Things We Learned From This Week's Revealing Episode Of "Game Of Thrones": Spoiler Whore and Book Reader Edition
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10 Things We Learned From This Week's Revealing Episode Of "Game Of Thrones": Spoiler Whore and Book Reader Edition

By Joanna Robinson | TV Reviews | May 1, 2013 | Comments ()


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Author's Note: Hey folks! We're back with a book spoiler-heavy "Game Of Thrones" rundown. If you're looking for eloquent or sophisticated analysis, I suggest you head on over to TK's superlative Monday recap. This post serves mainly as an outlet for all your pent-up frustrations at having to tip-toe around your book knowledge lest you spoil a "Game Of Thrones" newbie. So, in case it isn't clear, IF YOU DON'T WANT TO BE SPOILED BY BOOK KNOWLEDGE OR SOME INSIDER SHOW INFO, GET OUT OF HERE. SERIOUSLY, WHAT IN THE SEVEN 'ELLS ARE YOU DOING HERE? LEAVE LEST I SIC MY DRAGON ON YOU!

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Are they gone? Phew. Anything goes in the comments, folks. We're hoping this will help curb some of your urges to spoil in the regular recap. Have at it!--JR

1. A Comprehensive List Of Things Kissed By Fire In This Episode:
1. Ygritte's Hair
2. Ygritte's Hair in that place Jon Snow wanted to kiss.
3. Tormund's Hair
4. Sansa's Hair
5. Jaime's Story About Aerys
6. Baelish's Gay Prostitute Spy
7. Beric Dondarrion's Sword
8. The Hound's Shield
9. Jon and Ygritte's Cave
10. The Brotherhood's Cave
11. Jon and Ygritte's Bath
12. Jaime and Brienne's Bath
13. Thoros of Myr's Prayers
14. Selyse Baratheon's Prayers
15. Jaime's Stump Surgery
16. Davos's Cell

2. The Lannister Honeypot Plot Thickens: All of us clinging fast to that Lannister Honeypot theory were watching Lady Talisa's face like a hawk in this episode. How upset was she when she heard about the Lannister boys? WHAT WAS GOING ON IN HER MIND WHEN ROBB SAID THE WORD FREY?! I mean that whole "let me spell out my plan with little lion and wolf figurines so I'm sure you're following it, honey" scene pretty much cinched it for me. Is there evidence against Talisa being a traitor? I suppose you could argue that if she were on Team Lannister she would be egging Robb on in his decision to execute Lord Karstark rather than siding with Cat and Edmure. Not sure what the rationale is there.
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3. Ease Back On The Throttle Gendry/Arya Shippers: I ship this age-inappropriate couple as much as the rest of you but I think many are mistaking Gendry's "milady" to be a more Leon Phelpsian "my laaady." Gendry was making a point about Arya's noble birth and that if he were to go with her to Riverrun, he would aways be her inferior not, as she offers, his family. This makes perfect sense on the heels of his whole speech about how he was tired of serving others.
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I also want to re-assert my theory about Gendry being the Baratheon blood Melisandre is seeking out. The Shireen theory was good but now that we know she's already at Dragonstone, I'm back to thinking it's The Abs that are in danger. And I'm okay with that because I'm not ready to say goodbye to Dempsie.
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4. You Felt For Cersei, Didn't You? Just A Smidge? Yes, yes, she's a monstrous person but they've been playing up the "woman frustrated by her place in the word and the limits society has placed on her gender" angle. Oh and the "so what if I'm in love with my brother, that's really the least of your worries." Any scene with a combination of Lannister siblings and/or parent is a cut above the rest. Charles Dance was his usual brilliant self as were Headey and Dinklage. I also love the way they're making Loras a stand-in for a whole lot of different characters in this chess game. Keeps it simpler for the newbies.
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5. Is TV Robb Significantly Stupider Than Book Robb?: It was my sense when reading the books that Robb was in more of a "damned if he does, damned if he doesn't" place with Lord Karstark. In the show, however, his decision is being painted much more black and white and the writers are trying to hammer home the point that he's following in his father's honorable but doomed footsteps. I don't like that Robb's talent as a leader of men has been played down. It goes back to the whole Talisa vs. Jeyne Westerling problem. In the book Robb's decision to marry Jeyne is borne out of grief and honor. In the show it comes off as hormones. I don't like to think of Robb as a bad leader.
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6. Well This Is All Moving Rather Fast...: Speaking of hormones, this is another little change that I don't really like. In the book, Jon breaks his chastity vow not just because Ygritte is the smexiest Wildling with the dirtiest little pillows, but because his life depends on it. Ygritte intervenes when Mance questions Jon's loyalty and says their sexual relationship proves he's a turn cloak. Here it's "we shouldn't" "we should" "okay" *lord's kiss*. And while the post-coital scene in the cave is near verbatim from the book, it should come after they've been knocking snow boots for quite awhile. That way the whole "I don't ever want to leave this cave" sentiment makes much more sense. I love Rose Leslie and I love her portrayal of Ygritte but I think in rushing their relationship the writers risk sapping some of the tragedy out of what comes later.
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7. Lord Baelish's Tangled Web: In order to curry favor with Cersei and cinch his plan to run off with Sansa, Baelish divulges the Tyrell plot to the Lannisters. How could he be sure they'd marry Sansa off to someone undesirable? Are we meant to assume that Tyrion was his suggestion? Anyway, there are a lot of "ifs" in this plan and poor Sansa doesn't realize that being married to Tyrion is probably the nicest possible arrangement she could hope for.
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8. Selmy And Mormont: I've heard a lot of complaints about the scene between these two. I think many viewers thought this bit only existed to hammer home the central idea of "who do we serve and why?" The book readers know this is setting up a future conflict where Mormont's "betrayal" will be revealed to Dany and then my heart will break into a thousand pieces as my favorite disgraced knight will have to pack up his turquoise neckerchiefs and go.
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9. In Case You Forgot, The Hound Really Doesn't Like Fire, You Guys: I spent an awfully long time on Dondarrion last week so forgive the lack of eye patch gifs. The sword fight was amazing. It was staged so beautifully and in such a way that The Hound's fear of fire was palpable through the hacking and slicing. Just perfectly done.
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10. This Whole Thing Was The Best Thing: As with most of the Jaime and Brienne scenes, this was ripped directly from the pages of the book and was masterfully done start to finish. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau had one of my all-time favorite scenes in episode 7 last year but this might have topped it. He is beast when it comes to monologues and he delivered the hell out of this one. But the scene wouldn't have been nearly as great without Christie's tense, luminous audience. Is it just me or did she look freaking amazing in this scene?
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The point is, I think this is a ship we all feel comfortable having. Yes, Jaime has done terrible things. Of course he has. But the show, just like the books, is pulling us along The Kingslayer's road to redemption. I know there's misery ahead for both Brienne and Jaime, but they are some of the few people in Westeros I want a happy ending for.
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New Character Rundown:

4. Qyburn: He showed up in the premiere but since I didn't recap that episode let's just spend a minute with this man and his facial expressions. It's not clear yet in the show that good ol' Maester Qyburn is an absolute drooling psycho, but Anton Lesser's face spoke a thousand words. I've liked Lesser's other work (specifically on "The Hour") so I look forward to his future on the show, in King's Landing, on the Small Council, etc. etc. psycho.
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3. Grey Worm: We met the leader of the Unsullied who is very young. But I enjoyed his little scene and, honestly, it's nice to have a few more non-white characters join the cast.
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2. Selyse Baratheon: So they've upped the crazy on Selyse and gave her a collection of pickled feti. That's...nice. Are they trying to turn Stannis into Edward Rochester by saddling him with a mad wife in the attic? It's not really working, but you can't accuse Tara Fitzgerald (remember how cute she was in Brassed Off?) of underacting.
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3. Shireen Baratheon: What a cute face. Even with the grayscale. I love this little actress. Once again, I think they're using her here to try to soften us on Stannis. But he's got Draper-level of fathering skills here. HUG HER, YOU MONSTER.
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What do we think of Shireen Baratheon's Center For Onion Knights Who Can't Read Good? I think it's a clever way of keeping Davos in the picture without having him wandering around the dungeons talking to new and, essentially, inconsequential characters and it conflates a couple story lines. Well done, writers.
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Also well done keeping the idea of Patchface alive with this little nonsense song homage. Creepy and beautiful.

NSFW-ISH: Power Ranking All The Bare Asses In "Game Of Thrones" Season 3, Episode 5 "Kissed By Fire"

5. Jon Snow
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4. The Baelish Honeytrap
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3. Ygritte
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2. The Kingslayer Jaime
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1. Brienne Of F*cking Tarth
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Archives
Episode 2: Dark Wings, Dark Words

Episode 3: Walk Of Punishment

Episode 4: And Now His Watch Is Ended

When Joanna Robinson is not busy eating figs, you can find her on Twitter, podcasting about "Game Of Thrones" or generally mucking about. Send a raven, won't you?



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