Game Of Thrones Episode 8 Review: Second Sons
HBO‘s television adaptation Game Of Thrones Episode 8 (season 3) aired last Sunday. It wasn’t as thrilling as the last one. But what it lacked in thrills, it picked up in heartfeels and horror.
Heavy-ass spoilers inbound.
So what were the big events of the episode?
- Tyrion and Sansa Stark’s Wedding.
- Tyrion was a good guy.
- A showdown for Sam Tarly and Gilly (won’t spoil, but it’s kind of a big deal).
- Gendry got leeched, yo.
- Daenerys gets another couple thou soldiers. Good times for the Eastern wing of the abolitionist movement.
Easily my favourite bits of the episode were Tyrion’s. He stole the show, man. His wedding to Sansa was suitably grand and suitably featured Tyrion getting unbelievably cutting and witty. However, it was also filled with Joffrey being the tool of tooltown. The tool of the tool throne. When he removed Tyrion’s standing stool right before the vows… God I cringed.
Lots of other cool stuff happened at the wedding, though. Tywin told Tyrion he needed to get a boner that night so he better stop drinking. Grandma Tully dropped the best line of the show (at the end of the article) which drove Loras to run off crying to Cercei, who batted him away again. Joffrey got told off as usual. Bants all round!
Then in the bedroom scene we get Tyrion at his honest best. I recall in the novels feeling a heartstring being plucked when Tyrion explained to Sansa that he didn’t want to consummate the marriage unless she wanted to, contrary to her (and everyone in the country’s) misogynist beliefs. But in the TV show, Peter Dinklage takes it to a whole other level. Tyrion is on the brink of tears. His rhetoric is so pathetic (by which I mean appealing to pathos, appealing to your emotions), that I myself got super strong feels.
And of course, Sansa is vacant and air-headed as usual despite Tyrion’s unbelievably chivalrous behavior.
Tyrion even gets a win-win from being a good guy when Shae, his prostitute-girlfriend, comes in to change Sansa’s sheets and sees that Sansa’s… Virgin blood hasn’t been spilt. Grim, but Tyrion is treated with a grin. Last time they spoke was a savage argument, the type that have been more and more frequent in the show — so this lovely time provided a nice respite. But it begs the question: are things going to get better before they get worse? Which begs the answer: probably.
Elsewhere in the episode were more grim happenings. Gendry gets seduced by Melisandre, much in the same manner Theon was by them girls before his schlong was severed. She had been ranting on about how the blood of Kings is important and going on at Stannis Baratheon about it, so she decided to leech Gendry for some of that good old-fashioned life juice. Classic Melisandre. “Oh I want to get some Kingblood but don’t want to lose a valuable asset, oh I know, I’l traumatize him with leeches while he’s tied up, sexually aroused and mostly naked.” What a move.
Be prepared for disgusting leeches. Especially when they burst open all bloody-like on the grill. Trust Melisandre to bring leeches to the family BBQ.
All the grimness was only slightly offset by the Onion Knight being freed. Oh, how I love that bearded geordie. Easily one of the best characters in the show. Although, curiously, I prefer him in the texts to in the show, if only because he’s described as looking a whole lot more rough, and because he got so much more “screen” time in the novels. He was such a breath of fresh, salty sea air every time his sections came around.
The episode ended on a scene which I’m sure happened a lot earlier in the novels, but someone correct me in the comments section if I’m wrong. Sam Tarly and the woman Gilly are travelling towards the Wall when they encounter a certain creature. A certain creature practically unseen since the show’s very first episode. Again, I’m sure this happened ages ago in the novel’s chronology, but it made sense to happen here anyway. A white walker comes, and damn is it creepy.
I have barely ever seen horror done right in a TV show. But the direction in the episode’s final scene is flawlessly scary and ominous. The figure of the walker just visible through the woods ,and him walking through, all “I-don’t-give-a” with his scary blue eyes and weird CGI face, was freaky junk. I actually kinda dig the CGI in this scene because it suits how alien and fantastical the creature looks.
I wasn’t so much a fan of how he threw Tarly away and went for the girl — but the follow up, with Sam stabbing him was just brilliantly handled. S**t just got real in the battle against the Winter to come.
And then they leave the Dragonglass knife on the ground and run away.
Yeah, that’s fine.
I’m fine with that.
(I really wanted to end the article on that note, but I need to voice how exciting the whole dichotomy of dragon-power against winter-power is. It’s possibly the most clever aspect of Martin’s works. “A Song Of Ice And Fire” indeed, as only fire can defeat ice — but does that mean only ice can defeat fire? I could easily envisage one of the dragons being killed.
One thing that’s never explained, however, is how the long winters operate for the desert nations? In the east everything seems always-sunny, always-droughted, always-dry, like acrid nations on Earth. What happens in the long winter, when Westeros is decimated, to the East?
We’ll have to wait and see, maybe a bunch of seasons, for this question to be answered.)
Best line of the show:
‘And your son will be Loras’… nephew? Grandson? I’m not sure. But your brother will become your father-in-law, that much is beyond dispute.’