Recap

‘Game Of Thrones’ Recap: You Win Or You Die

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May 30, 2011 | 12:04pm EDT

S01E7 Hello Throners! I’m not sure if that’s the accepted name for a collection of Game of Thrones fans but it’s the one I’m going to go with for now. GoTters was a close second but that looks like it was written by a ninth grade girl. Anyway, I’ll be recapping from now on and for those that were wondering I have indeed read the books. So I’ll be bringing that to the table when appropriate but from what I’ve noticed on the series so far, it doesn’t really matter whether you’ve read them or not.

‘I did warn you not to trust me.’ - Littlefinger

Now each different setting we jumped to, and there were five btw, had a major plot point revealed this week. The first was with Jaime Lannister and his father Tywin. We all know the Lannisters are the evil family in the realm and this is the first time we’ve seen the patriach in the series. Masterfully played by Charles Dance, Tywin reminded Jaime about the duty, honor, family, and that fun stuff that always gets played up in medieval dramas. Tywin sends off Jaime with half of his men to overthrow Cat for kidnapping Tyrion. So this will pay off as the Lannisters attempt war to take the realm for themselves. Not the most badass story but it’ll probably lead to some badass battles in the coming episodes.

Next was Greyjohn harrassing the wilding Osha. The interesting thing about Greyjohn is that he is in the book but his role is vastly less important. Instead, much of the plot from the book has been condensed into him as a character. It’s a fairly clever way of streamlining the massive plot of the book into something compelling for a TV show. If you’re a hard core fan of the books you might be disappointed with a lack of some of the characters but this is a show with a limited budget so not everything can make it in, but more on that later. Anyway, the badass narrative development from this story was finding out why the wildlings started running away from the wild north. Apparently the White Walkers have woken up. Again, not the most badass thing but it will lead to something badass.

Speaking of the Wild North, lets head over to the Wall with Jon. Is it really badass that he took his vows for the Night Watch? Not really, but from a narrative stand point it is. I’ve always felt bad for Jon being the bastard and unloved by Cat. But for him to join the Night Watch and then be selected as a steward? Oh that is cruelty. Luckily Sam is there to remind him that he’s probably being groomed to lead the Night Watch as soon as the current old dude is out of commission. So it’ll probably be badass! Also, personal beef of mine, but why does the fat coward have to be named Sam? I mean, seriously? Come on.

‘A man of the Night’s Watch lives his life for the realm. Not for a king or a lord or the honor of this house or that house. Not for gold, glory or a woman’s love. But for the realm and the people in it!’ - Commander Mormont

Hopping from one extreme to the other, we go across the Narrow Sea to Danaerys and her badass kind Conan, I mean, Drogo. He initially doesn’t see the point of getting back the “iron chair” since his son will ride horses but after he sees his queen about get poisoned he vows to take over across the sea and win his queen the iron chair. Again, it’s a promise of more badass stuff to come. One of the few complaints I have about the show is Jason Momoa’s character Drogo. Now it could be that Momoa isn’t that good of an actor but I’d rather not say that considering he could probably rip my head off. The problem is when you have a character giving a really powerful speech like Drogo was doing and he’s speaking in a foreign tongue, the power of that speech is lessened since the audience has to read his words. We can sense his anger but we can’t hear it in his words. Combine that with the fact that they kept cutting away from Drogo and what could have been a classic “coach gives a rousing speech at half time in the locker room” type speech instead becomes just a jacked dude screaming around a fire. Shame too considering Danaerys and Drogo have the most interesting story of the whole season.

But then we get to King’s Landing and that’s where the real action is happening. And by real action I mean casual forced lesbian sex scenes, woo! Ned discovered that Cersei is pretty much a living bitch and is definitely having an affair with Jaime. Gross stuff but her confession of trying to love Robert only to have him drunkenly cry out the name of Ned’s dead sister is enough to drive anyone to sleep with their twin. Actually, scratch that. They have their big confrontation and "Game of Thrones" is said! Yay, that’s the title of the show! But then bad news comes up and Robert was hurt by a boar while out hunting. Yep, he’s about to die. This puts Ned in a big pickle since Joffrey isn’t the true heir to the throne. Now you might have missed this if you haven’t read the book but when Robert was dictating that Ned be Lord Protector Robert said Joffrey. Ned wrote down Rightful Heir (a bastard or one of Robert’s brothers). Of course Cersei sees this and rips up the royal will. Ned tries to confront him using the Palace Guards (or something, there are so many groups of wandering knights that it’s impossible to keep them all straight) but they turn on him and Ned is captured. Not good. Not good at all.

Again, not the most cinematic badass stuff ever but from a narrative stand point? Holy hell so much happened this week. Drogo promised to move on the Seven Kingdoms, Joffrey proclaims himself king, Jaime moves to march on Winterfell, and the White Walkers are stirring in the north. Seriously, things are about to get crazy and it shall be awesome.

Now, my one general complaint about the show is how clean everything looks. I know this is an HBO show and they have a crazy huge budget but still everything looks like a set. The walls are too smooth, too clean. The people look too well done. There needs to be more dirt but then again, that would probably make things too expensive and this show does have a limited budget. I recognize all that but just from reading the books I would’ve though they would’ve made it a little more grungier. Another thing from the books they’ve had to excise due to the impossibility of it all is the number of men in the show. In the books there are usually dozens of knights and men at all times in any scene but you just can’t have that many extras. The show is still impressive as it is but if they had the ability to show how truly expansive the books are? Now THAT would be one badass show.

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