I don't normally have enough of an opinion on each episode of Game of Thrones to write about it, but I've seen the latest one three times now, it being a convenient social activity for visiting friends. (I've had more visiting friends in the last two days than I think I've had before now this year.) As a result, I've had time to really examine much more of the episode than I generally have time for.
This episode was kind of quiet -- the biggest thing that happened was the wedding, and, as Leigh Alexander observed at Boing Boing, that came off more like a funeral, the emotion of the scene coming through less like excitement and more like the ebb and flow of nausea.
In Wired's recap of the episode, Laura Hudson wrote something that I want to share, about Cersei:
The roles that women are permitted to play in Westerosi society are painfully narrow, but the show’s female characters respond to those limitations in very different ways: Some, like Sansa, accept what is expected of them because they see no other choice or can’t imagine one; some, like Ygritte, Arya, Shae and Brienne, look at the expectations and say bullshit—a proposition that can prove very dangerous; others, like Cersei, do something a little more complicated where they internalize the ideas they’re taught about what women should be, but still feel resentful and repressed by them. This attitude can lead to women actually perpetuating the power structures that made them miserable in the first place, competing viciously with other women for whatever limited power is available, or lashing out at women simply because they’re the most vulnerable targets. Cersei–who says over and over in the books that she should have been born a man–does all of the above.
She also references Cersei being a cautionary tale for Sansa, which I had started to think while I was reading this paragraph.
Erik Henriksen, in the same Wired article, lists characters not appearing in this episode, including Bran. Which reminds me: I totally forgot about Bran. And, thinking about it, I don't see what I've gained from remembering him. Yeah, his legs are broken, he's getting magic powers, and he's still alive but on the run. None of that seems to actually matter -- I expect he becomes important later, and so needs to be accounted for now, like Theon (who I at least give a bit of a crap about) but if Bran dies before he affects anyone else's plots in any other way, I'm going to be pissed, because the showrunners will have wasted a lot of my time making me watch him get carried around the countryside.
And finally, let's talk about Samwell. Yes, I know he was scared. Yes, I know there were a hundred crows all over him. But you figure out that the dagger you're carrying around is a magic weapon that kills White Walkers in one hit, why the hell do you leave it on the ground when you run away?