Some of least favorite plot twists come in this episode along with some of my least favorite characters. Leading that hit parade, at least within the books is Ygritte. Oh, how I hated her in the books. If you’re like me just the phrase, “you know nothing Jon Snow” sends shivers down your spine, and not in a good way. Refreshingly, she doesn’t say that every five seconds in the television show and it reduces the annoyance factor by a great deal. I haven’t decided if I hate her yet or not, but within this episode she was tolerable, if not enjoyable.
The next plot twist that I don’t particularly enjoy is the taking of Winterfell by Theon. I get why it happens and understand how it pushes the story along, but Theon as conqueror is just meh. I had a bit of a debate about this as well. I feel the more conflicted Theon we get in the television show isn’t as interesting as the more bastardly Theon we get in the books. Kind of the opposite of the Ygritte plot line, Theon became more annoying on film instead of less. The beheading scene is particularly annoying, perhaps a bit overacted, and you can just hear Theon saying, “is this good enough daddy? Huh? Daddy?” Just too much. However the drama of the fall of Winterfell should be a fun watch as the season, and seasons roll along.
Dany loses her dragons in Qarth and all things considered I don’t care. I know I’ve written this before, but the dragons up to this point of the books, such a disappointment that I really didn’t care when they wind up missing in the television series. There are a number of things in the Dany storyline that I can’t wait to see, but spoiler alert!! Seeing Dany go into the House of the Undying isn’t one of them. Honestly as the blog lags behind the series I’m pretty much going to do what the series creators should have done with much of Dany’s storyline and shunt it aside for a while. Sorry Dany fans, but watching Emilia Clarke pout and demand her dragons back just isn’t that interesting to me. I’ll come back when something actually happens.
As far as happenings go, the scenes between Arya and Lord Tywin have become a highlight of the season, if no the entire series. We get to see Arya becoming a bit more brave and independent and we get a bit of backstory about the Lannisters. We also get a much more human Tywin Lannister than we get in the books. Watching them interplay a bit father/daughter, a bit cat and mouse, and a bit pupil and teacher has easily been my favorite part of the season for sure. Watching Arya try and sneak a secret out of Lord Tywin’s room to only need to call one of her favors in from GUY was also well done. The dramatic death of the knight going to tattle on Arya was an effective scene, mixing in a good deal of suspense and then relief that Arya is not found out. Of course seeing how effect the assassin is at killing, even at a moments notice it adds a bit of anticipation for who the third victim will be. Will it be Lord Tywin? Will she name someone far away in King’s Landing? Or will she hold on to the price for as long as she can? All well within where Arya Stark might take things in the coming weeks.
Speaking of the Lannisters, the scenes between Cersei and Tyrion also have been pretty good this season as well. The bitterness between them drives much of this side of the story and hearing Cersei’s pledge of vengeance is quite powerful. It is a shame that Joffrey has become the Sherriff of Nottingham, calling for the heads of those that throw a cow pie at him. Nothing says caricature of evil like a massive overreaction. Even so they riot scene was quite well done, tension, explosion and resolution. As the royal party makes its way back from the dock, Tyrion and the Hound are the first to realize that this is more than just an unruly mob, that they are ready to go off. Joffrey gives the spark and all hell breaks loose. The High Septon gets the worst of it, unless you count the guys the Hound kills while saving Sansa. If I’m not mistaken an interesting side plot was jettisoned involving Bronn, but that may be the first time I’m disappointed with the television producers decision to trim some fat so that’s a pretty good deal.