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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Game of Thrones 3x5 - "Kissed By Fire"

Forget the "Game of Thrones" (Joffrey's the winner), the hottest game show in King's Landing is "Who Wants to Marry Sansa Stark?" (Except Joffrey wouldn't watch that show.) Sansa is the most eligible recently-flowered-and-discussed-it-at-length-with-Cercei young lady in all of Westeros. She's the key to the North. She has no less than three suitors plotting to wed her, and she doesn't even know most of this. Sansa is fairly happy these days; it's been weeks since she's even seen Joffrey, much less taken a punch to the gut from one of the King's Guard. She's hanging out exclusively with Tyrells now, and she's excited at Margaery's confident promises that she'll marry her to Loras Tyrell just as soon as she's sealed the deal with Joffrey. The Knight of Flowers himself seems okay with this match; it won't interfere with him bedding his naked squires. One of whom was secretly whoring for Littlefinger, who now knows of the Tyrell plot to gain control of Sansa and the North, and is planning accordingly.

Meanwhile, the Lannisters are also well-aware of the Tyrells plotting for Sansa and Tywin has his own counter-plot to make sure none of this happens. Tyrion was so proud of himself for enduring Olenna Tyrell's razor-tongued barbs and getting her to pay for half the Royal Wedding. He had no idea that Tywin had wedding plans of his own for Tyrion. And Cercei. Tywin commanded Tyrion to be the one to marry Sansa Stark, put a Lannister child in her womb, and secure the North. "It's more than you deserve," Cercei taunted. Well, fucking A, it's a pretty good reward for Tyrion's efforts in saving King's Landing. Tyrion objected on the grounds of Sansa's happiness, as if Tywin gives a flying fuck about that. Honestly, this is a huge score for Tyrion. Sansa is a great prize. It's a hell of a lot better deal than what Tywin commanded for Cercei: She gets to marry Loras Tyrell, and thus secure the Reach, giving the Lannisters control of most of Westeros. That was amazing. Cercei is fucked, except not by Loras.

Speaking of fucked, Jon Snow broke his vows as a Man of the Night's Watch and had the first and therefore best sex of his life with Ygritte. Ygritte had to even reevaluate her catchphrase "You know nothing, Jon Snow" when he went down below. If you have to be an Oathbreaker, this is the way to do it, I guess. There aren't a lot of things in Westeros that are better than in our world, but the nickname for redheads is one of them. In Westeros, redheads are "kissed by fire". Here, they're "gingers". Things are going pretty well for Jon Snow since he went Wildling.

Now, there seems to be underground grottos and hot tubs underneath Westeros. It's almost like Westeros is the Playboy Mansion. Jaime Lannister and Brienne also got in some quality steamy hot tub time. Locke and his men finally delivered Brienne and the Kingslayer to Harrenhaal where Roose Bolton saw to it Jaime got some medical attention to his rotting, gangrene arm. In the hot tub, poor, long-suffering Jaime gave Brienne his personal history lesson on how he got (unfairly in his mind) the Kingslayer nickname he'll be stuck with forever. He told her about the Mad King's love of burning people with Wildfire, his father Tywin sacking King's Landing, being ordered to kill his own father, and how and why Jaime made the choice to slay the Mad King, plus Ned Stark witnessing and condemning him for it. Jaime will always hate Ned Stark and he can't stop shitting on Renly, even when apologizing to Brienne. Jaime is far and away one of the most interesting, psychologically complex people in Westeros, but hardly anyone ever gets beyond seeing him as the Kingslayer. It really gets his goat. But I was happiest to see Jaime finally getting to bathe. He's been caked in filth since season one.

The trial by combat between the Hound and Beric Dondarrion didn't go so well for Beric or the Brotherhood Without Banners. The Hound was judged to be innocent for killing that butcher's boy back in season one when he bested and killed Beric in a cool-looking flaming sword battle under the laws of the Lord of Light. The Brotherhood had no choice but to set the Hound free, which didn't sit well with Arya. Meanwhile, Beric didn't take dying lying down, and we learn Thoros of Myr has used Lord of Light magic to resurrect Thoros six times, two of those deaths were at the hands of Cleganes. You know, if Beric has died six times, doesn't that mean he's a terrible knight? Beric does have an excuse, I suppose, that each time he's brought back, he's a little lesser for it. So as it stands, the Brotherhood are going to ransom Arya to Riverrun so she can be reunited with her family. Gendry has decided to stay and smith for the Brotherhood. Arya telling Gendry, "I can be your family" was heartwarming, but then Gendry responding "You're my lady" kind of made it weird.

You know who's a really nice kid? Stannis Baratheon's daughter Shireen. Plagued by a horrible skin disease that turns flesh into stone, she's isolated in a tower in Dragonstone, but she's upbeat and singsong-y. She really likes the Onion Knight and even sneaked down to the dungeons when she heard her father imprisoned him as a traitor. Which doesn't bother her at all. She even decided to teach Davos how to read. It was sweet. How does a nice kid like that come from the loins of weirdos like Stannis and Selyse? Selyse is another grim piece of work, a Lord of Light zealot who was totally gung ho for Stannis and Melissandre having sex to create a son, even if it was a freaky black smoke demon son who murdered Renly and was never seen again. All of Selyse's stillborn sons she keeps in jars to stare at and talk to. Grim, man. Is that worse than the Governor in The Walking Dead with all the zombie heads in fish tanks? I'm gonna say it's all gross.

The Karstarks have had enough and they're not going to take it anymore. The Greatjon Rickard Karstark, long disgruntled at how the Starks have been waging (see: losing) the war, took it upon himself to murder those two Lannister boys they had prisoner as vengeance for Catelyn releasing the Kingslayer, who killed his son. The Greatjon has had it up to here with Robb, "the King Who Lost The North" (heh), and despite Catelyn, the Tullys, and even Talisa trying to talk him out of it, Robb cannot forgive the Greatjon coming up with that nickname. Or betraying him. Robb executed the Greatjon and as a result, the Karstarks abandoned the Starks, taking half the Northern Army home. (You know, if they ever got in a room together to hash things out, Joffrey would actually like to hear the story of how Robb personally beheaded Rickard Karstark. Joffrey loves that shit. And then he'd probably mention how he ordered Ned beheaded and then they'd draw swords, so it's best for Joffrey that he and Robb never meet in private.) So what's Robb going to do to now that he's lost half his army and things look bleak? That's when Robb came up with a doozy of an idea: he's going to take Casterly Rock. And to do it, he'll ask Walder Frey, the guy who he broke his oath to about marrying one of his daughters, for his army. Freeze frame Robb's shit-eating grin because it'll be funny later when all this turns out how it's gonna turn out.

Game of Thrones this week considered the issue of what makes a ruler fit to rule. Robb showed some serious weaknesses of judgment a folly of his youth and inexperience. Tywin showed his domineering mastery of strategy; frankly his plan to sell of his kids to own the whole realm was pretty brilliant. Over in Essos, Jorah Mormont and Barristan Selmy also debated for themselves whether Daenerys is best suited for ruling Westeros. But if you asked the Unsullied whether Daenerys Targaryen should be Queen, you'll get a unanimous stamping of their spears into the ground, i.e. yes. Daenerys assembled the Unsullied's captains and told them they were now to choose their own names. The leader of the Unsullied, Grey Worm, told her he'd keep his name because it was the lucky name he had when Daenerys Stormborn set him free. She was touched. We were all touched. (No negro ever said that to Lincoln.) Gods, the Unsullied love Daenerys. By the way, it has to be pretty clear at this point that Game of Thrones has now set the record for the most eunuchs ever on television. 8,000 Unsullied plus Varys. I don't think any other show will ever touch that record, but hey, let's see someone try!