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REVIEW: You Win or You Die: The Ancient World of Game of Thrones

Season 7 of HBO’s Game of Thrones just wrapped up, but the speculation and commentary still rages on. A few weeks ago, I reviewed a book about medieval warfare in Game of Thrones. This time, I take a look at You Win or You Die: The Ancient World of Game of Thrones by Ayelet Haimson Lushkov, Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Texas ...

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REVIEW: Game of Thrones and the Medieval Art of War

Like Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings mythology, George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones is set in a world that looks like – and is clearly inspired by – our Middle Ages, but isn’t actually set in Europe between the fall of Rome and the Renaissance. Instead, Game of Thrones takes place in a fantastical world in which winters last a generation and magic is ...

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Review: Game of Thrones, “The Winds of Winter” (Season 6, Episode 10)

With only 13 episodes left for the show, Game of Thrones needed to wrap a lot of subplots in order to have enough time to deal with the impending White Walker invasion. “The Winds of Winter” did that, and then some. The episode killed off most supporting characters in a few dramatic scenes. As I’ve argued elsewhere, this downsizing was ...

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Review: Game of Thrones, “Battle of the Bastards” (Season 6, Episode 9)

Game of Thrones has become infamous for its unpredictability. Beheading Ned Stark in Season 1 shocked viewers because it defied everything we thought we knew about fantasy stories (namely, that the hero always wins). Over the past season, the plot of Game of Thrones has become increasingly predictable; the show is no longer willing or able to subvert audience expectations ...

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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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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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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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