(Photo Courtesy of Cinedork)
Three “television enthusiasts,” the dynamic brother-sister duo of Marci and Rusty Buehler and Zac Hirschbeck, watch Game of Thrones each Sunday night and exchange their thoughts on the show’s happenings.
Marci: So last night’s episode put things back on track for me, guys. I was really engaged with everything that was happening right from the get-go, when Tommen officially took the crown. Afterwards, we see Cersei talking with Margaery Tyrell about her becoming Tommen’s bride. She is pulling a lot of strings behind the scenes to make sure her remaining son enjoys the type of life that she sees fit for him.
Actually, we see a lot of Cersei’s abilities to persuade in this episode. After her initial meeting with Margaery, she talks with her father Tywin about if she has to marry Ser Loras (spoiler alert: she does because the Lannisters are in major debt with the Iron Bank). She also tries to bring up Tyrion’s trial, which Tywin refuses to speak of, since he will be a judge. I found it a bit hard to gauge where Tywin stands on the issue, so I’m looking forward to the trial and how that all shakes out. And finally, Cersei ends her moves for this episode by talking with Prince Oberyn about the trial, and her daughter (who now lives in his land of Dorn). I think with this scene we see a more sympathetic side of Cersei, but that’s the thing with this character that makes her so interesting to watch. She is so calculating and has so many incredible faults, but we also see that her life isn’t all that glorious, either. She can’t be with the one she loves (even if it is incestual…), her daughter has been taken from her, her son murdered, her husband chosen for her on multiple occasions for her family’s political gain. She is such a complex character that whenever we see her on screen, I’m excited about what will be said. In any given scene it can vary from icy cold commentary to sad musings on the state of life (“Everywhere in the world they hurt little girls”). I enjoy any episode where she is featured so prominently.
But although Cersei is running game in this episode, that’s not all that happens by a long shot. We also get our first glimpse at the state of the union between Littlefinger and his (now) wife, Sansa’s Aunt Lysa. This makes me continue to feel badly for Sansa, because the girl can’t catch a break. Sure, now she’s “safe” with her jealous, oversharing Aunt, and “Uncle Littlefinger,” who has some sort of weird stake in her because he used to be in love with her mother, but…her life sucks. Now it’s being hinted at that she’ll one day marry Lysa’s weird son Robin who still breastfeeds at the age of 11, and she has to fall asleep to the screams of her Aunt Lysa as she gets Littlefingered for the first time as husband and wife. Yep, Sansa always seems to get the shit end of the stick.
What’d you guys think of last night’s episode? Did you enjoy the new buddy comedy with Brienne and Podrick? What’d you think of the scenes from our favorite duo, Arya & the Hound?
Zac: I completely agree about Cersei and I think she has been overlooked the past two seasons. In the first season, she was featured so regularly and prominently that I took for granted how great her character was, and how unlikable she was portrayed. As more and more characters and storylines took shape, she became a secondary figure within the show. However, this episode brought her back to the forefront and needless to say, it was fantastic. This episode humanized Cersei, much like the writing has humanized Jaime over the last several weeks. We got to see a mother acknowledge her own faults and the misery associated with her dead first-born son. We got to see a mother and a sister transform grief into anger over the death of her son. Lastly, we saw a mother that was simply sad. While there is surely part of me that believes in Cersei’s ability to scheme and manipulate even in the most dire of circumstances, she seemed like someone who was just tired of her life as a Lannister in King’s Landing.
Poor Sansa. Every episode that passes makes me feel more and more sorry for her. First there was Joffrey. Then there was seeing her father executed. Then she was married to Tyrion. Even when it briefly looks like things might be looking up for her, she’s freed and essentially captured by Littlefinger. Now she has to deal with Aunt Lysa and breast-feeing extraordinaire Robin? That Moon Door seems far more appealing. The interesting part of that storyline was just how much Littlefinger has organized throughout the course of the show. Is there any man, perhaps other than Tywin, who is a more gifted tactician in Westeros? I picture Littlefinger having a “playbook,” much like Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris) on How I Met Your Mother. However, instead of plotting his sexual conquests, Littlefinger is plotting who he can murder or befriend to become more powerful. Do we have any idea what his end game is? It really doesn’t seem like he’s working toward anything.
Arya and the Hound continue to be enjoyable parts of the show despite the fact they’re limited to a few minutes here and there. The Hound continues to teach Arya the cynical side of the world and frankly that might be more beneficial to her than someone who holds her family’s ideals. Brienne and Podrick were also a good pairing. I know we joke about Brienne, and quite honestly I did laugh at her incredible height when she stood up around the fire, but she’s very sneakily become one of the best actresses on the show. Her relationship with Jaime was one of the strongest parts of last season, and I’m curious to where the writers take her this season and beyond.
Before we get to the triumph at Craster’s Keep, what do you guys think about Daenerys? She appears to be staying away from King’s Landing for the foreseeable future. Good decision or bad decision? More importantly, will it make for good television?
Marci: I love the Barney Stinston/Littlefinger comparison – it’s very true. We’re slowly finding out just how many murders that his sticky little fingers were involved in this week. If Littlefinger had a biography written about him, I think it would be called “Murders, etc.” And then a subhead that uses some sort of pun about the nickname Littlefinger. Did we ever get a story explaining why he’s called that in the first place? He’s such an enigma, I need to know more.
It’s funny that Daenerys decided to stay put this week, after you jokingly suggested that last week. I think it makes sense, since she has such a guilty conscience about doing what’s best for the slaves and her subjects, but I think it’s ultimately going to end badly. It’s just slowing her down from getting to her main goal, and I feel like there will be more casualties now that’s she’s staying put in one place. Part of her success was due to the fact that she was always on the move, conquering different cities that didn’t really know what they were up against. Now she’s more or less a sitting duck. I think the gentlemen at King’s Landing will get wind of her reign and may send trouble her way…interested so see where they take her story. Will it make for good television? I’m thinking possibly – they could do some sort of “Full House” like story with her and all her male advisors. The freed slaves can play the part of Michelle Tanner. 100,000 Michelle Tanners all saying “You got it, dude!” in unison. The real question is: who is Kimmy Gibler?
I loved the scene where Arya was falling asleep and listing everyone she wanted to murder and she ended with “The Hound” right after he interrupted her. It’s the little gems like this that make me really happy when I’m watching GoT. As far as Brienne, I just think she’s hilarious. And for those of us who miss her shenanigans with Jamie, here’s a little real-life photo to give you your fill of the duo:
Okay, we’ve saved the best for last: Craster’s Keep…lots of shit went down there this week. What’d you boys think of how it all played out?
Rusty: Kimmy Gibler is TOTALLY Jorah. Poor Sansa?! How about poor Jorah! Walking around for what seems like thousands of miles for just sideways glances and heavy sighs. Personally, I was disappointed in Daenerys’ decision to stay. The last three seasons of this show have dedicated significant amount of story to this B plot literally IN A DIFFERENT LAND! And now, she’s going to stay there? Some level of overlap needs to happen soon. Wild card prediction: Final moments of the season finale include some character washing ashore on Daenerys’ kingdom. Maybe Bran?
The Craster’s Keep finale was pretty good. For a dude who is known for playing against conventions, George R. R. Martin seemed to conventionally wrap up that story, huh? No one big died, and the bad guys ultimately got what was coming to them in the end. Jon Snow even got his dog back! This episode could potentially be rerun on TV Land. All that’s missing is Michelle Tanner coming out two minutes before the credits to learn an important lesson. Was this also the first time that Bran weird eye-ed it into a human being? Was it possible because Hodor is… a little simple? I’m happy Hodor survived all that dangerous sword fighting!
I do have a question about the Littlefinger Strategy business. Before Littlefinger cut off Lysa by practically eating her face, are we to understand that Lysa has been complicit in the Stark’s downfall ever since she called her sister to her castle? Also, can we just acknowledge how OLD Robin (and Bran for that matter) have aged? What’s the spread on time here? I know that seasons last a really long time in Westeros… But c’mon.
Zac: Sadly I can’t really join in on these Full House references. That show was a few years before my time. I feel compelled to binge watch every episode today just so I can fit in with you guys.
Rusty you raise an amusing point regarding the time frame given on this show. I think that certainly is a bit of a hole within the storytelling and writing on the show, but I kind of empathize with the challenges presented by directing this series. They are directing in a bunch of different countries and surely have to deal with time constraints from both HBO and the actors/actresses within the cast. Plus, they’re following the stories told within Martin’s books. Perhaps they could’ve done what they did with Daario and replaced Robin with a new actor. I’m sure thousands of teenagers would be jump at the chance to play an extremely creepy, mother-obsessed, breast-milk loving boy who enjoys watching people sentenced to death. In Bran’s case, I kind of like how he’s aged over the past three seasons. He’s slowly making the transformation from “poor little helpless Bran” to “kind of a badass Bran.” Especially after watching him kill that Bolton mole using Hodor.
Speaking of Hodor: FUCK YEAH HODOR! I was very worried throughout that episode that Hodor was going to meet his demise. Thankfully he did not. Better yet, he snapped that guys neck like a twig. The whole scene at Craster’s Keep was fantastic. It was sad not to see Bran reunited with Jon, especially considering how close he was to doing so. This kind of seems like a theme within the Stark family. Arya was seconds away from reuniting with her mother and brother before they were murdered. Sansa always seems to be on her way back to her family until she is interrupted by another roadblock. Now Bran must choose to avoid Jon Snow in order to continue his quest towards his visions. I really hope the Stark children have some moment of redemption in the coming episodes. I also hope that redemption involves all of the remaining direwolves teaming up to form a bad guy killing machine.
Rusty: I think it’s interesting that they’ve decided to not recast Robin, only because I know that they’ve recast Tommen quite a few times over the years. Must be a blonde thing!
It was difficult to see that Jon and Bran wouldn’t be reunited. However, I was happy to see Bran actively have to make that decision on his own in order to continue his vision quest. That type of activity is what’s helping to keep his story fresh this season, as opposed to have him meandering aimlessly around Westeros. Also, I miss his Wilding lady-friend! Do you think we’ll ever see her again?
Marci: Sorry, I have to interrupt this recap and have a quick moment of silence for how old it makes me feel that you have no understanding of Full House references…
Okay I’m back.
The aging of characters is a bit distracting, but it doesn’t bother me all that much. In a fantasy world where winter lasts for up to a GENERATION of people, it seems the concept of time is a bit fluid. Plus, I think our society has an unwritten understanding with television that we’ll accept older looking characters. Otherwise it becomes odd to see the horrors unfurl on young babes. Perhaps this is why when I see actual high school aged children they seem to me like they are the youngest looking people on the planet (maybe because Ryan Atwood on The OC made me disillusioned that all high school bad boys should look like a 32 year old man). Zac, you know The OC, right? Please?!?!?
I was also a bit sad that Bran and Jon did not reunite, but as a dog lover it was heartwarming to see Jon Snow get his direwolf back. And for whatever reason, I also really enjoyed when Jon asks the women of Craster’s Keep if they are going to stay there, and the woman responds by spitting and saying “Burn it to the ground.” I hope to someday have the opportunity in my life to deliver that exact line about someplace. Any place.
As far as if Jon Snow will see his Wilding lover again, I’m going to plead the fifth. Y’all will just have to wait and see…
Zac: My sincerest apologies for my youth. I looked it up on IMDB and I was 4 when it was cancelled. At that point I was still enjoying the stylings of Richard Scarry. If it counts for anything, I’m flying through episodes right now. That Dave Coulier sure is a hoot! Also, yes I am familiar with The OC. I can’t say that I’ve ever watched it, but I do know that Mischa Barton and Rachel Bilson did “act” in something. Zing.
Rusty were you referring to Bran’s wildling friend that was originally protecting him alongside Hodor? I looked her up and her name was Osha. She looked like this:
Marci, I also hope to see Ygritte. I think we discussed the likelihood of a run-in between Ygritte and Jon Snow earlier on in the season, but I’m curious to see it happen. Will either of them summon the courage to kill one another? As a fan of Ygritte’s looks, I hope no.
That about does it for this week. Although I can’t sum up things nearly as gracefully as Marci usually does, until next week remember:
“The Lannister legacy is the only thing that matters.”