Game of Thrones’ Most Shocking Deaths

By Fraser Nunn (@badknitbear)

As you may have expected, SPOILER ALERT

Hello, Bingewatchers! With Game of Thrones penultimate series making its way to our telly screens, it’s time to look back at the series and its host of iconic moments of character biting the big one. There are a lot of phenomenal deaths, so I’ve narrowed it down to named characters whose deaths were cool, emotional, satisfying or unexpected. 

10: Tywin Lannister

Tywin’s death was not the coolest of deaths, but he managed to make the number 10 spot because he was killed on the bog by his son the dwarf, Tyrion. Tywin’s death was plenty satisfying for the viewer as well. 


9: Walder Frey

Oh, speaking of satisfying deaths – after the events of the Red Wedding, we’ve been waiting for our good pal Walder to get his comeuppances. Thankfully, it finally came at the end of season 6 at the hand of Arya Stark as she uses her time with the many faced God to its full potential, slipping right under the noses of Frey and even Jaime Lannister. Arya feeds Frey a pie made of his own sons before slicing his throat: satisfying. 


8: Red Viper (Oberyn Martell) 

A far more brutal one here, we see a trial by combat between the nimble Oberyn and his adversary, the Goliath ‘The Mountain’ (Gregor Clegane). Clegane squashes his much more minute opponent, pushing his thumbs into his eyes and caving in his skull though not before Martell lands a good few hefty hits to the Mountain with his poison blade, getting vengeance for his sister who was raped and murdered by Clegane. 


7: Viserys Targaryen

The brother of Daenerys, mother of Dragons, Viserys sold his sister to the Dothraki back in Season 1 with justice brought swiftly as he is ‘paid’ with the crown he was promised. Khal Drogo is more than happy to pay this price – a golden crown as was promised though, unfortunately for this Targaryen Prince, still molten. 

6: Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun 

Season 6 episode “The Battle of the Bastards” had a pretty apt title considering it has the best fight of the series. It also has some of the best deaths which includes the emotional end of the Giants. Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun is the last remaining giant and he sacrificed himself for Jon Snow, bursting down the door to Winterfell only to be shot down by Ramsay Bolton.

5: The Red Wedding

This is maybe a bit of a cheat answer because so many died at this well named wedding, but we see at least 3 named primary characters being slaughtered, including the young wolf Robb Stark, his mother Catelyn, his wife and unborn child (Eddard) and his Wolf – the Starks faced a real battering here. The attack, orchestrated by Walder Frey (this is why we’re glad he bit the bullet in season 6) saw Robb gutted at the hands of Roose Bolton and Catelyn’s throat slit in a heartbreaking scene at an event intended to be a celebration. 

4: Shireen Baratheon

Gosh, talk about heartbreaking. In a scene that’s honestly damn hard to watch, Shireen Baratheon, the young girl saved from a stony demise from Greyscale at a young age, and only child of Stannis Baratheon, is sacrificed to the Lord of Light. Man, screw the Lord of Light taking away the girl that taught Ser Davos to read. Melisande assures Stannis that sacrifice will save his troops as they march on the Boltons. But for fuck sake, the little girl we’ve all grown to love is burnt at the stake and it does nothing for the Baratheon troops or Papa Stannis – devastating.

3. Hodor

A fan favourite is our Hodor, recently spoofed in a KFC advert, his death is used to explain how he can only say one word Hodor. Young Bran Wargs (honestly, don’t ask me to explain what that means) is in a moment in Hodor’s past (seriously don’t ask me to explain) while simultaneously in the present Wights attack. Bran warns Hodor in the past to “Hold the Door” and we see the phrase morph into the characters Catchphrase “Hodor” while he holds back the Wights. Briefly. A seriously intense moment.

2: Jon Snow

Labelled a traitor by the men of the Night’s Watch whom he commands, Jon is lured to a sign in Castle Black that says traitor and is stabbed a good few times while his former people chant “for the watch”. Little did they know, our boy Jon is a potential candidate for the Azor Ahai and is resurrected shortly after (so like, I’m not entirely sure this counts). Regardless, it’s an emotional, unexpected death. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6DmWeJtKKs

Booby Prize: 

Before I get on to the best death in the series it’s hard not to mention one of the worst, Khal Drogo. One of the Biggest guys in the series, taken out by a pillow. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely extenuating circumstances here but it’s a little funny. 

1: Ramsay Bolton

Finally we’re at the number 1 choice, and it’s another Season 6 belter. Bastard Ramsay Snow, who was granted his father’s name shortly before murdering him. The man who raped and beat his wife Sansa, the man who killed Rickon Stark, the man who maimed Throne Greyjoy. The most satisfying death of the series so far, we see Ramsay torn apart by his own dogs who he swears are loyal to him. But how loyal can a starving dog be? Sansa watches as Ramsay sees justice.

So folks, are we ready for the next series? Anyone you think is getting ready to bite it this series? Feel free to let me know on Twitter @badknitbeard or in the comments below. 


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Film Review: Baby Driver – Edgar Wright’s Best Film Yet?

By Fraser Nunn (@badknitbear)

Have you seen Baby Driver yet?

If not, go see it. If you have, go see it again. I don’t want to do that review thing where you say how good a film is and it kinda swells the anticipation and your heart beats faster at the thought of going to see the film and then you get in there and you have such a massive idea of what the films going to be that you’re left with the cinematic equivalent to blue balls.

What I do want to do is just express to you all how damn exciting it was to see this film in the cinema. For years my top five films have been secured by 80’s Classics and 90’s brilliance but that has been well and truly invaded by Edgar Wright’s instant Classic Baby Driver. The film is essentially about this young guy called Baby. Yes, B-a-b-y, Baby. He gets in bed (not literally) with Kevin Spacey’s character Doc and winds up as his go to Getaway driver. From then on, the film follows this quiet kid around his life as a getaway driver and his home life as he tried to break free from his mundane job… as a getaway driver for a major crime boss.

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Past the basic stuff now, the film has one of the best opening scenes of any film ever (I may have said the same thing about Guardians of the Galaxy vol2 but trust me this time). It’s amazing, taking a massive amount of influence from Edgar Wright’s 2003 Music Video for Mint Royale (this video was the birth of the script for Baby Driver) with the crew heading into the bank to start the heist and Baby showing the world how to rock a lipsync in the car and not look obnoxious AF. Bellbottoms blasting, we are left out of the action, focussed on Baby and what he’s seeing and it’s honestly just perfect – every beat is so well timed I had actual shivers.

This theme continues throughout the film: the music was Wright’s primary asset in Baby Driver, and there are countless scenes in which the music matches the scene perfectly but it’s so much more than a backing up tune. We’re hearing what the characters hear and we’re experiencing everything along side Baby. We hear his emotions played out in song form, we hear his joy, his anger, his fear and frustration and we hear his confidence. Baby is well written and complex and the music tells us this story.

The Harlem Shuffle walk, in which Baby is picking up coffee post heist, shows just how much Wright can do with really basic scenes, keep an eye on the grafitti in the background of this scene and admire the timing and the choreography, it’s truly stunning and it’s not the only one. The film is full of beautiful cars, and beautiful driving sequences and chase scenes, yet one of the best chase scenes comes when Baby is on the run on foot practically dancing as he goes, easily becoming one of the film’s strongest scenes.

It’s no surprise that after all this rambling that I’ll say this – Baby Driver is one of the best films I’ve seen in quite some time. Its sublime editing, writing and direction, all thanks to Mr Edgar Wright, helps to solidify itself as one of the year’s finest flicks and makes it another strong addition to the British marvel’s filmography. Only time will tell if it can really take the title of “best film yet” but with a phenomenal soundtrack, Wright’s trademark aesthetic and the aforementioned writing, you’re doing yourself a disservice by not seeing this film – let Edgar Wright and Baby take you on a wild ride.

10/10


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Is Baywatch (2017) Really That Bad?

By Fraser Nunn (@badknitbear)

Baywatch. It’s one of those Nostalgia bait movies that Hollywood keeps spewing out. If only they did it justice. With a few in jokes and cameos to keep a vague sense of connection, there’s little else.

There are a few good reasons to watch Baywatch and a few good reasons not to! If you walk in to the cinema looking for boobs and butts and muscles galore well then you’ve found your film.  10/10. Must see. Honestly the first 120 or so minutes, (it might be shorter but time kinda slowed down) were just gratuitous shots of Zac Efron and The Rock’s bouncing pectorals. (I know his name is Dwayne Johnson but I’m going to call him The Rock because it’s still real to me damnit!)

I went in to the film with this looming sense of fear that I would have to slate one of my greatest childhood heroes and I think that this mentality probably saved the film for me. It’s by no means a film to take seriously. One standout feature of the film that should draw in a good few punters is the barrage of names that The Rock’s Mitch Buchanan throws at Efron’s character Wonderboy, Matt Brody. This also throws out one of the best jokes in the film, a sly 4th inside joke for the audience digging into Zac’s High School Musical beginnings.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a few good jokes throughout and the general feeling of the film was pretty positive. The story made sense, and gave decent character development, but let’s me serious, you didn’t go to see Baywatch expecting an emotional performance by Zac Efron or Dwayne Johnson. The films spends an elongated amount of time on one severely stretched out joke: a penis joke. Honestly, it just becomes uncomfortable. I get that stretching a joke out can sometimes make it funnier, but there are also times when it definitely kills the joke, and this is probably one of those times.

One of the vague standouts of the film was the comic relief (honestly you know they’re really struggling when a film billed as an action comedy has a comic relief character). Played by Jon Bass, he’s wacky and kinda funny and he pulls off the over the top character he’s playing and it does work in this situation. As for the over the top action sequences, they’re a bit shaky and wobbly and not great. But honestly I can’t tar the whole film with the same brush because although the end was bizarre and WAAAAAAAY over the top, The Rock has a damn fine fight scene in a kids bedroom which also provides two more of the best jokes in the film.

As a whole the film works as a stupid daft nonsense film you go see when there’s nothing else on and you fancy throwing away some cash. Or as a movie you throw on in the background when you fancy a ‘quiet night in’. From Baywatch I’ve learned that I want more Rock-Efron bromance/frenemies movies. They work as a duo and they bounce off eachother well. But with an underutilized group of secondary characters, and over the top attempts at action and comedy it’s hard to see this film as anything better than average.

5/10


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TV REVIEW: Master of None – Season 2

By Fraser Nunn (@badknitbear)

Allora! Turns out it just means ‘well’ but I can’t help but agree with our main man Dev Shah: it’s a pretty word.

Master of None seemed to catch everyone by surprise, Aziz Ansari previously being primarily seen as the pain in the ass Tom Haverford in Parks and Recreation. I think a lot of us expected something more akin to his Parks and Rec role for Master of None season one but his performance as Dev Shah surprised us by being an incredibly deep ‘little bud’ that is full of life, energy and love.  If anyone watched the first series without wanting to hug him every time he smiled then I would argue that they don’t deserve Netflix. Now that the show has returned for a second season, let’s venture into this series full of wit, heart and, most importantly, pasta.

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Dev spends the early parts of the second series getting over his break-up with Rachel, and it’s evidently a pretty pivotal theme of the early half of the series: Dev spends a lot of quality alone time (not the bathroom kind), eventually meeting and gaining the phone number of a very nice British lady and then immediately losing said number to a thief. The black and white of this episode in the setting of Moderna, (vaguely ironic I suppose) makes the episode absolutely stunning and there’s something about riding a little bike around Italy and making pasta in black and white that just makes me want to be Dev.
We also see Dev dining on more pasta alone, and with his big bud, the lovable Arnold. Arnie teaches him how to say “hi cutie” to some ‘hi cuties’ and Dev takes this as an excuse to send a little ‘hi cutie’ flirtatious Gif to Rachel.  We get some obligatory pasta scenes in “Osteria Francescana”, one of the world’s best restaurants and honestly you can try not to salivate over it but that scene is amazing.  Arnie also has some ulterior motives in regards to his own lost loves which Dev has to talk him down from with the help of some tasty melon and a scooter trip. It gives Arnold some serious scenes which he sells incredibly well but it maintains its comic brilliance behind it so that no one sinks into some terrible depression over any lost loves in their own lives.

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“La Nozze” allows Arnie to bring our little Dev back to the Big Apple and back to his friends and family and new gig, hosting ‘Clash of the Cupcakes’. When back in New York, Dev has a difficult situation to face with his parents: they ask him to lie to his super religious relatives about his dedication to his faith and of course Dev obliges but feels off, he is eventually persuaded to tell the truth after a chance encounter with Denise when Dev and his Cousin skip Eid prayer to go to a Barbecue and eat Hella pork with a wide set bearded man. Obviously, this causes friction between Dev and his parents who ,I’ve got to say, I thoroughly enjoy watching on screen. Dev’s Dad Ramesh seems to quickly resolve everything by letting Dev know that he can do what he wants, eat pork, “smoke Mary Jane” but doing these things infront of his mum is not cool and “it hurts her feelings”. Soon after Dev and his mum reconcile and it just manages to be another amazing episode in the series and is probably one of my favourites of the second season.

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The season continues, as does the theme of break ups, seeing Dev start to delve into the terrifying and daunting world of online dating. It’s immediately clear that they’re tackling both the ease of access of the new online dating community as well as the idea of over dating: you can see Dev meets a total mix of people from friends he already knew, new friends he thought he had a chance with and the racist he goes home with. This episode lets us see into the world of moving on and Dev stares down rejection and girls he has no interest in, and through that we see some hilarious interactions and truly awkward moments and a totally new side to Dev and the way it’s cut makes each First Date work so well together.

We start to see a bit of a shift in the direction of the series when Dev’s lovely Italian friend comes over from Moderna. Francesca and Pino take a trip to New York, while Dev weighs up his happiness at “Clash of The Cupcakes” as we see him growing more and more unenthusiastic about his “uninspiring” role. Dev and Francesca visit a musuem together and start to catch up while Pino has to work. This is the first time we see Dev start to mix his work and personal life, as he meets up with producer and celebrity Chef Jeff who invites him and a guest to a dinner party. Dev weighs up who to take, contemplating one of the girls from the previous episode, but after 2 dates the conversation has gone flat (not sparkling) so instead he takes Francesca and immediately we see the flicker of excitement as something starts to brew beneath the surface. This episode is probably one that doesn’t have as much magic as the rest of the Series but Dev’s interactions are amazing, and there’s no doubt romance is in the air as soon as the John Legend cameos behind a grand piano.

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It’s not often you see a series step away from its main character and focus on the people they pass on the street. Master of None manages this beautifully as we meet a barrage of New Yorkers as they go about their daily lives. We meet Eddie the doorman, the loveliest doorman in New York, a man who does everything he can for those who inhabit his building. He attempts to medicate a parakeet on incredibly vague instruction, and is taken advantage of by a horny Mr Strickland and his mistress. When caught, Strickland lets out a tyrade against the poor doorman, who ain’t taking none of it. Honestly this segment is excellent, a primarily ignored doorman becomes the sole focus and it sits so well, it’s easy to love Eddie and it’s just as easy to love Maya, the store clerk who is having a little trouble in the bedroom department.

Maya is deaf and it makes for one of the most interesting scenes in the series, with no sound and all interactions in subtitled American sign language, it’s easy for the characters to think they have privacy, and their topic of conversation provides one of the funniest scenes of the show so far.

The transitions were amazing and we’re led seamlessly into meeting Samuel the taxi driver who lives in a cramped little apartment with his roommates. They save up their cash to head out for a night on the town and get turned away from the nightclub they’re hoping for, eventually being persuaded into a shady little bar blasting ‘vengaboys’. The boys leave and meet a group of girls and they get to partying in a closed burger shop! Once again, it’s just an incredible sequence which manages to create a sense of belonging for these characters who are simply passersby in the life of Dev as they all venture to the Cinema.

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Vaguely reminiscent of the episode dedicated to parents in season one, we have door 3. Dev grows increasingly exasperated by his job hosting Clash of the Cupcakes, leading him to seek wisdom from papa Ramesh (the best part of any episode). Dev’s story is not the sole focus here as well, as we see Dev’s good friend Brian and his dad, who has just started dating again. Caught between two woman, who each have a trait Brian’s dad can’t resist. Honestly, the interactions between both father and son parties makes this episode amazing, incredibly funny and one warning to anyone who visits Dr Ramesh Shah’s practice, don’t touch his trinkets. Dev’s story leads to him having the opportunity to pitch a new show idea to Chef Jeff, which he takes to immediately but Dev’s mind is elsewhere with the news of Francesca and Pino’s engagement. 

It’s not often that you get two absolute belters from a show but that’s exactly what Master of None consistently offers, especially when after ‘New York, I love you’ we are gifted the absolute peach that is Dev’s Thanksgiving traditions. The episode is primarily flashbacks seeing the growth of his friendship with Denise or apparently… DD. It shows Dev’s relationship with Denise’s family and how welcomed he is as part of the family. We see how Denise’s mum and her aunt take to the relationships she has, their reactions to her coming out as a lesbian and her partners. Denise’s mum struggles with the idea at the time but Denise knew from a young age and shared the information with Dev. Thanksgiving gives the opportunity for Denise to introduce her partners to her family and some go down better than others (nipplesandtoes23. Not nipples&toes23. Nipplesandtoes23). But this episode is riddled with poignant emotional moments that are full of love and humour and seeing Dev in this kind of family shows how tight he is with his friends, and how much love he has for them.

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By this point we somehow find ourselves at the last few episodes of the season and the only problem so far has been “how did we get to the end already”. It’s one of those whirlwind series that disappear before your very eyes. It maintains focus and it feels like the main story is simply a side plot for the simple reason that it is a side plot. Dev’s life is the main story, and the Best Food Friends storyline and the Francesca storyline slide in to be a massive part of his life. I don’t actually want to ruin any of this for anyone who’s still to catch the last few episodes. The rest of the series is one of those series where nothing major happens and nothing really exists as a spoiler but the last two episodes are what everything has been leading up to and none of it disappoints!

The series as a whole is full of warmth: it’s beautiful, poignant and smart. It’s witty and has a sense of normalcy about it. There’s no extravagance, no bells or whistles, just a lot of love in the life of everyone’s little bud, Dev. Give it a go if you like understated, if you like colourful, if you like character based humour or if you like dramady: in short, just give it a go.


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