I’m surprised I didn’t see the portly silhouette of a famous British director trot past in that episode because for me, that was Game of Thrones Alfred Hitchcock-style.
Taut psychodrama, and taut psychos - it had it all. Except Psycho Torture Guy, and to be honest, I was happy to have a break from him.
Anyway, let’s put the cock in Hitchcock (er, what?) and call action on another Raven On Game of Thrones episode recap.
By now we’ve all come to expect Episode 9 to be "The Big One" of a Game of Thrones series. It therefore wasn’t surprising to see a lot of character stuff being delved into this episode, to heighten the tension ahead of what will no doubt be some major fireworks next week.
This episode contained a lot of bastards - only one of them literal. But regardless, we saw a lot of honour among those bastards, even if it was in their own particularly skewiff way.
Case in point: the Hound. It’s to his credit that despite Arya’s contempt for him and attempt on his life that he treats her with respect. Sure, he plans to sell the wolf girl back to her mother and brother, but at least he’s protecting her dignity.
The revelation of how he saved Sansa from a rapey mob was enough to remind Arya of what she’s so far managed to avoid, and he even made her half-smile when he pledged to get her to the Twins in time for the nuptials.
The Tully/Frey wedding is just one of four that have been arranged; no doubt we’ll see more of that next week, along with the Cersei/Slow Lorus match and of course, Joffrey/Kate Middleton.
But Ep 8 was all Sansa/Tyrion - a wedding so awkward you practically had to watch it curled up in a ball with your fingers over your face.
One of my favourite-ever threats is from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (best movie ever, no arguments please), in which Alan Rickman yells at Kevin Costner that "I’m going to cut your heart out with a spoon!". That phrase popped into my mind while watching Joffrey during that wedding. I WANT TO CUT HIS HEART OUT WITH A SPOON. Possibly even a spork.
First there was his douchey smugness at walking Sansa down the aisle. Then there was his mega-douchey removal of the step-ladder that would have aided Tyrion in placing his robe over Sansa’s shoulders, and the chain of giggling he started (silenced quickly by a withering glance from Tywin).
And if that wasn’t enough, he had to go and threaten Sansa in the most vile and repugnant way.
Thank the seven gods, then, that Tyrion stole the show by displaying ample honour.
First, he insisted on a moment alone with Sansa pre-ceremony to assure her he wouldn’t hurt her. Then he rebelled against his father’s upright sense of propriety by getting uproariously shitfaced at the reception. Then he exaggerated his own drunkenness to save Sansa from Joffrey’s sick bedding ritual plan.
And finally, he refuses to do Tywin’s bidding and bed Sansa to impregnate her. Poor thing’s just 14, he won’t do it without her permission. "And now my watch begins!" he toasts, before falling unconscious on the couch. And Shae’s stolen glance at him the next morning when she strips the bed to reveal unsoiled sheets was absolutely beautiful.
Meanwhile Cersei? Bitch be colder than tiles in winter, mmm-hmmm. Cutting Slow Lorus off like that just when he’s trying to be nice. She’s all "Bitch please, nobody care ‘bout your Daddy." Cersei’s hazy, wine-addled detachment is getting almost boring now; it was far more fun to see her taunt Kate Middleton with a famous Lannister house song about how pretenders to their titles will end up spiked like a volleyball. "If you ever call me sister again I will have you strangled in your sleep". THAT’S the Cersei we love to hate!
Over near Yunkai, Danerys is continuing her game of high stakes employee recruitment by offering mercenary group the Second Sons the chance to join her army.
The obnoxious leader-of-sorts turns out to be yet another smart alec warrior douche who thinks calling the Khaleesi all manner of derogatory terms is the way to her heart and/or pants.
But before a steamed up Jorah or Barristan can lop off his junk, he’s brought undone by one of the three, Daario Naharis.
Daario Naharis: Played by English rapper and actor, Ed Skrein. Photo: Supplied
The Tyroshi sellsword is played by English rapper Ed Skrein, but with that chiselled jaw and flowing blond mane he looks more like a Mills & Boon hero. Daario? Try Faabio.
It turns out Faabio values sex with a woman who actually wants it, which is really quite refreshing in this series, even if he’s a massive poseur. So he’s not above beheading his cohorts to prove his honour to Dany, who proves she’s worth it by getting out of a bathtub in full nude glory.
I tell you, I wish I had a nude body so enticing that with one glance, men would pledge their loyalty to me. I’m surprise Dany doesn’t just get around Essos entirely in the buff. If it wasn’t getting so nippy these days, I would.
Speaking of nippy, you gotta love Dany’s floating bath boobs, amirite? Some clever set designer scooped out just the right amount of water for that shot. Classy.
So Faabio’s beauty-driven sense of honour means Dany’s army has grown again, meaning a big battle against Yunkai next episode, fingers crossed.
We should also credit Faabio and his Second Sons crew for making this the most c-bomb heavy episode this season.
Melisandre, aka 80s pop sensation Kate Bush, also let fly with a few choice curses during her seduction of Gendry at Dragonstone. She wuthered his heights well good, she did, oo-er.
But it wasn’t just Gendry’s firm abs that Kate Bush wanted, it was his half-kingly-blood. Leeches in breeches? Hear the men’s screeches!
I tell you, if nothing else, Gendry won’t be able to read The Very Hungry Caterpillar again without wincing.
Stannis then uses the blood-fattened leeches to curse the kings who would stand in his way: Robb Stark, Balon Greyjoy and Joffrey Baratheon.
None of this speaks very much of honour on Dragonstone - but there was some, wasn’t there, down in the bowels of its prison. Stannis, torn up by guilt over the apparent impending sacrifice of Gendry to the Lord of Light, seeks Davos’ counsel. He even releases the Onion Knight to prove to him that his cause is just. Stannis’ sense of honour has been warped by religion, but it’s still there.
Finally, north by northwest of The Wall, we happen upon Sam Tarly and Gilly bedding down for the night in an abandoned cabin near a weirwood. As they spark up a fire and discuss options for Gilly’s baby’s name, the birds gather outside. There’s no rear window to gaze out of, so Sam and Gilly are unaware of a White Walker no more than 39 steps away. But eventually their squawking becomes deafening, and Sam is roped into action to nobly defend Gilly and her child. His initial attack is about as useful as strangers on a train, but then, lo and behold, he whips out his dragonglass, stabs the notorious WW in a frenzy, and whoosh, the creature vanishes.
AND THEN HE RUNS AWAY WITHOUT PICKING UP THE DRAGONGLASS. FACEPALM, SAM. FACEPALM.
But what do you think? Is there still honour to be found in Westeros?
Olenna, of course, takes this prize for her stellar dissection of the Lannister/Tyrell relations once all the marriages are tied up. "Your brother will become your father-in-law!"
Tyrion, of course, with his drunken comeback at Joffrey - You’ll f your bride with a wooden c. I am totes using that line somewhere.
Joffrey, of course, with the CREEPIEST line in the series so far: "I suppose it doesn’t matter which Lannister puts the baby in you". UGHGHGHGH, SHUDDER.
No Jaime Lannister. I’ve ... I’ve grown accustomed to his face. His smiles, his frowns, his ups and downs ... are second nature to me now.