Game of Thrones
Commentary on "A Golden Crown"

Greg Tito | 23 May 2011 21:00
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The duel between SER VARDIS EGEN and the commoner BRONN for the life of Tyrion was pretty fun to watch, taking place as it does before the stuck-up lords and ladies of the Eyrie. But I loved that when it was done, Tyrion strode up to Ser RODRIK CASSEL and demanded his possessions returned. I thought for a moment that he was referring to the Valyrian steel dagger, but Cassel tosses the pouch of gold to the Imp which in turn goes directly to Mord. The debt is paid. The small story arc of the minor character is complete.

The reason I'm highlighting the story of Mord is that the show could have abandoned his character altogether. In the first novel, Mord's name only appears a handful of times and has no bearing on the overall plot. A lesser production would have made the jailor a nameless, featureless character. Tyrion could have made his demands to a closed door and HBO wouldn't have had to work so hard to hire an actor who not only looks the part of the mean jailor, but delivers an excellent performance. Instead of faking it, the show's creators made the decision to stay true to Martin's works whenever possible, and that means the audience gets the benefit of a fully realized world and interesting character studies like the fat, unpleasant Mord.

I know that Mord does have a role to play in book four, but that's a long time from now. Here's hoping that the show is still going strong for a fourth season, and that the creators choose to use Ciaran Birmingham to play Mord again, because he was just awesome.

Mord is not the only minor character that I've been impressed with in this series. HODOR, the large servant of Bran Stark, only gets a single shot in this episode, but his happy portrayal as another dim-wit who can only say the word "Hodor" is spot on so far. I can't wait for the saddle to be modified so Bran can ride Hodor and begin to feel comparatively autonomous again. SEPTA MORDANE's catty relationship with the teenaged SANSA STARK has been really fun to watch. She serves as a sounding board for the characterization of Sansa, but the Septa does so by being equal parts Mary Poppins, Martha Stewart and Meryl Streep from Devil Wears Prada. SYRIO FOREL, ARYA's Braavosi dance instructor, looks a little different than I envisioned him (I think it's the Jew-fro) but every time he says, "Just so," I get a thrill from how true his performance feels. Lancel, the effete young Lannister who's ever serving KING BOB more wine, is about to commit the most heinous crime and eventually get to bed his older cousin as a reward, but his sniveling and Prince Valium haircut have been perfect. All of these minor characters feel authentic and each adds flavor to the series.

Even characters imagined for the show have been entertaining. ROZ, the red-haired prostitute from Winterfell who has been screwing THEON GREYJOY, departs for KING'S LANDING, effectively ending her tenure as the "exposition whore." Her scenes were created to provide someone for Theon to talk to other than Robb Stark, but she did so in a way that made my wife remark how great a character she was to watch.

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