Tag Archives: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

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.

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Game of Thrones: Winter has arrived

(Ep.1/10) “Winter is coming,” the members of House Stark are fond of saying, and a cloud of vapour rises before their faces at each syllable. Winterfell, their home territory, is already pretty freezing, and winter hasn’t yet arrived. When it does arrive, it’ll last for decades.

You’d think a holiday in the south would be just the ticket, but when Ned Stark gets the call that the king needs him to be his right-hand man and move to the more salubrious surroundings of King’s Landing, he’s not happy. He’s a northern kind of guy (he’s Sean Bean, after all), and being the King’s Hand is not a job you’d want, given that the previous incumbent is dead, possibly poisoned by the evil Lannisters.

Ah, the Lannisters. I shouldn’t love them, but I do. Evil, scheming, immoral (brother Jaime and sister Cersei are a bit too fond of each other, let’s say), but undoubtedly glamorous. Then there’s their brother Tyrion, a dwarf who makes up for his lack of inches with a razor-sharp wit.

HBO’s adaptation of George RR Martin’s epic novel (the first in an, as yet, uncompleted series), showing in the UK on Sky Atlantic,  is wonderful. It’s probably testament to Martin’s brilliant writing that what was shown on screen last night in the first episode was so exactly how I’d imagined the world of the book in my head, particularly the Winterfell scenes.

 The task of introducing such an array of characters, in various different settings, wasn’t an easy one to achieve in an hour, but it was done really well. Captions indicating the locations were only used the first time each one appeared, and after that it was left to the characters and the very different feel of each location to show where we were.

The cast are excellent. Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen had exactly the right combination of fragility and inner strength, and her brother Viserys (Harry Lloyd) was just… spooky. Peter Dinklage looks like he’s going to be a perfect Tyrion and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s Jaime has the perfect mix of flashy good-looks and ruthlessness. I also liked the early glimpses of Arya Stark (Maisie Williams), who shoots arrows better than her brothers and can’t be doing with needlework.

A great start, and I’m looking forward to seeing the story unfold.

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