This episode, more than the first, really managed to convey the books’ sense of impending doom. I really got the feeling that these characters are on a long, slow road to despair and we’re going to march with them every step of the way. This tone of futility may be a hard thing to endure episode after episode. I saw someone describe the series as cheerless, and while I think that may be denying the show some its wit and charm, there’s no escaping the fact that this is grim shit and it only gets grimmer. For every triumph (see Dani’s story), there are dozens of crushing blows to the spirit. And yet… and yet…herein lies the crux of the series. In a world that is so obviously mechanized towards grinding down the weak and the unlucky, these characters will struggle and plot and fight until the last breath, and they will cling to hope that somehow justice will ultimately find those who deserve it most. That’s the definition of nobility, right there, and make no mistake – this series is all about nobility in title versus nobility in action and in character. Episode two gets that across in spades.
Even more satisfying than I hoped.
- The scene between Cersei and Cat – if that’s the quality we can expect of the new material in the show, then bring it on. The tears in Cersei’s eyes – I have no doubt those are genuine. One thing Martin makes clear, and I’m glad to see it evidenced here, is that Cersei may be a devious bitch, but she has an unquestionable love for her children. She would walk through fire for them, and this scene between two mothers who both have that unwavering devotion made this scene really rich stuff to watch.
- “It’s only for life” Well, pledging your loyalty to the king is supposed to be for life as well, isn’t it Jaime? Oh, wait…maybe you’re the wrong person to ask about that.
- I teared up during Arya’s and Jon’s goodbye. Yes, I am that lame.
- Hmm. Interesting changes in that scene with Jon and Cat, having Eddard in the room, and having Cat spill her feelings about Jon while also relating her fears about Eddard’s departure. It works, I’d say, but maybe not as well as it could have. The writing seemed a little off here. Maybe someone else can put their finger on it?
- So, seeing the scene where Jon asks Eddard about his mother makes me feel that Sean might just be on to something with his theory here…(SPOILERS for the book)
- Addy was really strong in his scene with Bean where they discuss the Targaryen. That’s the kind of rage I missed from him last week. This is the sort of bottomless vendetta that can blind a man to more serious threats in his own backyard, I’d say. Bean was also wonderful here. The thing I loved most about this scene, though, was the frustration they both had with one another when discussing the same old shit they’ve been arguing about for years. They truly felt like brothers and old friends there.
- Those eggs still look like they’re made of plaster to me.
- I said my piece about Khal Drogo’s bedroom etiquette last week. I see what they were going for, but it seemed a hamfisted way to go about it and it continues to make Drogo look like someone I’d gladly see get an axe in the head.
- Now, for the last ten minutes or so of tonight’s episode, I felt like I was watching a very, very effective and faithful replay of the events of the book and it made for some truly compelling drama. I was on the edge of my seat through the whole thing, and I knew what was going to happen. Everything from Joffrey’s cruel taunting of the butcher’s boy to the way Addy played his bit note-for-bloody-note as I had envisioned Robert behaving in that scene, this was all great. This is one of those cases where I really do wonder how these scenes played for people who hadn’t read the book. And the kids were terrific. I haven’t been blown away by Turner’s portrayal of Sana but when she was pleading for Lady’s life? Man, did I buy that. I’d advocate giving the casting folks a big ol’ raise for the way they culled these young actors out. I haven’t been disappointed in a single one of their performances to date.