Episode 7, A Man Without Honor, review
Who is the Man Without Honor?
Another episode, oh boyeeee! This season is flying by and so are my weeks as I eagerly await my Sunday viewings of Game of Thrones. Well I don’t have any major suppositions or speculative theories about what’s going on in the show anymore. I could probably do that until I’m blue in the face, but honestly I’m really enjoying the fact that I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen. That’s right, with last episode deviating from the books as far as they did, us readers of the series are going to be forced to watch in ignorance just like the rest of the tv world.
Frankly, I’m not really enjoying the Ygritte/Jon Snow story arc all that much. Sure sure, it’s integral to the North beyond the Wall’s point of view, but the caddy nature of their relationship just strikes as childish and kind of irritating. And yes I completely understand the show’s need to fully explain the tenuous history behind the Wildlings and the world South. But, I don’t have to enjoy it damnit!
The weird part is how much I liked Jon Snow in the books too, but in the series I just have trouble not considering him a boy who sees the world like a boy. While he faces the harsh reality of the Night’s Watch and the wilds in the North, he almost approaches it with an unrealistic fantastical sense. He’s so idealized, cut and dry, black and white, ignorant. And so reminded by Ygritte, with her line “You know nothing, Jon Snow.” I’m sure we’ll hear more of that. I don’t even think Kit Harrington is a bad actor, I believe him as Jon Snow. I’m just not sure he’s all that likeable.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, I’m still loving the crap out of Tywin and Arya playing off one another. We get to see the new Gregor Clegane. The actor was replaced by Ian Whyte who played the White Walker at the beginning of the series. Enough about those mundane details, boring. The exploration of this relationship is great. Last week I likened them to a man and a coveted possession, but I see a much more fatherly kindness in Tywin that the show reminds us of. These moments serve as reminders that this world of men is not cast in a definite mold and the lines between good and evil are undefined.
And we mustn’t forget Arya, posing as Tywin’s cupbearer and now a daughter of one of Lady Dunsten’s helpers. She is quite adept at subterfuge, and Tywin is right when he tells her she’s too smart for her own good. I find it funny that she considers the killing Tywin, but falls back into conversation so easily and sincerely with him. Really she is quite the deft little fibber.
Robb Stark and what’s her bucket from Volantis are making a cute couple and nice romantic interlude for all you ladies out there. Whatever. Fun fact, what’s her bucket is Charlie Chaplin’s granddaughter in real life.
Theon is becoming a hardass. He’s fully accepted his role as prince of the Ironborn and really, as Eddie Izzard would say, he’s a bit of bastard. His men are beginning to come around and maybe the rest of the Ironborn will start to believe his hard-as-nails approach to leadership. His new managerial style is well illustrated as he bashed his bald subordinate into a pulp to prove his point. I’m just glad he’s not my boss. The hunt for Bran, Rickon, Hodor, and Osha continues and proves GRUESOME. Yikes. I had forgotten reading that part, but two burnt little bodies is just plain gory. Props to the prop department because that was real enough to make me feel pretty crummy and to make Theon feel pretty crummy too. You can see his sails flag a little at the sight. His face says it all in that moment at the end.
So did the Hound smell menstruation? Convenient he happened to show up right after Sansa’s first… I’m just going to stop talking about this. Anyway, Cersei shows Sansa kindness and while I can never tell if she gives two shits about her, or anyone other than her children or Jaime, but the exchange adds complexity to the her craziness. The show gives her the appeal of a frenzied mother bear and her overprotective zeal. Not that it makes her more likeable, as likeable as a mama bear can be, but it helps to understand what truly motivates.
I’ve been waiting for Jaime Lannister to have a decent length scene. This is easily the most dialogue we’ve gotten out this character, and I’m anticipating more moments like this one. But, with the series winding down I don’t know if we will get much more of Coster-Waldau. Jaime’s a huge slime ball and the kind of bad guy you tend to root for, or at the very least you like to see him interacting with your favorites. So, for me, he’s fun to watch. You can’t really anticipate what he may do, and he proved that this episode by murdering his cousin and Karstark’s son. Only to be caught and brought back to the Stark camp. His character’s strong sense of self-preservation makes for good entertainment.
Daenarys’ story is just getting plain crazy. This is what exactly what I was talking about in the beginning when I said I don’t know what to expect anymore. I didn’t foresee any of this. That makes Xaro’s coup over the Thirteen that much better. Sure you can sit back as readers and yell at your tv all you want, “THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN!” But, for my part, I’m going to sit back and enjoy the show. After all, ignorance is bliss.
Piyat Pree along with Quaithe are proving to be very powerful users of magic. Quaithe is some sort of seer, and has an almost prescient insight into every man’s heart as she rends Jorah wide open in their exchange. He comes to her ready to kill, seething with anger and is disarmed by her ability to understand his emotions and in turn manipulate them. Piyat Pree, has that little multiplicty trick. He must watch lots of Michaels Keaton movies. Well that must be pretty handy to be able to turn oneself into a small army of assassin’s. I can see why Xaro sides with him. That was pretty smart move. Not to mention he’s still super creepy. And as you all know, it’s best not to piss off the creepy guy, who knows what kind of weird stuff he’ll do.
This episode was pretty light on Tyrion. Too bad. Dinklage is a rockstar. But Tyrion and Cersei have a nice brother/sister moment together. Surprisingly so. Cersei often makes known her hatred for her little brother, but treats him to a confession of her iniquities. Which is something you don’t make a habit of for someone you’re supposed to hate. The Lannisters have a severe sort of loyal fondness of each other, buried behind a very steely facade.
So who wins this episode. Hrmmm. Once again a lot of great scenes. But, I think I’m going with the namesake of this one A Man Without Honor. Which could go one of two ways, Jaime or Theon Greyjoy. But, I’m going with Ser Jaime Lannister. Why? This episode illustrated a lot of the confusion of the realm. How people are bound to one thing or another, a person, a creed, or an ideology. That often times these beliefs are in direct contradiction to one another and doing the right thing, or the thing you’re bound to do can seem impossible or just wrong. Jaime puts it perfectly when he’s in bondage. He lays open the several conundrums he’s faced as a member of the kingsguard and a son of his father and member of his own house. But, through it all his self-preservation tips his scales and he doesn’t seem to give a good god damn.