Tuesday, May 31, 2011

TV: Game of Thrones - You Win or You Die

(Credit: NerdBastards)

This week Ned gets a promotion, in an episode that continues on a new found confidence that builds and builds into something that oozes tension and brilliance.

This is it. Now we're seeing some real meat, some real tension and some real awesome. It's taken it a few weeks but we're finally there and whoa, this is heating up and I have to say; I'm now loving it.

The opening scene with Tywin and Jaime was interesting in establishing the whole line of the Lannister family as a bunch of people that funnily enough, fear about losing the fear they instill on the people of the Seven Kingdoms. Tywin throws down some of his wisdom and fatherly advice while skinning a stag - the sigil of the House of Baratheon. A sign of times to come? Maybe.

And holy crap, Littlefinger features in a porno for a few minutes after the Lannister exchange, revealing more about his love for Catelyn which will probably never die; even if he were turned down (after it already happening.) It's an interesting exchange, made even more interesting when he watches Roz and the her girlfriend go at it passionately. It was a heap of dialogue that had the wouldn't have worked without the spicing up by Roz and her companion, you know, making love - or whatever.

Also interesting was Cersei and Ned's chat in the courtyard and her description of Robert pre insane alcohol drinking stages. She loved him, and his addictions and love for other things drove them apart, it's a little justification towards her very bitter nature and I did like that unveiling of hurt queen. Cersei's not as ruthless, which I like, but she's cunning. A delicate balance that's starting to show as she becomes more tolerable. It's also proof that it's tough being Ned which I'll get to in a bit.

Ned's exchange with Cersei delivered an important message - "if you play the game of thrones, you win or you die," and Ned's content decision with not taking the throne after the rebellion against the Mad King was justified. Ned's a guy that doesn't see the need for that power. It's turned on it's head when news of King Robert receiving a fatal injury from his hunt. Weirdly enough, it's a bit random but kind of expected, Robert was a king that shirked responsibility and in the end he did regret not making more king-like decisions, sad. Weirdly enough again, his death by a boar which sums up the image the character conjured.

Neds honor comes into question when offered by Littlefinger to essentially "fix" what's to happen in the coming years in regards to the line of succession to the throne. After Robert's death, Ned is assigned "protector the realm" until Joffrey comes of age and it's a duty he doesn't want, but accepts. However there's a reason why Ned won't be king - he's just a little too nice to everyone and after everything, including the opportunity to tear Cersei and Joffrey from power, he begins his plan to put Robert's brother on the throne, rather than Joffrey who still is considered, but has no right to assume power.

"Game of Thrones" takes the cake for making killer final scenes. My heart was pounding when Ned, Varys and Littlefinger, with the support of his men, walked into the throne room to take Joffrey out of the picture for a while. This week was no different with an absolutely dizzying climax, as Littlefinger finally showed his true colours after playing fence-sitter for the last few weeks and betraying Ned and the rest of his men. You know how he said "it's wise of you not to trust me"? Well he was right and now Ned is back to square one and I can't wait for next week.

Quick notes:

Across the sea, an attempt at Danys life forces Drogo's apprehension turn to that of aggression, when it's discovered that the assassin was sent by King Robert. Drogo was apprehensive at first, waiting for his son's birth before planning an invasion - but it's on now. We were idling a bit over there and now the Dothraki march on to King's Landing with a damn big army.

Jon Snow returns briefly with Sam in hand, and is assigned to be the Steward of the Lord Commander of Nights Watch and I have to note if any Zelda fans read this, the heart tree where Jon and Sam swear their oaths to the Night's Watch looked pretty much like the Anti-Deku tree. Brief appearance, but all the more a reminder that winter is coming.

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