“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!

“Lord Snow” 1×3

Well, this episode slowed down a bit.  Necessarily so, since so many new characters showed up and they apparently didn’t come up with clever ways to introduce them to us like the writers did in the pilot.  As, again, a non-book reader, my thoughts ran thusly (with spoilers):

On Daenerys: Wow, she became a Khaleesi mighty fast.  I have no issue with her clear closeness with her husband in contrast to the past episodes, simply because pregnancy is known to bring couples peace.  What I found a bit fast for me was Dany’s sudden Dothrakian outlook on life.  Her clothes changed right from the start of this episode, her command changed, etc.  If it was simply the stopping of the horde, that’d be one thing.  But that she did so with no apparent reason and then had a servant who made her brother walk, seemed a bit much.  The violence is nothing-the Dothraki are violent, it’s been pounded into our heads.  But having everyone follow her into the woods like that, and again, particularly the clothes-costumes are such important clues on TV…trifle fast, people.

On Jon Snow: So he wanted to go to the Wall so he could lord it over people for once.  This fits in with all the reasons I disliked him last episode.  Granted, he does get better.  Choosing to learn is excellent, but I am still aggrieved that the motivation from it came entirely from Tyrion.  Tyrion has the sense to see and point out what’s really happening, while it never even occurs to Snow.  He’d better change that fast if I’m not to cheer on the white walkers when they show up.  Conversely, my respect for Tyrion has grown.

On Jaime: Why is he always just hanging out waiting to be snarky about past events?  He seems like the most contrived thing in this series.  Somebody give that guy something to do other than eavesdrop on Robert being an ass and lust after his sister.  The man needs employment.

On the Council: New characters are much more confusing this episode.  Baelish, God bless him, is sticking out.  He’s certainly adverse to being pleasant when he could be easy-going-with-a-hint-of-brimstone though, isn’t he?  I am glad I watched with someone who’d read the books so they could tell me why the hell a duel for Ned’s wife was fought between Ned’s brother and this Littlefinger.  Show totally dropped the ball on that.  Meanwhile, I fail to see why debt is surprising.  Ned remains more of a fool than I took him for since he apparently somehow failed to observe over hte last MONTH of riding with Robert that the king doesn’t listen to advice.  I’ll talk to the king alone and talk sense into him-uh-huh.  And Lady’s still alive and Cersei has no say.  Riiiight.

On Joffrey: The boy has some SENSE.  Color me amazed!  The fact is that in order to consolidate statehood and really keep various kingdoms together, the nobles shouldn’t really have their own armies, as Richelieu taught France.  The king SHOULD, in fact, have his own army.  This is true.  The problems Cersei points out are extremely practicable ones against the people she was thinking of whereas for a moment it seemed Joffrey was speaking of political theory instead of a certain hatred.  As a theorist, he actually has some sense.  I jot it down officially and honor him for having this in the face of blatant opposition by his mother’s absurd ideas of power and his father’s absurd negligence of power.  Put him in different tutelage-Tyrion’s, let’s say-and based on this episode he could be a decent king.  Why, he even grew a sense of shame!  He no longer wishes to marry Sansa simply because he knows that she sees him as the coward he feels himself.  If that part of him was encouraged, he could easily improve-he’s young enough.  I pronounce Joffrey officially off my list for the time being.  I blame things on his parents.

On Sansa: I consider her also forgiven, for the time being.  She has realized her awful situation.  She’s facing reality now.  She’s going to have to LIVE with Joffrey for the rest of her life, who she’s had the sense (again, sense!  amazing!) to realize now dislikes her.  Her cup is full and she’s trying to deal with things gracefully as she can.

On Syrio: Arya has a worthy friend!  I am officially on his side.  Everything about him-his meaning to Arya, the way he talks, the way he moves, what it implies about Ned, the depth it gave Ned’s character to see Arya and Syrio work….all of it.

This episode had more stories about the winter, about how people in this world because of history and lore.  Those are so far my favorite part of the series.  They make something real that can’t be ruined by stupidity anymore.