This latest episode was probably the quickest hour of television I’ve watched in a long, long time. Written by George R.R. Martin himself, this week gave us plenty to think about until the next episode. This week also was all over the map location wise. Normally we’re treated to longer segments in a few locations, but this episode gave us shorter segments and hit upon pretty much every character who currently has a story going. That’s pretty impressive if you ask me. I know I say it every week, but it’s true. This show just keeps getting better and better with each passing episode. You know this though, because you watch it too so I’ll stop waxing poetic and get to the meat of it.
It’s pretty impressive when a show can wrap you in its embrace and hold you hostage for an hour even when it’s not quite on par with the previous two episodes. That’s exactly what “The Climb” did. Sporting a title of multiple meanings, this week may not have had the sex or violence of episodes past, but it still managed to capture me in all of its verbose glory. A lot can also be said for a character who’s on-screen for maybe 10 seconds, if even that, doesn’t say a single word, and still makes you want to rip his face off and feed it to him. Dear God, my hatred for Joffrey cannot be measured.
The flip side of that hatred however is my love for all things Arya, Jon Snow, and Jamie and Brienne. All who happened to be present this week. Sadly however, there was no Daenerys, which means no dragons or Jorah, but that doesn’t mean it still wasn’t a fantastic episode. The pieces are moving on the chessboard and things are finally falling into place.
Kissed by fire is a terms used to describe those who sport red hair. In this latest episode, it not only serves as the title, or an alternate term for gingers. There’s more to being “kissed by fire” than that, just ask Sandor Clegane. This season, which we are already half way through, has been a slow burn, but that doesn’t mean it’s been boring. Last week I posted the recap immediately following the episode and I don’t think my love for the episode, or the season as a whole came across too well. Not to make the same mistake, let me state plainly that I loved this episode. So so so much. It’s the little nuances that make it so great and that’s a tribute to the acting. This episode was chock full of those little nuances and it all starts with being kissed by fire.
The first three episodes of this season have served to lay the groundwork for what’s to come. We’ve caught up with the major players, where they’re at in the grand scheme of events happening in and out of Westeros and now that the groundwork has been established, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty. After seeing the preview for this latest episode at the end of Walk of Punishment, I surmised that those hoping for some action were finally going to get their wish.
While that wasn’t so much the case, this was still a good episode. Even though we haven’t seen as much battle as we have in previous seasons, this episode was not lacking. The forward movement in the story may be subtle, but we’re getting character movement instead. It’s the little nuances of character and relationships that really make up the bulk of the continuing arch. The show is successfully riding a fine line, and even though an episode may come across as mellow, that doesn’t equate boring.
On a side note, I really love how the map in the opening credits sequence keeps expanding. In my opinion, this show has the greatest opening sequence currently on television but it really breaks my heart every time they show Winterfell and its plume of smoke. Continue reading “Game of Thrones Recap: Episode 3.04 – And His Watch Is Ended” »
The “previously on” portion covered a lot of ground this week, which meant an episode packed to the gills. This show never ceases to amaze me in that respect. Most of the time it is efficient storytelling of the highest caliber. Sure, some episodes have been known to lack in certain areas, but those are few and far between. I’d give this show the highest marks for turning out consistently good, engaging episodes on a regular basis and it blows my mind on how they can actually achieve and maintain that level. The mere fact that this show hosts a ridiculously large cast that just keeps growing, not to mention the various changes in character locations goes to show that networks don’t need to dumb it down for their audience.
We pick back up with Dany after her absence in last week’s episode, which means I got me some Ian Glenn screen time,. Always a bonus. Also on deck were the continuing adventures of Arya, and Jon Snow. Needless to say I was quite pleased that all my favorites were involved in this week’s Walk of Punishment. even if those visits were rather quick.
The “previously on” basically recaps what we saw last week, but also showed us where Arya, Bran, Brienne and Jamie all left off last season. That made me quite happy because it meant we would be seeing all of those characters again…finally. Arya has always been one of my favorite characters. Not just in the show but in the books as well. I’ll do my best to keep the events of the show separate and not compare the two. Mainly because I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t yet read the books yet.
The one thing both book and series have in common is the ridiculous amount of characters that drive the story. This week introduces us to even more characters so you may want to start taking notes, or at least make some sort of flowchart. I’m familiar with them all and I still have trouble keeping them straight. Due to the fact that what’s happening in Westeros is spread out across the land, and across the sea, this episode, like the premiere, served its purpose for bringing the viewers up to speed. It’s been a long wait for the new season and there’s so much to catch up on, it’s best to look at the episodes as a small piece of the overall story, instead of an episode in and of itself.
After what has felt like an eternal wait, the third season has finally arrived. It’s been a long 10 months especially considering the cliffhanger we were left with at the end of Season Two. The quick “Previously On…” wasn’t quite extensive enough for me so if you need to be brought up to speed, click here. The third season premiere, Valar Dohaeris (all men must serve), uses its time to reacquaint the viewers with our beloved characters and where they left off / where they are now. It was mostly talk with not very much action, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If anything, it just proves once again that this show is top-notch simply for its ability to keep the viewer in its grasp just with simple conversation that’s happening onscreen.
The one downside to this episode is that we didn’t get to catch up with Arya. Or Bran for that matter. The rest of the Starks were present and accounted for (well, except Rickon, but he’s not a major player…not yet anyway) but my favorite (Arya) was nowhere to be seen. From the looks of the previews, we’ll get to her and to Bran next week. For now, let’s focus on what happened in the premier.
This season has flown by so fast I can’t even believe that it’s over. I’ve said before that this series could benefit from either longer episodes ala BBC, or a longer season. There is so much story to tell that it’s next to impossible to cover all the bases without a storyline or two suffering. There have been a few episodes this season that felt a little disjointed because of the break neck speed in which the writers jumped from one place to another. Others have dragged a bit but overall, the second season was stellar and think, in the end, the writers did a bang up job.
The second season finale visited a lot of places and a lot of characters so I was thankful that they gave us an extended episode. Given, some of that time was taken up by the especially long flashback intro, but with a show like this, I feel that was needed. Plus, the audience could use a refresher since last week’s “Blackwater” episode only focused on the events surrounding King’s Landing. Since we haven’t seen the bulk of the cast in two or more weeks, there was no doubt that the writers were going to squeeze in as many as they could in to the finale. The visits may have been brief, but the impact on what’s to come was huge.
I think this is the episode that everyone who’s read the books have been waiting for. We’ve been hearing all season about the impending war, but this second to the last episode finally brings the battle to King’s Landing in the true fight for the Iron Throne. Normally the episodes, as well as my recaps, are split up by location. There is so much going on all over Westeros and beyond that the story is told in bits and pieces. This week however, marks the first time that the GoT series focuses on one location for the entire episode.
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss bravely and wisely stepped back from this episode and instead turned over the writing duties over to the man himself, George R.R. Martin. It’s rather fitting for the man behind the Song of Ice and Fire series to pen this episode considering it’s the biggest one so far. Neil Marshall took over directing duties and if his work on The Decent shows anything, it’s that he’s capable of doing a lot with very little.
Only two episodes are left and with them, the war that has been raging finally looks like it’s going to hit the shores of King’s Landing. This latest episode felt like it could and probably should have been a two-hour episode. With so much going on all over Westeros, little time was given to characters who would have benefited from a little more screen time. We haven’t seen Stannis in the last couple of episodes and we only get but a snippet of him this week. However, that being said, the small scene he did have, gave us more insight into his character than the sum of his screen time as a whole.
Every story has characters that you will loathe. But for me, it’s a rare occasion where there is a character whose face I wish I could rip off. It happened in the Harry Potter books, and it’s happening again now. Theon make me so mad I can’t even see straight. The final shot of last week’s episode where he hoisted the remains of the young boys up for all of Winterfell to see left me shocked and angry. Once I calmed down however, I questioned on if the remains were actually those of the Stark boys. We get the answer to that question in this latest episode and the action picks up in Winterfell.