Here we go, I’ve just watched the second episode with some friends. They’ve now left so I’m going to, as usual, write a bit about the episode. Keep in mind that I have read the books and that there are spoilers ahead for those of you who haven’t.
I like the episode, quite a lot, if the season keeps going like this it’s gonna be a damn fine season indeed. I obviously recognize that this is no longer the story presented in the novel, the format doesn’t support that story so that’s alright, but nothing in this season has yet been really bad, and a lot has been quite good. There has been no cousin Orson the-fucking-beetle-hunter Lannister, or Daario and Gray Worm bickering like teenagers for Daenerys’ favor, or Jon and Ygritte playing tag on a glacier, or anything like that.
Instead of the above mentioned horror stories from previous seasons, in this episode we among other things got a well handled election for chief crow. I did to be honest not expect Jon’s election to lord commander to be this rushed, I thought they would at least have the announcement and preparations for the election take place in one episode and then have the results be revealed in the next. This felt a bit too much for just one small piece of one episode, or at least I would have thought so if I had gotten the whole thing described to me. But having watched it I have to admit that it turned out well.
The dialog was superb, Allister Thorne’s part was very good, Slynt delivered what he had to deliver and Sam in particular rocked the whole damned party. There is one other moment at the wall that stood out thought, and that needs some extra commentary. I’m talking, of course, about Gilly’s descriptions of grayscale. This show likes to keep it brutal and all that jazz, but to me it felt like there was a reason they brought it up now. Someone is gonna be exposed to grayscale soon, in the next couple of episodes. Since Tyrion needs something to do before getting to Volantis and then Mereen, I’m guessing the episode on the river with the stone-men is coming, two episodes from now. Make sure you write that down, since I’m gonna brag about it if it turns out to be true, Tyrion, stone-men, river, a not too distant future.
With Jon having been elected for commander, there is a block to be fetched for Janos Slynt any moment now. Then after Slynt gets the axe, Bronn is next in line for the same treatment. I’ve mentioned this possibility before, and the way they insist on showcasing Hotah’s axe, somebody has to get it in the neck at some point. It has to be someone that matters, and the only relevant character at hand in Dorne is Bronn. That invite he got from Jamie was the kiss of death, or I can’t predict shit about this show.
The only major segment of the episode that I disliked, not just a scene but a several minutes long part, was Brienne’s meeting with Sansa. The whole thing felt like something they just wanted to get over with, to get done so they could go on with the rest of the story. I can draw a parallel to Asha’s attempt to save Theon, they had to include it but they didn’t want to.
As for the rest of the episode, there is not all that much to say. I liked the Daenerys scenes, except for that snake-hiss the plebeians did when they got pissed at her. What the hell was that, and how high was the director who thought it would make sense? It just looked silly, I would have preferred normal shouting isntead. Arya has now had her introduction, the major fallout of which was that the where-did-Jaquen-go mystery is over. The threat from Dorne and the scenes in Dorne went down as one could expect, the one weird deviation was that Ellaria has suddenly become a dark avenger. Maybe they should have used a sand-snake for that instead, I can just imagine what Linda and Elio over at Westeros.org are gonna say about this.