Saturday, March 30, 2013

Game of Thrones Top 10 Watercooler moments (Season 1 & 2)

Game of Throne is everyone’s favourite television show and it’s almost time for Season 3. Seriously though, even people that don’t like TV love Game of Thrones. Part of that is George R.R. Martin’s fantastic story but a lot of it comes from HBO’s amazing adaptation. Really it’s the first fantasy production that manages to encapsulate what I love about this genre (on television anyway). There are almost as many reasons to love Game of Thrones as there are people that love it. There is not enough time for me to talk about them all so I’m going to feature one of the things that makes Game of Thrones great… its ability to get people talking. Without further ado – here are the top ten moments that had people crowding around the watercooler to discuss them on Monday mornings.

10. Dany eats the whole heart
“A Golden Crown” (1.6)

Dany is pregnant with Khal Drogo’s baby in order to prove the importance of her unborn child she must eat a whole horse heart… raw. It’s just as gross as it sounds but Dany powers through even after she vomits a bit of it up into her mouth. This is moment that everyone – including Viserys, Drogo and Mormont – realizes that Dany is truly something extraordinary.

What’s so cool about it? She eats a horse heart. That’s all kinds of levels of cool and proves Dany’s badass potential. She’s Daenerys Targaryen “the Stormborn” she’s not going to be controlled by her brother or her husband.

9. Jaqen H’ghar changes his face
“Valar Morghulis” (2.10)

There are mentions of the “faceless men” throughout both seasons of Game of Thrones. But there is a difference between imagining it and actually watching it happen. Jaqen H’ghar reluctantly helps Arya and her friends escape the horrors of Harrenhal. Once they have reached a safe distance H’ghar makes to depart from the group but before leaving he literally changes his face.

What’s so cool about it? Jaqen H’ghar quickly became a fan favourite in season 2, especially in his interactions with Arya. It’s a perfect pay off to his mysterious narrative watch him turn away as one man and turn back as another.

7. Joffrey’s sadistic games
“Garden of Bones” (2.4)

Joffrey is a terrible king and an awful person but I don’t think anyone really understood the true extent of his cruelty until this moment. When Tyrion gifts his nephew with a couple of prostitutes (Ros and Daisy) in an attempt to loosen him up Joffrey doesn’t exactly play nice. Joffrey forces Ros to beat Daisy partly to teach his uncle a lesson but mostly because he likes it.

What’s so cool about it? There is a lot of talk about cruel kings in fantasy but we very rarely get to see them being cruel just for the sake of it and that’s what this is, it serves no other purpose than to show us just how awful Joffrey is.

7. Three blasts: White Walkers
“Valar Morghulis” (2.10)

Night’s Watchmen Sam and his watchmates hear the three horn call, which signifies one thing: White Walkers. When the others flee Sam is left alone cowering behind a rock. Soon he’s surrounded and a fearsome White Walker on a dead horse is turning to look at him. All Sam can do is watch helplessly as an army of White Walkers and wights march past him towards Westros.

What’s so cool about it? The final episode of the second season has quite a few epic cliffhangers but the one that sticks out in everyone’s mind is the White Walkers. It’s truly spectacular and proves that Winter is indeed coming.

6. Every time Joffrey gets slapped
“The Kindsroad” (1.2) “The North Remembers” (2.1) “The Old Gods and the New” (2.6)

This one kind of differs from the rest of the list because it’s three moments and it’s not exactly shocking but trust me when I say that people talk about this a lot. Joffrey was first slapped by Tyrion in episode 2 and even though viewers didn’t know how bad the boy could be it felt good. He was then slapped by his mother, which says something because his mother is the only person that genuinely loves Joffrey and finally Tyrion slapped him again for inciting a riot.

What’s so cool about it? Watching Joffrey get slapped is possibly one of the most satisfying things to be shown on television ever. It’s no wonder people like talking about it.

5. Viserys gets his crown
“A Golden Crown” (1.6)

All Viserys wants is the army he was promised and after an altercation with Jorah Mormont he reaches the end of his rope. He uses a little liquid courage to confront Khal Drogo. Viserys believes he’s safe from retaliation because the Dothraki are forbidden from shedding blood in their scared city. Khal Drogo finds a loophole though – gifting Viserys with a scolding crown by pouring molten gold over his head.

What’s so cool about it? No one liked Viserys, so his death wasn’t really that upsetting… it was however incredibly cool to watch Khal Drogo melt his golden belt and then poor the molten metal over Viserys head.

4. Daenerys burns the life back into dragons
“Fire and Blood” (1.10)

Dany always seems strangely drawn to the long dead dragon eggs she was given as a wedding present but it’s not until the final episode of season one that we find out why. She walks into her dead husband’s funeral pyre and all seems lost but when the fire has burnt out Daenerys stands naked but unscathed with three freshly hashed dragons.

What’s so cool about it? Dragons! Even without the whole surviving the fire thing, the fact that Dany has just brought dragons back into this story is pretty fricken awesome.

3. Melisandre gives birth to a shadow
“Garden of Bones” (2.4)

It look as though Stannis Baratheon (the man Ned Stark deemed the rightful air to the throne) would lose to his upstart younger brother until his mysterious fire haired priestess gave birth to the shadow monster that would murder Renly in his tent. The image of Melisandre disrobing to reveal her pregnant belly was shocking enough but then watching her push out a black shadow monster was beyond all previous levels of creepy.

What’s so cool about it? Women giving birth to monsters is a theme on this show – but as cool as Dany’s baby dragons are this moment wins because WTF did I just watch?

2. The things Jaime does for love
“Winter is Coming” (1.1)

Jaime Lannister is a fan favourite for those that have read the books but before everyone falls in love with him, he made himself pretty easy to hate. Not only was he caught doing the dirty deed with his twin sister but he then proceeds to push eight year old Bran out a window letting him fall to his death. Bran didn’t die but we didn’t know that until the next episode. It’s the first cliffhanger of the series and it’s still one of the best.

What’s so cool about it? The first episode sets up the intrigue of Westros pretty well but this moment shows just how ruthless the characters in Game of Thrones are. Literally anyone can die.

1. The Death of Ned Stark
“Baelor” (1.9)

Ned Stark was pretty much the main character in first season. All the stories kind of bled out from his so unless you had the read the book you probably wouldn’t have guessed that Ned Stark would meet his end in the penultimate episode of the season. I knew it was coming and it still shocked me to see Joffrey disregard his mother’s council and ask for Ned’s head.

What’s so cool about it? If Bran’s fall showed that even innocent blood could be spilt, Ned’s death proves that no one is safe on Game of Thrones. It’s been two years and people are still talking about it. That’s pretty much the definition of a watercooler moment.

Well there you have it. I know I missed so many shocking and discussion-inducing moments but these were the one’s that stood out for me. Now we just have to wait and see what will get everyone talking this season (having read the books I have a couple of ideas cough red wedding cough).
What were your favourite watercooler moments from the first two seasons? Let me know in the comments.

And remember… Winter is coming (eventually).