This Week in the Mercury

Art Invasion

Feature

Art Invasion

The Time-Based Art Festival Achieves Liftoff


Pie Chart

Food and Drink

Pie Chart

Pizza Maria or Atlas Pizza: Which Should You Put in Your Mouth?



Monday, April 23, 2012

Game of Thrones Recap: Joffrey's Presidential Dildo Edition

Posted by Joe Streckert on Mon, Apr 23, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Monarchies are stupid. Say what you will about democracies, at least they never invest power with juvenile little micro-sadists who command people to torture each other. Joffrey's monstrosity was on full display in last night's Game of Thrones episode, and it was kind of awkward to watch, to say the least.

Spoilers upon spoilers, after the jump.

If Eli Roth movies existed in Westeros, Joffrey would probably jerk off to them.
  • If Eli Roth movies existed in Westeros, Joffrey would probably jerk off to them.

Like father, like son. In the series it’s implied that Ned Stark was a great military commander- he successfully led men against both the Mad King and Balon Greyjoy. Robb is tearing it up on the battlefield and killing dudes with direwolf sneak attacks, but it’s apparent that he doesn’t really know the finer points of statecraft. He totally failed at being at all diplomatic when he got in spat with a field medic, and it’s clear that he does not have an exit strategy for the war. He’s a good leader, but would probably be a terrible ruler.

Shut up, Stannis. Stannis and Melisandre are both aggravating in that they’re absolutists. Stannis thinks that kings rule because of right. Renly, however, knows that his brother Robert had no right to the throne at all, and simply took it because he had lots of swords and dudes and intends to take the crown the same way. Melisandre, meanwhile, claimed to Davos that people are either good or evil, never both. Lots of other fantasy worlds (Tolkien, Harry Potter, everything else) do indeed cleave to the Manichean world view that Melisandre describes, and in lots of other genre fiction the moral certitude of a character like Stannis would be rewarded. Martin and HBO have thrown that out the window. In Game of Thrones, sticking to your guns either means you're a lovable fool (like Ned Stark) or a dangerous fanatic like Stannis.

Shadow baby! Last night's episode saw the third use of magic in the show, after Khal Drogo's resurrection and the birth of Daenerys' dragons. In what looked like the quickest labor ever, Melisandre birthed a shadow-thing (presumably the product of her and Stannis doing the mommy-daddy dance) out of her anatomy. So far, two out of three magical happenings in Game of Thrones have involved naked ladies and fire.

Welcome to Qarth. It's pronounced "Qarth." Daenerys has actually gotten through a blasted hellscape and made her way to the desert city of Qarth. At the gate, one of the city leaders insisted that Daenerys show off her dragons before being let in. The mother of Dragons pretty much said “screw you” to the only bit of civilization in the inhospitable wasteland, and insisted that she’d much rather keep her dragons pridefully locked up, rather than show off her shiny pets. For someone who’s been dying of thirst in the desert, Daenerys struck me as a bit too petulant. The standoff was broken when Xaro Xhoan Daxos, one of the city rulers, vouched for her. I’ll be interested to see how HBO spins the interplay between him and Daenerys.

But let’s talk about what’s really important. By far the most notable scene was when Joffrey took out his cruelty on a pair of nice naked ladies. Tyrion, thinking that his tightly-wound nephew just needed a good tumble in the hay, sent a pair of enthusiastically unclad lady-people to His Grace’s chambers (Tyrion is the best uncle EVER). Instead of sexing up the lasses, Joffrey commanded one to beat the other, first with a belt and then with a large spiky scepter-like object that one of my viewing companions termed “Joffrey’s presidential dildo.”

The whole setup was ludicrous. Joffrey is monstrous, but most of his loathsomeness comes from his nature as an adolescent. Joffrey is the school bully, the entitled rich kid, the spoiled brat. He’s every nasty archetype from childhood whose vileness is magnified by the crown on his head. His cruelty is unsettling because it’s a child’s cruelty- he enjoys displays violence and blood just like most other teenage boys, but unlike school bullies or most spoiled brats he is in a position of power. Joffrey is monstrous because he’s a child- he’s cruel and thoughtless in a way only a child can really be.

His behavior in that scene was not convincingly adolescent. He was far too composed for a (presumably) virginal teenage boy in a sexualized situation. I dimly remember being a teenage boy, and I think that had I been in a scenario like that I would have either come instantly or began weeping inconsolably. Or both. Teenagers are dumb, confused, messy things. A character defined by his adolescence acted in a highly non-adolescent way, and last night’s bout of torture-spanks was the series’ first big misfire. Last night Joffrey seemed cartoonishly evil, rather than a genuinely horrible child.

Also: What did you guys think of the Roose Bolton casting? It looks like they nailed that one.

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Comments are closed.

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC

115 SW Ash St. Suite 600
Portland, OR 97204

Contact Info | Privacy Policy | Production Guidelines | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy