A Midnight Encounter

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One night at university, just before midnight, I was walking down a dark alley. I had spent all day working on my Ancient History thesis – the deadline was just a week away. I’d signed up for a shift volunteering for a charity which started at twelve o’clock, but until twenty to twelve I’d been immersed in the world of Philetaerus, a eunuch who had lived in what is now Turkey 2,300 years ago. My head was still full of ancient evidence: stone inscriptions, gold coins, and Philetaerus’s mysterious building programme of several temples to the Mother-Goddess, Cybele.

The alley was narrow and zigzagging. Out of the darkness, a man staggered towards me, slurring heavily. “Oi, mate – got a light?”

“No, I’m sorry,” I said, and I kept walking.

The man stumbled over to me. “D’you go to this university, then?” he said, leaning so close to me that I could smell the alcohol on his breath. Continue reading →

A Song of Ice and Disappointment

Game of Thrones bannerHow one of modern fiction’s most ambitious, brilliant failures gave rise to Game of Thrones, television’s most ambitious, brilliant failure

So that’s it, then.

After a twenty-three-year wait, the world finally knows what happens at the end of A Song of Ice and Fire, George R R Martin’s world-famous fantasy series which spawned the HBO television epic Game of Thrones. On 19th May, the very last episode of Game of Thrones aired, and the story came to an end.

Except it’s not as neat as that. Continue reading →