TV Review: Game Of Thrones S04E02, The Lion And The Rose

An episodic drama worthy of the epic proportions of the show

Sharin Bhatti April 14, 2014
  • Direction
  • Acting
  • Screenplay
  • Cinematography

Game Of Thrones

This is a highly publicized truth. George RR Martin’s sense of humour is almost karmic to a degree of universality. Where the Season Three deaths left us reeling in shock at first and then wailing with loss, Season Four’s systematic slaying seem almost necessary. Without divulging much details for the benefit of those who still haven’t seen this palpable episode, let’s just that this POV character definitely saw it coming and the manner of his fall seemed befitting for all it’s moralistic albeit cowardice but again “necessary” reasons.

Like all “Game Of Thrones,” episodes, the pace and manner of sequences in “The Lion And The Rose” arrive upon you very matter-of-fact. When you begin to piece the scene again at second watch (almost all “Game Of Thrones” episodes demand a recap), it seems like the build up to the point where the crescendo will break – but only ever subtly.

The first death, however inconsequential, can be talked about. Ramsay Snow (Iwan Rheon), the son of Roose Bolton (Michael McElhatton) is pillaging through a forest alongwith a female hunter and Reek/Theon Grejoy (Alfie Allen) in tow. The game is a woman who’s been torn apart by savage dogs just because she is meat today. This opening scene sets the pace of the episode, where more heads will roll and mighty will fall, just because they became game this day.

One of the biggest strengths a show like “Game Of Thrones” has, amidst the fantasy of the era and the incredibly cruel violence, is the depth of the human condition. Writer Martin, and show creators David Benioff and DB Weiss have crafted a nuanced depiction of  envy, greed, lust, depravation, humiliation  – all bringing out the extreme deviant in the characters on the shows.

Cersie (Lena Headey) and Jamie Lannister’s (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) are still awkwardly dancing around each other and threatening each other’s prospective partners, even if the latter’s is a romance brewing in the mind. Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) is nursing a heart-break when he asks his whore to leave him for her protection, and then he is the object of fierce ridicule at the hands of Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson) at the latter’s wedding day, even as Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) is grappling with constant grieving and shame – all is unraveled at the royal wedding between Joffrey to Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer).

But there is much happening closer to The Wall, where Bran Stark (Issac Hempstead-Wright) is struggling to find his purpose and his strength. While Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) has burnt more of his men on the stake as offering to the Lord of Light on Melisandre’s (Carice van Houten)  behest.

The episode is dramatically shot to give an accentuated undercurrent to the events unfolding on screen. The hooky ending of the episode is only to keep our hearts in our hands as we wait for a whole week to see what happens on the other side of the black screen.

  • If you missed the episode, you can watch is on HBO Defined on April 20, 2014 at 9 pm. 

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