Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Yes! Sunday night is here!!! And besides Game of Thrones, I also have Treme to check out afterwards. Oh how I miss HBO double-header Sundays. It's been a while.
Anyway, you're all here to read my reactions to the latest episode of Game of Thrones, episode 3: "Lord Snow", as I watch it for the first time. And that's what you're going to get. But first off, if you'd like to catch up on my recaps and impressions from the previous episodes, just click the appropriate link below:
Episode 1: "Winter is Coming."
Episode 2: "The Kingsroad."
Hope you're all up to speed. Now let me just push play on my Tivo remote and get this party started quickly!
Damn, even the "previously on" recap looks awesome in HD tv. HBO is the shiznit!
Oh yeah . . . I forgot my obligatory I HATE THAT PRICK JOFFREY shout at the screen. There. They just showed his punk ass, and now I got it out of my system.
Oooh, that's right. Bran awoke at the end of the last episode. ROCK ON!!!
Hmm, opening title sequence is the same. Makes sense. At this point in the story, there won't be any straying outside the 4 principle locations of: King's Landing, Winterfell, The Wall, and the Dothraki Sea. I expect we'll see a slight adjustment to the map next week, tho.
Directed by: Brian Kirk? Exquiseme? Who??? Well, at least it isn't Tim Van Patten anymore. I was getting eager to see someone else's direction on this show.
Yay! Ned Stark and his Winterfell retinue have arrived at King's Landing. If things got a little tense on the month-long trek down the Kingsroad from Winterfell, it's soon going to prove a beach vacation compared to what the Starks are in for now. Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!
Oh wait, I like the Starks. In that case . . . *gulp!*
Eh? I have to say King's Landing looks too resort-ish and not downtrodden and gloomy enough. I know they filmed this in Malta to give it that stark (no pun intended) contrast to Winterfell and the North, but I wasn't expecting palm trees and sun-baked stones. Well, at least the Red Keep in the background looks AWESOME!
Heh heh . . . flunky just asked Ned if he would like to change into something more appropriate before his meeting with the Small Council. Ned just stared at him like: Negro, what???? The flunky took his silence as an answer and just turned around. Nice!
Although it's interesting to point out that in the book Ned did indeed take his time to get changed first before showing up at the council.
Oh snap, the throne room looks cool as FUCK!!! Can't believe I actually got to sit on the Iron Throne myself.
There's Jaime and his badass self just lounging on the steps leading up to the royal dais. This scene isn't in the book, but it's a good way to get across the backstory about what happened to Ned's father and brother when they were summoned to King's Landing almost 2 decades prior.
Jaime: "What's the line? The King shits and . . ." glances at Ned, "the Hand wipes."
Oh no he didn't! The kid's got jokes, I'll give him that. Damn Lannisters!
Later . . .
Ned: "You served him well, when serving was safe."
Oooh, cold snap right back at ya! But a very astute observation about the Lannisters picking the right moment to chose sides when the rebellion had all but been won already. I hope viewers paid attention to this scene . . . it's capital "I" IMPORTANT!
Ned strolls into the Small Council over which he shall preside as the King's Hand. Yo, LOOK! It's Lord Varys himself--aka, the Spider! This bald-headed fucker is the King's spymaster and also a eunuch. But don't let that fool you. He might not have any balls, but his "little birds" whisper to him from all corners of the Seven Kingdoms with the most interesting of secrets!
And HEY -- it's Renly Baratheon, too! The King's youngest brother, and his Master-of-Laws. I swear, they pick these actors DEAD ON target with their book counterparts. Whoa!
Oh, and there he is! The man who . . . aww fuck, I have to remember not to give shit away. Sorry. There's Petyr Baelish--aka "Littlefinger." He's called that because, as the kingdoms' Master-of-Coin, he has his little finger in pretty much every money making "pie" in town. I always liked this actor as the mayor of Baltimore in another hit HBO show, The Wire.
And finally, Grand Maester Pycelle. In Westeros, Maesters are the resident PhD's of the land, rigorously trained in all the sciences and fetching plumb careers attached to great Lords and their households. You can view this old man as sort of the Surgeon General of the realm.
So far this scene was taken straight from the book, with the dialogue almost identical. I'm loving it!
The most important thing to learn from this scene is that the Crown is in massive debt to the Lannisters. No, that can't possibly be bad.
Oh god, speaking of the Lannisters! Cersei and her bastard darling boy, Prince Joffrey. Ick! My skin is starting to crawl already.
Joffrey: Ewww, I'm too pretty to bear scars. Mommy, make it all better!
DAYUM!!! Mother dearest just gave her son permission to fuck all the "painted whores" he wants, just so long as he marries Sansa and produces a noble bloodline. Hmph! I'm surprised she didn't give him the "keep it in the family" speech she must have memorized by heart by now.
"Everyone who isn't us is an enemy."
This woman should win the mother of the year award. Such stellar upbringing skills! It's no wonder Joffrey is like the male version of Nelly Olsen.
Yes, an Arya scene!!!!
LOL @ at Arya imagining the prince's face as she stabs the breakfast table repeatedly with a butter knife. That-a girl! Stick 'em with the pointy end, indeed!
Aww, Ned is such a sweet father. Hands Sansa a package, even though she's being all bitchy and sulky.
"That's for you, luv."
Sansa stares at the expensive doll and throws a hissy fit.
"I haven't played with dolls since I was eight!"
Oh, sorry, that's just me editorializing. But let my daughter give me lip like that after I just did something sweet and nice for her. Jeez, I know she told Cersei she wasn't on the rag yet . . . but she sure is being a BITCH!
Ned gives Septa Mordane a look that says: Teenagers!
Ned finds Arya playing with Needle.
Ned: "Do you know the first thing about sword fighting?"
Arya: "Stick them with the pointy end!"
LOL! She remembers her brother Jon's advice. So cool!
This little girl is such a scene stealer!
Ned: "Sansa will be married to Joffrey someday. She cannot betray him. She must take his side, even when he's wrong."
Arya: "But . . . how can you let her marry someone like that?"
Ding, ding, ding, ding! Give this little girl a prize -- EXACTLY, Arya! Exactly.
Hot damn -- it's Old Nan! The Stark children's nanny. She's the oldest person in Winterfell, having been there ever since she was a teenager. Damn, that's a LOT of winters she's seen coming.
Aww, I just love this lady's voice. She's sooooo PERFECT as Nan. This is beyond awesome, man. I'm almost about to cry with how beautifully on point this scene in Bran's bedchamber is!
"Oh, my sweet Summer child. What do you know about fear?"
The youngest of the Stark children--Arya, Bran, and Rickon (who we've barely seen at this point)--were all born during the long summer. They've never known winter . . . until now.
Old Nan then proceeds to tell a story that would scare the crap white out of even the most hardened of deathrow inmates. I hope you folks who didn't read the books are paying attention. There is, after all, some truth to what she's saying about what's behind the Wall.
Scared yet? Yeah, I thought so.
And, oh how I wish this scene was up on Youtube. I just want to watch it over and over again. Come on HBO, hop to it!
Aw damn, Bran's a cripple. He can't move his legs because of what that bastard Jaime Lannister did to him. He can't remember anything of the fall, either, or what happened just before it. This may be a good thing for him.
Catelyn Stark and Ser Rodrik, Winterfell's Master-at-Arms, arrive secretly at King's Landing to find Ned and warn him about the dagger and the attempt on Bran's life.
They're spotted and recognized right away by a pair of knights. Homer Simpson wanders by at this exact moment, donut in hand, and shouts: D'oh!
Haha! Cat is PISSED when she finds out it was Petyr who knew she was coming and arranged for her to be escorted in secret to one of his many side businesses. Unfortunately, the side business in question happens to be a brothel!
Tsk, tsk . . . that's your ass if Ned finds out you met with his dear wife in a whorehouse, my skinny friend.
LOL! @ Petyr hissing and snapping his "little finger" at the topless buxom whore who came wantonly wandering in. I guess HBO needed to meet its quota of at least one form of nudity per episode. FUCK YEAH!!! I'm not complaining.
Varys has entered the building! Seems his "little birds" have already told him about the reason for Cat's visit. Dayum, I TOLD y'all this guy was good!
We learn that the dagger belonged to Petyr himself. He tells Cat that he wagered the dagger on a bet in favor of Jaime Lannister winning during a joust. He lost the bet . . . to the Imp. In other words, that's Tyrion Lannister's dagger!
Jon Snow whips the snot out of a bunch of piss-poor Night's Watch recruits in the courtyard of Castle Black. They're no match for a Lord's boy trained all his life by a master swordsman, even if that boy is a bastard.
Ser Alliser Thorne, the master-at-arms for Castle Black, watches on and berates the other boys. Hmm, in the book he's supposed to be more of a hard-ass. Especially toward Jon, whom he genuinely dislikes and gives a hard time to. Here he seems almost proud of Jon's prowess with a sword, though. Strange.
"Well Lord Snow, it appears you're the least useless person here."
Damn, Jon is a badass!
The dwarf Tyrion Lannister watches the courtyard training scene alongside the commander of the Night's Watch, Lord Jeor Mormont. Again, spot-on casting for the commander. Shit, he looks JUST like I imagined him!
LOL! I knew it was going to bite Littlefinger in the ass! He brings Ned to see his wife at the whorehouse, and Ned almost rips his throat out with his bare hands.
"You're a funny man, huh? A very funny man!"
Cat's head pops out of an upstairs window like Whack-a-Mole! suddenly. "Ned!"
LOL! Petyr got shook! I bet he needs to change his underwear now. The prick.
Back at Castle Black, awesome scene where Tyrion rescues Jon from being murdered by the recruits he just thrashed in the courtyard. Except, in the book it was the blacksmith, Donal Noye, who interceded on Jon's behalf and who reminded him that these guys are his brothers for life. They're equals!
But anyway, I like this way better. Check--Tyrion is still the mother-EFFING man!
Freak out scene between the twins, Cersei and Jaime. Seems now that Bran's awake, they might have some s'plainin to do to the King. If he should ever find out.
Jaime is a true prince, assuring his love that this won't happen. Ick! And besides:
"I'll kill him. Him, Ned Stark, the King--the whole bloody lot of 'em, until you and I are the only people left in this world!"
It goes to show how twisted and cold-hearted Cersei is that her brother's words actually put her at ease rather than freak her out even more like any sane woman would react.
The King trades war stories in his chamber with Ser Barristan the Bold, Lord Commander of Robert's Kingsguard. The two discuss their first kills while Robert proceeds to get piss drunk as usual.
"They never tell you how they all shit themselves. They don't put that part in the songs."
Damn, Robert was quite the badass too! Once upon a time ago.
Hahahaha . . . Jaime got ridiculed to fuck and back for his role in backstabbing the previous King. You finally get to learn why he's called the "Kingslayer." A moniker Jaime really hates, btw, because it carries the stain of dishonor with it.
This scene wasn't in the book, and serves only as exposition for those who don't know the backstory. But I thought it was pretty damn cool!
Hmm, nice time for a transition to the other side of the Narrow Sea, no? We're in Dothraki lands for the first time this episode. Looks like Daenerys Targaryen is in full ownership of her Khaleesi title. Oh, this is starting to get good!
WTF? Did she just stop the entire khalasar just to use the little ladies' room?
LOL! Viserys Targaryen practices his CRAZY EYES on Dany for daring to give him orders.
Oops, he gets lassoed around the neck by one of Dany's khas for his effrontery. Oh shit, that was just AWESOME! Harrison Ford came out of the bushes and demanded his whip back, though. Mumbled to the kid not to get cocky or something.
LOL! @ Viserys for being forced to walk like a common slave now. Methinks someone has just "woken the dragon!"
This show just can't get any more amazing, I swear.
Oh man! I spoke too soon. We're at the Wall again and everything just looks FAN-fucking-TASTIC!!!
Jon rides the elevator all the way to the top of the Wall and I swear I just jizzed my pants. Whoa! I'm loving the wind and snow and the whole god-damned feel of this place! It's now my favorite set piece of the entire show. I can actually FEEL the blistering cold. Holy SHITS!!!!
Jon meets his uncle Benjen when he arrives to take his turn keeping watch on the battlements. That scene beyond the Wall is just too beautiful for words. Awesome CGI!
Aww, poor Jon. He won't be accompanying his uncle when he goes ranging beyond the Wall in the morning. He's told he's not ready yet. Best listen to your elders, boy! Trust me, you don't want to go where he's going.
"We'll speak when I return."
Uh, people really need to stop saying that on this show . . .
Man, I love this scene between Tyrion and Yoren. This is the guy who's job it is to scour the Seven Kingdoms in search of worthy men to take back to the Wall. "Worthy" being of flexible meaning here. These two have great chemistry as they enjoy some warm mead together.
Yoren: "What about you, milord? What's the strangest thing you've eaten?"
Tyrion: "Do Dornish girls count?"
Oh GAWD! This had me rolling! Peter Dinklage pwns the SHIT out of this role!
Dany's handmaid grabs her breast and feels her up rather suddenly. Whoa, bitch, at least buy me dinner first! I'm sayin!
Handmaid asks her when's the last time she bled. Dany places a hand on her belly. Hmmm, might there be a tiny bun baking in that oven?
"It's a blessing from the Great Stallion," the handmaid announces in Dothraki.
Great Stallion? Rocky Balboa stumbles into the scene and says: "Ay . . . whoa . . . yo, Adrian!"
No, not the "eye-talian" stallion, you big dummy! The "Great" Stallion.
"Ay, yo, Adrian . . . does that mean, like, you'll be having yur very own My Little Pony?"
Hmm, I wonder. Does it?
Uh-oh. Ser Jorah Mormont--exiled son of Lord Jeor Mormont, commander at Castle Black--finds out that Dany is pregnant. He jumps to his feet and tells all who can hear that he needs to ride to Qohor immediately. Oh, but you all go on ahead without me. I'll, uh, catch up to you later.
Um, yeah . . . dude, that ain't suspicious or anything AT ALL!
Back at the Wall, Maester Aemon and Lord Commander Mormont plead to Tyrion to speak to his sister and get the King to send more and better-trained soldiers to augment the Watch. Something terrible be a-brewing, and . . .
. . . wait for it . . .
Winter *is* coming!
"The Starks are always right, eventually."
Damn skippy, Jack!
Dany and Drogo are in the happy after-glow of what I must assume was some amazing horse sex or whatever.
The sign on the outside reads: Don't come a-knockin if the tent be a-rockin!
And JESUS! Did I not tell you people to stop with the camera close-ups of the dragon's eggs already? SHEESH!
Anyway, Daenerys reveals to her Khal that the baby will be a boy. Drogo is like: bitch, you crazy. I don't see no sonogram machines up in this piece!
"I know," she insists.
Jeez, these people are like the Chinese. Does no one want a little girl?
Tyrion finally gets to strike off one more item from his Bucket List: PISS OVER THE EDGE OF THE CIVILIZED WORLD.
Jon tells him he'll miss him. God, I love these two! Every scene they share is like pure mutha-effing WIN!!
"If you see my brother, Bran," Jon pleads of him, "tell him I miss him."
Uhhh . . . I don't think Jon ever got the message by raven stating that his new busom buddy is implicated in the attempted murder of said brother.
But Tyrion wouldn't do a thing like that! Um, would he?
Oh. My. GOD!!!! The scene I've been waiting for, like, YEARS to see! I can die happy now.
Syrio fucking FOREL is in the goddamn HOUSE!!!!! WOOO-HOOOO!
Arya: "Who are you?"
Syrio: ". . . Your dancing master!"
LOL! I'm so thrilled they kept that favorite euphemism from the book. Dancing master indeed! Syrio is the finest swordsman that ever lived! He eats and shits pure AWESOME. Think Inigo Montoya . . . mixed with Shaft!
You killed my father, prepare to die -- can you dig it?
Yeah, that level of awesome!
Charlie Sheen walked into the room and gave back his tiger's blood to Syrio. That's how d'uh, WINNING! this man is.
I'm so glad that this is the last scene of the episode. Because, honestly, I don't need to see anymore. This episode is now made perfect. Well done, HBO. Well done!
Ned chuckles as he watches his little girl start to pick up the sword movements like the natural she is. But then his smile turns to a look of horror as he starts to hear the ding of metal over metal and remembers all the horrible wars of his past.
He forgot for just a split second there his family's infamous credo: Winter is coming!
Damn! That was one hell of a jam-packed episode! Lots of exposition to wade through for the uninitiated, but also a lot of awesome scenery to chew over as well. For a diehard fan like me, this was my favorite episode yet! And I think you all know why:
That Syrio scene at the end. Oh sweet lord, that is exactly how I imagined the character! The actor is so damn PERFECT for the role that I think I must be dreaming. Of course, he was bald in the novel. But I like the Bob Ross 'fro he's sporting -- let's just paint a happy little tree over here!
I've made a decision. I'm not going to rate these episodes anymore. I mean -- COME ON! I'm too much of a fanboy to be objective here! I swear, every single one of these episodes is fantastic in its own little way. Enough to make me not care about the little nitpick items that might take away from the greatness, I mean.
Case in point, this episode. Apparently some people found it "boring" because there was too much talking and not enough action and/or sex. Well, guess what? These are based on books, and so therefore you've been missing out on a lot of key info that is very necessary if you're to enjoy the rest of the season.
One special mention I want to make before I end this post, though. And it's on a sad note.
At the very end of the credits roll you read a caption that says: In Memory of Margaret John. This is the wonderful elderly lady who portrayed Old Nan in this episode. I am so saddened by the news of her passing. She was too awesome for words with this role, and I cannot even begin to fathom how they'll fill her shoes for the next season. How do you replace such a command performance?
Aww fuck, now I'm depressed. But, as usual, the show must go on.
Stay tuned for next week when I bring you my reactions to Ep. 4: "Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things."