TV Review: Game Of Thrones 3.6: The Climb

Game of Thrones
Season 3, Episode 6 – “The Climb”
Directed by Alex Graves
Written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Starring: Mark Addy, Alfie Allen, Emilia Clarke, James Cosmo, Liam Cunningham, Charles Dance, Stephen Dillane, Peter Dinklage, Natalie Dormer, Michelle Fairley, Jerome Flynn, Aidan Gillen, Jack Gleeson, Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Conleth Hill, Ciarán Hinds, Carice van Houten, Sibel Kekilli, Harry Lloyd, Richard Madden, Patrick Malahide, Rory McCann, Sophie Turner, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maisie Williams, and Issac Hempstead-Wright
Air Date: May 5, 2013

“Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some are given a chance to climb, they refuse, they cling to the realm or the gods or love or illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.”

Littlefinger’s (Aidan Gillen) speech is a very much on the nose, as “The Climb,” the sixth episode of season 3 of Game Of Thrones, sees various characters trying to progress forward in some capacity, but the core of his speech – that often those who are provided opportunities normally only get one chance at something – rings true for many characters tonight.

Let’s look at Sansa (Sophie Turner), who most directly falls under Littlefinger’s thesis-level statements. The Stark girl had her chance to get away (twice now that I can remember: once with the Hound and before with Littlefinger) and her lack of ability to progress has seen her fall. Hard. That crow comes home to roost this week, as the little bird’s fate has now been sealed.

Further North, the dynamic between Ygritte (Rose Leslie) and Jon (Kit Harrington) has been of particular interest to me since the wilding’s introduction last season. As we see their paths cross and have their fates intertwined, we’re reminded of the real costs and the larger ideas at place. Jon Snow and Ygritte are truly soliders. They’re expendable in every sense of the word and perhaps that’s what drives them to each other at the end of the episode. As they embrace, having climbed their ladder, together, they are now truly responsible and committed to each other. It’s a love in a hopeless place moment, which feels like such a major victory, given the crushing consequences of Sansa’s poor decision-making skills.

However, Arya (Maisie Williams) has learned all too well about the consequences of a fall. With a sudden appearance of Melisandre (Carice van Houten) to the Brotherhood, the Lord of Light’s power is brought to the forefront as the red witch begins to lay a foundation for Stannis’ next campaign. Arya’s anger and growing obsession (seriously, she’s giving Thanos’ death obsession a run for his money) is pushed further with the Brotherhood’s betrayal, as the young Stark clings to her love for Gendry (Joe Dempsie).

Littlefinger is right: the climb is all there is. Let’s see who will fall next. And who will be broken because of it.

Quick Thoughts:

– This week in “I Still Can’t Care About Theon” – MORE torture. I get that we’re probably supposed to feel bad for where Theon has found himself, but I can’t bring myself to care. I’m interested to see if we’ll ever get something of importance from him in the future, but right now I feel the show should go ahead and fully punish him for his sins. We’ll see what happens.

– Tywin (Charles Dance) certainly lives up to his reputation for Olenna (Diana Rigg) and for my expectations of the meeting of these two MVP level players of this game. But seriously, try to make it through that scene without laughing as Olenna describe Loras’ sexual preference and then have the gaul to ask Tywin if he’d ever sought the company of a man before. Fantastic work from two of my favorite characters.

– The fall of Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) continues to be incredibly compelling and the discovery of the person behind his attempted murder is a great reveal that I didn’t see coming.

– There’s still a very distinctive sense of dread around all scenes related to Robb (Richard Madden).

What did you think of this week’s episode? Sound off in our comments below!

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