Game of Thrones: S3E5 Kissed By Fire Review
Kissed by Fire Delivers the Heat
Let's get my opinion out of the way quickly: Best episode of the season yet. It may have to do with the fact that the episode featured the majority of my favorite storylines in Robb, Wildlings, Arya, Jaime and Dragonstone Happenings. The buildup this season was a little slow in the first two episodes, with the producers putting pieces into place. Episodes 3 and 4 pushed the buildups to a climax and it seems from here on out all of the characters' stories are about to begin their roll downhill gaining momentum each time we see them.
The episode began where it should after last week, with the cliffhanger that the Hound who deserted King Joffrey and was caught by the Brothers Without Banners would be judged by the Lord of Light in a duel with the Lightening Lord, Beric Dondarrion. Book readers must have been creaming their jeans at the opening scene as Lord Beric battled the terrified-by-fire Sandor with a flaming sword. The Lightening Lord eventually fell to the Hound with a sword lodged deep in his chest, giving the Hound freedom in the Red God's Eye, but not before Thoros of Myr revived Lord Beric and Anguy stops Arya Stark from trying to murder the exhausted dog.
A later scene has Arya conversing with the apparent co-leaders of the BYB, Thoros and Beric, where they explain that Beric has been killed with Thoros using the Red God's power six times to reincarnate his leader. Beric explains that each time he is brought back, he loses a piece of himself. I couldn't help but feel a sense of foretelling with Catelyn.
Arya ends her episode talking to her Bastard friend Gendry, where he explains he will stay with the Brotherhood because he prefers not to serve Lord's anymore. He says he needs a family which caused a gut-wrenching "I can be your family!" line from Arya, congrats to Maisie on growing into such a good actress.
The action switched, finally, to the better North of the Walll story. Jon Snow travelling towards the Wall with the ragtag Wildlings. The Warg, Orell, aggressively questions Jon about the Night's Watch defenses which sets him up as Jon's eventual antagonist. Tormund, quite possibly the greatest Wildiling, quiets the fight and explains to Jon he likes him but will kill him in an inconvenient way if he is lying. Jon is then flirtatiously attacked by the red-headed Ygritte whose hair this episode is named for. She lures Jon to a cave and quickly disrobes, effectively making my roomate point and yell, "Ygritte boobs!".
Jon, with little restraint, breaks his vows to not sleep with a woman and has some nasty cave fun. For all of the strong one liners that have led fans to be angry with Jon's portrayal, this scene was a great reawakening of Jon's storyline.
Fast-forward to Harrenhal, where Jaime Lannister meets the new lord, Roose Bolton. Jaime is sent to be bandaged up after losing his hand and Brienne is released to be treated as a Lady. The creepy Qyburn tends to Jaime's stump where he ominously explains he doesn't have a maester's chain because of his "experiments". Jaime then gives perhaps the greatest Thrones monologue while in the bath pool with Brienne where he continues his antagonist-to-protagonist turn by explaining why he killed his former King. All hail Nikolaj for his portrayal.
Stannis finally makes another appearance with his wife who was as before unseen. He seems shaken and wants to confess his adulterous ways to which she explains she knows and loves him for it, creepy... He wants to see his daughter and does, her and her greyscaled face (Love that they included this, whoever is cast as Jon Connington better meet the makeup artist for Shireen because he will be seeing this artist a lot!). He tells her Ser Davos is a traitor which leads her down to the dungeons to have a heart felt scene with the Onion Knight, perhaps the only "filler" scene of the episode but still very good.
Switching to Riverrun where Lord Karstark finally gets his revenge for his sons death by killing two Lannister boys. Robb finds out and sentences the man to a dignified head cutting off, his men to be hanged for their treason. Catelyn and her family urge Robb not to piss off the Karstarks who comprise half his army, but like his father, his sense of duty prevails. I couldn't help getting a sense of Theon's execution of Sideburns as Karstark yelled at Robb right before his head was chopped off. Robb then vocates his plan to attack Casterly Rock, home of the Lannisters, with the help of the Freys.
Finally, enter in the aforementioned Lannisters. The Tyrell's have plotted against them even with the Royal Wedding approaching and they intend to get a hold on the North by marrying Sansa to Ser Loras but the Knight of Flowers attraction to his same sex leads to their plot being exposed.
Cersei gets wind of the plot by word of Littlefinger who planned of stealing Sansa for himself and the Lannisters quickly find themselves locked in a room discussing marriages. Can you pick one actor on this show who gets the title of best actor? It seems hard but yes, yes you can. Charles Dance is amazing as Tywin Lannister. He spends every second on screen portraying nothing but an exuberance of bad-assness.
He demands his son, Tyrion, marry Sansa even though she is basically a child and not a whore that he is used to, which leads to a smug smirk from Cersei right before he demands that she marry Ser Loras. Think about that marriage, Cersei who only thinks about sleeping with her own brother and Loras who probably thinks about sleeping with Cersei's brother?!?
The episode ends on a pan out shot of the shocked Lannister siblings sitting at the Hand's table with the Lannister Lion looking on and myself screaming, "This is the best show ever!"
In my opinion, doesn't get much better than this one, until next week when I change my opinion. But until then all we can hope for is Tormund climbing the Wall!