Game of Thrones: new men, more naked ladies, a new gold hand, and two old swords

As with any TV phenomenon, it needs to be put into its place so in anticipation of the new season, Buzzfeed’s post, “If the Media Reported on Game of Thrones,” made both my TV writer and journalist hearts melt into one. It was spot on with its branding and the season premiere. No one changed but everything changed, as Cersei pointed out in a rare moment of insight — though she was scolding her brother for being tortured and imprisoned instead of being with her since it was his choice and all.



Tywin, head of the Lannister clan, is still a dangerous prick who melted down Ned Stark’s sword, used to cut his head off (moment of silence), and added insult to injury (well, death, really) by having that sword recast and given to his son, Jaime, who played a large part in Ned Stark’s family’s destruction.

As for that son: poor Jaime. An emotion I never thought I’d express. He and Arya may have the strongest character arcs because so much shit happens to them and they change, unlike others. Jaime is practically disowned by his father, rebuffed by his sister (I’m an only child but I’m thinking this may be for the best given the whole incest thing), and even made fun of by that biggest prick of all, the foolish-evil-demon child, Joffrey.

It seems Jaime’s been relegated to the level of Tyrion. A crippled son, no matter what he had been, is just as good — meaning, unworthy — as a dwarf son. Will Jaime be bonding with his brother now? I doubt it as much as I doubt his pages in that Knights book will remain empty. Leopard and spots and all that.

DaarioAnd no sooner can a leopard shed his spots, can a dragon be tamed as Daenyrs is reminded as she enjoys a little cuddling time with her dragons. Some of us like Labs, others like big, scaly lizards but when you’re out to retake a kingdom, you need to be practical. And that she is except when it comes to charming, handsome men.

Sister, I hear you. I was thrown off by having a bit of “Nashville” appear suddenly in a fantasy realm. Though, “Nashville” does border on the fantastical at times. Still, Daario Naharis has been recast from Ed Skrein to “Nashville” breakout star, Dutch actor Michiel Huisman.

No, he’s not the Daario of last season. Hell, he’s not even the Daario as described in the books. But at least GoT always pleases aesthetically for all sexual orientations, so no one quibbles too much. Not even Dragon Lady. As Nicki Minaj so articulately encapsulated all Daenerys was feeling meeting Daario, “when he give me that look, then the panties coming off.” As we see here:

Panties, boxers, robes are all flying off when it comes to the new man to enter King’s Landing. I have great hope for  Pedro Pascal aka Oberyn Martell aka “Red Viper” aka the second son of the House of Dorne who’s a hedonist out for blood. YES. I had to look up him immediately. Riveting actor.

People are making a big deal of his brothel-going, bisexual ways. But I like Oberyn because he is portrayed as our hope to out Joffrey. He has force behind those accented words and hell of a reason to kill every Lannister.

It is time that someone put the Lannisters in their place. Who else could? Any hope of Stark rule is dead, Barotheon is a fool, a tyrant, and weak to a wily woman’s ways even if she is a sorceress or whatever she is. He’s a bundle of weak and horrible qualities. At least Tyrion is a man with substance. And even he didn’t lock up any of his children. Barotheon needs to die just for that. The Dragon Lady will be a fair ruler so I got my hopes on her as queen. Though hope is a very dangerous thing. But I don’t see her ripping the Lannisters a new one as they deserve. Especially Joffrey.

Which is where I see the dark and noble Oberyn doing just that: making Joffrey weep. Bringing Tywin’s army to its knees. Taking the robes right off Cersei and then strangling her with them. That is, If he’s smart and doesn’t let revenge blind him. He can love. He loved his sister, and the Lannisters can swipe away emotion. That’s their brutal strength. We have yet to see.

The brothel scene was powerfully written. It showed how different Dornes are to the Lannisters, showed the intense and complicated relationship between Oberyn and Ellaria (portrayed by Indian British actress Indira Varma of “Kama Sutra” and “Rome”). His hatred for the Lannisters are as palpable as his love for his sister. And not to be underestimated, it showed how spot on of a diplomat Tyrion actually is.

Tyrion continues to be the Ned Stark we crave for. A man with honor who once couldn’t pass by a brothel who now can’t touch a naked woman thrown at him because he is married, even if unhappily and unwillingly. A man with sense, who can keep himself and those he loves alive, even if he has to spurn his true love, Shae (her days are numbered it seems). In this universe, he’s practically — dare I say it — a good man.


The other contender of Good Man got his head saved by a blind man.The man saving John Snow’s life may not be able to see but he could see the truth in Snow’s words and saves his head — and the Wall possibly by believing all Snow has to say. The blind man’s last words are gold. When asked by the Head Crow how he was so good at detecting lying, his answer: “I lived in King’s Landing.”

The sole survivors able to stand up to the lies are the Stark girls, in markedly different ways. Sansa is a girly girl but no fool. She’s born to be a princess/queen and has all the bearing of one. She was a child up until the latest murders, which has made her grow up in a way that not even impending marriage to sadist Joffrey and her father’s death could do. Yet, somehow she has managed to retain humanity. Though I fear for that necklace she’s been given can bring her no good. I trust no gift in this show.

Arya, oh Arya. That girl saw her sword, Needle (love it), recalled her friend’s gruesome death and in a scene beautifully built with rising tension, little Arya grew up. She had her revenge and got her sword and pony in one fell swoop — and gained The Hound’s trust.

All in all, the premiere promised all of the nudity, orgies, and bloodbaths the show is known for. Yet, most of it (I say most not all) doesn’t seem so gratuitous. In the books when the characters are teenagers, it causes more discomfort, but since I live daily in the “real” world where we all agree to be a little fake for the sake of society, I’m a fan of showing the world beneath its cover. There’s a lot of sex and violence in the world, lot of wheeling and dealing by corporations, politicians, heads of families, and all round generally abusive people that makes the average person its victims. There isn’t a whole lot of the undead, thankfully. But we never know what the next polar vortex may bring…

In short, the season promises to dash your hopes, squirm in your seat, bite your nails, and curse on Twitter. It’ll be fun!



One comment

  1. Nice recap. Thanks for your kind words about Jon and Sansa. He gets busted on for being a boring character, Sansa gets busted on for being Sansa. But I’m fond of all the Starks. (Even Rickon.)

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