Category Archives: Game of Thrones

IMAX Game of Thrones – The Watchers on the Wall (S4, Ep9), The Children (S4, Ep10), & Season Five Trailer and Pictures

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When tickets went on sale to see the two last episode of season 4 of ‘Game of Thrones’ in IMAX, I couldn’t help myself. I had to attend. I was more excited to see the cinematic quality of the show translate to the huge screen than the season 5 preview trailer. (It’s embedded below for your viewing pleasure.) FYI: SPOILERS

Boy was I right! I haven’t seen these episodes since they originally aired last year and I’m glad for that because revisiting them in IMAX was quite the experience. It began with the usual HBO static, a “previously on” segment, and the opening credits, which were pretty giant-shootspowerful on the big screen with the bass booming. The sound and picture quality held up, while not as crystal clear as something that was designed for a theatre of that size. What surprised me the most was how well the special effects came off on an IMAX screen. The giants, green screened backgrounds, and mastodons looked incredibly authentic.

Episode 9, ‘The Watchers on the Wall’, is pretty straight forward, as are most of the penultimate episodes of each season. It only focuses on the Wilding attack on The Wall and Castle Black, so the single narrative episode was the perfect hour to start the IMAX experience. Itjonanigif felt like a mini film and I appreciated it more on a second viewing. It’s not my favorite episode of the season, but it read and played incredibly well on the massive 42nd street IMAX screen. All of the fight scenes, especially the lowering of the scythe, were pretty excellent to watch in a large group. The epic cheers of the crowd made me want this to be a reoccurring Sunday night event once season 5 starts in April.

My major issue with the episode still stayed the same: we didn’t spend enough time with all got-imax-2-1422620710of these characters throughout the season to truly be affected by their deaths, but it’s all relative because how great the show is overall. The spectacle of the IMAX battles helped too. The Ygritte/Jon Scene was still pretty moving, if only slightly, due to the palpable decision making moments before her death. (Surprisingly, it actually received a few laughs from the crowd when her pre-pubescent murderer gave Jon a head nod.) Rose Leslie isn’t given enough credit for her portrayal of Ygritte because her early scenes, as well as her death scene, in this episode are really well done and full of subtext and agony.

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Varys’ “Welp, I can’t go back now” moment is probably the best 20 seconds of the episode.

The season finale is all over the map (literally), tying up loose ends here and there, while setting up season five starting points for our characters. Tyrion takes his revenge, The Hound and Aria run into Brienne and Podrick, Stannis shows up to impose his will in the North, Bran and company reach their final destination, and Daenerys is faced with leadership issues.

The Hound and Brienne fight scene was a pleasure to watch (and the highlight from the episode in general) in the IMAX format with its intensity juxtaposed with the gorgeous tyrioncraggy hill scenery. This theatre experience re-proved  just how good all of the actors are because the intimate moments (ie: Tyrion’s murder rampage on Shea and Tywin/Arya’s “goodbye” to the The Hound) translated beautifully in giant detail. There were no false notes. Here, again, the special effects were fantastic. Daenerys’ dragons were better than some effects designed for actual theatrical releases. (Their screeching was horrifying in IMAX.)

We’re lucky that Emilia Clarke is so engaging as Dany because her storyline feels like one big stall until she starts making her big moves. While I appreciate her slow, gradual  rise to chains1power and understanding of leadership, it feels overly redundant. On the other hand (on the other side of Westeros), the Bran story, while interesting narrative-wise, evokes no sense of feeling. Except to maybe Hodor, there is absolutely no loyalty or empathy for those characters. It’s a good thing that their ‘Jason and the Argonauts’ skeleton fight scene was really exciting (and extremely loud) on the big screen because they are the weakest link in the final hour.

We were then treated to the season 5 trailer (all the way above), which after the two episodes directly before were welcomed with a tremendous fanfare from the crowd. Even post-45999-The-Children-Throwing-Fireball-JkvDthough most of us in the audience had probably seen it online already, we were over the moon with excitement for what’s to come in April. I wasn’t blown away by the footage, but it did what a trailer is supposed to do, get us excited. (It was also a perfect follow up to what we had just seen.) What a fantastic experience that I would suggest it to any ‘Game of Thrones’ fan. I really could have sat in that theatre all day watching the entire fourth season, not just these two hours. I wanted to see ‘The Mountain vs The Viper’ on the big screen, all of Tyrion’s trial, the Purple Wedding, and more.

Before I sign off, here are some official season 5 photos from HBO.

Maisie_Williams_as_Arya_Stark___photo_Macall_B._Polay_HBO_gallery_primary
Arya Stark
Daniel_Portman_as_Podrick_Payne_and_Gwendoline_Christie_as_Brienne_of_Tarth___photo_Helen_Sloan_HBO_gallery_primary
Brienne of Tarth and Podrick
Sophie_Turner_as_Sansa_Stark_and_Aidan_Gillen_as_Littlefinger___photo_Helen_Sloan_HBO_gallery_primary
LIttlefinger and Sansa
Emilia_Clarke_as_Daenerys_Targaryen__photo_Helen_Sloan_HBO_gallery_primary
Daenerys Targaryen
Michael_McElhatton_as_Roose_Bolton__Iwan_Rheon_as_Ramsay_Bolton_and_Elizabeth_Webster_as_Walda_Frey___photo_Helen_Sloan_HBO_gallery_primary
The Boltons and a Frey
Carice_van_Houten_as_Melisandre_photo_Helen_Sloan_HBO_gallery_primary
Melisandre
Kit_Harington_as_Jon_Snow__photo_Helen_Sloan_HBO_gallery_primary
Jon Snow
Conleth_Hill_as_Varys_and_Peter_Dinklage_as_Tyrion_Lannister___photo_Helen_Sloan_HBO_gallery_primary
Varys and Tyrion
Kristofer_Hivju_as_Tormund_Giantsbane_photo_Helen_Sloan_HBO_gallery_primary
Tormund
Lena_Headey_as_Cersei_Lannister_and_Ian_Beattie_as_Meryn_Trant__photo_Macall_B._Polay_HBO_gallery_primary
Cersei
Lena_Headey_as_Cersei_Lannister_and_Nikolaj_Coster-Waldau_as_Jaime_Lannister__photo_Helen_Sloan_HBO_gallery_primary
Cersei and Jaime
Kit_Harington_as_Jon_Snow__Stephen_Dillane_as_Stannis_Baratheon_and_Liam_Cunningham_as_Davos_Seaworth___photo_Helen_Sloan_HBO_gallery_primary
Jon Snow, Stannis, and Davos
Nathalie_Emmanuel_as_Missandei_and_Jacob_Anderson_as_Grey_Worm___photo_Helen_Sloan_HBO_gallery_primary
Missandei and Grey Worm
Dean-Charles_Chapman_as_Tommen_Baratheon_and_Lena_Headey_as_Cersei_Lannister___photo_Macall_B._Polay_HBO_gallery_primary
Tommen and Cersei
Natalie_Dormer_as_Margaery_Tyrell_and_Lena_Headey_as_Cersei_Lannister__photo_Helen_Sloan_HBO_gallery_primary
Margaery and Cersei
Indira_Varma_as_Ellaria_Sand_and_Deobia_Opaeri_as_Areo_Hotah__photo_Macall_B._Polay_HBO_gallery_primary
Ellaria and Areo
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The High Sparrow
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Doran Martell

Season five of ‘Game of Thrones’ begins on Sunday, April 12th 2015, but you can catch all four season on HBOGO or the last two episodes of season four at an IMAX near you.

Keep on Watchin’!

-Bryan

Game of Thrones – The Mountain and the Viper (S4, Ep8)

Overall, I thought that I didn’t like this episode as much as the others this season. It featured some of my least favorite storylines in major segments. The choppiness of the editing felt off, as we’ve been spoiled with excellent extended sequences this year. Now, looking back on last night, so many great moments game-of-thrones-season-4-the-mountain-vs-the-red-viperstand out even before the last ten minutes. My gut dislike probably wasn’t because it lacked something that the other hours had this season. It was that I was so excited for The Mountain vs The Viper that nothing else seemed to matter. It is the title of the episode, of course! I’ll get to that final battle in a little bit, but first I’d like to start with the other puzzle pieces in what was an “under-the-radar-good” episode.

Much of this hour dealt with self-preservation, whether it’s taken into one’s own hands or having it bestowed upon them by another. In the Wildling attack, Ygritte chooses pass on Gilly and her child. Was their survival empathy on Ygritte’s part or a way for her to tell others of the ferocity of the wildlings to others? Only survivors can tell tales. Regardless of reasoning (empathy), Gilly has survived quite a lot, as the Knight’s Watchmen later point out in the episode. Additionally, in an episode with some very memorable images, the blood dripping through the planks in the ceiling was a pretty incredible visual.

I find it intriguing how this show chooses to dole out pieces of story lines. Some are instant, others take time. The first example that comes to mind is that Lysa and Littlefinger were responsible for Jon Arryn’s death. Now, this episode brings back Jorah’s original objective: Spy on the little Targaryen girl. While he has saved her numerous times after falling in love with her, this side of his duty was long forgotten. Not this week. His pardon as arrived (sent by Tywin?), Dany finds out his earlier intent. His spying led to the attempts on her life. He cannot be game-of-thrones_season4episode8_the-mountain-and-the-viper-25trusted from her point of view. Not only is she betrayed, but must ensure her own survival.  His banishment was an excellent scene, as most are when they involve characters we’ve followed for the run of the show. Now what will be of Jorah? Will he head back to King’s Landing or try to make good with the Mother of Dragons through back channels?

As I’ve mentioned, Arya and The Hound are my favorite current pairing and even though we only received a little tasting of the two this week, it stood out above some other aspects. Her laughter in response to hearing the new that her Aunt had died three days before was…refreshing. There is so much senseless murder iyOf1ayand death and horror in these character’s lives that you’d expect somebody to find it all funny at some point. This poor girl has seen all of her family murdered, travelled across Westeros to The Vale, and dealt with the ridiculousness of The Hound, only to reach her destination to be greeted by more death and hopelessness. I would probably laugh too. Let’s just hope they don’t turn around, so that we can get a nice reunion of sisters. And let’s face it, what I really want is a Brienne and Hound meet up.

Sansa Stark is a character that has always been handed her lot in life. She has been “going with the flow,” (“forced with the flow?”) season after season. This week, it was pretty incredible to see her taking life and survival into her own hands. As Littlefinger is being questioned of his new bride’s demise, Sansa’s recounting of her tweaked events was epic. For a moment, her testimony sounded like the real thing! She realizes that despite how creep-tastic Littlefinger is, he has been looking out for her—saving Sansa at every turn. He actually cares, even with his deep seeded love for the Stark-Arryn women. At this point, she makes sure that she joins forces with him, on her terms. In her final shot, she has transformed into the woman she was meant to be, circumstances notwithstanding. I guess the next logical question would be how much she is hitching her cart to Littlefinger and what does this all mean for the damaged boy, Robin? This is her route to self-preservation.

Finally, we get to the Sunday Night Fight we’ve all been waiting for—LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE!!!!!! This show has an incredible fail safe built in—we really have no idea who is going to win any fight because it doesn’t play by the rules of TV. Anybody can die at any time and that’s just the way it is in Westeros. My TV watching shoulder Angel kept telling me that The Mountain would lose so that Tyrion would live. Of course—that’s how TV shows and actor contacts work! My TV Devil, on the other hand, tells me that this is Game of Thrones—soooooooooo… Those final ten fighting minutes were as exciting as anything this show has done action-wise. Even the looks of excitement and defeat shared game-of-thrones-red-viper-death-hbobetween Jaime and Tyrion were spot on. The Viper was slick and fast, as the Mountain was strong and slow. But in the end it wasn’t the physical make up that determined the winner—it was pride and revenge that lead to the goriest death that TV has to offer. If only Oberyn just finished the job. Once he kept trying to get the giant man to open his mouth and say the word, you knew it was all over. I just didn’t expect how it ended. The eyes, the head, the blood, the splatter, the admission, the screams, the Lannister smiles, and the overhead shot (pun intended) of the body in the arena. Only in Westeros. Eat that Walking Dead! (Another pun) If we actually lose Tyrion in the next two weeks, I don’t know what I’ll do with myself. I’m scared, which is why I had so much stake in that match.

Bits and Pieces

  • The weird blossoming love between Grey Worm and Dany’s interpreter was kind of sweet. In a show that feels as if it has thousands of characters, it’s nice to see some moments like this from very small characters. Will anything happen? I don’t know if I want to see that visual if it does. (I also game-of-thrones-the-mountain-and-the-viper-1loved the “girl talk-braiding hair” sequence. Dany may be a Queen, but she is still young and needs friends/girl time.
  • I find it interesting that Dany is most upset by the fact that Jorah wrote to Vayres about her pregnancy. This may be a window into her psyche and
    why she treats her dragons as children, as they take the emotional place of her losing Drago’s offspring. She was made to be a mother, which conflicts with her ruling and informs many of her decisions.
  • The Ramsay Snow storyline hasn’t interested me much, but Reek pretending to be his old Theon self and Game-of-Thrones-Season-4-Episode-8-Video-Preview-The-Mountain-and-the-Viperalmost breaking down was pretty exciting this week.
  • I really enjoyed the pre-fight prison conversation between Jaime and Tyrion. They felt more brotherly than ever, as there was an underlying sense that this would be the last time they would
    be able to share a moment. Even the seemingly boring and pointless beetle story carried weight. (For the record, I didn’t find that story boring or pointless.)

Keep on Watchin’!

-Bryan

Game of Thrones – Mockingbird (S4, Ep7)

This was sibling week on Game of Thrones: A time for members of the same family with altered DNA to really re-live that wonderful bond of their youth—or not. Yeah—mostly not. Jaime, Cersei, and Tyrion: BFFs! The Hound and the Mountain—always on Fire. Those Crazy Tully sisters and the Stark girls! So much brotherly/sisterly love!

As Arya and The Hound make their way to The Vale of Arryn, they are attacked by renegade Lannister soldiers. Arya’s list grows and shrinks by one and The Hound loses a little chunk of neck. We then get to hear the raw, genuine, and real story of The Hound’s burn injuries by the hand of his brother—The Mountain. We are reminded earlier in the meta conversation with the dying man that his attempt is to make a little coin for Arya in the end, but they’re much closer than that now. They are teaching each other about the gregor-the-mountain-cleganeimportant, little, and important little things. While opening up to Arya, The Hound shows her the scared and scarred little pup inside. He’s not the same as his beastly older brother.

Ser Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane has been chosen by Cersei to fight to kill her brother. What a family affair! After meeting with Jaime and Bronn (in two outstanding scenes), Tyrion is visited by Oberyn. After another incredible scene/monologue (maybe the best of the season, on par with last year’s Jaime bath house monologue), Oberyn turns the tables on everything. The subtleties and emotional manipulation in his explanation of why tumblr_n5q409GpKm1r9h4heo1_500he will fight for Tyrion is truly a great work of art. I injected with the ‘monster’s’ jokes, humiliation, and anger, Oberyn wants to be on the same emotion level as his small comrade. They both hate the Lannister sister, but know what it is like to want revenge on your family. He will fight for Tyrion, as he knows the true malice of the Cersei and Tywin Lannister.

Well, Littlefinger made Lysa fly after his off-putting kiss with Sansa. Somebody was going through the moon roof no matter what, but now that crazy Lysa is out of the picture, what will happen next? The love for Catelyn that Littlefinger can’t let go of plusher sister’s intense jealousy equals a tragic ending for Robin’s breast feeding mother. Hopefully Sansa’s sister can get there to put some swords in more hearts.GOT407_092613_HS_DSC61841

  • There’s something to be said when characters learn of other’s characters whereabouts and doings. Hot Pie telling Brienne and Podrick about Arya was very satisfying.
  • I cannot wait for Brienne/Podrick and Hound/Arya to show up at Littlefinger’s front door.
  • Dany even makes a passing reference to her brother in talking to Jorah. (Remember her brother? He was yucky.) Also, she’s a very flp-floppy leader.
  • Game of Thrones - Episode 4.07 - Mockingbird - Promotional Photos (2)
  • The Stannis Ladies had their best (and first actually important) scene to date!
  • Poor John Snow. Still the fool—for now.

 

A lovely sibling rivalry episode—on of the better subdued episodes of the season. with some excellent pacing and scene work. This show is clicking on all cylinders and, per usual, can’t wait to see what happens next in two week.

Keep on Watchin’!

-Bryan

Game of Thrones – The Laws and Gods of Men (S4, Ep6)

Half way through this week’s episode I intended to write a piece about how there are two side to every war: The Front and the Back Dealings. I was going to write about how Dany, while easily moving from city to city freeing all of the slaves, was inconsistent and weak in her ruling. She also slaughtered seemingly good people in herstatic.squarespace raids. (Great dragon effects too.) Davos and Stannis attempted to convince Mycroft Holmes of Braavos Savings and Loan to financially back their power play for the throne. Theon/Reek’s sister stealth attempt to save him, after she was baited by Ramsay Snow. Tywin discussing Dany and the Hound with his council, followed by his bartering with Jaime to effect the outcome of Tyrion’s trail.
But I’m not.
I’m not because I can’t stop thinking about the last ten minutes of the episode.
We’ve seen great extended scenes before, of course. The show is most effective when they dedicate most of an hour to those sequences. Ned’s death, the Battle of Blackwater Bay, imgresthe ‘Red Wedding’, and Joffery’s demise are examples of spending longer amounts of time in one specific place in order to be more effective. While this doesn’t involve an amazing set piece or extravagant death, I believe that it is the best the show has executed to this point. The editing was spot on, the underlying context of Tywin successfully manipulating Jaime, while taking down his least favorite child, was brilliant, the change in Tyrion’s demeanor once Jaime told him the deal was moving, and the reveal of Shae was a shock.
As fantastic as these were (and still are as I re-watch this sequence), they pale in comparison to what Peter Dinklage brings to this scene as an actor. Shae’s testimony, whilegameofthrones14-97 probably Lanister coached, comes from a place of pure malice towards the imp. While most of the trial plays as a “best of” from seasons past, Shae’s words cut deeper then the sword that caused Tyrion’s facial scars. He transforms from the apathetic doomed defendant to a seething hopeless creature who won’t go down on a lie from his mistress. He’s on trail for who he is, not what he’s done.
What kind of duel will he be fighting? Will Jaime fight for him or will Bronn? Will he fight for himself? Who will he face? Those are questions for another time. Here, I only ask: how has GameOfThronesDinklage only won one Emmy? (I know the answer: Jesse Pinkman and Co, but still.) I mean, if this isn’t his submission episode, I don’t know what is. His power, change, sincerity, anger, and charisma radiate off the screen, memorizing. How does this show keep getting better?
Keep on Watchin’!
-Bryan

Game of Thrones – First of His Name (S4, Ep5)

As we reach the half-way point in Game of Thrones’ forth season most of our favorite characters have reached a point in their season’s quest where major decisions have to be made. Many of these decisions have been a long time in the making, but, assuming their deaths aren’t handed to them prematurely, must be made in the coming Westeros hours.

game_of_thrones_63851Tommen is now king. He may even be a good king–for once. Realistically, he can’t be any worse than the last few. Now with this boy as the country’s figure head, the question of who will take on the role of his queen is the obvious next question. Cersei presents Margaery with the option of the role, who plays it off as if she hasn’t thought about it. The underlying Cersei apology and blatant recognition of a smooth transition are dynamite in this sequence. In her discussion with Tywin, she has to commit to her place in the Lanister history. Whatever that may be.gotmp091813ep405-44621jpg-a29f84_960w Will she strengthen the family dynasty by going along with her marriage to Margaery’s ‘closeted’ brother to help pay off the debts of her family to the bank? I mean, a Lanister always pays their debts. Even as the most seemingly powerful woman in all of Westeros, she is still helpless within the context of her family dealings. She is being pawned off again, just as she had to do to her daughter–brought out in a wonderful scene with Oberyn. I’d
also ask how will Jaime’s betrayal of her effect this decision, but the show has poorly dealt with that fall out. Also, Tywin will eventually need to make a decision on Tyrion (always dearly missed from any episode), if he hasn’t already.

Arya must decide what kind of hatred she wants to carry and how to act on it. Is she the ‘sword dancer’ that she was briefly trained to be or a vicious killer that The Hound shows her day after day? She wants to be the elegant fighter, but with her sword, there’s very little she can do without both physical and mental armor. The Hound may be on her kill list, one game-of-thrones-first-of-his-name_article_story_largeshe recites daily, but for now he may be the teacher she needs to carry out her deeds–not just a convenient traveling partner. How much of her will survive her hatred of the world and the people in it? We can all agree that Arya will be very disappointed to learn that Joffery is already dead.

In Dany’s corner of the world, her council actually presents her with a decision to make. Her work in Slaver’s Bay is semi-obsolete, as the masters have retained their power across Game-of-Thrones-First-of-His-Name-4the land.  Should she re-claim those cities in the name of Targaryen or sail to King’s Landing to finally attempt to take the throne? Regardless of if her fleet is ready; she recognizes her reputation and leadership skills would come under massive scurrility if she can’t control this simple region. Dany must prove to herself and others that she can be a powerful leader. At least something is happening west of Westeros that pertains to all of our other characters at the moment.

After ‘warging’ Hodor and saving the day, Bran must come to terms what he believes to be his destiny. The anguish in his face as he decides to prolong his reunion with Jon is beautifully played by Isaac Helpstead-Wright. His decision is based on the good of mankind. Spring must come as soon as possible. Can we also just mention how bad-ass Hodor was? Hodor. (Plus we got a sword through the head. Some nice gore this week.)

In what I believe to be the most interesting aspect of the episode was the revelation that Littlefinger and Lysa Arryn killed Jon Arynn–the original hand of the King (which is why Ned goes to King’s Landing, so on and so forth). We were all led to believe that a Lanister had done the deed (cough*Jaime*cough) to stop the answering of all questions pertaining to thrones_612x380‘royal’ children. Clearly Lysa is deeply in love (obsessed) with Littlefinger in terms of her reasoning, but what is Littlefinger’s motive? Settling for Catelyn Stark’s sister, a secret power move, or just Joker-scale chaos could be the cause of his murderous ways.  Through all of this, Sansa believes for one second she is safe, but this may be a worse scenario for her overall. She even defends Tyrion to her cousins–that’s when you know things are bad.  Now she has to marry her cousin? Too much. Hopefully somebody will show up to rescue her–her sister or Brienne.

A quick character scene featuring Podrick and Brienne featured some nice moments, but when it comes down to it, any episode with no Stannis and Theon is a good one. It’s not that those story lines are bad, they’re just not nearly as good as everything else. What will the second half of this season bring? I have no idea, but I can’t wait to see what goes down. This has been an incredibly solid season, in which the director, writers, and editors are very much on their game (of thrones).

Keep on Watchin’!

-Bryan

Game of Thrones – Oathkeeper (S4, Ep4)

Well, well, well. Things just got a little more interesting.  Bran’s path to find his brother may have just gotten both harder and easier, we know who killed the king, and Dany’s army keeps growing. In turn, the show continually gets better.game-of-thrones

Dany’s unsullied soldiers break into the city to finalize the instigation of an overthrow. Once again, the director stages a simple, well executed moment to represent the entirety of the coup and it is wonderful. Dany’s sense of justice and ability to be a fair leader has changed, so this is a issues to watch as she gets closer to her goal. However, it was nice to see a full portion of scenes in this neck of the woods. We’re building to something huge, I just don’t know when we’ll get there.

Jaime, caught between his sister and brother, decides to, well, side with himself. By sending Brienne out to protect Sansa, he’s staying true to the only thing he knows–his self imposed honor. She even names her sword after him! Woo!

The Jaime and Cersei’s scene didn’t necessarily follow up to last week’s Jaime_Season_4rape scene in a clear way, so I don’t know how to feel about that. It should probably have been more clear, as it is a huge part of Jaime’s growth, or lack their of, character wise.  Cersei did basically disown him, but there was an element, knowing what has just transpired, missing in that scene for me. But now, will Jaime side with his brother fully and attempt to help him against Cersei’s rage? Regardless, the Jaime and Tyrion scenes are always spot on, so I hope we get more of them. (I miss Peter Dinkladge as a more prominent part of each episode.) The King Slayer Brothers–great band name.

So, I guess Littlefinger did it? But, how did the jewel get into the wine? He took him out because his relationship with the Tyrell family? Was it Margery Tyrell that helped Littlefinger. No, it was Lady Olenna Tyrell who planned it all. Littlefinger just helped set it all up for both a new ally and to get Sansa for himself as he sails to marry her aunt.(That was my thought process verbatim.) Well see what is real motive is, but there is hope for a game-of-thrones-season-4-episode-descriptions-hboSansa/Arya reunion in the making. I’m enjoy the fact that this wasn’t an ongoing mystery–who killed Joffery. Now  it’s been exposed, it can filter into the relationships of others.  Especially Margery and Olenna, now that Margery is attempting to get in with the new king as soon as possible in secret.

Another potential step forward is the possibility of another Stark reunion. John Snow and Bran are also on their way to being reunited. The savage Knight’s Watch above the wall have taken Bran as their prisoner and heightening the level of stakes, making their story line more exciting than it’s been in a while. All of this while John is on his way to a probably mutiny from his crew–or at least Jaime’s handcutter, posing as a knights watch to get Bran. I guess it’s never a good time to be a Stark. It’s amazing how with the drop of a hat, all of the narratives jumped leaps in their engagement levels. And poor Hordor. Why must everybody be so mean!!!!

oathkeeper7We are left with the white walkers. (Shouldn’t everybody be a little more concerned that there are horrible monsters waiting to attack?) In a really freaky-deaky ending moment, we are shown that they are converting the babies to frost giants–not eating them! The humans are literally handing  them over an army.  Whoops!

NitPick Corner:

  • Only a handful of people not discussed this week. Good thing that Stannis and Theon/Reek aren’t at the top of my must list.
  • Phew! At least Bronn and Jaime still get to practice.
  • I hope that the wolves eat Bran’s keepers.
  • What is Dany going to do with all these people if she wins the throne back for her family.

I swear, I am always amazed at how quickly that hour goes by, as I devour every second of it.  Another great episode that makes me lose all track of time.

Keep on Watchin’!

-Bryan

Game of Thrones – Breaker of Chains (S4, Ep3)

After two excellent episodes to start this fourth season, highlighted by one of the better extended sequences the show has ever produced, the third installment kept the Westeros momentum movie forward. Following such an important moment so early in the season is a tricky thing. Most truly shocking deaths have occurred in the penultimate episodes of seasons, so the finales almost act as prologues to the next one. As the fourth episode that needs to keep the flow and momentum, “Breaker of Chains” accomplishes that feat and more.

Aside from starting immediately from where we left off to capture our attention, the storydead-joffrey lines followed in this hour were the most interesting of the entire lot. Sansa, essentially being kidnapped by Littlefinger (in his first Season 4 appearance) is in the middle of something way above her head. What does he want with her? Did he kill Jeoffry? Is he working for somebody in return for Sansa?
The misadventures of the best paring of characters, Arya and The Hound, are always a welcome treat. Realistically, I’d love for their shenanigans to be featured in every episode.  Their ‘one-shot’ misadventures are not only fun, but, recently, have been a nice balance of The Hound’s cynicism and Arya’s ever fading hope and good nature. This week’s farmer situation is a perfect example. I mean, I really loved it because that’s how I eat strew too.game-of-thrones-breaker-of-chains
While the Castle Black and Wildling situation dealt mostly with maneuvers and what is to come (following the brutal attack), Sam and Gilly have evolved into an emotionally complex story. As secondary ‘love stories’ go for most TV shows, Sam and Gilly, or should I say Silly, is pulling off the emotional ride. She can’t her own experiences from how she was treated above the wall and Sam cares to the point of not being able to be with her at all times. It’s working as a corollary to the other Castle Black plotting.
Lena Headey probably gives her best performance as Cersei in the powerful moments before her brother controversially rapes her in the cathedral in front of their dead son. Her silence as Tywin, her father, bashes Joffery’s leadership and temperament is cutting. As Tywin begins to build the trust between himself and his grandson, the new king. (It was also a nice history lesson/recap for viewers) The evolution and shift of everybody’s pain24x521.jpg and how that coincided with the lighting of that scene. Jaime and Cersei have one of the most complicated relationships on TV and all they do it add fuel to that fire.
The final sequence of the evening was very entertaining, but the ‘surprises’ shot over the wall made a great last image. When the screen went blank, I didn’t even realize that it had been an hour. I was incredible engaged and felt as if no time had passed at all. I do however, as great as the moments are, would like for something more to happen to Dany and her crew.
NitPick’s Corner:
  • Some wonderful moment from Tyrion with his squire.
  • Davos on the island feels like a 
  • I feel like Dany’s dragons just disappear all the time
  • Who Done It? But really WHO!?
  • Bran’s story has to step up. Even with Hordor because he’s the only thing I look forward to when it comes back.
  • Arya has become an excellent little liar!

Keep on watchin’!

-Bryan