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Monday, May 28, 2012

Game of Thrones 2x9 - "Blackwater"

Game of Thrones should be heralded for delivering the most spectacular green fiery explosion in television history. When Tyrion's wildfire gambit blew up Stannis' fleet (and seemingly Davos along with it), that kablooey deserved to be seen on the biggest HDTV screen one can park one's self in front of.

First time ever Game of Thrones stayed in only one location and focused on the most pivotal battle of the series so far. I don't know if anyone had time to catch their breath and miss Jon Snow, Theon, Daenerys, or even Arya this week. All the action, and then some, was in King's Landing, specifically the Mud Gate, and it delivered gruesome gore and a couple of surprising character turns as well.

This was the series best showing for Bronn. Bronn has to be the breakout star of this season, as Tyrion was last season. And hanging with Tyrion certainly didn't hurt. Could there be a more touching "we may both be dead in the morning" farewell than Bronn and Tyrion.

Bronn: "Oh, so we're friends now?"
Tyrion: "Of course we are. Just because I pay you for your services, it doesn't diminish our friendship."
Bronn: "Enhances it, really."

We were also teased with a showdown between Bronn and the Hound, which when it sparked seemed like such an obvious and natural rivalry, it was genuinely surprising no one really brought up those two should butt heads before. Bronn even saved the Hounds life with a well placed arrow during the Battle of Blackwater. And another flaming arrow lit the wildfire that exploded Stannis' ships to smithereens. Bronn doesn't just deserve to be knighted, he deserves a Lordship, a castle, and anything he desires for his service that day.

Meanwhile, the Hound cracked like an egg. I guess he always was the lesser Clegane brother after all. The Hound completely lost his nerve during the battle, quit, and ran like a scalded dog, by God! He offered to take Sansa with him back to Winterfell, but she was sensible enough to say no to the blood-soaked craven lunatic hanging in her chambers.

"Blackwater" is also the series best showing for Sansa, and considering George RR Martin himself scripted it, it's a wild about face by him for how Sansa is depicted compared to the book. Sansa was great; she totally Jedi mind fucked Joffrey when he demanded she kiss his sword ("A king doesn't discuss strategy with stupid girls!") and she was ultimately right when she predicted Joffrey would survive the battle. "The worst ones always do." Plus Sansa gracefully handled Drunk Cercei and kept morale up when Drunk Cercei skedaddled from Maegyr's Holdfast. Sansa on the show is lightyears beyond the Sansa in the books. She really could make a great queen one day. 

How about Drunk Cercei, with her back up plans for suicide and having Ser Illyn Payne murder every one so as to avoid being raped by Stannis' men. "If it was anyone other than Stannis Baratheon," Cercei figures she could have fucked her way out of her head on a spike. Guaranteed her feminine wiles wouldn't have worked on Renly if he lived. Robb Stark wouldn't have gone for it either; he'd never have heard the end of it from his mom or his new girlfriend. Drunk Cercei was pretty well screwed, and not in the saving-her-neck way she hoped. The funniest thing in all her rantings and ravings to Sansa and Shae was Tommen in the corner passed out. Better than listening to his mom tell a teenage girl how much Stannis' men will enjoy raping her.

Considering he was knocked unconscious immediately before his first battle, Tyrion did a damn fine job leading the City Watch against Stannis' invaders. Weird that Shagga and the Mountains of the Moon men weren't involved in the battle since Tyrion brought them to King's Landing and even used them earlier in the season. Which King's Guard betrayed Tyrion and hacked up his face?

And you had to feel bad for Stannis, being so close to getting into King's Landing and claiming what actually is his crown, only to have it all go to shit in the last minutes when the combined forces of Tywin Lannister and House Tyrell lead by the Knight of Flowers arrived and routed his men. Since it's recorded as King vs. King, Stannis actually lost a war against Joffrey Baratheon. That's gotta be the most embarrassing defeat in the history of the Seven Kingdoms.

Finally, you also had to feel a little bad for Cercei, huddled on the Iron Throne with Tommen and trying to keep his morale up with a thinly-veiled metaphor fairy tale of the brave lion being crowned king over all of the evil stags, wolves and bears in the world. She was all set to gulp down that deadly nightshade when Loras Tyrell and and Tywin Lannister stormed in victorious.

"The battle is over. We've won!"


Oh wait, I was rooting for Stannis. Even though I was also rooting for Tyrion and Bronn. 

Oh well, Joffrey's still King. That's what's important.