There we have it; episode two of season three has just aired in the UK and I don’t know about you, but I was glued to the screen. I don’t think I blinked, in all seriousness, I think my contact lenses have fused to my eyeballs.
While episode one had that ‘and that’s what everyone is up to’ vibe that I’m not overly fond of, Dark Wings, Dark Words struck a much better balance – we could see more along the lines of what characters were THINKING. Sansa, for example, with her torturous, constant inner turmoil; Tyrion and his sincere fears for Shae’s safety; and Ayra’s determination to get back onto familiar soil and family territory.
Speaking of which, Ayra made her first appearance of the series, on the run from Harrenhal with Gendry (yum) and Hot Pie (bless). They don’t seem to be getting very far, mind you. I’m really trying not to give to much away to those of you who have not read the books, but if I remember correctly, there was a certain character I was really expecting to see at the end of this episode, but I suppose I’ll have to wait another week. Sigh.
The rest of the younger Starks made their first appearance too; Bran and Rickon (or as I like to call him, The Forgotten Stark), are still on their way to the wall. Actually, considering Ayra, Bran and Rickon…by the time you throw in Jamie and Brienne, this episode was really just watching a lot of people walking. Sort of like Lord Of The Rings, really. Not a bad thing, just an observation. Bran’s little entourage (HODOR!) are treated to the precious gift of new characters, in the form of the Reeds; Meera and Jojen.
I have to admit, like with many of the characters introduced in the later stages of A Song Of Ice And Fire, I was not a fan of this odd, frog-eating brother and sister duo, but having now seen them brought to life, I am reasonably pleased. They are exactly how I pictured them! I love when that happens.
Another thing this week that was exactly how I pictured it when reading the books, was the meeting of Margaery, Sansa and Olenna. Perfection. Let’s just take a moment to congratulate the Tyrell’s on being so completely awesome, witty and wonderful. As much as I love Margaery (who showed yet more of her abilities to be manipulative and foxy this week), Olenna is in a league of her own – a true matriarch, and one of the few characters in Martin’s works who really is just THAT straight forward. She’s such a pip.
For me, one of the most triumphant aspects of this episode was how EXTREMELY obvious it was that these people were wandering arounD Northern Ireland! Indeed! Bran & co. were obviously walking in the Mourne mountains (which I know to be a definite fact, because my father pointed this out and was very pleased, because he’s been there) and Jamie and Brienne’s fight scene was filmed in Shane’s Castle. The latter statement I know to be a fact because I was actually on that bridge in September last year, about a week after they had filmed that exact scene.
And then I saw Brienne get out of a taxi in front of the Europa hotel, but that’s completely irrelevant.
Overall, another fantastic episode, more new and wonderful characters than I have even mentioned here (Thoros! Hello, you!) – and just enough of a cliffhanger to make me actually want Mondays to happen.
Speaking of ending on a cliffhanger…
p.s., Theon, what you are experiencing is called ‘comeuppance’.