In Review: Game of Thrones, “Stormborn”

Installment number two of seven aired last night and with the name “Stormborn”, many thought the episode would center around Daenerys and her conquest. We certainly got more insight into her mindset having landed in Westeros, but the narrative moved far outside the umbrella containing the Mother of Dragons.

The Pace Doth Quicken

Game of Thrones has always been known as a show of equal exposition and action. No character’s actions seemed convenient or shallow, because they have always been backed up by a gentle build that makes the points of action that much more powerful. It would take two episodes for someone to travel from the North to King’s Landing, and the dialogue and action along the way helped build and deepen these characters for us. It is why when we lose one it seems all the more powerful.

This season is different so far. The first episode was slower than “Stormborn,” which moved very quickly, but now there’s no time in between action anymore. When a raven is sent, it arrives near instantaneously, when a journey begins, it ends just as quickly. We’re losing the element of time in this episode’s desire to fit so much into one hour.

So my big question so far is why limit to seven and take away the beautiful storytelling arc’s that existed before now? Is it because we are off book?

I will see where the next episode takes us, but for now, I have got my eye on time, since I’m not ready to jump from 25 to 75 miles an hour. Pacing is crucial.

The Queen of Ashes

Dany is doing a lot of strategy work. It is clear that she has relied heavily on Tyrion, as an expert of Westeros, to guide where that strategy takes her. I am nervous about the potential wrench in their relationship the “clever men” conversation with Olenna will blossom into. I get this season seems to be all about woman-power, but last season brought power to cripples, bastards, and broken things (which really does include women as the broken things) – and I want to see Tyrion really accomplish something for himself.

That being said, before first moves could even truly be made – Dany’s Westerosi fleet has been burned (more fire at work – fire has been such a constant symbol in this show, and we haven’t had enough ICE considering WINTER IS HERE PEOPLE) and she has been weakened significantly.

So far, even though she claims she does not want to be the Queen of Ashes, she only has claim to the ashes that remain after that portion of her fleet stops burning. And let us not forget Cersei does not give up – as that beautiful cello piece last season’s finale highlighted – she would rather burn everything than lose.

So here is the juxtaposition we are facing: Cersei resembles the Mad King the most, even though she claims Dany to be most akin to his ways. However, how much of her father will Dany have to take on in order to beat a woman like Cersei, so hell-bent on winning the game (of thrones!) that she would bomb a religious temple full of people? And lose her last child in the process??

That Fiery Ginger Melisandre 

Okay, so I know she is kind of the worst – sacrifices, shadow babies, etc – but she did bring Jon Snow back to life (amen). And honestly, I am interested in what her character brings to Dany. Melisandre had an extreme wavering of faith last season, which was eventually  strengthened by Jon’s resurrection and presence. And we know Jon is headed her way, which means she may be vital to getting Dany and Jon to work together. Plus, as I said last week, the Lord of Light is going to be even more important this season, I can feel it. And I feel she has a big part to play yet.

Plus I still want to know more about her backstory! She is OLD! What wars has she fought in before? When was she a slave? When did she join the LoL (omg just realized their acronym is lol) and what other sacrifices has she made? I know she has standing in the religion – so what did she do in the past to get there? I would like more details please.

The Lover’s Meet

Okay so yeah this was cute – but that’s all it was – cute.

And another conflict of pace – we are move, move, move and then hold – these two are going to make love (with the door open?!?!) – yeah, honestly I don’t care.

Let’s get back to the important stuff.

Cersei. Is. So. Evil.

I HAVE SO MANY FEELINGS ABOUT CERSEI. Mostly, about how she screwed up a historical artifact to test whether or not her Hobbit crossbow can go through it’s skull. Earth to Cersei: old fossilized bone is different than bone inside a living creature. Not saying your little crossbow won’t work, but your little attempts at preparations are dumb and I hate you.

(Okay I understand nothing about this is actually real analysis – I will completely admit my hatred for Cersei is rising to Joffery levels and therefore I cannot be objective nor reasonable when she is involved.)

Back at Hogwarts

Sam is still studying to be a wizard with Slughorn, and in true Hermione fashion, thinks he can outwit the experts because he read some books.

Now, I am not discounting Sam’s intelligence or his “new eyes” perspective, but why the hell is he trying to cure Jorah?? He has got real White Walker homework to do, and he is putting that off for this weird (and really, really gross) extra credit assignment.

Is it just because Sam knew Jorah’s father? And in doing so, wouldn’t he have known Jorah brought immense shame on their family by being a slave trader? What do you think Lyanna would think of Jorah?? Yeah, not good. And yet, here we are.

This whole cure nonsense better lead to the conclusion that they can infect the White Walkers or something because in the scheme of things, I really don’t care about what Sam is discovering about disease, nor do I care whether Jorah lives/dies. Heartless, I know, but this is the game of thrones, people.

Wolf Girl Is Headed Back Home, Y’all

Which is why I suspect something bad is going to happen. Like, really bad. Because historically, let us remember all of the times Arya has tried to go home, and all the tragedy that has struck her. She tried meeting up with her mother, she tried meeting up with her brother, she tried meeting up with her half- brother – and each time sh*t got bad.

So, I dunno, maybe Winterfell will get a case of Dragonscale and then Sam will have to come save them all or they will all be dead before she gets there. Either way, I don’t have a good feeling.

Still, it was heartening to see the remaining humanity left in her upon finding out members of her family were still alive. And how fitting that she ran into her wolf on the way back, both changed, but both with the common understanding they are creatures of the north and therefore kin.

1-800-Dragonglass to the Rescue

WOW – how amazingly convenient that Jon gets a raven from Sam about Dragonglass the same time Dany has summoned him to bend the knee! Its almost like, too perfect to be true!

That is because it is and I am trying SO hard to ignore it.

Either way, Jon is headed to Dany’s place (it will probably take him ten minutes to get there at this rate) and he doesn’t even know that he is meeting his AUNT. Ugh, family drama, am I right??

Either way, we all know Dany is going to be hella interested in conquering Westeros and upset about the recent ambush, while Jon will be all furrow-browed about the nightmares beyond the wall, saying in that tight-lipped voice, “yau don know tha things I’v seen Nor’ o tha wall.”

Will he be able to convince Dany that there is a lot more at stake than the iron throne? Will he exchange men for Dragonglass? Will this be a true Game of Thrones disappointment when they go mining and find it is all gone?

Also, can’t the dragons a) make dragonglass and b) burn those freaking White Walkers to the ground? If I am wrong on this let me know. 

REEK

Well, all I can say is PTSD is real folks, and if I was the leader of the army, I wouldn’t put anyone adverse to pain in charge of my protection, no matter how close I was with them. In a way, Yara pre-set this result by trying to pressure Theon into being “manly” again.

But by the same token, Theon is more than an ass for jumping ship. Yet, in terms of plot, I feel his distance from them will be important. Will he run away and live as a hermit? Will he plan a daring rescue? Or will he float until he runs into Gendrey, who at this rate must have the most killer biceps from rowing this whole time?

Either way – Euron’s attack was crazy quick, I barely had time to process what was going on, which I feel was effective for this kind of ambush attack. It’s not what I wanted (I want Dany to kill all the haters), but GoT doesn’t give us what we want, which is why it is such a damn good show.

Other notes

  • Bran!! Where are you?! He needs to drop some serious knowledge. Everyone else is traveling at the speed of light! But seriously why doesn’t he just warg into an alpha wolf and mush-mush his way to Winterfell? If I was the three-eyed raven, I’d get a wild animal to take me everywhere.
  • God I wish my family had some sort of deep connection with wolves or dragons – also do you think Baratheon’s could like, I dunno, ride stags? And Lannisters, can they pet lions? Or is it just the Starks and Targaryens with that kind of mumbo-jumbo. And if so, what does it say about Jon now that he is a perfect combo, some may say a SONG of ICE and FIRE?? Hmmmmmm?????
  • Arya got called cute. I don’t care what anyone says, all young ladies need that kind of positivity in their lives. She was talked to like an actual lady for the first time in I don’t know how long. It was sweet.
  • Do you think there is potential that Jon and Arya will meet as he goes south and she goes north? Wouldn’t it be great if she was part of the envoy sent to meet Dany?
  • Will Euron’s attack be enough to win Cersei’s heart? Will her accepting his proposal be what sends Jamie into a fury and causes him to kill her (according to the prophecy)?

 

by the old gods and the new,

raina

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