Monday, June 10, 2013


Three of my favorite characters from the novel together.
I love family get-togethers.
If someone had told me back in, oh, 2002-2004 or thereabouts, when my Ice and Fire-fever was at a high that there would eventually come a thirty-hour long adaptation of the saga for the television but with a cinematic look and feel I'd probably go through the roof. Waiting for A Feast for Crows we spent our time playing the A Game of Thrones Collectible Card Game, and there was still only a trickle of merchandise based on the saga, so everything was bought - limited art prints, various editions of the books, the aforementioned cards (trading with people all over the world to get complete sets), and a thingamabob here and there. That trickle hasn't turned into a real flood yet, but if you count the available merchandise from HBO as 'real' Ice & Fire merch, well, then it at least begins to feel like a raging river.

Anyway, HBO has given us thirty hours (give or take) of Game of Thrones, rounding off season three with the aptly named episode Mhysa. It was a fine hour, not the best hour of season three, but still, it had a lot of well-acted, well-written scenes that made me fist-pump in the air, or say aoooow. 

Still, I felt one thing lacking that the episode really needed: A shot of some Frey (or Bolton, or both) soldiers throwing Catelyn Stark's body in the water (but then again, they cut out the Ghost of High Heart, so who knows, maybe Lady Stoneheart is out - but I don't think so, given Michelle Fairley's cryptic comments). It would have been so easy to add to the beginning - we already got Roose Bolton looking out over the slaughter from atop one of Frey's towers. Have him oversee the throwing of the Tully fish into the river. The episode works without this addition, of course, but for some reason I feel it is a glaring absence. Of course, the series is full of glaring absences, but I thought this particular bit important to the continuing plot.

Lots of enjoyable scenes, though; most of them, in fact. I liked the quiet scene between Jaime and Cersei, it gave me the feels, but I wish they had built his anticipation for meeting her better in the scenes where he strolls through King's Landing (also, wasn't it weird how Jaime, Brienne and Qyburn arrived in the city without so much as a Bolton guardsman?). Tyrion, Tywin, and Joffrey were all excellent, loved Joff's over the top glee at knowing Robb is dead; Arya and Sandor's scenes were great entertainment, they could have given us a little more Sansa and they could have given us more dialogue lifted from the books (the old gods know the show will have to deviate even more come season four). Loved Ygritte shooting Jon, that came as a real surprise to Lady Slynt, Sam's meeting with Bran was oddly touching, Maester Aemon and Pyp were welcome sights and Hodor's well-hodoring was a nice little touch. All in all I found there was more humor in this episode than we've had in a long time, enjoyed it. Some funny lines in there too, from a variety of characters.

The Daenerys scene was beautiful and awkward at the same time, a little bit like Dany herself, then. I liked how the episode ended on a high, almost messianic, note (much better than those silly undead anyway), so I guess I'm in the minority here (if you read through the recap comments over at Winter is Coming, you'll notice a pretty vocal majority expressing their dislike of the scene).

Not much more to say other than that it has been ten (eleven, in fact) fast-moving weeks, but now that it is over, I am left satisfied with what D.B. Weiss and David Benioff have been able to do. Like most fans, I'd love to be consulted on this so they could shape the series more to my personal liking, but I can't, so I have to accept that this is their version of the game of thrones and be happy with what I get. Which I am. It's a great story, even it is stripped down to the bones-form (although I feel Dany's story lost direction after Astapor and Jon Snow is more a Jon Snore), and television like this will probably never come again. And now for the season that better give us Oberyn Martell, the Red Viper of Dorne, without much change from the book!

Whoa, totally forgot about Theon Greyjoy and Ramsay Bolton; I thought the Ramsay scene this time was a
Such a striking image! This should be made into a poster.
Or a book cover. Or a DVD/Bluray cover.
bit over the top but I liked getting a quick glimpse at Balon and Asha, the Iron Islands should definitely feature more than they have done so far (and they probably will, but with Asha going off to rescue her unmanned brother, it seems they will be cutting a significant amount of Ironborn material come the next seasons); I don't like the choice they made by presenting Balon with Theon's dick in a box, though; now, Theon cannot produce any heirs so that would give Lord Balon even less incentive to do as the Boltons say. Better a finger. But then again, for all we know, Theon still has his dingdong, and is only being manipulated into believing he has lost it (note we never saw the contents of the box, and the books are also a bit vague on the subject). Ack, who cares. It's a minor detail. Good they cleared up the burning of Winterfell, though. Oh, and while I'm at it, I loved Walder Frey in this episode, well-acted and this time around I actually forgot to think of him as the janitor of Hoggwarts; well acted scene giving us some needed exposition, and the washing of the floor was icing on the cake. Finally, they way they build the TV show and the choices they make, makes me feel confident that the adaptation of A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons will probably - most likely - be better than the novels. Just a hunch, really.


1 comment:

  1. I think you're right about the Greyjoy manhood. It's probably damaged but intact. Note Ramsay has previouslyy informed Theon (and the kind audience) that he is a liar. In addition, he discussed "phantom" pain from issing appendages - but I suspect it's real pain Theon is feeling from some injury. Or maybe it really is gone - recall the extremely unfomfortable scene from ~1500 or so pages forward where Theon balks at a task Ramsay gives him for unspoken reasons. Ramsay quickly clarifies the requests.