Viserys gets served, Khal Drogo gets a surprise, Ned juggles his new responsibilities and Jon makes no-man’s land “home”….this episode of Game of Thrones sets up the political scene and gets the plot wheels turning as peace in Westeros slowly unravels….
Game of Thrones Review
“Umm…what’s the line? The King shits and the Hand wipes? ” ~ Jaime Lannister
Ned has the misfortune of running into Jaime who always has a lovely, biting comment for our norther hero. They have a bit of a terse conversation here as Ned asks why Jaime stood by and watched as his father and brother were murdered by the Aerys Targaryen. Jaime tells him 500 men watched in utter silence and he thinks he did Ned a favour by slaying the King, and expects Ned to show him some gratitude, however, Ned doesn’t appear to agree. He thinks Jaime had his own agenda for slaying Aerys. No love for Jaime, #thankyouFAIL.
“Everyone who isn’t us is an enemy” ~ Cersei Lannister
Well, with that statement we see where Joff gets his “lovely” disposition – from his evil, two-faced, incestuous mother. Joff admits to Cersei that he doesn’t like Sansa, doesn’t want to marry her and hates the Starks. He finds the northerners backwards and beneath him and if he had his way, he would tax them and send armies north to subdue them. Cersei has an eye opening conversation with Joff here, and teaches him a bit about politics when they talk about the dire wolf incident and Joff admits to his mother that he did nothing and the girls saw this; saw him cower and get attacked. Cersei tells Joff that the real story is that Joff slew the dire wolf as a great warrior. She gives him a lesson on the truth, and “the truth”: “You are my darling boy and the world will be exactly as you want it to be; someday, you will sit on the throne and the truth will be what you make it.” So Joff, the truth is whatever you make it: lie, cheat steal, and then tell people “the truth” that you want them to hear. NICE. Cersei is not going to be up for the “Mother-of-the-Year” award that’s for sure. This is frightening because Joff is already spoiled, bratty and narcissistic. Cersei shows us just how manipulative and devious she can be – she’s teaching Joff to be a sociopath. SUPER.
“War is easier than daughters.” ~ Ned Stark
Sansa and Arya argue over what happened with Joff and the dire wolf and Ned has to break up the fight. He’s in King’s landing alone, trying to manage his daughter’s, deal with Lannister “hospitality” all the while discovering the utter chaos of Robert’s rule. Stressed much?
Ned’s really trying; he gives Sansa a doll and she rejects his gift, saying she’s too old for dolls. Then he tries to talk to Arya and finds out about Needle. Just what Ned needs, a nine year old with a sword *palmface*; but, Ned caves and lets her keep it. Arya tells Ned she hates Sansa for what happened to Micah, the Butcher’s boy. She blames Sansa’s cover-up for his death and doesn’t understand how Ned can allow Sansa to marry someone as evil as Joff. Ned has no answer for her because we know he’s not thrilled with it either. He tries to get Arya to make amends with her sister but doesn’t make much headway.
He does, however, manage to hook Arya up with a sword instructor, Master Syrio Forel. At least that way, she’s less likely to spear herself with Jon’s gift. Syrio teaches her how to “dance”; “Boy, girl, you are a sword. That is all. now, we will begin the dance.” Ned watches Arya “dance” with Syrio and we hear the clash of swords as he’s remembering a flashback to battle. I think he fears for Arya because she is not like Sansa, and has no interest in making a good marriage or courtly intrigue. Which is funny if you think about it because politics and court can be deadly. I love Syrio’s character – he provides some great comedic relief with Arya in a heavy and depressing episode.
As for Ned, I feel for him; it’s not easy – he has Bran back at Winterfell, crippled, his eldest, Robb, running the household, he’s lost Jon to the Wall and he’s alone with the girl’s in the cesspit that’s King’s Landing. He’s not having an easy time of it and I’m sure he wishes everyday that King Robert hadn’t asked him to be the King’s Hand.
“I’d rather be dead” ~ Bran Stark
If Cat only knew that’s how Bran really felt…while Bran lies in bed listening to frightening tales about wights, Wildlings and 100 ft. snowfalls, Cat has arrived in secret to King’s Landing. Or…so she thinks. She is stopped by guards and taken to a brothel. Lord Petyr Baelish, a.k.a “Littlefinger” knew she was coming. He knows about Bran’s assassination and everything that has transpired in Winterfell. An old friend of Cat’s, Littlefinger has quite the network of spies and nothing seems to get past him. He tells Cat some interesting information – the dagger used by Bran’s assailant belonged to Tyrion Lannister. It was Littlefinger’s but he lost it to Tyrion during a tourney when he bet on Jaime. He promises Cat he will help her find out the truth. He is a good friend to Cat.
Ned is told that Cat is in King’s Landing and filled in on Littlefinger’s findings. A raven arrives with news that Bran is awake and recovering. Ned wants to take the proof of Littlefinger’s news to King Robert in the hope that he’s still a good man and will do the right thing. Ned’s not impressed with Petyr – he knows he still loves Cat so he distrusts his motives.
“Well, Lord Snow, it appears you’re the least useless person here.” ~ Ser Alliser Thorne
Jon is practicing sword fighting under the disdainful eye of Ser Alliser Thorne. Jon is the best fighter of the boys and while this earns him some grudging respect from the cruel instructor, it also marks him as a target with the other boys. They go to corner him later on, alone, and Tyrion steps in and threatens them with his Lannister connections and they back off. Tyrion, being ever resourceful, tells Jon some interesting and disheartening things about the boys on the Wall. They are not all hardened criminals, many of them are there for small, seemingly insignificant transgressions, such as stealing a wheel of cheese! Life on the Wall over a wheel of cheese?! WTF?! The boy was given the choice between losing his right hand or the Wall. It seems that the authorities/powers that be are just looking for any excuse to put people on the Wall as new “recruits”. The poor have no recourse, so off they go for even the tiniest infraction. This is really unfair and Jon sees what the Wall is really about now. Jon realises very quickly exactly what he’s signed up for now and knows it’s not glamourous and noble, it’s a hodge podge of miscreants and criminals who can barely hold a sword, stuck in a desolate wasteland far, far north of civilization. ‘A noble/honourable occupation’ is what they tell the suckers who end up on the Wall so that they feel better about their plight.
“Here a man gets what he earns when he earns it” ~ Benjen Stark
Jon goes to see his uncle Benjen and learns of the mysterious and disturbing reports beyond the Wall. Benjen is “going below”, meaning, beyond the safety of the Wall to foray into the wilderness and find out what’s going on out there. There’s a tense scene here between Tyrion and Benjen; Tyrion is laughing and trading jibes about bear’s balls and women with a Night Watchman when Benjen comes in and becomes angry that Tyrion is making light of their duties. Tyrion stands his ground and says he doesn’t believe in the stories of ghost, ghouls and Whitewalkers beyond the Wall. He doesn’t get that this is serious business to Benjen. This, coupled with the fact that he dislikes Tyrion merely by virtue of the fact that he’s Lannister. However, as much as Tyrion’s presence grates the Night’s Watch, they make a request to Tyrion to speak to his sister Cersei because they are so poorly manned, they don’t have enough resources and many castles along the Wall remain empty. They speak of Wildlings fleeing south, saying they saw Whitewalkers. Tyrion is rather non-committal, seeing as he knows Cersei cares nothing for the difficulties of what goes on in the North. Before leaving, Jon also makes a request of Tyrion, but of a more personal nature – he asks him to tell Bran he misses him. Awwww…Jon also seems genuinely sorry to see Tyrion go. They had a misfit friendship and could relate to each in ways others couldn’t understand.
“I don’t take orders from savages or their sluts!” ~ Viserys Targaryen
One of my fave scenes in this episode is the one between Dany and Viserys. He finally gets what’s coming to him *happy clap* 🙂 Dany stops the travelling Dothraki conga-line to inspect something and Viserys tears to the front of the line on his horse, and starts screaming and beating her. One of the Khal’s men quickly lassos Viserys around the neck and chokes him on the ground. He asks Dany if he wants him dead for his disrespect. She tells him no, but asserts her authority here under no uncertain terms. We realise that Viserys might think he’s running the show here but he’s so not. The Dothraki only listen to Dany, they couldn’t care less about Viserys and his aspirations to the Iron throne or his notions of grandeur. Viserys acts like a spoiled brat – he’s Joff but older and waaaay more unstable. I really enjoyed watching him writhe on the ground and then, to add insult to injury, the Dothraki make him walk, and take his horse! HA! This is the ultimate in shaming and I loved it! AWESOME 🙂 #ViserysGetsSERVED!
“A blessing from the great stallion”
A blessing indeed! Very exciting news as Dany finds out she’s pregnant! Side note here….the guy in this scene talking to Ser Jorah is the same guy who just played Prince Cem in “The Borgias” – all I have to say is, typecast much? lol! Playing another pseudo-Arab-Near-Eastern character again? SUPER. Dany shares a nice moment in bed with Khal Drogo and tells him they are having a son. She has learned the Dothraki language and it appears that the two are very much in love. Awwwww…things are on the up for Dany and looking bleak for Viserys – just the way I like it!
This episode set us up for the political war that is coming to Westeros. Things are beginning to unravel for the Lannisters, the Starks are closing in on finding out the truth, the Dothraki move towards the Narrow Sea and the Night’s Watch wait for impending danger from what lurks beyond the Wall. Tune in next week for another exciting episode of the smash HBO series, Game of Thrones!
Written by Sandra Sadowski. Check her out on Twitter @AriesBunny and stop by her frequently updated website perfect for the history buff in you – Medievalists.net – which has tons of Medieval Information.