Game of Thrones S6E1: THE RED WOMAN

Note: Before I begin, let us all knock wood. I mean it. Knock the wood.

Game of Thrones re-entered our lives last night, much to the rejoicing of nerds around the world. Social media blew up with branded content, message boards overflowed with theories and speculations, and some of my college friends even sat in an Iron Throne pitched up at an outdoor mall in Denver. Bastards.

But many fans approached this season with a skepticism uncharacteristic of premieres past. The writers and creators of the show were buried under a mountain of online flak last summer for their treatment of their female characters, especially re: Sansa Stark and sexual violence. Rape narratives were pulled from thin air (George R.R. Martin, author of the book series, is a little more into consensual zoinking), and badass women left and right disrobed for no apparent reason other than the ratings. Add this constant series of abuses to that Jon Snow shit, and some people just thought it wasn’t worth coming back to see the story through. Continue reading

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THE WAKE – Paul Kingsnorth

the-wake-kingsnorth

The debut novel of British writer Paul Kingsnorth and a work of unique linguistic ambition, The Wake (2014) is a story that picks its way through the ashes and wreckage of England after the Norman invasions of 1066. When Buccmaster of Holland, a surly and domineering landowner from the English fens, finds his home and family destroyed by French “ingengas,” he sets out to claim his revenge. In Robin Hood fashion, Buccmaster picks up a small gang of guerilla fighters who adopt the English forests as both home and weapon, committing small acts of resistance wherever they can. But Buccmaster’s dispossession and troubled mind lead his band not to storied victory, but rather to unrest and infighting, and soon even their bravest and most reckless acts are rendered totally insignificant in the medieval post-apocalypse of Norman reign. Continue reading