Game of Thrones has burned through a season worth of material in three episodes. We’re used to our characters slowly moving from Point A to Point B. During season one, you could say that we learned just how long the journey from Winterfell to Kings Landing was right along with Arya and Sansa. This is not a complaint. I was not in the back seat asking, “Are we there yet?” like a bored child. We grew to know our characters along the journey. That time that we invested early on has paid off handsomely. Take an example from this week. When Jon arrives to Dragonstone from Winterfell, he immediately gets in a quip at the expense of the diminutive Tyrion. It’s a moment that made all involved pause, including the audience, before cracking a smile. If Game of Thrones were a show that was only concerned with the destination, that scene would have been out of place. Because we spent so much time with Tyrion and Jon on the way to the wall, the moment was perfect. But those days are gone. We don’t spend an episode or two (or three) with Jon as he travels to Dragonstone. The last episode ended with Jon leaving Winterfell, the beginning of this one finds him at the Mother of Dragons’ door. The last time we saw Bran, he was at the wall. This week, he’s arrived at Winterfell. It’s a good thing. Someday, when most of us are dead and gone, George R.R. Martin will release Winds of Winter and undoubtedly fill us in on the details of the journey. But the show has so much to do and so little time. I love it.
This week, Fire and Ice finally met and for this viewer, it was every bit of fun as I hoped it would be. There wasn’t a lot of action, but the interactions were tense and full of juicy dialogue that really allowed all parties involved to shine. Kit Harrington and Peter Dinklage were predictably great. Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys is oozing a regal confidence this season that fuels every scene she’s in. The MVP though was Liam Cunningham’s Davos Seaworth. Every look and every line portrayed a sense of world weariness A manthat had no time for the pleasantries and decorum expected for those in the presence of royalty. He’s seen the imminent threat and he’s come to do something about it, not to make friends. Ser Davos has consistently been one of my favorite characters, and this may have been his best episode.
There were a lot of other moving pieces too. Cersei and Jamie aren’t just going to roll over for the Breaker of Chains! She also didn’t forget what the women of Dorn did to her daughter! Bran is back! Sansa has as hard of a time understanding the Three-Eyed Raven as I do! What did Davos mean by Jon getting stabbed in the heart? Theon’s back from his ocean getaway! Littlefinger is still the worst! And last but not least, Lady Olenna sure knows how to go out in style. It all added up to a fantastic episode that is the leader in the clubhouse for my favorite of the season so far. Game of Thrones can be seen on HBO on Sunday nights and on the HBO GO and HBO NOW apps with a subscription.
I had a chance to catch up with Netflix’s Castlevania this week, the animated series based on the video game with the same name. Castlevania tells the story of Dracula vowing revenge on the people of Wallachia after his wife is burned at the stake for witchcraft. A mysterious stranger, revealed early on to be the disgraced demon-hunter Trevor Belmont, must contend with Dracula’s minions and also the church to save the people of the region. It’s an intriguing story with great animation and top-level voice work from the likes of Richard Armitage, Matt Frewer and others. It’s also really dark and bloody and not for the faint of heart. If you can stomach it though, it’s an excellent example of world-building that serves as an origin story; perfectly setting itself up for the second season that Netflix announced that would be forthcoming. If you’re still on the fence, it’s a quick watch with only four 22-minute episodes in the season. I watched it all at once like a (short) movie. If you’ve watched the show and are itching for some good discussion about the questions the show raises about faith, science, superstition and the role of the Church, I’d recommend listening to our Feelin’ Film friends Tyler and Reed talk about it on More Than One Lesson’s podcast, found here. Castlevania is streaming in its entirety on Netflix.
That’s all for this week! Let us know what you think about Game of Thrones and Castlevania in the comments or in the Facebook group. As always, if there’s anything you’d like to see covered that we haven’t covered yet, let us know!