Full spoilers for Game Of Thrones and Daredevil below
Game Of Thrones S05E02 – The House Of Black And White
Some notable returns this week in GOT in the shape of Drogon (seriously Dany, look after your pets) and Arya!! Finally one of the shows best characters is getting some screen time. Admittedly it still wasn’t a whole lot much of anything but Arya’s is the story most seem to be able to connect with and everytime Maisie Williams is on screen the show gets a little more, human. As mentioned Drogon made a return in the closing moment of this week’s episode and he’s still the rebellious teen we last saw him as. That Dany is fated to die at the talons of him or either one of her other two dragons seems more and more inevitable but her struggle with “motherhood” has and still is being portrayed very convincingly.
Dany also had another spot of bother in Braavos as she felt a compulsion to execute a former slave for murdering a Son Of The Harpy without fair trial. As a reader of The Walking Dead I found her conflict easy to relate to. As Rick did with Negan, she is foregoing the notion that those who defy her are simply worthy of death, rather she wishes to ensure that the revolution of society she is striving for begins with fair reasoning and conflict resolution. Didn’t work out all that we’ll however and she now may have increased the enemy count ten fold in her new empire.
Brienne and Podric intersected with Littlefinger and Sansa too, woohoo people are meeting people! I do live the sprawling story scape of this saga but after five years we need to have people at least accidentally bump into each other, which is exactly what happened. Having had her advances for safety to Arya refused Brienne now tries with Sansa to honour her vow to Catelyn Stark and of course Sansa “Black Swan” Stark isn’t having any of it. The problem here is where Brienne goes on to. Both daughters have refused, it is crucial she continues on with a meaningful purpose. Oh and yeah, Jon Snow is head of the Night’s Watch now but all things Castle Black are getting a little dull again, moving on.
It’s no coincidence that this week’s episode comes across better under analysis in text than they may do on initial viewing but to me, that is conducive to some of the better past episodes, the ones that warranted repeated viewings and discovery of new subtleties every time.
Game Of Thrones airs Mondays at 9pm on Sky Atlantic
Daredevil Season 1 Review
Let me start by saying that I’m not a big Daredevil fan. Not that I’m even the biggest comic fan going either but Daredevil in particular has just never grabbed me. Ben Affleck couldn’t change that opinion with 2003s I’ll fated adaptation and so ahead of this show I was less than excited but intrigued nonetheless. Remind me to trust me intrigue more often, this is the start of something brilliant.
Anyone suffering from Marvel fatigue, I hear you. I purposefully stayed away from Agents Of S. H. I. E. L. D because the movies alone were flooding my calendar with superheroes and I couldn’t take any more. Along comes Daredevil though and Marvel unexpectedly take a diversion. Do not expect this to be yet another origin story for yet another hero who is working his way into The Avengers, this one ain’t for the kids.
Charlie Cox plays the titular Matt Murdock aka “Daredevil”, a blind (ish) superhero on a mission to clean up his childhood neighbourhood of Hell’s Kitchen, New York. Added by his trusted college buddy Foggy (Elden Henson) and Nelson & Murdock’s newest employee Karen (the absolutely stunning Deborah Ann Woll, had to be said), the trio discover the task may be insurmountable as Hell’s Kitchen is throttled under the ruthless watch of Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio), a ruthless crime boss. Or is he?
That’s the first thing that grabbed me about this show to be honest, that nothing is black and white. Daredevil doesn’t kill, but he doesn’t make sure people can open their own bottles as they grow older. On the other hand, Fisk is portrayed in anything but a straight forward manner. D’Onofrio’s performance is causing division and I can see why, but for me the character and performance are the selling point here. A lot of the division is coming from his speech sounding a little, off, but to me that’s D’Onofrio trying to bring across the fact that Fisk was and always will be that fat little ostracised kid, the one who got fed up of being pushed around and can’t see why everyone doesn’t think his way is best. It’s a complicated performance that he is being equal parts lauded with praise and disdain for but from me it’s praise and nothing less.
Performances in general are quite solid, Scott Glenn and Rosario Dawson also crop up for an appearance or two throughout, and the handling of the content has been conducted well by Steven S. DeKnight. It is clear to see now that what we were missing in the previous big screen adaptation is the edge and R rated content on show here. The best comparison I can make for what type of hero Daredevil is – think of Kick Ass. Sure, Murdock has intense martial arts training, eventually he gets himself an armour suit too, but he is essentially just a man with extreme tolerance and resilience. Unlike Batman, a series this show is striving to echo, Murdock doesn’t have all these wonderful toys. There’s a real quality to him that definitely makes this a must watch, though I’ll agree with many that it falls off a little on the tenth and eleventh episodes, though I’m not going to dwell on that insignificance.
News is in this week that Daredevil has been renewed for a second season. Happy days!
Daredevil is available in full on Netflix
Image courtesy of wikipedia.org