Reviews

Game of Thrones picks up speed in season 3

By ANDY LYONS (digitalBURG) – The third-to-last episode of the season for the show “Game of Thrones” called “Second Sons,” focused mainly on three storylines: Daenerys in Yunkai, Gendry’s arrival at Stannis Baratheon’s home of Dragonstone, and Tyrion’s marriage to Sansa Stark. All three come together well in what was the best episode of season three. The cliffhanger of the show had Sam coming face-to-face with a White Walker. He stabs it with the spear tip of Dragonglass, which causes it to scream and shatter like broken ice.

The storyline of Gendry, who is the bastard son of the late King Robert of House Baratheon, is quite interesting. In season two, Gendry was quite under-used and now he’s turned into a major plot point, which is to be expected because of his heritage. This plot point finally has some interaction between Stannis and Davos, the Onion Knight, where Stannis’ true character shines.

We see some more of Melisandre, the red witch, and her odd magic, which is the real point to this segment. Without giving away too much, this portion of the show seems like it will start tying the rest of the main storylines together, including the Starks, Greyjoys and Lannisters, with Stannis and the remnants of House Baratheon.

One of the most impressive storylines of this season is the rise of Daenerys Targaryen. Her conquest of the lands across the Narrow Sea from the seven kingdoms of Westeros has brought her to the city-state of Yunkai, which is another slave town similar to Astapor, where Dany unleashed the power of her dragons upon the slave-masters.

This is where her storyline gets really interesting, as she tries to gain the upper hand on the next group of slave-masters. The dynamics of Dany and her camp and the Second Sons mercenaries makes this one of the storylines that is on its way up. With two episodes left, the fallout of what happens here is pivotal to the Mother of Dragons returning to Westeros.

The third major story was Tyrion’s marriage to Sansa Stark, still trapped in King’s Landing. Tyrion has long been one of my favorite characters, and throughout the wedding and reception he stays true to his nature. We see him submit to his father’s will and then resist it. There are many of the subtleties throughout this sequence that are the standard of business in King’s Landing. We see a lot of interaction between the Tyrells and the Lannisters, and Joffrey is on par as the obnoxious twerp he’s been since becoming the king of Westeros.

In one portion we see the joking realist Tyrion is, and we see his compassion when he refuses to follow through with his father’s wishes to consummate the marriage and impregnate the eldest Stark girl, who’s a mere 14 years old. Like much of the episode, this portion solidifies the storyline going forward, into the rest of this season and the next.

Another small piece that’s really interesting is Arya’s storyline, which now has her in the custody of Sandor “The Hound” Clegane, whom she hates passionately. The Hound is quite violent, and has the reputation of a villain, but in season two he rescued Sansa from a mob that was trying to rape her, threw away his vows to protect King Joffrey, and went on the run at the end of the season.

Through Arya’s resistance, The Hound tells her to be patient because he’s taking her to the Twins for her uncle’s wedding, and with some luck she’ll be back with her brother, Robb, and her mother within a few days.

One of my main hopes for the series is that all the Stark children will reunite, relieving the stress Robb faces as King of the North along with his mother, who hasn’t seen any of her children in what has to be years in the storyline.

Each season has its ups and downs as far as action and how interesting they are. As the third-to-last episode, “Second Sons” was really strong, and had good cliffhangers at the end of each storyline. I’m glad that the producers decided to leave out Jaime Lannister, Robb Stark, Jon Snow and Theon Greyjoy because those storylines had kind of plateaued and had been consistent in the past few weeks.

There are two weeks until the next episode, but if “The Rains of Castamere” is as good as episode nine, “Blackwater,” was in season two, then we’re in for a treat.

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