Many US cable shows, stretching a single storyline across their entire run, reach a bit of a slump around episodes four to six, having set up their plots, but not wanting to tip them towards concluding. Game of Thrones, however, has so many strands that they can have big moments for a couple of them every week.
Still, even by that standard, this was quite the episode for big “Holy shit!” moments, as well as the usual hinting, banter and casual torture.
Violence, Varys And Vigilance
Night’s Watch mutiny! Two B-level characters dead! It’s a shame to see Lord Commander Mormont go, but also a prime example of how you only get one mistake on this show. For that poor guy, it was turning a blind eye to Craster’s bastardry. Still, at least he took one of the Night’s Watch arseholes down with him.
Dragons and Unsullied take Astapor! Amazing scenes for a TV budget, proper dragon action, and better material for Dany than the whole of last year’s Qarth arc. Great to see that character remind us of why we all loved her in the first place.
And those are your two big moments, but there’s also movement on other storylines. King’s Landing appears to have fallen into a parallel universe where Game of Thrones is an acerbic high-society sitcom, headlined by witty and insightful Tyrell women. Also some great material from Lord Varys, after disappointingly little for him in season three thus far.
Theories, Theon And Thrones
Oh, and Sansa is engaged. Again. You could almost see her little eyes light up at the prospect: “At last, a chance to marry a knight! Surely it can’t go as badly as last time!” And in the poor silly child’s defence, potential fiancée Loras is merely gay rather than disgustingly abusive, so it’s progress.
Looks like Bran and Theon are this year’s slower, less captivating plotlines so far. The producers are meant to be splitting the third book over two years, so perhaps the main parts of their storylines are being saved for season four. Still good to see Iwan Rheon again though.
Anyway, in short, another Game of Thrones episode I love. The sheer volume of important stuff happening is compelling, and I haven’t even mentioned some of it. (Liked the Brienne and Jaime scenes too, by the way.) We’re nearly halfway through, hope the rest of the year is half this good.