Monday, May 7, 2012

Gabbing About Game of Thrones, S02E06: The Old Gods and the New

In this week's edition of Gabbing About Game of Thrones, Steven of Race for the Iron Throne and I discuss the importance of literacy, Westori Grammar clubs, and I put the internet on notice.  Also probably some discussion about Episode 6 of Game of Thrones:

Entertained Organizer:
Season 2, Episode 6: The Old Gods and the New
In which Theon returns to Winterfell and no one is glad to see him, Jon learns about the lands North of the Wall, Tywin fires another lackey and cuts Littlefinger down to size, Wildlings get slaughtered and Jon meets a girl, a princess says goodbye and King’s Landing riots, Tyrion strikes a king and the Hound does his best Terminator impression, Dany discusses grammar and dreams, Tywin reminisces about reading and  Arya makes a mistake, Robb tries to ask a girl on a date and gets some bad news instead, Jon and Ygritte get kinky and have some pillow talk, Robb sends a bastard in his place, Theon is easily persuaded, Sansa learns about class envy and Shea teaches her a lesson, a guard gets murdered and Hodor makes a break for it, and Dany learns the cost of success and then has her babies stolen.
Race for the Iron Throne:
Seems about right.
Entertained Organizer:
hit the broad strokes at least
Race for the Iron Throne:
So credits are unchanged - I think we've seen the last new location in the season already. And we cut to an immediately high-charged intro scene, with Luwin desperately trying to get a raven off before the Ironborn cut down the door. Which is the second week in a row that the first five minutes were incredibly high-octane, and I think it's a good formula. They even managed to make what amounts to sending a text message dramatic!
Entertained Organizer:
to be fair it was a really important text message, not like “U B free 4 Lnch 2day?”
Race for the Iron Throne:
I saw the text of it somewhere.
Entertained Organizer:
haha, of course you did, any idea what it said?
Race for the Iron Throne:
Click for larger.
I love how even the calligraphy tells a little story.
Entertained Organizer:
then Bran gets to be a badass
Race for the Iron Throne:
And you can see immediately that Theon is trying to cover for his own panic - I took your castle. I scaled the walls. My men...blah blah.
Entertained Organizer:
and Bran is having none of it
Race for the Iron Throne:
Whereas Bran just cuts him down with "did you hate us the whole time?" So then we're in the courtyard and Theon for some reason thinks people are going to be ok with this, and I get the feeling that he's trying to play Ned in the same way he tried to play Robb last time. Totally doesn't work.
Entertained Organizer:
it does seem odd that he really seems to believe that everyone is going to be happy to see him or something
Race for the Iron Throne:
Makes sense to me.
Entertained Organizer:
I can understand him wanting to believe that, I can't understand him ACTUALLY believing it
Race for the Iron Throne:
The only thing Theon's good at is self-delusion. And you can see it when he tries to order his sister to bring 500 men to the castle he patently can't hold onto.
Entertained Organizer:
well, he can maybe hold onto it if he gets the 500, most of the North is in the South now
Race for the Iron Throne:
She's up at Deepwood Motte. Valerion has Moat Cailin. But there's still about 20,000 Northern soldiers out there that Robb didn't have time to muster.
Entertained Organizer:
Theon is planning on pulling a 300? This. Is. Sparta!
Race for the Iron Throne:
Well, 500 men could hold out for a long time. But it's still just not going to work; he's too far away from reinforcements or resupply.
Entertained Organizer:
wouldn't Winterfell be fairly well stocked for winter at this point?
Race for the Iron Throne:
The harvest was in the process of being gathered.
Entertained Organizer:
well then Theon is probably screwed
Race for the Iron Throne:
Yeah. Anyway...Osha.
Entertained Organizer:
Yes, I like that she goes straight for "give me a weapon.” Bold, bold to go for a weapon.
Race for the Iron Throne:
She's a spearwife. Spearwives need a spear like a fish needs water.
Entertained Organizer:
I actually really liked what happens next. Liked is the wrong word, it's sad
Race for the Iron Throne:
Better than in the books, actually. Rodrick comes in all bloody and pissed off from having killed two men.
Entertained Organizer:
but Theon executing what's his name felt like a really good parallel to the pilot
Race for the Iron Throne:
Yeah. I thought the same thing.
"These people are your people. You lived among them."
"Among them but not of them."
That's kind of Theon in a nutshell.
Entertained Organizer:
a man without a people
Race for the Iron Throne:
And so Rodrick spits in his face and Theon goes into a spasm of low-self esteem and status anxiety. And you can see in the way his eyes are darting that he has no control over this situation.
Entertained Organizer:
and so he tries to do what he thinks Ned would have done which shows how messed up Theon is on several different levels
Race for the Iron Throne:
And can't pull it off. Four swings and a kick. Eww. One little grace note - Luwin was really acting the hell out of his scene in a low-key way, trying to get this kid to see sense, his heart breaking with how messed up Theon is, but at the same time deeply disappointed.
Entertained Organizer:
Agreed and that kick was brutal
Race for the Iron Throne:
The sounds were gruesomely chunky. And now we cut to Iceland...I mean "Beyond the Wall." And now you see why shooting on-location is always better.
Entertained Organizer:
hahaha, in a nutshell
Race for the Iron Throne:
I wasn't a huge fan of this scene, despite Quorin Halfhand's excellent acting, mostly because I think Jon's acting especially stupid this episode and weirdly disconnected from Ghost.
Entertained Organizer:
Jon is always acting stupid
Race for the Iron Throne:
Thus especially. Anyway, I really loved the next bit in Harrenhal. Amory Lorch learns that Reading Is Essential.
Entertained Organizer:
that's really the moral of this episode
Race for the Iron Throne:
Pretty much.
Entertained Organizer:
well at least the Tywin sections of it anyway, in a different life I feel like he could have created the Westori version of Reading Rainbow
Race for the Iron Throne:
A terrifying, grim, yet effective version of Reading Rainbow. "A Lannister always spells correctly!"
Entertained Organizer:
literacy rates would skyrocket
Race for the Iron Throne:
Yes. So would therapy bills. So Tywin and Arya bond a bit and then Bailish arrives and she goes into panic mode.
Entertained Organizer:
I loved Arya trying to constantly stay out of Littlefinger's view
Race for the Iron Throne:
Great blocking in this scene.
Race for the Iron Throne:
I love how unimpressed Tywin is with Baelish.
Entertained Organizer:
that was amazing, "of course crises present opportunities, you think you're the first person to think of that?"
Race for the Iron Throne:
Did he recognize her?
Entertained Organizer:
I don't think so, I think it would be in his best interest at the moment to recapture the Stark girl
Race for the Iron Throne:
If he can get the credit for it. Littlefinger is always looking out for himself
Entertained Organizer:
and Lannister's always pay their debts, if he shouts out "that's Arya Stark" in front of Tywin he'll get credit
Race for the Iron Throne:
Meh. Lannisters are also very precise about the fine print. We'll see later that Tywin can be very tight-fisted about credit. So now we see Jon Snow and the Halfhanders sneaking up on the wildlings, who are dressed much more sensibly.
Entertained Organizer:
they took my advice
Race for the Iron Throne:
Almost camouflage colors - a kind of light dappled blue-grey, very blending in. Unfortunately that doesn't stop a ranger putting an arrow into one of them and it turns into a very one-sided fight. Jon Snow knocks down one of them and then grabs...A GIRL!
Entertained Organizer:
who knew wildlings had those?
Race for the Iron Throne:
Especially pretty red-heads last seen in English estates learning to type-write?
Entertained Organizer:
this feels like a step down from that
Race for the Iron Throne:
Temping ain't easy.
Entertained Organizer:
true dat, and apparently Ned taught Jon that you never hit a girl
Race for the Iron Throne:
Ygritte - whose name is really not pronounced how I thought - is very insistent on burning the corpses. She does very well with the Halfhand, and I liked how they showed his reputation just in her expression.
Entertained Organizer:
to be fair, everyone seems to agree that they probably should so they don't get zombies, the Nights Watch just can't afford to
Race for the Iron Throne:
In the book, they just toss the bodies down the ravine. Zombies or no, when you're a thin paste, you're a thin paste.
Entertained Organizer:
so many life lessons
Race for the Iron Throne:
So Jon offers to kill her, she takes her oncoming death even better than Ser Rodrick, and he can't pull it off.
Entertained Organizer:
it's harder than it looks
Race for the Iron Throne:
I think it's more he can't go through with it.
Entertained Organizer:
that's what I meant, it's emotionally hard, not the "Theon can't actually physically chop through a guys spine" hard
Race for the Iron Throne:
Yeah...Jon's got Valryian steel and a lot more bodymass. So then they have a chase sequence that I thought Ghost would have been very handy in.
Entertained Organizer:
also of note, Jon completely ignores Halfhand's warning about not just running around where ever in the snow. I kind of wanted him to fall in a hole
Race for the Iron Throne:
Yeah...he's not smart. He does drop his sword. So now we get Myrcella getting packed off to Dorne none too soon. And Cersei is so enraged that she goes quiet.
Entertained Organizer:
and then gives a really creepy monologue
Race for the Iron Throne:
Yes. And for once, Tyrion has no snappy comeback.
Entertained Organizer:
really what kind of comeback can there be to "I hope you love something so I can kill it"
Race for the Iron Throne:
BTW - just so everyone's clear, the paunchy guy in orange swinging the censer is supposed to be the High Septon, the equivalent to the Pope in the religion of the Seven.
Entertained Organizer:
was that not obvious from him saying a prayer?
Race for the Iron Throne:
He could be just a priest. I just wanted non-book readers to be clear given what happens next.
Entertained Organizer:
I guess, she's the princess, I just assumed that automatically means she gets the pope
Race for the Iron Throne:
Joffrey's being sociopathic towards poor Tommen, Sansa back-sasses him and gets away with it.
Entertained Organizer:
that was surprising, I figured he'd at least shove her in the ocean or something
Race for the Iron Throne:
I think he was restrained by the fact that he didn't want anyone to notice him being messed with.
Entertained Organizer:
I dunno, like 30 seconds later he gets hit in the face with shit, and instead of laughing it off he orders everyone in the crowd murdered
Race for the Iron Throne:
And then the royal procession returns to the Red Keep and nothing bad happens to them ever. And then Team Smallfolk (tm) goes into 1789 mode. I love the Hounds line. "They want the same for you!" The High Septon gets pulled down and his BLOODY ARM IS RIPPED OFF. Way to go, Team Smallfolk.
Entertained Organizer:
I am still not clear on the physics of that, I'm not sure if a person can physically just rip another persons arm off
Race for the Iron Throne:
If five people tug at it, it's coming off.
Entertained Organizer:
we're not gorillas
Race for the Iron Throne:
Just a matter of pounds of pressure. "jusqu'à ce que le dernier roi est étranglé avec les entrailles du dernier prêtre." And all that. "(mankind will not be free) until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest." - Diderot.
Entertained Organizer:
obviously
Race for the Iron Throne:
The Hound kills three men with the same affect that most people display when stapling three documents.
Entertained Organizer:
I get a little more joy out of stapling documents, when they're really thick and you have to push really hard to get it to go all the way through there's a feeling of accomplishment
Race for the Iron Throne:
So Sansa somehow gets separated from the group by a couple really unhelpful handmaidens.
Entertained Organizer:
who then completely disappear
Race for the Iron Throne:
And then runs down a tunnel to get away from some rather vicious looking rapers. People are dying all over the place as the Kingsguard get Joffrey to safety so that Tyrion can unload on him. "We've had idiot kings, and we've had vicious kings, but I don't think we've ever been cursed with vicious idiot boy king!" And then he slaps him again so that our gifs can have more variation when set to Led Zep.
Entertained Organizer:
I will never get tired of people slapping Joffrey
Race for the Iron Throne:
I'm a little disappointed that they didn't do what happened in the book, where Tyrion slaps him so hard his crown falls off and then he starts booting him in the ribs.
Entertained Organizer:
I feel bad for that actor
Race for the Iron Throne:
But that was amazingly acted.
Entertained Organizer:
but if I met him in real life I think I might have to slap him. I don't think I am the first person to have that thought, it just looks so fun
Race for the Iron Throne:
He's certainly got experience and a certain natural talent. And absolutely true to form, refuses to order Sansa's rescue despite the disaster that might ensue if she dies.
Entertained Organizer:
that would involve him making an intelligent and rational decision not fueled by petty revenge and sadism…so ya, true to form
Race for the Iron Throne:
It's just not in his wheelhouse. So poor Sansa has to endure a really traumatic near-rape; but to give her credit, she does fight like hell.
Entertained Organizer:
fish got to swim, birds got to fly, Joffrey's got to beat people till they die die die
Race for the Iron Throne:
A man must have his code: "Joffrey Lannister: I'm going to be a douchebag forever!"
Entertained Organizer:
I think the Hound killing the rapists was an exact remake of the opening scene of Terminator, only instead of clothing, he was after Sansa
Race for the Iron Throne:
I don't remember the Terminator disemboweling anyone.
Entertained Organizer:
now he will in your nightmares
Race for the Iron Throne:
And so the Hound fills out some TPS (torso-part-stabbings) and carries her off like a sack of potatoes.
Entertained Organizer:
he needed to keep his stabbing hand free
Race for the Iron Throne:
Which just goes to show that fantasy art and romance novels really mythologize being carried off. And all the SanSan fans go completely nuts. I don't know if the internet is ready for this show.
Entertained Organizer:
Wait….oh god….of course that's a thing
Race for the Iron Throne:
Of course it's a thing.
Entertained Organizer:
what is wrong with the internet?
Race for the Iron Throne:
We've been doing it since Beauty and the Beast. He's a damaged, broody loner who's verbally abusive, she sees the vulnerable soul inside.
Entertained Organizer:
he's 40, she's 14
Race for the Iron Throne:
That's not going to stop online romantics. It just makes it worse - because it adds daddy issues on top.
Entertained Organizer:
I'm putting the internet on notice: you are creepy. And now we cross the Narrow Sea
Race for the Iron Throne:
Where the Spice King gets to be a condescending dick to Daenerys again. He really enjoys doing that.
Entertained Organizer:
for no real reason either
Race for the Iron Throne:
I think he and Stannis are part of a grammar club.
Entertained Organizer:
.....that would be an awesome club
Race for the Iron Throne:
Tywin's totally a member.
Entertained Organizer:
Davos is probably forced to take minutes and hates it
Race for the Iron Throne:
Davos is in the same boat as Amory Lorch at the minute.
Entertained Organizer:
oh ya
Race for the Iron Throne:
But he gets hooked on phonics later.
Entertained Organizer:
you know they have strong opinions about the Oxford comma, or the Harrenhal comma. Whatever they call it there
Race for the Iron Throne:
You dangle a participle, they hang you off the battlements.
Entertained Organizer:
but they will still refer to you with your titles because the bad doesn't wash away the good
Race for the Iron Throne:
So Dany gets turned down again and we get another amazing Tywin and Arya scene as Arya tries to play looky-loo with an annoyingly difficult to read message.
Entertained Organizer:
this seems like a huge mistake, what is her plan when she steals the message?
Race for the Iron Throne:
I think she's trying to figure out where her folks are so she knows where to head to.
Entertained Organizer:
that actually makes sense
Race for the Iron Throne:
BTW, I think the message reads something like: "Marching ten thousand men west to you by the Golden Tooth. Estimate to reach you by week's end. Scouts report Robb Stark moving troops south by coast. Alert Ser (someone) to turn east at Silverhill." The larger point is - it's from Tywin's folks, and not from a spy.
Entertained Organizer:
I'm kind of surprised Arya's bluff didn't work on Lorch
Race for the Iron Throne:
It almost did. A few things first. 1. We learn that Jaime was dyslexic and that Tywin cured it through sheer force of will. 2. Arya saying her father died from loyalty is heart-breaking. 3. Tywin's dad was loving but weak, Tywin's the opposite.
Entertained Organizer:
Tywin desperately wants therapy, it's kind of sad. He's spilling his soul to random cup girl
Race for the Iron Throne:
I think that's because he thinks of her as interesting furniture.
Entertained Organizer:
I mean it's a creepy monsterous soul, but still
Race for the Iron Throne:
No threat to him. Sort of like how people spill their guts to bartenders.
Entertained Organizer:
Arya does give him wine
Race for the Iron Throne:
He has had a few. Anyway, so Lorch ends up chasing her, she goes looking for Jaqen like a kid does - randomly grabbing onto adults who resemble their parents.
Entertained Organizer:
you have a better strategy?
Race for the Iron Throne:
No, I just thought it was a good touch. And when she runs into Jaqen and gets all tantrumy, and he does a hilarious eye-roll. "Yeesh, kid. I'm going to murder him perfectly, but you can't rush an artist."
Entertained Organizer:
spinoff idea of the week: Arya, Syrio, and Jaqen having adventures forever
Race for the Iron Throne:
Because all of those people are definitely still alive.
Entertained Organizer:
we didn't see Syrio die, ergo by spinoff logic, he is obviously still alive, they could chase cats together
Race for the Iron Throne:
Ok. Best bit of the episode. Amory Lorch bursts through the door, Tywin looks up like "yes? I'm very busy. What is it?" and he just falls on his face. And Tywin takes a second to process that that just happened.
Entertained Organizer:
I always wanted a blowgun growing up, this is probably why my parents never gave me one
Race for the Iron Throne:
I feel as if Jaqen overhanded that. It's a purist thing.
Entertained Organizer:
and now Tywin knows there's a "ghost" in Harrenhal
Race for the Iron Throne:
Yes. Which is what happens when you rush a craftsman. Jaqen can do Silent, he can do Effortless, and he can do Undetectable, but he can't do all three without notice.
Entertained Organizer:
you'd think King Robb would be better at hitting on girls
Race for the Iron Throne:
I think he's too used to girls hitting on him, so he's a bit rusty when it comes to girls playing hard to get.
Entertained Organizer:
and just when he works up the nerve to ask her out, his mom shows up, always awkward
Race for the Iron Throne:
The expression. There are no words:

Race for the Iron Throne:
Look at that side-eye.
Entertained Organizer:
ya, that's a bad moment
Race for the Iron Throne:
And it's so obvious that Talissa Maegyr is a fake name and she's actually a noblewoman. Catelyn's just too polite to comment.
Entertained Organizer:
and then Robb gets some bad news
Race for the Iron Throne:
After Catelyn reminds him he's engaged. And she doesn't approve of mistresses because of the Onjay NowSay situation.
Entertained Organizer:
good point, and now we head North of the Wall again
Race for the Iron Throne:
And we learn that Jon Snow is into bondage and that Ygritte can do a horizontal lapdance.
Entertained Organizer:
you just have a dirty mind, they were simply cuddling
Entertained Organizer:
Race for the Iron Throne:
She was clearly working that ass and Jon Snow was having more sexuality issues.
Entertained Organizer:
yes, Jon Snow is messed up in the head
Race for the Iron Throne:
Even though she couldn't possibly be related to him. Unless that's part of the problem.
Entertained Organizer:
you don't know that, we still don't know who Jon's mom is
Race for the Iron Throne:
She's north of the Wall, Jon was clearly born down South.
Race for the Iron Throne:
QE fucking D.
Entertained Organizer:
and Bronn has gone North of the Wall and is now down south. QED: Bronn is Jon's mother and Ygritte is his sister
Race for the Iron Throne:
No. Ned goes south to war, is gone 1-2 years and comes back not having gone north in between with a baby.
Entertained Organizer:
right, Bronn was down south at that point THEN goes North of the Wall and has Ygritte, the timeline works out
Race for the Iron Throne:
You have a sick mind.
Entertained Organizer:
I just solved Jon's maternity
Race for the Iron Throne:
You solved nothing, Jon Snow.
Entertained Organizer:
I'm just praying that Bronn/Ned slashfiction doesn't really exist and knowing that because of the internet, it does
Race for the Iron Throne:
By the corollary to Rule 34, you're responsible for it coming into existence.
Entertained Organizer:
anyway, Robb decides to send the bastard son of a guy who's really into flayings to retake Winterfell
Race for the Iron Throne:
Yes. Send the Bastard of the Dreadfort to help your baby brothers. Nothing could possibly go wrong with such a kindly-sounding gent like that. Seriously though, I can't wait to see who they cast.
Entertained Organizer:
and now Theon gets played and is probably lucky to be alive, actually why didn't she kill Theon?
Race for the Iron Throne:
Because then everyone in Winterfell gets killed.
Entertained Organizer:
that would be a good reason
Race for the Iron Throne:
Sansa and Shae share a nice moment where Sansa learns about intersectionality.
Entertained Organizer:
she is incredibly trusting of Shae incredibly quickly
Entertained Organizer:
I kind of thought Sansa was smarter than that at this point, though she is pretty traumatized
Race for the Iron Throne:
Well, it's probably been a couple of weeks. It's about 3 weeks travel flat out from Storm's End to Robb's camp at this moment.
Entertained Organizer:
still, Shae is going to be a spy, anyone Sansa comes into contact with is going to be a spy, Sansa just gets lucky that Shae is Tyrion's spy
Race for the Iron Throne:
True, but she's freaking out right now.
Entertained Organizer:
Ya, this has probably been her worst day of a series of increasingly worse days
Race for the Iron Throne:
Yeah. I think the fact that she's sane at all is amazing. So Osha, who's taken one for the team in a way that no one ever should have to, kills a guard like it ain't no thang and Hodor, Bran, and Rickon and the dogs escape.
Race for the Iron Throne:
By the way, this is the most Rickon screentime of any episode we've seen yet - and he didn't say anything!
Entertained Organizer:
wait this was way shorter than last weeks rock smashing, has Rickon ever said anything?
Race for the Iron Throne:
Yes. When he ran into Bran in the crypts, he had a line.
Entertained Organizer:
Rickon: The Best Character
Race for the Iron Throne:
Rickon: future serial killer.
Entertained Organizer:
not if you give him rocks to smash tables with, that's all he's ever really wanted
Race for the Iron Throne:
I think he desperately wants his family back, no?
Entertained Organizer:
surpisingly no, just the rocks and a table to smash. Simple man, simple tastes. Also Shaggydog
Race for the Iron Throne:
And Dany comes back to find her servants dead and the dragons stolen. And they scream like human babies.


1 comment:

  1. Nicely done. Patrick's reaction to learning about the existence of SanSan shipping was amazing.

    ReplyDelete