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Monday, May 14, 2012

Game of Thrones 2x7 - "A Man Without Honor"

I'm going to make a controversial declaration but this episode has now thoroughly convinced me of it: Game of Thrones the show is better than the books. Now, I love those books (especially the first three), but the depth and complexity of the writing, acting, and directing in the show is incredible. The show takes what's on the page, circumvents your mind's eye, and fully realizes the potential of what was written.

Absent since episode one, Jaime Lannister is back in full force and he does not disappoint. Jaime is phenomenal, a rich and complex, utterly contemptible scoundrel. Han Solo fully pushed to the extreme, without the burden of having redeeming virtues. Yet, he's fascinating. Just his scene alone where Jaime shares memories of being a squire and tells his origin to his cousin, and then murders him on a dime to facilitate his prison break was already the standout moment of the episode. But then we get even more Jaime, letting loose with his forked tongue, shitting all over Ned Stark, whom he still hates to this day, and riding Catelyn for Ned fathering a bastard. Plus his breakdown of how contradictory all the vows are and what a pain in the ass it is to be a knight sworn to protect shitty kings. Plus Jaime's reaction to Brienne - "Is that a woman? Where did you find this beast?" - fucking perfect! I was already a fan of the Kingslayer from the books, but even moreso now from the show.

Cercei and Jaime both just outed their incest. Cercei pretty much confessed to Tyrion what he already knew (complete with Tyrion inching closer to his sister but neither could bear actually showing any affection towards the other.) Jaime just flat out told Catelyn he's only ever slept with his sister.

So many incredible character moments of raw honesty this week. Nearly all of the characters exposed some secret part of themselves.

Tyrion and Cercei commiserating on how Joffrey is a horrible, uncontrollable shit.

Cercei actually allowing Sansa to admit that she hates Joffrey and counseling her on putting all her devotion to her children instead.

Plus she told Sansa, who had her first period and can now be impregnated by Joffrey, about how King Robert used to abandon her during her childbirth to hunt while Jaime would be at her side.

Probably the most amazing scene yet between Tywin and Arya where he let her eat his mutton and revealed he knows she's highborn from the way she says "My Lord" instead of "Mi'lord". "You're too smart for your own good." This relationship is a complete invention of the show but it's just fantastic and a million times better than what George RR Martin had Arya doing in the book. I fucking want Tywin to adopt Arya somehow.

That asshole turncloak Theon actually confessed to Maester Lewin that his own people will think him a laughing stock if he can't retrieve the runway Bran and Rickon, and to a lesser extent Osha and Hodor. Those charred corpses of two children he brought back and displayed in Winterfell, I dunno...

Over in Qarth, that freaky woman in the mask got Jorah Mormont to confess the bloody obvious, that he's in love with Daenerys.

Daenerys finally told Xaro Xhoan Daxos to shut up about that same boring story he always tells about being born poor and becoming the richest man in Qarth. Then she blunders into Xaro's coup d'etat where he crowned himself King of Qarth and admitted he and the magicians stole the dragons before executing the rest of the Thirteen. (So long, Spice King.) I have to admit, I had no memory of this from the book so the throat slitting of the Thirteen surprised me as much as it did Daenerys.

Beyond the Wall, Ygritte completely mind fucked Jon Snow when he completely refused her many, rather enticing invitations to groin fuck her. Ygritte even explained the election process that made Mance Rayder the King Beyond the Wall that sounds suspciously like democracy, a word that doesn't exist in Westeros. Of course, she brilliantly baited Jon into a Wilding trap. "You know nothing, Jon Snow."(!!)

Finally, my only grievance of the episode: Lady Talisa interrupting a royal meeting and coming to Robb Stark directly about a mere supply order. Seriously, lady? You need some medical supplies and you ask the King of the North for them? If some dumb woman bothered King Joffrey in the middle of him doing something important like cleaning his crossbow and asked him for some new parchment or some shit like that, that crossbow would be emptied right between her eyes. Coming to the King of the North with a supply order. Ridiculous. So of course he ran off with her to "get supplies". Horny Young Wolf asking for trouble.