“The Bear and the Maiden Fair,” written by George R.R. Martin (and last heard drunkenly shouted by the Hold Steady), has a lot more in common with season one’s “The Pointy End” than it does last year’s “Blackwater,” the other two episodes written by the Game of Thrones author. It continued existing storylines (Jon and Ygritte walking, Sansa and Margaery talking, etc.) and set up new arcs (Dany waging war with the Yunkai), without resolving anything, other than the Sad Saga of Theon’s Manhood. “Blackwater” was the cathartic (and literal) explosion after two years of off-screen battles; the biggest fight in “Maiden Fair” featured a bear and a wooden sword.
Not that that scene wasn’t fantastic. Because it was. I mean, it’s a giant f*cking bear (named Bart!) fighting a human in a pit (and done a lot better than The Walking Dead‘s ring of zombies, with a better peformance from the 300-pound fuzzy tractor than the Governor to boot), and the episode overall was very, very good. Oddly, though, Martin wasn’t the star — that distinction belongs to director Michelle MacLaren, who Breaking Bad fans should know as the visual eye behind “Gliding Over All.” The way she filmed Joffrey’s chat with Tywin, with the camera angles reflecting the gradual power shift, was a thing of looming beauty. You could mute that scene and still know what was going on. Not that you’d want to miss a single Joffrey whine or Tywin smackdown.
Between Jon Snow’s Southern exploits and Robb’s lip-biting, really makes you wonder what Ned Stark was teaching his boys. Anyway, Game of Thrones continued pay cable’s now two-week streak of a mother hearing their daughter have sex (Cat and Marie Calvet should get together and drink a bottle of wine at some point), but unlike Don and Megan, BUTTS. Game of Butts. Robb, who almost immediately put his robe on after doing the sweaty deed, as opposed to Talisa, who let it all hang out (can’t imagine why that happened), doesn’t know how he can plan a war with his naked lady so close to him. That’s why Game of Thrones is so great, y’know: it’s so easy to relate to. We’ve all been there, moving a bunch of sh*t around on a table to plot out strategic maneuvers in a war we’re desperate to win, while nearby, Charlie Chaplin’s naked granddaughter writes a post-coital letter to her mom. Excuse me, Charlie Chaplin’s naked, pregnant granddaughter. Distraction thy name is Talisa (who’s either a spy or a bad actress). (Via)
“Uh, yeah, that’s what I just said, Jon. You really do know nothing.” (Via)
Jon Snow seems like the kind of guy who’s into some really kinky sh*t. Typically, he’s sullen and brooding and oh-so-emo *dismissively flips hair*, but the first time we’ve seen Jon show a hint of charisma is when he starts telling Ygritte all the things he’s going to do to her. At the same time, I bet he takes his scenarios too far. “Yeah, I’m going to rip off your silk dress…but then knit back together later that night. Oh yeah, I bet you’d like that. Uh huh, and then I’ll, like, boil some milk and we can pour it…into my direwolf’s drinking bowl. Hot enough for ya?” Meanwhile, Ygritte knows that she shouldn’t fall for Jon, whose allegiances still lie with the Night’s Watch, but when you’re other option is Gareth Keenan, well, suddenly the world’s future #1 Smiths fan suddenly looks like one handsome devil. (Via)
Speaking of guys into kinky sh*t: Tywin must have forgotten his hooker boots. Joffrey, however, put on his big boy shoes and pants and explained to his scary grandfather why he should be attending the small council meetings and oh yeah, why are they so……far……away? (Joffrey lugging his way to the Tower of the Hand would look a lot like Paul Rudd cleaning up his self-made mess in Wet Hot American Summer.) The King, emboldened by his recent encounter with Ros, is almost comically outmatched by Tywin, although he’s right to worry about Dany’s dragons; they may be half a world away, but they sure as Sansa don’t have skulls the size of apples anymore. (Via)
Jaime and his salami stub couldn’t even send a card. Typical. A Lannister always means to go to Walgreens. (Via)
It’s been far too long since the last Tyrion and Bronn meet-up, and as if to apologize for this most grave of misdeeds, Martin made this encounter extra great. “If you waste time trying to get people to love you, you’ll end up the most popular dead man in town,” Bronn said to the future reluctant King of Winterfell, in an attempt to cheer him up or at least get him to think rationally. Bronn’s point: he’s a Lannister; his name is toxic everywhere outside of King’s Landing, so Tyrion might as well embrace it and take what’s his. (Plus, were he not from royal blood, Tyrion would either be dead or a Flea Bottom freak show attraction.) And what’s his, at least from Bronn’s eyes, is Sansa’s hand and Shae’s, well, y’know. Tyrion, for his part, feels bad for the poor girl (and she is still a girl), but as much as neither of them would like to admit it, he is her best option. Joffrey’s a spoken-for monster, Loras will never give her what she truly wants, and besides, scars are kind of sexy. Even on dwarfs. ESPECIALLY on dwarfs. (Via)
Sansa would really relate to Radiohead’s “Creep.” (Via)
Oh, Sansa, you beautiful idiot. Not a particularly strong week for observations from redheads, with Sansa missing Margaery’s message barely edging out Ygritte’s windmill/palace confusion. In honor of Margaery dressed like Jasmine from Aladdin, it’s time for the Attractive Women of Game of Thrones Power Rankings: #5. Talisa, #4. Margaery, #3. Ygritte, #2. Daenerys, #1. Mystery Wenches. Honorable mention: Margaery’s mother. (Via)
YER A WIZARD, GENDRY. (Via)
Critic Josh: that was pointless. And literally torture porn. It’s fine for Game of Thrones to show some T, A, & B from time to time, but this was ridiculous, especially since all it led to was Theon’s castration. I mean, that’s terrible and all, the worst pain imaginable, but it could have been done without the threesome with the Mystery Wenches (coming this fall to Showtime). A horn ending his horniness was kind of funny, though.
Fan Josh: WOOOOOOTTTTTTT BEWBS AH YEAH ALL THEM BEWBIES WOOOOOOOOTTTTTTTT. (Via)
Dany don’t care. (Via)
This, this is why Game of Thrones is excellent. Sure, it’s about power, family, class warfare, daddy issues, coming of age, and corruption, but ultimately, the show’s about a very attractive, emboldened woman scratching the head of her son, a dragon. It’s unfortunate it took TV this long to give us what we really wanted all along. (Via)
Had it been Loras in there instead of Jaime, “We’re here, we’re queer, we don’t want any more bears” would have been perfect. Instead, it’s left to the returning Kingslayer to jump into the bear pit to rescue Brienne, or at least distract him from her, and immediately regret his decision. They escape, though, relatively unscathed considering the circumstances, and while the episode ends as it is should, with Jaime running on adrenaline and pushing his way through the crowd, I do have one tiny complain: Brienne should have thrown Locke into the pit. (Via)
Bear vs dragon: who you got? (Via)