TV Review: “Game of Thrones” Episode 7 – ‘A Man Without Honor’

Written by Guest May 15, 2012

“Don’t look so grim, it’s all just a game…”

In “A Man Without Honor”, “Game of Thrones” focuses the spotlight on two charismatic yet morally corrupt characters. In contrast, we get to see two honourable characters attempt to keep their morals in-line. However, in this world bad things often happen to good people leading to some very dire circumstances and some fascinating character examinations.

Theon proves himself as a cruel and unrespectable leader in Winterfell. He has no place back in the Iron Islands and he certainly has no place as a self-proclaimed lord in Winterfell. His goal to track down and dispose of young children makes him a far more pathetic leader in comparison to the likes of Tywin and Robb who are fighting wars and commanding armies. Alfie Allen has done an amazing job bringing one of the most complex character in “Game of Thrones” from his quiet subtlety in season one to his boastful and loud presence in “A Man Without Honor”

Jaime Lannister makes his first appearance since the premier and he is just as despicable, yet enjoyable to watch, as Theon. Jaime’s public persona is a strong and attractive knight. In the Stark camp, he is weak due to his chains and is despised by absolutely everyone around him. Jaime understands that the word ‘honour’ means nothing as no one is honourable in war. King Stannis has used dark magic to kill his own brother, Tyrion continues to sleep with prostitutes, Cersei and Joffery do not care for anyone but themselves and Robb is continuing to flirt with a woman despite being betrothed. The only honour that one has is whatever honour they bestow upon themselves.

The target of the worst of the worst of Westeros it seems.

Let’s talk about sex!

In the world of “Game of Thrones”, traditional medieval tales of chivalry are well known. Sansa has grown up with the notion that as a noblewoman she will grow up, marry a perfect king and be happy raising his children. Unfortunately, Sansa has her first period meaning that she is now fit for bearing Joffery’s child. Sansa fears sex as it will lead to further imprisonment and harm, especially after she was almost raped. Watching Sansa unfold throughout the series has been fascinating. Sansa’s storyline shows what makes this fantasy world unique. Her psychological struggles and attempts to deal with sexual violence adds a layer of human complexity seldom seen in fantasy.

Jon Snow is put into a sexually provocative situation when Ygritte continues to question the oath he swore to be a part of the Night’s Watch. He is forbidden from having sex and forming relationships with others. Ygritte mocks this notion, as wildlings are free from such a restrictive life style.  “Game of Thrones” is often seen as a show that is just about sex and swords but ‘A Man Without Honor’ turns this perception around. In Westeros, sex is a way to keep or lose honour, but it is not shown in the episode, only teased. In the case of Jon, the tease is compelling and playful, but in Sansa’s case she has become a ticking bomb, as it is only time until something horrific happens to her.

Sex Ed has never been so terrifying.

 

As the title says, honour is at the center of this week’s “Game of Thrones” aptly titled “A Man Without Honor”. By showing two extreme cases of characters that have long lost their honour and contrasting it with two siblings longing to keep theirs, it shows the turmoil in this world. Honour has become something that is no longer worth fighting for, leaving only power as a suitable goal for victory.

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