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Beyond the Wall: This Week on Game of Thrones (Episode 9 / May 27, 2012)

May. 28, 2012by:

NOTE: Join us every MONDAY as we review the latest episode...

EPISODE 09: Blackwater

THE PLOT:

The long summer is at an end, winter truly is coming and with it the cold winds of war as five self proclaimed Kings claim dominance over Westeros, but there can be only one winner when you play the game of thrones.

THE LOWDOWN:

All season we've been preparing for war and tonight the battle of Blackwater gives us just that. As one fan pointed out last week, this isn't LORD OF THE RINGS so we shouldn't be expecting that kind of battle which is true, hell I don't even think Peter Jackson expected LOTR battles to be as epic as they turned out but he had a Tywin Lannister budget to make it happen. Blackwater's episode budget is the highest yet for the series and it's something producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss fought tooth and nail for. I feel the boys delivered considering what they had to work with leaving me happy with the end result. Bringing on Neil Marshall (THE DESCENT, DOOMSDAY) to direct this episode surely didn't hurt either. And lest we forget the best part, tonight's episode was written by the man himself, George R.R. Martin. Fans probably know by now that one of Martin's stipulations for letting HBO tackle the series was giving him carte blanche with one episode per season, THE POINTY END, being last season's. So yes, the quips have never been as sharp as they are tonight!



I'm very happy they decided to focus on this one area rather than jump around (the story flows much better this way), the downside being next week's finale will no doubt feel rushed as hell with many a cliff hanger as they round up all the loose ends. Tonight though, Kings Landing shines. Tyrion's all over the place, winning over scene after scene with Varys, Joffrey, Bronn and eventually stirring the hearts of the men. His wildfire plan was a hit (pun intended), and made for a tremendous explosion at sea, burning away at more than just Stannis' men's resolve. I tell ya though, that Stannis has balls of steel, personally leading his men across the river banks under heavy arrow fire. As you can imagine, there's loads of BRAVEHEART style war violence to going around tonight, almost like they're trying to make up for the tame past couple episodes. It's all good though as we've been chomping at the bit to see it.



Cersei has her time in the spotlight, her exchanges with Sansa were dark (hilarious) moments of drunken goodness. I particularly enjoyed Sansa's meeting with Joffrey to "see him off to battle". For one, even though I despise him, I loved seeing his sword, Heart Eater, and though Sansa was made to kiss it, she pretty much tells Joffrey to kiss her ass as well. This is a taste of that volatile relationship they share in the books (when Sansa finally grows a damn spine), and though the show skipped most of that, at least they're trying to appease us with a taste (I was also quite moved when she picked up the doll Ned gave her, the one she originally hated). The Hound's also a commanding presence tonight, from his stare down with Bronn (arguably the most powerful scene in awhile) to his exploding on and off the battlefield. His relationship with Sansa takes a step even further, showing us he's honorable at heart...even if he is a cold blooded killer.



GAME OF THRONES SEASON 2's ninth episode is non-stop adrenaline, from the raging battle outside the walls to the silent battle within them. You can't take your eyes off the screen for a second, you can't miss a word of dialogue, and dammit you just can't help but wish this show would never end. There are many small tidbits I'm leaving out simply because I'm not here to ruin any surprises, but I will say this, all characters involved in tonight's episode give Oscar calibre performances. Every season of any show has its ups and downs, but this show climbs above most with far more positive than negative. To be honest, as I've said may times, this show's worst fault is not giving us nearly enough to satisfy our thirst. I can't believe next week is the finale, but one thing I do believe is that if it's anything like tonight's episode, we'll surely be going out on a tremendously high note.



SEX/NUDITY:

Thankfully Bronn and his men make time for booze and sex before a big battle.

VIOLENCE:

The blades of war take no prisoners my friends, just ask the Hound as he cleaves men in half like they're made of jello. There's no shortage of lost limbs, burns and frightful gashes tonight. Stannis lands a particularly cool head shot.

SHARPEST QUIP:

The Hound may not be the sharpest player on the field, but tonight he's full of fire after melting down on the battle field. He calls out for a drink and someone brings him water. The Hound: "Fuck the water. Bring me wine." And then when questioned by Tyrion and Joffrey about why he's no longer on the battlefield he had this to say. The Hound: "Fuck the Kingsguard. Fuck the city. Fuck the king." The look on Joffrey's face is priceless.

MOST EPIC SCENE:

The Hound puts a damper on Bronn's pre-battle fiesta igniting a standoff of epic proportions. That said, Podrick coming to Tyrion's rescue is also badass.

FINAL VERDICT:

TELL US WHAT YOU THOUGHT OF THIS EPISODE BELOW!

Extra Tidbit: Do you think they'll surprise us with a two hour finale? No, me neither, but a guy can dream.
Source: JoBlo.com

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9:56PM on 05/29/2012

Tyrion

I didn't read the books but love the show, I just don't understand (SPOILER ALERT) why what happened to Tyrion, happened. Was that Joffrey or Cercei's doing, or did dude just not like him?
I didn't read the books but love the show, I just don't understand (SPOILER ALERT) why what happened to Tyrion, happened. Was that Joffrey or Cercei's doing, or did dude just not like him?
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+1
2:24PM on 05/29/2012
It was good to see Cersei get some screen time and her drunken pep talk with Sansa was laugh out loud funny. Poor Sansa though, she really is stuck between a rock and a hard place.
It was good to see Cersei get some screen time and her drunken pep talk with Sansa was laugh out loud funny. Poor Sansa though, she really is stuck between a rock and a hard place.
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+2
12:15PM on 05/29/2012

Question:

Is the Onion Knight dead or did he survive?
Is the Onion Knight dead or did he survive?
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2:25PM on 05/29/2012
Pretty sure he's alive but it looked like his son was blown to bits.
Pretty sure he's alive but it looked like his son was blown to bits.
5:41PM on 05/29/2012
SPOILER FOR THE BOOKS: In the books, Davos survives, but his son does not.
SPOILER FOR THE BOOKS: In the books, Davos survives, but his son does not.
11:41AM on 05/29/2012
I liked the use of Wildfire as opposed to the big chain he uses in the books to fend off Stannis' ships. The changes made this season work for the most part, and obviously GRRM thinks so too as he changed many a thing around this episode. The dialogue stayed pretty true though, especially between Cersei and Sansa, Lena Heady rocks.
I liked the use of Wildfire as opposed to the big chain he uses in the books to fend off Stannis' ships. The changes made this season work for the most part, and obviously GRRM thinks so too as he changed many a thing around this episode. The dialogue stayed pretty true though, especially between Cersei and Sansa, Lena Heady rocks.
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+2
11:17AM on 05/29/2012
Loved it, watching it again right now.
Loved it, watching it again right now.
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4:39AM on 05/29/2012
I know I'll probablly get some flack for this, and let me just say I've loved every episode of GOT, and I'm the bigguest supporter of this show that I know. That said I had some real issues with the actual seige last night. Once Stannis got on the beach everything seamed a little too easy for him, like the people on the walls were just doing a terrible job. I can forgive a lot of this, I'm sure bugget issues came into play for how some of these things were filmed, but the whole scene where
I know I'll probablly get some flack for this, and let me just say I've loved every episode of GOT, and I'm the bigguest supporter of this show that I know. That said I had some real issues with the actual seige last night. Once Stannis got on the beach everything seamed a little too easy for him, like the people on the walls were just doing a terrible job. I can forgive a lot of this, I'm sure bugget issues came into play for how some of these things were filmed, but the whole scene where the king left, and the troops all lost heart because of the marauding army on the other side of the wall....when the imps army finally attacks them from behind, the battle lasts 10 seconds. What the hell was everyone so affraid of. And then the rest of Stannis's army shows up....where had they been hiding? I loved the episode, but those few issues really bothered me. For other shows I could say fuck it, they just needed an easy solve to advance the plot, but I guess I hold GOT to higher expectations. Don't get me wrong, I loved 9/10ths of this episode, but that was the first time somethng in this series has ever really bothered me.
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11:19AM on 05/29/2012
I understand what you're saying about how easily they lost their morale but Stannis' army did outnumber them five to one. And his men didn't just show up out of nowhere, they were on the ships behind the big mess the explosion made. Stannis got there first, the rest had to catch up.
I understand what you're saying about how easily they lost their morale but Stannis' army did outnumber them five to one. And his men didn't just show up out of nowhere, they were on the ships behind the big mess the explosion made. Stannis got there first, the rest had to catch up.
+3
12:39AM on 05/29/2012
There was too much coolness in this episode to cover in one sitting, I needed to watch it three more times and I'm still smiling.
There was too much coolness in this episode to cover in one sitting, I needed to watch it three more times and I'm still smiling.
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11:10PM on 05/28/2012
That was a killer explosion, well captured as was the presence of the fleet. These guys really did stretch their budget as far as it would go (I'm assuming that's another reason this was shot at night rather than day when the battle takes place in the books, but either way, well done.
That was a killer explosion, well captured as was the presence of the fleet. These guys really did stretch their budget as far as it would go (I'm assuming that's another reason this was shot at night rather than day when the battle takes place in the books, but either way, well done.
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+3
10:30PM on 05/28/2012
Easily the best episode of the series to date and hopefully paves the way for further greatness. Most shows start to decline as they age but this one keeps getting better and hopefully since we're following actual books we'll never see this series fall. Hopefully.
Easily the best episode of the series to date and hopefully paves the way for further greatness. Most shows start to decline as they age but this one keeps getting better and hopefully since we're following actual books we'll never see this series fall. Hopefully.
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8:37PM on 05/28/2012
awesome episode
awesome episode
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+1
5:02PM on 05/28/2012
No question tonight's episode ran smoother, I know they'd never do it like GRRM does it in the books (and episode through one character's perspective like a chapter), but jumping around with more than two or three can get tedious and like you said, makes the show feel rushed. I'm hoping the finale doesn't feel that way.
No question tonight's episode ran smoother, I know they'd never do it like GRRM does it in the books (and episode through one character's perspective like a chapter), but jumping around with more than two or three can get tedious and like you said, makes the show feel rushed. I'm hoping the finale doesn't feel that way.
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+5
5:00PM on 05/28/2012
My personal favorite quote was Tyrion's "Oh, fuck me" at the sight of Stannis's troops. Pretty cool that they let Martin himself write the episode too.

This season had me a bit worried early on with how slow it was going, but with these last few episodes, it's shown why it's still one of the best shows on tv.
My personal favorite quote was Tyrion's "Oh, fuck me" at the sight of Stannis's troops. Pretty cool that they let Martin himself write the episode too.

This season had me a bit worried early on with how slow it was going, but with these last few episodes, it's shown why it's still one of the best shows on tv.
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6:10PM on 05/28/2012
Not to be a dick but if I recall he actually said that at the sight of Stannis's men coming around the hill, Tyrion was unconscious when Tywinn showed up.
Not to be a dick but if I recall he actually said that at the sight of Stannis's men coming around the hill, Tyrion was unconscious when Tywinn showed up.
7:47PM on 05/28/2012
Whoops! You're right, that's who I meant. Don't know why I said Tywin. Guess that's what four hours of sleep followed by a full day's work gets me. Corrected!
Whoops! You're right, that's who I meant. Don't know why I said Tywin. Guess that's what four hours of sleep followed by a full day's work gets me. Corrected!
3:54PM on 05/28/2012
best episode of the entire series thus far imo
best episode of the entire series thus far imo
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+4
3:30PM on 05/28/2012
Everything about this episode was superb, talking about going out in style. Like you said, I hope next week brings the same level of entertainment.
Everything about this episode was superb, talking about going out in style. Like you said, I hope next week brings the same level of entertainment.
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3:08PM on 05/28/2012

Neil Marshall

Directed this episode...great!
Directed this episode...great!
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11:12PM on 05/28/2012
Neil Marshall's the shit!
Neil Marshall's the shit!
2:58PM on 05/28/2012
I couldn't believe the acting in last night's episode. It's always been great in Game of Thrones, but all the performers give it their best. Bronn's stand-off with Sandor was great, possibly my favorite addition that wasn't in the books (at least, I don't remember it).

My only problem with "Blackwater" was that it's so dark and everything is so grey that it's pretty hard to tell what is going on in the end of the battle. I don't want to spoil anything for those who haven't seen the
I couldn't believe the acting in last night's episode. It's always been great in Game of Thrones, but all the performers give it their best. Bronn's stand-off with Sandor was great, possibly my favorite addition that wasn't in the books (at least, I don't remember it).

My only problem with "Blackwater" was that it's so dark and everything is so grey that it's pretty hard to tell what is going on in the end of the battle. I don't want to spoil anything for those who haven't seen the episode yet, but the details of who was attacking whom were difficult to see. If I hadn't read the books, I would have been lost.

Still, that's my sole complaint for the best episode of the season (possibly the entire series) so far. Hearing The National sing "The Rains of Castamere" over the end credits was another highlight for me.
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3:31PM on 05/28/2012
It was a little dark at times, and since I too read the books I knew what was going on, not sure if I would have either had I not. Good point.
It was a little dark at times, and since I too read the books I knew what was going on, not sure if I would have either had I not. Good point.
11:11PM on 05/28/2012
I don't remember the Bronn/Sandor standoff being in the books either but it was a damn good addition as far as I'm concerned.
I don't remember the Bronn/Sandor standoff being in the books either but it was a damn good addition as far as I'm concerned.
2:45PM on 05/28/2012
Cersei's drunken ramblings were the perfect pitch to take the edge off the fighting and tension. What a crackup.
Cersei's drunken ramblings were the perfect pitch to take the edge off the fighting and tension. What a crackup.
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2:59PM on 05/28/2012
She was great. I hate Cersei (pity may be a more accurate way to say it), but Lena Headey does a fantastic job.
She was great. I hate Cersei (pity may be a more accurate way to say it), but Lena Headey does a fantastic job.
1:42PM on 05/28/2012

Not 2 hours, but

The finale will be 70, so... at least there's an extra 10.
The finale will be 70, so... at least there's an extra 10.
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5:03PM on 05/28/2012
I'll take it!
I'll take it!
10:32PM on 05/28/2012
10 extra minutes are better than none.
10 extra minutes are better than none.
12:51PM on 05/28/2012

The Hound and Bronn

That scene before the battle with Bronn and the Hound is all kinds of badass. When he put his hand on his dagger my heart skipped a beat. I wouldn't want either of them to die, let alone fight one another but a part of me really wanted to see who'd win.
That scene before the battle with Bronn and the Hound is all kinds of badass. When he put his hand on his dagger my heart skipped a beat. I wouldn't want either of them to die, let alone fight one another but a part of me really wanted to see who'd win.
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2:46PM on 05/28/2012
I love Bronn, he better not die.
I love Bronn, he better not die.
3:31PM on 05/28/2012
Total badassery!
Total badassery!
10:31PM on 05/28/2012
I watched this episode three times now just for that scene alone!
I watched this episode three times now just for that scene alone!
12:40AM on 05/29/2012
So very cool. I really hope Bronn doesn't die.
So very cool. I really hope Bronn doesn't die.
11:41AM on 05/29/2012
The best non book surprise of the season for sure.
The best non book surprise of the season for sure.
9:57PM on 05/29/2012
Coolest part of the night imo.
Coolest part of the night imo.
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