jon snow

Game of Thrones: “The Children” – Quick Thoughts

Before I start a couple of things. There will be spoilers, don’t go moaning at me when you read something that you haven’t already watched yet ok? If you do I will hold you in as high regard as I hold Dany’s story lines. Secondly, I’m not going to go through everything that happens in the episode, just little things that popped into my head as I watched. Sorted? Good, off we go.

Well that’s it for another year folks. No more Jon Snow and his terrible accents, no more Hound and Arya comedy tag team duo and certainly no more Tywin Lannister. What are we going to do for twelve months? For starters if you haven’t read the books I highly recommend you start doing so. Anyway enough moaning about what we won’t get, let’s go over what we did get in the Season 4 finale.

When I said last week that I thought the battle at the Wall ending was a bit of an anti climax , now you can see why. I was fully expecting an army to come riding in to save the day just as the Wall looked like it was about to fall. It was nice to see Mance Rayder again and he actually seems to be one of the better “kings” in the whole show; yes he looks after a rag tag bunch of people from all different races who would eat you in your sleep but, he genuinely cares for his people. He’s not necessarily doing it for revenge, or to become the King in Westeros he is a man leading his people to safety. With Stannis now at the wall it will be interesting to see what happens from here, Mellisandre and Jon Snow looking at each other from across the pyre might give us an inclination as to why Melisandre was so keen to come north, she might have seen Jon Snow in her fires.

My jacket is massive Jon Snow

My jacket is massive Jon Snow

Bran, oh boring Bran. For once his storyline wasn’t dull as dishwater. I suppose there’s only so much pulling of a crippled boy you can show in two and a bit seasons before people really switch off. They kept trying to show Bran as an important character when he was on screen, always reminding us of his sight and finally, today we saw something of interest happen. The skeletons that rose up out of the ground for the most part looked pretty decent, you couldn’t notice the CGI for the most part. It was nice to see Meera actually in a proper fighting situation, she held her own, she was strong and wanted to do everything she could to protect her little brother, sadly to no avail. It was fun to see Bran become Hodor again as well, I’m sure the actor playing Hodor is happy he took the part now, he actually gets to do something of note and not just be the big man saying his own name! Seeing the creepy little kid thing come out and start throwing magic bombs all over the place was great and the rest of that section shows that the show is full on fantasy, yes we have dragons and Mellisandre occasionally has demons coming out of her vag but most of the show is around the politics and the personal stories, seeing and old man chilling in a tree whilst skeletons attack a crippled boy and a young girl throws fire bombs…No that’s fantasy.

If you are a regular reader then you will know I don’t really care too much for Dany and her storyline and I still don’t. I didn’t really feel anything for her, or her dragons when she locked them up in the catacombs of Mereen, they are beasts, she can’t control them, it’s actually a good move for her.

Now, onto my two favourite parts…

Tyrion. I think most people would expect this to be the last thing I talk about, even I thought it would be, saving the best for last and all that but for me there was a section that was even better which I will get onto shortly. Tyrion being broken out of his cell by Jaime was great, seeing the love those two have for each other even though Jaime knows that it will more than likely mean some kind of bad ending for him was great, it certainly brings Jaime back into being a character you can get behind, even after the return of the incest in this episode and the shady scene with him and Cersei after Joff’s death. I Shae and Tywin sexing it up would have come as a surprise to a lot of TV viewers, it does seem a bit out of place for Tywin to want to bed anybody, let alone a whore who his evil dwarf son had been with many times before. But, it served to give us another great Tyrion scene with him putting an end to Shae which was great, Tyrion sitting on the floor apologising while Shae’s lifeless body was slumped next to him was actually quite beautiful in a way.

Then came the big one though, Tywin taking two crossbow bolts whilst having a crap was great, shame they didn’t throw in the lne about a Lannister not really shitting gold, but that would have taken away from the scene. Charles Dance as Tywin is going to be a big miss for the series, yes he’s an asshole of a character but my god he commands every scene he is in. But at least we got a victory for the good guy, for once.

Sup?

Sup?

Finally though,without a shadow of a doubt the best thing about the finale was Brienne and The Hound. This was a surprise meeting even for us book wankers and at first I wasn’t quite sure about it as Arya was talking to Brienne, but when that fight kicked off, my word, it was something else. It was by far the most intense and brutal fight that we have seen on the show, it even tops The Mountain v The Viper for me. Seeing Brienne going toe to toe with The Hound, showing her strength and her courage was fantastic. They both dished it out and as the fight went on and it turned from a sword duel to a full on fist fight they both dug down and pulled out their animal instincts with each one doing everything in their being to not die. The final sequence with Brienne unleashing with a flurry of punches to the face screaming as she went, finally kicking The Hound off the cliffside was breathtaking. Never did I think I would be so invested in a fight, especially where I didn’t really want either character to lose.

Foreplay is a bit different in Westeros

Foreplay is a bit different in Westeros

A few quick final points:

– Arya sailing away on a ship to Bravos was actually a nice ending. They needed to move away from the Lannister murderfest in Kings Landing and end on a semi happy note and they did. A bit cheesy, but not as bad as the season 3 finale with Dany being carried on the shoulders of the slaves she had freed.

– Sticking with Arya, was expecting her to put The Hound out of his misery and it didn’t happen. Damn you Arya.

– How big did Mance Rayder look in that fur coat?! The man looked like a giant!

So, that’s it for this season. Thanks for reading those of you that got this far. I’m really interested to see where the show goes next year. So many characters have come to a point in their story arc where they need something new to do and I have a feeling the next season might come across as a bit slow, they have effectively reset the show and it will be very interesting to see how many people stick with it. Needless to say we will see a lot more of Dorne next year and the repercussions of Oberyn’s death which will be a nice change of setting.

Here’s to looking out for casting rumours for ten months!

Game of Thrones: “The Watchers on the Wall” – Quick Thoughts

Before I start a couple of things. There will be spoilers, don’t go moaning at me when you read something that you haven’t already watched yet ok? If you do I will hold you in as high regard as I hold Dany’s story lines. Secondly, I’m not going to go through everything that happens in the episode, just little things that popped into my head as I watched. Sorted? Good, off we go.

It had all been building up to this. For four seasons we have heard about Wildlings and their threat to the wall, about Mance Rayder, the King beyond the wall and how he has gathered the free folk together to fight for a common cause. Four seasons we have seen how the Night’s Watch were under strength, an order of men who once commanded respect who are now forgotten by all of those who are south of them. Four seasons the 100,000 strong wildling army has been marching towards the wall…

And then they just ran away.

I liked a hell of a lot about this episode but the way that it all ended just fell a bit flat. I can understand Mance trying to test their defences but there never looked like there were more than a couple of hundred people lining up waving their spears and homemade bows. Why were only two giants and one mammoth sent to the gate with maybe ten other people (apart from the CGI budget?). Wildlings, for all we had heard and seen for four years were supposed to be wild people who weren’t afraid of anything but again, they ran away.
But enough about what felt a little flat, let’s have a quick chat about my top 5 moments of awesome:
1. Samwell “Open the fucking gate” Tarly
This episode really breathed new life into Sam. There’s only so much whining that you can put up with from a character and finally there is new reason to find Sam interesting on more than a “aww, isn’t he nice” level. Hearing him swear, and show some confidence was simply fantastic and in a show when the C word is banded about every other sentence to be shocked at someone saying “fucking” shows just how out of character it was.
Also, I really love how the writers made you feel like he was actually going to die by promising Gilly that he wasn’t. Yes as annoying as Sam could be you didn’t want to see him die and I’m sure those non book wankers out there had a mini hissy fit when he said that.
sam
2. That 360 Camera Shot
This was just simply mesmerising and great credit should go to the director and all involved in that shot. Just as Jon makes his triumphant return to the castle grounds after killing a couple of Wildlings the camera panned around the castle capturing all the different battles happening, all in one continuous shot and it was magnificent.
3. GIANTS! (and a Mammoth)
The one thing I really wanted to see from this episode was more of the giants. I wanted to see them riding mammoths towards the wall, trunks trumpeting and by god we got it. Ok we may only have seen two giants and one mammoth, more would have been nice but they looked awesome. They looked fierce. And one thing that the Nights watch have now learnt; don’t kill a giants friend, it only makes him stronger.
Oh and that giant’s bow and arrow…hells yeah!
GIANTS!

4. Ygritte’s Dead
I actually really liked that shot of Jon holding Ygritte as she died in his arms, it gave us closure on a story that had been going on for nearly two full seasons. That being said, I hope I never have to hear the phrase “You know nothing Jon Snow” in that accent again.
Also a note to the Wildling raiders: If you see man cradling a dead person on the battlefield, maybe go and kill him while he’s doing that? It would be a lot easier.

5. The Scythe
I’ve made it clear in the past that I am a book wanker but there are still lot’s of details that I forget and for the life of me I can’t remember if the Scythe happened in the book. That was truly epic. And who seriously thought that climbing up a great fucking wall was a sensible battle plan?!

I know I have had a whinge about the ending and maybe part of it was just down to thinking I knew what was coming but the episode was still a really great piece of TV. The ending with Jon going north was all a bit meh also but the fighting inside the castle and on top of the Wall looked fantastic and certainly had you on the edge of your seat.
"Who's idea was it to climb this bloody wall?"

A few quick final points:

– Seeing Ser Alliser be a pretty decent commander kind of takes away from him being a dick. He went one on one with Tormund and although he came of worse he still lived but he gave rousing speeches and led his men into combat. Yes he doesn’t like Jon but then, Jon is a miserable bastard.

– Janos Slynt being the coward we all know he was and being showed up by Sam was nice. Interesting to see how the brothers react to his cowardice.
– Pip and Grenn dying were actually pretty heart wrenching. They might not have been in actual episodes a great deal but they have been there since season one. Seeing Pip all nervous and being talked around by Sam, getting his first kill and then getting an arrow through the neck was pretty horrible. And Grenn, holding that gate and giving strength to those brothers around him as they faced an incoming giant was pretty special.

– The ever changing accent of Jon Snow. How many different accents were in that episode? I’m going to say about 7.

Well, one more to go for this season. Episode 10 – “The Children”. Interesting to see what stories the wrap up here and how they leave us this season. A cliffhanger or a satisfying ending? Check out the preview below
Please feel free to share this little blog around if you like it, I write it for myself really but always nice to see what other people think about the episodes.

Have you ever seen a giant Ser Alliser?

Have you ever seen a giant Ser Alliser?

Game of Thrones: “First Of His Name” Quick Thoughts

Before I start a couple of things. There will be spoilers, don’t go moaning at me when you read something that you haven’t already watched yet ok? If you do I will hold you in as high regard as I hold Dany’s story lines. Secondly, I’m not going to go through everything that happens in the episode, just little things that popped into my head as I watched. Sorted? Good, off we go.

Well RIP Tanner. My favourite villain in the GoT series who had all of about 10 minutes screen time overall. I hope the guy who played him has a long and fruitful career as a Willem Dafoe tribute act.

Karl Tanner Game of Thrones

Goodbye Sweet Psychopath

So Craster’s Keep has been burnt to the ground, the mutineers slaughtered and Craster’s daughters are off to survive by themselves…Yeah, good luck with that. One thing that struck me about the way that Jon Snow (on his 9th different northern accent) and his Night’s Watch brothers attacked their former comrades was just how poorly planned it was. Jon sends Locke out to have a little scout of the camp, comes back and tells them there are NO GUARDS PATROLLING and most of them are drunk so what does Jon Snow do? Sends them in screaming to signal they were coming. Good work Jon Snow, Lord Commander Mormont taught you well. Surely the best but would have been to sneak up, take a couple out on the outskirts while they were doing their beating and raping and then keep going from there? What do I know though?

Dany is finding out that while it’s pretty easy to take cities it’s not so easy keeping them under your rule when you just walk out of them expecting things to be all hunky dory. She has a lot to learn that one. We will now look forward to twenty pretty dull Dany episodes of her being a terrible queen, being undermined by Daario while Jorah and Selmy try and tell her what she should be doing. Joy. One thing I did miss off of last weeks thoughts while I remember it; where the hell did they find a bloody great Targaryen flag to hang off the Harpy of top of the pyramid in Mereen?

Game of Thrones Mereen

Also, who’s job was it to climb up there? Sod that.

Long live King Tommen, the realms greatest puppet King. Everyone wants a piece of him and even Cersei seems to be doing nice things to help him not turn into a little shit like his recently deceased brother. I’m sure that won’t last long. If Cersei isn’t being a bit of a dick then that’s just not Game of Thrones.

Poor Sansa and poor Sophie Turnere who is the actress that plays Sansa. It must be quite demoralising as an actress to turn up to work every day and just be told to cry, look sad, get beaten up, cry some more and then just frown when not doing those other things. We did get to see her smile for about half a second this week before realising her Aunt Lysa is crazier than anyone she had met in Kings Landing. Lysa and her lungs kept her up all night and then she was interrogated to ask if she had slept with the irish villainess vampire Littlefinger before then being told she was going to marry Robin Arryn who, thank god, we didn’t see sucking on his mothers tit this time. Chin up Sansa, it might get better (it won’t).

From one Stark girl to another. Arya got her dancing shoes on and started twirling Needle around. It was great to see Arya doing some water dancing and allowing us reminisce about the good times of season one when she was enjoying her sword lessons. I bet you that Maisie Williams will be keeping the Needle prop and pulling that dancing shit out at parties and get togethers, I know I would anyway. Arya is most people’s favourite, or at least high on that list and it’s scenes like this that prove why. Without going on too much about the actress I have to say that Arya is one of the best acted and I certainly hope that there is some kind of award down the line for Maisie Williams. It certainly helps that she has amazing dialogue to work with and being paired with The Hound is simply brilliant, it’s always one of the highlights of the show and I don’t want that pairing to end, it will though, nothing lasts in Game of Thrones.

Let’s end on probably the most awesome thing that has ever or will ever happen in Game of Thrones; Hodor Hulking up with the help of Bran and nearly ripping a mans head off.

Hodor Locke

Drink your milk and take your vitamins, brother.

The internet (and book wankers like me) were up in arms after last week’s episode showed Hodor getting stabbed in the leg last week. You can change anything from the books but Hodor is sacred. So even though it was through Bran’s warging and not just Hodor going full out Hulk Hogan it was great to see Hodor nearly rip Locke’s head off. It’s a bit of a shame we didn’t see more of Locke, he was a pretty awesome character but now he is dead Bran is free to wander off for three seasons through the bitter north to find the Wierwood tree that he and Jojen have seen in their vision, that’s going to be a fun watch.

So, here is looking forward to next weeks episode, “The Laws of Gods and Men”. Get a taster by checking out the preview.

Game of Thrones: “Oathkeeper” Quick Thoughts

Before I start a couple of things. There will be spoilers, don’t go moaning at me when you read something that you haven’t already watched yet ok? If you do I will hold you in as high regard as I hold Dany’s story lines. Secondly, I’m not going to go through everything that happens in the episode, just little things that popped into my head as I watched. Sorted? Good, off we go.

We are coming up to the halfway stage of this season of GoT and it really has been a cracker so far. We have had Dany marching past dead children to Mereen and magically conjuring up some catapults from somewhere (seriously, how the hell could they have travelled the mountain roads?!) to throw broken slave chains at it’s walls. There has been Jaime being told where to go by Cersei who has turned into nothing more than a drunk middle aged woman at this point. Oberyn Martell has been introduced to us and nothing more than a full size version of Tyrion who also likes to sleep with men and of course we have had the death of King Douche himself; Joffrey.
As someone who has read the books (herein referred to as book wanker) then most of GoT becomes me just waiting in anticipation for things to happen. I was shaking in anticipation of the Red Wedding and when Joff was being an insufferable little shit to Tyrion at his own wedding I was shaking again, just waiting for the poison to take effect, it’s exhilarating even though you know what is about to happen. That being said my favourite episodes, or at least part episodes of GoT are when the story lines deviate from the book so much that I have no idea what is going on, I like to be surprised. Oathkeeper’s second half specifically had so much going on that is not in the books that I just sat there with my mouth wide open just taking it all in.
Karl Tanner - Leader of the Mutineers. Willem Dafoe's Lovechild

Karl Tanner – Leader of the Mutineers. Willem Dafoe’s Lovechild

Now we all know that Joffrey was a detestable little shit and Ramsay Bolton certainly runs him close on the show for sheer scumbaggery but my goodness, Karl – ex brother of the nights watch and leader of the mutiny at Craster’s Keep, he is one hell of a scary bloke. Part of that is down to the fact that he looks like the love child of Willem Dafoe and Lee Evans but still, when he opened his mouth he became one of the most truly despicable characters on the show (shame he will probably get speared through the heart by Longclaw net week). I was fully expecting to not be interested at all in the story of the heroic Jon Snow (now slipped back into his northern, but not so northern voice) ranging out beyond the wall to exterminate the mutineers but with the revelation that Ghost is being held captive and now Bran and the gang are as well I’m very much looking forward to seeing what happens. Will we see another instance of relatives just missing each other with Bran escaping while Jon Snow is fighting outside or will we actually see a small reunion of one half of the remaining Stark children? Who know’s but part of me would like to see a scene with the Starks coming together and the fact that Bran has so little to do this season it would mean the actor would earn his wage actually having to act a scene.The ending of Oathkeeper had me just saying to myself “what the hell is going on, what the hell is this place, WHO THE HELL IS THAT?” Part of me thought I had switched over to reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer when we get to see who, I am assuming, is the Night’s King. The character design there was pretty terrible but who cares he turned a babies eyes blue!

Anyway, roll on Episode 5; “The First of His Name” and fingers crossed that Dany becomes less boring, Karl somehow survives and the Direwolves get to have some revenge.

Where's Buffy when you need her?

Where’s Buffy when you need her?