Game of Thrones: Is It Winter Yet? How About Now?
There was no Game of Thrones this week, leading thieves across the world to refresh their torrent sites over and over and then throw their laptops at the wall in agonised rage.
At this point in the season, with two episodes to go until we find out how the writers plan to stretch these storylines over another year of well-funded excuse to travel around the world, I’d like to take stock. What has actually happened this year? Which characters are the MVPs, keeping the show alive and exciting, and which are just Mellisandre and Stannis? What do we hope to happen in those last two episodes? How fast do those dragons grow, anyway? Also: Boobs! Should there be fewer?*
*Please don’t lynch me.
I’m going to break this down by character, with a little commentary about each (bearing in mind that I haven’t read the books. This is show-only stuff). If a character isn’t mentioned, it’s because they’re too boring to write about (sorry, Loras!). This is in order of least-to-most interesting.
Controversial, I know. But Jon “The Snowman” Snow is a contradiction; the show’s most boring character stuck in its most interesting story. The wildlings up north expand the show’s mythology, give it an immediate threat, and feature a man wearing armour made entirely of bones*.
*Seriously, why don’t we see more of him?! He’s been in ONE episode. As has the friggin’ GIANT, come to think of it. Give the people what they want!
But Jon himself rarely makes a decision. He decided to join the Night Swatch way back at the beginning of season one – a more innocent time, when boys were pushed out of towers and direwolves were still sometimes in the show. Now he just gets dragged around by other, more interesting characters.
Credit where credit is due, though; the mountain-climbing scene was awesome. And the fact that his beard remains just this side of unruly while never being completely shaven indicates an impressively dedicated trimming regime.
I do have my fingers crossed that Snow will pick up his act, and perhaps unite Northerners and Southerners against the coming zombie threat (although, we saw herds of them marching past poor Sam at the end of last season, and now…? Don’t tell me that Sam is beating them south).
I know, I know. This one pains me, because I love the Arya of seasons one and two. But she’s been Jon Snowed this season; dragged around the woods by the Brotherhood Without Bandanas, then by the Hound. Her most emotional scene was saying goodbye to Hot Pie, for pete’s sake.
But she can be awesome, and Maisie Williams is one of the show’s most likeable actors. So I have high hopes for season 4.
Also, her direwolf is still out there, right? Either it’s laying in wait to return at Arya’s moment of greatest need, or – as is more likely – it’s just humping the crap out of everything in Westeros.
When we last saw her, she was being brought to a rendezvous with her brother and mother, but don’t count on that happening. As much as I don’t want this to be a show where main characters are artificially kept apart for seven years (or so), I’m pretty sure that’s what I’m in for.
Or, hey, maybe she’ll just become king.
Stannis. God damn it.
Just “being magic” and “getting your norks out” don’t actually amount to being a character. Sorry. Melisandre is only saved from the top of this list because she chucked leeches onto Gendry’s balls, which was hilarious.
Dragged down by his proximity to the above two characters, but increasingly backed into a corner where he’ll have to choose between what he thinks is right, and his loyalty to Stannis (God damn you, Stannis). That‘s sort of interesting, right? Also, watching him learn to read is gosh-darned adorable.
He also has the worst nickname imaginable (“The Onion Knight”), but carries it well.
Bonus points: Was a submarine captain in Doctor Who. Both submarines and Doctor Who are awesome.
Season one: Travelled to King’s Landing. Seasons two and three: Just… sort of hung around. Doesn’t seem like a story that tells three seasons to tell, does it? But then she had to marry Tyrion, which is great (seriously, girl. You’ll never do any better), after nearly-marrying every other noble guy she came across.*
*I’m surprised that she wasn’t engaged to Jaime’s severed hand at one point.
After a great season 2, where Theon betrayed the family that raised him to win his biological father’s respect (see? A proper dramatic choice! A bad one, but still. Stories!), Theon has spent almost all of season 3 in one room. What keeps it sort of interesting is that he’s having his balls tortured off (literally! WTF?!).
Whom the people may come to know as The Mediocre King. He’s fine, I guess.
“OH NO I HAVE TO MARRY THE HANDSOME CELEBRITY WARRIOR/ATHLETE BOO HOO.”
Peter “Littlefinger” Baelish
Dude. That moustache.
And you really should have known better than to let Bane onto that aeroplane.
A show like this needs good villains. And, you know. He’s tortured multiple women to death and killed Boromir.
Also, that bit where he took away Tyrion’s stool during the wedding ceremony? Hilarious. I would be more than happy if Joffrey just spent the remaining episodes being an evil little prankster, moving stools about and balancing buckets of wine above the doors of the throne room.
Sure, he’s a little fat and stupid, but he had the good sense to get the hell out when the ruckus got started at Craster’s Daughter Impregnating and Baby Abandoning Incestorium. And when he saved Gilly and the baby from the magical snow zombie with his awesome knife, that was legit hero stuff. You and I are okay, Samwell! We’re okay.
In terms of the next two episodes… well… I’ll be happy if we get a name for that damn baby.
Daenerys Targaryen/Khaleesi/Mother of Dragons/Seth MacFarlane’s Ex-Girlfriend
Yes, yes, the Khaleesi is who we all want to be. Burnin’ town entire cities of slavers and building a giant army just to head across the sea and have a dragon eat Joffrey’s head. She only won her last battle by being attractive and having her new love interest do all the work, so that’s a little anti-climactic. But, still; dragons.
My hopes for the last couple of episodes mainly revolve around her riding one of the dragons. That has to happen at some point, right? Even if it’s not flying, just scurrying around the ground picking up treats. That’d be something. Just picture it!
Tyrion has lost a little of his “drunken scheming” coolness this season, but he has some totally rad facial scars to make up for it. And he married a fourteen year old, which is awful, but didn’t immediately get to gettin’ on her, which is something. And he has Shae, who is all kinds of likeable. If only we all had a prostitute/lover/maid to call our own, we’d be living in George RR Martin’s fantasy world.
And, for the last two episodes? I think that’s obvious; winking suggestions of a three-way.
Margaery Tyrell/Magic Gyllenhaal
Margaery owns. I will have no problem if everybody winds up dead and she wins the throne. Just because, in a show where everyone is trying to manipulate everyone else to increase their own power, she stands out by being good at it.
If Joffrey had to have Pycell make a magic duplicate of Maggie Gyllenhall for him to marry, I’m glad it was this one.
Brienne of Tarth
Friggin’ BEARS, man!
You are kidding yourself if you think that this season hasn’t been All About Jaime. He’s been taken prisoner, then forced to fight alongside his captor, before deciding to save her from a horrible fate and getting himself mutilated in the process. He was given the chance to go home to King’s Landing, then turned back to jump into a bear pit and pull Brienne out. Choices! He’s the anti-Jon Snow! Jaime is almost keeping this show alive single-handedly.*
*I won’t lie, I high-fived myself after that. Which is sort of ironic, I guess.
I can only assume that the rest of the season will involve Jaime becoming even more amazing and simultaneously loveable and hateable. He’s like bad pizza in that way.
The Lord of Bones
MY GOD HE WEARS A SUIT OF ARMOUR MADE OF BONES HE IS SO AWESOME CAN HE BE THE KING PLEASE?