Written by Hannah Dunleavy

Arts

Last Night’s Watch

Game of Thrones is back and Hannah Dunleavy will be blogging all the episodes here. And after episode one the big question is: did someone just get their tits out for a good reason? Contains SPOILERS.

Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) takes a break from righteous slaughter. All photos: HBO.

Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) takes a break from righteous slaughter. All photos: HBO.

The Red Woman

I’m going to start at the end, because, despite all the Jon Snow brouhaha clogging up the internet, it was actually the most noteworthy part.

Forty-odd minutes in to the episode bearing her name, I’d pretty much convinced myself the creators had only done that to fire up the speculation further. And you know what? They probably did. But nothing else in the series opener really stood out as much as that final scene. Containing, as it did, that most unusual of things, a lingering shot of Carice Van Houten’s tits that was earned.

While it was hardly a surprise that there was more – or in some areas less – to The Red Woman than meets the eye, actually showing her post-ring Bilbo Baggins body was remarkably effective in an episode all about where women get their power.

“For my money, no one in Westeros is better than Brienne, but it’s nice to see her get what she wants for once, so more power to her nobly slaughtering elbow.”

It is known

Ripped apart from all her power – but not her stylist – Daenerys is the prisoner of some Dothraki/Twitter MRAs in a place that looks like a random selection of stock landscapes, including the South Dakota Badlands.

I’m going to be honest: I haven’t really been interested in the Unburnt one for a while, particularly as she landed on a snake (or, in this case, dragon) and had to go back to square one.

I can’t bitch about the tits and not mention that these scenes were all about establishing The Breaker of Andals (yes, I know) as a woman who retains her inner power despite being spoken to like she’s just suggested the Dothraki put a woman on their currency. In fact, this whole episode screamed “female empowerment” to an almost heavy-handed degree. Although, to be clear, that’s obviously infinitely preferable to treating women like fuckmeat.

thrones3To be honest, it’s the welcome injection of humour into this storyline that’s saving it for me. (FYI: The other two things on the list of ‘top five feelings ever’ are: successfully connecting a USB port the right way first time and discovering the tea you forgot about is still warm enough to drink.)

Who knows what they do at the widows’ centre Daenerys has been sent to. Sewing bee? Break rocks? Pray for death? Either way, I reckon she’s not going to like it.

“It’s a woman!”

Brienne the Brave was doing what she did best here – wildly slaying baddies and supplicating herself to people she thinks are better than her. For my money, no one in Westeros is better than Brienne, but it’s nice to see her get what she wants for once, so more power to her nobly slaughtering elbow.

Arya’s taken her first steps to becoming Bravos’ Daredevil and Natalie Dormer is still in jail. The women of Dorne have started a revolution/killing spree because Dornishmen weren’t happy with all the stuff that went on there in the last series. (None of us were, people of Dorne, none of us were.)

Lena Heady’s wearing her new pixie cut well and was cracking in that scene where she slowly realised all her dreams had gone to shit. Furthermore, she and Jaime decided to not mark the death of this child with some rapey sex, so all in all a successful trip to King’s Landing.

“Nothing else in the series opener really stood out as much as that final scene. Containing, as it did, that most unusual of things, a lingering shot of Carice Van Houten’s tits that was earned.”

“Those fuckers butchered him.”

This episode had a timeline so disjointed I started to lose all idea of how long it’s been since certain things happened. It was most obvious back at the Wall, where Ser Davos the hilarious is continuing to be a man with both simple tastes and very little regard for his personal safety.

Distracting the Night’s Watch’s new regime with a request for mutton (clearly the Westeros equivalent of “I want a plane”), he’s planning to pair up with Methuselah in some sort of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid* move. With a handful of other guys and the only dire-wolf (yet) to outlive its Stark. Exciting times.

*Not at all Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Ker-ni-gut? Bitch Cassidy and the Sundance Onion?

It’s great to see Liam Cunningham get stuff to do. It’s a minority opinion, I know, but I’m of the belief he and Stephen Dillane were one of the better pairings GoT‘s had. They wrenched laughs from some of the most austere, stubborn and dark storylines in the series and I’m hopeful this will continue now Davos has gone solo.

What’s driven everyone to this point is, of course, the death of Jon Snow, who Davos finds stabbed to death in a huge puddle of blood, which inexplicably gets much smaller when they lift his body up. (I say this now: if there’s a conspiracy there, I’m not rising to it.)

So Snow is dead and life goes on and if I’ve learned anything here it’s that nine-month-long cliffhangers don’t work for me.

theon and sansaThe big questions

Bearing in mind how long it must have taken him to catch up with Daenerys, is Ser Jorah Greyscale’s greyscale progressing quite slowly? Or am I confused of timeline again?

Witch Cassidy and the Geordie Kid?

When do we get Ian McShane? (“Welcome to fucking Westeros!”)

@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.