Monday, April 8, 2013

Game of Thrones: Motherless Children

Posted By on Mon, Apr 8, 2013 at 9:00 AM

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Checking in with Robb again and we see that he's having loyalty problems in his ranks, with Lord Karstark still fuming that he hasn't yet been able to get revenge on the Kingslayer. Talisa meanwhile attempts to bond with Catelyn, who is weaving a charm for the protection of Bran and Rickon. Catelyn tells Talisa that she feels that all the bad things that have befallen House Stark are all because of her hatred for Jon Snow. "It's all because I couldn't love a motherless child," she says. And, you know, maybe she's right. Mothers can make or break you. So can fathers, of course. This whole show with all of its lip service to family and honor and duty is all really one big Freudian nightmare. But so yes, mothering a baby who had never done anything wrong in the world might not have been the worst thing to do. Too late now though! How'd that little bastard end up anyway?

There he is! It's Jon Snow and Mance and all the wildlings taking a walk. Nothing really interesting happened north of the Wall this episode, except that Jon met the wildlings very own warg (someone who can enter the mind of animals) and realized that his brother Bran was just like that.

Speaking of Bran, the boy from "Love Actually" has tracked him down in real life, not just in a dream. This boy is named Jojen Reed and he travels with his sister, Meera, who is good with a knife and it's pretty clear that they're awesome. Jojen and Meera are the children of Howland Reed who fought with Ned Stark during the Rebellion that unseated the Targaryen dynasty. Jojen is also able to speak to animals, including Bran's direwolf, and has what he calls "the sight." Jojen can see the future, the past, and what's going on in other places, and he knows that Bran has this power too, even if it's not fully developed. It seems these two have a lot to talk about. Meanwhile, Rickon goes running off into the woods at one point and Bran is straight up like, "Don't worry, who cares." And we all agree at home because has Rickon even said one word this whole series? I didn't think so.

And now for one of our favorite Starks! Arya! And she's with Gendry! And Hot Pie! And it doesn't look like they've had a hard time finding food since they left Harrenhal, at least, it doesn't if you look at Hot Pie. Gendry says out loud what many people thought last season, which is, "I'm just trying to figure this out. Jaqen Hagar offered you three kills. Anyone. You could have picked King Joffrey. You could have picked Tywin Lannister. You could have ended the war." Which, this is actually interesting to listen to, because you immediately realize the futiltiy of it. Even if Arya had chosen Joffrey, and Tywin, and Cersei, then what? Who would be king? Stannis? Robb? There are no easy answers. Especially in Game of Thrones, because just when you think you have some things figured out, eighty-five new characters get introduced and make everything completely unmanageable again.

Case in point, we hear singing. And not just any song, it's "The Rains of Castamere," which is the best song, and maybe the only song, in the Seven Kingdoms. And while it is not Matt Berninger singing this version, it's still fucking haunting and beautiful. So who is singing? Why, it's Thoros of Myr, a key member of The Brotherhood Without Banners! You might remember this organization as being the one that led the Mountain to interrogate prisoners at Harrenhal by tying a bucket of rats to their stomachs and letting the rats eat their way out. Good times! Thoros and the rest of the Brotherhood (including a truly talented archer) convince Arya, Gendry, and Hot Pie to come with them to a nearby tavern. Well, "convince" is the wrong word, because the kids become the Brotherhood's captives, but Thoros promises to set them free. Unfortunately, once Arya is about to walk free, some members of the Brotherhood bring in their latest hostage. And who should it be but the Hound? Aryaa tries to sneak out but the Hound immediately sees her and shouts out, "What in seven hells are you doing with the Stark bitch?" And just like that, Arya is a prisoner again.

We end with Jaime and Brienne, who have reached that crossroads so common to all those who embark on long and arduous road trips. Basically, they want to kill each other, but can't. So they duel. On a bridge. Jaime is manacled and has been a prisoner for some time so it's pretty impressive that he can pretty much hold his own. Although, winning for Brienne is rather complicated, because, as Jaime points out to her, "If you kill me, you fail Lady Stark.... If you don't kill me, I'm going to kill you." That's some Catch-22. Anyway, Brienne is saved from having to make that decision because a pack of Bolton's men descend upon them and declare that Brienne and Jaime are now prisoners. How did Bolton's men know that Jaime was near? Oh, look! It's that "innocent" man who Brienne let travel on his merry way. Surprise!

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