GAME OF THRONES – All Men Must Serve

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Episode 21 “Valar Dohaeris”

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Geeze, it’s good to be back. How long did we have to wait for this? Seems like an age. This episode didn’t disappoint at all. We open with Sam, who is running away. From what, I have no idea, but he’s frantically running through what the people north of the wall call a “Tuesday drizzle.” One should venture out cautiously, making sure to have two pairs of socks, and a large fur cape, and being extra careful to send a raven or two if there is a huge army of magical undead approaching.

Sam is rescued from a Wight’s attack by Jon Snow’s dire-wolf, Ghost, and Lord Commander Mormont. It’s nice to know the dire-wolf is still around. I wish they had more of an impact in the overall story arc though. Mormont admonishes Sam for not sending the ravens, which of course is pretty dumb in that kind of weather, given the approach of a massive army of Wights. Bad things are coming for everyone in the south if they don’t find a way to stop them. That’s just George’s way of telling us that bad things are coming and we should stay tuned. Like we were gonna go anywhere.

The new opening sequence is pretty cool. I mean, it’s the same, but as the story changes, they show the steampunky birth of each kingdom that is relevant to the story as it stands. In the original opening, it shows King’s Landing, Winterfell, The Wall, and Pentos. The new one shows King’s Landing, Dragonstone, Harrenhal, Winterfell (rising from ashes), The Wall, and Astapor. As the story gets more complex, the opening will be zooming around so fast we won’t be able to see the cute little CGI buildings bloom.

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Jon Snow is still prisoner of the free folk, and is led to Manse Raider, king beyond the wall, played with amazing charisma by Ciarán Hinds. Jon’s objective is survival, so he convinces Manse that he’s with them. He’s undercover though. Shhhhhhh. Or is he? *wrings hands* Oh yeah. There’s a giant too. A kick ass giant. We can tell that he’s having issues with the woman, Ygritte. She’s been flirting shamelessly with him the entire time, and he’s got that hungry look when she’s around. Jon and Ygritte, sitting in a tree….I just realized there aren’t any trees around. Nevermind.

Ser Bronn is enjoying some crumpette when rudely interrupted to attend to his former, now current again, employer Tyrion. Queen Cercei pays Tyrion a not so friendly visit, but he’s a little self-conscious about his scar from being sliced in the face. Cercei tries to suss out what Tyrion is planning to speak with his father about, but he isn’t very forthcoming, so she splits. Bronn shows up, FINALLY, asks for a raise and Tyrion gives it to him. Probably in hopes that he will actually be useful in the future. I wouldn’t count on it. Sellswords are notoriously money motivated. Also fictional. Just want you to know that I know that.

Davos has gone the way of Gilligan. Stuck on a rock in the harbor of Blackwater. A friendly ship grabs him and reluctantly takes him to Dragonstone to meet with Stanis. Davos wants the Melisandre dead. He doesn’t pull it off. He’s captured, and presumably imprisoned because they wouldn’t burn a character like Davos after spending all the time making sure we know he’s still alive. Oh wait. Yes they would. We’re talking about Game of Thrones. Derr.

Why Robb Stark would want to take Harrenhall I don’t know, unless he’s so bloodthirsty for Lannister….blood, the apparent condition of any old keep isn’t a consideration. He finds a whole pile of bodies, apparently prisoners captured by the Lannisters and slaughtered by Gregor Clegane. One survivor is found, a former Maester. Robb’s main concern though, is the re-capture of Jaime Lannister, who was released by Cate, now a prisoner herself because of her selfish betrayal. Robb’s a bit perturbed from being made to put the “u” in can’t.

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Tyrion asks for his birthright, Casterly Rock, from his dad, whom, if you remember, is the new Hand of the King. Denied. Because he’s short. He gets a better room though, only no whores allowed. Tyrion’s dad is a Nazi. A Lannister always pays his debts, and apparently Tyrion owes his dad quite a debt for killing his mother at his birth. What his dad doesn’t know, is how masterful Tyrion is at collecting debts himself. And he is owed a lifetime.

Ahhh the life of a Stark. Sittin’ on the dock of the Blackwater Bay, waiting to be the next Stark to die. Sansa and Shae sit and talk a while about nothing. Shae’s annoyed, and rightfully so. Sansa is terribly annoying. Petyr shows up and let’s Shae know that he might be leaving town and perhaps she can come too. Meanwhile, Shae is having a chat with Petyr’s assistant, and they try to out-bitch each other. I think it was a tie.

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Daenerys is heading to Slaver’s Bay, and we get to see her dragons are starting to grow up. Flying around, engaging in dragony behavior. She’s gonna have to buy an army, because her dragons aren’t growing fast enough. Even though she doesn’t want to. But a slave army is better than a couple dozen barfing Dothraki who’ve never been on a boat before. When she gets there, she negotiates with this huge prick about his army of unsullied, who are eunuchs without fear, pain, or independent thought. Perfect for her to apparently make free for some reason, but she’s troubled because of the babies they kill. They only have to kill one each. Really I don’t know what she’s on about. I love the negotiation though. The incredible insults being filtered through a translator. I feel that way every time I go to abroad. Which is never. So never mind.

And here comes King Joffrey and his intended, Lady Margaery. The good lady decides to stop and comisserate with the plebeian hoards, making sure all the orphans are taken care of, which completely confuses Joffrey, who can’t figure out if he should be mad or impressed or horny or what. An important thing happens though, when Joffrey, Margaery, and Cercei sit down for dinner. Joffery makes sure his mother knows that she has a rival in Margaery. This does not sit well with Cercei. Not at all.  But this scene reminds me of something. Need to purchase the Game of Thrones Cookbook.

Great one this week, though this wrap-up needs more cleverness and comedy jokes. More next week, as I start to get back in the groove. So glad to be here!

Mr. Smith

[Official Show Site at HBO]

Curtis Smith

Curtis Smith, a native of Curtistan, is an actor, whip maker, and musician.

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