Los Angeles, May 21 (AP/UNB) — Fire rained down and heads came off. There was punishment, banishment and retribution. And that was just from the fans.
"Game of Thrones" aired its 73rd and final episode Sunday night, showing its gift for drawing record-setting numbers of viewers and for leaving those viewers deeply divided about the results, as they have been for finales from "Seinfeld" to "The Sopranos" to "Lost."
The final episode of "Game of Thrones" at least brought some clear winners, at least one clear loser and a major upset.
(MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD.)
Brandon Stark, who until recently appeared happy to remain a mystic philosopher forever, instead becomes philosopher-king, Bran the Broken.
Yet he doesn't get to sit on the Iron Throne (a dragon melted that) or rule the Seven Kingdoms (his sister Sansa broke one off to become queen of an independent North.)
And Daenerys Targaryen became the last of the show's many, many major character deaths, given a Shakespearean send-off by Jon Snow, who watched her burn thousands of innocents and believed she had become a mad tyrant.
"You are my queen, now and always," Jon says to Daenerys as he shoves a dagger into her, giving her what may have been the shortest reign of any monarch in Westeros.
It was the endgame of a heel-turn from a week earlier that brought more fan outrage than any other moment in the always provocative show.
Actress Emilia Clarke, who plays the role of Daenerys, told Entertainment Weekly that she cried when she first read the script in 2017 but defended the arc in the end, saying it was true to the character and she found her final moments "beautiful and touching."
"Hopefully, what you'll see in that last moment as she's dying is: There's the vulnerability — there's the little girl you met in season 1," Clarke said.
The negative reaction spilled into the finale, with fans on Twitter in particular expressing outrage about the outcome, even if many agreed it was reflective of the way the unjust real world works.
"Good morning to everybody except Bran," columnist Jemele Hill tweeted Monday, "who despite being a wack archer, sending Hodor and Theon to their deaths and chilling next to a fire while everybody was fighting, got to the king."
The episode's leaps from big event to big event to tie up its many plot threads did nothing to quiet criticism that the show that made its name on carefully meandering storytelling had given that up in the final two seasons in favor of attempts to please.
"Like most of Season 8, it felt like a Wikipedia summary more than a full story being told," Gina Carbone of CinemaBlend wrote.
Critics were genuinely divided. The episode had a 57 percent fresh score among reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes, and even positive reviews acknowledged the impossibility of pulling off an ending that would be broadly satisfying.
"It was everything nobody wanted, but it was still quite a thing: adequately just, narratively symmetrical and sufficiently poignant," Hank Stuever wrote in the Washington Post.
Regardless of how fans felt about the final season, they never stopped watching.
The finale brought in 19.3 million viewers across HBO's platforms, topping the previous episode's 18.4 million to make it the most-viewed episode of any kind in the channel's history.
Just after it aired on the East Coast, nine of Twitter's top 10 trending topics were related to the show.
Fans also noticed another gaffe, a plastic water bottle at the feet of Samwell Tarly, like the paper coffee cup clearly visible on a table next to Daenerys earlier in the season.
The show had a full-circle ending of sorts. Bran's surprise ascent to the throne would have been no shock at all to viewers just after the show's first episode — where he is clearly marked as a chosen figure, forced to witness a beheading by a father teaching him the ways of the world, and pushed from a high window only to survive, paralyzed.
He then over several seasons, while missing from the story for long stretches, became a mystical seer known as the Three-eyed Raven, with an essential role but distant presence and personality.
In the finale, a council of the remaining nobles of Westeros votes for Bran after a suggestion and major speech from Tyrion Lannister.
"People love stories," Tyrion says. "Who has a better story than Bran the Broken?"
(His sisters, just to name two, many fans thought.)
Bran actor Isaac Hempstead Wright was, unsurprisingly, thrilled with his characters ending.
"I find it an extraordinary character arc to see him go from a vulnerable character totally dependent on others to the one person who holds all the keys to understanding the world," he wrote Monday in The Hollywood Reporter.
Sansa's crowning as queen of the North was as predictable as the finale got — she'd clearly been headed for the role for a while.
While the night brought a big end for "Thrones" fans, its universe was far from over.
Author George R.R. Martin still intends to finish and release two more books in the series after the show passed him by years ago.
And spin-offs are in the planning stages. One pilot in production takes place in the same realm thousands of years earlier, and the finale might have hinted at another possibility.
Arya Stark, who saved humanity early in the season, decides to sail on to unknown lands, and her departure on a ship is among the series' final images.
"What's west of Westeros?" she asks her Stark siblings. "No one knows. It's where all the maps stop. It's where I'm going."
TV comedy writer Bess Kalb expressed a common response to this idea on Twitter: "Will watch Arya the Explorya."
Dhaka, May 18 (UNB) - Renowned singer Pothik Nobi, who became famous for his song ‘Amar Ekta Nodi Chilo’, is all set to get back on the scene after a gap of 13 years with a new song, said singer and songwriter Lutfor Hasan who has tuned the song.
Lutfor told UNB that the song was written by Someshwar Oli who is known for his great work- Ghuri Tumi Kar Akashe Uro - which was also sung by Lutfor Hasan himself.
“Can you imagine of a singer who was so popular once but has no new creation in 13 years! He had a debut like a prince in the music industry. He used to amuse young guys for a few years. He had given the new generation new songs and tune as their everyday slogan. However, he is now set to sing a new song written by me!” lyricist Oli wrote on his Facebook wall.
“Pothik Nobi worked on lyric-oriented songs from 2000 to 2006. But when the standard of Bengali lyrics fell, he stopped creating new songs, and it was a really tough time for the lovers of Bengali songs. However, he liked the lyrics and tune of Jora Shalik and agreed to work on it. We hope he’ll continue to create new songs in the coming days,” Lutfor said while talking to UNB.
He said the new song of Pothik was composed by Shahriar Alam Marcell. The new song - Jora Shalik- will be released during Eid by G Series.
New York, May 18 (AP/UNB) — To messages of support and puzzlement, Kim Kardashian West has, seemingly, revealed her newborn's name: Psalm West.
The beauty mogul, reality star, law student and wife of Kanye West took to her social streams to share the first look at their fourth child, born May 9. A photo of the boy nestled in a crib came in the form of a text message screen grab with her husband that called it a "Beautiful Mother's Day" and said the couple are "blessed beyond measure."
The baby is their second boy and the second to be born via surrogate because of a potentially life-threatening medical condition that complicated Kardashian West's two pregnancies.
The baby joins 5-year-old sister North, 3-year-old brother Saint and 15-month-old sister Chicago.
Morristown, May 17 (AP/UNB) — Her owners say Grumpy Cat, whose sourpuss demeanor became an internet sensation, has died at age 7.
Posting on social media Friday, Grumpy Cat's owners wrote that she experienced complications from a urinary tract infection and "passed away peacefully" Tuesday "in the arms of her mommy."
Her owners said "Grumpy Cat has helped millions of people smile all around the world — even when times were tough."
The cat's real name was Tarder Sauce, and she rose to fame after her photos were posted online in 2012. She had more than 2 million followers on Instagram and more than 1 million on Twitter.
Her website says her grumpy look was likely because she had a form of dwarfism.
Owner Tabatha Bundesen founded Grumpy Cat Limited, and the cat made numerous appearances, including commercials.
Cannes, May 17 (AP/UNB) — Kleber Mendonça Filho's Cannes entry "Bacurau" is a feverish and violent Western about a rural Brazilian community defending itself from a hard-to-comprehend invasion. For the filmmakers, it's not so different than President Jair Bolsonaro's Brazil.
"Bacurau," which is competing for the Palme d'Or, the top prize, gave the Cannes Film Festival's most searing political statement yet. While the film is a bloody, surreal Brazilian parable with shades of "The Most Dangerous Game" and "Seven Samurai," its makers spoke in blunter political terms Thursday.
"Brazil right now does feel like a dystopia in many, many everyday aspects," Mendonça said to reporters.
At the Cannes premiere to his 2016 film, "Aquarius," Filho and his cast three years ago memorably held placards that declared a coup had taken place in Brazil. Just weeks earlier, Brazil's left-wing former president Dilma Rousseff had been impeached. Last October, Bolsonaro — a populist, right-wing leader sometimes compared to U.S. President Donald Trump — was elected, ushering in a fraught new chapter for Brazil.
This time, Mendonça, his co-director Julian Dornelles and their cast didn't protest on the red carpet. "Bacurau," they said, spoke for them.
"We used the movie as our weapon," said actor Thomas Aquino. "This is our answer. This is how we protest."
While "Bacurau" was premiering Wednesday night in Cannes, tens of thousands of students and teachers protested in Brazilian streets over steep budget cuts to education that Bolsonaro has announced. The filmmakers said they stood in solidarity with those protesters.
"It's very important that you don't go insane," said Mendonça on Thursday. "Like: 'Yeah, maybe we cut 30% of education, maybe that'd be a good thing.'"
"We should never lose sight of what we believe in," he added. "I think that is what resistance is under some strange system you don't believe in."
Bolsonaro has said he believes indigenous groups in Brazil have too much land set aside for their control. He supports making parts of the Amazon easier for miners and loggers to access.
Bolsonaro has also criticized the arts for "cultural Marxism" and dissolved the country's ministry of culture. Funding for Latin America's biggest film and television industry has been significantly reduced.
But Brazil has a significant presence at this year's Cannes Film Festival, including Karim Ainouz's "Invisible Life," playing in Un Certain Regard, a section of the festival's official selection. As part of Cannes' main slate, "Bacurau" is the most prominent.
"It's just amazing that this film is seeing the light of day at a time when in fact they are trying to hide Brazilian cultural output," said Mendonça.
During production on "Bacurau," the Brazilian government declared that Mendonça had to return about $500,000 from a grant for his debut feature, "Neighboring Sounds." He calls the demand "unprecedented in the history of Brazilian filmmaking."
"When 'Bacurau' was announced in Cannes this month, they came up with another press package about this, which is not a coincidence," Mendonça said. "We are dealing with this with lawyers and we hope to overturn it. It makes no sense whatsoever."
While "Bacurau" has been in development for the last decade, Mendonça said the film's extremes of "Bacurau" were fueled by Bolsonaro's election.
"It was almost like reality was catching up with the script," said Mendonça. "When that happened, we went up to 11, we went over the top."