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Monday, April 01, 2019

OT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (April 2019)

Guess how many songs in the Top 10 biggest tracks in the U.S. last year were written by a solo songwriter? Zero. The year before that? Zero.

In 2016, just one solo-written song made the year-end Top 10: “Stressed Out,” by 21 Pilots, written by Tyler Joseph. In 2015, there was also just one solo-written track (Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen”), while in 2014 there were two, including “Counting Stars,” by One Republic (written by Ryan Tedder), and the biggest song of that year, “Happy,” by Pharrell Williams.

This is a snapshot of an overwhelming trend in the music industry over the past decade: the near-complete decline of the solo singer-songwriter pop hit, and the near-complete dominance of songs written by committee.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: April 01, 2019 at 08:38 PM | 688 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: movies, music, off-topic, television, whatever else belongs under the rubric of 'popular culture'

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   501. PreservedFish Posted: April 28, 2019 at 05:52 PM (#5836166)
floop
   502. Omineca Greg Posted: April 28, 2019 at 06:10 PM (#5836170)
It's not my part of Canada, but...

The restaurant on top of the CN Tower is good by reputation. I've never been there.

In Toronto, if it were me, I'd avoid more expensive places. There's a lot of Toronto people flush with cash due to the rapidly appreciating housing prices, so there's a lot in the high end. I'm sure there's many good places...but...on the other hand, if you weren't lucky enough to own a house before the boom, then you're poor as ####, so competition in the low end is intense. Vancouver is similar. I'd be doing the dizzying array of international foods. Immigrants to Canada love to live in Toronto, so they've got every kind of food you can imagine there, often for good deals. Greg K. would be way better than me at directing you to places.

I know people who've moved to Ottawa, they say the dining scene is good compared to most Canadian cities, but a very distant fourth to Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal. I can't say anything more than that.

Montreal, I'd do nothing but Québecois food, but again, that's just me. It's the province in Canada that has the most interest in what they eat, more like Europe, you know where they're proud of having local stuff on the menu. The beer is great too. So for me, it's part of my heritage, I love it, but your mileage may vary. The thing is, you're not going to get Quebec food anywhere else, it's your chance to do the best of what that province has to offer, and whenever I'm in Quebec, I want to know I'm in Quebec, if you get what I'm saying. The more expensive restaurants seem to be a better value to me than in Toronto. So I would go more casual in Toronto, and break out the wallet in Montreal.

Sorry I can't do better, I'm a 40 hour drive to Toronto, a little further to the other places, so I don't get there much.
   503. Master of the Horse Posted: April 28, 2019 at 06:22 PM (#5836173)
FWIW the iX Pour Bistro in Quebec City is ####### AWESOME!!!!
   504. Master of the Horse Posted: April 28, 2019 at 06:36 PM (#5836181)
Also, the pinot from the Okanagan region is killer. Does not matter on the year. Wineries to look for are Foxtrot and Blue Mountain.
   505. Master of the Horse Posted: April 28, 2019 at 06:42 PM (#5836183)
What is this crowd's views on towel comfort exiting from a shower or bath? (I don't take baths but didn't want to judge). I appreciate a soft towel. My wife is fine with using towels until they scrape you raw. Thoughts? Opinions?
   506. PreservedFish Posted: April 28, 2019 at 07:16 PM (#5836186)
Strongly agree on the Quebecois food in Montreal. I've had fantastic meals at Au Pied du Cochon and at Maison Publique. Au Pied du Cochon is a place of pilgrimage for chefs, due to the inspiring and uncompromising richness of the food - virtually everything has foie gras and maple syrup on it. That's just scratching the surface of what's available there, there's a place called Joe Beef that's also a place of pilgrimage, and probably dozens of other places worth visiting. Also, there's a tourist trap named Schwartz's that produces a legitimately fantabulous smoked meat sandwich, well worth the stop.

Never been to Toronto, but my impression is that the most exciting thing there is the 'ethnic' food - huge, huge populations of Chinese and Indian folks and I'm sure many others.
   507. It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: April 28, 2019 at 09:06 PM (#5836196)
And now their watch begins ...

Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night's Watch, for this night and all the nights to come
   508. Omineca Greg Posted: April 28, 2019 at 09:22 PM (#5836199)
I've had fantastic meals at Au Pied du Cochon...


Martin Picard's show, "The Wild Chef" is frickin' hilarious. I think maybe it's primarily done in French, and the English take is more an afterthought, because the presentation that we Anglos get is so casual. Sometimes he doesn't even take the cigarette from his mouth when he's talking to the camera. I'm glad to hear his restaurant is good, I really enjoyed his show.
   509. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: April 28, 2019 at 10:24 PM (#5836207)
Goddam. Not today!
   510. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 28, 2019 at 10:30 PM (#5836209)
the inspiring and uncompromising richness of the food - virtually everything has foie gras and maple syrup on it.
That...does not sound appealing.
   511. Omineca Greg Posted: April 28, 2019 at 11:44 PM (#5836218)
That...does not sound appealing.


An excerpt from a review of one of his cookbooks...

The book contains: four photos of totally naked women, four photos of mostly naked women, five illustrations of mostly naked women, one photo of a mostly naked man, one recipe for pancakes, one recipe for something called "Squirrel Sushi," eight recipes that include foie gras, three recipes that call for lobster, and recipes that call for calf's brain, bone marrow, truffles, caviar, oysters, veal, hare's kidneys, beaver tail, and Canadian Club. Oh, and dozens of recipes that call for gallons upon gallons of maple syrup. It is, in other words, exactly what you might expect from a bunch of Quebecois stuck in the woods standing over a boiling pot of tree sap for weeks on end, and it is insane and wonderful. Below, a list from the back of the book titled, simply, somewhat menacingly, "One Season at the Shack." It should give you an idea of what you're in for.

One Season at the Shack

750 Gallons of Maple Syrup
990 Shoulders of Suckling Pig
220 Boxes of Apples
1 Parmesan Cheese Wheel
132 Salmon Fillets
5,500 Pounds of Lobster
1,200 Pounds of Sturgeon
209 Pounds of Cheddar
46,200 Broken Eggs
66 Slabs of Bacon
66 Hams
3,300 Tourtieres
1,100 KG of Fatback
550 KG of Foie Gras
5,500 Cornish Chickens
45 Days Open For Business
66 Sittings
40 Employees
5 Wounded
1 Resignation
75,000 Photographs
1 Scuffle
10 of Our Pigs Slaughtered
1 Total Electrical Breakdown and Water Shortage During a Sitting


link
   512. Lassus Posted: April 29, 2019 at 12:01 AM (#5836221)
We had one of the best French meals ever at the Bourdain-recommended L'express in Montreal.

I'm not a true foodie, but some of the recent super-hipster restaurants in Quebec mentioned above don't really sound that appealing. I mean, I grew up in the part of NY that may as well be Canada where they make maple syrup, it's not some kind of weirdo native delicacy to me.
   513. Lassus Posted: April 29, 2019 at 12:08 AM (#5836222)

Montreal has an excellent symphony conducted by Kent Nagano, and they have Holst's The Planets on the 5th, and Tchaikovsky's highly under-appreciated 1st symphony on the 8th and 9th.
   514. manchestermets Posted: April 29, 2019 at 05:03 AM (#5836225)
And now their watch begins ...


Do we have to be spoiler careful here, or can we just dive in and talk about this?

Without giving anything away, it wasn't very good was it? Lots of things happened to no particular end, then something climactic happened because the episode had almost reached the end of its running time. I didn't get the impression of a story well told.
   515. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: April 29, 2019 at 06:48 AM (#5836226)
I've not seen the episode, but the recaps I've read do suggest to me that the show is skewing in a direction that isn't consistent with what I loved about the first few years. Which is fine, of course - not everything's for everyone - but does seem to be a missed opportunity to make something relatively new in the genre.

Eventually caught up with the last 30 minutes of Endgame. I could easily come up with a list of all the things I wish the MCU did better, but it just doesn't seem to matter, either to viewers at large or to my own willingness to buy in to the overarching story. I'm more curious than ever about what Marvel's secret sauce is, or whether they've just gotten lucky. I have my own pet theories, naturally.
   516. Lassus Posted: April 29, 2019 at 07:41 AM (#5836232)
Without giving anything away, it wasn't very good was it? Lots of things happened to no particular end, then something climactic happened because the episode had almost reached the end of its running time. I didn't get the impression of a story well told.

IMO, the main problem was the bizarrely staggered lead-in of two years off and then landing on this (relatively) right away. I think it was too one-note, yes. But, I have also grown way, way weary of every doctoral War College expert on the planet (read: every boy on the internet between the ages of 30 and 70) laying down the law on how stupid everyone making fiction is, so I'm probably not very objective.
   517. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: April 29, 2019 at 08:08 AM (#5836237)
I think GoT is immune to questions of "good" right now in the moment. We're so invested in the characters that it's become a tension machine no matter what. I was riveted last night. It may be that when the run is over we'll look back and wonder all that fuss was about this mediocre show, but I'm just going to let myself go with the flow for now as it's more fun that way. I was surprised Arya was the hero. I thought for sure Jon would kill the Night King and Arya would kill Cersei. That was a legitimate surprise.
   518. Lassus Posted: April 29, 2019 at 08:19 AM (#5836238)
On board with Shooty here.

Also, Shooty, you've only got like a few minutes, but that's a MAJOR spoiler, so, you might want to edit that.
   519. Lassus Posted: April 29, 2019 at 08:21 AM (#5836239)
Regarding my #516 above, I don't mean to harp on the negativity, but it's comments like this from io9 after five paragraphs of military strategy:
Hannibal of Carthage, Sun Tzu, Gustavus Adolphus, Napoleon, and Ulysses S. Grant are all very disappointed.
that seriously tire me out.
   520. Zonk is Back Where He Came From in a Safe Space Posted: April 29, 2019 at 08:52 AM (#5836248)
Well, let me repeat and emphasize the LULZ fodder complaints....

Someone mentioned the Battle of the Bastards as dumb stuff too - but that was different... Two individuals - Rickon running straight as an arrow and Jon losing his #### - undid what was at least a series of plans and counter-plans... tipping the balance to Ramsay until the cavalry arrived (just as it did at Blackwater, Beyond the Wall, and even in the first half of the episode at Mereen). Yes, yes - the cavalary showing up in a nick of time is an old cliche, but whatever.

This was a bungle from the get-go.... I kept waiting for some clever trick that would make me think the NK wasn't right to end human memory so they could start fresh, but it never came. If the Red Woman hadn't shown up, apparently, the Dothraki job was just to ride to their utterly predictable and stupid deaths. The dragons were apparently being held back to light a fire. It was dumb front to back.

Maybe the best part about it was that we COULDN'T see anything anyway.

It was a bad episode, top to bottom, front to back.

I've had issues with episodes previously - the SuperFriends go north of the wall for one, but at least it was fun with some truly satisfying moments for beloved characters.... I've taken issue with certain actions "Cersei has taken all the food from the Reach.... so I'll.... burn all the food she's taken from the Reach" - but the cinematography and action sequence was summer blockbuster awesome.

This was just a bad episode. Maybe 5 minutes of cool moments, but otherwise completely forgettable. Prior not-so-good episodes, they'd grow on you with the (usually plenty) good you could hang your hat on.... This one feels like it's maybe "start episode".... FF.... end scene.... meh, next.



   521. manchestermets Posted: April 29, 2019 at 09:02 AM (#5836253)
My main problem with it was that after about half an hour, I was just thinking "So, what's the deus ex machina going to be here?" It was just obvious that the things happening - as undoubtedly cool as some of them were - were going to have no real bearing on the conclusion, and I was pretty much proved right I think. There should be some way to predict what's going to save Our Heroes - we knew that the Knights of the Vale could be on their way in the BotB, we knew that Tywin would be on his way to the Blackwater - that just came pretty much from nowhere last night.
   522. manchestermets Posted: April 29, 2019 at 09:03 AM (#5836254)
And yes, Lassus, you are entirely within your rights to be exasperated by all the armchair generals out there.

[Thanks for the Canada restaurant recs btw - I've only skimmed them this morning but will look properly when I get home from work later.]
   523. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: April 29, 2019 at 09:13 AM (#5836256)
The problem with GoT combat against the dead is that we've seen lots of pop cultural depictions of tactics that might actually be helpful -- the shield walls in Vikings, The Last Kingdom, 300, and Rome and almost everything else with Roman legions in it. Last night we kept seeing the good guys getting absolutely swamped, and yet they weren't all dead five minutes into the fight. I'm thinking especially of the Unsullied; twice we see the dead penetrate two ranks deep in a a matter of a couple of seconds, and yet during the retreat they're still in a deep formation, with the front ranks ready to be absolutely swamped a third time.

I think it's not so much that the show made poor tactical choices for its heroes, it's that it made poor tactical choices for its heroes, showed onscreen that they are poor tactical choices, and then ignored them.
   524. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: April 29, 2019 at 09:26 AM (#5836261)
In the trailer for the next episode there's a brief shot of our heroes going out to light what looks to be the largest funeral pyre in history. I was wondering about cleanup, especially as the bodies from the army of the dead would have been in every different stage of decay. Presumably a couple of them tumbled into the wells and cisterns of Winterfell. Sanitation is going to be a real ##### for a while.
   525. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: April 29, 2019 at 09:32 AM (#5836265)
Woops. Sorry about the spoiler. Too late for me to edit it out now but hopefully people who haven't seen it are wise enough to avoid the intetubes and, specifically, pop culture related niches of the intertubes.
   526. Zonk is Back Where He Came From in a Safe Space Posted: April 29, 2019 at 09:49 AM (#5836270)
In the trailer for the next episode there's a brief shot of our heroes going out to light what looks to be the largest funeral pyre in history. I was wondering about cleanup, especially as the bodies from the army of the dead would have been in every different stage of decay. Presumably a couple of them tumbled into the wells and cisterns of Winterfell. Sanitation is going to be a real ##### for a while.


Is there still Winter with the... ending? I thought part of the mythos was that the multi-year seasons were a function of the struggle between light and dark, night and day.... Does global warming now come to the North?
   527. Lassus Posted: April 29, 2019 at 09:54 AM (#5836271)
It was a bad episode, top to bottom, front to back.

I would like to remind the audience that the author found Voyager to be good television.


Also, I grok and accept complaints about the script, even the ones I don't agree with. However this episode was exceedingly well-directed and very-well put together. I find the whining about the darkness to be not compelling, but YMMV.
   528. Zonk is Back Where He Came From in a Safe Space Posted: April 29, 2019 at 10:10 AM (#5836276)
You misspelled "omnipresent" (complaints about the darkness).

It seems to be the overwhelmingly most common complaint...
   529. Hot Wheeling American Posted: April 29, 2019 at 10:20 AM (#5836279)
Yeah, I started my stream at 10:00 pm EST and though I needed to turn off one of my lights, I didn't have any issues watching the episode (issues with the substance of the episode? oh yeah). The concerns about the picture quality were vast and came from very respectable tv writers, so it doesn't seem like the concern was misplaced. Sounds like there were very significant compression issues, but I haven't seen if this was specific to a particular cable service or streaming platform. Or if just too many people were trying to watch at the same time.
   530. Lassus Posted: April 29, 2019 at 10:32 AM (#5836286)
I don't even have a great television. I really just think everyone likes to whine and complain. YMMV.
   531. manchestermets Posted: April 29, 2019 at 10:33 AM (#5836287)
I thought part of the mythos was that the multi-year seasons were a function of the struggle between light and dark,


That's more mythology within the World, than the mythos per se. All GRRM has ever said about the varying seasons is that it has a supernatural cause, but that was never expanded on.
   532. Hot Wheeling American Posted: April 29, 2019 at 11:02 AM (#5836309)
I forget how to white-out text here, so just a note that continued heavy spoilers of GoT below, excerpted from Sepinwall's review:




‘Game of Thrones’ Close-Up: To Kill a King
Alan Sepinwall breaks down the epic Battle of Winterfell episode — and why its climactic moment didn’t work for him

It’s that Arya’s thrilling leap out of nowhere to stick the Night King with the pointy end of Littlefinger’s old dagger more or less rendered the rest of the episode moot. Which is what happens when you introduce a supervillain who is vastly overpowered relative to our heroes while also possessing a weakness that functions as as a hard and immediate reset button. The big bad is nearly impossible to kill, but if you can do it — poetically, with the same blade that was once wielded against the same boy who’s the Night King’s target — then all the littler bads will immediately crumble into tiny frozen pieces or simply fall over, dead again. It’s a concept the series had established earlier, and Jon Snow’s desperate battle plan more or less hinged on it, so it’s not a last-second cheat. (Though the question of exactly how Arya flew in there at the end — as opposed to pulling off a Faceless Man disguise at the last possible second — is one that will be Zaprudered and debated for a long time.) Yet it still, like so much of “The Long Night,” felt narratively unsatisfying.

...

That Arya Stark — the girl dismissed and laughed at by everyone, who trained under one remarkable and varied killer after another, and who methodically began working through her special list — was the one to save the world is delightful. Yet inserting her moment of absolute triumph midway through the final season, at the end of a headache-inducing hour where too many characters were protected by plot armor, rendered it much less potent than it should have been. The Night King was defeated, but in a way suggesting he never mattered nearly as much as the series periodically suggested that he did.
   533. Hysterical & Useless Posted: April 29, 2019 at 11:20 AM (#5836320)
Here's an important update for Shooty, Lassus, and any other athletic types here:

New date for Central Park softball: August 10. Check out the thread, add snarky comments, and pledge your commitment to the cause.
   534. Lassus Posted: April 29, 2019 at 11:20 AM (#5836321)
I think Sepinwall makes the error that many are by placing the origin of narrative dissatisfaction at the micro rather than macro level.
   535. It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: April 29, 2019 at 11:29 AM (#5836327)
No, he's making the assumption that if you aren't as lazy as B&W have gotten, you can accomplish ... both.
   536. Zonk is Back Where He Came From in a Safe Space Posted: April 29, 2019 at 11:41 AM (#5836332)
No, he's making the assumption that if you aren't as lazy as B&W have gotten, you can accomplish ... both.


I agree.... and I think that does feel right i/r/t the NK and the dead. It was the first scene in the whole series! And there's been a kicking and screaming drag of various players to understand the "true" threat.... and now it's gone.

How do you rewrite it?

Well, seems fairly simple to me... Maybe skip the Superfriends bringing a dead guy to Kings Landing.... Maybe draw out the Cersei doublecross - or even better, let Cersei be even more conniving by actually going north to see if she can find some more Freys and Boltons willing to raise their family's status.... Or maybe use the ep 1 tension and news of the doublecross to have Dany storm off south in a huff...

Any way you slice it - NK then Cersei feels upside down. Even as much as the story loves its head fakes.
   537. manchestermets Posted: April 29, 2019 at 11:57 AM (#5836339)
too many characters were protected by plot armor


This is key to the dissatisfaction with last night - it's been a show where, famously, anyone can die until last night when you can't die if you're called Stark/Snow or Lannister or are a long term fan favourite. At least one character bigger than those that did should have died last night.
   538. bunyon Posted: April 29, 2019 at 12:08 PM (#5836346)
Any way you slice it - NK then Cersei feels upside down.

Really? The entire premise is who wins the throne. That question has to be the last settled and really can't be until NK is gone.

Which is also why you don't kill anyone named Lannister, Baretheon or Targaryan. I understand wanting a bigger payoff of dead but we lost two characters who have long arcs devoted to them and who appeared in Episode 1. Killing a major character at the level you all seem to demand would mean seriously compromising the story to unfold of who takes Westeros once and for all.

Anyway, put me down with Lassus. The whining and complaining by "fans" (not just GoT - it's playing out with MCU this week as well) seems to be the point of the entertainment business now. Sort of how the hot stove league (and the draft, and combines, etc) seem to take up more and more volume in the sports world.

EDIT: Everyone is, of course, entitled to their opinion. But, hey, I was entertained. At the end of the day, it just isn't a big enough deal to me to try to re-write or re-plot every episode or movie I see. That's especially true where, as here, we have no idea what's coming next.

   539. Lassus Posted: April 29, 2019 at 12:11 PM (#5836347)
The entire premise is who wins the throne. That question has to be the last settled and really can't be until NK is gone.

I wish I had thought to say this.
   540. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: April 29, 2019 at 12:15 PM (#5836350)
One good thing about last night is that we're still on track for the best possible outcome for the people of Westeros: King Gendry Baratheon, with Varys serving as puppet master.
   541. Master of the Horse Posted: April 29, 2019 at 12:21 PM (#5836352)
530--As someone who only catches a small part of the overall site action so sample size issues may be at play reading your comment about folks wanting to whine and complain is pretty hilarious because I associate you with being one of the site's leading practitioners of said approach. But that's me. And I get that your likely response is tell me to go #### myself or whatever. I just really thought that comment was legit funny. And I like maple syrup. And foie gras. And Canada.
   542. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 29, 2019 at 12:22 PM (#5836353)
Regarding my #516 above, I don't mean to harp on the negativity, but it's comments like this from io9 after five paragraphs of military strategy:

that seriously tire me out.


Almost every "Hollywood" depiction of war deviates massively from the history and even plausible reality.
When there's no history to go on, we should expect an even greater freak show.

   543. Master of the Horse Posted: April 29, 2019 at 12:27 PM (#5836356)
542--Curious, did that happen with LOTR? I don't remember anyone going on line and claiming that the LOTR battles were totally stupid tactic wise. I find the GOT 'oh these battles totally suck ass!' thing pretty weird. Who the #### cares??
   544. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 29, 2019 at 12:33 PM (#5836359)

542--Curious, did that happen with LOTR? I don't remember anyone going on line and claiming that the LOTR battles were totally stupid tactic wise. I find the GOT 'oh these battles totally suck ass!' thing pretty weird. Who the #### cares??

I always find the amount of hand-to-hand combat in movies like the Avengers, where everyone has access to superweapons, can shoot lightning from their hands, or is basically impervious to punches, to be kind of funny. But I've never complained about it -- I get that it makes for better t.v. than a bunch of guys shooting at each other with guns.
   545. bunyon Posted: April 29, 2019 at 12:33 PM (#5836360)
I don't mind criticizing tactics. I mean, it's fiction. All sorts of things go out the window.

But criticizing people for doing dumb things in battle is really bad. People do dumb things when they're highly stressed. That and no plan survives contact with the enemy. The "Arya's action negated the whole battle" argument is BS. Arya's action XXXXXX the battle. But if people hadn't behaved the way did in the battle, they'd have been overrun in 5 minutes and Arya couldn't have done her thing (whatever that was - no spoilers here).

Staying alive is often the best tactic.



Anyway, now I'm whining about the whining. Sorry.
   546. Zonk is Back Where He Came From in a Safe Space Posted: April 29, 2019 at 12:33 PM (#5836361)
The entire premise is who wins the throne. That question has to be the last settled and really can't be until NK is gone.


But that's not really true. Again, the story - both via GRRM and the GoT cable representation - goes out of its way to make the subtext of the more existential threat (not just between "good" rulers and "bad" rulers - but between the living and dead) the more important matter. Wrapping up that element first just turns it all into a massive headfake. So, now we'll go back to does Westeros have a good ruler or a bad ruler for some period (before said ruler dies and who knows who comes next). To Tolkien-ize it, sure... it matters that the kingdoms of men get their #### together and they have to fight battles and make the right alliances and yada yada.... but it's actually all backdrop to whether Frodo and Sam can resist the allure of the precious and destroy this symbolic totem of mankind's darker side, thereby also killing the super baddie. Jokes aside about the LOTR extended epilogue, this amounts to destroying the One Ring fairly early on and then dealing with the tensions between the various fiefdoms.

Don't get me wrong... the more corporeal matters - as I clearly stated above - are actually more satisfying anyway and where both the books and show shine best.

I'm just saying that I do think it's lazy story structure to turn the ultimate baddies themselves into little more than deus ex machina to kill off some characters whose arcs ended anyway and thin out the good guys such that we no longer see some final battle as a lopsided mismatch where the only question is whether the good guys will keep their dragons and dothraki from wrecking too much havoc and killing too many innocents to beat the bad guys.

If you're going to spend so much time - and especially so much foreshadowing - on magic and mythical creatures, they should probably be more germane than they actually were.

   547. Zonk is Back Where He Came From in a Safe Space Posted: April 29, 2019 at 12:48 PM (#5836365)
But criticizing people for doing dumb things in battle is really bad. People do dumb things when they're highly stressed. That and no plan survives contact with the enemy. The "Arya's action negated the whole battle" argument is BS. Arya's action XXXXXX the battle. But if people hadn't behaved the way did in the battle, they'd have been overrun in 5 minutes and Arya couldn't have done her thing (whatever that was - no spoilers here).


Ah! But that's a defense of Jon in BotB... he did something dumb in the heat of the moment, thereby futzing up the original strategy to "have him buckle our center".... happens and completely fine.

My complaint might be better stated as I don't think their 'plan' was bad or stupid... but it was non-existent.... or at least so haphazardly thoughtless as to be WTF?!?!?

Even stepping back from the action outside the walls - which was pointless and dumb (so... if the Red Woman doesn't at least show up to light their arakhs ablaze, they were just supposed to attack in a horde in the pitch dark with ineffective weapons?)...

If it was all ultimately to lure the NK into the godswood and kill him there.... they put the LEAST-suited people there to do the job. Yeah, yeah... Theon needs his arc. But he wasn't a legendary fighter even before Ramsay ruined him. He'd already chickened out twice. Why wasn't Brienne or hell, an actual experienced Kingslayer there? Or Jorah? Or Arya?

OK, the "plan" was to use dragonfire (we'll set aside this was also the dumb plan to light the obstacles on fire because that was a better idea than, IDK... having a few unsullied in the back of the ranks with torches).... on the NK.

But what if it doesn't work?

The problem with the whole battle wasn't that people did dumb things in the heat of battle, and a series of moves/counter-moves came up short.... it was that the entire plan wasn't even a plan. It was just putting the dice in the shaker and rolling them out onto the board.
   548. bunyon Posted: April 29, 2019 at 12:53 PM (#5836366)
It seemed clear to me that lighting the trench was supposed to happen by dragon but Jon and Dany couldn't see the signal because of NK's storm. Then the Unsullied tried to light it but, again presumably due to some supernatual NK ####, the trench wouldn't light. Melisandre canceled the supernatural fire suppression somehow and it lit.

I agree, they didn't have much of a battle plan because they had very little hope. Given the structure of the story up to last night, if you want a realistic outcome, fine: NK wins and the world, or at least Westeros, becomes a haven for the dead. The plan they did have relied heavily on dragons who, like air power throughout much of human history, was negated or at least attenuated by weather.

After that, yeah, it's chaos. Which is what happens.
   549. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 29, 2019 at 12:55 PM (#5836368)
What's the over/under these days on percentage of words on the internet, out of all the words on the internet, that are about Game of Thrones or superhero movies? Around 80, maybe 85?
   550. bunyon Posted: April 29, 2019 at 01:05 PM (#5836372)
@549: I doubt porn has fallen below 50% since about 1997.
   551. Zonk is Back Where He Came From in a Safe Space Posted: April 29, 2019 at 01:05 PM (#5836374)
I agree, they didn't have much of a battle plan because they had very little hope. Given the structure of the story up to last night, if you want a realistic outcome, fine: NK wins and the world, or at least Westeros, becomes a haven for the dead. The plan they did have relied heavily on dragons who, like air power throughout much of human history, was negated or at least attenuated by weather.


Their hope was to kill the NK.... to find a way to get him somewhere where someone could put a dragonglass dagger in his belly (or here's a thought, why not some dragonglass arrowheads!)

It's fine that this relies on a lot of people being cannon fodder outside the walls of winterfell... but there's no real reason for the Hounds and Briennes and Tormunds and Jorahs to be out there. Maybe you make the case that a few of them - Tormund to lead whatever is left of the wildlings, Jorah to speak DOthraki, etc.

Just something as simple as "let's keep a handful of our best fighters in the godswood in case dragonfire doesn't work or doesn't arrive" would have gone a long way... Have them be otherwise occupied by the NK's lieutenants with their valyrian steel swords, whatever.
   552. Lassus Posted: April 29, 2019 at 01:08 PM (#5836375)
530--As someone who only catches a small part of the overall site action so sample size issues may be at play reading your comment about folks wanting to whine and complain is pretty hilarious because I associate you with being one of the site's leading practitioners of said approach.

I certainly try not to. I am sure I fail more often than I am aware. At the same time...


And I get that your likely response is tell me to go #### myself

If you find this a likely response I doubt somewhat the amount of attention you have paid to my posts.
   553. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 29, 2019 at 01:08 PM (#5836376)
542--Curious, did that happen with LOTR? I don't remember anyone going on line and claiming that the LOTR battles were totally stupid tactic wise. I find the GOT 'oh these battles totally suck ass!' thing pretty weird. Who the #### cares??

I don't recall, but there were some real howlers in LOTR. Especially the fortifications.
   554. Master of the Horse Posted: April 29, 2019 at 01:12 PM (#5836377)
552-Most people don't take negative feedback well. And you show that by trying to undermine my feedback with your next response. No worries.
   555. Master of the Horse Posted: April 29, 2019 at 01:14 PM (#5836380)
553--LOTR has the basic issue is that these civilizations were around thousands of years and basically did not advance in any tangible way which is totally bizarre. But if you accept that you roll with everything else, right?
   556. bunyon Posted: April 29, 2019 at 01:15 PM (#5836381)
@554 - you're not going to get to Lassus that way. Better bet is to mention Kenny Rogers.
   557. Master of the Horse Posted: April 29, 2019 at 01:23 PM (#5836384)
556--Not trying to pick a fight. Just sharing. If that makes me the ####### ok. And I am ending my feedback moment now
   558. It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: April 29, 2019 at 01:23 PM (#5836385)
I agree, they didn't have much of a battle plan because they had very little hope.


No, they didn't have much of a "battle plan" because B&W are ####### terrible at things like ... battle plans.

Spectacle? Yes. Battle plans? No.

To be serious for a moment. My strategy?

A couple of fire trenches (with an actual, solidly-thought out, multi-layered plan for lighting them on fire when required).

Unsullied on the walls. Dothraki out and mobile on the flanks, hitting and running in disruptive attacks, picking off the Walkers as the opportunity might present.

Archers, archers, archers on the walls to begin with ... same objective as the Dothraki (replaced by Unsullied as the shitty knockoff WoZ wall-climbing zombies unfolded, but still in the courtyard providing indirect fire).

The Battle of Winterfell was never going to be "traditional" ... the Night King was never going to besiege and starve them out ... so you work with that knowledge, make him come right into the teeth of your best, most organized defense ... and "Crom, count the dead!"

Might not work, but at least it would make some semblance of sense ...




   559. Zonk is Back Where He Came From in a Safe Space Posted: April 29, 2019 at 01:27 PM (#5836387)
553--LOTR has the basic issue is that these civilizations were around thousands of years and basically did not advance in any tangible way which is totally bizarre. But if you accept that you roll with everything else, right?


I'd have to look it up, but actually - there was a fairly interesting "re-reading" of LOTR from the orc perspective... I think it was a Russian novel, but basically: That the bad guys were actually pursuing technical advancement, de-mystification, and end to superstition and they got undone by the theocratic zombies doing the bidding of the elvish elites to keep humanity stagnate.
   560. Master of the Horse Posted: April 29, 2019 at 01:32 PM (#5836388)
559--that's awesome
   561. Zonk is Back Where He Came From in a Safe Space Posted: April 29, 2019 at 01:35 PM (#5836391)
A couple of fire trenches (with an actual, solidly-thought out, multi-layered plan for lighting them on fire when required).


Interestingly enough - I read a IRL book a week or so ago ("D-Day through German eyes") - and found a couple of the chapters (various Wehrmacht soldiers in various roles talked about their experiences) that really did a nice job explaining the whole idea of defense in depth... the idea that an effective defense strategy isn't building walls or halt points, but rather, interlocking defenses intended to drive the attacker to choke points, create encirclement and concentrated fire opportunities both small scale and large scale, etc.

Again, nothing one wouldn't know just from a nominal reading of history... but I found it very interesting - and specific to GoT last night, how utterly bad the humans were at recognizing it. Indeed, using the thing that best kills wight - fire - to encircle winterfell was the exact opposite of the best plan.
   562. Greg Pope Posted: April 29, 2019 at 01:38 PM (#5836393)
The entire premise is who wins the throne. That question has to be the last settled and really can't be until NK is gone.

But that's not really true. Again, the story - both via GRRM and the GoT cable representation - goes out of its way to make the subtext of the more existential threat (not just between "good" rulers and "bad" rulers - but between the living and dead) the more important matter. Wrapping up that element first just turns it all into a massive headfake.

I agree with this. Just because the show is called "Game of Thrones" doesn't mean that the Iron Throne is the main premise. The books are called "A Song of Ice and Fire", which, IMO, is what they should have named the TV series. But anyway, yes, they've spent the whole series telling us that the fighting over the throne isn't the real battle, that the real battle is to save humanity from the White Walkers. And then they wrap that up halfway through the last season. I stopped really caring about the king/queen of Westeros quite a while ago, at the direction of Jon Snow and others.
   563. Zonk is Back Where He Came From in a Safe Space Posted: April 29, 2019 at 01:38 PM (#5836394)
559--that's awesome


Here it is -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Ringbearer

Hasn't been "commercially" translated into English, so you'd need to find a pirated translation (or learn to read Russian)....

EDIT: OK, there's link to a translated ebook available for free - and the author approves, so I guess it's not pirated.
   564. Greg Pope Posted: April 29, 2019 at 01:42 PM (#5836396)
As for Theon being the one to protect Bran, I'm guessing that they thought that the Night King would have to fight his way into Winterfell and that plenty of other people would be trying to stop him before he got to the Godswood. But that's just a theory.

In fact, while the poster above who said that the Night King was never going to lay siege is correct, there's no reason why the Night King shouldn't have waited until the dead completely overran Winterfell before showing up. In fact, is there a reason why the wights couldn't just have killed Bran? Did it have to be the Night King?
   565. Master of the Horse Posted: April 29, 2019 at 01:49 PM (#5836397)
563--thanks!
   566. Lassus Posted: April 29, 2019 at 01:51 PM (#5836398)
hitting and running in disruptive attacks

I think this is part of some of the weirdness of the criticism. You can't really disrupt a mindless undead horde that are flinging themselves onto flaming pikes so others can walk over them.
   567. It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: April 29, 2019 at 01:56 PM (#5836401)

I think this is part of some of the weirdness of the criticism. You can't really disrupt a mindless undead horde that are flinging themselves onto flaming pikes so others can walk over them.


Flanks are flanks. They're not quite the flanks they are if it's a mindless zombie horde that doesn't panic and run (like regular humans might), but they're still a flank that isn't oriented towards your attack ... maximize your strength and their weakness.

Tear them up, withdraw and charge again. Maybe there ... maybe deeper ... maybe pick off a Walker and every zombie he raised ... Maximize your horses and "deus ex machina flaming swords" ...

Instead? Let's send our light cavalry into the teeth of their defense! Sweeeeeeeeet plan, brah!

I think I hate the lazy more than the stupid ...

   568. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 29, 2019 at 01:59 PM (#5836403)
553--LOTR has the basic issue is that these civilizations were around thousands of years and basically did not advance in any tangible way which is totally bizarre. But if you accept that you roll with everything else, right?

Well, no. They had the engineering ability to construct these immense fortifications, but then totally whiffed on "fortifications 101".

Just at Helm's deep, they have this big ass wall but:

1) There is no ditch or other obstacles in front of the wall
2) The pathway up to the gate is fixed, and can not be lifted or destroyed, so the attackers have direct access to the gate
3) The crenelations on the wall aren't high enough to protect the men manning the walls, so lots of their hugely effective elf archers get killed by arrows

At Minas Tirith they've built this huge city in a mountain at vast expense, but after the first wall, there are no more gates on that circular road to the top.

These were edifices that had lasted hundreds of years at least. Someone would have noticed the flaws.
   569. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 29, 2019 at 02:03 PM (#5836405)
These were edifices that had lasted hundreds of years at least. Someone would have noticed the flaws.
Meh. They keep building Death Stars with the same fatal weakness.
   570. manchestermets Posted: April 29, 2019 at 02:03 PM (#5836406)
The whining and complaining by "fans"


That I watched the first episode doesn't oblige me not to say anything when there's an absolute stinker - and I genuinely think last night's was the worst ever. I don't give a damn about the bad battle tactics - I've no doubt there have been thousands of battles fought in real life with one side or the other using bad tactics. What I care about is narrative structure, and things following on from one another for a reason. That simply wasn't the case last night - the final blow just came from nowhere because it was time for the next program to be on.
   571. Zonk is Back Where He Came From in a Safe Space Posted: April 29, 2019 at 02:04 PM (#5836407)
...and presuming the NK is standing behind them - as he was at Hardhome and in the north of the wall Superfriends escapade - you're really better off with probing attacks from sides in the hopes someone gets through to the NK and gets lucky with a night king killing weapon.

Anyway... I suppose you make the whole episode 10 minutes if you just strap your top archers to the dragons with quivers of dragonglass arrows and basically decide your entire plan is hoping for that one killshot.

Again, though - the idea of luring the NK into a smaller space because he wants to get Bran is fine, too... just put your best people nearby to take their shots, too.
   572. Zonk is Back Where He Came From in a Safe Space Posted: April 29, 2019 at 02:17 PM (#5836413)
That I watched the first episode doesn't oblige me not to say anything when there's an absolute stinker - and I genuinely think last night's was the worst ever. I don't give a damn about the bad battle tactics - I've no doubt there have been thousands of battles fought in real life with one side or the other using bad tactics. What I care about is narrative structure, and things following on from one another for a reason. That simply wasn't the case last night - the final blow just came from nowhere because it was time for the next program to be on.


I think I'd agree with this... Just browsing through some various rankings of all episodes lists - most of the prior candidates tend to be from season 5 - I think I'd probably rank this one last. ONE of them has to be worst, right? And we've seen all but the last 3 of what.... 73 total?

The other ones at the bottom of the list - you always still have some good actors trading good dialogue. I suppose that's part of it - last night had near zero dialogue and about half it was hackneyed. Missandei's "you'd all be dead" in the crypt stands out. The Red Woman.... that's about it.

It's not like I'm going to skip the last three eps in a huff... and the series alone has been worth the price of an HBO subscription in my mind (especially now that one can endlessly rewatch thanks to OnDemand/HBO2GO) over the course of its run.

But yeah. I'd rank it last.
   573. Lassus Posted: April 29, 2019 at 02:19 PM (#5836414)
the final blow just came from nowhere because it was time for the next program to be on.

I accept the validity of narrative complaints and criticism. In this particular case, I think the counter-argument already presented explaining how it did not come out of nowhere is simply more valid.
   574. It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: April 29, 2019 at 02:25 PM (#5836415)
Interestingly enough - I read a IRL book a week or so ago ("D-Day through German eyes") - and found a couple of the chapters (various Wehrmacht soldiers in various roles talked about their experiences) that really did a nice job explaining the whole idea of defense in depth... the idea that an effective defense strategy isn't building walls or halt points, but rather, interlocking defenses intended to drive the attacker to choke points, create encirclement and concentrated fire opportunities both small scale and large scale, etc.


If you find that interesting, read anything you can about Japanese plans for island "defense in depth" strategies, starting with the invasion of Tarawa (which is essentially when the "Banzai charge - die on the beaches" tactic changed). As awful as so much of the ETO was, reading about the fights for Tarawa, Peleliu, Okinawa, Iwo Jima ... well, just allows me to understand what William Manchester wrote in his auto-biography (Goodbye, Darkness): Thank God for the Atom Bomb ...

After Biak the enemy withdrew to deep caverns. Rooting them out became a bloody business which reached its ultimate horrors in the last months of the war. You think of the lives which would have been lost in an invasion of Japan’s home islands—a staggering number of Americans but millions more of Japanese—and you thank God for the atomic bomb

   575. Master of the Horse Posted: April 29, 2019 at 02:27 PM (#5836416)
568--You are going by the movies I think. Helm's Deep did not have any elf action in the book. And in the book the chief Gondor city is described differently as to internal flow. Not saying Tolkien was a master of anything beyond language. Just sharing why I think the images you saw are different from what was described.
   576. It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: April 29, 2019 at 02:29 PM (#5836417)
and I genuinely think last night's was the worst ever.


Did it contain any Ramsay Bolton content that wasn't this?

https://media.giphy.com/media/LXP19BrVaOOgE/giphy.gif

No?

Then it weren't the worst ever ...

Most disappointing? Worst let down? Not my take, but ok.

Worst ever, no.
   577. manchestermets Posted: April 29, 2019 at 02:41 PM (#5836422)
Oh, and I'm ready to lose it at the number of people on the interwebs who watch the show - and in some cases are paid to write about it - but apparently don't understand the difference between wights and White Walkers. No, AV Club, at no point was Brienne "going down under an onslaught of White Walkers".

They decided Asha was too close to Osha, but decided to go with White Walkers rather than Others?
   578. Zonk is Back Where He Came From in a Safe Space Posted: April 29, 2019 at 02:41 PM (#5836423)
Ramsay went on too long generally, but you never had a Ramsay-only episode... just like the silly Sand Snakes, blech - but at least we didn't have to spend the whole episode rolling our eyes at them.

Ramsay killing Roose genuinely surprised me.... Indeed, that scene, I initially wondered who killed who.

Anyway, I think the big problem with too-long Ramsay is that didn't nearly enough time on "People generally rebel against or try to kill psychopaths" angle.
   579. Zonk is Back Where He Came From in a Safe Space Posted: April 29, 2019 at 02:44 PM (#5836428)
No, AV Club, at no point was Brienne "going down under an onslaught of White Walkers".


Maybe they're imagining my script re-writes and her in the godswood.... where she should have been.
   580. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 29, 2019 at 02:46 PM (#5836430)
568--You are going by the movies I think. Helm's Deep did not have any elf action in the book. And in the book the chief Gondor city is described differently as to internal flow. Not saying Tolkien was a master of anything beyond language. Just sharing why I think the images you saw are different from what was described.

Yes. I don't recall how it was described in the book. I'd actually be more forgiving of one Oxford don not knowing anything about Medieval fortifications. With a couple of hundred people working on three huge budget movies, someone should have said "Wait, this is wrong."
   581. It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: April 29, 2019 at 02:49 PM (#5836433)
Ramsay went on too long generally, but you never had a Ramsay-only episode... just like the silly Sand Snakes, blech - but at least we didn't have to spend the whole episode rolling our eyes at them.


Again, I'm not really arguing that the bad and stupid in E3 is ... good. Just that it's not as bad as Ramsay or the Sand Snakes, even though they were in more limited dosages.

YMMV and I'm fine with that.
   582. It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: April 29, 2019 at 03:01 PM (#5836436)

Yes. I don't recall how it was described in the book


No elves. And Gandalf doesn't charge down a ####### hill into a rows-deep bank of spear/pike men.

I do think you can point to this movie as when Peter Jackson lost the ####### plot.

A 4th-wall breaking, dwarf-throwing "joke".

From the director of Heavenly Creatures.

####. You. Peter.

If we ever meet, I'll gladly shake your hand and tell you that you made the best adaptation of "The Lord of the Rings" that I'll ever see.

And then I'm going to knee you in the balls for ####### so much of it up.

Both are deserved ...
   583. Lassus Posted: April 29, 2019 at 03:12 PM (#5836439)
For #573, I mixed up here with io9.
   584. manchestermets Posted: April 29, 2019 at 03:29 PM (#5836442)
For #573, I mixed up here with io9.


Have you a link to the io9 piece?
   585. Lassus Posted: April 29, 2019 at 03:36 PM (#5836444)
I'm out, but I THINK it was the main review. Although it may have been the spoiler chatter.
   586. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: April 29, 2019 at 03:43 PM (#5836449)
553--LOTR has the basic issue is that these civilizations were around thousands of years and basically did not advance in any tangible way which is totally bizarre. But if you accept that you roll with everything else, right?
GoT is the same way. Most of the technologies and customs of Westeros date back to the arrival of the Andals, 6,000 years ago. The Starks have lived in Winterfell for 8,000 years.

And in LoTR it's not that societies failed to advance, it's more that they declined.
   587. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 29, 2019 at 04:08 PM (#5836454)
And in LoTR it's not that societies failed to advance, it's more that they declined.

Which is a bit odd if you think about them being in a state of constant war with Sauron. War tends to accelerate technological growth.
   588. jmurph Posted: April 29, 2019 at 04:34 PM (#5836466)
John Singleton has died. He was only 23 when Boyz n the Hood came out, that's nuts.
   589. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: April 29, 2019 at 04:35 PM (#5836467)
Which is a bit odd if you think about them being in a state of constant war with Sauron. War tends to accelerate technological growth.
One thing about Middle Earth (in the books) is that there aren't huge numbers of humans in it. Supposedly only something like 10,000 humans survived the sundering of Beleriand at the end of the First Age. They went off to Númenor and built a great civilization, that at the end of the Second Age was wiped out by Ilúvatar. Then the kingdoms in exile were slowly ground down by Sauron and the later the Witch-king of Angmar, with the northern kingdom being completely obliterated and the southern kingdom being largely depopulated by war, civil strife, economic devastation, and plague.

So there's a huge population issue, and when things have gone well for a time there end up being supernatural cataclysms that kill almost everyone and completely eliminate the industrial base (as it were). And then Gondor finally defeats the Witch-king, which seems to end the era of personified evil. After that point there are intermittent invasions from Easterlings or Corsairs or whoever, but not constant warfare. Just incursions that wreck the economy for a generation. By the events of the Fellowship of the Ring, Sauron has been gone for a thousand years. (Or so they think!) The most vibrant human cultures are probably places like Rohan in what we'd call the inner barbarian fringe. Not high tech places. There's a definite Dark Ages aspect to the books. If you accept that the other creatures (elves, dwarves, hobbits, etc) are essentially static, then the failure of technology to advance, or at least to recover, isn't a huge surprise.
   590. Swoboda is freedom Posted: April 29, 2019 at 05:52 PM (#5836491)
A couple of fire trenches (with an actual, solidly-thought out, multi-layered plan for lighting them on fire when required).

Unsullied on the walls. Dothraki out and mobile on the flanks, hitting and running in disruptive attacks, picking off the Walkers as the opportunity might present.

Archers, archers, archers on the walls to begin with ... same objective as the Dothraki (replaced by Unsullied as the shitty knockoff WoZ wall-climbing zombies unfolded, but still in the courtyard providing indirect fire).

The Battle of Winterfell was never going to be "traditional" ... the Night King was never going to besiege and starve them out ... so you work with that knowledge, make him come right into the teeth of your best, most organized defense ... and "Crom, count the dead!"


Just as important. Send out the archers and the Dothraki a couple of days earlier to face them. The Dothraki to kill on the flanks, the archers to fire and retreat. They could have knocked off thousands that way. Then you also know where they are. They had no scouts out.
They also had not enough men manning the walls.
   591. It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: April 29, 2019 at 06:38 PM (#5836501)
Just as important. Send out the archers and the Dothraki a couple of days earlier to face them. The Dothraki to kill on the flanks, the archers to fire and retreat. They could have knocked off thousands that way. Then you also know where they are. They had no scouts out.


I brought this up in the thread over on Discord. You've got the THREE-EYED RAVEN, SEER OF PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE and you don't know where THE ARMY OF THE ####### DEAD is until ####### Tormund shows up unexpectedly the day before they arrive to tell you???

Meanwhile, poor Ned Umber just got turned into a wall hanging because you didn't bother to ask ...
   592. Greg Pope Posted: April 29, 2019 at 07:11 PM (#5836512)
You've got the THREE-EYED RAVEN, SEER OF PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE

I've seen this kind of comment a lot, and since I binge watched seasons 1-7 I might have missed something. But when does Bran see the future?

Your main point stands, though. Bran should have been able to tell them a lot more information. Why does Bran sometimes need to warg into a flock of birds to see things, and sometimes he can just "go" there?
   593. Greg Pope Posted: April 29, 2019 at 07:16 PM (#5836516)
If we ever meet, I'll gladly shake your hand and tell you that you made the best adaptation of "The Lord of the Rings" that I'll ever see.

And then I'm going to knee you in the balls for ####### so much of it up.


There was only one thing I remember that I felt was unforgivable. In the books, Aragorn goes into the mountain and gets the Army of the Dead. Then he comes out the other side and defeats somebody*, then the Army of the Dead is released. Aragorn then steals the ships, rallies some troops up, and sails up the river to fight and tip the tide in the big battle.

In the movie, he brings the Army of the Dead with him and they just go and kill all the orcs. Making all of the other sacrifices moot. Theoden, etc. could have just done nothing and waited.

*I'm not sure the books actually say who, and I actually think the ghosts just scare them away. In any case, we don't see that part.
   594. It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: April 29, 2019 at 07:20 PM (#5836519)
*I'm not sure the books actually say who, and I actually think the ghosts just scare them away. In any case, we don't see that part.


IIRC, once Aragorn has his "army of the dead" they come out the other side of the "paths", march to the sea, attack the "Corsairs of Umbar*" then sail North ...

*Best Corsairs since the F4U, to be sure ...


   595. BrianBrianson Posted: April 29, 2019 at 07:49 PM (#5836526)
Has anyone eaten in the restaurant at the top of the CN Tower (or just know whether it's any good at all)?


Uhm - about 20 years ago, we went for my great grandmother's 90th birthday. It was ... alright. But that's a while?


Any particularly recommended restaurants that all the places on the internet that recommend restaurants might have missed?

Any interesting museums/galleries that are a bit off the beaten track/less well known?


In Toronto, the only expensive restaurant I think is worth it is probably Fishman Lobster Clubhouse. It's fairly pricy, but very good. By far my favourite restaurant in Toronto is The Stockyards, which is a ~20 seat joint at St. Clair and Christie. Have the fried chicken. I don't care how good anything else sounds. I think the most "classic Toronto" place is probably going to the Carousel bakery and having the peameal sandwich.

My wife and I had our first date at the Inuit Art Museum, which is right downtown. So I have to recommend it. It's not huge or anything, I think the admission was quite minimal.

[Edit] Oh, for Montreal, just hit the nearest ballet*, pound beers until ~1:00 am, and then get poutine from anywhere. Anything else just doesn't do the city justice.

*Which here means strip club. If you're in Montreal, there'll be one within a five minute walk.
   596. Zonk is Back Where He Came From in a Safe Space Posted: April 29, 2019 at 07:55 PM (#5836529)
IIRC, once Aragorn has his "army of the dead" they come out the other side of the "paths", march to the sea, attack the "Corsairs of Umbar*" then sail North ...

*Best Corsairs since the F4U, to be sure ...


Worst Umbars* since the Greatjohn, though.

*close enough.
   597. BrianBrianson Posted: April 29, 2019 at 07:55 PM (#5836530)
Martin Picard's show, "The Wild Chef" is frickin' hilarious.


Yeah, between that and Bitchin' Kitchen, Quebec absolutely owns the Canadian Cooking Show scene.
   598. It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: April 29, 2019 at 08:18 PM (#5836540)
Worst Umbars* since the Greatjohn, though.

*close enough.


Totally derailing this thread ... top 5 (if you were, say, Chuck Yeager who fought and flew and was, clearly, a flier's flyer) WWII planes you'd want to have a chance, in your life, to experience flying (n.b. there are waaaaaaay more than 5 that could be on my list):

Corsair (Baa Baa Black Sheep was one of the few English language shows that played on Malaysian television when I was growing up in KL ... I think I've seen every episode 15 times.
Mustang (Just the sexiest ####### piston engined fighter ever made ... once the English put a ####### Merlin in it ...)
Zero (back in the day ... could fly for a day and dance like a ballerina around drunks ... ####### Saburo Sakai)
Spitfire (do I need to?)
Lightning (twin engines, long range and a nose filled with death, more of ALL of that, please)
   599. It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: April 29, 2019 at 08:35 PM (#5836544)
Saburo Sakai:

During the air group's first mission of the battle of Guadalcanal, having just shot down Southerland and Adams, Sakai was seriously wounded in a fight near Tulagi against eight SBD Dauntlesses, a mixed flight from Bombing Squadrons Five and Six (VB-5 and VB-6).[16] Mistaking the SBDs for more F4F Wildcat fighters, Sakai approached from below and behind, targeting a VB-6 Dauntless. The dive bombers, with their rear-mounted twin 7.62 mm (0.3 in) .30 AN/M2 guns, destroyed the canopy of Sakai's Zero.[17] Saburō Sakai's account of this battle is different.[2] He spotted eight aircraft in two flights of four and initially identified them as F4F Wildcat fighters. After he attacked with three other A6M2 Zero fighters, he discovered that the aircraft were Grumman TBF Avengers because he clearly distinguished the top turret. He shot down two of the TBF Avengers (his 61st and 62nd victories) which were verified by the other three Zero pilots but during this day, no Avengers were reported lost.[2]

Sakai sustained serious injuries from the return fire of rear seat gunner. He was hit in the head by a 7.62 mm (0.3 in) bullet, blinding him in the right eye and paralyzing the left side of his body. The Zero rolled inverted and was descending toward the sea. Unable to see out of his uninjured eye due to blood from the head wound, Sakai's vision started to clear somewhat as tears cleared the blood from his eyes, and he was able to pull his plane out of the dive. He considered ramming an American warship: "If I must die, at least I could go out as a Samurai. My death would take several of the enemy with me. A ship. I needed a ship." Finally, the cold air blasting into the cockpit revived him enough to check his instruments, and he decided that leaning the fuel mixture he might be able to return to the airfield at Rabaul.

Although in agony from his injuries[18] from a bullet that had passed through his skull and the right side of his brain, leaving the entire left side of his body paralyzed, and was left blind in one eye.[19])[dead link] (The wound is described elsewhere as having destroyed the metal frame of his goggles, and "creased" his skull, meaning a glancing blow that breaks the skin and makes a furrow in, or even cracks the skull, but does not actually penetrate it.) Sakai managed to fly his damaged Zero in a four-hour, 47-minute flight over 560 nmi (1,040 km; 640 mi) back to his base on Rabaul, using familiar volcanic peaks as guides. When he attempted to land at the airfield he nearly crashed into a line of parked Zeros but, after circling four times, and with the fuel gauge reading empty, he put his Zero down on the runway on his second attempt. After landing, he insisted on making his mission report to his superior officer before collapsing. His squadron mate Hiroyoshi Nishizawa drove him to a surgeon. Sakai was evacuated to Japan on 12 August, where he endured a long surgery without anesthesia. The surgery repaired some of the damage to his head, but was unable to restore full vision to his right eye. Nishizawa visited Sakai while he recuperated in the Yokosuka hospital in Japan.
   600. BrianBrianson Posted: April 29, 2019 at 10:22 PM (#5836582)
I'm happy to ####-talk Montreal more, if you like?

Or, like, aren't willing to use violence to stop me?
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