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Thursday, 19 May 2011

Game of Thrones Season 1 Episode 5 "The Wolf and The Lion" Review

Well that was a pretty messed up episode. Awesome, but messed up. First, can I say I hope to God that I never have to see a horses head chopped off with a sword again, I love senseless violence, who doesn't, but that wasn't exactly what I had in mind when I said I wanted a little more excitement. Far worse though, was a boy who looked about ten getting breastfed by his mother, who's a ruler no less and who also happens to be completely and utterly insane. Again, not really what I was expecting. Beside that though, I really enjoyed this episode, we finally got some great action to compliment the fantastic character building and I cant wait to see where the show is heading next.

I really don't know what to make of King Robert, on one hand I think he's an ass, he's cruel, he's power-hungry, he's only out for his own interests. Yet as the episode went on he really began to grow on me, I'm pretty sure if any of us had as much power as he has, we'd all probably be drunken, lecherous louts too. I loved his scene with Cersei, we really got a great insight into their relationship, which is plain and simple, a farce. What's great though is that they accept that, she'll never live up to Ned's sister in Robert's eyes and they both know it. It kind of explains why Robert acts like a fool, the only thing he ever cared about he lost, so now he doesn't give a damn about anything. It's almost poetic really, but what it does do is completely change my view on a character who I disliked for most of the series, I love how this show can do that.

Still the life and soul of the party, its great to see that not even capture and the possibility of imminent death can dampen Tyrion's spirits. When you can crack a joke after killing your first man or when you're face to face with a lunatic you really are one of a kind. One thing I loved about Tyrion killing his first man was, unlike most tv characters where killing their first man is a big thing and it takes episodes for them to express their feelings and come to terms with it, Tyrion just doesn't seem to be bothered at all. It's great to see and it really shows what a unique, charismatic and downright brilliant character the Imp really is! Hopefully he'll get out of his predicament next week, but at least he got a room with a nice view.

Poor Ned he has a lot to deal with this week, everyone is conspiring around him and even his King doesn't want him, not after his little 'I don't kill women and children speech'. The cheek! Worse still he's going to be limping for a while after that last scene. Being the Hand of the King is dangerous but not being the Hand of the King is apparently ten times worse. Ned has had to do a lot of talking in the series, so it was great to see him doing what he does best, his fight with Jaime was fantastic, and I nearly felt like punching that soldier who ruined the fight myself. Jaime is beginning to grow on me too after what you wouldn't exactly call the best of introductions. He's a complex man to say the least, and his frustration at not getting the chance to kill Ned fairly was fun, I guess being thought of as a backstabbing coward still smarts a little.

Speaking of great battle scenes there a few of them this week, the jousting competition was unconventional, I think thats the best word to describe it. Forgive me if I'm wrong but I didn't know it was customary to chop your horses head off when you lost a joust? Still it was exciting as was the attack on Lady Stark and her people mainly for its shock value and seeing Tyrion bash a man's skull in and enjoying it just a little bit too much.

Our peripheral characters had some interesting moments too, LittleFinger is growing more revolting and compelling by the episode, a strange combination. More interesting was Ned's young ward back in Winterfell, I wonder how he'll come into play later in the series. I also loved Lord Varys, or as I call him, the bald guy. I have no idea what the mans intentions are but he obviously has a lot of fingers in many different pies, I can see why he's called the Spider. Anyone who can make LittleFinger look like he's swallowed a nail is alright by me! The scene with the youngest Stark gave us some interesting information (at least if you haven't read the books) about the Kingdom and the various wars and once again Game of Thrones does an outstanding job on developing its peripheral characters.

Game of Thrones keeps the ball rolling with another great episode. I was, once again, a little confused trying to keep track of everything but with a show of this scope that's bound to be a problem. This episode was a lot of fun and even with the character development taking the back seat a little here, the action more than made up for it. Bring on next week!

Review Score: 8.5/10

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