“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!

“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!

“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.