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Game of Thrones

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Episode 1 - The Red Woman

28 April 2016

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Several other season openers felt like recaps but this had a slightly better pace.

It was heart warming to finally see Sansa in the care of someone we trust. Let's hope that lasts.

Dany's story feels like a delaying tactic. Maybe something big will come of it but this felt very much like a bad TV show. Every other character gets horribly molested or brutalised but for spurious reasons Dany gets to go to a plush retirement home.

So wait a minute, were the Sand Snakes in the harbour of King's Landing? Or did they kill him on the ocean but we were shown the scene out of order? How did they get to the capital if they were there and aren't they worried about being caught?

Interesting final scene. That'll teach you for wanting more boobs. 

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  • I really enjoyed most of this (except for cheesy Dorne).

    The story in the North seems the strongest so far (Sansa and the Night's watch) because mostly secondary characters (Davos, sansa, Theon, Podrick, Brienne and Melisandre) are starting to become the focus, which is how the POV structure of the books also functioned: a character you didn't think was a main character at first would become more relevant as the story went on. I think it's likely that Edd went looking for the wildlings who ironically might finally overcome what's left of the Night's watch in future episodes because of the murder of the Lord Commander.

    I can see what they are setting up with Dorne without actually going into the convoluted book plot. @Fluids: I think the Sand Snakes just followed the ship and snuck on the boat because the ship didn't have that much of a headstart, seeing as the season picked up right after last season's last episode. I would say that it's up in the air who's in charge in Dorne for now but usually when there are no heirs around, the people with the most military support might be the ones in charge and Ellaria and the sand Snakes seem to be in a position of being supported by the majority.

    The King's Landing storyline is the one I am anticipating because it seems like the High Sparrow continues to present this paradoxical image of himself as the leader of a vicious band of fundamentalists but who in private discussions seems rather calm, honest and reasonable in terms of what he is saying. Margaery trying to withhold confessions actually shows that her time of playing other people is wasted on a true believer like him and I'd be interested to see where she goes from here and whether maybe the Faith Militant tries to convert her to influence the king? The acting by lena Headey was especially strong in the episode.

    The ships being burned in Meereen seems also like a set-up for something I suspect might happen later this season....we shall see whether the guerilla tactics and secret sneak attacks of the Sons of the Harpy will pay off but I was glad to see that we got a sense of some individual being in charge and I have 2 suspects but I won't mention them for now. The Unsullied have proven themselves to be less effective in a big city like Meereen where they are fighting the local population and so it will be interesting to see how Tyrion and varys manage this city. Also of not is the increasing number of Red Priests in the story. They clearly seem to be looking to Dany as a figure important to their faith and so how she plays into it will be important to discuss.

    I'd say the House of Black and White threw Arya out after her failure to do what was asked of her last season but it also does not seem like the Waif has a personal issue with Arya, even though Arya might see it as such. the Faceless Men have no identities, meaning there are no personal grudges to hold. It's interesting to see Arya so pathetic and helpess for a change because she's usually very sure of herself and very frank in how she expresses herself.

    I particularly enjoyed the Sansa scenes here because not only did characters who used to be hundreds of miles apart just a couple of seasons ago cross paths but it seems like sansa's good fortunes seem to be smiling on her for once. The scenes was a nice callback to Brienne swearing her fielty to Catelyn also, which, given that Sansa is constantly compared to her mother, seems significant. Where they might go from here, only the showrunners know.

    The Dothraki culture and traditions were rather freeing fro Dany whilst she was married to Khal Drogo but sadly women in general are not treated well by the Dothraki in either the books or the show because they are a chauvinistic culture. They rape women after they sack cities and sell them into slavery and thereis a toxic masculinity that hurts both men and women in different ways. There are other aspects to this of course, since the Dosh Khaleen are revered as figures of authority in their own right and are often mothers of future khals but they do not actively partake in conquest and so dany's marriage coming back to haunt her now that her priorities have changed is rather ironic.
    I also wonder if Daario is eventually going to get grayscale from Jorah? It's also interesting that daario talks a big game but it's Jorah who does the detective work and draws the conclusions and knows enough about Dothraki culture to maybe see where Dany is headed.

    As for Melisandre, this is her giving up I feel like. She saw many visions in the flames, many of them did not come to pass as she anticipated and it led to the deaths and misery of many people and I believe she thinks she is a good person (in fact she once told Davos as much) but at this point it seems like she's less sure of that and so she wants to see the truth, not in the fire but in a mirror; to see herself as she truly is at this point and it was a very sad, and sympathetic moment for me, amplified by the glorious score and the silent acting by Carice van Houten. the question at this stage is not whetheror not she can bring Jon back, it's whether or not she even believes enough in herself to try. It seems fittng that someone who has constantly been so sure of herself would eventually find herself in a situation where she'd doubt herself but she at least realises her own limitations.

    As her glamor represents an illusion and a lie, casting it aside for the truth is a moment of realization and epiphany that not many characters experience in the story. It's interesting that in both her scene in the bathtub in season 4 where she did not wear the necklace and this scene here we can see all sorts of potions in vials so maybe the necklace itself is not enough to change her appearance?

    Viewer score: 85 / 100

    Posted by Beric, 28/04/2016 12:47am (10 months ago)

  • Some story points really only have only one place to go; like Ser Alliser outing himself and the council as Jon Snow's executioners.
    It was a bit too Julius Caesar for my tastes though. It's hard to tell if Jon's supports in front of Ser Alliser would rise up against
    his defiance. It doesn't look that way; leaving a sharp focus on the small group of black brothers orbiting now around
    Dolorous Edd and the Onion Knight.

    Theon and Sansa being chased by dogs and being rescued was a bit predictable.

    I guess Arya was tossed out onto the street by the faceless men to beg for food.
    I suppose the staff fight means they really didn't and she's being given a second chance
    to train and change her vengeful ways.


    The Good:

    * Cersei's reactions and scenes with Jaime were so real. Lena Headey gives enormous amounts of emotional depth to Cersei's character.
    She floated me through this episode.

    * Tyene and Ellaria staging a coup over Doran and his guard was a nice twist. Does that mean Ellaria now
    rules Dorn?

    The Bad:

    * I loved the Dothraki dialog; however the outcome to the buildup was a bit like the comfy chair skit (Monty Python). Banished to the Vaes Dothrak with the other widows? Dany wasn't exactly wailing in sorrow over this; beheading sounded a bit more sinister and threatening...

    * Daario Naharis went looking for Dany along with Jorah Mormont by themselves leaving a large force of Unsullied and Second Sounds under Tyrion's watch. How does the whole Naval fleet get burned down without either large groups of troops knowing about it or trying to stop it?
    *Were they old drunk somewhere or killed by the attack on Dany at the colliseum?

    * How did Obara and Nymeria get on the boat to murder Tristane when they were on the dock with Ellaria and Prince Doran seeing Jaime off with Myrcella and Tristane? That didn't make any sense. What would have made more sense is if they originally introduced two more other Sand Snakes of Prince Oberyn (since he has eight daughters) last season and had those hide on the boat and pop out. That was just sloppy writing and dragged down my score big time.

    * The Queen doesn't understand why she's being held and I am losing interest in this story line (as to lying about knowledge of her brother's infidelities)
    and it's clear it's design is to get Tommen to grow enough balls to have a confrontation with the Sparrow.

    Unknown:

    * Is Melissandre naturally very old and just uses the her Power through the Lord of the Light to disguise her age?
    If she is using the Power of the Lord of Light to prolong her life; why take off her necklace?
    Wouldn't you want to wear it bed so you won't die in your sleep? Has she served any Targaryens in the past (like the mad king?)

    * I believe Edd went looking for Mel to possibly to use some powers against Ser Alliser and his crew. Ser Davos mentioned her powers;
    does she have the power of resurrection like Thoros of Myr? How the heck is Mel going to get them out of that standoff?

    * Where will Brienne take Sansa to protect her from the Boltons? I am guessing House Umber would be the closest place where Rickon is right?

    * Does Ellaria Sands now rule Dorn or her eldest Daughter?

    * Is Ramsay Bolton going to murder Lord Bolton and his wife to secure Winterfell since Sansa is gone?

    Viewer score: 60 / 100

    Posted by Fluids, 26/04/2016 5:46am (10 months ago)

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