Friday, 27 June 2014

Together as One- Panem announcement

Have you seen the recent video announcement recently posted on youtube?

President Snow (Donald Sutherland) makes a stirring speech about how a country should stay together in the face of adversity, with the seemingly supportive Hunger Games victor Peeta Mallark (Josh Hutcherson) at his side.

I really like the way that Lionsgate etc have done this first Teaser for the new movie. It has the right amount of pomp and grandeur that suits President Snow, and there's just enough of a hint of a spoiler to whet our appetites for the upcoming film.

Monday, 16 June 2014

My Reaction to Game of Thrones Season 4 Finale

I was going to turn this stream of consciousness into a real blog post, but I think this is as good as I can manage right now. Spoilers ahead, obvs.

We open up with a lovely gloomy bit of Jon Snow grieving beyond the wall, and there was a pretty sweet bit where Ygritte is discussed by Jon and NORTHERN BOSS MAN. It's almost reverent that they don't say her name until they toast to her.

They then toast each other's lost ones from the battle, which is a nice way to show that the free folk are not as barbaric as they're supposed to be, and the confession that they're seeking refuge rather than conquest.


I do love the moment where he refuses to knee though, particularly when Jon Snow stands up for him in that very calm way. He's not one to throw a tizz is our Jon Snow.

Don't cry, sweetie. I love you really

Then it's back to King's Landing and Cersei is watching over Ser Gregor's medical examination. Her constant dismissal of Grand Meister is wonderful to see. It's nice to see her still asserting some authority after she's been so frequently beaten down.

Then she goes to stand up to Daddy Lannister. He's a bit of a harsh man, and he does like to keep reminding his children of how much power he has over them, but her mother's instincts are pretty fierce. I have to admit, I do love her as a character.


He's so against believing it! And she knows she'd crushing him. The rains of Catsermere playing in the background is the perfect way to highlight that his ideal of 'family' is falling around him.

Then she swans off to fight Jamie/snog Jamie. She is ON FORM.

Annnnd they're shagging.

Hi Dany!

She is continuing her benevolent leader-ing. Cotton-wool-beard-man is pointing out the flaws in her current system though. People do grow to love their chains, which is a throw back to her own words when she freed her first city.

Oh, what's this? A baby?

He's getting a bit close. The dragons are getting out of control. I knew it. She can't pay for this one, unlike the sheep. What on earth will she do?

It's good to remind her that she's not all powerful though. The dragons love her but she can't control them well enough. not if they're killing children.

But they're so sad to see her go! That was really upsetting, when they were crying out for her as she locked them in. Especially since it was the red and black one that's the most boisterous.

This badass right here

From one really heart wrenching scene to a slightly less-so. The night's watch funeral is sad, but I'm more sad about the dragons.


Wait, is she making eyes at Jon? Is no one safe from her?

Seeing Jon talk to Tormund, there's a valid point about how Snow sees himself. He's saying he doesn't have a king? That's a bit rebellious! It'll be interesting to see how this pans out.

Oh, Ygritte I loved you so much. and she looks weirdly regal in death.

Back to Bran. Jojen's getting pretty weak now, but we've found the red and white tree! I've forgotten why we want to find it but there's triumphant music and Jojen's face is so happy. I remember when this guy was in the BBC show, Feather Boy. I cried my little heart out at that. (This was before he was in Love, Actually)

He's actually not changed very much at all, facially....

How many Direwolves are alive now? Two?


Poor Hodor doesn't know what to do! He's so scared. Whenever Hodor gets hurt I get so sad. He's like a child.

This is all very Jason and the Argonaughts isn't it?


WTF. Where's this fire coming from?

This jumped up little shit of a girl is telling them to leave Jojen. I don't think I'm gonna like her.

Now he's dead. Bitch.

Smashy smashy skeletons.

The Children? Is this like Westeros' version of the lost boys? Little immortal kids that just have fun all day every day?

Nope. They're dark and mysterious and I'm not sure that I like their underground house.

The three eyed raven man is a bit spooky. Maybe he's Fagin to The Children's... um, gang.

YES, BRIENNE! Poor Poderick is a bit silly isn't he? I love all the road-trip buddy-movie stories going on in Westeros.

Well... this is awkward.

ARYAAAAAAAAAAA! Is this where Brienne finds out that she's the daughter of Caitlin? Brienne is like, the best role model for Arya. I love their chat.

That moment! When they realise who the Hound is! and who Arya is!!! Yes!!!

Brienne kills this scene.

If these two fight, I want Brienne to fucking win. I want Brienne to take Arya under her wing, even though I love the Hound and Arya's road trip, buddy movie type thing.


I have a horrible feeling the Hound will die and Arya will run away anyway. The kid's too slippery for her own good. NOTE: I was right!!!!!!!!

Brienne has to be the one to reunite Sansa and Arya. She just has to be.

Oh my god, they're fighting dirty. DON'T YOU DARE KILL BRIENNE

Right in the Vagina.

Oh, thank God, Brienne lives.

And now she's lost Arya. For fucks sake.

Arya and the Hound's final moments. There's a lot to like in this scene. Not many people are allowed last words in GoT, but I'm glad Sandor Clegane gets them. Even as he's goading Arya, he's still obviously one of the most noble characters in Westeros.

Arya's stone cold though. I love how brutal she's become as much as I hate it.

YES, JAMIE! Rescue your fucking brother! Considering how terrible the Lannisters are I end up liking them a lot more than some of the technically better people on this show. This goodbye between the two brothers is simply wonderful.

Ooh, can Tyrion go to join his lady love across the sea now?

Wait, what's going to go wrong?

Tyrion? What are you doing?


This is too cruel. How is this allowed to happen? Tyrion is making my heart break. How the fuck did Shae end up in his father's bed? Calling his father the same nickname she had for Tyrion? What the fuck?

Now, if he doesn't kill Tywin I will be incredibly disappointed.

Come on, man.

He's on the fucking toilet. This is a fitting way for him to die. Butt naked on the lavatory. Tywin is just such an arsehole all the way through this conversation.


He did tell you, Tywin. He did warn you not to say that word again.


Poor Tyrion. I have so much love for Varys right now, though.

Now for the sound of water to try to calm us down as Arya rides off on her pony to.... where? a coastal village?

They're off to Braavos? Is Arya going with them? Is that where Tyrion is going? Are we going to see the most badass team-up in television history? Can they please band together with Daenerys?

All Men Must Die.

All Men Must Serve.

THIS MUSIC THOUGH. I'm tingling!


Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Book review: How to Fall in Love

How to fall in Love
Cecelia Ahern

She has just two weeks. Two weeks to teach him how to fall in love – with his own life.

Published by: Harper
ISBN: 978-0-00-735051-3

Picked up from the shelf at ASDA, this was a safe buy book when I was off work sick. I've read books by the author before, and not read one that I haven't enjoyed. I tend not to enjoy pure romance novels but Ahern's books have a very pleasant, meandering sort of way about them that I find easy to lose myself in. I have to admit, I didn't get this when it first came out because the title felt just a little bit too saccharine for me at the time, but that all changed when I was feeling unwell!

How to Fall in Love is told from the point of view of Christine, the owner of a recruitment agency in her early thirties who finds herself in the unenviable position of trying to talk a stranger out of killing himself. Adam is 34, and at the end of his tether, but in a fit of desperation, Christine makes him promise to let her show him life is worth living by his birthday... Which is in two weeks.

Fancying herself as some kind of hobby-therapist, and armed to the teeth with self-help books, Christine practically handcuffs herself to Adam and begins talking him through steps to help him win over the girl of his dreams, repair broken family relationships and find meaning in the little things.

It's a testament to Ahern's character writing that someone who is, at face value a bit clingy, and a nosy parker who is meddling with serious mental health problems in the most simplistic way possible, becomes so engaging and likeable. Christine could have appeared very unsympathetic and cloying in lesser hands but Ahern's mastery of writing with heart creates a relatable person whose shoes I had no problem putting myself into.

Adam swings between disarmingly charming and sullen in mood swings that I had no real difficulty believing. As Ahern says in her acknowledgements, she worked with a few clinicians and specialists in depression in order to rework the story until it was 'just right' and I have to say that it definitely shows; the highs and lows, the extreme charisma contrasting against extreme melancholy is a very real thing that I've experienced and seen in people with depression, and the way that so many people around him were unaware of it rings true as well. There are so many ways this subject topic could have gone wrong but it works itself into a wonderfully well balanced story with just the right amount of bittersweet.

The thing with Cecelia Ahern's books is that you never know where the plot is going to take you. I've read books that have been most definitely of the supernatural persuasion (The Book of Tomorrow), and books that have been firmly rooted in the 'real world' such as P.S. I Love you. Something I particularly like about the more recent of Cecelia Ahern's books is that there is always something held just out of sight of the reader to provide that lightbulb moment near the end... usually along with tears!

This really is a truly wonderful story by a very talented writer, and I wholeheartedly give the novel a full 8/10.