Archive for the ‘Game of Thrones’ Category

Game of Thrones, Season 2, Ep 2 “The Night Lands”

Monday, 11 September, 2017

Intro: I’m watching Game of Thrones for the first time. I don’t know anything about it more recent than this episode.

I forgot to mention last time that Tyrion had reached King’s Landing and assumed the role of acting Hand of the King, after showing the written order from Tywin (whom Joffrey had earlier appointed Hand of the King in absentia, probably thinking he’d never show up and so wouldn’t actively meddle – ha!).

And again we get treated to another new location in the opening credits map: a small group of islands with the name “Pyke”. I assume this is the Iron Islands and Pyke is the capital. But let’s begin at…

Dothraki-land: I still don’t have a better name for this land, across the Narrow Sea. Daenerys and company are dying of starvation and thirst, when one of the scouts she sent out returns. Or at least his head does, in a saddlebag on his horse. Jorah says it could have been any of a number of other Khals. Khal is the Dothraki word for “king”, and Khaleesi, Daenerys’s title, means “queen”. (I figured this out some time ago, but never mentioned it before.) A distraught relative/wife of the scout says the other Khal has denied the man his passage to the afterlife by not burning his body. Daenerys orders a pyre built and promises the man will ride with his ancestors this night.

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Game of Thrones, Season 2, Ep 1 “The North Remembers”

Saturday, 9 September, 2017

Intro: I’m watching Game of Thrones for the first time. I don’t know anything about it more recent than this episode.

So I opened my media viewer and looked for season 1, episode 11… and there was none. It was only after a few panicked minutes when I searched online and found that season 1 only has 10 episodes in it, that I breathed a sigh of relief and turned to the first episode of season 2.

The opening credits show a new place on the map: an island called Dragonstone. I immediately thought this must have something to do with Daenerys. Maybe she takes her group of followers on a small ship to an island in the middle of the Narrow Sea and sets up a colony where she starts raising dragons. It turns out this didn’t happen at all.

Winterfell: Bran is still having weird dreams. The recap at the start of the episode reminds me of a bit from the previous episode which I think I forgot to mention last time. He dreamt that he heard Ned’s voice in the crypts where past Starks are buried, and then went down there later to investigate, and ran into his younger brother, who said he was also down there looking for their father! So something weird is going on with Ned Stark and some sort of influence from beyond the grave. I guess we might see his ghost or something at some point.

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Game of Thrones, Season 1, Ep 10 “Fire and Blood”

Monday, 4 September, 2017

Intro: I’m watching Game of Thrones for the first time. I don’t know anything about it more recent than this episode.

This is very exciting, because two of the predictions I made came true in this episode! We’ll see those near the end…

King’s Landing: Well, Ned’s definitely dead. The episode opens with his blood dripping off the executioner’s sword. As his head is hoisted high for all to see, Sansa faints and a guy in the crowd has grabbed Arya and shielded her eyes from the sight. This is obviously someone who knows who she is, but I’m not sure who this man is. He drags Arya off, cuts her hair, and tells her to act like a boy, then throws her into a bunch of captives and slaves apparently about to set out north for The Wall to bring recruits for the Night’s Watch. I don’t quite understand what’s going on here, except that whoever this is, he thinks he’s doing Arya a favour by hiding her and smuggling her out of the city – which is probably at least half true, since no doubt she’d be in worse trouble if Joffrey caught her.

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Game of Thrones, Season 1, Ep 9 “Baelor”

Monday, 28 August, 2017

Intro: I’m watching Game of Thrones for the first time. I don’t know anything about it more recent than this episode.

Joffrey, Joffrey, Joffrey…

Well, we’ll get to that.

Across the Narrow Sea: Bacteria. Minute, invisible, bacteria! A dude with an exotic curved sword can’t fell Drogo, but the bacteria in his wound do – he falls off his horse while riding. Immediately some of his followers declare him unfit to be Khal, if he can’t stay on his horse. Daenerys shoos them away. Jorah warns her that the Dothraki don’t respect bloodlines – as soon as Drogo is too weak, or dead, someone else will claim the leadership through strength.

Daenerys realises she has to save Drogo and summons the witch woman again. Her diagnosis is not good. But she can perform a magic ritual, which requires the sacrifice of Drogo’s horse to transfer life into him. Daenerys orders it, and ends up covered with blood (again). As she leaves the tent the men outside are angry, and she collapses, declaring the baby is coming! Jorah carries her back into the tent in the hope the witch woman is also a midwife.

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Game of Thrones, Season 1, Ep 8 “The Pointy End”

Friday, 25 August, 2017

Intro: I’m watching Game of Thrones for the first time. I don’t know anything about it more recent than this episode.

The pointy end indeed. Things are really stirring across the land.

The Wall: The Rangers have retrieved two frozen bodies, one missing the hand that Jon’s wolf, Ghost, recovered. They are part of Benjen’s patrol, but Benjen is not found. A raven arrives from King’s Landing, bearing the news that King Robert is dead, and Joffrey has claimed the throne. Jon wants to head south to aid his family, but the commander warns him against doing anything foolish. We know the penalty for desertion is death – as meted out by Ned himself in the very first episode. Jon seems torn between heading south to assist one half of his family, and north to look for Uncle Benjen. Since south would be desertion, it looks like he’ll settle for north.

During the night, Ghost goes wild and leads Jon to the commander’s quarters, where one of the “dead” bodies is lurching around. It attacks Jon and he kills it with fire after a few fruitless stabs of his sword right through its chest. Later, the watchmen burn both bodies, and Samwell says they must have been killed by White Walkers, thus ensuring they rose from the grave to threaten the living. It seems Jon will have his hands full without being able to help further south. If I were to make a prediction here, I’d guess the White Walkers will eventually overrun the Wall and Jon will be among a scant few survivors who are then forced to head south to warn/protect the lands further away.

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Game of Thrones, Season 1, Ep 7 “You Win or You Die”

Thursday, 24 August, 2017

Intro: I’m watching Game of Thrones for the first time. I don’t know anything about it more recent than this episode.

Whoa. Okay, a lot of stuff happened in this episode. Oh, a thing I remembered from last time: Sansa always refers to Syrio as Arya’s “dance teacher” and to Arya taking “dancing lessons”. I’m not sure if this is a euphemism, or if Sansa is really under the impression that Arya is taking dancing lessons, rather than fighting lessons. Anyway:

The Wall: We catch up with Jon Snow and Samwise Samwell. It’s time for them to take their oaths as members of the Night’s Watch, and to be assigned to specific duties. Jon assumes he will be appointed a ranger, ready to patrol north of the Wall. Sam assumes he’ll be a steward, doing menial duties in the guardhouse. Jon worships the Old Gods, and so is given the chance to take his oath at some special tree that exists a bit north of the Wall; Samwell decides to forsake the New Gods because they never treated him well and join Jon. Before the oath, they are given their assignments, and Jon is shocked to also be named a steward. He protests that he is the best fighter there, but Sam points out that he’s probably being groomed to take over from the old commander. This appears to appease Jon a bit. I fear that Sam may be being a bit optimistic, and Jon is being set up for an even bigger disappointment. We shall see.

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Game of Thrones, Season 1, Ep 6 “A Golden Crown”

Sunday, 20 August, 2017

Intro: I’m watching Game of Thrones for the first time. I don’t know anything about it more recent than this episode.

Nothing at The Wall this time, so from the top:

Winterfell: Bran has another dream of the three-eyed raven which we saw in the previous episode. Obviously this means something, but it’s not at all clear what yet. Awake, his special saddle is ready and he can ride a horse again, with his crippled legs strapped in. He goes riding with his brother, whose name I finally catch, Robb Stark, and a squire who isn’t related to them. (I’d thought before that this squire was the other Stark brother whose name I don’t know yet, but apparently not, because there is a specific conversation here where Robb says the other guy is from a different family.) Bran rides off while Robb and the squire have a petty argument about Robb taking charge and getting justice against the Lannisters for trying to kill Bran.

A group of four scruffy itinerants surrounds Bran and demands his silver pin and the horse, cutting his leg (which Bran doesn’t feel because of his paralysis). Robb appears and kills two with his sword, but enters a standoff with one remaining one holding Bran with a dagger to his throat. Robb drops his sword, and the squire shoots an arrow into the ruffian’s back, triggering another argument with Robb saying he could have killed Bran. The remaining female ruffian begs for mercy and says she will be in Robb’s service; he lets her live.

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Game of Thrones, Season 1, Ep 5

Monday, 14 August, 2017

Intro: I’m watching Game of Thrones for the first time. I don’t know anything about it more recent than this episode.

Wow, a lot is happening in this show, really fast, and it’s hard to keep track of it all. Let’s see how we go.

You know, I don’t remember anything happening in the Land of the Dothraki at all in this episode.

In King’s Landing, the intrigue continues, with Ned digging into things that might be best left alone. The tournament continues, and the knight called The Mountain is bested at the joust by a young pretty-boy with long blond locks who presents a rose to Sansa before proceeding to knock The Mountain off his horse. Sansa almost swoons – I guess she’s not as doting on Joffrey as she appeared to be before. Or at least she’s realised Joffrey hates her guts and marrying him might not be the best way to ensure her happiness and longevity. The Mountain takes offence at Pretty-Boy and grabs a sword, intent to cut him down. The Mountain’s own brother (the one scarred when The Mountain held his head in the fire when they were younger) intervenes and fights him to save Pretty-Boy, until King Robert calls things to order and The Mountain stands down, then runs off.

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Game of Thrones, Season 1, Ep 4

Sunday, 13 August, 2017

Intro: I’m watching Game of Thrones for the first time. I don’t know anything about it more recent than this episode.

Let’s recap in the other direction this time. I’m sure this won’t capture everything, because this episode contained a lot of back-story in conversations that sort of just washed over me with unfamiliar names and events, none of which I remember now.

Land of the Dothraki: Daenerys Targaryen is definitely starting to turn more against her brother, whose name I finally picked up as Viserys. The naming pattern makes sense, with their father being Aerys Targaryan, a.k.a. The Mad King. I still haven’t worked out the relationship to the guy who is accompanying them as a Dothraki translator. I think this guy must have sent news of Daenerys and Drogo’s wedding to King Robert (or maybe to Ned Stark), because I recall in an earlier episode that one of them received a raven carrying the news. Oh yeah, they seem to use ravens the way wizards use owls in Harry Potter – attaching notes to them. I’m pretty sure this would only work in a fantasy world – I don’t think ravens work like homing pigeons (or wizard owls, for that matter). So anyway, it feels like the translator guy may be a spy for King Robert.

The wandering caravan of Drogo and Daenerys reaches the city of the horse lords, which Viserys views with disdain. He tries to attack his sister in a fit of frustration, but she whacks him one with a lump of jewellery and threatens to have his hands removed next time he raises one against her. I think I know who’s going to win this conflict.

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Game of Thrones, Season 1, Ep 3

Friday, 11 August, 2017

Intro: I’m watching Game of Thrones for the first time. I don’t know anything about it more recent than this episode.

The locations are intercut throughout the episode, but let’s recap from north to south.

The Wall: Jon Snow settles into his role as a member of the Night’s Watch, while Tyrion Lannister lurks around enjoying himself, knowing that he can head back to the comforts of more southern climes at any point. The Night’s Watch seems to be made mostly of ne’er-do-wells who are rounded up and brought north by a guy called Benjen who seems to be the captain. The result is that they are poor fighters, and Jon Snow shows his superior combat training against them in an exercise. This earns him their enmity, and a group of ruffians overwhelm him and threaten to mess up his pretty face, when Tyrion appears and pulls his “my sister is the Queen” card to get Snow out of it.

Snow takes a hand-cranked lift to the top of The Wall and peers out into the snowy north beyond. Tyrion takes a very meaningful piss off the Wall into the land of the Wildlings. We hear that Benjen and his rag-tag mob patrols north of the Wall. It’s not clear why they bother – the Wall is so huge that surely it can keep a bunch of people (they say explicitly that the Wildlings are “just people like us”) out without bothering about patrolling the enemy territory. But there’s also the threat of White Walkers and monsters and stuff, although Tyrion says dismissively that he doesn’t even believe such things exist. Famous last words, perhaps?

We get the first explicit explanation of how the seasons work here. Summer and winter each last a variable number of years. The current summer has lasted a very long nine years, and the winter that is coming is expected to be long and harsh.

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