Monday, May 20, 2013

Game of Thrones 3.8: "Second Sons"

Dear casting directors: Thank you, thank you, thank you. Love, Nikki.

Hello everyone, and welcome to week 8 of my weekly reviews of Game of Thrones with my co-captain, Christopher Lockett.

This week we had the pleasure of actually watching the episode together for the first time since we started these reviews back in season 1! Chris, as many of you know, is a friend of mine from the University of Toronto when we did our Masters together about *coughcough* years ago, and then, sadly (for me), he moved to St. John's, Newfoundland, eight years ago to become a professor in the English department at Memorial University. He emailed me a few weeks back saying he'd be in Ontario, and I said, "Is it possible for you to meet up with me on a... SUNDAY?!" And from that point on, we knew we had to make it happen.

And then, if we're actually together, why not do something we could only do when together?? And so, this week, we present our review in the form of a video podcast, in dim lighting, with dark barely decipherable faces in my basement rec room (I'm going to fire our lighting guy), filmed after a long afternoon out in the sun at a BBQ/fireworks display at my cousin's house.

I hope you enjoy our review, which, this week, is more me interviewing Chris and getting him to talk more about the new characters we met this week, while explaining some of the other things that have happened this season, without spoilers, of course. Also, I'm getting over a chest cold so I'm particularly croaky and so I wanted him to do most of the talking.

We loved this episode, and we hope you did, too!

But first, just to recap last week's episode, check out my new favourite online series, Gay of Thrones, where a gay hairdresser runs down last week's episode in a HI-LARIOUS fashion (my brother and I stumbled upon this on the weekend and were dying laughing while watching every single recap of the season). Just a quick warning: this is NSFW.

And now, on to our video podcast. Enjoy, and we'll see you next week!


humanebean said...

This is a buffet of awesomeness, piled high with delight, rich in ridonkulousness and smothered in awesome sauce. YUM. ; ]

dave baker said...

In loved watching this, particularly how you set the camera in "Tyrion-O-Vision" so we could all experience it from the point-of-view he would have had.

humanebean said...

Big Takeaway: we now have a new term for our Pop Culture Lexicon — BOB's (Black Ominous Birds)!

Nikki Stafford said...

dave: HAHA! Tyrion-cam!!

humanebean: I'm hoping in the next episode we see the Black Ominous Birds take on the Deflated Ghost Chicken. ;)

Gretchen M said...

I have commented before about how I feel that they have misrepresented Sansa on the show as silly and ineffectual. But I liked how they portrayed her this week. She had this quiet dignity in her scenes. There are so many strong, aggressive women in the series like Daenerys, Arya, and Cersei, that I think people tend to think of characters like Catelyn or Sansa as weak. But I think there is a strength in the way Sansa takes all the shit she's given and bears it, never letting them see her break or know how much she hates them.
Sophie Turner's acting was wonderful btu subtle this week. There was this haunting emptiness in her eyes shone through in every scene.

Suzanne said...

This was delightful Nikki and Chris. Thanks of extending the joy of watching this magnificent show for another half hour. You, two, make a great pair of reviewers.

Blam said...

This was indeed a delight. I also think it's best kept as a rarity — not that you'll get the chance to do it regularly anyhow. And I can't believe David Bowie stayed perfectly still for an entire half-hour.

I liked what you said about the camera work, Christopher. The shift in presentation at the wedding reminded me of a nicely composed shot from the previous episode: As Shae leaves Tyrion's room, we only see her from the waist down, but thanks to perspective and his stunted height we see Tyrion standing fully upright through the doorway.

While Tyrion seemed genuinely hammered, it also felt clear that he was playing and/or actually getting hammered in large part to spare poor Sansa. I also appreciated Shae's little smile when she examined Sansa's bedsheets the next morning, although unless Shae lies for her own, Sansa's, and Tyrion's sakes I suspect that Tywin or (just to be meddlesome) Cersei will be asking for proof of consummation.

I was sickeningly sure that the wedding scene was headed towards one of those bits where the king asserts his right to have his way with the bride before her husband does. Joffrey is a bit of a puzzle to me sexually at this point (which sounds creepy, I know, regardless of Joffrey); we got that whole foreplay/metaphor scene with Margaery and the crossbow, but to we've also seen Joffrey choose pure sadism over doing the deed with Roz more than once yet the best of my recollection never seen or heard of him actually having sex. His apparent infatuation with Margaery notwithstanding, I find myself wondering at times if he isn't a self-hating, repressed "Friend of Renly"; his disgusted sneer while discussing the subject in a recent episode struck me as perhaps protesting too much.

Joffrey's removal of the stool on the altar also felt to me as a bit of a rueful callback to Tyrion's hilarious dragging of the chair at the Small Council meeting. Even though it's been pointed out that she was facing the other way, however, I still blame Sansa for not getting a clue and stooping down before Tyrion had to ask.

Blam said...

Oops! I forgot to mention the ravens.

Ravens are in the same family as crows, corvidae to be precise — nomenclature that I recall from diving deeply into a great issue of Neil Gaiman's Sandman for a college paper. The crow family has particularly dramatic names for its "flocks" — "a parliament of rooks"; "a murder of crows"; "a conspiracy of ravens". Whether they were crows or ravens converging on Sam and Gilly's position, the portents are ominous.

Batcabbage said...

Great video, guys! This episode was great, and had the best Tyrion moment of the series (except maybe for the 'Podrick, leave out nothing!' scene). That rage in his face when he threatened Joffrey was EXCELLENT.

I hate the Gendry thing, though. I think that they may have jumped the gun here in terms of what will happen with Gendry's character in the future (which I don't know, I only know what Chris said happens in the video as I've also read the books). Depending on where they take him with his 'Edric Storm stand-in' status, that is.

I'm not sure I agree with you, Chris, that they're downplaying Samwell's craven...ness. I've always taken issue with the fact that they opened the series with Mormont chewing Sam out for not getting the ravens off because he was too busy being shitscared (that term could be an Aussie only thing, I'm not sure), and in the book he got them away. That indicated to me a significant shift for the series character from the book version - in the book, yes, he pees his pants, but he always did his duty by the Watch. Anyway, that previous was all just a way for me to get to him stabbing the White Walker. As soon as the WW exploded, Batkitty and I both started saying 'Grabthedaggergrabthedaggergrabthedaggergrabthedagger!' And despite the fact that the WW EXPLODED, they DIDN'T. GRAB. THE DAGGER! So, so stupid.

Anyway. Can't wait to see the reactions (as a 'read the books' viewer) in the coming weeks. SO much fun shall be had.

@Blam - Careful about the corvidae! Don't tell the secret, or Cain will get angry. :)

Blam said...

@Batcabbage: Batkitty and I both started saying 'Grabthedaggergrabthedaggergrabthedaggergrabthedagger!'

Me too... I'm surprised to hear you say that since you'd read the books, though. Over at Teebore's writeup someone who'd read the books shared his recollection that the dagger used itself up or exploded after taking down the White Walker. So instead of being incredulous that Sam didn't 'grabthedagger' like Teebore and I were, he was incredulous that the episode didn't give us the split-second glimpse of a burnt-out or broken dagger since otherwise it does make Sam and Gilly look supremely stupid. Perhaps you recall differently?

Batcabbage said...

@Blam: I'm surprised to hear you say that since you'd read the books, though.

Oh, wow. That's actually a case of me getting caught up in the moment! Matter of fact, I'm a little confused as to the circumstances of when that happened in the books in the first place. I seem to recall other people being there, but I could be completely wrong. See? Having read the books doesn't make you infallible. :)

Blam said...

For what it's worth, SpaceSquid didn't sound 100% sure of how he remembered things. Maybe Christopher or another viewer who's read the books could settle this. (I would add that a guy called SpaceSquid might not be the most reliable source, either, but, y'know, "Batcabbage", so everything's relative.)

Batcabbage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Batcabbage said...

So I've just checked with (an excellent reference site for the book series, and heaps of other stuff), and I've found where Sam kills a White Walker. Not intending to offer any spoilers for those wanting to read the books, I will be vague by saying that while Sam does kill a White Walker with the dragonglass dagger, it doesn't happen when it does in the TV show.


But rather than shattering, the dagger is intact, but cold to the touch after the attack.

Also, @Blam, I just figured that SpaceSquid's name was descriptive, like mine is. You know, as in being a cabbage made entirely of bats.

Ali Bags said...

It is SO great to see you in person Nikki!

Batcabbage said...

Towerofthehand really is a great resource. For example, when I was looking on it last night, I found that the issue I took with Samwell's character on the show, where he DID get the ravens away in the book? Yeah, I was wrong. He got the ravens away, sure, but he didn't get any messages attached. So basically I mis-remembered, and looked like a dick. Yay knowledge!

Still hate what they've done with Gendry, though. :)

Blam said...

Wait... So you're a cabbage made entirely of bats that looks like a dick?

Batcabbage said...

"Looked" like a dick. Past tense. It's temporary. Much like the common cold. Or self-confidence, apparently.