"Game of Thrones," Season 1, Ep. 10

Season 1, Ep. 10


  • Courtesy of HBO
  • WAIT'LL YOU SEE WHAT I'VE DONE WITH THE PLACE: Sophie Turner and Jack Gleeson (front row)

“Fire and Blood” leaves “Game of Thrones’” first season with more cliffhangers than conclusions. Fans of the HBO show may feel dismay at the prospect of waiting until next spring to find out what happens to Tyrion, Jon Snow, Arya, et al. To which I say, “Now you know how fans of the books feel.”

George R.R. Martin published the first three novels in the “Song of Ice and Fire” series at two-year intervals between 1996 and 2000. Then a complication of writers’ block and story complications slowed him down considerably, so the fourth book came out in 2005, with the fifth due in July 12. And some of our favorite characters weren’t even IN the fourth book, so we readers have been waiting to check in for a decade.

HBO plans to begin filming “Game of Thrones” second season this July. One can only hope the channel will boost the show’s battle-budget. The climax of season one, it seems, wasn’t the big combat scenes that Tyrion and Catelyn (not to mention we, the home viewers) sat out last week, but Ned Stark’s execution. “Fire and Blood” begins with a close-up of executioner Illyn Payne’s blade, still dripping with Ned’s blood, followed by a mercifully out-of-focus shot of Payne raising Ned’s severed head to the crowd. The Nightwatch guy keeps Arya from looking, but Sansa isn’t so lucky, and faints dead away.