Game of Thrones Season 4, Episode 4: “Oathkeeper”

Still not recovered from last week, but here’s a thing I discovered: if you dub over all of Jaime’s lines with the voice of Prince Charming from “Shrek 2.”  Also picture him with Prince Charming’s hair net.  It doesn’t fix everything but it does make it a little better.

This week on Game of Thrones, also known as “LOL what source material” and also “SER POUNCE”

Essos
I am 110% on the Missandei/Grey Worm boat let’s do this.  Again, she’s a little girl in the books, and that scene doesn’t/wouldn’t happen, but I freaking loved it.  These two people who have suffered immeasurably comparing their homes and Missandei is teaching him the Common Tongue and Daenerys is all cute because she got them together and Grey Worm says “Missandei is teacher good” and I LOVE IT.  MORE OF THIS.

The takeover of Meereen was not all that more dramatic in the books, but I guess it took seeing it on-screen to realize how underwhelming it is.  Here’s some knives, slaves (also apparently no one noticed that like all the Meereenese slaves just…left?), go stab that ONE GUY, he’ll get all “et tu, Brute?” and then BAM, Meereen is conquered.  Also I guess we write “kill the masters” in the Common Tongue?  Whatever, in-show continuity.

I appreciate that the show creators realize that Dany, Dragons and Co. are huge fan favorites, but Barristan’s setup for Dany’s line was just…bleh.
Barristan: “It is sometimes better to answer injustice with mercy.”
Dany: *oh sweet he set me up for this perfectly I can just drop the in- and I’ve got this sick-ass line*
Dany: AHEM “I will answer injustice WITH. JUSTICE.”
Crowd: ooooooh wow such quip, very sass

It’s different when you’re reading her POV chapters and you see just how uncertain she seems to be about a lot of things, and I’m a little sad that the show has turned her into a Cool Girls Blow Things Up Behind Them and Don’t Watch stereotype.  The books also had a giant reveal of Ser Barristan (who was going by Arstan Whitebeard until he’s like SURPRISE I’M BARRISTAN) but that obviously can’t happen in the show.  We’ll see where they’re going with the Meereen setup: not in love with it right now but I’ll give it another couple episodes.

Margaery/Olenna/Tommen
These are all extra scenes and…I kind of love them?  Olenna is tellin’ it like it is (although it obviously felt a little like your grandma having too much to drink and telling sex stories about your grandpa AWKKK) but it’s kind of totally reasonable for Olenna and Margaery to secure this marriage if they both really want her to be queen. The actor playing Tommen is hilariously nailing the whole early-teenager-Tommen’s-not-that-bright thing.  He’s eight years old in the books, but this works fine, since they aged up Joffrey as well, so there’s still a clear gap.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the true star of this episode: SER POUNCE.  I’m not even a cat person and I just freaking love me some Ser Pounce.  I really can’t explain why I was so happy to see this stupid cat but seriously he jumped up on Tommen’s bed and I was like “IT’S SER POUNCE AW YEAHHH.”

#SerPouncefortheIronThrone

Littlefinger/Sansa
This section turned into “lolol wut’s subtlety” with Littlefinger first being like “I kill drunks because they can’t keep my secrets” but then being like “let’s tell Sansa literally all my shit.”  It was pretty lovely to watch Sansa be like “um wut r u doin” and the whole scene did feel like a test that Baelish gave and Sansa passed, but I’m a little over him being Exposition Man.  It just felt like the writers thought the audience was stupid.  He does tell her what happened in the book but it’s less “finish my sentences that I’ve set up perfectly” and more “hint hint wink wink.”  I just…I don’t know.  I feel like he’s turned into a mustache-twirling villain with an evil laugh and I’m just not super impressed by how they’re showing him.  And just to reiterate love you forever Sansa.

Jaime
I…don’t know what to do here.  I can’t even really look at him anymore.  His training scene with Bronn could have been a cool one, if he weren’t a rapist.  His meeting with Tyrion could have been an interesting moment between brothers, if he weren’t a rapist. His scene with Cersei could have been a great moment to show when she starts to turn against him because of his defense of Tyrion…if he weren’t a rapist.  His giving Brienne his sword and her new armor and Pod as a squire could have been wonderful…if he weren’t a rapist.  But he is.  My tweet that sums up the whole thing was “Well, you raped your sister, so killing your brother shouldn’t be too hard.”

I’m also independently mad at the show for screwing with the Oathkeeper scene, because it was excellent as it was. (Jaime names the blade, and it’s much less of a Dramatic Moment and much more new respect mixed with old antagonism in a very realistic way.) I had a ridiculous hope that they’d do some kind of “we were SO wrong about last week, sorry, seriously, we’re stupid” thing before the introduction, but of course not.  I’m going to have to figure out how to write stuff about Jaime for this blog in the future, but maybe I can just write what was cool in the book before they ruined him.  I’ll keep you updated.

The Wall
In case you’ve forgotten, Locke is 1. the dude who chopped off Jaime’s hand 2. the dude who looks exactly like The Six Fingered Man in The Princess Bride and if you didn’t realize this yet ENJOY because YOU CAN’T UNSEE IT AND I’M NOT SORRY.  In the books, this dude named Vargo Hoat chops off Jaime’s hand (he’s the leader of a sellsword company that’s shady even as sellsword companies go).  I’m a little sad that he’s not in this, because he had this sweet lisp and when Jaime tells him that Brienne’s home of Tarth is called the Sapphire Isle because it holds gems and therefore they should not hurt her because they’ll ransom her for money, and Vargo Hoat responds with “Thapphireth…” It’s just excellent.  He dies horribly, which is good or bad depending on how bloodthirsty you are, but yeah ANYWAY Andrew asked me what was going on with Locke and I was like “lol no clue he’s not real.”

Yes, I describe characters in a fictional series but that do not appear in the books as “not real.”  This is completely healthy and I will hear nothing else about it.

I do really like Kit Harington’s version of Jon Snow, and maybe this was just me, but Kit’s hair was especially Herbal Essence-commercial-y this week, and I had almost forgotten how short he was until he was talking to Alliser and speaking to his brothers.  The whole time I was just thinking “someone please get him a box, this is embarrassing.”

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Bran/Craster’s Keep/I don’t even know
Don’t let Bran and Jon meet up.  Jon thinks he and Rickon are dead and this is important.  Just, don’t.  Also what trap do they have set that can capture a DIREWOLF?  Like these things are basically small tanks with fur and your shitty-ass trap caught one?  Okay.

I’m REALLY not enjoying the Craster’s Keep stuff, especially since once again we are showing rape for really no other reason than to shock people.  We know what show we’re watching, this scene wasn’t in the books, and you’re stripping actresses who get no lines to show that men are shitty.  300% done with this.  We seem to have moved from sexposition to rapexposition and that’s not a fucking improvement.  Just stop it.  The difference in the show is that these are real women you’re showing and it’s not okay.  Westeros is terrible and alas, poor Jeor, I knew him well and now I’m drinking out of his skull okay ENOUGH.  Just stop.

No idea what they’re doing with Bran, Meera, Jojen, and Hodor meeting up with the Night’s Watch traitors, no idea where they’re going with this, this whole thing feels like filler until the great battle, I know you paid those actors and Bran’s storyline is a whole lot of walking and snow, but come on now, stop.  I’m hoping next week the whole “lol what source material” stuff stops and women are left alone, but I generally lose hope the second the warnings say N for Nudity because you know it’ll be terrible.

White Walker + baby = so if you don’t read the books, just an FYI, people who do are kinda mad because this scene felt like a spoiler for the actual book series (the ones that haven’t been published yet).  If you want to read about it a bit, you can go here.  There’s no confirmation that this is true (and the description of the Other with the spikes as the Night’s King was taken down very quickly), but the big implication here is that if this legend is true, how many more “legends” of Westeros are also true?

To end this on a fun note, my wonderful friend Sarah describes the Others as “motherfucking ice zombies” and that is really important.

To end this on a note that will make you hate me, I rewatched the clip from the end and started singing “Ice, Ice, Baby.”  Westeros has better stop collaborate and listen. (I should be sorry but I’m notttttttt)

Game of Thrones, Season 4, Episode 3, “Breaker of Chains”

You guys probably already know why I’m mad, so I’ll leave that till last.  Extra unfortunate because I really liked this episode otherwise.

Sansa/Littlefinger
(I am 110% not here for anyone going “oh my God Sansa you’re still so stupid why would you trust Littlefinger” because okay right you come up with other viable options for her right now luvuSansa ANYWAY)

Guysssss I kinda always liked Ser Dontos in the books even though he’s vaguely incompetent at everything.  Maybe it’s because that would be my role in Westeros.  Bad at everything.  #WeAreAllSerDontos. Loving how Sansa’s necklace is apparently rock candy, because sure, why not.  Littlefinger is acting like a winking combination of Scar from the Lion King and Jafar from Aladdin (Jascar?) and I really don’t know who is responsible for his direction but it is some straight up “run, Simba, run far awayyyyy, and NEVER retuuuuurn” weirdness.  Make it more subtle or it’s laughable.  Some part of this is the futile attempt to cover Aidan Gillen’s Irish accent, which I think they should have let him keep.  Or tried harder.  Or something.  I know this is an American audience and we supposedly can’t tell the difference between Queen Elizabeth II inviting us for tea and a pub fight in Cardiff but goddamn it can we try for some consistency? (I’m looking at you, Tyrion/Stark family/basically everyone except Rose Leslie as Ygritte because she’s killing it).

Stannis/Davos/Shireen
Can we just let Shireen sit the Iron Throne?  I love her.  Anyway, Stephen Dillane as Stannis has been absolutely excellent for three years now, but I actually think his short scene with Davos was perhaps his finest to date.  His remark that his claim will be forgotten if he doesn’t act actually made me sad for him, and I think that’s completely due to Dillane’s acting, especially since Melisandre wasn’t there to out-drama him.  Also Shireen and Davos have my favorite friendship on the show, and Davos is excellent.  He was my new favorite POV in A Clash of Kings.  I don’t know what it is that makes me like him so much, I just do, okay?

Sam/Gilly/Jon/Ygritte/Wildlings Of Death
All those who pretty much want to shake the two of them and be like MAKE OUT ALREADY say “aye”
*literally the entire world* AYE
God, they’re cute.  Also def wondering whose baby that is.  Not sure why I want to know, I just do.  Also thanks for the random toplessness of the barmaids/nameless whores TOTES MISSED OUT ON SEEING THAT FOR LIKE 7 MINUTES THANKS.  I’m really unclear on why we decided to make the Thenns cannibals (in the books they’re like a “non-barbaric” society and in the show we’ve spent a lot of time saying that there’s no difference between the wildlings and those below the Wall), but it’s gross and that poor little kid and ughhhh.  I know you gotta get the kid to run fast to Castle Black but that was just extra gross.
It is borderline unreal how screwed the Night’s Watch is, and how lovely Jon’s hair still looks.  For those about to deep-condition, we salute you.

Tyrion/Pod
POOOOOODDDD.  Little Podrick Payne, all my feelings.  He’s definitely a bit savvier in the show than he is in the books, but I’ve kind of loved him the whole time.  I really don’t have anything else to say; this scene was great.

Tywin
“He always has that look, you know?” – Andrew
“Yeah, I can’t describe it, it’s just like this, smirk, thing?” – Me
“His FACE is sassy.” – Andrew
That would be my wonderful boyfriend describing Charles Dance.  I loved his speech to Tommen about what makes a good king (they recast Tommen and I have no idea how big a role he’s playing but the new actor is doing a great job being pliable and a little slow), and especially how he ended it.  “A wise king trusts his advisors. Oh would you look at that I’M an advisor TRUST ME LET ME RUN THIS PLACE OHWAIT I TOTES DO THAT NOW” Tywinnnnn you da greatest.  My friend Baird said that Charles Dance probably just walked into the casting office in costume and that was it.

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Oberyn
Hey, you know what totally works now that we’ve introduced Oberyn and Ellaria as the cool people they are and isn’t weirdly fetishizing and gross?  A sex scene.  AND it shows bisexuality in a good light? AND it lets Oberyn explain everything? BE STILL MY HEA-
Ohhh, we’re going to give all the lines to the male prostitute?  The two naked women still don’t talk?  And they’re not the only line-less naked women in the show?  And the main characters stay clothed in this supposedly *~*crAzY*~* sex scene?  One step forward, two steps back.  And one tiny baby step forward for Tywin’s “they do not pay me enough for this shit” face he made while standing there watching the naked people file out.
Really looking forward to watching the trial for all the reasons.  My last Dorne-related thing is plz stop calling each other “lover.”  Not really for any other reason than the word squicks me out and I’m waiting for you to jump into a hot tub and break into an SNL skit.  

Daenerys
For the book readers among you (don’t worry, this isn’t a spoiler if you haven’t, it’s safe to read on), they sneakily introduced Hizdahr zo Loraq this episode.

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He was one of the many people standing on the walls of Meereen, and is continuing in the fine Game of Thrones tradition of “literally everyone on this show can get it.”

I continue to be on #TeamGreyWorm, and also #TeamMissandei and now I want them to get together.  She is actually the cutest human when translating the Meereenese champion’s insults.  She is a child in the books, but eh, you know what? This works.

It is not possible for Daario to be more generic than he is.  In the books, he has this great gives-zero-fucks attitude and this blue beard and is INTERESTING if incredibly reckless and violent.  Our Daario here looks like an extra from “King Arthur” who hasn’t worked anything bigger than a ren faire since.  Oh, but he WINKED at Daenerys oooooo how dangerousssss and sexyyyyy TRY HARDER, HBO.  Dany has actual dragons and has conquered cities and you’re gonna let her be won over by Foot Soldier #3.  (I will give them this, his knife throwing thing was cool.)

Emilia Clarke is lovely as ever and could go up against Charles Dance in a “300% done with your shit”-expression contest.  I would pay to watch that.  I’m assuming they’re letting her use the same type of Valyrian for each city (the dialects are supposed to be very different), but frankly, not a big deal, and Clarke is speaking it like 1. it IS her mother tongue 2. it’s an actual language.  I get chills when she speaks Valyrian.  MOAR VALYRIAN.  My one concern with her here is that we don’t have a ton more plot from book 3 and she’s missing from book 4, so I hope they pace this properly.

Nopenopenope
You know what this is.  Once again, this stupid, stupid show chooses to use rape as an unnecessary plot device.  Dany is raped by Drogo in the first season, which is a change from the books.  I would state that it is basically impossible for 14-year-old book Dany to give her consent to a much older Khal Drogo to whom she’s essentially been sold in a language she doesn’t speak, but book Drogo makes an attempt to gain her consent. Not so in the show.

Same for Jaime and Cersei.  In the books, Jaime returns from the war after the wedding, and yes, twin incest sex occurs in the Westeros equivalent of a church while Joffrey’s body is laid out.  I’m not saying it’s not creepy.  But Cersei gives her consent.  It’s not given immediately, but it’s given completely, and it’s implied that the borderline-nonconsent at the beginning of the encounter is a common aspect of their sexplay.

AAAAAND then we have this fucking show.  Cersei NEVER gives consent, and is crying throughout.  She attempts to push him off, and says “no” about a half dozen times.  She does not consent at any point before the scene cuts away.
Here’s my two main issues here, NOT in order of importance.

1. This ruins Jaime’s character development
Jaime. Is. Not. A. Rapist.  What end is served by making him a rapist?  The scene is written from Jaime’s POV in the books, and unless he’s imagining Cersei’s speech, she gives him her consent.  He’s not an actual good guy, but the stuff he does that’s extra terrible have been for Cersei (including pushing Bran off the tower).  He protects Brienne from rape when they’re captured.  He knows that when towns are sacked, the soldiers rape women.  He’s literally the only man Cersei trusts, and he would NOT ruin that by raping her.  Good luck with his character development now, gentlemen, because you’ve ruined him for all the book readers and many show watchers.

2. I am so fucking done with rape as a plot device and the men who excuse it
We already got an added “Dany is raped by Drogo” scene to make her seem more sympathetic, or something, because we’re too stupid to figure it out?  Did you have Jaime rape Cersei to make her seem more sympathetic?  Were you not aware that many fans hate her and this is therefore very irresponsible of you?  My friend Sarah commented that she doesn’t want to look to see how many people are saying something along the lines of “she deserved it.”

The scariest part for me, however, is how many people wrote, shot, and approved this scene without realizing how beyond fucked up it is.  Even Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, when asked if the scene was rape, replied “Yes and no.”  NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE.  Something is rape or it isn’t, and THIS WAS RAPE.  He forced himself on her (with a previous line that seemed to blame the gods for what he was about to do?) without her consent = that is rape.  I’m incredibly sad that of the dozens, maybe hundreds of people who were aware of this scene didn’t say “this isn’t just weird twin incest sex, this is actual rape.”  This terrifies me that none of those people could identify coercive sex in a real setting, either.

I’m sorry to end this on such an angry note, but this is important.  I always say that you don’t have to share my opinions on this show, but this is an exception.  If you’re reading this, please understand that you need to view Jaime and Cersei’s scene as sexual assault, because that’s what it is.  This is important.

If you haven’t read the books, I would be very interested to find out if you felt this was way out of Jaime’s character, or if you’re not surprised by it.

Game of Thrones Season 4, Episode 2 “The Lion and the Rose”

Same as always but seriously do not freaking read this if you haven’t watched the episode.  Last chance.

This week in Nudity and Violence Variety Hour, something you’ve all been waiting for since basically Day One finally happened. I’ll touch on the royal wedding in a bit, but first, the other characters we sort of forgot about.  I’ll go in order of how many feelings I have about them.

Bran, Hodor, Meera and Jojen
I was hoping for a Rickon spotting this week but no dice. (Side note, if you want to play the world’s worst drinking game, drink whenever you see Rickon…you’ll be drunk in roughly 2040.)  I liked how they did Bran’s warg-ing, and I have for a while.  Also jeez did Isaac Hempstead-Wright get older.  It’s a bit easier to make him look younger by Hodor carrying him all the time, but he’s supposed to still be a baby and he’s not, my little Brandon is growing upppp.

House Bolton and Reek
ROOOOOOOSE.  Guys I know you’re going to hate me but the portrayal of Roose Bolton as a stone-cold death-plotting Stark-trolling motherfucker is everything I’ve ever wanted.  His shade-throwing, his swishy cloak, his non-smiling stare, it’s just great.  Also I seriously love Fat Walda.  Chances are we won’t see her again this season or it’ll only be for a minute, but seriously I love her.  In the books, she’s straight up proud of being chosen by Roose (Walder Frey said Roose could have his bride’s weight in silver, so he picked the heaviest girl), she’s not the shy woman she was portrayed as in the minute we saw her, Ramsay hates her because she can potentially have trueborn sons, and Roose is actually fond of her.  Fat Walda is probably my favorite minor character and y’all should get on this train.

Okay, this isn’t a spoiler, but just to fill you in on a thing that Ramsay does.  He (and his men) send women that he’s captured or just finds into the forests surrounding the Dreadfort.  He gives them a bit of a head start, and then hunts them.  If they give him a good sport, he kills them quickly and then flays them.  If they’re truly excellent, he’ll name one of his hunting dogs after them.  If they do not give him good sport, he flays them alive.  All of them are raped.  When I saw that “Miranda” (????) suddenly is a part of this hunt as his little girlfriend or something, I almost lost it.  Combined with the weird scene in the Dreadfort with Roose being like “you’re my bastard can u not do things k thnx bai” and Ramsay getting all sad like “why doesn’t Daddy love me,” I’m angry about how they’re showing Ramsay.  He is 100% a Charles Manson/Ted Bundy/Hannibal/straight-from-your-nightmares disaster of a human being, and I am not here for you to give him a backstory or try even a little to make him sympathetic.  He’s not.  He’s the actual worst, and I seriously don’t care if it’s because Roose didn’t love him enough.  He chases women through the forest and sets his dogs on them for fun, he strips the skin off of his enemies, he forced a lord’s widow to marry him, left her in a tower to starve, and she ate her own fingers before she died.   Nope x1000000.  I could forgive them this in comparison with giving Ramsay whoever Miranda is.  Ramsay’s hunts are perhaps the worst thing that happens to women in these books, and to act like it’s okay for another woman to join him in the misogyny and targeted violence is unacceptable.  And to give Ramsay a line like “you’re pretty, and it’s making Miranda jealous” is so irresponsible I don’t even know where to start.  This woman joins you in hunting down girls because she’s jealous of how pretty they are?  Unacceptable.

The Royal Wedding
So, my first instinct was a little bit along the lines of “ahhh none of this happened what are you doing to my books” but in actuality, the changes work.  We see the Purple Wedding (unlike the Red Wedding, it’s not called that in the book, but the fans call it that) from Tyrion’s POV, and therefore some of the things here wouldn’t ever be seen by him, but could have happened.  The one thing that is bugging me a bit is that in the books, Jaime and Brienne do not return until after Joffrey’s death.  Cersei doesn’t do her weird “no, no, everything’s changed you got captured ahhh” thing, and Brienne gets locked up when she returns for the murder of Renly.  Therefore, Cersei doesn’t do her weird “but you luuuuurve him” thing at the wedding.  Not a fan, since Brienne herself doesn’t know what she wants, and the scene with Cersei seemed to force her hand.

I have a lot of Shae-related feelings, but I’ma hold off because I feel like I’ll ruin something for some of you guys.  I would like to know from people who haven’t read the books how they feel about her, particularly if she seems like a sympathetic character.  I have, so I don’t know if my “dude you are a paid sex-companion, what exactly did you think was gonna happen, you were gonna marry Tyrion? Sure okay totes gonna work” disdainful reaction was because of my book-opinion, but maybe I’m right on.  Be realistic, gurl.

ANYWAY.  You know what should have been Oberyn and Ellaria’s first scene? The sass-off with Tywin and Cersei, not the weird brothel thing.  Again, the sass-off was not canon, and frankly, probably wouldn’t have happened, but dear God did I love it.  Everything from Ellaria’s slave-Leia-esque outfit to Oberyn’s “would you like some ice for that burn?” smile was amazing.  I also really love Oberyn’s highlighting of what makes nobility actually noble.  It’s not refusing to interact with bastards or ensuring those beneath you stay beneath you.  It’s protecting the weak and helpless.  The whole “oh, I don’t know about y’all, but in MY country it’s pretty bad form to murder infants just because they’re in the way” was wonderful, and I’m really happy one of the few non-white characters delivered it, as it’s a resounding condemnation of the entire Westerosi way of operating.  Red Viper OUT. *mic drop*

So, for those of you wondering, yes, a version of the battle entertainment happens in the books: it’s just two people, and they joust, and it’s not supposed to be a War of Five Kings thing.  However, the participants are still little people, and it’s used to get Joffrey to instigate Tyrion into fighting them.  I’m actually really disappointed that they chose to include this scene.  The scene is offensive enough in the books, as Joffrey snorts wine out of his nose laughing at two little people pretending to have sex after being knocked off a pig and a horse in their fake joust.  However, once you put the scene on-screen, you have a greater responsibility.  There are 5 men who were required to be cast in those parts, and we’ll never learn their names.  We don’t even get to see them up close.  Their parts were a modern-day equivalent of Munchkin Land.  After 4 years of demonstrating that a little person can be a fully-fleshed out character, and with Peter Dinklage winning an Emmy for his portrayal of Tyrion, we’ve taken about a hundred steps backwards.  And for what? To include a scene that shows ONE MORE TIME that Joffrey is a piece of shit?  Did you think we forgot?  My friend Baird put it as the producers thinking they’re in on the joke: they had to remind us Joffrey’s the worst because “WELL YOU MAY HAVE FORGOTTEN WE DO INTRODUCE A LOT OF CHARACTERS HO HO HO”  Fuck off.  We KNEW this.  We’ve known it since Season 1, Episode 2.  I’m angry about this in the same way I’m angry about the death of Ros: offscreen, horribly sexualized and violent, and for what?  JOFFREY’S THE WORST, WE GOT IT.  STOP BEING TERRIBLE AND SAYING IT’S OKAY JUST BECAUSE “WELL, IT’S NOT US, IT’S HIM!”.  You have responsibilities; these are now real men and women and you owe them dignity.  He’s dead now, so maybe it’ll get better, but maybe not.

Speaking of Joffrey, Jack Gleeson, A++++.  The rest of the cast has given him completely glowing reviews, and in all his interviews he’s been a very pleasant, polite, eager young man.  This kid is a good kid, which makes me really sad when I see things on Twitter that say “I just want to punch him in his stupid face.”  Thaaaaaat’s not okay.  That’s Jack’s face.  Like there are dartboards out there with Jack Gleeson’s face on it and that squicks me out a little bit.  He’s said he is going to quit acting after this and go into academia, and dude whenever you become a professor I’ll come watch you lecture.  He’s clearly an excellent actor as we all hate him so much, and he really has the overconfidence + getting flustered if anyone calls him on his behavior thing down.  I also really want to give him credit for his death scene.  My friend Sarah pointed out that even though he’s this evil, awful person, in his last minutes he really conveyed just being a scared son who needs his mom.  You felt a twinge of sympathy for him in his last moments. Seriously, Jack Gleeson, I won’t miss Joffrey, but I will miss you.  You did a great job, and I wish you the best, and I reeeeeally hope people saying things about your face isn’t why you quit acting.

Overall, from the people I’ve talked to, the episode did a really good job of surprising people, and although it wasn’t spot on book stuff and some things made me mad, the wedding itself was excellent.  I know y’all are caught up in your bloodlust (for the record, maybe tone it down?  It’s a little creepy to watch all my friends get super excited over an eye-bleeding poison death), but oh my goodness what’s gonna happen next???  And who do you think did the poisoning?  How’d you like the episode?  Leave comments if you’d like!

Game of Thrones Season 4, Episode 1: “Two Swords”

So there are a lot of recaps of this show already, of course, but I’m going to try something a little different here: I’m gonna do a feelings-cap.  Where I review all of my feelings, of course.  If you watched the show you know what happened, so I don’t need to go over the plot for you, but I will examine how I felt about the plot!  I will not spoil any parts of the books that have not been on the show already, but I will add some explanation if the show scenes are different from the book scenes. If you’re not current on the episode, of COURSE do not read this.

As our intro this week, we got a reminder that Tywin is in fact The Baddest Bitch and will not only let his grandson behead you and then arrange for the murder of your firstborn at a wedding, but he will melt down your priceless Valyrian steel sword and then burn the pelt of the animal on your house sigil on the fire. One of the best aspects to this is that all the direwolf stuff reinforces that we’re more okay with human death because the second the wolfies get involved we’re like COME ON, NOT THE PUPPIES WHYYYY.

I then aggressively sang/hummed the intro most of the time; sorry people I was with.  Oh snap, Dreadfort, what’s up.  Also Winterfell has been on fire for like two years now we can stop with the smoke.

THE NORTH
I would just like to take this moment to state my undying love for Samwell Tarly.  As much as I’d like to think otherwise, I would be him if I were in the books.  Cowardly, likes to read, is vaguely in love with Kit Harington.  #WeAreAllSamwellTarly  Maester Aemon is also on my love list haters to the left.  I’m not really sure what they were going for with the Thenns, unless it was “hey we’re back with the goblins from the first Hobbit movie, is that okay with you?”  Because then I’m totally on board.  I’m also assuming the actor playing Mance Rayder demanded a thousand dollars per second of screen time because we’re apparently never gonna see him again.

ESSOS
“Where is Daario Naharis?” – Dany
“Off being recast and growing a beard that is STILL not blue, dammit” – Me
So yeah, in the books, Daario has this sweet blue beard that they refuse to get him for the show.  I’m pretty okay with the recasting so far, mostly because they’re no longer styling Daario like a sad LOTR elf extra, but bro has to turn on some charm or something because I’m not impressed yet.  Also who makes fun of a eunuch for being a eunuch? Low blow, Naharis.  Team Grey Worm.  The dragons look great as always, and that stupid sheep that they dropped actually startled me. If they don’t completely screw up the pacing of her storyline (like I feel they did in season 2), this could be a good one for Dany and Dragons and Co.

ARYA AND THE HOUND
Arya and Sandor walk into a bar.  Everyone gets killed.  …That’s the end of the joke.
So Maisie Williams managed to get even more terrifying this season and I kind of love it?  Not that I love what’s happened to Arya’s character, considering I’m pretty sure there’s a gaping black hole where her heart used to be, but Maisie is KILLING it.  Both literally and figuratively.  Her revenge on Polliver is definitely a compilation of several deaths in the books, but it worked.  I was trying to figure out why they included Lommy’s death on the “previously, on Game of Thrones” (aside: how is that helpful for literally anyone, dude, previously on Game of Thrones you missed SO EFFING MUCH IT’S NOT EVEN FUNNY), but it of course made sense afterwards.  I’m also really enjoying all the associated chicken jokes that are now happening on the internet with Sandor.

HOWEVER.  I am so done with this show using the c-word.  (The word is “cunt,” for the record, but I really don’t like using it so commit it to memory now thanks.)  Yes, the word appears in the books, but it’s frequently used by repulsive characters.  On the show, it’s used by Bronn and the Hound, so we can laugh along with them.  Not that Sandor’s line about naming swords wasn’t great, because it was, but I really wish they chose to end it with a different noun.  The way the show throws it around is like an endorsement, when in the books, we get this gem from Asha/Yara Greyjoy:
 “C*** again? It was odd how men…used that word to demean women when it was the only part of a woman they valued.”
You can write a misogynistic world and use misogynistic words, but mayyyybe don’t let the “cool” characters use them because that’s just irresponsible.  

KING’S LANDING
Tywin, Baddest Bitch, we got it.  I’m liking Jamie’s new haircut but let’s be real Nikolaj was gorgeous even in prisoner-chic.  I’m really glad they included the book of the King’s Guard in the way they did.

Olenna, I love you forever, and way to recognize Brienne’s amazingness for what it is.  I also really enjoyed the little scene between Margaery and Brienne: these are two women who could not be more different discussing some rull srs stuff more scenes like this, plz.  Less necklace choosing.  Do not care.  However, DO care about Margaery’s wedding dress, which is the fiercest ever and I want it, go look it up if you haven’t already or just wait till the episode.  The wedding dress combined with Natalie Dormer’s constant expression of “I know precisely how and when the world will end and those who have wronged me will die first” will make for the fiercest bride ever.  I am also glad we got a quick Jamie and Brienne scene, and I’m rather proud of Brienne for stating that Sansa will certainly not be safe in King’s Landing because duh.

Tyrion and Sansa’s conversation (if I remember correctly!) isn’t in the books, but I’m actually totally okay with it.  Sophie Turner almost made me cry with her monologue, and Tyrion is trying SO HARD but you really feel the futility of trying to talk to a woman who was forced to marry you and then your family killed hers.  The fact that she’s still even capable of getting out of bed is amazing.  Sansa is amazing haters to the left srsly you’re gonna not want to read these recaps if you don’t like Sansa.  Also Ser Dontos is great and I loved that scene thank you writers A+.

Now, the important stuff.  What you’ve been waiting for.  DORNE.  SUNSPEAR.  UNBOWED, UNBENT, UNBROKEN.  Okay, what I was waiting for, but if you have correctly-fashioned opinions you were excited too.  I’m not saying you’re wrong if you don’t think the Dornish are awesome, you are just as far away from accurate as is possible.

I have two things to say here: one, I am 110% done with nameless, line-less, naked whores, and two, can we not Dothraki the only other brown people on this show.  Let me explain.

Benioff and Weiss [producers], dudes, I know you’ve got this show on HBO.  I know you’re allowed to show nudity.  But come on, guys, you’ve got this critically-acclaimed, insanely popular, politically-complex show that’s been a game changer for what people think of when they think of “high fantasy” and you’re STILL playing the “heh heh, b00bz” game?  Can we not?  You’re standing in an empty room having just yelled “THAT’S what I’m talkin’ about, bro!” with your hand held up waiting for a high-five that will never come.  The people I watch with all yelled out variations on “seriously? why?!” and they’re not the only ones.  I’ve also noticed that as soon as your female characters get any kind of agency, you stop stripping them.  Daenerys has had way less nudity than before, and you haven’t stripped Margaery or Shae since season 2.  Right, because these are “cool” girls that are “fan favorites” and oh no we wouldn’t want to disrespect them by getting them naked.

I used Dothraki as a verb for a reason.  First season, you introduced us to the only non-white characters as these savages: violent and sex-obsessed and horse-heart eating, plus LOL they don’t even know English, look how foreign.  Some of the Dothraki are awesome, but it’s hard to get the “these are wild animals” image out of your head when it’s not just the first but the first dozen or so images you get.  Oberyn and Ellaria are really cool characters who just happen to be very sexually open, for lack of a better phrase.  The first time we see them, though, they’re in a brothel, about to have group sex, and Oberyn stabs a dude.  And let me be clear: this is not some random dude come up from the *~wild~* south.  In his house, he outranks Tyrion.  This is someone important.  However, HBO has chosen to make him and his partner into wild animals and not even giving them the decency of having matching or identifiable accents. (Seriously, did they tell Pedro Pascal “that was good, but can you be MORE Dracula-y next time?”)  This is nothing against Pedro Pascal or Indira Varma, as I think they are doing an excellent job with what’s been written for them, plus, personally, I had fancast Indira as Ellaria so I’m pretty stoked.  Pedro’s speech about his sister Elia was of course a long bit of exposition, but it was very well done, and I’m excited to see how he acts everything else that’s given to him.

That’s it for this episode: tune in next time for a long overview of my feelings.  Any thoughts, feel free to leave them in the comments!