Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Game of Thrones "Blood of My Blood" Review: Forget Winter, War Is Coming!
Let it go on the record that I do not like war in real life. People killing each other because of misplaced national pride? No thanks. But in my television shows? The more war, the better. "Blood of My Blood" was like Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria getting assassinated 15 times in a row, because the seeds of a whole field of wars were planted. This was a classic set-up episode that prepared the second half of the season to finish things out with some massive battlefield insanity. I'm in!
Buuuuuuuut even though it had one fart joke in keeping with Season 6's mature sense of humor—I think we're at three total now with four episodes to go, meaning we could reach the minimum quota for a Rob Schneider movie—"Blood of My Blood" was more of a cooldown after "The Door," and given how things are shaping up for the second half of Season 6, I'd say we needed it.
Slap that glass of rum out your hand, and let's talk about what happened in "Blood of My Blood."
"It's hard to walk in this." – Gilly
Game of Thrones could just have easily been called Game of Asshole Fathers because I've sure seen a lot more dickish dads than I have chairs in this show. Meet our latest: Randyll Tarly, disappointed redneck daddy to the doughy and booksmart Samwell Tarly. I'm not a huge fan of Sam's, I've made that clear more than once, but seeing the crapola he had to put up with from his dad made me a little more sympathetic to his ways. (Don't worry, I said a little.) Sure, it's classic "feel bad for me because my parents are jerks" storytelling, but it's tried and true and has kept old British actors employed for decades. 
There are some pros and cons in Sam's thinking that he can just drop off Gilly and baby Craster at Horn Hill so that his parents could watch over them while he goes to Maester camp at the Citadel. Pro? His mom and sister are totally chill and very supportive of Sam, and Horn Hill itself looks like a dope winery or a presidential library that your mom might take you to. I mean, the estate is flat-out lovely. LOOK!
The big con? Randyll is to wildlings what David Duke is to non-white people. So of course Gilly's secret identity as a wildling was going to come out and ruin a perfectly awkward venison din-din. Don't you have a less racist uncle, Sam? A liberal cousin accepting of other cultures? An affordable Air B'n'B? A pile of hay behind a barn? But nope, he dropped wildling Gilly right into the jaw of wildling-hater Randyll. So far he's brought her to Castle Black, where most people hate wildlings, Horn Hill, where most people hate wildlings, and Mole's Town, where whores screamed at her baby to shut up. Way to show a lady a time! At least it's not Craster's Keep, I guess? 
All credit to Gilly, though. I'm even less of a fan of hers than I am of Sam's, but as Randyll laid into his fat, nerdy son about being so fat and nerdy, Gilly spoke up and defended her boo, saying Sam was a better warrior than any of them because he killed a Thenn and a White Walker. It takes big brass ones to speak up at your significant others' parental dinners, but Gilly let 'er rip and called out Randyll. Her head may be as hollow as a coconut, but she's got a spine made of steel that holds up her strong convictions. You go, girl. 
Her bravery inspired Sam and/or knocked sense into his head that staying with a racist prick might not be the best option for Gilly, so he decided to skip out, take his dad's Valyrian sword Heartsbane, and run off with Gilly, probably to drop her and the baby off with a pack of wolves or something, just to keep the string of putting Gilly in danger going. I know Sam has lucked out and killed some powerful beings, but I am not feeling great about him holding possession of one of the great swords of the land. If he doesn't fall down and impale himself, I'll consider it a success.

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