Tuesday, June 10, 2014

What I’m Watching: Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones: Season 4, Episode 9 “The Watchers on the Wall” (B-)

I understand that this episode might have been deeply satisfying to devotees of the book series – or, alternately, very disappointing – but as a fan of the show, I found it sorely disappointing. It’s not that watching the Wildlings and the White Walkers try to overtake the wall and seeing it defended, if only for a short time, by the men of the Night’s Watch, isn’t exciting. It’s that there’s so much happening on this show, and so many things to be addressed, that to focus on just one storyline feels isolating and less than gratifying. While there are still a few more seasons to go, this show only has ten-episode seasons, and now we’ve just spent an entire hour focused on one conflict, postponing Tyrion’s fate, Daenerys’ march, and so much more. What we did have that was worthwhile was two love stories embedded in this episode, both unexpectedly romantic and heartfelt. Starting with Jon talking to Tarly about what sex is like was fun, and it was great to discover that Ygritte was having a similar, if far less sympathetic, conversation with the other Wildlings. Tarly finally speaking up and planting a big kiss on Gilly was great, and it was nice that he survived the whole night to remain there to protect her. Ygritte getting shot with an arrow moments after she spared Jon was perfectly tragic, and their goodbye was appropriately dramatic. Let’s hope for a finale that’s exciting and momentous while also addressing all of its plots.

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