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TV Review: Game Of Thrones 3.5: Kissed By Fire
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Game of Thrones
Season 3, Episode 5 – “Kissed by Fire”
Directed by Alex Graves
Written by Bryan Gogman
Starring: Mark Addy, Alfie Allen, Emilia Clarke, James Cosmo, Liam Cunningham, Charles Dance, Stephen Dillane, Peter Dinklage, Natalie Dormer, Michelle Fairley, Jerome Flynn, Aidan Gillen, Jack Gleeson, Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Conleth Hill, Ciarán Hinds, Carice van Houten, Sibel Kekilli, Harry Lloyd, Richard Madden, Patrick Malahide, Rory McCann, Sophie Turner, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maisie Williams, and Issac Hempstead-Wright
HBO
Air Date: April 28, 2013

While we often think of fire as a heat source or a weapon, more often than not, fire illuminates our path and helps shows us what’s true. After weeks of epic television, Game of Thrones‘ fifth episode, “Kissed by Fire,” allows most of characters to look at the paths they’ve chosen before deciding (or having someone choose for them) their new fate.

Jamie’s life has certainly turned out much different than I believe he originally intended. In the episode’s strongest scene, Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) explains to Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) the ‘secret origin’ of the Kingslayer name, detailing the mad king’s obsession with wildfire and how he planned to burn the city down, men, women, and children all. So, Jamie took matters into his own hands. This is battered and beaten Jamie Lannister, far different from the attempted child-killer we saw in the first season. We know that version of Jamie still lurks below, but the journey and evolution of the character is very different now than before.

Jon Snow’s (Kit Harrington) internal flame has been sparked now that he and Ygritte (Rose Leslie) have broken a half-dozen episodes’ worth of sexual tension. Again, Jon decides to continue to devote himself to this new role (although Ygritte’s seduction certainly has a role to play), but what’s more haunting about this moment is the shelter the cave provides. The wilding knows this, offering Jon a way out. But the moment comes and goes, as quick as the flickering torch that led to the two to safe haven. It won’t last for long.

I said a few weeks ago that things would probably get worse for Robb Stark (Richard Madden) before they got better. I don’t know much about curses, but Robb’s eagerness to live up to the legacy of his father places the elder Stark in a compromising position. Each choice Robb makes sends him down a spiraling hole. Despite his eagerness at episode’s end, I believe his fate is sealed: the fires of his arrogance will burn him alive.

Young Arya Stark’s (Maisie Williams) bloodlust rivals that of few others. As the episode opens, we are shown the battle between The Hound (Rory McCann) and Beric (Richard Dormer) with the Brootherhood leader exclaiming that the fire (and subsequently the Lord of Light) will be the judge of The Hound’s true character. After the Hound’s surprising victory, it’s Arya that wishes for Beric’s life for Ned. After all, he’s alive. And her father isn’t.

However, the ultimate path of clarity is shown in the show’s final moments, as Tywin (Charles Dance) sets out the future of his children in an expertly acted and crafted scene that must be seen to be believed. It shows that no matter how often the characters in this show plan and scheme, more often than not, it will be something (or someone else) that illuminates their future.

Quick Thoughts

– Some great moments been Davos (Liam Cunningham) and Stannis’ daughter, which has injected some much needed life into that storyline.

– Beric has some awesome respawn talents, but I like the idea that it comes at a very specific cost. The Lord of Light is a powerful force, indeed.

Bryan Gogman wrote “Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things” which is very much one of my favorite episodes of the series. “Kissed by Fire” is a definite standout as well.

What did you think of the episode?

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