Initial Reaction To Episode Three:

King's Landing

Before I begin, let me just say that the sudden reappearance of the Dothraki might be the most insulting part of this horrible, horrible season of television. And who the hell keeps giving Ser Davos, a man without fingers, a sword and putting him on the front line?


Anyway, on to the battles.


As far as Daenerys goes, I'm not really concerned with her taking out every single scorpion in King's Landing — dragons can do whatever they like as far as I'm concerned and I'm certainly not going to be a stick in the mud because a fantasy show dipped into the realm of the fantastic.


I will say, however, that Cersei sending all of her scorpions and non-queensguard soldiers out to the walls of the city is nearly as bad a move as Daenerys putting her trebuchets in front of the Unsullied two episodes ago.


Let's talk about the grudge match between Jaime and Euron.


I had high hopes that Euron would live up to the legendary reputation that the show was building for him. I expected Euron to eventually land in tier two because I was impressed with his adaptability against the Sand Snakes, even if he took a lot of hits along the way. But no, we get another drunken, screaming brawl between him and Jaime instead. Solid tier three stuff — it's like they started at the halfway point of the Hound/Brienne battle where both of them were injured and blind with rage.


Rest in peace, sexy dread pirate king; your dying words were awful and didn't even end up being true. Jaime is harder to kill than Jack Bauer, apparently, and Arya died on screen twice but still marched through the city like she was back in Braavos. I'm so tired.


Anyway, on to the endlessly-hyped Cleganebowl. First off, kudos to Sandor for fighting better against the three human queensguard than he has for the entirety of the show. Yes, the unnamed queensguard inexplicably died like extras, but The Hound looked as though he belonged in tier two when he was killing them.


Back when I first speculated on Cleganebowl, citing the brothers Clegane's previous duel in season one and their separate fights since, I said that it would go one of two ways: Either The Hound stays collected and out-maneuvers his zombified brother, or he gets angry, slips up, and dies. It turns out both were correct!


Kudos to The Hound for being quick and calm enough to handily win round one, which makes up the entirety of the fight until The Mountain gets run through. I don't remember how much The Hound knows about what happened to The Mountain, so I don't know how much I can reasonably fault him for standing there when The Mountain didn't die as expected.


As I speculated, The Mountain can't be killed by conventional means, so I can't include him in my rankings based on the rules I wrote when I started this site. So as far as I'm concerned, The Hound wins. But then he gets punched a lot and kicked a lot and choked a lot, so he cries and/or laughs a lot? Then The Mountain does that thing where he squishes someone's eyeballs because I guess that's his signature move now. But then The Hound almost does the same dagger trick as Arya, because I don't know, callbacks or whatever, and instead stabs his brother in the eye. Then his eyes are fine somehow, despite us seeing them get squished out of his head seconds prior.


I'm rambling, but my point is that The Hound fought better than I expected him to. I was impressed by his combat in the first part of Cleganebowl. Then he realized that his brother was invincible, so we got back into the realm of fantasy. That's perfectly fine, but parts of the fight were lazy.


And then we reach the emotional climax of the episode: Arya sees a horse.

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