I’m doing really well with this late blogging thing, aren’t I? Well, here I am again, and I have chocolate and coffee and croissants and I’ve listened to a dupstep remix of the Harry Potter score so I don’t know where we are with this to be honest, not a clue, all I know is whump whump whump SUGAR HIGH which is enough to be getting on with.
No Dragonstone again this week but definite movement where that’s concerned seeing as it’s BUILDING UP TO THE GOOD SHIT YESSSSS PLEASE. Joffrey’s still ruling offscreen, Rickon appears again for more nuts, and MOST AWESOME the prize of Best Scene This Episode goes to the re-introduction of Jaime Lannister. It’s been a long time coming and doesn’t disappoint.
Overall, it’s a functional episode. It has some nice moments but most of it’s about setting up the pieces for the endgame of the series, now looming like a great big loomy thing – Daenerys’ scenes in Qarth had a bit of an adrenaline kick at the end of the last episode but that feels wasted somewhat this week, at least until Xaro and the guy who looks like he’s from the Crystal Maze prove that my fondness for the canny bastards is well placed.
Anyway. This is an episode rich in foreshadowing. It is paving the way for big things to come. It does this without being boring; functional, but spiced with fantastic moments and scenes and characters that really make this series the best thing around now, because it’s a filler episode that excites and delights and saddens and makes you think and usually this sort of episode would be tedious and blah in any other programme. I love Game of Thrones so much, so much. It’s characters sparking off against each other turned into an art form.
Yeah, if you thought I didn’t like it or something.
– Oh good we get to see Theon’s rage response to the loss of the Starks! Alfie Allen’s doing all right in this role, being a prize asshat. “It’s all just a game!” Theon crows as he hunts Bran and Rickon. Well, he’s not exactly wrong.
– WHAT IS IT WITH RICKON AND NUTS
– Jon Snow spends his entire life being uncomfortable around people. It’s exhausting. Why is he anyone’s favourite character? Aside from the lovely Kit Harington I don’t actually see the charm. Yeah, he’s a good boy, but yawn. Ygritte is a nice kick up the arse for his scenes. Gives him something more interesting to angst about.
– BROTHERHOOD WITHOUT BANNERS *PLOT KLAXON*
– The change of actors for Clegane is obvious and unfortunate but it’s good to have someone psychotic and mental back on the show, in Joffrey’s absence I was getting worried about the general sanity here. It was getting too normal. Oh wait he’s not hanging around to do anything violent. He’s just gone off to do it. Okay.
– Tywin doesn’t like mutton. Tywin makes sure his cup-bearer eats. Tywin does nothing without purpose. “My legacy will be determined in the coming months. Do you know what legacy means? It’s what you pass down to your children, and your children’s children. It’s what remains of you when you’re gone.” Arya’s tempted to stab him in the back but can’t because he’s projecting onto her and that would be rude. You can’t disrupt acting as fine as this. It’s just not cricket. Also it doesn’t fit. Arya isn’t that clumsy or obvious.
– “Aegon… and his sisters.” GO ARYA GO also check out the best deployment of exposition ever. Well played, script writers.
– “You remind me of my daughter,” says Tywin. Everyone sighs because of course she does, it’s spirited ladies from here to Qarth, and Cersei is the only other spirited lady you knew as a child. Oh Tywin. “I enjoy you, but be careful.”
– “IF YOU’RE GOING TO POSE AS A COMMONER YOU SHOULD DO IT PROPERLY” SAYS TYWIN AND GIVES EWA A HEART ATTACK “YOU’RE TOO SMART FOR YOUR OWN GOOD, HAS ANYONE TOLD YOU THAT” “YES” OH GUYS HELP THEY’RE TOO AWESOME how can he not know who she is, the pressure in these scenes is robbing me of oxygen
– “Killing’s the sweetest thing there is.” “Why are you always so hateful?” Oh perfect juxtaposition of scenes to illustrate the difference between Arya and Sansa. Arya’s too smart for her own good, and Sansa’s too good for her own good, and that is how they’re going to grow into kickass ladies. Sansa wants people to be better, like stories, so she’ll strive for goodness and the ideal and keeps seeing the potential for it in other people when they can’t see it in themselves. That’s a leader. Contrast her question to the Hound about his hatefulness with Jaime’s conversation with the other Lannister at the end of the episode; seeing the good in others. Arya only sees a path to an end. Now, I love Arya, but she’s not got a character arc, she’s got a plotline. When it comes to characters whole and entire, Sansa’s got so much more to do and achieve, and I really appreciate that.
– And now Dany and Xaro. Nothing really happens except pleading and anger on a staircase. I like Xaro but if he could stop telling us about his background and focus more on his now I’d be more interested. But I like him. There’s something of Littlefinger about him, but with more charm and less disdain. Also I don’t care about the dragons. She’ll get them back. It feels like an excuse to save SFX money.
– Ugh Jon Snow she’s gorgeous what is wrong with you, you utter pillock “YOU KNOW NOTHING, JON SNOW” AND SHE’S RIGHT WE ALL KNOW IT
– LOVE YOU ROBB but let’s be honest this isn’t about anything other than him fancying the pretty medic lady whose name I still don’t know but I know she’s not Jeyne. WOO HOO FIELD TRIP I WONDER WHAT COULD POSSIBLY HAPPEN WHEN THEY’RE ALONE TOGETHER.
– Roose Bolton wandering around being sinister just so we remember he’s there for Season 3. Okay. Okay! *Feeling ill*
– I love the slightly mad camerawork when Theon’s shown as in charge. Works so well. “It’s better to be cruel than weak.” Welllllllll, no.
– Oh THAT’S what’s with Rickon and nuts
– Irri ;_;
– “No one can survive in this world without help. No one.” I love Ser Jorah but his relationship with Dany is so suspect. Emilia Clarke needs more to do and Iain Glen rocks, but this feels like we’re going over old ground when the show doesn’t need to.
– Jon Snow gets made fun of by Ygritte and everyone perks up because it’s funny and deserved. “Should have took me when you had the chance,” she says, and everyone laughs.
– Poor Sansa. Awesome Shae. The dangers of sex from Jon Snow’s perspective is something else, but it’s a real danger for Sansa, who is now directly at the most risk of all the Starks (apart from Bran and Rickon, except we know they’re away from Theon now). Stop whining Jon Snow. You’re not at risk of being married to a psychopathic, abusive king and be made to carry his children. Have your damn sex with the pretty willing lady who’d make you interesting. Meanwhile, Sansa’s bedroom is invaded by the Hound, why exactly did that happen?
– “I thought it would be less… less messy.” LIFE, LITTLE BIRD.
– “Joffrey’s always been difficult.” WELL. Cersei’s main area of expertise is how to grab power from a husband that she loathed. I’m not sure this pep talk will have the desired effect. And Robert wasn’t half as much of a little shit as Joffrey. “Difficult”. Hahaha. Because obviously Cersei should have some sort of rapport with Sansa here, but Sansa’s protestation that she loves Joffrey is her defence against it. It’s distancing because it’s so patently untrue. She’s defending herself with words while Arya uses death. Best. Siblings. Ever.
– “The more people you love, the weaker you are.” You are not Tywin, Cersei, however much you want to be. “Love no one but your children” – arguably Tywin doesn’t even love his children, and Joff is Cersei’s greatest liability while Jaime’s locked up.
– HELLO JAIME “There’s only one fat Lannister. If she was your mother, you’d know it.” oh you’ve been missed, J. Proving himself a good soldier, a good leader, remembering unimportant people. “It was the best day of my life.” I’m having flashbacks to Dr. Watson in Sherlock, missing war. “It’s like stepping into a dream you’ve been dreaming for as long as you can remember, and finding out that the dream is more real than your life.” Lovely. I can’t wait for him to be maimed. “It’s a good thing I am who I am. I’d have been useless at anything else.” That’s Jaime Lannister, right there, whole and entire. Perfect, sad, awesome scene.
– “Will you betray her again, Jorah the Andal? Will you betray her again?” “Never.” Subtle world-building is subtle, with the reference to Valyria. Stop being awesome, show runners! I can’t cope with this!
– “An upstart and a charlatan. Empires have been built by less. Those on the margins often come to control the centre and those in the centre make room for them, willingly or otherwise.” BEST POWER GRAB EVER LITERALLY CHILLING and I’m not even miserable that we had more magic thrown around because it was done so well and you know what I’m glad they’re giving Dany something to be scared of and Xaro was kind of awesome, let’s watch that again
– House of the Undying is actually a party house where everyone will get drunk and dance. This is not true. But wouldn’t it be nice for Dany to take her people to the beach for a change? All they do is work and stress and die.
– OH OH OH BRIENNE “Keep your hands off me, woman!” “Don’t enter without an invitation, MAN.” GOD I LOVE HER.
– One of the few times Catelyn Stark has actually been one of the most awesome people in the show. WELL PLAYED LADY. “Have you forgotten me, sir? I am the widow of your liege lord Eddard Stark, I am the mother of your king!”
– “AND GAG HIM”
– I was wondering what was missing. Tyrion. TYRION. FINALLY.
– Stannis Baratheon’s fleet is moving. I may have rubbed my hands with glee at the prospect of what’s coming.
– That look of sudden, slight shame when Tyrion tells Cersei she’s quoting their father is marvellous. She just wants to be the female version of Tywin, that’s all! Lena Headey is tremendous and I never seem to mention that, but she is, and gets Cersei perfectly. She’s a twisted monster but glorious and wicked and distressing and completely convincing. Contrasting her with Catelyn is so much fun. “Sometimes I wonder… if this is the price for what we’ve done. For our sins.” Hint: YES, IT IS.
– Discussing Joffrey’s utter utter madness in the open like this is sweetly, delightfully painful. Lena Headey and Peter Dinklage being so awesome. Tyrion and Cersei: they may loathe each other but at the end of the day they’re still siblings, they still need each other, and Cersei still needs Tyrion’s support because she wants to be Tywin but the closest she has is her little brother who she detests but but but he’s her brother. I love how problematic their relationship is. They clearly enjoy acting together.
– Just had to pause the show to have a breather because Cat is about to annoy the crap out of me, I can tell. WELL ACTUALLY she didn’t I was wrong, I admit it.
– “IS THAT A WOMAN” Brienne’s all “Dude, what”
– “Where did you find this beast?” “She is a truer knight than you. Kingslayer.” BEAST >:O
– Ugh I hate it when they cut away during an intense scene because Jaime was being awesome and Cat was being a noble but slightly unhinged mother and Theon’s being a dick and yet I don’t want to look away, it’s like in the books when he changes PoV for each chapter, it’s “UGH NO I WANTED MORE oh no wait I love this one UGH NO IT’S CHANGED AGAI– no hold on I can’t put this down”.
– Well we all saw this coming and I don’t think anyone’s been taken in.
– ENDING MUSIC IS BRILLIANT AND YES THEON YOU ARE A MONSTER DOING MONSTROUS THINGS YOU UTTER SHIT OF A MAN look I’ll feel sorry for him later. He’s pathetic. He’s a pathetic person with power.
Well. I love how much I enjoy being emotionally beaten up by this show. Next week: