May 23, 2011

Game of Thrones, Episode 6 - A Golden Crown

Not much to comment on this one. It's more or less on the same extremely high level as the previous episode, and it includes several key moments from the story. There are also, however, a few downsides that are just too annoying not to mention.

The budget is not big enough for what HBO is trying to achieve, and it shows more than once. For example, there are still no direwolves whatsoever, and a very important moment which in the book is resolved by one of them, doesn't feature it at all in the episode. At the same time, large vistas like the view from the Aerie look like they're literally painted, and although pretty, seem entirely unconvincing. Probably the most absurd moment in A Golden Crown though, is the one scene from Robert's hunt, featuring him, Renly, Ser Barristan (the wonderfully well cast Ian McElhinney) and the poor "Little Red Riding-Hood" squire Lancel Lannister (Eugene Simon) literally walking alone through the forest. Not much of a Royal Hunt there, HBO!

On the plus side, Daenerys is just wonderful. The prophecy about her child is powerfully portrayed, while the final scene - giving name to the episode - is morbidly beautiful, and the girl's final words are the perfect way to end the episode. Then, of course, there is the Aerie with Dementia Aryn and her son Creepy McCreep who would have stolen every scene they are in, were it not for Tyrion's heart-breaking and loquacious confession of how he jerked off in his sister's soup when he was a child, as well as Bronn's smirking coolness. Of course, to balance the scales, we have Sansa's obnoxiousness which goes well beyond the call of duty (and the book) to get on the viewer's nerves in a BIG way. Sure, her attitude could be easily understood, but it makes her no easier to bear.

All in all, a great episode (even if the bad seems more than the good in this review - it's not), and the ending sets the stage for the final chapter in King's Landing. And the best part? The next episode is already here!

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