Game Of Thrones Recap: Mountains And Vipers And Beetles, Oh My! [s4e8]


#1

[Permalink]


#2

Pascal also made a one-word tweet after the episode: “Ouch.”


#3

Poor old Mormont.

I wonder what Sansa has to fear from Littlefinger besides a bit of sleaze? She certainly seems to recognise him as a relatively good bet on face value… nice job on the old folks, BTW. Looks like she’s finally getting the hang of this nobility caper.

And bloody hell, Tyrion for the chop - that’s poo. Here’s vainly hoping some unMartinlike miracle saves his arse…


#4

Now that’s what you call a splitting headache.

I’m not sure which irked me more, that, or the blood eagle bit on Vikings a month or so back.


#5

Oberyn was starting to grow on us a smart, cocky and relatably human (the ‘just a baby’ conversation with Tyrion comes to mind) counterpoint to the usual King’s Landing folks. So of course he had to go horribly.

His fighting reminded me a bit of the Braavosian sword instructor. Made me want to see more of Dorne and Braavos and find out how different they are apart from ‘both are sort of Spanish/Greek/mediterranean surrogates but Dorne has the wine and Braavos has a big bank and a faceless murder cult?’.

Ps. I’ll never get tired of seeing the Thrones folks out of character. BFFs!


#6

The sound designers could have saved a bit for the moment Sir Friendzone’s heart breaks.


#7

Does anyone else enjoy the fact the casting is not only very good in this show but also gives a chance for ‘guest stars’ from places like Chile and Iceland? I think it’s a smart move for a fantasy world comprising many different lands and cultures, and mostly solves horrible fake accent syndrome.

Too bad we Brazilians are represented only by the actor playing impossible-to-root-for Robin Arryn. At least there’s someone new kind-of-in-the-spotlight besides Morena Baccarin.


#8

Jaime can blackmail Tywin by threatening to reveal that Geoffry was a bastard usurper and not the king. Revealing this would get the Lannisters booted out of town. Tywin would say “Meh, I never liked the little shit anyway, so Tyrian walks.”


#9

This is why I reckon maybe we can bank on Arya as a favourite who’ll survive… she has enough charisma to be a favourite, but on the other hand she’s becoming quite the cold-blooded killer, and she’s getting schooled in ruthless pragmatism.

Looks like all three of the youngest Starks are going to do alright, I’d say…

Unless of course they’re consumed by vengeance like Oberyn.


#10

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: For the experiment to be a success, all of the body parts must be enlarged.
Inga: In other vords: his veins, his feet, his hands, his organs vould all have to be increased in size.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Exactly.
Inga: He vould have an enormous schwanzstucker.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: That goes without saying.
Inga: Voof.
Igor: He’s going to be very popular.


#11

Nothing in Martin’s world could be accused of being predictable

followed by

every reader of the George R.R. Martin book series and devoted television viewer knows this pattern: grow attached to a character, and inevitably they die in the most gruesome way possible.


#12

Awesome summary, Kevin. Thanks for the keen insights.

There was one moment, brief, that I thought also resonated a few days after: Arya’s laughter at the Vale. Was that not a deep-bellied, wonderful sound? It engendered not just a fleeting moment of joy in that world, but also a visceral release for Arya.

In the vein of very excellent, brief sound choices by the engineers and actors in this episode, the following were memorable:

  • sqeeeeeeeeeze.....*pop*
    
  • Maisie's aforementioned laugh
    
  • Nikolaj and Peter's *kunkhh* during the beetle discussion
    
  • The sound the curved blade made as it entered the head of TheonReekTheon's interlocutor
    

#13

And recognition at the futility of making plans in that world. The Hound had been defeated, not by weapons but by being a few days late to his destination. Kunkhh.


#14

Obeyrn’s death was such a loss in both the book and the series.

But thinking more about it, even if Gregor hadn’t managed to get a paw on him at the last minute, how long would he last in the city ruled by the Lannisters, so far from Dorn, so surrounded by enemies to whom he was a mortal threat?

What an astounding job Pedro Pascal did with that role.


#15

@Ranger

Yeah, this.

While many of the commentators remain positive and supportive of how the producers are interpreting and supporting Martin’s “pattern,” I find I am getting worn down by it, this existential nihilism, or whatever it is, because I know that Martin bristles whenever anyone mentions nihilism, so it must be something else, whatever it is.

But whatever it is, it’s like an endless slog through the swampy unconscious of a tormented intellectual, who definitely has something to say about how messed up life can be, but seems so stuck in the muck of his depressing narrative he cannot progress beyond the frustration and disappointment of being trapped in world that is full of, well, swampy muck-ness.

Nobody is making me watch this crazy carnival of desperate meaningless violence punctuated with equally desperate meaningless sex–the violence, the sex, it all builds up to some kind of orgasmic exclamation about something, maybe the passion of Martin’s personal Christ, or something. And maybe that’s why I watch. Whatever this is.


#16

I’ve been noticing the last few episodes that I just haven’t been enjoying watching the show very much, and more and more the episodes have been leaving me with a bad taste in my mouth.

The thing is, we don’t have any OTHER good fantasy epics to watch that get the amazing casting, budget, and production values GoT is getting. I realized that’s why I was watching it . . . because it was better than nothing from that standpoint

But I’ve finally given up on it. I’ve read the books, I know that it doesn’t get any better (it gets worse), and I’ve grown tired of feeling like I need an extra shower and some time to be sad every time an episode comes out.

I really wish all of those resources went to one of our other fantasy/sci-fi epics, or at least that one will get a similar treatment.

6 Epic Fantasy/Sci-Fi series we deserve more than Game of Thrones.


#17

Omigosh, totally. And that world-weary irony of innocence lost (in the Blakeian sense) had been confronting her for episodes and seasons prior, right? Slowly the veneer of childhood flayed from her like so much Bolton-fodder.

If sociopaths are made slowly, hers is a pitch-drop movement towards Westeros chaos.


#18

The extra layer of Theon-as-Reek-as-Theon is utterly heartbreaking.

That was getting into Orphan Black territory there.


#19

As I said in another GoT post

Although quite a bit is made of this show empowering women, notice that any man that really loves a woman dies horribly (Ned, Drogo, Robb Stark, Oberen) or gets the boot (Jorah, Tyrean). Characters that are not marriage material (The Hound, Varis, Littlefinger, Jaime, Jon Snow, Stannis Baratheon) tend to live a lot longer. A male character in love is a red shirt.


#20

A male character in love is a red shirt.

Interesting observation. I reckon then that we can now look forward to horrific endings for Jorah Mormont and Daario Naharis, both of whom have been “red-shirted” by their love for Daenerys. Of course, Jon Snow was very nearly done in by his love for Ygritte, only escaping that affair with several arrows in his back. And I suspect that Littlefinger’s undoing will have something to do with his perverted love (but love nonetheless) for Catelyn’s surrogate, Sansa.

Martin, who is an expert chess player by the way, seems to position his characters with a cool intellectual detachment, arranging them into carefully constructed set pieces of doom. Whenever a character displays affection, it is a counterplayed with movements that expose the weakness and futility of that emotion. In Martin’s mythology, the world operates with a kind of mechanistic determinism (compare the opening credits), a clockwork precision that has become, by this season, very predictable in terms of how the characters will behave (to undermine themselves) and the (invariably violent) fates they will endure. The only surprises now have to do with how extreme the outcomes will be. So we have progressed from the simple and relatively clean beheadings in season one to exploding heads in the most recent episode. It’s already well-established how cruel this world of Martin’s is; the only thing left to do is to take that cruelty as far as it can possibly go, in order to make some point about something. Or nothing.