“Kissed by Fire” was somehow even better than every episode that came before it this season. Game of Thrones has always been a fantastic series, no one can realistically argue against it; between a having a fantastic budget, being well written, filmed, and cast to perfection, there’s just no argument. But season three, unlike seasons one and two, has not yet had a truly dull moment. Where previous seasons have sometimes gotten lost in sexposition and difficult-to-follow politics, season three has carefully crafted each and every conversation so that even a two minute scene dedicated solely to accounting—the most boring subject on the planet—was absolutely invigorating.
It’s time to break down the crusade for the iron throne in power rankings! These power rankings are based on both my enjoyment and comprehension of the going ons in the lives of every character in “Kissed by Fire”, not necessarily any given character’s viability for the throne. This is more reactionary than critical:
1. Brienne and Jaime
It’s safe to say that this duo will be in the top five for the rest of the season. Their chemistry is just too phenomenal to go without praise. The more we learn of each (and the more they learn of one another) the more I become attached to their lives. More importantly, I am attached to their delivery. I’ve never read the books, but I can tell you that there may be no better pairing in the history of my television watching experience than Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Gwendoline Christie. Furthermore, the characters are a bit of a fascination. They themselves have become so attached to one another, in an odd and (hopefully) platonic way that it could be argued that Jaime bathed with Brienne simply because he trusts her to protect and care for him in his most dire of circumstances. Similarly, she is clearly not threatened by him and, despite covering herself at the reactionary fear that he may sexually assault her in the bath, she is reminded that he wishes her no harm and exposes herself as not a source of sexuality, rather fierce and power force. Jaime’s confession as to how he became the Kingslayer was nothing other than perfect. I was mesmerized.
2. Tywin, Tyrion, and Cercei
I think it’s relatively clear by now that Tywin is clearly winning the game. Of all characters, he understands the complexity of each plot better than the rest and has more control than all but Joffrey. I can only hope that Tywin and Joffrey have some screen time together, because that would certainly be painful in all of the good ways.
I’ll admit that I would actually like to see Tyrion and Sansa be wed because he is almost certainly the only man that would treat her with the respect she deserves. Of course, his relationship with Shae, Sansa’s personal maid, will cause some (hopefully) juicy interpersonal drama. This may lead to Shae accidentally exposing her identity to Cercei, who certainly has a great deal of vengeance to exact to Tyrion’s—as well as the audience’s—dismay.
3. Arya and Gendry
I’m completely tickled by the subplot of the Brotherhood for many reasons. Firstly, I’m granted access to some higher fantasy; the higher the fantasy, the happier I am. I want to learn more about this resurrection thing and hope that it does not become a dropped plot. Secondly, I’m completely smitten by the idea of Gendry and Arya bringing House Stark and House Baratheon together as a powerhouse team. Their relationship is one of the most organic on the show, with subtle hints as to how the characters are developing their feelings rather than the usual “put a baby in her” dialogue I am becoming exhausted with.
4. Olenna and Tyrion
I know Tyrion was already mentioned in power ranking 1, but this scene was fantastic. Only Game of Thrones can make two minutes of financial talks completely spellbinding.
5. Petyr Baelish and Sansa Stark
I wonder of Petyr is genuinely fond of Sansa and actually wishes for her well-being? It’s so hard to tell with everyone wanting to use her as the Key to the North whether or not she has any true allies. Aiden Gillen (Baelish) is one of the best actors on the series, and any moment of screen time he is allotted is pure gold.
I’m sorry to send you so low on my power rankings, dear Khaleesi! This time around just wasn’t that interesting due to time constraints, although the short amount of time that she was on screen was powerful. Emilia Clarke (Daenerys) can channel any emotion without words; her eyes were so expressive as Grey Worm dedicated himself to his new leader.
Of course, I must mention the conversation between Jorah and Barristan being a small and pointed reminder that loyalties will be tested as the Mother of Dragons seeks her rightful throne.
7. Stanis Baratheon
I feel no attachment to Stanis, Melisandre, or Queen Selyse. I usually don’t pay much attention when they’re on screen because it’s just more “put a baby in me” talk and really obnoxious stylistic choices. His daughter Shireen (the little girl with the scaly face), however, is a character I may very well become obsessed with in coming episodes.
I should care about Robb because I’m duel-rooting for House Targaryen and House Stark, but I feel mostly the same way about Robb as I do about Stanis… There’s no catch that isn’t either obnoxious or boring. That being said, I’m glad to see the young King of the North following in his father’s footsteps: if you condemn a man to death, it is your duty to see it through. Ned Stark was a wise, wise man.
9. Jon Snow and Ygritte
And finally we come to Jon Snow and Ygritte, who is ranked dead last out of my unadulterated hatred for one-dimensional female characters whose sole purpose is to bed the handsome hero. Seriously, from day one it’s been like Ygritte’s life quest has been to get into Jon Snow’s pants, which lead to terrible dialogue about a singular motivation. It’s a fantastic plot point to have him bed a woman to prove his rejection of the Night’s Watch, but I’d love to know more about Ygritte beyond her sexuality. Like, tell me if she likes cheese or something (and if so, what’s her favorite kind?). I just want her to be more than just a) a Wildling and b) fixated on Jon Snow’s sexuality.
And with that I bid you adieu. Until next week!