Game Of Owns: Kingsmoot

Episode 357 – Kingsmoot
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The podcast is joined by A FEAST WITH DRAGONS co-creator Jeff aka BryndenBfish for a headlong dive into Greyjoy destiny and the showdown in White Harbor.


A Feast For Crows: The Drowned Man
A Dance With Dragons: Davos III
From our A FEAST WITH DRAGONS reading order.

Check out our new show Rewatch The Throne on Howl.fm!

GRRM at conventions
The Winds of Winter
Our reading order
An elaborate setup
Vic’s argument
Euron lore
These new futures
FREY LIES
The Manderlys
The Merman’s Court
Chapter Owns
WIDMND

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44 responses

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    1. How the Kingsmoot should’ve gone down on the show:

      It takes place on a boat docked in the harbor. Theon and Euron argue their case amongst the Iron Islanders, then suddenly we see Silence in the distance approaching.

      Euron’s minions place a plank between the two ships and then Euron in a grand entrance, wearing Valyrian Steel Armor, walks across the plank and boards the Kings Moot boat.

      He boasts about his travels and has a man swing his sword at his Valyrian Steel Armor which leaves nary a scratch and the sword is destroyed. He still gets resistance, particularly from Yara and Theon so he has his minions bring a chest from Silence across the plank.

      *SPOILER*
      In it is the dragon binder which he has some poor hapless Iron Islander blow. The sound from the horn makes everyone’s ears bleed as the boat starts to crumble and quake. The horn blower is reduced to a near emaciated skeleton.

      The crowd starts chanting for Euron.

      C’mon you can’t tell me ^ wouldn’t be awesome.

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    2. I enjoyed the TV version of the kingsmoot……not as great as the books, but simply because back by the Season 5 finale, I thought we wouldn’t get it at all.

      Generally stayed to main points/spirit of the book version, albeit condensed (compared to say, Dorne).

      My only real complaint is that I wish that if they didn’t have time to give secondary ironborn lords speaking roles, they could at least have them hold their heraldry banners as a visual cameo — much like the Season 1 tournament heraldry banners. I mean, would it have killed them to have a few Harlaw and Drumm banners present? TV-only people wouldn’t care, and it would be a nod to the books, and make the Iron Islands feel more rounded out.

      Also….apparently they *were* going to hold it at Nagga’s Bones; concept art exists of this. It was removed by the final version for some reason (maybe because they thought it would take too long to explain? I don’t know)

      Book version was epic, TV version was…serviceable and grew on me. Helps that the Euron actor heavily implied that they didn’t “remove” the dragon horn, they just pushed it back for when he actually *uses* it next season. I hope.

      No king but from the kingsmoot!

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    3. Well, here’s wondering whether Aeron Greyjoy will come back and do what he did in that twisted Aeron chapter from “Winds”

      Completely unrelated and off-topic, but this one is too funny not to share.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-xxis7hDOE

      A message to trump to why it should be America first, Netherlands second. Hint: “the Netherlands have a ponypark where you can grab em by the pony”

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    4. mau,

      What? How is that like anime? You’re biased against me because of my views on S6, would never be able to admit it if I came up with a good scene.

      Come up with a better one. Euron needed a better entrance on the show rather than just barging in.

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    5. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      Its very over the top with the very forward introduction of the valyrian steel armor and dragon horn that brings the user to a skeleton. While yes your introduction was more like the books, i feel that Euron’s entrance was okay in some degree with his sudden appearance cutting off Yara’s chants. Rather they more imply his dabbles in magic than to go all out to reveal it

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    6. Danbito,

      I hear your point about the guy who gets emaciated by the horn (doesn’t necessarily have to be to a skeleton though, just something messed up), but why is the Valyrian Steel Armor over the top? The show didn’t give him enough mystique and gravitas imo, he just kind of barges into the Kingsmoot out of nowhere, this sloppily dressed dude with a foul mouth. Don’t get me wrong, I like Pilou Asbaek and haven’t reached a consensus on his Euron yet, but I was a tad disappointed about the way they presented him. Still can be redeemable in S7.

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    7. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      Well that’s not to say I disagree with your ideas entirely. Yes I agree myself with how Euron should have more mystique and ominous ground towards him. I just figure with how that specific scene wouldnt pan out well, since it’s so flashy with the dragonbinder and how Euron already has the armor on. And yes, I do think that Euron’s characterization could do some improvement. Maybe a more subtle effect with the victim, where he looks *very* visibly out of breath which minutes later turns into burn marks on his chest or something. Anyways, I’d have Euron bring out the Valerian Steel armor as he goes into action against Dany’s forces.

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    8. I found the show Kingsmoot disappointing. I’d rather they had just skipped it. I’m indifferent to the Greyjoys in the books, but I did enjoy the Kingsmoot in the books. If the show was going to do it, I do wish they’d had taken more from it.

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    9. Danbito,

      I could go for a more subtle version of what happens to the horn blower, but he dies in both of our versions right?

      We’ll have to agree to disagree on the armor. I think it would be cool of him to wear it in his grand entrance and also for him show it off to the Iron Islanders to help win their affection. He can still wear it again later when going to battle with Dany.

      Either way, I wonder if either the armor or horn will be making an appearance on the show? I hope so.

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    10. I love giving BryndenBfish a hard time on Twitter, simply because it’s fun (and I’m a jackass) but he is remarkably knowledgeable.

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    11. Young Dragon,

      Unfortunately, you’re probably right. I want him to be a primary antagonist. I hate zombies and I hate the White Walkers. What’s duller than a mindless villain? It’s like a disaster movie or something.

      In the book it seems like there is possibility that he could be a main antagonist.

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    12. LatrineDiggerBrian,
      I didn’t appreciate mau’s initial ‘anime’ analogy, but the Valyrian steel armour *is* like something from an anime, all right. Ever heard of power creep? You start from a normal antagonist, a normal protagonist and a rare power (say, an exceptional sword). But then, in season 3 (or, say, 6…) you suddenly have a new antagonist, and you need to make him threatening to the protagonist who conquered the previous one. What do you do? If you’re a bad writer, you invent a thing whose possibility was not even mentioned before but which totally annuls the specialness of the protagonist’s power (say, you give the antagonist Valyrian armour to counter the very rare Valyrian swords).

      The show boiled down the Kingsmoot to the human element, which I prefer. Euron won over Yara because he is a dick, he has a dick, and the Ironborn are a bunch of misogynists. That’s the essence of it, book *and* show.

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    13. Yaga,

      Disagree. Is that armor that powerful? It’s just a rare relic that Euron found while traveling around the world. The item that would more fit your argument is one that’s already been introduced by G.R.R.M., the dragon binder which supposedly can tame dragons.

      The real power in the story is magic and dragons, not Valyrian Steel (though Valyrian Steel swords can kill White Walkers). Valyrian Steel Armor would just be a cool little beat that we haven’t seen in the story yet.

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    14. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      Don’t be so personal.

      Magical devices like dragonhorn or valyrian armor (that were never mentioned before) are in my opinion a cheap plot devices that writers of anime or superhero movies use when they want to create an even bigger antagonist.

      And introducing a primary antagonist in sixth season is a complete disaster from a writing standpoint.

      D&D treated him as secondary antagonist, which he is. GrrM desperately wants to create character, even worse than Joffrey and Ramsay. And his version of Cersei is not even in the same league as Cersei in the show, so he can’t use her as the primary antagonist.

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    15. mau,
      I actually really wonder why – why, after Joffrey and Ramsay, GRRM felt the need to introduce yet another sadistic antagonist. I mean, Ramsay isn’t even dead in the books yet! Also, on that note, why did he feel the need to introduce more ‘patriarchal mastermind’ characters, in Doran and Manderly, after Tywin’s death? It all feels so… repetitive.

      Note that Doran, Manderly and Euron were all heavily reworked in the adaptation.

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    16. Yaga,

      I think because he needs a strong human antagonist in the books and his version of Cersei is just not capable of filling that role.

      D&D really wrote Cersei as powerful character, larger than life, almost as anti-hero, a tragic heroine. That is something GRRM didn’t do.

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    17. The show version was disappointing. They could have at least have Euron bring some chests of gold to the Kingsmoot or whatever foreign goods he’s pillaged from his travels to make him seem more appealing. He looked like that one drunk uncle who crashes all your Thanksgiving dinners.

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    18. Euron’s presentation during the Kingsmoot was one of the very, very few elements in Season 6 – which is my favorite season, and which I otherwise thought was stellar – that I did not particularly care for. I thought Euron’s initial appearance, in which he threw Balon off the bridge in the middle of a storm, was excellent. In that sequence, he seemed mad and dangerous, but also intelligent and most importantly, grounded – a compelling human antagonist.

      When we saw him again in the light of day, he was less impressive. He unfortunately reminded me of Victarion, a monotonously brutal dullard who is one of my least favorite characters, POV or otherwise, in the entirety of ASOIAF. I was and remain ecstatic that the Iron Blockhead was cut from the show. In that particular moment, Euron seemed a bit too much like a Euron-Victarion hybrid for my taste.

      But that’s not to say that Euron didn’t effectively serve his purpose. His audience was a bunch of narrow-minded, easily manipulated Ironborn captains, and appealing to their baser instincts made complete sense. It just didn’t endear him to me in any way. And for the show, that’s completely fine – because the show is making no pretensions that Euron is anything other than a secondary, human-level antagonist, not a potential world-destroying Cthulhu in human form. That’s admittedly a less ambitious archetype, but one that is much easier to reconcile with the established world, and much, much easier to render successfully. With all due respect to Martin, I’m not entirely confident he can pull it off.

      From that perspective, I appreciated Euron’s apparent lack of sorcery. The dark and mysterious magical trappings and portents of whispered prophecy that swirl around Euron in the books are admittedly quite cool. But ultimately, they’re just shiny wrapping paper – what matters to me is the constitution of the character himself, and what he wants. And the problem is I have yet to read or see anything – book or show – which convinces me that at his core, Euron Greyjoy is anything other than yet another monstrously sadistic asshole who wants to rule as much of Westeros as he can by any means necessary.

      This story already has more than enough of those creatures. Westeros and Essos are littered with petty tyrants and small monsters, many of whom – blessedly – have not made the transition to the screen. On a larger scale, Joffrey Baratheon and his petulant cruelty were essential Act One of the story. Ramsay Bolton and his more experienced sadism dominated Act Two. Now, here comes Euron Greyjoy to top them all! It may be a classic narrative three-beat, but it’s not one that I can muster any enthusiasm for. Enough.

      Now, the books are still mired in that extended second act, so Euron and all the other (e.g. fAegon) have more room to assert themselves. But the show has successfully excised most of that bloated middle and moved into Act Three, where it already has its final human antagonist in place: Cersei, the newly-crowned Queen of Westeros who is far more complex and sympathetic on the show than she is on the page.

      Cersei may be less inclined to sorcery, but unlike Euron, she’s been there since the very beginning of the story. That makes her a far more effective foil for our major characters as the endgame draws near. And that sorcerous element is less necessary because the show also has its final magical antagonist: the Night King, who is not yet an active character in the novels.

      Euron still has his place, or he would have been cut entirely. But in the context of the larger narrative, I think scaling him down to a more human scale makes sense. That’s not to say that there isn’t room for the character to improve or become more memorable. The Valyrian armor remains a cool touch that doesn’t push things too far. I actually think there is a real possibility that we could see him wearing that armor in Season 7, when Euron presumably goes to war against his niece and nephew.

      The dragonhorn, however, is something I’m not sad to see disappear, especially since it may not amount to much in the books anyway (Victarion is bringing it with him to Meereen, and if anything other than a swift, painful, and fiery death awaits him there, I was be shocked and disappointed).

      Leaks

      The only narrative utility of the dragonhorn is to deprive Dany of one of her dragons, so perhaps it will do that in the books. But if reports are to be believed, Dany will lose one of her dragons another way in Season 7 – one I think is ultimately more effective.

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    19. Making the 8,

      It’s not official. Anyone can edit IMDB, and whoever posted that premiere date is just making an educated guess. We won’t know the official premiere date until HBO sends out a press release, or we see it in a trailer.

      It is worth noting that HBO just announced that The Leftovers will premiere its 8-episode final season on April 16. Assuming that show doesn’t air two episodes on one night or take any weeks off, that would place its finale on June 4.

      So the earliest potential premiere date for Game of Thrones Season 7 would be June 11. If HBO takes a week off (as they often do), it could premiere on June 18. If they take two weeks off, it would be June 25. Delaying it any longer would be a stretch, and would probably only happen if Benioff and Weiss asked HBO for more time to complete their post-production work.

      So June 25 is a good guess for the Season 7 premiere date, but it’s not official. 🙂

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    20. mau,

      You’re acting like the armor is the infinity gauntlet. It’s just special armor, that’s all. There is nothing fantastical about it. I’m not saying that Euron should grow to be a 40 foot tall giant and start pounding people into the ground and breathing fire.

      It is a little bit late to introduce a primary antagonist, but had they featured him more in season 6 and maybe introduced him or referenced him in season 5, it could’ve worked better.

      As is we’ll probably just be getting an epic battle between the White Walkers and Dany or whoever remains which will be lame, since the brilliance of the show has been in the interplay between the humans and the politicking. There is nothing scary or interesting about a bunch of mindless zombies, hence why I never understood the unabashed love for Hardhome. It was a great action sequence, but not the greatest thing in the history of TV / cinema like everyone was making it out to be. Definitely not the best episode on the show or even close.

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    21. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      LatrineDiggerBrian: As is we’ll probably just be getting an epic battle between the White Walkers and Dany or whoever remains which will be lame, since the brilliance of the show has been in the interplay between the humans and the politicking. There is nothing scary or interesting about a bunch of mindless zombies, hence why I never understood the unabashed love for Hardhome. It was a great action sequence, but not the greatest thing in the history of TV / cinema like everyone was making it out to be. Definitely not the best episode on the show or even close.

      LatrineDiggerBrian,

      The difference between fact and opinion is lost on you.

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    22. Mr Derp,

      I have no idea what you mean. I haven’t been following the production, so I don’t have the whole trajectory of the final episodes mapped out like I’m sure you guys do.

      Obviously what I state is my own opinion. Do I need to preface all my posts with that?

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    23. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      Yes, you know what I mean, and personally, I’d prefer it if you stopped posting the same rants over and over again about how Game of Thrones sucks now. It gets old and boring. We already understand how you feel. You’ve made your point several times over. The writing sucks, this sucks, that sucks, blah blah blah.

      You presented your personal preference to how the Kingsmoot should’ve went down and it was met with criticism, so it’s very hypocritical for you to constantly come on here and bitch about the writing.

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    24. Mr Derp,

      You’re totally misreading the conversation I’m having with Yaga and Mau. It’s a pleasant discussion over how the Kingsmoot should’ve went down which I’m enjoying — everyone is making good points. So why don’t you just mind your own business and stay out of it? Otherwise, add something to the discussion instead of stirring the pot and trying to start a fight on the internet. Stop being butt hurt just because someone has a different viewpoint than you.

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    25. mau:
      Yaga,

      I think because he needs a strong human antagonist in the books and his version of Cersei is just not capable of filling that role.

      D&D really wrote Cersei as powerful character, larger than life, almost as anti-hero, a tragic heroine. That is something GRRM didn’t do.

      This is so dumb. The show is ahead of the books. You would not be saying this about show Cersei based on where she was up to Episode 9 of season 6. When “Queen Of Thorns” said this, she was at her lowest point.

      “Powerful show Cersei” is based completely on one episode that is ahead of the books.

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    26. It’s wonderful to hear that you think I’m butthurt and all these other phrases that 5th graders and trolls use on a regular basis, but I’m not. I’m also delighted to hear that you’re having a pleasant conversation, although the bulk of that conversation seems to have ended hours ago. During that pleasant conversation you were told not to take things so personally by one of the commenters, so obviously it wasnt the Kumbaya moment you seem to claim. Additionally, this is a public forum, so you don’t get to dictate who speaks to whom. If I’m tired of you shitting all over D&D, then I will let you know about it. That’s the give and take of a public forum. You get to say unoriginal, overused cliche words like butthurt and I get to call you out for stating the same case over and over. I have to admit, Im a little disappointed in you. Someone with the exceptional and superior writing skills such as yourself should be able to be more creative than “butthurt”.

      Ugh…Life is too short for this nonsense. I’m not contributing to this anymore.

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    27. Mr Derp,

      You have no clue about my feelings on Dan and Dave. While I didn’t like S6, I’ve loved the rest of the series and have a lot of respect for them. I was disappointed in their effort for S6 as I think they’re capable of much more, but overall I’m very very thankful for all they’ve given me with this series as a whole.

      So yeah, looks like you’re jumping into this without really knowing the facts or knowing my opinions on things, so maybe you should stay quiet rather than trying to hijack a peaceful discussion.

      Good, get out of here, you’ve added nothing.

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    28. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      What is great and interesting about the White Walkers is that they are metaphors for death and the futility of schemes, lies and politics. The great thing about them is the reactions of other characters to them, not them per se.

      Euron in the books is the comic book villain. If you like politics, you should appreciate that D&D made Cersei the main antagonist in the show, because she is the embodiment of everything that was great about this story.

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    29. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      And one more thing. Politics was always an important part of this story. But that wasn’t the only element. You shouldn’t act like House of Cards changed to a fantasy show. This show had fantastical elements from the first scene. It has dragons, witches, wizards, elves (children of the forest), characters traveling through time and space, characters coming back from the dead,…

      You said that you didn’t read the spoilers for S7. Well, I did. And believe me, there will be politics until the end of story. It won’t be just war with WW.

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    30. LatrineDiggerBrian,
      I understand where you come from in not liking the White Walkers / Night King as the final villain. However, some points to keep in mind: one, the Walkers were in the story from the beginning. At some point, the show *has* to get to them. It can’t delay indefinitely, or people will lose interest. I would say “blame Martin for them!” except that their presence is a *good* thing. It’s an assurance that the story *will*, at some point, end – that we’re not watching a soap opera.

      And two, a supernatural Euron would be a lot of sorcery, which you say you don’t like, as opposed to politics – just assigned to a character. (And sadism, which, like I said before, would have been really repetitive and tiring.)

      mau and Jared, good point about Cersei. She’s the one to provide the political angle going forward, isn’t she.

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    31. Sad to hear about Micah leaving the podcast but I wish him all the best for the future – it certainly sounds exciting! Is there any chance at all for, say, Kate to rejoin GOO for a while…? I’d love to have her come back…

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    32. mau,

      Maybe I used the wrong word when I said politics, or at least that’s only a small part of what I meant. What I prefer is the conflicts between the humans. I’m interested in the characters and the interplay between them. The White Walkers have always been boring to me, themes or not. I don’t mind the dragons or subtle magic however.

      The fantastical elements have been there since the beginning, but they’ve been buried pretty deeply in the background up until recently. It’s built up very slowly and gradually. I’m aware it’s inevitable that it will be part of the end, I just hope it’s gotten out of the way sooner rather than later.

      It’s a relief to hear that the S7 spoilers indicate that the politics will still be at the forefront.

      I haven’t read the books, just some of the chapters with Euron. I like Cersei, but I also don’t mind a good sadistic psychopath if done subtly. Will be interested to see how they handle Euron on the show, but I have a feeling he’s just gonna be a minor obstacle to Dany and could even be killed early in the season. We’ll see.

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    33. Yaga,

      Yeah, I’m not denying the fact that the White Walkers have been built up slowly and gradually through the story and will be a major part of the final conclusion. I just hope they get it out of the way sooner rather than later to leave a little time for some more human conflict.

      I don’t mind fantastical elements when combined with the humans, i.e. magic. My main issue with the White Walkers is that they’re zombies which bores me. I wish Euron could’ve been built up earlier in the TV series as the final baddie, maybe even have him somehow lead the army of the dead so it’s not just about the Night King who is lame to me. Could’ve tied him into the WW and that would’ve been more interesting.

      But as is, Euron is probably there to just provide some conflict to Dany early in the season though I hope I’m wrong. Though I do remember D & D listing Euron as a “good part” in the casting description, so hopefully he’ll become a main player in the last two seasons. You guys say another sadistic villain would be repetitive, but I say, we need a new one to fill the void left by Ramsey.

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    34. mau:
      Mitch,

      I don’t think that she is powerful character because she is the queen now. She was always better than her book version. Since S1.

      In my opinion.

      Agreed.

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    35. LatrineDiggerBrian,
      Ah. I don’t mean to be nasty, but I think you should better get accustomed to the thought that the zombie plot will be the final conflict in the series, and that after this is dealt with, it’ll be just the denouement. I’m not sure if you’ve played many video games, but ASOIAF/GOT seems to follow the Final Fantasy scheme of plot construction. You start out solving small human issues and betrayals, but the final boss is always some sort of God.

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    36. Yaga,

      I already am. I’m sure there will be a huge glorious battle with dragons and a million zombies and Jon and whoever else facing off against the leadership of the WW. It is what it is. I’ve accepted that this hugely interesting story is ultimately going to be a showdown between some mindless idiots who don’t talk. Maybe we’ll learn a little more about the Night King’s back story and that will make it more interesting.

      And the Final Fantasy games I played, the endings were usually show downs between the crew and the lead baddie who had a brain, awesome villains like Sephiroth and Kefka, not a bunch of mindless idiots who don’t talk and who aren’t scary!

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    37. Just getting caught up with the podcast and wanted to say goodbye to Micah! Thank you for all your insight over the years. You will be missed. Good luck with future endeavors!

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