Monday, May 28, 2012

I HAVE ONLY ONE ITCHING DESIRE: The night is dark and full of spoilers for Game of Thrones:
So Stannis is finally done dicking around, building, buying, and renting a fleet; pushing chess pieces around his Thomas Table with a croupier's stick, sailing to Cape Horn to smoke Renly, only to find that you can be right about everything and still be wrong. Because Stannis had King Renly, King Robb, and King Joffrey pegged, but forgot to look past the other would-be kings to the smart people around them. The imp was beneath his notice, but it was the imp who handed Stannis's stern to him on the water; Loras Tyrell was barely on Stannis's radar, but, out of revenge, it was Loras whose cavalry finished Stannis off on land.

Stannis's reversal wasn't the only one. Most of the people in power -- including Joffrey -- still treat Tyrion as a joke, but he proved to be the hero of the Blackwater, in deed if not in the conventional wisdom. The Hound saw the fire and had the fight singed right out of him.

And with all that shifting ground, consider the precarious position of our characters. Tyrion is lying in the mud outside the city walls, bleeding from his face. There's Tywin, back in King's Landing, presumably to assume governance and clean up the mess left by his petulant grandson, inept daughter, and embarrassment of a son. Shae is as good as found out; Bronn's patron is either dead or demoted; Sansa's protector is on his way out of town; and even Arya, had she access to the Internet, would realize that Tywin was smart enough to lie to her about where he was going when he left Harrenhall. Hey everybody, sleep with one eye open, willya?

But seriously, how sharp is that Valyrian steel?

MIA: Non-Sansa Starks (Catelyn, Arya, Robb, Jon, Bran, Rickon, and maybe Theon counts?); Littlefinger; Melisandre.


  1. Jordan11:00 AM

    Season Three opens in the streets of King's Landing.  Business stops as the faint sounds of the Lannister song is whistled down the street.  Urchins flee to the chorus of "Half-man comin', yo."

    If Tyrion dies, that was one hell of an episode to go out on, but I think he makes it, because of the way the show foreshadows.  Particularly Varys asking Tyrion if he trusts Podrick, and Tyrion answering that he does.  It only makes sense that Podrick would save his life.  Just like the fire witch telling Davos' kid that fire is the purest death, or something along those lines, then boom.  Of course, foreshadowing has me nervous, Loras showed up at the end (did not see that coming), and his sister told Carcetti that she didn't want to be a queen, she wanted to be the queen.  Well, things don't bode well for Sansa (assuming she didn't get out...I may have read that scene wrong).

  2. Also MIA: the entire city of Qarth (the best city there is, was, and ever will be); Tonks; the Jamie and Brienne roadshow.

    That was some brilliant speechifying, and yet I was still hoping that maybe, just maybe, Joffrey would man up.  No, he's still a little turd.

    1. Watts5:00 PM

      The question in my living room last night was "Where DID Joffrey end up?" We saw him wuss out and leave Tyrion's side, but he didn't show up in the Red Keep, or anywhere, for the rest of the episode.

  3. Wait -- which one is Tyrion again?  

    [Yes, kidding]

  4. Joseph J. Finn6:32 PM

    I hope I don't sound to immature when I say:  

    Suck it, Stannis.

  5. Slowlylu7:18 PM

    Stannis is probably one of my favourite characters. I find the moral hardline so interesting and so alien

  6. The Pathetic Earthling8:29 PM

    He won't like such an awful choice, in retrospect.

  7. The Pathetic Earthling8:34 PM

    As Isaac noted earlier and now I believe fully, the producers have really given me reason to trust their decisions to interpret the books without being slavish to them.  The battle was rendered much differently -- as time and budget required -- but it still did everything that it needed to do as both payoff for the season and a set up for the events of Storm of Swords (the book which is the core of both Seasons 3 & 4).  

    I was actually quite worried a couple of weeks back that they were going to skip the whole business with Sansa and Cersei waiting it out in Maegor's Holdfast altogether.  In the book, I recall it taking place in a grand hall with hundreds of ladies in waiting in, er, waiting, but having this in a small room made it a great deal more claustrophic.  Well done indeed.

  8. Obviously this comment is going to be off-limits for those who have read the books, but I'm interested in where Tyrion goes from here (assuming he doesn't die, which I guess is possible but which I doubt).  He has only been serving as the Hand in Tywin's absence, and, as Isaac notes,  Tywinn is now in the house, as it were.  Will Tywin go back out to battle (there's still Robb to contend with, and we may not have seen the last of Stannis, not to mention the Greyjoys and threats even further away)?  Or will he stay by his grandson's side, relegating Tyrion (whom he's never liked, but who has grown a great deal (but not in the one way that might matter to daddy)?  Looking further out, is Tyrion really made to stick it out with the Lannisters, given that his father, his nephew, and at least one of his two siblings hate him?  I can envision him cutting a deal down the road and flipping.  (Maybe that experience he had up north will help when the barbarian hordes inevtiably storm the Wall?)

  9. Jordan - it took me a full season of watching "The Wire" and "Game of Thrones" at the same time to realize that Carcetti and Littlefinger are played by the same actor.  Brilliant acting from him in both cases, especially considering that Aiden Gillen is Irish.

  10. bella wilfer7:40 PM

    I may said this in a previous thread (apologies if that's the case), but I find it just impossible to comment on the GoT show threads for fear of accidentally spoiling things that happen in the books.  Am I the only one?  What I can safely say: this last ep did not disappoint!

  11. Emily9:38 PM

    I have the same problem. I read all five books last summer and I can't remember where one book ends and the next begins. I don't want to comment for fear of saying something not covered in the books, or not covered in Books One or Two. At least here I can refrain from posting. When I talk to friends about the series, I just have to smile and nod because I don't want to spoil anything for them and I'm afraid my expression will give away something that happens three books from now in a galaxy far far away.

  12. spacewoman3:41 PM

    I have this problem with The Wire.  I'm not going near those discussions with a ten foot pole.