'Game of Thrones' scorecard: Justice over mercy


All season long, we are keeping score in "Game of Thrones." Come for the slave insurrections, stay for the skull chalices.

This "Game of Thrones" discussion is written by someone who has read George R.R. Martin's books but will generally only discuss events that have happened on the HBO's televised version, not that this matters since the show is now going in ENTIRELY DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS than the book. Please respect these boundaries should you choose to participate in the comments section.

Episode 4.4: "Oathkeeper"

FINAL SCORE: Violence 4, Sex -1

(The baseline for the score is typically dead bodies versus nude bodies, though the reviewer reserves the right to add points for bonus crucifixions or subtract them for YET ANOTHER rape scene.)


Totals: One Meereen slave owner thrashed by a mob of slaves; several slave owners nailed to crosses in a mass crucifixion; one golden bitchslap; one instance of the knockout game at the Wall; a sword-pommel face bash; one leg stabbing (HODOR!); and rape galore at Craster's Shack of Bad Language and Depravity.


Totals: One tense but ultimately chaste kiss on Tommen's forehead; several pairs of bare breasts north of the Wall.* (*see notes)

Last week's scorecard

Notes: Let's not beat around the merkin: the show's nudity, while generally nonessential, is a plus for me. However, the "Game of Thrones" scorecard will not award points for bare breasts when they're the result of rape. This isn't moral outrage: I'm perfectly aware that the show depicts other horrific acts of violence (this is largely the point of this scorecard, after all), that it depicts a world many times more violent to women than our present one, and that the rapists in this episode are destined for a violent comeuppance.

I can accept all of that. But as the show's official scorekeeper, I won't assign that act a positive connotation -- no matter how gratuitous and lovely the nudity may be on an objectively visual basis. Just let me enjoy some nudity in the guise of consensual sex already, okay?

A Most Romantic Gift


You don't have the words to let her know how you feel.

Because there aren't words. There is only you, and her.

Two people bonded by oaths and, at times, by literal bonds. She is your everything: worthy adversary with a sword, forgiving of your absent hand, and willing to ignore -- like the entire "Game of Thrones" audience -- what was clearly a rape in the last episode. It just didn't happen, okay? It was a directorial error that slipped past production, and you are still the honorable, incest-loving, kingslaying knight we've loved since your thorny complexity emerged in the awkwardly chivalrous pseudo-brother love for the lady-ser you went hot tubbing with last season.

Love. Timelessness. Caring. A string quartet to make this more dramatic. Sentence fragments that sound like a diamond commercial.

This Christmas, say it with armor.

Present Status: Cersei


The Only Item on My Amazon Wish List


(via @xmasape)

I want to make something perfectly clear: I very much want a skull chalice. Not a plaster skull I can drink out of -- I want an actual skull from a dead person from which I can drink my coffee, or perhaps some bourbon in the evening. Ideally, it would be the skull of someone I'd killed -- preferably a boss I didn't like, or the guy whistling at the laundromat when I was hung over yesterday. If that's not feasible -- and I don't trust this country's murder laws to make this possible, even in Florida -- I'd settle for the skull of someone infamously loathed, like Hitler, Charles Manson, or Justin Bieber.

But I'm not picky. I'll drink out of anyone's skull, with the sole condition that I didn't know and like the person whose brain it formerly housed. If you can get me a human skull, please DM me on Twitter (@mattufford). I can't promise I won't affix a handle to the side of it.

All Hail Lady Olenna, Old-Ass Sex Bomb


Respect where it's due, youngbloods: Diana Rigg was Emma Peel in "The Avengers" more than half a century ago, a firecracker in a catsuit with hip cutouts and a belly chain. She was a Bond girl -- nay, a Bond woman, the sole Mrs. Bond and saving grace of On Her Majesty's Secret Service except for perhaps Telly Savalas (thanks for nothing, George Lazenby). She's done more Shakespeare than Kenneth Goddamn Branagh, and if you think Lady Olenna is conniving, girl, then you haven't seen her as Regan in King Lear.

What I'm saying is: Diana Rigg curled your grandpa's toes, and your dad's toes, and if you think she can't do it for you, then you don't know a single damn thing about technique.

#TrueDetectiveSeason2 Rankings

1. Jaime and Brienne. Kinda want to go to the godswood and carve their initials in a heart tree right now.

2. Brienne and Podrick. Putting all my future earnings into this stock.

3. Jaime and Bronn. Even discounting the Golden Bitchslap Heard 'Round the Twittersphere, Bronn calling Joffrey a "little twat" pumps the blood in my veins.

9. Jaime and Tyrion. No, you cannot name your band "The Kingslayer Brothers." It has already happened in Williamsburg, and their first show is Friday at a bar with Big Buck Hunter, but, like, it's there ironically.

37. Grey Worm and Missandei. It's like The Sun Also Rises with English lessons.


Scenes carefully explaining that Tyrion didn't poison Joffrey: 3

Implied crucifixions: at least 150

Direwolves: 2

Plot points steering wildly away from the books: like, at least three? I guess it's better to have some of the various characters interact rather than go their own snowy ways, but I definitely fear the unknown. I'M NOT OKAY WITH THIS LOCKE GUY AT THE WALL, OKAY?

Adolescent boners jumped on: 1. Thanks a lot, Ser Pounce.

Ice ice baby: too cold, too cold


(We also would have accepted "ICE UP, SON!" -- GIF via uproxx)

DNP - Coach's Decision

Arya and the Hound; Prince Oberyn and Ellaria Sand's roving flesh carnival; Roose Bolton and (most of) Team Flay; Daarios 1 and 2; rocks with eyes painted on them; horses that don't have skeleton heads; the top of Mormont's skull; dragons, AGAIN.

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