Beyond the Wall
From the desert to the frigid north we go. The Night’s Watch is still at Craster’s Keep as we open on Grenn, Sam, and Dolorous Edd discussing, of all things, farting. This is why I’m so psyched Edd made it on to the show, he is a purely comical character and in the unforgiving white north, the laughs have got to come from somewhere. While they’re talking, Sam hears a scream and rushes to help one of Craster’s wives/daughters from Ghost. Can I just say that the giant white direwolf looks awesome and perhaps slightly better than Greywind. Ghost is my favorite of all the wolves so I’m happy to see how good he looks. The girl Sam saved turns out to be pregnant and begs Sam to take her with him when they leave. Sam brings this idea to his best friend, Jon, and he immediately shoots it down. Jon is just trying to be sensible, while Sam is trying to be brave. Even though Jon is harsh with the girl, called Gilly (played by another Skins alum Hannah Murray), it’s obvious he’s not happy leaving the girl to her cruel fate. Oh well, more brooding time for the king of teenage angst. Shoutout to Sam’s brilliant line about how he can’t steal Gilly because she’s a person and not a goat, too adorable.
The episode ends with Jon Snow as well. As Jon keeps watch, he spots Craster sneaking out into the woods holding an infant boy in his arms. Now up until this point, what happened to the males of the Craster clan was a mystery. As Jon follows Craster outside the camp, he sees him place the baby in the snow and quickly run off. Jon, the terribly honorable man that he is, waits for Craster to leave and then runs to save the little boy. What he finds though, was the shock of the episode. A creature viewers haven’t seen since the pilot makes its terrifying reappearance. The blue-eyes white walker takes the baby, Jon freezes, completely taken aback, and then gets knocked out by Craster. Wow, what a way to end the hour. Those who’ve read the book know that Craster sacrifices his sons to The Others in exchange for them leaving him and his wives alone. Nice guy, right?
Wait. Hold on. Is that a black character I see? In Westeros?!? I’m only joking The introduction of pirate Salladhor Saan was fantastic. I love the guys spirit and let’s be real here, when are pirates not funny? That’s right, never. His list of demands were great (especially his insistence on *ahem* spending the night with a certain Queen Regent). To use modern terminology, dudes got mad swag. Other important tidbits learned from this scene include the fact that Davos used to be a smuggler himself, his fingers were chopped off by the same man who raised him to his current high post (Stannis is weird sort of fellow), he is illiterate, and he doesn’t believe in god or any gods for that matter.
The next scene shows Stannis back in his war room with that super cool giant table / map of Westeros (totally need one of those for my house). He is discussing strategy with Davos when Melisandre saunters in. Stannis immediately dismisses his friend and proceeds to admit to his red priestess that this war in unwinnable. She merely declares that her lord of light will have no problem destroying their enemies, Stannis seems skeptical. She reminds him that he has yet to fully commit to the new religion, and then proceeds to get naked. Oh, that‘s what she means by commitment… good to know. Also, this scene contains information that confirms the show is deviating from the books a bit as far as Stannis is concerned. Melisandre tells Stannis that his wife has bore him no children whereas in the books, Stannis does have a young daughter, his presumptive heir.
I hate Theon. And it’s not because of what you might think, although, yeah, knowing what’s to come doesn’t help the situation. I’ve just always disliked the character. And sure, maybe there are more evil characters but, everyone loves to hate Joffrey, Theon is just so… meh. I can distinctly remember turning the page to his point of view and every time thinking, ugh, Theon again :/. This has nothing to do with Alfie Allen, by the way, who I think is doing a great job with the expanded role, or the writers, or anyone. Maybe it’s an irrational hatred for the ironborn in general with their stupid god and their stupid customs (which we will get to see in upcoming episodes). The only redeeming factor, and I do mean only, was Asha (now Yara), Theon’s badass sister who remains badass on the show I’m happy to report. Balon still sucks as a person, though Patrick Malahide’s portrayal was kinda awesome, and even that super cool Kraken fireplace couldn’t win me over. And for the record, there is nothing wrong with paying the gold price Mr. Greyjoy.
Another stunning episode from the director, Alan Taylor, who *fun fact alert* is helming the next Thor movie. Every scene was shot beautifully. Although the action doesn’t move forward a whole lot, the new introductions were exciting and promise big things to come. I’ve heard rumblings that episode 3 is the best of the season so far, and I’m inclined to agree with the chatter seeing how fan-favorite and personal favorite Lady Brienne of Tarth is finally introduced and we will once again be graced with King Renly’s handsome presence.