TV Review: Game of Thrones Episode 7
HBO has gone too far! Adding scenes, lines, and boobies, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So this week I’m doing a spotlight on the acting in Game of Thrones. Not all these characters starred in this episode, but that doesn’t mean we can’t mention them! Before I do that, what happened this week?
This week on Game of Thrones
To start off, this is the first episode where we’ve had a recap of what happened the previous week. What this means is that there are important story elements you best not forget, but in case you have, here they are again.
The very first scene is one not present in the novel, but I’ll be damned if they didn’t take the right liberties with this show. We join Tywin Lannister as he scolds his son Jaime about his recent actions. This is the first time we’ve seen Tywin and to top it all off he’s doing something you wouldn’t expect his character to do, which is skinning and probably preparing a fresh kill. Tywin in the novels is a very proud man so it’s odd to see HBO give him a more down to earth feel. The animal in question is a Stag which is funny because the Baratheon sigil is a stag(I know, very clever!). Anyway, Tywin tells Jaime off about attacking Ned Stark and not killing him, not focusing on the important things like family, and just being a general waste of space.
Next we join Ned and Queen Cersei Lannister. In this scene we learn about Jaime and Cersei, about Robert’s “children”, and Ned Stark’s biggest flaw which his his honor.
After which, another made up scene! Remember Rosie the whore who left Winterfell? Now she’s turning tricks for Littlefinger and making whores around the world rejoice! Believe it or not this is actually a pretty informative scene into Petyr Bealish’s past with Catelyn Stark. Not to mention boobies! What better time to introduce back-story than when you’re training prostitutes?
Then we have some time with Osha the wildling that was caught last episode and this too is another HBO Scene. Not too important, but it sets up her character. Then Jon Snow’s zombie adventure is starting as his uncle’s horse rides in with nobody on his back, but that’s not important because guess what?
The King Is Dead
That hunt Robert Baratheon went on proved to be fatal and as he lay dying one of his wishes was to have Ned serve as king until his “Rightful heir” comes of age. Ned writes this down very carefully and has Robert sign it. His other wish was to have Daenerys’ killing to be stopped, but as Varys tells Ned that ship has already sailed. (Just an aside, note that in the scene in Roberts room Cersei makes a few quick glances which is very telling about the fight about to begin and her own worries. )
Mormont and Dany are at the market. Mormont shows his true colors as a hero to the dargons and the boys of the black have their graduation ceremony, but Snow isn’t happy that he’s going to be the Lord Commander’s personal bitch. The Khal makes a speech worthy of the bloodiest battle, Snow sees dead people and guess what?
Ned Dun Goofed.
As we all knew He is betrayed by Littlefinger, you can’t help but want to slap Ned for caring so much about his honor and not doing what it takes to protect the kingdom, that’s why I give him the dumbass of the week award.. The End
Ok so Actor spotlight? This an extra where I talk about a few of the actors, give them praise, critique, and act like a general fanboy. This week we have Cersei Lannister, Jaime Lannister, and Viserys(Yeah that’s right).
Cersei Lannister is a character who is the epitome of the saying “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”. Her every intention was to be a happy queen ruling along with her king but unfortunately her ultimate goals lead her away from this path and becomes a force to be reckoned with.
I waited for these few episodes to pass before I talked about Cersei because she doesn’t have a huge role in the beginning, it’s only at the midpoint and certainly near the end where she starts to grow into her own. Played by Lena Heady(Queen in 300) she does an exceptional job. These two last episodes really allow you to see if she can capture the character of Cersei and there’s nothing to complain about. She’s just as beautiful on the out as she is evil on the inside
When it comes to a character like Cersei it’s easy to just read lines and act like a total bitch but that’s only half of what makes the character. What really sells Cersei are the facial expressions that Lena makes. The stone-cold yet forlorn air about Cersei is how Headly sells Cersei Lannister.
Jaime Lannister is a true dick, but he’s a dick that makes things happen. Willing to do whatever he can(like throw kids off of buildings) he’s not above killing the king he was sworn to protect and is the reason why he is known as the Kingslayer. A great fighter and son of the most powerful man in the seven kingdoms he’s a big player even if he wants to do it fight stuff.
Jaime is really hard to peg down because he isn’t given enough time to fully act like the big character that he is. Jaime is played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and before I go any further holy crap does he fit the bill at least when it comes to looks. Jaime is a dashing knight of the Kingsguard and a fierce fighter who is known all over the kingdoms as a warrior and a ladies man. Nikolaj seems like he was raised to be as ruggedly handsome just to play this role .
Just like with Cersei the forty year-old Nikolaj plays Jaime pretty damn well. You couldn’t even guess he was Danish the way he tosses away his accent. With all the honor of a Lannister, Nikolaj stands tall and proud.
I know it’s surprising, but I had to point out the great performance of Harry Lloyd as Viserys Targaryen.
By the end of the novel I felt myself feeling bad for Viserys. Yeah he’s quite possibly the biggest asshole in the story, but you have to understand that all his life he has grown being told that he was the rightful king, the “Last Dragon”. His whole life he has been fighting to reclaim his throne and by the time he finally dies, you can’t help but feel bad. While not lasting very long in the novel, Viserys is used as a vehicle to help Dany grow and while you think he may be a huge jerk(which is putting it nicely) you have to understand the “burden” has has had to endure. Having both his mother and father die when he was little and spending his entire life in exile with only his sister, it’s no wonder he has such a short fuse
Before he dies in episode six he stops, calms down, and says “well that’s all I wanted, what was owed to me”. I felt so terrible that when he finally thinks his fight has come to an end, he realizes that it’s ending in a completely different way. I felt that this was very important, not just because it tells the story, but it adds a lot of depth to the character for the TV audience.
Harry Lloyd has really tapped into the essence of Viserys’ story and through his acting helps us understand why he’s so damn crazy. I feel that Lloyd helped me see and feel Viserys’ plight better than the novel did and when a television adaptation can do that, you know you have something special
That’s it for this week. Join me next week for another fun, blood, and boobie filled episode of Game of Thrones. Remember that you can always catch Game of Thrones on HBO Sunday nights. If you have any questions or suggestions for this feature please leave a comment.