Game of Thrones is BACK, gang, and so am I. And I figured, since my American Horror Story recaps seemed to go over well with the approximately four people who read them (hey, Mom!), I’m gonna give the plus/minus format a shot for a totally different show – you know, a prestige drama rather than a free-for-all fuckfest of blood and weirdness. Well, actually… I guess it won’t be that different after all!
Anyway. I will say this now: I won’t be throwing around any totally enormous book spoilers, but since I am caught up on the books and am also totally fascinated by the concept of an adaptation completing itself before its source material, I will drop in bits about the books, but nothing that will ruin anybody’s enjoyment (for example, Tyrion’s storyline looks like it’ll be fast-forwarded a little bit this season, and I will elaborate on that more later – but it’s nothing you can’t infer for yourself). Plus, now that the series will forge ahead, I’m on the same fucking plane as everyone else, and I am PUMPED ABOUT THIS, YOU GUYS. This show has shocked me, disgusted me, and excited me, but after reading the books, it hasn’t totally surprised me, so I am definitely looking forward to that.
Onward to the recap!
Pluses, or, Cerseis Never Change Their Spots
-The opening to this episode was very cool and creepy (I may have referred to it, repeatedly, as “the creepiest Sleep No More one-on-one of all time”), and at first, my group and I were struggling to figure out if this little blonde girl was the recast Myrcella Lannister or a new character entirely, and then she was such a little bitch that we realized it couldn’t be anybody but Cersei. Plus 1,000 points for the dead-on casting, and an additional 500 points for the wig, which should have tipped us off right away. Also, that prophecy sucks, and I guess now we have to watch Tommen and Myrcella bite it. I’m not thrilled about that. Tommen is cute, like a helpless little hamster.
-Grown-up Cersei is also in Full Metal Bitch mode, and I am LOVING it. Plus 500 points each for: telling the crowd to fuck off at Tywin’s funeral; brushing Loras off so expertly; and the withering way she looks at Lancel.
-Speaking of Lancel, I haven’t made any point decisions yet, but I’m interested to see what happens when we throw him back into the mix, especially considering how chatty he is about King Robert’s not-so-accidental death by boar. Cersei is definitely going to Corleone him.
-When Jaime and Cersei were back in front of a dead relative, I’ll admit it- I was hoping for a reversal of last season’s misplaced rape. Maybe Jaime is into gold-hand pegging? (Too much?) Also a wash.
-Varys REALLY likes to shove people into crates, doesn’t he? Anyway, Tyrion exiting that box in all his poopy, vomity glory was, well, glorious. Plus 5,000 points and a bag of poo.
-I’m also really looking forward to Tyrion’s storyline being rushed along a bit – I think we’ve all figured out that Varys’ goal is to get him and Dany working together, and the fifth book belabors this whole process so much that it doesn’t even happen after a thousand pages (come on, Martin). There’s a whole lot of pig-riding and boat-dwelling on the way, and let me assure non-readers – that is mostly very uninteresting, and I hope we skip the bulk of it. Plus 500 points for what appear to be Good Choices. (We’ll see, though.)
-Jon Snow is clearly going to bang Melisandre. Plus 1,000 points for consistency. Dude really likes red.
-That scene with White Rat, our unfortunate Unsullied, was really lovely and sweet RIGHT UP UNTIL IT WASN’T and as a result it was one of the best sequences so far on the entire show. Plus 10,000 points.
-Dark Sansa. Plus 500 points. I’m really looking forward to when she strategically bangs Littlefinger, kills him, and takes over the fucking world. (That isn’t a spoiler. That’s just what I want to happen.) Oh, and plus 500 more points for how predictably bad Robyn Arryn is at fighting.
-If you read my American Horror Story recaps, you know how much I like butts. If you know me in real life, you know how much I like butts! So it should come as no surprise that Daario Naharis’ butt earns a healthy 50,000 points. Nice to really meet you, Michiel Huisman.
-So, reportedly, four book characters who are still around are going to kick the bucket this season, and we can cross one of our list – Mance Rayder, who met a mercifully quick end last night thanks to Jon Snow taking him out while he was strapped to the stake. Plus 3,000 points for that final sequence, which was, as a friend put it over text, “a total home-run,” and I’m really, really excited to see more crazy surprise deaths this season. Maybe Lancel Lannister will get torn apart by bugs or something!!
–No pointsfor this because it’s just me congratulating myself on a solid joke, but last night, I noted that Podrick is really only good at two things: banging whores and saving dwarves. Prepare yourselves: t-shirts are coming.
Minuses, or, No One Is Good At Their Jobs
-Dany. Dany, Dany, Dany. I still love you, but you need to get your SHIT together. You’ve been sitting in that pyramid waffling about how to deal with a post-slave Mereen for what feels like forever, and you have done literally nothing productive, aside from tapping that ass (good call on Daario, girl). Not only that, but now she can’t control her dragons?! You are the MOTHER OF GODDAMN DRAGONS. Figure your mess out. You’ve got conquering down – it’s time to rule. Or do anything. Please do something. Minus 5,000 points.
-Speaking of rulers who don’t do anything, I don’t know a WHOLE lot about war strategy, but I always feel like Stannis is doing it wrong. If you need to invade a country or whatever, I just feel like corraling a group of people who fucking hate you – specifically, a group of people whose whole ethos seems to be “not taking orders from Southerners” – is a stupid idea. Minus 1,000 points. That being said, I would love it if he tried to do this and all the Wildlings turned on him and punched his face until he died. Stannis is boring. Stop trying to make Stannis happen. It’s not going to happen.
-I love Podrick, but he is really a pretty bad squire unless he has to throw himself in front of a spear or whatever. Brienne needs to cool it, though. Minus 500 points for kicking a puppy.
-And SPEAKING of Brienne and Pod, I know that the Starks’ path-crossing thing is a motif at this point (Bran and Jon being a few feet away from each other without knowing it, Arya arriving at Walder Frey’s just before her family is slaughtered, etc.), but I am SO sick of the whole “the person they need is right over there!!!!” thing that Benioff and Weiss keep throwing at us. Minus 500 points for not only reusing something that feels lazy, but also toying with our goddamn emotions.
I will be back next week with more Game of Thrones snark and judgment, and roughly halfway through this season, I’ll be writing a piece about the adaptation history this series is making – but I’ll let it speak for itself before I get there. If you have thoughts, feel free to leave them in the comments, even if it’s just that my eyes are boring and my teeth aren’t that scary. Valar Morghulis, bitches!