House Logo

Indira Varma (#110 of 9)

Game of Thrones Recap Season 7, Episode 3, “The Queen’s Justice”

Comments Comments (...)

Game of Thrones Recap: Season 7, Episode 3, “The Queen’s Justice”

Helen Sloan/HBO

Game of Thrones Recap: Season 7, Episode 3, “The Queen’s Justice”

There are currently two queens vying for control of Westeros, and the latest episode of Game of Thrones centers around the ways in which they rule. “The Queen’s Justice” is an effective summary of the various futures and beliefs for which the protagonists are all fighting for, but much of the episode feels as if it’s going through familiar motions. First there’s Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), stuck repeating the lessons of her father, Tywin. Her sense of justice is nothing more than revenge, and we already saw that play out in the far more masterful “The Winds of Winter.” And then there’s Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), who stands in direct contrast to Cersei by distancing herself from her own father, apologizing to Jon Snow (Kit Harington) for Mad King Aerys’s evil, but then again, that’s also nothing new for her.

Game of Thrones Recap Season 7, Episode 2, “Stormborn”

Comments Comments (...)

Game of Thrones Recap: Season 7, Episode 2, “Stormborn”

Helen Sloan/HBO

Game of Thrones Recap: Season 7, Episode 2, “Stormborn”

Once upon a time on Game of Thrones, Oberyn Martell made an oath to Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), promising that her daughter, who’d been sent to Dorne as part of a marriage treaty, would be treated well: “We don’t hurt little girls in Dorne.” After Oberyn’s death, however, his vengeful lover, Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma), did precisely that, poisoning the innocent girl. Now, months later, Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) calls Ellaria to account for that, passionately arguing before Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) that they be more than indiscriminate murderers. It’s one of many callbacks to past actions that are brought up in “Stormborn,” an episode that’s not only packed with intrigue, intimacy, and insanity, but also with a richness of history.

Game of Thrones Recap Season 6, Episode 1, "The Red Woman"

Comments Comments (...)

Game of Thrones Recap: Season 6, Episode 1, “The Red Woman”

HBO

Game of Thrones Recap: Season 6, Episode 1, “The Red Woman”

Previous seasons of Game of Thrones have played a precarious dance between the past and present action detailed within George R.R. Martin’s series, but the season-six premiere episode, “The Red Woman,” provides viewers with their first glimpse of what the future looks like, and it’s disappointing. Melisandre (Carice van Houten), the sorceress from whom this episode takes its title, stands over the bloodless corpse of Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and remarks that “I saw him in the flames, fighting at Winterfell.” Magic may yet play a role in some sort of resurrection, but this episode focuses only on the weary, bitter state of affairs in Westeros.

Game of Thrones Recap Season 5, Episode 9, "The Dance of Dragons"

Comments Comments (...)

Game of Thrones Recap: Season 5, Episode 9, “The Dance of Dragons”

HBO

Game of Thrones Recap: Season 5, Episode 9, “The Dance of Dragons”

The title of tonight’s episode of Game of Thrones comes from a book of Westerosian history, the so-called Dance of Dragons, which, as Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) points out to his daughter, Shireen (Kerry Ingram), is an awfully poetic way of putting things. From a safe distance, these moments in history might look quite beautiful, filled with ominous foreshadowing and eerie parallels, but on the ground level, things can be quite horrific.

So it is, for instance, with Stannis’s own situation. The episode begins with a fire breaking out across his camp—an act of sabotage from the Boltons in Winterfell—which in turn leads to Stannis caving into the black-magic demands of Melisandre (Carice van Houten), as he allows the witch to burn Shireen alive in a blood sacrifice to the Lord of Light. And while it’s easy to allow such necessities in the abstract, as Selyse Baratheon (Tara Fitzgerald) is at first able to do, when a mother hears her daughter screaming for help within the billowing flames, the cost seems too high. This may explain why Stannis chooses to share a fatalistic philosophy with Shireen in his last conversation with her. If it’s true that his history has already been written, then he has no choice and can absolve himself of this murder: “He must become who he is meant to be, no matter how much he may hate it.”

Game of Thrones Recap Season 5, Episode 6, "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken"

Comments Comments (...)

Game of Thrones Recap: Season 5, Episode 6, “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”

HBO

Game of Thrones Recap: Season 5, Episode 6, “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”

The Game of Faces, as taught to Arya (Maisie Williams) by her fellow corpse-scrubber (Faye Marsay), isn’t as simple as claiming (or meaning) that you are no one. It involves thoroughly convincing someone else that you are someone—just not the person that you were. Like the Game of Thrones, this task of self-effacement and reinvention for the sake of survival is played—whether they’re aware of it or not—by most citizens of Westeros, and those who fail generally end up dead. As Arya’s trainer, the man once known as Jaqen H’ghar (Tom Wlaschiha), might put it, it’s a game that “we never stop playing.” In the case of the monastic assassins dwelling in the House of Black and White, it’s doubly true, for as Arya soon discovers, the dead bodies passing through their temple are preserved beneath it, their faces—entombed in the mausoleum wall for future use—continuing to serve long after they’ve passed on.

Game of Thrones Recap Season 5, Episode 2, "The House of Black and White"

Comments Comments (...)

Game of Thrones Recap: Season 5, Episode 2, “The House of Black and White”

HBO

Game of Thrones Recap: Season 5, Episode 2, “The House of Black and White”

It’s fitting that the titular House of Black and White is home to No One, for if there’s anything true of Westeros, it’s that nothing is ever black and white. Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma), for example, blames the Lannisters for her beloved husband’s death, and from her viewpoint, it would be just to mail parts of an innocent young girl, Myrcella (Nell Tiger Free), back to her mother, Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey). Back in King’s Landing, looking at the threatening statue of a snake that’s been mailed to her, Cersei acts like the victim; she can’t fathom why Ellaria might seek revenge, even as she herself swears to burn Dorne to the ground should anything happen to her daughter. Everybody is the hero of their own narrative; those who are mere bystanders, like the current prince of Dorne, Ellaria’s brother-in-law, Doran (Alexander Siddig), are warned that their inactions will swiftly lead to their own deposal.

Torchwood Recap Season 1, Episode 10: "Out of Time"

Comments Comments (...)

Torchwood Recap: Season 1, Episode 10: “Out of Time”
Torchwood Recap: Season 1, Episode 10: “Out of Time”

“Out of Time”, gorgeous throughout, ostensibly tells the story of three individuals lost in time thanks to a temporal anomaly caused by the Cardiff Rift. At its heart, it continues Torchwood’s nihilistic view of existence. A series that consistently argues that this present reality is all there is while simultaneously featuring a main character with a death wish suffers from both confusion and clinical depression. Ten episodes in, Torchwood still hasn’t figured out what it’s about, but it appears to be getting closer.

Consider our three travelers, who take off in December of 1953 and somehow end up in Cardiff in 2007. John (Mark Lewis Jones) is a forty-something shopkeeper, the type of control freak father we expect from the early 1950s. Diane (Louise Delamere) is a glamorous pilot, 30-ish, whose pin-up girl looks combine with her obvious intelligence and independent spirit to make her practically perfect. Last is ingénue Emma (Olivia Hallinan), just 18 years old; she expects to find a husband and have a family, and not much else.

Torchwood Recap Season 1, Episode 8: "They Keep Killing Suzie"

Comments Comments (...)

Torchwood Recap: Season 1, Episode 8: “They Keep Killing Suzie”
Torchwood Recap: Season 1, Episode 8: “They Keep Killing Suzie”

“They Keep Killing Suzie” is the kind of episode that Torchwood does well: an exploration of the human character, unfolding in unexpected ways in a unique context. It could be seen as a return to form, if Torchwood had established one yet. There are no aliens in this week’s episode, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any monsters; whether they are monsters by nature or nurture is the question of the day.

When the team arrives to investigate a series of gruesome murders, they’re met by a Detective Swanson (Yasmin Bannerman) with a chip on her shoulder so big it’s spoiling her attractive features. She and her staff have no patience for Torchwood with their “special ops” mystique, and from her attitude we glean that Torchwood isn’t as secret an organization as we’ve been led to believe. This may be another manifestation of a poorly managed first season, but a good bit of the character interactions hang on this point; if Swanson’s entire staff is aware enough of Torchwood to detest them, our team has been doing a poor job of keeping a low profile.

Torchwood Recap Season 1, Episode 1: "Everything Changes"

Comments Comments (...)

Torchwood Recap: Season 1, Episode 1: “Everything Changes”
Torchwood Recap: Season 1, Episode 1: “Everything Changes”

Russell T Davies’s new Doctor Who spinoff, Torchwood, starts out several steps ahead of the game. Viewers of Doctor Who already know, and presumably love, the main character, and have been hearing about the exploits of the Torchwood Institute since Queen Victoria founded it in the Who episode “Tooth and Claw”. But countering that familiarity, you’ve got significant factors that could weigh the series down.

Set in Wales, populated by a cast mostly unfamiliar to American audiences, and featuring some of the most impenetrable English accents ever, Torchwood might not be as amenable to American audiences as it has been to those in the UK.