“Game of Thrones” Season 3, Episode 8 Review: “Second Sons”
Just two episodes left of “Game of Thrones”. If the rest of the season is any indication, then this could end up being the best season yet for the series. This week’s episode really only focused on three key events: Tyrion and Sansa’s Wedding, Daenerys dealing with The Second Sons, and Melisandre using Gendry for some more dark magic. Of course, a few other cool events also took place but these were really the three key points of the episode.
Let’s start off with the wedding. It is pretty clear that neither Tyrion nor Sansa wants to be married. They both seem to be at an understanding however and Tyrion promises that Sansa will never have harm come to her now. Sansa has had one of the most intense changes of any character on the series. She went from the spoiled brat that wants to be queen, to realizing just how high the price of said things are. Its actually nice to see her so humbled lately. This whole experience has really set her straight and she is actually becoming a more relatable character.
She could have ended up with far worse than Tyrion. The scene where Joffrey threatens to rape Sansa was an intense one. It was also intense and awesome to see Tyrion threaten to castrate Joffrey. Of course, Tywin needs to step in to calm the situation. The two are meant to consummate their relationship but Tyrion again proves his chivalry and reinforces why he is arguably the most likable character on the series.
Speaking of the most likable characters, Daenerys had a pretty awesome week again as she strategizes how to overtake Yunkai. A new enemy presents itself in the form of The Second Sons, a group of well known sellswords. The three captains come to parlay with Daenerys but because two of the captains are so crass and rude, Daenerys doesn’t seem willing to make a deal with them. Fortunately, one of the three captains helps solve her problem and a new friendship is born.
This is a pretty key part of the book, actually, because Daenerys’ new friend clearly has his own set of intentions, even though they are not clear yet. Even though it seemed like a battle might have ensued during this episode, I am guessing they will save the battle for episode 9, as that is the penultimate episode each season.
This brings us to one of the more sinister aspects of this week’s episode. Stannis heads down to the dungeons to free Davos. The two have an excellent conversation that had me reminiscing about the book. In the books, Davos is an incredibly strong, level-headed character, and I have always thought him underutilized during the TV series. He is the most loyal follower Stannis has and he is able to see past Melisandre’s grand magical powers, to the obvious evil lurking beneath.
I have to feel bad for Gendry and I liked how he was pretty cautious throughout the entirety of his scenes. The leeches were a brutal element, but it showed us once again the dark powers that Melisandre is able to wield. Stannis uses the leeches to cast what I assume is a curse upon Balon Greyjoy, Robb Stark and King Joffrey. Again, we will probably see some of the ramifications of this during episodes 9 and 10. I have my suspicions about where this season will end but I don’t wish to spoil it for anyone.
While the majority of the episode focused on these three events, their were two other happenings. Arya nearly murders The Hound but it is revealed that he is actually taking her back to her mother and brother. The Hound is a great character, despite how brutal he is able to be, the man is also an incredibly broken character. Born to be a killer and probably nothing more, he is the perfect tragic character.
And North of the wall, we got a quick awesome scene that I had been waiting for from the books. This scene involves Sam and Gilly as they head towards the wall. They stop at a small rundown hut for the night but a white walker attack interrupts the two’s plan for a safe night’s sleep. Long live Sam the Slayer, as he will now be known.
This show has really been doing a great job adapting such a complex series of novels. Most people probably weren’t expecting the series to be as good as it is. It really is a great thing that the series has such an awesome sense of what to keep from the source material and what needs to be changed to better tell the story in a different medium. This has been my personal favorite season of the show so far and I cannot wait to see the last two episodes!