Season 1, Episode 03: “Lord Snow”
I: I’m getting way too confused by all of these characters. I just figured out that Joffrey is not Cersei’s brother, but actually her son. This raises a whole host of questions I wish I hadn’t thought of, like whether or not the king is actually Joffrey’s father. I’m also trying to figure out how the Lannisters haven’t completely screwed up their lives yet. They’re a powerful family and everything but no one seems to have any management potential. Jaime has no sense of fiscal responsibility. Joffrey’s “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” speech sounds like it’s coming from a vindictive five year-old who’s been promised way too much power. Cersei seems to be the only one with anything resembling common sense, reminding her son that “the occasional kindness will spare us all sorts of trouble down the road.” I’m seeing a lot of Lady Macbeth here. She happens to be my favorite Shakespeare character, so as far as I’m concerned this is a pretty good thing for the series. I just hope the Lannisters don’t become boringly one-dimensional. After all, a fantasy epic is only as good as its villains.
Doris, it looks like your prediction was right - we finally saw SuperBlonde get his comeuppance! I can’t decide if his torture or Arya’s fencing lessons was my favorite scene from this episode. I loved watching Ned’s face while she practiced. There’s pride there for sure, but that changes to worry and fear in the closing seconds. What could Ned be worrying about? Oh, right: WINTER IS COMING. NO MORE SUMMER. WINTER = WHAT IS COMING. Apparently this show takes place in an alternate universe, where seasons last for years and motifs are repeated a little too frequently. However, I am excited to see this winter if it means more of those weird snow-zombies from the pilot.
I don’t have much else to say, so I’ll close with my favorite Tyrion quote of the episode: “If you’re going to be a cripple, it’s better to be a rich cripple.”
D: Agreed, it did feel good to see Superblonde writhing around on the ground like the snake he is. As glad as I am that the Dothraki are loyal to Dany and are prompt about coming to her aid, I think it’s high time she stood up for herself against him. Within just two episodes she’s demonstrated remarkable growth as a Khaleesi, a lover, and a speaker of the Dothraki language, but her brother is the one person who can make her cower due to a lifetime of intimidation. He’s the last obstacle in her path towards becoming a kick-ass Khaleesi but I’m sure she can and will overcome it soon.
I really enjoyed all of Arya’s scenes too, especially the sword-fighting lesson! I was getting a sort of Inigo Montoya/Yoda vibe from her instructor, which I like. I think Arya Stark is my new favorite character (much in thanks to the actress playing her, Maisie Williams). She’s fearless, determined, and fiercely loyal to her family: even when she’s angry with Sansa for lying about the Joffrey/Nymeria/Mycah incident from the previous episode, she rightfully questions her father about how he can marry her off to that psychopath Joffrey. And speaking of whom, I love your description of his speech, Irene! I get the sense that this scene foreshadows the chaos that will arise if/when young Joffrey ascends to the throne. That will not be a fun day in the kingdom.
This episode is sort of hard to review because in spite of all the character development that took place, it feels like very little actually happened to the characters in terms of plot. Jon Snow tries to fit in at the Night’s Watch; Dany finds out she’s pregnant when her handmaiden grabs her boob (awkward); Tyrion finally gets to urinate off the Wall (which is apparently the only reason he made the journey to visit); and the Starks and the Lannisters each do a lot of talking about the other (but not with one another). We did, however, meet many new individuals such as Littlefinger, the king’s Master of Coin, whom I realized was the bad guy from Shanghai Knights after recognizing the actor’s rather distinctive voice. Catelyn Stark seems to trust him, but I think that’s a bad move, considering A) he’s probably in love with her even though she’s married and sees him as a “little brother,” B) he’s a creep who owns brothels, and C) he thinks Starks are hot-tempered and stupid. The combination of A and C does not bode well for his future relationship with Ned, so it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out.