“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.

“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.

“The Pointy End” 1×8

This episode was a bit mish-mashy for me, but overall quality stuff.  I suppose they have to put off things for the finale.  Spoilers ahead:

 

To Arya: Oh, my poor, cursed, little girl.  So far my key to the series is working-the candidate you least liked is now king.  Your new best friend is killed.  I can’t wait to see where you got to!  Also, I need you to react to people so I can tell who’ll come out on top next round!

 

To Daenerys: See, when you listened to Drogo announce he was going to rape the women of your own people and just stood there in a happy daze, I’d have thought you’d be both prepared to see rape and less feeling about it happening to people who aren’t, you know, the ones you’re princess of.  Don’t get me wrong, it was marvelous to see you directly confrontational and demanding respect, but…perhaps a bit more circumspection would do. Especially where it directly concerns Drogo.  Don’t forget what will happen if he gets actually taken down, girlfriend.

On another note, it’s really precious how you two use the titles “moon of my life” and “my sun and stars.”  Are these terms you guys came up with or are they traditional to Dothraki?  Also, about this stallion who will mount the world business-is that a typical term for the son of a Khal?  Is there some prophecy about a stallion who will mount the world and you’re just claiming this is him to convince Drogo to attack the Seven Kingdoms?  What is happening with that?

 

To Robb: Not a bad showing.  I’m glad to know you’re not too proud to admit you’re scared, even to someone technically not outside the family.  It did take your direwolf to win the spat with the bannerman, but you did come up with the excuse to let him stay and laughed heartily enough to close that diplomatic part.  So, kudos for that.  Given that you’ve got a whole month before you reach King’s Landing I’m not sure the couple hours headstart you get from leaving in the middle of the night will really be any good, but at least it shows you’re aware and wary of spies and scheming-something Ned needed Baelish to drive home to him.  So, you’re already better than him.  Also, you actually talk to people about points, like Bran and Catelyn, so lots of points for that.  I was afraid Ned’s habitual lack of lines would be a hereditary thing.  I’m not sure about letting the scout go at the end, it’s unusual, but again-it’s not like they wouldn’t have just sent another that would’ve given them the info soon enough, so being merciful won’t actually hurt you much.  Overall, a major improvement on your father.  Well done.  I expect continued good showings.

 

To Jon: I’m glad you’re smart enough to pay attention to the direwolf in the first place.  Bit of advice: when you’re headed out to a probably dangerous position, DO NOT tell the wolf to stay.  There is danger-the direwolf comes with you.  This should not need to be said.  Getting Ghost locked outside was what you deserved for that.

 

To Sam: Hurrah!  You get to be helpful.  Am very glad you have reading and sense, it makes you a real character.  Carry on!  Now you’re past the trojan horse stage, things should go better for you.  (“We should burn it!” “Yeah, we’re not gonna listen to the useless one. Don’t burn it.”  And then the enemy attacks you.=Trojan horse in Troy with Sam as Orlando Bloom!)

 

To Rikkon: Hello!  Glad to see you’re alive, kid.  Wasn’t sure you existed.  Also, incredibly gratified to hear you talking realistically.  I expect you to help Bran when he comes into his mind powers.

 

To Sansa: Aw, your dreams were just coming back with Joffrey talking nice again, and now you have to go through the reality of this.  I’m proud of you-such an improvement in handling your reality troubles from last time!  Act up to the queen, beg for Ned in front of everyone…nice.  Joffrey does not seem on as tight a leash as Cersei would wish, now does he?  Interesting.  It’s your opportunity, Sansa!  Get into that chink!

 

To Cersei: Why did you not suggest Tywin for hand before?  You know you wanted someone in your family.  Plus, he’s the moneyman so if he pushed it Robert would’ve been hard put to say no.  I’m very curious.

 

To Tyrion: Please be more awesome.  I really want to be on your side, but the lack of stepping it up makes things difficult.

 

All right, then.  I think we’re ready to move forward.  Everyone, remember advice.  And HBO, show me what happened to Arya, already!

“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.