Game Of Thrones Review: “The Rains Of Castamere” (Season 3 Episode 9)

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This was a fantastic episode, no doubt. Jon’s loyalties to the wildlings were tested, and he failed. He failed with a capital F. He might have tried to save an old man, but that didn’t work out. A few weeks ago I said I had no idea how he would get out of this predicament. Jon was surrounded by wildlings, so he had no chance to escape (especially after allegedly joining them), and if he were to betray them, Ygritte would personally take him down. Then again, if he had turned on his brothers of the Night’s Watch, they would have killed him first. It was quite a dilemma for everyone’s favorite bastard that was sloppily yet effectively solved. Jon’s fight with Orell was something we’d been looking forward to for a while now, even though it was a rather short affair.

In other storylines, Arya came close to finding her mother and brother (though we’re glad she didn’t), while Bran and Rickon were merely a few feet away from Jon. If it weren’t for Bran’s warg powers, Jon probably wouldn’t have made it out of there alive. I love how Bran’s story is being handled by Benioff and Weiss – the character has unmistakably grown and changed, even more so than his siblings. He shows maturity, restraint and early signs of wisdom – I really hope he becomes the man the Starks need right now, though I still have mixed feelings about his self-imposed exile. Arya’s story filled me with angst, and I won’t deny that Maisie Williams is (in my humble opinion) the most promising actress in a cast teeming with raw talent — nevertheless, I really hoped she would not make it. Only this way will her character continue to grow, as she now has more people to avenge, and from now on she will certainly say at least two more names before she goes to sleep.

Oh, and then there’s Daenerys. I’ll be frank – I’ve never been a huge fan of the khaleesi. Her character has evolved in many ways, but sometimes she still seems like she’s way in over her head, and if the dragons were taken from her at this point, she’d be commanding an army of eunuchs and sellswords who’re only good at conquering cities in Essos. Well, it just so happens that things in Westeros are just a bit different. For starters, Dany doesn’t know the first thing about politics. Let’s say she takes over the Seven Kingdoms and the Iron Throne. Varys and Littlefinger would have a field day with her, much like they did with Ned. If she were to dispose of their services, who would she put in her small council? Jorah Mormont, Barristan Selmy, Daario Naharis and possibly Grey Worm – a traitor to the realm, a retired member of the Kingsguard, a sellsword and a former slave.

Like I said, these people might be good at invading, but could they really hold a kingdom? Dany’s empathy is enviable, but one could argue that it’s also a weakness that makes her alarmingly vulnerable. In the most recent episode, she sent three of her best soldiers to attack Yunkai, and they succeeded. Even though the fight was awesome, there wasn’t really much substance to it, and we don’t learn anything we didn’t already know – her final scene in the episode practically confirms she’s developing feelings for Daario. Yeah, that’s definitely going to work out for everyone.

With the season finale airing next week, things are certainly heating up and what started off as a slow season now looks like it may finish off with quite the bang. We can’t wait!

What did you think of last night’s episode of Game of Thrones? Let us know in the comments below.

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