So. Game of Thrones 3×05: ‘Kissed by Fire’

So. Game of Thrones 3×05: ‘Kissed by Fire’

There’s something we need to bring up; during the opening credits, why do we still pause on Winterfell, even though it’s burned and nothing has happened there since the very end of last season? Yes, we need to give some hint as to where Bran, Rickon and the gang roughly are, but they aren’t even in this episode! You know what is in this episode? Dragonstone! And yet I note that Dragonstone fails to show up during the aforementioned opening credits.

Although Yunkai does, so there you go.

We open with yet another something I’ve been waiting for, a long time now – Beric Donarrion’s duel with Sandor Clegane. And oh, they had the flaming sword! They had Sandor’s terrified reaction! They had Dondarrion wielding it like a boss! This scene must have taken so long to shoot, and have been such a fire hazard. Plus Dondarrion’s actor is essentially fighting with one eye covered, that must have been unnerving.  Although, once again, they’re using their swords with only one hand. I’d thought that Sandor’s sword was a two handed weapon, but maybe I’m just underestimating his strength. This whole fight scene was just so intense, and the finishing move so brutal!

Maisie Williams just nailed it when she was screaming at him, but I was a tad disappointed by Dondarrion’s revival. I wanted more gasping and a ‘come back to life’ scream. Cliche, I know, but I’m a sucker for that particular cliche.

Meanwhile, where the Wildlings are (I would be proud of that gag, except it’s probably been made a million times already by now) Jon has to answer questions about the Wall. I know we’re not supposed to like Orell, but one, he has a valid point about not trusting Jon, two, he’s played by Mackenzie Crook. I cannot dislike Mackenzie Crook! Ygritte sticks up for Jon, meaning he gets in a huff, until Ygritte also very reasonably points out that if it hadn’t be for her, he’d have been dead quite a few times by now. Then she proceeds to nick his sword and oh, this is the beginning of the infamous cave scene, isn’t it?

Yep, it is. This was actually a very good scene, even if the female participant still got naked well before the male one. A great portrayal of Jon’s release. Although, much as with Podrick’s little session with the whores back in episode three (which I have yet to recap, I hang my head in shame) I find it highly suspicious that a virgin like Jon automatically knows how to please a woman’s who’s as experienced as Ygritte – in more ways than one – when this is the first time he’s even done it, let alone learned how to do it properly. (We can blame that on Martin this time, not the show.) Still, the bit where he gives her his ‘Lord’s Kiss’ was hilarious, as it was in the book. Shooting this bit must have been a hoot.

And…was that a smile? Holy shit, it was!!! Jon Snow has smiled, people, the end is definitely nigh.

Continue reading “So. Game of Thrones 3×05: ‘Kissed by Fire’”

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So. Hannibal 1×03: ‘Potage’

Spoilers for Hannibal, episode 3, ‘Potage’.

After the fungus obsessed killer of last episode, ‘Potage’ brings us squarely back to the case of the Minnesota Shrike, the wake of his murders and the fate of his daughter. Abigail Hobbs wakes from one nightmare – killing and dressing a deer under her late lamented father’s instruction, that all of a sudden transforms into a dead girl (or possibly even herself) – into another living nightmare.

She has to come to terms not only with the fact that her father killed her mother and tried to kill her, but that he also killed eight other girls as substitutes for her, and stuffed pillows with their hair. Waste not, want not, after all, which he carried even further by feeding parts of the bodies to his family. Abigail reacts to this epiphany – and to Lecter’s calm ‘It’s quite probable’ – about as well as you’d expect.

It gets worse: by now the general public assumes she was complicit in her father’s crimes and react accordingly, the authorities have her under suspicion, and one of the few people that’s at least candid with her about all this is a reporter who manages (albeit probably unintentionally, give Lounds some credit) to sic the brother of one of the victims on her.

On top of all this, if she wasn’t a killer by the start of the episode – of humans, at least, although she’s clearly remorseful about that deer – she most certainly is by the end, having managed to gut Nicholas (said grieving brother of the lady with missing lungs in ‘Aperitif’) like a fish, when he worked up enough nerve to attack her.

I have to congratulate Abigail on not ending ‘Potage’ in a writhing mess, although inside we can’t even begin to fathom how fractured she is. Kacey Rohl does a fantastic job portraying Abigail as necessarily manipulative, scared, awkward, horrified and, by the end, filled with fascinated understanding and some small terror.

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