Written by: Brandon Freeberg & Charlie Norwood
Similar to last season's ninth episode "Balon", where Lord Eddard Stark gets his head lopped off (spoiler alert?), the ninth episode of this season titled "Blackwater" is one that leaves pretty much everyone floored. The wildfire explosion has to rank up there as one of the top "swag" moments of the show, right there with Daenerys' dragons first appearing, Viserys getting his golden crown, and the just mentioned beheading of Ned. In other words: It. Was. AWESOME!
It's been a long time coming, but overall we feel HBO did a solid job at adapting the Battle of The Blackwater for television. Of course we also have a few gripes, so lets get into things.
With Stannis' crew sailing in to King's Landing, we have our obligatory D-Day/Saving Private Ryan moment where we see soldiers nervously sitting around, followed by one of them puking. It's nice to see that when it comes to depicting the moments before a battle, no matter the era of weaponry, or even if the world is imaginary, someone is going to vomit every time.
Shake it off champ. We'll get you some saltines and a ginger ale and you'll feel right as rain in no time! That gear is fire resistant, right?.
On land, Bronn is having a grand old time in what appears to be a combination barrack, bar, and brothel (aka the Westeros equivalent of a KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut). He's right in the middle of promising to stick his nose up a whore's a@# when The Hound has to come and ruin said proposal by wanting to fight/kill/chop Bronn in half. This never happens in the book, but both characters are two of the bigger bad boys of the series, so to see them about to come to blows had us at the edge of our seats...that is until the castle bells ring, warning of Stannis' arrival and thus putting the beef on hold.
In the Red Keep, Varys is with Tyrion whose squire Podrick is getting him ready for battle. There might have been a small mention of him earlier, but we don't really recall seeing Pod at all this season and we have issues with that. See, in the books Podrick is introduced in the first novel as the Imp's young, nervous squire. He always fumbles when speaking to Tyrion, but deep down you can tell he's truly loyal to serving him. It's character development like that which would make you care more when Pod kills Ser Mandon after he betrays Tyrion at the end of the episode because it's basically like a redemption moment for him; he's finally does something right! For how much they feel the need to show Lancel looking baffled and in over his head ALL THE TIME, they could have definitely made more room for Podrick.
Jumping a little further (mainly cause we despise talking about Cersei), a favorite moment was after the wildfire explosion when Stannis channels his inner Ivan Drago by indifferently telling a random soldier that he expects to lose thousands of men. Speaking of soldiers dying there were some pretty crazy deaths in this episode. Here's a rundown of some of our favorites:
- Fire arrows raining down left and right on people
- A large rock not just crushing a solider's skull, but completely ripping his head off from his body
- The Hound cutting a guy in half (twice)
- Bronn putting an arrow in a guy's eye, and then seconds later slitting another man's throat
- Podrick making a spear go through the back of Ser Mandon's skull, and out through his eye socket
- Stannis baseball swinging the top of a man's head off with his sword
It's all in the hips!All in all, if you love the violence the show has become known for, you were in heaven with 'Blackwater.'
Lastly, we have Tyrion being betrayed at the end and what to make of it. You have to figure that the orders were coming from Cersei, most likely because she wanted to get back at Tyrion for putting Joffrey in danger. The Imp appears to be possibly mortally wounded from the attack, but we don't know for certain. Well actually, we do cause we've read the books, but for those of you who haven't you'll just have to find out next Sunday during the finale.
P.S. Here's a bonus gif of the wildfire explosion and the Pyromancer really enjoying it.