EPISODE RATING: 7/10 | IMPORTANCE IN SERIES ARC: 5/10
“Fuck the King!” | “You’re fine with murdering little boys but thieving is beneath you.”
Please join me in welcoming back one of the things on my “things that make life worthwhile” list, which is increasingly short given the temporary hiatus in Homeland and The Walking Dead (and the end of Breaking Bad).
I’ll be writing a short, sweet ‘flash review’ of GoT episodes as soon as possible (same day if possible). Here’s a few features:
1. There will be spoilers for the episode, but not the books. Mostly because I can’t be bothered reading 5,000 pages of fiction and certainly not if there isn’t an exam at the end of it. This is why we invented TV (this and good grammar is what separates us from the monkeys).
2. There will be a power chart (see below), where we track how the players’ power is evolving. [I’ll try to guess ‘potential power’ as well as current power, if that potential is very real.]
3. There will be a count of “Boobs of Thrones” and “Violence of Thrones”. This isn’t as sinister as it sounds, just keeping track.
|Ice to fire|
So let’s begin. Tonight’s episode, as expected, was a scene-setter. We didn’t get much in the way of plot development. A few notables:
(a) Arya Stark & ‘The Hound’ reinforce their relationship by slaughtering a small group of Lannister soldiers. Arya gets a nice white horsey out of it. She also manages to get revenge against the killer who took her and her friends to Harrenhall to be tortured. I wonder if Arya is the one who gets vengeance for House Stark?I think a lot of people have been waiting for Arya's transformation into a cold-blooded killer - the fact that she's seen her father beheaded and seen what happened to her older brother means she's a bubbling cauldron of rage. With a pointy stick. I can't wait to see her whalin' on Joffrey's stupid little Lannister face. The Hound’s reluctant tutelage can be expected to play wonders, although Maisie Williams’s character knows exactly what The Hound is (see 2nd quote at the top of this post).
(b) Tyrion and Oberyn Martell – Lannister soldiers getting it in the neck (or hand) left, right and centre! Oberyn, having maimed a poor Lannister soldier, reveals his burning for retribution for his sister Elia’s rape and murder by ‘The Mountain’. Interesting to see how this particular cold war will play out (clearly, there’s no way Martell will actually try to attack Tywin Lannister…right? Right?!). Martell's arrival was highly anticipated by GoT-ers and the 'Red Viper' did not disappoint, showing himself to be quick-tempered, arrogant and violent. Why do I get the feeling he's going to turn out to be incredibly dangerous?
(c) Tyrion’s relationship with Shae is about to become public knowledge…
(d) Jon Snow lets Castle Black know about the impending wildling invasion and a few discretions. Sly ol’ Maester Aemon (Targaryen) saves his bacon.
For most TV shows, that would be a lot, but for GoT, it’s below average. We did get to see new faces: medieval hunk Martell (Pedro Pascal) and his sex queen Ellaria Sand, played by the lovely Indira Varma. So far they seem caricatures, although Martell atleast has an agenda. The internet nearly broke when all those lovely women who watch GoT saw Pascal…
But let me even out the stakes…
We also met the GoT cannibals, the Thenn. Some posturing, but nowt special. I was going to list the characters we saw in this episode, but it would be easier to mention whom we didn’t see: Littlefinger, Bran and company, Stannis Baratheon and company, poor ol’ Theon (not sure why he’s around at all) and Varys (I would watch a show entirely based on him). We got screentime with everybody else, like Sansa refusing to eat because her family was butchered (understandable), Joffrey being malicious and stupid (usual), Cersei refusing to have relations with Jaime (better late than never) and a few other subplots.
The Khaleesi/Daenerys Targaryen’s narrative is coming along nicely, although I still don’t buy Emilia Clarke as this woman who’s been through hell but emerged stronger and tougher. I don’t see enough rough edges – she’s a little too ‘cute’. That being said, the character is becoming tougher and has built quite a substantial army. Her defence of the defenceless is a strong story in such a brutal setting. It would be nice to hear more about this in King’s Landing, but I suppose we’ll get intel when Varys returns.
Another thing we didn’t get to see was the White Walkers’ army, which you’d think would be on top of everybody’s minds, given the telegram at the end of last season (was Stannis the only one who got it?).
I’d also like to know just what the hell is going on in the Vale of Arryn – although last we saw Lysa Arryn, she was breastfeeding publicly and seemed to have more or less lost her marbles. And please…more Olenna Tyrell.
Random unanswered questions
(a) To add insult to previous insults AND injury, Tywin makes 2 swords out of Ned Stark’s sword, one going to Jaime. For whom is the other? [The sword is called ‘Ice’, I think...'Ice’ is being turned into fire…see what they’ve done there?!]
(b) Cersei is about to find out about Tyrion and Shae – how will they get out of this one?
(c) Why is one of the dragons bigger than the others?
(d) How many times will we get sideboob from Margery Tyrell this season?
(e) Will Sansa eventually eat, or will she put us all out of our misery and kill herself?
(f) Not from this episode, but will Bran and Melisandre have some sort of meeting of minds?
g) What about the White Walkers?
g) What about the White Walkers?
Boobs of thrones: Poor by GoT standards. 3 pairs of boobs and bums and we nearly got some -boy-on-boy action, interrupted by those arrogant Lannister boys.
Margery Tyrell sideboob: zero. Poor start.
Violence of thrones: Ok by GoT standards. A real carnival of shivving between Arya and ‘The Hound’ plus one maimed hand in a brothel.
|Only 2 movements: Arya and Jon Snow|