Game of Thrones Season 5, Episode 2: Everybody wants to back-seat Rule the World

This episode was delightfully heavy with politics and schemes and, by the end, I had almost forgotten the changes made to Dorne and DOran Martell (who is this DoRAN person).

The Good:

  • Lollys Stokeworth, Bronn’s betrothed, is introduced and I think her character was much better handled than in the books. It is refreshing to see someone who seems nice and fairly innocent without the trappings of The Grand Hero.
  • Tyrion acknowledging that he actually craves power and Shae is dead, because he refused to get the hell out of Dodge when she asked nicely. Also because he murdered her.
  • Jon getting some well-deserved recognition, both by his peers and by Stannis. Sam playing at sassy campaign manager with a killer not-so-smear campaign only sweetened the deal. I would have liked the elections to take part a little later. The moment deserved more build up and Jon went from turning down Stannis to Commander way too fast.
  • Shireen teaching everyone to read very nearly makes me want to forgive the adaptation for its numerous faults (one of which is making Shireen a candidate for R’hllor’s fire).
  • Cersei and Kevan fighting to see who will become Westeros’ Next Top Lannister now that Tywin is gone.

The Bad:

  • The changes made to the Martells were going to rub me the wrong way, I just never realized how badly. Since they have seemingly elected to leave out a point of view character from the books, it makes sense for other characters to pick up her motivations. It was not handled well, however.
  • In the process, we lost one of the greatest voices of reason who calls for the cycle of violence to end. Not only that, but instead of a hot-headed scheme that had its merits being the counterpart to Doran’s patience, we get the paramour of the man who fought to avenge the crimes committed on his sister and children calling for the blood of an innocent young girl.
  • Tyrion needs to spend his remaining years in a box for his safety, apparently, but Sansa is just waltzing about and everybody knows who she is under what barely passes as a disguise. Superman had glasses at least.
  • I don’t understand why every director gives the same acting note to Aidan Gillen: smirk and look like you’re constantly rubbing your hands together and cackling without actually doing so.
  • Brienne’s continued abuse of Pod leaves a bad taste in my mouth and robs us all of a young, kind, too-idealistic-for-her-own-good knight.
  • It’s not so much the adaptation’s fault, but the whole situation in Meereen makes me cringe.

The Downright Weird:

  • Jaime being sent on a sensitive diplomatic mission. Jaime. Jaime Lannister.
  • The Martells didn’t leave a note. Goldenhand the Just is going to Dorne to sort things out. This show should just stop pretending and get Ron Howard to do a voiceover. 
  • Varys and Tyrion’s conversations that went around in circles in what the writers probably hoped reminded people of Heller, instead of sounding like a college student who is desperately trying to reach an essay requirement (see: “The road to Volantis” and “They find us repulsive,” though the latter is a nice character moment).
  • That we’re only now getting a taste of the awesomeness that are the Mormont ladies.
  • Arya being turned away and then being granted entrance, without actually doing anything.

This post is brought to you with help from the lovely Nikki who saved us all from the typos.