Musing Review: Game Of Thrones – Blackwater (S2, Ep9)
Now that was one heck on an episode. Now only one more episode left to go of the second season and the penultimate episode did not disappoint at all. Penned by George R.R. Martin himself I could argue this was one of the best, if not the best episodes of the season. It was certainly the most unique. The more and more I think about it the more I truly liked it.
As the episode title suggests this installment was all about the Battle of the Blackwater. No, you shouldn’t confuse this with Captain Jack Sparrow’s ship. The Blackwater is the body of water right outside of King’s Landing. We’ve known for a couple episodes that Stannis’ fleet has been approaching as Tyrion had started his plans to protect the city. We finally got to see what happens. The uniqueness comes from the fact that all we saw were scenes related to this battle. We didn’t get to explore any other storylines.
At first I was hoping to see action elsewhere but in the end it was better this episode devoted all 54 minutes to the Blackwater. It did an amazing job getting the whole story across in every which way. The episode score made you feel the somber tone of the impending battle. There was practically no humorous dialogue. The visuals were of a much darker turn. You could feel exactly how both Stannis’ fleet and the Lannisters in King’s Landing felt. The battle itself was pretty epic. I kind of felt like I was watching the Helm’s Deep scene out of Lord of the Rings. At the same time the story was very personal. We got to see sides of characters that we’d never seen before and for the first time we could see characters scared.
The recap of the episode is going to be pretty short. My apologies for spoilers. Stannis’ fleet vanguard approaches the city and is blown apart when Tyrion sets the river ablaze with green wildfire. Stannis still decides to invade on foot. In the end the attack is repelled, Tyrion is injured and the episode ends. There’s of course a whole lot more detail behind this that I’m not going to go into. Instead I’m going to focus on some highlights that stood out to me.
Ser Davos has been the hesitant voice of reason that nobody has wanted to listen to. He seemed to innately know what danger lurked ahead and went ahead with it anyway because of his love for Stannis and sense of duty. I was sad to see him blown away in the explosion on the river. There’ll be more to come from Davos but probably not in this season. He hasn’t converted to the Lord of Light (Red god) so lets hope one of the seven will save him. I also felt terrible for him because he had to watch his son get blown away too.
Bronn showed a side that we’ve never seen before. He was very friendly to everyone and even singing. He stayed a true sellsword though. When Tyrion mentioned that they’re friends he was like “no, you pay me” but … the money enhances our friendship. He was a total badass too, not just in battle but when he stood up to The Hound and then tried to share some mead with him.
The Hound, Ser Gregor Clegane, was downright scary. I don’t think we’ve actually heard him talk this much in the show’s entirety. That just made him scarier. He said some foul things that I will not repeat here. We also saw him scared. Though they don’t get into this explicitly in the show Clegane is deathly afraid of fire because that’s how he got his scars from his brother when we was a boy. The wildfire freaked him out so much that he abandoned Joffrey and his post. That was so great to see him do that. I love when people crap on Joffrey.
Tyrion is probably on of the best human beings on the planet. Everybody hates him, many just because he’s an Imp. He doesn’t let that get him down though, no he doesn’t. He plans an entire defense of the city and he leads men into battle when Joffrey fails. He does it well too. Maybe he just needs to prove something, maybe it’s because he’s a Lannister and excrements gold. Whatever the reason is it doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s pretty awesome. My favorite Tyrion interchange from this episode is when he was condescending to Joffrey before the battle began.
Sansa has been becoming good at blending in and hiding her feelings (though Cersei can see it). She so rightly called Joffrey out when he made her kiss his new sword (have I mentioned today how much of an a@@ he is). And I love how she used her brother to do it. She’s also so smart and called Cersei out too. She was just being all kinds of awesome.
So I’m pretty sure Stannis wasn’t so close to the action in the books but in this adaptation he was right there on the front line. He was totally the medieval equivalent of Rambo and was a total commando. He stormed the walls himself and slayed men with his own hand. That was surprising and really awesome.
Blackwater was a really great episode. Everything about it made you feel like you were at the battle yourself. I give it two thumbs up. Now with one more episode next the stakes are high to end the season well. About 54 minutes left to go to wrap up other storylines. I can’t wait.
Watch Game of Thrones Sundays at 10:00pm on HBO. Catch up On Demand or on HBO Go if you’ve got it.
What did you think?
Tags: game of thrones, HBO, review, season 2