Monday, 16 April 2012

Game of Thrones | Season 2, Episode 3: What is Dead May Never Die

There are even more new characters in this week's episode of Game of Thrones - so many in fact, that even I am starting to forget their names. Still, for those of us who are having a little trouble keeping up (which, I admit, includes me) let's try to untangle at least some of the web, which is becoming ever more complex as Winter draws nearer.


After following Craster into the icy woods, witnessing the fate of the baby and getting a nasty crack on the head for his trouble, Jon Snow is given yet another royal telling-off by the Lord Commander for poking his nose in where he shouldn't. Jon surmises that the Lord Commander is aware of what Craster, the Wildling man who marries his daughters and delivers his sons to the White Walkers (or whatever that thing was) is up to - but lets him get away with it so that Craster will help out the Night's Watch in times of dire need. Angry with Jon, Craster throws the Night's Watch out of his Keep.

Bran is still stuck at Winterfell, and still having prophetic dreams in which he sees through the eyes of his Direwolf, Summer - what that portends, we're eager to discover. No Dany this week unfortunately, so we can presume she is still wandering the Red Waste with three dragons to feed and a rapidly diminishing Khalasar. In King's Landing, Sansa is still under the considerable thumb of Cersei Lannister, but a surprise shows up in the form of Shae, who has been appointed her new handmaiden (Tyrion's attempt to keep his girlfriend out of trouble).

Cat shows up at 'King' Renly's stronghold to try to secure his loyalty to Robb in the coming fight. Renly, now married to Margaery Tyrell (his boyfriend Ser Loras' sister, interestingly) promises her Joffrey's head. Margaery seems like she knows what she's doing - she takes marrying her brother's boyfriend completely in her stride, and clearly has no qualms about furthering her own rise to power. Also introduced at Renly's camp is Brienne, yet another strong female character - in fact, she's ridiculously strong; she bests the Knight of the Flowers in a swordfight, and promptly asks to be made a member of Renly's Kingsguard as a reward (Renly agrees).

The Iron is really in the fire now over at the Islands; Theon's father questions his loyalty to the House of Greyjoy (We Do Not Sow - not the snappiest of words, but they make sense when you think about it). Theon himself doesn't really know where his true loyalty lies, but after being sidelined by his father, who gives Yara control of thirty ships and Theon only one, he makes his decision to pledge to the Drowned God in order to prove that he really is a Greyjoy, and not a pseudo-Stark.

Tyrion is also showing his true colours in King's Landing - or, more precisely, he is not allowing anybody to know what he is really thinking. He has private meetings with Pycelle, Varys and Littlefinger, telling each of them that he plans to marry the Princess Myrcella off - to different people. To Pycelle, he mentions House Dorne, to Varys, House Greyjoy, and to Littlefinger, House Arryn. He makes sure to tell each of the men that CERSEI MUSTN'T KNOW. This is all part of a brilliant, Cluedo-style bluff to find out who he can trust - or, more precisely, what the men's motivations/loyalties are. When Cersei comes to him screaming with anger at the news that Myrcella is to be sold off to Dorne, Tyrion has Pycelle thrown straight into one of those Black Cells that Ned Stark came to know so well. What a manipulative so-and-so.

Lastly, the Kingsguard show up, with Lannister men in tow, to take Gendry off the hands of the Night's Watch and, presumably, cut off his head. After a short battle, during which Yoren is unfortunately killed (shame, I liked Yoren), Arya, in her disguise as Arry the orphan boy, and the other survivors are taken captive. Thinking on her feet, Arya points out one of the dead boys and identifies him as Gendry to the guards - thereby saving the life of Robert Baratheon's bastard for just a little bit longer.

Episode 3 Best Moment: Tyrion's clever manipulation game.

Episode 3 Best Line:

Tyrion: "Cut off his manhood and feed it to the goats."
Shagga: "There are no goats, half-man."
Tyrion: "Well, make do."

Game of Thrones | Episode 4: Garden of Bones

P.S. KINOLENS is one year old today! Huzzah.

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