|By Kevin Cafferty|
The Bear and the Maiden Fair starts out as “Love Westeros Style”, as the show attends to its various romantic subplots.
Will Jon and Ygritte’s love survive the machinations of Evil Wildling Gareth Kennan from The Office? Will Robb Stark’s wife have twins? Will the Blackfish see any more wet shits he likes more than Walder Frey?
There’s a lot going on here, and I can’t remember the last time the show has focused this much of its attention on people making kissy-face.
Continuing in the romance vein, there’s a lot of fall-out this week over Tyrion’s upcoming wedding to Sansa Stark.
Margaery Tyrell (back this week!) attempts to comfort Sansa by telling her that, hey, Tyrion’s not that bad a guy and Sansa’s having none of it. She just keeps saying, “I’m a stupid stupid child” over and over. Bronn’s trying to give Tyrion a pep talk of his own, but Tyrion’s also sulking.
Maybe Bronn and Margaery should get together and give pep talks to each other. I’d watch that show.
Honestly, I was enjoying this week’s installment but not loving it until we got to my two favorite sequences – Tywin schooling Joffrey and Dany schooling the slavers of Yunkai.
First Tywin and Joffrey: Look, I know that with the death of Craster a few weeks ago Tywin Lannister is now the Worst Father Alive but apparently that’s what it takes to wipe Joffrey’s stupid entitled smirk off of his stupid face. Hell, after “We could arrange to have you carried” I was basically willing to place all my bets in the Game of Thrones on House Lannister. There’s an old axiom that says if you want the audience to like your character you should make him or her good at their job, and Tywin is definitely good at his. Besides, he was nice to Arya last season. Go Tywin!
As for Daenerys, her badassery continues: she’s just cold traveling the land, freeing slaves and feeding her dragons and listening to Jorah Mormont give portentious exposition. I wish they would devote an entire episode to her exploits across the narrow sea, like they did with the King’s Landing invasion last season, but with only 10 installments a year I can see why that’s not feasible.
Theon’s plotline continues to baffle. Do we really need to spend five or six minutes every week watching an Alfie Allen torture porn film? Isn’t that time that could be better spent watching Daenerys shout, “I am the BLOOD OF THE DRAGON!”?
I had forgotten all about the Theon Torture Show, however, once Jaime Lannister jumped into that pit (minus his hand!) to save Brienne from that rampaging bear.
Remember how awful Jaime was during season one, pushing Bran out of windows and attacking Ned? Now he’s risking his life to save his lady warrior chum. I was hoping he’d throw some of Roose Bolton’s men down there, too. A total “stand up and cheer” moment, probably the first one since Dany freed her Unsullied Army. The only thing that would have made it cooler was if Jaime and Brienne had teamed up with the bear to attack Roose Bolton.
- Overall, I liked this week’s installment. Nothing stood out to me as being terrible like last week’s “Chaos is a Ladder” speech (except for the Theon subplot, but that’s been a problem every week) and I’m curious to see where things are headed as we head into the latter part of the season. Hard to believe there are only three episodes left.
- Kit Harington and Rose Leslie have chemistry to spare – it’s really helping their romance plot work. Great casting.
- Bran and company are heading North of the Wall to find the three-eyed crow. Osha’s monologue about how her boyfriend became an ice zombie didn’t really work for me, but it was nice to get a reminder that, hey, there are ice zombies out there.
- This weeks’ episode was written by George R.R. Martin, who writes the books that the show is based on.
- Arya escapes the Broterhood Without Banners and is immediately captured by The Hound. Honestly, I’m a little sick of “Arya gets captured” plots. Let her stick some people with the pointy end again!
Next week: Theon screams some more!