Monday, May 18, 2015

game of thrones ... power couples

Last night's Game of Thrones episode,"Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken," deftly took us from Braavos to Dorne to Westeros and back again, without feeling rushed, but still packing in a lot of action. The episode featured strengths and weaknesses of its characters, both real and perceived.

Cersei fancies herself large and in charge in King's Landing, but she is setting herself up for a rude awakening. She is spending so much time scheming to destroy her perceived arch-enemy — Margaery Tyrell — that she has no idea that she could be next up for retribution. Her militant pet God Squad is not that at all. They may have arrested Margaery and her brother Loras, but things and sides can change quickly in Westeros. Anyone who crosses the formidable Lady Olenna deserves everything that is coming to her. And it was delightful once again to see Dame Diana Rigg in action as Margery's and Loras's no-nonsense grandma.

The Sand Snakes
Myrcella Baratheon and Trystane Martell
The sand snakes are still a huge bore and a completely unconvincing threat. Hopefully their speedy capture by their grandfather's guards while trying to kidnap Cersei's daughter will mean that we see less of them and more of Jaime and Bronn. The young Romeo and Juliet of Dorne, Trystane and Myrcella, were quite appealing, even in their quick intro.

Tyrion and Jorah were out of the Stone Men frying pan and into the captured slave fire, but they're still on the road to Meereen, with Tyrion as quippy as Bob Hope ever was. And with the wonderful actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as their captor, it looks to be a fun ride. In Braavos Arya is (maybe) learning a bit more about what goes on behind closed doors at the House of Black and White. It may be some of the creepiest stuff she's seen yet. And that's saying something.

But the big moments were at Winterfell. In typical Game of Thrones fashion, a wedding is far from a time for rejoicing. Sansa got married for the second time, but her groom Ramsay is no Tyrion. He wasted no time subjecting her to a brutal wedding night, insisting that Reek watch. I am continually amazed and impressed at the transformation of Theon/Reek, both in the books and on screen. Alfie Allen is wonderful in the part, and I am looking forward to seeing how his story plays out at Winterfell, and if he and Sansa might come to some sort of understanding. Although the episodes title, "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken," comes from the words of House Martell, who rule Dorne, I am hoping it is more reflective of how Sansa will deal with her latest tormentor, and rise to power from the ashes of Winterfell.

Sansa: not a good day for a white wedding
The show runners continue to tweak the book-to-show storyline this season, so far with positive results. The characters and story are so compelling that other exquisite details, like the fabulous costumes, or wonderful sets and lighting, could easily be overlooked. Paired-off characters, for better or worse, still seem to be paramount. With only four more shows to go this season, which odd couple is your favorite, and where do you think they will they land on the Game of Thrones game board?



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