Caution: There will be spoilers in this review (duh) for every episode up to this point in the TV show. But nothing in the books will be spoiled, because books are for NEEEERRRDSSS!
First off, sorry this review is so late. In my defense, The Way Way Back aired on HBO just ten minutes after Game of Thrones, so I started watching that and it was so good I forgot everything that happened in this episode, (except for that one scene, but I’ll get to that later) so I had to watch it again.
A lot happened in this episode. To be more specific, a lot happened in this episode that didn’t happen in the books, which makes sense, I guess. Because I know about all the great, mind-blowing scenes that should take place in episodes eight, nine and ten (and maybe seven), but I don’t remember exactly what will take place until then. Luckily, I liked most of the changes, so this isn’t going to be a problem for me.
Let’s start off with the opening scene: Sansa and that fool Dontos are running away from the chaotic mess of a wedding while tense music plays in the background. And then they get on a boat with Littlefinger, that sneaky guy who’d probably be registered as a sex offender (or worse) if he lived in our society. After casually killing Dontos, Baelish then explains how the necklace was used to poison Joffrey. The audience now knows that either a) he was the mastermind behind Joffrey’s poisoning, or b) This is all just one hell of a coincidence. But that leaves the question of who put the poison in Joffrey’s wine (or was it in the pigeon pie somehow?) since Littlefinger obviously wasn’t there. I think it was Joffrey himself was the one who did it, if only to frame Tyrion for his death.
Tywin was the MVP of this episode, as he talked with Tommen about what makes a good king, not even attempting to hide his apathy over Joffrey’s death. (Speaking of which, did the actor playing Joffrey just have to lay down completely still for the whole scene? The poor guy.)
The one scene I really didn’t like was the one where Jaime raped Cersei. I’ve read about the showrunner’s intent with the scene and I at least know where they were coming from, but I still wasn’t a fan. Jaime’s supposed to be on a redemption arc, and his storyline is widely considered one of the best in the series because of this. And that one scene screwed the whole thing up. You can’t make a character likeable by having him rape his twin sister inches away from his dead son. One of book Jaime’s (and show Jaime’s, at least until now) redeeming features was his attitude towards rape. As in, he strongly disapproved, and he had at least one man beheaded for it. I feel like this scene betrayed his character, and that’s not cool.
It’s going to be very, very tough to make Jaime likeable after this scene. (Although admittedly, I would’ve said the same thing after he attempted murder on Bran in the first episode.) And I’d consider this to be the only big mistake the show’s made so far.
In other news, Sam is an idiot. In order to protect Gilly from possibly getting raped by other members of the Night’s Watch, he sends her to a disgusting, dirty brothel-like place that looks more like a meth den than anything else. You’d think after killing an ice zombie, he’d be a little more confident and bit less of a wimp. I still like Sam, after all he’s perhaps the most relateable character in the series, but it feels he hasn’t grown as a character at all.
Meanwhile, Ygritte’s helping a bunch of cannibals slaughter a village that seems to filled with mostly just women and children, Jon tells the Night’s Watch that those people at Craster’s might possibly cause some trouble, and Stannis is trying to take credit for Joffrey’s death.
Shut up, Stannis. You didn’t do shit. You just burned a bunch of people to death and complained a lot. The good news is, at least Davos has something to do, now that’s he’s sending a letter to the Bank of Bravvos. Would you care to let the audience in on your plan here, Davos? No? You’d rather just be all coy about it? Fine with me.
In other news:
- Tyrion has a sad scene with Podrick Payne, showing just how much better of a person Tyrion is, compared to just about everyone else in King’s Landing. He has a conscience! Love it when people have those. Plus it goes to say that Podrick was the coolest kid in Westeros, even before he turned out to be a sex god.* He’s like Duncan from The Way, Way Back, but just a little bit taller.
- Arya and the Hound were just as entertaining as ever in this episode. Can they just start solving mysteries already, please?
- Daenerys’ final scene was great (because symbolism!). I don’t know about you guys, but I like this new version of Daario. That may be because I don’t remember him at all from the books.
- Those cannibal wildling people are creepy.
My rating: Probably around a seven. The Way Way Back was much more groovy.
So what did you think, reader? Were you surprised by the Littlefinger reveal? Were you mad at the Jaime-Cersei scene? Are you disappointed that Tommen isn’t an obese eight-year old, and he doesn’t have a fondness for kittens? I know I am.