“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?)

“Lord Snow” 1×3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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