(WATCH FOR SPOILERS!)
Sorry I’m a bit late on this post. I’m sure folks have been waiting eagerly….
A few rhetorical housekeeping matters to get out of the way about Season 2, Episode 3:
Tyrion Lannister and Friends
I do love me some political intrigue. Playing Pycelle, Littlefinger, and Varys off of each other was handled brilliantly.
The slapping of Theon Greyjoy is a good thing. Not as good as the slapping of Joffrey Baratheon, but a good thing nonetheless. As much as we are supposed to hate Balon Greyjoy, it was pleasant to watch Theon get slapped by his father and smacked down by his sister.
That said, Balon Greyjoy is a dick for reasons extending beyond his demeanor, and Theon is absolutely right. The show has given Theon a depth of character that I feel was missing from the books. The conflict between his almost life-long wardship with House Stark truly conflicts with the primal desire for his father’s love, but his father has no right whatsoever to criticize what Theon has become. It was Balon Greyjoy’s rebellion that caused the deaths of his two other sons and Theon’s wardship with the Starks. Then again, it is asking quite a bit to expect that level of emotional introspection from any Greyjoy, let alone Balon.
Iron Islands Anthropology
Something has bothered me for some time. I read a blog post a while back about some anthropological aspects of the Dothraki people that don’t quite add up. In short, the Dothraki are a warlike people who have no industry or infrastructure to speak of. Their one city, Vaes Dothrak, is described as a giant collection of tents, decorated with stolen artwork. Very few women are even mentioned, other than the widows of the khals who live at the center of Vaes Dothrak (where Daenerys absolutely does not want to go).
Khal Drogo’s khalasar is supposed to have 40,000 people in it. They support themselves by raiding other people’s villages, taking their crops and livestock (and their women). When out on the Dothraki Sea, they live mostly on horsemeat. This is not even remotely sustainable. You cannot feed 40,000 people without a reliable food supply, and that requires agriculture. The Dothraki have no farmers or herders, nor do they appear to have any particular set of skilled artisans. It doesn’t add up.
The same can be said for the Iron Islands. House Greyjoy’s words, as we learned on Sunday, are “We do not sow.” In a pre-industrial world dependent on agriculture and animal husbandry, ponder what the statement means. They pride themselves on acquiring everything through conquest and piracy. House Greyjoy lost its rebellion against the Iron Throne roughly nine years ago, meaning they have not been able to launch raids for nearly a decade. It is not clear if they were allowed to act as pirates under the Targaryens, either. Yet Balon, Yara, and others seem to have no other marketable skills. The closest places they could raid are under the protection of either the Lannisters or the Tullys, neither of whom would make a good enemy (the Greyjoys once ruled the Tullys, and you might have noticed they don’t anymore).
In short, what the hell have the Greyjoys been doing for the past ten to three hundred years??? And how do they support the population of multiple islands solely on conquest???
Yes, I know the books show that Iron Islanders actually do grow crops, but that’s not how they advertise.
First off, I could listen to Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark) say “Winter is coming” repeatedly for the rest of my life, and I would never stop getting goosebumps.
Gwendolyn Christie is more perfectly cast as Brienne of Tarth than I ever could have dreamed of.
Renly and Loras are basically kids playing at war. That was made abundantly clear.
Now then, let’s talk about Margaery Tyrell for a second. She barely figures into the books at all, really. She is clearly a strong character, but none of the “point of view” characters ever get too close to her. It will be fascinating to see her up close.
And we certainly got to do that this week. At this point, it is probably easier to list the female characters we haven’t seen naked (they know who they are).
Let me get this out of the way: Natalie Dormer, yum (link is NSFW, but you know you want to).
Margaery is either one hell of a trooper, willing to involve her brother in the whole getting-pregnant process, or I really don’t want to finish this thought.
Photo credits: All photos obtained from Tumblr blogs, and are linked to the source site [Fair use].