Skip to main content

Just in case you missed it...

...perhaps because, like me, you don't have HBO, here's the concluding portion of what by common consent is not only one of the best "Game of Thrones" episodes ever but a classic piece of television- including a battle scene that would have done credit to an epic Hollywood blockbuster. And to top it all off....

Well, I'm getting ahead of myself.

To set the videos up, Ramsay Bolton (formerly "Snow") is the psychopathic bastard  son of a truly twisted noble house. The sigil of House Bolton is the body of a man who has been flayed alive. Ramsay murdered his legitimate siblings and his own father to become the head of House Bolton. Torturing and flaying people is his hobby  He abuses his dogs. He abuses everybody. He's a consummate sadist.

The Boltons had overrun the keep of the Starks, Winterfell. through the treachery of Ned Stark's ward Theon Greyjoy. Young Bran Stark was wrongly thought to have been killed, and sister Arya Stark posed as a servant, escaped, and began a series of adventures in the East (she's on her way home now). The youngest Stark, Rickon, was taken prisoner. Ramsay rewarded Theon by imprisoning him and having pieces of him flayed until he begged to have them cut off. He ultimately was castrated. That's gratitude for you. I expected Ramsay to die for his crimes at some point, but he deserved more than a clean. simple death. One of the people in a YouTube reaction video remarked that Ramsay was so evil that he turns you evil because of what you want to happen to him.

In the show (though not in the books), sister Sansa Stark is forced to marry Ramsay- the man who killed most of the people she grew up with, burned her home, and whom she believes murdered her younger brother in cold blood and holds her youngest brother captive. He repeatedly and sadistically rapes her. She and Theon- the latter beginning a long and continuing path toward redemption- escape, Theon goes home to the Iron Isles. Sansa goes to her  illegitimate half-brother Jon Snow. Jon was until recently Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, a  kind of monastic military organization manning The Wall in the North that keeps out the savage Wildlings and, worse, the undead White Walkers. I won't get into Jon's backstory any further at the moment. To say that it's complicated is to put it mildly.

Fortunately for everyone, Jon was the first outsider to treat the Wildlings decently and they had become his friends. The Wildlings (including Wun-Wun, the last of a race of giants living north of the Wall) march south with Jon and Sansa with whatever additional support they can find along the way to rescue Rickon and take back the Starks' home. Though Jon refuses to acknowledge it, it is clear that their force isn't nearly big enough to confront Ramsay with any hope of success. But they do it anyway.

Sansa had previously taken refuge with "Littlefinger-" Lord Peter Baelish, a Machiavellian schemer who had loved her mother and probably now loves her. But he had betrayed her by sending her to Ramsay, supposedly not knowing what he was like and thinking that it was the best way to keep her safe. Now he is guilt-ridden. He also has access to a large military force, the Knights of the Vale. Sansa, who throughout the show has been growing  the hard way from an innocent,  sheltered and somewhat silly child of the nobility into a "playa,"  writes to him and plays on his guilt in order to get him to bring the knights to their side in the upcoming Battle of Winterfell. But she doesn't tell Jon, who thinks she's still the silly kid he grew up with and refuses to take her advice. As a result of this, his impulsiveness,  and his lack of strategic realism, she doesn't trust him with the knowledge that the swallow-bannered Littlefinger and the Knights of the Vale may be coming to help.

Embedding. it turns out, is disabled. So I'll just link to the videos. Please forgive the overlap.

The beginning.

The second part.

The third.

And here's the conclusion.


Popular posts from this blog

McMullin, Kasich, Hickenlooper, Huntsman, or somebody else sane in 2020!

I don't expect to be disenfranchised in 2020. I'm looking forward to Evan McMullin running against President Trump and whatever left-wing extremist the Democrats nominate. McMullin may or may not run for the Senate next year, and he may or may not run for president as an independent again next time around, but the nation can't afford to lose its most eloquent and intelligent critic of the populist takeover of the Republican party and the Executive Branch. We need the man in public life.

But interesting alternatives have developed. Ohio Gov. John Kasich has been mentioned as a potential primary challenger for Mr. Trump. I hope somebody continues the fight for the soul of my former party, even though I believe it to be a lost cause. Entrepreneur Mark Cuban is reportedly also considering a challenge to Mr. Trump. While I tend to see him at this point as somewhere to the left of where a candidate I would feel comfortable supporting might be, I would wish him well. Still, I see…

A modest proposal for a shocking innovation which is completely within the rules but which would, if adopted, revolutionize college football

I call it defense.

The idea- crazy as it may sound- is to supplement the scoring of points by your offense with an attempt to stop the other team from scoring them. Yeah, I know.  Really "out there," isn't it? But it has a history of winning not only games but championships. Modern college teams should try it more.

I'm a bit bummed about the Rose Bowl outcome but amused by the score. It seems that certain conferences aren't sure whether they're playing college football or high school basketball! I've noticed that in the scores of Sooner games. Last season the nation's college teams set a record by scoring an average of slightly more than 30 points each per game. That's a lot. Historically, that's a REAL lot.

The final score of the Rose Bowl was 54-48, though to be fair that was in double overtime. But to get there, the teams had to be tied 45-45 at the end of regulation! Last year was even worse. Southern Cal beat Penn State 52-49- in regulat…

A third party President in 2020?

I had the pleasure of meeting Joel Searsby, the campaign manager for Evan McMullin last year, at an event for Evan here in Des Moines during the campaign. Here's an interview with Joel by Jon Ward of Yahoo News on the ways in which centrist French President Emmanuel Marcon's out-of-nowhere landslide election last year may serve as an example for the inevitable bid to elect a rational, moderate third party candidate in 2020.

I have a feeling that it will be Evan McMullin again. But names like John Kasich, the Governor of Ohio, and Sen. Lindsey Graham also keep popping up. Word is that Kasich may challenge President Trump for the 2020 Republican nomination, an endeavor in which I'd wish him well but hold out very, very little hope for his success. I sadly expect that my conviction that the Republicans are dead as a vehicle for rationality and the reuniting of our fractured and divided country to be confirmed by the easy renomination of the most unfit and unqualified preside…