Monday, May 13, 2013

Game of Thrones 3x07 The Bear and the Maiden Fair

By s. Monday, May 13, 2013 ,
What is this saying? "It's always calm before the storm"? Well, apparently in season 3 of Game of Thrones things have to get really lame before they become great. Or at least I'm hoping it's the explanation for the quality and the content of the latest episode. The Bear and the Maiden Fair, the episode that was written - for the third time in series's run - by George R.R. Martin is unfortunately the worst episode of the season.

It's nowhere near the quality of previous episodes written by Martin - The Pointy End and Blackwater, which is actually the single best episode of any TV series I've seen. That said, there where many times when my blood turned cold while watching the episode. Also I fist bumped the air twice and screamed "YES!". At 3 AM. I'm going to get evicted, aren't I?
First time was obviously when we saw glorious nudity from Richard Madden. HBO, you complete me. We got quite sensual sex scene between Robb and Talisa and it's nice to see a sex scene in the show that is not vulgar and cheap. Robb got up (YES!) and started staring and the maps again as Talisa started writing to her mother. There is a popular theory out there that Talisa is a spy and I found it quite odd how much emphasis there was on her writing the letter in Valyrian, the language Robb cannot understand.

Talisa informs Robb that she is pregnant. I always thought Martin has sadistic tendencies, but making Talisa pregnant in the show is a confirmation that he is indeed a sadist. In the books there was no Talisa - she was Jeyne Westerling and Robb married her, which caused the Frey allegiance to fall. It was only speculated that she was pregnant. Martin stating it here, the absence of Grey Wind scenes...I'm sure book readers, particularly after watching the promos for this season can see where all of this is heading. A sadist that man is.
The scene was proceeded by wet Robb again, as the wedding party heading to The Twins was caught in the rain. Oh, yeah. Cat threw several ugly looks at Talisa and some mean comments about Walder Frey were said. Also apparently the talk of "wet shit" turns Robb on.

Another moment which I loved and cheered during was when Tyrion gave Shae a golden chain. In the books the Hand of the King wears a chain, which was replaced with the pin in the show. That chain will be very important later on and I really liked Martin introducing it to fix some things that the writers on the show threw off the right course. That scene was actually pretty great and Shae wasn't too annoying. She is still hurt about Tyrion marrying Sansa and she is heartbroken because she knows she is only "his whore".
After Tyrion announced the plans for him and Sansa, they are both looking for advice from their friends. Tyrion hangs out with Bronn, who was absent for several episodes so it's great to see him again. Bronn doesn't understand what the big problem is as Sansa is not much younger from the girls Tyrion had (in the books she is thirteen, Sophie Turner who plays her is seventeen). Sansa is also receiving encouraging counsel from Margaery.

I really loved that scene. Not only they hinted at Margaery's knowledge about sex, which is also a clever hint for the future but I really liked someone saying nice things about Tyrion. "He is far from the worst Lannister, wouldn't you say?". Exactly. Sansa should be happy. Especially that Tyrion promised her mother that the girls will be returned when Jaime is sent back. And Tyrion is a good man, while Loras is a freaking pussy.
Another thing that worked extremely well were Daenerys scenes. She reached Yunkai, another slave city, that we only saw from the far, but it was really amazing. Emissary is sent to talk to her and there Dany was really bad ass. We finally got to see closer look at all the dragons and the CGI was very impressive. I loved the moment when she threw them a piece of meat and they started fighting over it.

In the books, Daenerys is called "the most beautiful woman in the world" and it's easy to believe in a scene like this one. Emilia Clarke looked really amazing and I loved the dress she was wearing. Dany was very poised and focused in that scene as she informed the emissary of her demands - to free every slave in Yunkai. If they don't do it, the city will face the same fate as Astapor.
Emissary is obviously appalled and he informs her that Yunkai has "powerful friends". He brought Dany gold hoping that it would be enough for her to leave but Dany takes one look at his slaves and decides she has to attack. Her dragons start acting angry and the scared emissary leaves the gold behind. This is far from being over.

Drogon was really pissed off in this scene, especially after emissary threatened Dany. No wonder seven kingdoms bowed to dragons once. They were really terrifying in this scene.
Even an idiot like Joffrey knows dragons are not a laughing matter. He summons Tywin to speak with him. He wonders what the hell is up with the Small Council meetings being moved to the Hand's Tower. Tywin walks up the stairs, stands before terrified Joffrey and tells him that they can arrange to have him carried there if he wants to attend.

Tywin Lannister is the man that everyone should fear. Charles Dance exudes such confidence and that scene is a good example of that. Joffrey may be the one sitting on the throne, but it's Tywin who controls the realm. I wonder why he isn't more concerned about dragons. I was scared shitless of Drogon this episode.
We got plenty of Ygritte and Jon this episode. They are now in Westeros and they are heading to Castle Black to attack it. After getting laid Jon is getting his freak on, talking about how he would like to see Ygritte in silk dress and tear it off her. Damn it, get you shit together Starks! Robb is banging the nurse, Jon is fantasizing about wilding girl and Sansa is worried how to do it with Tyrion. Are you kidding me? Your fucking home is burning, your siblings are missing and THIS is what you are doing?

Anyways, Orell is still pissed off about Jon being in their group. Also he is interested in Ygritte who only has eyes for Jon. Lots of drama on the road. Jon informs Ygritte that six times the wildings wanted to defeat the northmen and six times they failed. Ygritte is convinced this time they will win.
We got short Arya moment, who is mad at the Brotherhood for giving up Gendry to Melisandre. She tells them they are liars and she escapes. Then, she is captured by none other than the Hound. He just can't escape the fate of hanging out with the Stark girls, can he?

We saw Bran and more dreams nonsense, this time with Osha yelling at Love Actually kid for filling Bran's head with strange ideas. She also tells a story of her lover who came back as wight. Meanwhile, in Harrenhal, Jaime exchange several lines with Roose Bolton before leaving. I was very glad they kept that conversation as it will give birth to one of the series' most famous and haunting lines. 
There was really awesome moment with Gendry and Melisandre. They are heading on the ship to Dragonstone, through the Blackwater Bay. Because of them taking that route we got to see breathtaking shot of the Bay with all the destroyed ships from the battle.

In the scene Melisandre informs Gendry that he is Robert Baratheon's bastard. That was an amazing moment. The way Melisandre broke the news and Ramin Djawadi's epic music playing in the background made it into really powerful moment. Mel also tells Gendry that there is power in King's blood....
What nearly buried the episode for me was Theon scene. That was just embarrassing to watch. Martin essentially took 10 minutes of screen time, two naked chicks and made us watch it, just to confirm something. In the books it was hinted Theon was castrated by the boy (for fuck sake reveal who he is already, I'm tired of tip-toeing around non-book readers). Two chicks start pleasuring him, the boy appears, cuts his dick off, end of scene. That was ridiculous.

But it's not the worst part of the episode. They completely butchered my favorite scene in the book series. I liked the addition of the goodbye moment between Brienne and Jaime when she says "Goodbye, ser Jaime" and he is all teary eyed. But everything that came later? The writers should be ashamed of themselves.
I can't blame Martin for that fiasco, as that sequence was moved from later episode. If they fuck up Episode 9 as much as they fucked up this, it will be beyond forgiveness. I hope they know that.

In the books after leaving Harrenhal, Jaime had a dream. He dreamed of Casterly Rock and that the canals beneath it were filled with the people he disappointed, including Brienne, whom he saw naked and in chains. He woke up and he told the men that were with him that he has to go back. In the show we got yet another useless look at Jaime's stump,, him having essentially the same conversation as few episodes back with Qyburn and him deciding to go back after hearing Lord Selwyn's ransom was declined by Locke, because he believes he has all those sapphires.
Sapphires that Jaime talked about. So instead of just coming back because it's the right thing to do, Jaime goes back because he feels guilt for the lie he told. What the hell is that bullshit. And then it got even worse.

In the book this was my single favorite moment because upon seeing Brienne with that wooden sword against a huge bear in the pit Jaime committed the single most heroic act in the books. He leaped into the pit, jumped in front of her, unarmed, without his sword hand. Sure, he could assume that the men with him will start shooting at the bear, but he couldn't know it for sure. And in that moment when he leaped in that pit, it was all about saving Brienne.
In the book he found a piece of jaw bone and stabbed the bear with it, he forced it to move around to tire him. He actually fought it. Only then the men started shooting. In the show he jumps in and they start shooting immediately. He gives Brienne a boost and then he grabs her hand. One arrow was shot. No bone was found. And all of that lasted maybe a minute. That was fucking disappointing.

And the wost thing is the lack of my favorite lines. There were four amazing lines they could have used easily and NONE of them was used. Instead of having that Qyburn conversation they could have just showed Jaime waking up, all sweaty and worried and telling the men they have to go back. Then, when he rescues her and she asks why, he could have said "I dreamed of you".
Another amazing line was "Brienne! Her name is Brienne!". I cannot believe they didn't use it, considering how just two episodes back they had Jaime scream "Jaime! My name is Jaime!". We didn't get Jaime asking Brienne if she was a maiden - "Oh, good. I only rescue maidens" and finally no "You want her? Go and get her". We got Locke rambling on about the gold instead. WHAT?

Now, I'm no expert but it seems to me all of that could have been done. And why was that scene so short? There are even some shots used in the trailers we didn't get to see here. Did someone who moved the scene from latter episode screwed up the editing?
I'm not saying it was a bad scene, but it was much too short and comparing to the book scene it was anticlimatic. But from what I understand, non-book readers liked it. The scene was actually the final moment of the episode. And it was nowhere near as epic as the music we heard in those final moments and over the end titles - Ramin Djawadi stunning instrumental rendition of Rains of Castamere.

Only three episodes left. This Sunday - a wedding, a warrrior and a wight.


  1. Ugh now I feel disappointed in the bear scene.

    I liked this episode. All the plus points were high pluses for me and even Theon and naked chicks can't ruin it.

    What do you mean by "wright"?

    1. Sorry I meant to write wight - it is a creature White Walkers bring back. When someone dies and they find their body they bring it back - like a zombie. That's why wildings burn the bodies of their friends - so they could find peace and not be turned into one.

  2. I liked the bear scene but then again, I haven't made it through the books yet. I'm kind of glad, since now I can't really be disappointed about this scene and I can still have the far more amazing reading by the time I get there.

    Also, I still can't totally love Margaery for some reason. I don't know.. maybe it's my inability to like nice girls but I can't seem to trust her at times. But I find it comforting that I'm a step closer after she defended Tyrion. Also, Sansa is so naive (in book 1 her chapters really annoy me)and still not enough Arya for me.

    Hopefully the final three will be better for you! ;)

    1. I sometimes wish I didn't read the books. On the other hand there is plenty of shocking moments to come and I don't think I could bear watching them in the show without the warning that was reading about them in the books.

      Sansa is really declining. Her silly Loras infatuation is so annoying. There will be plenty of Arya in the remaining episodes.

      Last three will probably render me catatonic.

    2. Well.. reading them after seeing the series is not the same.. Though I feel like the first series was by the book quite well. At least as far as I remember - there's just SO much to remember.

      She just can't see past her own fantasies.. If I were her I would see a great deal of opportunities in marrying Tyrion though I'd take his brother if I could....

      And my excitement is mixed with my traveling anxiety.. I'll be in Ireland by the time the last episode airs and so close to Northern Ireland! Oh ... my.

    3. Oh yes, the first season was the closest to the book. Mostly because things weren't as scattered as they are now, the war was only beginning.

      Jaime is allegedly forbidden from marrying as a member of King's Guard :) It's just a cover really, so he could bang Cersei whenever she likes.

      Awesome! Despite Peter Dinklage complaining about the mud and the rain I'm sure it's extremely beautiful there.

  3. I enjoyed the bear scene, because I had mentally prepared myself for it being not as good as the books. I knew they wouldn't do a dream sequence, but I really wished they would've. I mean, they're going to have to for some of Bran's scenes in the future. I'm holding out hope that we'll get some of those great lines "I dreamed of you" and "Are you still a maiden?" in the next episode since we really didn't get to hear them talk. I'm going to be pretty pissed if we don't get them at all though. The dream line is my FAVORITE!

    The gold chains didn't click for me right away, but now they do now. I'm glad Sansa has finally admitted to how stupid she is. I like Sansa, but she's pretty daft.

    I'm really hoping all of this new stuff they are doing with Gendry doesn't mean he's not meant for something big in the books. I obviously have hopes for him and Arya to reunite, but I thought he might be the one to re-forge Lightbringer. I'm glad for more Joe Dempsie screen time, but I can't help but think of that.

    1. I don't think they are in the next episode :( I hope they are, though, based on the promo there 5 confirmed storylines and they are usually more in each episode.

      Yeah I really hope hanging with LF ill at least make her smarter.

      I hope Gendry has a big role to play too, I really want him to be with Arya.

      I really hope they will close the next episode with leeches scene. That would be epic and it's their last opportunity to show this scene.

  4. Yikes, that dragon looks pretty darn scary indeed. But man, that Robb has such an amazingly gorgeous black hair [sigh] Btw, did you hear that Richard Madden has been cast as the prince in Cinderella's new adaptation?

    I was already intrigued when I read that Kenneth Brannagh is directing but check out the cast: Helena Bonham Carter, Stephen Fry, Christopher Lee, Alan Rickman, Matt Lucas and Timothy Spall. I mean, I'd watch this just for Bonham Carter and Rickman alone, but now we've got some MAJOR eye candy! :D

    Sorry, didn't mean to hijack your post with that Cinderella news, ahah.

    1. Yep, I did hear, I wrote about that in previous rambling Friday post.

      I wish Mark Romanek would stay as the director, though.

    2. Ah geez, slight brain freeze there. I remember now that you mentioned Robb's role, of course you'd know about that way before me, ahah.

      I quite like Brannagh's work so it's not a problem in my book :D

    3. Yes, he is on my radar and tumblr is very informative when it comes to movie news :)

      I really loved Never let me go, so I was kinda hoping for subtle and mature retelling of Cinderella with Romanek on board.

  5. Wasn't George R.R. Martin going to write Episode 9 at one point or am I mixing up the episodes?

    Dany scene is really good. She's so confident. She knows what she wants and she's going to get it. Can't wait to see her conquer that city. The Dragons look even bigger than I remember from ep. 4.

    I was hoping Jamie would fight the bear, the scene could have been longer. It felt more epic in my mind while reading it.

    1. Oh, no, Ep 9 has the event that lead Benioff and Weiss to the idea that the series should be made into TV show, so they were the ones writing it from the start. Martin is writing another wedding episode, though - 4x02.

      Yeah, the dragons are growing fast! I wish we got to see more direwolves, though.

      It did feel longer when I was reading it for me too. It's actually not a long chapter, but it was so beautifully written and dynamic. Shame they didn't do better job adapting it.

  6. Definitely agree about the Bear scene, it was just sort of... there. There weren't any big moments and it was all over so quickly (In fact, the only thing that jumps to mind is how I couldn't help but think about Anchorman when Jaime jumped into the pit)

    I've never heard the Talisa theory, it's interesting but I really hope they don't go through with it. Haven't they already made her unlikable enough?

    1. Haha, yeah tumblr is exploding with Anchorman references :)

      She is banging Robb = I hate her guts.

  7. I didn't have a problem with the bear scene, but then again it's been a couple of years since I read the books and I honestly didn't remember much about it.

    I agree that the dragons were very impressive, both within the reality of the show, and the cgi in our reality.

    I don't think I minded this episode as much as you, but that's because the pattern this season seems to be a few episodes of set up followed by a couple of great episodes. Eps 1, 2, and 3 set up 4 and 5, now it seems eps 6, 7, and 8 will be setting up 9 and 10.

    On a somewhat related note, have you ever seen School of Thrones? It's web series parody that asks what if all these families were cliques in school (Westeros Valley High) that were competing for prom king. And who's that transfer student who's REALLY into dragons? The first of three episodes can be seen here, if you are curious:

    Another related joke: want to see the Lannister siblings during happier times? Watch this:

    1. I haven't seen those but I'll check them out soon! I'm a bit short on time this week.

      I really, really hope they realize how close they have to follow the book for Episode 9. Everything hangs on the way they will handle that episode - it can either make or bury this season. The RW is why they wanted to do the show in the first place so I really hope they won't mess it up.

      Ep 8 seems like it can be pretty huge too, I'm really hoping it will end with leeches scene - there are shots of Gendry being leeched in promos and Mel standing next to the fire, I really want Stannis to threw the leeches in and set the things in motion.

  8. I'm loving the full on horror aspect of the Theon scenes this season. For me, this storyline is the best handled creative departure from the books.

    The Robb/Talisa storyline bores me. Maybe because I know what happens in two weeks, but I still wish we got more of Cat's POV.

    Sansa/Margaery: I never liked Dorner's acting in her past work, and Sansa used to be best described as 'the mountain that cries', but I've been impressed by both actresses lately.

    Dany, Joff: The contrast they showed between these two child rulers was brilliant. Also loved how they showed Tywin climbing those steps and towering over Joffrey sitting uncomfortably in the throne.

    Bear pit: I agree, a disappointment. Rushed. Not enough tension, no real sense of danger, no feeling of a heroic deed done. My favorite scene in the novels comes next season (a certain bar room fight). They best not mess that one up as bad as this.

    1. Three weeks...because of memorial day Episode 9 is on June 2nd :/

      I love Dormer and she is great here, shame Sansa is still acting like a naive child, after her scene in 3x01 I was hoping she will be more mature this season.

      Tywin was amazing this episode. Can't wait for all the showdowns between Lannisters this week.

      I'm hoping they are aware of how disappointed book readers are with the way they handled the scene.

  9. This was a big come down after the previous week's episode for me. I did love the dragons though, they were proper badass in this episode. I'm also finding myself more and more interesting in Jon Snow's storyline whereas before I wasn't really bothered by it. Brann's storyline is ridiculously boring though.

    1. Yes, Jon's storyline is a bit more interesting this season. I really don't care about Bran. At least in the books his chapters are usually filled with stories about heroes and past events, in the show it's just boring.