Monday, April 22, 2013

The Idiot Box: Game Of Thrones - 3x04 "And Now His Watch Is Ended" Review

One of these days I want someone from Westeros to look up at the sun through a telescope and reveal that it actually has those cool engraved spinning rings around it. That sort of thing is why they probably don't let me write for this show. Well, that and the whole Drowned God/Rhyllor wrestling match thing. Anyway, here's what I thought about the latest episode of Game of Thrones, And Now His Watch Is Ended.

With a few minor exceptions, this episode is basically everything I want in an hour of Game of Thrones, and the closest the series has probably come to that flash cartoon of Thrones Wish Fulfillment. It begins with a jovial suggestion of shoving an amputee's severed fingers inside of his ass, and ends with some righteous dragon justice. Without question this is easily the best episode of the season so far, and possibly in the top five for the series. Apart from the Brotherhood Without Banners turning back to kill Hotpie just for the fun of it (God I still hate that fat kid), there really isn't all that much more I could have asked for.

Well, that's not entirely true. Once again, Tyrion is more of a minor incidental character than I would have liked, though at least his involvement this time around served to bring on the return of the Eunuch, and of course we have more Sansa, which might be the opposite of the shows famous penchant for sexposition, in that it adds nothing to the story, and is in no way visually exciting. I don't mean that as any sort of sexist swipe about her physical appearance by the way, just how insufferably boring her character is. Oh, and we got another bit of Theon, but its mercifully brief, and sets him up to get the crap beat out of him some more, which is the only state in which I find his character at all appealing.

Also, of the three notable deaths this week, while two of them I had previously hoped for, the one I didn't invoke last time is a bit disappointing. Its not portrayed poorly, just that I really liked the character and its a shame to see them taken out. The other death that happens right before this however is much applauded, as is the third and final one involving the aforementioned fiery justice. In fact that whole climactic scene might just be the single most gripping five minutes in the entire series, even if I saw it coming since the first episode back. If you are a fan of the show but for some reason didn't see it yet, you've probably heard about it breathlessly recapped by a fellow nerdy fan, but I still won't spoil it just in case, except to say that its epic enough to qualify as a season finale in its own right.

Fuck it, spoiled.

My past quibbling and snark aside, I can't say I was ever really doubting the quality of this show moving forward, at least not to the same degree that I am with Doctor Who, but to the extent that I had any tiny worries, this episode quickly resolved them. Though I do have to wonder why a knight would keep horse urine in a canteen, and if he took the time and effort to collect it straight from the tap just for a joke. And I do sort of regret the missed opportunity of actually having Aria fight The Hound to the death, as quick and one-sided a fight that would have been. Still, otherwise, very good episode, highly recommend it if for whatever reason you decided to skip it.

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