No Story So Good A Drink Won’t Make It Better
Game Of Thrones Season 3 Episode 2 recap
….except of course that this episode was kind of slow. Yes, characterized most by the fact that everyone is, or will be, on the move – but still basically a lot of laid pipe for what will be happening circa episode 4.
What was nice about it, of course, was that we got a little breathing room to spend some time with the characters, assumedly so that when things start going fever-pitch later in the season we’ll remember who was facing what particularly wrenching emotional dilemma.
I wouldn’t start with Robb, though, since his depth is impenetrable or nonexistent, depending on who you believe. He’s broody and largely mute, and because he is a hilariously by-the-book hardass, Catelyn will likely be wearing manacles at her own father’s funeral. Again, as Robb delivers bad news to Catelyn, I wonder why nobody told them that her young sons were burned and hanged at Winterfell at the hands of Theon, since that’s what we’re meant to believe, you know? Seems like a little grief might be appropriate here.
I think my favourite part of the episode was when Robb was told he lost the war the day he married Talisa. I mean, talk about laying it out on the line. (Incidentally, I strongly dislike Talisa, but I do really dig her gloves that exactly match her dress and cloak. I should start dressing in monochrome.) But she serves a purpose at least for Catelyn’s horrid mother-in-law routine to reveal to us that she once knew she was awful, and tried to remprimand herself and get better and learn to love Jon Snow. For all the good it did him. Snark aside, I actually found this kind of sweet, but again, I can’t suspend my disbelief that Theon’s misadventures never reached their ears.
Theon looks like he might have been on the rack for a while, but given how relatively together he still looks, how few pieces of his pretty face have been mauled, I think it’s relatively soon. Fine, so he has a few screws in his foot and no satisfying reason to have taken Winterfell, but he’s so pathetic in his captivity that I want him to get another evil plan, or something. Fine, so he’s being rescued by Yara, which she’ll never let him live down, but still. Please don’t let him be cowed into submission this year; I love Theon Greyjoy best when he’s whining at being totally out of his depth and kind of unclear as to how he got there.
Speaking of out of their depth, one of my frustrations this week has been about how clearly Cersei is trying to manipulate her way into relevance without actually seeing her doing anything of note. Like, I love seeing how tired Joffrey seems with her. He didn’t threaten to put her in a dungeon or anything, he just rolls his eyes, no matter how much she dislikes his girlfriend/wife-to-be/etc.
But seriously, Cersei’s bullets of evil seem to be somewhat misplaced. We know that Joffrey’s not going to abide her, because she’s a silly woman who should keep her mouth shut and because she’s his mother and because Margaery is doing a very good job of trying to point out to Joffrey that he can be as deranged as he wants, and she’s going to think it’s generally delightful. When is our Queen Mother going to get a chance to wield her venom again? I might have liked more fireworks, but what we get instead is a delicious scene straight out of “The Golden Girls”, where Gramma and her granddaughter gossip with the best of them and make sassy comments about everything including Renly Baratheon’s idiocy and Margaery’s eventual beatings at the hands of sadistic Joffrey. Also, grandmother has a real sense of timing where the delivery and consumption of cheese is concerned. Also, it must be said that Cersei is not wrong, and the top of Margaery’s dress is very small.
When the kid from Love Actually shows up and proceeds to charm Bran’s direwolf Summer and basically anoints himself as Bran’s long-lost other half, I kind of fell in love, and not just because he’s from Love Actually and not just because his name, Jojen Reed, is super fun to say. Plus, he and Bran have a psychic connection, and three-eyed ravens are commonplace in their world, so it’s like he’s found a friend. I do wonder if there’s not something they could build to let Bran sit further upright, you know? But meanwhile, I like that they are special, we-can-see-things buddies. And that Bran’s physical fragility is matched by Jojen’s. See? Say it again. Jojen. Jojen.
Disappointments this week include no moments when Hodor says “Hodor”, a thorough lack of Jon Snow being uncomfortable with the idea of sexuality, and of course, no dragons. But we did get a series of defiant women wielding swords…
So Arya’s ego may have finally gotten in her way, and I would like someone to remind her that she’s about a minute old and three apples tall (although her costume seems to have to accommodate that the actress is aging rather more quickly than the character is) but I hope she’s smart enough to play it young and childish if it turns out she has to beg the Hound for her life.
Brienne, on the other hand, and Jamie Lannister – I know some of you think I take the show too lightly overall, and it’s true that I don’t google everything to see if the answers to my questions exist in the books. This is because I believe a series is supposed to stand on its own, and because if they haven’t shown us yet, they believe we don’t need to know yet. Having said all that I really hope these two put on the performance of their lives. Not for nothing have they been alone together for the past weeks – they’re forming a bond and have a bit of an idea of the way the other speaks. They’ve gotten out of other scrapes on this journey, but this is going to be the performance of their lives. I could handle a whole other spinoff just about this.