I mean, OMG, and all of that. Maybe I am thrown into a deep deep depression whose name is Oberyn Martell. Just maybe. Are you there with me?
Let’s get to it then.
I just want to say that this is an interesting and kind of odd introductory scene: secondary horrible characters who we don’t know and are quickly slaughtered. But beyond that, this wandering long shot of the prostitute and her harassment of Gilly. It’s done in a hyperrealistic way which is different from the typical filming. Alex Graves is an old pro but maybe he just wanted to try something new? The “slice of life” thing does fit in with all the snapshots we see of the actual people of Westeros: not the warriors or the kings or the houses, just regular people suffering immensely. Anyway, this scene is shot in a very modern and meandering way and I’m not quite sure why. The quick cut from the slaughter scene to Samwell is also abrupt and strange.
Do we ever know why the Wildlings are just killing innocent villagers left and right? I mean, I guess to enrage the Night’s Watch and have them come out to fight in the open. But jeez oh man. Maybe spare the kids and old women? Do they hate southerners so much?
The Missandei-Grey Worm stuff is trying to be innocent and cute, and I’m trying to like it, but it’s awfully awkward. First off – Dany is a stone cold bitch about the Unsullied and their man parts. She’s all telling Missandei to get over her hangups, stop thinking about eunuchs, and get with the program. Missandei is obviously way uncomfortable with Dany’s new Samantha persona.
Grey Worm is a pretty bad colonial fantasy: he values his slavery and deformation because of his eventual freedom. Slavery was fine because now he gets to hang out with the nice white lady who saved him. I realize GRRM didn’t write from the most modern of standpoints in terms of avoiding racial and harmful stereotype cliches, but the show could work to do a little better. Plus we all know what Snoop thinks:
Then Missandei and Grey Worm in the throne room: awkwaaaaaard. Maybe one day it will be cute. They’ll probably both die horribly, though. That’s what you do to my heart, Game of Thrones. You just rip it out over and over again.
Ok: the Boltons, creepy or the creepiest? I feel like Alfie Allen is doing some great work but it’s so sad it’s hard to savor. This scene is a callback to Theon’s taking of Winterfell, with a grand speech of resistance and then a blow to the head. What’s past is prologue.
Theon’s entire story just got reset. The Boltons are the dark Starks: the (now legitimized) curly-haired bastard son, and the hard-ass father, warden of the north. And poor, poor Theon as prisoner, once again.
His tears, as he tries to stammer out his name! Ah, kill me. A friend of the book series told me that what was appealing to her was how almost all the characters changed in one way or another, and you often felt sympathy or found yourself rooting for someone you had hated earlier. People change, were redeemed, etc. I asked: even Theon? She looked very sad for a moment and said “Even Theon.”
Amazing camera work when Ramsay is giving Theon his pep talk. Theon is hemmed in by Ramsay’s body, we only see his eyes peek out from his shoulder, nervous and darting back and forth.
Ok: THE GOOD STUFF. Sansaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa power!
Amazing camera work, once again, in Baelish’s interrogation scene. It starts with a close-up of his face and he’s calm and controlled, but you can see his annoyance at the highborn lords and lady’s line of questioning. He expects it and is annoyed by it all the same. In some ways, it’s almost like he’s a child again, learning to bow to all the “betters” he was surrounded by. We flip to his small form dwarfed by the foreboding committee, all hyper focused on him. And then: a mention of Sansa. Suddenly we’re above him, we can almost see the sweat forming on his brow. He’s not prepared for this one and she could absolutely unravel everything in a moment.
Sansa is my girl, as you may recall. Here is everything Sansa does:
First she makes him squirm. She lets him know, through her faux-apology, that his entire fate rests in her hands. She probably could have gotten him imprisoned or thrown out the Moon Door, and the kind lords of the Vale would take care of her as an allied family.
But she doesn’t.
Sansa lived her life in fear and powerless at King’s Landing. She was, as she said, without any friends or allies there. Sansa gets a lot of flak but I just see a young girl surviving: figuring out when to stay quiet, who to watch, when to lie and about what. And although she didn’t have any grand transformation like Arya, she had been quietly learning all along from Cersei, Margaery, Olenna, and Shae. Maybe she finally realized that men have loved her, men like Baelish and the Hound, who did see her frailty and wanted to shelter her instead of abuse her.
Now she is using herself. She’s using her character, from King’s Landing, of the naive and fearful girl to play everyone right into her hands. How could anyone ever expect little Sansa to tell a lie, when she cries so sweetly?
Here is what else she does: she safeguards herself against Baelish, as much as she can. By telling her identity and story to the lords and lady of the Vale, she knows they will be looking out for her welfare. She lets slip that Petyr kissed her, only to say it was a “peck on the cheek” – a lie, to remind Baelish that she still holds the power over this narrative. She emphasizes Petyr is an uncle to her, to ward him off any unseemly signs of affection in public.
Not that it’s going to help. Petyr is so turned on right now it’s shameful. And I’m thoroughly ashamed of digging this storyline. Sexy evil Baelish and goth Sansa 4-eva!
SER JORAH BREAKS MY HEART. And that is all I have to say about that.
Ok all that Bolton stuff is over so back to the Petyr and Sansa show.
Sophie Turner looks so young in these scenes it’s like she’s gone beyond and become a symbol of youth. All of her scenes in the Eyrie look like they’re from dramatic 17th century paintings. Petyr is kind of in awe of her but he also hates owing her. He challenges her, saying she doesn’t really know who he is or what he wants. Until Sansa looks him in the eyes, with her sad knowing stare, and strikes him speechless. Beautiful women have always been men’s downfall in stories, even the smartest and most cunning of men.
What I see in these scenes is Sansa taking her place as the lady of the Eyrie. In King’s Landing she was nothing. Now she has schemed enough to be protected and loved by those in power. What’s more, she is assuming the roles of both her mother and Lysa. Catelyn was the chase, Lysa was the partner in crime. Sansa acknowledges Baelish’s affections, she will partner with him in his schemes, but will she really love him? (Lysa said no).
Oberyn deserves his own post. More to come tomorrow.