“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.