Season 1, Episode 8: “Lord of the Tides”
One of the things I’ve always liked about Game of Thrones is its ability to evoke real emotions about strange and grotesque scenes on paper.
I am reminded of the touching scene of Cersei and Jaime’s twin partners, getting together because of their horrific, poisoned son Joffrey, who died at his own wedding. Or my sympathy for Melisandre, the 900-year-old witch with the shadow monster who was responsible for some of the show’s most horrific actions and who, in the aftermath of the fierce battle, was briefly ash. It’s a subtle reminder that, despite its other flaws and prejudices, the human heart tends to be tolerant and compassionate in the face of pain and love.
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I had a similar feeling watching House of the Dragon this week when Daemon helped Viserys ascend the steps of the Iron Throne. The King gratefully enlists the help of a fallen, murderous brother who is also now his son-in-law, and Damon retrieves the fallen crown, which he has longed for since the beginning of the show, and places it in Wesse Reese’s scales on the head they all knew it would be the last time.
Of course, if Paddy Considine and Matt Smith and the writers hadn’t spent the past seven weeks developing a relationship that shimmered with mutual affection amidst all the hostility and indignation they’d otherwise constituted, all this would have been won’t work. So after a poignant, almost wordless exchange, you wouldn’t wonder if true love and fresh dragon eggs softened Daemon, who we see a few minutes later decapitate a man in two minutes.
The scene is also symbolic in a swan song by Considine and Viserys (R.I.P.), but one of the second sons, the eclipsed and disaffected Westeros, gets most of the action .
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