Tag: Alibis

Feature – The Eye of Newb – GoT: Season 2 Episode 1

Editor’s Note: “The Eye of Newb” contains spoilers from the episode listed. If you have not watched the episode written about, you have been warned. But as Matt has not read the books (as of yet), you do not have to worry about future spoilers. Enjoy!

 

The Eye of Newb: Game of Thrones (HBO) Season 2 Episode 1: \\The North Remembers\\
By: Matt Lynch

“You love your children. It’s your one redeeming quality. That and your cheekbones.” – Tyrion Lannister

So, Good People, it appears that, despite your fervent hopes and murmured prayers, last season’s poll and The Landlord have spoken. The Newb returns to opine amongst You. I’m grateful to be welcomed back and fortunate enough to have spent the viewing of Episode One amidst a cavalcade of wicked interesting and very nice folk Chooch, Viv, Scott, Hizzoner, and the inimitable Molly were my companions for ‘The North Remembers’.

Before I launch into my initial tirade (for this year) regarding the natural inferiority of the pure fantasy form, I feel a due diligence apology is in order. The Newb will have some, shall we say, “time management” challenges during the first few weeks of the second season. No alibis, but I am not only humbly submitting this screed for your collective derision and/or approval, but also completing a rather important (to the tune of 50% of final grade) research paper. Mea culpa is all I can offer.  S’better than a stick in the eye, though, yeah?

Onward…

Part the First, wherein Geoffrey is a prissy, bloodthirsty twit (again), and a bag of chips is breached with dramatic flair by Chooch.

  • Seriously. Joffrey = Twit. Hopefully the writers off him quickly and mercilessly.
  • I’ve never cared much for wine, but I daresay the bumbling Ser Dontas the Red cares for it even less than I having drunk it by the cask. At least sweet, clever, if pitifully morose Sansa uses his misfortune to save his sodden life.
  • Sweet!! His Impness arrives armed with Insults Copious! Suddenly, the show is redeemed, I remember why I made it through the first season, and Bronn is awarded the first great one-liner of the night.
  • Joffrey has no idea what’s coming. Hee, hee, hee.

Part the Second, wherein Cersei is ferociously gob-smacked, and the first of many allusions to the season following Autumn is uttered. (At 6:50 into the season?! Really?!! It’s a natural cycle, fictional persons! Perspective!)

  • Double-yay! Baelish. More than a five-year cold snap = fewer peasants. Snicker.
  • Cersei… still a bitchy ice queen. Consistency is nice.
  • The whistling offstage heralds but one (small) man.
  • Hmmm.. that’s quite a portent-filled glance between Baelish and Tyrion. It bodes well for a season of Imply magic in King’s Landing.
  • Awesome. Cersei is literally irate at Tyrion’s new assignment. This makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.  Well, okay, the Gaelic Ale is arguably helping some, too. Still…
  • Line of the night at 9:36.  (that and your cheekbones). Almost makes up for all the sturm and drang about the snowy season.

Part the Third, wherein Bran gets testy and strange dreams occur without the freakishness of a three-eyed bird.

  • Not much to say here, except that that is one of the cheesiest comet trails I’ve ever seen and Nymphadora Tonks has turned into some sort of sylvan astro-herpetologist. Amazing what Ye Olde Serving Wenches Academy is turning out these days.

Part the Fourth, wherein Sweet Dany does her best Moses and Hi-yo Silver bites it in the the Red Waste.

  • Aww, poor horsey. You’re dragon din-din, now.
  • Gibberish with subtitles again? What is this? Star Trek?

Part the Fifth, wherein we meet the Sister Wives and learn that the North is no place, even for Wildings.

  • This Mance Rayder seems an interesting fellow. Could be a fun thread to go exploring this season.
  • BTW, what, O Sage Readers, is it with all of the smallholder freakazoids who have nothing better to do than schtup their own offspring? This is your idea of a compelling world where one would want to spend some time? Bah.
  • Sage advice from Mormont to Bubba Snow Tep, though. Jon is an uppity, overconfident and brooding bastard who could use a lesson or two in following orders.

Part the Sixth, wherein we learn to never trust redheads in ceremonial cloaks burning effigies, and finally meet Stannis Baratheon.

  • Hmmm… esoteric seaside ceremony revolving around fire and incantations… where the vestal virgins at?
  • How (yawn) Arthurian. Pull the blade from the pyre and speak the words of destiny.  Snnk…zzzzzzzzz…urk.. wha?
  • This old monk is not long for the world. I’m calling it right now, dead within five minutes.
  • I do like Stannis’ personality, I must say. The kind descriptor would be something along the lines of ‘direct’.
  • Lord of Light? WTF?
  • Bend the knee or I will destroy them. I like the sound of that.
  • Yep. Dead monk. RIght on cue.
  • This new redhead is eeee-vil. Awesome.

Part the Seventh, wherein, oh never mind. Nice doggie. Nice doggie. Rip off the Kingslayer’s face now… go on… that’s a GOOD doggie… no wait. Dammit. Bad doggie.

Part the Eighth, wherein we learn that Shay can smell cum from a balcony and is an equal-opportunity geographical copulator.

  • Peter Dinklage needs another award. Stat.

Part the Ninth, wherein Cersei gives us all a lesson in power and a pause button is grudgingly depressed.

  • This wordplay between Littlefinger and the Queen Regent is riveting. Seriously.
  • Apparently knowledge isn’t power – four armed men who cater to your every crazy whim unquestioningly are. Well played, Cersei. The Newb loathes you, but must concede stellar intimidation technique.

Part the Tenth, wherein some dull stuff happens and I lose interest.

  • Just can’t get into murmured threats and bargaining in torchlit tents. Too much setup. Drowning in it. Glub.
  • Oh, well. A boy should trust his mother, I guess.
  • And speaking of the Stark girls, I wonder how young Arya is faring these days. Anything but this. Anything. no more tents and torchlight.

Part the Eleventh, wherein Joffrey redecorates and mewls like the bitch he is.

  • Whoa. I wouldn’t go pissing off yer mum, there blondie-pants. She may love you, as the Imp established earlier, but she’s also got four well-armed men at her beck and call.
  • Nice! The little whimper as he’s slapped only stokes my revulsion for the new “King”.

Part the Twelfth, or rather Part the Ros, because she’s too superlative to be enumerated.

  • Ha! “Ease into it.” Seeing Ros walk the new young talent through the same indoctrination she got at the elbow of Littlefinger is priceless.
  • Haystack Hall? Seriously? Didn’t they film Medieval Hee-Haw there?
  • So, so happy Ros is back.
  • No. Must look away. Can’t look away. That dude just gutted a baby.
  • Crap. I know this feeling. I’m hooked again.
  • Rounding up and snuffing out the royal bastards seem to be the order of the day. That makes Arya’s lot a tad more dangerous, given the company she kept at the end of Season One.
  • Yep. There it is.

 

Well, Friends, it was touch and go for parts of Episode One, but between Ros and the eviscerated infant, The Newb is indubitably committed for at least one more week. Thanks for your ongoing patience, and…

Cheers!

Feature – The Eye of Newb – HBO’s GoT Ep. 9

Editor’s Note: “The Eye of Newb” contains spoilers from the episode listed. If you have not watched the episode written about, you have been warned. But as Matt has not read the books (as of yet), you do not have to worry about future spoilers. Enjoy!

 

The Eye of Newb: Game of Thrones (HBO) Episode 9: \\Baelor\\
By: Matt Lynch

\\Surely there are ways to get me killed that will be less detrimental to the war effort.\\\\“ Tyrion Lannister

 

So much meat, so little time, Good People. I was justified in hoping that last week was a middle stanza. This episode was outstanding. Just plain outstanding.

First off\\¦ no blame must be cast the way of the Landlord for this week\\™s delay. That is all upon me, your chastened Newb. I could offer rationales, alibis, excuses, the whole lot, but it would serve no purpose but to exacerbate my guilt. I missed my deadline, and can only draw comfort from the sage words of one Douglas Adams: \\I love deadlines. I love the sound they make as they fly by.\\

Secondly, dammit!! Not about the whole Ned losing his head in the Sept of Baelor thing. Dammit about being forced to watch Lord Stark make the hardest, most desperate choice of his life \\“ abandoning his deeply-cherished honor in pursuit of some illusory peace for his children \\“ all to have it come to the same end the Newb suspected it would at the beginning.

Joffrey now requires a bloody, writhing, interminable death. An epic death. One that will be used to dissuade arrogant, malicious young products of incest everywhere from stealing their fathers\\™ crowns. He doesn\\™t merely deserve statistic status, or even a footnote. I want him to have a full explanatory page in the text. Bastard.

Outstanding build and ending, though. Nicely played, HBO.

On the topic of Ned\\™s carefully discarding the one thing he held most dear, can we talk about Varys for a moment? O literati, I must inquire if Varys ever plays the first-person narrator in the books. I simply must get in this cat\\™s head and poke around a bit. He says earnestly that he wants peace for the realm while simultaneously plotting to invade it with a Dothraki army. He clearly enjoys sparring with Baelish, but to what end is unclear. He is adept, duplicitous, sincere and feared by nearly all. Fascinating.

And, lastly, in the topline at least, what of the horror show Truth or Drink round in the Imp\\™s tent? I mean, that was all 31 flavors of awesome. I must\\™ve rewound and viewed every wrinkle and crinkle of Peter Dinklage\\™s tortured and drunken visage at least six times as he relates the scarring, defining episode of his character\\™s young life. Someone give this man an Emmy. Now. Not figuratively. Literally. Emmy. Now.

What an astounding and awful tale of emotional abuse at his father\\™s hand! The young maid, his first love, who turns out to be a whore, bought and paid for by his father out of pity, and in the end who turns a tidy profit by servicing Tywin\\™s entire guard. All while Tyrion is forced to spectate. Guh.

I begin to see how deep Tyrion\\™s loathing of his father runs, and in turn how he can continue to hold a fire of love for his evil freak show of a brother, Jaime. As well, it becomes intensely clearer why the Imp is both a well-known pervert and lush, all while unable to ever truly sustain love for a woman. Truly a phenomenal scene.

And all that in just the header, Friends. Now, on to other thoughts, some less magnificent, some downright loony\\¦

 

  • Varys. Need more data from behind this eunuch\\™s eyes. No doubt about it. Still creeping through the dungeons and offering water and difficult counsel to Ned. \\˜Swallow your pride\\™ is not a message Lord Stark hears well. Loved Ned\\™s line about the value of a life.
  • I must admit a giggle at the raven being shot down while leaving the castle of Argus Filch\\¦ er , Walder Frey. Nice camera work.
  • Speaking of Filch/Frey, yeek\\¦ what a piece of work. Perhaps, just perhaps, this lascivious old scumbag should stop procreating. At the very least, he should stop fondling the highly discomfited 15-year-old\\™s butt. Poor Robb, to have to marry into this vile band of backwoods bridge keepers. And worse, he must choose amongst bridal candidates that even his Mom can\\™t say a nice word about. Oh, well. Maybe he\\™ll die in battle.
  • Bubba Snow-Tep is actually starting to get interesting\\¦ after EIGHT freakin\\™ weeks! Sorry. That was out loud again, wasn\\™t it? In this episode, he intimately entwined with no less than two very delectable reveals.
  • Reveal the first \\“ Jorah the Andal, it turns out, is Lord Mormont\\™s forsaken son. Man, did he ever give up a sweet piece of Valyrian steel to go wander through horse country with some hot Targaryen waif. Why do I smell dragons\\™ flames holding back the comin\\™ winter as a theme for future stories, along with some sort of heart-warming reunion amongst bearded men of action?
  • Reveal the second \\“ Speaking of Targaryens, it appears that Maester Aemon is the son of the Mad King. Not totally relevant to the story at present, beyond driving home the solemnity of Jon\\™s pledge to the Watch, but still a cool little factoid. The Wall holds all kinds of secrets.
  • Wounds fester quickly across the Narrow Sea. I knew that cut would come to no good.
  • Okay, this whole storyline is just turning bizarre. If a witch woman can\\™t heal a simple cut, why oh why, dear sweet Dany, would you entrust her to perform dark magic to bring your Khal back from the dead at stated cost of another life?! I mean WTF?
  • Oh, and by the way, the Newb is supposed to just blindly accept that an entire tribe of horse people leaves their home on a march to the sea with not a single decent veterinarian in tow? Some single capable soul who can dress a wound or recognize and treat a fever? Really?!
  • I recognize that this is all leading to a likely death for Khal Drogo and the liberation of Daenerys and her son from their roles as part of the Dothraki Horde, but seriously, how dumb do these writers and directors think I am? Can you say contrived? C\\™mon\\¦ say it with me.
  • Oh, crap. There\\™s dark magic afoot in the Khal\\™s tent and someone has the bright idea to bring a pregnant woman in? Again, one halfway competent vet would solve all this. And not for nothing, but even the mighty Bruce Campbell would tell you that black magic and babies really don\\™t mix.
  • I do enjoy these little talks between Tyrion and Tywin. Both the tension and the disdain are palpable. This volatile mix births some of the very best lines of the series. Evidenced by this column\\™s header quote. Priceless.
  • One other thing I should\\™ve called out above, but failed to (again, way too much meat in this episode, Good People) was that the march to war scene was the perfect combination of the Imp and combat \\“ one errant hammer to the head before the fighting starts, a groggy sleep, and a \\Did we win?\\ Beautiful. Shame they didn\\™t have the budget for a full-scale battle, though. Battles are good.
  • Once it\\™s established that the Lannisters did indeed win, and handily, further that Shagga son of Dolf earned those axes he likes so much, it quickly becomes clear that the Newb\\™s prediction of a tactical swerve by Robb Stark has come to pass.
  • And Robb got Jaime! Alive! Sweet! Spike. Head. Now. Oh, no, wait, I guess the Kingslayer is more valuable alive after all. Crap. Maybe next week.
  • Ahh. The brilliant and already revealed ending arrives. While I dealt with it in some detail above, a few closing notes of sympathy:
  • Poor Ned \\“ all honor abandoned, and headless anyway.
  • Poor Sansa \\“ It\\™s the first time I\\™ve felt any sympathy for her since they killed her wolf. But, if you gonna lay down with vipers, girlie, you gonna occasionally get bit.
  • Poor, poor Arya \\“ She\\™s now in for a world of pain. It\\™s a damn good thing she had all those \\˜dancing lessons\\™. It is nice to see Yoren, BenJen\\™s other brother, rise to Ned\\™s plea of assistance and care for the youngest Stark daughter as best he can. Where she goes from here will be fascinating. I\\™d read that book by itself.
  • Poor Cersei?! \\“ Yep. Poor Cersei just got sideswiped by her beloved, snot-nosed megalomaniac. She never saw it coming. Joffrey\\™s ridiculous and sadistic move has just devastated all hope of negotiations with the North. And all this before she even finds out about her dear BrotherLover\\™s capture. Cersei\\™s in for a few rough nights.
  • F— Joffrey \\“ That\\™s right. Period. Amen. Someone needs to eviscerate this evil little twit, sharpish. Although, the one bright spot is this: based on the calculus in play so far in this series, again, by his selfish action, Joffrey has pretty much guaranteed woe to himself in the not-too-distant future. It just can\\™t come soon enough.

 

Oh, sweet tap-dancing jeebus, Friends, but did last week\\™s middle stanza deliver one hell of a payoff payload in this week\\™s show. With the exception of the Dothraki storyline, and of course Baelish\\™s woeful absence, a marvelous outing. You can officially mark me down in the \\˜Breathlessly Awaiting the Finale\\™ column. \\˜Til again we meet, the Newb abides, expectantly.