A few weeks back, covering episode four of Game of Thrones , I enthused about how impressively this season had avoided lapsing into a dull mid-section. Well, I might’ve fired off those missiles early, as the latest effort has a hint of flab showing around its midriff.
Only a hint, though – there’s still some good stuff. A wedding! Kidnapping! Fighting! Evil rituals! Spoilers follow!
I AM DAENERYS STORMBORN AND MY LIVER IS A SUPERNOVA
If we’re being honest, last week didn’t exactly rocket the plot forward either, but I let them off because novelist-chap George R.R. Martin provided some great dialogue moments for almost everyone. This week, many characters are missing, and a lot of the ones we do see are simply marched further along their path without doing or saying anything amazing.
Daenerys gets more material than most, but isn’t quite riveting. Her best moment, actually, was a chat with her new handmaiden, in which her grasp of Dothraki is questioned and she seems half-human. The rest of the time, she keeps yelling her CV at people. This storyline may be losing me a bit.
The Arya/Hound duo has great potential, though, even if we only get a taster this week. Elsewhere, the scenes on Stannis Island are a bit static, but still interesting as we haven’t seen those characters much this year.
Tyrion Threatens Most Popular Castration In TV History
The best bit, and the reason this episode was still 100% worth watching, was the Lannister/Stark wedding. Poor Tyrion, after basically being the hero in the first two years of the show, is having a crappy time this season. Powerless, angry and forced into marrying a child who doesn’t want him, he handles it the only sane way: getting wasted.
Which only makes him funnier, of course. Jack Gleeson’s Joffrey steals a few scenes too – his yoinking Tyrion’s stool is a masterpiece of bleak comedy. There’s memorable moments from Cersei and Lady Olenna too – the whole sequence is so great, Charles Dance’s Lord Tywin may not automatically be the best thing in it.
The zombie climax was also fun, though lurched a bit out of nowhere. (I guess zombies will do that.) And now, thanks to an annoyingly positioned US public holiday, we wait two weeks for Game of Thrones episode nine. In past years, that has been the one where the big dramatic stuff goes down, with the finale reserved for epilogues, so I’m hoping that one was definitely the end of the mid-section. Have to wait and see.