Monday, May 20, 2013

(TV) Game of Thrones Season 3 Episode 8 "Second Sons" Review

Game of thrones episode 8 was just as slow as the last two episodes before but as per usual with this show, there was no lack of of intrigue or any slack in the high standard of writing, acting, and directing. 

Arya and The Hound

We begin with what is already developing into one of the better relationships in the show between the vengeful Arya and the the Hound as Arya is greeted with the opportunity to bash the hound's skull with a rock but a threat from the fire-kissed soldier to break the young Stark's hands if she fails to do so soon puts paid to her murderous intentions.   

We later catch them riding on horseback in one of the sweeter scenes in the episodes as the hound offers Arya food. She still hates the hound but sees that he is not as bad as first thought when he rightly reminds her that she could run into men worse than him and tells her that he plans to return her to her family for pretty much the same reasons the Brotherhood Without Banners were going to, the gold.

Dany and the Second Sons

Dany continues her quest for power by sealing the services of the 2,000 strong Second Sons, a revered mercenary army led by the Titan's Bastards, an unpleasant brute of a leader  (lot of that around in the seven kingdoms) who set about endearing himself to the mother of dragons by telling her to "show me your cunt" as he clearly wasn't aware of who he was talking to. However it was not going to end well (it almost never ends well for unrepentant brutes on this show, even the honorable ones) for the leader of the Second Sons as his handsome left-tenant Daario Noharis saw to it that he and his number two lost their heads and pledged his allegiance to Dany, who has clearly has taken to the Second Son.  

Gendry, Stannis, Davos and the Red Lady 

Anyone who has watched this show for some time would have learned by now that there is going to be few happy endings in the magic ridden Hobbesian nightmare that is the Game of Thrones and with Gendry being sold to Melissandre AKA 'The Red Lady' by the Brotherhood Without Banners, we all suspected that the maxim that defines the show was going to be proved true once again. We were not let down as the red lady introduces Gendry to his uncle, who in his usually icy and unhappy way, studies his nephew gripping his face before Mellissaddre sends him away to talk about killing lambs with Stannis.

While we see that Stannis is clearly not sold on the idea of killing his nephew and using his "Kings blood", as usual with Stannis, we only see his humanity in the flicker of his dead cold eyes as he questions the cloak and dagger methods employs by the red lady as he is not one for illusions or hope. The only time we really get a real glimpse at  Stannis's humanity is his scenes with Davos (the only man in seven kingdoms probably capable of befriending him) as they discuss the morality of killing Gendry. He releases the Onion Knight on the proviso that he doesn't try to kill the red lady and reveals his faith in the lord of light after a series of scenes suggesting his doubt.  

The Red Lady carries out her plan to extract 'kings blood' after seducing and tying up poor gendry who had clearly been clearly waiting for the other shop to drop from the moment the red lady told him "you will make kings rise and fall". However the extraction of kings blood from Gendry didn't end in his death but with blood sucking leeches places on his and his nether regions as we found what she meant when she said he would be responsible for the death of kings.

Tyrion and Sansa's Wedding

Tyrion and Sansa have not had the best time of late despite being born into wealth and power as this weeks episode main focus was the misery of both as neither want to marry each other with Tyrion feeling the toll of keeping commitments that are not his own. From the outset, it is clear the strain the arrangement is having on the relationship between Tyion and Shae as  she has to play handmaiden to the girl that her man is being tasked to marry and the pain is clear as Tyrion as for privacy.

One of the better scenes of this episode was Cersei threatening lady Margery after rebuffing her usually chummy approach by gently reminding her of the fate of house Reyne that crossed her father then punctuated her veiled threat with a direct one when she threatened to have her strangled in her sleep. The wedding itself was a tawdry affair with the lecherous King Jofre showing at every turn in every scene why he is one of the most hated characters in modern television. He starts his campaign of humiliation against the already uneasy Tyrion and Sansa by escorting Sansa down the aisle reminding her of the absence of her father then taking away a stool for Tyrion making the act of 'cloaking' his soon to be wife difficult as much as it was embarrassing.

At the reception, while the Queen of Thorns  made fun of the strange intermingling between house Tyrell and Lannister, we see Tyrion drinking his sorrow obviously trying to forget as much as possible but Tywin saw to it that he was reminded of his duties to house Lannister and his hardly concealed dislike of his son. Jofre continued his campaign against Sansa and Tyrion as he threatened to rape and impregnate the young Stark right before calling for a 'bedding ceremony' which means exactly what it says on the tin. Drunk and furious with the whole affair as much as Jofre, Tyrion objects angrily by planting a knife into a table promising the boy king that he will rid him of his meat and two veg if he dares leaving the room silent with fear and intrigue as to what will happen next.

After a moment of complete shock, the boy king asked him what he said seemingly with him just a misplaced word away from making Tyrion's head joins Ned Stark's on a pike, Tywin, seeing where this was heading advised Jofre that Tyrion was clearly drunk with Tyrion, realizing he overstepped the mark, laughed off his rage retreating to self deprecating humor and takes Sansa by the hand.

He and Sansa have nervous and awkward conservation where Tyrion drunkenly compliments her on long neck. with both parties clearly not wanting to "make it official", Tyrion spares Sansa the agony of taking off her clothes and tells her that he would only sleep with Sansa if she wanted to topping off a stressful and painful day for both.

Sam and Ghee

Sam and Ghee are one of the few people in the show that come close to innocence and we once again find out how useless Sam is at starting a fire as they discuss boy names. However the scene heats up at the end as episode 8 is the episode were we finally learn of the significance of the knife Sam poached earlier in the season and definitely came in handy when he used it to kill a stray Whitewalker heading towards Sam and Ghee's direction after it sent Sam flying into the snow.  In any other show that would have been the end of their ordeal but they had to escape a Hitchcock inspired nightmare as a clan of raven descended on the young couple as the episode 8 ended.

Cannot wait for episode 9 as things look like they're going to heat up!!!



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