“Walking back to wildling land, whoop-ah-oh-yeah…”
Does anyone know where poor Smoulders-in-the Snow actually thought he was going? Sigh. Every second scene, there he was, blushing, freezing, but always with the walking…to where, Jon? What was the plan? Did you think your boys’d let you keep her?
In between, other characters were killing, bickering, bonding, but Jon and
Patsy Palmer Ygritte just kept right on walking. Robb flirted, Theon murdered, some stuff happened with Daeny that I don’t give a mutton stew about and will therefore completely ignore for the rest of this post, and yet the Snow Patrol were STILL walking.
Poor Smoulders. So pretty but so astonishingly dim. And so easily flustered by a girl. Their monarchist vs democrat (of sorts) clash of ideologies was cute, and while her “earthier” baiting of him got a bit embarrassing for me, let alone Mr Precious, it was, in fairness, reasonably funny at first. But all that WALKING seemed to go on forever.
It seems churlish to complain, though, when it was just one of several strands of beautifully realised character development woven through the episode. Because “A Man Without Honour” was very much an episode about character and the interplay between characters, rather than the action itself despite how shocking some of that action was: it’s not like I’ll forget Jamie’s cold-blooded killing of Ser Alton or what Theon did (I’ll come back to that in a minute) any time soon. But each incident showed us every character’s true nature, shaped by power and honour or lack thereof – contrast Robb’s concern for all his wounded prisoners and Ser Alton with Tywin’s coldly efficient ruthlessness, and the madness of King Joffrey (out of sight this week, but never out of mind) whose own mother despairs of the monster power has shown him to be.
I suppose it’s fitting though that the worst villain this time around was the character with the weakest nature as Theon, a man who had already passed the point of no return with the execution of Ser Rodrik , essentially lapped himself this week with something too horrific to even contemplate: My God. I’m pretty sure Rickon and Bran are ok, but two other little boys are definitely not, so, frankly, the re-taking of Winterfell cannot come fast enough.
This was another talky episode, then, but so much of the talking was fantastic, it didn’t matter. Cersei’s guilt-ridden confession to Tyrion and his awkward attempt to comfort her, Tywin and Arya’s verbal sparring, and of course Catelyn’s magnificent confrontation with the Kingslayer himself: all marvellous. I could happily have sat through even more talking of that calibre. But perhaps a little less of the walking.