My post about this episode will largely consist of me flailing about going “WHY WHY WHY?” at certain scenes. Yeah, there was some good stuff, but I largely spent the hour staring at my laptop thinking “WTF, why is this happening!?”
I was not entirely comfortable with Osha’s role in this episode being relegated to that of engaging in sexytimes with Theon so that Bran and Rickon can escape. It just feels really lazy. Sexy servant girl whom Theon had made creepy overtures to previously being a femme fatale? Not my thing. Also, were Bran, Rickon, Hodor, and Osha heading for the Godswood? I hope they double back and hide in the crypt because that was such a powerful image, them emerging from underground at the end of ACoK once Theon had been defeated and Winterfell was in ruins. I will say Rodrick’s beheading was really well done and was definitely a heartbreaking moment, especially with Bran sobbing and pleading in the background. And Theon being unable to do it with one stroke and reduced to hacking his head off… gah. I was questioning the logic behind putting Theon’s takeover of Winterfell at the beginning of this episode (I thought it would have made a good ending for the previous one), but it makes more sense now that they framed it around Rodrick’s beheading. But it does mean he won’t be returning to save Winterfell with an army later on, and this makes me sad. I will say I was disappointed that Rodrick didn’t call him Theon Turncloak – it’s a great name.
Something I was really unhappy with – Sansa’s near-rape. Yes, she got lost in the crowd and was in danger of her life. THAT DID NOT MEAN THAT SHE HAD TO BE ALMOST RAPED. What makes it even more infuriating is that once again, no sign of a storyline whatsoever. Where the fuck is Ser Dontos? Are the show runners going to allow her to do anything this season besides get verbally and physically beaten up? Also, I was a little iffy on Sansa trusting Shae. Sansa should know better than to trust anyone in King’s Landing, especially the Red Keep. She should know servants gossip and that many also serve as spies in addition to being servants. In the books, I am pretty sure Sansa is realizes this, especially after having lived in the palace for so long. Or this could just all be me grumbling because I can.
OK, what where some good things? Ygritte’s here! So far I like what we’ve seen so far of her character and I really like that Rose Leslie is playing her, I loved watching her in Downton Abbey). John Snow continues to be the emo-est of emos and make emo faces, especially when he was trying to screw up the willpower to kill Ygritte. Also he’s making a right fool of himself dragging her along as a prisoner when he doesn’t even know where he is or where he’s going, though I’m assuming he captured her rather than let her go so she wouldn’t give word to Mance. But he’s going to have let her go eventually, so… bonding time, perhaps? Set for the inevitable romance? Their interactions are great though, what with her going, “What the hell is this idiot boy doing? Fine, I’ll be a prisoner, Gods is he uptight!” Yeah.
Speaking of romance, more sparks are beginning to fly between Robb and Jeyne/Talisia? I still cannot tell if she is lying through her teeth about her name and being from Volantis or if she really is who she claims to be. Still, I’m liking their interactions. Robb fares a bit better at talking to his love interest than Jon does, though he’s still pretty unsure and fumbling around a bit.
I found Arya and Tywin’s scene to be a bit strange. He seems to be taking an uncommon interest in a seemingly lowly commoner cupbearer. Him interrogating her about her background made sense – that’s his right as Tywin Lannister. What felt off was Arya returning the favor and asking him about his father and him deigning to give a response. Also, when Amory Lorch is threatening to expose Arya’s subterfuge to Tywin, wouldn’t it make more sense to ask Jaqen H’Ghar to kill Tywin rather than Lorch? You know, take out the head of the entire Lannister army and a huge power behind the throne? Granted, she was thinking in the moment, and the most obvious threat at the time was Lorch. I did like the scene with Tywin, Arya, and Littlefinger and how the presence of that one person is what shook her unflappable calm because he’s the one person in Harrenhal who could expose her identity.
I have to say, I was not impressed with Dany in this episode. Previously when she acted all grand and powerful in front of the Spice King, I admired her for sheer guts and bravado. Here, she came off as petulant and naïve – the latter of which she definitely is, but the fact that she thinks all she needs is ships and an army to conquer Westeros and that she already has guaranteed support from within is almost laughable. Expecting the Spice King to give her ships and money for an army solely on good faith is even more so. It’s called diplomacy, Dany. One day you will find it very useful. To be fair, I was exasperated at her for having these assumptions in the books as well. BUT WHAT THE FUCK WAS UP WITH THAT ENDING? Practically the entirety of Dany’s khal is dead? And the dragons are being secreted away by some nefarious evildoer? Just… why? To give Dany’s storyline oomph? Yes, in ACoK her storyline is pretty lean. But what good does it do to kill Dany’s khal? The show effectively killed Dany’s connection to the Dothraki people for the rest of the TV story, rendering their very existence null and void, not to mention wiping out an entire group of PoC in the show. I think the death I’m most upset over is Irri’s because she was really starting to grow on me and I wanted more Dany/Irri time.
Interesting fact – both the fourth episode and this current one were penned by the same person, Vanessa Taylor and both scenes featured gratuitous, sexually violent scenes. And a lot of other violence and killing as well. Right now the thing I’m really mad about is Sansa. And the killing of the Dothraki. I’m tired that the show runners can only seem to conceive of Sansa as a victim. And as of now, I don’t like the direction Dany’s storyline is taking. I really liked the Theon/Bran scenes and Jon/Ygritte scenes, but otherwise, I am a grumpy pile of grump.