Editor’s Note: This will be a weekly report posted after each episode of Game of Thrones (except that this is obviously two weeks’ worth of fun). “The Eye of Newb” contains spoilers from the episode, obviously, but from the perspective of someone that has not read the books. Enjoy!
The Eye of Newb: Game of Thrones (HBO) Episode 4:
\\Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things\\
By: Matt Lynch
\\Distrusting me was the wisest thing you\\™ve done since you climbed off your horse.\\- Petyr Baelish (Lord Littlefinger)
It\\™s not every day, Good People, whereupon one feels compelled to begin a screed of any kind with the utterance \\˜Well, crap.\\™ That said\\¦
No, wait. Don\\™t go. I can explain.
See, one thing that is stunningly clear after this week\\™s broadcast is that I need far more and deeper data on Lord Littlefinger. Not want. Nor even desire. Need. Viscerally.
For the very first time, I exit viewing position much more than a tad perplexed and frankly a mite angry. Who profits by setting up my beloved Imp?! Seriously? I gots to know!
It was painfully obvious that his \\˜arrest\\™ at the hands of Lady Catelyn and her bondsmen left Tyrion stunned and confused. Her accusation of his culpability in Bran\\™s attempted murder was thoroughly unanticipated. (Momentary soliloquy alert: Peter Dinklage has one of the most expressive and engaging faces I\\™ve ever seen. I must learn of, find and view whatever else he has appeared in tout de suite.) Thus, it is reasonable to conclude that the Imp had absolutely zero to do with the events of the assassination plot. If not him, who?!
This train of thought leads directly back to his identifier as the owner of last week\\™s suspect dagger \\“ the aforementioned Petyr Baelish. Why would he name Tyrion? To what end or ends? What, I ask you, has the Imp done to deserve this fate? And if naught, what game is Littlefinger playing? And why? Why?!
So, here we all are again\\¦ back at \\˜Well, crap.\\™ It would appear that despite my best efforts to stay above it all \\“ snarkily superior to this lower form of speculative fiction known as pure fantasy with political intrigue \\“ I am now what one might call, not entirely inaccurately, (gulp)\\¦invested. Crap. Epic snark fail. As I type, a small, furious part of my brain is concocting choice words with which I plan to liberally pepper my next chat with The Landlord. Rat bastard.
\\Watch the show,\\ he said.
\\It\\™ll be fun,\\ he said.
Now that we\\™ve gotten that torturous admission out of the way, on to other thoughts about this week\\™s episode:
- Part the first: Although it holds more import when viewed through the lens of the \\˜arrest\\™ referred to above, I simply adore the interplay between Tyrion and Bran in the opening sequence. You can literally see the hope ignite in the young lad\\™s eyes when the Imp extends to him the possibility of riding again.
- Part the second: Samwell Tarley\\¦really? This better lead somewhere. My initial wish is that someone will just grease this simpering tub of goo and be done with it. Possibly eat him as well. I nominate Aliiser Thorne, a man who has clearly developed a taste for snow-bound human. In any case, Sam doesn\\™t help Bubba Ho-Tep hold my attention at all. Zzzzz…snurk\\¦zzzz.
- Part the third: Eeeww. Did I need to see a naked Viserys Targaryen bathing? No. No, I did not. And his proclivity to buy, sell and use human beings at whim only further convinces me that he\\™s been alive for long enough already.
- Part the fourth: I must learn to pay more attention to these Small Council meetings, especially if such interesting and infuriating characters as Baelish continue to be introduced in them. It appears that dear, prideful King Robert has opted to disregard the first sensible counsel his new Hand has given him, and is holding his tournament anyway. Cost be damned.
- Part the fifth: More muttering and lurking. The British fans must be so happy. Ned Stark doesn\\™t fit well discussing royal lineages with a poor imitation of Merlyn.
- Part the sixth: Lord Stark does fit well in mentoring and doting on his daughter Arya, who is rapidly developing into a fascinating and liberated character. This girl is refreshingly self-aware and destined for big things. Bloody things. I like her.
- Part the seventh: Gah. Tub of Goo! Simpering! Make it stop. Let Sam freeze to death, Bubba Ho-Tep. Push him off the wall. Something to keep me enthralled. I\\™d be willing to tell Sam Tarley\\™s mother I\\™d killed him in a hunting accident if it would keep him off my TV.
- Part the eighth: Pure awesomeness. Baelish is fascinating, and so is the disclosure of the prying eyes all about the Hand of the King. On a side note, I\\™m very pleased that Aiden Gillen continues to get great roles after the Carcetti days.
- Part the ninth: Sir Hugh. Must. Die. Soon. Arrogant prick.
- Part the tenth: Aha! A bastard child of Robert Baratheon. Probably not first and definitely not the last. Does set up some interesting competition for the throne angles, though, when \\“ not if, but when \\“ Robert meets his untimely end.
- Part the truly absurd device that needs to end now: As much as I loathe Robert as a ruler, I would bet that Mark Addy is enjoying portraying this large an ass (no pun intended). Part of me still does wonder where Robert Carlyle is. The chat outside the door does reinforce the notion that, despite his pretty-boy ways, Jaime Lannister was once a warrior of some stature. He\\™s also thick enough not to read intelligence delivered to the king he despises by Lord Stark\\™s Captain.
- Wow! Waking up to a ravening wolf at your throat. Jon Snow may be dull as the Nebraska skyline, but he doesn\\™t lack for stones.
- Alliser Thorne = Dean Wormer. It\\™s a theory.
- Oh, sweet Dany, beat that bitch like a rented mule! How I laughed! That was thoroughly enjoyable, and produced the second greatest quote of the whole episode. Frankly, I look forward to a day that Viserys has no hands. Or head. Or lungs. Sorry, lost in thought there for a minute.
- Oh, sweet tap-dancing jeebus! Enough with the Sam and Jon show already. Although I admire Snow\\™s choices regarding women and future progeny, he bores the hell out of me. Terminally.
- New theory: Alliser Thorne = Dean Wormer playing a gravelly-voiced Cockney cannibal in summer stock. It\\™s a better theory.
- It\\™s wonderful to see Daenerys finally coming to terms with the fact that her brother is suited for little more than fertilizer and has rightfully earned the life expectancy of a horsefly. Whack him, Dany. Soon. Please? For me?
- Yay! Blood, spilled, spewed and spat. And Sir Hugh\\™s blood as well. Now that was satisfying. Plus, methinks the relationship of The Hound and The Mountain is enough foreshadowing to last about a week and a half. It\\™s even better in Baelish\\™s conspiratorial whisper. Not only is he a devious bastard, but he likes to horrify the innocent and entrap them in his schemes.
- Part the penultimate: Cersei Lannister does not wear \\˜conciliatory\\™ well. Her color wheel tends toward a c range of cruelty, condescension and contempt.
- Part the last: Well, crap.
I\\™m very much in for next week and beyond, now, Good People. I\\™m not saying I like this turn of events, but it is what it is. Until then, a hearty cheers to all.