• James Hewlett

GoT Rewatch #1

I was going to be very current and talk about Westworld today but as I started writing it occurred to me that I maaaay have dozed off near the end of the episode. I know Sara had and I think that sent me away too. I was fairly conscious but to do this show justice I’m going to rewatch the episode before writing about it.

Instead I’m going to talk about another HBO prestige show. We started our Game of Thrones rewatch this weekend, a couple of weeks later than planned so we watched the first two episodes of the show. I haven’t fully figured out what format I want to take with these recaps yet, especially the early seasons which anyone who’s interested in the show has probably watched multiple times over already. So for now at least I think I’m just going to go with some broad notes and observations.

Anyway, lets get on with the episodes.

Season One, Episode One - Winter Is Coming

So they almost entirely scrapped the original pilot for the show as it hadn’t tested well with any audience and no one was happy with it. I remember hearing about this at the time as Jeff Cannata, then of the Totally Rad Show, was a big fan of the books and really scared of how the show was going to turn out.

They recast some key characters including Dany and Catelyn Stark. They also cut a whole prologue that showed the Mad King murdering Ned’s father and brother and Jaime’s king-slaying. Some of this footage has eventually been reused but I’d still like to one day see those scenes.

The scenes that remain from the original filming are really obvious when you look back at it now. Ned’s wig is vastly different with, presumably the old footage, him having a much more slicked back look as opposed to the more scruffy hairstyle we’re used to. Tyrion’s wig choice is much more apparent and does him no favours. There are shots in the first couple of episodes that make him look a lot more like a character in Willow than Game of Thrones.

Plot and story observations are much more positive though; I had heard that there were Unsullied in the scenes in Pentos and at the Dothraki wedding feast, they don’t look anything like they do later on when we are properly introduced to them but with the long horned helmets and pikes they do more accurately fit the book description. It’s a small detail but I love it, it makes sense that Magister Illyrio would have purchased a few of the famed warrior slaves as his household guard.

For the first time I also noticed that despite being Ned Stark’s ward/hostage and raised with the Stark children for most of his life Theon was permitted to wear his house clothing, the Kraken of House Greyjoy is visible on his cloak. I liked this because it shows that Ned was fine with, hell probably encouraged, Theon to keep some of his familial heritage. I would like to think that had things gone better Ned would have tried to install Theon as the ruler on Pike when his father eventually died, under better circumstances of course.

The last thing of real note isn’t a new observation but just a cool thing from both the book and the show. When they come across the dead stag in the road it is suggested that it was killed by a mountain lion before they discover the dire wolf. I like the symbolism of the stag and wolf killing each other but the lion being off to the side just watching and reaping the benefits. Baratheons, Starks, Lannisters…

Season One, Episode Two - The Kingsroad

I’ll be honest, I was preoccupied a bit while we had this episode on. It’s fine, but nothing massively spectacular. A lot of moving the pieces into place to set up where the story is going. Everyone is leaving Winterfell; Jon and Tyrion are heading to The Wall, Ned and Robert are reminiscing on the road, Robb is trying to hold down the fort while Catelyn is weeping over Bran until the catspaw tries to kill him. I was very impressed with how Cat doesn’t let up despite her hands getting all kinds of fucked up by that blade.

Tyrion slapping Joffrey about is always fun to see, maybe if Robert had paid attention to him and done that a bit more he wouldn’t have been such a little cunt.

It’s a shame about Lady but Sansa seems to get over it pretty quick. Arya is way more broken up about sending Nymeria away and she knows she’s still out there somewhere!

We get to see Ilyn Payne in this episode, had that actor not got cancer he would have been in a lot more than just season one. It’s a shame too, as he actually beat cancer but it had been a while and audiences would have probably forgotten who he was if he just suddenly popped back up in King’s Landing years later.

That’s pretty much all I’ve got for this very travel heavy episode.

We’ll be watching the next episode soon. I’m really hoping my countdown works out the way I’ve planned. It would be fun to finish up and roll straight into the final season!

Are you watching along with us? Let me know if you are!

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©2017 by James Hewlett.