Month: June 2013

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Year: 2011
Directed By: David Fincher
Written By: Steven Zailian (screenplay) Stieg Larsson (novel)

RYAN’S REVIEW

I think this was a lot of great work put into a ridiculous story for the sake of capitalizing on something successful.  I think this was a horrible book and I don’t know that I have ever been more disappointed by a twist at the end, but despite what I think the book sold millions and millions of copies.  It was easily one of the most successful books of its time and a big movie production for it was necessary under those circumstances.  I think the movie was really well made, the actors were terrific, and the soundtrack by Trent Reznor was awesome.  Yet, despite all that I found the story in the movie to be even more ridiculous than the one in the book and I can’t get past that.  Still, we own the movie now for two reasons.  One, Amber was a big fan of the book and liked the movie. Two, Rooney Mara is so aggressively naked in this movie and she is so sexy I felt it justified the purchase no matter how stupid the story is.

My problem with this story is simple; it’s a murder mystery about someone who was never murdered.  When reading it I was so excited to find out how it actually happened, who did it, and how they got away with it.  I sincerely feel like finding out that nobody did it and nobody got away with it was one of the biggest let downs I have had as a reader.  In fact I think it makes a fool out of every single character in a book full of foolish characters.  Now I’m not talking about Salander, she is a badass.  Blomkvist on the other hand is a foolish character and I felt like he was so overdone and ridiculous.  Everywhere he went, no matter the circumstances, the woman he was talking to came on to him and just had to have sex with him.  Now, according to my wife I should get that with Daniel Craig cast in the part but I still don’t buy it.  I just think this was the writer living out his own perverse fantasies through the character he most related with.  Now, I thought how it happened in the book was stupid; Blomkvist finds the woman he is looking for very much alive and then promptly goes on to have sex with her as well, go figure (all victims of extreme sex crimes are interested in spontaneous sex with men they just met right?).  In the movie I thought it was even worse.  When all is said and done Daniel Craig looks up at his board with the family photos on it and realizes the woman he has been looking for is right in the center of the thing.  In forty years no investigator could figure out who she was and he just realizes suddenly who it is and figures it all out? That’s no shocker, that’s not the twist I was looking for and I just cannot get over the disappointment of it.  Amber insist that the story is better in the next two books but I could never bring myself to even bother with them.  Worst ending ever, period. If I missed something vital and just don’t understand then by all means let me know.  I suppose it would make much more sense that I overlooked some vital detail then to think I am the only person who realizes how weak this ending was.  I doubt it, but in the event that I am right and this ending totally blows please leave a comment and lend me some support, I feel alone in this opinion.

There is one more significant problem I have with this story in both the film and the book.  I do not like rape, I do not own many movies in which it happens and it is part of any plot that I find distasteful and disturbing.  Yes I understand that it is a fact of life and something that happens but that doesn’t change the fact that I don’t like seeing it.  It is a morally reprehensible act and the absolute worst thing someone can do to another, be it a woman being taking against her will by a man or man on man like in Deliverance it’s just wrong plain and simple. What happens to Salander is fucked up, for lack of a more appropriate expression.  I didn’t like reading it, I don’t like seeing it, and I don’t enjoy a story in which something this awful happens.  I love to watch movies, and I find most of them sullied by this kind of plot point.  I’m not the kind of person who would turn a blind eye to such a thing because I am really against it but I don’t have to like movies that show it either. Salander’s vengeance in this film may be amazing and awesome but I still don’t like having to see what he did to her.  It takes her to the next level of badass and in truth I do like her as a character.  I don’t generally re-watch a movie when there is a scene I feel I must skip (except in the case of Team America: World Police because while I don’t want to see those puppets getting freaky or vomiting relentlessly I still can’t get enough of the rest). My problem with rape may actually be the reason I hated this story so much in general.  I was excited to find out who this killer was and all I found out was about how demented and monstrous these rapists and sex criminals were.  Sex crimes are ugly and awful things.  I didn’t find the things that happened in the book shocking but repulsive and disappointing.  I expect there to be these kinds of awful people out there in the world, it doesn’t surprise me at all it only upsets me to see it unfold in words or on screen.

I will admit this movie was very well made and a lot of people did some really great work to get it made. It is not for me though, I will gladly watch Rooney Mara walk around naked when her character makes the decision to do so and is not being forced, but by and large there isn’t anything else here for me.  That being said I’m not going to go any farther with this review.  I have said my peace about it and welcome your opinions to be left in comments, feel free to completely combat or agree to what I have said. My money bets most will disagree with me.  Given that I am in the minority of opinions in regards to this book and film I don’t think you should accept what I have to say about it and see it yourself if you are interested.

AMBER’S REVIEW

I thought this movie was an incredible adaptation of the book. It wasn’t completely spot on, but they added in all of the scenes that mattered. I have read all three of these books by Stieg Larson. The second and third books are the best ones, and I can’t wait until they come out. How this story plays out is twisted and unpredictable. The woman in the story had a horrendous childhood. Her father used to beat her mother, and her mother was one out of a couple of girlfriends he had. We find out a lot more about her upbringing and relationship with her father in the next two movies/books. Rooney Mara looked exactly like what I envisioned in my head. She did an incredible job with this role. I believed in her, I saw her pain and felt it. This movie is a little graphic and crude, but that’s what makes it so honest. Daniel Craig did okay in this movie. I pictured Blomkvist a little more gritty and not as attractive as he is in this film. Which reminds me, all authors seem to put their own character in the book, and Stieg did this through Blomkvist. He uses this character to sleep with any and all women. It’s a bit silly, but I would probably do the same thing. (Maybe not sleep with everyone, but perhaps my main character was covered in tattoos? 🙂 )

The-girl-with-the-Dragon-Tattoo-Movie-PosterMaybe I am just biased, but I LOVE this poster. I think it was a gutsy risk to make this an all black poster. I think it fits the mood of the movie, but it isn’t going to stand out when it is sitting beside the other releases. I love the way they showed both of the main characters on the front. As most of you know by now, I hate it when a poster tries to fit in everyone in the movie. This is an example of how to do it right. You get the character of Blomkvist and Lisbeth right away. The font choice is great for this movie, but I wish the typography was a little more tight.

This movie was great and I can’t wait to see the next two. The story gets really crazy.

girl-with-dragon-tattoo-uncensored-posterRyan here again, this is the unedited poster for the film that I think was only displayed overseas where sexuality isn’t so taboo. I felt compelled to add it the bottom of this review because, well, it’s awesome isn’t it?  I saw this poster online before the movie came out and I was immediately interested in the movie despite what I thought of the book. Again, Rooney Mara looks really good in this one as you can plainly see.  There is just something about such a dangerous woman that makes her really sexy.

Under the Dome

I read the book this show was based on a few months ago and as soon as I learned it was being developed into a TV series I was eagerly looking forward to it. There was an oversight I should have seen coming though, adaptations like this are never what you want them to be. I know this but had high hopes despite it because of the involvement from both Steven Spielberg and Stephen King. However, after watching the first episode I cannot believe King signed off on this or had any hand in its actual development. They have butchered his work, keeping vague aspects of the story but being very liberal with the adaptation all around.

I knew it was going to be all wrong when the show began with Barbie burying some mystery man in the woods. Barbie is the hero of the story, he is a good guy getting a bad rap from the town because of Junior and Big Jim Rennie but he is practically a boy scout in the book. The show made him appear to be some kind of organized criminal and I have no idea where they are going with it. I’m sure they have some kind of explanation coming that will not only exonerate him of wrong doing but solidify him as a good guy too. Still I don’t like what they did with it, and I think it’s a waste.

I also didn’t like what they did with Junior and Angie. In the book the two were never in a relationship together Angie was the girlfriend of Junior’s best friend Frank and when she started making passes at Barbie it led to a lot of trouble that Junior blamed her for. The whole situation happened prior to Dome day too, and it is told mainly through memories and flashbacks. In the book, unaware the dome has come down Junior goes to confront her and just completely loses it when he sees her. He violently beats her to death and then hides her body to use for his own demented and misguided purposes. I understand that by having him simply lock her up and keep her hostage there is plenty to get the audience emotionally invested in her character and kept interested and on the edge of their seats while watching but still, I don’t like it. Junior is a dangerous character and I think that danger was better displayed in the book by him immediately being a murderer.

In the book the violence and insanity that immediately follows the dome coming down is relentless and incredible. So much is going on that you suddenly realize you are over 100 pages in and only a small amount of time has passed in the story. The show does capture some of that insanity and excitement but on such a smaller scale it can’t help but be disappointing. I don’t like that the dome is soundproof in the show. The communication with the outside world is such an important and relevant part in the books and this is done simply by people from either side coming to the dome and talking. In the book the dome is an invisible barrier that it nearly completely impenetrable but not quite. Small amounts of water pass through it as well as very low levels of air. It has the strange shock when people touch it, it causes any electronics to explode, and it is an immovable force when something collides with it. If nothing else you should read the book because the insanity that ensues following the dome dropping is worth your time to read and enjoy.

I think this book was one of the finest King has written. It’s right up there with The Stand as far as I am concerned. King is so skilled at writing these giant stories. Of putting a big group of characters into a wild situation and just letting the chaos take its own course. The dome dropping was such an exciting beginning to the book but before you know it the situation is escalating to an even greater degree of crazy. This is one of those books that is hard to put down because there is just absolutely no telling what might happen next.

I was really looking forward to this show and had high hopes. I really like the casting of Dean Norris as Big Jim Rennie but already feel like the character isn’t quite who he should be. I don’t think I am going to be able to watch this show come next week because my disappointment over the pilot episode was just too great. If you read the book leave me a comment and let me know what you thought about last night’s episode. If you haven’t I think there is plenty of potential for you to enjoy this show even though it isn’t what it should be. If you don’t know what you are missing then you can easily be pleased with the new concepts but unfortunately this isn’t a possibility for me. I should have seen this disappointment coming but let hype get in the way of my better judgment. Adaptations are usually disappointing to the readers but every once and a while something works so perfectly (The Godfather) that you can always maintain hope for the possibilities of others. Unfortunately I don’t think this adaptation was good, I think they absolutely butchered an awesome story and I can’t stand to see what else is to come.

Side Note: I tagged what causes the Dome shamefully to lure people to our site but won’t answer the question. I know exactly what causes the dome in the book but seriously think they will go another route in the show. They have drastically changed SO much about the show that I would literally be surprised if the ending stayed the same. If you just can’t take it and want to make it easier I will respond to requests for an answer if you would like to leave a comment.

True Blood

Season 6 Episode 2

I read all of the Charlaine Harris novels about Sookie Stackhouse. I was so excited to see how closely related the show was to the books. I am not one that gets angry or anything when it deters from the original story line, and good thing because at this point they are nothing alike. The same initial characters, but it really isn’t like the plots that were set out in the book. I don’t remember there being any mention of the vampire Bible in the books, and for damn sure Bill didn’t become a Lilith-like God character. I am not really sure where they are going with this story line, but I am interested. In the book, Bill just remains the same calm, cool and collective vampire that he is and remains in love with Sookie. Eventually he finds his sister vampire and they are involved for a time before he just realizes that he will never be over Sookie. In the books as well Eric is always obsessed to an unhealthy degree when it comes to Sookie.

Alcide is the pack leader in the book as he is in the show, but he runs the pack a lot differently. In the book, he too is a little obsessed with Sookie, until he becomes pack leader. Once that happens he is all consumed with the pack and is barely in the books until Sookie gets in trouble and needs help from the werewolf pack.

When they introduce new characters like the half-fairy Ben (not in the book) I wish that they would use characters from the books. There are so many great characters yet to be seen in the show. Like Quinn the weretiger. He is probably my favorite male character in the book aside from Eric. I can’t wait to see If they actually use him or not. If not it would be a complete waste.

They are setting up a pretty viscious war between the vampires and the humans, so I am interested to see where the show goeheret is setting up to be an interesting season.

RYAN’S INPUT

I will admit this season has my attention, so far.  I have no faith in it after the last couple of years but I think they are really doing a good job this season so far.  Despite that I have a serious and perverted problem with the show.  Why is Anna Paquin so clothed? When it comes to Sam or that werewolf guy we see them naked to an annoying degree but is it really too much to ask for a little sexy Sookie action? This show hooked me in with sex and I am patiently waiting now because they aren’t giving me anything I want in that department.  The show is better than it has been though, and I can tolerate it for now.

R.I.P. James Gandolfini

As a huge lifelong fan of film and television I have been influenced by many characters over the years.  In fact I specifically try to learn from and emulate the ones I find to be the best.  The number one character in this department is Hank Hill from King of the HillHank is specifically the man I want to be the most like but in the greater scheme of things there are elements from a number of different characters I try to take things from.  One of the guys at the top of that list after Hank is Tony Soprano.  I literally have a big Sopranos picture in my office at work with James Gandolfini standing front and center as Tony Soprano. Like many other people I was a huge fan of The Sopranos and Tony Soprano made a significant impact on me as a person. I pick and choose what I like with all characters and there is plenty to take from Tony Soprano.  I would never do many of the things he did on the show such as cheat on my wife, organized crime, and of course murder.  The way Tony carries himself, the power he wields, and just being a badass in general are all things I have tried to learn from and emulate.

I specifically remember a time when I found myself dealing with someone difficult at work and I did what I like to think of as “Tony Soprano intimidation.” I starred at the person intently and quietly while beginning to breathe heavier and being impassible until the other person spoke.  To my surprise that actually worked and I got what I was after.  I only did that one time actually, but want to keep it that way because if it didn’t work a second time the “Tony Soprano Method” wouldn’t seem as legendary in my story line. Years ago I started drinking liquor straight with no mixer or chaser any time I drank it.  I am young and this isn’t something most people my age do and when someone takes notice I always respond “that’s how Tony does it and he was a badass.” I have also emulated Tony Soprano’s love of animals to a degree from time to time.  Most notably with a Robin that built a nest on the side of my house against the gutter drain and had babies.  Amber regularly asked me to get rid of it but I refused because this same bird comes back every year and has babies in that nest.  I think of her like Tony’s ducks and even named the bird Carmella after Tony’s wife on the show. Tony Soprano may have been a bad guy, but he was a badass and there is always room to be more badass in life. I like to keep a delicate balance of trying to be as badass as possible while still being a good and honest person.  I take the lessons on being a badass from Tony Soprano, among others, but maybe none quite so much.  He was a great character and the loss of the actor who portrayed him is unfortunate and so disappointing.

I have liked a lot of the work Gandolfini did outside of The Sopranos but none of it was as significant in the scope of what he accomplished on the show. I was a bit angry at Gandolfini for no longer wanting to portray the character when the show was winding down and for not taking part in interviews for the DVD collection specials. This makes his death even more unfortunate because we will never eventually hear his thoughts on the character or his reflection on the show.  Nevertheless Gandolfini will live on forever with the work he put in as one of the most awesome characters to ever appear in a television show.  I will mourn the loss of him and what else he might have accomplished with the rest of his life. At the age of 51 he still had plenty of potential to do great things with the years that should have been ahead of him.  R.I.P. James Gandolfini, I will miss him, and I am not alone in feeling that loss.

Here is an image of the picture on display in my office.  I had no intention of ever taking it down and will now specifically keep it up to honor the memory of a man whose performance has had a significant influence on me personally.

photo (8)

The Last of the Mohicans

Year: 1992
Directed By: Michael Mann
Written By: James Fenimore Cooper (novel) and then many people worked on the adaptation, including Mann.

RYAN’S REVIEW

I have long since loved this movie.  It had great production, costume design, and action.  More than anything else this movie taught me the significance of music in a film.  I don’t know what it is about it but the score is just so powerful in this film. It brings so much emotion into the film and I have always felt that the score was what took it to the next level.  This isn’t just a good film but a great one and the musical score is a significant part of that.  Considering that the movie is also well cast and directed by a fantastic film maker it’s easy to understand why I have always liked it.  While based off a book I never read it is set during a historical time and I studied history in college.  I think that has always played a part in why I like this film so much because for some reason I have never been able to get Amber on board with the film.  She hates this movie and I can never understand why.  In the climax I can feel the pain of the characters and am truly moved by the movie but I will look over to my wife and find her sleeping.  She is missing out, and if you watch this film I think you will see what I am talking about.

There are two men credited with original music in this movie, Randy Edelman and Trevor Jones.  Looking through their track record I didn’t see anything really significant from either of them.  Yet somehow they collaborated to make an incredible score for this film.  I find the music in this film to be very moving, and it has always been a significant factor in what drew me in when I saw it for the first time. It brings such an intensity and passion to the action.  I don’t know that I have ever seen any other film in which the music synced so well with the action and brought it to life in such a powerful way. It’s unusual really because the reason two different men were credited with the score was because production got so messed up the first guy quit and a second had to be brought in.  Things apparently got real mixed up while this movie was in production and it’s amazing that I think what they ultimately put together was so good.

This is a story about badasses and know-it-alls who can’t comprehend inferiority. I’m not saying the English or French were inferior to the Native Americans, but they had an arrogance that skewered their better judgment during this time and in this film. Every time the English have to face the Native Americans they are so hopelessly unprepared.  They form into battle arrangement as the Indians rush them and slaughter them.  I don’t know the accuracy of these battles specifically but I suspect it is pretty close to how it happened.  Guerrilla warfare was born and bred in this country but it didn’t start with the colonials.  It started with the natives who didn’t fight by the same rules as the white people who had shown up and tried to establish authority. However, in the end the only Englishman that really matter is Duncan who gives a bad impression at first but gives up the ultimate sacrifice in the end to win us over.  Duncan knew he was going to be burned alive but chose to do it anyway for the right reasons; he martyred himself and became something of a hero in doing so.

I know that Daniel Day-Lewis plays the hero of this film, but let’s be honest.  The best performance goes to Wes Studi as Magua, one of the greatest badass antagonists ever.  When Magua makes his first kill in the movie his victim is actually smiling at him as he approaches.  Magua doesn’t care, he slices that guy right in the neck and kills the shit out of him, stone cold killer to the core. Magua is ultimately dispatched in the end by the actual last Mohican but it doesn’t matter then.  Magua not only defeated his greatest enemy in the field (the grayhair, Colonel Munro) but he later beat the shit out of the second to last Mohican with seeming ease.  He had lived a warrior’s life and it doesn’t matter that he was defeated, he had already achieved enough. Daniel Day-Lewis is probably one of the greatest actors to ever get behind camera, but still I feel he was showed up by Studi in this movie.  Magua was awesome and Day-Lewis’s Natty Bumppo doesn’t hold a candle to him.  The character of Natty Bumppo’s name was changed for the movie, for obvious reasons.  In the film our hero is Nathaniel Poe simply because the name Natty Bumppo doesn’t inspire anything from an audience other than laughter.  To prepare for this role Daniel Day-Lewis actually went into the wild to live for a time to get into character, living off the land and hunting for his food.  That’s the kind of dedication that has made him one of the greatest actors ever and it has paid off for him time and time again.  I think his performance as Bill the Butcher in Gangs of New York was one of the greatest roles I have ever seen.

The main thing I think that brings this movie down is the romantic element that was obviously pushed in by the studio who needs such a thing to make money.  Madeleine Stowe and Daniel Day-Lewis were acceptable but when they made a thing between Uncas and Alice they were reaching.  There was actually a scene intended for Uncas and Alice to show off the love that otherwise we don’t really see but the actress’s mother was on set during filming and wouldn’t have it.  That’s what makes it stupid though, not only would it have been dumb to do it, it was even dumber not to do it.  In the end of the movie Uncas, the last remaining hope for a dying Native American race rushes into his death for a girl he simply saw from afar.  Had they actually engaged in some kind of romance it would have made more sense but I still maintain that the relationship in general was just unlikely and simply Hollywood story line crap(unless of course it happened in the book which I did not read, I could be completely wrong about this). Nevertheless, the way it is portrayed in the final cut of the film makes it all seem foolish.

There was apparently a lot of trouble during the making of this film.  The movie went really over budget and the studio clamped down hard on Michael Mann when they felt their efforts to break even were threatened.  From what I have read, Mann wasn’t really pleased with the final product of the film but despite that I have always like it.  I was actually shocked to find out there were so many problems during production because I have literally always thought this movie was great. From what I understand, the DVD version of the film is not the same as the one that hit theaters in 1992 and there is something like an additional 7 or 9 minutes.  Mann’s original plan for the film was about an hour longer than what it eventually got cut down to.  I really find all of this surprising because I sincerely love the film and am shocked to find that it isn’t even close to what it was originally intended to be.

Despite how things went during production I for one was really pleased with what eventually came out. I love this movie and feel even closer to it because it was filmed in my home state of North Carolina and I have been to a few of the places the film was made.  I have a fond place in my heart for these kinds of movies; I am a good American and respect the films that appropriately portray our history. This movie is without doubt worth your time, I have loved it since the first time I saw it and I will tell anybody and everybody that it is worth their time.

AMBER’S REVIEW

I have never liked this movie. I don’t really think there is anything fundamentally wrong with it at all, I just seem to never be able to make it all the way through the movie because I fall asleep. It really is a good story, but it is just so slow. And what the hell is up with all these movies talking about being the last one of something you aren’t. I mean this guy isn’t even a real Mohican, but he gets the title of the last one? And the same thing happens in The Last Samurai. Tom Cruise can’t possibly be considered the last Samurai right? I mean, c’mon!

lastofthemohecians

I am not a big fan of this poster either, It’s boring, believe it or not. Look at that WHITE guy running in his outfit to try and be a Mohican. I don’t like the lame sepia tone, that’s a lazy photoshop move right there. The typography isn’t nice here either because it doesn’t stand off of the background enough. I think with a  title that long you have the potential to do some really cool things, but it is wasted here in a boring centered look. Pop quiz! How many times do you think I said boring in this post?

NEXT MOVIE: The Last Samurai (2003) 

Man of Steel

Amber and I had the opportunity to get out to the movie theater today for the first time all summer.  We haven’t had the chance to see many summer blockbusters yet but this weekend this movie was an easy choice.  I’m not going to go too far into it right now other than to tell you that it was worth it and it was awesome. Of course it was right? Warner Brothers knew what they were doing when they put Christopher Nolan in charge and when this is all said and done I think it will have paid off handsomely

I expected this movie to be good. I have the utmost respect for Christopher Nolan and David Goyer both, I think Zack Snyder is an OK director but regardless what I think his future is a lot brighter now. I think you can clearly see Nolan’s influence in this film and that is a great thing.  Henry Cavill impressed me, Kevin Costner impressed me, and Christopher Meloni really impressed me.  I thought Michael Shannon was every bit as good as I expected and of course Russell Crowe always brings it, he brought a lot to this film.  Amy Adams was OK, Laurence Fishburne has gained a lot of weight, and it’s a sad and unfortunate reality that Diane Lane has aged enough to play the role she had in this movie(she is still a gorgeous woman and she was great in the movie but I will miss her youth). I have never seen Antje Traue in anything else, but as Faora she was a complete and utter badass.  Now this isn’t enough about any of these people.  They all deserve more here but all that will come in time. I am already reserving a spot on the movie rack for this movie and can’t wait to see it again and give it a better review.

A lot hinges on the success of this movie.  More or less this movie represents the future of films about DC Comic characters.  Warner Brothers owns the rights to these people and they have got to be interested in one-upping Disney and what they did with The Avengers.  This movie is the first step in what will ultimately be a goal of making an equally successful Justice League movie.  Along the way we should see films about The Flash, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and the inevitable next Batman reboot. These movies will be on a new platform and set up to all tie together, or at least that should be what is done.  In the end we will hopefully see something really incredible in Warner Brothers answer to The Avengers. This was an awesome movie and a nice step in the right direction.  If you are on the fence about it at all let me erase any doubts you have and please share your own thoughts on the film.  I will give it a much deeper review when we buy it, until then let me insist that this is a movie worth seeing in the theater and encourage you to get out there and see it for yourself.

Game of Thrones Season 3 Finale

Warning! Spoilers lay before you! Read at your own risk.

What does Gendry do next?

Gendry has become the combination of two characters here so it is hard to say. He will make his way to safe ground that is for sure.  In the books he is a member of The Brotherhood without Banners and blacksmithing for them.

What will the Hound and Arya do?

The Hound will take Arya to the next potential place for him to land a reward.  The Eerie, where she has an Aunt who might still ransom her. They never make it to the castle though; it is a long and hard road for the Hound and Arya. She will eventually break away on her own and make way across the Narrow Sea in search of Jaqen H’ghar. She will not find him but does enter the House of Black and White and begins training with the Faceless Men, a school for assassins.

The consequences of The Red Wedding.

This one is tough because the consequences are dire yet irrelevant thus far.  It does not sit well with the people of the North that their king was killed in cold blood and humiliated.  However they are powerless to do anything about it and must lie in waiting for an opportunity to avenge their king.  I haven’t written anything about last week’s episode because I was on vacation and it was such a touchy subject.  It hurt my heart as a reader to get to this point in the story and the show did it justice.  I didn’t care for how they wrote off Grey Wind so easily though.  In the book the direwolf was very fierce in the battle that followed, requiring many men to take him down and taking many men to the grave with him.  As for Robb, he was a young and influential leader, a hero to the common people.  His demise will not be taken lightly and he will become a martyr of the North.

Does Yara rescue Theon?

Nope, not even close.  I doubt she will even get to shore before receiving word that he father has fallen to his death.  Without her father’s support she has nothing and there will be quite the power struggle on the Iron Islands.  I’m afraid Theon is in for quite a lot more pain, and that is really saying something considering he has already been dismembered. Yeah Theon has a lot more to lose such as teeth, fingers, toes, and what is left of his dignity. He is at the mercy of an evil bastard that has no mercy; it’s a long and painful road ahead for Theon.

Stannis and the Wall.

Stannis will attempt to redeem himself by going to aid the Black Brothers in their fight against the massive Wildling army.  He will be successful but it does little to help his cause. He will develop a respect and manageable working relationship with Jon Snow. Yet while he may be the only one fighting for the good in the larger conflict looming over the head of everybody.  He is still losing the war that matters to everyone else that matters.  The real threat may be the White Walkers but that means nothing to all the people south of The Wall who know nothing about them. Stannis will be the hero for a moment and then realize he still has little support in his cause. For the record, I think Stannis blows both on the show and in the books, I wish he would be the next victim of George R .R. Martin.

What does Daenerys do next?

A whole lot of nothing, with the exception of banging Daario Nahariss.  I think Daenerys is a total badass and love her all through the first three books but she changes course a bit in the fifth.  She is still awesome but has such a difficult task ahead of her and wanting to do the right thing gets in the way of what we want as readers and viewers.  She will decide that she can’t leave the people she has freed to simply die on their own and she decides to stay put and reign as queen for a while. I didn’t like it when I read it, but there are plenty of things that happen to keep things interesting.  I will only offer you one spoiler to this affect.  Eventually, someone important will be eaten by dragons.   

What new things to expect next season.

Many new characters if you haven’t already come to expect that from the show. I imagine we will meet Mace Tyrell, father of the Knight of Flowers and Margaery.  Nothing really interesting about him but if we are lucky we will meet his bannerman Lord Randall Tarly, Sam’s father.  Although I suspect this will be a character held out till season 5.  We will certainly meet the Dornishmen, people of the seventh kingdom of Dorne.  Most notably the Red Viper, Price of Dorne who favors Tyrion and is quite the badass.  We will see the wedding of Joffrey and Margaery.  Joffrey will be poisoned at the wedding and Tyrion will be blamed.  Although the actual murderer was the Queen of Thorns who was working with Petyr Baelish.  Sansa will be whisked away out of the city for future purposes and Tyrion will be left looking really really guilty.  There will be a lot of Jon Snow and the Night’s Watch as they defend themselves against Mance Rayder’s army.  Jon will win us over next season.

I have written this quickly to get it out to you as soon as possible. Please do me the favor of excusing any typos within this post.  If you want to do me a favor then point them out so I can fix them immediately.  I have proofread this quickly but I am about 8 beers deep this evening and doing the best that can be expected.  As a last ditch effort let me encourage you to read the books, they are much richer than the show and are worth your time.