Game of Thrones has been kissed by fire in Season 3 – ratings are at a series high, and it’s easy to see why. The escalation all year has been almost out of control – new characters almost every week, new fantasy elements (to some viewers’ dismay), and new plots that aren’t in line with expectations.
The fifth episode’s title, “Kissed By Fire” is culled from a quote from red-headed wildling Ygritte, in reference to the boy that deflowered her. Red on red, as it were.
It’s a phrase very easily applied to half of Westeros, as well. The country is ravaged by war, farmlands are on fire, the religion of the Lord of Light and its affinity with fire are slowly creeping into all parts of the land, and Dany and her dragons have charred a city, and are marching to another.
And then there’s Beric Dondarrion.
This fool has had less than ten minutes of screen time and already reach maximum swagger allotment. It may have something to do with his pocket priest, Thoros of Myr – a red priest, not unlike Melisandre, Westeros’s resident shadow baby factory.
Daenerys Targaryen has quickly captured the imagination and hopes of every viewer of HBO’s Thrones. Small wonder then, that the episodes are frequently titled after her story, and focus heavily on her story, even if it’s a story that’s been mostly divorced from the war in Westeros for over two years.
The “walk of punishment” is blatantly reminiscent of the crucifixion-executions of the Roman Empire. The condemned were forced to hang, nailed to wooden crosses, in rows lining the roads surrounding Rome (historians can correct me if needed).
This walk of punishment doesn’t seem to instill fear in Dany, as intended, but instead, compassion and fury.
Take a look at those two faces. Those are probably the two smartest, and most well-connected men in King’s Landing, and even they’re confused and unprepared. They don’t really have a handle on what’s coming next week. The capital isn’t prepared for Stannis’ impending invasion fleet. But, as with most story threads laid out in this week’s otherwise hollow episode, the hint of hope is teased for much more to come in the final two episodes of the season.
Sunday’s hour of Game of Thrones felt a scant 20 minutes, loaded with shock factor, upheaval and the brand of Westerosi monstrosity we’ve become accustomed to.
“The Old Gods and the New” is a phrase we’ve heard many, many times in Westeros. The Old Gods were kept by the original, ‘first men’ of Westeros. The New Gods are the Seven — the Mother, the Father, Warrior, the Crone, the Smith, the Maiden, and the Stranger.
And still newer gods come from all directions; Melisandre’s Red God, which Jaqen has invoked. Syrio’s God of Death, to whom we say, not today. And certainly not least, the Drowned God of the Ironmen, to whom payment was made on Sunday, with Rodrik Cassel’s head.