Obligatory Recap: Robert and Ned reconcile, the King slaps Cersei around and then goes hunting with Renly, Bran is still dreaming of three-eyed crows, Arya learns to compartmentalize, Sansa develops Southron ‘tude, Joffrey gets freaking scary, Tyrion talks his way out of a rock and a hard place, Dany eats a stallion’s heart, Viserys gets his damn crown, and the Barantheon-Lannisters prepare for their Maury appearance re: paternity issues.
I’m loving the flow of the show at the moment – it moves from scene to scene as the book does, with a climactic reveal or twist in each “chapter,” without getting bogged down in the extraneous or endless recitations of sigils and banners (which I love in the books, I admit, but each 1,000 words is more than paid for by the always stunning costumes and sets). I don’t know about you guys, but I’m finally getting attached to the characters as portrayed, not just because I loved them in the books.
Dany’s getting fluent in Dothraki, and gets to name her own child, and even though the bit with the heart was so gross I couldn’t keep my eyes on it (as was Viserys’ … coronation…) I appreciated the graphic commitment to realism. I still could stand to see her be more expressive, but I get that her locked-down emotions are born of abuse, not passivity. Graphically detailed in the books as well, Viserys’ eternal reward for greed, petulance, and defining himself through words not deeds (what the Greyjoys would call paying the gold price, not the iron) is grisly, brutal, and just about the most satisfying horrifying thing I’ve ever seen. His …ascension clears the way for Dany to determine her own path with her Khal and their Khalazar. Back to the 7 Kingdoms that are rightfully hers? Or on to see her son, the Stallion Who Mounts the World (ew) unite the Dothraki for once and all? dun dun DUN…. (spoiler alert, with GRRM it’s rarely that simple and never that triumphant)
Tyrion’s scenes continue to be my favorite. Dinklage, whether he’s trying to get through to a very dull-witted guard or feigning remorse for crimes committed in what must have been a tremendously corrupt youth, is simply the best….I want to skip through the rest and watch all the Tyrion moments the way I did in the books. That’d be a great DVD extra feature – you can watch the episodes as presented or re-order them to see each story line individually. (Dear HBO – email me and I’ll tell you where to send my finder’s fee for that idea :P) I know, I know, it’s frowned upon by nerd purists but let ye who has not flipped ahead to Arya’s next chapter cast the first stone.
No real feminist alarums* sprang up at me in this episode…. When Theon Greyjoy says goodbye to the character known only as “the red haired whore” I appreciated her self-determination of moving on to bigger and…Kings-Landing-er cities, and recognized that this sets up Theon’s future ineptitude with women. And honor. And planning. In my re-read I’m in the middle of book 2 so shiz is going DOWN with the Greyjoys, just saying.
I did find the added scene with Joffrey and Sansa pretty scary – We always knew the boy was a sociopath but it was chilling to see him play the part of the gallant so coldly and so well, and to see Sansa buy it. Where she wants to marry Joff and have his future hypothetical children, Arya just wants to keep her dancing master local. Her “Seven hells” exclamation was one of the ep’s few laugh lines.
By the by, I stand by my comment about dudes in positions of “real” power where women are left out of the decision making process. I’m not denying women have power in other ways/arenas, I’m not denying it’s done both for narrative effect and historical representation, but I have every right to notice it and put it through the feminist spectrometer and see what analysis pops up on my radar. Some reviewers watch for accuracy, others for technical accomplishments, I watch to evaluate what this series has to offer women (or specifically, me, as a woman and a nerd and a critic). There’s something for everyone.
Speaking of, here’s a quickie roundup of my other fave Game of Thrones reviewers….
- Ology’s review of the 5 Best Scenes So Far
- Winter is Coming’s weekly tweetsplosion
- Film School Reject’s Nathan Adams has awesome recaps/reviews too