Welcome back to another “Game of Thoughts”. Sorry for the delay, I was busy the past week and unfortunately didn’t make the time to write. But! This week I should be back to posting my random thoughts on movies and TV. Once again, I will be spoiling the latest episode of Game of Thrones, entitled “No One.”
This was a good episode of Game of Thrones. Not perfect, but overall, pretty good. There was a lot of hate thrown around the past week towards this episode, particularly at Arya’s storyline and its resolution. But, does that one part of an episode make the whole episode bad? NO! Is it bad that Cleganebowl probably won’t happen since there won’t be a trial by combat for Cersei? NO! Are the showrunners insane for reintroducing Beric Dondarrion instead of introducing Lady Stoneheart? No! Especially since two characters thought dead (or actually dead) were already brought back this season. Was Arya’s plot involving the stabbing and action-movie set piece lazy writing and unintentionally poor execution? Kind of yeah, it pretty much was. Not everything in an episode has to be perfect, particularly when, in my opinion, this season has been so strong. I don’t particularly want to discuss Arya after so much vitriol and analyses have occurred. Instead I want to highlight the amazing pieces of this episode, particularly Jaime’s scenes.
This episode reinforced why I love the character of Jaime so much. He is so complex and not pure good or pure evil, he is fascinating to unravel. This episode featured two strong scenes showcasing Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s talent and subtle skill at playing a man struggling to be an honorable man while loving a woman full of dishonor.
Jaime’s scene with Brienne highlighted the fact that these two friends respect each other despite their differences. Brienne saw Jaime at his most broken and she recognized herself in him. They both care and respect each other because they have been viewed as people who don’t deserve respect. She is a woman trying to be a knight, and he is a man who has spent years being called “kingslayer” and “oathbreaker”. They are outsiders and they see the good and honor in each other. They are comrades, companions, equals, friends. The moment when Jaime told Brienne to keep the sword, to stay on her quest to protect Catelyn’s daughters was a wonderful moment, reaffirming that Jaime has empathy for the Starks and that he isn’t as selfish as he may initially seem.
The second major highlight in the very Jaime-centric episode came during his dialogue with Edmure Tully. As the shadow covers half of Jaime’s face, we see the duality in him. A man trying to align with the woman he loves (even if it is his twin) and not cause any unnecessary bloodshed during the siege of Riverrun. He is attempting to convince Edmure to go into the castle and let the Lannisters and Freys take over the castle so no battle would occur. Jaime, in his impassioned speech about love and fatherhood, tries to connect with Edmure and find common ground, even as Edmure is visibly disgusted with Jaime. This scene shows the other half of Jaime that often hides when he is with Brienne. The pure-Lannister side, the scary side. But, it also proves that Jaime is trying to prevent the loss of life, and he succeeds, minus the Blackfish. Jaime, using dishonorable language like firing a baby out of a catapult, allows the honorable event of ending the siege peacefully to occur.
This episode was wonderful at showing the different sides of Jaime and his struggle to be a better man while still clinging to a life that may not be best for him. I want to see Jaime break free from the clutches of Cersei and become a better man, to follow a more honorable path. But there is still hope. As Beric told Sandor Clegane in this episode, “It’s not too late for you.”