‘Game of Thrones’ Recap: Pissing Contest

Season 4, Episode 3: History Lessons

Last week we celebrated the gnarly poisoning of King Joffrey. This week, life was back to an idyllic Eden in the capital with butterflies and kitten kisses. Wait, this is Game of Thrones. Everything is terrible. We have a new king on the throne, new levels of violence and horror and a new meanings to ‘pissing contest.”

Totals this episode:
Deaths: 1 in an honor duel in Meereen + 20? in Wildling attack
Nudity: 5 ladies, 1 male partial
New horrors: Twincest rape. Do we need to go on?

Kadi Hughes: Where to begin?

Jonathan White: Where else but the rapers? We could with the ones at the Wall where every other man is a raper, but probably should begin with the necro-incesto-raper.

KH: I know that Westeros is a brutal place and rape is just another weapon. But there were so many things wrong with that scene.

JW: That is true. It’s reading all of the news ever in a minute. It’s a little much. In just two scenes, that and an actual pissing contest with a neat decapitation and a horse getting shanked.

KH: That pissing contest was ridiculous. RIP,  noble horse. I think that was our first penis shot?

JW: That was the first view from behind of a bellend. I am not ashamed to say I rewound to check if we saw the hairless chap from the orgy’s hickory and was not sure.

KH: Perhaps we need a freeze frame.

JW: Like Tom Cruise in Cocktail. Biggest urban myth of the late ’80s or a look at a famous cock’s famous cock? You decide.

KH: I do think that (with only a few exceptions) they use the violence/horror for a reason.

JW: What is their aim with Cersei and Jaime?

KH: To show that Jamie is a changed person, to remind us that their relationship is gross and horrible, to show how isolated and alone Cersei is and perhaps understand why she acts like she does. She can trust no one, not even her twin brother-baby daddy.

JW: There are many reasons but I hope they have a plan rather than just being well into rape as a TV trope.

KH: “Rape as a TV trope” is a disturbing new trend. This, of course, isn’t the first rape of the series nor do I suspect it will be the last. It’s worth noting how certain rapes are given more weight then others. Oberyn’s sister is raped and killed and he goes on a life quest to kill everyone involved. Jamie’s sister is raped…by him.

JW: Given what has happened with Jamie (and it not going down like that in the books) there are some interesting times ahead.

KH: This could be the beginning of a lot of departures from the books, which will make it exciting to watch for those who have read the books (you) or those who have skimmed the Wikipedia entries (me).

JW: It’s exciting to know what the showrunners’ decision process is and that they are not scared of making changes.

KH: At what point were they sitting around and said, “You know what? We really just need more sexual violence on this show.”

JW: They also ruined it for the book-reading-incest-crowd who must have thought that it was hot and then realized it was terrible. In the books, it does not come across as rape at all and this was far removed from that.

KH: It does help remind us how gross that whole situation is — incest, the rampant inbreeding in Westeros.

JW: It’s not gross in Westeros. Dany was destined to marry her brother; Craster is king of the incest. There are some bad folk.

KH:  It is implied that the Mad King was partially mad because of inbreeding. Or was it lead poisoning?

JW: Iron throne poisoning and being a bit too pedigree.

KH: Rape aside, I did like the crypt scene for setting things up with Tywin and Tommen.

JW: Tywin is worth a show on his own. Tommen seems like a nice lad in the way that anyone who is not Joffrey could get away with anything.

KH: Tommen is a muppet. It’s a battle for his soul between Cersei, Tywin, and Margery.

JW: There was a lot of camp in this episode. Funny looks from Dany.

KH: She is very arch. The eyebrows and ‘bitch, please’ vibe.

JW: But especially Peter Baelish shooting the man made of blancmange.

KH: Littlefinger! I was very happy to see him, that crazy little Irish imp.

JW: They should call him Neverliftsafinger, always wearing a gown and scheming. He can not even be bothered to pull a crossbow unless he has lots of little fingers. He should twirl his moustache when he reveals that he is the master of cunning.

KH: Total diva. I know we should be sad about Ser Dontos but I was very happy to see him get arrowed in the face.

JW: He’s a Ser fashioned in a jelly mould.

KH: I also loved Littlefinger’s villain line: “Gold buys a man silence for a time, death buys it forever.” Then turn on his heel and mince away with giant Sansa. BURN.

JW: His voice is getting madder like it is a pantomime and he’s drunk and he wanted to get sacked anyway.

KH: It’s so breathy and evil.

JW: He should say “darling” more and cackle. Maybe turn off the smoke machine though, even if you are an “evil villain” in a frock.

KH: How involved is he with the brothel? That hairless blonde will-o-wisp is one of his spies, right?

JW: He is very involved. The Red Viper is my new favorite, mostly for wearing trousers in an orgy (an orgy I promised last week, no less). Just in case he has an important meeting. Quite the chap.

KH: Does Oberyn believe Tywin about not knowing about his sister?

JW: I don’t think he believes anything in King’s Landing but he’s shrewd and plays his cards to his bare chest.

KH: His Sand Sister was also fully dressed in that romp. Maybe fully clothed orgies are the trend in Dorne.

JW: That’s a CFNM thing (Clothed Female, Nude Male) but here it’s CDNP — Clothed Dornishmen, Nude Prostitutes. Very niche sex for the fantasy fans. How is this shit on TV?

KH: It seemed a bit tame compared to all the beheadings and cannibalism.

JW: The cannibalism would be more shocking if they were people and not fucking madballs with Norwegian accents.

KH:  Do they eat everyone? Is there no locavore movement? I would think the boy would be the tastiest, a human veal, but I am neither a cannibal nor a Norwegian.

JW: Invasavorism is meant to work the other way — not you invade and eat. These Thenns are awful.

KH: As soon as that rural urchin said, “I love mum’s boiled potatoes!” I thought, Well, you’re dead.

JW: He got dealt with. His son was a bit of a simpering wazzock. He hid in the worst hiding place ever, looking away from everyone.

KH: Arya would have attacked back.

JW: She would have eaten them in a stew.

KH: Happily! When the kid goes to warn the Night’s Watch that enraged me.

JW: Because he skipped there?

KH: No, because those people do nothing! They all just look dirty and cold and completely inefficient.

JW: GRRM based them on the Neighborhood Watch. They have no legal powers. It’s just a community group.

KH: It’s a community group of sex pests who is who you want, to guard you against demon zombies.

JW: Neighborhood Watch for a community on the register.

KH: I get why Sam wants Gilly to not be at Castle Black but seriously, fool, you put her in that whore house? I had no idea what the gender of that thing in the whore house was, the one who was sizing her up, asking if she was a wilding.

JW: I don’t like when people sound like they don’t ordinarily swear, “a FUCKING wildling.” Slow down, you monobrowed brass.

KH: I am not emotionally or psychologically prepared for a Gilly-Sam sex scene. I would like to go on the record about that.

JW: Picture how Ser Dontos was made (it’s also how you make a trifle).

KH: He was hatched from an egg — like, a chicken egg, not a womb egg.

JW: He is like the kid off Dinosaurs. Happy Easter!

KH: The bunny left you a giant egg with an ineffectual grown man inside! I need to talk about something good — let’s move on to the Onion Knight! I very much enjoy his reading lessons and the “kniggit” Monty Python reference. Operation: Esso Gold Boat begins.

JW: They just have mad cash. The Iron Bank is wedged so they can lend to everyone. The Onion Knight is a genius.

KH: He is, an honorable thief. It’s a great gambit. Well done, Onion Knight!

JW: He’s a smart one. Stannis might have reason to be less of a sour prick all the time.

KH: Where is Stannis and why are they always damp? Not even damp, they are soaked through.

JW: Dragonstone. That’s why everyone loves the Fire God and is miserable.

KH: The arthritis must be terrible.

JW: Man, the Onion Knight will get phantom arthritis in his no fingers. Poor man.

KH: I only want good things for the Onion Knight so that means terrible things await him.

JW:  Onion Knight in a pickle, you say?

KH: That’s a new menu item for a GoT themed sandwich shop. Jon Snowcones.

JW: Littlefinger buffet. A bowl of Bronn. It also does fusion — Essos meets Westeros. Salmon Meereen.

KH:  Everything else is just pies. It’s a really high concept place but then they got lazy. Back to the Onion Knight. He’s such a great character because most characters on this show are either smart and assholes (Littlefinger, Tywin, Tyrion) or noble and idiots (Starks, every Northern peasant). Onion Knight is both.

JW: The Onion Knight is one of the most likeable for that reason and the Hound is sort of like a malcontent version.

KH: Arya and the Hound had some good scenes, starting with the Hound’s snot rocket prowess and ending with him giving Arya the ‘teachable moment’ that the way her family sees the world may be noble but wrong.

JW: That was like Don’t Be A Menace To South Central. He loves teaching the kids through life learning and harsh lessons.

KH: Arya is definitely the smartest Stark though — just her ability to roll with it and adapt to the surroundings, playing that farmer for delicious rabbit stew.

JW: She has got smarts. The message in GoT seems to be that only young rich girls who kill motherfuckers are going to be okay. She and Dany are bossing it. Everyone else is getting hard trouble.

KH: Dany is waging a very effective hearts & minds campaign.

JW: She is indeed, lobbing chains at folk. They love that. I also like the message for all blonde girls that everyone likes you  and will fight for you if someone pisses you off — or pisses at you — while you make a silly face. Ex-slavers and ex-slaves alike. Way to make all the blonde girls feel good, HBO.

KH: I want more action from her! Lobbing chains was a nice touch but just light those fools up with your dragons! If HBO has the CGI budget for manacle catapults, then they have it for dragon attacks.

JW: Do dragons only have a set amount of fire? “Shit! It’s run out!”

KH:  I once watched an animated cartoon where Sean Connery played a dragon and their fire did run out — unless they ate limestone, which is why you always find a lot of dragons near limestone. I take that as a scientific fact.

JW: It explains the danger of certain areas of the the UK, where former Bonds lurk and lie to kids.

KH: Never go north of Glasgow. It’s all dragons up there. An aside, as a Brit, do you find this show layered with geographical-socio commentary? The rich and powerful are southern; the northerners are simple, etc.

JW: Yes, mostly on accents. The books are even more so. Posh people are all southern and even the northern lords are unaccustomed to how court works. The books are much worse and I am not sure what the Dornish and Essos suggestions are, likely something worryingly racist. Best not dwell. So let’s move on to Tyrion … not looking good for the clear hero.

KH: He still has some hustle in him. At least he has Pod.

JW: Where did Pod pull out the duck sausage?

KH: He clearly is no stranger to a Dornish orgy.

JW: Or that cathouse owned by Littlefinger.

KH: He is a boy of many talents.

JW: Yes, and so likeable.

KH: The most concerning about that interaction was the news that Bronn is being charged as an accessory. No one puts Bronn in a corner.

JW: Bronn’s going to make more people scream. Shame Tyrion had to be mean to Pod. Now the only man he might see is a one-handed monster who raped his sister.

KH: Tyrion has some moves left. I am not worried about a last minute crafty maneuver, especially since it is a power grab in the capital.

JW: He’s going to benefit from the vacuum?

KH: I think Tyrion and Littlefinger do best in chaos.

JW: Varys has been all too quiet. He should be making some power moves.

KH: The Spider is definitely mixing it up with old Lady Tyrell.

JW: I want someone to tell him to grow a pair and she would.

KH: What’s next? Dany takes more slave cities? Jon Snow goes back north of the Wall to kill the rapist insurgents? We also have a big trial coming up, Law & Order Westeros style.

JW: Let’s hope Oberyn heard “orgy” when Tywin said “trial” and he is straight in. Jon Snow needs to go and kill him some folks but his plan might need to be better than that. Dany is going to cause some terror. She might even drop a dragon on  ’em. We’re going inside Meereen.

KH: I’m glad that Tywin acknowledged Dany this episode. People in King’s Landing need to start getting nervous about Dragon Attacks and White Walkers.

JW: They really ought to but they should just be nervous  — poisoned weddings, boy kings, non-canon rapes, trials, people stealing wine.

KH: Just another day in Westeros.

Tune in next week for more musings on the latest episode of Game of Thrones. The show airs Sunday nights at 9 on HBO.

Image courtesy of HBO.

 

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