Playing With Posh Chairs – disconnected and incoherent thoughts about Game Of Thrones Series 4, Episode 1
So it’s come to this. I warn you that this may contain spoilers regarding series 4, episode 1 if you haven’t watched it yet.
I’ve watched the first episode of the fourth series of “Game Of Thrones” once and subsequently whizzed through it again to re-watch specific bits once, so don’t expect anything clever (or in any way interesting or funny) – just a few disconnected thoughts and my usual tangential rambling. I will not be looking up any names I can’t remember and I resolutely refuse to spell “Sir” in that diegetic “Ser” way, because it’s just silly. And not in the good way, like you want.
And naw I ain’t read the books. I was reading other, different books at the time.
~ Tywin Lannister has received a wolf pelt for burning and (what is subsequently revealed to be) a Stark family sword for melting down, presumably through the post. I bet it came in an exciting cardboard box like my order from Raan Thai the other day, and he got to do that fun thing where you open it and then tick off all the items on your list as you take them out to make sure they’re all there (I always enjoy that. Although it probably wasn’t an extended pleasure for Tywin, since he’d only ordered two things. At this point I really have the urge to start blathering about Christmas hampers from when I was little, but it’s early in the post and I think I’ve digressed enough already). The scene in the smithy is all flame and molten metal, all hellish visuals. Is this metaphorical imagery? Tywin as Mephistopheles? Dragon-related, maybe? Or Lord o’Light fire-worshipping-related? Or maybe they just thought it looked cool.
~ Tywin disowns Jamie (AKA ‘The one of his children he actually likes’. Or used to like, anyway) surprisingly quickly. This did feel like it needed more build-up. I really don’t like the name ‘Jamie’ (I really can’t stand that “changing the end of a perfectly serviceable name to -ie” bit. ‘Jamie’ is nowhere near as bad as ‘Alfie’, I’ll give you that) but I’ve come to like Jamie Lannister a lot. Yes, since you ask, I can forgive him for pushing a child out of a window years ago. I can’t say that I really ever disliked him for that (I can think of many children that could do with being pushed out of a window), only for being a smug git in the first series.
~ Subsequently Cersei rejects him, too. But at least she did arrange for him to get a gold prosthetic paw that’ll make him look like some sort of mono-handed bling-drenched gangsta. He needs a purple hat’n’feather and a gold chalice to complete the look. And in this setting it is entirely conceivable that he might get them.
~ The best (funniest) bit of the entire episode was him waving with said prosthesis.
~ And what is it with this program’s obsession with hands, anyway? It’s nothing but hand-this and hand-that. Hand of the king. Corryn Halfhand. Erm… Littlefinger. I may be overstating the problem, now that I actually think about it.
~ I really liked the way that the Danaerys And Her Durguns scene was shot. We start all idyllic, with two of her babbies swooping around in the air like John Shuttleworth’s most majestic pigeons, and the other on her lap having a lovely fuss. One of its wings extends across the ground behind her, like the long train of a fairytale princess’ dress. Her style-cramper-in-chief Sir Jorah then hoves into view and the halcyon scene simply dissolves: the dragons start getting fractious and drop a sheep carcass in front of her. A lot was conveyed in a very short while, and I have the sneaky feeling that this might be foreshadowing more than just durgun-behaviour.
~ Said durguns do look huge compared to last series, though. At some point in the episode Jamie Lannister gives us the impression that this is all happening only a few weeks after the events at the end of the last episode, so lizards be growing quickstyle.
~ As an aside, I’m reading “Lanark” by Alasdair Gray at the moment and it’s making me expect to see a scene in this where Danaerys wakes up with scales on her arm. And then goes to an underground hospital run by… I dunno, Qyburn and Pycelle probably.
~ At this point in time I don’t know what to make of Daario Neharis. The previous actor conveyed “pretty but obnoxious”, but the new one has an air of “not as good looking, but charismatic and charming”. I don’t feel like I’ve got much of an idea of the character yet. Flowers were presented to Danaerys and you can durn sure count on the fact that his descriptions of their properties will become important for a plot point later on. I suspect there might be a touch of the ol’ visual imagery going on again, too – red, white and blue flowers? Are they making oblique hints about imperialism, perhaps? I and many others weren’t entirely comfortable with the last scene of the last series (dark skinned peoples hail their white conqueror), but perhaps they’re going somewhere with this. Might be worth taking note of the colour schemes in her scenes henceforth.
~ In other “unimaginative stereotypically romantic pressie” news, Sir Drunk-ass (or some similar name) insists on giving Sansa a necklace. I have a sneaky feeling that it’ll turn out to be hotter than the Dothraki desert. Sansa is going to get pulled for receiving stolen goods. Right now she’s getting her hunger strike out of the way before she actually goes to prison, to save time. I do worry about where this plot strand will go. I really enjoy “Game Of Thrones” but I’m not sure I trust it to deal with eating disorders in a sensitive manner.
~ It’s a happier world with Tyrion/Bron verbal exchanges in it. Pod looks about a decade older than he did when we last saw him, so perhaps its not just the dragons who grow so fast.
~ We’re introduced to Prince Oberyn of Dorne. I’m glad, ‘cos what this program is sorely lacking is a violent lust-filled warrior character. I like this bold new direction that they’re taking.
~ We’re also introduced to some cannibal scar-faced wildlings. Tormund Giantsbane doesn’t like them, and – since he has the most fantasy name that anyone has ever had – I tend to assume that he has a good awareness of the setting. Although he did trust Jon Snow and that was a bad move, so maybe he hasn’t. Anyway, he seemed a lot more scared of them than Ygrette did, but then again she’s a bad-arse.
~ Speaking of Jon Snow, I like his new no-nonsense attitude. “Here’s how you’re going to be invaded, now hurry up and decide whether you’re going to execute me because I’m very busy. I’ve got a lot of important pouting to be getting on with”.
~ Brienne looks adorably awkward in her civvies. No-one pays much heed to what she’s telling them. I think they should pay more heed to what she’s telling them.
~ Arya! Yay! I know she’s very much meant to be everyone’s favourite and written with that specific aim in mind, but… she’s my favourite. She’s already been half of a few good double-acts, but I think that this current turn with The Hound may be my favourite so far (her electrifying scenes with Tywin in the second series notwithstanding).
~ Then she gets her murder on. I choose to believe that she killed Poliver because of his annoying voice, and not because he killed that whiny kid from ages ago. Her recitation of his callous words was just to show him how to say them properly. I am not on the whole in favour of posh people mocking ordinary people for their accents, and still less killing them over the matter, but his voice was irritating. “Sumfin rong wiv yor leg boy” etc.
~ 2nd best bit of the entire episode: cross-HBO referencin’ with The Hound saying “A man has to have a code”.
~ Missing in action: We didn’t see any scenes with Sir Davos/Melisandre/Stannis Baratheon; Gendry; Littlefinger; Theon Greyjoy/Ramsey Snow; the other Greyjoys; Walder Frey; HODOR/Bran/blonde kid from “Human Nature/Family Of Blood”/sister of blonde kid from “Human Nature/Family Of Blood”; Wildling lady who’s name I do know but can never recall/youngest Stark kid who’s name I know is “Rickon” but it baffles me why I can remember his name and not hers, given that so far he’s been entirely pointless; Roose “funniest character in the entire program, on the quiet” Bolton; maybe more that I’m forgetting. Some of these are more or less of a loss than others, of course. Given that this is going to be the first time I watch it one-episode-per-week in the normal fashion, I suspect that the fact that you don’t see some characters/plotlines for a few weeks on end might get on my wick a bit.