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Game of Thrones: Breathless catch up

jon snow game of thrones

(Series 6, ep. 1) Game of Thrones is back, and there’s much rejoicing throughout the land – at least that segment of the land which (a) has access to Sky Atlantic and (b) gives two hoots.

If you give two hoots and haven’t seen it yet, don’t read on, because it’ll ruin it for you (SPOILERS AHEAD!!!) Continue reading

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Game of Thrones: The dead and the undead

(Episodes 7,8,9) Good grief. I’ve just finished a self-imposed “omnibus edition” of the last three episodes, having been away for a while. Watching one episode of GoT is enough food for thought, but three in a row is an all-you-can-eat, gutbuster banquet.

I’m not going to summarise everything that happened or we’d be here all week. Suffice it to say that half the main characters appear to be dead. I say “appear to be,” because you can’t be sure any more, not with poor old Jon Snow having to battle with zombie-like creatures as well as coping with icy conditions, no female company and the disappointment of being picked to be a glorified chambermaid rather than a glorious ranger, like his (missing) Uncle Benjen. Even when run through with the pointy end of a bit of Valyrian steel, these zombie things still get up and come atcha, and the only thing that stops them is fire. So Jon Snow now has a burned hand to add to his troubles.

His troubles are nothing compared to his father, who is now dead. That’s right – Eddard Stark is dead. It’s a shock, isn’t it? The person whose name comes first in the cast list isn’t supposed to die part-way through the series. It’s just not the done thing, they’re supposed to be rescued at the last minute. But no-one told George RR Martin this, and he had no qualms in offing one of the few people in the story who has any moral fibre.

One of the most moving love stories looks like it’s come to a close, too, as Khal Drogo has apparently gone off to the Great Rodeo in the Sky. After what was admittedly not the most promising start to a marriage, he and Daenerys were really in love, thanks to her mastery of erotic techniques, the Dothraki language and her willingness to eat raw horse heart. What a gal! In return, her “Sun and Stars” got very protective of her, even ripping out the tongue of someone who was cheeky to her and offering to sail in an actual ship (Dothraki do not go on water, as a rule) to reclaim the lands that she feels are rightfully hers. Sadly he’s been done for by a combination of an infected wound and a bit of dubious alternative medicine courtesy of the mysterious Mirri Maz Duur.

With Ned executed for treason, the whole kingdom is now at war, with Robb Stark in charge of the army in the north, Tyrion commanding a raggle-taggle bunch of bandits alongside the Lannister army, and assorted Baratheons hissing and snarling at each other down south.

Robb has already proved to be quite the strategist, and has won a bit of a prize scalp – none other than Jaime Lannister himself. With the gorgeous, pouting Jaime in Stark hands, will Cersei let Arya and Sansa go back home? She’ll have to find Arya first – rescued from Lannister guards by the totally marvellous (and now, sadly, totally dead) Syrio Forel, Arya was in the crowd and witnessed her father’s execution, so my guess is she’ll take her awesome sword skills and leg it.

Cersei is a frightening prospect indeed, but now we’ve met her father Tywin (Charles Dance) you can see where she gets it from. That man is terrifying! The way he can chat and skin a dead beast at the same time. I suppose Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall can do that, too, but somehow Hugh is far less frightening. He wouldn’t last a minute in Westeros.

Posted by PLA          (more Game of Thrones here)

 

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Game of Thrones: There’s only one thing we say to death – “Not today”

(Ep. 6/10) What a cracking episode this was – one of those rare times when you’re so immersed in the story and the characters that the real world just stops existing for the hour.

It also featured one of the most memorable GoT deaths, that of Viserys Targaryen. Now, I know Viserys was supposed to be a little shit, but Harry Lloyd played him with such  magnificent deluded arrogance that I couldn’t help but find him quite attractive. Sadly his arrogance, and his jealousy, were his downfall. His sister Daenerys has become a total hit since becoming khaleesi. Not only is she pregnant with Khal Drogo’s son (we know it’s a boy, and she’s already named him Rhaego, and apparently he’s destined to become “The Stallion Who Mounts The World” – in other words, a very big deal indeed), she also passed the Dothraki initiation test of eating a raw horse’s heart without puking, and she can lift red hot dragons’ eggs out of the fire without getting burned.

No wonder Viserys got jealous of all the attention she was getting. He decided it was time to demand the armies and the crown that Khal Drogo had promised him in return for marrying Daenerys. You don’t get stroppy with Khal Drogo, though. He decided he’d had enough of the blond upstart, and gave him the gold crown that he wanted – by melting down a gold belt and pouring the molten metal over Viserys’s head. That’s got to hurt.  Continue reading

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Game of Thrones: Extremes

(Episode 5/10) This was an extreme episode even by the high standards set already. Where else can you enjoy/endure extreme horse decapitation, extreme shieldwork, extreme breastfeeding and extreme chest-shaving, topped off with some extreme eye-gouging and a full-frontal Alfie Allen?

Where to start? Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon have an easy-going, joshing sort of relationship. The kind where it’s okay to say to your best mate, “You’re too fat for your armour,” even if your best mate happens to be the King. There’s some things up with which Ned won’t put, though, and sanctioning infanticide is one of them. When Robert got wind that Daenerys Targaryen is pregnant with a Khal Drogo mini-me, he was worried. This was just the kind of thing to unite the Targaryens and the Dothraki once and for all and get them sending a big army to cause all sorts of mayhem. Ned didn’t think it was all that risky, given that the Dothraki aren’t the world’s best sailors and generally refuse to go in a ship, and helicopters haven’t been invented yet. So when Robert came up with the plan to have Daenerys and the unborn child killed, and everyone else nodded in agreement, Ned didn’t want anything to do with it. He’s an honourable man, you see.

So he resigned his Hand of the King badge, and was promptly set upon by Jaime Lannister, who was irked that wee Tyrion has been arrested by Catelyn and is currently in a cell at her sister’s place, The Eyrie. A cell with a very long drop.

In the book, the journey to The Eyrie is brilliantly described. It’s unfathomably high, the paths are unfathomably narrow and steep, and generally it’s a place even Julia Bradbury would balk at hiking to. Sadly, because there was so much other stuff to fit into the episode, the journey to the castle itself was a little curtailed. There was, however, room for Tyrion to bash someone’s head in with the pointy end of a shield when the party was attacked by bandits.

Catelyn’s sister, Lysa Arryn, is mad as a box of frogs. She has a son who looked old enough to be in the Arsenal youth team, but is still breastfeeding, which is more than a tad disturbing. He fancied seeing Tyrion “fly,” which in Eyrie-speak basically means getting chucked out of the nearest window, but Catelyn insisted on him being kept alive, so he’s currently housed in a cell which has the outside wall missing, and a gentle slope outwards. This means that prisoners are scared to go to sleep in case they roll off in the night. A particularly clever and unpleasant method of incarceration.

The best bit of dialogue came from Petyr Baelish and “Spider” Varys, two men who pride themselves on their secret network of spies.

Varys: How have you been since we last saw each other?

Baelish: Since I saw you, or since you saw me?

Sums up Game of Thrones nicely.

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