Game of Thrones Podcast – Beyond the Wall (Week 6)

Click HERE to subscribe to all The Red Couch Podcasts on iTunes.  Not an iTunes person?  We got you covered.  Subscribe on Google Play HERE.

Our latest recap is here!  Don’t want to say much in the description because… lots of potential spoilers but listen to Shar and Z talk about their annoyance with Arya, dragon-travel, and Littlefinger.  Also, how much they love the Magnificent Seven-Beyond-The-Wall.

NFL Betting Guide – NFC Futures

The NFL is back, baby!  What’s better than the NFL Season?  Why, making money while watching football, of course.  Check out our new, weekly NFL Betting Guide Podcast.  This week, we’ll tell you where the smart (and dumb) money is with NFC over/under win totals, Division Champions, and Conference Champion futures.  Next week:  AFC Futures.

Click HERE to subscribe to all The Red Couch Podcasts on iTunes.  Not an iTunes person?  We got you covered.  Subscribe on Google Play HERE.

 

Over Hyped News Stories – Updated!

This is a summary of news stories that are regularly talked about but very little comes of them. The problem with these stories is that consumers of news see similar headlines repeatedly, but there is no change of course. This can make people less likely to read or watch news, and more likely to lose track of what is important, or determine that none of the news is important. This feature will be regularly updated as hype increases or decreases, or when an important event actually breaks the pattern. Also more coverage in our weekly podcast.

 

5) Trump’s American Manufacturing Council (New!)

Why this is news: Business leaders are standing up to Trump. It took remarks from Trump that equated Nazis and those who oppose Nazis as being on similar moral ground, but the business leaders are finally challenging Trump. First, numerous CEOs left the council, and then Trump rage disbanded the whole thing to avoid further embarrassment.

Why it isn’t: Nobody knew about this council last week (at least I didn’t), and it doesn’t really have much clout. It existed for CEOs to supplement to their resumes, but only this week became a liability too great for them. There are still plenty of people still voluntarily aiding Trump, but they aren’t in the news, so it is OK for them somehow? I call BS.

4) Trump Collusion / Impeachment (Down 3)

Why this is news: The possibility of international collusion throwing the US presidential race would be remarkable and shake people’s confidence in democracy. Trump being impeached, convicted, and removed from office would change the course of US politics dramatically and for a prolonged time.

Why this isn’t: It seems small fries compared to a race war; at least today, it does. Updates on this story are continuous and small. No Republicans were bailing on Trump this week. A few Republicans disagree with Trump’s remarks on Charlottesville, but nothing close to “Investigating Impeachment”.

3) Taylor Swift Harassment Case (Unchanged)

Why this is news: People love Taylor Swift – and she won! Also, an argument can be made that this harassment case can bring attention to the persistent problems women face on a daily basis.

Why it isn’t: This wasn’t life or death for anyone; the outcome wasn’t life-changing, apart from the few who were directly impacted. This is only news because there was a celebrity involved. Luckily, this is now over.

2) North Korea Threats (Unchanged)

Why this is news: Launching nuclear weapons would be an unprecedented event in the modern era, threatening millions of people’s lives and livelihoods.

Why it isn’t: This is still unlikely. This story has been going on for decades. We are currently at DEFCON 5, no threat. North Korea actually backed down on test plans aimed at Guam. This over-hypedness should decrease next week. In the meantime, if you’re still worried, you can always check DoesGuamStillExist.com .

1) The Solar Eclipse (New!)

Why this is news: It is the first time the United States will have a coast to coast total eclipse since 1918. It is a fantastic distraction from Trump, Charlottesville, or anything, really.

Why this isn’t: When “Total Eclipse of the Heartwill be performed during the eclipse, you are big into overhyped territory. Eclipses actually happen somewhere in the world every couple of years. It is apropos of nothing. It is just physics. Yeah! Physics still works! Also, if you booked your room two years ago, I hope it’s not cloudy where you are that day.

 

Drunken Politics Podcast – Now with 100% more Name!

Click HERE to subscribe to all The Red Couch Podcasts on iTunes.  Not an iTunes person?  We got you covered.  Subscribe on Google Play HERE

Brad and Z finally pick a Podcast name!  Also, they discuss Trump’s bitter breakup with his CEOs, the genius of not having to salt your own food, racist websites and, of course… the eclipse.

Sigh.

We’re all doomed.

Game of Thrones S7E5 “Eastwatch” Recap

[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following document contains spoilers through Season 7, Episode 5.  Enjoy at your own risk.  And if you love Ryan’s review as much as we do, check out our weekly podcast recapping the episode.]

Why hello there Red Couch reader. My name is Ryan & I am the newest guest contributor to this fine site. I hail from my own blog, RyansReview.net, where I do reviews of great shows like this one & speculate on its future. You can catch me there & here at The Red Couch weekly, going over the awesomeness that is Sunday night HBO programming. Well, there are exceptions (cough* Ballers cough*).

So, now that we are acquainted, let’s get to it…..

The Aftermath

Our episode opens right where we left off. Jaime & Bronn are indeed alright and seem to be able to get away from the action. Interestingly, my theory that Bronn may be peacing out soon seems on the money as he tells Jaime that his contract doesn’t include a dragon clause & he ain’t sticking around for the inevitable BBQ at Kings Landing. However, it doesn’t seem Jaime is too keen on fighting the dragons either.

Speaking of the capital, our two bros make it back there where Jaime expresses his reservations about this war to Cersei. After seeing Drogon & the Dothraki, he knows the war is already lost. She didn’t even have her Unsullied or the other 2 dragons & it still wasn’t even a close match. But of course, Cersei is Cersei & is willing to fight til the end. It’s here that Jaime also informs her of the true culprit of Joffrey’s death; Lady Olenna, but it doesn’t seem to do much for Cersei’s sympathy for Tyrion anyway.

Filet-o-Tarly

Back in the Reach, Dany is dealing with the leftover Lannister army, which just so happens to include Lord Tarly & son. It seems Lord Grumpy-pants doesn’t feel like bending the knee, given Dany is a foreign born invader & therefore chooses to die. Dickon shows some true balls (lol) & decides to join him. Although Tyrion protests, Dany ain’t taking no prisoners. Its join or die. And so she lets Drogon loose on the Tarly boys & just like that they are turned to ash. I’m not too familiar with the Tarly house, but this could very well make our man Sam the new heir apparent (although, he did technically take the Black, but those rules seem trivial at this point). This does help get the rest of the men in line, however cruel Tyrion might think it is.

Khaleesi rides her dragon back to Dragonstone to find Jon. This is where shit gets real. Drogon, to the surprise of Dany, approaches Jon & actually allows Jon’s quivering hand to pet him. This might be cool, but it’s also a huge sign about Jon (more on that later). Then, who shows up, but our favorite friend-zoned subject of the queen, Jorah. He’s back in action & ready to serve. I’m still slightly suspicious of his cure & so I hate it when he keeps touching people. Keeps your hands to yourself dude, you never know.

Inside, Tyrion & Varys reflect on the events at the Reach. Both of them are concerned about Dany’s inclination to burn her enemies to death. Varys implores Tyrion to try & make her listen to his counsel more, lest she become like her father the Mad King. Meanwhile, Varys delivers a message sent from the North, informing Jon that Arya & Bran are alive & that the Night King marches on Eastwatch. Upon learning this, Jon decides he must return north immediately. The group recognizes the need to postpone the war at hand & head north to fight the common enemy, but Cersei will not press pause unless she has proof. So, the plan is to bring one of the undead down south & show Cersei she needs to wait on this war & send armies to the north. Tyrion & Davos will head to Kings Landing to negotiate the temporary truce in the meantime.

Discord in the North

In Winterfell we see Bran warging into some ravens in order to check on the Night King & their location. Upon finding them, the Night King seems to realize Bran is watching him. I wonder why he is after Bran, as we saw him last season go after Bran. Perhaps he wants Bran’s visions & ability? Anyways, Bran instructs the maester to send ravens out to everyone infoming them of the dead army’s progress & inevtiable arrival at Eastwatch, the fortress now manned by the Wildlings.

We then see the lords of the north bitching & moaning, yet again, to Sansa on their doubts in Jon. They have proven to be some pretty shitty lords given that they A) first refused to help Jon when he needed them to fight the Boltons B) have questioned Jon on every single decision he has made & C) are now turning on their new king after like 2 minutes. Seriously, shit lords these are. This reminds me more & more of Robb & the mistakes he made by ignoring his allies. But what is more concerning is Sansa’s attitude towards their disloyalty. She is very blasé & indifferent to their disrespect & seems to be getting a little too full of herself as Lady of Winterfell. Arya sees this & tells her as much to her face. Now we see the old sisterhood we once knew; the bickering, antagonistic relationship between them from season 1. Arya feels Sansa has some internal desire to supplant Jon as leader. She thinks Sansa should be more ruthless & unforgiving of the lords’ disrespect. But Arya doesn’t understand the politics involved in ruling & Sansa informs her that they need these lords’ armies in order to stay in power. Nonetheless, the internal strife grows within the Stark house.

As I guessed last week, Baelish has felt uneasy with the stability in the North & has now decided to make his move to sow some discord. We see Arya shadowing Littlefinger as he makes his way around Winterfell, meeting in secret with the frustrated lords, some unknowns & finally the maester who brings him a scroll to his chambers. Upon leaving his room, Arya sneaks in & finds the scroll in question, only giving us a glimpse, but some Googling showed that this is an old scroll from season 1 or 2. It is written by Sansa to Robb (RIP Robb, you idiot), informing him that their father is a traitor & that Robb needs to come bend the knee to Joffrey. This of course was written under duress when Sansa was essentially a prispner of the Lannisters. But Arya seems concerned by the message & this could make her question Sansa’s motives even more.

Upon leaving the room, we see Baelish now counter-shadowing Arya. He has been aware of her presence the whole time & is manipulating her into escalating the distrust between her sister & herself. Once again we see how Machiavellian Littlefinger is & that even without any armies or dragons, he can be one of the most dangerous players in the seven kingdoms. His strategy is simple, yet effective; divide & conquer. Divide the Starks up & break the unified front they have. Then he can worm his way into Sansa’s ear.

Brotherly Love

Back at the capital, Tyrion & Davos arrive & head their separate ways. Tyrion, with the help of Bronn, lures Jaime into a meeting. The reunion isn’t a joyous one & Jaime has no desire to hug his little bro. But he also doesnt kill him so that’s a positive I guess. Tyrion explains the situation to Jaime & expresses Dany’s terms. Meanwhile, Davos goes to Flea Bottom to find an old friend circa season 3, Gendry. It takes few words to recruit him to join them & they are on their way. When 2 gold cloaks recognize Tyrion, Gendry makes quick work of them, proving his usefulness with a hammer (the same weapon his father Robert preferred).

Jaime goes to inform his sister of the offer from Dany & the secret meeting with their brother only to find out that she knew it was happening all along. It seems Qyburn’s spies are proving useful. Jaime asks why she allowed the meeting & learns that Cersei sees this as a chance to beat Dany using some clever schemes, as they both know they can’t win with military power. Cersei will undoubtedly use this opportunity to her advantage & wound Dany in any way possible whether it’s killing her dragons, her armies or herself. She also informs Jaime that she is TWIST, with child, only this time, the world will know it is Jaime’s. But the question is, how will the allies of the Lannisters react to this news? Cersei could be shooting herself in the foot yet again with her plans because although Westerosi lords don’t like foreign born invaders, its a good chance they don’t like being ruled by an incestuous queen even more. She also threatens Jaime here, telling him to never betray her again. This is yet another sign that Jaime may have to kill another mad ruler he is sworn to protect.

The Library is Now Closed

At the Citadel, I am glad to see Sam yet again. He, upon overhearing the maesters talking about the message from Bran, pleads with them to take the message seriously & ask all the lords of Westeros to send their armies to the north. The maesters basically say “We’ll think about it” & Sam has pretty much had it with their complacency. Later that night, Sam vents to Gilly about his frustrations with his superiors as she reads a seemingly obscure & unimportant book. However, during this exchange she drops a major bombshell hint about a certain “Prince Ragger” who had an annulment & secretly got remarried in Dorne to an unknown woman. HOLY SHIT THIS IS A BIG DEAL (but more on this later). Sam decides he has had it here & rounds up all the important texts he needs & sets off with Gilly & Sam Jr. to presumably go back to the north.

The One Where the Gang Goes North

 

Tyrion, Davos & Gendry make it back to Dragonstone (wow this is all happening so fast. They must have the Hyperloop or some shit) & meet Jon. Gendry reveals his identity to Jon, as a fellow bastard & the last Baratheon. The two make quick friends thinking their fathers were best pals, not realizing that most likely, Gendry’s dad actually killed Jon’s. And so the group consisting of Jon, Davos, Gendry & Jorah say their goodbyes to set sail to Eastwatch. And yet again, poof, they arrive north at the wall in Eastwatch with Tormund (seriously, we need this Hyperloop shit). There, they meet another group trying to go north of the wall, the Brotherhood Without Banners (plus a Hound). Realizing they are all headed in the same direction, they head out north beyond the wall to find the army of the dead.

Thoughts & Predictions

First and most important thought this week: JON AINT NO BASTARD BITCHES! That’s right. It seems our favorite bastard will have to be Gnedry now because this episode gave us some clues that Jon is not the shameful sin of lust, but a true & legitimate Targaryen. First we saw Jon able to touch the dragon, something only Targaryens should be able to do theoretically. The dragon seemed to recognize Jon in some way & this shocked even Dany. Second was the not so subtle clue from Gilly. Prince “Rhaegar” is revealed to have had an annulment form his wife (Elia Martell) & married a secret lover in Dorne (Lyanna Stark). This means Jon has a legitimate claim to the throne now, more so than even Dany. Now it seems she might be the one bending that dam kneeee!!!! Dayammmmmmm.

Speaking of Targaryens & touching dragons, if you’re keeping track, you’ll notice that 3 people have now been able to get close to dragons & not get eaten alive. One is obviously Dany, the other is Jon from tonight and the last one is none other than…….Tyrion! It seems that certain fan theories about him possibly being a Targaryen may be true. It cannot just be a coincidence that only these 3 have been able to get close to dragons. BTW what about Gendry? He is after all the son of the last legitimate king, Robert. He is a bastard, but who knows what the rules are now.

Last thought is about a certain theory regarding the dragons possibly joining the army of the dead, Thus far it has been logistically impossible since the dragons have been south & in order for the Night King to turn one he would need to be close. But now it seems that if the temporary truce between Dany & Cersei sustains itself, then the dragons may wind up in the vicinity of the Night King. And if Cersei happens to use this as a chance to cripple Dany’s most powerful weapons, we may find ourselves with a dead dragon available to the Night King to resurrect & join his forces. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time Cersei’s shortsighted plans end up backfiring (see Militant Faith).

Wow, a lot of shit happened this week. I did my best to keep it concise, but somehow that never works out well. Anyhow, I hope you have enjoyed my recap & speculation. Join me again next week for another awesome recap (and most likely longer given the last two episodes are the longest to date) here or at my blog RyansReview.net. Thanks for reading 🙂

Politics Podcast – No Clever Title This Week

Click HERE to subscribe to all The Red Couch Podcasts on iTunes.  Not an iTunes person?  We got you covered.  Subscribe on Google Play HERE

Podcast is now up.  It’s a short one this week because the news outside of Charlottesville has bee so limited and we’re going to delay discussion of that tragedy until a later podcast.  Still, we hit on a few interesting topics involving China, trade, and the divide between the Senate and Trump.

Theme music for this week is “Slow Burn” by Kevin McLeod, www.freemusicarchive.org