So as I write this, I’m at the end of Phoenix Comicon (hello, to everyone I saw there!), a four-day geekfest here in Arizona. It was a busy weekend, and I also managed to catch a nasty cold while there. I wasn’t able to review this episode beforehand, so bear with me if I’m a tad more brain-dead than usual.
This was quite an enjoyable episode, though in retrospect perhaps not a lot happened.
Let’s start with Theon (Alfie Allen). Oh, Theon. Dear, stupid Theon. Still firmly on the wrong side of the moral event horizon and not getting respect from anyone. See, he’s just starting to enjoy himself as the lord of Witnterfell, when his sister shows up to tell him daddy needs him to come home. Seems he’s pissed about Theon killing the kids and has decided his son, while perhaps militarily useful, might be an idiot politically.
I must agree here. Theon is a very weak leader and clearly has a child’s grasp of politics. I suppose this isn’t surprising, given that the Stark household seems to have been fairly apolitical, but still. In the end, it doesn’t appear that he’s leaving, so we’ll likely get to continue watching him be an idiot. I will also say that from a dramatic angle, watching him get dragged through the mud, metaphorically speaking, is wonderful fun.
I also rather enjoyed seeing Robb (Richard Madden) having an expanded role this week. Normally all we see of him is a couple scenes of battle and a few other minor scenes that appear to be setting him up as this realm’s version of King Arthur.
This episode, however, gave us Robb more or less courting Talisa (Oona Chapman). The two spend quite a bit of time talking to each other and expressing, in ways both subtle and blatant, exactly what their feelings toward one another are. I really enjoyed this, since it gave Robb a bit more characterization, as did later scenes showing what happened as a result of Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Koster-Waldau) “escaping” from the camp.
Speaking of Jaime, we now find him and Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) wandering about the woods together. Knowing what I know from the books, I’m pleased to see this happening, and I really look forward to seeing how they plan to handle some of what’s coming up.
I was also fascinated by the events at Herrenhall. Seeing Tywin (Charles Dance) leave Arya (Masie Williams) behind was really interesting, and her method of escaping, which essentially involved blackmailing an ally, was really enjoyable. I do love that we’re getting to see how resourceful and clever Arya is.
Of course some of the real gold in the episode is watching Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) preparing for the upcoming attack on King’s Landing. It’s very fascinating watching him plan and scheme and sweat. He doesn’t particularly want Joffery on the throne, and I’m 90% sure that if he could work out a deal where Stannis takes the crown and everyone in the city except Joffery lives, he’d take it, but even if he doesn’t want Joffery as king, he does want to stay alive and wants to keep the city intact. All of this does a wonderful job of preparing us in the audience for the upcoming attack on King’s Landing.
I also must make mention of poor Daenerys (Emilia Clarke). She’s still not got her dragons back, and Jorah (Iain Glen) seems fine with that. Can’t say that I blame him. I look forward to seeing what happens with them and this storyline, but I must at the same time say that I’m really getting unhappy with her lack of screen time this season. From what I can tell, she’s been in only about half the episodes, and in at least a couple, she was on screen for only about two minutes. Given her importance, I’d like to see a lot more of her.
Despite that minor complaint, I was generally happy with this episode, and I look forward to seeing all the action going down next time!