ruins an episode for me. Those gripes aside, Sansa's confrontation with Baelish was cool; just a shame she still succumbs immediately to his manipulation. And the Hodor incident was very cool. Bran - he and Meera will obviously need some immediate help to survive. Even if they get a head start on the Others, Meera dragging the stretcher through the snow is not exactly a hard trail to follow (not to mention Bran's white walker brand). I'm guessing Coldhands or Benjen Stark will make an appearance to save the day. Finally, I concur with the ladies - a warty wang is not much compensation for all the glorious boobs that us guys get to enjoy. And the theatre actress playing Sansa put on a very nice display that even warranted a brief replay in my household.

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girlclumsy is gonna tell you...

Posted Tuesday
The screen cap function definitely got a workout on my computer. That may have been what caused it to freeze halfway through my recap, come to think of it. I enjoyed the King's Moot probably because I *haven't* read the book. And the Meth Den Destructo-thon didn't bug me because I was so invested in Bran, Meera and Hodor getting the hell out of there.

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Springfield Fats asserts...

Posted Tuesday
Nice recap. You touched on my clear take away from this episode, do not, under any circumstances, get involved with the Stark family. Their baffling and continuing stupidity has killed tens of thousands and curses all those around them from the highest born to the simplest. I have renamed them the Ebola family and I'm cheering for anyone in Westros who is struggling to erase this curse upon the land.

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girlclumsy reckons...

Posted Tuesday
Boooooo. The Starks are awesome. The Ascendancy is ON! :P

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Lady EFL would have you know...

Posted Tuesday
HODOR ..... NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! How many times can this show we love tear our hearts out and stomp them into the ground before we shatter into a thousand pieces like a white walker with a dragonglass blade through it's chest? At least his death had some meaning which cannot be said for so many other beloved characters we have lost over the years. Am loving the new strong Sansa (suck it Baelish!) even if she did have to wade through a river of horror, torment and BOO HISS Ramsay nastiness to get this point.

Lady EFL puts forth...

Posted Tuesday
*sigh* its not it's. Grammar part of brain not functioning right now due to extreme distress and sobbing

girlclumsy is gonna tell you...

Posted Tuesday
Believe me, I spend about six/seven hours writing the recap, then another hour fixing all of my mistakes. :)

Lady EFL asserts...

Posted Tuesday
Your recaps are my therapy Nat. There really should be GOT trauma support groups set up everywhere ....

girlclumsy mumbles...

Posted Tuesday
Hence this comment thread and my Facebook page! :)

Lady EFL has opinions thus...

Posted Tuesday
Indeed ;-)

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Ned's dead baby, Ned's dead puts forth...

Posted Tuesday
Did anyone else wonder if the reason Sansa can still feel what me old mate Ramsay did to her......... is because she's knocked up?

girlclumsy asserts...

Posted Tuesday
I CANNOT EVEN BEAR TO CONTEMPLATE THIS.

Springfield Fats mutters...

Posted Tuesday
I think that was heavily implied both by the way they said it and the very pregnant pause of the camera on her afterwards.

Lady EFL swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Tuesday
Oh dear God PLEASE NO! Give Sansa a break for heaven's sake!

Ned's dead baby, Ned's dead has opinions thus...

Posted Tuesday
Yeah, I'm imagining a future scene re-enacting alien but with a mini Ramsay

girlclumsy asserts...

Posted Tuesday
LA LA LA LA NOT LISTENING NOT LISTENING LA LA LA LA

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she_jedi has opinions thus...

Posted Tuesday
A perfectly lovely man held the door for me as I came in to work today; I must have looked traumatised, because he looked rather startled as I thanked him. People say it's just a TV show, BUT IT HAS REAL WORLD FEELS GODDAMMIT!

girlclumsy puts forth...

Posted Tuesday
HBO, Martin.... none of them consider the very real impacts big decisions like this have. It's like the butterfly flapping its wings...

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Matt is gonna tell you...

Posted Tuesday
The White Walkers share an origin story with cane toads.

girlclumsy reckons...

Posted Tuesday
TRUTH.

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Véronique de la Neige would have you know...

Posted Tuesday
Another brilliant recap of a brilliant episode! Absolutely loved the Sansa and Littlefinger scene. #teamsansa! (BTW, my prediction is Jon and Daenerys, per R+L=J.) I'm a little disturbed about the spanning of vast distances myself. How far is it from Castle Black to Riverrun? A couple thousand leagues? I also predict that Arya will "fail" her ninja course, retrieve Needle, and get back to sticking real enemies with the pointy end. The Stark reunion has begun. Will it also include Nymeria? We're running out of wolves! BTW, the "bony/sticky crown" is the Driftwood Crown. Not really much of a crown, but the Ironmen don't go in for frou frou. I did like the kingsmoot scene, but Euron is more annoying than most Ironmen. My beloved and I went out to dinner and toasted Hodor. He will live forever in our hearts! Maybe in flashbacks too.

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girlclumsy is gonna tell you...

Posted Tuesday
But if R+L = J, that makes Daenarys Jon's aunt. Like, GROSS. No way. Jon shall have no other girlfriend but Ygritte. Or maybe me. Yes, definitely me. Nice touch having a celebrating dinner for Hodor. I expect cocktails to be named after him.

Véronique de la Neige mutters...

Posted Yesterday
But Jon and Daenerys together would be so Targaryen!

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mandos is gonna tell you...

Posted Tuesday
As Euron orders the weaving of sails and the cutting of trees for a 1000 ships my thought is...does he know there is less than 2 seasons left in this story - who does he think he is!!

RET puts forth...

Posted Tuesday
Did anyone else think "Easter Island" at that point?

Beth McKinlay ducks in to say...

Posted Tuesday
Yes!! That was exactly what sprang to my mind!!!

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TL asserts...

Posted Tuesday
"Vulvic fortitude" is definitely the most apt phrase I've heard in a long time. I doff my cap...

girlclumsy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Wednesday
Thank you, TL! That one seems to have been bypassed. I made myself laugh with that one. :)

I May Be Some Time puts forth...

Posted Yesterday
"Vulvic fortitude" deserves to be raised into the general lexicon - included in the Macquarie Dictionary next year! With your permission I intend to use it at every opportunity! And combined with 'girding my loins' and 'pounding' ... anyhoo... Don't know what the equivalent of "growing a pair" should be...

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SZF mutters...

Posted Tuesday
I'm guessing Theon and Yara will head off to Mereen, conveniently replacing Daenerys' fleet that was crisped a couple of eps ago. Unfortunately, if the Greyjoy siblings get into her good graces it'll probably mean no future scene where Euron tries to woo her with his, "Check out me cock, luv!", schtick. Daenarys just LOVES guys who take that approach (Master Kraznys, every Khal not named Drogo, etc)...

girlclumsy ducks in to say...

Posted Wednesday
Oooh, the prospect of Yara and Dany hooking up has me GAGA....

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struds has opinions thus...

Posted Tuesday
Oh Hodor! So noble. We didn't *actually* see him die, so I wonder if he will prevail in some form (hopefully not white!) The whole paradox of his condition being a result (?) of Bran's warging has left me reeling in the most unflattering Inception-y way. Tormund's lusty side eye to Brienne was a definite highlight. Keep up the great work Nat!

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flöki snöw reckons...

Posted Tuesday
Tormund ogling Brienne once more...........he's such a smouldering romantic, how long till he asks Bri if she wants to see his giants bane or does he romance her with his tale of fooking a bear,

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krangsquared would have you know...

Posted Wednesday
As I watched that Dany and Jora scene, I was wishing for an edit where as Jora says "I'll always love you." ... and then... that DRUM HIT... WHITNEY HOUSTON KICKS IN (googles).. ah, turns out someone's already used it earlier! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmM4QRsT_YE#t=27s But still, dear Interwebs, I want my S06E05 Dany/Jora scene WHITNEY HOUSTON EDIT. I want that Pleeaaaase!

girlclumsy has opinions thus...

Posted Wednesday
That clip is great! But yes, hurry up internet, we must have more!

she_jedi ducks in to say...

Posted Thursday
There's a fantastic mashup of Tormienne! https://youtu.be/iAsg7jbNlMA

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GOT Addicted swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Wednesday
Is it possible the Night's King, branded Bran, and purposefully let him escape, so that they would go to the other side of the wall, and thus render the magic that keeps them on winters side useless. No need for a horn, just use a silly little boy to bring the wall down. The tragedy of the stark family, is that the more they try to make things right, the more they hinder the light. Wouldn't it be ironic that Bran was the cause of the Mad King as well. Warging where he shouldn't be when he shouldn't be. The most poignant scene for me was Jorah, being sent to cure his blight. The look on Jorah's face as his beloved Khaleesi, acknowledges her feelings and opens her heart towards him. He will find the cure! The love of a woman can drive a man mad, or inspire him to ever greater heights.

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Maddoug mumbles...

Posted Wednesday
Two words..... Zombie Direwolf.

girlclumsy has opinions thus...

Posted Wednesday
NOPE NOPE NOPE

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George mutters...

Posted Wednesday
So the White Walkers are the "Cane Toads" of Westeros. Does this mean Greyscale is the "Khaleesi Virus"?

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M'lady puts forth...

Posted Wednesday
as always. Tried reading others because I needed further post-episode therapy but they were all inferior. One thing I wasn't sure about is the Jeor / Jorah / Sam thingy you mentioned. Is that something that happened in the books only? Because in the show I thought Tyrion already told Jorah about his father's death? Am sure it can no doubt be worked into the story in any event but wasn't sure if id missed something somewhere along the way? Have I? HAVE I?!? Help!

she_jedi asserts...

Posted Thursday
Nope you are totally right, Tyrion has already broken the news to Jorah. I suspect Nat was too traumatised to remember that clearly, but you are NOT going insane :)

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George is gonna tell you...

Posted Wednesday
So that means the White walkers are the "Cane Toads" of Westeros, thanks to the Children of the Forest. I wonder if Greyscale is some sort of "Khaleesi Virus"

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Jim Kellam ducks in to say...

Posted 8 hours ago
I like the way you slipped in "ourobouros" myself. Watched this episode tonight in a pizza place in Buenos Aires (that's been around since 1932 - the pizza place not BA) on my iPad with headphones on while eating a half tuna, onion & olive and half chicken & artichoke pizza while pandemonium reigned around me. The place is more popular than a Baelish brothel before a beheading. Ideally would have watched it on Easter Island a few days ago but the weather was shit there and apparently when the weather there is shit, so is the internet. Internet Morghulis indeed.

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Slack Balls

Posted Monday into Music by beeso

Beeso had some kid free days last week, so here are this weeks Balls.

BALLS! Curtains for Spurs and the Spurs, Steph is unanimously good at basketball, Rotovegas represent, and Fat Sam is a dangerous floater that refuses to be flushed. Get that here.

Then the always professional Beeso and Dr Yobbo discuss the cultural imperialism of chip packet colours, Biggie vs Starks, Beeso vs actual music reviewers, old worn-out T-shirts as a metaphor for old worn-out bands, great tyre dumps of Sydney's inner-west, and who is the Steven Adams of dub. Somewhere amongst all of that crap they also review new albums by King Gizzard and the Cat Empire, and 1985 vintage live Oils. Get that here

2 Responses to ‘Slack Balls’

Therbs asserts...

Posted Monday
Or in the case of Bismack Biyombo, bruised balls courtesy of Daahhhnntay!

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PM mutters...

Posted Tuesday
Another insightful and informative recap Ms B. Not as funny as some you've given us but that's hardly surprising in this time of post-Hodor grief.

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Starting to think this crazy plan might just work

Posted May 19 into Books by John Birmingham

Cairo broke into the top 1000 of Amazon's global sales rank this morning. So thanks, again, to everyone who helped out, which is pretty much all of you.

Now, I just need to get rid of Stephen King and Philip K Dick.

They're always standing in my way, those bastards.

I'll be heading off to the airport in a couple of hours to take flight for Sydney. Hoping to get the final files for the Hooper ebooks before I go. It'd be nice to give them a push at the festival.

19 Responses to ‘Starting to think this crazy plan might just work’

Murphy_of_Missouri would have you know...

Posted May 19
Have a great flight, and congrats, John.

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Therbs swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 19
Damn, had the JB merch stand set up outside The Sheaf and the rozzers made me move on. Maybe I shouldn't have put a set of signature felafel bongs and a limited edition Dave coke knife and chopping board on the brown display couch. Prolly shouldn't have also been using them at the time.

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jl would have you know...

Posted May 19
The plan is working... your book is on fire! Under 1000 globally is amazing. If a plan sounds stupid or crazy but it works, then it's not stupid or crazy.

Dave W mumbles...

Posted May 19
Correct, it then fits into one of Baldrick's 'cunning plans- a plan so cunning that if I put a tail on it, it would be a rat'.

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Barnesm reckons...

Posted May 19
Can we get a complaint from the religious extremists that the book is offensive to their religion. That's always good for a lots of 'frak you' sales from people wishing to prove them wrong. Also if you could convince Games Workshop to challenge you on the basis that they have trade marked the term ' writer'.

Therbs mutters...

Posted May 19
Something like comparing himself to the publishers of The Bible maybe? Sit back and watch the kindle stats fly.

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Sparty2 has opinions thus...

Posted May 19
Well both the Bible and AoT are always killing off popular breakout characters....

Sudragon mutters...

Posted Saturday
Not to mention the racier parts of the Bible... there's a lot of 'begatting' going on for a holy book.

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WarDog swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 19
Congrats John. Definitely try to get someone to try and have the book banned. Maybe Murph could complain to his congressman about how you destroyed America once and will probably do it again.

Murphy_of_Missouri asserts...

Posted May 19
My main complaint about John's destruction of America is that he failed to completely destroy Kansas City. However, we have light rail now, so all we lack is a beach. That is somewhat made up for by our excellent barbecue.

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NBlob asserts...

Posted May 19
A clever bloke said "Don't believe that which you most want to believe."
Who was that?
I would be planning on the floor opening up under your feet, a PalCon full of Pachyderm P!ss to fall on you or similar. Remember that your FGM job-shares with a psychotic practical joker.

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she_jedi puts forth...

Posted May 19
Huzzah! World domination can't be too far away

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Rhino asserts...

Posted May 20
Top 1000? What are we going to do to get it into the top 100?

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pitpat mutters...

Posted May 20
Crazy brave works again. Well done. You get to go to Sydney and I get to go to Adelaide, hmmm. I reckon you win

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Aaron ducks in to say...

Posted May 20
I just had a silly marketing thought, you could include a recipe for felafel in your books as an obscure reference to where it all began or say a recipe related to each one like a Kansas BBQ or Dave's fav thing (cocaine steak?) I dunno just a thought

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insomniac would have you know...

Posted May 20
I know you wanted controversy but having a plane disappear that was travelling between the title of your last book and the title of your next may be going a bit far.

Surtac puts forth...

Posted May 20
I had a similar thought myself ...

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Rhino is gonna tell you...

Posted Saturday
Off topic ... but this is awesome and I wished they had called it Skynet. http://nextbigfuture.com/2016/05/us-navy-will-create-global-kill-web-of.html?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link

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JG is gonna tell you...

Posted Saturday
Congrats. You deserve it, JB. You were born with a lucky star, but the bottom line is that you not only have extraordinary talent. You work Damn Hard. As in 1000 times more than most. I don't know of a writer who has so many projects and long term goals going at the same time. I don't know how you do it. Raise a glass to yourself. May your indie publishing co prosper for a long time. Cheers. Joanna

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