TV Review: Game of Thrones 2.7, 'A Man Without Honor'

This was an episode of conversations. There was very little action, very little adventure and, shockingly, no sex.

rating: 5

(WARNING: Significant spoilers follow) This was an episode of conversations. There was very little action, very little adventure and, shockingly, no sex. Instead we had people talking to each other, and in doing so producing some of the most interesting TV I€™ve seen in a while. But before we get to the conversations, we must address Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen). Oh, Theon. Stupid, stupid Theon. With almost everything he does, he proves himself to be a very, very weak man. Consider the way that he blames one of his guards for last week€™s escape by Bran and Company, and then beats that guard up when the guard dares to call him on his BS. Then there€™s the way he crosses the moral event horizon at the end of the episode. No, Theon is many things, but a strong man, and a strong leader, he is not. Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright), on the other hand, proves in his very brief scenes that he€™s a stronger man (well, boy€you know what I mean), than Theon. His rationales for why he doesn€™t want to involve the farmer€™s family and why he didn€™t get food from the kitchen staff were very good and showed strength. Too bad that, in the end, it didn€™t do much good. So to our first set of amazing conversation, we have Jon Snow (Kit Harrington), who is still wandering about Iceland with Ygritte (Rose Leslie, one of two Downton Abbey alums now in the cast). She quickly puzzles out that poor Jon has never, shall we say, properly sheathed his sword, and teases him about it, then offers to help him find a good scabbard. The scenes between the two are amusing, if somewhat non-substantive. At least they end their story (for now), in a very interesting place. And speaking of interesting places, we get Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) still hanging out in Herrenhall with Arya (Masie Williams). They have an exciting conversation about the history of the castle, and how it wasn€™t built with air defense in mind, something most fantasy stories don€™t really tend to consider. We also get Tywin talking about how, €œ is what remains of you when you€™re gone,€ which I thought was a good line, though really, there wasn€™t a bad line in the conversation. I€™m also more convinced than ever that he knows Arya is of noble birth and at least suspects that she€™s Arya Stark. There were two other major conversations of note. One involved Jaime (Nikolaj Koster-Wladau), a character I have sorely missed, though I€™ve missed somewhat less typing out the actor€™s name. He spent a good several minutes on screen bonding with a distant cousin while the two were locked in a cell together. They have a really good scene together that ends with Jaime brutally murdering him and escaping, though not for long, which leads to another great conversation. The final major one, and something of a real surprise, was between Cersei (Lena Heady) and Tyrion (Peter Dinklage). It seems that Sansa (Sophie Turner) has had her first €œvisit from Aunt Flo,€ as the kids today say. This means it€™s not long before she€™s expected to get married to Joffery and start pumping out babies (though from what we saw a few episodes ago, Joffery has some odd ideas on what to do with his staff of office). Cersei is less pleased about this than you might expect, and wonders aloud to Tyrion if Joffery€™s sociopathic nature is punishment for her relationship with Jaime. Tyrion seems surprisingly moved by this, though it it€™s clear neither of them knows how to deal with Joffery or how to deal with being nice to each other. There was so much other stuff that happened. We had a great scene with Sansa and the Hound, a great scene with Robb and the nurse, and a really fascinating development in Qarth. But I only have so much space here. So let me just wind this up by saying that for me, even though this episode lacked action and excitement in certain ways, it is, thus far, my favorite episode of the series. Wonderful scenes with wonderful actors doing what they do best, and if more TV had that, the world would be a better place.
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Chris Swanson is a freelance writer and blogger based in Phoenix, Arizona, where winter happens to other people. His blog is at wilybadger.wordpress.com