Game of Thrones: Season 5, Episode 6 – Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

“I’m Sansa Stark of Winterfell. This is my home. And you can’t frighten me.”

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(SPOILER WARNING!)

After last week’s focus mainly on just two of its multifarious plotlines, this week Game of Thrones was back to business as usual with a lively ep taking in snippets of plenty of them. While there was little in the way of epic action, it was no less dramatic for that as all the patient political scheming of earlier episodes began to pay off in spades. And perhaps more than any ep I’ve seen yet, it was dominated by the show’s women, who were both the drivers and the victims in practically every snapshot this week. Continue reading “Game of Thrones: Season 5, Episode 6 – Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”

Game of Thrones: Season 5, Episode 3 – High Sparrow

“There is but one god. A girl knows his name. And all men know his gift.”

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(SPOILER WARNING!)

After two weeks of political wrangling and intrigue, it was a more mystical episode of Game of Thrones this week. The focus was very much on religion, and how it intersects with the machinations of power we’ve already seen. To this end, while the intrigue was still very much ongoing, we got various musings on the various religions of this fantasy world – the Seven, the Many Faced God, and the Lord of Light, not to mention glancing references to the Old Gods of the weirwood. Continue reading “Game of Thrones: Season 5, Episode 3 – High Sparrow”

Game of Thrones: Season 5, Episode 2 – The House of Black and White

“The Mad King gave each of his enemies the justice he thought they deserved. And every time it made him feel powerful and right. Until the very end.”

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(SPOILER WARNING!)

If, after last week’s rather low-key season opener, you were hoping for a return to Game of Thrones’ usual slam bang action, sex and gore, you may have been a bit disappointed by this week’s offering. Effectively, it was more of the same – a series of brief vignettes that spent more time examining the characters through well-crafted dialogue than actually advancing the plot. Continue reading “Game of Thrones: Season 5, Episode 2 – The House of Black and White”

Game of Thrones: Season 4, Episode 10–The Children

“We both know that winter is coming. And if my people aren’t south of the Wall when it comes in earnest, we’ll all end up worse than dead.”

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(SPOILER WARNING!)

Unpredictable beasts, season finales of Game of Thrones. In the past, they’ve tended to be a chance to take stock after the tumultuous events of episode 9, while also laying the groundwork for next season’s plots. This one, though, was uncharacteristically action-packed, with some game-changing plot developments that should leave even those who’ve read the books impatient to see what happens next.

Continue reading “Game of Thrones: Season 4, Episode 10–The Children”

Game of Thrones: Season 4, Episode 7–Mockingbird

“Given the opportunity, what do we do to those who hurt the ones we love?”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

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With showrunners Benioff and Weiss on scripting duties again, this week’s Game of Thrones may have disappointed those who tune in for the show’s usual heady mix on action, sex, violence and intrigue. It was one of the eps the show occasionally does in which very little actually happens, but we get to spend a lot of time with the characters while they reflect on where they are, how they got there, and where they’re going.

Continue reading “Game of Thrones: Season 4, Episode 7–Mockingbird”

Game of Thrones: Season 4, Episode 1 – Two Swords

“The war is over. The King is safe.”

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(SPOILER WARNING!)

If you thought Game of Thrones was getting popular last year, this year it’s a veritable cultural phenomenon. As the new season dawned, the papers were full of clickbait drawing fans in with the most tangential connections. There’s a certain amount of inevitability in pieces discussing the show’s representation of gender imbalance in its pseudo-historical setting, or instructions on how to make yourself look like Westeros’ most popular female characters. But what are we to make of it when former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard starts discussing how the show reminds her of her time in office? As if to prove how massive the show is, it actually broke HBO’s streaming service HBO Go with overwhelming demand for this fourth season premiere.

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