am woefully behind, but better a late recap of the show than none, eh?
The Kingsroad is the second episode of HBO’s show, and just like the first one, I really enjoyed it a lot. It follows the story of the early chapters pretty well.
As quick summary, Eddard Stark joins the king on their way down south on the Kingsroad, after speaking his farewells to his wife Catelyn who is griefing at Bran’s bedside, and Jon Snow, who is heading to the Wall to join the Night’s Watch. After the departure, someone stages a fire at Winterfell to distract everyone and tries to kill Bran Stark in his bed. Bran is defended by his direwolf Summer and his mother. On the Kingsroad, trouble brews when Prince Joffrey catches Arya and Micah the butcher’s boy playing at swords, is an ass in general, and gets his ass kicked by Arya and her wolf Nymeria. As revenge, the Lannisters have Sansa’s wolf Summer killed, and Arya sends Nymeria away. On the other continent, Danaerys Targaryen gets used to her life as the khaleesi, spends more time looking weepy at dragon eggs and actually manages to teach Khal Drogo that multiple sexual positions are the spice of life…
Yeah, okay, maybe you guys can guess what my thoughts about the Danaerys plot are. But we’ll get to that.
Just like in the books, Tyrion continues to be awesome. Peter Dinklage is not ugly enough, compared to the books, but his characterization totally hits the mark. Every scene with him is like I imagined Tyrion. I am glad we’ll see more of him. I am not 100% sold on his dear sister Cersei though. I am still waiting for the venom. Even in the scene where she ordered Lady’s death she seemed pretty tame to me. I want the fangs to come out.
This episode finally had more Arya scenes, and I loved them all. I got a bit sniffly when Jon gave her Needle, I tell ya. Also incredibly adorable: Arya’s wolf Nymeria. I mean seriously, how adorable was it when Arya tried to make her fetch stuff and she just wouldn’t move? The relationship between Jon and Arya was so spot on for me.
Less spot on was the Catelyn-Jon scene where he goes to say farewell to Bran. I am not yet 100% sure what to think of Catelyn. Catelyn Stark in the books is an incredibly stern woman who is the epitome of dutiful wife. Her only weakness in the face of duty is the existence of Jon Snow that she meets with vindictiveness. It’s usually that chapter where people start disliking her as character, because she is cruel towards Jon. I mean, yeah, she kicked him out, but it lacked the cruel bite. Catelyn also brought me my queasy moment of the day. I can’t stand the sight of blood, and that Valyrian steel was really sharp, wasn’t it?
The later episodes showed us the trip along the Kingsroad, and the introduction of a few more characters that should play more of a role in King’s Landing. Ser Ilyn Payne I always imagined more henchman looking, tall and gaunt and evil. He just looked like a pissed-off dude so far. Speaking of pissed-off dudes, Joffrey’s casting is genius. How I loathe thee, Joffrey Baratheon. Slick and slimy when he wants to be, his cruelty and irrational behavior came out in the scene where they walk in on Arya and Micah. Arya holding him at sword’s point is definitely a favorite moment, for sure.
I felt bad when Ned had to go do his duty and kill Sansa’s direwolf.
So, that’s all good stuff! But it can’t all be good, right? Well, there’s the Danaerys part of the show. Now, Dany is one of my favorite characters from the book. Given away to a barbarian at age 13, she goes through hardship and loss to grow into a kick-ass woman. I am really not sure why they still make it seem like Danaerys did not enjoy being with Khal Drogo. From the wedding night on, Danaerys came to love her husband, and the show doesn’t follow that path. I want to see no more tears from her, she’s a strong girl. They were getting there at the end of it, but it was just one too many scenes of Dany mounted and near-crying, looking at the eggs. She’s a Targaryen, she’s stronger than that.
At least the Dothraki looked a bit more authentic this go around, the wedding for the first episode was probably the show’s low point so far.
Very emotionally touching episode, with lots of polish. How about your thoughts?
I think I’ll start doing really full recaps next week, I will have more time.
Yes, A Dance with Dragons is done, and it’s ginormous. Huzzah!