Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Game of Thrones: “Golden Crown”

Ned’s bedridden. Jaime has fled for Casterly Rock. Robert is still kind of a jerk. Sansa is a naive bitch. Arya hates King’s Landing. Tyrion escapes an early grave. And Daenerys shows that she is the true ruler of the Seven Kingdoms.

While last episode focused on a few characters, and lengthy dialogue scenes, “Golden Crown” gives us a quick look at how everyone (besides Jon Snow) is doing in their lives.

Viserys get’s his wish in this episode. And gets the golden crown he was so longing for. But threatening Daenerys--who is beloved by the people in the very city your standing in--isn’t the best way to handle things. Daenerys actually feels pity—in the novel at least—when Khal Drogo gives Viserys this golden crown: melting down gold in a pot and pouring it over Viserys head.

In the show Daenerys seems to relish the moment more so than in the book. This was one of the first examples of George R.R. Martin killing off a character early. Not the last, and certainly the most obvious of all people that were going to eat it would be Viserys—guy was a dick!

We see Tyrion wiggle his way from Catelyn’s sister Lysa. Tyrion realizing he can’t win this battle with words instead demands a trial by combat—a right to demand trial by combat is upheld no matter what, for some reason. I didn’t have too much of an issue when this moment popped up in the book, but now I have questions.

"Only the strong survive...wait, lets play this by ear!"

Why uphold the right to demand a trial by combat if you’ve already broken the King’s law already? Tryion was captured and taken to the Eyrie, against his will; King Robert would have definitely opposed this act, Tyrion being the Queen’s sister. Yet despite the fact that you’ve already broken the law you then try and uphold the rights of a person you just captured. How can a captive have rights if the very reason he was captured is against the King’s word in the first place?

Tyrion shouldn’t have been able to demand anything! Regardless the scene plays out with Tyrion getting Bronn the sellsword to fight in his place. Bronn may sell his soul to the highest bidder but he’s not stupid. Taking on no heavy dressing or shield, he easily dances around his foe that is armored from head-to-toe. Using your wits is the best way to stay alive in George R.R. Martin’s world, and Bronn just exploits the lack of speed in his combatant—slicing at his opponent after they’re exhausted.

I love the line that Bronn delivers at the end of the fight. Lysa says that he fights without honor. Bronn simple states, “No…but he did” gesturing to man he killed then let fall through the hole in the floor. In George R.R. Martins books if you have honor, chances are you’re the first to die…sad but true!

Ned finally realizes what Jon Arryn died for. Which has been obvious to the audience from day one. The next episode will have some great revelations, and a war will soon erupt from the aftermath. 

Every Stark needs to have a greasy Steve Nash hairstyle--King's Law

I actually liked the layout of this episode. Each main character had a little screen time explaining certain things that will be become major plot devises later. Like the quick scene with Bran that leads to Robb Stark sparring the life of a wildling. The wildling captured, named Osha plays a bigger role in later novels.

Honestly though, I was kind of bored. Throughout most of the episode I was just lazily watching. I actually had to get a refresher on what the episode was about. Most of the iconic moments come flying back to you after you think of them--Daenerys saying the final line “Fire can’t kill a Dragon”, while looking at the corpse of her dead brother comes to mind.

While I certainly liked the first novel “Game of Thrones” better than the next one “A Clash of Kings”, the latter may make a better show than the former. The pacing of Game of Thrones is wearing on me, “A Clash of Kings” has much more action…and the third novel “A Storm of Swords” is my favorite and should make an amazing viewing experience. Until that time comes we still have about 3 episodes left in this season but the future certainly looks brighter.

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