Game of Thrones Episode 4: Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things

GAME OF THRONES: Monday 9th May, SKY ATLANTIC, 9pm

*Spoiler Warning: Please only continue with this series blog if you have watched up to series 4 of Game of Thrones*

Sean Bean’s pensive mug might be plastered across every GoT review at the moment, but we all know that the real star of this HBO adaptation is the genius who created that title sequence. Not only does this map of clockwork carpentry grow as the story develops (look closely friends..) but it also gives us a sense of distance and fantasy clout. King’s Landing is a veritable match-stick metropolis, Duskendale looks like one of those pitiful Monopoly houses. Somewhere between the two is the horseys which represent the Dothraki Sea (actually not a sea at all) and if Daenerys Targaryen keeps going like she is then they might end up with more than just a few wooden horses before the end of the series. The new Queen finally stands up to her comically snobbish brother this week after he slaps her about a bit and even scolds her PA for getting involved in the slave trade. Strength, good ethics, a smokin’ body and a hard-bastard boyfriend with a large army. We think she might have a better shot at the Iron Throne than her deluded brother who spends much of his screen-time making a tit of himself and indulging in dirty dragon talk…

Speaking of the throne, Hand of the King Ned Stark was doing a half-arsed job of organising a jousting tournament last night. To be fair, Ned has quite a lot on his plate right now.. One of his daughters isn’t speaking to him, the other seems to be a feminist, his King is about as popular as Sir Fred Goodwin and his son is now disabled (news he seems to be taking quite well incidentally..) He’s also become very interested in the death of King Robert’s last dogsbody. If we think back to episode one, we remember that John Arryn was almost definitely poisoned by those pesky Lannisters. Luckily, Ned seems to have Lord Peter ‘Little-Finger’ Baelish on his side though, a man who delights in knowing much and handing out information like the Huggy Bear of King’s Landing. The savant even knows how the hound got a face like Freddie Krueger, a question we’ve been wanting answered for the best part of a month.

Anyway, after taking one look at the book than his immediate successor requested on the eve of his death, Ned decided that the best way of getting to the bottom of the old fella’s death was to visit his favourite blacksmith. And lo there was yet another bastard waiting for him. With so many prostitutes about, and less contraception than you’d find at the Vatican’s chemist, it’s little wonder that Westeros is littered with people of dubious parentage. Meanwhile, if Ned was doing a half-arsed job of organising the knight’s competition, then the HBO special effects guys certainly weren’t pulling any punches with the special effects. The scene where some poor bloke copped a spear in the neck looked like the real deal to me.

Up at The Wall, Jon Snow has taken a mystifying shine to a rather tubby new recruit to the watch. Samwell Tarley a virgin who’s been thrown out by his old man for being a bit of a drip. “Why don’t you fight!?” asked Jon Snow after he saving him from a beating. “Because… I’m a coward!” he answered as if it wasn’t completely obvious from the way he squealed like a trapped piglet after being smacked with a glorified lollipop stick. “I’m a virgin too..” said Jon. You can’t help but agree with their trainer when he tells them that they need to man-up if they want to survive North of the Wall. Any excuse for an anecdote though, and this week’s Captain Oates moment included some enforced cannibalism. They’ve talked about what’s beyond that wall of theirs at length, but so far I’ve yet to hear a decent explanation as to why they bother going on missions up there. Someone should point out that life could be made a lot easier if they invested in some archers and set up an arrow workshop. Problem solved.

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