Game of Thrones Season 3 Episode 6 Review – “The Climb”
Last week’s brilliant episode was a tough act to follow. With the weaker storylines taking prominence and some awkward moments of sloppy writing and acting, “The Climb” was enjoyable, but ultimately disappointing by Thrones standards.
The Bran Stark and Theon Greyjoy stories prove again that they are not advancing or paying off in any satisfying way. Another dream scene, this time Jojen Reed awakening from a distressing vision, set an ominous tone for Jon Snow’s storyline. But why even show this scene? Bran needs to arrive somewhere (the wall??) or start manipulating animals in his dreams. This stream of nothing has gone on for almost two whole seasons.
Worse yet, was the idiotic scene between Theon and his CRAZZZYYY torturer. We’re manipulated and teased, again, and learn nothing more about either character. It’s mind-bogglingly stupid and circular. I don’t buy the torturer’s performance and his lame insanity face either. I’m not saying that ambiguity is always bad, and that maybe I’ll be glad in the long run, but we waited two weeks to figure out who this guy is, and now we know nothing more.
The wall climbing scene with Jon and Ygrette was pretty thrilling and large scale, but the show’s budget and post production timeline doesn’t allow for anything like this to look great.
I thought the ending montage was problematic. Littlefinger’s speech sounded over-rehearsed and clumsy in its poetry. It was somewhat unclear exactly who was on the ship leaving for Highgarden, and Shae’s expressionless face really showed how useless Sibel Kekilli is compared to Sophie Turner (Sansa). The impact of the deceased character that is revealed is also lessened by the fact that it’s within a montage, and it’s arguably gratuitous the way that camera zooms into the sexually mangled corpse.
Two scenes I actually did love were Melisandre’s collision with the Arya/Brotherhood storyline, and Tywin Lannister and The Queen of Thorn’s excellent back and forth about Loras’ ‘sword swallowing.’
I’m extremely excited for next week’s episode because of the title “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” (the meaning of which may have been revealed in the Season 3 trailer), and the fact that it’s written by book writer George R.R. Martin. His episodes are always among the best. When Game of Thrones writing is great, the result on screen is spectacular. But when Benioff and Weiss don’t do as stellar of work, the broken scenes stick out like the Kingslayer’s mutilated stump.