Slight change of pace to these posts for the rest of the season. From this week forward, my detailed recaps of the episodes will appear on Neon Tommy, while I’ll offer further, more personal thoughts here.
This was the best installment of the season so far, hands down. A few of my most anticipated events from the book were realized as wonderfully as I could have hoped for.
Theon’s takeover of Winterfell was great, especially the execution of Rodrick Cassell. That’s got to be the least elegant decapitation I’ve ever seen on film. Severing the head with that kick at the end? Gut-wrenching. I almost like this storyline more than in the text, where we get inside Theon’s head and realize he’s an arrogant, resentful jackass. The way they’re playing it here he’s just a guy way in over his head who’s doing everything he can to please the people he thinks he should. He seems to crave acceptance more than respect, and can’t find it anywhere.
The King’s Landing riot was brilliant. A bit ridiculous that they held up the guy’s arm like a foul ball, but it certainly got across the severity of the situation. The highlight of the entire episode was easily Tyrion’s entire reaction. Peter Dinklage continues to own the season, and great work by Jack Gleeson as well, who I fear is so good at being utterly despised by the entire viewership that it might be nigh impossible for him to escape from the shadow of playing Joffrey Baratheon.
Sandor Clegane isn’t the rage-fueled beast he is in the books. More of a steely-eyed pooch than the frothing Hound fans might have hoped for. Yet this week he really worked, saving Sansa while making a point to disembowel, bleed out, or otherwise slaughter anyone who tried assaulting her. And he sold the “little bird” thing. Can’t wait to see more of him.
I don’t exaggerate when I say Tywin and Arya’s relationship is perhaps my favorite that’s been explored so far. I absolutely love the idea of the most powerful man in the seven kingdoms confiding in a child because he feels himself surrounded by idiots and recognizes that, lowborn or not, she isn’t one of them.
As for Dany’s dragons being stolen, that certainly never happened in the book. Makes sense though, considering the relative lack of tension her arc would contain otherwise. Definitely excited to see her enter the House of the Undying, and I’m sure anyone with any idea of what’s coming feels the same.
The second season seems to have finally hit its stride; hopefully the final four episodes can keep it going.