Tag Archives: Battle of the Blackwater

game of thrones recapping: blackwater

Previously on Game of Thrones: Prince of Winterfell

Ready or not, here comes Stannis! The inhabitants of King’s Landing know Stannis and his fleet are mere hours away, and they all choose to deal with the imminent attack in radically different ways. Cersei has all but given up as she contemplates suicidal death via essence of nightshade or Ser Illyn Payne’s sword. The soldiers of the city predictably turn to alcohol and prostitutes. Only Tyrion seems to care about actually planning a defensive strategy. And Joffrey? Let’s just say he’s being as helpful, noble, and king-like as usual.

Meanwhile, the men of Stannis’s fleet are reasonably confident that their attack on King’s Landing will be successful. Their ships outnumber their enemy’s 10 to 1, and their men 5 to 1. If battles were all about numbers, then this should be a metaphorical walk in the park for Stannis and his Red Priestess. Davos, the gruff onion knight, is not so sure. He shares some history about how King’s Landing has never been breached.

Stannis’s fleet materializes eerily out of the dark fog. Only one ship sails across Blackwater Bay to meet them. This infuriates Joffrey, but the unusual strategy is clearly Tyrion’s own. As Stannis’s men suspiciously watch the single ship, Davos spots green liquid pouring from its hull. Uh-oh! Remember all that wild fire talk from a few episodes ago? The ship explodes in an impressive plume of green smoke and fire, quickly incinerating the ships closest to it.

Even with a big chunk of his fleet taken out by wild fire, Stannis still has enough men to land his ships and attack the shore. Joffrey predictably bails on the action, leaving Tyrion to heroically muster the troops. To cries of “Halfman! Halfman!”, Tyrion and the men of King’s Landing successfully throw off Stannis’s soldiers from the Mud Gate. Unfortunately, Tyrion barely has time to celebrate. He’s suddenly slashed across his face by Ser Meryn (friendly — very deliberate — fire). All seems lost for both Tyrion and King’s Landing as a fresh wave of Stannis’s men storm the shores. But surprise! Here comes a new mysterious group of riders who slash and stab their way through Stannis’s men. Tywin Lannister has come to save the day!

Thoughts

  • You know what? I completely think this episode lives up to the expectation and hype of an entire season’s worth of build-up. Great writing, great acting, great fighting (actually more violent than I expected), and great CGI explosions. This episode legitimately made me happy. I don’t know what that says about me, but I know what I like, and I liked this.
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  • So having said that, was it just or me or was this episode weirdly reminiscent of the Helm’s Deep siege in The Two Towers? Not only do both feature a siege of a heavily outnumbered army, but a weak gate is targeted, a crazy explosive substance is used, and just as the battle seems at an end, a mysterious third party arrives on horseback to turn the tide. I’m not saying I’m complaining necessarily—just pointing it out, I guess.
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  • Kudos to the writers for restricting the scope of this episode to just King’s Landing. As much as I love the show’s rich cast of characters, the Battle of Blackwater would have only suffered from being interspersed with scenes of Dany shouting or Theon whining. (See painfully slow scenes of Ents talking right in the middle of the most exciting Helm’s Deep scenes—my last Lord of the Rings reference…probably.)
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  • Cersei is both creepy and brilliant in this episode. She’s been more or less unraveling all season, but her obsessive and bitter grip on reality is noticeably slipping here. This is the first time I realized how similar Cersei once must have been to Sansa. You know, before her incestuous relationship with her brother, abusive marriage, and devil-spawn of a son.
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  • Poor Hound. I hope everyone remembers that his face looks like an ugly uglier version of Two Face because he got burned as a kid. He’s not a coward for abandoning the battle so early. It’s hard enough to fight for a brat like Joffrey without the entire battlefield reminding you of your childhood trauma.
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  • Sansa finally is getting interesting. My least favorite Stark actually got some of the best lines this episode. Who knows? I might have to switch her out with Rickon on my list of favorite Starks. Sorry, Rickon. It’s nothing personal. You just don’t really do anything.
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  • Fun fact: George R. R. Martin wrote this episode.
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  • Season finale is NEXT Sunday!!!
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**********
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Missing in action: Theon, Bran, Rickon, Yara, Catelyn, Robb, Jon, Ygritte, Dany, Arya, Melisandre

Body count: Thousands

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**********

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Quotes

Varys: “I’ve always hated the bells. They ring for horror: a dead king, a city under siege.
Tyrion: “A wedding.”
Varys: “Exactly.”

Shae: “Some of those boys will never come back.”
Sansa: “Joffrey will. The worst ones always live.”

Cersei: “The gods have no mercy. That’s why they’re gods.”

Tyrion: “Those are brave men knocking at our door! Let’s go kill them!”

 

Hayley has other interests besides just nerdy TV shows. She also is a big fan of thinking. She ponders the great mysteries of life, like how more of her time can be devoted to watching those nerdy TV shows.

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game of thrones recapping: prince of winterfell

Previously on Game of Thrones: A Man Without Honor

Jon is reunited with Quorin Halfhand – as fellow wildling captives. Instead of coming up with an escape plan, Quorin decides it is best to infiltrate Jon into the wildling ranks because “one man on the inside is worth a thousand rangers.” Quorin stages a fight with Jon to convince the wildlings that Jon is ripe for defection, but Ygritte obviously sees through the ruse. She doesn’t say anything, though. Probably because it would suit her just fine to have Jon join the wildlings.

Over at King’s Landing, the men who are actually running the city (i.e. not Joffrey) worry about the imminent arrival of Stannis and his fleet of Red God-worshiping warriors. Tyrion and Varys muse over possibilities — all of which seem hopeless — as they plan a tentative plan of defense. Meanwhile, Cersei tries to blackmail Tyrion into keeping Joffrey out of harm’s way by threatening the safety of his girlfriend. Unfortunately for Cersei, the girl she found is a prostitute Tyrion just slept with once, not the prostitute that he is currently in love with. Whoops.

In an utterly surprising turn of events, Robb and Talisa, the pretty battlefield nurse, hook up. Robb is engaged to someone else, thanks to a tricky alliance with Walder Frey, but as this show has already demonstrated, kings get to do whatever they want. Even self-proclaimed kings of just the north. And who knows, maybe the relationship will help him cope. Robb was forced to arrest Catelyn, his own mother, after she confessed to releasing Jaime. Don’t ask why she let loose Robb’s ace in the hole. I’ll rant about that later.

Theon, the eponymous Prince of Winterfell, gets a visit from his big sister, Yara. Expecting congratulations and even a little bit of envy, he is dismayed to discover that Yara stopped by only to chastise him. Winterfell is too far from the sea (the source of the ironborn’s strength), and now that Theon has stupidly killed the Stark boys, the full fury of the north will be after him. Meanwhile, Maester Luwin senses something is fishy with Theon, and he discovers Osha hiding Bran and Rickon in Winterfell’s crypts. The boys that Theon burned and hanged last episode were just somelocal kids. Hooray for the deaths of nameless bystanders rather than our glorious main characters!

In other news…

  • Sam and some of the other Night’s Watch brothers discover a hidden cache of dragonglass, buried beneath the snow.
  • Dany is heading into the House of the Undying to find her children a.k.a. the trio of kitten-sized dragons.
  • Arya gives Jaqen the name of her third and final target to kill, and to his surprise, she says his own name. Jaqen agrees to help Arya and her friends escape Harrenhal if she un-names him.
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Thoughts

  • As much as I like the grumpy Halfhand, I’m not sure if I agree with his plan of espionage. How would one double agent really affect the wildling hoard? Hollywood has taught me that spies thrive by secretly extracting intel from computers (usually with cleverly designed flash drives) and relaying it to their real superiors. Since computers don’t exist and I doubt anyone is going to let Jon near a raven, I see no real way he can help – let alone prove his worth is more valuable than a thousand rangers.
  • I’m a little confused about the red-haired woman who has been more or less a recurring character since she came to King’s Landing to hit it big as a prostitute. While it’s unfortunate that Cersei identified her as Tyrion’s girl, why would she stay quiet? She only slept with Tyrion once, and if I were her, I’d be quick to clear up the misunderstanding with Cersei.
  • I’m not sure why I don’t like Robb and Talisa together, but I don’t. Maybe it’s because their romance is nonexistent in the books, or maybe it’s because I see more chemistry between Tyrion and Bronn. (Check out their bromance!)
  • Oh, Catelyn…I don’t even know what to say. Jaime Lannister was Robb’s only real leveraging tool. Everyone knows that Cersei would do anything to get her brother back. So Catelyn lets him go, with only Brienne as a guard, in the vague hope that King’s Landing will honorably return her daughters to her? Why should they? I’d like to think I’d play the game of thrones with a reasonable dash of morality, but even I’d be the first to admit that you don’t trust on mutual goodwill during a war.
  • There are only two episodes left!!! I could use my words to describe my excitement (and more groupings of superfluous punctuation marks), or I could just post the trailer. It’s a bit of a recap of the entire season, but the end reveals some shots of the Battle of the Blackwater! Who’s excited?? As Varys whispers creepily at the end, “No one can hide” – from the epic awesomeness, I presume. Check out the trailer here!
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Missing in action: Margaery, Loras, Petyr, Melisandre, Sansa

Body count: 0 – what?

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Quotes

Tywin: “He’s a boy and he’s never lost a battle. He’ll risk anything at any time because he doesn’t know enough to be afraid.”

Bronn: “We could throw books at his men.”
Varys: “We don’t have that many books.”
Bronn: “We don’t have that many men, either.”

Arya: “A man can go kill himself.”

 

Hayley has other interests besides just nerdy TV shows. She also is a big fan of thinking. She ponders the great mysteries of life, like how more of her time can be devoted to watching those nerdy TV shows.

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