Paganistan: Notes from the Secret Commonwealth

In Which One Midwest Man-in-Black Confers, Converses & Otherwise Hob-Nobs with his Fellow Hob-Men (& -Women) Concerning the Sundry Ways of the Famed but Ill-Starred Tribe of Witches.

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Of BD/SM, Foreplay, and 'House of the Dragon'

Every Dragon in 'House of the Dragon ...

NOT a Review of the HBO Series


A local dungeon daddy once invited me over for a tour of the chamber.

"Well, why not?" I thought.

I'll spare you the details. I left having learned two things.

First—as expected—bondage doesn't really interest me.

Second, that my friend Paul was absolutely right in his characterization of BD/SM as essentially an elaborate and extended form of foreplay.

Now, I like foreplay as much as the next guy, but I have to admit that, at several points during the encounter, I couldn't help thinking, “Um...can we just screw already?”


Let's just admit it: House of the Dragon is Silmarillion to Game of Thrones' Lord of the Rings.


It's an old question: why did the gods make the world? The answer, as any artist can tell you, is that making is the best drug of all.

If making is a drug, then world-making must be the most addictive drug of all. Alas, both Tolkien and Martin fell  prey to traps of their own making, forgetting what—say what you will about Narnia—C. S. Lewis never did: that, no matter how intrinsically interesting the world, the story always has to come first.

That's why GoT and LotR are both such romps, and HotD and the Silmarillion such bores.


Could it also maybe have something to do with the fact that, while the former are suffused with gentle humor, the latter are, by contrast, utterly humorless?

Or is that just the nature of story vs. history?


Hearing fans effuse about the first season of House of the Dragon always leaves me wondering just exactly what I was missing. The show always seemed to be building to a climax that somehow never came.

I kept being reminded of those bad pagan rituals of the 80s and 90s in which you were supposed to stand in an interminable line, waiting for your one-on-one with a (supposed) deity.

Spoiler alert: it's never worth the wait.


Seeing the first episode of HotD's second season, I have to admit, has left me with much the same impression. What, more build-up? An entire first season of foreplay wasn't enough?

Sorry, no matter how good the pay-off turns out to be, for this viewer at least, it can't possibly have been worth the wait.

Hey George Martin, showrunners, guys: um...can we maybe just screw already?







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Poet, scholar and storyteller Steven Posch was raised in the hardwood forests of western Pennsylvania by white-tailed deer. (That's the story, anyway.) He emigrated to Paganistan in 1979 and by sheer dint of personality has become one of Lake Country's foremost men-in-black. He is current keeper of the Minnesota Ooser.


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