Dragonstone – A Review/Commentary [Spoilers]

First of all, this post will contain unrestrained SPOILER for Game of Thrones, certainly the first episode of Season 7, but also for other seasons, and the books.

This is going to be a blend of commentary and review, going over my reactions, both positive and negative to Dragonstone, the first episode of Game of Thrones Season 7.

So, without further ado…

I had actually forgotten that they do this cold-opening teaser thing before the opening titles of the first episode of a season, recreating the Prologues that each of the books has.  It’s a nice touch.

I’ll admit, I was fooled at the beginning. Sure, I remember that Walder Frey was dead, but my first thought was that this was some kind of flashback. My warning alarms went off when he signaled the wine to go around, everything about the whole situation just screamed: “I’m getting rid of my underlings.”

And that’s the thing: Walder would certainly be capable of killing off his men like that if he felt it benefitted him.  It wasn’t until the line “Slaughtered your guests after inviting them into your home,” that I gasped and realized it was Arya.

Her lines and the whole scene after removing Walder’s face was just perfect.  Such a great opening scene for a season.

The opening titles are beautiful, as always.  It brought joy to my Northerner’s heart to see the Stark Direwolf back in its proper place in Winterfell, and the addition of Oldtown was very cool.

Okay, yes, a vision of the coming undead army, very creepy, moving on.

Bran comes to Castle Black.  A neat scene, but I have issues with the general direction they’ve taken Bran’s storyline in, and how it deviates from the books, so it’s hard to be excited about this.

Nice to see Jon fitting into his role as King in the North. One of the things I’ve always liked about Jon, particularly in the books, is his keen and straightforward strategic and logistical mind. He understands what needs to be done, and he presents it straightforwardly.

Once again Lyanna Mormont stands up and kicks way more ass than her tiny frame has any business kicking.  What an awesome character. What an awesome character.

If Jon is going to have Sansa up there in the front with him, and with leave to speak in council, the two of them really need to hash out policy ahead of time. It does no good for one’s vassals to see their King and his sister arguing over how to reward loyalty and punish treachery. Yesh, guys.

The mood in that room could have turned ugly, and was going that direction until Jon called up the Umber and Karstark heirs and has them renew their Oaths.  It was a relief to see the obvious approval in the Lords who had been grumbling just a moment ago.

Nice scene of two people who’ve been through their own Hells comparing notes on how to proceed from here.

Nice commentary about Cersei’s ruthlessness.

Speak of the Devil…

Cersei seems not quite a crazy in the show as she became in the books. She just seems… naive maybe, rather than the full-on delusional that I’m used to thinking of her as.

One of the things that had previously occurred to me is that while they may have “won” the War of the Five Kings, the Lannisters actually aren’t in that great a position. Their army was getting soundly beaten by Robb Stark, and they haven’t really had much success in other theaters of war.  They’ve been whittled down, bit by bit, until now- as Jaime points out, they are surrounded on all sides by their enemies.

So, the Greyjoys. Um, no? Honestly, this development doesn’t make much sense to me.  First of all, with a fleet that large off the coast of King’s Landing, why didn’t they just sack the place? I think they vastly outnumber the local crown/Lannister forces, and then they could use the tactics that they’re good at against the coming Targaryen forces, rather than forming a traditional alliance.

And why isn’t this Euron blind in one eye? The Crow’s Eye is a fun character, I love hating him, but we get this wanker instead? He just feels a bit flat to me, in spite of all his attempts at character.

It’s interesting to redirect Euron’s desires to marry Daenerys from the books to Cersei in the show.

So, what about this gift? Tyrion? Makes sense, but how does Euron get to Tyrion? That blasted horn from the books that supposedly let you control dragons? Maybe.

The Citadel.  This is a cool sequence, I love the lighting gadgets, with the mirrors and lenses, very cool.

Okay, yes, it sucks to be an initiate at the Citadel.

I’ll admit to being more than a little disappointed at their choice not to adopt the masks of the Archmaesters, or the specific character of Archmaester Marwyn- though since I googled him to check the spelling of his name, I find that the Archmaester that Sam talks with IS supposed to be Marwyn.  But… but… the glass candle… the occult specialty… the taking sam seriously from the get-go… the realizing that earth-shattering things are afoot… no? We don’t really get any of that, huh? Darn.

I dunno… the book stealing feel a bit cliched to me.

The practice yard, the gathering place of awesome supporting characters.

And Sansa just shuts Littlefinger down.  I approve!

Okay, I had seen people on the internet bitching about the Ed Sheeran cameo, but I am so out of touch with modern music that if I hadn’t seen screen caps accompanying said bitching, I wouldn’t have had any idea who he was.  So I take the scene for what it is

So I take the scene for what it is, and what I think it is is a beautiful scene where Arya learns that not all Lannister soldiers are bloodthirsty monsters.  It’s an important thing for her to learn, and I’m interested to see what impact it has on her development.

The Hound does such a good job that the Brotherhood comes off as his entourage more than anything else.

Still, it’s interesting to see that hanging out with two Stark girls has been to enhance the development of the Hound’s conscience.

Though I will say that the Hound fire-gazing is a bit of a weird development.

I can’t be the only one who’s noticed that the knife that Sam sees an illustration of in this book is the knife that was used to try to kill Bran.

Okay, “mountain” of obsidian under Dragonstone.  That’s neat and makes some sense.

Oh, hi Jorah.  Comfy?

Okay, so Daeny leading this fleet of ships looks badass.  No doubts there.

But here’s my question: why is Dragonstone abandoned?

In the books, Stannis left behind a garrison force, and the Lannisters have been trying to siege it without much success (and in fact, Sir Loras Tyrell is severely wounded in the attempt).

If Stannis left it completely abandoned as we’ve been told earlier in this episode, why didn’t the Lannisters just send a detachment to hold it? Or they Greyjoys when they were there? Jaime tells Cersei that Daenerys will most likely land there, and it seems like they’ve had plenty of time to gets some men there to make that inconvenient.

Nope, apparently, she just gets to walk in and take over. Because manning an incredibly defensible fortress with, from what we can see, one narrow causeway for an access point- instead of just letting invaders take it over- is outside the grasp of both Cersei and Jaime’s strategic minds.

I’m calling foul on just how easy that was.

All in all, I think this season, even more than the last one, shows signs that they’re not longer adapting Martin’s material, and making it up as they go along.  As twisted and indirect as Martin’s plot threads may be, they always feel to flow naturally to me. This, on the other hand, sometimes feels forced and awkward.

That said, though, it was still a very enjoyable show, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.

CJPSR

In-Store Play: 7th Sea

Tramp’s announces its latest in-store play opportunity, the tabletop rpg 7th Sea!

7th Sea is a game of cinematic adventure in the vein of The Princess Bride, Pirates of the Caribbean, Zorro, and the Three Musketeers.  The second edition has added new and exciting elements reminiscent of The Witcher, and other darker stories.

Step into Theah, a world much like the Europe of the 1700’s, but where magic is an almost everyday part of life, and strange supernatural entities stalk the wild places.

A robust character creation system allows you to play a skilled duelist, a sharpshooter, a courtier, a sorcerer wielding strange powers, or many other options!

Christopher Roberts will be your Game Master in one of the following stories (decided by expressed interest below):

  • With a Faerie, Hand in Hand
    • A warning from a representative of the Sidhe sets the heroes on a path to unravel a mystery from the queen’s past and uncover a plot that can change Avalon’s future.
  • Truth and its Consequences
    • An opportunity to shake the tyrannical power of the Inquisition, making all of the Theah safer for sorcerers and scientists alike.
  • Doors of Blood
    • A death at a noble’s party leaves only one clue, a sorcerous portal left open by the body.  Can the heroes uncover the identity of the killer, discover their motivations, and prevent them from killing again?
  • The State of Vendel
    • New ways and old ways life side by side in Vendel- or do they?  Is the success of the Vendel League built hard work alone?  And why did the old rune magic fall out of use?
  • Blood Will Tell
    • A high-ranked noble is seeking to confirm or deny rumours about a rival.  What will the heroes find they begin to dig into the goings on of her castle?
  • Thunderbolt and Lightning
    • A small village has been completely obliterated by a storm that many have concluded to be unnatural.  If it was a sorcerer, why have those that police them not taken action?  And why did it happen?
  • The Rites of Spring
    • The mysterious General Winter seeks to freeze all of the world in endless ice.  A noble is suspected of aiding him, but this must be confirmed before anything can be done.
  • Twist and Bend
    • A prophecy points to a link between fate magic, and ancient artifacts that predate humanity.  But what seems like a largely academic mystery turns deadly.
  • A Tale of Two Pirates
    • Murder, myth, and mystery combine as two of the deadliest threats the sea has ever known come together- but will it be as foes, or allies?

 

If you’d like to play a part in one or more of these stories, comment below, or contact Tramp’s via facebook, phone, or e-mail.  Register by leaving your name, and no more than two story titles you’d like to play.  Registration is limited to six spots.

Games will Saturday mornings, from 10:00 – 12:00, starting June 3rd.

Character sheets, dice, and all supplies will be provided.

Come, explore the land of Theah at Tramp’s!

Learn more about 7th Sea here and here.

logo

New Fiction From Staff

Hi there, everyone.

In the past, I’ve posted some of my fiction works here on the Tramp’s blog, for example Recruiting, part 1.  I’ve gotten good feedback on it, as well as on the articles I’ve written for the store (which is most of them), so I’ve decided to try my hand at something new.

I now have a Patreon page.

Patreon is a platform that allows an artist, like a writer, to be directly funded by their audience.

So, if you’ve enjoyed my writing, please have a look here at my page.  Have a look at the free samples that are available, like this one.

Thank you for your time.

-Christopher J.P.S. Roberts

Aether Revolt Special Prizes

Are you interested in a prerelease, but the cold makes you want to stay home?

Do you need just that little extra bit of incentive to come out?

Well, perhaps this is it.

You may be familiar with the Kaladesh airships that have graced our store for the past few months, and if you’re not…


There’s the crowning glory as an example. 

Well, we’re giving players the opportunity to take one of these beauties home.

Come in first at our Midnight event tonight, and you get to take your choice of either of the big ships.  2nd, 3rd, and 4th place get their choice of the smaller ships.

Saturday’s event will see the remaining ship go to first place, and the 2 remaining small ships go to 2nd and 3rd.

Hope to see you there!

Gallery of all ships:







Aether Revolt Planeswalker Decks

This weekend will put Aether Revolt products into players’ hands for the first time, so we here at Tramp’s thought we’d take this time to introduce you to some of them.

If you’ve taken some time away from Magic, you might be a little confused.  “Where are the Theme decks?” you might ask.  Well, you won’t find them anymore; they’ve been replaced by Planeswalker decks.

Now, just in case there’s any cynicism at play here, I will assure you that, yes, these decks have actual Planeswalkers in them.

Observe:

20170112_105336

There’s Ajani and Tezzeret, large and life, and plain for all to see.  Want to pick up some Planeswalkers?  This is the easiest way to do it.

Apart from these cards, however, you’re also receiving a full 60-card, Standard legal deck, making it the ideal way to get your feet wet with the set, and give yourself a deck or two worth of instant playability.

Doesn’t sound like there’s much draw for more experienced players?  Well, then these two features might change your mind: each deck also comes packed with two boosters of Aether Revolt, as well as four exclusive cards.

That’s right, these decks come packed with cards you cannot get anywhere else.  Green/White Ajani can call on with Ajani’s Aid, Ajani’s Comrade, Inspiring Roar, and Tranquil Expanse; while Black/Blue Tezzeret comes packed with Tezzeret’s Betrayal, Tezzeret’s Simulacrum, Pendulum of Patterns, and Submerged Boneyard.

“Okay,” you might be saying, “That does sound pretty good.  But this weekend is ony the prerelese- these won’t be available.”  Well, that’s just not so!

All through the prerelease weekend, these decks will be available for purchase at regular price; $18.  Considering the two included boosters, that’s a pretty cheap deck!

Come to Tramp’s this weekend, and put these Planeswalkers and their spells at your command!

Aether Revolt Prerelease

It’s that time again, Magic fans; Prerelease time!

The following will be our schedule of events this weekend:

Midnight, Friday night – Saturday Morning

This event to be determined.
Want there to be a midnight event?  Contact us- register through comment below, or contact the store.

Saturday the 14th

Registration at 11:00, tournament begins at 11:30

All through the weekend, starter decks will also be available for purchase.

Happy weekend, everyone!

d20 Sale!

Tramp’s is celebrating the new year with the return of our most popular sale!

Until the end of January, come in to Tramp’s, and take your destiny (and money) in your own hands!

While we always try to keep our prices competitive, sometimes they can still be roaring beasts that loom over the joy and fun our products might bring you.  So, what do you do when facing such beasts?  Take your faithful d20 in hand, and make an attack roll!

But there’s no THAC0 here, no armor classes- only success!

Whatever you roll will become a percentage taken off of your total.  Roll up a 5, that’s 5% off.  A 17 becomes 17% off!  It’s as simple as that!

But it doesn’t quite stop there.  Land yourself the ever coveted 20, and not only will you receive a 20% discount on your purchase, your name will also be entered into a draw for one of our exciting prize packs!

What’s in them, you ask?  The first will be unveiled on Monday!

2016 was rough on a lot of people.  Let’s start 2017 with an attack roll to the face!