Well, I’m finally caught up to the South Park parody of Game of Thrones. I think- it’s been a few years since I’ve seen it, but it seems to have been created at the end of season 3- definitely by the end of season 4. I’ll look it up later.
Anyway, after binge watching 30 of the (at the present time) 69 episodes, I’ve come up with a couple of games of my own- a drinking game (original, I know), and all the different ways I’m reminded of other characters in entertainment. So forgive me as I interchangeably reference the characters properly, and with my personal association. Try to keep up- surely the show would want it that way!
So I wasn’t crazy about all the romance, often turning captioning on and the sound off, but I realize that it was necessary to push the story along. Well, most of it. Greg Brady’s marriage to Heidi Fleiss was one of the few pure, straightforward, even wholesome romances this show has to offer- obligatory nudity notwithstanding, of course- and oh, weren’t we all happy to find out she was pregnant! That was certainly how we were supposed to have felt, isn’t it? However, anyone who’s been watching this show long enough knows that happiness is only to be felt by the viewer for one reason and one reason alone- that it will be ripped apart. I saw the death of the poor woman coming a mile away, although I confess to being completely caught off guard as to when it happened.
I certainly wasn’t expecting Rob Stark to die then and there. He seemed to be doomed at some point, but I assumed it would be later in the series. And his mother, a cross between Mrs. Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie and Peggy Hill from King of the Hill, had to watch, right before her own death. She wasn’t my favorite character, as her constant stumbling and bumbling and pseudo-pride caused all kinds of problems for everyone, but her last seconds among the living was heart-wrenching to watch.
As for the man who caused it, the guy who played the Squib in The Harry Potter movies, that’s no surprise. He was a wretched degenerate, a very close second only to Craster. (An honorable mention goes to Joffrey, but he’s really more of a psychopath than a degenerate.) When he not only showed mercy, but was downright magnanimous about it, something just didn’t feel right. One of the many drinks to have in the GOT drinking game is that the more mercy a sadistic character shows, the more vicious the torture will be carried out.
And on that note, how about Handsome Dennis Leary, finally getting a taste of his own sadistic medicine? I like the character Jaime Lannister, as well as the actor who plays him. He’s believable whether brutal, charming, (seemingly) merciful, or hurting inside. But there are major inconsistencies in his behavior, almost worthy of a daytime soap opera. So now, he’s a misunderstood kingslayer? He was doing it to save all those people? Okay fine. He’s still a guy who, almost gleefully, pushed a ten year old off a ledge to die, after being caught having an affair with his sister. Even in a show where belief is suspended over and over again, it’s a real stretch to ask the audience to go along with that premise, and still believe he has a heart. Nevertheless, I bought into the storyline, because it was well acted, and the chemistry between him and Breanne felt very real…even if saving her from fighting a bear felt like something out of Xena Princess Warrior, or Hercules, or some other campy pseudo-historical fantasy show from the WB network in the early 2000’s.
I also enjoyed watching Aria and The Hound form a truce, and what may develop into an unlikely friendship later on. (One can hope.) I don’t believe The Hound is a bad guy- I think HE wants people to believe that. There’s no question he’s done many bad things, but who hasn’t in this show? (Wait, don’t answer that. We’ll get there.) Aria is one of my favorite characters, and as of now, is the RIGHTFUL Strong Female Protagonist, even though I didn’t care for an unnecessary attempt at comic relief, as she cold-heartedly knocked an innocent old man unconscious to show The Hound that she means business. (Come on, writers- this is Game of Thrones, not The Three Stooges!)
I’m still trying to identify all the other protagonists in the story fair and square, even though I have hindsight in knowing a few of the survivors. It seems like the Sean Connery-ish guy assisting Stannis will be around for a little while, thanks to the fact that he learned how to read (reading saves lives, kids!), and it was nice to see Aria’s crush make it to safety. Or, so it seems. But what’s the deal with Lady Evil? She’s a magical, mystical, woman! At times, she seems to be caught completely off guard, other times, all knowing. Obviously, young Keanu Reeves will be sparred until AT LEAST when he gets to the Three Eyed Vulture. Beyond that? Well, I guess it’s up to The Lord Of The Light from there, who seems like a real jerk. (Thank you, Norm MacDonald.) By the way, I salute the writers for coming up with yet another jaw dropping, stomach churning twist- when the aforementioned Lady In Red pointed out to Stannis that his wife was “sick” and she “disgusts” him, I assumed she meant disfigured by an illness. Nope. Perfectly normal looking lady. But keeping her stillborn children in a jar and talking to them as if they were people? Well, that was…unexpected. So unexpected I couldn’t understand what was going on.
Lessee, what else, what else…oh, the Lannisters! They are still hovering around the center of the GOT universe, for now. Sansa marries Tyrian, while Cersei The Queen is about to marry Loras the queen. And Tywin, at the head of it all. He’s got it all worked out, doesn’t he? I wonder if Sara Yoko Silverman will do anything about it, at some point. The only thing she seems good for right now is turning Tyrian, normally THE BEST character in Game of Thrones, into a lovesick fool. Most interesting of all, though, is the unknown aspirations of the aspiring Queen…um, I forget her name. But she seems to have Joffrey’s number.
HOW MANY MORE STORYLINES ARE THERE???? *sigh* Ok, I’ll go through them. Theon Greyjoy being tortured by Sean Astin…the visuals are disturbing- add “torture porn” to the list of genres in GOT- but if there was one guy who deserved to be punished like that, it’s this guy. In some ways, he’s the MOST despicable character on the show. All the other degenerates and sadists have little or no conscience. Theon was treated like family by the Starks- AT LEAST as much as Jon Snow was- only to turn around and lay waste to all those who he grew up with. Despicable. And I let out a small groan and chuckle as his sister assembled a boat of the greatest killers to rescue her brother! Yeah, she’s a regular Joan of Story Arc.
The Jon Snow thing slowed down for a bit, especially with his budding romance. But that ended up with a huge payoff, especially with The Knights of The Watch in shambles, their beloved leader betrayed and killed. (I can’t entirely blame them, though- sucking up to the degenerate Craster almost has me rooting for the White Walkers.) Jon had a groan-worthy moment himself, though, as he chuckled when his girlfriend pointed an arrow in his direction. I’m glad she shot at him. He deserved to pay for his arrogance. But do you know who REALLY needs to pay for arrogance? Yeah, that’s right- I saved “the best” for last!
Six episode past when I wrote this, my opinion has only hardened. The only ones more in love with Danaryus “Khaleesi” Stormborn, House of Targaryan, mother of dragons, freer of slaves, warrior of social justice, are the writers who created her. They’re so in love with her, they forgot to write an interesting story! If this was a video game from the early 90’s, the Khaleesi storyline would be the bonus round, where you try to collect as many coins as possible in 30 seconds. No enemies, no obstacle- just get those coins! The only brief moment where it looked like this might be going somewhere was when Heir (Hair?) of Fabio barged in while Khaleesi was taking a bath (naturally), and put a knife to Khaleesi’s personal secretary, only to declare that he wanted to fight for her. (Couldn’t he have just…knocked?) Then, we get the now-famous image of her greeted as a liberator. Was there any doubt?? Of ALL the ways they could have ended the season, THIS is what they chose.
All in all, the season was mixed, but with lots of promise ahead. The Lannister push forward continues to be a driving force, presumably until winter comes, and the series becomes Night Of The Living Dead. Arya continues to be given more and more reasons to be angry, becoming more and more dangerous. Whatever weirdness is going on with Stannis Baratheon, it’s clearly going in some very curious directions. And then, all the wall, winter is coming, etc. etc..
So much to watch, and I can’t resist writing these recaps. I try to keep it short, but really- how can I?
(Two other minor notes-
The punk rock song at the end of episode 3 was ill-advised. I like punk rock as much as the next suburban white boy, but part of the appeal of GOT is being sucked into the idea that the viewer is watching something straight from Medieval Times. Deviating from that, even in the credits, pricks the bubble.
Are they really going to give Doofus from Duck Tales a love interest? When did Judd Apatow become a writer for this show? That’s not entirely fair- Sam is a nice kid, not an immature slacker. But it’s the same principle. Men needn’t be conventionally good looking to end up with someone, or good looking at all. The same can’t be said about women. That’s just the way it is in fiction, and at times, even in real life.)