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The Winter [Olympics] is Coming
January 14, 2014 7:42 AM   Subscribe

Tywin Lannister Narrates an Epic Winter Olympics Promo
posted by meowzilla (48 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
As much as I am disillusioned by the Olympics and the over the top marketing that comes with them, I could listen to that man sound menacing all day.
posted by nubs at 7:59 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


Tywin Lannister? To me Charles Dance will always be "Man Who Points A Gun At James Bond And Then Gets Shot In The Back With A Harpoon" in For Your Eyes Only.
posted by dng at 8:00 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]


Cheerful. Though Game of Thrones needs more downhill tea tray.
posted by biffa at 8:02 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure Lord Vetinari does not get shot by harpoons.
posted by kmz at 8:03 AM on January 14 [3 favorites]


To me, he'll always be Sardo Numspa.
posted by chimaera at 8:04 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


I like this new version of the Aggro Crag.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:04 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]


I could listen all day to a conversation between Tywin Lannister and Morgan Freemen, even if they just spoke nonsense to each other.
posted by fatbird at 8:05 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


Yeah yeah yeah Olympics, but new GoT trailer! April 6! So much excitement!
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 8:06 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


I've never found Charles Dance all that threatening.
posted by Bromius at 8:07 AM on January 14


Nature. Who will conquer it?

Huh. This seems like a weird tagline for the extremely structured and managed Olympic games. Isn't nature already conquered by the McDonald's logos I expect to see plastered on everything?
posted by GrumpyDan at 8:14 AM on January 14


Snow is the most terrifying thing anyone in Britain can imagine.
posted by dng at 8:15 AM on January 14 [9 favorites]


This would have been even better if, in the middle of the intense downhill skiing and bombast and menace, the music just cut out for a moment and the video cut to a quiet group of curlers on a little frozen pond.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:20 AM on January 14 [10 favorites]


Snow is the most terrifying thing anyone in Britain can imagine.


It is known.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:28 AM on January 14 [4 favorites]


Video got pulled. That didn't take long.
posted by neckro23 at 8:35 AM on January 14


Its weird how so many of the people I know go through this bipolar roller coaster ride of being simultaneously really excited by the fascist ideology that has always and continues to pervade every inch of it, as well as its inherently imperialistic and corruptly parasitic nature, and creeped out by it. I mean, this monologue is a straight up analogy between the forces of nature flexed against by athletes and a the benevolent authoritarianism of Charles Dance's dulcet voice in celebration of the straight up fascist hegemony over life and death through virile masculinity - now reinvented with women also performing it. Its not even trying to be subtle.

Are we really also going to forget Putin's neo-Soviet intentions with this whole show this early? Are the fascist rebirth myth, the populist ultra-nationalism, and the myth of decadence really going to dominate already? Is it that the thuggish corruption of the IOC just doesn't create the same friction with Putin's already thoroughly corrupt Russia that it did in London? Are we even going to think about how much of the advertising revenue generated from our eyeballs is going into the hands of the mob? Does Obama making a symbolic gesture by appointing Brian Boitano really make it OK to pretend that forcing athletes into the closet in order to compete is OK?

Whatever I guess, Winter appears to be coming and we have pop culture references to make.
posted by Blasdelb at 8:36 AM on January 14 [6 favorites]


If the audio was the teletubbies blasdelb would still be in his happy place.
posted by biffa at 8:51 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


I like this new version of the Aggro Crag.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:04 AM on January 14


I would be MUCH more enthusiastic about the Olympics if all the gold medalists had a shot at the 'Crag at the end of the games.
posted by stinkfoot at 8:55 AM on January 14


Its weird how so many of the people I know go through this bipolar roller coaster ride of being simultaneously really excited by the fascist ideology that has always and continues to pervade every inch of it, as well as its inherently imperialistic and corruptly parasitic nature, and creeped out by it. I mean, this monologue is a straight up analogy between the forces of nature flexed against by athletes and a the benevolent authoritarianism of Charles Dance's dulcet voice in celebration of the straight up fascist hegemony over life and death through virile masculinity - now reinvented with women also performing it. Its not even trying to be subtle.

Are we really also going to forget Putin's neo-Soviet intentions with this whole show this early? Are the fascist rebirth myth, the populist ultra-nationalism, and the myth of decadence really going to dominate already? Is it that the thuggish corruption of the IOC just doesn't create the same friction with Putin's already thoroughly corrupt Russia that it did in London? Are we even going to think about how much of the advertising revenue generated from our eyeballs is going into the hands of the mob? Does Obama making a symbolic gesture by appointing Brian Boitano really make it OK to pretend that forcing athletes into the closet in order to compete is OK?

Whatever I guess, Winter appears to be coming and we have pop culture references to make.


The "Charles Dance is a great actor" box and the "Sochi Olympics are an even bigger problematic shitshow than most Olympics" box are pretty easily separable in conversation. It's not crazy to think that, just maybe, people can hold opinions on both and it's still okay to talk about Charles Dance. Liking him doesn't equal liking Putin, admiring his skill at playing threatening authoritarians doesn't equal condoning authoritarianism, and people not having the conversation you want them to have in this moment doesn't mean they aren't thinking about it. I mean, instead of chiding others for not having that conversation you can, y'know, just start it.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:00 AM on January 14 [7 favorites]


Sometimes it's useful when ebaum "borrows" things.
posted by madajb at 9:04 AM on January 14


Here's the direct BBC link: http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/winter-olympics/25704328
posted by four panels at 9:07 AM on January 14


[edited link per OP request, carry on]
posted by jessamyn at 9:16 AM on January 14


Wanted to see Peter Dinklage doing biathlon but came away disappointed. At least there weren't battling rock giants.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:31 AM on January 14


I can't believe they got the text of Putin's opening ceremony speech so soon.
posted by jaduncan at 9:44 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]


I could listen all day to a conversation between Tywin Lannister and Morgan Freemen, even if they just spoke nonsense to each other.

Add in Werner Herzog and you've got a deal.
posted by maudlin at 9:46 AM on January 14 [3 favorites]


"The "Charles Dance is a great actor" box and the "Sochi Olympics are an even bigger problematic shitshow than most Olympics" box are pretty easily separable in conversation. It's not crazy to think that, just maybe, people can hold opinions on both and it's still okay to talk about Charles Dance."
This is Charles Dance reciting a monologue that digs through the iconography of the Olympics for what is unironically, unreservedly, and jubilantly if maybe a little non-intuitively fascist. There is no pleasant metaphor here, no nuance buried in it, this is just straight up talk dirty to me Charles Dance where its latent fascist ideology dressed up in a corporate skin suit being fetishized and celebrated. There is nothing else here.

Just because Godwin's Law and the passing of time has desensitized us to the point where fascists are nothing more than faceless and incoherent cartoon villains that morph into whatever we happen to dislike in the moment we think of them doesn't mean that the real deal wasn't actually fucking terrifying, didn't actually have a coherent ideology, and don't actually survive to this day in vividly recognizable forms.
posted by Blasdelb at 9:52 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


I could listen all day to a conversation between Tywin Lannister and Morgan Freemen, even if they just spoke nonsense to each other.

Add in Werner Herzog and you've got a deal.


No no no, you have forgotten the cherry, the piece de resistance: yes, Tywin Lannister, yes Morgan Freeman, yes Werner Herzog, but also Paul F. Thompkins doing his Werner Herzog impression. Gloria in excelsis.
posted by Diablevert at 9:54 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]


Snow is the most terrifying thing anyone in Britain can imagine.

We commute by train.
posted by jaduncan at 9:57 AM on January 14


...wasn't Dance in talks to play President Snow at some point?
posted by The Whelk at 10:34 AM on January 14


O god.

Sport.

O god.
posted by Devonian at 11:09 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


I actually think it's quite fascinating that the BBC has gone with something that is threatening, and pulls on the imagery/associations you are raising Blasdelb. There is a huge cognitive dissonance for me in these choices and the Olympics as they currently exist: a McDonaldfied serving of Coca-Cola, sponsored by Other Big Corporation of stuff that attempts to make us feel good about elite professional or semi-professional athletes competing for the glory of some endorsement contract, where we are constantly assured that everything is ok and not to worry and that we should cheer for our country without shame in some sport we never knew existed before. This ad actually provokes the opposite beyond what a normal Olympic ad about the struggle of competition does. My instant thought was to compare it to this one from 2010 - which has some of the same overtones/undertones, but a different feel for me than the BBC entry. The BBC entry is over the top with it, and makes it more noticeable.

I actually like that fact - the fact that it provokes some discomfort and dis-ease because I suspect I am not alone in that reaction. And something that makes people react that way is good because it hopefully causes them to question where that is coming from.

There is an ideal of the Olympics and the current reality. Sochi, with its rampant corruption, curious geographic and political setting, and increasing bad press might just be the Olympics that sharpens that distinction to a point that requires acknowledgement and redress.

I don't think it will be a final turning point, but perhaps a significant one. Because change often takes many turning points.

Anyways, I also love listening to Charles Dance - and like many things human it's not a binary thing, I can both enjoy his voice work and dislike what it's being done for.
posted by nubs at 11:35 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


This is Charles Dance reciting a monologue that digs through the iconography of the Olympics for what is unironically, unreservedly, and jubilantly if maybe a little non-intuitively fascist.

I don't think it's non-intuitively fascist. Modern Olympic iconography is essentially drawn straight from Riefenstahl's Olympia. Can't get any more intuitively fascist than that.
posted by Justinian at 12:38 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


Here is the text of the poem he reads,
"I am the dreadful menace.
The one whose will is done.
The haunting chill upon your neck.
I am the conundrum.

I will summon armies.
Of wind and rain and snow.
I made the black cloud overhead.
The ice, like glass below.

Not you, nor any other.
Can fathom what is nigh.
I will tell you when to jump.
And I’ll dictate how high.

The ones that came before you.
Stood strong and tall and brave.
But I stole those dreams away.
Those dreams could not be saved.

But now you stand before me.
Devoid of all dismay.
Could it be? Just maybe.
I’ll let you have your day."
posted by Blasdelb at 2:06 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


Tom Bombadill gets broody in his cups.
posted by Diablevert at 3:57 PM on January 14


Did Charles Dance have a chimp around for tea?
posted by homunculus at 5:31 PM on January 14


In 1979, I got stationed at a WWII-era US Air Force Base in England. Aside from being my dream assignment come true, we got to watch the otherwise incredibly boring (no other host competition after our bid not to attend the previous Olympics at the command of President Carter) Lake Placid Winter Olympics of 1980 through the eyes of the BBC. From the Opening Ceremony until the extinguishment of the Torch, they had an incredibly bad habit of just shutting up and letting the thing be filmed beautifully and unfold, unlike US coverage, where every "nuance" had to be analyzed, explained, up-marketed and then commercial-breaked unto death.

Yes, the BBC artify it until it's the ultimate marketing dream come true, but I will sit through anything ten times as long as I don't have to listen to Matt Lauer explain to me what that left elbow gesture means in the vernacular of some woman he cornered on some street in Sochi day before yesterday.

It's the art of sports, and often great sports, and they get it better than anybody else on Earth. Plus, the Miracle on Ice, which didn't.suck.either. Weeks afterward, the Sunday afternoon entertainments on BBC-4 were often videos of cross-country skiing, or ice-dancing set to proto-music videos with every falling snowflake enhanced by the then far-advanced resolution of British telly.

Yes, I am a devotee, and I intend to watch every minute of it that I can, but you can bet I will be watching it on the Beeb.

.....

Wait, what were we talking about?
posted by halfbuckaroo at 7:13 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


I am the Sonic Hedgehog.
The one whose Spin is Blast.
The haunting chill upon your neck.
I am what Nintendon't.

I will summon Tails.
Of Star and Light and Zone.
I made the black cloud overhead.
The ice, like pink slime below.

Not you, nor any other.
Can fathom what is nigh.
I will tell you when to hold down C.
And I’ll dictate how fast to go when you release C.

The ones that came before you.
Stood strong and tall and brave.
But I stole those rings away.
Those rings could not be saved.

But now you stand before me.
Devoid of all dismay.
Could it be? Just maybe.
Gotta go fast.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:24 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


The third Hobbit movie looks like quite a romp!
posted by Apocryphon at 12:28 AM on January 15


Game of Thrones Reenvisioned as Feudal Japan
posted by homunculus at 8:19 PM on January 21


Yeah yeah yeah Olympics, but new GoT trailer yt ! April 6! So much excitement!

Game of Thrones behind-the-scenes look at season 4 will make you squee
posted by homunculus at 11:34 AM on January 24


WWII-era US Air Force Base

Random guess: Mildenhall or Lakenheath?
posted by jaduncan at 11:56 AM on January 24


Game of Thrones behind-the-scenes look at season 4 will make you squee

I'm a big fan of GoT and looking forward to this but this wasn't really a squee-worthy look behind anything, to me. Not sure why it would be?
posted by jessamyn at 12:06 PM on January 24


I didn't quite squee either, even though I can't get enough of these little tastes of the coming season. I guess if you're into it enough then everything GOT is pre-squeed.
posted by homunculus at 1:16 PM on January 24


Not to be confused with Squee.
posted by homunculus at 1:18 PM on January 24


Random guess: Mildenhall or Lakenheath?

Chicksands
posted by halfbuckaroo at 5:26 PM on January 25


Since this is a bit of a GoT/sports crossover thread:

Austrian TV opening sequence for the conference finals
posted by nubs at 12:35 PM on January 27


Corruption and Construction at the Sochi Olympics
posted by homunculus at 1:28 PM on February 3


There’s a 15-Minute Teaser for Season 4 of Game of Thrones, And You Definitely Want to Watch It

Why Yes, We Did Make 38 Game Of Thrones Preview Screencaps To Geek Out On

Maisie Williams Teases Arya’s “Scarier” Side, Carice van Houten Wants More Male Nudity, And Other Game of Thrones Tidbits
posted by homunculus at 6:38 PM on February 12


I could watch this part of the teaser over and over and over again
posted by jason_steakums at 6:52 PM on February 12


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