Game of Thrones S1, Ep3 – “Lord Snow”

Short one this week, everyone; the day job is bustling. Too bad, too, because last night’s episode was the strongest yet in many ways…

  • “How can you let her marry someone like that?” This really hits on *a lot* of deeper issues in the series, doesn’t it?
  • “I’m truly sorry…about the lo-cal.”
  •  Eddard and Cat’s good-bye wasn’t showy, but it sold me on Michelle Fairley’s performance. Just something in the warmth there. Having said that, aging Cat up does make her relationship with Baelish feel a bit odd – – at least to me. Not so much on her end, but on his side of things.
  • Speaking of Littlefinger, Gillen killed it in his first episode, didn’t he?
  •  “…they don’t put that part in the songs.”
  •  SPOILER: There’s some rather heavy subterfuge at work in the Jaime/Cersei scene (mostly seen in Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s performance) but I wonder if anyone who hasn’t read the book would see it. They laid it on a bit thick there and I wonder how that will affect viewer empathy/sympathy for Jaime later. I think they’re trying to duplicate Martin’s own antics in this regard, but reading a character say those things and hearing them come out of an actor’s mouth are two very different things. Still, I’m all for twisting audience expectations, so what the hell; let’s see how it plays out in Season Three. 
  •  Martin had Dani’s story as a stand-alone, award-winning novella. Could the Dani moments in the series to this point withstand similar isolation? Sorry, but only an apologist would say so. Yes, I realize they’re trying to cover a lot of story with her in very limited screen-time, but that doesn’t mean they’re doing it well.
  •  “Do you think I’m plump?”
  •  SPOILER: Wow, they kind of hinted at Ser Jorah’s secret a bit early, didn’t they?
  •  What a great ending! Bean’s slow turn from pride to horror and fear? Awesome.

Storytelling. It’s interesting how this episode devotes so much of its runtime to people telling stories. It never occurred to me just how much of Martin’s first novel consists of people telling stories, telling lies, trying to ferret out the truth or avoid it. Stories as instruction and as diversion. Heck, even in the Dani/Drogo scene, its their newfound shared language that reveals their new intimacy, not the sexy shenanigans. Stories as a way to bond men or (sometimes in the same scene) deepen old grudges. It’s nice, then, that everyone in tonight’s episode proved such a compelling storyteller – from Nikolaj Coster-Waldau to Addy to the wonderfully cast gal they got playing Old Nan. The tale she tells Bran about the White Walkers – – how much more frightening it was than if we had actually been shown anything! Very well done. Words, especially when wielded by someone as charming as Littlefinger, really are the deadliest weapon in the series. Notes carried by raven…the Spider’s little birds whispering…
Like I said, I have more along this line of thinking, but it’s all muddled by other business so I’ll leave it at that for now.

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