Monday, June 9, 2014

Game of Thrones Reviews: "The Watchers on the Wall"

Looks like someone kicked his albino puppy again...
Mance Rayder and his horde of Wildlings have finally arrived at the Wall and begin their siege. Jon Snow and the brothers of the Night's Watch must defend Castle Black, even if that means they'll die doing it. Will they stand, or will they fall? 

While I do enjoy the Night's Watch subplot, I was still rather nervous about "The Watchers on the Wall." I wondered if the subplot actually had enough weight to it to maintain an entire episode by itself. Thankfully, my worries were proved unfounded. 

Although "The Watchers on the Wall" is not my favorite episode this season (either "The Lion and the Rose" or "The Laws of Gods and Men" holds that title), I definitely enjoyed it. Because it focused on a single subplot instead of multiple ones, its pacing was excellent. There really wasn't a single moment that overstayed its welcome and the story flowed very well. 

The episode was also filled with numerous, little scenes that were pretty great. For example, I really liked the scene where Grenn and a few Night's Watch brothers preparing to fight the giant. They know they're probably going to die, but they simply recite their oath and stand strong. The episode also managed to make me feel bad for Ygritte, which is a major accomplishment if you know my feelings about her (i.e. I really dislike her in the books, but begrudgingly tolerated her in the show because I believe Rose Leslie gives the character's a slight charm I felt she lacked on the page). 

Although its not one of the best episodes this season, it's definitely a solid one and rather enjoyable for what it is. The pacing was excellent, the action well done, and had some nice story beats.