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 One Finale: \\Fire and Blood\\
By: Matt Lynch
\\Do you lie awake at night fearing my gash?\\\\“ Varys the Spider
Well, Good People, nothing like opening on a crimson-stained cutlass to get the old blood pumping. After the pace, punch and depth of last week, it felt almost as if the finale was, in fact, a compelling epilogue.
But before we venture thataway, Friends, the Newb must relay some well-deserved and grateful thanks, and a brief poll.
First, the thanks:
Dear Landlord, thank you for pushing me to contribute, for lending me the canvas to fill, and for being an all-around righteous dude.
Good People, thank you for granting me your orbs, your thoughts, and your kind comments. I sincerely mean my appreciation of your reading, ingesting, responding, and even (lookin\\™ at you Patman\\¦) editing where needed. While I most often write for an audience of one, it has been my distinct privilege and honor to have you all along for this particular ride. Gracias.
Mr. Martin, thank you for a hell of a tale into which to sink my fangs.
And lastly, but certainly not the least, to my Lovely Missus, thank you for your patience and support \\“ watching and re-watching episode after episode all while your beloved tap-taps on the old laptop down the couch can get a bit tiresome. I thank you, Love, for graciously encouraging said tiresomeness.
Now, the poll:
As all good things must come to their eventual end, so must this season of Game of Thrones. After watching the full season largely on a dare alone, the Newb finds himself extremely tempted to pick up the books and begin to read. It may be the only way I can sustain myself for the full year until the show picks up again! I mean\\¦Spring 2012?! That\\™s just cruel.
But, as I know my role, I will humbly submit my fate to a vote of the viewing public. If you have read and enjoyed my scrabblings over the course of this season\\™s run, would like me to abstain from the books and continue my neophyte reviewer status into spring of 2012, please leave a comment below with an AYE vote somewhere in its body. If, contrariwise, you have not enjoyed, found value in, or otherwise cared one whit about this drivel (and that\\™s perfectly fine, BTW), please drop a comment below with a NAY in the body. Majority rules, and the polls will stay open until the Landlord kicks your ass out. Gracias, again, Friends.
So, where were we before I so rudely interrupted myself? Ah, yes\\¦ a crimson-stained sword, and the curtain falling for Game of Thrones, season one. But a curtain that is woven with such marvelous beauty!
Fer\\™instance, how about Ros and Grand Maester Pycelle? Holy crap, Good People! That was ingenious. The scene at first seemed superfluous and a mite icky, but after it all played out, it made two very salient points crystal clear and further illuminated a third known fact, as well.
Point One: The clever old bastard has been feeding Baelish the daft and doddering line for years through regular visits with Littlefinger\\™s whores/spies.
Point Two: The calisthenics, and especially the last-minute adjustments in posture, reveal that the Grand Measter is far spryer than he would have the Council or the Court believe. He\\™s every bit the fake that Baelish is, and one hell of a canny survivor. In fact, while Varys may have been the one brought up among actors, Pycelle could probably give him a good run for the money.
Fact Three: Ros has a superlative posterior. Just sayin\\™.
And how about Tyrion as King\\™s Hand?! This sets up a tricksters\\™ Battle Royale among the Imp, Cersei, Baelish and Varys, with an unhinged, immature Joffrey as the downcard disruptor. How freakin\\™ cool is that?!
And of course, there\\™s the smokin\\™ hot (literally), empowered and oh, so very naked Dany, replete with her new pets\\¦ but we\\™ll get to that in a bit.
For now, on to other thoughts\\¦
- I knew that Arya\\™s constantly being mistaken for a boy would creep back into the narrative, but didn\\™t see \\˜Arry the Orphan in her future. Yoren is rough but kindly protective, and as the braggadocio about killing fat boys reveals, the young Miss Stark should be fine. I\\™d still like to read her story.
- Okay, this damn three-eyed crow is really starting to piss me off. That said, at least it had a contiguous role in the plot this time, and a dream guide.
- And the wolf in the dungeon almost made me crap my breeches on the couch. Something that fearsome really shouldn\\™t be named Shaggydog.
- What is it with this youngest Stark kid, hanging around in the shadows and issuing cryptic (no pun intended) and bleak statements seemingly from nowhere? Kid needs therapy.
- Poor, poor Catelyn. No time to grieve, as much as she may need to.
- And Robb, my boy, it just got real.
- The bard scene seemed truly superfluous. If anyone doesn\\™t know by now that Joffrey is a cruel and inhuman prick who thinks nothing of maiming those who only joke about him and his family, they haven\\™t been paying attention. Assigning the deed to Ser Ilyn was a particularly sadistic touch.
- Push him, Sansa! Push him! Dammit, Hound. Let her push him! Let\\™s hope that Robb does give Sansa this little (long string of expletives deleted for propriety\\™s sake)\\™s head. Hatred is too weak a feeling to adequately cover Joffrey.
- Then again, if Sansa had just left when Ned told her to\\¦
- It\\™s captain blowhard again, and this time he\\™s so enamored of Robb that he declares fealty to the new King of the North. A little time alone with a direwolf changes a man, I guess.
- Love the exchange between Robb and Theon Greyjoy, tho. Very Braveheart.
- What is it with the Lannisters and their perfect villainhood? \\Widowhood becomes you.\\ The perfect monologue to inspire enmity. One gets the sense that Jaime really doesn\\™t mind dying\\¦ is perhaps anticipating it with fervor. He does have a high opinion of himself, doesn\\™t he?
- But even with such grandeur, the Kingslayer can\\™t bring himself to tell Catelyn the whole truth of Bran\\™s fall. Interesting.
- Oh my God! Cersei really is a nightmare. She a serial relative-bedder with very poor taste in men.
- I bet Tyrion would\\™ve appreciated half the passion that his father showed at Jaime\\™s capture regarding his own imprisonment.
- Imp at King\\™s Landing\\¦ to rule! Marvelous! I\\™m in. And good old Dad has a new appreciation for Tyrion\\™s skill and wisdom. But he just can\\™t help himself from issuing one final intolerable rule \\“ no Shea the Whore in Court.
- Dany doesn\\™t look so hot, and sure enough, Bruce Campbell the Wise was right about the unborn and black magic being a bad mix. The kid sounds hideous.
- If Dany doesn\\™t look so hot, next to Drogo she looks like the after shot in as antihistamine ad, all bright-eyed and perky. The Khal has no tribe and he looks like death warmed over. A fate worse than death.
- Not for nothing, but I told you not to trust the Godswife bitch, Daenerys. Ah well, you live, you lose a husband and a baby to dark incantations, you learn.
- While I do not approve of the witch woman\\™s methods, I understand her motives.
- Oh, dammit. It\\™s Snow. Again. Just when he got all interesting and human, all of a sudden he\\™s the bad-ass deserter. Yawn. Good for Samwell, however, as it seems he\\™s gestating a prehensile spine under those XXXL furs of his.
- Good for Tyrion for defying daddy dearest and bringing along Shea the funny whore\\¦ but I\\™m guessing it will all end in tears. See, that story from last episode is the very definition of foreshadowing.
- Samwell, despite shrieking like a small girl when unhorsed, does make a compelling recruiting officer, together with his mates. And another bit of foreshadowing as Jon Snow clutches his wolf-bedecked blade and looks every bit the leader I hope he becomes. I\\™d watch that and not be bored.
- Ugh. Two weeks is all it takes to go from being the most feared warrior on two continents to twitching in death spasms beneath a pillow? Oh, Drogo, I am sorry. But Dany just had to be free, you see, so we had to write you off the soap opera. From awesome to pointless in 14 days. What a waste.
- Pycelle is a damn genius, and Ros is incendiary. Simply brilliant. Especially the final transformation\\¦ visions of Ferris Bueller dance through my head.
- The Pycelle scene is so good (IMO anyway) that it almost causes the verbal dueling between Baelish and Varys in the throne room to pale by comparison, but the allusion to playing their roles and serving a new king speaks volumes.
- So, \\˜Arry the Orphan and the bastard Baratheon blacksmith are thrown in together on the way to the Wall, eh? Yeah, that\\™s definitely a story I\\™d read in its own right. Except for the \\˜winter is coming\\™ bit. Sheesh. Enough, already.
- Oo! Oo! Lord Snow is armed with old steel and off to confront the zombies, the White Walkers and united Wilding tribes. Now this story is compelling and I want to know more\\¦ in the series freakin\\™ finale.
- Are you telling me that all of those dragging, Ho-Tep bits were just there to feed the mother of all cliffhangers? You bastards. You cold, unfeeling bastards.
- Okay, so forget the mother of all cliffhangers. Dany\\™s got your cliffhanger right here\\¦ behind her perfect breast, the idyllic, feminine curve of her shoulder, and\\¦ a baby dragon or three. Outstanding! I knew those eggs would be a factor, just not this big a factor. The balance of power has thoroughly shifted. Forget a Dothraki army. The last scion of House Targaryen has got herself some genuine dragons. I literally am blown away by this ending. How long is it until Spring 2012, again?
And\\¦ Fin. Ende. Again, Friends, my heartfelt thanks for your time and attention. I hope I have provided at least some delight, and until we meet again, I remain your faithful Newb.