Aegon or Aragorn?
Chris Barton’s take on “Game of Thrones” [“ ‘Thrones’ Struggles to the Finish,” May 11] is much more rational than Meredith Blake’s romantic contribution to “Who wins the Iron Throne?” [April 14]. Cersei wins the Iron Throne? Give me a break.
To understand the logic underlying “Game of Thrones” it would help to read J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” — all four of the books, as well as “The Silmarillion” (the story of the creation of the universe and Middle-earth). George R.R. Martin was inspired by those works while writing “A Song of Ice and Fire.” Barton is on the right track in identifying power as the real enemy. Jon Snow [now Aegon Targaryen], like Aragorn, knows this instinctually and wants no part of it. Daenerys, like Boromir, thinks the bearer can use the ring’s power to do good. The last thing Aragorn wanted was to be a king, because he didn’t have an ego, but fate has a way of forcing us into our designated roles (whether we like it or not). Now use that logic to predict what happens in the last episode of “Game of Thrones.”
Arthur G. Saginian
I think that Chris Barton’s column on “Game of Thrones” is troubled by several weaknesses.
Sure, I can understand that there’s a certain anticlimactic letdown in the White Walkers’ sudden demise, but that says to me that the writers have always had another ending to the tale they were telling than what Chris Barton thought it had been. Has he never heard of “The Red Herring?”
Episode 5 left me feeling disappointed, unsatisfied; was I alone?
What Georgia has wrought
Regarding Mary McNamara’s column “No Tax Break Is Worth This” [May 11]: Those of us who are really concerned about Roe vs. Wade should boycott any movies from this point on that are made in Georgia, boycott any products made in Georgia and encourage everyone who has a conscience to move out of Georgia.
Linda Bradshaw Carpenter
I hope Hollywood and all other companies that do business in Georgia take your words to heart. Wouldn’t it be nice if sports teams said the same thing? “We will not play in Georgia, a forfeit is better than supporting this state.”
I think it is only fair to warn the states which issues will trigger a similar reaction by Mary McNamara or people in the industry, where such issues have nothing to do with a film’s cast and crew.
What about denying funding to Planned Parenthood? Or denial of LGBT adoptions? Or an official state position denying man-made climate change? What about a Confederate flag as part of the state’s flag? How about full school choice for every child? Then there is the anti-union right-to-work laws. Or a state guaranteeing the death penalty in no longer than 11 months. How about an open-carry law for every citizen? Or a state that forbids transgender bathrooms? And then there is a state that amends its constitution to specify that there are only two genders, male and female? Or a state that mandates that every child be taught biblical creation?
The list could go on and on. I urge McNamara to advise which of those matters would dictate the same prohibition she now insists on where Georgia is concerned.
George A. Vandeman
Playa del Rey
Thank you, thank you for putting into words the outrage many of us are feeling. Dollars speak, and Hollywood knows this better than most.
If Georgia can be a stand-in for other locales, other states can stand in for Georgia.
What happened to Golden Rule?
Regarding Mary McNamara’s column “So Here’s a Conduct Code for All of Us” [May 12]: The most sensible advice on how to behave no matter who you are, where you are, what color, sexual, religious preference you are is the good old Golden Rule. Where in all this nonsense did this simple concept get lost?
Are good manners and how to behave toward others no longer taught anywhere?
Mary McNamara’s column should be required reading in every school and posted in every office coffee room, boardroom, anywhere where more than two people of any age congregate.
A screenwriter with many skills
Regarding Josh Rottenberg’s obituary for Alvin Sargent, “A Versatile Screenwriter Who Earned Two Oscars” [May 12]: Sargent was one of those versatile writers who could do it all. In 1964 he wrote an episode for a show called “The Nurses” and the title was, “So Some Girls Play the Cello.” It was witty and at the same time full of drama in a hospital setting with great characters, one of which was named Gregory Pretz. We liked it so much my sister named her Dalmatian after that character. His prolific writings over the years has left an enormous legacy befitting his enormous talent of observing human nature in all its different forms and many foibles. He was able to express it with humor, with honesty and a creativity he luckily shared with a grateful audience over his long and successful writing career. We will always remember Gregory Pretz.
Frances Terrell Lippman
Busting myth of ‘American Pie’
Credit Chris Barton for exposing Don McLean’s overrated “American Pie” [“Underrated/Overrated,” May 12]. People defend that song by insisting you need to know the “full story behind it.” But we shouldn’t have to do that. If we needed to consult CliffsNotes or join a study group to enjoy a song, we’d listen to “Ode to Billie Joe.”
Foster system in all its complexity
Regarding: Kenneth Turan’s review “To ‘Foster’ Is Not Easy but Crucial” [May 3]: While “Foster” did shed light on a problem in the foster care system, it glossed over a more important issue plaguing this system: the number of children needlessly removed from their parents and relatives. As an example, in the scene in court where a father is trying to regain custody of his newborn the film documents arguments by all counsel, except the county counsel (who represents the Department of Children and Family Services). It is obvious that the social worker removed the baby from his father and did not want the court to release the child back to the father. Too many children are needlessly removed from their parents and families. Perhaps if the department removed less, they would have a greater pool of good foster parents for the children who truly need them.
Kenneth P. Sherman
Former co-executive director of Dependency Court Legal Services (The Children’s Law Center of Los Angeles)
Regarding Christina Schoellkopf’s interview with Earcylene Beavers, Mary Montoya and Jessica Chandler [“Mom to Over 1,000” [May 7]: How much more heartwarming can this be? In the published picture Beavers hugs a little girl after becoming her legal guardian. This foster child had a chance to be adopted but told officials: “This is my mom. I’m not leaving her.” Like the old saying goes, “actions speak louder than words.”
Not the movie she was hoping for
A communal act
Regarding Lisa Fung’s “The Art of an Audience’s Good Cry” [May 2]: Theater is rehearsed but not canned. It is scripted but lived in the moment. And it is a communal event that incorporates art forms that range from writing, to scenic design, to costuming, to music, to characterizations.
Theater is an ancient art but remains relevant because of the emotional connection it is able to make with audiences. Long live live theater; it has defined humanity for 2,500 years.
(The writer is the theater critic for the Beachcomber in Long Beach.)