BURN PILE: Death, Taxes, and Game of Thrones

We all know what today is, but a couple of things before we get started.

First off, Monday is Tax Day. Get those taxes filed before midnight, or better yet, before 7pm today MST. Then reward yourself by watching this TED Talk from 2016 in which Katie Bouman explains the algorithm she developed for capturing a black hole on camera. Afterwards you should check out this piece by The New York Times spotlighting all the many women in addition to Bouman who contributed to the historic achievement.

Speaking of women making waves, LitHub argues that, instead of being called a great “millennial” novelist, Sally Rooney should just be recognized as a great novelist. Ana Cecilia Alvarez for The New Republic analyzes the impossible subject matter of Valeria Luiselli’s novel Lost Children Archive, and over at ElectricLit, Marci Cancio-Bello interviews Susah Choi about the painfully accurate teenage emotions captured in her new novel Trust Exercise.

That’s the latest for prose, but April is National Poetry Month, and in celebration of the poem’s traditional appearance in eulogies, The Atlantic has compiled a list of elegiac poems mourning things lost or dead, which serves as a good segue into Game of Thrones. 

First, in no more than four minutes of rhyming couplets, James Corden sums up the last seven seasons of GoT and reminds us that Winter is Here. Then The New Yorker makes some predictions and offers their own set of eulogies for characters likely to be introduced and killed off in the eighth and final season. 

To get serious for a second, The Atlantic issues a criticism of GoT and the fantasy genre as a whole for featuring authoritarian rule as the preferred form of governance by hero and villain alike and posits that elections are the only way to truly subvert the genre by letting the people win the game. And over at BuzzFeedNews Jacob Anderson (aka Grey Worm) laments the show’s lack of diversity, while George R.R. Martin himself speaks up in The New York Times Style Magazine about what today’s politicians, including the President, could learn from his characters. Emilia Clarke is more direct, suggesting a fiery end to a Westerosi Trump. 

All this death is grim business and no doubt we’re going to lose some of our favorites (Esquire makes the case that it will be Daenerys), so count on McSweeney’s to lighten the mood with a little exchange between Jon Snow and 23andMe. 

The night is long and full of terrors even if you’re not banging your aunt. Happy watching.