GAME OF THRONES “The Wolf and the Lion” Review

GAME OF THRONES “The Wolf And The Lion” Season 1 Episode 5 – We’re halfway through the season, only five episodes left to go. Up until this point Game of Thrones has done a very fine job of building up the world and establishing the characters. With the fifth episode, the show really loosened up. It stopped hitting all of the necessary plot points in George RR Martin’s books, and instead organically let them unfold. Despite the fact that a few of my favorite characters were MIA (most notably Dany and Jon Snow) this is easily my favorite episode of the show to date.

The creators are doing much more than an adaptation: they’re bringing the world to life, slipping in scenes that were not in the book, or that were hinted in the book. They’re confident enough at this point to focus of just a few characters, instead of feeling obliged to pay a visit to every character in every episode. Really, the structure of this series is remarkable but more than that, after this episode I’m getting that feeling I haven’t felt since those first few episodes of Glee (so filled with potential!), since I had a marathon of Breaking Bad and Battlestar Galactica, since the first season of Veronica Mars or the first four seasons of The West Wing: I’m falling in love with a show.

It’s been said that a great movie is made up of three great scenes and no bad ones. I suppose this applies to a great episode, because I can certainly think of three great scenes:

Catelyn Stark takes Tyrion to her sister’s keep, which is called The Eyrie. Okay, I want to give an honorary award to Catelyn and Tyrion’s entire storyline. From the battle on the road to the meeting at the Eyrie, this storyline never put a foot out of place. That Tyrion saved her life certainly complicates things for Lady Stark, but no more so than seeing that her sister Lysa (wife of the former Hand, Jon Arryn) is a raving lunatic who is still breastfeeding her seven year old son (forget Tyrion caving in a dude’s head, the award for most disturbing scene goes to.) and convinced that the Lannisters had something to do with her husbands death. Needless to say this puts Catelyn Stark in a bit of a pickle. Round of a applause to the special effects team for the visual wonder that is The Eyrie.

As for a second great scene (not that these are in any particular order) I’m going to go with the conversation between Littlefinger and Varys. Along with the scene with Loras and Renly, Theon Greyjoy and the prostitute and another scene I’ll mention in a moment, this was not written in George RR Martin’s book but it was certainly a scene to savour and made me realize just how good Weis and Benioff are as writers.

Then of course there’s the scene between Cersei and the King, her husband, which added dimensions to both their characters and was just a beautiful little nugget, great acting and dialogue and direction which just stood back and let the scene breathe, let the actors do their thing. It was also tragic: these two people who were pushed together, both proud, slightly resentful. Cersei’s confession that she figured that by not mentioning Robert’s dead love she could simply make Lyanna Stark disappear was sad and somewhat pathetic.

Of course, the rest of the episode was very good with flashes of great: Jaime shoving a dagger into the eye of Ned’s man. Arya’s entire storyline, her amusing insistence that she’s not a boy (Maisie Williams’ performance is wonderful). The fight between the Clegane brothers. Loras Tyrell’s (the Knight of the Flowers) relationship with Renly, which was never shown in the books.

I loved this episode, I love this show. Now excuse me, I think I’ll watch it again. Maybe it I watch it enough times, next Sunday will come quicker.

What did you think of this episode? Sound off in the comments below.

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