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Theresa DeLucci

Fiction and Excerpts [1]
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Fiction and Excerpts [1]

And Now Her Watch Is Ended: Writing 8 Years of Game of Thrones Reviews

Millions of fans watch Game of Thrones like it’s their job, but when you review television, it is in fact your job.

All the recent articles looking back on the early days of Thrones might have you reminiscing about what was going on in your life when the show first started, and everyone in your circle was eagerly awaiting the same pop culture mega-event.

For me, there were colleagues who joined me in ducking out of work early to stalk the Game of Thrones’ food trucks; my BFF helped create themed cocktail recipes for crowded viewing parties; and there were so many knowing looks passed between two strangers both reading ASoIaF books on the subway.

This was before people started ducking out on the show because of lack of time, general boredom, or because they didn’t like the amount of violence on display, especially sexual violence. Then there are the book-only stans who preferred to avoid spoilers for George R. R. Martin’s still unpublished books. (Poor, hopeful and deluded souls.) In the meantime, friends moved away, had babies. Coworkers got new jobs.

A lot can happen in ten years.

In light of the last season, here are some reflections and observations I’ve made about writing about Game of Thrones on the internet. It’s hopefully a not-too-self-indulgent peek behind the curtain into the salacious life and times of a TV blogger.

There was a lot of tea and fretting. But sometimes cool perks and hard lessons.

[“A lion doesn’t concern itself with the opinion of sheep…”]

Series: HBO’s Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones Series Finale Discussion/Review: “The Iron Throne”

How ready are we for the last episode of Game of Thrones ever?

I’m still processing my feelings about last week’s episode, so I’m a bit conflicted. Like, I’m wearing my Lady Olenna T-shirt and I made lemoncakes, but I’m also thinking about fear of female power, corrupt rulers, and men who fail upward. It was really hard not to dwell on these aspects of the show, over the course of this very long week.

On a scale of Dexter (the worst) to Six Feet Under (still the gold standard,) where will Game of Thrones rank on the series finale continuum?

[Read more]

Series: HBO’s Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 5 Discussion Thread: “The Bells”

Do you have your tissues handy?

This is it, people! The penultimate episode; the true end is in sight. Who will sit on the Iron Throne…and do you even care anymore? It’s easy to feel like you know exactly where this show is going, but Game of Thrones still manages to bust out some real show-stopping surprises when you least expect it.

As this is the very final stretch of the very final season, we’re going to keep the ravens flying with an open discussion thread. Come join us in drinking even more Cersei haterade (i.e. even more wine), mourning the beloved characters who’ve fallen this week, and placing bets on how the very last episode will pan out.

As always, all spoilers for show episodes that have aired on HBO, as well as the published books, are fair game in the comments—this does not include leaked information and plot details for the final episode; please do not share leaked spoilers/speculation in this thread. We ask that you keep our commenting guidelines in mind and keep the conversation constructive and civil—otherwise, make like a Targaryen and go nuts!

[Read more]

Series: HBO’s Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 4 Discussion/Review: “The Last of the Starks”

…You mean we still have more Game of Thrones left after the Battle of Winterfell?!

Oh right, the most hated couple in all of Westeros are still alive. Just look at those smug faces, with their fancy velvet clothes and well-rested armies. This aggression will not stand, man.

As this is the very final stretch of the very final season, we’re going to keep the ravens flying with an open discussion thread. Come join us in drinking the Cersei haterade (i.e. wine), and don’t forget to wear your sunglasses because after last week, your eyes might need to adjust to all this daylight.

As always, all spoilers for show episodes that have aired on HBO, as well as the published books, are fair game in the comments, and we ask that you keep our commenting guidelines in mind and keep the conversation constructive and civil—otherwise, go nuts!

[Read more]

Series: HBO’s Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 3: “The Long Night” / Battle of Winterfell Discussion Thread

This is a very tense weekend for fans of people named Stark.

And the Avengers aren’t even the only ones playing out an endgame this weekend: What a weekend for ginormous battle sequences.

We know people are eager to talk about this week’s big “Battle of Winterfell” episode—HBO isn’t even releasing the names of the episodes in advance this season—so we’re doing things a bit differently this time, like we did for the infamous Red Wedding episode: Feel free to jump into the discussion below with thoughts and reactions, and we’ll update the post with the usual review as soon as possible [Note: the post has now been updated.]

As always, all spoilers for the show and books are fair game in the comments, and we ask that you keep our commenting guidelines in mind and keep the conversation constructive and civil—otherwise, go nuts!

[So, how did your death pool picks do?]

Series: HBO’s Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 2 Review: “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”

Arise, arise, riders of Théoden Tyrion!

We’re not quite at the big battle for Winterfell, but we are one very full hour away from it beginning. How would you spend your last night in Westeros? Some people like a warm fire, good wine, and better conversation. Some people choose to do something even more life-affirming.

And some people are not people, but Bran.

Squick-inducing spoilers after the cut. Be aware that book spoilers are allowed, but we are so far beyond Martin territory now, you’ll probably be fine on that front.

[Read more]

Series: HBO’s Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 1 Review: “Winterfell”

The beginning of the end is here.

And if you somehow missed that this was the final season, you must have been living in a cell under the Red Keep because I don’t think I’ve ever seen such intense anticipation for a pop culture event since, well, the final season of Breaking Bad. But Game of Thrones is even more epic and last night was the height of can’t-miss-TV.

But was the episode worth the insufferably long wait, or are we just too emotionally invested to be completely objective, at this point?

Major spoilers ahead: In addition to talking about the latest episode, comments about the content of George R.R. Martin’s ASOIaF books are also fair game, but please no snark about the pace of his writing, etc.

[Read more]

Series: HBO’s Game of Thrones

A Busy Person’s Primer for Game of Thrones Season 8

Eight. Years.

Can you believe it? Am I talking about Game of Thrones’ epic run or just how long it feels like we’ve been enduring this final hiatus? I need “it’s-not-TV-it’s-HBO” prestige television like Cersei needs wine. If the new trailer tells us anything, it’s time to drink all the Dornish red, eat every fucking chicken in the room, and smoke ’em if ya got ’em—dragons, I mean—because the end isn’t nigh: it’s here.

And I’ve rewatched every episode of the series so you don’t have to.

Here’s what you need to know going into season 8.

Major spoilers ahead. Obviously. 

[Read more]

Series: HBO’s Game of Thrones

First Impressions from Game of Thrones’ Season 8 Premiere

The Old Gods and the New gifted me with a last-minute ticket to the world premiere of the first episode of Game of Thrones’ final season. I put on my fanciest Dothraki gown and headed over to Radio City Music Hall to watch television—and breathe air in the same room as Emilia Clarke herself!—along with a bunch of HBO executives, publicists, media, and some lucky fans.

I can’t tell you much, but I can say it was an emotional event, even before the episode aired.

[Read more]

Series: HBO’s Game of Thrones

A Busy Person’s Primer for Game of Thrones Season 8

Eight. Years.

Can you believe it? Am I talking about Game of Thrones’ epic run or just how long it feels like we’ve been enduring this final hiatus? I need “it’s-not-TV-it’s-HBO” prestige television like Cersei needs wine. If the new trailer tells us anything, it’s time to drink all the Dornish red, eat every fucking chicken in the room, and smoke ’em if ya got ’em—dragons, I mean—because the end isn’t nigh: it’s here.

And I’ve rewatched every episode of the series so you don’t have to.

Here’s what you need to know going into season 8.

Major spoilers ahead. Obviously. 

[Read more]

Mandy Is a New Cult Classic for the Ages

There must be something terribly similar happening in the current climate, to see so much ironic 1980s nostalgia in genre movies lately.

Set very pointedly during the Reagan era, Italian-Canadian director Panos Cosmatos’ latest film, Mandy, is a giant, nightmarish middle finger to the misguided hippie years that ushered in the even worse infestation of the yuppie. The antidote to all of this failed ideology? Pure heavy metal. And why the hell not?

But Mandy is more than just a vivid and unrelenting ode to a Boris Vallejo painting. It’s even more than peak Nic Cage in a chainsaw battle. Though that alone is pretty noteworthy.

Mandy is also about a woman. Mostly.

Spoilers and King Crimson after the cut.

[Read more]

Home is Where the Horror is in Paul Tremblay’s The Cabin at the End of the World

Who doesn’t want to spend a summer vacation in a cabin, far removed from the outside world? Forget a mere vacation; how about every day free from breaking bad news, social media scream-fests, and stressful jobs?

Well, after reading Paul Tremblay’s latest page-turner, The Cabin at the End of the World, you might want to be careful what you wish for. As the besieged family at the center of this page-turner soon learns, isolation can make you more vulnerable than you’ve ever been and even your own loved ones might have no choice but to betray you.

But you should certainly read The Cabin at the End of the World anyway, because, though it may not be the lightest of reads, it’s one of the summer’s best.

[“Your dads won’t want to let us in, Wen. But they have to…”]

Westworld Season 2, Episode 8 “Kiksuya”

I’ve been very hard on Westworld this season and I don’t regret it. The major storyline is needlessly convoluted in service to conspiracy theory-loving fans on social media. But when the show decides to focus more on one character per episode—and when it’s a character I like, obviously—we get something so much more compelling.

I can’t care about the Valley Beyond if I don’t care about the people going there. And now I have more people to care about.

Like the jaunt into Shogun World in “Akane No Mai,” which is a spiritual predecessor to “Kiksuya,” this episode gives us another Dolores-and-Bernard-free zone and dives a bit deeper into Maeve’s cornerstone. And all the while, we learn more about the wider history of the park from an entirely new perspective. It’s Westworld with a dose of Terrence Malik and I am here for it. With all of my heart.

[“Take my heart when you go…”]

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