Look on her Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Here’s Florence + the Machine’s full-length version of “Jenny of Oldstones”, the song that played during the end credits of “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”, Sunday night’s somber episode of Game of Thrones. The opening lyrics are by George R. R. Martin.
Spoilers, if you haven’t yet seen S08 E02. But of course you have, by now.
Well, that’s it. No need to watch the final five episodes. HBO itself has spoiled the big twist at the end of the series.
Spoiler: No spoilers. Go ahead and watch it.
In case you haven’t heard, Game of Thrones returned to HBO last night with another awe-inducing episode, after an absence of almost two years. The first of the six episodes that make up the final season moved most of the human (and other) chess pieces to their correct places on the board.
Here’s the new Game of Thrones opener, which has already been analysed to death by easy-to-find online fanboys:
So once again, with Killing Eve at 8 PM followed by Game of Thrones an hour later, Sunday in the US has become Must See TV night, as it was during the reigns of Deadwood and Mad Men and Breaking Bad and The Wire and The Sopranos.*
But it’s too much.
Killing Eve, the best new show of 2018, returned for a second season just as quirky and delightful as it was last year. Game of Thrones, the most popular television series in the world, is simply unmissable. The problem is that the two great shows are painfully incompatible. In theme, tone, writing, acting styles, and general sensibility, they share nothing.
I watched them both in their regular time slots last night, and realized almost at once that it was a mistake. You can’t make the jump from contemporary London and Paris to quasi-Tudor Britain-with-Dragons without dislocating something vital. Difficult though it is, from now on I’ll watch one of them when it airs, and the other a day or two later.
Now I only have to decide which to watch first.
*Loved Deadwood, Breaking Bad, and Mad Men. Thought The Wire and The Sopranos were both overrated.
The end is near.
Game of Thrones returns for its eighth and final season in 40 days.*
A confession. When I first learned that HBO was planning a series based on George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy novels, I was sure it would be a disaster. With my goldfish-like attention span, I’d never been tempted to read the books, but I knew they were intricately plotted, minutely detailed, and written from the viewpoints of dozens—hundreds!—of key characters, all with strangely misspelled names. And they were long.
No way could they be filmed, I thought.
And now here I am, eagerly awaiting the final episodes of the world’s most popular television series, and wondering what I’ll watch once it’s gone.
*If anyone is looking for a way to keep busy during those 40 days and 40 nights, I hear that fasting in the desert has its merits. Me, I’ll be bingeing on the 67 episodes that have already been screened.
This teaser, called “Crypts of Winterfell”, shows most of the surviving Starks assembling in front of statues of several of their less fortunate relatives.
I usually spend the last few hours of 14 April trying to figure out things like how to claim all that Halloween candy I bought as a charitable donation on my income tax forms—a little iffy, since I didn’t get any trick-or-treaters on Halloween, so I ate it all myself—but this year will be different.
Game of Thrones will return for its eighth and final season on 14 April 2019. By my count, that’s 90 days.