In case you didn’t know, I caught up on Game of Thrones last week and wrote a riveting, layered review of the complicated series.
OK fine, it was more like a rambling, confused musing on a show I barely understand. And because of this, I won’t be writing full reviews of the remaining episodes. There are other places you can go for that – places where the writers know characters names and whatnot.
Instead, I’m just going to touch on a few things, because I’m pretty sure last night’s episode was my favorite in the series thus far. I didn’t even check my email while it was on, like I usually do. In fact, what’s happening now has pretty much justified the watching of the series for me. I was interested! I was excited! I am emotionally invested in characters! I didn’t even have to ask that many questions!
So let’s talk about what’s going on with some of the characters, both ones that I feel an attachment to and ones I don’t.
If you read my original review, you might remember that Arya is my favorite character. In fact, she might be the only character whose name I’ve bothered to learn. Everyone else gets referred to by a nickname of varying offensiveness, and for the purposes of a public review I will refer to a list of characters on the show. Young Arya was training with her super-bad-ass-amazing “dance” (swordplay) teacher when the capitol was attacked by Lannisters. The Lannister and Stark families are now in a full-fledged war – this much I understand. (Whenever I make statements like that, I immediately panic and wonder if I’m wrong, and I’ll look like a fool for saying I understand something when I obviously do not.) Arya’s teacher valiantly took out a whole bunch of bad men with only a wooden training sword, and instructed Arya to run away while he fought off the final, scariest bad man. (Really, could my insights on this show be any less professional? Sorry, y’all.) Why the super-bad-ass-amazing teacher didn’t pick up a real sword from one of the fallen soldiers is beyond me – but we didn’t actually see him die, so perhaps he did. We saw his wooden sword break, I gasped and said “Noooo!” and then we followed Arya.
For her part, Arya has taken her first life and if things continue on (which I’m sure they will) it won’t be her last. A girl’s gotta protect herself! I could not love this scrappy youngster more. After she killed the threatening boy with her needle sword, Arya ran off and that was the last we saw of her. I have been warned not to get attached to characters on this show, but it’s too late. If Arya gets offed, I’m out. Or, at the very least, I’ll whine a lot.
Arya’s my favorite character, but I also have a soft spot for Khaleesi. OK, I know that’s a title and not her name, but the alternative is “pretty blond princess”. It’s just how I roll. Khaleesi proved her power this week by demanding that the…do these people have a name? I call them the large scary ones. Anyway, they pillaged a village and Khaleesi demanded that they do not rape the women, and protected them by claiming them all as her own slaves, rather than let them be used as sex slaves. This didn’t go over well, but Khal stuck up for his wife and took out his dissenting foe without any weapons. Or, you know, with that guy’s own weapon. It was awesome. I mean, he ripped out buddy’s tongue and threw it on the ground. You don’t see that every day.
Khaleesi is an interesting character because she’s both empowered and enslaved. On the one hand, she’s just married to this brute who only seems to care about her because she’s carrying his son. Lord help the poor girl if she ends up having a daughter. On the other hand, Khaleesi is a master at playing her husband exactly right to get what she wants, whether it’s to protect women from rape or ensure his wound is properly cleaned. Game of Thrones isn’t exactly a show for the staunch feminist, but I still find it fascinating to watch how gender politics play out in this make-believe world.
I’m told that one of the best things about Game of Thrones is that you don’t really know who to root for, but right now I just feel conflicted. I like Khaleesi and want her to return to her home and take the iron chair, or throne, or whatever. But I also like the noble Ned Stark and his house, and want them to succeed as well.
One house I definitely hate is the Lannisters, although I’ll always have a soft spot for Tyrion. Peter Dinklage just plays him so well, with such humor and self-awareness. I don’t want the Lannisters to win, since I hate the Queen and really hate Joffrey, but I’ll be sad if Tyrion gets killed, or is forced to be some sort of court jester or something.
Although I’m not really a Sansa fan (the pretty redheaded Stark daughter who was supposed to marry Joffrey), I do like what’s being done with her character now that she’s being forced to choose between her loyalty to her father and her inexplicable love for that horrible little boy.
Other exciting things from the episode included seeing more of the zombie-like “White Walkers” that reminded me I should probably check out The Walking Dead soon, lots of bloodshed, the return of that creepy queen and her even creepier way-too-old-to-be-breastfed son, and Jon Snow having to decide if he wants to go save his father and sisters or continue defending a giant wall of ice. At least, that’s how I have interpreted his storyline. Then there’s also Robb, the actual son of Ned Stark. That’s a guy with a lot of pressure riding on him, since he’s responsible for taking down the Lannisters and saving the lives of basically everyone in his family. I feel like I should care about this aspect of the storyline more, but I much prefer Jon Snow the bastard child to Robb, the legitimate son. Even though they both remind me of Orlando Bloom.