Before I say anything, Game of Thrones at its worse is still better then many shows at their best. In saying that, this episode, along with future shows, will suffer from one thing I think. There's just too many things going on to give each story a true bump in advancement.
Other then pacing, this show and this episode was great, but not as good as many of the past episodes.
Jaime and Brienne are bonding, well, Brienne has Jaime bonded with a rope. And he's doing his very best to charm her with his ability to pee on a tree, speak ill of the dead and/or his knowledge about Ser Loras and Renly's love affair. Once, inexplicably , all of it fails, he takes it on a sword fight on top of a bridge, exposing them both to capture.
Gladly for Arya, Gendry is acting like only someone who has already won her over would, good thing Jaqen isn't dead too, for speak ill of him doesn't count. However they may argue like an old married couple (with Hot Pie acting as de facto child in the middle), all the Brotherhood see are three starving children, that is until The Hound is captured and reveals Arya for what she truly is. The two most wanted of Westeros - the youngest Stark and the Kingslayer - have finally been caught, sadly for them, they have been caught by the wrong people.
Sansa is given an audience with Margaery Tyrell and is brought to them by Ser Loras (her big crush) and they reminisce back to Season 1 where she caught his flower at the Tourney of the Hand. Oleanna Tyrell "the Queen of Thorns" wants the dealio on Joffrey's true nature as a former betrothed to him. Sansa reluctantly tells them that he's a monster which causes Margaery to roll her eyes. Seeing Sansa talk so openly about Joffrey is a nice change from the always lying typical faade that we see from her.
Tyrion is visited by Shae in his chambers. He tells her that they cannot be seen together after Tywin's warning last week that he "would hang the next whore I find in your She appeases him sexually and that's regrettably all we see of him this week, although she does pass on that Littlefinger has taken an interest in Sansa and that Ros warned them that he can be dangerous.
While getting fitted for his wedding clothes Joffrey scoffs at Cersei's warning about Margaery. Joffrey invites Margaery into his chambers to talk about his hunt that he's about to go on and shows off a new crossbow that he had made as "one of the finest weapons in the The way that Margaery dealt with the whole Renly marriage (who pops up in other parts of this episode) and how his excuses for not "fulfilling his duties as a husband" as she wanted to be a good wife and get with his child. She played her part as the "victim" of Renly's homosexuality. I cringed at Joffrey saying that he should make Renly's "affliction" and make it punishable by death. I wish that the writers would stop referring to Renly as so effeminate. Oleanna saying "He was well dressed and well mannered" and then Jaime said ***negative comments about Renly too, I just think that it ruins his name and his squandered potential as a king. But Margaery seems to be doing what Sansa couldn't by taming Joffrey and fitting her gender role as "the proper lady" for him.
No Daenerys .
Arya pops up for the first time this season hoofing it with Hot Pie and Gendry. They get lost and run into the infamous Brothers without Banners (the ones the Mountain was torturing people to find last season in Harrenhal). Among them include newcomers Thoros of Myr, Anguy the Archer, and others. Thoros finds their castle forged blades a weird occurrence and how they managed to escape from Harrenhal. When in a tavern drinking occurs and Thoros gets delivered a tall hooded figure that is a prisoner. He is unmasked as The Hound who we haven't seen since last season. Arya tries to get Hot Pie and Gendry to try to sneak away but Arya gets seen by the Hound and the Hound asks what Thoros is doing "with the Stark bitch?" Now that they know that she's highborn they won't let her go since money is quite tight especially for their bandit-like ways.
Jaime and Brienne continued their long walk to King's Landing. In deciding whether or not to cross a bridge or not Jaime manages to get under her skin regarding which king she served before Catelyn. He deduces that it was Renly and says something offensive that makes Brienne angry, rightfully so. I really enjoy Jaime's banter and despite Jaime's wit being less so than Tyrion's he did a bit of the brains from his father as well. He gets a sword off of Brienne when crossing the bridge and the two cross swords and it was fun to watch him get schooled by Brienne. Even though he was manacled I remember him putting up more of a fight. The fight was well choreographed well I figured Jaime wouldn't kill her because he seemed to get off of it in a way in the same way Tyrion does with intellect and books. Lord Bolton appears on one edge of the bridge and the fighting ceases. Bolton pays a peasant who confirms that Jaime is indeed himself and the two are taken into Stark custody. (Guess they cut Vargo Hoat and the Bloody Mummers out of this bit).
Robb receives news of Winterfell and from Riverrun that his grandfather (Catelyn's father) has passed away. What was alarming to me about this is that they got news of Winterfell but Catelyn is more upset about her aged sick father than her two young sons who are presumed dead at this point. Although, her speech about Jon Snow to the new Queen was really well done and really goes back to the contradictions of Catelyn hating him for no other reason than her not being his mother.
Theon (who knows where) is tortured and tied up and is promised to be helped in his escape next week by a meek looking servant.
In the North
Bran continues to have dreams of a 3 eyed crow but this time he shares it with a mysterious boy. While out surviving in the wilderness the young boy comes upon Bran who is then help at spear-point by Osha who is then held at knife-point by the young boy's sister. Those of the book rejoice, it's Meera and Jojen Reed. Osha's confusion at the swapping of gender roles was a funny touch since in her free culture men are supposed to be oh-so masculine in their demeanor as opposed to Jojen's masculinity. Jojen and Bran bond over their sight, Jojen can see into the future and into the past, and also at possible futures too. They both admit that they both saw the 3-eyed crow in the dream. I guess they're both searching for it or something and how their fathers both fought in King Robert's Rebellion.
Beyond the Wall
Jon is interrogated by Mance Rayder about the difficult of killing the Halfhand. Jon obliges and meets a warg called Orell who can go into the body of his eagle in the same way Bran can with Summer (his wolf). Orell tells them how he flew over the Fist of the First Men and sees "only dead
Sam is trudging behind the other surviving Night's Watch hurrying back to the Wall. One of the guys who beat Sam up during sword training teases him about how he should be dead while other Night's Watch died instead of him. Sam gives in to the bullying and falls to his knees. Mormont sees this and puts the bully in charge of Sam's well-being or else it'll be his head. Bully, Grenn, and Pyp all help Sam up to continue on the march.
In closing, this was a very good episode that continued to balance new characters and keep the ball moving on the King's Landing and the Night's Watch as well as the Riverlands stories. I only hope that now that we have most of the new characters introduced the groundwork is laid so that we don't have too many "getting to know you" episodes about them and jump right into more action. I can now more fully understand the introduction of some characters like Meera and Jojen until this book since last season was already oh so crammed.
A far better improvement to the premiere as the introductions gave in-depth details to the new characters. Its tricky to see the writers trying their best to keep up with the books but due to limited budget. Arya are on their way to Riverrun when they encountered a group The Brotherhood Without Banners lead by Thoros Myr ( a priest in Kings Landing during Robert Baratheon reign) & captured, they set them free after feeding them but their luck ran out when The Hound (also captured by the brothers) revealed Arya's identity.
Arya's introduction could have been a bit lengthy to show that they struggled a bit before stumbling into the part of the The Brotherhood Without Banners & no mentions of favourite members like Lemoncloak & Tom O Sevenstrings.
Queen of Thorns was a delight to watch with her snide remarks and brutal honest jabs brought a lot of excitement to the show and i hope will be around till the end. Her interest in knowing first hand about Joff from Sansa shows that she aint a lady to be trifle with.
Its so great to see Cersei losing her grip on Joff despite trying everything trick while Margery manipulated him using his taste for violence against him, It will be interesting to watch how the two duel on Joffery's control.
Brienne Jaime's journey to Kings Landing is halted when a villager spotted them with their inability to deal with the situation costing them their freedom at the hands of RooseBoltons bannermen.
Jaime's is turning out as one the favourite of with his sense of humour ability to sense danger despite rotting for a long time in a dungeon though he should have dealt with Brienn during the sword fight.
I knew this season would bring a time of butthurt for Theon, but I didn't expect to see Brienne ''Waterdance Bravosi''. I loved her last season, but she just became my favorite character.
Jaime is one of the things that makes GOT shine. He's such a well plotted pain in the ass, he tickles me to death.
The Tyrells were beautifully & realistically portrayed in their great scene with Sansa. As if all that wasn't more than adequate, we're treated to Ciaran Hinds as Mance Rayder. and I thought this show couldn't get any better....
Dark Wings, Dark Words was a good episode of Game of Thrones. It was great to see new characters introduced though some main ones were missed. It was awesome to see Sansa meet Margerys grandmother and their conversation was intriguing. It seems Margery utilized the info and is going to play her own game to survive being Joffrey's wife. Bran has new dreams and his group meet new characters in a great way. Theon being tortured was excellent though I wonder who's really behind it. Aria and gang were caught by secret rebels and it was cool seeing them interact. Jaime tries escaping from Brienne with surprising results. There were many othrr great moments but some scenes were longer than needed. I liked the "Dangerous Person or People" references. I can't wait to see what happens next!!!!!!!!!
Everyone will sit here and tell you this was amazing and totally necessary for plot structure and build up. I call them fanboys. I also call a spade a spade, and I'll call this the way it is.
Hollywood milking and forced themes in a series of disconnected events.
10 minute kissie face scene with Tyrion. Completely unnecessary, but is very expected because this is every fanboys favorite character, gonna be interesting to see all the fanboys slit their wrists as we approach later books.
Jaime and Brienne are apparently the 2 best sword fighters in the land and had it out in the slowest sword fighting match ever seen. An average person could have easily dodged every slow moving strike while stopping to tie their shoes.
They are obviously forcing Catelyn and Talissa into becoming greater parts of the story than they need to be, by having a 5-10 minute story about Catelyn blaming herself for all the recent tragedies because she didn't love Jon Snow enough because he was a bastard son. Nah, you idiot, a lot of the problems recently are cause you have been acting like a selfish Mom who doesn't care about everyone pledging their loyalty to your son.
Hey Arya, you are so awesome most of the time, but next time walk with your head down and hand over your face if you're really trying not to be seen.
Regardless, a lot of this was obviously necessary, and a lot was forced, IMO. Poor episode overall, but I guess I expect more from my favorite show versus others who will blindly follow and never call out the king of TV.
I thought this episode was a bit like premiere part 2, as it introduced us to even more characters who we will probably see quite often this season. While I'm still getting used to the constant leaps from one place to another again after "blackwater," this episode overall was more assured than last weeks, even though there was no Dany.
I thought the new characters were all great, and it was great to see the dog again after I thought he wold have no further part in the show. Also, Margery is much more likable and clever than Sansa. The show did confuse me on a) Why was winterfell burned when the ironmen surrendered to Northerners? and b) Why did Jamie fight his captor when she was taking him to Kings Landing? c) where is theon? whats happening with him? Maybe I just need to see it again.
one last thing, the lack of pointless nude scenes is a definite plus for me.
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