Game of Throoooooooones.
I finally have a reliable way of viewing episodes almost as quickly as they come out, so let the reviews begin!
Tyrion’s journey in this episode is to truly and fully embrace the hatred of his family, and bring about his complete split with them. The Lannisters value family above all else and he led a battle to defend his family and his family’s city. Now he has to be pushed so far that he can destroy them.
That’s why he looks so disappointed when Jaimie doesn’t seem on board with using his death for noble, family-spiting purposes. It’s not because Jaime won’t do it. It’s because Tyrion is pushed so much farther than Jaime. Jaime was always Tyrion’s one ally, however ineffective, and now he won’t even follow Tyrion on this grand quest to destroy their own family. It is, after all, the only right thing to do.
Charlie Jane Anders over at io9.com is revealing that the scene with the dying man meeting Arya and the Hound is straight from Beckett, the actor a popular theater/Beckett actor. But even better he’s the luggage salesman in the greatest movie ever, Joe vs. the Volcano.
This episode is about sharing and backstories. But it’s also about people being pushed to the end and further. People who are so low they have nothing to lose, so they reveal something true about themselves, or can hear truth from others. Tyrion hears he is nothing from Jaime and Bronn, and he shares every wrong impulse that drove him to this place to Jaime. He also comes to terms to his true relationship (evident all along) to Shae and Bronn. Arya and the Hound can reveal their names and true relationship (“captor”) to the dying man, because he’s dying. In fact, Arya tells him her last name to force the Hound to kill him. Watch how sharply she says it, after a pause, and the jolt to Sandor, and how Arya does not flinch when the deed is done.
Personal pet peeve relief: I think Sandor wiping his blade off is the first time I’ve ever seen that action on this show. I always took Aslan’s advice to heart and couldn’t believe how many fake knights DO NOT CLEAN THEIR SWORDS. Come on, people!
The Hound is all about his bff Arya this episode. He looks to her reaction constantly – especially when they hear that Joffrey is dead. And he wants to help with her list.
Daenerys’ eyebrows are getting darker. I hate that they don’t dye Cersei’s or Khaleesi’s.
There is zero chemistry between Daenerys and Daario. I am on team boring Daario. There are so many actors in the world who do nothing but ooze sexuality and they picked this dude?
The scene between Daenerys and Jorah either says something true about their relationship or something Daenerys is using, and either way she’s a bad ass. She knows immediately she’s hurt Jorah by sleeping with Daario. She doesn’t have to justify herself to Jorah, but she does have to make him feel better. She offers what is either a convincing act or true friendship and gratitude – when she clasps his hands, when she takes his advice, when she makes it known. She very deftly repaired any small crack in their relationship and allowed Jorah to do the legwork.
I think here Jorah is also fighting against her going full Targaryen. I think in the books especially there’s this fear that she has the hidden Targaryen crazy bloodlust, and being that she is so young and so powerful, it could come out. Jorah is pleading with her using his own story to call on her humanity. You can see her mania come full stop when he talks about the fate of his own head.
Also Danaerys gets soooooooome. Get it guuurl.
Also: no full frontal male nudity HBO? Seriously?
Ok: Arya and the Hound. I want to nominate Peter Dinklage for Best Actor Emmy and Rory McCann and Pedro Pascal can duke it out for Supporting. Probably all for this episode. Sandor’s “I wasn’t stealing it I was just borrowing it” is the saddest thing to happen in Game of Thrones and just think to what I’m comparing it. Like it mattered at all, at any point in time, that you were innocent, poor Sandor.
Sandor has not only reached his honesty breaking point (where, by the way, he kind of admits that he’s fond of little Arya. If she’s not worth the ransom then why not kill her already?). He’s feeling the cruelest sting all over again: that of the pain of being betrayed by your family. Tyrion has been so betrayed (he reaches the point of no return with Oberyn’s story of their meeting) that his hurt will turn back on his family. Sandor is a monster who’s been alone his entire life since he realized at like, six, that family meant nothing and his life and safety were an afterthought. This is the best scene.
I don’t know what I can say about the scene between Tyrion and Oberyn that hasn’t already been said. It is amazing and probably the highlight of the whole season, even with what is to come. And it does what is so important in storytelling: bring things full circle. Cersei has wanted Tyrion dead since the minute he was born. Him on trial and in prison is just one painful long con.
Excellent bit of directing in this scene too. Watch through Oberyn’s story as the camera switches back and forth between them, but for the end, it just lingers on Dinklage. Let him do the work. Thanks for not getting in the way, Alik Sakharov: it’s a rare gift.
Sansa! Sansa Sansa Sansa. I am Team Sansa everyone. She is my long con. They are making her absolutely beautiful in this season, but I think they are doing it by keeping her plain. It seemed, I suppose, like her hair was let down a bit more. Poor darling Sansa just wants five minutes of peace – she wants to go to some place where she’s not afraid and always acting for someone, so she can just feel things.
Everyone’s reviewing her fighting and slapping Robin as an impulsive and childish act. But I saw it as her finally responding to her world and acting out. She was engaged to a young, coddled asshole before, who took extreme joy in violence and flew into rages for no reason as well. Sansa is finally well enough to start thinking of her home, envisioning it whole. And Robin comes and stomps on it quite literally. She punishes him, as Joffrey should have been punished, as she wanted to react. She literally fought to protect her home. Which is not something she’d been able to do in King’s Landing.
PETYR. Oh, where to even begin. My grand theory is that Sansa learns at the foot of Baelish, then smokes the asshole. Because NOBODY EXPECTS SANSA. That being said, he’s growing on me. I think he’s a creepy psychopath but hey, when’s the last time that stopped us and HBO?
Here’s the thing about Baelish: he’s creating chaos, he’s climbing upward, and he doesn’t get caught (yet). He lies to everyone twenty times over. He’s supposedly such a powerful figure because nobody knows his motives, or what he wants. But now we really know one thing he wants: Sansa, as a surrogate for Cat. I don’t know if I yet believe if Baelish can actually love or if he’s devoid of the true emotion. But in a safe place, the Eyrie, he showed some of his cards, just like everyone else. And Lysa is the one at the end of the rope, so he can tell her the actual truth without repercussions.
Sure, Lysa was going to die all along, there’s no denying it. But I can’t help but think Petyr relished killing her after she threatened the one thing he seems to care about. What do we do to those who hurt the ones we love?
Proof that Sansa is learning: she knows exactly where Petyr is going. When he tells Lysa “I have only ever loved one woman my entire life,” she knows it can’t be Lysa.
Lysa’s right, though. Cat never loved Petyr, and neither will Sansa. Poor crazy Lysa. I will miss your crazy face, girl.