Nerd School: Game of Thrones S1E9 “Baelor”

by Joe on June 12, 2011

Game of Thrones S1E9 “Baelor”~ Joe’s Rating “B+”

If you had a choice between Honor and Family which would you choose? Well we in this, the penultimate, episode we get to see what  ole’ Neddy will choose.

Before I get to in depth with this review I want to comment to all of the watchers this season who have never read the books. Just last week I was discussing the show with some friends at work, and they of course were talking about what Ned was going to do when he escaped, or when Robb rescued him. I sat there biting my tongue waiting for this moment. SO to all of you who are new to GoT, “how was that for a twist?”

This episode is really more about what we have to sacrifice. It’s not really about need or want its about what you have to do. Each of our POV (point of view) characters this week has to/had to sacrifice something, and its to the credit of the writers/producers that a theme that can be so melodramatic as sacrifice can come across with such subtlty as it did this episode.

No sacrifice was probably more important than Ned’s. He seriously gave up his life so that his daughters and family could be safe. In fact Ned’s sheer loyalty to his honor is what got him in this problem to begin with.

Et Tu Internet?

To be fair the show really hasn’t done that great of a job in showing Ned’s motivations, leaving us to just assume he has a super warped sense of honor, or that he is a jarheaded soldier who has no idea how to play politics. However the moment in tonight’s episode where Ned sees Arya, and then he confesses to a crime he did not commit, that was brilliant.

Also we have two fantastic monolouges by Tyrion and Maester Aemon.

Tyrion’s was gut-wrenching as he tells the story of his first wife to Shae and Bron. Compare that to Aemon’s almost terrifying speech to Jon Snow about how he felt when his nieces and nephews were killed in Robert’s Rebellion. On one hand we have a sarcastic dwarf who is usually Jolly become somber as he relates how he turned so cynical. Tyrion sacrificed his innocence that day to become hard to the world that hated him. On the other Aemon on sacrificed his family for duty and you can see in his expression how just the idea of that sacrifice turned him from the advice giver and all around Yoda into a truly scary individual.

This isn’t to take away from Daenerys’ much more physical sacrifices which I’m sure we will see more of next week, as well as Jon’s.

I still think the hardest sacrifice is Rob having to marry one of Walder Frey’s daughters.

The Good:

Filch is Frey! Great catch by my wife.

I love that the twins were added into the opening.

The Frey’s are real ugly, gotta love the casting in this show. Almost as good as the Slytherin kids teeth.

The Bad:

So two major battles, and we don’t see a one? This is the main reason the episode is in B territory.

I’m sorry, but I have some book vs. TV show anger over Walder Frey. He’s supposed to be 90, David Bradley was great but didn’t look the part.

The actress playing Shae was terrible this episode. There was virtually no emotion.

The Weird:

Man all Tyrion’s tent was missing was spin the bottle.

Next week: The end….

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