Let’s Watch A Game of Thrones S01E05

Episode 5 is upon us and now we’re halfway through the first season. As you can see, I’m catching up fast. I should be able to reach season six by the time the show airs its final episode.

Starting with King’s Landing, Ned’s in a bad spot. This is the episode where Dany’s assassination is ordered, and Ned just doesn’t want anything to do with that. His part in this episode is really well done, and he does hold the whole episode together with his performance. Littlefinger and Varys each approach Ned, and it’s so apparent that Ned’s character is in way over his head.

He starts poking around to get questions asked, but he’s not going to get anything out of it this episode. Well, nothing helpful. He does get his guard killed and his leg stabbed after fighting with Jaime Lannister. Good job, Ned. Throw in resignation and it’s just a very eventful, if unenjoyable, episode to be Eddard Stark in.

Arya chases cats and overhears the plot – from Illyrio Mopatis and Varys. Huh. Visual medium and a desire not to completely hide it means this is much clearer than it is in the book.

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We get some alone time with Theon, but I’m not sure we really wanted it. It was maybe worthwhile to see him get insulted by the comparison to Tyrion. I’m also noticing just how exceptionally unattractive Theon really is in this show. Like, just downright ugly. Bran’s upset that his mother’s gone. Then again, he’s still not that clear on thinking things through yet, what with asking how his mother can protect the family if she’s away. It’s going to be a long time before Bran becomes cool in the show, isn’t it?

We meet Ser Loras today, starting in the tournament. And the show just isn’t playing coy about the Loras/Renly thing at all. There’re some knowing glances at the tournament which just fly over Sansa’s head. Literally. We get another new scene of Loras shaving Renly. Apparently Loras does not have any interest in Renly being the Bear and he the maiden fair. They stop for some fun after Loras has completed Renly’s chest and one armpit, leaving me wondering how long Renly would go lopsided with his armpit hair.

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Tyrion travels to the Eyrie, successfully defending Catelyn in the process, and we finally meet Lysa and her son Robin (renamed for the show because having two characters with similar names is hard, even when we have Jory and Jorah proving that it’s not that hard). They’ve aged him up for the show, which makes him seem even worse and makes his mother look even more completely out of her gourd. The skycells are really well done. Probably my favorite aspect of the adaptation so far – they really nailed this.

We also have a show-only scene between Cersei and Robert, and it does some interesting things. For one thing, it kind of humanizes Cersei a bit. She seems disappointed that Robert never felt anything for her, and it also shows she’s got similar strategic thinking to Ned regarding the Dothraki problem. It’s a poignant little scene and it casts Cersei in a somewhat sympathetic light.

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The show is still chugging along, adding a little here and there and streamlining a bit elsewhere. There haven’t been any huge adaptation changes yet, with the possible exception of giving us a definite Illyrio and Varys connection right away rather than keeping things in the dark. The further we get in, the more we’ll see the show diverge, and that’s when things will get interesting.