The Stark clan finally gets to King’s Landing, and we finally get an indication of what winter finally means. Also, a lot more back story, and the coolest piss you’ll ever see. All this and more the recap of “Lord Snow.”
I’m not a person who read Fire & Ice, so this show is a still a little hard to dissect. It’s much like watching the first few episodes of The Wire. So rather than write large paragraphs about this show, I think I’m going to break this down into three sections: What we learned, what I liked, and what I didn’t like.
WHAT WE LEARNED
It was a lot this week. We’re still filling in character holes and whatnot. Here’s what I found worthwhile:
– Almost the entire Lannister house is really messed up. I mean, I guess we should have known that after the Cersei and Jamie were having twin sex with each other. And then Jamie tried to kill Bran after he caught them. Twice. But here we see Prince Joffrey acting like a little punk and then saying he’d tax the hell out of everyone when he’s king. And you can tell he’s a momma’s boy… but is he possible the child of incest? It hasn’t been established how long bro Jamie and sis Cersei have been banging each other. That would be messed up.
– The power of the north (and therefore the house of Stark) comes from the fact that it is so large, vast, and particularly cold in the winters. You have to think of the North as Russia and Winterfell as Moscow. You can see how large the North is compared to any of the other kingdoms in this map, yet it is sparsely populated. Also, any attack on land would have to come through the narrow stretch of land called The Neck, making it hard to attack. Also, the North is seemingly much more accustomed to winter than any kingdom in the South. Even Cercei tells Joffrey that attacking the North is unwise.
– Another connection – winter. The tagline of the show, of course, is “Winter is Coming.” But what does winter mean? We finally hear today that the seasons of Westeros are inconsistent. Winters have lasted anywhere from a few months to a few years. The kingdom is in the midst of an almost unprecedentedly long summer (nine years is what I think they say), and they can now tell that winter is coming (colder weather, I assume). The fear is an equally long winter is in store, which will ravage food supplies and cause starvation and death. Of course, that’s not the worst thing coming…
– The Wall in the North is a really frickin’ large manmade structure that is manned to protect Westeros from wildlings. Wildlings are essentially uncivilized humans. As the weather gets colder, they come south, and the ragtag group at the Wall is supposed to protect Westeros from the savages. Of course, we also know as viewers, due to the first fifteen minutes of the first episode, that a far worse danger lurks back there – the White Walkers. Essentially, they seem to be some sort of zombie apocalypse… except they can move really fast and stuff. So they’re scary. And they’re lurking up there, while an untrained army of poor people and criminals are the only thing protecting Westeros (and the North in particular, as they’ll be the first hit). But the people of Winterfell act as if the White Walkers are legendary creatures that don’t exist. Which makes it all the more dangerous. Winter is coming… and that could put all these different plans of backstabbing for the throne into the back of everyone’s mind… or possibly make them even easier.
– Ned is definitely wary and facing a lot of pressure as the new King’s hand. He finds out that the crown is six million of some unit of money in debt (don’t know how that translates to dollars, but I assume it’s a lot for a medieval fantasy land) – and half of it is to the Lannister family. Stark is already wary of the Lannister’s due to what his wife has told him about Jon Aryon’s death (and the fact they seem like slimeballs) – this makes him even more concerned.
– Also of concern – Littlefinger. He’s definitely a questionable character, but it also seems as if he was in love with Catelyn at one point and will protect her. But Ned can’t fully trust anyone.
WHAT I LIKED
– After three weeks, my two favorite characters by far are the oddballs – Tyrion Lannister and Jon Snow. Snow has always felt like an outcast in his own family as a bastard… here, Tyrion actually shows him how lucky he’s been. Jon is unquestionably better than all the other members of the Night Watch, and him and Tyrion have had a couple of conversations now about what it’s like to be the oddball out in a royal house. Still, Jon could have been a butcher’s boy. He is still a Lord’s son. And now, it seems as if it’s up to him and his uncle to get the rest of the crew up to standards before the wildlings – and White Walkers – come to breach the wall.
– Also, you know, Tyrion pissing off the edge of the wall. That was cool. And I don’t think that Tyrion had anything to do with the attempted murder of Bran, though he certainly knows what’s going on.
– The conversation with the King, Jamie, and Barristan about their first kills. That was cool. And you could see how much Robert despises Jamie’s actions, despite him being the one who brought down the Mad King. Robert believes people should hold true to their word – Jamie betraying the Mad King and stabbing him in the back makes him untrustworthy in Robert’s eyes. Perhaps this is why he married into the Lannister house after Ned’s sister died? Whatever the case, if it’s true that the Lannister twins murdered Jon Arryn, then it’s not working.
– The scene that everyone liked, of course, was the last scene – Arya Stark with her new sword-fighting teacher, Syrio Forel (who seriously reminds me and everyone else of if Robert Downing Jr. played Iñigo Montoya in the Princess Bride. And I mean that in a good way). That was just fun, and I like how you can see Ned’s face go from joy to worry as he wonders about what’s to come in the next few months.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
– It’s just a personal thing, but the Daenerys/Viserys plot still seems a little slow and plodding to me. I know it’s going somewhere and I know that the Targaryen clan wants to use Khal to retake the Iron throne (particularly Viserys), but I guess I’m still waiting, and it definitely doesn’t interest me in the fact that they won’t be effected by winter in Essos. Also, I don’t like any man who has long, slimy, bright blonde hair. So I guess I liked when the Dothraki almost killed Viserys. That was fun.
Can’t wait til next week. I heard these next three episodes are a LOT of fun.