“Garden of Bones” GoT 2×4

WHAT IN THE HOLY FUCK?  LITERALLY.  Also, spoilers.

Dear Robb, are you trying to switch from here to being a prince in Ever After?  You clearly share taste in girls, going by the nurse’s ranting.  Good on you for remembering to always send the direwolf in first, winning, refusing torture, and being helpful, though.  However, what do you mean you have no idea what to do if you win the war?  I do not have the time to educate you on this and you won’t have time to figure it out later.  At the very least plan out who to delegate finding a proper plan for that to.

Dear scriptwriters, why is it always a leg amputation?  Couldn’t it at least be an arm sometimes, so it doesn’t get so old?

Dear Joffrey, why?  You could’ve been interesting as the only really necessary requirements for you to be villainous here are to be a bastard and side with Cersei.  Why must you go all psycho?  I imagine you and Christian Bale from American Psycho could have a grand, old time.

Dear Sansa, very good!  Hold the party line!  I’m impressed.

Dear Natalie Dormer, what the hell are they making you wear?  That dress looks like the bottom two result of a Project Runway assignment for something avant garde who thinks making stupid necklines is the way of the future and really wanted to use gold gold somewhere but didn’t get enough fabric for the original idea, so just added the ridiculous flower things at the armpits.  And was that blue leopard print???

Dear Baelish, go study Shakespeare’s Richard III.  He could’ve gotten Jaime and a betrothal to Catelyn, too.  Go on.  Shoo.

Dear writers, who are ‘the brotherhood’?  Why add all the new prisoners to the batch of old ones when you know they won’t know anything you want to know?  If you really want to know this, why just one a day?  Just to stall so the main characters can be saved?  Cause I don’t approve of that.

Dear Tywin, much love, as always!  I’d like it if you put a shrewder man in charge of your operation here, but I understand-this is your Isengard and sometimes you’ve just got to send out orcs and hope they don’t mess up or eat all your prisoners instead of bringing you things alive and unspoiled.  I look forward to more of your company.

Dear Renley and Stannis, congratulations!  You finally managed to show up in the same episode!  At the same time, even!  Renley wins most meta remark for noting that a battle between folks with the same standard would be ‘terribly confusing’.  Stannis wins a point in his comments to Catelyn.

Dear Daenerys, maybe you could let Jorah talk for you once in awhile.  Or at least point out that you’re not Dothraki?  Or perhaps negotiate for having food and water sent out if they’re that adverse to letting Dothraki in?  I know it worked out, but that was alll luck, girl-that guy didn’t have to step up for you.  You had other options is what I’m saying here, and you didn’t seem to think you had any more.  Think.  You get a pass this time due to dehydration and hunger.  Also, because the guy who stepped up for you did a good job spinning that well by calling it, “breathing fire.”

Dear Tyrion, very fun and a much better impression of Shakespeare’s Richard III than Baelish.  I hope you’re not planning to trust that kid too far, though-he reminds me of Wembley Fraggle.  Blonde hair, noisy, unable to stick to decisions, goes along with everyone else…he even looks side to side in a similar way when he’s flustered.  What’s wrong with him, is he not really a Lannister?  *raises brow*  Also, good one with ‘anointed’.

Dear ‘Onion Knight’, what’s with that name?  More importantly, WHY ARE YOU NOT RUNNING?  OR SCREAMING?  Or throwing the lamp on the…holy hell thing?

Dear Melisandre, WHAT IN THE HOLY HELL?  I thought “dark and full of terrors” was supposed to describe what happens to your enemies, not, ya know, YOUR LOINS!  Wait…is that why having sex with her equals giving oneself to her god?  Because he’s INSIDE OF THERE and will then have access to anointing  you, or injecting your veins with the drugs, when your dick is also inside her?  I need to not be watching this anymore right now.

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“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.

“You Win or you Die” 1×7

NOW I feel like we’re getting somewhere!  I do believe this is currently my favorite episode.  Expect spoilers.

 

1. Tywin is a much better character than I was expecting and the words vs. actions direction in his opening scene was hilarious.  “It wasn’t clean??”  Forget his kids, this is the man to be reckoned with.  I’m considering becoming a Lannisterian.

2. I have officially given up on Ned, but without frustration this time.  He’ll be paid back for being a fool and well-that’s his business now, I guess.  I find him much easier to deal with when he’s not actually in control of his other family members.

3. Cersei did exactly what I expected of her this episode, and she pulled it off beautifully!  I am pleased.

4. I excuse the Starks from neglecting their peasants as it turns out Bran’s attackers were from beyond the wall.  I shall hope the actual peasants have better hair situations.  I’m glad that this woman is speaking up and making her mark.  I shall expect her to be fully on Bran’s side in the future, when I anticipate he gets more shamanistic.

5. Ah-there are jobs at the wall where you don’t have to do much fighting!  That is a great relief to know, and explains the sense behind protecting Sam.  Previously it’d seemed like, with such a shortage of men, it’d be the type of place where everyone pitches in to helping with food, etc. AND must act as ranger.  I don’t know how efficient not doing it like this will be considering the man shortage, but at least it makes them not fools about Sam.

6. Lookit Joffrey’s scared expression as his father dies!  I like that kid more every episode!  The remaining Draco shall live!

7. The whole scene with Dany in the market brings up questions for me.  How did the assassins know she would come there?  To leave things for her and Jorah both indicate they were pretty sure.  Does the horde frequent the market?  If the Dothraki don’t believe in money, and also are constantly given gifts or raiding places, surely the market is kindof the last place they’d buy stuff.  Also, if they don’t believe in money, how would they buy stuff?  I didn’t see servants carrying stuff to barter-and again, it would be wasteful and unnecessary for them.  So much for my first problem.  Second problem: why would the messenger boy know what was in that missive for Jorah?  That’s not normal.  Also, who the hell had time to remember Jorah and send him a pardon, unless it was on condition he ensure Dany’s death?  Plus, if he was a bannerman for Ned and Ned banished him, why is it a royal pardon?  Wouldn’t he still be unable to go home without Ned’s permission/a royal decree to Ned who would then be the one who ought to recall him?  That man continues to make no sense.

8. Also, I had some problems with Dany.  I love her arc to owning the khalessi in her and her growth, but…you keep talking about your home and returning to save the people.  Drogo’s declaration to take you home included specific phrases about raping the women and taking the children slaves.  Shouldn’t Dany’s expression have changed or something?  That doesn’t seem like the thing she’d want to do.  My only guess is that right now the thought of home and the knowledge her husband cares this much about her is too overwhelming for her to listen to the individual words.

9. Drogo’s gift to Jorah worries me.  Wouldn’t all the horses the Dothraki have already be claimed by someone?  They don’t seem like communal property type people.  So, in order to take his gift-to avoid rudeness to the Khal it must be received-Jorah will have to lay claim to someone else’s horse.  The khal gives a foreigner one of his own men’s horses.  This…does not bode well.  Why is this not a thing here?

10. Good old Renly!  The more I see him, the more sensible he seems.  “Do you still think good soldiers make good kings?”  Touche!  Also, very spot on for so many histories.  I like him and his knight of the flowers!  As I said, Tywin makes me approve more of the Lannisters, but as of now Renly still has more of my support.  Foolish Ned.  Also, what the hell is up with this Stannis?  Everyone seems to agree about him as not a great leader.

11. Baelish is intense!  I continue to like him.  I award him long life and applaud his maneuverability.

12. FINALLY things seem to be happening!

“A Golden Crown” 1×6

It struck me that this episode showed people mainly just protecting their own interests and acting as sensibly as their personalities will let them.  No diatribes about people being idiots this time!  I almost don’t know to react to this episode, what to do with myself.  In any case, here are some thoughts-and spoilers, of course!

 

1. The story about men trying to sleep with a woman from all 7 kingdoms and the Riverlands to “make the eight” gives a whole new meaning to pieces of eight.  I really hope they use pieces of eight in this world, for this reason.

2. If being obsessed with a hooker is all they’ve really got to give Theon scenes, why even bother trying to make us care about him right now?  Surely he does something more worthy of notice later?  Right now I still say he’s just a little brat.

3. Robert actually took charge against Cersei and did his job!  Granted, he ran away to hunt right after, but still!  I love it whenever Robert decides to actually do something!

4. Sean Bean gets to be called Boromir again-he finally broke out of his rut!  Granted, it took Baelish right there leading him by the nose to actually do something that works both honorably and with proper political consequences, but still.

5. What is Baelish’s deal here?  I suppose the involvement of Boromir’s wife’s family gives him strong motive to help him in this instance, but I don’t trust the man.  I love that.  The question is-was it really ‘The Mountain’ who did this?  Did Baelish have something to do with it so he could prod Boromir into making such a move against the Lannisters?  I am excited!

6. Also, good luck to the man sent to bring down The Mountain and confiscate all his stuff.  He’s gonna wind up with some horse heads/possibly his own severed skull in his bed some night soon!

7. Now I’m feelin’ me some Tyrion!  Good on you, little man!  After getting past that whole attempting to explain to Mord “possession is an abstract concept” thing.  Perhaps it would’ve worked out with less beating for you if you’d lead off with some stories about donkeys, honeycombs, and whores.  Just sayin’.

8. The Eyrie is such a cool set!  Let us have more scenes there, please!

9. I get the feeling that we’re supposed to have feelings about Jorah by this time, but it just confuses me.  If his dad’s at the wall and the wall guys don’t get families, how does he even exist?  If his dad went to the wall after having him that’s both the weirdest retirement plan ever and also surely it means his dad abandoned him?  Not Jorah should now worry about dishonoring his dad?  Also, about this slavery business and what Ned has to do with it…I don’t feel this was adequately explained.  There must be more going on with that.  Plus, this pledging to Viserys is just weird.  Is he a spy?  Is he in league with Illyrio for intrigue?  Is till miss Illyrio.  Is he really just hanging out there for Daenerys?  How does he know so much about the Dothraki, anyhow?  I just find him extremely confusing.

10. Of all the pathetic moves Viserys made this episode, I found the saddest to be giving Jorah permission to fuck Daenerys.  Like it’s HIM that’s keeping others from Daenerys’ bed.  There’s also the whole leader of a savage horde who will kill you thing.  There’s that.  But then, Viserys seems to completely not grasp that in all his other actions, as well.  Of course he died.  Riding along with a horde and disrespecting them, threatening their queen.  Either they kill him or he winds up on his own-and that little brat won’t find any other help, so either way he’s dead meat.  It was good that he got such an interesting death, though.   The moment he said “they can’t shed blood in their Holy City” my mind answered “Plenty of ways to kill without shedding blood.”  It was a good one, although I shall miss him.  His presence always amused me on this show.

11. Drogo got LINES!  One even in ENGLISH, finally!  Hurrah!  It helps so much.

12. My favorite scene is the one with eating horse-heart.  I found it the most moving.

13. God bless Sansa’s bitchy little heart, she made me laugh out loud.  We went from picturing 13/14 year old girls as sweet innocents who can still count as adults e.g. Juliet to teenage angsty fools like Sansa.  This is a measure of how deeply the concept of teenagerhood has embedded in our society, in spite of being pretty new.  Even in fantasy worlds that emulate older worlds and times, the teenagers be teens.  Hah.

14. I know Joffrey is a cowardly, lying toad, but the man’s got some style.  He knows how to playact a bit, at least if he’s practiced in advance.  Also, given that he’s engaged to Sansa, winning her over is all to his advantage.  Also, he might actually want his marriage to work out.  He’s been living with Robert and Cersei’s marriage, for goodness sake.  He must know how uncomfortable and grating that would be.  Any way you look at it, his being able to creditably pull off that scene with Sansa, who he feels embarrassed about, makes me like him.  If it’s sincere-he has good parental reasons.  If he’s not-you’ve gotta respect good acting, and honestly I think a good ruler needs it.  If he means it now and quickly goes back on it-well at least he won’t end up in a rut of only seeing the same things, like Ned Stark over there denying everything he doesn’t want to think about.  I like him here.

15. Who were these folks with Bran, the normal northerners?  Cause in that case, the Starks are not doing their job.  Standing around saying “there isn’t this thing” doesn’t work on people inside the show, either.  There’s a panic abroad-that’s your job to fix, fellas!  Or at least focus on sometimes.  Also, Ned-your people need hair stylists.  Please import.

16. Is Bran’s dream with the raven indicative of him having a sideline in magic?  Cause if the white walkers attack and Bran can influence them WITH HIS MIND then that will be awesome.  I call shaman!

17. Syrio is always allowed.

18. People Arya feels close to have a bad habit of dying-or having to be driven away to avoid death, if they are canine.  Is the girl cursed?  Micah, Jory…good thing she’s got sword practiced.  She has so much to vent.  Perhaps it’s a good thing she doesn’t get any closer to Ned.  I bet the second they really connect will directly precede his death.  Bran survived the fall because they were competing against each other.  Sansa will no doubt live to enjoy being queen since Arya dislikes her.  What candidate for the throne does the girl most dislike?  That’ll be the one who gets it….so, Joffrey will sit next on the throne, yes?  Key to the series, right here!  If she ever meets some new character older woman she immediately takes a dislike to, I’m gonna say it’s Snow’s mother.

19. By this world’s genetics my older sister must have a different father.  Also, she must have cheated on my brother-in-law cause the niece’s hair does not match his.  I totally called Jaime being Joffrey’s dad, but really-we had to follow around pretending to be shocked that the whoring king had bastards and look at a freaking lineage book to figure this out through….hair color!?!? *gasp*  I find this to take up too much screentime and, you know, rely too heavily on hair color.  I’m incredibly glad it is now out of the way.

20. Whenever it showed Boromir on the throne in his brown, segmented outfit it looked to me like chocolate bars for a minute.  Then the light would shift on it and show little metal parts, but still.  Chocolate tunic!