Buzzing About… GAME OF THRONES

Miss last night’s episode? Here’s what you need to know about GAME OF THRONES’ “Battle of the Blackwater”

AIRDATE: 5/27/12 WRITER: George R.R. Martin DIRECTOR: Neil Marshall SYNOPSIS: As Stannis Baratheon’s fleet launches an all-out assault on King’s Landing, Tyrion — and to a somewhat lesser extent — Joffrey brace for impact. Meanwhile, holed up deep inside the castle, an inebriated Cersei, an anxious Sansa and a stoic Shae patiently await the outcome of the battle under the watchful eye of Ser Llyn Payne. INTRODUCED: An unexpected new alliance between Tywin Lannister and Renly’s former lover Ser Loras Tyrell. An alliance that [Spoiler Alert!] plays a surprisingly pivotal role in the Battle of the Blackwater. NOTABLE QUOTABLE: “Joffrey will. The worst ones always live,” is Sansa’s response to Shae commenting that “Some of those boys will never come back,” as King’s Landing prepares for the impending battle. LESSON LEARNED: “Tears aren’t a woman’s only weapon, the best one’s between your legs,” is just one of many pearls of wisdom doled out by Cersei (See also her comforting words to the women she spends the episode with, “If the city falls these fine women will be in for a rape.”) in an episode that has “For Your Emmy Consideration” written all over it for her portrayer Lena Headey. Also of note, assuming he survives, Bronn really should consider auditioning for Westeros’ Got Talent when these game of thrones come to an end. Seriously. Who knew that under such a rough exterior was such a beautiful voice! CRITIQUE: In a word, “WOW!” In a few more “WOW! WOW! WOW!” In a nutshell, the “Battle of the Blackwater” did a remarkable job of humanizing the horrors of war. By punctuating the bloody beheadings and sick swordplay with revealing character moments that shine a spotlight on Joffrey’s cowardice, Tyrion’s unexpected leadership skills, and the very different kind of horrors the women experience while anxiously awaiting for their men to return from the battlefield, GAME OF THRONES did the kind of things money can’t buy. Which is to say, who needs to dizzy audiences with the sheer size and scope of a 200 million dollar big screen brou-ha-ha that more often than not does little more than leave one’s head spinning when you can not only provide viewers with a slew of smaller and far more memorable character moments to keep us on the edge of our seat as we anxiously await the outcome of the episode, but curiously enough leave us debating who we’d rather see sit in the titular throne: Is the devil you know (Joffrey Baratheon) better than the devil(s) you don’t (Stannis Baratheon and the mysterious Melisandre)? GRADE: A

GAME OF THRONES airs Sundays at 9PM on HBO (HBO Canada) Catch up on past episodes you may have missed for free online at

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  • Jerome Flynn (Bronn) actually had a short career as a pop star back in the day.

    They did a great job of contrasting Joffrey’s cowardice, with Stannis’ badass lead from the front policy. The wildfire explosion would have been enough to make any army quail, but not Stannis. He was the first man to reach land, and the first man over the ladder. And all this while Joffrey runs away. This is why Stannis deserves to be King. Melisandre is only a means to an end.Stannis is the true King by right.

  • My respect for Stannis certainly grew after watching him perform in battle. And while of course Joffrey is a horrible king, I find myself rooting for many of the Lannister’s because I kinda dig Tyrion and Tywinn. Also, Melisandre scares the bejesus out of me!

  • That is a fair point. It’s like do we like Tyrion more or do we hate Joffrey (and Cersei) more.

  • Liz

    Except that you know Tyrion will find a way to survive regardless who wins.  So it’s safe to cheer for Stannis.