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Game of Thrones – The Bear and the Maiden Fair

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Game of Thrones, The Bear and the Maiden FairOn Game of Thrones, love hurts. Ooooooooooh, love hurts.

Love (and lust) makes people do foolish things sometimes, and on Game of Thrones, the consequences are never minor. Tyrion, for instance, is clearly deluded about his relationship with Shae, both in terms of it actually working out as he sees it (her living happily in a house in King’s Landing), and in terms of Shae being happy about it. She acknowledges all the b.s. in his reasoning in both regards, noting that Tywin would kill her as soon as he found out and that she refuses to have children who can never see their own father.

Speaking of fathers, Gendry and Melisandre are sailing back to Dragonstone (fantastic overhead show of their vessel moving through the wreckage from the Battle of Blackwater). She points to the Red Keep and reveals to Gendry that he is the bastard son of Robert Baratheon. Now, my memory of every detail of the novels is not perfect, but I don’t believe Gendry has ever been made aware of his true heritage. This episode was written by GRRM himself, so that’s interesting.

We’re treated to some sexy time with Robb Stark and his wife, delayed by the weather on the road to Edmure’s wedding. Robb’s shirt has been increasingly unbuttoned the last few weeks, so lingering view of a naked Stark was inevitable. Queen Nurse looked very cute in that fur bed as well. As she writes a letter to her mom, Robb’s queen reveals that she’s pregnant. That child would almost certainly usurp Sansa’s claims on Winterfell (such as it is), especially if it’s a boy. However, will there be any Stark bannermen loyal enough to take up the scion’s cause when he eventually comes of age? That’s awfully far into the future.

It’s tough to say if Jon Snow’s love for Ygritte will steer him wrong. Actually, it’s tough to say how much he really loves her. There’s clearly some attachment there, but one doesn’t get the feeling Jon is quite as “I’m yours and you’re mine forever,” the way Ygritte is. There’s some kind of silly love triangle angle being played out between them and the composite character whose name I’m unsure of (he’s two or three characters mushed together). I’m pretty sure Ygritte has no interest in that dude.

One storyline without a romance angle: Arya’s She gets one of the most badass lines in Game of Thrones history when she denounces the Lord of Light, and when asked who her one true god is, replies: “Death.” So much anger and bitterness in such a young girl. Arya escapes from the Brotherhood by simply bolting out into the woods, which seemed a bit too easy. Then she’s neatly caught up by The Hound, which also seemed a bit too easy. Maybe if we’d spent a little less time watching girls give cruel handjobs to Theon, we could have had things make a little more sense elsewhere.

I have to say that showing Theon’s torture, especially showing this much of it, is a mistake. It ruins the pacing of the episodes. It adds nothing to the story. This week’s softcore porn scene was titillating, and that blonde girl was very nice to look at, but of course the whole thing was horribly uncomfortable to watch anyway. Which was the point, but it’s not as if there’s some dire lack of discomfort in Game of Thrones already.

Sansa, though less annoying than when she was totally deluded about the life of a princess, is still a whiny moron getting tossed about on the political waves. She bemoans her life, and though she’s suffered through some terrible things, keep in mind she’s a princess. Well-fed, housed in castles, taken care of by servants her whole life. So she should really shut the hell up. Margaery continues to be awesome, telling Sansa that being experienced at sex is a good thing, and that Tyrion has a reputation for certain skills. Sansa of course can’t imagine that a noblewoman would know about sex simply from being a bit slutty, so she asks, “Did your mother teach you about that stuff?” Margaery: “Yes, Sansa. My mother taught me.” Classic.

My favorite scene this week was Tywin “counseling” Joffrey. Just as I said last week, Charles Dance having a scene with anyone is solid gold. Here we see that Joffrey is completely ineffectual as king, and that Tywin is really ruling the kingdom. He’s making deals and decisions that Joffrey knows nothing about.

Bran’s storyline just sort of flaccidly flops along. Tonks tells us a sad/scary story about her husband coming back as an ice zombie. Bran sits. Hodor Hodors.

Jaime makes an illogical yet very honorable decision. I might say it was in the name of love. Probably not romantic love, but a sort of honor and respect. When he leaves Harrenhal, Brienne calls him Ser Jaime. Not Kingslayer. Not Oathbreaker. It clearly moves him. When he realizes Locke won’t ransom her, he engineers his return Harrenhal for a rescue and a rousing action scene against a large, angry bear. Jaime outmaneuvers Locke and is able to leave Harrenhal again, this time with how “tow-headed plank” with him.

Dany arranges a meeting with a representative of the slave masters of Yunkai. What was originally a slippery way to acquire a loyal army of former slaves has become an anti-slavery crusade. She doesn’t need to conquer Yunkai. Indeed, the Masters are afraid of her, giving her a pile of gold and as many ships as she wants if she’ll leave their city be. That’s pretty much exactly what she’s wanted all along, but she really wants to free all the slaves. And since she’s the Mother of Dragons, she gets to keep the gold anyway.

There’s some great visual effects work going on again. First there’s this stunning shot of Yunkai. I can’t tell if it’s digital or a matte painting or what.

And the dragons, even as they grow up, and even in close up, are still amazing and utterly convincing.

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Posted by on Sunday, May 12th, 2013. Filed under Dark TV, Headline. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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