Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Game of Thrones: Blackwater

And welcome to the penultimate week of our Game of Thrones recaps. I’m joined this week, as always, by Christopher “Born Killer” Lockett, an English and pop culture prof at MUN who has read the books and discusses the show from that point of view. This week we discuss what is possibly the most astounding episode yet. (And check it out, Sharon: we got it up early!) I’ll let Chris start things.

Christopher: OK, so I am dying to hear what you thought of last night’s episode—mainly because my own mind is in a total whirl about it. I’m not sure where to begin, because it was utterly unlike everything we’ve come to expect from GoT narratively: the episode focused on a single place and sequence of action, ignoring for the moment the stories of Daenerys, Theon, Bran and Rickon, Jon Snow, Robb and Catelyn, and Arya. Often episodes will leave out one narrative thread or another, which usually means we can expect something big to happen next episode. But usually we’re always aware of just how many balls the series has in the air at one time, and are (usually) impressed by how deftly it’s done.

But this episode? This was different. It makes sense narratively and thematically, as much of this season’s action has been building to the inevitable war. There have been battles along the way, of course, but we usually haven’t seen more than their aftermaths. And last season, we didn’t see the big battle because Tyrion got knocked on the head. The large-scale battle á là The Lord of the Rings or Gladiator still seems something of a bridge too far for television—which is unsurprising, considering the cost involved. When you’re spending one hundred million dollars on a two or three hour feature film, it’s all well and good … not so much when you have an entire season (with more to come) to worry about. So as much as we would love to see a proper Kurosawa-esque clash of massive armies, it’s simply not feasible.

All of which makes “Blackwater” all the more impressive. It should be noted that George R. R. Martin wrote the episode, which as he had observed is sort of an ironic return for him as a TV writer. In his many interviews, he has talked of how he sat down to start writing A Song of Ice and Fire after almost fifteen years in Hollywood, most notably as a producer and writer on Beauty and the Beast  (he and Ron Perlman remain good friends). One of his frustrations with television, he has said many times, was how limited you are by budgets. His inclination was to expansive and epic storylines; many times he had pilots and proposals for new series rejected because he simply wanted to do too much. So he returned to his first love, prose fiction, in which he would never have to worry about someone else’s priorities when it came to depicting, say, a massive and complicated battle. Never once, he says, did he imagine Ice and Fire might be adapted to film or television … he’d simply made it too big and complicated.

So it was a bit of historical irony that landed him writing the climatic episode about the battle of the Blackwater … and having Benioff and Weiss keep sending back his drafts with notes that essentially said, “Uh, no … smaller, please.”

But however much they cramped his style, I have to tip my hat to GRRM for doing a very deft job of depicting battle on a massive scale while at the same time making it feel very focused and indeed almost claustrophobic at times. Changing the battle from day to night was a brilliant move in this respect—Stannis’ enormous fleet becomes a bunch of ominous and threatening shadows on the horizon, and we don’t need to see them (or be subjected to the sort crap-ass CGI we saw at the Battle of Philippi in Rome) to know they’re there. At the same time, everything becomes focused down on a small space and small group of soldiers—as I’m sure it must do in a real battle, when everything else disappears for the individuals fighting. And I would also argue it was very suggestive, in the same respect, of the fog of war …

And on top of all that, SO MUCH was going on in this episode. What do you want to talk about first, Nik?

Nikki: Let’s compare the St. Crispin’s Day motivational speeches of the week, shall we?

Cersei: Do you have any notion of what happens when a city is sacked? No, you wouldn’t. If the city falls, these fine women… shall be in for a bit of a rape. Half of them will have bastards in their bellies come morning; you’ll be glad of your red flower then.

Joffrey: Waaaaaah… sniffle, snort… soooobbb!! They’re coming ASHORE!!!

The Hound: Any man dies with a clean sword, I’ll rape his fucking corpse!

Joffrey: Are they gone yet? Ooh, I can’t look, I can’t look! I WANT MY MUMMY!!!

The Hound: Fuck the King’s Guard. Fuck the city. Fuck the king.

Joffrey: Sniffle, wimper… Stay with my uncle, and represent the king on the field of battle. [runs for cover, muppet arms flailing]

Tyrion: I’ll lead the attack! They said I’m half a man. But what does that make the lot of you? There’s another way out. I’m going to show you. Come up behind them and fuck them in their asses! Don’t fight for your king, and don’t fight for his kingdom. Don’t fight for honour, don’t fight for glory, don’t fight for riches because you won’t get any. This is your city Stannis means to sack, that is your gate he’s ravaging. If he gets in, it will be your houses he burns, your gold he steals, your women he will rape. Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let’s go kill them!

I know who I’d be following.

What an episode. As you say, they kept to one particular story, and I even found that when it skipped over to Cersei, I just wanted them to get back to the action. So they definitely knew better than to switch over to Daenerys (whose story has been lagging this season to begin with) or anyone else when the real action is here.

Tyrion is certainly the star of this piece, with Joffrey the simpering fool, Cersei the drunken lout, and Sansa the true queen. While she was falling back on hymns and prayers, things that in the end can’t actually do anything in this situation, at least she was trying to put these women’s fears to rest, which is more than what Cersei was doing. But while Cersei comes off as one cold bitch, the ones she is absolutely loyal to, and cares about more than herself, is her children. The scene near the end of her trying to feed the lethal nightshade to her son was devastating, and you could tell it was breaking her heart. Let’s just say her daddy has some impeccable timing.

But back to the battle. It reminded me of the battle of Helm’s Deep on screen in the second LOTR movie (I half expected to see an elf come sliding down the wall shooting arrows as he went) but the highlight of the battle is certainly the wildfire exploding. The way Davos stares at it as the ship slowly sails out to land amidst the enemy ships, and the horror on Davos’s face when he realizes what’s on it. It’s so quiet and ominous, and therefore terrifying. Tyrion makes his signal to Bronn, who makes the perfect shot out to the boat… and then if there were ever the perfect poster moment for the phrase “all hell broke loose,” this would be it. What is wonderful about this scene is the look of horror on Tyrion’s face. He needed to win the battle, but he can hear the screams of agony from these men, he can watch them catch on fire and their skin bubbling and trying to jump into the water just to stop the pain, only to land in more wildfire and be tortured even further. Contrast that with the look of absolute glee on Joffrey’s face. His only regret is that he can’t record this so he can watch it over and over and over again while eating popcorn.

What were your favourite moments in the episode?

Christopher:  Oh gods, where to start? One great moment of geek love, certainly, was hearing Bronn leading a rousing rendition of “The Rains of Castamere,” a song that appears several times in the novels. It’s sort of the unofficial Lannister national anthem, about an upstart lesser house—the Reynes—who challenge Lannister power and find themselves eradicated root and branch and their lands razed (really, it surprises anyone that this is what the Lannisters sing about to each other?). As I said, we “hear” snatches of it throughout the novels; but for the series it was put to music by the band The National. Theirs was the version playing over the credits, and the way they do it gives it a definitely funereal tone … but I think I liked it as Bronn’s drinking song better.

I also loved Varys in this episode … his little speech about hating bells was lovely, as was his revelation that he loathes sorcery.

Cersei, too. As I’ve said before, I’ve been tepid on Lena Headey as Cersei, but here she was brilliant—raging against the chromosomal lottery that put Jaime in armour and her in skirts, and getting slowly and magnificently drunk.

And of course, seeing Joffrey’s bravado from last episode melting into panic while Tyrion holds the wall and rallies the men. (I laughed at your St. Crispin’s Day reference above—in my notes under where Joffrey orders the Kingsguard to “represent the King,” I’ve written “not exactly the St. Crispin’s speech.” Ah, we few, we happy few, we band of buggered). Though I do have to say that the episode’s one false note was when all of the soldiers kind of muttered and shrugged and started to wander off after Joffrey left. “Oh, the king left? Huh. Well, then, I guess I don’t really feel like fighting these people outside the walls WHO WANT TO KILL ME.” Perhaps the fight goes out of them, and perhaps they won’t leave the safety of the walls to face the enemy, but they’re not about to sit on their hands.

Really, there’s too many great moments to geek out over—the wildfire explosion, Stannis kicking ass on top of the wall, Sansa telling Tyrion “I will pray for your safe return, my lord—just as I pray for the king’s” (ouch!), Davos answering the city’s bells with his drums …

But my favourite part of this episode? The Hound. He’s always been a disturbing, glowering, enigmatic character. But here we see what Rory McCann can do. The slow build of his panic in the face of fire throughout the battle was lovely, but his final fuck-you to Joffrey and his appearance in Sansa’s room were both beautiful moments. He’s singing the tune he sang before—“the world is built by killers”—but this time that fact has none of the harsh realism he was offering Sansa before and instead sounds elegiac. The world is built by killers and he is a consummate killer, and in this moment he has failed. When he cuts and runs, he becomes a poignant depiction of post-traumatic stress as we realize that the pain and fear he suffered at his brother’s hands has never gone away. And McCann conveys that with brutal elegance.

How about you, Nikki?

Nikki: You do realize you just gained major points on this blog by quoting Spike on Buffy, right? Of course you do. ;)

And you beat me to the National link. A couple of days ago Josh Winstead, who does the Walking Dead posts with me, sent me a link to the Rains of Castamere song. Problem was, I saw it at work, and decided to listen to it at home. And since I have a Leonard Shelby memory (you should see the tattoos on my arms…) I completely forgot. So when I heard it at the end of the episode, I said to my husband, “Is that… the National??” You can’t mistake that voice. Of course, I didn’t realize they were singing the Lannister song. Brilliant version of it. And considering the sadness of the end, the funereal way they sing it seemed perfect where it was placed.

Let us talk of the end. Now I’ve been trained that no one is too important to be killed off (see Stark, Ned), but at the same time, his death, in retrospect, was necessary to spark the rest of the events thus far. The way Bran and Rickon were displayed by Theon tipped me off that it wasn’t actually the boys; we would have seen him kill them, they still seem like they could play an important role (I mean, if you kill off all the Starks, you lose a lot of tension…), and the fact they were burned beyond recognition made me think Theon was just saving face.

But Tyrion? I don’t think he could be dead. He’s important, he’s KEY, and Tywin just showed up. Tyrion and Tywin could be a serious force to be reckoned with. Jaime’s been rotting in a cage, Cersei’s been moping about, she was just about to kill her own son rather than face the hordes (and perhaps herself, too), Joffrey runs crying from the battlefield, and Tyrion — the ironically nicknamed “Half Man” — has just proven himself to be the only worthy Lannister. Tywin should be pretty impressed, and I doubt they’d kill him off the show just when he’s finally about to prove himself once and for all to his father. Tyrion has always been the brains; Jaime’s the brawn. In this battle, Tyrion finally proved himself to be both. (I understand the response to my comment may be spoilery, so you can just jump to the next topic if you’d like.)

Christopher: I’ll avoid being spoilery by asking if it was clear to you who it was cut Tyrion. I know who it was, it being an important plot point in the novel, but wasn’t sure it came across in the scene. Did you catch who his assailant was?

Nikki: You know when you think you see something but then something else happens so quickly afterward that your brain just moves on to the next thing? And then when someone like, oh, I don’t know, YOU mentions something that your brain had tweaked to, it instantly comes flooding back?

When Tyrion turned around on the field, he sort of smiles at a guy wearing a full facial helmet with three ridges on it. It’s the same helmet of the guy that Joffrey turned to (did he call him Ser Boris? I couldn’t hear the name he was using) and he said, “Stay with my uncle and represent the king.” Now your question had made it clear to me that it must have been the same guy. So… does that mean Joffrey’s demand had a double-meaning? In other words, don’t let my uncle out of my sight, and should the men begin to follow him, represent the king and get rid of him on my behalf as a traitor?

Oh, Joffrey. I hate you so much more now.

Christopher: Heh. Not to be spoilery, but don’t assume it was Joffrey. And for the record yes: he called him Ser Boris. Ser Boris Blount, to be precise.

So to return to your original question: yes, one of the things GRRM does is remove all of our confidence in who lives and dies. Bran and Rickon? Alive, yes. Tyrion? Well, obviously I’m not saying. And as sound as your reasoning is for why they couldn’t kill him off, I’ll say: (1) Ned died in the penultimate episode last season; (2) wouldn’t it just be just SO painful if Tyrion died just as he was about to finally be recognized by his father as worthwhile?

And don’t forget our other beloved MIA: Davos was blown overboard by the wildfire explosion. Alive, or dead?

If I can bring us back from the ending, I’m curious to know what you thought of the near-fight between the Hound and Bronn. It is a scene, incidentally, that does not occur in the novels … I’d have to check, but I’m pretty sure those two never speak to each other. And in any other episode, I’d just chalk it up to the writers being inventive, but this was a GRRM-penned ep … meaning that this was a confrontation that came from his mind.

I thought it was such an interesting scene. The Hound, again, was singing his favourite tune re: the love of killing, to which Bronn cheerfully copped. (Extended aside: I have quite grown to love Bronn in this series. Some characters have not lived up to the novels; but some have exceeded them, and Bronn is Exhibit A. Jerome Flynn has played him with such dark humour that he’s really quite difficult not to like, a far cry from the hard-bitten version in the novels). The Hound is obviously spoiling for a fight, and Bronn is not one to back down, and has his hand on his knife when the bells toll (in my notes I’ve written “saved by the bell!” heh).

The point, obviously I think, is to provide a contrast between two incarnations of the Hound’s world-view—two born killers, one dour and dedicated, the other hale and well-met (the naked whore in his lap was somewhat overdone, we got the point), both of whom find themselves in the service of a possibly doomed master. Thoughts?

Nikki: Yes, I wonder if there are some people watching who were staring at the girl in his lap and afterwards said, “What? There was a discussion between Bronn and the Hound? I… didn’t notice.”

I liked that scene a lot. The Hound has always been a character I’ve liked. I mentioned this a couple of weeks ago, but last season when Baelish told Sansa the Hound’s backstory, and how his brother had pushed his face into the fire and seared it, the Hound instantly had my sympathies. Especially when Baelish made him out to be a monster, telling Sansa never to reveal this information to him or he’d kill her on the spot. The way the Hound glances in her direction in that moment made me think he could hear Baelish telling her, but it was unclear.

From that moment there’s been a link between the Hound and Sansa. On the one hand, he calls her the little bird and seems sympathetic to her. He knows how insipid Joffrey is (his distaste of the little shit every time Joffrey calls him “Dog” is written all over his disfigured face), and how awful the Lannisters are, and he sees Sansa as someone who is about to get wrapped up in this family because her father made a bad decision.

Bronn is an interesting character; I don’t like him as much as you do, because in a fight between him and the Hound I’d be rooting for the latter, but he’s the one person who seems to outwit Tyrion on a regular basis, and their “final” words to one another suggest he’s far more educated than he lets on. I’m very intrigued by him, and I hope we find out more in the upcoming seasons.

But the Hound is fantastic. The final scene was extraordinary. Sansa enters the room, and goes right for her doll. Until now she’s tried to keep it together, she mutters only to Shae her hatred for Joffrey (Shae’s constantly shushing her), she says exactly what she’s supposed to say, she watches Cersei’s drunken rantings with a wide-eyed fear, people tell her what to do and she rarely talks back, and after her outbursts in season 1 many of us had very little time for her. But you can’t forget she’s still a little girl. The actress playing her is much older than Sansa is supposed to be. She’s just getting her period for the first time, so that puts her at early high school age. She stands there and holds her dolly, reverting back to the little girl she was just a few short months ago, before her red rose was blooming (as Cersei put it), before her future husband was threatening her life on a regular basis, before she had a future husband, before her father was beheaded, before she was separated from her entire family, before she’d had to leave Winterfell.

And then the Hound speaks, and unnerves her. She does what she’s done all season: stares wide-eyed at him, doesn’t say a word, speaks only when spoken to, and then he tells her that everyone around her is a killer and she’d better get used to it. And watch how her eyes change. That wide-eyed little bird look disappears, she narrows her eyes and stares at him as if she’s trying to suss out the situation. And then she says, “You won’t hurt me.” She doesn’t ask it, she states it, as if knowing it’s true. He assures her he won’t, and heads for the door. She makes her own decision for the first time in her life, drops the doll, and leaves the room… finally a woman.

Christopher: What a great reading of that scene. Poor Sophie Turner … playing Sansa must be a mostly thankless role—for most of last season she was a whiny princess, and for most of this season she’s essentially cowered under the capricious threat of Joffrey’s violence. But then she gets these moments of extraordinary strength and grace, as she did last season when Joffrey makes her look at her father’s head, and pretty much all throughout this episode. She has spent all this time being terrified of the Hound, but in the final estimation she gets his measure. Having her pick up the doll as she comes into her room was incredibly poignant. That she has kept the doll as a keepsake of her father is unsurprising, but still powerful. It reminds us of Ned’s hamfisted attempt to cheer her up last season, only to be told that she wasn’t a little girl any more. Well, now she knows that she was … and as you point out, is no longer.

If growing up is in part about losing your illusions—putting aside childish things, as it were—Sansa has had to grow up pretty damn fast in King’s Landing. She’s something of a surrogate for that part of us that still wants to believe fairy tales and traditional stories of knights and kings, or for that matter that understanding of the fantasy genre coloured by the moral absolutism of C.S. Lewis or Tolkien. Kings can be venal and buffoonish like Robert, or cruel and sadistic like Joffrey; queens can be power-hungry and conniving like Cersei; knights can be cold killing machines like the Hound or Jaime Lannister; and men with unshakeable honour like her father don’t last long in their company, because they don’t understand how the game of thrones is played.

But Sansa is learning. All in the game, yo.

So … we have one more episode to go, which makes me very, very sad … any final thoughts on the penultimate episode?

Nikki: These seasons are far too short. But there was a lot in this episode that hinted at larger things, and created some tension and drama that will continue into season 3:
  • Varys talks about when he was cut, as if there’s some major meaning behind it. I don’t think anyone chooses to be a eunuch, but in his case, I’m thinking there was a particularly sinister reason for why he is one.
  • As mentioned earlier, the men showed their loyalty to Tyrion on the field, which may have led to him being sliced. I particularly loved Joffrey threatening Tyrion, and Tyrion’s blasé response: “Then I’ll be the quarter man. Doesn’t have the same ring to it.”
  • Joffrey arrogantly calls his sword “Hearteater”; I do hope that’s prescient, but that it will be turned on him. Then again, he doesn’t have a heart to remove, so…
  • Sansa brilliantly goads Joffrey into joining the vanguard on the field by telling him how brave her brother Robb is in battle. He’ll be looking to make her pay for that.
  • I was shocked when Davos blew off the boat in the wildfire attack. He’s a brilliant character, played wonderfully by Liam Cunningham. I feel like there’s a lot more backstory there to be explored, but how could he have survived that attack? If he does, he’s likely horribly mangled.
  • Shae. I wasn’t sure what I thought of her at first, but I REALLY like her now. She has an oldness about her, like she’s wise beyond her years, and I loved it when she lifted her skirt to reveal the knife and told Sansa in no uncertain terms that no one will be raping her.
  • In her drunkenness, Cersei reveals that her father told her there were no gods when she was only four years old and praying to them for her mother. No wonder she became so cold.
  • Stannis looks like he’s done for, but I’m thinking Melisandre is going to enter the story again to deal with this situation.
  • Y’all know what I think about shipping, but if I did that sort of thing, I’d be shipping the Hound and Sansa right now. I’m rooting for a beauty and the beast sort of thing to happen there.

Can’t wait for next week!


Anonymous said...

What a great episode - having Monday off I watched it 3 times Sunday night.

When the Hound left the battle and went back inside the gates I thought one possible reason was he was leaving his new rival Bronn stranded outside with the enemy to die - even though he just saved his life. Am I the only one who thought this?

So is Davos dead? What about Bronn - the last we saw of him was fighting off three attackers (he's also a favorite of min & I'll be very unhappy if he is).

What about Stannis (who is a complete BADASS!)? Was he being led away by his own men or captured?

Tyrion of course was all sorts of awesome - I didn't catch at all who cut him.

And I'm sorry but I love Cersei! "We're under attack for our lives - time to get shit-faced and harass my future daughter-in-law!"

Thank you so much for the recaps!

-Tim Alan

screenshotter said...

What a great episode, I think it was worth the few slow ones. I'd hate to see Tyrion go as much as you guys but I wouldn't be surprised if he died. Very interesting theory on Joffrey's guard!
I noticed the smallness of set throughout the episode but it wasn't that obvious except the outer wall of Mudgate.
I think Varys will play a BIG part in next season,possibly revealing mysteries of Targaryens.

The Question Mark said...

@ NIKKI: I'm not one for shipping, either (the lengths it reached during LOST could get downright annoying at times). But for some reason, here in Westeros, shipping actually gives me a bit of a warm feeling inside!

I think your Sansa/Hound theory is brilliant, because it totally WOULD show just how much Sansa has grown if she were to fall for the Hound. She would overcome her premonitions of dashing, gallant knights with long golden locks, and instead see the beauty in a man who (in fairy-tale terms, anyway) looks and behaves as far removed from a gallant knight as possible.

I also have a sneaking suspicion we might get some budding Arya/Gendry romance in the future. And, of course, I would absolutely love it if my two favourite characters (Daenerys and Sir Jorah) finally shacked up together. ;)

And as far as more far-fetched ones go, let's say Samwell Tarly and Roz. He likes red hair. She seems like a sweet girl at heart. Hook it up, yo.

Joan Crawford said...

But my favourite part of this episode? The Hound. He’s always been a disturbing, glowering, enigmatic character

You are preaching to the choir! Well, to the girls smoking out back of the church anyway. All of those fantastic scenes with Sandor will tide this little lady over until 5,000 years from now when we see him again in season 3.

Will come back when I have more time, I will just say that this episode was incredible; I've watched it 3 times already. Which says lots about not only how great it is but also about my tendency to obsess over stuff. I thank GoT for filling in the empty space Lost left behind!

Anonymous said...

This episode literally blew all that came before it out of the water! My husband & I had a huge discussion about whether Tyrion died or not & he says no, because it wasnt a deadly blow & when he laid down & saw his father riding in to save the day, he closed his eyes in relief. I hope he is right about that. I watched this episode three times, the first of which was alone, and screamed at the screen constantly! I've loved the Hound for a while now & the way he told Jittery off brought tears to my eyes. When he offered to let Sansa come with him again I screamed, "if you don't go with him you're crazy!!!!!"
What an amazing episode, too much to comment on but your reviews nailed it on the head, for me.

Anonymous said...

I meant Joffrey not jittery LOL this is why I don't like to comment on things such as this from my phone LOL.

Anonymous said...

"The rains of Castamere" is my new favourite song - did you notice that when earlier in the series Tyrion was whistling sometimes, it was this song? Can't wait for "The bear and the maiden fair" next year!!

As for shipping: the thing Sansa and the Hound have is the most romantic thing in the books (and I won't finish this sentence in fear of spoilers)(but I still think about them). If you don't count one other "beauty and the beast" pairing (heh).

It's really hard to talk about things when you can't talk about things, I just noticed.

Joan Crawford said...

Did anyone else notice Cersei being inconsistent with her threats? One minute, Old Man Tongueless (who looks so familiar to me and this creeps me out to no end) is going to kill them all and the next, they won't be killed by him, they'll be raped by Stannis' men.
I am neutral on Shae... I was irritated that in the Great Hall of Echoes she called Tyrion "my lion" and I think Podrick (sp?) heard her.. and he was way the hell up the stairs so who knows who else heard. I would think Tyrion would find "mistakes" like that insufferable.

Page48 said...

I think I enjoyed that Wildfire mayhem at least as much as Joffrey did.

The Hound finishes early. Premature evacuation of the battlefield by the Hound, who just got done promising he'd have "goodbye sex" with the corpse of anyone who dared to die with a clean sword. The Hound talked the talk, but then he folded his lawn chair and went home, fortunately not before unloading on Joffrey, which must have felt sooooooooo good.

Tyrion can't die. I'm willing him to live as we speak, if for no other reason than I luv the way he speaks to Joffrey.

BTW, these Blogger captchas are wearing me out.

Zach Z said...

oh god Nikki is joining the creepy SanSan shipping community. Though it creeps me out less in the show than in the books.

What an epic episode, did such a great job of implying the scale of the conflict without having any cheesy fx shots. Though it would have been nice to know how far from the Mudgate Stannis had to land because of the Wildfire trick...

ASOIAF_FAN said...

Very good reviews as always, i know she looks way older but :
Sophie Turner who plays Sansa is in fact the closest in age to her character of all the younglings.
She was 15 during the filming where Sansa should be 14. Compare that to Jon or Robb who are 23-25 instead of 17 or even Maisie who is 14 while Arya is 11.

Joan Crawford said...

@Page 48 - Um... what a... descriptive comment!

I enjoy a sexual euphemism as much as the next guy, but don't you think saying "unloading on Joffrey... which must have felt sooooo good" is just, well, gross and inappropriate to post on Nikki's blog?

Because I do.

Nikki Stafford said...

I only just noticed that the last half of the review is entirely in boldface! I must have missed a close bold symbol somewhere, but when I've tried to fix it, it's just switching later sections to bold, so I'll just leave it for now. ;)

Nikki Stafford said...

ASOIAF_Fan: Thanks for that! I had no idea. Sophie Turner has me even more impressed now, since she comes off as being much, much older than Maisie Williams.

I don't know who the child casting agents on this show are, but they all deserve medals. I've never seen a child cast this strong all on one show before.

Jeremy said...

Very good dialogue! I always enjoy your recaps.

One correction is that Tyrion was attacked by Mandon Moore, not Boros Blount. Mandon was mentioned for the first time last week as the Kingsguard who Cersei had reveal Ros to Tyrion. The Kingsguard consists of only seven knights at any time; those mentioned by name in the show are
*Jaime Lannister
*Barristan Selmy (forced into retirement in season 1 and replaced with Sandor Clegane)
*Meryn Trant (fought Syrio Forel and beats Sansa for Joffrey)
*Boros Blount (mentioned for the first time this week)
*Mandon Moore

A Kingsguard also escorted Myrcella to Dorne. So, Joffrey is now down to only three Kingsguard in the capital due to:
*Jaime now traveling with Brienne
*Mandon killed by Tyrion's squire Podrick Payne (relative of the executioner Ilyn Payne)
*Sandor fleeing the battle because of his fear of fire
*Myrcella's escort away in Dorne

Page48 said...

Wowsers, Joan Crawford, I almost dropped my coffee cake when I read your comment:

"I enjoy a sexual euphemism as much as the next guy, but don't you think saying "unloading on Joffrey... which must have felt sooooo good" is just, well, gross and inappropriate to post on Nikki's blog?"

Hmmmmmm, that probably depends on what your idea of The Hound "unloading on Joffrey" means. Here's what it means to me.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar (and, by cigar, I mean cigar).

Now, where was I? Oh yeah, coffee cake.

Joan Crawford said...

@Page 48 - Ah, yes, I suppose it does all depend on context, doesn't it?

A cigar is just a cigar... as long as you just weren't referring to penises. Offense is taken, not given and I did take offense. That's on me. The thing is, I find this blog to be an anomaly in that, despite its heavy traffic, things remain civil (bawdy, sure, but profane?) and I'd hate to see that change. Now, you could be as innocent of this as the day is long (link provided, no less) and I could be wrong... but I'm just not.

At the end of all things, it's irrelevant; you're allowed to say whatever you like and I, in turn, am allowed to call you on it.

I bear you no ill will (I might even enjoy you) and in fact, I found what you said to be funny (an inaccurate assessment, sure, but funny nonetheless) -- it was just too far for the setting... perhaps you should start your own blog? Hell, I'd read it.

Enjoy your coffee cake (perhaps a cigar* after?).

*I too am just referring to cigars here.

ejdsld said...

I think The Hound left the battlefield because there was so much fire, killing men and burning other objects on the beach. It was a nice touch to have Bronn save the Hound's life when he was paralized as a burning soldier came towards him. THe Hound is afraid of fire. He offers refuge to Sansa because she has always been kind and courteous with him. The Hound recognizes her inner "Stark" strength. Whether he acts from romantic feelings or admiration,the Hound has offered himself as her personal bodyguard.

JS said...

I stood for most of the episode. I'm gonna have to see that again.

Nikki & Chris, thanks so much for the recap and analysis. It extends the enjoyment of the episode.

And Joan, by extend I mean whatever dirty thing you can think up.

Joan Crawford said...

Ha! Well, it is one of my many talents.