Game of Thrones: Fire and Blood

“Of all the thousand thousand maladies the gods visit on us, madness is the worst.”

Game of Thrones


We’re finally there, Constant Reader. Fire and Blood is the tenth and last episode in the first season of Game of Thrones, and, my, it’s a cracker. The Lannisters and the Starks are lining up for battle. Daenerys’ son is on his way while Drogo lies unconscious of septicaemia. And there are fires in the mountains beyond the Wall, fires which blaze from dusk till dawn…

I actually think Fire and Blood does a very good job of ending a season with the correct amount of closure and resolving of tension, while making it clear that it’s part of a larger saga. There’s all kinds of blood and war, violence and death and grief and triumph, but this isn’t the end: there are still conflicts to be resolved, omens to be fulfilled, dragons to grow up –

Did I mention DRAGONS? Gods, I’m looking forward to them next season.

Tyrion really begins to shine as a politician in his own right, a powerful figure with his own opinions and agenda; Joffrey’s malice and evil flourishes in the permissive atmosphere of King’s Landing; Arya has a childhood wish come true as she’s disguised as a boy to escape the city that killed her father; and even Sansa begins to show a bit of backbone. There’s a lot to like about this episode, as the characters’ motivations collide and reconfigure, collide and reconfigure over and over again. It’s a character-driven world, this one, a story run by people instead of a story containing people. That, ultimately, is what makes it so satisfying to watch, I think, because it’s so rare in television at the moment.

Of course, I might just be spouting hokum. But whatever way you look at it, Game of Thrones is just terrific. Why can’t all telly be like this? Roll on Season Two!

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