Now there's an episode, amirite? All it took was the Battle of Blackwater, a teleplay by Mr. George R.R. Martin himself, and the guy who directed spelunker snuff porn classic The Descent.
All storylines happening well outside of King's Landing were shoved aside for an hour of wildfire, heads rolling, and Stannis on a boat, mothafruggers. (Sorry, that song kept going through my head every time they cut to Stannis standing on a boat like Leo. If you're on the shore, then you're sho' not he-oh.)
So we had none of Daenerys "I'm the Mother of Dragons. ZOMG! Where are my dragons?" Targaryen or Jon "Stop trying to touch my virgin wang, woman!" Snow or Bran "Which one's Bran again?" Stark. We also didn't have Arya, Brienne, and Jaime, all of whom I kind of missed.
But who did we have? Oh, that would be the Hound. Joffrey's Dog finally got his day, and proved, once again, that the more dog there is in an episode, the more better that episode is. (See also: Dog, T in AMC's The Walking Dead)
Let's break it down into Good Things and Less Good Things:
- Sansa and the Hound! Sansa and the Hound! I have to admit that the scene where Sansa finds Sandor in her room after he leaves the battle is one of my favorites in all of the books. (I'm a 12-year-old Beauty and the Beast fan at heart.) I only wish we could've seen more of them together throughout the season. I guess what I'm suggesting is that the show be refocused into just a giant, expensive exercise in Sansdor fanfic. I don't think that's too much to ask.
- Drunk Cersei. Cersei's going to be an excellent crazy old aunt someday, isn't she? She's the one you get placed next to at weddings, who drinks all the wine at the table while asking you about your menstrual cycles and telling you about her past as a man eater.
- Podrick Payne. Move over, Hot Pie. There's a new beloved minor character in town. And he just saved the ass (and face) of the most beloved major character (that would be Tyrion, of course) on the show. Take your bows, Mr. Payne.
- Sniveling Joffrey. Joffrey is so the Draco Malfoy of Game of Thrones. There is just nothing better than seeing him taken down several pegs. He tries to look like a bad ass in front of Sansa with his new fancy sword, and she counters that he'll probably never get to use it, not like her brother Robb "King in the North" Stark, who's always right in the middle of every battle. And then, when he has the chance to jump into the fray and save his city from invaders, he turns tail back to the castle and leaves his half-man uncle to play the hero. You suck, Joffrey, but in such a delightful way. Never change.
- Bronn vs. The Hound. Obviously I'm Team Hound, but it was nice to see these go at it a bit. In battle, Bronn comes out looking the hero, while the Hound is scared away by the fire. Though I think what the Hound did, telling Joffrey off and fleeing his life as Joffrey's muscle, is just as admirable.
- I loved Tyrion's speech to the soldiers about how they shouldn't fight for Joffrey or the city, they should fight for themselves, their home.
Less Good Things:
- I'm confused by all the random Lannisters running around. Which one's Lancel again? They all look alike. Did one get stabbed in battle? Was that the same guy who was informing Cersei about all of the goings on in the battle? Maybe they should've just cast the same guy to play all of the lesser Lannisters, kind of like the Oompa Loompas in Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
- Davos who? I feel like we've spent so little time with Davos and his son, Matthos, that their scenes lacked impact. Are you dead, Davos? We don't really care.
- Too little Stannis. He was just kind of there, standing on a boat, and once in a while swinging his sword. The characterization of Stannis has been so lacking this season, that his presence on screen barely registered.
- Loras? Where did you come from? Loras and Tywin stepping into the throne room having saved the city from a Stannis siege felt like it came out of nowhere. I guess we knew from last week that Tywin was headed out from Harrenhal to fight someone (it sounded like Robb), and now he's at King's Landing with Renly's biggest supporter. I'm not really blaming the show on this one. I found this confusing and random in the book as well.
Bits and Bobs:
- Varys is going to tell us all about the time he lost his dragon, the one in his pants. Just be patient, y'all.
- Sansa, after Shae comments that some of the soldiers will never come back: "Joffrey will. The worst ones always come back."
- All the money spent on the wildfire explosion was WORTH IT. Gorgeous. Scary.
- Cersei's line after Sansa comments about how Cersei was Robert's queen, like that should have been enough, was an act of brilliant line reading by Lena Heady: "And you will be Joffrey's. Enjoy." Emmy! Emmy! Emmy!
- Looks like next week we get Dany's LSD trip in the House of the Undying. Talk about an action packed way to end a season!
- We're also going to see more Jaime and Brienne and Arya and Jaqen, so that's good.
- And for all of you with the blood lust, there should be a bit of a battle at Winterfell. And probably some killing north of the Wall.
- My prediction for the final scene: Samwell uses the obsidian.
What did you think? What do you think will be the final image/scene of the season?