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Autumn of Terror: There’s Something in The Woods…

By @hmsbeefnuts

Here at All Geek To Me, we love our horror, almost as much as we love Superheroes, and Batman, but not quite. However, in line with our previous month long special events, Avenging April and Summer Knights, we have decided that October, the spookiest month of the year, shall be dubbed The Autumn of Terror here at AGTM.

Why Autumn of Terror? Well it’s a reference to the late Summer and Autumn of 1888, which in London became known as The Autumn of Terror due to Jack the Ripper. I personally find the mystery of who Jack the Ripper was fascinating, and as it was now 124 years ago, we felt that using the name Autumn of Terror was perfectly fine. There will (hopefully) be an article all about Jack the Ripper up-coming, as soon as I write it, as well as a month full of horror movies, books, monsters, ghosts, and things that go bump in the night. It is only 30 days now until All Hallows Eve, when the restless spirits of the dead search the Earth for… ummm, pumpkins, or something I guess? They are definitely after something, so let’s get prepared as we dip into our first serving of the Autumn of Terror, I hope you enjoy this month…

I thought I would kick off AOT with a look at ‘real’ life monsters, things that go bump in the night, and the creatures that are said to inhabit the darkest and most remote places on Earth. Cryptozoology is the study of hidden animals, and there are genuine people who search for these creatures, known as cryptozoologists. Now I know that it is very unlikely that any of these creatures exist, yet people have seen them for hundreds of years, and in some cases, hundreds of times in one year. Who is to say that these creatures can not be real? People are seeing something, and the next time you find yourself in the woods, or on a lake, it may be worth being a little bit more cautious. You wouldn’t want to end up as a Sasquatch’s lunch…

LAKE MONSTERS

Nessie, or the Loch Ness Monster is the daddy of the lake monster class of monsters. First seen in the 6th Century AD by St. Columba, the monster didn’t really hit it’s stride until the 1930’s When a new road opened the Loch up to passing motorists. Every year tourists flock to the Loch in search of the monster, and there are sightings every year. Numerous searches have proved fruitless, but there are said to be caves under the Loch that link it to the sea, so maybe Nessie goes back and forth? Whatever the truth, I don’t think I’d like to swim across the Loch, and not just because it friggin’ massive either.

Lake Champlain also has a monster, this one dubbed Champie. First seen in 1883, there have been over 300 reported sightings of this Plesiosaur like animal, with no reported injuries to humans, but the important part of that phrase is ‘reported’.

BIG HAIRY MONSTERS

My personal favourite cryptid is Bigfoot. The picture above is taken from the Patterson/Gimlin film from 1966 the most famous piece of footage for any cryptid. Bigfoot, or Sasquatch has been seen for hundreds of years and is the best shout on this list for actually being real, along with his cousin the Yeti. Reports have stated that Bigfoots have kidnapped people, attacked people and are generally not a good a creature one should piss off. Around 8ft tall and hugely muscled, strong and fast, the Bigfoot isn’t a monster to be messed with.

The Yeti is a Bigfoot type creature found in the snows of Tibet as well as the temperate valleys. Also known as the Abominable Snowman, foot prints have been found in the snows since the 1920’s, but perhaps the best evidence comes from below the snow level, where the Yeti are said to spend most of their time in the forests and jungles. Makes sense really, I bet it damn cold up there, even if you have those big furry coats.

OTHER MONSTERS OF NOTE

In Britain we have our fair share of cryptids. There are said to be Bigfoot creatures seen on Scottish mountains, lake monsters and sea serpents aplenty, but perhaps the most common cryptid is the ABC (Alien Big Cat). Now it is quite reasonable to suggest that a population of big cats, perhaps puma or even panther do survive and prosper throughout the UK. Certainly many farmers have seen the damage that these beasts have done to their livestock. The Beast of Bodmin Moor, The Surrey Puma, and even the Essex Lion have all made headlines in recent years. Think twice before taking a walk alone in the countryside…

Many hundreds of people have also reportedly seen werewolves, yes, werewolves. Now this stretches credibility a bit far, but many rational people around America have seen a large wolf-like creature that walks on two legs. I should know, I read a book on it. Theories range from an adapted form of wolf, to a spirit animal, and everything in between, however, one man was reportedly attacked by one, so you know, maybe it was a bear or something, but maybe, just maybe it was a werewolf?

Mokele Mbembee is a surviving dinosaur said to live in the Congo jungles. A creature feared by locals, it is said to upturn boats, drowning those inside. Usually described as a long necked type dinosaur, like an Apatosaurus, which was a herbivore, perhaps the Mokele Mbembee has adapted to feast on the flesh of drowning locals?

The Jersey Devil is said to haunt the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, and woe betide any traveler who meets this horrific creature on their journey.

The Thunderbird is from Native American legend, and is a beast who is said to bring thunder and storms. Even though this creature is firmly set in myth, people do report seeing gigantic birds in the skies of remote parts of America, and there have also been reports of such birds attacking people.

People also from time to time report seeing much larger versions of regular animals. One such example are wolves. From time to time people are reporting seeing wolves of gigantic size, wolves that bear a striking resemblance to Dire Wolves, a now extinct, (or is it?) species of wolf that hunted the American forests thousands of years ago. The Dire Wolf is strong, quick and fierce and is much bigger than any known wolf today, not the kind of creature you want to meet on your way to Grandmothers house…

Game of Thrones: My Favourite Characters

By @hmsbeefnuts

It is about time that we here at All Geek To Me discussed what is, at least for me, the greatest TV show currently running, and easily in the top 3 shows ever made. I must admit I was a little late to the Westeros party. I had heard great things about A song of Ice and Fire, and for some reason, had picked up a Feast For Crows a few years back. It remained on my ‘to read’ book shelf for years, until the buzz started for the HBO show. A little research informed me that it would be fool hardy to start mid-way through an epic series like this, and so I sought out the first books. I waited until season one of the show had finished until I started to read, I didn’t want to know what was going to happen, but shortly after finishing the series, and then the book, I couldn’t help but start Clash of Kings. Currently, we are past the midway point of season 2 of Game of Thrones, and things are shaping up nicely. Obviously, I know what is supposed to happen now, as I am now reading A Storm of Swords, but this doesn’t make the series any less compelling.

Now Geeky Gem has not seen any of season 2 yet, as she wants to read the book first, so I have been instructed not to reveal any spoilers for Clash of Kings, however, I had to write something about this amazing phenomenon. I’ve elected to write about my favourite characters, from the show, and although there will be as few spoilers as possible, some characters don’t come into their own until later episodes, so some choices may seem odd if you haven’t seen the second season. Also, regular readers may have noticed a new tab on the top of our home page. A Page of Ice and Fire, is a fun little addition to AGTM. We aren’t quite sure what it will be quite yet, but if anyone out there wants to submit their own House Name, Sigil and Words you are more than welcome, lets see who likes Game of Thrones out there shall we? I know me and Gem enjoyed making our Houses up, and we would love to post some more up on the Page of Ice and Fire. Right enough introduction, I have promised you my favourite characters, and a Beefnuts, like a Lannister always pays his debts, and after all, Winter is Coming….

Tyrion Lannister

How could The Imp not be on this list? Most people’s favourite character, Tyrion has to rely on his wits and mind to play the Game of Thrones, as he lacks the size advantage of most men, although that is not to say he isn’t brave or a force to be reckoned with. Tyrion, although a Lannister, is definitely one of the characters you cheer for, a small man can cast a large shadow.

Ser Jorah Mormont

A personal favourite of mine, the ex Lord of Bear Island, sentenced to banishment by Ned Stark for selling poachers into slavery, Ser Jorah finds himself pledging his sword to the beautiful Danearys Targeryian, although I suspect he probably wants to pledge something else, and don’t we all? Ser Jorah is a mighty warrior, although is he all he seems?

Eddard Stark

Everyone loves Ned Stark, poor old Ned Stark. The most honourable man in the Seven Kingdoms, becomes Hand of the King, after his old friend King Robert asks him too. Embroiled in the plots and conspiracies of court, Ned would rather be back in his beloved Winterfell. Court life is too dangerous for men who have morals, a lesson that Ned Stark will unfortunately learn, to his detriment.

Syrio Ferrel

 

A small character, but what a guy. Arya Stark’s ‘dancing’ teacher, Syrio is Westeros’ answer to Inigo Montoya. Ned employs Syrio to teach Arya how to properly use Needle, and I think we all wish we had a teacher like him to teach us fencing. The First Sword of Bravos, Syrio is a unique character.

Khal Drogo

Oh Khal Drogo. A beast of a man, with the hottest wife in the world. Shame he doesn’t get long to enjoy it all. Drogo is a barbarian Horse Lord of the Dothraki. Married to Danearys (the lucky bastard) he is about to take his horde across the sea to reclaim the Iron Throne for his wife, well that might not happen, but he is a great character anyway, with a novel way of crowning kings.

John Snow

Ned Starks bastard son, and man of the Nights Watch, John Snow, very much like his father Ned, is an honourable man. He is destined for great things perhaps, but first he will have to come to terms with his bastard status and the hard life on The Wall. Dreams of adventure and ranging far to the North may not turn out exactly how he wants, but I like John Snow. He has the potential to be the hero of the whole series.

Danearys Targeryian

OK, I fancy the pants off of Dany, and the fact that she doesn’t wear pants that often is fine by me. Dany is beautiful and tragic, but strong and in control. The first season sees her moving from weak plaything of her brother and her new husband Khal Drogo, to a strong Khalessi and Mother of Dragons. What’s that? Dragons? Oh yes, she has three new born Dragons, which I’m sure  will come into play at a later date. She is very beautiful isn’t she, very very beautiful.

Arya Stark

 

One of the strongest female characters in a show packed full of them, although not even a teenager, Arya Stark is a great great character. A tom boy through and through, Arya is far more interested in ‘dancing’ than needle work or the pursuits of proper ladies. Arya’s is not a happy story, but is one of constant change and excitement. Arya is definitely one of the stronger characters in Westeros.

Bronn

 

A common sellsword who protected Tyrion Lannister’s honour at the Eyrie, Bronn gets better and better every episode. Coming into his own in season 2, which I’m not allowed to talk about yet, rest assured that Bronn is a great great character with a gift for speaking his mind, and usually a great line or two per episode. As right hand to Tyrion, Bronn and the Imp are a great little double act, and he is definitely not one to be messed with.

Ser Jaime Lannister

 

The Kingslayer, in an incestuous relationship with his sister Cersie and true Father to the absolute shit of a person, King Joffrey, Ser Jaime is never the less a great character. The most feared knight in all of Westeros, Ser Jaime’s sword is a potent weapon. Robbed of a true victory against the Hand of the King, Eddard Stark, and captured by King of the North Rob Stark, he has yet to show his true badassness. I have a sneaking feeling though that very soon, Ser Jaime is going to become a favourite character for more than a few people. Get in before everyone else, Jaime Lannister is great.

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