“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.

 

 

 

 

“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!

“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?)