Game of Thrones

Season 1 Episode 10

Fire and Blood

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jun 19, 2011 on HBO

Episode Fan Reviews (19)

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  • Great, Ned.

    I've watched the finale twice now and I'm still not sure what to think. There was definitely nothing bad about the episode in the sense that just about everything that has made the series strong in previous offerings was still there. The characters were three dimensional, their interactions with each other were just as rich and textured as we have come to expect and the plot was furthered along beautifully, and rationally I might add,in the aftermath of Ned's execution.

    However, my concern exists in two halves. The first half being that the episode seemed more like a denouement to me, rather than a climax, which is what I generally expect from a season finale. Essentially it left me wondering if it might not have been a better idea to have left Lord Eddard's fate in question until the end of this episode, rather than to have resolved it in the previous one. This would have allowed the writers to move the events of this episode to the season two opening and avoid the anti-climactic feel this one had. The second half, related to the first, and even more quintessential, is that Eddard's absence leaves a huge character vacuum in the GOT universe. The gravitas Sean Bean brought to Lord Stark's character as this season's protagonist was, imo, beyond comparison and I didn't feel that any other character, despite the great performances they leveled under the direction of a great script, was, or will be, able to fill that void.

    Notes of mention:

    I enjoyed the reveal about Master Pycelle immensely since I had previously thought of him as nothing more than an aging old fart who was useful to pretty much no one. While I still do sort of still hold that opinion, I can't help but admit that he now seems a bit more interesting and worthwhile as a character since his facade, like everyone else in King's Landing, adds depth to the story arch that exists there. I couldn't help but chuckle when I saw start him doing his stretches in his gown given how surprising and out of character it was.His fluid discussion about the sorrow of watching a great man lose his mental faculties, when discussing the previous Mad King, which was supplemented by his rambling about how Joffery seems like he will be a great king, was deliciously delivered and makes me wonder what his honest opinions about the boy are. Further more, the revelation about his deception makes me wonder if either Varys or Baelish is aware of Pycelle's true nature. After all, the sex worker that was with him is employed by Baelish who may have her there (as one of his "little birds")to try and keep the odd tab on his mental condition. It also makes me wonder if Baelish, Pycelle and whoever else might be purchasing her services are using her as much as she might be using them to some sort of end.

    -Tyrion's reaction to Tywin calling him his son (probably for the first time ever)was perfect and confirmed to me that Dinklage is one of the best actors of the series. I didn't find it over done and it played on the technique Bean so masterfully used to convey more emotion by saying less or nothing at all.

    -Enjoyed seeing Rob hack at the tree and the look on his face as his mother approached after the news of Ned's execution.

    -Jamie's antagonist attitude towards Catelyn, which later morphed into something remotely resembling sympathy and remorse,when she came to see him was very interesting to watch. I say this because the majority of characters in this show seem to have two sides to them. The first being the one they wear when out in public and the other they wear when in the company of those they love or trust which can not ever be removed because it is the true version of themselves. Jamie's stand off demeanor towards Cateyln seemed like his default setting and one he wanted to use because he knew it would antagonize her and maybe cause her to punish him physically in some manner or another which he maybe thought he deserved. I don't know...I could be off on that interpretation but his confession about being responsible for Bran's fall and his recommendation that Catelyn get some rest led me to believe, as have a few of his previous actions, that he is this series' Severus Snape, Arvin Sloan or David Xanatos. Not to sound corny or cliched, but there seems to be both good and evil fighting for control inside of him- the strength of each possibly influenced by the simple presence of those around him and the events occurring in the world he inhabits.

    -The second face off between Baelish and Varys was entertaining as always and left me thinking the Varys we saw in the dungeon with Ned was probably his true face, whereas the one he presented to Baelish obviously being his fake one. The idea of him actually respecting Littlefinger somehow seemed...a little too insincere to me.

    -The progression of having various different groups splinter into pockets seeking power of some sort in the aftermath of Robert and Ned's Deaths' was the most logical and realistic path for the story to take. George Martin is most likely a student of history since usually when you have a strong leader (or leaders) disappear, regardless of their morality or the cause of their disappearance, various different groups will arise to try and seek all, or at least pieces, of the pie that are up for grabs. One need look no further than Iraq or the current uprisings in the Middle East today for such examples.

    Anyways, over all I thought it was a great episode, but just not up to scratch for what I would have expected from a season finale.