Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Game of Thrones Review: “The Kingsroad”

Ned Stark becomes the Hand of the King just as his son Bran is bedridden after falling from a tower.

Catelyn Stark is beside herself with grief. Michelle Fairley’s spends the first half-hour sitting next to Bran. This is the first time—and maybe the last—that the viewer will see real emotion from Catelyn Stark. She becomes very stoic as the book/ TV adaptation continues, almost emotionless.

Obviously Bran didn’t fall from the tower; he was pushed. Because Bran didn’t parish, an assassin is sent to finish the job. The assassination scene, and many others are completely ripped from the book. And they play very well. Even some lines, mostly Tyrion Lannisters’ are verbatim.

There are certain interactions with the Starks and Lannisters in the show that don’t happen in the book. This is necessary to establish the underlying conflict that both families share. Like I said about the premiere episode, there’s a lot of info that needs to get across in a short time.

There are still seven episodes left, so in time things will become more understandable for those who haven’t read the books.

We see more from Daenerys’ story, as she is now the Khalessi of the Dothraki people: basically like a Queen. She becomes more accepting of Khal Drogo’s advances, although she has little choice in the matter. For those who just think it’s just a gratuitous sex scene every time we see Daenerys, rest assured her story becomes more fascinating as time goes on. We do see her become more assertive later in the episode, Daenerys grows into her own, albeit in a very sexual manner.

Both Sansa and Arya's wolves are shown -- Robb and Jon's are not.

I do have some issues with how the Dire Wolves have been portrayed. Although we do see two instances in which the wolves defend the Starks. We don’t see Ghost, Jon Snow’s wolf or Robb Starks wolf, Grey Wind. It’s troublesome since both wolves are much more predominant then any others, especially during the action scenes. Ghost isn’t even present while Jon Snow leaves to start a new life on the Great Wall. Ghost is an integral part of Jon Snow’s story, and he’s his only friend when he first reaches the Wall. Yet Ghost is nowhere to be seen.

Hopefully we’ll see more from the wolves as the series continues.

This episode separates the Starks from each other, leaving them on their own for the near future. It’s this vulnerability that brings spice to the story. Catelyn Stark leaves to get answers on who is trying to murder her son Bran. Jon Snow secludes himself from the rest of his family to serve as member of the Night’s Watch—a group that protects the Great Wall that keeps all manners of beasts from entering the Seven Kingdoms.

We also see the true nature of Prince Joffrey, and how utterly naive Sansa is.

In all of this what’s most troubling is King Roberts unwillingness to rule. Ned Stark truly is the Hand of the King, and he’ll have to do the dirty work his supposed friend Robert does not.

The “The Kingsroad” is really a tone setter for the series. It's really about everybody going their separate ways. Although the series quickly plays up the tension between the Lannisters and the Starks, and things will come to a head soon.

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