Game of Thrones: the final episode reviewed

Game of Thrones could not have ended any other way, says James Delingpole

Happiness writes white.” Henry de Montherlant

My least favourite part of Peter Jackson’s magisterial Lord of the Rings trilogy is the half hour of toecurling mawkishness at the end where you have to endure all the surviving characters getting married and living happily ever after. Game of Thrones was inevitably going to have a similar problem. After 70 episodes of intrigue, rape, incest, massacres, betrayal, quests, duels, epic battles, existential struggles with the forces of the undead, the healing – and sometimes clunky and twee –  resolutions in the 71st were always going to be a bit of an anticlimax.

But how could it be otherwise?

That’s why I’m going to disagree quite strongly with all those critics who are dissing the series finale as the most embarrassingly lame thing ever.

Read the rest in the Spectator.

Game of Thrones: Episode 3 reviewed

James Delingpole unpacks the battle we’ve all been waiting for.

Something truly remarkable happened in Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 3: the massed armies of the undead besieged Winterfell, destroyed the most diverse, brave and fearsome fighting force ever assembled in the history of the Seven Kingdoms, swarmed over the castle walls, wiped out the garrison, then were joined by even more undead risen from the bodies of all the goodies they’d recently killed and began slaughtering whoever was left…Yet, when the mist and smoke cleared, you’ll never guess what: every single major character was still alive.

What are the chances, eh? Just to be sure I made some rough calculations of the various groups’ survival outcomes. Dothraki horde: 0 per cent; Unsullied: 0.01 per cent (assuming Grey Worm is still with us; it was hard to tell for reasons I’ll shortly explain); Armies of the North 0.02 per cent; likeable, long-running but expendable characters 50 per cent; womenfolk and kids trapped in crypt: 75 per cent. Starks, Lanisters, Targaryens: 100 per cent. A miracle, I tell you, a miracle!

Read the rest in the Spectator.

Author Now Claims ‘Game of Thrones’ Is a Metaphor for Global Warming

Game Of Thrones

Audio version.

Finally author George RR Martin has revealed the secret of  “Game Of Thrones”: it’s all one gigantic metaphor for the threat of climate change.

Or at least that’s what he decided in the course of an interview with various New York Times staffers.

Asked whether he agreed with the “many observers” who’ve pointed out that the fantasy series offers “a perfect metaphor for understanding climate change”, the bearded, hat-wearing, wolf-keeping author just couldn’t resist the opportunity to display his green virtue.

Martin said:

It’s kind of ironic because I started writing “Game of Thrones” all the way back in 1991, long before anybody was talking about climate change. But there is — in a very broad sense — there’s a certain parallel there. And the people in Westeros are fighting their individual battles over power and status and wealth. And those are so distracting them that they’re ignoring the threat of “winter is coming,” which has the potential to destroy all of them and to destroy their world. And there is a great parallel there to, I think, what I see this planet doing here, where we’re fighting our own battles. We’re fighting over issues, important issues, mind you — foreign policy, domestic policy, civil rights, social responsibility, social justice. All of these things are important. But while we’re tearing ourselves apart over this and expending so much energy, there exists this threat of climate change, which, to my mind, is conclusively proved by most of the data and 99.9 percent of the scientific community. And it really has the potential to destroy our world. And we’re ignoring that while we worry about the next election and issues that people are concerned about, like jobs. Jobs are a very important issue, of course. All of these things are important issues. But none of them are important if, like, we’re dead and our cities are under the ocean. So really, climate change should be the number one priority for any politician who is capable of looking past the next election. But unfortunately, there are only a handful of those. We spend 10 times as much energy and thought and debate in the media discussing whether or not N.F.L. players should stand for the national anthem than this threat that’s going to destroy our world.Will Florida’s Ex-Felons Finally Regain the Right to Vote?

The bearded lupophile appears to be somewhat shaky on his climate facts.

Read the rest on Breitbart.

Game of Thrones Should Have at Least Arranged for Ed Sheeran to Be Stabbed

The latest Sky Atlantic series has been invaded by something more terrifying and insidious even than the White Walkers: feminism.

Misandei from Game of Thrones (image: HBO)

I’m a bit worried about Game of Thrones (Sky Atlantic). Not seriously worried: there’s too much money invested, too much narrative hinterland accrued, too much fan-loyalty not to frustrate, too engaging a cast, too brilliant an original conception for the makers to cock it up too badly.

Nevertheless, there were a couple of things that troubled me about the first episode of season seven. One: Ed Sheeran. He’s not the first pop star to make a cameo appearance in Thrones — that honour fell a while back to purveyors of epic, weirdy-warbly, Icelandic whale-music-rock, Sigur Ros — but he’s definitely the most obtrusive.

When Sigur Ros did it, no sooner had they started singing than they were driven offstage by a hail of coins from an unimpressed King Joffrey. With Ed Sheeran, on the other hand, we had to endure a full scene of him sitting there in the woods, being amiable Ed Sheeran with his ginger Ed Sheeran hair singing an Ed Sheeran-style song and being himself. And you just sat there thinking: ‘Here I am watching Ed Sheeran doing a cameo in Game of Thrones.’ Surely the very least they could have arranged is for him to have been stabbed, or something?

Read the rest at the Spectator.

Trump Pulls out of Paris; Internet Shrieks that End Is Nigh


Let’s not get too excited just yet about reports that President Trump has made up his mind to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement. We don’t know the terms and conditions. It is entirely possible that what we end up with is a fudge, designed to appease both warring factions in the administration but actually resulting in a muddled cop out which pleases no one.

Still, let’s look at the upside. The greenies are going postal:

Read the rest at Breitbart.

Matt LeBlanc and Gazza: Soon All Jokes by Straight White Men Will Be Made Illegal

If you didn’t know the details, you might imagine he’d done something serious.

Nope. Here’s what happened:

Gascoigne was speaking at a venue in Wolverhampton, as part of his An Evening With Gazza tour, where audiences around Britain are paying upwards of £30 a head to hear anecdotes about Gazza’s days as a footballing legend.

At some point in the evening, Gazza made an ill-advised quip at the expense of a black bouncer standing in a darkened part of the auditorium. Gazza joked that he couldn’t see whether or not the security guard was enjoying himself because the venue was poorly lit.

Yes, you probably had to be there. It’s not the funniest joke ever told. But nor is it the kind of remark you’d ever imagine getting anyone hauled up before the courts. It’s just laddish banter of the kind you’ll often find when boozed up blokes are gathered together. There’s certainly no malice in it and in the old days – before the era of licensed victimhood and professional offence-taking – that security guard would perfectly well have understood this, in much the same way any white person would have done in the Seventies or Eighties had they been singled out as the butt of a joke by, say, Richard Pryor or Eddie Murphy.

I originally reported that the bouncer had complained to the police – but it turns out I maligned the poor fellow. It wasn’t the black bouncer who complained but one of those grisly SJWs – often known as Offendotrons, usually white – whose speciality is to patronise ethnic minorities by taking offence on their behalf. This Offendotron reported to the police and the police, in accordance with the wishes of the rampantly politically correct Crown Prosecution Service, decide to make an example of Gazza.

Gascoigne, the judge claimed, is guilty of the “sort of insidious racism” which needs to be challenged.

Well I’m not so sure about that. My fear is that this kind of case, far from healing racial divisions in Britain is likely to exacerbate them by fostering a climate of mutual resentment and bitterness and a sense that “Britain is no longer a free country any more.” Which indeed it isn’t. In Britain – taking our cue from the identity politics victimhood culture of the US – our minority grievance industry has now become so powerful that you cannot even make a mildly tasteless joke without being dragged before the courts and treated like a criminal.

And it won’t be long – you can be sure – before jokes perceived as offensive to women result in similar court cases.

Read the rest on Breitbart.

Brexit Debate: Polite, Honest Michael Gove Thrashes Devious, Shifty David Cameron

After last night’s stellar performance on Sky News by the Gover, it’s pretty obvious why. Gove would have Cameron’s testicles on toast for starters, his viscera for the main, and his eyeballs for pudding – all while consuming his opponent with such perfect charm and good manners that not even the Prime Minister himself would realise till the digestion stage just how comprehensively he’d been eaten.

No politician kills with kindness more viciously than Gove.

He did it again last night under intense grilling from Sky News interrogator Faisal Islam.

Islam’s assault was brutal and relentless – far more cavalier, disrespectful and insulting than his treatment of David Cameron the night before – but Gove emerged the undoubted victor by consistently maintaining grace under pressure. He more or less owned his cheerily impertinent interrogator, he won over an initially sceptical audience, and most importantly he sent out a clear signal to the Remain camp: “Don’t count your chickens. We Brexiteers have right and truth on our side. And we’re going to win this one, just you see.”

Don’t take my word for it. Watch for yourself:

Read the rest at Breitbart.

Why Does TV Assume Everyone Is So Thick They Have to Have Everything Explained?

The Scandalous Lady W, a relentlessly 21st-century version of a great period scandal, spells out the social implications with a giant trowel.

My favourite moment in The Scandalous Lady W (BBC2, Monday) was when the heroine played by Natalie Dormer was shown being taken vigorously from behind by one of her 27 lovers. It wasn’t the sex that did it for me but the appalled expression on the face of Girl, who, with perfect timing, had just poked her head round the TV room door to see what the grown-ups were watching. She let out a little yelp of horror — and ran.

Which was rather how I felt during a lot of the sex scenes. ‘Do you think they put in this stuff for us? Or the women?’ I said to the Rat (over on a flying visit from Hong Kong, where he’s doing very nicely as an interior designer, thanks for asking). ‘Oh, the women, definitely. We’re much more Game of Thrones. Straight in there. Tits and arse,’ he replied.

He’s right too. You know where you are with Game of Thrones: pert breasts, heaving buttocks, with sex portrayed as men understand it — as a form of conquest and possession, or a jolly bit of rumpy-pumpy. That’s why you can safely keep your eyes on the screen at all times, unlike with all this female-friendly soft porn such as The Scandalous Lady W or Poldark — or the new Lady Chatterley, by the sounds of it — which just makes you want to hide behind the sofa.

Though Poldark porn — or perhaps it ought to be called Mr Darcy porn, because that scene with Colin Firth was the originator, wasn’t it? — is less visually explicit, it’s actually a lot filthier. As women’s minds are, of course. It’s about white linen shirts, bare male torsos and lush fabrics. Fingers creeping higher and higher up soft legs towards expectant, ahem, thighs. Lips parted in rapture. Terrifying, in-the-head girl-fantasy stuff. Like being forced actually to read Fifty Shades of Grey, which, obviously, any normal man would rather be gang-raped by the Samoan rugby team than ever have to do.

Not that I didn’t enjoy most of Lady W hugely. Natalie Dormer was wonderful, as she invariably is, with that slightly unconventional, almond-eyed beauty and the apparent intelligence and poise enhanced by that sleazy, knowing smile. And the Georgian interiors, exteriors and outfits, as sumptuously shot by director Sheree Folkson, were a visual treat. But I definitely got the impression throughout that I was being sold a relentlessly 21st-century young female version of events, rather than any attempt at objective social history.

Read the rest in the Spectator.