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For the purposes of this blog we are also going to hopefully avoid book spoilers. Now, in some of the most brutal scenes this dark-hearted show has screened, we were finally shown its cost — and not just at the charnel house of Harrenhal where Arya, Gendry and Hot Pie tried to keep their sanity amid torture and executions. It transpires that you can tell a great deal about a person from their attitude to war. This week we learned that Robb, like the Robert he was named for, can fight a battle but has no grasp on what happens when the last fight has been won.
By contrast Littlefinger fights his war with words, playing all sides againsthe other, owing loyalty to none. His brother Stannis sees war as a weapon, deployed solely to bring him to the throne he believes is his by divine right. The Mountain, like Joffrey, rules through brute force; Lord Tywin has more wit, and understands that the war is won by the man who makes best use of his resources. For both Arya and Dany war is vengeance. One of the most interesting things about this show is the way in which our sympathies can change.
Dany is particularly interesting in this respect. On one hand her speech to the Qartheen lords was enjoyably rabble-rousing; on the other she essentially threatened to destroy civilisations without much thought. Robb was criticised for his lack of planning by the sexy doctor from Volantis he conveniently bumped into on the battlefield.
Brutality remains brutality even when uttered by a character you like. Oh, Renly. If only that was actually true. It was hinted last week that the youngest Baratheon might be dangerously out of his depth — and so it proved. The jury is no longer out if it ever really was : Joffrey Baratheon is the most loathsome character in Game of Thrones and Jack Gleeson deserves praise for a finely tuned performance.
He might not be much of a strategist but top marks to Renly for seeing through Littlefinger. I still say Tywin for sheer ruthlessness but their discussion about Jaime v Loras v The Mountain made me laugh. The tendrils of war spreading across the Seven Kingdoms meant that this was an exceptionally violent episode.
A low week by Game of Thrones standards — albeit it with two unpleasant, unforgettable scenes. Similarly the scene where Melisandre birthed her shadow baby was as creepy as it re on the — a reminder that George R R Martin is as much a writer of horror as of epic fantasy. Game of Thrones: episode by episode Game of Thrones.
This article is more than 9 years old. The full brutality of war is rammed home — but is it a weapon, vengeance or just a game? Game of Thrones season two, episode four: Joffrey is officially the most loathsome character.
Photograph: HBO. Sarah Hughes. Additional thoughts The jury is no longer out if it ever really was : Joffrey Baratheon is the most loathsome character in Game of Thrones and Jack Gleeson deserves praise for a finely tuned performance. Violence count The tendrils of war spreading across the Seven Kingdoms meant that this was an exceptionally violent episode. Nudity count A low week by Game of Thrones standards — albeit it with two unpleasant, unforgettable scenes.
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