The Kingslayer And The Murky Moral Universe Of 'Game Of Thrones'

Don't read on unless you've seen "A Man Without Honor," Sunday's episode of "Game of Thrones."

I'm not going to point you to this slideshow comparing "Game of Thrones" and "Mad Men" just because I'm happy with how it turned out. I bring it up because Sunday's "Game of Thrones" episode felt very "Mad Men"-esque. A couple of scenes in particular felt like they'd fit right in on the AMC show (an alternate version featuring kings, castles, lords, dragons, princesses and very muddy soldiers).

The standout scene was Jaime Lannister's conversation with his unfortunate distant cousin Alton. What "Mad Men" tends to do well, especially once it's worked up a head of steam, is give us late-season scenes that work on a number of levels. What can seem like a workaday discussion between two or three people can actually be an oblique exploration of the themes an episode is getting at; it can shed light on who the people are and what they want; and it can tell us things we need to know about where the story is going. Our past knowledge of the characters' histories and actions often add extra layers of tension or poignance, and there's a tantalizing sense of not knowing what's coming next. You're luxuriating in what's happening in the moment, because its so well written and acted, and you're pleasurably poised for the scene's punctuation mark, which you can feel coming. Read More...


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