Game of Thrones: A song of the sofa
KATE DAVIDSON AND JONATHAN PHILLIPS
TV & Radio
For this week's Game of Thrones re-cap, Kate Davidson is joined by television buff and chief architect of New Zealand band Mount Pleasant, Jonathan Phillips to chat about episode 5.
It seems strange to be joining this conversation that you have been having with Sarah over the previous four episodes, but as we have seen in Game of Thrones, change is the only constant.
I think a good as place as any to start this week is with Brienne, the Maid of Tarth, commanding her way down the road to the grim North with her squire Podrick. I have never killed a rabbit, but I know you would probably have to at least get the fur off it before roasting the poor creature.
As Podrick bumbled along with his gigantic horse, Brienne was set back, looking regal and in command. Not every female character has the luxury of a sword of Valyrian steel, but in last night's episode the director chose to "hear it for the girls" and we saw basically every woman in the seven kingdoms.
Across the narrow sea, the Queen of Dragons' narrative drags out as her puppies droned on about some armadas. The creepy Ser Jorah, who always looks like he would rather be sleeping in Daenerys' bed, seems frustrated. I know the feeling. I get the impression that she is going to be stuck in the Slaver states quelling rebellion in vaguely familiar town after town, instead of ripping out the dragons.
Daenerys is finding out what it means to rule and as it turns out, woman or not, it is not easy. Even when you have fire-breathing dragons. You almost feel envious of Cersei, who despite everything still manages to seem more powerful.
Although as Cersei and Margaery renegotiated their relationship, I felt a degree of vulnerability in Cersei.
Cersei, in a frank admission, reveals to Margaery that "he [Joffrey] would have been your nightmare", and ultimately, with the new "boy scout" second-born on the throne, it seems that all is well with the Lannisters. But I guess looks can be deceiving, what with the shocking revelation of their bankruptcy.
Checking in with Sansa, it definitely feels she has too much faith in Baelish. You get the impression that the relative safety of her crazed aunt in the Vale is a real mixed blessing. That beautiful crystal bird thrown down with the capriciousness of achild by Robin, her cousin and potential betrothed, seems like trouble.
Probably not as bad as Baelish's steamy night with his new wife, the Lady of the Vale. I felt an inexpressible shudder as she told her septum that he would hear her screams "when my husband makes love to me".
There are plenty of horrors in the Game of Thrones, but thankfully the director chose not to cut to the torture of their wedding night. A rare bit of discretion in a show that rarely shows as much, but more was achieved in the look of sinking terror in Baelish's eyes than in any of the events north of the wall later in the episode.
Overall it was a little dull this week. The violence north of the wall saved the episode with some good old Game of Thrones blood bathing between the mutineers, the Nights Watch, and Hodor, possessed by the all-powerful crippled Bran, ripping Locke to pieces.
Visionary Jojen warns Karl snow will fall on his body, as he threatens to have his way with Meera. I thought they were going to go into another rape moment, which would have led to the end of me and the show, but thankfully it ended with Snow pummelling a sword through Karl's potty mouth.
It started with a great one to one battle between the street fighter and the knight. Snow looked to be losing, until one of Craster's women took her revenge in his back then Snow fell through him rather than on him.
Rust, the last of the mutineers, running off straight into the jaws of the wilder Snow was a sweet moment of justice.
I was hoping for a Stark reunion and was gutted Bran chose destiny and duty over the desire for kinship, but why did Snow not search him out? Isn't that why he went to Craster's Keep in the first place?
At least the brothers are reunited with their closest and most trustworthy companions - the direwolves. I am jealous, imagine having one of them as a companion, it would go down a treat while out and about as a journalist.
The Hound and Arya troop on. It's a bizarre, but fantastic relationship littered with some sparkly one-liners. The Hound proves Arya is no match for him despite her listing him on her kill wish list. He literally slaps her back to reality with what fighting strength means.
The scenery drew me in. I am guessing Ireland or Scotland - either way this show could do for their tourism industry what Tolkien's film adaptations have done for ours.
On the whole girl power trip this week Craster's women spice it up claiming their freedom from men, who have controlled, violated, and used them through and through. Surviving the harsh north and the White Walkers is nothing compared to that threat.
I agree about Cersei's vulnerability as a mother and a woman without control over her own destiny. No matter how much power she has had she has still been shipped around for marriages here and there and can't even give a gift to her own daughter without the help of Oberyn. I felt sorry for her, which was unexpected.
"Everywhere in the world they hurt little girls," she tells the prince. And that was the quote holding the key to this week's episode.
Braavos keeps coming up, last week with Stannis, this week with Cersei and Tywin, and Arya and the Hound. It sounds like they hold the purse strings for the fighting seven kingdoms - a powerful position, which will surely play out in episodes to come.