Review of Game of Thrones ‘The Prince of Winterfell’
With Stannis (Stephen Dillane) only days away from King’s Landing and Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) preparing to do battle, this week was the calm before the storm.
This episode is an example of why ‘Game of Thrones’ is worthy of the all the plaudits it has received. It had the right mixture of pace and character development which made it compelling to watch. Possibly the only downer was the brief check-in with Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) where she spoke of retrieving her dragons from the House of the Undying, despite a ship finally being found to carry her across the sea.
Aside from this, ‘The Prince of Winterfell’ offered some great insight into characters that have only been observed superficially so far. Some light was shed on Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan) through her conversation with Theon (Alfie Allen) and for the first time there was a sense of sisterly affection towards him. She wants to protect him and she does sympathise with him. She also understands how difficult her father can be and she too has had to deal with him over the years. The question is will Theon take her advice or will he die far away from the sea?
In a ‘Game of Thrones’ first, viewers witnessed a sex scene charged with genuine, raw emotion that left lust to one side and above all was an important part of the episode. The sex scene or more accurately the love scene between Robb (Richard Madden) and Talisa (Oona Chaplin), the healer from Volantis was a touching moment. There has been chemistry between the pair since they first met and this scene was the climax of their feelings for one another. In amongst the violence and gratuitous sex that are part of the show, this scene offered something pure and endearing.
Despite the circumstances they are in and the fact that he is a promised to another, their love offers hope of happiness. In the land of the Seven Kingdoms there is never a lot of hope but this was one glimmer, suggesting that amidst so much awfulness there can be room for love. Madden and Chaplin portray their characters fantastically and after this week the audience will be rooting for them to make it through without any further tragedy.
Tyrion’s moment with Shae (Sibel Kekilli) should not be forgotten either. When viewers first met Tyrion, he was whoring his way through life, inwardly broken by his father’s cruel introduction to the world of women. However, since he has been with Shae he seems to be healing from this deep wound and yet it makes him more fragile. The interchange between them revealed that she is his great weakness. He is usually so sardonic and straight-talking that his vulnerability shows that there is more to him than just ‘the imp’.
In terms of plot progression, beyond the Wall Sam (John Bradley-West) and his fellow brothers of the Night’s Watch stumbled across something ancient buried by an old member. Just what is it and what does it all mean? Meanwhile Jon Snow remained a prisoner of the wildings while Arya (Maisie Williams), Gendry (Joe Dempsie) and Hot Pie (Ben Hawkey) left Harrenhal. Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) helped Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) to escape after he was freed by Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley). Most importantly, the Stark boys were not dead and returned home in secret.
‘The Prince of Winterfell’ is one those episodes that should be watched more than once if only to experience the emotions that radiate off the characters. This week is worth raving about because of the way it tugs at the audience’s heartstrings and manages to move the story forward at the same time.
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