Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 5 – Eastwatch

“So we fight and die, or we submit and die? I know my choice.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

For a wonder, we got through this week’s Game of Thrones without a single epic battle. To be fair, it looked like everyone was still pretty shellshocked from last week’s dragon holocaust! Jaime Lannister, in particular, looked like the crestfallen Nazi generals in Downfall, who’ve realised there’s no way to win but can’t seem to communicate this to the oblivious Fuhrer (ie Cersei). Continue reading “Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 5 – Eastwatch”

Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 4 – The Spoils of War

“They fought together, despite their differences. Together. We need to do the same if we’re going to survive. Because the enemy’s real. It’s always been real.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

As Game of Thrones moves ever-closer to its conclusion, the narrative pace seems to be massively accelerating in this shorter, penultimate season. Gone are the days when you could reasonably predict a season’s structure; that there’d be an impressive battle by episode four or so, then much political machination leading to events of great magnitude in episode nine, followed by one ep of picking up the pieces. We’ve only just got through four episodes, and we’ve had an epic naval battle, followed by the seizing of both Casterly Rock and Highgarden, and now the devastating first deployment of a dragon just outside King’s Landing.

Continue reading “Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 4 – The Spoils of War”

Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 3 – The Queen’s Justice

“If we don’t put aside our enmities we will all die. And then it won’t matter whose skeleton sits on the Iron Throne.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

A talkier episode than last week for Game of Thrones, but a thrilling one nonetheless. There was plenty of plot development going on, but aside from the usual intrigue, the focal point of this ep was on the long-awaited meeting of Daenerys Targaryen with Jon Snow. It didn’t disappoint. Continue reading “Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 3 – The Queen’s Justice”

Game of Thrones: Season 6, Episode 8 – No One

“All of us have to believe we’re decent, don’t we, to get to sleep at night? Tell me, how do you believe you’re decent, after everything you’ve done?”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

Blimey, it’s fair rushed by, this season of Game of Thrones, hasn’t it? So much going on, so quickly, it’s hard to believe there’s only two more episodes left of this season. Yet again, there was loads going on this week, but what struck me most about this ep was the character work. Momentous decisions were made, dramatic plots redirected – and all because of who these people are. Benioff and Weiss, back on scripting duties this week, gave us an ep that plumbed the depths of all the characters, even those we didn’t actually see – and those characters may decide the fate not just of the Seven Kingdoms, but of all of humanity.

Continue reading “Game of Thrones: Season 6, Episode 8 – No One”

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 4–Oathkeeper

“A man with no motive is a man no one suspects.”

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(SPOILER WARNING!)

Well, that didn’t take long, did it? As I mentioned last week, the identity of the killer (or killers) of King Joffrey, in the novels, took several volumes to ascertain for sure. In part, I think that’s because George RR Martin cast it as a fairly slight part of the plot; everyone wanted Joffrey dead, and everyone’s better off with him that way. Does it matter that much who actually did it – as long as it wasn’t Tyrion?

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

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”