A lot of table-setting in this hour, but we’re in for some real fireworks now that everything’s in place.
Truly masterful editing can elevate a scene in every way, and this hour started with a bang by juxtaposing Arya’s innocent training with the vicious and bloody attacks of the City Watch. It’s all so tremendously tense, culminating with Syrio defending Arya with his wooden sword and giving her a chance to escape. How can I get teary eyed over a character I barely know? Although we never see Syrio again, Arya’s fear in this scene really cemented my emotional investment. Wow.
The Pointy End also sees Robb stepping up to the plate and getting ready for war with the Lannisters. I’m enjoying the added focus on the young Stark, and the episode gave him a ton of insightful moments – my favorite of which was his reluctance to hug his mother until the rest of the generals left the premises to maintain his steely personal. Guess he’s still a momma’s boy no matter what!
Daenerys got to showcase a whole lot of female empowerment this week as she stopped the Dothraki from raping poor villagers. However, one of the bloodriders opposed this, and soon found himself brutally murdered by Drogo. I love that Dany is trying to change the tribe’s savage ways from the inside. She grows considerably strong with every passing week.
And then there’s Joffrey’s various decisions: Tywin is the new Hand of the King, and Ser Barristan has been replaced by Jaime as the Kingsguard. It’s all so predictably Cersei, climaxing with Sansa begging for mercy and her father’s safety. The ending isn’t the strongest of the season, but it’s an ominous shot as the camera pans behind the Iron Throne and we see Sansa on her knees. This won’t end well…
Bits & Beheadings
– Poignant touch with Syrio telling Arya to repeat the “not today” quote before she runs.
– The fact that Arya kills a little boy out of fear with Needle is so chilling.
– It’s a bit of weird coincidence that Varys tells Ned the same “not today” line.
– Manipulation at its finest: Cersei getting Sansa to write Robb a letter.
– Well the writers sure succeeded at making Lady Lysa and her son Robin completely unlikeable. The former refuses to lend the Knights of the Vale to help out Catelyn, and the latter still just wants to breastfeed 24/7.
– How cunning is Tyrion in the way he manipulates the Stone Crows and saves his own behind? But the look Tywin gives these hill peasants is just priceless.
– Terrific action sequence with Snow fighting off the zombie ranger and saving the Lord Commander. A big thank you to Ghost the direwolf for sensing the trouble!
– Robb’s direwolf Grey Wind attacks one of the bannermen and bites off his fingers. It’s a very odd scene.
– Heartbreaking scene with Robb bidding Bran goodbye, and then little Rickonn telling Bran that their family won’t ever come back.
– We see Bran praying to the Old Gods whose faces are carved into the heart tree. Well, until Osha and a naked Hodor interrupt him.
– Some exposition: Sam says the dead were raised because they were touched by White Walkers, and only fire can stop them.
– Although Drogo kills the bloodirder, he gets wounded and Dany has to consult one of the villagers she saved (a healer / witch).
– Lots of feels during that Robb-Catelyn hug!
– Catelyn telling Robb that their whole family will die if he loses the war. #NoPressure
– Isn’t it interesting that Tywin speaks highly of Jaime when he’s not around? Typical parent.
Kings & Quips
Syrio: And now you are a dead girl.
Arya: Only ’cause you lied. My tongue lied.
Syrio: My eyes shouted the truth. You were not seeing.
Arya: I was so. I watched, but you-
Syrio: watching is not seeing, dead girl. The seeing, the true seeing, that is the heart of swordplay.
Ned: Who do you truly serve?
Varys: The Realm, My Lord. Someone must.
Pycelle: A child born of a traitor’s seed is no fit consort for our King. She is a sweet thing now, Your Grace, but in 10 years who knows what treasons she may hatch?
Greyjoy: Are you afraid?
Robb: I must be.
Robb: Why is that good?
Greyjoy: It means you’re not stupid.
Shagga: How would you like to die, Tyrion son of Tywin?
Tyrion: In my own bed, at the age of 80 with a bellyful of wine and a girl’s mouth around my cock.
Shagga: Take the half man. He can dance for the children.
Jorah: You cannot claim them all, Princess.
Daenerys: I can, and I will.
Tyrion: And here we have Bronn son of…
Bronn: (staring at Tywin) You wouldn’t know him.
Tyrion: We have our differences, Jaime and I. He’s braver. I’m better looking.
Barristan: I shall die a Knight.
Littlefinger: A naked Knight, apparently.
It might not have the most blood-pumping ending, but the rest of the hour was on point (pardon the pun).