21 May 2013

"Second Sons" - Game Of Thrones 3x08

Welcome back everyone. Tonight, we watch the tale of the Second Sons, a notoriously unlucky group in Westeros. Their older brothers get the castle, the lady, the glory, the Valyrian Steel, and so on. Though in this episodes context there will be at least one other meaning, I'm sure. The HBO episode description also promises that Sam and Gilly will meet "an older gentleman." Much, much, older, if I'm not mistaken. And we'll see the setup for next episodes amazing suprise event. So lets begin, as always, with "Last week, on Game of Thrones."

First mention in the recap is Sam and Gilly alone in the woods, and Sam's special dagger. Then Shireen and Ser Davos. Jorah, Barristan, and Dany camp outside Yunkai. Margaery and Sansa have some girl chat. Tyrion has some 'splaining to do with Shae. Dany threatens the Masters of Yunkai, but Drogon won't play that shit. Melisandre reveals Genndry's parentage, Arya runs from the Brotherhood, and gets caught by the Hound. About as expected. I literally just finished my re-read of the relevant chapters from tonights episode, pertaining to Sansa and Tyrion anyway, and let me say how much cooler it would have been if the show had preserved Sansa's suprise. One minute she's being fitted for a new gown, free of charge, happy as she can be, the next, Cersei is draping the maiden's cloak over her shoulders and leading her off to the Sept.

And we're off. First scene, a rock. A fuzzy, out of focus rock. And behind it, Arya. Sandor Clegane is sleeping. Or is he? Hahaha. Excellent. That's a pretty fair deal Arya, I think you could do it. Sandor's such a nice captor. Offers to share his food. Everyone gets off on the redemptive story-arc of the Kingslayer, but Sandor really turns himself around well too. Just because he's not pretty, he gets the hate. Suprise Arya! The Hound defected. So thats the Red Fork. Beautiful scenery. Yes, Arya, you're on your way back to your family. Boy does that hit me right in the feels. Haha. Foreshadowing AND a funny line. Well played Sandor.

And here's your alternative meaning. The Second Sons mercenary group. We've dealt with Ser Bronn the sell sword, but never a group before. Far more common, for many reasons, in Essos than Westeros. Soldiers of fortune, companies of ill-repute. 2000 paid swords against the Unsullied. Good odds, certainly, but a fight that will cost Dany. She's getting smarter. And there he is folks. The man so many of us readers love to hate. Readers will not recognize him at first without his ridiculous blue hair and forked beard, but I've seen production stills showing that his dagger at least survived. Daario Naharys. Sellsword. Pretty boy. Bad boy. Piece of dung. Ok, I added that last one, but only because, well...never mind. The Titan's Bastard is showing himself to be pretty cocky. Another excellent line there, that makes waaaayy more sense in a few books. I'm not saying who, but I'm saying that one of the men in this room will find this whore later on. Daario is a little more soft-spoken than I'd expected. In this version he apparently works for Maro, instead of leading his own group, the Stormcrows. Oh boy do I not like this man already. Lefttenant? Are the Second Sons British? Grey Worm getting in on the threats! Excellent. These Missandei scenes are a little weird for me since she's supposed to be 12 in the books.

Ah, a castle. Thats supposed to be Dragonstone, except i see no stone Dragons. Melisandre has returned to King Stannis the Mannis, bringing her captive with her. Stannis should recognize Genndry, which is another little issue that this change brings about. Stannis and Jon Arryn visited Tobho Mott's forge during their investigation, and Ned later retraces their steps, which is when we, the  audience, first meet the Bull. I believe that the Mannis has never slaughtered a lamb. Why should such a man as he stoop so low. But I don't for a second believe that Melisandre has. Lit one on fire, sure, but with a knife, unlikely. Theres some serious tension in the room here.
Tonight on Reading Rainbow, Davos learns to read! You know, if you were going to teach a man to read, you could have started with easier words than Targaryen dragon names. The Mannis pays a visit to his dungeons. Thats Sons, your grace. Davos lost four on the Blackwater. I'm really not liking this portrayal of Stannis thus far. I liked him last season, one of the few things I did, but I haven't been able to buy into this season. He's almost coming off like he's drunk here. Thats not Stannis. That's not my one true King. That said, I do love me some Onion Knight. A great battle in the snow, you say? What an excellent idea. Put down this strange version of Stannis and become the King who Cared. Pay heed to your onion lord.

Meanwhile, back in Yunkai, which looks more and more like Tatooine every time we see it, the captains of the Second Sons meet in a tent. Mero with a whore in his lap, and, excellent, Daario with his. Love the hilt on that dagger. An interesting method for choosing. They're really overusing Valar Morghulis. Got to keep it fresh in peoples minds I guess.

Sansa prepares for her wedding. Sansa looks beautiful, though that dress is not cut as low as described in the books. Which is probably for the better, Sophie Turner does not turn 18 until after this season. Shae making this as akward as possible for Tyrion. It's interesting to see Tyrion's point of view on this, since in the books this is a Sansa POV chapter. Christ, he barely comes up to her chest.
Ok, Margaery is at the wedding, which is odd. The Tyrells are left completely in the dark until after the ceremony. She's gonna try plying her way into Cersei's favor. I just don't see that going over well Marge. But what a contrast between the two. Give me the rose over the Lion anyday. Cersei giving us the history lesson we've been missing about the Reynes of Castamere. Cersei skipping over the very relevant detail that it was Tywin, not Tytos, of House Lannister who crushed the Reynes. There it is, with a nice instrumental backing. Whoa, now thats a bit unneccesary Cersei. Wait, why isn't Sansa wearing her maindens cloak? Boy Joffrey is a deuchebag. He can barely contain that shit-eating grin. All four of the Kingsguard in attendance. They're doing a lousy job portraying the White Cloaks over all, downplaying their importance, I feel. The Sept of Baelor is beautiful. Well done set designers. Oh god he's such a dick! No crystal crown for the High Septon. Sansa kneels here. In the books, Ser Dontos the fool was summoned to act as a stool.

Quick cut to Dragonstone. Genndry looks nervous, and oh boy, should he be. But oh boy is Melisandre HOT. What's she going to do with that bed. Oh Genndry, don't take that wine. You stupid bull. What is she talking about? Oh Mel, honey, I don't think that Bobby B's cock was guided by any gods. Whoa, birth it? Is Genndry going to bang Mel. Because it sure looks like it. I'd worship R'hllor in a instant if this was what praying went like. She is smoking hot. Genndry has no idea what to do, thats obvious. Danger will Robinson! Danger! Gentlemen, if she breaks out the ropes on the first date, you should probably run. Fast, and far. And OH LORD THATS A LEECH! What the actual fuck. Oh, no, she did not just leech his cock. Wait, she's going to make Davos and the Mannis watch. Thats a terrible trade. At least in the book she offers to bang Davos to show him. Much better trade. And Stannis names the false kings, throwing the leeches into the fire. But to what purpose? Mel doesn't tell us. He names them usurpers, though I'd argue that the King in the North is only half a usurper, he doesn't want anything below the Riverlands.

Meanwhile, at the Wedding celebration, Lady Olenna tries to sort out the new family ties between the Tyrells and the Lannisters, and oh boy is Loras peeved. Tywin looks none too happy either. Oh boy is Joff an idiot. Ignoring even Mommy's good counsel now. Shae is not a happy woman, though I'm not sure why she's there. Tyrion is sloshed, and Tywin is not having any of it. Ser Loras gets a moment alone with Cersei. And she opens by being a raging bitch. Good move. And there is Joff's threat. Sansa may be wedded to Tyrion, but of course, the King has rights. Thankfully, Jahaerys I Targaryen made illegal the right of First Night, but Joff doesn't seem the kind of King who will respect that law. And now the bedding. First real mention we've had of this Westerosi custom in the tv show. The males carry the bride up to the bedchamber, stripping her and making bawdy jokes as they go, then the females bring the groom along, repeating the process. The couple is then left alone to consumate the marriage, of course, with observers outside the door listening for proof, especially in political marriages. And Tyrion drops the hammer. This is the second of several final straws for the Half-man, who is constantly shit upon by his family. Their is no justice or fairness for Tyrion in these times. He led the defense of Kings landing, only to be shat upon and have his father and Ser Loras steal the glory. Now, a bride he does not want is forced upon him. And Joff's little shit face looks like a good place for that dagger to go, though we know he won't. Tywin restores order, and wtf is he doing with his hand? Of course if anyone can turn this back to their favor, its Tyrion. Is he really going to leave out the line about storming the portcullis? Thats a damn shame. He's actually drunk here, isn't he. In the books it was an act, that he was as drunk as he acts. I doubt anyone predicted Sophie Turner would be this tall when they casted her, but it actually adds to this mismatch. They're leaving out alot of Tyrion's more important (IMHO) lines here, he's not trying to explain how he would treat her, how he can be noble, kind, etc. Haha, nice tribute to the Night's Watch there. I disagree 100% with the plot of making him such a drunk here. Shamed out of a chance to show his better side.

Meanwhile, in Essos, a member of the Unsullied walks Dany's camp. But he bears a mysteriously familiar dagger on his belt. Meanwhile, Missandei shames the Khaleesi's Dothraki pronunciation, while bragging about how many languages she speaks. Nothing like a tent-invasion while bathing. Did not a single one of these sentries pick up on the intruder? Daario presents the heads of the Titan's Bastard and his accomplice to  the Khaleesi. There go all the rumors that Emilia Clarke had a no-nudity clause this season. Thank the gods for that much. Impressive mental control from the sellsword here, keeping eye contact the entire time. Wonder how many shots that took.

Oooh, nice fade. Oh this could be interesting. Shae doing her duties to Sansa. And she takes the sheets, seeing no blood, but knowing there should be. Is she helping or not, I'm not sure.

YES! Finally. Its time for one of my favorite moments. Sam and Gilly, on the run. We should add in at least Grenn here, but not sure they will. Man, that tree has a face allright. I wonder if anyone is watching over the Westerosi Weirwood network. These Ravens sure are. Now Gilly can't make a fire either? I knew Sam was useless but damn. That is one terribly convenient open door. Sam you dope. The Free folk don't name their children yet. Ravens still quorking outside. Nice to know someones watching. His name is bad-ass Tarly. Can't wait to see him in the show. Not that he really needs to be, but I always pictured Randal as some big bad ass warrior. The Ravens are warning you Sam. Pay heed! Pay heed Ser Piggy! Does the Cold come before the Others? Or with them? Oh Sam you fuck, don't drop that torch. This, my friends, is an Ohter. Not a wight, not a zombie. Holy hell did it just freeze snap his sword. Hmm..conenient fact. The Others fucking hate Dragonglass. I'm not big on the freezing and shattering mechanic, he should have melted to be accurate, but....wait....Sam, really? You're just leaving the dagger? C'mon man. I defended you all season, saying wait for this moment, wait for Sam the Slayer, and you LEAVE THE ANTI-OTHER SUPERWEAPON BEHIND? Oh, look, a +100 Dagger of Defeating my chief foe, I surely won't be needing that again. You dumbass.

So there we have it. Only two episodes remaining. Some pretty major plot points here, and two of them I think could have been handled better. Eventually, I think that show-only folk will come to hate Daario as I and so many others have. Tyrion could have been portrayed in a more serious, better light this episode. And lastly, how will anyone believe that Ser Piggy, the biggest coward in the Night's Watch, maybe even the realm, just killed an Other? Grenn should have been there to witness that. Excellent touch with the Ravens at the end there, foreshadowing a future meeting for Sam and Gilly with a man who posseses, shall we say, Coldhands.

Lets talk about next week. If you only watch the show, yet for some reason read this blog, please, I beg you, ignore every single bit of Game of Thrones related internet you can for the next two weeks. There are assholes out there who want to spoil this for you, and you all know that every season, Episode 9 is the big dramatic moment. So do yourself that favor. No episode next week, due to memorial day, so you've got some time to do some serious reading if you're catching up, rereading, etc. And to get your Westerosi finest ready. After all, Edmure Tully, Lord of Riverrun is to be wed, and we're all invited. The Hound is not, but thats never stopped him before. Until then, remember, that what is dead may never die, but rises again, stronger and with more C'thulhu references. (And unlike Theon's penis, which will never rise again. Ever)
- The Penguin

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