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Monday, April 8, 2013

Game of Thrones 3x2 - "Dark Wings, Dark Words"

I've had just enough of your Renly bashing, Game of Thrones. No, that's a lie. I really haven't. Poor dead "King" Renly and his reputation, such as it was ("He was very clean" was the best compliment paid to him), were shat upon by a number of people in Westeros this week. As such, it was perhaps the funniest episode of Game of Thrones, if you like Renly bashing. (There's no Westerosi equivalent for "political correctness".) King Joffrey called Renly a degenerate and threatened to make his behavior punishable by death. (So no one in Westeros is changing their profile pics and avatars to the red and pink equal sign, then?) The guy who had the best jokes about Renly was Jaime Lannister, teasing Brienne the Beauty about having a crush on Renly. ("The only thing he was fit to rule over was a twelve course meal.") There's something particularly amusing about the Kingslayer, the guy who fucks his sister, ripping on Renly's "proclivities". ("If the throne were made of cocks, they'd never get him off it.")

Kingslayer sez: Incest > Gay

Finally caught up with Bran Stark and my, has Bran grown. Sansa noticeably grew to about seven feet tall last season, and Arya's, er, blossoming, and now Bran is the latest Stark scion to have a startling growth spurt, making the viewer question how much time has passed since Winterfell was burned to the ground. Bran, Rickon, Osha, and Hodor meet Jojen and Meera Reed, and Bran finally has his dreams explained to him, and us. Bran is a warg, someone who can see through the eyes of animals. Eventually, he'll be able to see into the past and the future, represented by the three-eyed raven he dreams of, which is actually Bran himself. In one of Bran's dreams, we also briefly hear the voice of dear, departed Ned Stark, who was referenced a few times in the episode as well.

Hot Pie and Gendry have been laying it on to Arya about the poor choices in names she gave to Jaqen last season. They're right; she could have named Joffrey, Cercei, and Tywin and ended the war in one fell swoop. Instead she named the Tickler, that guy who was gonna tell on her to Tywin, and the guards at Harrenhaal. Also, Arya has foolishly abandoned her old ruse of traveling as a boy for safety's sake because the Brotherhood Without Banners clearly identified her as a girl. What's more, Arya seems to have forgotten everything Syrio taught her about sword dancing from how quickly she was disarmed. After a nice meal of brown bread and stew that I was kind of envious of, they were free to go until the Hound showed up captured by the Brotherhood and outed Arya as the "Stark bitch".

Meanwhile, Sansa had probably her best scene in the entire series. Invited by Ser Loras to meet his grandmother "the Queen of Thorns" Lady Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg!), the Tyrells cajoled Sansa to tell the truth about Margaery's husband-to-be. Sansa got to finally unload her feelings towards Joffrey and everything she's been through since she left Winterfell. The Tyrells are a breath of fresh air to King's Landing and this show. Armed with this new information, Margaery brilliantly played Joffrey in their private meeting, telling him everything he wanted to hear about Renly's degenerate ways and flattering him in all the right ways. (She basically told Joffrey Renly asked her for anal.) Margaery cooing about how much fun it must be to kill things to Joffrey's ear and the two of them hefting his new crossbow is the closest we'll probably ever come to a love or sex scene from Joffrey. Joffrey also really doesn't give two shits about Cercei anymore.

Word about what happened in Winterfell finally reached Robb, along with news of the death of Catelyn's father Lord Edmund Tully. There's a great deal of unrest in the camp of the King of the North. They're now on the defensive and losing end of the war after Stannis' defeat and the Lannister-Tyrell alliance. Lord Karstark is still pissed about Catelyn freeing the Kingslayer, and no one's happy Robb married that succubus from Volantis. Now they're delaying the war so Robb and Catelyn can take half the army to Riverrun for Edmund Tully's funeral. And to hear Catelyn tell it to Talisa, all the horror that has happened to her family is her fault for going back on her promise to the gods that she'd love and be a mother to Jon Snow when he came down with pox as an infant. This is new information that wasn't in the books, as I recall, and if Catelyn is blaming herself, then so will I, because Catelyn sucks. Speaking of what's not in the book: Theon! (Theon disappears after book 2 and doesn't reappear until book 5.) It was a surprise to see Theon, but if you read the books, it was not a surprise to see him tortured.

North of the Wall, Jon Snow marches with the Wildlings south to the Wall and also learns what a warg is. It's not been abundantly spelled out, but the Wildlings, a bunch of different people from different tribes who don't always like each other but choose to function as one people under a ruler they elected, is the stand in for America in Westeros. Meanwhile, at the Fist of the First Men, the Night's Watch are also trying to get back to the Wall, slowed down by crybaby Sam Tarly. The crows need a Tom Hanks to yell at Tarly: "There's no crying in the Night's Watch!" But they all do agree Sam is weak and fat. (A lot of fat boy bashing in this episode too.)

During Jaime's Renly bashing, Brienne made a crucial tactical error not killing a farmer who happened upon them and recognized the Kingslayer. She made another tactical error in falling of a Jamie feint and letting him steal one of her swords. Thus we get Jaime dueling with Brienne, and Brienne soundly defeating the Kingslayer in battle. Although in Jaime's defense, he was hardly at one hundred percent. Next thing they know, they're felled upon by Roose Bolton's men and Brienne has failed in her sacred quest to bring the Kingslayer to King's Landing to exchange him for the Stark girls. Here's another fine mess they've gotten into...