Monday, April 29, 2013

The Idiot Box: Game Of Thrones 3x05 - Kissed By Fire

The latest episode of Game of Thrones starts off with a fight to the death that isn't, an invasion that won't be, and a merry-go-round of marriage plans cancelled and re-arraigned. All that and some dead baby fetuses in creepy green tubes, and we're off to another good run that isn't quite as viscerally satisfying as the last episode, but certainly on the high end for this season. Oh, and I think we've officially sorted out the absolute worst thing you could possibly say after sex, and that is "When was the last time you had a bath?"

Kissed By Fire brings the servants of the Lord of Light into some greater focus, which is a bit of a mixed bag for me, because as much as they've brought with them the uptick in magic and mystery I clamored for all through season one, I keep finding myself disappointed and wanting more whenever they cryptically do whatever it is they do without explanation or payoff. The fight between the Hound and the Eye Patch guy is a perfect metaphor for what I'm talking about, something set up to be massive and mind bending, with just enough intriguing mysticism to distract you from the fact that despite the magic show, the status quo has been maintained.

I've mentioned in these reviews before how I kind of resent the track we're on with Jaime Lannister, taking the guy who we first saw pushing a small child out of a window to cover his incestuous adultery and trying to make him sympathetic. This season seems to be the Jaime forgiveness tour, and we get another ham handed attempt at it here where he gets to have a good cry recounting why its really just so unfair that people call him Kingslayer. Personally, I've never understood why that name wasn't a badge of honor under the circumstances anyway, and why so many people shun him for killing a guy nobody liked and who publicly set a bunch of people on fire.

On the plus side, it finally looks like Tyrion's getting himself an actual storyline finally, or at least one that doesn't involve him marveling at the sexual prowess of his squire. I wonder if his chivalrous refusal to besmirch Sansa's honor might have gone a bit too far, but then again it wasn't half as over the top as what we get from Daenerys. If I had known that her storyline this season was just going to be an excuse to remake Roots with dragons, I might not have expanded so much excitement last week at that still epic ending. Am I the only one thinking she's very rapidly getting a bit Mary Sue-ish? I find it much harder to like a character if the story goes so far out of its way to make me want to, and my contrarian impulse to rebel against that prompting is starting to rear its ugly head with her crusade for righteous justice.

Still, I can't really complain about this episode altogether. While its a lot of set up for future events, its enticing enough, especially after doing a bit of spoiler heavy research recently on how some of these threads will end up. Even Rob was a little more interesting than I normally find him, getting to be as bad ass and stupid as his father was in the name of honor, though Sansa was still as boring as ever even with the promise of her becoming more integrated into the story, which only makes me dread what's to come. Did I mention I'm not very fond of her. Also Craster's still dead, so that's good.

Spoilers if you haven't seen last week's episode, but read this review for the next one because you don't know how TV works. Overall, another solid hour to hang your hat on.

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