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Monday, April 25, 2011

Game of Thrones Episode 2

We must say, this series has got to be a lot better if you HAVEN’T read the books. And unless you have the time on your hands, the series might be a better option for you. The books are Long with a capital “L.” One of us has read them and wishes she knew there was going to be a TV series.

We love to read, but TV is so much easier. It’s a pretty high compliment to this series that we can say that it’s equal to the books because, while a little slow, they are pretty good.

“I love when people say that they don’t have a TV and that they read. I say, ‘I have you seen TV? It’s much better.” – Jim Gaffigan.

What happened this week? About 100 pages worth of stuff, and it wasn’t all that earth-shattering. Lots of people were upset by the ending, but we’ll get to that. We’ve decided that this show demands at least short recaps, because it gets complex later, and everything seems to happen so quietly unless it’s violence or sex.

We’re not digging the show’s treatment of the Daenerys storyline so far. The book actually had less forced doggy-style sex between Daenerys and her new husband. What she did last night (making the sex good for herself), she did right away. She was into it. Maybe HBO just couldn’t resist messed-up titillation? Like rape and women practicing sex on each other. But we are glad to see that the rape portion of this storyline is over. Daenerys gets way cooler. She’s not a victim, and we don’t like to see her portrayed that way.

Catelyn Stark, meanwhile, moans and groans about her husband leaving to be the king’s hand, and then dredges up the past by talking about his bastard son. You know, just to make their farewell special. Eddard Stark leaves with fat King Robert, taking his daughters, Arya and Sansa.

Catelyn refuses to leave Bran. Bran survived being pushed out the window, but he lies in his bed, unconscious and recovering. Obviously, the incestuous Lannisters want him dead before he wakes up and talks about how they do the nasty when no one is looking. So they sent an assassin to kill Bran. Catelyn Stark and Bran’s direwolf fight the assassin off/kill him together. Catelyn figures out who done it, and she decides to ride to her husband to warn him that the Lannisters are evil. Before the end of the episode, Bran wakes up.

Because Jon Snow is Eddard’s bastard, his destiny is to go serve on the Wall. The Wall is sort of a barrier between Eddard’s kingdom and the wilderness were all sorts of nasty is rumored to live. We know the rumors are true, because of the first scene of the first episode where a bunch of people got beheaded. Tyrion the Lannister dwarf (and Ern’s favorite character) decides to ride with Jon and check out the wall. Tyrion and Jon seem to be making friends. Riding with them are a bunch of criminals. They could choose between castration and serving at the Wall for life, and they chose the Wall, an uncommon choice. The Wall must really suck.

During the trip to King’s Landing (where King Robert lives, duh), Prince Joffrey tries to woo Sansa. It’s easy. Sansa is kind of lame at this point in the story. While walking together and drinking booze, Sansa and Joffrey came across Arya practicing sword-fighting with a butcher’s son. Joffrey decides to mock them. He challenges the butcher’s son to a duel, even though Joffrey has a real sword and the other boy has a stick. Arya protests, everyone gets into a surprisingly bad ass fight (as it’s between children). But then things get too serious when Arya’s direwolf takes a chunk out of Joffrey’s arm.

Joffrey took it like your average spoiled brat, crying in the dirt. Arya sent her direwolf away, and Sansa’s direwolf had to be killed by Eddard Stark to appease Cersei Lannister, Joffrey’s mom. Totally unfair.

And all the people watching apparently freaked out that a dog was killed on the show. We’ve heard several people say that they would rather see a human killed than an animal. We disagree. If the off-screen, fictional killing of a dog is too much for you, then you might want to steer clear of this show. The deaths and shockers haven’t even begun yet.

But this show is going to be around for a while, so we think that anyone remotely interested should get into it.

Episode grade: B+


  1. I can see the dwarf becoming the equal in my pantheon of likeable screen characters to Ian McShane's portrayal of Al Swearengen on "Deadwood".

    You are right when you say this episode was a bit slow, but these are LONG books and, I assume, very deep (just getting started). This show is not for those seeking a quick fix.

    The killing of the wolf was sad. However, it served two purposes in my view: Turn up the hate dial on the Lannisters to eleven, and portray King Robert as a weak king who is more interested in his booze and whores than ruling his kingdom as strong and just leader and a good father. Just my opinion.

  2. That is EXACTLY the purpose it was supposed to serve. Those are the views you want of these people for the first season.

    One of us talked to someone who said that the series has been too slow so far to be memorable. It's a little subtle now, but we swear, it's gonna pick up. They are still laying the groundwork.

    Sadly, if what we remember from the books is correct, it may take until the end of this season to start getting awesome. This might be better in a DVD binge. But hey, we stuck through Boardwalk Empire right?

    We miss Al Swearengen.