Game of Thrones Episode 3 Review: Lord Snow
Gimme that Jon Snow!
Welcome back folks! As a preface to this review, I will be writing it with the assumption that you have at least taken a look at the novel “Game of Thrones” in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series. There will be spoilers and will focus more on the show in regards to how it is portrayed compared to the novel. You have been warned!
Episode 3 titled ‘Lord Snow’ had me excited because right next to Tyrion Lannister, Jon Snow is my favorite character so imagine my confusion when I’m seventeen minutes into episode 3 and there is no Jon Snow! Damn you HBO why must you taunt me so? This episode begins with Eddard or “Ned” finally arriving at King’s Landing where he is summoned to the council chambers and on his way is met with Jaime Lannister. Now this isn’t a meeting that I ever remember being in the novels, but I like that they included it here. In this scene those who might not have read the novels get a pretty good shot of Jaime, the kind of man he is and exactly why they call him the Kingslayer. Afterward Ned enters the council chambers and there is a very short scene with the members. I was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t much focus on those who sit on the council especially Littlefinger since he’s such a huge player and has many sides to him but there is a whole season to flesh out how sneaky he really is.
After this is, again, another scene not present in the novel, but I feel that it is super important. Queen Cersei and Prince Joffrey have this chat in where we again learn more about the Lannister family and what they are all about, out for themselves and seek only power and wealth this really once and for all solidifies their role in the story and sets them up as the bad guys once and for all.
Now, throughout the whole novel the Stark family speak about this woman named Old Nan, an elder who is known for the elaborate stories she tells and is said to be the oldest person in Winterfell. And we finally see her! In this scene she is speaking to Bran about how he knows nothing of fear and beings to tell him a story about the winters of the past. This is taken almost straight from the novel and is a delight to hear.
At this point it’s become apparent that while the show follows the novel quite closely they again play with the order and this would be a complaint if it weren’t for the fact that it doesn’t really matter. For example, the aforementioned conversation between Bran and Old Nan happen after Tyrion leaves Castle Black at the wall where Jon Snow is training. This is where Bran is supposed to receive the “blueprints” for a saddle that was designed by Tyrion himself.
While on the subject of Jon Snow, we finally see him twenty-one minutes into the episode(yay!). It is here that we see Jon beating the stuffing out of his peers in the training area. After training Jon gets ganged up by the very same guys as he is putting away his training gear he is saved. In the novel Jon is saved by a blacksmith who imparts some advice about acting like he is above everybody else, but Instead we get Tyrion which I felt was a great choice since it adds to him being a sage imp.
Remember that I mentioned about the lack of character development for the council members? Well, I’m happy to say that both Littlefinger and Varys are as creepy, conniving, and crooked as they are in the novels. I wanted to give a shout out to Aidan Gillen as Littlefinger because he has what I call a “salesman’s face” which means he gives off a slimy vibe that just resonates with the character of Littlefinger. Varys the eunuch is good too, but I doubt it’s hard to play someone with no sack.
I also have to mention another botched scene. As Tyrion is leaving the wall he and Jon are supposed to have a really good dialogue but instead we get what amounts to “Tell my brother I miss him” and “Ok” it just makes the scene feel worthless and doesn’t give the feeling that Jon and Tyrion have started a sort of friendship. I felt that compared to the novel, a huge opportunity is wasted to help the audience attach themselves even more to the story of Jon and Tyrion.
My favorite scene had to have been the last one. This is where Arya meets Serio Forel her “Dance instructor”. It’s just a really fun scene and I loved the way the actor portrayed Forel, even his broken English is spot on! It also makes for a great ending because as Arya and Serio practice, Ned is off to the side watching and as the camera closes in on him the wooden swords clonking against each other slowly transition to steel hitting steel which foreshadows the coming winter and the war being brought with it.
Three episodes in and Game of Thrones on HBO has managed to keep to the novel. Disregarding the order of things being shifted around I do have to repeat that there are only so many episodes and unfortunately not everything can fit. I like that the Lannisters are getting some extra scenes but in all honestly I cannot tell if this is because there was no other way to portray them or if the writers felt that they had to reinforce that we’re not supposed to like them. Either way I enjoyed them. The show still feels like a supplement to the Novels rather than a replacement, there isn’t nearly enough detail to really make sense of everything that is happening, but seeing as we’re only 3 episodes in, there is still some hope. As always if you have any questions, concerns, or corrections please let me know by either commenting or emailing me at [email protected]