Episode 2 - Stormborn
27 July 2017
This was oddly structured. Fifty minutes of chat followed by five minutes of mindless action. A huge effort spent to patiently explain Dany's plan to us only for it to be blown up at the end.
I disliked almost everything about the sea battle. A bunch of characters we have little reason to care about having a deeply implausible fight. Medieval battles rarely took place at night for a reason. Don't believe all the fires, in reality no one would be able to see a thing. Seasons 1-3 gave a real flavour of Martin's story structure. That characters would slowly move toward goals only to collide with unexpected but believable obstacles. Now Weiss and Benioff demonstrate that they are bog standard TV producers. Euron can magically target Yara's ship in pitch darkness, win hand to hand fights on a burning ship and kidnap Ellaria. All so that we can sit through scenes of Cersei torturing Ellaria.
The tone of the show really grates on me at times like this. Theon and Ellaria barely get any focus but when they do its just to be tormented. Meanwhile if you were invested in seeing some happiness come to Missandei and Greyworm then forget it. We are here to remind you that the purpose of their story is simply to provide soft porn. Apparently, despite being the biggest show on television, we're still worried that people won't enjoy all this fantasy crap unless there are boobs attached.
I'm not that happy about Sam treating Jorah either. I mean obviously good for Sam and get well Jorah but we have no context for Sam's situation. Has he got what he needed from the Citadel? Is he happy to be kicked out if he gets caught? It would be nice for us to know that because otherwise his "wife" and child will be out on the street next week and homeless with winter coming. Even if he's successful the Citadel should kick him out for breaking the rules but somehow I think he'll get away with it.
I'm torn about Jon travelling to meet Dany. In the real world it would be ludicrous for a King to put himself in such a vulnerable position. But of course these are exceptional circumstances. I would actually find it believable if Little Finger were able to stir up resentment against this seemingly bizarre decision for his own ends.
I did like the Dany-Varys scene though you feel they should have had this conversation months ago. I liked Jaime playing the "foreign" card against Dany's army, that's exactly what would happen. Watching Arya is intriguing as she struggles with her identity and her destination. I liked both scenes in the crypts (of Winterfell and Kings Landing). Evocative.
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