Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to

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80 Responses

  1. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    Obligatory YouTube clip:


  2. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    Carl Abbott’s The Metropolitan Frontier: Cities in the Modern American West. Lots about how edge cities and multicentered metropolitan areas evolved, and the federal government’s sizable role in that starting in WWII (and no, it wasn’t just highways).Report

  3. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    *NOW* we can get back to writing Star Wars in Westeros.

    What makes Song of Ice and Fire special is that it’s way more grown-up than that. Good characters like Rqqneq Fgnex fail and die. Bad ones like Wbsserl are killed by unheroic ones (though in that case at least for the right reasons.) Characters like Wnvzr who seem to be completely evil SOBs turn out to have redeeming features. The important insight about gur jvyqyvatf abegu bs gur jnyyis that they’re people, some good, some bad, just like everyone else. If HBO dumbs it down to Star Wars with dragons instead of tie fighters, it’ll be a tragic disappointment.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Dude, no doubt. But I know that I needed to undergo a paradigm shift to wrap my head around that. The story being told in Game of Thrones wasn’t a prelude to the story that I was used to.

      I’m 95% sure that if someone (or someones) other than GRRM takes over the reigns of finishing the story, the best we can hope for is that they don’t start introducing tons of new characters… but Mary Sue ones this time. More wise than Tyrion, More noble than Jon, More steely than Arya, More tricky than Varys, and on and on and on. We’ll be lucky if they stick with the ones we’re familiar with.

      Dig this: Imagine how any one of us would have booked The Mountain vs. The Viper. Imagine how anyone you know would have booked that fight. Is there a single person in your mind that would have come up with the same finish?

      Because those finishes that pop up in your head (and the heads of everyone you know) when you think about that fight are the finishes that we’re going to get for A Song Of Ice And Fire if they’re written by different folks.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        If it’s finished by David Chase, there won’t be an ending, just a giant snowstorm where the screen goes white.

        If it’s finished by David Milch, it’ll end abruptly after season 5, when he gets bored and decides to create a series about the Stainless Steel Rat.

        If it’s finished by David Simon, there’ll be an awful last season focusing on what’s gone wrong with the guild of Maesters.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        HBO, though, is the ur-producer of narrative deconstruction in the modern age. If there’s anyone that’s *not* going to for the cop-out, it’s them. And so far, Weiss and Benioff have done an outstanding job of adapting the source material, and have furthermore improved it by doing the editing job that Martin’s later editors have seemed reluctant to do. I don’t see any reason to doubt their ability to carry on regardless of whether or not Martin is involved with the project.Report

      • Avatar Reformed Republican says:

        My understanding is that the HBO folks already have GRRM’s notes for the ending, so there is a good possibility that it will be finished as he intended it. Even if he dies before finishing the books, I think he will live long enough to see the end of the series, which means he can still be consulted as well. I am not too worried about it being changed to typical fantasy in the last couple of seasons.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi says:

        “Is there a single person in your mind that would have come up with the same finish?”
        Did I mention I’ve played Rolemaster? Rolemaster geeks roll for victories, it makes life all that much more interesting.Report

  4. Avatar zic says:

    Wasn’t TV, but this happened with Robert Jordan, he got ill and died before he could finish his epic Wheel of Time series; so Brian Sanderson was brought it to do the work based on Jordan’s outline, allegedly passed on while Jordan was still able. In some ways, this was a relief; a new freshness and respect for characters I’d grown to love.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      George RR Martin seems more… recalcitrant on the subject than Jordan happened to be.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        I hope he’s left notes and an outline, even if he hasn’t talked to candidates to finish in the event of his death. There’s enough money there that I’m sure the heirs will be interested.

        I’ve reached an age where the docs tell me I should at least know the signs of a heart attack. I worry at least a little about the possibility that I won’t live long enough to finish the series.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi says:

        The issue wasn’t Jordan, it was his blasted wife (TheEditor).
        Hence why Sanderson.Report

    • Avatar Don Zeko says:

      Say what you will about Books 4 and 5, but they have a long way to go before they reach Robert Jordan levels of bloat and stagnation. Still, it’s depressing how this genre can’t seem to get away from desperately-needs-an-editor-itis.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        I’ve never read the Wheel of Time books; my go to example for “desperately needs editing” is late Heinlein. But it all comes down to economics: if a book is going to sell a gazillion copies with or without editing, why go to the expense and delay its publication?Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW says:

        Say what you will about Books 4 and 5, but they have a long way to go before they reach Robert Jordan levels of bloat and stagnation.

        Thanks! Now I know never to bother trying to read the Wheel of Time series!

        Anyone have any recommendations for high-quality individual fantasy novels that aren’t part of a massive series?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        Part of the issue with fantasy is that there’s a lot more money to be made by selling sequels than starting worlds.

        Anyway, reading this, I’m pleased to say that I had actually read 6 of the top 10! (This was before I started reading certification books in my free time…)

        I think it goes back to the whole question of whether you’d rather read a 400-page book or a 4000-page story.

        The group of fantasy fans, I’d reckon, hold a disproportionate amount of the latter.Report

      • Avatar morat20 says:

        God Stalk is missing off that list. It is therefore irrelevant as a list. 🙂 Although I do agree with Neverwhere, American Gods, and Good Omens — I wouldn’t place Nations that high, but part of the problem is none of the Discworld books can count, as they’d not be considered ‘stand alone’.

        Otherwise you’d have Nightwatch, Small Gods, Wee Free Men, Hat Full of Sky and I Shall Wear Midnight on that list…Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW says:

        Thanks, Jaybird! That’s a handy list.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi says:

        anything by Niven — or just pick up some Shadow World books. They’re not exactly a story (sourcebooks for stories you write), but they’re still engrossing.Report

  5. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    I tend to do this thing where I reserve books at the library and then they all become available at once.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:


      Likewise. Stupid library. BE MORE INTUITIVE ABOUT MY SCHEDULE!Report

    • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

      I have the same problem at the moment. Two novels I have been dying to read just showed up and I am slow-reading a piece of non-fiction at the moment. So I’ll probably be that asshole that keeps them longer than I should.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        I’d be interesting in hearing Maribou’s (HEY! @jaybird ! CAN YOU GET HER ATTENTION?) perspective on “borrowing etiquette”.

        In fact, that’d make a really interesting post.

        Hell, a whole series from different folks who are ‘insiders’ in little understood fields would be phenomenally interesting. NEW SYMPOSIUM IDEA!!!Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

        My policy is usually if there is a long wait, then when I get the book I need to get on it and get it to the next person. One of the books I just received had been a three month wait so I will tackle it post-haste. The other one had several free copies so I feel comfortable sitting on it.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        That is a good policy. My library system limits/prohibits renewals if there is demand. I don’t know the exact mechanism (e.g., does the wait list have to reach a certain length or is one person sufficient to trigger the limit?) but that seems like an appropriate check.Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

        FWIW, my policy is this:

        ** If it’s due and I haven’t started it/barely started it, I return it.

        ** If I’m in the middle and slogging through, I return it.

        ** If I’m in the middle and liking it and it’s renewable, I do so.

        ** If I’m in the middle, liking it, and it is not, I return it and go out and buy a copy.

        I’ve had a lot of times over the years where I really want to read a book or hear an album and decide, “hey, it’s due next week and there are no holds so I won’t go buy it,” only to wait week after week after week for it to get back.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

        Ours won’t let us renew an in-demand book, but they also can’t make you return it. Sometimes it’s worth paying a couple of dollars in late fees. I read fast though so I should get in under the wire.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:


        Now you have me thinking how they would make you return it… Hehe…Report

      • Avatar Maribou says:


        Maribou’s simple rules to being a good library borrower*:

        1) Don’t EVER vent your frustration on the people at the circulation desk. If you are cheerful in general and have a question or complaint, that is useful information for them; but if you are pissed off, go walk it out before you come back to talk to them. And DON’T complain / whine about the borrowing periods, checkout limits, etc, at length, as if they can actually change the policy for the whole system. Note that this is different from *asking* about said borrowing periods, checkout limits, etc, because they may be able to make an exception for one reason or another.

        2) If you get an exception for some reason, DO NOT say, the next time, “but the OTHER lady let me do it…” You are either going to get “the other lady” in trouble (or at least spark a lengthy discussion among the circ staff) or convince the counter person that you do not know what the word “exception” means. (If you think the person is actually making a mistake, of course that is different and you should speak up. But sometimes? You KNOW that other lady was doing you a favor, dude, don’t milk it.)

        3) If it has holds, don’t be later than whatever your library’s grace period is. You can always check it out again / rejoin the hold queue. And that is the fair thing to do. It’s rude to keep something when someone else is entitled to their turn. And whatever you do, *don’t ask for renewals if you know something has holds*. You’re basically asking the staff to treat you like you matter more than someone else, and good library people will not like that.

        4) If you aren’t hoarding items that have holds, it actually takes a LOT to get the library staff’s attention or cause them to judge you. Until I worked in a library, I had *no* idea how little library people actually care whether your stuff is late. Sure, you might have to pay fines, but they aren’t going to judge you, or be mad at you. They honestly see worse every day and probably didn’t care in the first place. They want you to enjoy the books! They don’t want you to have to pay fines! So they might give you a helpful speech because they think it will help you remember for next time, or understand the fine structure better, or something. But keeping that book that no one else was even using for an extra week or two? No one *at* the library thinks you were bad. Need to renew that audiobook just one more time even though you’ve had it for 6 months already? No one will care and they will probably make an exception if you give them puppy dog eyes and don’t act entitled to it. (Though if you start asking every time, they might give you some unnecessary advice about managing your checkouts. Because, library people, pathologically helpful.)

        5) DO NOT UNDERLINE, DOG-EAR, HIGHLIGHT, OR CUT OUT PAGES. YOU DO NOT OWN THIS BOOK. IT IS A LIBRARY BOOK. IT MUST BE PRESERVED. Also, if you do those things, we will hate you forever. If we don’t hate you because you are too awesome to hate, we will just resent your behavior and feel like you have betrayed us. If for some reason you do those things, ‘fess up and offer to buy a replacement.

        6) DO NOT TAKE YOUR LIBRARY BOOK IN THE BATH OR LET YOUR DOG EAT IT OR TAKE IT ON A HIKING TRIP OR DROP IT IN A RAPIDS OR LEAVE IT ON A PLANE. IT IS A LIBRARY BOOK. (Note: Most of us have broken this rule at some point so if you do break it, we will forgive you. Just act appropriately contrite and don’t balk at paying for the replacement.)
        7) If you are pretty sure you returned it, check the shelf and see if it’s there. If it’s not there, you probably lost it somewhere. Be willing to entertain the possibility that you lost it somewhere even if you are pretty sure you didn’t, *especially* after we’ve explained our search procedures and confirmed that we can’t find it anywhere either. *Especially especially* if we looked several times too. Not saying you have to pay for it, just be a little more open to the possibility that you have forgotten.

        That’s honestly it. Check out as many as you want of the most popular books that you want. Recheckout stuff you didn’t get to last time. Need lots of help finding stuff. That’s all fine. Most of the staff you work with will also be compulsive borrowers of books and they really are just glad you are using the library.

        *some of these are at least as much from the perspective of me, huge borrower, as from me, library workerReport

      • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

        I am away from a computer for most of the afternoon, but if anyone can do it, this should be a post. (Assuming @maribou is OK with that.)Report

      • Avatar Maribou says:

        @tod-kelly sure… and if anyone has questions I’d be happy to answer them.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        I can easily cut-and-paste the long comment into a post later today. If you want to flesh it out a little more, @maribou , e-mail that to me.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


        My comment was meant to be more tongue and cheek. I don’t think it is anyone’s fault that I make requests and they happen to become all available at once.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        Done. I love libraries and I’m thrilled that people still use them in this age of wikipedia and kindle.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:


        Is it true books are taken out of circulation if they aren’t checked out every so often? I had a colleague who would regularly check out stacks of books to “maintain them”.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        Also. Thanks!!!!Report

      • Avatar Maribou says:

        @burt-likko Thank you muchly! If you (or someone) could change the title so it doesn’t say good library user, but instead something like “good borrower of library books” I would appreciate it. It’s less catchy but a) I don’t say library user pretty much ever, I tend to say patron or “community member”, and b) I wrote those rules specifically about checking out books…
        @saul-degraw Don’t worry, I knew you meant it tongue in cheek! My coworker and I discuss that very same problem at least once a month. Intellectually, I know it must be confirmation bias, but my gut says there is a deeper magic at work.
        @kazzy You are welcome. As for getting rid of books based on whether they check out, the short version is that it’s complicated.

        Here is a much longer version: Almost every library will occasionally get rid of books. (We almost always give ours to various charitable organizations or to other libraries who want them – librarians hate throwing things in dumpsters and will go to great lengths to avoid it, though sometimes it can’t be avoided.) Most of the time, circulation frequency will be *part* of the policy for what gets “weeded”, but only one part of that policy. (It tends to show up more in the positive, ie “no matter what, keep stuff that does circulate X times in Y years, unless you are replacing with a better / newer edition”.)

        Librarians actually need to know about weeding as a small part of their professional corpus of knowledge, deciding what to get rid of and what to keep. I have seen even dumber ways of getting rid of things than a strict circulation policy (e.g., “keep nothing that is more than X years old no matter how much it circulates”), as well as more elegant ones (a friend of mine tries to use William Morris as a guideline: “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”) I don’t think there’s anything wrong with what your friend does in checking books out in maintenance mode – it’s an expression of the value that those books have to that person – except if they don’t actually find the books to be meaningful and are just making some kind of point about how they “should” be kept.

        I know of a public library where a friend of mine used to work, where the higher-ups decided to do a massive weed that the grass-roots people thought was making a big mistake, and those lower-level circ people were checking out and returning CAR loads of books to keep them from getting weeded. It’s an effective sabotage/protection technique. Of course it’s far better if the librarians have a policy and approach that welcomes community input into these sorts of decisions. Where I work, the faculty are an integral part of weeding decisions and we have also honored “please always keep this book in this library” notes in books… we’re doing a massive weed right now and nothing that has circulated in the last decade (or maybe two decades?) is even being considered. (And our library has WAY higher circulation rates than most academic libraries… which is still WAY lower than most publics…) I used to work in a bookstore, which might be part of why I’m happy to see things that almost no one is using (and which are readily available from other libraries in our system) gone, making lots more room for things people want. But it has to *make sense* – no keeping books 1-4 and 7-9 in a series, but getting rid of 5 and 6!Report

  6. Avatar Chris says:

    The Kain article reminds me how much in think authors of series owe their readers. Precisely this much:


    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

      You could have at least included the scene from Godfather II where Al Pacino says is offer is nothing.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      I’m not sure I agree. Often, embarking on a series relies on a degree of trust that there will be a payout. Without that trust, selling people on series can become harder. Cliffhanger-and-cancellation has changed my viewing habits. For the worse, for those who want me to watch their program. Assumptions that there will be no payoff would not be a good thing for writers.Report

      • Avatar Alan Scott says:

        This, basically. GRRM doesn’t owe the fans anything, but neither do the fans really owe GRRM anything either. If the seventh book doesn’t come out until 2023, then the fans are under no obligation to buy and read it–especially if the show spoiled the ending in 2017.Report

    • Avatar dhex says:

      well in my perfect reality martin holds a press conference after finishing the last novel and burns the only manuscript on live tv. because how awesome would that be? solemnly intoning “you are now all absolutely free” as it crackles away…

      i mean, someone would probably assassinate him after – broken dreams are more powerful than fulfilled wishes – but it’d still be pretty cool. not the assassination bit. that’d be awful, if expected.

      on the other hand, dude is an entertainer. as such, expectations are to be expected. i don’t personally understand those expectations, but whatevs.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        In a surprise upset, The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu ascend the Iron Throne. By George K.LF. Martin.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        Right. I get that there are expectations, I’ve had them myself, though I suppose mostly about television and movies; I don’t think I’ve ever read a series as it’s being written. But even if I’m disappointed, I think of something like this:

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        I will take a disappointing ending over a non-existent one, is my thing.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        I get that, and it definitely sucks to start something and then learn that it has no ending. If I were an artist and I no longer felt that I had anything to say in a series, I would not feel obligated to continue the series. In fact, I’d probably feel like I owed it to myself and to the series not to continue it if I was completely uninspired.Report

      • Avatar dhex says:


        “In a surprise upset, The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu ascend the Iron Throne. By George K.LF. Martin.”

        were that we lived in such a world.


        i’ve always liked kweli’s essay, because it brightly notes that line that should exist between “i am disappointed in this offering” versus “how dare this offering disappoint me”. it is a special form of entitlement that comes from confusing the emotional attachment someone has with a piece of art with the artist themselves.

        enthusiasm can be quite beautiful. fandom is a curse.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi says:

        You want to know what REALLY sucks?
        When the writer forgets the fucking ending.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      You know, I’m tempted to agree with this without reservation.

      Then I remembered how badly Bioware screwed up Mass Effect 3…Report

  7. Avatar Will Truman says:

    I finished the three main books of Turtledove’s Atlantis series. Rather than moving on to another audiobook*, I’ve decided to listen to some TV shows. I quickly worked my way to current (to the half-season, anyway) listening to (and watching) Suits, and am closing in on current with Revenge.

    On the TV, I managed to get current on Person of Interest this week. Next up, going to finish off White Collar. Then I think Arrow and Flash.Report

    • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


      What did you think of the mid-season finale of Suits? I thought the actor playing Louis was a bit over the top with the outrage, but maybe that is just part of what a flawed human being Louis is.

      I didn’t realize it was starting back up and then BAM! it showed up on the DVR the other day. Happy surprise. I love that show more and more every season. I’ve been wanting to get my wife to start it but it is extremely hard to find the older seasons anywhere.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        I thought the anger was credible. Jura ur vavgvnyyl gubhtug ur qvfpbirerq vg, ur jnf jryy naq natel. Gur frpbaq gvzr, gubhtu, ur unq orra irel qverpgyl yvrq gb nobhg vg ol rirelbar jubfr bcvavba ur inyhrf. Sbe n ubg-urnq yvxr Ybhvf, gung vf tbvat gb eha irel qrrc. Fb qrrc gung V guvax, erny Ybhvf Yvgg jbhyq unir ercbegrq vg naq oyrj hc gur ragver svez va n svg bs natre. Boivbhfyl, gung jbhyq unir yrnq gb yrff vagrerfgvat cybg qrirybczrag, fb gurl jrag n qvssrerag ebhgr.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

        Gur cerzvre qbrf n ernyyl tbbq wbo bs qrnyvat jvgu gur snyy bhg. Jvgubhg fcbvyvat, bar bs gur punenpgref cbvagf bhg gung Ybhvf nyjnlf znxrf qrpvfvbaf onfrq ba ubj ur pna trg nurnq, ertneqyrff bs uvf zrevg va qrfreivat vg. Jvgu gung crefcrpgvir vg tvirf gurz fbzr bcgvbaf sbe qrnyvat jvgu gur fvghngvba.

        Looking forward to hearing from you after you see it.Report

  8. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    How would I end A Song Of Ice and Fire?

    Qnarelf znxrf na nyyvnapr jvgu Qbear naq vainqrf abegu sebz gurer. Fur eryvrirf Wba Fabj bs uvf qhgvrf ba gur Avtug’f Jngpu naq zneevrf uvz gb frpher gur yblnygl bs gur abegu. Nsgre gur Xnefgnexf trg qrcbfrq, Wba Fabj ergnxrf Jvagresryy naq zbirf fbhgu gb fgengrtvpnyyl fdhrrmr gur Ynaavfgref bhg sebz gjb qverpgvbaf, pncghevat Xvat’f Ynaqvat naq gur Evireynaqf, yrnivat gur Ynaavfgref cerggl zhpu bayl gurve bja ubzr cebivapr. Raq obbx 6 jvgu gur Rivy Vpr Mbzovrf npghnyyl vainqvat gur Abegu, gur Ynaavfgre qlanfgl erpncgherf Xvat’f Ynaqvat naq rkcbfrf gung Fnafn vf fgvyy nyvir gb pnfg qbhog ba gur yrtvgvznpl bs Wba Fabj nf gur arj jneqra bs gur Abegu.

    Obbx 7 jvyy frr Qnarelf naq Wba Fabj npghnyyl snyy va ybir nsgre gurve cbyvgvpny zneevntr, svtugvat gur Rivy Vpr Mbzovrf. Neln vf sbeprq gb pubbfr orgjrra ure snzvyl naq ure arj-sbhaq pnyyvat nf na nffnffva jura fur trgf gur pbagenpg gb xvyy Fnafn — juvpu rirelbar guvaxf jvyy unir orra gnxra bhg ol gur erfgberq Gnetnelra qlanfgl ohg va snpg jvyy unir orra gur ynfg npg bs eriratr bs n fpbearq naq qvftenprq Yvggyrsvatre. Neln qrpvqrf gb tb guebhtu jvgu vg, ohg gujnegrq ng gur ynfg zbzrag ol Alzrevn, ure bja qverjbys, jub jnf cebqqrq gurer ol genafsbezrq-vagb-n-gerr-jvmneq-Oena. Gur erhavgrq Fgnex puvyqera guebj gurve fhccbeg oruvaq Wba Fabj naq jvgu gur uryc bs Qnarelf naq ure qentbaf qrsrng gur Rivy Vpr Mbzovrf, jvgu Wnvzr Ynaavfgre fnpevsvpvat uvzfrys gb ghea gur gvqr. Gurl gura npprcg gur Ynaavfgref’ fheeraqre jvgu Glevba anzrq gur arj Ybeq bs Pnfgreyl Ebpx nsgre gurl gnxr fhssvpvragyl greevoyr ubfgntrf sebz uvz gb znxr qnza fher uvf yblnygl vf frpherq — ohg jr raq jvgu Ybeq Glevba orvat nccebirq ol na nffnffva sebz Oennibf jub pynvzf gb unir na vagrerfgvat cebcbfvgvba.Report

    • Avatar Malarche says:

      Writing it in Valyrian sort of telegraphs the ending, doesn’t it?Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      For what it’s worth, this seems like it’d be a very pleasant direction for the series to go.Report

    • Avatar Alan Scott says:

      That’s… That’s terrible.Report

    • Avatar KatherineMW says:

      I’d be fine with it except for abg orvat xrra ba gur Qnal/Wba vaprfg-fuvc. But it feels more predictable than the first three books were – it’s approximately what I’d expect from events up to this point, which means it’s almost certainly not what Martin is thinking of.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        That’s … not exactly an unprecedented problem in these books. Still, these are the only two with both a) anything resembling a real sense of moral justice and b) capable of handling a leadership position. So to see them riraghnyyl orpbzr nqirefnevrf vafgrnq bs nyyvrf jbhyq or n erny funzr. Fb gung’f cebonoyl jung jvyy unccra because that’s how GRRM rolls.Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW says:

        I agree with your point on their leadership abilities and sense of justice (though I’m curious about which of those two qualities you believe Stannis lacks), and they’re my two favourite remaining character in the books. Sbe tvira inyhrf bs “erznvavat”. And there’s definitely going to be a strong connection between them, whether positive or negative, since Jon obviously represents “ice” given his association with the Wall and the Watch, and Dany equally obviously represents “fire”.

        Incidentally, that’s a big part of why A Feast for Crows was so tedious – it was A Song of Ice and Fire without either the ice or the fire, which means that, taking the long view, the entire book was filler. The series isn’t called A Song Of Gur Rcvp Genvajerpx Gung vf Prefrv Ynaavfgre, though that did have some entertaining moments.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        Staniss is too inflexible with regards to enforcing the law as to effect Justice. He thinks he worked Justice by only cutting off the terminal digits of Davos’ hand for smuggling onions — and then went ahead and ate the onions himself.

        He couldn’t bring himself to make common cause with Renly or Robb despite needing their help in the field to best the Lannisters. Maybe that’s a failure of politics rather than of leadership, but to distinguish the two is splitting the hair too fine.

        Staniss is almost good enough to do the job. Not quite. His record in battle is… Mixed.Report

  9. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    Anyway my understanding is that Erik’s concerns have already been addressed. HBO’s going to do seven years altogether with no hiatus, and clearly GRRM won’t be done in time. When HBO needs to go beyond the finished books, they’ll consult with Martin about where he intends to take the story, but the ultimate decision is theirs.Report

    • Avatar Kimmi says:

      And all to the better. All inside reports have it that they started really ignoring (ahem, rewriting) martin’s scripts, so we can be glad he stopped submitting them.Report

  10. Avatar North says:

    Well you can be sure HBO wouldn’t have contracted to make GoT if they didn’t have the power to proceed with regularily scheduled seasons no matter what happened with the books. Remember it wasn’t a hit show before it was made a show. I doubt Martin actually has that kind of clause in his agreement with HBO.Report

  11. Avatar Kazzy says:

    Re: GoT

    During an episode of “Blackish”, they made a GoT reference that I got. I was very proud of myself.

    Well, I pretty much got it. I did have to say to my friend, “That’s a GoT reference, right?”Report

  12. Avatar KatherineMW says:

    I went to see episodes 9 and 10 of the previous season of Game of Thrones in faux-IMAX. It was fantastic. The big screen and sound makes the battle at the Wall so much better, and makes everything feel as epic and sweeping as it ought to be.

    I’m happy the show is going to finish the story, because it’s looking increasingly possible that it’s the only ending the story is ever going to get. I’m not predicting Martin’s death, I just think he’s not really into finishing the thing any more, or has writer’s block, and given his issues with filler and new plotlines in FFC and DWD, I doubt he’ll be able to finish off the series in two books. The show needs to pare things down a little, and it’s done so, and that’s an improvement on the books, even if the show has fallen short of the books in some other areas.

    Also, it’s ‘Joffrey’.Report

  13. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    As for what I am currently watching… most of my regular shows have been uneventful. I did start one new series, which was probably ill-advised since we only have Starz on a 3-month trial that we are unlikely to renew. My mom had encouraged me to watch Outlander because she read the novels and thought I would appreciate the historical aspects of it. Well, I should know by now to never doubt my mother’s judgement. The show has me completely hooked for a bunch of reasons, one of which happens to be that I could stare into Caitriona Balfe’s blue eyes for hours. The first 8 episodes were awesome and the second half of the season starts on April 4th.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

      “My mom had encouraged me to watch Outlander because she read the novels”

      So, I’m going to go ahead and assume this is not the classic Sean Connery sci-fi High Noon remake?Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


        I think you are referring to ‘Outland’. This is based on a series of romantic-esque novels that began in the 1990s and is still being written. The premise is that a former British army nurse from 1945 finds herself sent back in time to Scotland in 1743. Adventure and romance ensues. Because it is Starz, also just the right amount of nudity. In HD it’s a beautiful show to watch, completely filmed on location in the Scottish Highlands. The plot is interesting and they don’t shy away from going into the history at the micro level which I love.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        Because it is Starz, also just the right amount of nudity.

        Where “just the right amount” means “a crap-ton”. Judging by Boss, anyway.Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

        “This is based on a series of romantic-esque novels that began in the 1990s and is still being written… Because it is Starz, also just the right amount of nudity. ”

        Ah, so sort of Starz’s answer to True Blood, then.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

        It’s actually not an inappropriate amount of nudity IMO. They don’t include it in every episode and it doesn’t feel like they are using it simply to titillate, other than maybe one scene where a girl steps out of a bath and they could have easily concealed it. I would watch the exact same show minus the boobies on AMC but of course I am not going to complain about the bonus that comes with a movie channel.

        Starz seems to have found their niche with these historical dramas. They did Spartacus and Black Sails does well but apparently they have a big hit with Outlander due to the following from the books. I don’t know what the target demographic is for them but I suspect it is female.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        Maybe Boss was exceptional then. There were a couple of very attractive woman on the show, and it was an unusual episode that didn’t include at least one of them in a pretty graphic sex scene.Report

    • Avatar KatherineMW says:

      My mom’s a big fan of Diane Gabaldon too. I mentioned the show to her, and she’s really liking it.Report

  14. Avatar zic says:

    Stupid Tuesday Question:

    There’s this thing that happens; you’re thinking of someone you know, someone who you maybe haven’t talked with in a good long while, and so you reach for your phone to call them, and it rings, and it’s that very person calling.

    Ever happen to you?

    Is there a name for this? Can anyone thing of hashtags that might reveal this types of events in the vast data pile we call social media?Report