Game of Thrones – The Old Gods and the New
…clandestine. I mean really to… Oh, hello, just got here did you? Well this review’s already been going for a while now, off-screen you know, so just try and catch up. We’ve only covered things that you knew were going to come about eventually( it doesn’t take a three-eyed raven to know that i would have waffled on about serialization, nudity and the sword fights), so its not so bad that we don’t have the energy to go back and actually re-tell them to you; just use your imagination I guess, even though those are the scenes that you’re least effective at imagining. Anyway… BLOW DART!?
So in case you can’t tell – and it’s really not very subtle – that bit was brought to you by the opening scene of Game of Thrones this week, which skipped straight from Theon having a stare into the middle distance scheme about a town near Winterfell and being prophetically apocalyptic to the former asking the latter to yield the shows home town. I’ve been begging the show to start making some progress this season and though they have taken those instructions to heart it appears I may have needed to be a little more specific; Thrones, I want you to start telling story a little faster, or rather telling stories that move a little less slowly. Simply skipping ahead three episodes doesn’t really solve anything, especially when you are skipping some of the stronger material; thankfully then the show did neither.
A battle scene is a battle scene, ultimately what matters in this kind of show is the aftermath and while Thrones has been throwing them out with the bloodywater as it were, we definitely got them here. We were also given an entire episode of events and not, as I had expected, one that would simply coast off of that shocking revelation. In another show, one more static and less schitzophrenic than this, I would have liked seeing Theon in charge of Winterfell for a full season, but since we are never allowed to get a proper sense of place I am happy that events seem set to send him on his way next week, especially since we have already gotten all of the character beats that this story can supply him.
That last criticism is another that sort of slides off of this episode in a way that it wouldn’t others, because while it does still skip around rapidly this week’s episode also managed to tell a set of complete stories; they were solid jigsaw pieces rather than jiggling brushstrokes that peter out when the paint does. Perhaps this purpose is why the stories felt as if they were making more progress when the pacing was probably much on par with the rest of the season? On top of this there is the fact that Thrones does what The Avengers didn’t and dedicates itself entirely to being The Stark Show. These pieces are not only finished but they connect, each having a central character sired by one Ned Stark. If personalized episodes are too much to ask for then perhaps Family is the prism we should be putting out perspective through, anything to keep these episodes focused.
Of course there was one outlier to this theme and that was of course Dany, what are we gonna do with you girl? We are nearly two seasons into the show, protagonists have come and gone, Tyrion has made seven laps of the main continent on tiny legs to talk to each and every character and yet
Daenerys is yet to play a part in any narrative bar her own. At what point do we just cobble her scenes together and sell it as a spin-off? When she is stepping nude out of naked flames, dragons draped across her chest, we tend to forgive her isolation but in weeks like this where she simply wanders more of the Marketplace aimlessly and does so sounding more and more like her brother, a spoiled brat, then it’s almost enough to make me want to turn off ( well… Probably just to skip ahead, but I’m being dramatic here). Something must be done with this anachronism.
So overall this wasn’t a step forward for the show, it was a hop, literal skip and now i’m just hoping for the jump. I’m not precious with this show, i do tend to tear it apart, but that doesn’t mean that i don’t love and respect it. I just wonder whether we need accept something being both brave and dumb when we only want the one. So i’ll keep rioting till we get a king i can follow. Out with the old gods and in with the new, though either way I’ll still pray come 9pm Sunday night and so should you.