Tuesday, May 15, 2012

F**k Yeah Game of Thrones! Episode Seven: A Man Without Honor!

After an unrelenting bout of punch-in-the-gob awesomeness, this week Game of Thrones pauses to catch its breath, focusing less on blood and boobs and more on dialogue and character development. I’m trusting that this is merely the calm before the storm. Hopefully a titty-twister.

Although an episode of Game of Thrones without nudity is like Garfield without lasagna, this one still packs some effective little jabs to the gut. We have plenty to ruminate on.

To find out exactly what went down, join me after the jump!

(As always, let me remind you that I have not read the books and will recap by character group rather than show order).

Theon Greyjoy, you total dickbag! Sure, Theon has always been a scruffy chav but he used to wield his porksword with humour and honour. His sudden transition to vile villian has sent his stock prices plummeting.

After conquering both Winterfell and sexy Wildling, Osha, Theon awakes to find her gone, escaped in the night with crippled lil’ lord Bran, the “giant” Hodor, and young Rickon (more like ‘Rock On’, am I rite, guyz??). Theon is wicked pissed and when taunted by the biggest, burliest, baldest bugger on his crew, Theon lays the smack down on him to prove his toughness. He’s still not doing this with any flair though. Theon is no badass... he’s like a scared teenager who is continually digging himself into a deeper hole.

Theon declares that it’s better to be “cruel than weak” and he mounts a search for Bran and co. by releasing the hounds. I guess these are either the traitorous hounds of Winterfell, or Theon arrived in a ship full of hounds. Who do these dogs belong to? Who let these dogs out? Who? Who? Who?

So Bran and Osha are booking it across the countryside but little Rickon is getting hungry because all he has to sustain him is walnuts and walnuts refuse to sustain a little lord. They think about stopping at a nearby farm which is known to take in orphans but are worried that Theon will wreak havoc on its occupants after they leave.

Well they guessed right! When a seething Theon later arrives at the farm he belts the hayseeds out of the old farmer, demanding information, fearful that if he doesn’t return with Brann he will be emasculated and ridiculed by his scurvy men. Like maybe they’ll force him to permanently tuck between his legs and sit down when he wees. We then get the clue that he’s about to do something really foul because he sends the old Maester guy home so he won’t witness the atrocities he’s about to commit. That part we’ll save for later...

Meanwhile, that bastard Jon Snow’s boner has a mind of its own. It’s persistently knocking on the backside of the captured Wildling, Ygritte, and Jon wakes up, flustered. Ygritte taunts him about being an inexperienced boy/sissy virgin and and as they continue their walk across the vast snow plains she teases him further, trying to pressure him into having sex with her. That kind of pressure is never cool, you guys. Not even when a Wildling does it.

Ygritte is trying to convince Jon to abandon the rigid vows of the Black Watch and join the Wildling clans where he can live in a fancy hut with a woman and play by his own rules. It almost sounds like a pretty sweet proposition, but Jon is a man of honour (I think?) and has a family to think of. A family that would no doubt cut off his head if he defected.

It’s all a moot point anyway because as emo Jon puzzles over everything, Ygritte does a runner leaving him all alone in the mud. Well... not quite all alone. She quickly returns, flanked by a huge ambush of hidden Wildling men. Uh oh. Jon is screwed. Not even his rampant boner can get him out of this one!

Back at the ruined Harrenhal Granddaddy Tywin Lannister is having his own men hanged, desperate to find out who assassinated that useless lump, Lorch. He incorrectly thinks that he was the target of the attack, which he could well be if Arya decides to bank her last assassination with him.

Speaking of Arya, she’s really getting tight with Tywin now. He convinces her to sit and eat at his table and is impressed with her knowledge of history and dragons. Sure, she thinks about knifing him in the throat at one point, but this is really a battle of words. It becomes clear that Tywin is fully aware that Arya is of noble birth and that there is more to her story then she’s willing to let on. It’s actually a brilliant scene thanks to two wonderfully engaging performances. Charles Dance is a superb villain, equal parts menace and charm. He makes anything worth watching. Except The Last Action Hero. What were you thinking, Charles?

At King’s Landing, Sansa is troubled by her recent attack in the riots, and an attempt to thank the Hound for saving her leads to an acute case of the willies, and possibly even the heebie-jeebies. Things get even worse when she wakes up to discover that she has bled her first blood and is now capable of carrying the Joff’s child. Relax, their coupling does not take place this episode (assuming it does at all) so we have plenty of time to prepare ourselves for the awkwardness/horridness that will no doubt ensue.

Faux-handmaiden Shae attempts to help Sansa hide the evidence but the Hound has sniffed out the sheets and reports to Queen Cersei. This leads to a rather candid conversation between Cersei and Sansa in which the latter must embrace the inevitable but is assured that her children will be the most important thing and that it is not essential to love The Joff. Because loving things sucks arse. And men are distant monsters.

We delve deeper into Cersei’s twisted psyche when she takes counsel with our favourite demon monkey/imp Tyrion, seeming to genuinely doubt her reckless incest with Jamie, and pretty much outright admitting that The Joff is an irredeemable piece of shit. I find it very refreshing to see this more vulnerable side of Cersei. I’m often concerned with Game of Thrones at how willing characters are to jettison their humanity (yeah I’m talking to you, Theon, you douche). So many of them are cruel. So it’s nice to see some self-awareness from the queen and to realise that she does see her shit of a son for what he actually is.

Okay, let’s switch to Robb Stark who is having a boner-battle of his own. He still can’t refuse battle surgeon Talisa, who wafts in to request more medical supplies. He decides to take her on a hot date to the Crag where they will attack and find what she needs. But first he foolishly places Alton Lannister - the queen’s envoy - into a prison pen with captured kingslayer, Jamie.

Alton and Jamie bond, telling tales of youth, and battle, and honour, and respect, which Jamie concludes by bashing the memories out of Alton’s head with his chains. When a guard enters to investigate, Jamie takes him out too and then buggers off into the wilds.

I’m thinking that this represents a dramatic shift in power but Jamie is quickly recaptured, beaten and brought before Catelyn who has to stop an angry beardy from lopping off Jamie’s head. No one is happy that Jamie is being kept alive and Catelyn faces a potential mutiny as the fuming men get drunk. At nightfall, Catelyn and the mountainous Brienne confront Jamie in his cell and Jamie talks a lot of disrespectful shit about our main man, the late Ned Stark. NO ONE badmouths Ned Stark and decisive action must be taken. Catelyn ominously asks for Brienne’s sword as we cut away.

You know what I think is going to happen? (Skip this paragraph if you think I might be right and might spoil it for you). I think she needs to cripple Jamie. Like cut off a foot or a leg or something. It would make his escape near impossible, emasculate him, appease the angry men, and do to him what he did to Bran. The only risk is that the King’s Landing folk will then retaliate by cutting off Sansa’s legs, and then she’ll have to shuffle around on a little roller board like Eddie Murphy in Trading Places.

Now let’s head to Qarth where Daenerys is trying to find answers about her stolen dragons and Ser Jorah is feeling sheepish for missing the whole thing. This gets a little complicated - Jorah heads to the enigmatic masked woman who knows about his past betrayal, and warns that Daenerys is currently hanging out with the dragon thief. He finds her meeting with the thirteen and the creepy warlock happily reveals that he nicked the dragons and will gladly reunite her witht hem at the Temple of the Undying. The warlock has made a secret pact with Xaro and declares him king, before doing his multiplying body trick and simultaneously slashing the throats of the remaining Eleven. That’s no parlour trick, folks. It is totally badass. He should battle the Shadow Man Baby for the next three episodes!

Jorah tries to stab the Warlock but he just disappears like Obi Wan, and reappears elsewhere. You can’t fight a warlock, dude, they have tiger blood! So Daenerys has no option but to go to the temple and find out what these sneaky guys have in store.

And finally, let’s return to Winterfell where Theon has gathered a curious crowd. He’s going to show them what happens when you try to punk a Greyjoy and presents... two hideously burnt and unrecognisable child corpses! And I feel instantly upset and ill.

But nobody is falling for this ruse, right? I don’t believe for a second that this is Rickon and Bran. No, these must be unfortunate orphan boys and hopefully it’s only a matter of time before Bran turns into a mighty wolf and bites the traitorous Theon in half.

Give me justice, Game of Thrones!

(You can’t actually see it but I am wildly shaking my fists at the heavens). (And will continue to do so for the next few days in case some of you don’t read this straight away).

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