But to get you guys just that little bit more excited, here is another sample chapter from that book! This is what will be chapter 2 in the novel.
Preparation for the release of Amanda Moonstone: The Darkbane Sorceress is moving along now! Won't be long till the book is released!
But to get you guys just that little bit more excited, here is another sample chapter from that book! This is what will be chapter 2 in the novel.
More updates to come soon. Enjoy reading!
Wow! Two updates from me in the same week! That has to be a new record for me! XD
Still I wouldn't be posting this if it wasn't of super-special-awesome importance!
My artist, Kirsten Moody, has recently just turned over a sketch of what will be the front cover for Amanda Moonstone: The Missing Prince - and whilst it IS only a sketch, I really like what she has done here! Check it out for yourselves!
This is both the front and back cover of the book (right side and left side respectably). The front cover features the villains of the piece. Saevitia Darkbane sits on her throne looking all kinds of evil. To her right is Vladrac The Butcher General, the most notorious of assassins - note the large number of weapons stuck in his back! To Saevitia's left is Zephyr, the greatest assassin of the Singing Screams. She may also have ties to one of the heroes in this story...
Speaking of heroes, to the right we see Amanda, Wilfred and Luthar meeting up with a mysterious shadori. Who is he? Why are they looking for him? And will he ultimately be able to help them?
The finished cover should be finished this week and I'll have an update for you guys then. In the meantime, let me know what you think!
More updates to come. Until then, peace out!
Wow, I haven't posted a blog update in ages! Sorry about that guys. I've been hard at work with writing based things!
Hopefully it has paid off because very soon, I will be releasing the second Amanda Moonstone novel, The Darkbane Sorceress. Hope you guys are as excited about this one as I am - it's turning out to be one of the darkest books I've ever written. In a good way of course!
I've been busy editing my work and I'm pleased to show you a sample chapter from it! Some of you may remember this chapter from the end of The Missing Prince, but with one or two changes to it! You can read it on my website now - link is below!
Let me know what you guys think! More info is to come over the next couple of weeks. The novel will be released end of September (still yet to set a date). And hopefully, all being well, there may be another novel in the pipeline. I'm saying nothing XD.
Peace out for the time being! Keep writing, reading or whatever you like to do. Hey, I like that, that should become my new catchphrase!
WARNING: Spoilers and results of matches ahead!!!
So I already did a review for Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania this year, and since we're here at Summerslam, I decided to review that.
It's been a turbulent few months for WWE since Wrestlemania. Amongst other things, we've seen Jinder Mahal rushed to the top to become WWE Champion (though to his credit, he IS doing a good job at being a bad guy), Shinsuke Nakamura made his debut in WWE and he has been immensely entertaining, Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman have been crushing each other and burying the other in ambulances, the first ever women's Money in the Bank was won – by a man (damn you Elsworth!) and we've also learned that Jason Jordan is Kurt Angle's son... sigh.
Oh and Enzo and Big Cass broke up – but no one cares about that.
So anyway, Summerslam was set to be a stonker with some big matches. Sadly I didn't get to stay up late to watch this one this time, but caught up with it on the Network, hence why this review is so late. So let's dig in and see if this lived up to the hype.
I didn't see the pre-show, but the results for the matches were as follows. The Miztourage beat the Hardy Boyz and Jason Jordan. Neville defeated Akira Tozawa to get his championship back (really, so soon?) and The Usos defeated The New Day (guess they didn't feel the power!)
So up first we had Baron Corbin against John Cena. Considering Cena cost Corbin his Money in the Bank contract against Jinder Mahal, I would have thought that Corbin would tear into Cena. Unfortunately, this was pretty much like every other Cena match – Cena wins for a bit, he gets beaten up, then powers through to victory. Disappointing; and it seems that Corbin's once great momentum has screeched to a halt. Maybe the rumours about Management being upset with him are true.
We then had the Smackdown Women's Championship against Natalya and Naomi. Like many, I though Naomi would win and Carmella cash in her Money in the Bank contract – but imagine my surprise when Natalya won the match. Cleanly as well! It was pretty solid with some savage moments – and Naomi's look of devastation as Natalya threw her victory in her face was kinda sad. One has to wonder when Carmella will come through with thatMoney in the Bank contract though.
The next match was Big Cass against the Big Show with Enzo Amore suspended in a shark cage. Prior to the match, Enzo did another one of his promos and... I'm just gonna say it, Enzo is REALLY pissing me off right now! His promos go absolutely nowhere and he just seems to spout random BS. Plus, he's been seen as really weak in his rivalry with Big Cass, who pretty much just curb stomps him everytime he fights.
Anyway, onto the match and boy was it GODAWFUL!!! Between the slow pace and Enzo not shutting the **** up, the crowd were less than impressed, even chanting “Boring”. There was one moment when Enzo tried to escape the cage, only to be knocked out by Cass. Thanks for coming, Enzo. Seriously, this match was a contender for “Worst PPV Match of the Year”. It almost made the Bayley VS Alexia Bliss Kendo on a Stick match look good!
Still, at least I can call it a match – which is more than can be said for the Rusev VS Randy Orton encounter. It starts off promising, with Rusev beating the **** out of Randy before the match starts. But as soon as the bell rings, Randy does an RKO and ends the match. And this was on the main show why?
Our second Women's title match included my girl Alexia Bliss against Sasha Banks. Personally I would have prefered Nia Jax in this match – but hey ho. The match itself was decent, and for a moment it looks like Bliss might just have the edge on Banks. But a Bank Statement ends the match kinda prematurely for my liking, feels like it could have gone on longer. I'm disappointed Bliss lost, but the girls gave it their all so I can't be too upset.
The next match was one I was looking forward too – Bray Wyatt verses the Demon King Finn Balor. Boy have I missed this! We haven't seen the Demon King in action for over a year and he didn't disappoint. His entrance was kinda like he was trying to “out creep” Wyatt and it seemed to work. The match itself was, somewhat upsettingly, not as intense as it could have been, but it was by no means a bad match. And the Demon came out on top. It was a match for the gimmick fans. Hopefully they'll have more of the Demon King in future events.
Now for a match that had everyone stoked. Seamus and Cesaro VS the newly re-formed Shield, mimus Roman. Ambrose and Rollins had their differences leading up to the match, and one had to wonder if past tensions would interfere. In all seriousness, this match was one of the most exciting I've seen. It went back and forth, with Cesaro and Seamus doing everything to keep the two apart and singling out one at a time. Many a time we thought it was gonna be a victory for the champions – but in true underdog spirit Ambrose and Rollins came back to win and become the new champions. What made this even more special is that the crowd felt like they earned it after all the crap their opponents put them through. A real feelgood moment and probably the first really good match of the night.
Oh and Cesaro destroyed a beach ball that was being tossed around in the crowd. Can't say I blame him, I'd be pissed off if fans did that if I was working my nuts off to entertain them or not. Not sure if it was real or a work, but it was pretty funny nonetheless.
Another match I was looking forward to was AJ Style VS Kevin Owens. These two have had some of the best matches I've seen this year – I actually think it's impossible for these two to have a bad match. Maybe a day will come when they do have a bad match – but it was not tonight! With Shane McMahon as the special guest referee, one had to wonder if he would end up screwing AJ or Owens over. But to his credit, he called it down the middle as AJ and Owens laid into each other. There were moments when it looked like it was going to shift one way – and even had a moment where Owens would get a cheap win when Shane counted to three when AJ's foot was on the ropes – only to notice his mistake. It was physical, intense and damn exciting. AJ won in the end, but it could have gone either way.
This next match SHOULD have been awesome – Jinder Mahal and Shinsuke Nakamura for the WWE title. It had ALL the makings of a great match, despite not being pushed as much as it could have done. Hell, they barely even met each other before this event. But the end just pissed me right off!!!
It started off great, with Shinsuke coming down with Lee England Jr to play his entrance theme. And the match itself was ok up until the Singh brothers got involved. Shinsuke knocked them out, but then Jinder hit him with the Khallas to win the match in sloppy form, much to the horror of people in the crowd. This wouldn't be so bad – if this wasn't how Jinder won EVERY SINGLE MATCH!!! I get it, he's a heel and they need to use dirty tricks to win, but come on! Doing the same thing every time isn't fun! What's more, it's uninventive. If Shinsuke had just kicked out of this and then Jinder won another way it would be fine – but as it happened this was just crap! Poor show, WWE. Poor show!
With that bad taste in my mouth, we moved onto the Fatal-4-Way for the Universal title, featuring Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, Samoa Joe and Brock Lesnar. HOLY ****ING **** THIS MATCH WAS AWESOME!!! It was so intense and heart racing that it almost makes you forget the stuff that happened before. Everyone threw everything at each other, hitting them with everything they could – but the true star of the show was Braun Strowman! It has to be said he's been one of the most persistant performers in WWE this year and his work this time was incredible!
During one part, Brawn powerslammed Brock through one of the foreign announcer tables at ringside. He then did the same with another table moments later. The crowd chanted “One more table”, noticing there was another table at ringside and Braun obliged. But he did so by lifting up the table and literary tipping it onto Brock! I have never seen this happen before in my life and the crowd went balistic! Chants of “This is awesome” filled the arena and they weren't far wrong. It looked like Brock was out of it as he was carried out in a stretcher, leaving the other three to fight it out. But Brock came back and fought his ground. At this point the match went back and forth, with near falls coming out of nowhere. Few matches have gotten my adrenaline pumping and my heart racing that this one. Eventually, Brock stood tall by countering Reign's spear into an F5, emerging as champion.
Brock may have won the match, but the true winner here was Strowman! He has looked more dominating and powerful than ever before and that's saying something! With a Lesnar/Strowman match scheduled for the future, I have rarely been this excited in a long time. I know Lesnar is pretty much a “part timer,” but tell me you don't wanna see these two giants destroy each other!
So Summerslam might have had some mixed reviews online, but I kinda liked it. The matches they had were solid enough – with a few exceptions – and the main event was an adrenaline pumping adventure, full of brutality and intensity. The Fatal-4-Way and AJ Styles VS Kevin Owens were the two best matches of the night for me. Worst match was Big Show VS Cass for a large number of reasons. Most disappointing match was the WWE title match. That could have been awesome, but it was such a letdown due to a terrible and uncreative finish.
But in conclusion, I liked Summerslam 2017. It's by no means the best of the Summerslam chronology and certainly not the best PPV of the year – but it was mostly enjoyable and it will be interesting to see how the storylines progress from here!
Overall I give Summerslam 2017 a respectable 4 out of 5.
Hey guys, just a little update from Canterbury Comic Con that I did last week. Sorry for not updating sooner as have been busy, but I finally got round to it today!
Well what can I say? Canterbury Comic Con was AMAZING!!! I didn't think I was going to sell any books, but I had a great time. I sold out of Trapped on Draconica and sold virtually all of Amanda Moonstone and had some amazing feedback! It was a fun experience!
I also got to meet two of my favourite actors – Hattie Hayridge from Red Dwarf and Andrew Lee Potts from Primeval. Both of them were really nice and even posed for a picture with me! Mr Potts even said he was filming something at the moment – but obviously he didn't tell me anything! I have a few theories though...
I also got to meet the other vendors in the area. Had a lovely chat with the girls at Nerds Retreat about Warcraft and Rick and Morty, so that was good! But the best thing about it is that Mum and my girlfriend Penguin (that's what I call her) was there to help! Oh and we had help from Baby Groot as well! XD
You can see some pictures of the day below. In case you're wondering, the costume I was wearing was sorta like my character The Author from Amanda Moonstone. My girlfriend was dressed as Sagiri Izumi from Eromanga Sensei. I think she did a very good cosplay :) My Mum went as – well, My Mum! XD
Thanks to everyone who purchased a copy of my books (or in some cases copies) and thanks to Canterbury Comic Con for making my day amazing! Hopefully they'll do this again sometime!
Updates to follow from the world of Draconica and Amanda Moonstone. Don't forget you can always follow me on Facebook for more updates. Links at the top of the page!
Keep on Nerdin'!
Well I thought I put something about this sooner, but it turns out I didn't *facepalm*. I guess that's what happens when you try and juggle real life and work with writing!
Anyway, as you probably guessed by the title, I will be joining Canterbury Comic Con a week from Saturday! This is set to be a pretty big event and – to my knowledge – the first time a Comic con has been held in Canterbury. We've had Sci-Fi by the sea in Herne Bay, but this is in my home town, so I am VERY excited about it.
I will be there at a stall, selling all my paperback books that I have released so far – and at a cheaper rate than online. So if you're local to Canterbury, or the nearby area, pop down and say hi! If you buy a book I'll even sign it!
And if coming to meet me isn't enough of an incentive to visit, there's plenty of other stuff there. Special guests include Andrew Lee Potts of Primeval fame, Hattie Hayridge from Red Dwarf (I hope I get a picture taken with her!) and of course, the actor who played Greedo from Star Wars: A New Hope, Paul Blake. So you can finally get to ask him “who shot first?”
Not to mention there will be plenty of other things like cosplay, traders, Q&A's and other things. It is taking part on the 12th August at Westgate Hall, Canterbury, Kent. Click on the picture to be taken to the Facebook page. Tickets are around £6.00 or so.
Hope to see some of you guys down there!
Warning: Contains some spoilers
In my opinion, Christopher Nolan is one of the best directors out there. Many of my favourite films (Memento, Inception and The Dark Knight Trilogy) are directed by him. In fact, Inception was for the longest time my favourite film by him. That was until I saw Dunkirk.
Dunkirk was hyped quite a bit and the trailers did make it out to look awesome. However, it could have easily just ended up being another overhyped big-budget film that was more “style over substance”. But I must confess that I was blown away by how amazing it was! I remember the first time I saw Inception, I came out of the cinema thinking “I HAVE to tell people about this film” - and that is exactly the same reaction I had when seeing this film. Nolan, you are without a doubt, a genius!
Depending on how you look at it, the Battle of Dunkirk was either one of the most catastrophic defeats, or heroic victories for the Allies in WW2. The Allies had been pushed back by the enemy and they were basically cut off. Dunkirk became a battle of attrition to save what soldiers they could – but the Germans were not going to let them go that easily. This film is shown from three different POV's, each following a different timeline. They follow the soldiers at Dunkirk (in the space of a week), one of many civilian boats sent out to rescue the soldiers (in the space of a day) and three fighter pilots flying in to give air support (in the space of an hour). Similar to Memento, they don't follow a linear path, but rather they cross over with each other at various points, so that you get different parts of the story at different times – and yet it still feels coherent and you can understand what is going on.
I must confess that I don't remember all of the characters names, but they had some amazing actors that all did superb jobs. With a great cast that included, amongst others, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy and James D'Arcy (and they're just the ones I can remember) you had solid performances all around. Even if they are just a background character, you instantly feel their plight and you hope that they will escape. One casting choice that raised a few eyebrows was Harry Styles from One Direction. But, I have to say – and I NEVER thought I would say this – Harry Styles, is a brilliant actor! At least in this film. In fact, there isn't one weak performance that I can think of. Everyone, be they main cast or extra, did a stella job.
Dunkirk is one of the most harrowing films I've seen in a while. The camera cuts back and forth between scenes, capturing the chaos of war. The sound effects are loud as hell, adding to the terror. And the music – oh my god the music! Normally I complain when music is used too much, but here it really adds to the tension. Hans Zimmer's score never lets up for a a second, gradually building until your heart can't take it any more And even when you think there's peace, it's only for the briefest of moments. All these add up to one of the most emotionally draining experiences I had ever witnessed – and I was still shaking for hours afterwards. Funnily enough, I was at the front row of the cinema and I felt that I was right up close with the soldiers, feeling their terror and torment, hearing their screams and cries. It made my heart ache.
There's one thing Dunkirk captures very well and that's the pure terror of war. The soldiers in here aren't fighting for glory, or to gain ground, or even to just push the enemies back. Here they are fighting just to survive. Few films I have seen have captured the raw determination and will to live, especially in war films. There is no glory in this battle, it's just young men doing what they can to escape. Every single second, there are fears of a bomb or air plane coming to strike – and they seemingly have little to no support. Even when one soldier does manage to escape and is picked up by one of the civilian crafts, he is so shell-shocked that he can't even say his own name. Forget about the whole “fight for your country” speech that people were talked into, these soldiers just want to live another day. But that in no way makes them cowards. It's a human reaction to live through horror and that is what makes Dunkirk so heart stopping in places. Even when they do escape and return to England, there is no victory for them. I think Harry Style's character summed up the ending perfectly with his quote “All we did was survive.” Now for some, that is a victory – but for these soldiers, they will be forever struck by guilt because others didn't make it. And worst still, the War is far from over – and though they lived through this, who is to say they will have the same luck later on? It drives home the point that there are no real winners in war – even the victors will come out scathed.
Historical accuracy aside (and there have been a few complaints that French were virtually excluded from this film, when they had just as big a part in the battle as the English), Dunkirk contains all the best things from Christopher Nolan and makes, for me, a perfect film. Terrifying, emotional, profound and captivating with beautifully chaotic cinematography and excellent performances, Dunkirk is quite honestly one of the best films I have ever seen. I know we still have about 5 months of the year left, but I would quite honestly call Dunkirk the film of the year by a country mile. If you haven't seen it at the cinema, go do so – you'll rarely get another experience like it.
Dunkirk gets from me a hugely deserved 5 out of 5. Though if I could, I would give it 6!
WARNING: Spider-Sense tingling! Spoilers included ahead!
Next to Batman, I swear that Spider-Man is one of the most rebooted heroes in recent years. Well, ok he's only really been rebooted TWICE, but both those seemed to happen in quick succession. Toby Figure's Spider-Man series was really good, but it totally lost momentum after Spider-Man 3, which to be fair was crap! And Andrew Garfield's Amazing Spider-Man series was halted before it really got started (again though, those films were, to be totally honest, also crap). So when it was announced that Spider-Man will be appearing AGAIN in a film series, fans let out a collective groan, thinking it will be another disaster.
How wrong we were!
When it was announced that Tom Holland would be Spider-Man, I didn't think much of it. But, if you read my Captain America: Civil War review, you'll remember I said I can't wait to see more of Tom Holland's Spider-Man. So I was really excited when I heard it was out. I only just got a chance to see it this weekend with my girlfriend – hence this late review – but by golly it was awesome!
Oh and if you're wondering why it took Spider-Man so long to reach the MCU – well it's because Sony still owns the movie rights to him. However, Marvel has reached a deal to allow him to be used in the MCU, probably a wise move considering how bad Sony's recent Spider-Man films came out. So, now we have Spider-Man in MCU, we're probably gonna get another origin story, right?
In what I think was a great move on Marvel's part, we don't focus on the origins of Spider-Man, considering he was already “established” in Civil War. Instead, we get a continuation of Spider-Man's story after the effects of Civil War. He's still doing Spider-Man things, but waiting to be called again, not realising that Tony Stark is trying to keep him out of the big picture. As Peter Parker, he still has to content with normal everyday school life – which includes hiding his feelings for his crush Liz Allan. However, Spider-Man sees his big chance to make a name for himself when he discovers an illegal arms deal going on with stolen alien technology (left over from the Incident from Avengers Assemble). Spider-Man must now fight the Vulture and his gang of cronies and try and save New-York – whilst also proving to Tony Stark he has what it takes.
As mentioned, not going for an origin story was a clever move on Marvel's part. Spider-Man is such a beloved hero that I think everyone knows his story – about how a spider bit him and gave him his powers, then his Uncle Ben died as a result of Spider-Man neglecting his responsibilities This I think helped the story move along and focus more on the character of Spider-Man and Peter Parker. Of course, they make references to his past here and there, and hint towards what might have happened to him, but it instead feels more like a sequel – the film felt it did the ground work already and now it's ready to move forward.
I'll just get right to the point about this film. Tom Holland is (if you pardon the pun) amazing as Spider-Man! Holland's performance proves what made Spider-Man so popular in the first place with the younger audience. It wasn't just his powers, or his heroic nature, it's the fact that he was a bit more relatable than other heroes at the time. He's not a rich billionaire, or an alien from another planet – he's a regular kid that has responsibilities to take care of. And being Spider-Man often effects his real life in ways that can't be imagined. Tom Holland portrays Peter as a kind natured and shy boy, but also brave and somewhat arrogant. But that makes perfect sense – Spider-Man is only 15 in this film after all and he wants to prove himself, having got a taste of the big leagues. Sure he makes some mistakes along the way, but it all helps towards him maturing as a character.
Tony Stark makes a cameo return as a sort of “father figure” to Spider-Man. Sure he's kinda brash with him and gives him a hard time – but let's not forget that Tony is still suffering from guilt as a result of Sokovia. He doesn't want Spider-Man's death on his conscience – although we all know Tony isn't really one for letting his feelings out most of the time. He is a really a key player in Spider-Man learning his life lessons and it's always great to see Tony on screen.
Moving onto the other key player here – the villain of the piece, The Vulture AKA Adrian Toomes. Here he is played by Michael Keaton, who makes a full fledged circle from hero (Batman) to villain. Now I must confess I know very little about the Vulture outside of the Spider-Man Animated Series, but here I thought he was an incredible villain. You know how people complain how Marvel don't do good movie villains? Well Vulture is not one of them. He is actually one of the most complete villains I've seen in a while. He isn't inherently evil, what he does he does to try and earn money. Having had his jobs taken away after the Incident, he and a few friends managed to scavenge some Chitarui technology and make weapons of it, selling it to the highest bidder. Spider-Man just happened to be in their way.
A big twist (and this is a huge spoiler so skip ahead if you want) is when Peter Parker asks Liz to the Homecoming ball, only to discover that Adrian Toomes was her father. That was a twist I didn't see coming and it added a WHOLE new dimension to the Vulture. He was just doing what he was to keep his family in credit – making his actions somewhat noble to an extent. But boy was he scary at times! All in all, Michael Keaton was just brilliant – I might have to say the Vulture might just be on of the greatest MCU villains so far! Yeah, I really mean that.
Other Spider-Man villains that made a cameo was the Shocker – played by two characters, seeing as one of them was killed earlier in the film – and a quick appearance by Mac Gargan, who as fans of the comic might know is the Scorpion. The after credits scene even teases his future involvement with the series later on.
In what some thought was a controversial move (I dunno, Marvel just can't get ANYTHING right when it comes to casting their characters), some of the other characters from Spider-Man mythos – such as MJ, Liz Allen and Flash Thompson, who were originally white in the comics – were recast as different ethnicities. I had no problem with this casting – considering these were characters that never really bothered me in the comics. Plus they were all really fun in the movie – even Flash Thompson with all his smug, wanna-punch-his-face actions. I still have kinda a problem with Aunt May being portrayed as a “MILF” (and yes I know she isn't Peter's Mum) mostly because I always saw Aunt May as the heart of Peter Parker. I don't have any objection with her being younger than in the comics, I just think they could have got someone better. However Ned, Peter's sidekick (who I am not sure was an original character or one based on the comics) was a loveable sidekick that was funny to watch.
This movie was fun to watch – and actually quite light hearted when compared to the other MCU films. Sure it has some darker moments, but Tom's Spider-Man spews forth witty lines that keep the humour going. There's even some funny moments involving his suit (yes he has a mechanical suit here – kinda) that were funny to watch. That's not to say there wasn't any real drama, infact when there was it kinda made you feel glad for the humour. There was one scene in particular when Spider-Man had to lift up a building rubble (based on a famous panel in Spider-Man) that had fallen on him and you could really feel the struggle he was going through. And the ending felt like a kick in the stomach with Peter. But that's always the curse of Spider-Man – Peter's life will always suffer because of it.
The only small nitpick I would say is this – how the hell did Adrian Toomes and his cronies stay hidden for so long? I can understand that the Avengers had their own stories, so they were focused on those – but why didn't S.H.I.E.L.D. go after them? I guess they were compromised after Hydra invaded them, but if you watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D then you'll know they were still operating in some way. It just felt a little odd to me. But then I guess New York is a pretty big place.
Funniest moment of the film for me has to be the end credits scene. During the film, the school Peter is at show many PSA's of Captain America, telling kids the usual stuff like “Work hard,” “Stay in school,” you know. At the end, we have Captain America come in front of a blank screen saying “Patience is a key virtue. Because sometimes you wait around for something only to find it's a disappointment.” Clearly Marvel are making fun of themselves for the large amount of after credits scenes they do, so this was a nice touch!
So far we've had brilliant superhero films in Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Wonder Woman and now Spider-Man Homecoming. This must be the year of the superhero! Spider-Man Homecoming mixes energetic performances, great humour, interesting characters and twists and, most of all, it's fun to watch! It doesn't try to cram the film with too many storylines, but at the same time leaves some open to explore later. Plus it doesn't suffer with the usual “origin story” pacing issues, delivering a tale that will keep you enthralled. Tom Holland has really made Spider-Man his own and I am more and more excited to see him in future films. It also helps that it's a bit lighter in tone, making it fun for the family to enjoy.
Spider-Man Homecoming gets 5 out of 5, making it a hat trick of excellent comic movies. Let's hope that Thor Ragnarok is just as good!
All opinions are my own
So, after months of speculation, the new actor to play the Doctor in Doctor Who series has been revealed. Doctor Who has been engrained on many generations (young and old) for many, many years and it is precious to many fans. As such, the reveal of a new Doctor, I would say, is just as important as finding out who won the Oscar for Best Film! How many other shows do you know of that can replace the main actor and STILL carry on being just as good? Answer – none!
Since it returned in 2005, fans always like to make a fuss about who the next Doctor will be. When Capaldi was announced as the replacement Doctor, it had some mixed reactions. Myself, I like Capaldi and think he's a talented actor – but I have to be honest, his Doctor wasn't the best. He did a great job, but I found his character a bit sporadic and inconsistent, sometimes even downright mean-spirited. However, he has had some of the best episodes – the episode where we found out the history of Davros was superbly written, and the latest season finale was an emotional roller-coaster that had some of the best Who moments ever...
But I digress. You guys didn't come here (I presume) to hear me prattle on about how I feel about Doctor Who, you want me to tell you what I think of the new Doctor.
For the longest time, Kris Marshall was touted to be the new Doctor – something which a lot of fans reviled, and indeed a lot of my friends seemed to hate that idea. There was even some talk that there would be a female Doctor, with names such as Hayley Atwell and Phoebe Waller-Bridge mentioned. Well, it turns out that we weren't too far off. We now officially have our first female Doctor! Jodie Whittaker!
When I first heard the news it was at work, and my friend said it was “that girl from Broadchurch.” At first I thought he meant Olivia Colman, and I was like “Really? Seems like an odd choice.” But then my brother told me it was Jodie Whittaker – and I had to admit I struggled to remember who that is. But then I googled her and I was like “Oh HER! She's a fantastic actress!” As you can tell, I'm not good with names of actors and actresses – I can recognise the faces, but not the names.
For those who don't know, Jodie Whittaker became famous from the aforementioned Broadchurch, which was written and directed by new Doctor Who forerunner Chris Chibnall – a show that was lauded by critics. She's also famous for shows like Black Mirror and the film Attack the Block amongst other things. But now she has the task of bringing the most beloved Sci-Fi characters to life. This is a huge thing for Doctor Who as we have never had a female Doctor before – unless you count the Comic Relief specials that had Joanna Lumley play the Doctor – but as far as the main canon goes, this is our first female Doctor. Frankly, I don't have an issue with a female Doctor. After all, it's been established that Time Lords can regenerate into different sexes – and we had a female Master in the form or Missy (who was awesome), so it's not as if this is something that hasn't just been thrown in. So I see no reason why the Doctor can't be female – any more than I see a problem with the Primarius Space Marines in 40K (yes I know they have also upset people, but come on – they're just trying to advance the story!)
Of course, there has been some opposition to this idea. I've actually deliberately stayed away as much as possible from any negative posts regarding this – I know there have been a couple of hate sites set up and there have even been twitter posts of people taking angry comments and spoofing them. Now I'm not interested in getting into a debate about whether the Doctor should be female and all that – as there are a huge number of people on the Internet that are way more better at debating that I am, but all I will say is this. Give her a chance. She hasn't even appeared as the Doctor yet! Remember when Matt Smith was first cast as the Doctor and people were in an uproar about it – and he turned out to be one of the best Doctor's ever? (in my opinion) There's every chance this will be the same.
Just because we have a female Doctor doesn't mean the SHOW will change! After all, the Doctor will still be the Doctor, regardless of what happens. It's not as if they're gonna suddenly change the spaceship to the “Bradis” or anything like that. And given Jodie's perchance for playing vulnerable, but interesting characters, I don't doubt she'll use all her skills to make this Doctor a memorable one. Of course, she has a lot of weight on her shoulders now, being the first female Doctor, but I don't doubt she'll do an amazing job. I'll be the first to admit that Jodie Whittaker isn't my first choice for a female Doctor. Given the choice I would have preferred Hayley Atwell. But the creators clearly sure something in her that made her right for this part. So if they're prepared to give her the benefit of the doubt, then so am I. And hey, it's not as if she has a tough act to follow (nothing personal to Peter Capaldi, I just didn't like his Doctor too much)
One thing I WOULD say though – please make sure the Doctor has a male companion. Whilst I have no issue with them having the Doctor female, I do think we'll need a male companion to keep the dynamic going on. I'm not saying they should have a romantic interest – but they do need a strong male lead to keep the male audience here. Or have at least one male companion – like with Nardol and Bill, or Amy and Rory. That could work.
Whether this turns out to be the right thing for Doctor Who I guess only time will tell. There are some that will love this, others who will hate it – regardless of how you feel, this is happening. You just have to accept it. I mean come on, it's not gonna make any difference in your life really is it? As far as I can tell, as long as they don't change the format of the show too much, we're in for an exciting ride!
And to Jodie Whittaker, looking forward to seeing what you bring to the table!
What do you think? Let me know and I'll see you guys soon!
WARNING: If you haven't seen Game of Thrones then beware that this blog is dark and full of SPOILERS!!! For the TV shows and books. Read at your own risk.
Game of Thrones is back this weekend – or Monday for us Brits – and I could not be any more excited! With Dany on her way to Westeros, Cersei on the Iron Throne, Jon Snow as the King in the North – and the White Walkers edging ever so closer to the Seven Kingdoms, it's set for a bloody showdown! I have NO idea how it is going to end – but knowing Game of Thrones then I can bet that there will be blood. Lots of it! Based on the trailers, this season is going to be packed with tons of action and fighting. And that is cool!
Quite honestly, few shows that enthralled me as much as Game of Thrones. I actually read the book series before watching the TV Show and both are now my favourite Fantasy series. I don't even mind that the series has deviated from the books – because let's be honest the books CAN be very complicated at times and often they take WAY too long to get going. But the twists and turns that the TV show has made have been very entertaining to watch.
And with Season 7 on the way, I decided to look back and follow my personal favourite Top Five Game of Thrones moments. Now of course, choosing only five is an absolute nightmare of a task – as there are so many great moments. Game of Thrones has a large number of twists and turns. Sometimes shocking, sometimes emotional, but always awesome – that just selecting five of them is nigh on impossible. Still it is a task I have set myself and so it shall be.
So, join me as we journey to the Seven Kingdoms to find out my Top Five Favourite Game of Thrones moments. This is obviously just my own personal list, so yours will differ. As always, this is in no particular order. Just the order I'm showing them.
Ned Stark's beheading was an absolute shocker of a scene – and really set the tone for Game of Thrones. How many other TV shows have you seen where they kill off the main character in the first season? I personally never saw anything like this before and, like many, I was horrified. It showed that no one was “invincible” in Game of Thrones, and that even main characters can find their lives tragically cut short.
I would also add any scene involving Daenerys and Tyrion. Who doesn't love seeing Daenerys totally own her enemies with her dragons – or burning them alive and walking out completely unscathed (and unclothed!). It's incredible how she has gone from a timid young girl to a powerful warlord – and the Seven Kingdoms SHOULD be scared of her. And of course Tyrion, the plucky, witty dwarf that has made Peter Dinklage a household name. Tell the truth there are just TOO MANY cool moments for both these characters, so I can't pick one. But these two could make an entire Top Five list of their own... there's a thought.
Ok, now onto the list.
Joffery And Ramsey's Deaths
I know I'm cheating here putting two entries in one section – but to be honest, both are just as awesome as the other!
I think it goes without saying that both Joffery and Ramsey are two of the most despicable human beings around. One was a bratty, spoiled man-child that whined and moaned all the time and murdered people just because he felt like it – the other was Joffery! XD
All right, so they were a LITTLE more developed than that. Joffery was utterly repulsive – murdering Ned Stark, torturing Sansa and even making life hell for his own family. He pretty much starved the people of King's Landing and a riot broke out because of him. As for Ramsay – where do I even begin? He was a sadistic psychopath that even murdered his own baby brother so that he could rule. He also tortured and castrated Theon Greyjoy, making him an empty shell of a man, fed people to the dogs, murdered his own father – and there was THAT scene with Sansa. You know, the one where The Mary Sue lost their s**t and said they would never do another Game of Thrones post?
Put simply, both of these guys were just pure evil – and they both deserved to be killed in the most gruesome way possible. And boy howdy did that happen!
Joffery met his end at his own wedding to Margaery Tyrell, being poisoned and choking to death. Unfortunately this meant that Tyrion (who was blamed for the incident, even though it was actually Littlefinger and Oleanna that had a hand in it) had to go on the run, but it was so satisfying seeing that little bastard get his comeuppance. And then there was Ramsey, who, after being beaten half to death by Jon Snow, was locked in a room with his own dogs (who he had been starving for days) and torn apart as Sansa watched, getting her revenge in the most awesome way possible
Both were utterly repulsive villains and the Seven Kingdoms are a better place now they are gone. But one has to wonder who will play the bad guy now? Well, we'll just see.
The Battle Of The Blackwater
This is actually my favourite scene in A Clash of Kings. The battle is amazing! It spans numerous chapters from various POV character, and captures the sheer enormity and drama of the battle. I always find these scenes kinda hard to write myself as you have so many things to consider – but George R R Martin is a master at his craft and created a fantastic fight that was as enjoyable to read as it was epic.
The Battle of Blackwater is really the first big warfare scene in the series – and had Game of Thrones flopped, this could have probably bankrupted the studio. Thankfully though, Game of Thrones doesn't know the meaning of the word “flop” and this scene showed that they were able to do fight scenes on par (if not better) than any big blockbuster movie!
Everything about this battle is just perfect for me! The build up as both Stannis's army heads towards King's Landing whilst the city prepares the defences, the bits where the wildfire burns the ships (which is as beautiful to watch as it is harrowing), the Hound running away after being scared by fire (the Hound is an awesome character by the way), Joffery hiding like a coward, Tyrion leading the men into battle and then being betrayed and almost killed, and then the final scene where the Lannisters and Tyrell's march in to save the day. It is just simply amazing to watch and leaves you breathless.
Interestingly enough, if you think about it there are no real heroes or villains to root for here! That's one of the cool things about Game of Thrones, it doesn't have any set Heroes or Villains in the traditional sense. After all, Stannis is seen as the true King, but we all know he is anything but a good guy (and I still can't forgive him for what he did to Shirley), but then would he be a better ruler than Joffery? We'll never know, but still.
But also, Tyrion shows that he is a far more capable leader here, inspiring the troops to fight when the King won't. But ultimately, he never gets any thanks for it. It's a tragic thing that this is his crowning moment of glory and he's never going to be remembered for it.
All in all, this is an amazing battle – and like with Ned Stark's death, it set the tone for many more amazing battles down the line. I would also consider The Battle of the Bastards in her as that battle was even more harrowing. But, I have to go with the Battle of Blackwater for the wildfire scene. And it wouldn't be the last time we see wildfire put to use either.
The Red Wedding
Remember how Ned Stark's death shocked the world? Well few other deaths were more internet breaking than the now infamous Red Wedding – that saw an entire FAMILY virtually wiped out!
In season 1, Rob Stark leads the Stark Household in the War of the Five Kings, to take revenge against the Lannisters for the death of Ned Stark. Robb Stark shows a lot of promise as a leader, and even gets a few victories against the Lannisters at first. But, unfortunately, Rob makes a few mistakes, one of which leads to his downfall.
His mother, Catelyn Stark, makes a rather unfavourable alliance with Walder Frey, asking for his help in the war in exchange for marrying one of Walder's daughters. Robb, however, follows his heart and ends up marrying healer Talisa instead. This angers Walder, but to appease him, they arrange for Edmune Tully to marry one of the Frey daughters instead. Everything seems to be going well – until the band plays The Rains of Castamere, which is a Lannister victory theme. From then on, all hell breaks loose as the Starks are slaughtered one by one – including Talisa, Robb and Catelyn. It's an utterly brutal scene that left many fans reeling and emotionally drained afterwards, especially since Talisa was pregnant with Robb's child at this time (ironically she was going to name the child Ned).
Whilst I knew this scene was coming, as I read the books, it was still no less upsetting a scene to me. I think the highlight is when Catelyn tearfully holds one of Walder's daughters captive, tearfully begging for her son to be spared (Michelle Fairley is an amazing actress and it's impossible not to be moved by her performance), only for Walder to casually dismiss her pleas. It ends with Robb being stabbed, Catelyn kills the daughter and then just stands there aghast as her own throat is cut. It is a chilling scene that leaves you feeling cold.
What makes this even more tragic is that it all COULD have been avoided, if Robb Stark hadn't tried to “do the right thing”. If he had just kept his vows to Walder, he could have kept a powerful ally. And considering he also lost the Karstarks as allies, after he executed the head of their household for murdering Lannister children, he basically trapped himself. Robb always wanted to be a man of honour and do the right thing, like his father would have. It carries on a depressing theme in Game of Thrones that more often than not, doing the right thing is the WRONG way to go. It's sad, but that's often the case here.
Actually, what upset me more about this is that it didn't bring in a character I was waiting to see. Anyone who has read the books will know this eventually leads to the creation of Lady Stoneheart – a resurrected Catelyn Stark that is now a shadow of her former self, and joins the Brotherhood Without Banners in a revenge fuelled mission. However, with the return of Jon Snow, it will be interesting to see if they carry out this storyline with him. Still, would have been nice to see Michelle return in a more vengeful light – considering she would have been able to do that, having played a villain in 24: Live Another Day. But hey ho, we can't have everything.
By far my favourite thing about Game of Thrones is the White Walkers – or the Others in the books. They don't appear NEARLY as much as they should so in the novels, but their presence is always felt up in the North. They are a very real threat, but no one wants to take them seriously. That could prove to be their undoing.
In the TV show, the Walkers appear slightly more than in the books – but boy do they make an entrance when they do. And no appearance has more impact than the awesome episode Hardhome.
Hardhome is where the Wildlings are kept after the battle to take the Wall. Jon Snow believes that they can broker a truce between the two of them and come together to fight for a cause. After some arguments between the tribes, they come to some kind of agreement – but then it becomes cold. Very cold.
Before anyone knows what's happening, wights attack the encampment, killing Wildling after Wildling. It brings back memories of The Walking Dead, when the Walkers would attack a human encampment and all hell breaks loose as they fight just to survive. But to no avail. Then the Walkers come. And my god are they terrifying! During the battle, the supply of dragonglass (the only thing that seems to kill them) is destroyed, meaning they lost their only chance of beating them. Of have they?
When Jon fights a Walker with his Valayrian steel sword, he slays a Walker in one blow. But ultimately he has to escape with only a fraction of Wildlings still alive. But as they sail away, the Night's King, King of the Walkers arrives and stares Jon down. And that moment when he just raises his arms and the dead come back – adding more to their ever expanding army – is one of the most chilling scenes in Game of Thrones history.
This is an important episode for the Walkers storyline as it shows first hand the genuine threat these monsters are. And having lost their only weapons to fight them (unless they can gather all the Valayrian weapons in the world) it seems that the battle with them is looking ever more hopeless. This is just an amazing episode – it's thrilling, action packed, yet utterly terrifying. If you didn't take the Walkers seriously enough before, you will now after this! A true masterpiece of an episode that continues on a desperate time in Westeros's culture. Winter is coming indeed!
“Hold the Door!”
Um... too soon?
There have been many deaths of beloved characters in Game of Thrones, and all of them have been tragic in many ways – number three on this list being an example. But few have been so heart AND gut wrenching as the death of everyone's favourite giant Hodor. He was by far one of the purest characters in the show, with no malice in his bones whatsoever. But it was the way he died that stuck with me, and so many others.
During Bran's quest to find the Three-Eyed Raven, he learned to “warg” into various living creatures, one of them being Hodor. Being that he was basically a cripple, Hodor had to carry Bran around all the time. But he didn't seem to mind too much, he was happy to help. Under the tutelage of the Raven, Bran learned to see through time – even going as far back as to meet Hodor as a child – here named Wylis. Unfortunately, during these sessions, Bran accidentally alerted the presence of the Night's King – and the Walkers came to their location. Whilst the walkers attack, Bran accidentally wargs into the young Wylis. Hodor holds a door to stop the wights from getting them, all the while with Meera pulling Bran and telling him to “Hold the door!” In one of the saddest moments in not just Game of Thrones, but TV history, Bran's warging causes the young Wylis to have a seizure and cry out repeatedly “Hold the door!” over and over again, until eventually the words come together to create “Hodor.” Bran weeps as he realises that he is responsible for Hodor's condition – and his death. Hodor is then torn apart by wights.
Never has a scene been so emotional and yet so poignant in my opinion. It's especially sad that, when you think about it, Hodor was only ever really around because he was supposed to protect Bran. Not only that, but he was foreshadowing his own death just by saying his own name! And during all this, he's getting torn apart by wights! When you add this all together, it makes the absolute most depressing moment in Game of Thrones.
However, for all it's sadness, it is still a powerful and brilliantly written scene. George R R Martin is really good at foreshadowing events – sometimes for something as little as just eating a type of food – and this was a clever bit of writing on the shows part. It's still completely soul destroying seeing a beloved character leave the show, and even more harrowing once you realise that Bran is responsible for it. But even so, it's still one of my favourite scenes in Game of Thrones. Even if I did cry for hours afterwards.
So those are my favourite scenes in Game of Thrones – and I am sure there are many more to come! What are your favourites? Let me know in the comments below – and here's to a great Season 7!
And now, my blog has ended!
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