Recap: Game of Thrones ~ S1, Ep10 “Fire and Blood”
WHAT A FINALE!
It went out with a bang! No one is left unaffected. Those we’ve been championing on the side of good who’d been previously doing very well, were shot down, mostly by grief. A few deaths with another possibly on their way to
Valhalla the afterlife. Not to say that it’s all depressing. There is rebirth, new hope, out with the old etc.
Death #1 is obvious. The fallout from Ned’s death in the last episode “Baelor”, is profound. His family are understandably devastated. His loss though painful, galvanised each Stark, hardening them as they hope for, or are planning to seek, vengeance.
I have a new respect for the previously thoughtless and shallow Sansa. She may have fainted when she observed her father’s beheading but afterwards when her betrothed, King Joffrey, gives out his punishment to a singer for his offensive but very truthful song about his mother’s role in Robert’s death, though horrified she wasn’t hysterical. I was very proud of her when she failed to show emotion and give Joffrey exactly what he wanted -her pain- at being forced to gaze upon Ned’s and the Septa’s heads on spikes, and when she was slapped around for expressing her desire to see Robb give her Joffrey’s head. What surprised me in that scene was the Hound’s strangely helpful behaviour towards Sansa. He saved her life in this episode. Pushing Joffrey from that precipice would’ve been suicide. Previously he’s been portrayed as a murdering bastard loyal to more powerful murdering bastards (the Lannisters) yet we know of his awful childhood and now this odd connection between him and Sansa. I wonder how far it will go.
Whilst Sansa is alone amongst enemies in her grief, Catelyn and Robb are together. They have new reason to fight with a method of retaliation at their feet. Literally. Killing their captive, the tight-lipped and fearless Jaime Lannister -King Killer, one of the best fighters in the Seven Kingdoms and a prized member of the family responsible for murdering the Stark family patriarch, would certainly get their point across. Follow it up with some swift bloodshed and they could finish off Tywin’s all ready weakened army. Of course, my favourite character Tyrion will be fine because he’s off to play Hand in Tywin’s place. Oh wait, the lifespan of a Hand is terribly short. At least he’ll die knowing his father acknowledges and appreciates him as his son now. If only for his mind for strategy, and the fact that he’s the only son he has left after grieving Jaime’s capture (Death #2?).
Jon’s grief sees him desert the Black and the Wall in the dead of night, heading south towards Robb’s camp so he can have a hand in crushing his father’s murderers. He doesn’t get far before his friends and comrades catch up with him to recite his vows, reminding him of his duty and the seriousness of the situation beyond the Wall. He returns, of course, but is shocked to learn the Lord Commander knew of his little midnight trip. Jon agrees he’ll never run again when presented with the opportunity to march with the Night Watch into the unknown lands beyond the Wall to find his uncle Benjen, investigate the story behind the zombies and figure out what mischief the Wildings are up to.
Instead of witnessing Bran and Rickon’s reaction to Ned’s death, we see that they dreamed of it and were prepared for Maester Luwin’s news. How did they know? Are they baby prophets?
Speaking of Jon and the Wall, Arya or Ary as er, he’s now called, is on his way to join the brotherhood of criminals and lost souls. I’m not sure how Yoren came to wear the Black but he’s done good in protecting Arya. Did anyone notice Robert’s bastard son, the apprentice armourer Ned met during his investigation into what had got Jon Arryn killed, had joined Yoren’s new recruits? I’m intrigued. I bet he’ll be one of Arya’s few allies. I hope we get to see him don his finely crafted viking-like helm at some point.
Death #3 & 4 The once mighty Khal Drogo *sniff* is dead *sniff sniff*. He died twice. First his mind went and then his life, finally snuffed out by a twice grieving Dany after the death, or sacrifice, of her son. I can’t really blame Mirri Maz Duur for doing as she did. What she said -what use is life when there is nothing left to live for or to share it with? Made perfect sense. She’d been gang-raped, she’d seen her life’s work go to waste when those she’d once healed were brutally murdered along with others she’d shared her life with, and she prevented more of that death and destruction by killing the “stallion to mount the world”. Dany had thought she’d “saved” her that day by granting her mercy (there’s that damn word again). Mercy is not always kind when given or received. In this case it led to deception and betrayal. Beware of mercy.
Did anyone hope Jorah would finally get a kiss from Dany? I know he received a peck on the cheek for his concern but it wasn’t enough. The man cares too much, I think. Although his love for her has been mentioned I doubt he’ll get a happy ending with her now that she’s a widower, and therefore back on the market.
I loved Dany’s speech to the remains of her Kahlesar, re-establishing her dragon identity, freeing the slaves, burning the witch and declaring that “those that will harm you will die screaming” before she does what Jorah fears -walking into the fire.
My two favourite bits of this episode were:
1)The “King of the North” speech denouncing the soft southern babies, they respected and bowed to the dragons but they’re dead, and elevated their new northern lord, Robb, to that of “King of the North”.
2)The purification of fire sees Dany’s rebirth, naked and dirty, rising from the ashes like the fabled phoenix with screeching newborn dragons strategically placed on her body. The rebirth of the dragon race will be one of the things I’ll be interested in following.
In other less important scenes we see Cersei learn of Jaime’s whereabouts whilst erm, being naughty with another male Lannister. Boy, does she get around. And Maester Pycelle. It was unclear why this scene was included, it certainly wasn’t in the book, until you saw him jump about and prepare his stooping posture before shuffling out of his chambers. Observing him in previous episodes, he was just a doddering old man to be ignored. To see him getting his freak on with Ros, who also underestimates him, and then explode with energy has us believing he’ll be playing a pivotal role in the future, no doubt giving the brilliant strategists Varys and Littlefinger a run for their money.
This TV series has done a terrific job of transforming A Game of Thrones into a faithful TV adaptation. It’s success is most likely due to the author, George R. R. Martin’s, involvement in almost every step of the project. For fans of the book, there are little extras. For those completely new to the world of the Seven Kingdoms, a great effort has been made to explain the backgrounds of the characters and the modern history producing this turbulent situation leading to political and personal nightmares.
Best moment of the season and something I’m looking forward to seeing more of next year:
“Fire and Blood” is the 10th and last episode of season 1. And not the only season. YES! They’re all ready working on the second with filming starting in July. Yippee! If like me you can’t wait for that season premiere then this little promo should give you a hint of things to come.
Hmm, fire, smoke and an animal-like screech? Whatever could that be…?
Screw the Olympics!** Summer 2012 I have a date with my TV!
In the meantime, I shall be eyeing up Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) in the remake of Conan the Barbarian. If you can’t wait for more Game of Thrones why not read the book the first season is based on, or read what happens next in A Clash of Kings. WARNING: The characters’ ages, the youngsters in particular, were aged up in the show e.g. TV Dany is 16 while book Dany is 13. Don’t read it if you’re squeamish. Violent battle scenes and explicit sex(ual abuse) are described.
Let the countdown to more GoT goodness begin!