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The Noble Collection Holiday Catalog

A few years ago I bought my sister a replica of Dumbledore’s wand for Christmas, and it was one of the best things that I’ve ever done because now I get The Noble Collection Holiday Catalog delivered in the mail every November. It’s basically a catalog for movie nerds. They have replicas of props from all the movies you geek out over. Do you like The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings? Well then maybe you would enjoy an Illuminating Gandalf Staff for $159, or maybe the Pipe of Bilbo Baggins for only $69 (and it says it’s fully functional). They have a bunch of stuff from The Dark Knight trilogy as well. You can get a Folding Batarang Money Clip in either bronze or flat black for $39. $395 will get you a full-sized Batman Cowl or Bane Mask… I’m not sure you could actually wear them, but I’d love to find out.

The catalog also has a few other items like a Throne Bookend from Game of Thrones, The Green Power Lantern from The Green Lantern, and the Golden Compass from The Golden Compass. But the main reason why I get excited when the Holiday Catalog finally comes is for all their Harry Potter merchandise. They have about fifty wands from fifty different characters. They even sell fancy wand displays so you can display all your fancy wands. Almost every cool Harry Potter prop is available for sale. You can buy the Sword of Gryffindor, the Marauder’s Map, Tom Riddle’s Diary, the Sorcerer’s Stone, even a goddamned Firebolt. You might think that spending $295 on a broom is excessive, but it’s a fucking Firebolt! It’s the fastest broom there is. You’d be an idiot not to buy it. I know I’m not supposed to waste money on frivolous things, but it’s hard not to with The Noble Collection Holiday Catalog.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Game of Thrones (TV show)

HBO’s Game of Thrones is one of the best TV shows I’ve ever experienced, and it’s not even through its second season. It’s hard to make a great show: you need a great premise, strong writing, a solid cast, and a TV network that is willing to invest in a great idea. Game of Thrones has all the requirements to being awesome, and it also has dragons, which makes it even better.

I’ve noticed that there’s been a trend of TV shows based on books, like True Blood, Legend of the Seeker, and this show, which is based on George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. Each season represents a book. HBO can afford to have amazing production values. Each episode feels like a movie. There is a scope that rivals any fantasy film, in most cases exceeding them.

There is a lot going on. There are multiple families competing against each other for power. The Stark family is feuding with the Lannister clan, but sometimes they get along. There’s a clan of warriors known as the Dothraki, and the Viserys, heirs of a usurped king, marry into their tribe to get access to their army so that they might one day reclaim their land. Basically there’s a shit ton of politics and wars and incest. The middle ages were truly a magical time.

This is one of those shows that you get on DVD or Blu-Ray and have a marathon where you watch all the episodes back to back. It’s addicting. There’s something for everyone. There’s talking. There’s action. There’s nudity. There’s violence. There’s romance. There’s politics. There’s nudity. There’s betrayal. There’s religion. There are dwarves. There are dragons. There’s nudity. There are fools and bastards and evil kings. Did I mention the nudity?

No character is safe. This is like a medieval 24. You get to know a character, you get to like them, and then WHAM! BAM! They are dead and your jaw is dropped. And there are a lot of characters. There are a lot of subplots. There are a lot of things going on, but everything ties together. This show is still young, it will get to be a cult phenomenon. It’s already on its way there.

George R. R. Martin has crafted an amazing world. HBO tries to respect it. They do a great job of it too. There is a sense of history. He created a whole backstory that you catch glimpses of that adds to the depth of the story. There are different religions, different gods. There are different languages and customs. There is a sense of honor and chivalry. This is a medieval period, there is still fear of the unknown. Magic still exists, it’s real and possible.

The show follows the book more strictly than True Blood follows the Sookie Stackhouse books. So if you don’t like spoilers you probably shouldn’t read the books. You don’t want to be the jackass pointing out all the differences anyway.

Game of Thrones is awesome. Dragons, kings, swords, nudity… it’s the best swords and sorcery TV show ever. HBO shows are usually awesome, and this is one of their best shows to date. I hope I’m not jinxing season three.

Critically Rated at 15/17

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