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“Game of Thrones” Recap: Flaming swords!

Let’s start with the most substantial aspect of this episode: man butt. “Kissed by Fire” is the episode of “Game of Thrones” where the writers finally said, “OK, OK, we will dosomething about our show's gross nudity imbalance across genders.” So after Ygritte takes off her clothes, it’s John and Jaime’s turn to flash some tush, and then Loras’s conquest/Littlefinger’s spy puts a new twist on the “random character we have never met going full frontal” role just by being a man, instead of woman.

Even more remarkably, the camera opts not to ogle Brienne of Tarth, treating her with the sort of restraint it usually reserves for its male characters. Jaime climbs in the bathtub with her and goads her into anger; she lurches up at him in the altogether. But while Jaime gets a good look at the whole Brienne, the camera stays squarely on her face and shoulders, never straying down. We see a flash of her backside, but that's exactly the amount of nudity usually asked of the fellas. This is both respectful and complicated: Brienne, who is more ‘masculine’ than the other female characters, more attuned to the idea of male honor, gets treated with visual restraint. I’m sure, if she knew, she would appreciate the courtesy. But maybe all the other women on the show would prefer not being objectified too?

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