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Review: Game of Thrones, “No One” (Season 6, Episode 8)

Season 6 of Game of Thrones has been an improvement over the previous season in all ways but one: Meereen. To be fair, Meereen is far from becoming the new Dorne, but the plot thread isn’t quite working as effectively as I’d hoped. Tyrion’s time in Meereen had the potential to be a fascinating story about political compromise, but the ...

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Review: Game of Thrones, “The Broken Man” (Season 6, Episode 7)

Before Season 6 aired, I talked with friends about my predictions for the story.  As Game of Thrones fans are wont to do, I focused on who would die and which characters might return after a long hiatus. I thought my friend’s prediction that Sandor Clegane (a.k.a., “The Hound”) would return was absolutely inane. As much as I’d enjoyed the ...

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Middle-earth Menu: “The Ivy Bush Eleventy-First Birthday Cake”

By Astrid Tuttle Winegar To finish a grand party like this one, you need a show-stopping cake. Bilbo would have this specially made at The Ivy Bush, a small inn frequented by Sam’s father, the Gaffer. Make this impressive cake the night before you want to serve it. “The Ivy Bush Eleventy-First Birthday Cake” 1½ pounds fresh strawberries 8 ounces ...

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Review: Game of Thrones, “Blood of My Blood” (Season 6, Episode 6)

For fans of George R.R. Martin’s novels, the biggest revelation in “Blood of My Blood” concerns the identity of a certain “Coldhands.” In the books, the mysterious Coldhands helps Bran and Meera reach the cave of the thee-eyed raven. His identity was never revealed, but fans had long speculated that it was Bran’s uncle Benjen, who in the first book ...

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Review: Game of Thrones, “The Door” (Season 6, Episode 5)

It seems like the general consensus is that “The Door” is not only the best episode of Season 6 so far, but also the best episode of Game of Thrones since last year’s “Hardhome.” There’s a lot to like, from the earth-shattering revelation about the White Walkers to the wonderful skit in Braavos that reenacted Season 1. It also helped ...

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Review: Game of Thrones, “Book of the Stranger” (Season 6, Episode 4)

Most fans will remember “Book of the Stranger” for its finale. Daenerys Targaryen’s fiery coup over the Dothraki leadership certainly marks a turning point for the story. For me, this was the episode when I realized the potential of Sansa Stark. I admit that I hadn’t been a fan of Sansa Stark. During the first season, she came across as ...

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Middle-earth Menu: “Bullroarer Took’s Pickled Cauliflower”

I am naming this for Bilbo’s legendary ancestor who was apparently so big (for a hobbit) he could actually ride a horse. Bullroarer Took was known for attacking some goblins during a particular battle and “knocked their king Golfimbul’s head clean off with a wooden club. It sailed a hundred yards through the air and went down a rabbit-hole, and ...

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Review: Game of Thrones, “Oathbreakers” (Season 6, Episode 3)

In most video games, the player controls a character and attempts to overcome some obstacle. If your character dies, he or she gets resurrected and tries again. Some games limit the number of lives you can use before getting a Game Over, but even then you are usually given another chance to beat the game. In other words, in video ...

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Review: Game of Thrones, “Home” (Season 6, Episode 2)

The title of the second episode of Season 6 is “Home,” but it could just as easily have been “Parents.” One way or another, each of the younger characters had to come to terms with the legacy of his or her (often overbearing) parents. Even though Ramsay and Tommen and Yara and even Bran never interact, they’re all dealing with ...

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Middle-earth Menu: “The Gaffer’s Potentially Pungent Potatoes”

  I like to picture Sam’s father, Hamfast Gamgee (otherwise known as “the Gaffer” or “Old Gamgee”), holding court at The Ivy Bush and challenging his fellow hobbits to make some good old mashed potatoes as pungent as possible. The Gaffer would most likely have the upper hand, being an accomplished gardener, of course. He’d know where the tastiest Shire ...

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