Sunday, April 28, 2013

Game of Thrones 3.5: Kissed by Fire

Snow Becomes a Man

I cannot believe we are already halfway through the third season of Game of Thrones. Oh I wish this series had a 22 episode run like network television (then again if this was network television this series would not be nearly as good). Once again another event filled episode. Snow and Ygritte finally give into their inner temptations and get down and dirty. In order to make her believe that he has truly forsaken his Night’s Watch vows, she suggests a little afternoon delight. I guess there are worse ways to prove that you are not a spy. Though this in Jon’s first time, he seems pretty knowledgeable with how to please a woman. I thought Kit Harrington (Jon Snow) and Rose Leslie’s romantic chemistry was sizzling but then again the two actors are dating in reality so it must not be too hard transferring that sexual desire onscreen. I am intrigued by this story development because I think becoming romantically involved with a Wildling will make it more difficult for Jon to carry out his task as a spy.

Arya faced a setback this episode. The Hound fought Beric Dondarrion to decide his guilt or innocence. Much to my pleasure (but to Arya’s dismay) the Hound won the battle and was thus set free by the Men Without Banners. This scene gave the viewer more information about the power possessed by the Lord of Light. Though the Hound killed Dondarrion, Dondarrion came back from the dead. Apparently this is not Beric’s first time escaping death but his sixth. The Lord of Light wishes for him to stay alive. I am beginning to wonder about the role of the Lord of Light in this series. Is he supposed to be a mystical representation of the Christian God? Jesus always used the metaphor that he was the light. Also the followers of the Lord of Light in the series refer to him as the only god. They follow him and no one else unlike the old gods that the Starks pray to or the new gods of say the Lannisters. Finally, the Lord of Light works visible miracles such as bringing people back from the dead just like the miracles performed by Jesus in the New Testament. Of course there are many qualities about this god that do not reflect the Christian God such as burning people who do not believe (then again Mary I burned Protestants at the stake so the practice is not unheard of)  or using his powers to create a demon to murder Stannis’ brother, but the Lord of Light bears more resemblance to the Christianity God than the other deities mentioned in the series. 

In this episode, we finally get to meet Stannis’ wife and daughter. Though they both make appearances in the second novel, the series does not show their characters until now. Stannis’ wife is a very understanding woman and is happy that Stannis bed Melisandre and produced a “son.” Once again another biblical reference came to my mind as I watched this scene recalling the story of Abraham and how Sarah sent Abraham to her maid so that he might have a son. I will say that this episode shed some light onto Stannis’ character. In the second book, the reader learns how devoted of a husband Stannis is, never straying from his marriage bed. He holds those vows sacred. In the series, that point is never really addressed until now. In the second season, he takes Melisandre in the heat of passion without much hesitation. Even last episode, he was trying to get in her pants again. This is the first time we see the moral Stannis (at least moral when it comes to marriage vows) making an appearance and apologizing to his wife for his infidelity. We also get to meet Stannis’ daughter this episode. Once again there is a difference between the book and the series. In the book, the daughter is supposed to be severely disfigured and grotesque. I half expected to see Jessica Lange’s daughter from the first season of American Horror Story cast in the role. However, the daughter looked, sounded, and acted normal all except for having half her face scarred. Though she did have this one disfigurement, it was not nearly as horrific as described in the book.

Robb Stark followed in his father’s footsteps this episode and not for the better. Lord Karstark ventured out on his own and killed the two young Lannisters in custody. Robb seeing this as treason kills Lord Karstark causing him to lose the bannermen this lord brought with him. I fear Robb might not survive this series. Eddard lost his head because he was so honorable and just that he could not play the political game and could not let some insolences alone even though their persecution would mean more trouble for him. Robb is making the same mistakes. Both his wife and his mother warn him that by killing this lord he will lose the men the lord brought with him. They advise that he should just hold him as prisoner and use his safety as a wager to make the Karstark bannermen stay and fight. Robb, however, cannot let this treason go and kills Lord Karstark thus losing his men and depleting his army. Eddard was correct to teach his children honor and integrity but Robb also needs to learn political savvy. In order to survive this war he needs to take the lessons he learned from Eddard but learn from Eddard’s mistakes to become an even wiser ruler. 

This episode ended with an awesome twist. Cersei uses Littlefinger to try to figure out what the Tyrells are planning. She discovers that Margaery and the Tyrells are looking to wed Sansa to Ser Loras. Since of course Cersei is out to ruin Sansa’s life, she informs Lord Tywin. I was half expecting for Lord Tywin to marry Sansa to Lord Baelish which would be creepy, but Littlefinger comes off as creepy and semi pedophilic so it would seem to work. In an awesome twist, Lord Tywin decides to have Tyrion wed Sansa. I did not see this coming. Poor Tyrion, who also is appalled at how young she is,  is in love with Shae (which of course his father does not know). The only thing I can say for Sansa is that at least Tyrion has a good heart and will not harm her unlike Jofrrey and she might even have some protection. This scene got even better, however, when Lord Tywin ordered Cersei to marry Ser Loras. She was so happy that she was forcing Tyrion to marry someone he did not love but was completely blindsided by her father’s second request. It was brilliant. Not only does she have to marry someone else (at least he is much better looking that Robert) but it is going to be another loveless marriage because Ser Loras desires other men and no matter how hard Cersei might try she will never be able to please him. I actually love this arrangement not only because I like to see Cersei squirm but I think it might create an unusual alliance between Cersei and Tyrion. I think they might team up to go against their father, but then again he has such a strong psychological hold over all of his children, no matter how much they might dislike his orders, I do not see any of them rebelling. Though if two children were ever going to go against their father it would most definitely be Cersei and Tyrion. Well there are only five more episodes left in this season to find out so until next week….