Monday, June 4, 2012

AFTER THE BOMBS: When you have a battle as big as the Blackwater, you usually spend part of the next episode counting up the dead. In Game of Thrones
there's no time for that. Everyone in the royal family: alive. Bronn: alive, but fired. Kept women (Shea and Sansa): alive, but imperiled. As far as we know, the only dead Lannister affiliate is the Kingsguard (Mandon Moore, I believe) who Cersei hired to kill Tyrion. And yet the consequences in Kings Landing seem profound. Tyrion, who as far as we know is the only both benevolent and competent person to hold any position of power in the Red Keep, but hiring one of the king's inner circle to kill somebody seems like a particularly effective way to deliver a pink slip.

Of Jon, Arya, Bran, Theon, Robb, and Stannis I have little to say. Each made a completely predictable (though sometimes questionable) decision. Jon killed his friend and mentor so that he could infiltrate the Hoth rebel army. Robb chose love over honor and, not incidentally, strategy. Theon chose honor over staying alive (nice speech -- as good, maybe, as Tyrion's last week), though it's not clear whether he is alive or not. Stannis chooses tactical retreat over surrender. And Arya, Bran, Rickon, Osha, Hodor, and the wolves chose escape over [null set]. It's a shame we didn't get to see who set fire to Winterfell -- Greyjoy men or Ramsey Bolton's group -- but I suppose we'll find out next year.

Daenaerys, though, suggests that we'll end this season like we ended the last, with a pointed fire bath that best illustrates the difference between the whiny, inconstant, self-doubting candidates in Westeros (each of whom is constantly reminded that his power derives in large part from his ability to maintain tenuous political alliances) and the woman in Qarth, whose power seems to grow only when she lets people know that she doesn't need their help or advice.

But, nope, that's not where we end. We end with a commercial for AMC's hit television series The Walking Dead: Canada.

Merchandising note: this series would make a great Lego video game.  Can somebody make this happen, please?

MIA: Bron


  1. I suppose the ending was to let us know that we have moved from "Winter is coming" to "Winter is here." We probably needed the reminder because Sean Bean wasn't around to tell us this season.

  2. It struck me (a non-reader of the books) that the finale really brought into focus why this saga is called "A Song of Ice and Fire."  All this puttering around amongst the Lannisters and Starks and Greyjoys at Tullys is nice and fun, but it feels like, in the long term, the real forces that will move things along and throw everything out of balance are the "ice" north of the wall and the "fire" of Dany's dragons.

  3. Maybe it's because I find Theon so loathsome, but I thought his speech was Henry V-lite, and couldn't hold a candle to Tyrion's.  I hope he's dead. 

    Anybody else think Sansa would have been safer escaping with the Dog than going with Littlefinger?  I'm not sure if he wants to use her to get the grandsons he joked about (handy, look-alike substitute for Catelyn) or if he wants to use her as bait to get Catelyn herself.  Either way... gross.

  4. I definitely think that Sansa would be better off with the Hound.  He's shown to genuinely care for her, and he loves killing.

    Bronn wasn't fired, right?  I thought he was moved to serve the King, so a lateral move that's actually a bit of a promotion given Tyrion's place in the food chain.

    Theon's speech was fine, but again, the guy can't get no respect.

  5. bella wilfer12:30 PM

    Once again, incapable of commenting for fear of accidentally spoiling future events.

    That said, I do fully support the Lego video game idea.  Genius suggestion, Isaac!

  6. Fired, I think, in the sense that he's no longer part a Gold Cloak.  Was it clear that he's serving the king, now?  I might have to rewatch.

  7. Jordan4:18 PM

    What Russ said.  For all their best laid plans, they've got a one way ticket with a Robert Frost poem.  Also, and this is kinda hard to imagine, but the Starks+ are in way worse shape than they were a year ago, when things looked like they hit rock bottom.

    Unrelated, and maybe this is just because two cast members from the Fades turned up, but when Dany was "in" the Red Keep, was that snow or ash falling?

  8. Duvall5:36 PM

    So what was the significance of Dany's visions?  Did the broken Red Keep and Drogo/Rhaego represent false destinies that she had to reject?

  9. Emily6:06 PM

    Also, she has the vision where she exits the Red Keep through a gate in the Wall to find herself in the North beyond the Wall.

    To Jordan's point, above, I think that it is snow because there was ice hanging from some of the pillars. Ash is an interesting idea considering how Harrenhal fell to the Targaryens.

  10. Jordan7:39 PM

    Thanks, totally missed the ice hanging.  I was thinking since the ceiling was wrecked and the windows knocked out that it was a vision of it after she torched the place on dragons.  But the symbolism of the Wall opening makes a lot of sense, what with ice zombies and all.

  11. Joseph J. Finn7:44 PM

    Can I just applaud the set & effects people for a moment?  Because the re-using of existing sets for the Throne Hall and the Wall was incredibly effective and chilling (heh).  Also, a fantastic way to address one of my criticisms of the season, where Dany hasn't really had any sort of connection back to the Westeros story.  Using those sets in that way was just enough to remind us that yes, Dany feels she still has a destiny to get to.

    And oy, what a nice return of Khal Drogo and his oiled pecs.

    (Small criticism:  anyone else where the hell all the other sorcerors were?)