WiC Weekly: December 21th-28th

By Ani Bundel on

tyrion

Merry Christmas, Happy Solstice and a Happy New Year! Here’s our round up for the last full week of 2014.

Why “The Laws of Gods and Men” is the best episode of Season 4

By Rowan Kaiser on

Davos Seaworth Iron Bank

For the Best Episode of Season 4 poll, our staff argued for our favorite episodes of the season…

What makes Game of Thrones great? There are many symbolic reasons that get cited: swordfights, sexuality, battles, dragons, and huge scenes. For me, those things help, but they’re not where the greatness comes from. In order to have a foundation of greatness, Game of Thrones needs to consistently be able to pull off two straightforward, non-glitzy things—and “The Laws of Gods and Men” manages to do both.

First, Game of Thrones needs to have great dialogue scenes This is how it keeps its story moving and develops its characters. Thanks to a variety of good characters and almost uniformly great actors, it’s almost a given that Thrones will be good enough at its conversation scenes—but when it’s at its best, Game of Thrones might be the best show on television for taking any two (or sometimes more) characters, putting them in a room, and letting them dazzle us. From Robert and Cersei talking about their marriage to Varys and Tyrion talking about power to Arya and The Hound talking about, well, anything, to Jon and Alliser trying to get over their mutual hatred, there’s no shortage of these bits.

“The Laws of Gods and Men” has perhaps the highest quality of simple scenes of any episode in Season 4—and they’re almost all twists on a similar theme…

Why “The Lion and the Rose” is the best episode of Season 4

By Andrea Towers on

thelionandtherose15

For the Best Episode of Season 4 poll, our staff argued for our favorite episodes of the season…

By now, we’ve become accustomed to a certain predictability when it comes to each season of Game of Thrones. The first episode of a new season is usually less intense, a catch-up of where we left off and setting-up of storylines and characters we’ll come to know. The second episode is generally more intense, and from there, the series varies between intensely high stress hours to slower, more story driven ones — all culminating in the final stretch of episodes, the ninth and tenth of which usually give us big showy plot developments, such as Blackwater, the White Walkers, and The Red Wedding.

“The Lion and the Rose,” the second episode of Season 2, balanced the fine line of executing stories that needed to wind together without making them feel like they didn’t fit. As much as we’d like to spend an entire episode in King’s Landing, or with Arya on the road, the show simply doesn’t allow us the time to dive into each character’s story in that way. Thus, Game of Thrones has to diffuse the storytelling in imaginative ways. I really love what it did with this hour, where we continued to get some crucial Season 4 moments (most notably the debut of prominent every character who didn’t get afforded screen time in the premiere — more on that in a moment.) But the episode also found time to focus on one of the most important plotlines of the season: Joffrey’s murder.

Why “Two Swords” is the best episode of Season 4

By Rowan Kaiser on

two swords jaime tywin

For the Best Episode of Season 4 poll, our staff argued for our favorite episodes of the season…

“Two Swords” opens with “The Rains of Castamere”. It opens with Tywin Lannister melting down Ice, the blade of House Stark. The first time you see his face, the camera is low, staring up at the Lannister patriarch. It is his moment of symbolic triumph. The Starks are gone. The Lannisters triumph. He even tosses the wolfskin into the flame, just to hammer it home.

I’m a fan of great season premieres. They rarely get the attention that finales do, for one thing, even though their job can be so much harder. A finale resolves, triumphs, or destroys. A premiere? That has to build. That has to keep things interesting, to create a new status quo, to set up the entire thrust of a season.

That’s a difficult enough job on its own, but “Two Swords” also has an even higher degree of difficulty: it’s coming after the most shocking event in the entirety of Game of Thrones, the Red Wedding….

WiCnet Awards: Best Episode of Season 4

By Rowan Kaiser on

tyrion

Happy holidays, readers! We’re ending the year on the biggest category of them all: What was the best episode of Game of Thrones from 2014?

As our staff was going through the episodes, we noticed that strong arguments could be made for seven of the season’s episodes, which is a pretty impressive ratio! We’ve written up our picks, and hope that you’ll give those a read before making your final decision–links below.

Voting will continue throughout the holidays, and we’ll be announcing the final, victorious episode on January 5th.

George R.R. Martin ruins Christmas in College Humor skit

By Ani Bundel on

collegehumor

We all know he’s dreaming of a Red Wedding, but did you know you didn’t want to be on George R.R. Martin’s Naughty List? Actually, you probably had a pretty good idea you didn’t want to be on his Naughty List. You probably also guessed that hisNaughty List was pretty long…but some characters on it may be a surprise.

Well, when College Humor decided to imagine what happens when you invite a man with a long white beard and large belly from a snow bound fantasy world to your office Christmas Party, things take a turn for the worse pretty quickly. They even decide to bring Joffrey back from the dead.

The video is below. I would say there are spoilers, but I’m pretty sure all the reveals “Martin” does in the video aren’t actually going to happen. (Fingers crossed he doesn’t get any ideas either.)

Thrones-style hockey intro shoots and scores

By Ani Bundel on

colorado avalanche game of hockey

One of the side effects of becoming a global phenomenon: everyone’s out to reference you. (There’s even a local HVAC company whose commercials are in the Game of Thrones font, and want to check your heater because “Winter Is Coming.”) Now even sports teams have gotten into the act, as the NHL team from Colorado, the Avalanche, use the opening titles as an introduction for their team.

I’ll admit, if it had just been those first 30 seconds, this probably would have fallen into the category of “Yet Another Winter is Coming ad.” But this one is especially good for a few reasons:

  •  The theme song and the player’s names in place of the cast.
  • The different rival cities in place on a Westeros-style clockwork map.
  • That “flying through the spikes shot” was a really cute way to update the same shot from Westeros to America.
  • And of course Canada is Beyond the Wall. Poor Winnipeg.

The computer graphics for the cities, unsurprisingly, aren’t as good as HBO’s credits, but otherwise whoever did this really did their homework. Check it out after the jump…

Mark Gatiss hints at his Season 5 role

By Ani Bundel on

GOTFan-0182

Mark Gatiss isn’t the largest role in the Game of Thrones universe. He’s much more well known for writing Doctor Who and writing and appearing in Sherlock. But When he went in front of an audience Q&A at the Mumbai Film and ComicCon last week, it was a sure thing he’d be asked about his role as Tycho Nestoris and if he’d give out details from Season 5.

Interestingly, when asked by NDTV about Game of Thrones, he seemed least interested in it than any of the three shows he’s involved in.  Though he admitted he was “drawn to anything odd,” he seemed less enthused about Game of Thrones as a “very violent world.”

We’ve got the full Q&A embedded below from the ComicCon. It is mostly Sherlock and Doctor Who based, but there is one *very* interesting question he asks the audience, which suggests his storyline this season won’t necessarily go where we suspect it will. (NOTE: MINOR SPOILERS FOR GATISS’ CHARACTER BELOW)

This gingerbread Iron Throne is amazing

By David (Razor) Harris on
The Iron Throne

The Iron Throne

No matter what traditions you and your family have around the holidays, even if one of those traditions includes making cute little gingerbread houses, they will never live up to this exquisitely detailed and masterfully created gingerbread Iron Throne.

See how Game of Thrones dragons Balerion and Drogon match up to Smaug

By David (Razor) Harris on
Aegon on Balerion the Black Dread Art Credit - J.Gonzalez

Aegon on the dragon Balerion the Black Dread (Art Credit – J.Gonzalez)

The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies hit theaters this past week, and in that movie, the fate of the dragon Smaug, is played out. Back in September of this year, some very enterprising fans crafted a very cool Dragon Chart, which compares Smaug to other popular dragons, including Game of Thrones’ dragons, Balerion and Drogon.

Let’s break down that Game of Thrones season 5 cut from HBO’s Yearender (GIF)

By David (Razor) Harris on

By now, you’ve probably seen the HBO 2014 yearender, which featured a quick sneak-peek at Game of Thrones season 5. If you haven’t, you can check out what our Ani Bundel has to say about it, here. Of course, you will have to wait until the 1:40 mark to get that tasty morsel of Game of Thrones goodness, so we’ve taken that cut and broken it down in 4 nifty little GIFs. Beware, there will be some minor spoilers for the show.

George R.R. Martin’s 12 Westerosi Days of Christmas, part 2

By Ani Bundel on

redchristmas2

Two weeks ago, the official twitter account for George R.R. Martin started a cute little “12 Days of Westerosi Christmas.” We brought you the first six entries here. Yesterday was the last day of the countdown. Which Westerosi families were featured in the back half of the countdown? We’ve got the tweets below.



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