Game of Thrones: “Kissed by Fire” Season 3 Episode 5 Review

Photo Credit: http://www.westeros.org/GoT/Gallery/Entry/9944

Some excellent character development and a nice twist at the end make this a worthy successor to last week’s masterpiece of an episode.

Hitting the mid-way point of the season, Kissed by Fire was a quieter entry that dove deep into a few select characters. Namely, Arya, Jaime, Robb, and to a lesser degree, Stannis and Davos.

The episode started with a bang as the Hound competed for his life, fighting against the supernatural and winning no less. Arya tries to kill him in the meantime, but is stopped. She later voices her goals to her captors, and wonders aloud about her future. The Brotherhood plans to return her to Robb, for a small favor.

Staying within the Starks, Robb had one of his most significant episodes yet. Forced to deal with a traitor, Robb must also prove his leadership. It’s a tall order, and this episode actually gave depth to one of the dryer characters by showing Robb struggling with his choices.

But the biggest character moment of the week went to Jaime Lannister. Beaten, battered, and ashamed of his title, Jaime confesses to Brienne the true nature of how he became known as the Kingslayer. It as an emotional scene, yet another that deepens the blooming dynamic between Jaime and Brienne. Granted, it got a bit hokey with the “My name is Jaime”, but I’ll forgive it in favor of some serious character development points. Jaime is now sympathetic and likable. Who knew that was possible?

Stannis also took some moves towards the more likable side this week, as he visits his wife and daughter, the latter of which is bit deformed (burns?). It’s sad to see him with his family, especially with how forgiving his wife is of his relationship with Melisandre, oh and the creepy baby containers in the back really didn’t help. Stannis tells his daughter that Davos is a traitor, but she is still fond of him and visits him offering to teach him how to read. Now Davos has been likable for some time, but it’s hard to turn down a cute scene with a kid to help you character win a few fans.

Jon Snow and his new friend Ygritte finally hooked up. That’s all that’s really worth mentioning about that.

We only got one scene with Daenerys this week, after her monumental, uh, awesomeness last week. It was more of her trying to get the slaves to not act like slaves. It didn’t feel totally necessary. I was already sold last week that the slaves agreed with me that she should win the game.

Meanwhile, King’s Landing got a little twisty, particularly in the romance department. Let’s see if I got this right. Margaery, future wife of King Joffrey, wants Sansa to marry her brother Loras, who is actually gay. So Little Finger sends a male suitor to tempt him, while Tywin wants Tyrion to marry Sansa and Cersei to marry Loras so that Sansa can’t leave King’s Landing. It sounds like a Spanish soap opera…but in a good way. This whole thing is pretty interesting and kind of exciting.

So now we’ve got four weddings and I’m sure more than one funeral being planned. Quiet episode, but not for love. Lots of what happened this week may not have been necessary for the story, but some characters are certainly more fleshed out than they were before. Some of them needed it, but some of them did not. Either way, the board is set, bring on the second half of the season. Grade: B+

By Matt Dougherty

 

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