The Ninjabot

Game of Thrones: “Kissed by Fire” Review

Posted on April 28, 2013 at 8:58 pm by Jeff Mueller

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Not going to lie, I am a little torn about this week’s episode.

On one hand we got several jaw-dropping, OMGWTF! moments and a crapton of tasty political back stabbing; on the other hand I just feel as though the show is floundering trying to find a way to maintain what seems like 9283 story lines all at once. I admit, this very well might be due to the fact I am such a huge fan of the books; it is difficult at times to set aside what I “know” is happening and let the show lead me to it in it’s own way. While I had no problems with that at first, towards the end of last season it started nagging at me a little. Now, about a third of the way through Season 3, I am starting to continually wonder what side character is going to be ignored in order to streamline the story for television. Don’t get me wrong, I think the writers are doing a phenomenal job adapting an extremely complicated and intricate tale, it’s just that with a cast so broad it is inevitable that at least some of the characters, or sub-plots, a reader may love will somehow end up short-changed. Time only permits so much to make it to the screen.

Rather than lament over what may, or may not, be missing from the narrative, let us take a look at some of the crazy stuff that happened this week!

We start off back at the camp of the Brotherhood where Gregor Clegane, the Hound, is thrust into trial by combat with Beric Dondarrion. After Thoros of Myr prays to the Lord of Light, we are treated to a melee between the Hound and Dondarrion, who wields a flaming longsword. Those with good memories will recall back in Season 1 when Jory Cassel and Jaime Lannister reminisce about the Siege of Pyke that they speak of Thoros charging through the breach with his blazing sword aloft (a story that is relayed again between Ser Jorah and Ser Barristan later this episode to refresh viewer’s memories), so now we get to see that this is not a tale of legend but yet another example of how magic still lives in Westeros. The battle concludes with the first of many shocking moments as Clegane manages to cleave Dondarrion almost in twain, winning his innocence to the charges leveled against him. If that gruesome death wasn’t enough of a shock, the resurrection at the hands and prayers of Thoros moments later certainly was!

Game of Thrones - Kissed by Fire

We come to find out, along with Arya, that Thoros has managed to bring Beric back to life more than once. Six times to be exact! Just like the feats we have seen from Melisandre in the name of the Lord of Light, we get no real explanation here. Is it magic? Is it some sort of divine intervention? Is something else afoot? I am hoping that at some point connections are made between the “Red Priestess” and this “Priest of Fire.” All I know is Arya is a lot calmer than I would be, taking it all in stride.

Speaking of Melisandre, it seems that Stannis Baratheon is starting to come to his senses a little in her absence. Is it simply that his conscience is getting the better of him, or did she truly have a hold on him beyond that of a spiritual advisor? Whatever may be the case, we are treated to more “oh crap!” moments when he goes to confess his sins to his wife. The amount of messed up things that occur in the span of a few minutes are staggering! His wife is an obvious whack job, telling him that she knows of his adultery and that it was a blessing for him to serve the Lord of Light and then she explains how happy she is that Melisandre was able to give him what she has never been able to…a son (I wonder if anyone told her that son was really the smoke monster from “Lost”?) While that behavior comes off like she is a tad brainwashed, its the next reveal that cinches how messed up things truly are in Storm’s End. Holy Jesus are those jars of dead babies?!? And wait, what? Stannis has a daughter too? And she stays locked in a tower? Because she is some sort of mutant? I have no idea where this is going yet, but I know Davos should have kept his onions and stayed the hell out of that mess in the first place all those years ago. Dude would still have his fingers and wouldn’t be rotting in a cell, that’s for sure!

Back in King’s Landing the intrigue has also reached ridiculous heights.

The battle for Winterfell continues as the Tyrells and the Lannisters each plot to steal Sansa away (all unbeknownst to her of course) to secure their rights to the North. Margaery tries to use Sansa’s crush on Loras to her advantage, Cersei tries to secure Lord Baelish’s help figuring out the Tyrell’s plans, and Baelish then ferrets out the plot via a gay prostitute. All in some twisted chess game over a poor girl who just wants to go home and forget about the hell she has lived for the last year or so. This twisted game all culminates in yet another classic Lannister love fest between Tywin and his children.

Game of Thrones - Kissed by Fire

 

It seems Tyrion just can’t catch a break. First, Lady Olenna Tyrell puts him in his place during negotiations over the upcoming royal wedding, and then his father blindsides him with his plan to have him marry Sansa and get her pregnant to lock down the North. He follows this by wiping the smirk of Cersei’s face with the proclamation that she will marry Ser Loras as well! Both children protest strongly, but as usual Tywin will hear nothing of it.

“You’ve disgraced the Lannister name for far too long.” – Tywin Lannister

In the North, completely oblivious to all the goings on in King’s Landing, Robb Stark is dealing with his own problems. It seems Rickard Karstark could take it no longer that Robb continues to let his mother be free after she released Jaime Lannister, and he exacts revenge for the loss of his sons by killing the young Lannisters that were in custody. Robb, angered at his treachery, executes him against the advice of both Catelyn and his wife. It is now truly clear that Robb is his father’s son in every sense of the word—adhering to justice and honor over what might be the wiser political move. Unfortunately, this leads to him losing a large portion of his army as they abandon him for killing their Lord. This leaves him desperate, so he decides his best bet is to attack Casterly Rock in hopes of drawing the Lannister army out into the field. The only catch? He is going to need to recruit Lord Walder Frey’s army to his cause… you know, the guy whose daughter he snubbed.

Finally, we see Jaime and Brienne delivered into Roose Bolton’s custody. The brutal cleansing of his stump aside, it was almost as painful watching him finally tell his side of the Kingslayer story to her. When he opens up to her in the bathhouse, apologizing and then relaying the circumstances around his betrayal of the King, it reminds the viewers how people’s opinions are colored by who tells the story. Hearing Jaimie explain the machinations of the “Mad King,” one has to ask who wouldn’t have killed the bastard? Ordering him to kill his own father and then to stand by and let the entire city, and all its inhabitants, be swallowed in a sea of wildfire? In Jaime’s eyes, his act was one of necessity, and you can tell by the expression on Brienne’s face that it is hard to argue with his logic. One has to wonder that should he survive will his proclamation “My name is Jaime” as he passed out, from what I am presuming is the infection of his wound, eliminate the moniker “Kingslayer” from Brienne’s vocabulary?

We also got to see a little bit of Ser Jorah and Ser Barristan rub each other the wrong way as Daenerys continues to figure out what to do with her new army of slave mercenaries. Oh yeah, and Jon Snow finally gets his groove on with Ygritte!

“You know nothing Jon Snow.” – Ygritte

So let us know, are you losing track of things? Is the show in danger of getting to complicated? Can anyone tell me where the Direwolves have disappeared to? Get to commenting below!

Make sure to follow @themightyjerd on Twitter for more Game of Thrones musings!

Game of Thrones: Season 3, Episode 5 “Kissed by Fire” aired April 28, 2013 on HBO.

Please Note – Due the nature of this TV show being quite far behind the books in terms of plot, we want to remind everyone that there is a zero tolerance policy regarding spoilers in the comments. Keep discussions relevant to the show only!

    • Snackbar

      I thought it was the best episode of the season. Jamie finally telling the truth about the "Mad King" was one of my favorite moments in the books. This business with the Karstarks does prove one thing, everything that's going bad or will go bad in the north is Catelyn's fault. Had Robb beheaded her then the Karstarks would still be in his camp and they would be able to take Casterly Rock without groveling to the Freys.

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