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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Game of Thrones - Episode 1.06 - A Golden Crown - Review

Hey again everyone! If you're like me and you don't have HBO GO, you're probably still reeling from what what was, IMHO, the best episode of the season thus far. Quick Plot Synopsis: Tyrion is brilliant, Ned is slow, Theon is a creeper, Bran rides a horse, Dany eats a different horse's heart, Jon is nowhere to be seen for two weeks running, and our first major player bites the dust. Now it's time for some General Commentary!


The Awesome:

In which Littlefinger reminds viewers of some key and yet obscure facts while also being hilariously patronizing: This is probably the first review during which I won't be raging about how poorly GoT generally deals with large swaths of exposition. The combination of Aiden Gillen's wry sense of humour, Sean Bean's constant glowering, and Jane Espenson's Janeespensonyness made for one of the funniest scenes of the series to date. I hope that the head writers continue to use characters like Littlefinger to their advantage.

In which Daenerys' plot, for the first time all season, isn't completely nonsensical: Now that I have gotten over much of my disbelief about  the evolution of Danys' relationship with The Khal, I can move forward with the rest of her story. Emilia Clarke made a very strong impression as the Khaleesi coming into her power this episode. Watching her struggle to eat a horse's heart was intensely disturbing and yet we really got a sense of how far she's come. Harry Lloyd as Viserys was also particularly excellent. I adored his hauntingly pathetic conversation with Ser Mormont. This lead to one of the main highlights of the night during which, as the title of the episode promised, Viserys received "A Golden Crown." Ah Viserys, we hardly knew ye. Even though he was an incestuous bully bordering on the criminally insane, it's a testament to Lloyd's acting that I couldn't help but feel sorry for him.


In which Tyrion outsmarts everyone ever: I think it's safe to say that most people have a soft spot for the underdog. As a dwarf in a family filled with unpleasant and powerful noblemen, Tyrion is often considered an embarrassment; however, his quick wit and occasional bouts of kindness have endeared him to the vast majority of GoT fans. As Tyrion pointed out to Jon Snow, he has embraced what most would see as his weakness and made it his strength. Who could imagine such a small and unassuming individual manipulating a room full of knights and noblemen into freeing him from almost certain execution? His amusing banter and deep pockets were able to convince a mercenary by the name of Bronn to fight for his freedom. Seeing as how Tyrion's imprisonment set the stage for Jaime's assault on Ned last episode, it'll be interesting to see what Tyrion's freedom will do to set things right (or not).

In which Raging Spaniards prove themselves to be ridiculously awesome: That's pretty much all I have to say about Syrio and Arya's latest dancing lesson. Please give us more of these, oh mighty HBO Gods.
The Bad:
 
In which Theon pays Ros (The Whore) for one final flash: I felt that this scene was 100% unnecessary. Sure, it serves to show us that Thoen is a creepy/lonely/creepy man, but it was so out place between scenes that were fairly serious business.



The Predictable:

In which Ned solves a mystery that most viewers had figured out several episodes back: It's really too bad that my favourite episode yet contained the single worst scene of the entire season. As a reader, I knew that Ned was going to discover the secret of "The Seed Is Strong", but the book dealt with it FAR more subtly. This was just awful. Not to mention the fact that genetics really doesn't work like that. In the novel, at least Ned bothered to look up Lannister/Baratheon pairings before reaching his conclusion. All of my previously discussed frustration with heavy foreshadowing aside, the main problem with this scene was Ned's decision to read the book aloud to himself. That was the worst. "Wait, this Baratheon had Black Hair? *flips pages* This Baratheon ALSO HAD BLACK HAIR!? *flips pages faster* BLACK HAIR BLACK HAIR BLACK HAIR!?" I was unable to stop myself from laughing. They could have done a bunch of quick edits focusing on the words "black hair" within the book or something. Anything but what was chosen. *sighs* For a show that usually displays high quality direction and writing, such a pivotal scene should have been dealt with better.

Alright fellow GoT fanatics, Black Hair Aside, on the completely arbitrary scale of 'Suddenly Realizing That Joffrey Is The Product Of Twincest' to 'Masturbating In The Turtle Stew' (as rated by Tyrion) I'm going to have to give this episode a BEST. EPISODE. EVARR!!!!1!!111!1one (9.25/10.0).

Let me know what you all thought as well! Was the mystery of the seed as predictable for non-readers? How are you all liking Dany's story at this point? Anyone else missing themselves some Jon Snow? See you all next week!

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Check out my Blog: cadencegtv

Episode 1: Initial Thoughts
Episode 1: Full Review - 7.75/10.0
Episode 2: (Darq's) Recap/Review - 8.25/10.0
Episode 3: 8.75/10.0
Episode 4: 8.50/10.0
Episode 5: 9.00/10.0

- Cadence

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