Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What I’m Watching: Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones: Season 1, Episode 5 “The Wolf and the Lion” (B+)

Talk about an intense episode! This is that point that seems to come several episodes in for some of HBO’s shows where things suddenly get real and the show gets seriously good. A few fantastic scenes come to mind, but what’s truly impressive about this episode is the way in which it shifts focus and looks at things from a different perspective. It’s especially interesting to see Daenerys discussed so prominently but not featured onscreen, almost turning her into an entirely different thing than she is, so not threatening but still not afraid to take what she knows she deserves. Having Robert laugh off Ned’s quip about him being too fat for his armor and then having the two butt heads in council to the point of Ned’s resignation as a hand is quite a serious transformation, and an extraordinarily effective one the way it played out. It seems that messing with the Lannister family is unwise, as a vengeful Jaime is willing to kill all of Ned’s men just to send a message. Ned entering into one-on-one swordplay with Jaime came as a bit of a surprise, and it was certainly intense up until that moment when one of Jaime’s guards surely saved his life by felling Ned with a blow to the leg. Lady Stark and Tyrion are encountering just as much turbulence and violence on their journey, as they are ambushed in one of the episode’s best scenes. Stabbing a man through the eye is one way to prove a point, but beating someone to death with a shield isn’t bad either.

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