Friday, July 19, 2024

GoT 7×02 Stormborn Liveblog: The Sodium Menace

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Julia, Kylie, and Caroline, your Unabashed Book Snobbery Podcast co-hosts for the season, welcome Katie and Jess to witness what is sure to be the most exciting hour EVER of television in Game of Thrones 6×02, “Stormborn”. Deadpan’s trip home has been oh-so meaningful, so we can’t wait to see what the payoff is. But the real question: will Sam find his invisibility cloak?

If you’d like to play Book Snob BINGO, cards may be found on Kylie’s personal blog here. Otherwise, you can find an archive of our livechat just below our social share buttons at the bottom of this post.

Our Reactions to the Episode


Well, this was obviously a Cogman episode, because there was this thing called “continuity.” Actually gives you the feeling that the writer has seen his own show? His dialogue is a good deal less clunky than D&D’s, like normal, and he’s definitely the MVP for taking on the work of providing ALL the exposition D&D failed to give us for like…3 years.

But like most Cogman episodes lately (boy did he try with Larry in the Riverblands last year), he can’t exactly patch over how unmotivated everything is, nor is he free of some of the shittier patterns we know and love (all the men making the women’s decisions, for instance). Wait sorry, “Be a dragon!” Empowerment!

Highlights: MissWorm warmed my heart and actually made me feel something. Which…the last time the show managed that was maybe 3 years ago? The cinematography was just plain wonky all episode, but I do think the nudity was handled pretty well overall and non-voyeurstically. Though, I do recognize that a good 30 seconds could have been chopped off and nothing would have gotten lost in translation.

But yeah, props. Especially tying in the Unsullied conditioning. Now if they can just get away from these total assholes they’re always surrounded by…

L0wlights: I couldn’t watch Sam the Greyscale Doctor, but I have very specific medical-based squicks. It’s hard for me not to pick Euron the Pooh’s sudden amazing victory with his amazing fleet and his fireballs and his perfect fighting prowess, since this is just…so unmotivated. A Villain Sue warped in. Nifty.

But I actually think I’m going with Jon and Batfinger having a conversation in the crypts about literally nothing, just so Batfinger could say he wants on Sansa, and Jon could then stake his property. Was it less cringeworthy than the Sand Fakes insulting each other for the umpteenth time? Sure! But it’s just so emblematic of everything wrong with how they go about scripting this. Two people in a room with no reason for a conversation to start, talking until they reach a cool-sounding line or moment, and then it ends.


Okay… So, again stuff happened and it didn’t feel like too much moved. There was a battle, I guess. Jon is going a a road trip. There was medical gore. So in general, better than last week, I think? I’m not sure. I’m as confused as Olenna’s advice. Did anyone else feel like the camera work was off somehow?


I have a feeling all four of us are going to pick the same scene: Yup, Eunuch sex. It was nice. It worked. I was moved. It’s sex I actually image two humans could have. It was actually one of the most explicit sex scenes this show has ever had, and it did not feel in anyway gratuitous. Maybe because they’ve managed to somehow not ruin these characters. It’s amazing.

I’m concerned about Miss’s lack of underwear, though. I know you grew up in the tropics, dear, but it’s winter now. Long Johns.

I was also shock (in a good way) when Deadpan actually called Varys out on all the bullshit. Now that I think about it for a second, it was really just poor Cogs desperately trying to paper over the giant plot hole he was left to work around, but hey, I’ll take it at this point.


“A foreign invasion in underway.” Like… this is actually the closest this show has come to exploring the way the Dornish are marginalized in Westeros based on their race/ethnicity but GOD every time a Pornish character come onto the screen I just cringed. The accents were even worse, I swear. What with WITH Faullaria’s Bath Robe of Sex Appeal? HOW did they think that petulant sibling rivalry where the Sand Fakes threatened to murder each other would land? The only good news is I don’t think we’ll be seeing very much more of either the surviving Sands.

Close second: Jon continues to be a very shitty king for not having pre-meeting before the big meeting thereby ending up arguing with his sister and heir-presumptive in public for the second time in as many episodes.

Get your shit together Jonny, or Deadpan will crush you.

Just remember kids, Be a Dragon. Varys fights for the People. Tyrion is the best human ever. You will respect him.

That is all.


Highlights: My highlight this week is something I legitimately enjoyed (at least partially) – which was the Greyworm/Missandei scene. Ignoring for the moment the anachronistic sex that followed, the emotional beats in their conversation were great. You could see Greyworm’s trauma on his face; the acting was excellent. It almost made me ignore the bad accent they make that poor actor use. But this reminded me a lot of other trauma scenes – Sam with his dad, and Theon in the brothel – where the actors are actually given the chance to show some skill with complicated issues. Scenes like this make me sad, because these actors could really have given us a great adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire.

Lowlights:  My lowlight this week is twofold: first, the continuing character assassination of Daenerys Targaryen, and in conjunction with that, the overwhelming fellating of Tyrion Lannister. I’m actually a big Dany fan, even her chapters in A Dance with Dragons that seem a bit slow. I find her mental state intriguing, and the fact that she spends so much time thinking things through and worrying about the consequences (and worrying about the smallfolk) gives me faith that she would be a great queen for Westeros. Deadpan, by contrast, seems to be getting blander and blander with each episode. She’s not an independent mind with opinions—he’s just a parrot for St. Tyrion’s ideas. Why did she listen to his war plan? It is objectively awful. Taking Cheryl’s Landing isn’t inherently going to cause a lot of death. They have dragons, which can literally fly over the rest of the city and be commanded to only attack the Red Keep. This kind of specific targeting will avoid lots of randos dying. But yes, let’s all listen to Tyrion and twiddle our thumbs while we wait for other armies to arrive and send our current troops literally around the continent to take a castle with almost no strategic importance. Also, not for nothing, but what’s the point of Ellaria and Olena supporting Dany if they didn’t bring their armies? Is it just a moral support thing? I just can’t even.

The fellating of Tyrion happened about 5 times this episode, in multiple characters’ mouths, in multiple geographic locations. Did you know Sansa thinks he’s the bees knees? What a swell guy!


Highlights: Unsurprising: I also really enjoyed the Missandei and Grey Worm scene. Despite being brutally underused – and talked down to almost constantly- they are two characters on the show who I genuinely like and find consistent and interesting. Their scene together was sweet and intimate, and it’s one of the few sex scenes I can think of on this show that didn’t feel cheap or exploitative. It was a genuine human moment on a show that’s usually devoid of them? And good job, Jacob Anderson, your face acting makes me think that you deserve to fly far, far away from this terrible show.  

Lowlights: You know, there were quite a few scenes this week that worked for me in a world where this show had been adapted in a different way: Dany meeting Melisandre, the interaction between Dany and Varys that called all the way back to season one. There were genuinely interesting aspects to these scenes, and I can almost imagine a different timeline where I would be really excited for them, and enjoy them. For most of the episode, I was expecting to write about one of these, and how it was a good example of how the show has wasted so much goodwill that it pre-emptively ruins pretty good scenes. But nope! Then we got to the end of the episode, where we’re treated to a Euron slaughterfest. It’s hard for me to articulate how much I hate Euron?

I could probably write about it for a long time? He exemplifies everything that’s wrong with this show, cruelty for the sake of cruelty, all masked behind a weird, sociopathic theatricality that shoved in place to make it all “shocking” and “entertaining.” It’s demonstrative of the show’s deep-seated laziness that they killed off Ramsey Bolton, then couldn’t imagine a show without him, so replaced him with a psychotic pirate who murders ladies and then apparently staples them to boats.


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