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) Double Live Bonus Album!
Ep. 2 and 3
By: Matt Lynch
First and foremost, Good People, and my dear Landlord, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee and Thyself, respectively. The Newb knows his tardiness, and its accompanying guilt weighs upon him like a metaphorical millstone.
I was unavoidably called away on family business this past week. While the endeavor was hardly an enjoyable one, rife with the detritus of a loved one passed, it has left me with a wealth of new knowledge. My counsels to all of you, garnered through hard experience, are as follows:
- Don\\™t drive through West Virginia in the springtime. It is a bug-pocalypse, Friends. And while the pangs of regret pass after the 37th butterfly ends its existence pulped on your windshield, the cleanup remains an epic chore.
- Wisconsin staples, while yummy as all get out, do not reside in the healthy zone of any nutritional shape you choose, least of all a food pyramid.
- Deciding which memory and item that still doesn\\™t truly feel as if it belongs to you will make the return trip in your vehicle, and which will stay in its attic, basement or closet of origin is not\\¦ how you say\\¦ fun. Not fun at all.
But, lessons aside, atone I must! And so, I offer a special Double Live release, featuring reviews of episodes 2 and 3, complete with The Newb\\™s very own stream-of-consciousness viewer commentary. Enter, if you dare\\¦
Epsiode 2: The King\\™s Road
\\I wish to stand on the wall and piss off the edge of the world.\\ – Tyrion Lannister
First off, may I say that I like The Imp immensely? Any man, regardless of stature, who uses dogs as pillows and bitch-slaps uppity royal brats, is a fella I\\™d hang with for a while. His taste for blackened bacon does concern me. Porkbelly breakfast products should be a harmonious mixture of crispy and chewy when properly cooked. Always. It\\™s a simple universal truth. Nonetheless, talk about your fascinating, rakish characters. I may be in for the long haul just to see where his story arc leads
Secondly, Cersei Lannister is a cold, manipulative, seemingly heartless bitch, and her end must involve some small and insatiable creatures bursting forth from her smooth and milky stomach, still chewing viscera as she expires. In short, while her, er, smaller brother is endearing an appealing, Cersei must go. Again, I\\™m in till the end if I can only see her meet a brutal, humiliating and exceedingly painful finale.
Oh, and one key cliffhanger resolved. Bran is still with us, albeit pale and largely motionless.
Jon Snow. Zzzzzzz\\¦ what? Oh, sorry. This storyline is just dull. Dull in that special brooding and sulky way that thankfully only the English have mastered. Going to the Wall, mumble, mumble. Sword, not a toy, hulk, sulk, mumble, pointy end. Blech. Just when I\\™m invested in these other characters, this plotline has to shuffle up from its stodgy but delightfully-appointed crypt and glaze my eyes over. While the possibilities embodied in your coming of age story are immense indeed, Mr. Snow, for now I dub thee Bubba Ho-Tep, the venerable zombie thread of this tangled tale.
The war stories and banter between Robert and Eddard as they wander the Kings Road, thankfully, are delightful. Perhaps it betrays my Y chromosome, but the conversation at table leaves me very curious to see Betsy the wench, and her lovingly described tits. The only drawback to the entire scene is one more utterance of the dirge-like drumbeat that something\\™s comin\\™. If it ain\\™t winter, it\\™s war, or the long dark winter, or battle, or winter or war, or possibly a really lovely autumn, or\\¦ oh, never mind. Could we get back to the blonde sadist and his poor, tortured sister amid the horde, or possibly the Imp? Please?
Aha, as if on cue\\¦ from behind? Again?! I mean, I\\™m not here to judge anyone\\™s preferred sexual position, but the repeated consummation of this Dothraki marriage has about as much romance as a below-average prison rape. The cutaway to the dragon eggs piques some interest, but otherwise that whole scene was completely unnecessary.
Woo-hoo! His Impness returns! And manages to make even Bubba Ho-Tep interesting for three solid minutes! Plus, he provides needed insight into his makeup. Brains before steel, and beholden only to his house. Not, interestingly, to his family, but to his house alone. Therein lies not only piqued interest but true hope for greatness.
Yikes. Catelyn Stark is a devoted and selfless mother, and the irony lies thick in her detesting the wolves, only to have one finish the protection she began. The \\loyal dog\\ tie-in from scene one is also nice, given the identity of Bran\\™s failed assassin.
Again, a largely unnecessary scene involving poor, sweet Daenerys in various flavors of disrobed and pampered. You\\™d think that HBO was just pimping her for the sex appeal or something. Was that out loud? Sorry. I am hopeful that with the former concubine\\™s promised counsel she\\™ll spend less time in \\˜downward dog\\™ in coming episodes.
Okay, finally some members of the House of Stark suspect what we already know, and methinks that distinctive dagger will eventually give someone away. Yay! A solid cliffhanger arises, perhaps two, as who knows if Catelyn will reach Eddard to tell him of her theories?
Erm, in truth I\\™m slightly uncomfortable watching the concubine\\™s \\lessons in love\\ while in the same room with my lovely wife. That\\™s not to say I\\™m not enjoying the lessons, mind, but I thought girl-on-girl was more the trade of Cinemax than HBO. The outcome, however, is priceless. Yes, Good People, the cowgirl position soothes the wild beast and brings the warlike horde into line. How we laughed!
Are all the Lannisters but Tyrion merely sadists separated only by gradients of spine? Seems so, and I revise my prior opinion on Cersei\\™s end \\“ it should involve a wolf. A big, nasty, ravenous, utterly unforgiving lupine.
Well, good morning, Bran! I suppose our next little twist will involve some sort of amnesia caused by head trauma. Doesn\\™t matter. I\\™m still in for the next show, and remain hopeful that Jon Snow isn\\™t. Oh, and that there are several more violent deaths.
Episode 3: Lord Snow
\\Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah\\¦ you walk.\\ \\“ Jhogo
Alright, so we\\™ve learned that Eddard is a well-rounded no-nonsense man. Simple and direct, even when it comes to wardrobe choices for a big meeting. Further, we now know that the advisors have more pull than King Robert, except when he proceeds irrationally to squander a fortune on bread and circuses. I mean, six million is a big number even for the modern age, much less one lost in the mists of time and legend such as Westeros. And to owe half that sum to as twisted a crew as the Lannisters? Yeek.
Whoa, by the way. What the hell is Tommy Carcetti doing at the Renaissance Faire?! If you don\\™t get the reference, go watch The Wire. If you do get the reference, go watch The Wire again. Best damn drama series on television. Ever. Yes, I\\™m comfortable living in the past. The upholstery\\™s nice and the chairs are comfy. Sorry, what was I saying? Despite my moment of weakness and reverie, Petyr Baelish, much like The Imp, is the kind of character I could enjoy watching operate.
Ah, Cersei and Joffrey. This is sure to turn my stomach. First and foremost, however, how come my mother never said it would be okay for me to sleep with painted whores, if that\\™s what I wanted? Oh, right… scruples. Apparently, as proven in prior episodes, Cersei Lannister is still bereft of those pesky scruple things. And Joffrey is a whiny little puke with more raw aggression than sense. Another name on the painful death list.
Kudos to Mr. Martin and the writers, says I, as the combined efforts of the Imp and the new setting of the Wall and the Watch have even breathed life into Bubba Ho-Tep/Jon Snow. I now care a bit about him, and see a possible noble path to a leader\\™s course for him. A path to redemption and greatness, lain amongst the rabble, that holds the Northlands against the unseen horrors beyond the Wall. More points scored and debts owed to Tyrion as well. Love that Imp.
The harsh contrast between the intimate and real love clearly felt by Ned and Catelyn Stark (who has reached her husband, by way of Lord Baelish, in safety and discovered that The Imp, of all people, is the likely owner of the offending dagger \\“ sweet!), and the ambitious, incestuous horror show that is Cersei and Jaime Lannister is enjoyable, as well. Hopefully this chiaroscuro will continue in future airings. It demands no eyeball turn away, especially mine.
Robert Baratheon is a really lousy king, in case no one has noticed, and I am now convinced that the wine-bearer he scorns today may well cause his downfall soon. The conversation about first kills presents some vital new information, as well. Baratheon was obviously a great warrior in his day, which will likely make his imminent downfall in combat that much more shocking\\¦I\\™m guessing. And what of the mad king\\™s parting words: \\Burn them all!\\ Curious. There\\™s some beautiful backstory hiding there, just beyond the empty wine jar.
Oh, finally! A scene involving sweet Dany that doesn\\™t involve either nudity or forceful entry. It appears she is becoming more confident in her queenly authority since the Cowgirl Incident. Good for her. Okay, momentary side note. Am I the only one who sees Viserys Targaryen in a field of Dothraki grass and immediately thinks of Men Without Hats? I hope not, for that means that all of you, Good People, are too young to get the joke. I know I\\™m not the only one immensely gratified by his slow strangulation and emasculation, forced to walk amongst a tribe of horsemen. Beautiful. More please!
BenJen Stark is one serious dude, People. Like, thousand-yard stare serious. As much as I love The Imp, seeing BenJen take him to task over disdain shown the Night\\™s Watch and his sheltered life warmed my innards a bit. Sometimes it\\™s gratifying to see a rake brought back in line by serious people, but the snarky comments upon the serious person\\™s exit offer double the pleasure.
Ooh\\¦ Dany\\™s got herself a bun in the oven. This changes things markedly, for all the Targaryens, for Drogo and Dany, and for the future course of this storyline. Plus, it appears that downward dog is actually effective for insemination. Who knew? I\\™m in for the ride on this plotline now, as well. Damn you, George R. R. Martin! You\\™ll make me a fantasy geek yet, you clever, ink-stained bastard.
Oh, jeebus! Another darkened room and another old man muttering about winter\\™s infernal approach. Just when I thought I was in, my annoyance pulls me back out. Enough with the grumbling over seasonal change already!
This episode leaves me with greater esteem held for The Imp, his fulfilled desire to piss off the edge of the world and his wise counsel regarding the best starting financial position for the crippled. As well, I am truly intrigued by the new swordswoman that Arya Stark is becoming. This development bodes well for both vengeance and death in the future. Thus… curse The Landlord\\¦I\\™m still in!
Cheers, Good People, and many thanks for both patience and forgiveness.