“The Ghost of Harrenhal” GoT 2×5

Well, this is just getting ridiculous.  Why?  Check the spoilers.

 

1.Killing off Renly that quick, in such a plotpoint, cheating way feels nothing but contrived, forced, and because it happened so fast without even the drama of a fighting chance, laughable.  One of the best nominees for king is dead and I’m gaping at the screen going, really?  If all you needed was a good assassin, surely you could’ve found a human one or three?  I still didn’t get a good look at the holy hell thing, and I went through trauma, TRAUMA, I say, watching that thing get born-I deserve a decent once-over.  Also, I expected something rather more terrifying that a slick, one-man job done with efficiency and discretion from something that a) came from the woman whose catch-phrase is “The night is dark and full of terrors,” b) caused me head-trauma on its delivery, c) clearly has the capacity to do an awful lot more-seems wasted, and d) IS A HOLY HELL ABOMINATION.  CAN’T A WOMAN GET A DECENT THRILL OR HORROR OUT OF A HOLY HELL MONSTER ON THIS, OF ALL SHOWS?  I mean, really-teenage Joffrey is running around psycho, Theon is the cause of all kinds of mental horrors, there’s rat-torture porn, and the frigging shadow-terror of the crazy priestess can’t do better than this?

 

2. At least Margaery’s still in the game.  Why do we need Baelish here, again?  Seems to me the girl always knew how to survive-she was working on Loras before Baelish got there.  Did we just need a man’s voice or something?  Let Margaery shine-we don’t need no Littlefingers here.  Although he did take screentime away from the awfulness that is Natalie Dormer’s dress, which is good.  Also, I do note that Margaery and Stannis share a penchant for using the precisely accurate word.

 

3. Jaqen is officially awesome.  However, he is becoming a close friend of Arya’s.  Perhaps her curse has been shifted to work in her favor this season?  After all, Gendry got away.  A woman wants to speak like him now.

 

4. Dany’s grappling once more with cultural divides.  This is the most interesting part of the show, right now.  Unfortunately, it rapidly falls to the ploy of the guy who got her into Qarth proposing.  It seems very Beauty-and-the Beastish considering she’s stuck in his home, with his things, and he’s offering her wealth and ‘freedom’ of mobility if she weds him.  Unfortunately, something about the lines in these scenes just didn’t feel real to me.  Perhaps the idea that everyone else knows more than her?  Her maid said to expect a proposal from the guy and suddenly he’s there, proposing.  Some alien-looking guy knows how to do tricks that clearly other people are familiar with.  A mysterious woman shows up with cryptic clues.  Suddenly I’m in a fairy tale!  And while I love fairy tales, it’s not the same as being in an epic fantasy story with grit, and certainly not the amount of politics and battles as this story.  There’s a big disconnect for me there-this just felt separate and off.

 

5. I still have no reason to care about Brienne.  Also, the wording of her assessment of Catelyn strikes me as very conventionally sexist, which is odd considering the source and makes even the most token women-are-strong-too character a supporter of traditional ideas in this regard.  Also, why is Catelyn still talking about going home?  She’s got more to be worried about with Robb now with Stannis’ new army that she just appeared in opposition to than ever.  This whole scene just feels like wasted time to me.  So, the bodyguard wants revenge for the murdered king that slurred her honor.  Why do I care?

 

6. Maybe we should just follow Sam’s adventures when we’re with the Night Watch.  This scene just showed how clearly Sam has a personality and could be fun to watch, while Jon Snow does nothing but mope around, ever.  New Night Watch guy seems to know a lot.  Can we just not use ravens this side of the wall?  It seems like everyone over here knew everything the folks at the wall should’ve known for a long time.

 

7. Aha!  Jaqen completed his first promise!  See how that happened without disturbing labor scenes or random holy monsters?  A man killed another man.  Simple.  Plus, we’re convinced he can do it again, in less convenient circumstances.  Imagine that.  I officially do not forgive this show for putting me through that labor scene-just get another awesome man who can assassinate like Jaqen, or possibly even a woman. Just because it’s fantasy doesn’t mean it has to get ridiculous.  Or ridiculously convenient.

 

 

 

 

“The Night Lands” GoT 2×2

Okay, this one just feels like stalling.  Via sex.  Which is expected, but still-I feel like the first episode gave such good, meaty information and this one is a snack instead of a meal in comparison.  Although a really tasty snack, if you like the sexual stuff.  Anyhow, spoilers:

 

On Arya: I am upset that she seems to be losing her smarts.  Couldn’t match the conversational ability of Third-person dude in the cage, told Gendry right off the bat that she was somebody worth finding for the Lannisters, failed to ask how he knew she was a girl so she could avoid whatever the mistake is with others, told Gendry more than he needed to know right away…If those two ever get romantic with each other I will be Very. Disappointed.

 

On Shae: I am also disappointed with Shae for talking to Varys, but still hold out some hope that she knows what she’s doing and simply wants to have maneuverability in case Tyrion’s ship goes down.

 

On Tyrion: You win best line this episode for voicing everyone’s thoughts about Cersei ripping up every piece of paper she’s ever given.  Put her in a library-she’ll have a heart attack.

 

On the Night Watch and Daenerys: Everything that happened here was very predictable.  Something has got to actually happen, already.  By that, I mean something that actually moves along in a story arc and drives either character or events that take more than 60 seconds.

 

On Cersei: Am I the only one who always thought Joffrey was behind the bastard killing?  Also, what does it say about this show when the phrase, “when you came out of mother, ripping her” brought to mind mother-son incest initially and I had to think for a minute to ascertain that this wasn’t a new Lannister-incest storyline we were learning about and remember what actually did occur with Tyrion and his mom?

 

On Theon: To be fair, your life does kindof suck.  On the other hand, you were so incredibly annoying in every possible way in your encounter with Yara that even the twist that put you in your place wasn’t enough to make me enjoy this segment.  Maybe if she kicks your ass.  Ten times.  On the other hand, if being this irritating is what your character is supposed to be, then congratulations to the actor!  You have made me care enough to sincerely hate you.  That’s a compliment, providing it’s who you’re supposed to be.

 

On Salladhor: Overall, I really like this guy.  He’s honest, has clear priorities, and a sense of humor.  Besides, he basically played the “good name for a band” line for this world as a reason to go to war!  But the overt playing of the black-man-as-rapist/black-men-want-white-women-particularly-blondes card is galling me.  Add religious guy’s blatant homophobia and this whole scene just sticks in my throat.  I don’t know what to do with it.

 

On Stannis: Wow, not even Mr. Straightlaced can resist sexual wrangling.  In the power-struggle between you and priestess, you just lost.  Have fun with that.  The woman must’ve really wanted to win, though-that map would NOT be a comfortable place for that activity, although I do love huge map tables in general.  Also, she basically just admitted to pushing religious guy to kill his dad, your old advisor/friend type, and you…didn’t catch on or didn’t care enough to not be distracted.  Neither option is permissible in a possible king.  Your potential suitability for the job has thus ended.

 

On Renley: Is there some rule about the two brothers never being shown together?  Supposedly Renley is a big player.  If I’m supposed to stay interested in this world’s politics, I need to be able to check out all the big potential players.  Show me him.

 

On Baelish: I feel for you-you are not making out very well this season.  You had one speech, delivered very well, that didn’t really have much to do with anything.  Plus, your character’s still getting no respect and you seem to be spending so much time with the whores you’re falling behind in the big picture that is the game of thrones.  Also, if you have a beautiful girl who needs to get you something, have you ever considered enlisting her as an outside spy?  I’m sure there are lots of ways the kind of girl you’re talking about could get information.  Probly wouldn’t even have to pay all her travel expenses since she had the sad, damsel in distress thing down so well.  Come on, now.