Game of Thrones Review: The Bear and the Maiden Fair


Well, now that we’re heading into the tail end of the season, I’ve finally figure out how I’m going to format my Game of Thrones reviews from here on out now that I’ve finished the books. Taking a suggestion from a reader, I’m going to talk about the show book-free for most of the review, but I’m going to have an additional section at the end to address comparisons with the book for anyone who wants to read them.

The impression I’m getting is that people who don’t read the books hate hearing about them in reviews for the most part, but those that have read them quite like discussing the differences with the show. Hopefully this will appease both sides, and I’m giving it a shot this week.

This has been a good season so far, but it’s hard to classify this week’s episode as being as pulse-pounding as some of the past installments. That said, major characters don’t need to be offed every week for the show to be good, and it can still shine with a lot of talking. And sex. Lots and lots of sex.

Sex was something of a central focus this week, with Robb getting turbo laid by his queen who then proceeded to grace us with her royal ass for a solid ten minutes. Something’s a bit…off about her to me, and has been since the beginning. She’s from some far away land, and this week claims to be writing her mother in Valayrian, a language Robb can’t read. I’m not sure the significance of that scene unless we’re supposed to question who she was actually writing, and what she was saying.

And is she telling the truth about Robb having a kid? Even if I don’t trust her, I’m not quite sure why she would lie about that. It’s good news for the Starks who seem to be having shit luck for a long while now, and there are finally going to be more of them, not less.


I can’t show the butt, but I can show the guy looking at the butt.

Keeping with the sex theme, we turn to Sansa and Maergary discussing what it might be like to have Tyrion the dwarf between their legs. Sansa is a little confused as to why Maergary is so knowledgeable about all this, because surely, she’s just a chase little maid, but she’s reassured it’s just that Lady Tyrell gave her the birds and bees talk. Uh huh. Sure. She didn’t try to have a three way with Renly and her brother or anything.

Tyrion meanwhile is having to explain to his whore that he has to unfortunately have sex with his wife after they’re married. Shae isn’t taking it too terribly well as you might expect, and reached peak irritating levels not seen since season two. What the hell does she expect from him? Every day she’s alive is a goddamn blessing at this point. What’s Tyrion supposed to do? Just up and run away with her? Shae the funny whore isn’t worth it, I’m sorry, and I’ve never liked their relationship. He can do so much better! Like Sansa, even if that is going to be horribly uncomfortable for everyone involved.

And finally, Game of Thrones turned into a show that might air on Cinemax at 1AM instead of HBO at 9PM when we moved to Theon and his new “admirers.” Right from moment one, I could see through the bad porno intro and knew this was going to end terribly. Of course this had to be one of Theon’s torturer’s sadistic games, and surprise, it was. No more finger flaying though, we’ve moved on to full-on castration with Theon losing his most prized bodypart. This was an incredibly twisted scene, and did wonders in establishing an entirely new level of brutality in his captor. Have you figured out who he is yet? Or at least what house he’s from?

How adorable was Ygritte asking Jon Snow if that windmill was a castle tower? I don’t think I’ve ever awwwed in Game of Thrones before, but there’s a first time for everything. Less cute is the wildling warg’s sudden interest in Ygritte, which seems odd considering he tried to kill her last episode. Neither Snow nor her are having any of it, and trouble is clearly on the horizon if he persists.

We briefly flew across the sea to check in with Dany and her dragons, which presumably just used up their CGI allotment for the season this episode. They are looking quite badass these days I have to say. She’s about to go all Spartacus and free some new city of slaves, but from the sound of it, she’s got quite the fight ahead of her. Perhaps if she can just Abraham Lincoln them from a distance, they can rise up and take the city themselves? Would save her a lot of hassle.



Man, we really did cover a lot of ground this week. Arya runs away from Dondarrion and right into the clutches of the Hound. Whoops! Gendry learns from Melisandre that he’s Robert’s bastard because apparently the Lord of Light gives you DNA-sniffing abilities. Osha is getting sick of the Reeds and relays a rather sad story about how she lost her husband, who became a White Walker zombie.

We concluded with Jaime Lannister attempting to rescue his fair maiden Brienne from a rather one sided gladiator fight between her and a bear. Jaime puts himself in between them and Bolton’s men are forced to protect him to ensure they don’t lose their own heads later by allowing the Kingslayer to die. I think the Brienne/Jaime relationship is probably one of the best this show has, even if there isn’t a trace of romance in it. Or is there? Stranger things have happened in Westeros, I suppose.

And was that the Rains of Castemere I heard playing at the end there? Am I mistaken, or are they inserting that into a bunch of episodes this season? Spooky .

Book Discussion! (spoilers)

Turn back now, show-only people!

Alright, so do I have this wrong, or are they completely changing the story with Robb’s queen? In the books, they all know that she’s from some old house that serves the Lannisters, but they surrendered so it’s not a big deal. But all this stuff about her being from Volantis and communicating in Valayrian is new to me. Also, in the books has it been confirmed she’s actually pregnant with his child? I didn’t think that was a fact as of yet.

I don’t  understand where they’re going with the Melisandre/Gendry plot at all. This wasn’t even offscreen in the books. It just straight up didn’t happen, yet it involves some pretty major plot points. In A Feast for Crows we see Gendry taking care of some orphans after the Brotherhood disbands, and as far as we know, he never learns Robert is his father. Melisandre never gets within a thousand miles of him, even when she is searching for kingsblood. This seems like a pretty major development to not be in the books at all, but as this episode is written by Martin himself, I suppose he knows what he’s doing.

I think they handled Shae’s reaction in the show more believably than in the book. In Storm of Swords she’s just like “Oh well you can still fuck me on the side, so it’s cool,” which didn’t seem like a very appropriate response given their history. I may hate Shae, but this reaction in the show makes more sense with the way her character’s been developed.

In the book, Osha splits from Jojen, Hodor and Meera, taking Rickon with her from the beginning. Is her unease with the North and the group building to that? I know that Rickon’s location (separate from Bran) is important later on the in the story, so that seems like it needs to happen at some point.


That knife was f***ing terrifying.

I really like how they’re building up Theon’s interaction with Ramsay this season, when he simply disappeared for two books before. We hear that he loses fingers and toes and his manhood later, but we don’t see the harrowing process in action. I think invented scenes like fake escape or the sadistic sex scenario this week are good additions to the story.

Shouldn’t they be featuring Tommen a little more, or like, at all? He’s a somewhat significant character later, but I wager that nearly no one watching the show even knows he exists.

That’s all for now. If you’re going to respond to anything book-related, please mark your comments clearly as such. And in discussion, even if we are talking about future events, try to stay away from HUGE plot points like major character deaths, just in case people have a wandering eye.


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