The newbie recap you have been waiting for is here. Oz of Thrones tries to collect his thoughts after watching last night’s episode of Game of Thrones. Read his recap, after the break.
Spoiler note: The discussion in this post is primarily for non-book readers (book fans can discuss the show here). We ask all the series veterans to refrain from posting spoilers in the comments here, veiled or otherwise. This show is best viewed without knowing all the surprises beforehand, so please be respectful of your fellow fans. Thank you!
Oz of Thrones: Silence.
For a while, I just sat there. I stared at my outdated 60” Sony like there was something else coming on. House Oz was eerily quiet. No credit music blaring at the end, or the customary quick discussion with Ozzette about the great scenes or locations depicted, or the anticipation of viewing the next weeks’ preview. I didn’t care. I just sat there for a long, long time.
The show (and I assume the books) sets itself apart in a number of ways. One aspect that I mention on a regular basis is character development. The characters aren’t just faces on a screen with dialogue. The viewers have an investment in them. We know Robb’s story. We know Cat’s story. We have suffered with them and laughed with them and have gotten to know them on a very personal basis.
Normally, this is better achieved in written text. Novels provide a deeper background with a richer detail than television or movie adaptations are capable of doing. Yet somehow, D&D manage to pull it off and the end result can shock you to your core, especially when the tragic death of beloved characters transpires in such a dramatic fashion.
The signs were there. We had all discussed it before. The Frey deal was going down too easy. The consequences of Robb’s decision to break his vow to Frey was to be forgiven in exchange for Edmure’s hand to a Frey daughter. Edmure? Really? And all is well? If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. And it was.
Yet, if someone would have told me two weeks ago that there would be a tragic, murderous event at one of the five weddings planned and then had me guess which one it would be, the last one I likely would have picked would have been Edmure’s. Why? Because who would attack the marriage of Edmure and the Frey girl? The Lannisters? Possibly. But they would have had to hear about the wedding, assemble an army, march to the Twins, and get there in time to stop the deal from going through. Even in a land of dragons and sorcery, that would have been highly unlikely.
Again, the signs were there……..
Bolton. “The Lannister’s send their regards.” Apparently Lord Bolton has been plotting the entire time and making sure that his allegiance to the Lions is not in question. If I have this straight, it appears that Bolton made a deal with Walder Frey and married a Frey daughter himself which solidified an agreement between he and Walder before the Edmure deal could go down. Then again, he may have just done it for money. In either case, Bolton’s decision to send Jaime on to King’s Landing looks a hell of a lot more understandable. And as Ozzette pointed out to me, the “burning of Winterfell” mystery is a lot clearer now.
But Bolton’s actions alone weren’t the only cause for the shock. The amazing set-up on screen made the end result much more shocking in the end. The “everything is going smoothly” feeling that the episode gave us was nothing short of genius. They accomplished this with numerous small details including: the apology from Robb to Walder and his daughters and granddaughters; the hospitality offered by Frey (food, music, etc.); the happiness that Edmure showed when finally seeing his bride; the “not bad” look that Walder passes to Robb after the reveal of the bride; the other Frey women checking out the Blackfish (hilarious); and the party that followed the vows and the cloaking. Indeed, all signs were that the occasion was going through without a hitch. Robb and Talisa even discussed naming the unborn child Eddard if it is was a boy.
It was not to be. The doors closed and the music hit. Robb. Cat. Talisa. The unborn child.
You can erase everything I have written thus far and simply replace it with this (and please excuse my language)…….. Holy Shit.
To make it all incredibly worse was the fact that Arya was right there. Right outside. Ready to reunite. If it is true that what does not kill you makes you stronger, then Arya stands to become the toughest woman the Seven Kingdoms has ever seen. I am very happy she is with the Hound (did I just say that?).
There were some other important occurrences in the Episode:
Jon Snow: I haven’t checked on all of my unlikely predictions to see how many of them have been shredded, but I was correct on Jon Snow and the fact that he had to make a choice. Jon is faced with beheading a farmer to show his loyalty and can’t go through with it. An intense fight scene ensues and Jon kills Orell while telling Orell that he was right the whole time about him being a crow. This decision was somewhat surprising to me considering the relationship between he and Ygritte. But this scene made it clear that Jon’s loyalty to the Night’s Watch was never in question, at least in his mind.
Bran: Bran is forced into practicing being a warg as a direwolf in the fight with the Wildlings, but not before he wargs into the mind of another human. According to Jojen, this is something that no one else has ever been known to do. Bran and Rickon split up for safety purposes as Bran is still planning to go beyond the wall to find the three-eyed raven.
Hodor: We learn that Hodor is very similar to my cat as neither one of them like thunderstorms.
Yunkai: DaaBio and Jorah devise a plan to get in the city walls of Yunkai. They and Grey Worm encounter more resistance than expected, but return with news that the City had surrendered. This portion of the episode seemed a little abrupt. In the last scene inside the walls, the three were surrounded. Yet, when they reappear in front of Dany, they claimed that the soldiers laid down their spears and that the City was hers. On a side note, Grey Worm was a total badass in the battle scene.
And finally, Sam and Gilly have made it to the wall.
Episode 309 Personal Awards
A man usually posts favorite scenes, quotes, and silly awards in this area. But today is different.
Best Actress: Michelle Fairley as “Catelyn Stark”. Her work as Cat this season is award worthy.
Director: David Nutter. Just outstanding.
Writers: D&D. Amazing work, Gentlemen.
Overall Thoughts: The tradition of the Epic 9’s carries on. I will never forget Ned. I will never forget Blackwater. And now I will never forget the Wedding.
A man is thankful that I currently do not have any weddings that I am scheduled to attend, as I would seriously reconsider attending after last night. I need to wrap my head around everything that happened again, and will cover what may be the aftermath on Friday with Looking Forward Ep. 30.
Please excuse me as I retreat into a dark, cold room wearing nothing but underwear with a bowl of Bon Bons and a pack of cigarettes. We all mourn in different ways.
Until Friday, try to have a great week. And if you go to a wedding and James Bond Bolton is there, do yourself a favor and leave. Immediately.
May there be peace in your realm. -Oz