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Spoiler Alert Thursday

It should be clear by now that if Peter Dinklage does not win whatever award he is entitled to at the TV awards shows that a grave injustice has been committed. His scenes in this week’s episode of “Game of Thrones” were even better than those in the previous episodes. His attempt to explain that ownership is an “abstract concept” to the idiot jailer Mord was–pardon me–gold. Similarly, his speech at his “trial” confessing his crimes was hilarious. And he had a great “Batiatus moment” when his champion, Bronn, injured Lysa’s champion (“Yes!” and a little fist-pump). Insofar as the Arryn’s are natural allies of the Starks–Catelyn is married to Ned and Lysa hates all the Lannisters because she blames them for her husband’s death–the crazy little boy, who technically rules their kingdom, presents a certain problem: he didn’t seem to understand that even though Tyrion won the trial by combat that “the bad man” wasn’t “going to fly.” At least we weren’t subjected to the horrible display of a child–somewhere between eight and ten, presumably–suckling on his mother’s breast again this week. True horror.

The raw-horse-heart pregnancy ceremony was obviously very gross, but Viserys’s death was just as obviously awesome.

I don’t remember it from the episode when Ned sends Catelyn back to Winterfell, but in the novel Ned tells her to pass along orders to his vassals to raise 200 archers to prevent any Lannister incursion. Given that Catelyn doesn’t go back to Winterfell, it is obvious that this command is never received. The importance of this is that Ned is clearly willing to wage a feud in the novel long before he is willing to wage a feud in the series, which brings us to the most recent episode. Ned is finally back on his feet, Robert wants to go hunting so he needs someone to sit on the throne in his place, and so Ned is back in the position of King’s Hand. Given how much booze his Lannister squire is giving him, I doubt Robert is going to make it back to King’s Landing alive. (This means that Ned has about 1.5 to 2 episodes before he too is dead, by my estimation.) It was Robert’s intention to block Ned’s revenge by making him king’s hand again and to put him on the throne in his absence. Unfortunately, it seems as though Ned is far more interested in revenge than keeping the kingdom together for at first opportunity, Ned declares The Mountain to be a false knight, sends a small force to seize The Mountain, and more people to fetch Tywin Lannister and drag him back to King’s Landing to account for his family’s crimes. In effect, through the dispensation of justice, Ned has managed to make two of his own private enemies into the public enemies of the kingdom. Presumably, because The Mountain is cruel and bad-ass, the knights will fail to bring him back and Tywin’s return to King’s Landing will coincide with Robert’s death thus enabling the Lannisters to secure power and have Ned killed.

Now, just as I ended last week with predictions regarding the future of the series, I’ll attempt the same: the Lannisters will not be as bad as they appear (Jaime is the most obvious candidate for some act of good based upon his arrogance) and the Starks will not be as good as they appear (likely having to do with the usurpation of the throne and, possibly, Jon Snow’s parentage). In part inspired by Bob’s gloss (“sins of the father”) on my interpretation of the series as being about succession, I propose the following: given Ned’s reluctance to have the pregnant Daenerys murdered–a soft spot for Targeryans in certain conditions–I’ll make two predictions: (1) Ned is not Jon’s father; (2) one of Jon’s parents is a Targeryan and the other is a Stark–either the dead sister or the dead brother.

Oh, and is Sansa ever stupid/gullible.

“The Killing” remains a giant turd. Last episode: proof that Bennet is the killer! This episode: nope, not him!

That's Raphael on The Left (Their Right)

“Supernatural” ended its season this week with two back-to-back episodes. The first episode involved finding a way to stop Crowley and Castiel from opening a door to Purgatory. This involved a subplot that H.P. Lovecraft, a few months before he died, managed to successfully perform the ritual to open a door to Purgatory and a monster got through–one that had been pretending to be a human all this time and who once had had a relationship with Bobby. This falls into the category of “all monsters aren’t necessarily evil.” The second episode involved trying to prevent Castiel and Crowley from performing the ritual. Castiel tricked Crowley forcing Crowley to team up with Raphael. Upon secretly performing the ritual himself–and Crowley and Raphael having incorrectly performed the ritual–Castiel appears having absorbed all the souls in Purgatory into his being. With this newfound power, Castiel destroys the most powerful archangel with a snap of his fingers (the same move Lucifer pulled on Castiel in last year’s season finale). This power goes to Castiel’s head: he refuses to return it to Purgatory and pronounces himself a new god. It is unclear if Castiel is claiming to be a god or having assumed the position of God, but, like the God of the Old Testament, Castiel is jealous and demanding. At least we now know how the other gods–the pagan gods and of other religions–are created: through the ritualistic absorption of souls. Unfortunately, Balthazar was killed by Castiel.

Castiel, Post-Apotheosis

Oh, and Hipster Jon Snow is now on Twitter.

Hipster Jon Snow


May 26, 2011 - Posted by | Spoiler Alert Thursdays


  1. Surely the obvious guess is that Jon is Robert’s sole real son.

    Comment by ben | May 26, 2011

  2. This week we watched the first season of the UK sitcom Pulling, advertised as a female awkwardness show. It took a few episodes to really grab us, which kind of sucks for a six-episode season — but I at least will most likely press on. We’ve also been watching The Peep Show on Hulu intermittantly and are getting close to catching up. Dysfunctional British people are funny.

    Today the final disc of The Wire season 3 arrived, which I’m excited for — glad that The Girlfriend had the endurance to get to what is probably the best season of the show. The first time around, I overidentified a bit with Stringer’s class-aspirational narrative, but this time it’s much clearer to me how totally fucked he was. Can’t wait to hear Avon say, “That’s some assassination shit!”

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | May 26, 2011

  3. Another great line, from season 1 — Bubbles is putting the hats on people to ID them, and he tells one of the guys that if he buys a certain hat, he’ll look like “a gallant motherfucker.”

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | May 26, 2011

  4. Oh, and in case anyone cares: Admiral Adama and Mos Def (now just apparently “Mos”) will join the cast of “Dexter” in the upcoming season. No word on Mos’s character, but the Admiral is to play a professor of religion.

    And, obviously, Bubbles is great.

    Comment by Craig McFarlane | May 26, 2011

  5. It was actually Slim Charles who had the assassination line.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | May 27, 2011

  6. It’s already been established that Robert has plenty of “real” sons – it’s just that they’re all illegitimate, and therefore can’t inherit the throne.

    The Jon/Targeryan connection is a pretty good guess – wasn’t Ned’s dead sister supposed to have been kidnapped and killed by Daenerys’s brother? Speaking of Daenerys, it became clear a couple episodes ago that Jorah is Robert’s (Varys’s?) informant among the Dothraki. Is he also their planned assassin? ‘Cause that seems like a plan that’s already going seriously awry.

    Comment by stras | May 27, 2011

  7. I always liked Stringer’s line to Shamrock to the effect of, “You’re taking notes on a motherfucking criminal conspiracy?” I like how Stringer integrates his “Business Practices 101” into his gang.

    Stras: that was what I was getting at–what if it wasn’t a kidnapping, but an eloping? As a result, the entirety of Robert’s Rebellion would be based upon a false premiss resulting in the entire reign being criminal and really forcing the need to keep Jon’s parents a secret. It would also make Jon a counterpoint to Daenerys and her son–notably named Rhaegar, the same as my suspected father of Jon Snow. (This might also mean that Jon has potential power over the dragons like Daenerys has over the eggs at present, making him important when she does invade.) I think it is obvious that Jorah is the spy and presumed assassin. I think it is equally obvious that he would not kill Daenerys. But, with my belief that Robert will die in the next episode, this is likely a moot point: Robert doesn’t want her dead because she is a threat (as such) but because of who she is.

    Comment by Craig | May 27, 2011

  8. There was an IHE article saying young academics should learn parliamentary procedure, and it was framed by Stringer’s line: “Adjourn your asses.”

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | May 28, 2011

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