Game of Thrones – “Second Sons”

Cultural Learnings

GameOfThronesTitle2

“Second Sons”

May 19th, 2013

“I always have a choice.”

“Second Sons” opens with a choice. Arya wakes up to discover that her captor has fallen asleep, and picks up a rock with which she intends to kill Sandor Clegane, a man she believes to be taking her back to King’s Landing. However, as she grows closer, it turns out the Hound isn’t sleeping at all, and he gives her a choice: she can put the rock down, or she can take one shot at killing him with it. The catch is that, should she choose the second option and the Hound remains alive, he’ll break both of her hands.

It’s not really a choice when you think about it, as Arya’s trust in her own strength isn’t quite enough to make her hands worth the risk. It’s also not much of a choice given that she’s his captive, even…

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My review of GoT: S3, E7

SPOILERS: Don’t read this review if you have not yet seen or don’t want to know details from the latest episode of Game of Thrones  

Jon and Ygritte
Jon and Ygritte’s romance continues to develop.

People work together when it suits them.  They’re loyal when it suits them.  Love each other when it suits them.  And they kill each other when it suits them.  She knows it, you don’t.  Which is why you’ll never hold onto her.  –Orell

You’re mine, as I’m yours. And if we die, we die. But first we’ll live.  –Ygritte

Wow, I can’t believe that there are only 3 eps left!  I enjoyed seeing the interactions between Jon and Ygritte- they can be a fun couple.  Rose Leslie can pull off comedy quite well, we see.  Kit Harington seems to be more comfortable (acting well after several lukewarm eps.)  

Jojen and Bran
Jojen and Bran listen to Osha’s story

Osha (who’s still suspicious of Jojen) and Hodor have a funny little moment.  Then she tells Bran and the Reeds how she lost her “man” (husband, we assume).  He was very good and loyal, but disappeared suddenly one night.  He became a Whitewalker and tried to kill her, so  she stabbed him and burned their hut down.  Natalia Tena (who’s known mainly a singer) continues to shine in her role! 

Robb and Talisa
Talisa tells Robb that she’s going to have his baby.

Robb, his family, and loyal men are on their way to The Twins for the wedding of Edmure to one of the Frey girls.  There is a thunderstorm that’s slowing them down.  Robb and Talisa are still crazy about each other; we get to see more of them (and it’s done in a tasteful manner).  “A little prince of princess” is in their future, Talisa reveals while she writes a letter to her mother (in Valyrian).  

Melisandre talks to Gendry
Melisandre tells Gendry about his father.

While on the way to Dragonstone (Stannis’ place), Melisandre slowly reveals to Gendry that he’s the son of King Robert Baratheon.  The camera focuses in on Gendry’s surprised blue-gray eyes, bringing to mind those of actor Mark Addy (who played Robert).  The thick, dark brown wig on Joe Dempsie reminds us of Robert’s dark hair.  Also, I noticed that “The Kingsroad” theme was playing softly.  CGI was used effectively to show the destruction (broken ships, burned structures) around King’s Landing.  And Clarice Van Houten- talk about screen presence! 

Dany and one of her dragons
Dany addresses a leader of the Yunkai people.

Many viewers were happy to see the dragons- getting big fast!  “Breaker of chains” has been added to the long list of Dany’s titles- very cool.  She’s still on Slaver’s Bay, this time at the gates of Yunkai.  Jorah points out that these are a proud sort of people, who will not surrender easily. 

Meisande, Yunkai slaves, and their leader
The Yunkai leader says that he will not surrender.

Their leader brings the khaleesi 2 chests of gold, but refuses to free the slaves, as she commands.  The dragons are not happy to see their “mother” threatened.  Emilia Clarke plays this scene extremely well.

Joffrey and Tywin
Tywin and Joffrey have an important talk.

You are being counseled right now.  -Tywin

The scene between Tywin and Joffrey is very well constructed, both cinematically and in terms of dialogue.  The door to the throne room opens and Tywin has to make a long walk to the base of the Iron Throne.  He glances (perhaps with disgust?) at the huge, blazing torches on either side of the room.  Joffrey is wondering what’s up w/ The Small Council, which has been meeting adjacent to The Hand’s chambers.  Tywin, aside from Cersei, is the only one who has climbed up the stairs to stand beside the Iron Throne.  (Notice how Tywin looms large over Joffrey?  The king looks a bit uncertain/uncomfortable as his grandpa approaches closer.)  I loved the way that Charles Dance said “we can arrange to have you carried” when the king commented the numerous stairs up to The Tower of the Hand.  Joffrey (finally) has some good points; he’s worried about the Targaryens and their dragons.  Tywin says that he shouldn’t worry about such “ancient” matters.

Theon
Theon cowers in fear as his manhood is threatened.

There can be no doubt what happened to Theon at the end of his scene!  Alfie Allen shows us just how powerless Theon is in the hands of his sadistic captor.  

Margaery and Sansa
Margaery and Sansa discuss men and marriage

My son will be king.  Sons learn from their mothers.  I plan to teach mine a great deal. 

 Most women don’t know what they like until they’ve tried it. And sadly so many of us get to try so little before we’re old and gray.

Margaery

There is another fine scene with Margaery and Sansa; they discuss their respective futures.  Sansa is very apprehensive about having to marry Tyrion, as he’s a Lannister (one of her captors) and a dwarf.  Margaery asks her if he’s ever been cruel to her.  “No,” Sansa responds.  “He’s not the worst Lannister- by far,” Margaery says.  (Very true!)   “He’s quite handsome, especially with that scar,” she comments.  Women like them have to make the best of their situations.  Innocent, young Sansa doesn’t quite understand all she’s hearing, as she’s lived a sheltered existence. 

Tyrion and Shae
Tyrion and Shae have a difficult and emotional talk.

Tyrion and Shae have their break-up scene.  (Thank goodness!)  I didn’t like Sibel Kekilli’s acting, aside from a few scenes.  Peter Dinklage needs a better romantic interest to match his skills.

Brienne and a bear
Brienne holds a bear at bay with a wooden sword.

After the ride away from Harrenhal, Jaime and ex-master Qyburn (veteran British actor, Anton Lesser) have a fine scene where they discuss how many people they’ve killed and saved.  Qyburn was stripped of his title because he experimented on dead/dying people.  Jaime saved 500,000 people (“the population of King’s Landing”) when he killed Aerys (“The Mad King”) as a young knight.

Brienne and Jamie
Jamie jumps in front of Brienne and faces the bear- WHOA!

And then we have the bear scene- WOW! I knew Jaime would go back to save Brienne.  Jaime (who’s a more important prisoner, after all) jumps into the pit to save Brienne (who was being humiliated/tortured by Locke).  They manage to climb out of the pit, with the aid of one of Bolton’s young/burly men.  Jaime tells Locke how it’s going to be- what an unlikely hero…  Nikolaj Coster-Waldau continues to impress me with each new ep!