Monday, April 14, 2014

Game of Thrones Reviews: "The Lion and the Rose"

This wedding doesn't seem very purple to me...
As the War of the Five Kings slowly begins to fade away, the wedding between Joffrey and Margery finally takes place in King's Landing. However, the actions of the king and his choice of entertainment rubs many of the guests the wrong way. Meanwhile, Bronn begins to train Jaime to fight with only one hand, Bran receives a strange vision that might possibly help him on his journey, Stannis loses patience with Davos while burning his brother in law at the stake, and Ramsey Snow continues to torture the helpless Theon, now known simply as "Reek".

Unlike the previous episode, "The Lion and the Rose" gives us a glimpse to what Stannis and Bran are currently doing and what has happened to everyone's favorite punching bag Theon. One of Game of Thrones strong points is its wide scope, focusing less on the happening's of King's Landing and visiting those other plot points is rather nice.

As always, the acting is solid. Jack Gleeson continues to play the utterly despicable Joffrey perfectly, making the final moments of this episode all the much sweeter, and Peter Dinklage is fantastic as always. However, Sophie Turner did an absolutely amazing job in this episode. The looks she gives when watching the "comedic" reenactment of the War of the Five Kings is simply heartbreaking. With that being said, I wished this episode had more for Nikolaj Coster-Waldau to do than his quick scene with Bronn and his rather boring pissing match with Loras. 

The writing and directing for this episode were top notch as well. George R.R. Martin, the author of the A Song of Ice and Fire series which the show is based upon, is the writer this time around and Alex Graves, who shot two episodes last season, is in the directing chair. While I have my own quibbles with Martin's writing, I felt he did an excellent job keeping this episode's narrative rather tight, which is only enhanced by Grave's directing, using the visuals to enhance the story and keep things interesting to watch. 

"The Lion and the Rose" is a much better episode then the previous "Two Swords", having a much more focused narrative with superb acting and directing. While I feel it could have given some of its cast more to do, I really enjoyed what I got and the ending where we finally get what many have waited three seasons for is incredibly cathartic.