Cheeseburger Gothic

Sweet flaming swords, it's another Game of Thrones S7 trailer recap!

Posted Thursday into Raven On by girlclumsy

Bless you, HBO. Bless your glorious cotton socks. Delivering us a heart-pumping, loin-girding, ab-touching cracker of a trailer right on the Winter Solstice.

Of course it’s the summer solstice up past the equator, but we here in the Antipodes need no imagination to picture the depths of chilly misery they must be now enduring in Westeros. In Brisbane alone the temperature has been dropping to 11 or 12 degrees at night (roughly 54 in that ridiculous Fahrenheit), and that’s so arctic I had to put on slippers.

Not unexpectedly, the payload in this piece is a heck of a lot bigger than in last month’s HUGE WAR ROOM FLOOR MAP trailer.

The war room floor map doesn’t make a reappearance, but I’m not surprised. As I mentioned back then, that trailer focused on the human relationships, threats and alliances, with not much attention paid to the supernatural threat beyond The Wall.

By contrast, this one lets rip with battles and skirmishes and beat-ups galore, and slams the apocalyptic reality of the White Walkers right back into our gaping, drooling faces.

So let’s do a quick breakdown of the voiceover sequences and then hone in on some key flashes of “WHAT” and “WAS THAT JUST” and “HOLY CRAP” from the montages.

We start with a tracking shot of the Lady of Winterfell, walking past a weirwood tree in what we assume is the Godswood. Strong, determined, unblinking, she is taking her cues from 2009-era Beyonce. She Is…. Sansa Fierce.


"Uh oh oh, oh oh oh, oh oh, oh, oh oh oh"


But whispering, always bloody whispering, in his stupid bloody whispering voice, is Petyr Baelish:
“Don’t fight in the North, or the South. Fight every battle, everywhere, always in your mind.”

If we assume he says this in person to Sansa, it’s an interesting focus on the internal struggle that must be won before any victory in the field can be had. It’s about removing the physical constructs of each battle and placing strategy, confidence and belief first and foremost. With the greatest match still ahead of Sansa, the Starks, the North and essentially to humanity as a whole, Littlefinger is starting to sound like a sports commentator. I mean, what I call him certainly rhymes with Rex Hunt.

Meanwhile I must find out where to obtain a copy of that introductory cello-with-choir underscore. I want to download it to my iPhone so I can walk around in slow motion with the music playing in my ears, pretending I’m an epic hero about to face danger and battle and stuff when really I’m just about to face feeding the foster kittens.

Other images seen in those opening moments: a long shot of Meera and Bran at The Wall, giving hope they will find some security with the rump of the Night’s Watch; Daenarys and her table top gaming board; Arya on a horse; Baelish in the shadows (maybe a dungeon?); and that weapon being sharpened again like a character on the “Who Shot Mr Burns?” episode of The Simpsons.

There’s also some shots that add weight to the idea we could be going to Casterly Rock this season, with the Lannister banners hanging in a stone keep filled with smallfolk seemingly welcoming somebody in, and Jaime seen from behind in armour striding around a battlement. It could be the King’s Landing, but perhaps not? There’s also a low-key beach landing, and later on, a glimpse of Grey Worm in a helmet approaching a rocky cliff - could it be Unsullied troops looking to take The Rock?


Good luck with that.


The second voice we hear is Jon’s:

“For centuries our families fought together against their common enemy. Despite their differences… together. We need to do the same if we’re going to survive. Because the enemy is real. It’s always been real.”

The first half of this grave declaration runs over shots of Dany walking along the beach at Dragonstone, then pulling down what looks to be like an old Targaryen banner, possible revealing a throne, or maybe some sort of family secret/inheritance. We see those magnificent dragons tearing it up like teenagers on a Contiki tour, and Tyrion looking pensively out over the sea.

Other characters pop up: Theon looking grim as usual; Brienne and Pod look awesome as usual; a flash of a snowbound Hound. There’s a series of shots involving Lannister soldiers, with Jaime and Bronn overseeing a team of archers, in what can only be described as a bromance-turned-bowmance.

There’s also a glimpse of a wheelchair-bound Bran (possibly with Bloodraven, the old dude from the cave, watching on) warging just as a bunch of ravens fly over a battlefield, seemingly sparking the interest of the Night’s King. As Jon’s voice sounds out “The enemy is real. It’s always been real”, there is a pause, fade to black, and then THIS MOTHEREFFING SHOT:


BMF.


Holy flipping heck, it’s Beric Dondarrion carrying a flaming sword! But as we remember, it was Thoros of Myr who carried a flaming sword. SO WHERE IS THOROS? WHY DOES BERIC HAVE HIS SWORD?

A bit further on, there is another shot of my beloved fighting on a bluff (he can fight on my bluff anytime etc) and LOOK THERE IT IS AGAIN:


So the Brotherhood Without Banners (and possibly now Without Thoros of Myr) will at some point team up with Jon, Tormund and co. for more adventures fighting...wights, I assume? Unless Jon’s foreboding talk about coming together to fight the evil was aimed at other houses who have yet to sign on to the new reality of winter life and the coming icy apocalypse. They all seemed to acknowledge him as the “White Wolf” King in the North at the end of last season. But who knows, there could still be some hold outs.

That final montage before the Sansa voiceover contained a plethora - yes, El Guapo, a plethora! - of frames/shots/glimpses/sightings/moments that had my heart beating against my chest like a Looney Toons character looking at another Looney Toons character in drag. Moments like this:


Jaime Lannister racing on horseback across a field of fire, lance in (remaining) hand. This surely must involve the stampeding Dothraki army, with dragon accompaniment, as seen in other sections of the trailer. But who is he aiming for? A human… or a dragon? And could he fell a dragon? We know historically Jaime was a fine jouster at tournament, and it’s a credit to his thighs that he can still seat his horse so ferociously with the reins in his golden hand, while his left hand grasps his mighty spear OK wow I have totally distracted myself and need a moment.

I loved seeing Jon standing sexily next to Ser Davos almost as much as I fretted seeing him fight off one of the head honcho White Walkers; I did a little dance seeing Missandei plant her linguistically deft lips right on Grey Worm; and of course seeing Tormund Giantsbane lunge at anybody is delightful (and hopefully with Brienne, consensual).

There’s the Greyjoy fleet approaching King’s Landing, Yara and Theon looking at fireworks/fire, and a glimpse of old mate Euron getting ragey as ships burn; and as he accompanies the Dothraki warriors, a close-up of Drogon so severe you can smell his lizard breath.

But there’s also some things that weren’t clear to me. For example, is this Theon looking wrecked on a beach? Or Euron? Or an Unsullied?


Oh gods, it's Gendry, isn't it? He finally got out of the boat.

And this guy. Who is this guy?


WHO ARE YOU MYSTERY MAN


As we see a sole rider hot-hoofing it away from camera, the voiceover concludes with Sansa throwing up some Grade A metaphor and/or allegory.

“When the snows fall, and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies…. but the pack survives.”
And we get this breathtaking shot of our King in the North, from one of his greatest angles:


His back hump looks so soft.


Now I must admit, when I first heard that phrase, my immediate response was “LONE WOLF WHAT ARE YOU REFERRING TO JON IS THIS INSINUATING JON COULD DIE NO NO NO”. Please understand I’m a little sensitive when it comes to the mortality of my beloved.

But it’s more likely Sansa’s singing from the same song sheet as Jon - that all petty human squabbles have to be put aside to ensure victory, that the time for individual glory is over. Indeed, Jon has been proof of that over and over again - his early days of wanting to be a kickarse Ranger are long gone, and he has become one of the most well-rounded (and #junkmounded) diplomats in the series. It wouldn’t surprise me if their dialogue here occurs in the same scene.

Can we take a moment to appreciate the sartorial splendour of our King in the North? Decked out in designer whites, he’s practically Fursace. Or Furberry. Or Salvatore Furragamo. He’s also really embraced that man bun. I mean, it makes sense - all of those luscious black curls would get in your face while fighting, not to mention getting wet and sticky in all that snowy weather. Of course I long for the return of the mop top, but for the moment I can live with the “Jon Snowcone”.

Well, kittens, that’s about all I’ve got for now, but if I have any strokes of genius about this trailer I’ll get back to you. We’re closing in on a month out from S7, E1 - will we get a third trailer before it hits? Whatever happens, I will be here for you, my beloved Throners, always your devoted recappespondent and ab connoisseur.

A special shout out this week to all my Patreon subscribers for your generosity and loyalty, including Tarryn K, Jamie E, Cath G, Alison M and Elana M. If you want to find out more about my Patreon campaign, and why I ask people to consider paying $1 per recap, head over here.

Valar morghulis!



3 Responses to ‘Sweet flaming swords, it's another Game of Thrones S7 trailer recap!’

Bondiboy66 asserts...

Posted Friday
I am allowed to go 'Squeeee!' I don't care - I'll do it anyway.

Respond to this comment

Abbey swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Friday
"Oh gods, it's Gendry, isn't it? He finally got out of the boat."

Snorted. Loudly. Still chortling haha

I only listened to your podcast with Stu talking about this the other day and I'm still picturing Gendry going round and round and round and round and round ..... you get the idea. So funny.

Respond to this comment

Seakla is gonna tell you...

Posted 16 hours ago
Here's a link to that piece. It's "In the Light of the Seven", from the previous season.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pS-gbqbVd8c

I also love this piece :-D

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Sweet flaming swords, it's another Game of Thrones S7 trailer recap!'

Holy blazing dragons, it's the Game of Thrones S7 trailer!

Posted May 25 into Raven On by girlclumsy

War! Homecomings! Stabbings! Nude Grey Worm!

The Game of Thrones Season 7 trailer contained so many delights, that of course I must put pen to papyrus and recap the seven hells out of it.

But there was one thing in that 1 minute 35 seconds of glorious GoT bounty that thrilled me more than any other.

“Oh, yes, here she goes again, ranting about Jon Snow like a sad obsessed cat fancier,” I hear you say.

NO!

I mean, yes, I am obsessed with Jon Snow in a sad, cat fancier kind of way. And we’ll get to our beloved King in the North later.

But the cutaway in that trailer that gave me the most joy was...

THE LANNISTERS’ HUGE WAR ROOM FLOOR MAP!


Jaime is all at sea.

I have been waiting seven years for this, and it’s everything I ever wanted and more.

I have now placed a call to a home decorator to rip up my large format charcoal grey tiles and install a FANTASY MAP OF WESTEROS in my living room so I can walk over it pointing and plotting tactical army movements and supply routes because I am a FICTIONAL QUEEN OF EVERYTHING.

Oh, it will be grand. Setting up the foster kittens to represent the different warring families, instructing them on when and how to attack each other, STOP RUNNING UNDER THE COUCH MICAH YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE THE TULLYS OF RIVERRUN AND HAZEL GET DOWN FROM THE SCRATCH POLE DOTHRAKIS DON’T LIKE HEIGHTS.

It will be epic times at my place, people.

But back to the trailer. Let’s make like biodegradable shopping bags and BREAK IT DOWN, starting with everybody’s favourite super villain, Darth Cersei. Her voiceover goes as follows:

“Enemies to the east, enemies to the west, enemies to the south, enemies to the north. Whatever stands in our way, we will defeat it. We are the last Lannisters. The last ones who count.”

This is delivered while shots of the Lannisters’ many enemies are spliced in with a tracking shot over a 3D map of Westeros (and the WAR ROOM MAP!). Did anybody else notice that when she said “enemies to the south” it passed over the Vale of Arryn, which is totes NORTH of King’s Landing, but then you don’t want to ruin the momentum of the shot, do you?

The enemies pictured are Grey Worm (not yet nude and at the head of Daenarys’ army), a large sailing ship in the gloomy mist (Iron Islanders, either Euron or the Yara/Theon alliance?), an axe being sharpened (really could be anyone), and ARYA FRICKING STARK.

There’s a brief glimpse of marching Lannisters flying the golden lion, and then a throne room sequence, with Jaime standing by his murderous usurper sister lover lover (mmmm). Cersei has always been scary, but the underlying mismanagement of her grabs for power have always grounded her in some reality. Now that seems to have gone, and she appears utterly terrifying. YOU GO GIRL.


Darth Cersei with some dark side of the force hand moves.

I loved the fact that immediately after we hear Cersei saying “We are the last Lannisters”, it cuts to a shot of Tyrion. “The last ones who count.” ZING. Of course Tyrion has more than a few things that make him count in the great game - there’s his faith in his new Queen, Daenarys, and her reliance on him as her Hand. Then of course there’s those enormous dragons, we which see slicing up through the air beside the cliff Tyrion is seen striding towards (more brilliant advertising for Northern Ireland).

We transition to hearing Dany’s voice, as she gazes on the opening gates of what we assume is Dragonstone, her birthplace, and formerly the seat of Stannis “Fewer” Baratheon.

“I was born to rule the Seven Kingdoms,” she intones. “And I will.” Strong Churchillian language there from Our Dany, Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains, Wearer of Less Revealing Clothes This Season, Somewhat Disappointingly. We see her touching the sand (Kevin Costner’s return to Dover in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves remains the gold standard of touching the sand, best movie ever, no arguments please), and sitting on her angular, rocky throne.

It’s sad to think we won’t have the luscious Maario Doharis standing by her, quietly flexing, and as for Ser Jorah, there was no sign of him in this trailer at all. Hopefully he’s finding that cure for Stoneman’s Disease - I would hate to find out halfway through the season that he just turned up dead at the Oldtown docks and nobody noticed because he looked like part of the jetty. For devotees of the “Ser Jorah is Azor Ahai” theory, it would be positively disastrous.

There’s also what looks like a raid on the Red Keep - or at least I assume it’s the Red Keep, given all those archways are giving it much more of an Alhambra vibe than in previous seasons. We see some helmeted heavies fighting in a courtyard and on a balcony. This is about as much analysis as I can do on that one:


Next up it’s time for MY SWEET SWEET BELOVED JON SNOW WHOSE ABS SHOULD BE PRAISED AS GODS IN THEIR OWN RIGHT.

“King in the North!” comes the resounding cry as we flick past Jon’s beautiful, brooding face in the Winterfell Great Hall, Sansa and Brienne watching from behind, and a flash of what looks like a war council of Northern lords. You can just about make out the side of Lyanna Mormont's face. SO keen for more of her, please.


Then it’s time for Mr Snake in the Grass himself, Petyr Baelish, to get all Wormtongue or Wormtail (but not Grey Worm) up in Sansa’s grill. “Your father and brothers are gone, yet here you stand - the last best hope against the coming storm.” I know his control of the Vale knights saved Jon and co in the Battle of the Bastards, but I do wish Littlefinger would go away. Or at least get a clue and realise there’s no point in playing his stupid power games anymore.

Luckily at that point we hear Littlefinger’s total opposite in character chime in, and once again, it’s Davos Freaking Seaworth who brings the true emotional punch to proceedings. “If we don’t put aside our enmities and band together, we will die,” he says. “And then it doesn’t matter whose skeleton sits on the Iron Throne.”

PREACH. Once again Davos represents the everyman, the pragmatist, immune to the trappings of power and much more concerned with basic survival. If you did a poll of most loved characters in the show, the Onion Knight would have to be up there, which means of course they’re probably going to kill him off this season and I WILL CRY ALL THE TEARS AND THREATEN VIOLENCE.

It’s at this point of course that the trailer builds in speed and pace and frequency of shots included. Here are some of the things I noticed:

*Jon Snow outpacking Tormund in a snowbound steeplechase.


*record scratch* Yep, that's me. You're probably wondering how I got into this situation.


*Kate Bush looking quite sad in a castle somewhere, watching soldiers go running up that hill, or rather, ramparts. It looks too nice to be the Iron Islands, and not nice enough to be Dorne, so where could it be?

*Jon Snow grabbing Littlefinger and shoving him up against a wall, in a totally non-sexual but still highly sexy way.

*Ellaria Sand snogging Yara Greyhoy in a totally sexual and highly sexy way.


Just make sure she took her lippy off first, Yara.


*Missandei ripping off Grey Worm’s shirt. Finally, some action in their relationship beyond courtesies and low-level chit chat.

*A burning ship, bodies falling into water and Theon Greyjoy surrounded by licks of flame - an attack on the combined Targaryen/Greyjoy army, or perhaps a dragon fart with follow through?

*Arya all alone and making a fire - come on Nymeria, you come back now, good doggo.

*Cascading packs of rampaging Dothraki.

*Rugged up northerner types running away from something, and forming a circular guard.

*The Mountain, helmeted, but I’m pretty sure it was him.

*Dany and Tyrion checking out Stannis’ old tabletop role-playing board on Dragonstone.


"Has this been disinfected? Anybody?"


People we didn’t see in that trailer include: Sam and Gilly (on SWOTVAC), Ser Jorah (MIA), the Hound and the Brotherhood Without Banners crew (revenging), Bran and Meera (defrosting), White Walkers (ice cold), Olenna Tyrell (cheese, bitch) or any flashbacks to Ye Olde Times Like Twenty Years Ago.

The crescendo of music builds until we see a majestic wide shot of barrelling Dothraki on horseback, with the stupendously huge Drogon carving up the sky above. It’s the greatest fly-by since Top Gun.


After this, a quick game of shirtless volleyball.


But then we fade to black, and my beloved’s sonorous words remind us of the *snort* gravity of the situation.

“The Great War is here.”

Final thoughts? GARRRGHHHHUUUUMMMBBAAARGGGGHHH WHY CAN’T IT BE ON NOW.

For me the focus of this season is Daenarys’ transition from hot weather slavery-busting conqueror to winter homecoming queen. She has never stepped foot on Westeros; is it ready for her? Does it want her? She seems all-powerful, but her father’s rule sparked revolution and there may not be the appetite for the Mad King’s daughter. Cersei is nobody’s favourite, but then she’s proved time and again how resilient she is. Can she consolidate her power in King’s Landing and prove that a Queen Regnant can do what so many King Repugnants couldn’t?

Jon Snow is being heralded as King in the North, but is it a job he really wants? After his whole death-and-reanimation experience, he’d kind of given up on being in charge. But like Monkey, Jon Snow’s nature is irrepressible. He can’t help being a good guy, even if he has the odd sulk along the way (let me comfort you and your abs, beloved).

This trailer definitely seemed more focused on the Great War of families, rather than the Ever Greater Holy Crap War Against Monstrous Armies of the Undead. I kind of want them all to win, in my own special way. But of course there’ll have to be some losers. As long as they don’t KILL anyone, I’ll be fine.

OH GOD I’M DOOMED.

See you on July 16, beloved Throners!

28 Responses to ‘Holy blazing dragons, it's the Game of Thrones S7 trailer!’

Nocturnalist is gonna tell you...

Posted May 25
You have a point. If HBO and GRRM haven't got a merch deal for huge Westeros-mapping carpets ready to go when that trailer dropped then someone's asleep at the wheel.

(Anyone else think "wait, they're going to settle this with a game of Azad"?)

Surtac ducks in to say...

Posted May 25
Yes. Where's Jernau Morat Gurgeh when you need him?

:)

Terry swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Friday
Oh please oh please let there be a swordfight there so someone can reprise one of the greatest lines of movie dialogue ever (from Dr Strangelove): "You can't fight here. This is the War Room!"

Respond to this thread

Sousy Wench mutters...

Posted May 25
Could the place with the lions and dead Lannisters be Casterly Rock?

Respond to this comment

Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 25
"Your suppose to be the Tully's...." brought it all back to me - I miss the Blackfish.

Needless to say if the trailer is any indication the series 'living at home with Grey Worm and Missandai' is going to need an adult raiting.

I also want to see more of my favourite witty banter between Varys and Tryion.

Surely your war room map can be next to your library with the clockwork model of the 7 kingdoms.

Outstanding recap and can only imagine how much more awesome it will be once you start doing the episodes.

Respond to this comment

Sam Clifford would have you know...

Posted May 25
I suspect the Alhambra Lannister place is either Lannisport or Casterly Rock. I don't think even Cersei is vain enough to paint a golden "L" above an archway in King's Landing. There's a handful of Lannister cousins left, but yeah, none that matter.

Half-man! Half-man!

Respond to this comment

girlclumsy reckons...

Posted May 25
Good pick-up on the Casterly Rock/Lannisport observations, peeps. We've never seen it, so it didn't occur to me initially that they might actually place some action there. Also Cersei is clearly in the Red Keep, as evidenced by her sitting on the Iron Throne.

Back in the day, Robb Stark's plan was to GO WEST (life is peaceful there) and beat the Lannisters on their home turf. Maybe Jon, or Dany, is going to try that strategy?

Respond to this comment

Tony Leggett would have you know...

Posted May 25
Wow. Such prose and analysis from less than two minutes of footage.

This will set high expectations for your recaps, Mother of Kittens.

Respond to this comment

Tony Leggett ducks in to say...

Posted May 25
Followup thought bubble:

I think the screenshot showing what looks like a raid on the Red Keep is more likely just a raid on the (probably only lightly defended) Casterly Rock.

IMHO anyway...

Tony Leggett has opinions thus...

Posted May 25
...and guess who went "tl;dr" when scrolling through the comments.

Respond to this thread

The White Witch mumbles...

Posted May 25
Oh how I've missed these recaps - almost (I said ALMOST!) as much as I've missed GoT, and the Beloved Abs-man! But I must confess - I have a dirty secret! I find Petyr Baelish rather sexy, in a sleazy, velvet-voiced way! I don't want him to die or go away, but to turn into a kind of nearly almost nice guy! A nice sleaze, if you will! Oh dear - I fear there is little hope for me!

girlclumsy mutters...

Posted May 26
YOU CAN'T CHANGE HIM, WHITE WITCH!

Respond to this thread

Ken Father of Dire Wolves reckons...

Posted May 25
Look at the armour, the spears, the fighting style. The helmeted heavies are the unsullied, expressing their distress at being unmanned by unlifeing the Dragon Queens enemies.

Respond to this comment

she_jedi has opinions thus...

Posted May 25
Yep, I've just abandoned my dreams of jarrah parquet flooring and I've totally moved on to GIANT FLOOR MAP as the jewel in my interior decorating crown. Bring on 16 July!

Respond to this comment

floki snow swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 25
Geez the Lannisters are coping a good old thrashing, early season wins are not always a good sign.
And who's dragonscale arm was poking out of that jail cell?

floki snow reckons...

Posted May 25
greyscale i meant greyscale

CatDragon is gonna tell you...

Posted May 25
Ser JM of course! Looking grim.

girlclumsy puts forth...

Posted May 26
Yeah, someone else showed me that as well, and I'm pretty mad I didn't pick up on it. BRING OUT THE SHAME BELL.

Respond to this thread

Barnesm asserts...

Posted May 25
and given the magnificent prose of Ms Bochenski stretched to 1,728 words for this piece from a trailer 1minute 48 seconds long. That means for the average 55minute episode were are going to get 52,000 witty and erudite words per episode.

Ken Father of Dire Wolves swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 25
Excellent. May the gods, old and new be praised.

girlclumsy mumbles...

Posted May 26
OH GOD I'M GOING TO DIE

Respond to this thread

Graham C mutters...

Posted May 25
"...the Onion Knight would have to be up there, which means of course they’re probably going to kill him off this season and I WILL CRY ALL THE TEARS ..."

Well, duh! You always get "all the tears" when ....

You cut onions!

girlclumsy ducks in to say...

Posted May 26
BOOOOOOOOMMMMM

Respond to this thread

Heidi would have you know...

Posted May 25
Great to read your recaps again Queen Nat. SO looking forward to this season! In countdown mode now! Bring on July 16! Woo Hoo!

Respond to this comment

JBtoo ducks in to say...

Posted May 25
So good to have you (and GoT) back

Respond to this comment

Morts ducks in to say...

Posted May 26
Nat

I think your kitties are better thought of as the dragons (just as hard to control) which makes you Dany and you know she's going to hook up with Jon at some stage. Also you could direct your 'dragons' by throwing raw meat on your Westeros map on where to attack and you get the added bonus of realistic blood splatter.

Morts

PS Are there VIP packages for those who want to contribute more for the recaps? Maybe we could get them 30 mins before anyone else. :)

Anyway really looking forward to the start of GoT and your rundowns. You're the extra spice that goes into a Walder Frey pie.

Respond to this comment

Rhino mutters...

Posted May 27
These recaps are the hot pies of my soul.

Respond to this comment

jl mutters...

Posted May 31
I do love these write-ups. Keep 'em coming, girlclumsy.

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Holy blazing dragons, it's the Game of Thrones S7 trailer!'

Star Trek Discovery trailer

Posted May 23 by John Birmingham

Looks great. Makes me think that if they can get a strong multiseries story arc out of first contact with the Klingon Empire (I assume that's what's happening here) it could provide a platform to do something very Game of Thronesy.

11 Responses to ‘Star Trek Discovery trailer’

tqft has opinions thus...

Posted May 23
It's trek, gonna watch it no matter what, thank you netflix

On the subject of trailers, saw the spiderman trailer when waiting for gotg2 . First spiderman film i actually want to watch.

Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted May 23
Indeed thankfully we will get to see it on netflix in Australia in the US they are using this series as a draw card for CBS new streaming service.

Respond to this thread

Barnesm reckons...

Posted May 23
Hitting all the right buttons for me, I has hesitant when I heard the Walking Dead Alumni Sonequa Martin-Green was joining ST:D (sorry but thats going to be how its abbriviated) but seeing her as First officer Burnham and Michelle Yeoh as Captain Phillippa Georgiou really looks great.

Respond to this comment

Bondiboy66 mutters...

Posted May 23
Looks cool. Seems the Klingons have evolved a bit more from just skin colour and forehead protuberances.

Respond to this comment

Respond to this comment

Blarkon reckons...

Posted May 23
First contact with the Klingons happened long before Discovery. Archer was dealing with them in Enterprise (which is about 100 years before Discovery). Enterprise is set in 2151. Discovery in the 2240's.

Bangar reckons...

Posted May 24
I saw the title and already knew who'd beaten me to the correction ;) First Ep from memory, please check memory is now an unreliable subroutine.

Respond to this thread

jason puts forth...

Posted May 24
I haven't watched Star Trek since William Shatner set the world record for holding your stomach in while fighting with Styrofoam aliens. Do i need to be across all the other spin off shows to get this one or is it possible to watch it in isolation?

Barnesm would have you know...

Posted May 24
from what little has been revealed, looks like it could stand on its own. I myself hold out for a cross to the mirror, mirror universe from ST:TOS.

Respond to this thread

Don Bagert has opinions thus...

Posted May 26
I think the main thing to realize is that even though everyone is saying this is a prequel to the original TV series from 1966-69, the trailer's look (e.g. uniforms, ship interiors) is like it's part of the Kelvin timeline that was created by the new movie series which started in 2009. So if you do want to get an idea of the look and feel of Discovery, it appears that the three most recent Trek movies would be the best way to do so.

Respond to this comment

RambleAus swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 6
Come onnnn, not too Game of Thrones ish. I want this series to have a coherent plot, consistent characters and not try and be dark for the sake of being edgy like some emo teenager who's just found his sister's eyeliner pencil.

Trek needs to be realistic but optimistic. In Trek humans can overcome whatever the universe throws at them, whereas the overwhelming message of GoT seems to be one of acedia, the world is shit and so is everyone in it and if you aren't shit then you will die a horrible horrible death.

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Star Trek Discovery trailer'

Welcome to EN151. Literature for the Easily Triggered

Posted May 22 by John Birmingham

From ASB. Probably not the sort of thing I can do at Fairfax:

Here in the Faculty of Caring About Everything we understand how important it is that students be taught in a way that never, ever upsets or challenges them because as our school motto reminds us, “That’s Not Cool.”

Students enrolling in EN151 will study the classics of western literature safe in the knowledge that the texts have been scrubbed of any and all graphic or horrifying images, confronting ideas, difficult characters, upsetting situations and unpleasant dialogue. Be assured the faculty has consulted with world class empathy specialists and traumatic risk managers to ensure that you will not be discomfited by these dangerous screeds or put in a situation that threatens even the most ridiculous of your half-baked sensibilities.

aliensideboob.

3 Responses to ‘Welcome to EN151. Literature for the Easily Triggered’

Surtac mutters...

Posted May 22
Good article. Lots of snark.

Reminded me of a lot of the PC / SJW shit I see coming into my twitterz feeds these days.

Respond to this comment

Miss Maudy ducks in to say...

Posted May 22
I so agree with that entire post. Words from my brain in your email and all that.

I don't understand why people get so damn worked up about unpleasantness. Shit happened. And still happens. There's one book I read a while ago, triggered the fuck out of me about issues I didn't know I had. I still finished the damn book though. And learned something about myself that I could deal with or not as I chose. (It was Coraline, which is a kids book. I also screamed all the way through Bambi. Apparently, I have abandonment issues.) But that's me, and I am a grown up and I still love reading Neil Gaiman.

Respond to this comment

dersk mumbles...

Posted Thursday
On the other hand, I don't understand why people get so riled up at the idea of giving someone a heads up.

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Welcome to EN151. Literature for the Easily Triggered'

Immolation launched

Posted May 11 into Books by John Birmingham

Friend of the Burger, Mr Lambright has released the final volume of his military sci fi trilogy, The Valley. Best cover so far, I reckon.

You can check it out here (universal link), and read the extract below.

For those on my mailing list I'll be sending a blast out later today when the whole series goes free for a day.

But you should really think about crossing Jason's palm with a few coins anyway. I will be.

30 Responses to ‘Immolation launched’

Surtac has opinions thus...

Posted May 11
Yep. Just purchased via the Beast.

Timing is good - I had just got around to reading the second book a couple weeks back.

Happy to send Jason a few shekels.

Respond to this comment

jason is gonna tell you...

Posted May 11
I read this in Beta and I highly recommend you get around it. Great mix of gritty reality and fantasy. The twist in the tail is great.

Respond to this comment

Therbs puts forth...

Posted May 11
Nabbed it. I liked the first two. A lot.

Respond to this comment

she_jedi reckons...

Posted May 11
I've just put all three onto my to-read list. Can't wait!

Respond to this comment

DarrenBloomfield is gonna tell you...

Posted May 12
So glad to see the last part of the trilogy is out! I've been hanging out after buying the first two last year. I've grabbed Immolation via Kindle Unlimited, so 'free' to me, But I hope JL gets a few coins through that arrangement.

jl has opinions thus...

Posted May 13
Darren- KOLL does pay the author, so thank you much, sir. It's an honor.

Respond to this thread

Bondiboy66 asserts...

Posted May 12
Thanks for the link! Books downloaded and added to the reading list!

Respond to this comment

jl ducks in to say...

Posted May 13
I'd like to say a public thanks to the people here at the 'Burger, and especially JB. Immolation's launch was a success, you all made it so.


Thanks much for reading my stuff!

Respond to this comment

Rhino has opinions thus...

Posted May 13
If it is good, it gets read. This is some good stuff.

jl is gonna tell you...

Posted May 13
Rhino, you have to drop in and chew the fat with me at "Confluence," the sci-fi con in Pittsburgh this summer. I'll have a table there in the dealer's room.

Rhino swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 13
Jason ... I would love to ... but I'm a Damned Yankee now ... moved south of the Mason Dixon in 1993. Make my home in Atlanta now. But, I do miss the Burgh, but not the weather.

You need to set your sights on LibertyCon in Chattanooga.

For those of you that don't know ... A Yankee is a northerner that visits the south and leaves. A Damned Yankee is one that visits and stays.

jl mutters...

Posted May 13
Got it, missed you by a mere 24 years!

Seriously, though, everyone moves south- few remain in these little coal towns. I've thought about moving too. Six months of OK weather, six months of hell. Winter is good for writing, though. It concentrates the mind.

I'll look into LibertyCon.

Rhino mumbles...

Posted May 17
I'll tell you what concentrates the mind - not needing a snow shovel.

Oh, and seeing women in shorts until the middle of November. I mean, I don't look, of course. Unless there is a medical basis for doing so.

Rhino would have you know...

Posted May 17
Meant to also ask ... do you live in the Burgh?

jl asserts...

Posted May 17
Nah, I live fairly close by, though. Go to the VA there, and of course shopping and so. Another advantage of living in Atlanta you may have forgotten- no more Fort Pitt tunnel.

To paraphrase JB, the love of women in shorts is the root of all suffering.

Respond to this thread

insomniac has opinions thus...

Posted May 13
Purchased 2 & 3. I got part way through 1 but couldn't continue. Not because it was no good. It was too good, too real for me. I'll try again.

Respond to this comment

Graham C asserts...

Posted May 25
Serious question, if I may .. do authors get anything out of Kindle Unlimited?

For a skinflint like me, 50c/day for pretty much all-you-can-read is a great deal - but I worry that authors don't get royalties (or not many)

Oh, I know that not all books in series will be on KU, and I'm likely to pay for those that aren't included if I like the series enough - but is there any money in it for writers?

jl swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 26
Hey Graham. Kindle does compensate us a small amount per page read. I am always gratified to see the "blue graph" on my stats page trending, it gives me a real-time view on how many pages of my books were read on a given day. So by all means, "buy" books on KU. If the books are good and they actually get read, we get paid.

Respond to this thread

Surtac mumbles...

Posted May 28
Finished it yesterday. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

Got the impression the series may have been quite cathartic to write.

In that sense, it reminded me of David Drake's 'Redliners'.

jl asserts...

Posted May 29
Thanks! Yeah, it was quite the journey finishing up the trilogy. Time to move on to other stuff.

Bondiboy66 mutters...

Posted June 2
I'm about half way through the third book now - I have to say that reading the second book before bed was a mistake...I had too much adrenaline flowing to get to sleep! Got a few chuckles so far too - conscripting all the supply pogues into grunt jobs was excellent! Got a laugh out of Brigadier Birmingham too! Thanks for throwing in the Anzac units! I'm trying not to throw out spoilers here...

Respond to this thread

Therbs is gonna tell you...

Posted June 5
Reckon you would have finished it off on the week-end BB. I thought the twist in the solution was pretty cool. I started reading it at Easts one day over $4 happy hour beers. Luckily my kindle is immune to occasional beer splatter.

jl swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 5
Being fairly new to this whole author thing, I am amazed by all the places my books have been (like the bar that Therbs frequents). Yeah, I did some traveling in the past, but regrettably I never made it to Australia. One of these days I'm going to make it down there. When I do, I'll give y'all a holler.

Bondiboy66 mutters...

Posted June 6
Please do! Love to shout you a few fizzy drinks!

jason has opinions thus...

Posted June 7
Include me in for a catch up if you ever reach these shores.

jl has opinions thus...

Posted June 7
Maybe not this winter, but it's going to happen. Always wanted to check it out, and now that I'm retired, there is nothing to stop me. I'll keep you all in the loop.

Therbs puts forth...

Posted June 8
Hey, BB - the ode at North Bondi RSL. And beer, but don't warn him about drop bears.

Respond to this thread

Bondiboy66 reckons...

Posted June 9
My lips are sealed! The RSL is of course de riguer.

Respond to this comment

jl puts forth...

Posted June 10
I'm curious about the local brews- years ago I lived in England and on the continent, and it seemed that every town had a local favorite. Unsure if the same type of situation prevails down there.

In regard to the local fauna and flora, I'll stay on guard.

Therbs reckons...

Posted June 13
It used to be like that but the larger brands took over a lot of the smaller ones. There's still some division between states but more interestingly a whole heap of smaller craft breweries have sprung up, a couple now eating into the major business.

Respond to this thread

Respond to 'Immolation launched'

Extract. Immolation. Jason Lambright

Posted May 11 into Book Extract by John Birmingham

Battle Shock

December 2345 Earth Standard, planet H-476, 49.4 days after landfall

Sons of the mothers who gave you
Honor and gift of birth
Strike with the knife till blood and life
Run out upon the earth.

—Robert Leckie, “The Battle of the Tenaru, August 21, 1942”


Lt. Col. Paul Thompson was making a dying world die faster. His soldiers, Third Battalion of the 405th Infantry Regiment, were assaulting the Harpies’ last holdout on the world the human forces had labeled H-476. The unlovely, devastated planet lay deep in the Harpies’ sector of settled worlds. Humanity was making good its threat to destroy the aliens’ civilization; millions of soldiers were fighting on dozens of worlds to tear out the Harpies, root and branch.

It was an ugly, squalid, deadly affair, and Paul had been recalled from retirement to participate. And here he was, driving his soldiers forward into the bowels of Aerie 325. His Bravo Company was currently the “main effort,” and as Paul watched his stats on his helmet’s visual display, the people assigned to his unit were dropping like flies.

Paul was doing his best to save his soldiers. But when a soldier’s unit was picked to be in the vanguard of an attack on a heavily defended structure, there is only so much one soldier can do. And Paul had done everything in his power for his people. He had trained his soldiers, he led from the front during forty-nine days of combat, and he had used up his assigned Punishment Battalion.

The partial body at his feet attested to that fact. Paul glanced downward and noted the corpse was shrouded in a prewar M-15 armored suit. Only the damned in the Punishment formations used those things these days. Paul and his troops were in the new M-42s.

A few of the original six hundred or so convicts were still alive; they had done their one task well. They had been driven pell-mell at the aerie with area-denial bots at their backs and shaped charges in their hands. When they opened a breach in the aerie’s walls with their sacrifice, Paul’s battalion had been right behind them.

And now here he stood, in the basement of the aerie with bat-like mounds of Harpy dead and fragments of his people. His newly promoted staff surrounded him, and they all were laboring to bring this slaughter about. His line companies were pushing upward, clambering up walls, fighting along arches and ramps, and killing everything that moved. Progress was slow, but it was steady and grim.

Paul knew that once his battalion reached Command’s chosen figure of 50 percent casualties that they would be withdrawn, and First Battalion of the 405th would take his place. But that was no comfort to him at all. It meant that precisely 325 of his people had to die before this nightmare would be over.

That meant 325 families who would have to be notified that their dear one had suffered a “hero’s death” near a star not even visible from Earth.

Having been through the process before, Paul almost wished he would die here before having to do that again.

A flying Harpy crashed to ruin by Paul’s feet. Without a thought, Paul shot the creature with his pistol. Just to make sure, he shot it again. The sounds of battle, muffled by his helmet, droned in his ears. The rattle of an auto, the grating zing of a rail gun, the explosion of a round hitting rock, the clang of a suit blasted to ruin—these sounds were his intimate companions, and they were burned into his soul like a brand.

His wearable connectivity device, his halo, crackled. John Stevenson, his Bravo Six, was about to speak. “Dragon Six, this is Bravo Six,” Stevenson said.

Paul was Dragon Six, the commander of a battalion nicknamed the “Dragons.” How original, Paul thought for the umpteenth time. He replied to Stevenson.

“Send it, Bravo Six.”

“Uh, roger, sir. Be advised, my company has hit heavy resistance at the top of the ramp, requesting reinforcements.”

Paul glanced at his battle schematic. The ramp was a structure along his battalion’s main axis of attack; it probably led up toward this aerie’s command structure. It had to be taken; it was a bottleneck for further progress. Paul’s readout showed that Bravo had taken 41 percent casualties. In his mind’s eye, Paul saw the tracers and corpses and heard the confused staccato chatter on the squad and platoon nets. If he would have wanted to, he could have pulled up the battle from any of his troopers’ halos, alive or dead, and watched for himself. But he didn’t need to. He knew what combat looked like oh so well.

Bravo was going to have to suck it up.

“Request denied, Six. Rotate your people as we discussed earlier, and take that fucking ramp. Once you have done that, Alpha will do a passage of lines, and you guys go into the reserve. Any questions?”

Paul imagined Stevenson hated his guts right about now.

A pause. “No, sir, no questions. Bravo Six, out.” Stevenson’s voice sounded hollow and drained.

Paul sent out a prompt to his battle staff. He wanted to get closer to the main effort—that is, the ramp and Bravo Company. Of course, in his suit, he couldn’t see the expressions on his staff’s faces, but he knew they despised his idea. It wasn’t safe where they were now, let alone closer to the ramp. Without a word, he and his staff moved up a wall and passed in single file over an arch to get closer to the scene.

Some tracer rounds flashed past, and his supply officer’s suit automatically dodged a Harpy round. A crater flashed in his wake. Paul’s M-372 cannon barked. The distant, distinctive clank from a dead soldier’s suit being impacted sounded across the guano-filled void. Paul’s staff started to pass through Alpha Company’s area, his battalion reserve. They were getting closer to Bravo Company; the din of battle grew acute.

Alpha Company’s commander appeared in Paul’s visual.

“Dragon Six, this is Alpha Six. What’s up?” Subordinate commanders always wanted to know the scoop when the BC, the battalion commander, showed up in the area of operations.

Paul spoke to Lieutenant Tsongas’s image. “Headed toward Bravo. Sounds hot up there.”

He watched Tsongas nod. “Rog, sir,” Tsongas said.

Paul silently wished him luck.

Paul and his staff threaded past waiting troopers. He imagined he knew what they felt—namely, that they were next and that their deaths might be upon them. Paul had been one of them once; he had stood in their ranks what seemed like an eternity ago. And now, through the tricks of a cruel God, he was in command. And he had to crack this nut.

His own mortality didn’t weigh heavily on him; he had resigned himself to death long ago. What he worried about was the deaths of those in his command, even though they thought he was cold and cruel. When his people looked at him, they saw a prewar survivor, a veteran of Brasilia, and a hard-bitten, slightly crazed leader.

When he looked at himself, he saw a mess.

And now he was getting close to Bravo. He and his group were on the leading edge of Alpha’s area. Paul knew that if he looked around the corner he was behind, he would see the ramp.

The din of combat was a roar. Purple Harpy blood was splashed about with alien mortal remains, and every other square foot of the area contained a chunk of trooper. They were Paul’s troops—his responsibility.

He placed a call.

“Bravo Six, this is Dragon Six. Am approaching your AO. What is your situation?”

Stevenson answered, his voice a low, panting monotone. “We’ve taken the ramp. Come take a look.” He dispensed with the “sir.”

“Rog, Stevenson. Good work.” Paul took a second to push orders to Alpha, and then he continued. “Coming up.” He started to move, wondering if he was more likely to catch a round from the Harpies or from Stevenson. Paul pinged his staff and directed them to stay in place, but his major sergeant, Joanna Matherson, followed him.

As Paul cleared the corner, his eyes fell on the battlefield within a battlefield. It was a collage of stuff he didn’t want to see: a Harpy intertwined with a half suit; a trooper’s head; a large streak of Harpy blood on a wall, with the dead alien beneath it; a trooper cowering behind a chunk of something, holding her helmet with both hands; craters; smoke; and blood.

As fast as hell, Paul and Matherson beelined toward Stevenson’s position, clearing a path in alternating bounds. As Paul moved, he checked Bravo’s battle schematic and statistics. A squad from Bravo had gained the top of the ramp, and they were holding. Another squad was moving forward to consolidate the foothold. The rest of the company was waiting. When Paul looked at their stats, he realized that a lot of them would be waiting forever. Fifty-four percent of Bravo Company was dead. Sixty-seven of his soldiers were gone.

Stevenson awaited him by the ramp itself, behind some fallen arcane machine with holes blasted in it. Paul kicked a Harpy out of the way and moved by Stevenson. Matherson linked up with the new sergeant first of the company.

After a minute, Paul broke the silence. He looked at his schematic and saw Alpha was passing through Bravo’s position.

“Captain Stevenson, you are relieved,” Paul said.

“Roger, sir. I’m a lieutenant, though.”

Paul imagined Stevenson followed with a mental “dumb ass.”

“No, Captain, you aren’t,” Paul said. “Gather up your troops, and go into reserve once Alpha comes through. You’ve done enough for now.”

Stevenson didn’t say anything; he just rocked his suit in a manner that signaled “yeah.” Nothing more passed between them.

The first soldiers from Alpha Company passed the two men. They were moving fast and erratically across the ramp. Paul’s experienced eye judged them to be veterans. Paul heard the zing of the rail gun at exactly the same moment as he watched one of the troops die in a photo-strobe flash; the clang reached his ears a split second later. A trooper who was waiting by the ramp to cross over paused. The squad leader or platoon sergeant kicked him or her into motion.

That soldier died, too.

Paul knew that this was bad. No one else from Alpha was moving to cross the ramp, and the toehold on the opposite side had to be reinforced, now. He also knew that he hated chickenshits. He had hated them his whole career. One type of commander would order his men to die while chewing on a peanut butter sandwich, whereas another type would share the dangers and lead. Paul had known for a long time which type of commander he was.

He placed an all-call.

“Come on, fuckers.”

And he started to bound across the ramp.

1 Responses to ‘Extract. Immolation. Jason Lambright’

Rhino puts forth...

Posted May 13
Damnnnnnn

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Extract. Immolation. Jason Lambright'