“Game of Thrones” Season 3, Episode 7 Review: “The Bear and the Maiden Fair”
Hello, All! Mikeoldboy here filling in this week and next for Laurie! I have been following the TV series since Day 1 and have read the books! Enjoy, and be wary of full episode spoilers!!
“Game of Thrones” took an interesting side step this week in terms of construction. This season so far has been a lot to take in with each episode jam packed with events that push the story forward. Having read the books, I am personally very pleased with how well this season has been turning out. The reason this episode was a refreshing change of pace, was its choice to focus on a handful of character moments over the rapid big events of the last several episodes. Not everything in the episode was spectacular, but their were quite a few moments that really went above and beyond in terms of acting/character development.
Alright, lets begin in King’s Landing. Sansa is taking the news of being betrothed to Tyrion fairly hard. She discusses the switch from Loras to Tyrion with Margaery, who offers comfort and support. Margaery has become a character greatly expanded upon in the series. In the book she isn’t a POV character but in the show she has a great side story. Like Cersei, she uses her womanly skills to manipulate both men and other women. Watching the two of them clash when they are actually so similar is quite entertaining.
Meanwhile, Tyrion and Bronn discuss the same matter. Both sets take a fairly lighter look at the marriage once the conversations are over and it’s nice to have this much comic relief. In fact, this episode made me laugh quite a few times. One scene that particularly tickled me, the scene between Tywin and Joffrey. This was one of the coolest moments for Tywin who completely patronizes Joffrey throughout. I really don’t wan’t to spoil to much about the actual conversation, but it is great and really shows you who is running things in the kingdom.
After last weeks nail biting Wall climb, Jon Snow and Ygritte really dialed things back a bit. Orell gives Jon some pretty harsh advice about the world before going off and confessing his feelings towards Ygritte. This was one of the parts of the episode I actually felt was a bit weaker. You can sort of see what the writer, George R.R. Martin, was going for, but it just felt a bit random to have Orell talking to Ygritte about love and what not.
Yes, George R.R. Martin actually did write this episode which makes it interesting in it’s own way. I assume some of the stuff that is being added to this T.V. Series are things that Martin may have had in earlier drafts of the book. Also, it’s a great way for Martin to add some background to characters that don’t get as much attention in the books.
Any who, in the lower North, Theon is still being held captive and tortured. Some people probably don’t know this, but this whole plot line with Theon is actually from “A Dance with Dragons”, book 5. It makes me kind of curious as to where they plan on taking Theon since they are rushing his story so much. I don’t think these scenes work as well as they do in the books, though I don’t care for Theon so any scene where he is getting his just desserts is fine with me. I don’t know when they will reveal what is happening to him, but I hope they take a little break from the torture scenes next week.
Continuing their trek to the Wall, Bran, Osha and the Reeds get into another argument, this time about Jojen’s visions being black magic. This is one plot line that is really being handled sloppily. From the introduction to the Reeds, to their overall portrayal and sort of randomness. Every conversation they seem to have ends in an argument and it gets tedious after a while.
Now we get to the sort of heart of this episode which focuses on Jaime and Brienne, everyone’s favorite odd couple. For those who have begun to notice, yes, Jaime is going to become less of a douche now that his hand and by extension his power has been taken away. The two have a nice conversation in her cell. This scene showed just how dedicated the two characters actually are to their own set of morals. Even though Jaime is leaving, you can tell the two have made a strong bond. Some people have expected this to become sexual. I think it’s best that it doesn’t. It wouldn’t feel right because the two have such a more evolved friendship then that. It becomes even more evident at the end of the episode when Jaime returns to save Brienne in one of my favorite scenes taken pretty much right out of the book. The whole story with Brienne and Jaime is an interesting and insightful one so many fans will be pleased it will continue at least for now.
A few of the slightly lesser plot lines this week involved Robb and his relationship with his new wife, along with the short but awesome Arya segment. When I say lesser, I only mean they spent less time on them. The whole scene with Robb and Talisa felt a bit out of place. I guess the show needs to have its nudity, but I don’t think this scene forwarded much.
Then in Arya’s fun little segment she calls out Thoros and Berric. She is still very young so she may not see the whole picture, but Arya is just such a strong character, every time I see her kicking ass either with words or wits, a smile comes on my face. Her finally meeting up with the Hound was a great touch as well.
Across the sea, we reunite with possibly the biggest badass of them all. Daenerys is building her army up. This time she sets her sites on the city of Yunkai, with a slave population of 200,000 people, this city is ripe for Daenerys to pluck. Of course they didn’t go to far into this story yet, but the short conversation she has with the man from Yunkai was fantastic. We got to see the dragons, which are getting pretty big, and we got to see Daenerys be her usually strong self.
This episode really marks a nice point for this series. For this season, it is an excellent breather episode and the perfect bridge to the surely cataclysmic events to come. Anyone who has read the book will get a bit more from this episode as well because the foreshadowing is abundant here. The reason this is such a great mark for the series, is that it drew us back in and reminded us that at the core this is a series about characters, and these characters are a lot more relatable when they have conversations than when they are swinging swords and falling from giant ice mountains.
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