Sunday, July 28, 2013

GoT Review: 1x06

Season 1, Episode 06: “A Golden Crown”

I: Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this was the first GoT episode without a brothel scene! Doris, I definitely agree that the sex/violence on this show can be excessive. However, it doesn’t bother me as long as it serves a purpose. Daenerys’s sex scene with Khal Drogo after her first love-making lesson a couple episodes back? I think that helped move the narrative forward, as it showed how Daenerys could gain some power in her marriage. Fully clothed dudes chilling with topless prostitutes for a whole scene? I’d be hard-pressed to write a thesis statement about that.

With most large-scale dramas, I find myself anticipating certain characters/settings more than others. This is certainly the case with Game of Thrones: I always look forward to the scenes in Dothraki-land.There was the incredible visual of Daenerys eating that heart and somehow managing not to throw it up. If anyone can convince the Dothraki to cross the Narrow Sea, it will be her. It certainly won’t be SuperBlonde, who was not doing so well even before his death. As graphic as the “crowning” of SuperBlonde was, it was pretty clever on Khal Drogo’s part: No blood was spilled. We also see how Daenerys’s loyalties have shifted. She and Khal Drogo now have a decent partnership going on since they know enough of each other’s languages to converse. Daenerys’s decision to let her brother die may be morally questionable, but he did try to kill her and steal her dragon eggs. If nothing else, it was a good political move on her part.

Finally, there are the Lannisters. A couple weeks ago, I wondered if the king was Joffrey’s father. It’s not looking like he is, since Joffrey is the first blonde Baratheon in generations. The only blonde families in this show are the Targaryens (unlikely) and the Lannisters (sadly likely). I might be more sympathetic to Joffrey considering this, but I don’t believe he gave Sansa that necklace out of the pure goodness of his heart. I’m still glad he did, as this led to Sansa hilariously whining “I don’t want someone brave and gentle and strong.” The revoking of the betrothal is not good for the Stark-Lannister relations, which are putting the kingdom on the brink of war. The Tyrion kidnapping is not helping matters, as Catelyn completely lost control of the situation. It was pretty fun to see Tyrion use a combination of his family name, savvy, and luck to get out of that trap. The only thing the Starks have going for them is the king’s regard for Ned. Unfortunately for the Starks, the king owes the Lannisters a ton of money. If a Lannister always pays his debts, it follows that a Lannister expects to be repaid in kind. I think things are going to get even uglier when Jaime comes back.

To close out, some choice quotes from Tyrion’s jail cell negotiations:
“No gold.” “Well, I don’t have it here.” Dinklage’s delivery was pretty perfect.
“Sometimes possession is an abstract concept!”

D: While I admit I’m liking the show more with its centralized focus, WHERE IS JON SNOW? We demand Jon Snow! Okay, maybe it’s just me. I too loved Superblonde’s gory end, especially the final image of his “crowned” head on the ground (Sleigh Bells, anyone? 2009?). I’ve got to say, Harry Lloyd did a great job playing a character that I loved to hate. Yes, he’s a villainous maniac, but he’s also a ridiculous brat who just wants to be king. Also, because it’s super relevant and more people need to realize this, SuperBlonde really resembled Sir Isaac Newton. 
I think it's the hair. And brow. And nose, partially.
One theme from this episode seems to be that playing dirty gets you ahead, while being honorable makes you dead. This is most obvious in the trial by combat, in which Tyrion’s champion Bronn defeats Lysa Arryn’s champion, Ser Vardis Egen, largely by playing dirty tricks such as throwing things at him. Last time, when Jaime 'n crew ambushed Ned 'n crew, one of the Lannister guards snuck up on Ned and speared his leg. It's dishonorable combat, but I guess anything goes when you’re fighting for your life. Then again, everyone on this show seems to put little value on their lives, given the many stupid risks that these sword-happy people take all the time. Forget the jousting; play checkers!

As Irene pointed out in last week’s review, Ned really lacks political savvy. You don’t just sit on the throne for a few hours and then order a summons for the guy who’s essentially bankrolling the kingdom and the arrest of his #1 henchman- that’s Tywin and Gregor, respectively. Come on, Ned, use your head! (I swear that rhyme was unintentional.) Even the bumbling King Robert doesn’t try to assert that kind of power over the richest man in the kingdom. Again, we can credit/blame Ned’s overly righteous morality and sense of justice for this. Oh, Ned, what are you getting yourself into?

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