“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.

 

 

 

 

“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?

“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.

 

 

 

 

“The North Remembers” GoT 2×1

Well, I must say that I enjoyed this episode very much!  Perhaps simply because everything is actually in motion or simply that I enjoy people who know how to give me a lot of information without making it seem like that.  I hope this season continues this concise.

SPOILERS

1. I am impressed by Sansa’s recovery in front of Joffrey!  One wonders how long anybody could really survive being Joffrey’s jester, though.  After all, all the most obvious sources for jokes will definitely be off-limits.

2. I understand that you can’t actually show Daenerys’ group using anything akin to parasols or something or it’ll give totally the wrong look-like British imperials or similar.  However…guys, you do have fabric, it seems.  Make some shade.

3. Ah, Stannis, we meet at last!  You’re…not at all what I expected.  I actually think this guy should be in charge of stuff.  He’d make the trains run on time, his libraries would be managed impeccably, and he would never be a negligent ruler.  The use of religious fanaticism is interesting.  It is not yet clear to me whether he is just using it for his will, if he believes it, or if he simply finds the priestess to be one hell of an ally.  I am willing to go along, though worried that he is by far the less charismatic partner.  I see it starting and continuing well, but I do not see a way for this to end well.  Particularly if he continues this inflexible.  If he wants to talk inflexible that’s fine, but then you let your advisor types actually make some compromises for you-that’s how it works.  He…doesn’t seem to have managed that last part.

4. Robb Stark wins the most respect of the night for the best comeback.  “Don’t like being called a boy?  Insulted?”  “You insult yourself.  You were defeated by a boy.”  And so on.  Perfect.  On the other hand, you never, ever say things like, “We’ll all be together again soon.  I promise.”  Never.

5. Lady Stark, you cannot play at war and then decide to just go home whenever.  This situation gravely disappoints me.   I’m with you on not trusting any Greyjoy words I’ve seen so far, though.

6. Cersei tried for  the best comeback too with Baelish, but while fun, her line was exceedingly predictable.  Also, what the hell, Cersei?  I was under the impression you’d secretly told Joffrey everything he needed to know to be your king.  You know, so the next king wouldn’t be one you had to hide your sexual appetites from and he’d have no reason to suddenly turn on you or make you slap him.  This greatly lowers my respect for you-I thought you planned ahead and were creepy Lannister partners and it turns out you just assumed being ‘mother’ would be enough.  Never assume these things!

7. Baby bastard killing!  How traditional.

8. Ah, both the people the Lannisters now need to find so badly, making it easy by sticking together.  Sad.

9. Oh!  Also, I really love Joffrey’s antler crown.

“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.

“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!

“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.

 

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