April 28, 2013

TPG's Game Times - Season 3 - Episode 5 - Kissed By Fire (Game Of Thrones Recap)

Last year I declared "Game Of Thrones" to be an awesome pulp epic, but lacking in serious substance. While here today I declare that the show chopped that old moniker down with a flaming sword and has re-born anew with the power of the one of best dramas on television. We're approaching "Breaking Bad" levels here folks, and we all should be thankful. Tonight was a stupendous episode that worked on every single level. It was immensely entertaining, full of narrative momentum, and above all a fascinating discorse on duty and honor. So let's go ahead and answer the call, and get into this incredible episode titled "Kissed By Fire."

Direwolf Badassery & Joffrey Swag - None tonight.

1.  There is a reason why Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, the actor who plays Jaime Lannister, is popping up in big time Hollywood movies. That reason was on display during his epic monologue on duty, honor, and family where he sliced apart his own legend like one of his unfortunate opponents on the battlefield. It seems that the Jaime who cares about doing the right thing has finally triumphed over the bad part of him (you know the kind that throws kids out of windows and kills his own relatives to survive.) Him telling his side of destroying the mad King is an interested angle and presents the central question of the episode - How does a person preserve their own honor in the face of war? Last season Jaime Lannister was barely around, he spent the season in muddy prison cells. Tonight in a literal cleansing bath, he is re-born as something new.

2. But don't think I've gone all serious on you, uh, flaming sword battles combined with a juicy kill*, yes, more of that please.

3. So Jon Snow breaks his vows literally by having sex in the Wilding version in the Playboy Grotto, but he also provides intelligence to the Wildings about where the Night's Watch is stationed. Here again, we wonder, where is Jon Snow's sense of duty and honor? Are we supposed to be believe it's ok that he has betrayed his brothers because last week we saw how low they sunk? No, I believe that Jon Snow truly believes that his sense of duty is not to Wildlings or The Night's Watch, but only to himself. And for him, that means shedding the mantle of being "Ned's Stark Bastard" and becoming his own man.

4. Thrones is slowing proving to have a bit of obsession with kills by throat. In season one Khal Drogo ripped out a dude's tongue through the throat, last week Crastus got a blade through the throat, and now we have the Badass Ginger (BG) threatening to tear out Jon Snow's guts through his throat. Enough with the throat deaths!

5. Hope there is some sun-rays coming to Robb Stark because...whoah...that was pretty dark. Faced with either preserving his army or punishing the murderous insubordinates in his ranks he came to a real moral crossroads. Again like the many others he had to make a choice between his own moral code and the realm or all the people. And while I support his decision, I couldn't help but notice that he did it despite EVERYONE telling him of the consequences and advising him not to do it, which was something his father did as well...

6. MAGIC MAGIC MAGIC - That dude Beric Dondarrion got his sword and shoulder sliced almost clean in half (flames can't protect you from dudes named after animals) but still managed to come back to life! This is magic we haven't seen before, but it does come from the Lord of Light, who is proving to be quite popular (The night is dark of full of Thrones nerds broooo.) I loved seeing more about how this magic works, but want I really want to know is what is going on with Stannis's daughter. Does she have a skin infection or is there something magical about her? Considering how zonked out her parents are on that magic, her having a special gift wouldn't be that surprising.

7. Oh what a Knight, late on Game of Thrones with my girl Khaleeessi - ok I'll ditch the Franki Valli reference and just say that the showdown of Sir Barristan and Sir Jorah aka Khalesi's comedic grandpas is proving to be something to watch. Both have different reasons for joining with Jorah seeking some type of forgiveness and Barristan seeking to return glory. There's that theme again, how does a person reclaim their honor? For these old dudes, the clock is ticking.

8. Arya Stark asks "Could you bring back a man without a head" and it becomes clear that her more than anyone wants to avenge the death of Ned Stark, she wants to do it more than anyone. And you heard her saying the names by the fire...she has a long list of people to kill.

9. Man after Khaleesi's show stopping episode last week, I was worried how we were going to get the goods again this week, but this is Thrones so of course they deliver. The Unsullied had to choose a leader and they opt for some skater looking dude who look like he dated Madonna, and he drops a badass line about keeping his name "Grey Worm" which both defies Khaleesi and praises her glory at the same time. Epic, man, epic.

10. So Sansa is going to marry Tryion and Cersei is going to marry Loras. Man Tywin Lannister must be reading a lot of soaps on scrolls because this set-up is zany (but smart). Also the Lannisters are proving that they are indeed the least fun family in the world.

Amazing episode, hopefully the final 5 will be just as good. Have a great week!


  1. Jaime's "Kingslayer" revelation to Brienne has to be one of if not the best two-hander the show has yet done, and maybe the moment that moves GoT (for me, anyway) from "cool, but to what end?" to "possible classic." What a scene! I'm more excited for what's to come now than I've been at any point in the show's run.

    Also, you're playing it off like it's some offhand reference but that Madonna crack betrays a SOLID knowledge of her dating history.

  2. Stannis' daughter was afflicted with a sometimes lethal disease called "Greyscale" when she was much younger. I don't know why they didn't mention that.

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