“What is Dead May Never Die” GoT 2×3

I like riddles!  Beware of Spoilers:

 

Dear Bran, excellent work!  A shape-shifting shaman is exactly who I wish you to become, don’t believe a word to the contrary!

 

Dear Catelyn, have you forgotten everything about diplomacy and negotiation since last season?  You show up, interrupt a tournament, don’t follow proper courtesy towards kings even though you remark to Robb that Renley should be called ‘king’ now shows you know better, and snark to him in front of everyone.  Wow, I wonder how your mission will turn out.  Perhaps Filch leaked it all out of you last season when you had to betroth everyone.

 

Dear Brienne, you had better become more significant later because right now you seem very token.

 

Dear Theon, finally you inspire a positive reaction from me!  Perhaps you should just stick to yelling all the time instead of going back to snark.  I have to say, I am more surprised you actually wrote a warning letter to Robb than that you burned it.  Of course, I had you pegged for betraying him from the second you opened your mouth last episode, but now I actually see your point.  The Starks never really accepted you as one of their own, they never made you feel as if you belonged.  On the other hand, if you impress your father you will feel you belong again, which you’d long to do in any case, and if you succeed with his cause then you’ll be king after he’s dead.  I mean, you’ll have to kill your sister probably, but you feel like doing that anyway right now.  Of course, your family’s life is rough, but let’s face it-things are rough everywhere these days.

 

Dear Tyrion, finally I see the wonderful character others have long spoken of!  The plan was marvelous, although rather obvious.  Also, I’m a bit surprised that Baelish managing to find out about the Varys story didn’t seem to be a thing.  I expect more devious plans from you next time.

 

Dear Marjorie, you are awesome!  I kindof just want to give you the whole game as you are the only person here who knows how to really enjoy herself in unconventional circumstances.  Or who knows how to be perky or sunny at all ever, let alone while still understanding the whole situation she’s in.  Natalie Dormer, I already love you here and I couldn’t get into you as Anne Boleyn at all!

 

Dear Knight of the Flowers, what happened to your awesomely intricate and shiny armor?  Also, do you have to be so passive-aggressive about things?

 

Dear Yoren, congratulations on meeting the Gondor boys death equation!  An arrow, a lance, and a sword=three arrow wounds, which is the necessary number for killing a Gondor brother.  The kneeling and facial expressions give it the Boromir style, as well.  Well done!  Just the appropriate way to end your mission to save Boromir’s daughter!  And it was also done to allow two young, shorter folk to get away from the villains, but was vain.  Perhaps they’re taking the children to Isengard!

 

Dear Arya, I forgive you as you have managed to save Gendrey by quick thinking and what must be quite sharp eyesight.

 

Dear Renley, glad to see you!  However, I notice there was no Stannis this episode.  IS there a rule about the two of you ever appearing in the same episode?

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“Fire and Blood” 1×10 finale

Why do I feel like things are just getting started?  Perhaps if the show had begun later and just had flashbacks?  Anyhow, first season is over, just as I feel things are picking up.  Good thing I’m so late that second season’s already over, eh?  Onward!  (Spoilers, ahoy!)

 

1. Arya’s going to the wall?  Hm.  I have no particular objection to that, but it does mess with my plan of Jon Snow and Bran at the wall, being the main things.

2. Speaking of Bran, I am pleased he is growing closer to the lady, like I told him to.  Also, he shares dreams with Rikkon!  That makes it MORE awesome!  In my head, anyway.  Again, not sure how it’s going to go if Arya’s also there.

3. Catelyn rubbed me the wrong way in her talk with Robb in the beginning.  The sword is ruined, making him stop now won’t help that.  He wants to grieve violently, he’s doing it safely, so leave him alone.  It just seemed like Cat’s only reason for stopping Robb was because she wanted someone to make her feel better, by grieving with her!  Just didn’t seem right.

4. Here is the episode where Joffrey falls, to me.  Previously, his reasons seemed fairly sound, or at least understandable for a boy in his situation.  Now he’s just devolved into the boring, cliche villain people always assumed he would be.  Sad.  I was on board with killing Ned, there were political reasons, but torturing minstrels is just petty and, frankly, uninteresting.  Moreover, his exchange with Sansa is not only clearly over the line as things that involve domestic violence are always wrong, but is the opposite of helping his cause.  Sending Sansa a message so he can live married life in peace is one thing-rubbing it into her face is both cruel and not going to help him.  As already shown, this added aggravation makes Sansa more likely to strike back and make his life hell, or you know to try to kill him.  *throws hands in air*  Why does Martin have this thing against boys who are the product of incest?  Girls seem to get a chance.  How unimaginative.

5. At least the Hound gets more depth.  That’s something.

6. Ned Stark’s head on a pike seems to have a larger nose.  Perhaps it grew because of his lying at the end?  (Pinocchio jokes are hard to ignore.)

7. I could totally support Robb as a king at this point.  On the other hand, I worry about economics.  I’m not sure what the trade is between the North and the other kingdoms, but I have a feeling there’s a lot that can’t be grown or gotten in the North all by itself.

8. Oh Theon, even at this moment you have to have your ass moment, don’t you?  Sure, I’ll support you as king-so long as I get to be the king’s brother!  Man, just stick to the moment.  You’ve got all the time in the world to bitch at him about your rights and bonds as his pseudo-brother.

9. Cersei, you’ve got a harem!  Continue to be Circe, my queen.  That is all.

10. I’m annoyed at Tywin for the first time for saying it was folly to kill Ned Stark.  Sure, he’d be useful now, but at the time he was killed everyone thought Robb would be easy to run over and really wanted him dead.  You can’t just go off using hindsight and blaming people for things that seemed good at the time.  On the other hand, sending Tyrion to rule as Hand seems like excellent TV.

11. Did we have to go into twisted babies?  I mean, the witch is clearly creepy enough at this point and, again, it feels like a cliche.

12. Jon Snow is such an angstbucket, he’d be perfect as the lead singer of a boy band.  And lookit, he’s got a group of boys who like to do things in unison and finish each other’s sentences right there.  Bingo!

13. So, as I understand it, Baelish’s biggest problem in ambition is what to do with Varys.  Baelish doesn’t trust Varys, and frankly doesn’t need him due to having his own spy network.  On the otherhand, it’s super hard to sneak up on a spymaster.  What to do?

14. Robert’s bastard is going to the wall, too?  Look, I cannot have everyone converge at the wall-it’s the least interesting and aesthetic set!  Stop that!  I’m curious, though.  Did the blacksmith have a notion of who the boy was, or at least that he was important, judging by the visits of past Hand’s, and therefore decided to get him out of the picture to protect himself now there’s a stern king?  Did he seriously just need more money?  Was it more specifically about his neighbors/customers being able to tell people that the boy was somehow connected to the traitor who just got killed?  It seems like there’s drama in that the show glossed over, which is not what I expect.  Of course, it could be that the kid just didn’t get it, but then who’s going to care about him?  Best case scenario: bastard does know what went down but knows better than to talk about it, and yon drama will come out later.  Good luck with that though, still, seeing as it’s the end of the season.

15. I do like the symmetry of “Winter is coming.”

16. Baby dragons are ALWAYS fun!  I can see why Drogo had to die off-can’t have a khal with his woman holding more power over him in her tiny shoulder-pet than he’s got in his whole following!  In any case, I look forward to interesting development next season!

“Baelor” 1×9

I approve of this episode.  Spoilers ahead:

1. I think Varys can’t keep away from Ned because of his teeth!  Look how shiny they are in the darkness-it’s insane!

2. I don’t see how putting Tyrion in the vanguard is such a terrible thing.  You can’t have the savages who use their own fighting styles in the ranks with anyone else, you can’t hold them back anywhere because who knows if they’ll respond to your leadership-they really have to go first if you want to make good use of them, which of course Tywin does, as he is the sensible one.  Tyrion is only in the battle in the first place because the savages claim he needs to stay with them-ergo, he must be in the vanguard because that’s the only place the savages go.  Even if Tywin wanted to save Tyrion’s life because he thought of that son as a precious flower, there really wasn’t a way around it, if the Lannisters are to “pay their debts”.  Not that I’m saying there’s much love lost between the two, but still-it’s hardly this tyrannical act or anything.  I love Tywin.

3. Shae interests me.  I am really hoping she turns out to be, like, Jon Snow’s half-sister.  She told Tyrion exactly what he needed telling-he’s still young and stupid, a nearly-raped woman doesn’t invite another man into her bed that night, etc.  This show needs her!

4. Tyrion’s backstory is pretty awesome.  Also, it is interesting family dynamics-like those flashbacks of Bormoir, Faramir, and Denothor in Lord of the Rings.

5. GO, ROBB!  I kept wanting him to pull out a trick and HE SO DID.  I like this Stark leadership so much better!  He needs to learn that in order to keep his army’s morale up, he should just shut up and let them enjoy their victories for a little instead of immediately moving them on, but there is limited screentime.  Plus, he’s young and his sadness at the trick’s cost is worthy.  Carry on, you!

6. I don’t know why Dany is not more suspicious of this witch.  Also, I was expecting less supernatural goings-on and more earthly troubles.  They seemed to be heading that way until Jorah killed the antagonist, but then it just stopped.  I don’t know.  Perhaps they just couldn’t be bothered to pay other Dothraki actors to have the lines to keep up the earthly troubles.  In any case, Drogo is super gone to be just lying there not saying anything during the exchange between antagonist and Dany.  Sure sign not to believe in his survival.

7. Also, hello, Filch!  Glad to see you again!  I take it by your owl staff that you’re glad to fully fit in somewhere and have your own official magic pet.  The exchanges about your family life remind me deeply of Becky’s first employer in “Vanity Fair”, but you pull it off with more flair.  Also, engagement negotiations are the most fun, and funny, of this show.  I hope to see more of you.

On Ned’s Death: I’ve read some reviews that call it shocking.  I say that’s nonsense.  I knew he was a goner for several reasons: First, Arya was there and the clear connection between her and Ned through their eye contact and Ned’s immediate change of heart means that according to the Arya-is-cursed key to the series: Ned is about to die.  Have said that before.  Second, he didn’t just stick to “I am a traitor”, he admitted to plotting to murder the king.  With the angry crowd right there and the weight of laws, even if no one had wanted him to die, it would have been politically difficult to let him live without losing face.  Third, he’s played by Sean Bean.  Fourth, come on, what fun would it be if he lived?  He can get bundled off to the wall and cozy up with Jon Snow and Arya, or die less dramatically in a skirmish with bandits, or else get away and return the show to Winterfell and exactly where it started?  No.  He had to die and he had to die now, for the good of the show.  Besides, there’s a good thing going in Robb and I’m glad that he’ll get to carry on.

Moreover, I approve of Joffrey for having him killed.  As I said before, from that extensive confession Ned made Joffrey would have lost face if he’d given clemency.  For any new king that’s bad, but for a new, YOUNG king, that’s tantamount to declaring open season.  Sure, traitors and would-be murderers of me get to live, whatever-uh, no.  Also, you need the support of the crowd.  They are there to be angry at Ned, to like you, you give them what they want to see.  The popular opinion might be less valuable here than in other places, but Robert’s speech about the danger of common people proclaiming a Targaryen ruler if the Dothraki invade proves that the mob is still significant here.  Besides which, this was Joffrey’s big opportunity to show everyone, including his advisors, that he is not just his mother’s creature.  At this time Joffrey’s biggest political adversary is his mother-this declaration of her as not strong enough to be a ruler and public action against Cersei’s will proves that Joffrey is his own man.  This is a political move the boy absolutely needed to perform if he was going to truly rule as king, instead of being relegated to his mother’s puppet.  Tyrion’s quote “You mean my sister rules in King’s Landing” demonstrated how much Joffrey needed to step out from under her wing, and this was the perfect opportunity to do it.  The execution also sent a message to Sansa.  While this is less laudable, remember that Joffrey grew up with parents who were constantly fighting and wrangling over political matters.  To him, and indeed many others, it would seem far better to establish which person had dominance early on.  Then, Joffrey would think he’d be able to live out the rest of his life in relative peace with his wife, avoiding the pitfalls of his parents. People might compare his relationship strategy with others and find it wanting, but according to how Joffrey’s been raised and the relationships he’s seen, I cannot fault his thinking here.  In short, in this one brilliant coup, Joffrey showed the world he was a strong, independent king who values stability and the common people.  That is excellent.

“The Pointy End” 1×8

This episode was a bit mish-mashy for me, but overall quality stuff.  I suppose they have to put off things for the finale.  Spoilers ahead:

 

To Arya: Oh, my poor, cursed, little girl.  So far my key to the series is working-the candidate you least liked is now king.  Your new best friend is killed.  I can’t wait to see where you got to!  Also, I need you to react to people so I can tell who’ll come out on top next round!

 

To Daenerys: See, when you listened to Drogo announce he was going to rape the women of your own people and just stood there in a happy daze, I’d have thought you’d be both prepared to see rape and less feeling about it happening to people who aren’t, you know, the ones you’re princess of.  Don’t get me wrong, it was marvelous to see you directly confrontational and demanding respect, but…perhaps a bit more circumspection would do. Especially where it directly concerns Drogo.  Don’t forget what will happen if he gets actually taken down, girlfriend.

On another note, it’s really precious how you two use the titles “moon of my life” and “my sun and stars.”  Are these terms you guys came up with or are they traditional to Dothraki?  Also, about this stallion who will mount the world business-is that a typical term for the son of a Khal?  Is there some prophecy about a stallion who will mount the world and you’re just claiming this is him to convince Drogo to attack the Seven Kingdoms?  What is happening with that?

 

To Robb: Not a bad showing.  I’m glad to know you’re not too proud to admit you’re scared, even to someone technically not outside the family.  It did take your direwolf to win the spat with the bannerman, but you did come up with the excuse to let him stay and laughed heartily enough to close that diplomatic part.  So, kudos for that.  Given that you’ve got a whole month before you reach King’s Landing I’m not sure the couple hours headstart you get from leaving in the middle of the night will really be any good, but at least it shows you’re aware and wary of spies and scheming-something Ned needed Baelish to drive home to him.  So, you’re already better than him.  Also, you actually talk to people about points, like Bran and Catelyn, so lots of points for that.  I was afraid Ned’s habitual lack of lines would be a hereditary thing.  I’m not sure about letting the scout go at the end, it’s unusual, but again-it’s not like they wouldn’t have just sent another that would’ve given them the info soon enough, so being merciful won’t actually hurt you much.  Overall, a major improvement on your father.  Well done.  I expect continued good showings.

 

To Jon: I’m glad you’re smart enough to pay attention to the direwolf in the first place.  Bit of advice: when you’re headed out to a probably dangerous position, DO NOT tell the wolf to stay.  There is danger-the direwolf comes with you.  This should not need to be said.  Getting Ghost locked outside was what you deserved for that.

 

To Sam: Hurrah!  You get to be helpful.  Am very glad you have reading and sense, it makes you a real character.  Carry on!  Now you’re past the trojan horse stage, things should go better for you.  (“We should burn it!” “Yeah, we’re not gonna listen to the useless one. Don’t burn it.”  And then the enemy attacks you.=Trojan horse in Troy with Sam as Orlando Bloom!)

 

To Rikkon: Hello!  Glad to see you’re alive, kid.  Wasn’t sure you existed.  Also, incredibly gratified to hear you talking realistically.  I expect you to help Bran when he comes into his mind powers.

 

To Sansa: Aw, your dreams were just coming back with Joffrey talking nice again, and now you have to go through the reality of this.  I’m proud of you-such an improvement in handling your reality troubles from last time!  Act up to the queen, beg for Ned in front of everyone…nice.  Joffrey does not seem on as tight a leash as Cersei would wish, now does he?  Interesting.  It’s your opportunity, Sansa!  Get into that chink!

 

To Cersei: Why did you not suggest Tywin for hand before?  You know you wanted someone in your family.  Plus, he’s the moneyman so if he pushed it Robert would’ve been hard put to say no.  I’m very curious.

 

To Tyrion: Please be more awesome.  I really want to be on your side, but the lack of stepping it up makes things difficult.

 

All right, then.  I think we’re ready to move forward.  Everyone, remember advice.  And HBO, show me what happened to Arya, already!

“The Wolf and the Lion” 1×5

I really enjoyed the middle of this episode.  The times when Robert was on screen were really my favorite, as I recall.

 

Spoilers ahoy:

1. I wish my lessons were more like Bran’s.  Also, I wish there had been some kind of lesson like this for viewers somewhere on here-perhaps as an intro before each episode or something, like BBC did with Downton Abbey.

2. I still want to say that Bran remembers what happened and is annoyed by his mother’s absence because he doesn’t trust telling anyone else, and he really wants to tell someone.

3. Still don’t care about Theon Greyjoy.

4. I love the Knight of the Flowers!  His armor is INTRICATE.  SHINY.  I will take that action!

5. Also, I totally called Renly/Flower boy the minute there was eye contact!  Offering to make this dude a king might be interesting.  I think I could get behind a kingship where this pretty knight calls the shots.  He knows what’s up and knows how to do things in style, plus he already has the love of the people.  It could work.

6. Sansa’s innocence and girlishness in loving the knight and defending his honor at the drop of a hat makes me like her better.

7. Whose bed do we think the horsehead winds up in?  I’m voting for the Hound getting it to the Mountain’s bed himself.  Brotherly rivalry!  Excellent!  Knight of the Flowers sharing the win with the common Hound!  THIS is more what this show should be about.  Love that part.

8. On Catelyn: When you’ve got a hot royal fugitive on your hands, running to Crazy McBreastymom is the last thing you want to do.  Particularly if she’s got cocky captains, which it seems she does.  On the bright side, there’s now interesting bonds between Tyrion and Catelyn that she seems to be aware of by proclaiming that he is not to be harmed.  I am now interested to see how this plays out.

9. Tyrion: Well played, sir!  That shield looked vaguely blunt and cardboardy for me even as a shield, but as a blundeon!-that was some work, man.

10. Okay, Ned-let’s get this straight.  Robert is a Warrior King and finally, there is some news that calls for a king always thinking about war.  Robert made the right. call.  This is what he knows how to do.  And this is where you completely stand up to him?  Not, you know, something understandable like your family, or anything?  Bah humbug.  If I were going along knowing I’m a fat fool and just wishing I didn’t have so many worries on the side, and then finally a situation arose where I knew the answer and could enforce it, and THAT’s what my friend opposes…I’d be riled and calling for their head, too.  Talk about frustrating!  In any case, who’s this innocent child you speak of?  Daenerys?  Cause the whole point of this lord system is that everyone is born with a purpose and her purpose right now is to be a threat to your people.  Therefore she is not innocent.  So, stop it.  Either point out the difficulties inherent in assassinating her (which would be legion), or man up and orchestrate an attempt.  In my opinion Robert showed great restraint at this fucking soldier refusing to follow orders about SOLDIERLY DUTIES when he swallowed them about politics right enough, by first allowing his other counselors to offer their arguments to him.  Foolish Stark.  On the other hand, if it’s Daenerys’ child, what the hell?  That kid is the single most dangerous threat to the kingdom.  Again-not innocent.  The end.  As I recall, I actually said, “This part is fun!” during the beginning of that scene, when Robert was front and center.  As soon as Ned and his agonized don’t-wanna face took over it was no longer fun.

11.  Also, the BEST argument for the Dothraki not being an immediate threat is that-“Winter is coming”.  Ned of all people should’ve thought to say that!  The horsemen with their lack of clothing, their need for horses, etc.-they’d be DOOMED trying to attack in winter.  And Ned didn’t even have the sense to bring that up.  (The answer is, of course, that then the next summer they’d be fully ready to attack wiht a prince who actually has the army and a claim on the throne, so it’s only an argument against immediate action and in that sense flaws for this argument, but still-if that’s what Ned’s goin’ for he should’ve busted this out.)

12. Robert continued to be my favorite character this time with his scene with Cersei-my favorite scene as of now.  It fully explained how Robert is forward thinking, it explains the dark-haired child, it fully fleshes out the dynamic between these two.  These are the interesting characters.  Robert’s made a rotten run of it, but at least he knows how to keep the machine moving.  Cersei may have massive personality flaws, but she has a good comprehension and the willingness to discuss matters when she needs to.

13. I’ve seen some people wonder that Cersei seemed to support Ned Stark-I am not surprised.  Ned Stark is a simple man, a follower, not someone who’d ever be able to out-scheme anyone or do something underhanded to get rid of their enemies.  Whoever the Hand of the king is, it will be Cersei’s enemy since Jaime won’t take the job.  Therefore she wants the best enemy-the one she knows, the one she can count on not to undermine her, or to do anything she can’t predict.  This sensible move endears the Queen of Pigs to me.

14. Arya out-facing the guards is a thing of beauty!  I really wish I could see the dragon skull better, though.  I couldn’t tell what it was til my friend informed me.

15. See?  Jaime totally improves when he has something to do!  The fact that what he had to do at the end of this episode was out of concern for his brother also helped his cause, to my mind.  I look on him much more favorably now.  (Also, man does the guy need a way to vent.  He lives between those who despise him for betraying his king, those who loathe him for following the orders of that king, those who hate him for both reasons, and the king who likes to make him hear whore-fucking and otherwise being unworthy of his sister.  I feel for him.)  The fact that this attack is against Ned in no way lessons the touching quality of going out hell-for-leather in reaction to his brother’s wrong.  He didn’t even take Ned captive or take advantage of a wounded man!  He does have a sense of honor.  I like him better!

16. Varys and Baelish clearly know too much to be such minor characters thus far.  I expect more action on this front!  Especially from Baelish.  So far he’s given Ned “help” in breadcrumbs and pebbles.  It’s time to get to the candy house or the wicked witch already!  Or both!  Both is traditional.

17. Was that Illyrio Arya overheard?  I liked Illyrio!  If he’s up to something I want in!

18. In short, there seem to be a lot of people whose sides I am currently willing to consider, but if I’m going to actually join sides and get a real interest in this “game of thrones” then someone is going to have to step it up and do more!  (But Ned is right out!)

19. Also, I love the vines on those columns in the throne room!

20. Why is it always so dark?  Are there vampires showing up?  (Were these mysterious dragons…VAMPIRE DRAGONS?)

“Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things” 1×4

Spoilery thoughts:

1. I am already a fan of Hodor.

2. This saddle to enable Bran to ride is Tyrion’s first heroic move, to me.  The fact that he calls Robb on his retarded hospitality is the next.  The whole thing with the Greyjoys was not laid out enough for someone who hadn’t read the books to enjoy the banter-we’re just trying to figure out what exactly went on here.  I feel they could’ve moved Tyrion’s barbs to include a bit more a bit faster.

3. I shall count Robb’s suspicion and dislike of Tyrion to count as senseful mistrust of Lannisters.  That being said, his lack of subtlety does not bode well for those hopes of him having sense I had before.

4. My thought on Sam is that Jon Snow needs a Sam, just as Frodo needed a Samwise.  At least, I hope that’s where they’re going with it.  Thus far it’s just been one more son with a difficult relationship with his father that Snow feels he can open up to.  This did help is character a bit, I admit.  It shows him coming into his own somewhere, that he does have a faint grasp of tactics, and that when he puts his mind to it he can make good friends.  Though, of course, some of those things really have more to do with his wolf (which I would have expected to make more of a commotion when it came to live at the wall, especially seeing as they aren’t supposed to exist south of the wall.  Something of a slight to the wall-keepers, I’d think?)  On the other hand…are they really doing Sam any favors? He’s going to die and die hard, and possibly get everyone else killed too, if they don’t let him undergo training.  The training’s not kind, I get it-what the hell kind of battle/life-or-death training is, or can afford to be?  Particularly if, “as the Starks say: Winter is coming.”

5. Really, it’s just a Stark saying that “winter is coming” and “eventually they’re always right”?  This is disappointing.  I wanted them to be so much a part of their northern lands that they could tell when it was coming soon and say it.

6. This time Daenerys totally wins.  Her conciliatory tone with her brother before the strike and her shock afterward made the scene fit in perfectly with what we’ve seen before-the series listened to me when I said it took her movement too fast!  The confrontation between Dany and her brother caught my attention.  It revealed a lot about what is going on with Viserys, as well as showing Dany developing into someone proud enough to call judgment and threats down on the prince “the dragon.”  (Also, seriously, ‘the dragon”?  It’s like they’re just begging everyone to think of him as Draco Malfoy transported.)  Why she tried to give him new clothes when his attitude to the Dothraki is exceedingly clear is odd, though.  I’m going to say that her people/husband were making fun of him for not fitting in and riding oddly and she tried to give him more suitable garments to escape embarassment through him/more insults.

7. A book!  Now we’re getting somewhere!…no-it’s a family lineage book.  This could have been much more exciting.

8. Baelish, I love your walk of the spies!  I might have to support him if he ever does anything but smarm about and diddle about with whores.  He arouses my curiosity.  He knows so much, he seems so helpful, he has so many reasons to gain leverage over people…He also has good reason to hate a lot of people.  I look forward to him now the most, really.

9. Why is this a big deal, with the king having bastards?  Everyone knows he whores around-it’s a natural conclusion.  *side-eyes*

10. Is Jon snow really supposed to seem better because he’s a virgin?  This is just playing into the old feudal values, which I thought the story was trying to put into place by giving him a more “democratic” merit-based spot on The Wall.  Perhaps if he’d phrased it as him not being in a position to be a good father…

11. Lady Stark is very good at calling connections.  My respect for her grows.  On the other hand, she’d just agreed with people in the capitol that accusing Tyrion outright was a terrible idea.  I doubt she’s thought this through.  So, what is she doing?  She acts in self-defense before he can report to the Lannisters that she wasn’t at home?  She acts out of pure venom on the belief that he tried to kill her son?  She acts with confidence having thought things out and considered that they were on her turf?  She considers this an opportunity sent by the gods, so she should take it?  It is confusing, with her.

12. Again, it’s the lore stories I really like best-the tales of what happens when it’s true winter.

13. Arya and Syrio’s command of my approval continues apace.

14. Oh-also, what the hell Bran and the odd raven?  I feel like I need to know more of these GoT stories before I can speculate properly.

15. Also-now that I’ve read some other reviews, why is Sansa assumed to be longing to be queen?  The scene with her envisioning her future seemed to be more her coming to terms with how serious and unglamorous a role she will have to play-how perilous her part will be, all hinging on whether or not she manages to birth boys as well as girls.  Perhaps it’s clear in the books, but in this show all I see is a girl with her foolish illusions stripped away.  She seems angry at her dad for bringing them all here and sticking her in this position more than at him for Lady or anything else.

 

“Kingsroad” 1×2

I am unhappy.

List of mostly complaints (and spoilers):

1. Arya and Dany seem to be the only characters with any intelligence this episode.  Arya knew what was going on with everything and did all that could be expected of her and more.  Dany’s life sucks and she’s still trying to grasp some sort of happiness, or at least more leverage.

2. My disappointment in Ned Stark is vast.  It’s like he’s still under the effects of the One Ring.  He doesn’t say anything to the point.  Walk in on your wife being a bitch to your son and don’t do anything to comfort either of them, ignore your comatose son, keep insisting that unpleasant things can’t happen even though they totally will, don’t say anything in defense of your daughter-bah!   Honor, my foot.  What he has is the pride and a will to see the world in familiar ways.  I think he was well served by having to kill Lady due to Robert’s unwillingness to stand up to his wife since, after all, Ned has the exact same issue when it comes to talking with his wife and arguing over what’s happening.  Both of them avoid it, and it will bite both of them in the ass, the frank king who at least knows there will be war, and the idiot pretending to be Honorable.  Nothing drove me so crazy tonight as reading all the people talking about how he acted honorably.  He’s a coward about facing unpleasant truths, about changing his ways, and about arguing with anyone he cares about.  Bring back Boromir, please.

3.  “There must always be a Stark in Winterfell.” = “There have always been Starkadders at Cold Comfort Farm.”  That is all.

4. Jon Snow seemed dumber by the line.  After last episode I was willing to let his slowness in failing to perceive the similarities between bastards and dwarves slip.   And what is my reward?  He wonders why people read, he boasts prematurely about his role, he still hasn’t learned that hearing ‘bastard’ must needs be all right in his world…

5. Cat needs to chill.  Jon Snow is leaving in a couple days, she couldn’t manage civility for a few minutes?  He’ll be gone FOREVER!

6. Ned’s goodbye to Snow=”Don’t make me have to behead you.”

7. What the hell was Jaime’s costume about?  Lapels and a longcoat seem hideously out of place with all the other costumes I’ve seen thus far.  Also, just generally they are the wrong era.  Is there a reason for this?  Perhaps the Doctor can be involved…

8. Joffrey is quite canon! Draco Malfoyish.  He makes the fanfic!Draco Viscerys seem wonderful.

9. I suppose I must allow that Cat immediately caught on to all the implications of the assassination attempt.  I suppose she can have some intelligence, too.  Hopefully her reunion with her husband will transfer some of that to him.  Geez, only the women have it in this episode.

10. On Cersei’s “black-haired prince.”  This is a lie?  This is about a child that Jaime killed out of jealousy and because he wanted his son to be king?  This is about a son that actually died naturally and her grief over him turned the king off of her and sent him back to the whores and things more zealously, thus pushing her back/into Jaime’s arms?  Whenever I hear her name I keep thinking of the Greek Circe who turned men into pigs and other animals.  So far she’s got a pig for a husband, a brother who’s selfishly pig-like over having sex with her, and a son who’s a cowardly swine.  I wonder if her cruelty would diminish and disappear if she could live in a matriarchal world?  It seems very directly, and justifiably, to stem from her hardships and turmoil over various men.

11. Tyrion puzzles me.  I like what I’ve seen, but so far what I’ve seen is so little.  I keep waiting to find him dazzling like all the other watchers seem to.  Slapping Joffrey does not a hero make, just a sensible prince.

12. Back to Ned-it’s not like he has no bargaining power!  If he’s going to run the kingdom for Robert, that means he’s got plenty of pull.  Why does he not start to exert it, if only in the name of the greater good and making sure his friend sticks to the principles of their mentor or whatnot?-that’d be actually honorable.

13. The Stark son still at home does have some sense.  I repose hopes in him.

14. Sansa is a little fool, but she’s been repaid this week.  I shall withhold judgment til I see how she deals with it.

15. And now, the single greatest question of the entire episode: WHY THE HELL IS ARYA GOING TO THE CAPITAL?  It’s not like the family’s going.  It’s not like the Starks would encourage her tomboyhood by bringing her to see the world, experience life, or learn about anything.  Even the sons are not going.  It’s not like there’s no one to take care of her back at home.  I’ve seen no evidence that there’s an incredibly strong bond between Arya and Ned.  There’s no marriage prospects for her yet that have been mentioned, and surely if there were they could be dealt with later, after her older sister’s wedding, and more importantly-Ned would not be advocating and abetting it by dragging her along so soon.  So, what the hell?

 

Also: I’ve seen a lot of discussion over the Khal/Dany scenes.  As someone new to the story, my reactions are: As I said in my review of the first episode, the sex between them is far gentler and overall better than I would have expected.  It’s certainly more respectful than Lucrezia’s marriage in The Borgias.  As for this one-it does seem clear that Dany’s desire to please her husband stems from self-preservation, both physical and mental.  She needs to do something, she needs to be someone, she needs to do what she can become a partner with her husband, if only so life won’t suck as much.  It made a very powerful statement to me and all of the actress’s expressions brought it life, courage, and spirit as far as I’m concerned.  Furthermore, Khal’s reactions to her and particularly the way they played the eye contact at the end of their scenes in this episode, led me to see sparks of tenderness, or at least a personal connection.  So, for those upset by the rapist aspect of this story-it’s going gently enough for a new inductee, remarkably so, in fact.  For those confused by the lack of romance between the characters-I totally saw it in there, or at the very least clear foreshadowing for such a story between them, so calm down.  For those of you saying that this situation is always rape, totally agreed.  It clearly does not make impossible other storylines here, at least if you’re not looking for them in specific ways laid down in the books.  That is all.