"Winter is here," someone, possibly the death-defying Jon Snow, said to someone else, possibly the dragon queen lady, in this week's episode of Game of Thrones.
At least I think it was them two. Without the aid of Google I'm a little shaky on the particulars. Not just of this scene, which I'll return to in a bit, but of the series entirely.
I've watched and written about the show for years but still don't know my Arya from my Elron. Enron? Eljoy? Whatever. You know who I mean, that new sea baddie fella. His name starts with an 'E', right? Pretty sure it does. Yeah. Let's just roll with it.
Sorry, that 'arse-from-my-elbow' pun would have worked a helluva lot better had I got the dude's name right. Which, after a quick google, I would have if I was sitting in the office writing this instead of lounging at the wifi-less pool bar on a small tropical island resort.
The trade-off for escaping the miserable Auckland winter to kick back in the sun for a bit is that I've had to expose myself for the fraudulent Thrones fan that I am. I love the show, mostly, but don't know much about it. I know the gist ... the vibe ... the basic s... just don't ask for any specifics unless you like your answers in the form of a blank stare.
This, however, is a revelation that will shock absolutely no one who has listened to the Herald entertainment team's new Game of Thrones podcast.
Released each Friday, the podcast offers week-by-week episode analysis, musings and ruminations by our crack team of entertainment journalism professionals who all love the show but have jointly discovered that they know very little about it. I think what happened is we all assumed that the others knew what they were talking about. They didn't.
It is accurately titled The Worst Game of Thrones Podcast in the World and it's fair to say that it lives up to that name. It's pretty terrible if you want to get bogged down in boring details and yawning facts. Like names, places and who may or may not have been killed at the end of the episode ...
Despite that I'd go as far as to call it essential listening for the casual Thrones fan looking for some watercooler conversation. It's funny and full of random theories, ideas and assertions about the latest goings on in the wonderful world of Westeros.
All of which I would have shared if I wasn't in this damn tropical paradise. But as I am I'll just have to get another beer (it's hot out...) and do it here, now. As on the podcast I am without Google so you can consider this to be The Worst Game of Thrones Column in the World.
After all that jibber-jabber Jon Snow (I think) confirmed that Winter is finally here. At last. Aside from the north, which has always been a bit snowy, the rest of Westeros still looks quite nice, temperate. Didn't see a spot of rain anywhere.
This got me wondering how the seasons even work there. What happened to Autumn? Or has the show always been set in Autumn until now? I guess so.
I wish I could say the new sea baddie dude was growing on me but he's just too much of a cartoon character. All nuance and personality has been thrown in the sea in order to set up someone you're so obviously meant to hate. The real world is full of people who are bastards for the sake of it but sea baddie dude is disappointingly one note.
I was, however, extremely happy to see that he hadn't killed captain sea lady. I thought he'd left her hanging at the end of last week's episode, but nope. Must've been someone else...
This week's now mandatory big action scene, the storming of Cersei's family fort by the Unsullied army, was great propelled as it was by a heist flick narrative. The payoff of golden hand's successful gambit destroying their navy (thanks sea baddie dude) was the olive in the martini in and has now cut off the Unsullied troops and left them up a rock without any paddles.
Cersei's cruelty was raised yet again, just when she was in danger of becoming somewhat likeable. The prison scene awful and unbearably well acted by all involved.
Meanwhile Tyrion got the best lines, again. His disgust at the quality of Jon Snow's brooding was top notch.
I'm sure my colleagues had some thoughts on this week's Thrones as well. I look forward to listening to them. But maybe not for another few days. Now, where'd I put the sun tan lotion?
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