Game of Thrones Season Finale Review

(In our coverage of Game of Thrones season 7, we’ll be examining each episode with one simple question in mind – which character is winning the game of thrones this week?)

And like that, Game of Thrones season 7 has come to an end. Who has survived? What’s left of them? Where do they go from here? And, most importantly, who’s “winning” the game of thrones? All very important questions. Let’s dive in.

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COCO set visit

Is it possible to “Pixar-ify” an entire cultural tradition and transform it into a family-friendly, merchandise-ready movie? Those are the fears that some might have about Coco, Pixar’s upcoming film centers around Mexico’s beloved Day of the Dead or Día de los Muertos. But those fears can be put to rest, as Coco is as respectful in its treatment of Día de los Muertos as it is eager to share the joyous Mexican holiday with the rest of the world.

Coco follows a Mexican boy named Miguel (voiced by relative newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) whose overwhelming passion for music drives him to disobey his family — who, after a traumatizing incident from the past, has banned all music in their household — and attempt to prove himself as a musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt). But a series of rash decisions causes him to be stuck in the Land of the Dead on Día de los Muertos. There, he teams up with a ragamuffin skeleton named Hector (Gael Garcia Bernal) on a mission to find de la Cruz, who he believes can help him return to the land of the living.

As fantastical a story as it sounds, Coco actually touches on more universal values than you would think: family, nostalgia, music, and adorable dogs. But amazingly, it tells this tale in a bilingual tongue, with the setting placed firmly in the fictional Mexican town of Santa Cecilia and its afterworld counterpart. The cast is entirely Latino, and Spanish phrases are sprinkled throughout the movie — with nary a subtitle to be seen. But rather than being alienating, these aspects of multiculturalism only serves to make Coco more authentic, serving as a bridge to a culture that hasn’t often been explored in mainstream animated films.

Earlier this month, I visited Pixar to get an early glimpse of the footage of Coco, as well as insight into the process of Coco’s long journey to the big screen from its directors, animators, and artists.

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Winds of Winter Release Date

Update: You know it’s easy to get your wires crossed when you read things on the internet? Well, it happens to the best of us. Anyway, it turns out that George R.R. Martin does watch Game of Thrones – he’s just behind on the current season.

Our original story, which also includes a nutty conspiracy theory that you should read about anyway, continues below.

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Now that Game of Thrones has sped long past where A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin last left us with A Dance With Dragons, Martin has admitted that he no longer watches the show. Or, at least, the seventh season.

It’s not out of spite for the show making different choices with his characters than he — though Martin has long held a grudge against fan fiction of his work — but because he simply doesn’t have time. Martin is chipping away at his thousand-page sixth novel in the Song of Ice and Fire series, and it’s taking all of his Sunday nights to get it done. Although there’s an interesting conspiracy floating around that Martin may or may not be already done with The Winds of Winter.

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Game of Thrones season 7 finale images

It feels like HBO’s Game of Thrones is just getting revved up again, but this year’s shorter season of only seven episodes means that we’re already only a few days away from the season finale, which airs this Sunday night. The premium network has released a batch of Game of Thrones season 7 finale images, so let’s take a closer look and see what they might tell us about what to expect in the 80-minute episode, the longest of the series thus far.
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sansa and arya plan

Game of Thrones season 7 spoilers begin immediately.

The conversation surrounding “Beyond the Wall,” the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones season 7, has generally revolved around that big final battle. I found Jon Snow and his ragtag band’s stand against the Night King’s forces to be as entertaining as it was frustrating. Others thought it shattered the show’s internal logic beyond repair. Since Sunday, we’ve talked about how far ravens can fly, how fast bastard blacksmiths can run, and just how long our heroes hung out on that rock before Daenerys flew to the rescue.

What we haven’t talked about as much are those scenes between Sansa Stark and Arya Stark back at Winterfell. Scenes that I’m now convinced that we all misunderstood. By design. Much like how Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish has been seemingly playing the Stark sisters, I think Game of Thrones has been playing us, hiding some crafty maneuvering in the middle of an episode otherwise focused on spectacle.

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David Harbour Hellboy

The cast of the Hellboy reboot slowly continues to grow (the movie added Deadpool‘s Ed Skrein in a highly questionable decision yesterday), but it’s time to hear some more from the man who’s playing the red-skinned World Destroyer himself, Stranger Things actor David Harbour.

In a new interview, Harbour explains how his take on the character differs from the masculine approach of original Hellboy star Ron Perlman. And will this movie be an origin story? Find out by reading the latest David Harbour Hellboy quotes below.
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game of thrones timeline

Either Westeros shrank in the past season, or there’s something funny going on with the Game of Thrones timeline. And “Beyond the Wall” director Alan Taylor admits as much.

The sixth episode of season 7 of Game of Thrones featured some implausible travel by foot and by raven, in which Gendry runs to Eastwatch from Jon Snow’s little suicide squad battling White Walkers beyond the Wall, and is able to send a raven to Daenerys in Dragonstone on the other side of the country in less than a day.

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game of thrones season 7 episode lengths

Update: HBO has released the official running time and title for the Game of Thrones season 7 finale, which will be as long as a feature film. You can find the new information below.

By now, it’s common knowledge that the seventh season of Game of Thrones will be a fair bit shorter than the previous six seasons, running only seven episodes instead of ten. But now, we know the silver lining. There may be fewer episodes in total, but several of those episodes will be longer than any previous chapter of HBO’s fantasy series.

However, the season will also contain the shortest episode to date.

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Game of Thrones jump the shark

(Welcome to The Soapbox, the space where we get loud, feisty, political, and opinionated about anything and everything. In this edition: did Game of Thrones jump the shark in its most recent episode?)

KnowYourMeme defines the term “jumping the shark” as “an idiomatic expression describing a pivotal moment when a successful creative effort begins a significant decline in quality.” We won’t be able to look back and see if Game of Thrones has hit that “pivotal moment” until the series is finished, or at least until a few more episodes have aired, but from where I stand, this week’s episode (“Beyond The Wall”) feels pretty damn pivotal – and I’m not thrilled about the new direction that pivot implies.
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Game of Thrones behind the scenes video

Last night’s Game of Thrones episode, entitled “Beyond the Wall,” featured yet another ambitious battle scene as Jon Snow, Tormund Giantsbane, Ser Jorah Mormont, and a few other fan-favorite characters went on a mission in the icy wastelands north of Eastwatch-by-the-sea and faced off against the Night King’s army of the dead.

And much like they did after this season’s “The Spoils of War,” HBO has now released an in-depth behind the scenes video that details the tricky techniques the production used to achieve many of the episode’s biggest and most explosive moments. This should go without saying, but there are obviously huge spoilers for last night’s episode in this video, so consider yourselves warned if you haven’t caught up. Check out the detailed video below.
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