Game of Thrones – HardHome

A production element of Game of Thrones that often gets overlooked is the sound design. The editors are particularly peerless with their use of negative sound, as when we were treated to pure nothingness over the closing credits of The Red Wedding episode in season three.

Tonight the sound was sublime in two places. When the soundtrack was muted during Jon’s escape from the White Walker and when the supply ship stole away from the retreating shore of Hardhome, alone and impotent in the shadow of the zombie horde. Had that scene lasted for an hour I would have sat enraptured.

Did tonight’s battle eclipse the previous action high point of Blackwater? I think it might have done. While that battle had moments of jaw-dropping drama – the wildfire, Tyrion’s rallying call, Loras riding to the rescue – as a political act it was somewhat lacking (just two pretenders squabbling over a city that smells of shit). Tonight’s struggle for a small fishing town at the edge of the Shivering Sea spoke to the future of a race, the end of everything. Season five has been a slow build but if this is what we’ve been driving towards, the very existence of the realm of men, then it’s been worth it.

Advising a Ruler worthy of the Name
So much went down in the last 25 minutes of the show that it would be easy to overlook what had come before it. The meeting, actually two meetings, between Dany and Tyrion was vintage writing. I know we had a battle for the ages in this episode but this show triumphs when it lets two great characters just sit opposite each other and talk, especially two who though they’ve never before met have had fates intertwined since birth. Given the chaos about to be unleashed on Westeros his advice to her to stay where she is insightful. This could be a beautiful partnership.

So it’s clear that Habeas Corpus does not exist in the seven kingdoms or indeed the distinction of being in prison on remand, that is prior to prosecution, and being in prison after a conviction. Those circumstances Cersie is having to endure are atrocious, though we are all strengthened by eating humble pie now and again and well done for standing up to her torturer. “I spend all day thinking of gruesome ways to kill you.” Ahh, bless.

I prophesied her fall last week but the parting line from Maester Qyburn “The work continues” tells me that somehow Cersie will be back and indeed HER work will continue.

Totally excellent scene between Sansa and Reek. Not only for the framing in silhouette – with Sansa standing tall over the withered Ironborn – but the change in her attitude when she dragged out the truth of her brothers. She’s got much more of a reason to live now.

Fashion Watch

Boy oh boy that necklace / pendant around Dany’s neck was handsome. How long can it be before it turns up in the HBO store?

Stray Observations

So, Dragon Glass is not the only material capable of killing a White Walker, Valyrian steel is just as formidable. How many of these swords do we know exist? I presume Widow’s Wail is in King Tommen’s armoury and it’s now clear that Brienne has a purpose with Oathkeeper by her side. Am I missing any others?

There’s a Spanish horror flick made in the mid 1970s called Would You Kill a Child? wherein a young tourist couple find themselves trapped on an island inhabited only by children who’ve killed all the adults and intend to do the same to them. It takes the pair a while but eventually they overcome their sentimentality and start machine-gunning the little bastards. If only that wildling mother had seen it, she perhaps wouldn’t have baulked when she did.

Oh and on the subject of movie references, was it just me or was anyone else reminded of the raptors and the T Rex in Jurassic Park when they saw the zombies piling onto – and being thrown off – that giant’s back.

OK, these things always come in threes: The Lord of bones with his faceplate and dodgy Scandi accent was a ringer for The Lord Humungus himself.