Created by: David Benioff, D.B. Weiss
Cast: Sean Bean, Mark Addy, Lena Heady, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Michelle Fairley, Iain Glen, Harry Lloyd, Jason Momoa, Kit Harrington, Aiden Gillen
Synopsis: Bran is awake, though as a result of his fall he is now crippled. He also has no memory of the events that led to his fall. Regardless, Jaime is determined to ensure he never speaks of these matters, even though Cersei is less inclined to act. Ned takes up his post as King’s Hand, finding the realm in excessive debt. Matters are not helped by the fact that Catelyn is also in Kings Landing on a mission to identify Bran’s would-be assassin. Jon Snow starts training with his less privileged colleagues before he can join the forces of the Night’s Watch.
As I mentioned in my last post there has been a lot happening over the last weekend, so I apologise for the delay in getting this review up. In a way, it is also unfair to this episode of Game of Thrones, as each passing episode reveals more of the fascinating history of this fictional world.
Ned Stark remains of course the largest focus of the series. Now at Kings Landing, he has his first meeting with the masters of the realm to decide matters of state. Stark finds that Baratheon has been responsible for generating a massive debt, and puts a halt on some more frivolous spending activities. He is distracted to find Catelyn has also made her way to Kings Landing in search of the person whom hired Bran’s assassin. She gets assistance from Petyr Baelish (Gillen), one of her former suitors whom hides her in his house of ill repute. Stark of course is perturbed by this, but Baelish does provide vital information as to the owner of the knife which was in the assassin’s possession. Stark’s remaining storyline within this episode concerns his relationship with tomboy daughter Arya. I found this a delightful element of the story, as he accepts her for whom she is, and even arranges for her to have instruction in sword play, as is her desire. These storylines cover the breadth of roles Star must face, in profession, as a husband, and as a father. Bean imbues Stark with an understated but powerful dignity in each role, and is amazing to watch.
With all this focus on Stark, less focus is spent on the Lannisters in this episode, but what is included is quite powerful stuff. We learn that young Joffrey, in addition to be a spoilt brat, is of a naturally vindictive and cruel nature. A true Lannister then. His ambitions to rule are well entrenched, and the indications he would be quite the tyrant if so are very clear. He is in sharp contrast to Lord Snow, whom now has reached the wall and is in training for the Night’s Watch. His privileged upbringing results in him being the recent recruit with the highest level of skill, making him a detested target by his colleagues. It is in this process that his friendship with Tyrion once again comes to the fore. I find the chemistry of these two quite fascinating. In their own ways, they are both outcasts, and they relate to each other on this level. Whereas Snow is honest to a fault however, it seems Tyrion has his own agenda, which as yet remains clouded.
All the story elements I have referred to so far are pieces of a great intricate puzzle that remains interconnected. It is the as yet less connected segment concerning the Targaryens and their alliance with Khal Drogo that enthralls me the most to date. The story itself is interesting, yet I find myself more fascinated with each episode by the character of Daenerys. with each episode the girl who was a pawn is gaining confidence, and in the process gaining power. In fact, in this episode her power now exceeds that of her brother, Drogo’s clan ready to jump to the defence of their new Khaleesi. Emilia Clarke’s performance is perhaps what makes it. She is a person of slight build, and when she was just being swept along with her brothers plans that frailty matched the characters situation. Now she is gaining power, and Clarke was wise enough to not overplay this growing strength. If anything, all she has changed in her performance is to play the character as more relaxed. As such, she is still rail, but the level to which she remains unaffected now by events around her gives her a unique appearance of power. It is truly a great performance.
The pacing of the series is picking up with each episode, and it is easy to see that it has not yet hit full stride. The scripting as such is clearly building to a cracking season finale, and that is still another six episodes away. I know I will be sticking around until the end.
4 stars out of 5.
Game of Thrones Episode 3 preview [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSxODw7y1AE]