There’s a mini-trend of novelists writing geek shows right now – mere days after Neil Gaiman on Doctor Who, we get our annual Game of Thrones script by George R.R. Martin, original author behind the A Song Of Ice And Fire novels upon which this whole shebang is based.
His previous scripts have been taut, violent little joys – how will this one stand up? Well, there is a bear in it. More spoilers to follow.
A Bear? Where? THERE!
In the previous two seasons, GRRM has gleefully yoinked the more cathartic and eventful scripts for himself – first year, the Lannisters massacring the Stark forces, and in the second, the excellent Blackwater battle sequence.
For the third run though, he takes things down a notch, puts on some smooth jazz and gives us a latter-midway episode in which events continue building, but nothing hugely epic smashes us in the head. Aside from Jaime Lannister rescuing Brienne from a bear, of course – a great moment for fans of Jaime’s redemption, but the sequence itself didn’t feel as tense and kinetic as it could. Restrictions of filming with a real bear, maybe?
Oh, and Daenerys returns from her week off threatening to sack another slave city, and in the process turns down the chance to sail to Westeros and join the main plot. Disappointing, maybe, but I’m not sure we should ever have got our hopes up. Some nice acting by Emilia Clarke though, as we see just how confident/arrogant Dany is becoming, in contrast to the old days.
Lord Tywin’s Flowchart: “Crush My Enemies, Punish My Children”
Elsewhere, there’s a lot of talking, but it’s really good talking. Charles Dance, as always, stars in one of the best bits: Lord Tywin finally has a chat with his grandson, making it very clear “Consult The Inbred King” is not part of his action flowchart.
Jon Snow and Ygritte are finally out of the icy backdrops, and I’m finally feeling this storyline in the last couple of weeks, which is a relef. GRRM does a great job with their dialogue, making us really like them as a couple, along with dreading the inevitable betrayal.
While Sansa is finally confronted with her own infantile selfishness, in a scene that’s as funny as it is insightful. Tyrion and Shae’s scene is equally well written but much less enjoyable to watch. Speaking of childish stropping, Arya tries that when her current jailers refuse to obey her, only to end up kidnapped by someone far worse. Good work, kid.
So things are moving along – the dialogue was on such sharp form this week, I don’t mind the relative quietness of the episode itself. Even low-key storylines like Bran/Gendry/Robb had fun beats – Theon’s was… less fun. Still loving Game of Thrones despite the quiet cliffhanger this week – slightly sad there’s only three episodes left though.