“Of Marriage and Frontal Nudity”- Game of Thrones Season 3 Episode 5 Review- ‘Kissed by Fire’
This comedic review is written by someone who hasn’t read the books, so put your hands up and put the spoilers down.
If there were two running themes tonight, those themes were marriage and butts.
Something that has always impressed me about this show is that it can make relationship drama as interesting as the swordplay. I never thought I’d care about marriage arrangements in period drama (it’s the main thing that has kept me off of Downton Abbey), but here I am, being as flabbergasted by arranged marriages as I am by fights with flaming swords, which means I need to reevaluate a few things and that this show may have convinced me to watch Downton Abbey…
If my Twitter feed blows up about cricket matches or whatever the hell that show is about, you can blame George R. R. Martin.
Another thing that impresses me about this show is its aptitude for showing off butts, of which we got three night, with varying degrees of interest.
As usual, this review will be taken character by character and then at the end we will crown tonight’s winner.
Jon Snow: Heir to the Throne of Ugh
Why is it that whenever Jon Snow does something interesting, he immediately turns around and becomes dull again? Is this some elaborate trick to lull is into a false sense of coma before turning around and being the reincarnation of the Mad King, or something? Very little short of a good swift kick in the teeth will make this boy Snow interesting.
And, even then, I’m going to be much more interested in the teeth-kicking boot than I am in this little bastard….
The stuff beyond the Wall should be riveting, but it simply isn’t, and mostly because our portal into the world is through the dull, puppy dog eyes of the show’s least interesting character. Take THAT, Theon!
My lack of care for Snow leads me to also not care about him having really predictable sex in a hot spring that is just perfect for predictable sex.
I missed having the men of the Night’s Watch around tonight and for that I blame Snow…
Stannis Baratheon, whose wife is somehow weirder than Melisandre
I seriously didn’t think it was possible, but there it is. Compared to Stannis’s wife, Melisandre has now been revealed to be a very level-headed and rational woman who only occasionally births children made of smoke.
I mean, the woman keeps her fetuses in pickle jars, which is just the weirdest thing and has anyone ever seen The Prestige? It’s a testament to her failings as a wife, acting as the exact opposite of that poster where the cat is doing a chin-up.
There was also the reveal of Stannis’s daughter, which just screamed Nicholas Nickleby. I don’t mean to keep comparing Stannis’s stuff tonight with movies, because I actually loved all of it. I’m just kind of an ass sometimes.
And Davos’s return is welcome. He was a strong and welcome presence last season and hasn’t been glimpsed in a long time. Again, I blame Jon Snow. His relationship with Stannis’s daughter was lovely and sweet and I, too, want to one day be known as the Onion Knight.
Where’s Smoke Baby’s arc, by the way? I really want to see what that guy’s been up to.
Jamie Lannister, perhaps my new favorite character
WHY DIDN’T YOU TAKE THE PAINKILLER, JAMIE?! WHO ARE YOU TRYING TO IMPRESS?! BESIDES ME, THE VIEWER?! WITH YOUR MANLINESS!
Oh, Jamie, you rascal, you. Hopping into baths with nice ladies. When are you two crazy kids going to get together? Next week? Please tell me it’s next week.
Besides this fluffy stuff, the revelation surrounding Jamie tonight was great. I wasn’t the biggest fan of its hush-whispered delivery, but seeing how he was put through the wringer with the Mad King, how his betrayal was justified, how he fought so hard to please his father who, by all means, is the world’s most unpleasable and sour old man. I only wish I had been able to hear it…
Arya and the Best Episode Opening Since Breaking Bad
Why do more shows not utilize how awesome a flaming sword is? I get that it would be somewhat difficult for a show like Mad Men to bring flaming rapiers into the halls of Sterling-Cooper, but I’m glad that someone finally realized how cool that looks. Revolution, start taking notes…
And Arya, that poor child, now losing all of her friends. She may end up being the most sympathetic character on the show, that she has both of her hands.
She also has to deal with Beric, who appears to be immortal and also incredibly cool, giving some great eye patch. My heart broke as Arya tried to bargain and see if her father could be revived. But Beric is such an interesting guy. As I’ve mentioned before, the Brothers Without Banners are easily my favorite new addition to the show and I’m so excited to see where they’re going.
Tonight also awakened questions about what God is real in the Game of Thrones universe? There are lots of different people who worship many different gods. Melisandre and Beric both worship very different deities, but to about equal avail. It’s just something to think about. As in life, everyone is entitled to believe what they believe, but, in the end, someone is right…
Jorah Finally Doing Stuff
For someone who’s been around for the entire duration of the show, Jorah hasn’t had an awful lot to do, but tonight we got some good stuff from him, a pleasant little rapport with the man who has basically come in to steal his thunder.
Daenerys was also great tonight as she talked to Grey Worm, a robot eunuch with more personality than Jon Snow (FEEL MY WRATH, JONNY!) The scene was basically there to impress home the message “Freeing slaves is a good thing” but it was lovely and Emilia Clarke played it wonderfully, as she has been doing all Season.
King’s Landing, all under one banner for brevity’s sake
Tonight, King’s Landing held the big twist ending, a truly jaw-dropping realization that Tyrion would be marrying Sansa and Cersei the Lord of Flowers (it’s like they wanted him to be gay). This was what I was talking about at the top of the article, as I’m sure you surmised. This has so much potential, the main one of which is keeping Sansa interesting.
With the exception of Bran, who’s off faffing about with crows and Hodor, Sansa has always been the hardest Stark to keep interesting and throwing her into this arranged marriage kerfuffle with the Lannisters is a great idea.
Fun Fact: With Joffrey, The Lord of Flowers, Tyrion, and what looked like Baelish for a second there, it is officially decreed that Sansa has the absolutely worst taste in men, ever.
Tywin is a great Lannister, rocking what few scenes he is in from the moment we see his wrinkled mug. He commanded the scene tonight, taking it away from what is easily the show’s two other best performances.
The idea of Cersei made me utter a sound along the lines of, “Huhuhuhuhuhuhuh.” Pure, unbridled joy. No bridle on this joy.
In the scene where Tyrion was bartering with the wonderful House Tyrell, all I could think was “Podrick, use your sex magic!”
This episode was improved greatly by including the total absence of Podrick’s sex magic.
AND TONIGHT’S WINNER: Dr. Robb Stark House, M.D.
So named because of his realization moment at the end as to what to do, very reminiscent of how House did that in absolutely every episode.
What solidified this as tonight’s winner for me was Robb Stark doing something great and unexpected by doing exactly what he wanted to do. The Starks often suffer from being dull and covered in snow, and Robb took care of half of those problems by chopping a traitor’s head the hell off. Just lobbed it off. After everyone told him not to.
May whatever God of the Realm is real, may they love Robb as I loved his sword tonight.
Chekhov’s Gunman is moderated by Kevin Lanigan, a future writer of movies and television and present writer of a tell-all novel about Podrick’s sordid sexy affairs with Marilyn Monroe. Check back here weekly for reviews of Game of Thrones and Community, our weekly Mexican Standoffs feature, and our famed Good Stuff.
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