Jon Snow: The Boring Bastard

“What’s wrong with the characters in A Song of Ice and Fire,” you ask?  Well, let’s just take a look.  As for what’s wrong, where do I begin?  Why don’t I start with the fact that they’re all basically the same character?  You can’t really expect any better when an author divides his attention among a thousand of them, which is why you need to limit the number of pivotal characters in a story.  Every character in the story has, at most, a few personality traits to differentiate it from the cookie-cutter template that Martin applies to the lot of them.

I plan on suffering through several more of these character analyses, but I’ll start with the ever-tedious Jon Snow.  No, I’m not talking about Dr. John Snow, the Victorian physician who discovered that drinking polluted water was a bad thing—oh, I only wish!  Jon Snow is, amazingly, one of the least irritating of Martin’s characters.  I shudder to think of analyzing any of the others, but that’s Future Hamish’s problem!
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“The Twelve Kingdoms” Anime Review

I recently decided that, just for the fun of seeing what would happen, I’d randomly decide on an anime I’d never heard of and watch it from start to finish.  Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped.  I mean, I do have quite a lot to say about it, but the show itself wasn’t especially good.
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“The Dragon in the Sock Drawer” Book Review

I read The Dragon in the Sock Drawer by Kate Klimo quite a few years ago, and since then I’ve wanted to tear it apart in a review.  I’ve wondered if this was too easy a target, the author being relatively unknown and the story meant strictly for very young children.  I couldn’t find anything about the books on Wikipedia, and looking up the author’s alleged website simply redirects to the series’ page on the Random House site.  In fact, I would likely have passed it by and reviewed something else were it not for what I learnt from reading it.
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Review of Rankin/Bass’ The Hobbit (1977)

In the first article I ever wrote for this site, I reviewed a 1966 cartoon loosely derived from The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien.  Now, this cartoon was actually calculated to be as faithless an adaptation as possible for use as a tool of blackmail, and this eventually led to the existence of a second attempt to adapt The Hobbit to the screen eleven years later, this time by Rankin/Bass, a studio famous for its holiday specials.  Many of their other works are really good, but they’re really out of their league here.  This, along with two later cartoons, are often considered to make up a sort of half-formed trilogy, and I’ll eventually get around to reviewing the other two.
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Progress on The Hobbit 1977 Review

Happy October to everyone who isn’t reviewing a bloody awful ’70s cartoon!  If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you might have heard that I didn’t get much sleep last night.  This is because the review I’m working on has been the most intense and time-consuming review I’ve written.  To make things worse, a street-lamp turned on outside my window just as I was ready to go to sleep.  I’ve been working almost non-stop on getting the review done as soon as possible so you can read my thoughts on that cartoon.  Luckily, I’ve gotten some better blinds for my window, and I expect I’ll have the article ready sometime in the next week.

In the meantime, please enjoy the highlights of my live-tweeting event…
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On the Heroism of Hobbits

Happy Hobbit Day! In case you weren’t aware, the twenty-second of September is the birthday of both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, and among Tolkien fans it is a time to celebrate Tolkien’s greatness. Although Tolkien’s works are well-known, few are aware of just how great an impact they have had not just on literature but also on western civilization in general.
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Epic Fantasy vs. “Sword and Sorcery”

I’d like to shed some light on a misconception concerning the genres of Epic Fantasy and Sword and Sorcery.  For those who don’t know, the genre of Sword and Sorcery was created primarily by Robert E. Howard and thrived for many years in pulp magazines.  Epic Fantasy, on the other hand, was created by Tolkien with works such as The Hobbit after World War I and The Lord of the Rings after World War II.
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Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Greatest Show of All Time

After I reviewed The Nutshack, one of the worst cartoons of all time, I said I’d talk about a good cartoon in my next review.  There are so many great cartoons that it’s taken me quite a long time to decide which of them I should discuss first.  My first thought was to talk about my favourite cartoon airing today, but reviewing that would require more context than I wanted to give in this article.  Therefore I decided to start by reviewing my favourite cartoon—my favourite show, in fact—of all time!
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