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Spoiler Alert Thursday

After eleven completely useless episodes filled with red herrings, false starts, dead ends, and just plain terrible writing and acting, we finally know who the killer is in “The Killing.” It’s the “good” politician, of course. This is easily the worst “high quality” dramatic series I have ever watched–it makes “The Walking Dead” seem like “The Wire.” If any of our readers have any direct or indirect connections to the writers, producers and directors of “The Killing,” please kick them “where the sun doesn’t shine” for me: I want my twelve hours back.

Oh, and poor Helo. He really needs to get a better agent. He was listed below Alona Tal (most famous for being the intolerable Jo Harvell on “Supernatural” for about four episodes)–Helo is 90% of “Battlestar Galactica” episodes and he doesn’t merit his name as a guest star in the credits? Also, his agent neglected to have anyone bother to update his IMDB. On second thought, it might be better if no one noticed he was in “The Killing.” After all, no one noticed he starred in the TV movie “Riverworld.” And that can only be a good thing.

Of course, the only show anyone wants to talk about is “Game of Thrones.” Or, at least, it should be that way. First, the big news: Sean Bean channels both Lord Frey (he’s a lech) and Lord Stark (but he did it for honor) and gets into a knife fight outside a pub defending his 22 year old girlfriend’s honor. I understand that rather than seeking medical attention, he went back into the bar and got another drink. Aside from the 30 years age difference, that’s pretty awesome. However, he might consider bringing the Horn of Gondor or Ice with him next time he goes out drinking.

Returning to the issue of Ice, I read that a number of idiots online (do they exist anywhere else?) are upset that Ned was finally executed for treason. Admittedly, the scene didn’t go down the way I was expecting, but it was fucking obvious from the third scene of the first episode that a Baratheon would cause the death of a Stark–do they not remember the direwolf killed by the stag? Do they not remember that although the mother wolf died, the pups lived on? Do they not see the symbols? Mother-wolf=Ned; pups=Stark children! Further, do they not understand Joffrey’s character? Did they miss the scene where Joffrey promised to Cersei that the first thing he’d do as king is invade the North? Aside from how stupid these viewers are, the important question is who convinced Joffrey to execute Ned: Varys or Littlefingers? It’s pretty clear that Cersei was caught totally offguard: if nothing else, she understands an agreement and the agreement was that Ned would admit to his non-treason, but he would live (and die) in exile.

This brings us to poor Lord Snow. Upon hearing that Robb is marching south to free Ned, Jon’s immediate instinct is to abandon his post at The Wall and head south to fight alongside his brother. Maester Aemon convinces Jon not to go, telling him his own story: Aemon, it turns out, is a Targaryen (the only surviving Targaryen other than Daenerys) and he had to remain at his post on The Wall rather than go south when he heard that his family had been slaughtered. Presumably, if my theory is correct that Jon is half-Targaryen, half-Stark, Aemon knows this and he knows that if the Targaryens are going to survive, Jon must not be executed for abandoning his post.

This episode we met the Rod Stewart of Westeros: Lord Frey, who controls a strategic bridge across some river. Lord Frey, apparently not only being lecherous but generally disagreeable, was disinclined to let either army cross the bridge. Catelyn managed to secure the crossing and acquired a few thousand of Lord Frey’s men at the cost of Robb having to take on one of Lord Frey’s sons as a squire, Arya having to marry one of his other sons, and Robb having to marry one of his daughters. The exchange between Theon and Robb on this point was quite funny. Evidentally, what a Stark considers to be a proper lady and what Lord Frey considers to be a proper lady differs significantly.

Robb’s war is going really well. He managed to trick Tywin–at the cost of 2000 men sent as a decoy. The reward, however, was great: it would seem that he destroyed Jaime’s army and captured Jaime alive. The scene immediately prior to the battle with Tyrion, Bronn and Shae dragged on a bit, but I guess it was important insofar as we finally know why Tyrion hates his family and loves whores so much. Bronn was dryly amusing, as usual. When asked by Tyrion where he found Shae (“in a knight’s tent”) and if the knight had words with him, Bronn answered, “He might have said something.” It isn’t entirely clear if Bronn kicked the guy’s ass and took his whore or Bronn took the knight’s whore because that’s what a Lannister’s retainer is allowed to do.

Tyrion was adorable in his armor and his speech to the mountain men of The Vale was pretty good, especially when he tried to remember all of the silly names of the various tribes–the tribesmen responded with a chant of “Half-Man! Half-Man!” at which point they raced into battle and Tyrion was unintentionally hit in the head with a hammer, knocked over, and trampled by his own men.

Across the ocean, it turns out that Drogo is not as death-proof as he thought: that shallow wound he suffered in last episode’s fight has become infected to the point that it is killing him. In Dothraki culture, a Khal who cannot ride his own horse is no Khal at all: challengers immediately appear. Daenerys orders that camp be set up and calls for her healer to take care of his wound. In the healer’s estimation, no medicine can save Drogo. However, magic can save him–so it would seem that magic is something that exists in this world–but the magic only works on the principle of exchanging one life for another. Drogo’s horse is sacrificed to save him and no one is supposed to enter the tent for some time while the magic works. Unfortunately, a warrior who is eager to replace Drogo as Khal knocks Daenerys over. Jorah, on the recommendation of Daenerys, has put his armor on (one recap called it his “just in case armor”). Despite being much older and slower, Jorah manages to kill the warrior when his sickle-like weapon becomes stuck on the armour. At this point, Daenerys goes into labour, but none of the midwives will tend to her because she’s been corrupted by witchcraft. Daenerys has no option but to enter the tent and have the witch-healer assist with the birth. This, presumably, means that Drogo will die. But, with one episode to go, those dragon eggs better hatch, thus putting Daenerys in position to assume command of the Dothraki horde.

Lastly, Arya, living off of the pigeons she can catch with her bare hands on the streets of King’s Landing, witnesses her father’s false confession and his execution (by his own sword). Twitter discussion called for a Joffrey vs. Arya death-match. Obviously, Joffrey would stand no chance in such a fight: he already lost to Arya when she was armed with a stick. The problem with any such fight is The Hound, of course. But, part of her lessons from Syrio involve speed, stealth, and smarts. Given that the life of a warrior princess is clearly closed off to her, the next best bet is the life of the rogue-assassin. Perhaps she will go to Syrio’s city to master the sword style?

And, an important question: someone in the mob throws something at Ned’s head prior to his confession. The recaps have all called it a rock. We saw a potato. Someone else claimed that it was a mango. I find the latter implausible. What did you see thrown at Ned?

I’ve written on animals in “Game of Thrones” here, if anyone is interested.

And anyone who didn’t watch “Ice Loves Coco” is a complete fool. I beg our British friends to not discuss “Luther” as it hasn’t aired yet in North America.

I note, in passing, that I absolutely hate what WordPress has done to its interface–at least on its hosted blogs. Terrible, terrible, terrible. If you think the new comment box is awful, you should see the author’s interface!


June 15, 2011 - Posted by | Spoiler Alert Thursdays


  1. Turns out the first season of Luther was all a dream!

    Comment by Anthony Paul Smith | June 16, 2011

  2. We’re continuing to work our way through The Wire, and I’m glad to be watching it a second time. Right now, we’re in the middle of season 4, just after the election.

    We’re also watching That Mitchell and Webb Look, which is hilarious. A modern-day Fry and Laurie — they’ve even got similar body types.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | June 16, 2011

  3. Whatever Craig is spoiling is not airing across the Atlantic (and vice versa) but I do like the pictures. The last one even cured my appetite for sex for at least the next 24 hours. It would have been slightly worse if the swim suits were have been exchanged but only ever so slightly.

    Comment by Guido Nius | June 16, 2011

  4. If any of our readers have any direct or indirect connections to the writers, producers and directors of “The Killing,” please kick them “where the sun doesn’t shine” for me: I want my twelve hours back.

    I didn’t think I had one, but then I checked, and what do you know? One is an acquaintance who used to be a neighbor. We both moved away, but if I ever run into her, I’ll pass on your foot.

    I watched this episode of GoT, my second, and got hooked — I started the book and may have to go back and watch the rest of the series. The preview was a little too decapitatey for Mrs. K-sky but I think she enjoyed last Sunday’s and might be game.

    I also tried out a couple old episodes of Fry and Laurie, which confirmed my hunch that sketch comedy ages poorly and should almost never be consumed in any fashion other than greatest hits. I’m enjoying Mitchell and Webb, though.

    I watched a terrible episode of Glee (“Comeback”) followed by a good one (“Original Song”). The worst thing about Glee is when it makes the characters act like one-dimensional Tracy Flicks — plotting moves for social advantage. Every time Quinn says “we have to get back on top,” I die a little inside. But I love the characters overall, so I can abide a lot of meandering, and I have to admit, I’m on Team Rachel. She reminds me of my high school girlfriend. There was a little while in the first half of the first season when they invested in the student plots and used the adult plots more satirically, but then they overinvested in Will and he turned into a kind of velvet sociopath who didn’t understand that he was no longer in high school.

    I just made up the term “velvet sociopath” and I’m kind of half-assing it, but I hope Adam confirms in his book that it’s actually a thing.

    Comment by Josh K-sky | June 16, 2011

  5. Josh–please do kick them for me. Twice for the showrunner. And three times for whatever AMC executive decided to renew the show.

    APS–for real!? That sounds like a plot from “Passions” (or so I’ve heard; never seen it).

    Guido–it is never advisable to diss Ice T!

    Comment by Craig McFarlane | June 16, 2011

  6. On closer inspection (Yikes!) it is Ice T. A whole lotta Ice nowadays, for not so much T. The way I feel now he can come and get me. Anyway, I cannot diss him more than he dissed himself with allowing that shot to be taken. He looks positively Greek in the worst possible way one can look Greek.

    Comment by Guido Nius | June 16, 2011

  7. I haven’t read the books so I don’t know what Martin’s version is, but I dreamed the other day about the little Targaryen twins sneaking out of King’s Landing in a donkey cart or something, dressed in rags, confused and terrified, surrounded by chaos and violence. I have been having a lot of Medievalist dreams lately, wandering vast Gormenghasty halls.

    GoT is too pessimistic and negative for even me. I’m looking forward to season finale.

    Comment by bob mcmanus | June 19, 2011

  8. Re the potato/rock question — in the book it is a rock, FWIW.

    Comment by Josh K-sky | June 20, 2011

  9. Well, poop on that. Looking ahead to Thursday’s post: why did they have Carcetti tell the Hound’s story to Sansa rather than the Hound (as he does in the novel) given that in the most recent episode the Hound is comparatively nice to Sansa (stopping her before she makes her move to push Joffrey off the bridge)? The Hound is not reputed to be a nice fellow. His motivations are rather obscured.

    Comment by Craig McFarlane | June 20, 2011

  10. I only saw two eps of the series (two ago and four ago, Robert’s and Ned’s deaths) before consuming Vol I, so I don’t even know who the Hound is in the show. But my guess would be that they are more interested in Littlefinger than Clegane for this season, and they’ll build up Clegane’s character with a moment of “comparative niceness” later on if they need to. The Sansa-Hound stuff is interesting, but it doesn’t really pay off in the first season/book.

    Comment by Josh K-sky | June 20, 2011

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