Game of Thrones ‘Second Sons’ – Season 3, episode 8
This series blog is following the UK broadcast schedule on Sky Atlantic
Even though there was a complete absence of our favourite odd couple Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) and Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), we got another pair to fill their place this week.
It was of course the long-awaited nuptials of Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and Sansa (Sophie Turner) – and what an awkward couple they made. Dinklage was as glorious as ever as Tyrion, particularly when he dithered in his attempts to tell Sansa that he will look after her. Turner meanwhile seemed stiffer than a plank of wood, I think they should change her name to balsa and have done with it. At the moment it is difficult to suspend my belief and take her for a naive 14-year-old girl, she is far too womanly and fails to convince. I still live in hope that somehow Turner becomes more naturalistic in her approach to Sansa, at the moment the character lives in a perpetual state of shock and remains emotionless.
The majority of the action took place in King’s Landing, the seat of all corruption, and as such we saw the rot and decadence of the capital of Westeros manifest itself in several characters, most notably Cersei (Lena Headey). The moment when she threatened to have Margaery (Natalie Dormer) strangled in her sleep showed a flash of the evil Cersei that we know all too well. She has been lying dormant for a lot of this season. The viewer has only seen glimpses of this side to her character, as her storyline fades into the background and others come into the foreground, namely that of her twin brother.
Then there was Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and his threat to rape Sansa on her wedding night. His levels of depravity have multiplied tenfold this season, he has become more malicious than we could have ever imagined. Let’s not forget the fate of former prostitute turned social climber Ros (Esme Bianco) at the hands of that monster. I hope that he accidentally finds himself wandering into Theon’s dungeon – or not if last week’s eye-wateringly painful scene was anything to go by.
On the subject of extreme medieval S&M, the audience was treated to another delightful scene in the same vein, where Gendry (Joe Dempsie) was seduced by Melisandre (Carice van Houten), before she tied him down to the bed – with leather shackles no less – and threw some leeches on him, including on his manly bits.
By juxtaposing pleasure with pain perhaps the makers are trying to create an association between the two, a sort of Pavlov’s dog technique to condition the viewer. So the next time we see things getting hot and steamy between two characters, we should assume something incredibly horrific is about to take place.
All of this brings me on to the nudity in the episode which was predominantly female in nature. It felt so unnecessary and something for the fan boys to salivate over rather than adding to the plot. Above all it was a return to what the show has done before and felt quite regressive. It is really rather disappointing because these female characters are all so strong and yet the nudity demeans, even weakens them.
Second Sons felt like something of a filler episode, yes there was the wedding between Tyrion and Sansa but not much else happened. Sam (John Bradley) dispatched a White Walker with his dragonglass dagger while Arya (Maisie Williams) remained the prisoner of Sandor Clegane (Rory McCann). Perhaps it was just me but there was underlying comedy in that opening scene. I couldn’t shake the impression that they were riding through a park, it was all a bit too National Trust for me because it was too idyllic for Game of Thrones. On the whole, I thought the episode could have done with more check-ins with other characters and covered more ground.
On the random Brit of the week watch, This Life star Ramon Tikaram made an appearance as Prendahl na Ghezn, one of the men trying to overthrow Daenerys (Emilia Clark) and her army of Unsullied, before being decapitated sharpish.
Something to ponder on until next week is Cersei’s explanation of The Rains of Castamere, the whole conversation had a sense of foreboding to it, particularly as that is the name of next week’s episode.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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