Tag: Joffrey

Feature – The Eye of Newb – GoT: Season 2 Episode 6

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.

The Eye of Newb: Game of Thrones (HBO) Season 2 Episode 6: \\The Old Gods and The New\\
By: Matt Lynch

“I told you to never trust a Greyjoy!” – Catelyn Stark

Well, Good People, The Newb is hangin’ on by the thread of his Jaqen H’ghar on this one. I had to psyche myself up to watch the this episode. No lie. Mayhap I’ve spent too much time reading about actual cruelty in different times and places, aided only by the magic of antisocial mindsets and chemistry. Perchance my brain is dog-tired and I can’t invest the necessary cerebral space to track the twists and turns. Or it may just be that the introduction of actual magic has jaded me against a series that is predicated on a world of pure fantasy. Contrariwise, it might just have something to do with the fact that the writers, in their infinite duncery, insist on letting Joffrey breathe. In the end, I am forced to utter, with deep conviction, mind you, and swaddled in the dulcet tones of my best Karl Pilkington… “Dunno.” It is, as they say, what it is. So here your Faithful Newb sits, hoping the land of Westeros and its inhabitants will wow me tonight and return me to last season’s awe and wonder.

For the time being, however, settle in and off we go…

Part the first, wherein a crow flies south, and the Ego King sacks his old homestead.

  • When I think of Theon, I swear the first words that leap to mind are “preening” followed by “idiot”. I can’t help it. I’ve tried everything.
  • Threaten the poor crippled boy, Theon. Y’know, the one whom you used to treat like your very own brother.
  • Hey wait… “steaming sack of sh*t” has a ring to it. I think that might be more apt than “preening idiot.”
  • Good Lord, no one will do what Theon commands the first time he commands it. Even the Maester. Can’t SSoS Greyjoy take a hint.
  • Nice try, Osha. Even if Nymphadora Tonks makes for a strange kitchen wench-turned killer.
  • Oh, no. The SSoS is now going to kill Rodrick, but not before he gets a good gobber in.
  • What’s with Johnny Scarface the Henchman here, ensuring the Ser Rodrick will part with his dome? That’s the worst form of enabling. Encourage an incompetent bag of excrement to rash acts against brave and noble men.
  • The enduring lesson of this season is that despite honor, glory in battle and the respect of your bannermen, it will always suck to be a Stark.
  • Oof. That decapitation was gruesomely satisfying on multiple levels. First, there’s the perfect sound effects. Second, blood spatter is nearly always inherently good. Third, and best of all, Good ‘Ole Iron Island SSoS can’t even cut a man’s head off without at least two practice hacks. Wuss.

Part the second, wherein we venture into the Great White North (eh?) and Snow-Tep once again shows his lack of mental agility and killer instinct.

  • Half Hand lets loose his inner cynic for a bit. This old dude is seriously jaded, and he wants Jon to join him in the abyss. Snow-Tep could use a tad more hard-heartedness.

Part the third, wherein Tywin reveals one reason for Rob Starks” battlefield success, and Arya (methinks) gets ‘fingered’.

  • Damn. Surrounded and confounded by dolts is our poor Tywin. Sending the battle plans to the enemy ain’t exactly a winning recipe. No wonder he’s so pissy all the time.
  • Oh, crap. Littlefinger’s here, and he knows what Arya looks like. The tension-o-meter ramps up a bit.
  • Arya is doing her best to both listen and hide, and the game of cat and mouse is riveting.
  • Baelish is once again his very best slippery bastard. He’d play all ends of a circle against the middle if it turned him a profit or secured him more power.
  • Uh-oh. Arya’s made. This little visit will come back to haunt her.

Part the fourth, wherein yet another make character meets a confounding redhead, and I begin to grudgingly like Snow-Tep, despite his squeamish and fundamental stupidity.

  • The MIB are sneaking up on some Inuits, and then all Hell breaks loose for five minutes. Yes! Battle!
  • Well, that was short-lived. This season is so heavy on the jaw-jaw. Couldn’t we, pray, have one good slobberknocker? Sigh.
  • Oh for the love of all that’s holy… ANOTHER redhead?! Does George R. R. Martin have a thing for the ginger temptresses or what? (Editor’s Note: You must remember that Ros is a creation of the show… maybe Benioff and Weiss have it for redheads too.)
  • Poor Jon is so befuddled by this turn of events, you can practically see the twin brain cells behind that caveman crown gasping for oxygen as they struggle to form the word “girl.”
  • Half-Hand doesn’t seem to care much about gender distinctions.
  • Egrid? Mysterious and dangerous that name, like a Norwegian stewardess. (Editor’s Note: Ygritte… but still a good stewardess, um… flight attendant name.)
  • Hundreds and thousands of Free Folk lie beyond the pass? Hmmm… and the Black has roughly four. I don’t think that math works in the favor of the MIB. The upside? Snow could be dead soon. The downside? Fewer eye-popping glacial expanses. (Editor’s Note: You must remember the GoT numerology system, Matt. 40,000 Dothraki = 30 on horseback. Four MIB might be able to turn back hundreds of thousands, right?)
  • Jon can’t bring himself to kill a woman. I’ll give him that. What is this strange sentiment creeping up my spine? I’m starting to actually admire this dimwit? This feels all wierd and wrong somehow. I know that Patman will take delight in it, and yet the glee of my nemesis can’t stop the sensation of growing respect for one Bubba Snow-Tep.
  • Yep, and the confounding redhead is off like a rabbit. Saw that coming.
  • And now you’re lost, Snow. Dumbass.

Part the fifth, wherein a princess sets sail, and the Hound saves a poor lost waif.

  • Does the chanting priest in the segue remind anyone else of Otho from Beetlejuice?
  • Jeebus Christmas, Cersei. No wonder your son is obsessed with dealing in pain. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
  • Valiant effort, my sweet, sad Sansa, but trying to convince a sociopath like Joffrey that emotions are a normal part of life is akin to preaching truth to a flying buttress.
  • T’would appear that Joffrey is unpopular in regions apart from my couch. Like his whole city.
  • Kill them all? Really, Joff? At least the Hound shows a lick of sense.
  • Bye, Otho.
  • I’ve got a better idea, o random guardsman… don’t protect the king. Think of all the suffering you’ll prevent.
  • Oh, crap, again. Sansa’s been herded away from the main group down a dark alley by what to my eyes appear to be peasant rapists. Not Sansa. I may just give up if greater indignity and pain is heaped on that poor girl.
  • Joffrey, don’t tell the Imp what he can and can’t do. He’ll bitch-slap you either way.
  • Oh, no… I literally can’t watch Sansa get hurt any more… thank you, Sandor.

Part the sixth, wherein Dany gets impatient and Baron Harkonnen goes all ‘never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.’

  • I tire of this whole story arc. I mean it. It takes willpower to watch the happenings in Q’arth. The only thing it has going for it is the dragons. Dragons = fire and death. Fire and death = a lot less jaw-jaw. A lot less jaw-jaw = just what this season needs. Well, that and more Tyrion, Brienne and Jaqen.
  • Yes, yes, Daenerys, you’re being put upon again. Do what you do. Get pouty. Blech.
  • Get that man an antigravity suit. Stat.
  • Blah, blah, blah… Something happen soon. Please? Anything? Anything at all?
  • Gawd Ahmighty, if I wanted this much pointed banter I’d watch Masterpiece Theater’s production of Wuthering Heights. The Newb is getting all twitchy and is fighting the urge to break things. Things of value. Gaaaahhhh… make it stop.

Part the seventh, wherein, mercifully, there’s no more Q’arth, and Arya pulls her second marker.

  • Arya, Tywin’s so onto your little peasant act.
  • I do like the “loyalty killed my father” line. Nicely played.
  • This truly is an interesting and redeeming story arc for the night and the series. Tywin’s children (well, grandchild, really) kills Ned Stark and then Tywin unwittingly turns to Ned’s daughter as a sort of private consul. Beautiful twist. Plus, there’s Jaqen here.
  • Whoops. Arya stole herself a message, and it’s about what the Lannisters plan to do to her brother.
  • Oh, crap the third. The wide-eyed waif is caught red-handed. I know what that means… a second name is about to be given to a certain man.
  • Yes! The old fall through the door with a poison dart in the neck routine. Sweet.

Part the eighth, wherein Robb falls further in love, and the realities of arranged marriages rear their ugly heads.

  • Oh, Rob’s feeling all courtship-y, and just then Mom shows up. Dangit.
  • Oh, goody. SSoS’s dirty deeds have come to light. This will seriously piss Rob off, and hopefully end with Theon’s overlarge head screwed securely to a spike. A Newb can dream, right?

Part the ninth, wherein Bubba Snow-Tep spoons with a devious ginger cave girl, and is sorely tempted for his choice.

  • Oh, this Egrid is dangerous and strangely arousing in a noble savage sort of way.

Part the tenth, wherein Rob Stark gets mightily peeved, and promises death for the SSoS.

  • Oh, thank god. SSoS’s days are officially numbered.

Part the eleventh, wherein it feels as if the scenes are getting extremely choppy and quick, and Oshadora Tonks goes half-frontal.

  • Oh, SSoS, your other brain will be your undoing. Somehow fitting, that.

Part the twelfth, wherein Sansa comes to terms with her status courtesy of Shae, and the scenes get even choppier and shorter.

Part the thirteenth, wherein womanly wiles and a quarter-wit “hard man” save two small boys and a giant.

  • Aha! Oshadora’s plan has come to fruition, as she slips naked from the horror that must be SSoS’s bedchamber.
  • Snore on, Theon. Snore on.
  • Oh, you silly Iron Islander. When a wilding girl offers herself to you as a gift, just know that it will end with your throat slit. You’re an idiot, just like your leader. But at least you won’t pollute the gene pool anymore.

Part the ultimate, wherein we venture back to the doldrums of Q’arth and some lizards get lifted.

  • Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….snrk.! Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. So painfully tired of Dany in Exile.
  • What ho? That’s a lot of dead guys. I’m up. I’m up!
  • Dead Dothraki? Now that’s an accomplishment.
  • The dragons are gone, apparently in the wicker backpack of a strange hooded figure. Finally, some drama in Q’arth.

Okay, The Newb ends tonight’s fare extremely conflicted. I’m beginning to like the zombified troglodyte of the North, one Mr. Jon Snow. And sweet Dany is beginning to utterly bore me. Her dragons, on the other hand, show promise. Joffrey’s still breathing, shows no sign of stopping any time soon, and this angers me. There wasn’t nearly enough Imp or Jaqen, but what there was of them was priceless, as always. My viewership hangs in the balance, HBO, if you’re listening (as if). I expect more Imply mischief, less Q’arth, and much more war-war than jaw-jaw before this season comes to a close, dammit!

Until next week, Friends, I remain your Faithful Newb.

Feature – The Eye of Newb – GoT: Season 2 Episode 4

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.
Over the next three days we’ll be releasing episode recaps for episodes 3, 4, and 5. Enjoy!

The Eye of Newb: Game of Thrones (HBO) Season 2 Episode 4: \\Garden of Bones\\
By: Matt Lynch

“Careful now. We don’t want to get blood all over your pretty white cloak” – Bronn

 

Part the First, wherein farts (as always) are still funny, and a wolf swings by the stable for a nibble.

  • These fellas aren’t exactly the sharpest forks in the drawer, are they?
  • A direwolf in your siege line certainly helps your cause.
  • So Rob is opposed to torture. Good for him. He’s definitely ahed of his time.
  • Aagh, The Newb is suddenly glad to have both legs intact.
  • And poof, like that, our man Stark is in love. That’s a bad sign for the Frey wedding that got him this far south. Then again, if brothers and sisters and brothers and sisters and husbands are a-okay, who knows? It could work.
  • Plan, schman. Just kill Joffrey and all will be well.

Speaking of the little sadist, Part the Second, wherein Joffrey is, well, Joffrey, and Tyrion  saves a damsel in distress.

  • Joffrey must die.
  • Fortunately, the Imp makes a perfectly timed entrance, and does not shy away from a toe-to-toe with either Joffrey or his Guard.
  • And the line of the night goes to Bronn.
  • Honor? Joffrey? Are you serious, Tyrion?
  • The Imp defies the king, and the king stews. As satisfying as this is in the moment, I think it presages bad things.
  • The exchange between Sansa and Tyrion is a thing of beauty, as you can literally see Tyrion’s esteem for her courage grow.No words are necessary.
  • Bronn has what seems to be a solid theory, but I don’t think sex will cure a sadist, my good sell-sword.

Part the Third, wherein Joffrey proves me right, and Ros is forced into bad craziness, yet again, thanks to the Boy King. It’s turning into a bad season to be Ros.

  • Hee, hee…Joffrey is actually scared of the prospect presented by a name-day gift from his uncle Tyrion.
  • So Joffrey’s got a thing for lesbians, does he?
  • Hit her? Oh, this is about to go bad wrong. And it’s about to go worse wrong for Miss Haystack Hall.
  • Having trouble watching this, in all honesty, Good People.
  • Oh, Jeebus Christmas, Joffrey found his favorite crossbow, and he’s threatening Ros. Bronn was right. There really is no cure for being a c–t.

Part the Fourth, wherein a whoremonger venture northeast, and Littlefinger gets verbally bitch-slapped by the royal incubatrix.

  • It’s clear that Renly doesn’t think much of Baelish, and that’s probably deserved.
  • “I give priority to my head.” Ha! Finally Littlefinger gets a quality one-liner. By my count , that’s two this season.
  • We cut to Renly’s “queen” and Baelish in the camp.
  • Not ‘our’ tent? After the joking of the guards at the Lannister camp and Littlefinger’s jibes, I’m beginning to think that the only person in Westeros who doesn’t clearly believe that Renly is gay is… well, no one, really. And yet they flock to him. So, why the pretense? Why all the “queen” business? No pun intended. Well, maybe a little. Sue me.
  • Not often we get to see Baelish put in his place, but the little speech on not knowing how marriages worked was exactly that, and a beauty.

Part the Fifth, wherein we’re on Saturn and a new name gets thrown about.

  • Well at least this blood rider came back with his head.
  • Yeah. Klingon again. Blech.
  • Qarth? Okay, that’ll be in the opening credits next week. And it sounds as if they have a lovely garden

Part the Sixth, wherein we see the wretched wonder that is Harrenhal, and meet and get an up-close glimpse of medieval shell-shock.

  • Gendry, my man, the dragons aren’t all dead. Take my word for it.
  • Not only is Harrenhal hideous, but it has the bouquet of dead people, and enough war-torn crazies to stock a whole Mad Max film.
  • That woman is gone. Just gone. I’ve got a bad feeling about this.
  • Okay, am I the only one who wondered aloud watching Arya follow Yoren’s last advice in a barren cell with a skylight: how is she going to conceal her need to pee sitting down in these quarters? Can’t be.
  • That recitation of names is flat-out creepy. Like, she’s going to kill them all level creepy. Arya: portrait of young vengeful psycho. That has a certain ring to it.

Part the Seventh, wherein Baelish steps over the line, and Ned Stark takes a little trip.

  • ‘False reports’? Petyr, Petyr, Petyr… that’s the line you’re going with?
  • Really?! Dude, don’t try to rekindle love after you’ve effectively killed the last man.
  • Aha, THAT’s the Littlefinger I know. Using threats against family and treachery to win advantage, even over those he deeply, desperately desires.
  • At least he had the decency, or perhaps Tyrion had the decency, to bring Ned back to his own people. That’s classy.
  • Petyr. Leave. Now. You lost your chance.

Part the Eighth, wherein we meet a couple of sick bastards who torture folks with rats, and Arya runs through her ‘death list’ again.

  • That whole rat in a bucket technique makes my innards crawl.
  • Arya has seen more horror in her twelve or so years than any child should have to. Again, this is a world that should compel me?

Part the Ninth, wherein two brothers disagree, and a sinister redhead makes another veiled threat.

  • Stannis has his own banner. Huh!
  • Again with the Lord of Light? Could someone please explain this whole religion thing to me, in words of one syllable?
  • ‘Now I see why you’ve found religion in your old age.’ Heh.
  • Cat does try to play the wise mother figure, to no avail.
  • Renly states the obvious. No one likes Stannis, despite his sultry redhead fire goddess.
  • The night is dark and full of terrors. This woman in deliciously eeeevil. And at least she’s only obsessed with a single nocturn, not with any season that might follow autumn. I’ll give her that.

Part the Tenth, wherein we return to the Red Wastes and some sort of Harkonnen family reunion outside the gates of Qarth. Ooo… too much sci-fi? Deal with it, suckas.

  • Odd sort of welcome. Soldiers behind shields very rarely mean ‘come on in and make yourself at home.’
  • Who is this freak with the long and difficult to pronounce name? He sure does want to see him some dragons.
  • Apparently no one told the Q’arthans that 13 is a decidedly unlucky number. I don’t see this city being around very long, but maybe I’ll lose another bet on that one, as well.
  • Uh-oh. Dany’s getting turned out to the garden district.
  • Whoa…. good battle speech, Dany. Good enough for Isaac Hayes to save you by slicing up his hand. Awesome, and a slightly hokey twist.

Part the Eleventh, wherein hope is restored by a Lannister saving a Baratheon?!

  • Nothin’ says lovin’ like a head on a spike. Outstanding opening.
  • Oh, crap. Gendry’s up for Rat Patrol.
  • We’ve seen how this bit plays out. It puts the rat in the bucket or it gets the hose again…. but wait…
  • It’s Tywin. Unannounced and early. This won’t end well for the guards.
  • Yep. He goes all ‘where my slaves at?’ on ’em.
  • Tywin also is quick to realize the obvious, that there’s no way that wide-eyed waif can be a boy. Wait, somebody said that once. Oh, who was it… yeah, that’s right… the Newb.
  • Whoa. Arya is to be the cup-bearer for the head of the Lannister clan? Shame he’s not on her list.

Part the Twelfth, wherein there is much Impness, and not-so-veiled threats beget a Lannister spy.

  • When the Imp invites you in for mulled wine, run, Lancel. It will not end well for you.
  • Lancel is an impudent boy. And he’s about to be cut down to size.
  • Ahhh… that Impen grin. Nice!
  • There it is. Tyrion knows that Lancel and Cersei are bumping uglies, and now he’s using it to make the impudent boy grovel. This scene is delicious. Simply delicious.
  • ‘Save it for Joffrey! He loves a good grovel!’ Ha!
  • And there’s the hook hidden in the bait. Now Tyrion has a spy who sleeps with his sister. Well-played, Imp, well-played.
  • Looks like Pycelle is off the council, and apparently has a few harmed hairs.

Part the Ultimate, wherein a smuggler is gob-smacked, and a whole lot of what the f— is unleashed on this poor viewer.

  • Freaky deer heads do not set a nice nautical theme, Stannis. Can’t you even get your symbolism right? No wonder nobody likes you.
  • The good act does not wash out the bad. Stannis truly is a self-righteous tool.
  • Any shore, any night. I love this guy and all his missing fingers. It’s a shame that I’m pretty sure he’s a red-shirt in this season.
  • Umm… why is a red-headed witch being smuggled ashore?
  • Okay, so I begin to see where the attraction is between Stannis and Melisandre (for apparently, that is her name. Thank you, Anonymous Reader for the tip). Her concept of black and white goodness must appeal to him.
  • Melisandre has a pretty high opinion of herself and a fairly low opinion of what our good smuggler wants.
  • Oops, they barred the tunnel. So much for smuggling.
  • WTF? Pregnant in two days time?! Bad weirdness is about to ensue…
  • Seriously, I’m now officially lost and confused. The woman is belching forth a demonic smog monster from her pink parts. That right there is completely f’ed up. Period. Amen.

So, uh, yeah… what to say? I’m in for next week just to see what insane freakishness Melisandre and her belly are capable of.

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.

 

Feature – The Eye of Newb – HBO’s GoT Ep. 7

Editor’s Note: The Newb “episode report” for the Game of Thrones was late this time because of me, not because of my “tenant.”
“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 7:
\\You Win or You Die\\

By: Matt Lynch

\\What we don\\™t know is usually what gets us killed.” \\“ Petyr Baelish

Aloha, Friends! Whew\\¦ what an episode. Glad I\\™m converted now, or I would have kicked myself for not wasting an hour so productively. Enough blather, there\\™s a lot of meat in this one, so let\\™s get to it.

Alas, poor Ned. We hardly knew ye. I somehow knew it would come to this. He was just too good, too just and honorable, for life in the big city, much less life among such courtesan piranha as these. Admittedly, I knew the what, but did not see the how coming. And it came exquisitely and whisper-like, as a stiletto might cross one\\™s nape. How fitting it was that at the other end of that stiletto we\\˜d find Lord Baelish, in all his primal, vengeful glee.

It pained me nonetheless, given the wonderful execution of the betrayal, to watch Cersei and that effete waste of life, Joffrey, seemingly win. I can only hold out hope that Littlefinger will play them as he did Eddard Stark, and leave them at the wrong end of a blade someday soon.

Speaking of the wrong end of a blade, er, tusk\\¦ Robert. Again, I assumed that his lovable, porcine Mark Addy-ness was going to meet a fatal accident, and I guessed right about the wine-slinging page boy, but did not see him falling to another pig. The hunt was a wonderful swerve in the story. Leaves me a with a little more investment in Barristan, as well, especially given the blanch at the end, when Cersei so cavalierly shreds the words of the King passed in favor of her own law and her own \\king\\.

So that\\™s two nice twists Mr. Martin has treated the Newb to this week, and kudos to him. The third was head-smackingly obvious once it played out last week and was affirmed by Queen Cersei in this episode. All the little blonde-headed Baratheons scampering about were sired by their UnclePapa Jaime and thus had no clear claim to the throne! The Landlord (post-reveal, natch) shared that many avid readers of the books thought HBO was just hammering this plot point into blinding obviousness, but I missed it until they intended it to become plain as day. In order to understand this miss, literati, you must first be aware of some salient points about the Newb:

  1. I am pale-skinned, tall and blonde. I\\™d blend in well in, say, Dusseldorf or Oslo. Rome or Istanbul, not so much.
  2. My Lovely Missus is olive-skinned, dark brunette, lithe and wondrous to behold. (I may be biased, but I swear this is all true and may get me some tonight.)
  3. Our amazing little offspring (hereinafter referred to as The Newblings) are pale-skinned, tall and blonde.

Thus, while I can\\™t explain it beyond obtuse theories involving Viking and Celtic bloodlines, you can see how Genetics 101 \\“ a la Lannister and Baratheon \\“ as a basis for an obvious plot point really wouldn\\™t connect deep within the reaches of my cerebral mass. So, where does that leave us, Friends?

I find myself surprised and delighted by the deceit of Littlefinger, morose at the known fact that Ned Stark is a dead man, pleasantly shocked that wild fauna brought down one of their own in King Robert, and now thoroughly up-to-speed on the illegitimate claimant to the Iron Throne that is Joffrey Lannister\\¦ oh, and his sneering Mommy Dearest. In short, this is gettin\\™ good!

The best interlude, by far, however, in this week\\™s offering was the soul-baring monologue from Littlefinger himself, and not just because of the lovely couch-dressing behind him, although Ros is still a wonder to behold and my heart leapt at the thought of her continued presence. I now, as they say, get it. His motivation is simple, lethal and elegant, much like his dagger. He plans to screw over everyone who has power in order to claim true power for himself. He has no need for crowns or thrones. He craves only control of everything within and without the Seven Kingdoms, and will deploy every faculty of duplicity and underhanded scheming he has to secure it. That doesn\\™t just appear to be a deep, dark chasm of greedy desire in the place where his soul should reside \\“ it is one! And all because he was too weak and small to get the girl in the \\honorable\\ way. What a character. What a perfect antagonist. I think I love him.

But no, not really. In fact, the only real downside to this episode is that even this newfound connection with Baelish cannot make up for what was so sorely lacking. Where\\™s my Imp?! I\\™m not sure I can go as long as a whole broadcast \\“ even one packed with as much wonder and delight as this was \\“ without Tyrion\\™s whimsical badassery. Please, HBO, don\\™t let that happen again.

On to other thoughts\\¦

  • It\\™s nice to finally meet Tywin Lannister (correction by editor, 😉 ), financier of the House Baratheon and arguably the most powerful man in the Seven Kingdoms. Yep, he\\™s an arrogant bit of excrement, although apparently a skilled cleaner and dresser of meat. Gutting and skinning a stag while on the topic of unseating and replacing the Baratheons with a thousand-year dynasty was a beautiful, sarcastic touch.
  • Is it me, or did Jaime seem oddly cowed in the presence of his father. Clearly some \\˜daddy issues\\™ there, but it\\™s hard for me to extend any sympathy. Sympathy is not congruous with wanting his head on a spike. All this despite his defense of not killing Ned after the poor man was speared through the leg by a Lannister guard. Head on a spike, baby. Not changing my mind on that one any time soon.
  • Lastly, 30,000 troops to get the Imp? The Imp\\™s just fine, and freed himself without your lousy 30,000 troops. Don\\™t patronize or underestimate the little man, Tywin. Think him the \\lowest\\ of the Lannisters at your own peril, old man. Still, it\\™s nice to know you care.
  • Ned, Ned, Ned\\¦ Quit being so forthright and earnest. Cersei doesn\\™t care about doing the right thing or following appropriate rules of succession. Cersei only cares about Cersei and maybe her little pile of puke son.
  • Interesting side note about Ned Stark not claiming the Iron Throne when he had the chance.
  • The aforementioned Baelish monologue of greatness. And for double plus awesomeness, he tells Ros: \\Go ahead\\¦ ease into it.\\ Yummy.
  • What is it with Theon and this obsession with status and title? It\\™s getting annoying whatever it is.
  • And Nymphadora Tonks just had to bring up the long night coming, didn\\™t she? Blech.  At least it wasn\\™t winter this time.
  • BenJen\\™s dead? Wow. If whatever resides north of the Wall can whack a Very Serious Dude like that, what will they do to old Tub o\\™ Goo Tarley? Then again, if the horse is still alive, they didn\\™t kill for food, and there\\™s no body. Maybe BenJen\\™s just missing. Watch me now\\¦ after all the head-spinners in this episode, I\\™m adopting a wait and see posture.
  • Well, Robert Baratheon occasionally calls one right \\“ he was never meant to be a father, or a king, really, for that matter.
  • LOVE how Ned pauses and writes \\heir\\ instead of \\son\\ during the King\\™s dictation of succession. It says everything about Lord Eddard Stark. He can\\™t even bring himself to lie in a document that will only ever be read by a handful of people.
  • Leave it to Varys to be the one to point out the obvious \\“ that the much-abused Lannister page boy might just have something to do with the King\\™s little tusking accident.
  • And hang on a minute, I thought Varys showed himself to be a Targaryen loyalist after last week in the dungeons, but it appears he\\™s already arranged for Sweet Dany and her unborn Dothraki horde-leader to be capped. What gives?
  • It appears that Khal Drogo don\\™t need no stinkin\\™ thrones, whatever \\˜dirts\\™ they might be in. Just a man and his horse\\¦
  • Did anyone else see Jorah the Andal make an anguished choice when his royal pardon showed up? That was pretty cool, and tingly with foreboding.
  • So, rather than a pardon, a poisoning and a trip home to possible glory, Jorah chooses a rescue and a furtherance of the quest to reinstall a Targaryen to the rule of Westeros. Interesting. Very interesting. Dany, herself appears to learn yet another valuable lesson in human duplicity and her own status as a permanent target.
  • Okay, even I, of the continuous and contemptuous Bubba Ho-Tep references, must admit that I\\™m intrigued by the idea of Jon Snow as a steward instead of a ranger. Especially the steward of Mr. Renton\\¦ er, Mormont. (Sorry, I can\\™t quite fit my head around James Cosmo in this role \\“ he\\™s Mr. Renton from Trainspotting, fergawdssakes.)
  • Oh, and for the record, Samwell didn\\™t entirely piss me off this week. Just mostly. Again, his character better be going somewhere. At least he\\™s clean and well-spoken.
  • And Renly makes his move. It\\™s not a bad move, actually. But Ned won\\™t make it, because he\\™s just too Ned-ly. Wonder what happens when Stannis gets that letter?
  • Wow, Baelish is a fantastic operator. And Ned is in a sorry position when he must trust Littlefinger to deliver a surreptitious and necessary requirement. Mo surprise now, given the intro to this screed, but Ned\\™s just planted the petard that on which he will be hoisted.
  • Eesh. That crying tree was creepy. Less of that going forward, please. Or stronger drinks. Whichever.
  • Now whose hand could that be? Does it even matter? One thing too many this week.
  • Whoa\\¦ I bet Robert would be glad he\\™s dying now that his attempt on Danaerys has failed and a very impressive Khal Drogo is all bloodlusty and such. And for the record, you couldn\\™t pay me enough gold dragons to switch places with that wine merchant.
  • The Landlord\\™s going to be upset about how they treated Renly again this week. What a weak-kneed chump. Propose a plot and then run off with your tail between your legs. To steal Robert Baratheon\\™s turn of phrase: That was not kingly.
  • Oh, crap. Drogo was serious about that? He appears to be riding to the sea with a naked wine merchant jogging glumly behind his wife\\™s horse. Sweet! Not about the naked, glum wine merchant. About the possibility of large-scale cavalry warfare in the near future.
  • Oh, poor honorable Ned. You were never a match for Littlefinger. The Newb is only sad to see Cersei benefit by it.

Ah, Friends. I\\™m all twisted out for one week, and lonesome for my beloved Imp. Til next time, I remain your faithful Newb…

 

Beyond The Wall – Episode 2

Here is “Episode 2” of SpecFicMedia’s launch show, Beyond The Wall – A Game of Thrones Podcast. This podcast will focus on a weekly discussion of the HBO series “Game of Thrones,” with additional discussions of the various media tied to George R.R. Martin’s fantasy series “A Song of Ice and Fire.”

In today’s episode we discuss the second episode (April 24th) of “Game of Thrones.”

Episode 2 – He ran… Not very Fast.

00:00 – Intro

00:30 – Hosts Say Hi – P.G. Holyfield, Chooch, Viv, and Nuchtchas say hi and we introduce our guest panelist (and future permanent co-host), Christiana Ellis. We then go into general impressions of Episode 2.

8:50 – “Nymeria, gloves.” – Relationships, and animals (not with animals). We’ll save that for next season.

13:05 – Slap Joffrey – How are they going to keep Peter Dinklage from stealing the show?

14:35 – Slap Joffrey again. – Just because.

17:20 – “I Lost my first boy.” – These are multi-layered characters. How do they convey this on the show?

20:30 – “All the best swords have names.” – Wow, a non-incestuous familial relationship. Who knew?

21:10 – “First Lesson: Stick them with the pointy end.” – Farewells

24:20 – “Where’s your sense of wonder?” – The Lannisters

30:20  – “Seven Hells!” – The King’s Road

33:15 – “We’ll talk about your mother.” – Starks and Snows

44:50 – “I was 9 when my mother sold me to the pleasure house.” I guess we should talk some about Daenarys.

56:45 – Outro

57:35 – Outtakes

Hosts: P.G. Holyfield (author of Murder at Avedon Hill and SFM Founder)
Nuchtchas (Host of Nutty Bites Podcast)
Chooch (Into the Blender Podcast Co-Host, and bassist of Ditched By Kate)
Vivid Muse (Into the Blender Podcast Co-Host), Girls’ Rules Podcast Host)
Christiana Ellis (too many podcasts to list here 😉 but you can check out all things Christiana at her site.

Contact Us:

Email: btw at specficmedia.com
Phone: 6199-BTW-GoT (619-928-9468)
Comments: On the site