I want better speculation fodder.

When I’m looking for some tidbits that may possibly tell me something about what to expect on Game of Thrones, I want better than a photo that came out “a little blurry.” This, for example?

That is some weak sauce right there.

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Plenty of cruel fathers and hapless sons to go around.

I can’t seem to stop blogging about Game of Thrones. Trust me, it can get worse. It can ALWAYS get worse. Just wait and see what I come out with once the audio commentaries are available. Oh dear.

Anyway.

They’re already filming S6, and still casting. The latest casting call is for a “really good actor” to play a “very good part” with a “great storyline.” Specifically:

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“You’re a man of action, aren’t you?”

Remember how I wrote that ridiculously long and detailed piece to make a fairly basic prediction for Team Sansa?

Now I’ve done something similar with Jaime, and it’s not so simple. Working just with material from S5, it feels like wrestling an octopus.

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These are the things I need to know!

BIG news for Game of Thrones fans. Especially big news for obsessive nerds like your blogger. THE FIRST big thing is that the show will run at least eight seasons, according to HBO President Michael Lombardo.

Yeah, this is MAJOR news. I don’t know whether giving the show more time will allow them to bring in more material derived from the books, or to diverge even farther from GRRMartin’s storytelling, but either way, when I make predictions, I need to know how much more time the show has before it needs to reach its conclusion. If it’s not going to be the penultimate season, that affects what events are likely to take place in S6.

With that in mind, I’m still mostly confident about my predictions for Team Sansa, except for what happens to them late in the season. If Sansa has another two or more years to make things happen following the end of S6, then I’m even less confident about their itinerary, particularly my idea of them heading up to Last Hearth.

Right now I’m working on a prediction article for Jaime. It’s complicated. It’s nowhere near as straightforward as it was for Brienne and Sansa and their guys, and you may have noticed I put a lot of work into that, yes? I’m not saying Jaime’s article will be longer than that (y’all had better hope it’s not), but his next moves are especially tricky to pin down. Having more seasons makes him even more challenging, but at least I know what kind of challenge it is.

The other big news is this:

Oh, dear. Below the Tweet, everyone’s talking about how they’ve already pirated the fuck out of the season, but my question is: will the digital download include audio commentaries? Because if so, that makes it VERY different from having illegally downloaded the episodes from HBO. If I can start listening to the audio commentaries starting August 31st, that’s something. Some of these actors, directors and writers have interesting things to say! They don’t come out and say, “And this is what we’re doing next year!” but sometimes they give additional insight into what’s happening in the episode in question, which helps me clarify my speculation on future seasons. If you have the DVDs and haven’t watched any episodes with the commentary tracks on, I recommend you give some a try.

Put the cameras AWAY.

I saw something on one of those main sites for Game of Thrones news that bugged me today. It was more material on the “Hair Watch” of Jon Snow, in which fans painstakingly document every appearance by Kit Harington in Belfast, and keep track of his hair length. I may have participated a bit in this business myself, so I’m not in a position to throw very large stones.

This much does bug me, though, and this is why I’m not posting a link to the article in question: there were a couple of photos of Kit Harington clearly not wanting his picture taken. They’re blurry, but not too blurry to let us see his facial expression, which is obviously not consenting to the camera. I Tweeted about the article early today, then it finally occurred to me that I was adding to the problem by sharing the link with the photos. I deleted the Tweet and explained why.

If we really treated celebrities appropriately, we wouldn’t even insist on taking their pictures without their knowledge, but as I have already done my part to talk about Kit and his man-bun showing up in Belfast, I’m not in a position to criticize. That ship has sailed, with me on it. When they can see you whipping out the camera, though, and are clearly communicating that they don’t want to be photographed? Then put the damn camera away and back off. Everyone is allowed to have boundaries, including famous actors on popular TV shows. Even the most positive attention can get exhausting after a while, and Kit Harington has clearly passed that point. He should not have to be on his guard every time he leaves the set.

Also, if you run a popular fansite, and you post pictures that were very obviously taken over the actor’s objections, you’re part of the problem. Stop rewarding people for violating boundaries.

#BlackLivesMatter more than white folks’ fear of not being the center of attention.

Ah, this. Look at this. Why does anyone think this shit is okay? This ridiculous nonsense happened in Ottawa:

According to Colorlines.com, a #BlackLivesMatter mural was created by the rights group BlakCollectiv for TechWall, an area designated for graffiti and street art. It was completed by a group of 40 people including artists Allan André and Kalkidan Assefa on the morning of July 22.

The fact that the TechWall mural read #BlackLivesMatter reportedly angered white graffiti artists, who converged on the area and within hours had defaced the mural. By the end of the day, it had been completely painted over and replaced by the phrase “Wu-Tang is for the children,” a reference to 90s hip-hop collective the Wu-Tang Clan.

In response, André and Assefa painted the Sandra Bland mural, which was defaced on Monday night.

They defaced the Sandra Bland mural with the words “All Lives Matter.”

See my photo up top? See that woman pictured on this blog? I’m white. I’m unambiguously, glow-in-the-dark, WASP-bred paleness. If you look directly at my bare legs on a sunny day, you might suffer retinal damage. I am a Pumpkin Spice Latte topped with kale-infused quinoa foam. I once typed out a status having to do with walking out to Union Station because I was feeling adventurous after Sunday brunch, and I ACTUALLY POSTED THAT SHIT ON FACEBOOK. Okay? Just in case anyone’s wondering what from what angle I’m approaching the discourse on race.

And I KNOW my life matters. I know it because nobody in a position of any power ever manages to do anything to imply that I need to audition for the right not to be killed. You say we all bleed red when we’re cut, but nobody in the #BlackLivesMatter movement is disputing that! Of course we all bleed red! But whose blood is running in the streets? We’re seeing entirely too much blood spilled from black bodies for no good reason. That’s why the motto is #BlackLivesMatter. “All lives” are not being cut down at comparable rates. Whining about “all lives” makes about as much sense as asking why no one ever remarks about the fact that we’re breathing air.

Game of Cliffhangers, Follow-Up on Littlefinger

Remember my speculation post on Littlefinger? I have a tiny bit (maybe even a little finger’s worth?) of material to work with. I saw this on Twitter:

(I’M ASSUMING YOU’VE WATCHED ALL OF GAME OF THRONES SEASON 5 IF YOU GO ANY FURTHER INTO THIS POST.)

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So Many Unanswered Questions: They Make Me Ask and Ask

It’s that time of year when the good people at HBO are getting ready to start filming a new season of Game of Thrones, and those of us who are weirdly obsessed with the noble families of Westeros get plenty of speculation fodder. I’m sure it’ll only get worse as the pre-production stage gives way to production, but for now, I’m hearing just enough to get me all excited. It doesn’t take much.

I still don’t have anything concrete here, but I’ve seen one interesting piece of news that reminds me of something else I was thinking about within the last few weeks, even though I had completely forgotten about the relevant events from S3. It’ll all become clear by the end of this post.

The topic of this post is—this will surprise no one—Brienne’s quest to find and protect Sansa. That’s what I want to talk about today.

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Rusty had an issue with feminine rights.

We Hunted the Mammoth give us the context surrounding the Lafayette theater shooting:

Police in Lafayette, Louisiana are evidently struggling to understand why the outspokenly misogynistic, racist and anti-Semitic John Russell “Rusty” Houser murdered two women and wounded 9 other moviegoers at a showing of “Trainwreck,” a film written by and starring Amy Schumer, a feminist comedian with a Jewish father, known for joking frankly about sex.

Rusty was quite the piece of work. He was a local TV station’s equivalent of clickbait. They used him to drum up traffic, much like social-justice-oriented bloggers are frequently accused of doing. From WaPo:

“I had him on strictly because he was entertaining,” said Calvin Floyd, the former host of the talk show “Rise and Shine” on WLTZ NBC 38 in Columbus, Ga. “He was radical, and when you’re looking for a person on a live show, taking calls, that’s what you want.”

[…]

“Whatever he wanted to talk about, it would generate calls,” said Floyd. “He was anti-abortion. The best I can recall, Rusty had an issue with feminine rights. He was opposed to women having a say in anything. You could talk with him a few minutes, and you would know he had a high IQ but there was a lot missing with him.”

“Opposed to women having a say in anything.” His choosing a show of “Trainwreck” as the site of his mass shooting was probably not a coincidence. He wanted to punish people for enjoying the work of a feminist comedian.

The way Calvin Floyd talks about Mr. Rusty sounds sort of like he wants to apologize for giving the guy a platform. Like he needs to explain himself. And if that’s the case, I think he’s being too hard on himself. For every bigot who takes a gun to a movie theater, there must be dozens of bigots who don’t make an impression beyond yelling at local politicians at town hall meetings. Calvin Floyd had no idea that Rusty Houser would go on to commit a mass shooting. Moreover, Rise and Shine did not make him the way he was. It simply allowed him to show himself the way he was.

Even so, perhaps a valuable lesson here is that local TV shows should find better ways to generate traffic than by giving white-supremacist, Nazi-sympathizing, patriarchal hatemongers a place to spew their bile. Maybe, just maybe, people like him don’t need to have their voices amplified.

I’m not angry. I’m tired.

There has been. Another. Shooting.

This one, at a theater in Lafayette, Louisiana. Two people killed, and the shooter committed suicide. Did no one ever tell him to USE THE FIRST BULLET ON HIMSELF?

I’m low on details, and for now I’m too fucking exhausted to seek out more info. When I want a more coherent story, I can always check in with my Twitter peeps. They’re on top of it.

The shooter was a late-middle-aged white guy. Close to my parents’ age. Apparently had Tea Party loyalties. Which means the big media sources aren’t going to call him a domestic terrorist. He’ll be a lone wolf, and probably with some mental health issues.

I am just so fucking fed up with seeing this shit happen in my country. How many more fucking times does this have to happen before we Americans finally ask ourselves what the fuck is wrong with us?