With only three episodes to go and a Memorial Day hiatus next week, I’m beginning to ponder life between ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘The Walking Dead’. I’m reopening the suggestion box for Monday blog topics.
My bad on the lack of a Thursday sports post last week. I spent the latter half of the week as sick as I’ve been in years. I’m also taking suggestions for that, and if ya’ll don’t come up with something, you’re probably getting NBA Playoffs.
Also, since I know my demographics, let’s get the obvious ‘mockingbird’ reference out of the way now:
I don’t get why they titled this as a
Mayor Carcetti Lord Baelish episode, but, before we get into any of that stuff, there are rules (this isn’t ‘Nam), so…
WARNING: This post contains spoilers that include information regarding up to and including Season 4, Episode 7 of ‘Game of Thrones’. You’ve been adequately warned.
At the risk of being #ThatGuy, I have a major issue with last night’s installment: it told us almost nothing we didn’t already know. I suppose that the objective was to use a very dialogue-heavy episode develop a handful of characters. I enjoy good dialogue. My two favorite characters were both featured. And, while I enjoyed the show, I now find myself thinking, “So what?”
The heads of the Night’s Watch don’t like Jon Snow (who knows nothing). Lady Selyse is shockingly cool chatting up her husband’s side chick. The Hound has had a rough life and hates his brother. Arya’s personality is getting darker. The Mother of Dragons is chilling in Meereen. Robin is a brat. Sansa is trapped. Lysa is jealous. Littlefinger does what he damn pleases. None of this is new information.
I also have a minor issue with the script. Why did they reveal Ser Clegane as Cersei’s champion so early in the episode? While that being public knowledge gave us the closing (and best) line of the episode’s best scene, it, to me, took the air out of the climax. As soon as The Mountain was tapped to fight to end Tyrion, SBP Oberyn volunteering to be Tyrion’s champion was a fait accompli. Oberyn has often stated his desire to kill The Mountain. The trial by combat is a state-sanctioned opportunity for him to do so. That he’d avail himself to it was somewhat telegraphed.
Imagine if the episode had closed with Oberyn doing the double reveal. “The Queen has named The Mountain as her champion. And I will be yours.” It would’ve been badass.
“So, Dave, what was the best scene?”
The farewell between Tyrion and Bronn. There was not a close second.
‘Game of Thrones’ is about individual rises and falls. Ned Stark. Robb Stark. Stannis. Joffrey. Probably Stannis again soon.
And Tyrion. Remember when Tyrion was the King’s Hand? I do, vaguely. Since the Battle of the Blackwater, the show has been as much about Tyrion’s downfall as anything else. Bronn saved his bacon at the Vale. Even as he fell increasingly out of favor with his family, Bronn was with Tyrion, leading the league in one-liners. Bronn taking the bait from Cersei and refusing Tyrion’s request represented the complete abandonment of Tyrion.
As Bronn was leaving Tyrion, probably for the last time, Tyrion mused that perhaps he could just kill The Mountain himself; that it was the sort of thing people wrote songs about. While the partnership between Bronn and Tyrion was sustained by money, it did involve a mutual fondness. Nowhere was that more apparent than in the forlorn resignation with which Bronn replies, “I hope to hear them sing it one day.”
“Dave, any thoughts on the non-King’s Landing parts of the program?”
We can do that.
- The first Arya / The Hound scene gave us probably the episode’s second best line. No, not the stuff Arya said about ‘nothing’. That was kind of interesting, but I think we pretty much get Arya’s inevitable path towards joining the Faceless Men. After she stabbed that dude in the heart, I loved The Hound’s reaction: “You’re learning.”
- Other than setting the fight card for Tyrion’s trial by combat, the other main drop from last night was to Brienne and Podrick – that Arya was still alive. Also, Podrick’s knowledge of family trees in Westeros proves useful, helping him persuade Brienne to head to the Vale, where Sansa actually is and Arya is heading. It’s difficult to imagine Littlefinger letting Brienne anywhere near Sansa. Could this create an alignment of interests between Brienne, The Hound, and Arya? That could be fun.
- Melisandre wins the 2014 Anne Hathaway “I can get naked in this scene, right?” Award.
- Queens have needs, too. Even ones with dragons.
- I’ll admit to being surprised that Lord Baelish kissed Sansa. I mean, we all knew he wanted to; I just didn’t think it’d happen so soon. He’s been too calculated in everything else to let something like that, something that can obviously wait, potentially gum up his endgame.
- Was I supposed to be shocked by Lord Baelish chucking his screamer wife out the Moon Door? Nothing could have been more in-character. Once people are of no more use to Littlefinger, he discards them as soon as discarding them serves some other purpose. The purpose of killing Lysa, as was the partial purpose of killing Dontos earlier this season, was to terrorize Sansa. He didn’t have to kill either of them in front of her. He wants her to grasp the depth of his ruthlessness, and fall in line.
I’m a bit surprised that HBO didn’t try to time the Memorial Day week off with the season’s ninth episode. Typically, the penultimate episodes have been the major events of their respective seasons, and adding an extra week of speculation about what’s going to happen would have made some sense. Perhaps a mere two episodes after the week off would feel like too abrupt an ending to the season. Either way, to quote Samuel Jackson in ‘Jurassic Park': Hold on to your butts.
Until June 1st, Valar Morghulis.