GAME OF THRONES: SECOND SONS Review - Mania.com



Game Of Thrones Review

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  • Episode: SECOND SONS (Season 3, Episode 8)
  • Starring: Peter Dinklage, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Richard Dormer
  • Written By: George R.R. Martin ("A Song of Ice and Fire" by), David Benioff (creator)
  • Directed By: Michelle MacLaren
  • Network: HBO
  • Studio: Home Box Office (HBO), Television 360, Grok! Studio
  • Series:

GAME OF THRONES: SECOND SONS Review

These guys are none too polite

By Jarrett Kruse     May 21, 2013
Source: Mania.com

Anytime I feel a lull in Game of Thrones it just keeps plugging away. Against the ropes but still on its feet. The show is like Rocky Balboa in ROCKY where he just keeps getting up and Apollo Creed is baffled at his opponents drive to go the distance. I have never been a D & D, fantasy, Magic playing type but I am definitely seeing the appeal and depth and layers of the world of Westeros. This week we are given a treat of an episode that covers a great deal of ground in its allotted time. And a final scene that made me revel in the surprises that GoT continues to throw at us just when I think a plotline is dormant. I am hoping that episodes 9 and 10 will be powerhouses as episode 8 seemed to be a forecast of all of the things that still need attending to or at least explained. Well maybe not everything, I am just bummed that we only get 10-episode seasons as I have enjoyed the Hell out of Season 3.

While the episode opens with little Arya still in the clutches of The Hound, she makes a go at smashing his skull in with a rock while he is sleeping. Naturally the giant Hound is up putting the kibosh on her assassination attempt. I was surprised to see the two of them sharing a horse and a snack on the way to return Arya to her brother and mother for a King’s ransom (no pun intended). It is always about money even in Westeros. As The Hound seemed to be a big softy if only for a minute, I was definitely stunned to see the odd couple being civil if only for a minute. It says something about GoT and how nothing ever really is what it seems to be. 

On the borders of the city of Yunkai, Daenerys meets with three men of a Sellsword company called the Second Sons. These guys are none too polite to Daenerys in their negotiations with the Queen of Dragons. When they second guess her she is quick to remind them what she has accomplished in just the last year alone. Her character has gone from a relatively submissive girl into a strong, self-assured woman. With a great body to boot (see this episode; probably twice). Collectively after their initial meeting with Daenerys, Titan’s Bastard and two of the Second Sons decide that she needs to be killed and that whoever draws the unlucky coin shall do the deed. Upon drawing the proverbial short straw, Daario Naharis slays the two other captains and bring their heads to Daenerys where he devotes his and the Second Sons’ loyalty to her. I was a little confused at this turn of events without a solid backstory for those that did not read the books.

Daavos is freed from the dungeons by Stannis but seems to keep his mouth shut about anything related to the Red Woman or her acts of partaking in a mysterious religion that he fears.  Gendry was plucked up from a seemingly harmless trade for gold but because of his royal blood, Melisandre needs said blood to help Stannis rightfully regain the crown. In a twist that I kind of saw coming was when the Red Woman seems to be attempting to bed young Gendry but instead ties him up and has leeches suck his blood. I didn’t forecast the leeches of  course but I knew she was not honest with her intentions. Melisandre then takes the leeches to a fire where Stannis throws each in saying “the usurper Robb Stark, The usurper Balon Greyjoy. The usurper Joffrey Baratheon.” We watch as the leeches erupt with Gendry’s blood in the fire. I have this weird feeling that this is not going to be resolved this season but down the line a bit. I was puzzled at just exactly what the burning of the leeches with Baratheon blood meant. Maybe it was to show Stannis that his bloodline is powerful and still very strong. That he should still have faith in his name… I don’t actually know but am just speculating.

Although it is always nice to see the beautiful landscape of King’s Landing, I know that cringe-worthy TV is going to be upon us. Between Cersei and Joffrey it is tough to find a scene with either of them in it that do not make for uncomfortability. First the cunning Margaery takes Cersei’s arm and goes prattling on about how they will be sisters, etc, etc ad nauseum. I swear I thought Cersei was going to bite Margaery’s damn hand off! Cersei lets her know that no matter what happens in King’s Landing she is still going to be the designated “Queen B” so to speak. But that is a tip of the cap to both characters in that Lena Headey and Jack Gleeson are both such brilliant actors. The marriage between the diminutive Tyrion and Sansa Stark is probably the most awkward moment I have seen on the program. When Joffrey has the balls to walk Sansa down the aisle and then takes his Uncle’s step stool away, I wanted to jump through the TV and knock the little punk out. He is slowly making his way into my Top 10 villains of all-time as he gets older. Tyrion feels the pain of the 14-year old Stark as she begins to disrobe for her wedding night. He stops her and begins to grow even angrier with his bloodline.

Bookending the episode with Samwel, Craster’s daughter and her baby was a clever plot device. I thought that they were just showing their state in the beginning of the show for continuity’s sake. However when we return to them, I realized there is far greater meaning to their placement. When a group of crows begin flying to a tree that is literally making a face, I knew something was up. Sure enough the pounding walk of a White Walker comes looking for the infant. Sam’s first effort to kill it is dashed but his second brave attempt shatters the Walker like Robert Patrick in T2. Sam has proved to be a far greater and courageous asset than when we first met him. Still I was a little upset that it has taken close to a year to follow up last year’s finale with White Walkers. Do all Walkers look the same or was that exact Walker they gave a close-up to last year the one we saw tonight? That is a terribly confusing sentence…

It was an extremely solid effort and I am keyed up for the last two episodes. I am trying to figure out just how they can wrap things up with so many damn storylines wide open for the taking. Actually the more apropos thing to say is what storyline will they choose to wrap up. Still it will be interesting to see as we close in on episodes nine and ten. I wish GoT followed the new “binge viewing” format from NETFLIX where I can watch all the episodes at one sitting while flicking Cheetos dust off my tee shirt. Still, it is fun to speculate at just will fill the last two hours of the Game.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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hanso 5/21/2013 2:09:26 AM

I really liked this episode and not just cause we got boobs and ass.  although, @Dany & Melisandre, DAT ASS! anyway, I thought the wedding stuff was great all around especially Tyrion. Also Titan's Bastard should get a spin off show.

wtf up with Daario? That dude will bang Dany soon.

finally. "Im the god of titts & wine"!

karas1 5/21/2013 4:06:49 AM

I was thinking that the white walker we saw was the remains of Craster but I could be wrong.

hanso 5/21/2013 4:26:11 AM

 The white walker was the one from the season 2 finale.

roman725 5/21/2013 5:09:58 AM

@ karas - The White Walkers (aka as the Others) are mythical creatures of which little is known about in regards to weaknesses but it is believed (and now confirmed thanks to Sam) that they can be killed using dragonglass. They have the ability to reanimate the dead (human or animal) and bring them into their service as wights. Whereas white walkers are fast & skilled at swords, wights are slow & clumsy and can not be killed by dragonglass. It takes fire to put down a wight for good. I assume we won't see Craster or Mormont as wights since I'm guessing Rast & the other survivors from Craster's Keep would've been smart enough to burn the bodies but I suppose it's possible.

@ hanso - As for it being the same white walker from the S2 finale, I'm not sure. If I recall correctly, the S2 Other was on (wight) horseback & carried a weapon. This Other was on foot and unarmed.

 

My favorite scenes: Arya & the Hound, Tyrion/Sansa wedding, Tyrion & Shae exchanging looks the morning after the wedding & Sam Slaying the Other.

The Tyrion/Sansa affair was supposed to feel awkward since neither is particularly thrilled at marrying the other. The weddings that follow, Edmure/Roslin & Joffrey/Margaery (it feels like they've been engaged forever) I expect will be livelier & more colorful especially since one is a Royal Wedding.

I didn't like the Melisandre seducing Gendry scene. Felt forced to meet their weekly sex quota.

 

Best lines:

"Nobody cares what your father said" - Cersei being book Cersei more than ever

"Please don't name him Randyll" - Sam

Speaking of Sam, I can't believe he just left the dragonglass laying there. Pick it up! Hasn't the thought crossed your mind that you might need it again?!

 

rkngl 5/21/2013 6:30:10 AM

Now, THIS was an episode I shall never forget!

OK, lots of T&A, but besides that...

Dany's scenes were unforgettable; not the fact that she was on her bath flashing her boobs, or her stepping out of the bath showing,,, well,... everything! but that dialogue between her and the Titan-somesuch was epic.

The wedding... when Joffrey pulled the stepstool from Tyrion's feet, I wanted to jump through the TV and knock the little punk out... wait, that makes two of us, then! I wasn't expecting that, and it was terribly (and mischievously) funny...

I believe there was not one scene to throw away on this episode, especially since most of them had... well... nice T&A acting...

 

goldeneyez 5/21/2013 6:40:43 AM

I thought it was the same one from Season 2 as well.  At least it looked like him.  Who's to say he didn't get off his horse?

ddiaz28 5/21/2013 7:43:36 AM

That was definitely the same white walker from the S2 finale.

Sam running away without the dragonglass was one of those moments you scream at the screen, take the dagger!  Take it!

Most of us are straight men, so it's a forgone conclusion that female nudity grabs the attention of our second brain to the south.  But do we really need to point out how nice it is every episode?  I just think discussing it gives more credence to those who think the nudity is just thrown in there for no reason when there is usually a point for it. 

I absolutely loved seeing Tyrion talk back to Joffrey.  It's so much fun seeing him piss off his nephew.  And even though Tywin was able to diffuse the situation, you could tell that wasn't the end of it for Joffrey. 

Melisandre's ritual with the leeches was pretty cool to see.

One thing I was confused about was had she planned the leeches thing all along or did she do that because Davos counciled against it?  That's the way it happens in the books if I remember correctly but in the show it seemed like she was going to do that in the first place to show Davos and Stannis that their assumptions of her wanting to sacrifice Gendry were wrong.  Did anyone else get that feeling?

And Jarrett, I don't think many storylines will be fully resolved this season since it only covered half of A Storm of Swords.

Another scene that was great was Cersei and Margaery's little talk.  I love how Cersei just throws away all pretense and puts the truth out there.  I'm also glad that Cersei explained the Reins of Castamere to Margaery and the audience since that is the title of next week's episode.  I just can't believe the penultimate episode is already this Sunday.  And we know big things always happen in episode 9.  I can't wait to see it!

isgrimner 5/21/2013 8:31:29 AM

 liked this episode.  I don't care for Daario in the books, and the actor they got to play him is not what I imagined.   I must have not paid attention to his description, but I always pictured him  as darker of skin and hair.  Not too into a lot of Dany's current storyline currently.

Diaz , I had a similar feeling about Melisandre and the leeches.  They left it kind of ambiguous.   I think Davos may have played a part.   I did not like the seduction scene, despite the pretty naked lady.  That just felt off.  i wonder what they'll do with Gendry now?  Will they do something similar to what they did with Edric Storm, the character whose plot Gendry is taking over somewhat?  That would be my guess, although they probably go in a slightly different direction.  Also, I think you will have to wait till the following Sunday for the next episode due to this weekend being Memorial Day.   These next two eps should be crazy, but I'm thinkng some stuff could get put off till next season, tough to tell since the build up points to a lot going down soon.

Is it just me or does it seem like they are catching up to the books really fast?  I guess it could be the way books three and four's timelines worked that has me thinking they are close to book five material.

CalamityJohnson 5/21/2013 8:51:15 AM

Correction, ddiaz (hope the wifey has calmed since she found the sticky scrolls), TWO WEEKS till the next episode. Memorial Day interrupting our GoT worship. Damn you MDay.

Okay, I'm a HUGE sports fan and I read a lot of ESPN and SI columns and one of my favorites is always the power rankings week to week. I'm thinking GoT needs a power rankings column... sort of like Top 10 GoT badasses week to week. I'm gonna toss out my Top 10. I'm curious what y'all think.

Top 10 GoT Badasses

1. Tywin Lannister - Holding onto his momemtum from previous weeks, takes over #1 after diffusing a realm crisis

2. Daenarys - Loses chokehold on the #1 spot after nearly losing her virtue and life to a sell-sword while leisurely taking a bath. Naked yumminess protects her from falling further.

3. Tyrion Lannister - Jumping several spots after what seemed like a freefall out of the top 10, Tyrion regains top 3 status after giving Joffrey a drunkin' "what for", and having the guts to maintain his lady's honor.

4. Little Finger - Dropping one spot. Currently holding onto the graces of his kickass monologue a few episodes back... AND besting Varys big time.

5. Cercei Lannister - Reappearing in our Top 10 after a hiatus, Cercei shows us again why she's the most feared woman in Westeros.

6. Melisandre - Just when we start to question whether this woman might have some semblance of "good character" we're dealt with the extremely uncomfortable Gendry love squelch.

7. Lady Olenna - Continues to provide the comedic commentary. Having only been defeated thus far by Tywin Lannister, one wonders if we should be fearing this lady more than others.

8. King Joffrey - Continues to ramp up the vile behavior and "unlike" factor episode after episode. I was in danger of losing a bit of that edge when I thought Margaery appeared to be trying to make him into a likeable personage for the realm. I'm glad he's still a pig and douchebag.

9. Lady Margaery - Dropping several spots after her woeful defeat from her "sister" Cersei

10. Sandor Clegane - Entering our top 10 for the first time, Sandor gains some points for heart. Not sure if it's genuine, but at least he's making me wonder. Arya seems to be warming to him, and that's not an easy sell.

 

Others vying for a spot: Roose Bolton (I don't like that guy - what's he up to?), Jaime Lannister (on the verge of something big), Jon Snow (when is he gonna bolt?), Robb Stark (has been on the sidelines for far too long - Let's see us some more King of the North!), Varys (Looked to be climbing early in the season - after getting his ass handed to him by LIttlefinger he's been spookily quiet)

jedibanner 5/21/2013 9:07:29 AM

My reaction when Sam killed that monster in the end was, KEEP IT you fat turd, don't leave the weapon there and ran off....let's hope they show he went back and picked it up or something (chances are, the girl with him wil lhave notice it, not Sam...he's brave but...still a bit slow).

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