This Week in the Mercury


Monday, April 16, 2012

Game of Thrones Recap: "Do you want my brother to come in and help?" Edition

Posted by Joe Streckert on Mon, Apr 16, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Well, how about that. You know? THAT. I was kind of surprised by that thing near the end of Game of Thrones last night. As much as I love the book (LOTS), I've so far approved of the additions and re-jiggers that HBO has made. Last night, a certain non-character from the dead-tree version got transformed into someone who actually knows how the game is played.

Beneath the jump lurk spoilers!

Nice hat, Renly!
  • Nice hat, Renly!

Daddy issues galore! HBO Theon seems to be more broken up about his betrayal of the Starks than Book Theon. This Theon seemed to want it all: he wanted to be back with his dad, keep working with Robb Stark, command a ship, and in general act like the lord he always supposedly was. He had to choose, though, and he chose his batshit daddy whose approval he's never experienced. I can't say I find him unsympathetic. He has, after all, spent most of his life as a hostage (albeit a well-treated one), and has never been in a situation where he had any kind of real responsibility. Now, he has the opportunity to actually do something and potentially be in a position of authority. He's still a dick, but I given his issues with his dad and his situation, I understand his dickishness. Wish we'd gotten more of the Damphair- hopefully he'll get some for real screen time soon.

Tyrion, you magnificent bastard! A Song of Ice and Fire (in both book and television form) is highly neato in a plethora of ways, but it is not often funny. Last night we got a rare moment of semi-humor from Game of Thrones. In a bit of editing that would be right at home in a sitcom, Tyrion explained three mutually exclusive schemes to Pycelle, Varys, and Littlefinger all with the caveat “don’t tell the queen.” The montage of deceit was spliced together to underscore Tyrion’s deviousness, and make the credulousness of his marks all the more buffoonish. I kind of wanted to slow-clap at Tyrion’s deceptions, and full-on applaud when he had Pycelle's beard chopped off, just because.

Brienne has arrived, for those of you who like her. If you’re one of those fans who likes Brienne, then I’m sorry. Your thought process is a cavalcade of wrong. Her character is wholly defined by her job (she’s a knight) and her gender (she’s a lady person). That's pretty much it. Hopefully this Brienne will actually have some kind of dimension to her.

“And then Renly and Loras had sex and it was totally hot!” Like the Stannis/Melisandre relationship, HBO had decided to take something that was only implied in the books and just make it explicit in the show. So, instead of just getting lots of hints about how Renly and Loras are a couple, we get to see them actually smooshing their anatomy together. I have no problem with this whatsoever. I also think that one thousand slash fiction writers went “squee” at that point during last night’s episode.

Hi Margaery! Hi Margaery’s Boobs! A close reading of the books (Sorry if I’m talking about the books too much for those of you who have only seen the show… Actually, no. I’m not sorry. Go read the damn books.) In the books Margaery is at best enigmatic and at worst something of a non-character. HBO has already shown us far more of her character than Martin has. This Margaery knows exactly what’s going on, and doesn’t have any illusions about Renly. She knows who he is, what he wants, and what their marriage actually means. She’s practical, and knows that to solidify his hold on the Southern lords, Renly needs to put king-babies all up in her queen-parts. Renly's queen is realistic to the point where she offered to have a threesome with His Grace and Ser Loras in order to get the fecundity going on. Sadly, this plan was not executed, but you can't have everything. But, thank you, HBO. Thank you for giving us another opportunity to imagine hot brother/sister action. Oh yeah.

Also: This happened on SNL.

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