[TV] Game of Thrones – Mhysa (S3E10)

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After last week’s wedding went as horribly wrong as weddings could possibly go, it falls to this episode, titled ‘Mhysa’ to deal with the aftermath of those awful events as well as wrap up the season’s individual storylines. Now this in itself isn’t a particularly enviable task – by brining all these various characters back for this final episode, the episode’s length feels artificially stretched. There are characters whose storylines don’t really warrant the level of attention and detail given to them but to give them less would be to undersell the whole idea of ending a season. For example, the Greyjoy storyline, or at least the Iron Islands part of it, didn’t warrant a closing section in my eyes. It would have been simpler and neater to leave Asha’s mission (which we will talk about later) out for season 4, perhaps even as early as the season 4 opener, than to cram it into this already very lengthy episode. The other issue is that since we move around so much in this episode, the overall quality really takes a hit as we move from the season’s outstanding performers to its more forgettable ones.

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[TV] Game of Thrones – Rains Of Castamere (S3E9)

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To say that I was looking forward to this episode would be to misrepresent that odd mix of dread and anticipation that comes with watching the build up to a massacre; you know what’s going to happen yet watching it unfold in front of your eyes, there is an irrational part of you that is still attached to the characters and thus hopes that, despite their fates already being sealed, they can someone overcome the odds and make it out alive. For better or worse (ok definitely for the better), HBO is throwing no such bones today and thus we see the calamity of the Red Wedding unfold. Yet, unlike episode 9 of last season which featured only the Blackwater, this episode appropriately titled ‘The Rains of Castamere’ advances some of the other plotlines fairly far and thankfully so because otherwise this writeup would consist of nothing but a never-ending rant against Freys and all that is wrong with the world.

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[TV] Game of Thrones – Second Sons (S3E8)

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This was, all in all, one of the most awkward 40 odd minutes of television that I ever had to sit through. Alright, it wasn’t all bad, but damn if that wasn’t one of the worst weddings imaginable. Even the Red Wedding was better planned and executed than that mess. I guess it would have been ok if not for Joffrey deciding that he was in danger of becoming even marginally likable and thus ensuring that that could never happen. So, the main plot of the episode was a little hard to get through for but the subplots with Dany didn’t really deliver either and I have some issues with Sam as well. Still, this episode was a necessary evil and now the stage is set for the horrors of the Red Wedding. Are we anticipating it? Are we dreading it? Probably a bit of both, really.

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[TV] Game of Thrones – The Bear And The Maiden Fair (S3E7)

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After the great character development in the last episode, it feels like this episode is getting geared for the season’s finale. The various pieces are moving into place and the various conflicts that our characters are experiencing, whether internal or external, are beginning to bubble up again. They haven’t reached breaking point just yet but if the past seasons are any indication, everything should hit boiling point by next week; usually episode 9 is a so-called ‘wham’ episode where something huge happens, be it Ned Stark’s execution or the battle of Blackwater Bay while episode 10 deals with the fall out of that big moment and sets up the next season. This episode does feel a little lacklustre in that regard since it’s a transition between the character development of the previous episode and a move towards more plot-oriented conflict for the next couple of episodes. This episode ‘The Bear and the Maiden Fair’ tries to do a little of both but doesn’t really pull it off.

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[TV] Game of Thrones – The Climb (S3E6)

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One of the things that kept me hooked to this series, whether the television adaptation or the original novels, is how every now and then these incredibly fleshed out characters will get these moments of clarity and tell it like it is. We got a little bit of that with Jaime last episode but I felt that this episode was almost filled to the brim with scenes like that. We got clear, enlightening looks into the headspace of some of the story’s most important characters all still pushing the plot towards this season’s tragic climax. There are also a number of changes to the original story that I remember, and it’ll be interesting to see how that Butterfly Effect manifests itself as the show goes on. Each change doesn’t seem like much in isolation but it could have some major ramifications down the line, especially since the source material hasn’t been completed just yet.

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[TV] Game of Thrones – Kissed By Fire (S3E5)

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This was a pretty depressing episode, all things considered. We’re midway through the season and most of the plotlines that I was keeping an eye on have been proceeding more or less on schedule but I’ll be damned if knowing what’s going to happen isn’t making this very difficult to watch. I don’t really mean it in a bad way either, not entirely. The Red Wedding is coming and I don’t know if I have the stomach to watch it in live-action. Sansa’s wedding promises to be another bundle of joy and we also have Jon abandoning the Wildlings to look forward to. It’s all just going to make for a very gloomy end to this season. This episode, ‘Kissed By Fire’ was pretty great though, depressing story elements aside. The title ‘Kissed By Fire’ invokes three references – the Fire God and his ability to resurrect as we see in Beric Dondarion’s fight against the Hound, Ygritte and her red hair and Stannis and his adultery (literally kissed by fire, get it?). The fire theme also ties into Jaime’s story which as you might know, I’ve been looking forward to for a long time.

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[TV] Game of Thrones – And Now His Watch Is Ended (S3E4)

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There have been times in the past where I’ve been fairly critical of the HBO adaptation. Given how closely I’ve followed the novels, I think it’s almost inevitable that I’ll eventually turn into one of those bitter book-only fans that criticize every single aspect of the adaptation. Thankfully, I have not become that despicable creature just yet which means that I can say with compunction that this Game of Thrones episode ‘And Now His Watch Is Ended’ is one of the best episodes of all three seasons so far. It had enough of everything – intrigue, character development, major plot advancements, small touches of humour and bigger chunks of action. It felt like one of the most complete episodes of the show that I’ve seen in a long, long time. Having said that I don’t think it’s particularly necessary to go through every scene in detail, so I’ll focus on maybe the top three best sections of the episode.

 

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