Summer TV Club: Game of Thrones :
"The Rains of Castamere"
We're gonna bring the room down a little on this week's TV Club as we take a look at the infamous Game of Thrones episode, "The Rains of Castamere."
To this point, we've been focusing on classic and/or deliberately goofy TV series, but HBO's adaptation of George R.R. Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" has turned into something of a legitimate phenomenon, and never ones to shirk at capitalizing on a fad, we decided to check it out. Also known as "the Red Wedding episode" or "Oh my sweet jesus they didn't just do that AAUUUGGHH," the penultimate installment of the 3rd season caused quite a stink, and not just because -- even in Westeros -- red is just not a good color for weddings. Obviously if you haven't seen the show/read Martin's ASOIAF series, there will be spoilers galore. Try not to lose your head over it.
PETE: It's nice that Robb Stark finally decided to include mom in his plans, but did Catelyn's thirst for vengeance following Ned's death cloud her judgment w/r/t Walder Frey?
ABBY: I never trusted Frey. Any guy who can't count the number of children he's had on two hands is bad news - and so slimy looking. Cat is so usually on the ball that it was sort of surprising she let this one slide. But maybe she was just fucking tired and not thinking. She has literally had the worst year a person could have.
JEF: Honestly, I just got the impression she didn't think that Frey had the nuts to do something like this... which is odd because as Abby points out to produce that many children takes many a nut.
PETE: I'd rather not dwell on an old man's ... jewels. Now, just as they have throughout history, marriages play a crucial political role in GOT.That said, I think the decision to parade all of Edmure's prospective brides dressed in brown was a bit of a faux pas. Discuss?
ABBY: It was kind of amusing to watch Edmure squirm, lost in the disrespectful, yet forgivable, prospect of having to have sex regularly with one of Frey's ugly daughters. And then, huzzah! Your bride is actually pretty hot. I would have made him marry an ugly one and that would have been my form of revenge on the Starks. Ugly offspring.
JEF: Let's set aside the fact that there was a murder plot and thus whatever was going on there was irrelevant. The whole reason that the marriage thing is important is because your descendants might end up ruling a whole lot more land than they do now. If the whole thing had gone off positively, a Frey descendant could have been a very important man. PETE: Over in Essos, and regarding Daario Naharis' (and company) infiltration of Yunkai, I feel certain most citizens would've been irate to discover all an invader needed to do in order to take the city was walk through the back door. ABBY: All an invader needed to do to win over Yunkai was to have flowing locks like Fabio, and a big schlong.
JEF: Is it just me, or was that kind of idiocy the same thing that took down Leonidas in 300?
PETE: I don't remember schlongs in 300 . Anyway, Arya Stark remains my favorite character in the books or the series, especially for the way she calls the Hound out as a "scared little girl" before briefly showing her own fear. Who's your favorite non-Arya character?
ABBY: I love Arya too; she is without a doubt one of the best characters. But after Daenerys goes to Astapor there while that a-hole Kraznys insults her and then she's like, "Oh word? I understood everything you said and now I'm going to take all of your Unsullied and, oh yeah, my dragon will be killing you now," that was pretty awesome. But my favorite character is Jon Snow purely based on good looks.
JEF: All that is Tyrion is awesome. When Warwick Davis played the emperor of the galaxy last season on Doctor Who, I pretended he was Tyrion's descendant. The world could do worse than Tyrion Lannister running it.
ABBY: Hodor! Did you know he's a
PETE: I do now. You know, I've never been a big fan of the show version of Jon Snow, and even less so when he let that stupid hawk shred his face. In "sword vs. hawk," wouldn't you figure sword wins every time? ABBY: Please refrain from any ill speak of Jon Snow. He is our only hope and the only surviving GOTCILF. Besides, hawk grabs sword.
JEF: No, it's sword cuts paper, paper covers rock, rock crushes lizard, lizard poisons hawk, hawk smashes sword, sword decapitate lizard, lizard eats paper, paper lines hawk's cage, hawk picks up rock and drops it, and rock breaks sword.
PETE: We should probably talk about that wedding ... thing. For me, the worst part was Talisa's death, because I had her pegged as a Lannister trap all along and, well, turns out I was way off.
ABBY: I wasn't sure at first what her deal was, but I agree she had some weirdness to her. She was so quick to fall for Robb and kept her personal business very hush. The wedding! Oh my lord, I know you had read the books Pete, not sure about you Jef, but I had NO idea that was coming. None. I was totally blown away by it. I may have cried. I think it may well be the most shocking thing I have ever witnessed on television save the first time Maddie and David made out on Moonlighting. My husband knew it was coming and I hit him for not telling me. I blamed him, of course.
JEF: I read the books, but I will say even just reading that scene you're like, "No freakin' way!" It's powerful in either medium, and the show did it perfectly.
PETE: Much as I love the HBO series, 10 episodes aren't enough. Now that we have another nine months of wondering when the hell Martin will ever crank out the next book, I have to ask: do you think he'll ever finish the series?
ABBY: No. He's probably going to die of a heart attack first, but I heard that he's already told people how it will end so we are OK. But I'm with you on needing more! It's a very addictive show.
JEF: I think 10 episodes keeps it from being way too much. I remember being addicted to Buffy, and even then I knew that 22 episodes a season was just ridiculous. Too much filler. I think the show keeps the narrative very lean, which you need in something this dense.
That said... boo freakin' who. I have over a year before Doctor Who gets season 8, it's taken two years just to make another season of Mortal Kombat: Legacy, and probably another five years before I see Portal 3. You guys are lightweights. Learn to wait.
PETE: *Every* show makes you wait a year (or more, looking at you Sherlock). But speaking strictly of the books, it was six years between A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons. If he holds it to seven books total, we still may not see this end until 2024. If at all.
Join us next week where we will watch the "classic" Family Ties episode, "Say Uncle" (S2, Ep14), AKA "The One Where Tom Hanks Drinks Vanilla Extract To Get Loaded." Remember, you can watch along with us on Netflix (or YouTube or Hulu in this case) and share in our Justine Bateman obsession.
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