inigo montoya and the mountain

The Five Stages of Game of Thrones Grief: fear, relief, fear (again), depression, acceptance/re-subscription to HBO. – Christopher Orr

Is there anyone anywhere that doesn’t know yet that anyone can be killed at any time in Game of Thrones? Olive Ann Burns the author of Cold Sassy Tree often spoke about how people entertain themselves with accounts of dramatic deaths and good funerals. George Martin gleefully embraces that idea. It’s hard to believe that the author isn’t Irish; In Game of Thrones Murphy is definitely an optimist. Arya laughing at the Bloody Gate would agree and perhaps save a chicken bone for the guy who’s put her through so much.

If you haven’t read the books you have no idea what’s next. If you have read the books you’re sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for what’s next. Either way the viewer knows it’s going to be bad. Pedro Pascal took a minor character and made him great and we’re going to mourn the death of Prince Oberyn. I wish I’d been given the option to believe he’s not mortally wounded and will become the next Dread Pirate Robert.  This is turning out to be the season of the BIG FINISH. Last week we saw the end of Lysa Arryn in a spectacular final flight and this week Oberyn got to play David and Goliath.  Who could possibly be next?

The prime candidate is Tyrion. Peter Dinklage just gets better and better with his performances. For a second I was even wondering what Tryion was doing in the X-men movie. The whole little story about cousin Orson demonstrates both the talent of the actor and the ability of the producers to enhance bits of the original novels to the point where they’re contributing to the overall epic not just retelling the story. Implicit too is that element missing in so many fantasy novels. Is it horrible that so many beetles should be dying when the death of a beetle means nothing to you? An open ended question in the mouth of Tyrion and a real world moral lesson in an increasingly chaotic time.

There aren’t a lot of black faces on Game of Thrones. There’s a funny clip where Snoop Dog and Seth Rogen get stoned and talk about that. Still in a sort of misogynist fashion the show proves it’s color blind when it comes to showing a lot of Nathalie Emmanuel’s gorgeous brown skin. “I’m glad you saw me,” Missandei tells Grey Worm who seems awfully interested despite being Unsullied. Nathalie has a gig in Fast and Furious 7 so indulging HBO might have been a career move.


Sansa has finally gotten to be a player rather than a pawn. One of the most hated characters in the books she’s developing some maturity in the show. Not too much maturity. When she says, “I know what you want.” and Littlefinger replies, “Do you?” you can almost see him transform into the Vicomte de Valmont. Sansa won’t be the last princess educated with les liasons dangereuses and since Sophie Turner just turned eighteen… Oh my I’m not sure I should even be thinking that.

 Vicomte de Valmont: You see, I have no intention of breaking down her prejudices. I want her to believe in God and virtue and the sanctity of marriage, and still not be able to stop herself. I want the excitement of watching her betray everything that’s is most important to her. Surely you understand that. I thought betrayal was your favorite word.

Daenerys is stuck plaiting hair and discussing the merits of “cutting” Why did they build such an expensive set if they’re going to have all the big dramatic moments in a cheap dungeon? The plot moves on; Jorah the bear will be banished for spying or maybe just because he’s not a boy toy. Hey at least he’s not as screwed as Tyrion or having to deliver foreshadowing in the form of chamber pot jokes. Someday Daenerys will be free of the tyranny of the plot and set loose with dragons but that day is not yet here.

There was some kind of massacre in Moles Town but not before the residents are shown to be unsympathetic and therefore worthy of raping and killing. Who cares about beetles when they smell and drink too much. At least we got to see Ygritte even though she was being bad ass wildling instead of uninhibited naked wildling. She lets Gilly go and for some reason the whole thing is turned into a lame fifties Cowboy and Indian movie complete with the savages making hoot owl noises. We all know that the thousands of Indians can’t ever take the Cowboys in those movies so Jon and the boys are safe even though it looks like they’re outnumbered.

It’s all part of what’s dislikable about Game of Thrones. In order to fit in the great dramatic moments all the rest of it seems rushed. Reek pretending to be Theon then actually starting to revert to Theon before the Ironborn coward saves the day for the Bolton’s should be something but it ends up being more: Wow that flayed guy looks fake. I keep wondering why Ramsay Snow, now Bolton, keeps on getting air time and the only answer is so HBO can get the kinky stuff on screen. Someday the Network might grow up but not while they’re making all that lovely money with the good writing and acting that comes with the tits and kinky bits.