[Note: This post contains spoilers for the April 22 episode of HBO's "Game of Thrones," and the George R.R. Martin "Song of Ice and Fire" novels upon which the series is based.]
Forget for a moment that on Sunday's "Game of Thrones," Peter Dinklage provided more Emmy-worthy moments as Tyrion, the black-sheep “imp” coming into his own as a power player in the cutthroat titular game.
Let's also momentarily put aside that poor Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) finally got her rag-tag band of followers out of the desert – albeit landing in the city of Qarth, where the two-legged variety of vipers appeared to be as common as the sort slithering through the sand outside.
No, the scene from Sunday's episode that’s sure to have folks talking is its final one – in which the shadowy (hooray for double entendre!) fire priestess Melisandre gets involved in the game in a big, and creepy, way.
Melisandre, as we've seen, has throne contender Stannis in her thrall. Because Stannis is dead King Robert’s oldest brother, and the loathsome current King Joffrey is actually the bastard son of his mother’s incestuous brother-love, he arguably has the best claim to win the Iron Throne.
Unfortunately for him, he’s about as likeable as a bad case of armor rash after a long ride through Westeros. Enter handsome, charming Renly, Stannis’ younger brother who has rounded up a bigger army and more powerful political allies.
After peace talks between the estranged brothers go south and a battle looms, Stannis tasks right-hand man Davos - who, ironically, has powerfully few fingers on his right hand - to sneak Melisandre into Renly’s camp.
Once there, she tells Davos that serving her mysterious “Lord of Light” also means controlling the shadows that light creates. She strips (a virtual requirement in the HBO telling for nearly every female character, apparently) revealing an apparently brand new pregnancy.
And that’s where it gets … creepy.
Melisandre (a clearly game Carice van Houten) proceeds to give birth to a swirling shadow demon. To say the scene leaves nothing to the imagination would be a bit of an overstatement. But it doesn’t leave much.
We’re left hanging as to what happens next, but it’s safe to assume it doesn’t bode well for Renly and his followers.
What did you think? Was the Melisandre scene over the top? Or, for that matter, a couple of others – like the way Joffrey handles his “gift” from uncle Tyrion? Let us know in the comments.
Naahh. I'd say Joffrey represents the dems and the 49% (who don't pay income tax) and the tardcupiers. Immature, violent, take stuff that isn't theirs, and have a hissy when they don't get their way.
Oh, get the hell over yourself. You're the one throwing the hissy fit right now.
I wasn't a fan of the red witch seen in the book or the show. Don't get me wrong, I love the books, but even when I read this I felt it was a throw away scene. Although it does drastically change events and creates some interesting pairings.
Great ep! Now there's a "Smoke Monster"?! Check out our re view
My favourite character in the books is Arya, my favourite character on the TV series is Arya, for one so young her portrayal is excellent. The shadowbirth scene was awesome, as gripping as the book, I expected a bit of a cheat, like most movies nowadays, and hide everything not done that well in darkness, but woohoo they didn't need to.
Ranks highly in my all time best TV shows and climbs the list with every episode.
I thought Peter Dinklage's acting was superb! My husband doesn't follow Hollywood or celebrities and he even made the comment last night – "that Peter guy is a pretty good actor". I replied yes he did win an award for his acting for this show.
I think Joffrey has some teenaged angst to work through. I liked the scene with Rob and the medic – his attempt at flirtatious bantor over a foot was a new way to hit on a lady. I am glad that Rob will soon be getting busy. Perhaps he could ask Tyrion for some pointers. Seriously though I thought the acting was super.
Oh...and Sansa Stark....Jeoffry's intended. After watching him abuse her (yet again) last night..and then her cool response "He is my king and I am loyal to him".
She is definitly going to be there when Joffery meets his (slow and excruciatingly painful) end. Hopefully, her laughing face shall be the last thing Jeffy sees before he closes his eyes (remaining eye) for the last time.
for a moment I thought Melisandre was channeling Michelle Duggar
Although for the record, totally wrong, that was the funniest comment I read tonight
I agree with Elizabeth. Joffrey was already deplorable and unliked. Yes his actions were horrendous but completely predictable. The scene simply served to illustrate how twisted a character he truly is so we don't get confused and hold out hope that he may be redeemable. I say kudos to HBO for creating something new and shocking. It is hard to catch a television culture off guard and I must admit I was! I would have thought he would enjoy such a gift... after seeing the outcome, however, I also posit that Tyrion sent those girls there for exactly that; to find out how off course his nephew/king truly is.
I agree with Elizabeth. The writers are doing a fantastic job of fleshing out every character. Joffrey is a monster and I think they a portraying him perfectly. Do I condone his actions, of course not. He deserves a death ten times over what happened to that angry whelp Viserys. But I do think they are showing (with brutal realism) how awful people with power can be. I do not think it was over the top or gratuitous. I love this show and the books so much. I cannot wait until next week. I was so bummed yesterday's episode ended when it did. Next week is going to be awesome. I can't wait to see Jaqen H'ghar in action.
The Shadow creature is a twist most of us didn't see coming and the "hot" priestess is playing her own game, which I don't remember from the books- been more than 10 years since I read them- But the hot female bodies and the battle scenes are what bring most viewers to the show, so ...... I love the series, Keep it up HBO
I absolutely found the scene with Joffrey to be awful. I was just ready for it to be over. It was almost too much and unbearable. I get that its a show an what not, but come on. I really hope he gets what's coming to him in the upcoming episodes. I would just REALLY like to see him tortured.
Since you asked. Yes the Joffrey scenes did not need to be so visually graphic. I found the scene to be sickening. Women who enjoy this series will seriously debate viewing in the coming weeks.
I totally disagree with L. Smith – it is more a character development move on behalf of the writers. Joffrey is not a likeable teen and without giving away too much, I think the writers are doing a good job making him out to be the kind of person who wouldn't want ruling a kingdom.
I was going to say that Joffery represents the "1%" or at least "a republican".
But you guys are sooo serious about the show, I'd hate to breakup your discussion with that kind of trolling.
So...let's sit back and enjoy the sadism. We are all enjoying the anticipation of waiting for Joffery to fall victim to the ever-escalating brutality of the show. As Daenerys would say, "He shall die screaming".
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