Game of Thrones ‘Kissed by Fire’ – Season 3, episode 5
This series blog is following the UK broadcast schedule on Sky Atlantic
After the fire and destruction of last week, there was plenty more of the same this week, with the Hound (Rory McCann) and Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer) locking swords in a fierce battle to the death in the opening scene.
Despite the magical elements (most notably a flaming sword set alight by blood and the power of the Lord of Light), this exchange of blades felt gritty and real. It was essentially two men beating each other with heavy strips of metal rather than the lengthy swordplay we see in Hollywood films. For me, it was also a reminder that despite all the supernatural aspects, the show remains grounded in a strange sort of reality – it may defy logic but somehow it all works.
Meanwhile beyond the Wall we were treated to some Jon Snow (Kit Harington) time after the noticeable absence in the last instalment. His story was dutifully picked up again and provided viewers with some significant developments, namely Jon breaking his vows to the Night’s Watch by losing his virginity. There was also something about the wildings’ plan to scale the Wall and attack the Watch but we can get to that later – this week it was about the sex.
Game of Thrones is renowned for its raunchy sexual content but the sex scene between Jon and Ygritte (Rose Leslie) was remarkably brief and quite tender bordering on cheesy. Perhaps now that the show has gained mainstream appeal across the globe, there is less of a need to have these scenes. Then again, there was the racy gay sex scene involving Loras Tyrell (Finn Jones) and one of Littlefinger’s spies that left little to the imagination.
Leaving sex aside, the one thing that really struck me about this episode was just how well Leslie has been cast as Ygritte. She nails the character and it’s hard to believe that Leslie actually has a very plummy accent far removed from the Northern dialect of her character. She even manages to say Ygritte’s catchphrase ‘You know nothing, Jon Snow’ with the right amount of disdain when the occasion calls for it. For those who may be interested, Ygritte’s catchphrase has been turned into an Internet meme – even grumpy cat is getting in on the act.
South of the Wall, Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) remained prisoners and were taken to Roose Bolton (Michael McElhatton). Although they remain captive, so much is taking place internally for these characters – particularly Jaime. He has been emasculated by the loss of his sword hand but it is not until now that we get a real sense of his grief. His sword hand defines him and its loss has had a grave impact on him, it weakens and humbles him.
I think that this is only the beginning of Jaime’s journey and this horrific experience could change him for the better. The cocky, well-groomed Lannister is now long gone and something more wholesome seems to slowly be emerging. I am intrigued to see how he changes and grows as a character. The friendship between Brienne and Jaime also continued to blossom this week when he confided in her about the truth behind his moniker Kingslayer – it turns out that he’s not all that bad after all, King Aerys was just really, really mad as his nickname suggested.
In King’s Landing viewers finally got the confrontation they were waiting for: Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg) vs. Tyrion (Peter Dinklage). They were worthy verbal sparring partners, with one taking careful aim at the other, the other parrying and blocking the oncoming lunge before the counter attack. In the end the Queen of Thorns seemed to gain the upper hand… perhaps it wasn’t quite as dramatic but it was evident that the cogs were whirring as they tried to out-think the other. I think there should be a few more of these exchanges between the pair because they are so entertaining.
Overall Kissed by Fire was just as strong as last week and as season 3 continues to progress it becomes more compelling. What was great about this episode was the fact that the audience was given more than they bargained for. From the scene featuring Arya (Maisie Williams) and Gendry (Joe Dempsie) talking about family which tugged at the heart strings to the intriguing interactions between Stannis (Stephen Dillane) and his family, it all made for fascinating stuff. Just when the viewer thinks they have sussed out a character or a storyline, a curve ball is thrown that changes the trajectory completely.Tagged in: A song of ice and fire, Arya, Baratheon, Cersei, dragon, game of thrones, George R.R. Martin, Joffrey, Jon Snow, Lannister, lena headey, Peter Dinklage, Sansa, Stannis, Stark, The Wall, Tyrion
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