Written by Hannah Dunleavy

Arts

Last Night’s Watch

Hannah Dunleavy on episode two of Game of Thrones where she finds Lord Byron north of the Wall and Hillary Clinton on the Iron Islands. Sort of. Contains SPOILERS.

Ser Davos (Liam Cunningham): the only thing Hannah's excited about in the Jon Snow storyline. Photos: HBO.

Ser Davos (Liam Cunningham): he knows his onions. Photos: HBO.

“Apologies for what you are about to see”

Oh Ser Davos, you wonderful old sea dog, where would Game of Thrones be without your humble bravery, your times-of-crisis pragmatism and your admirable theological views? (“Fuck ’em then. Fuck ’em all.”)

At the Wall, Jon’s not dead any more and – outside of Liam Cunningham – I still can’t get in any way excited about this diversion or wonder if anyone involved in its creation is happy with the way it’s worked.

Never mind, it’s happened. Jon Snow’s eyes are open courtesy of the Red Woman, and he’s got a lot to do. Not least sort out that haircut she’s given him.

What you talking about Willis?

Another great rush of fan love this week for the return of Hodor (Hodor!), one of a screed of characters we haven’t seen since the arse end of series four, who made their way back into the action this week.

Bran’s still hanging around with the magic tree people, presided over by Max Von Sydow, gripping to a root having visions of a happier time so long past that Old Nan was still young (ish).

It looks both like Lord Byron stumbled across the Faraway Tree and a UKIP Christmas party, so it’s no wonder that Meera’s sitting bored outside, wondering if this is what she sat a whole series out for. I feel her pain.

Out in the cold: Meera Reed (Ellie Kendrick).

Out in the cold: Meera Reed (Ellie Kendrick).

Frankenstein’s Mountain

Also back after a long absence (and death) is Clegane the Cuntier, who’s again at the side of Cersei to help her regain some sense of control in King’s Landing and stop people talking about her tits in public*.

The rag-tag Sparrows are still proving to be the Leicester City of the Westeros Premiership, this week schooling the Kingslayer on the irrelevance of money, tradition and strength if you all pull together.

Cersei playing with a thread on her dress reminded me that my Nan always cautioned against this lest the whole arm fall off. Which is great advice for Cersei. And Frankenstein’s Mountain.

* Two instances of someone having their brains dashed against a wall by someone infinitely bigger than them this week, although they came in an episode where the smallest hero met the two most dangerous creatures in the GoT universe and survived it. Proving size isn’t everything. Which is, the King’s Landing gossip mill has it, good news for Jaime.

“The leadership race looks to be much like the US election, in that the most obvious candidate’s a woman, but everyone’s likely to have their heads turned by some gobshite Johnny Come Lately who’s happy to steamroller anyone in his way.”

“I am Lord Bolton”

Yeah, the misery grinds on and gets more gratuitous still. Let’s move on.

“I drink and I know things.”

Ah, blessed light relief came from Tyrion’s adventures in the pits. Peter Dinklage is a great dramatic actor but his greatest value to the series is exactly what he did/got here. A potent mix of inappropriate humour and appropriate anecdote, which enabled him to approach those “dragons” with a mix of awe, bravado and fear while saying the sort of things strangers do to get children in a car (“I know your mother”). Bravo.

What is dead may never die

Also back with a boom (or rather a splash) was Balon Greyjoy (Patrick Malahide, hooray). The long-absent Iron Islands enters Kingsmoot when Balon ends up in the sea. Being before pulled out. And then put back in the sea.

The leadership race looks to be much like the US election, in that the most obvious candidate’s a woman, but everyone’s likely to have their heads turned by some gobshite Johnny Come Lately who’s happy to steamroller anyone in his way.

Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan): the Hills of Westeros?

Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan): the Hills of Westeros?

The good news is he is played by Danish actor Pilou Asbaek, making Borgen Greyjoy more interesting by the second and in some way making up for the fact that Ian McShane has yet to arrive. #VoteYara.

Last Night’s Watch

As the titles suggests, my original plan was for this blog to appear on a Tuesday morning. However, as I’ve been available to watch it earlier on a Monday, I have been. This may or may not be the case in the coming weeks, so if it’s later appearing, that’s why.

Until next week then.

Follow Hannah’s week-by-week Game of Thrones blog here.

@thatdunleavy

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Written by Hannah Dunleavy

Hannah Dunleavy is the deputy editor of Standard Issue. She likes whisky and not having to run anywhere.