Monday, May 28, 2012

Game of Thrones photo recap: "Blackwater"

"Blackwater" was Game of Thrones' most focused, streamlined and compelling hour since last season's "Baelor." As Stannis launched his ill-fated attack on King's Landing, Tyrion and Sansa kicked unbelievable amounts of ass, Joffrey revealed the depths of his cowardice, and Cersei's slow descent into madness started to accelerate. As always, check out the gallery below for the episode's best moments, and keep reading for a rundown of the night's more memorable quotes.

The best moments from "Blackwater": Sansa shows off her newfound cleverness, Tyrion shows off his skills with an axe, and David Benioff and D.B. Weiss show HBO why the extra money for special effects was necessary.

The night's best quotes: Stannis' ruthless nature comes to the fore, Tywin Lannister has some pretty compelling religious beliefs, and the Hound quits his job in a fashion that is only successful when you're a 300-pound killing machine.

"I've always hated the bells. They only ring for horror; a dead king, a city under siege..." "A wedding?" "Exactly." Just wait until Sansa marries Joffrey. The sheer unpleasantness of that event will put any other instance of death and destruction to shame.

"I've seen you kill a man with a shield. You'll be unstoppable with an axe." As I mentioned, this scene was wonderfully played by both Peter Dinklage and Jerome Flynn; Tyrion and Bronn's relationship might be the most romantic on the show.

"They say my brother Robb always goes where the fighting's thickest. And he's only a pretender." Sansa has managed to combine Stark bravery and nobility with the ability to keep her head firmly attached to her shoulders. That girl is going to go far.

"The worst ones always live." After the absolute badassery of Sansa's conversation with Joffrey, we get an unfortunate (and heartbreaking) reminder that, no matter how craven and cowardly he is, Joffrey has powerful people behind him, and those people will fight to keep him alive at any cost.

"We're too far from the gates. The fire. They have archers. Hundreds will die!" "Thousands." Stannis is still a better choice than Joffrey - who, with the possible exception of Ser Gregore Clegane, wouldn't be? - but the casual way he dooms thousands of men in a quest for the Iron Throne demonstrates that he has his shortcomings as well.

"Your father doesn't believe in the gods?" "He believes in them, he just doesn't like them very much." When you compare this comment to Tyrion's lament last week that all he wanted was a god of "tits and win," it becomes clear that the Imp has more in common with his father than Tywin (and Cersei) might like to believe.

"Fuck the King's Guard. Fuck the city. Fuck the King." The Hound says what everyone is thinking, and gets away with it because, really, who's going to stop him?

"Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let's go kill them!" Maybe not the most noble way to end a rousing battlefield speech, but Tyrion gets points for both flair and for pointing out the fundamental lack of clear moral divisions that distinguishes Game of Thrones from, say, Lord of the Rings.

"The battle is over. We have won!" As conflicted as I am about the Lannister victory, I'm glad that Tywin got the opportunity to say this line. If you need someone to announce that you won a battle, Charles Dance is your man.