Hi! I am filling in for QoB on this week’s recap of Game of Thrones and instead of jumping back and forth, I thought I’d follow along with her format of describing the action for each location. Here we go!
I. King’s Landing
Don’t let the lack of a vagina fool you: Joffrey is a cunt. A power hungry, sadistic, cruel little cunt. After Robb Stark’s army defeats his uncle in battle he has Sansa brought before him and orders her stripped, beaten and humiliated before the court and is only stopped when Tyrion arrives and calls a halt to his fun. On advice from Bronn that all Joffrey needs is to get laid, Tyrion sends Ros and another whore to await his pleasure. Instead of sex, the little prick gets his rocks off by forcing Ros to beat the other woman and plans to send her battered body to his Uncle Tyrion as a message. I hate Joffrey and I hope he dies a long, painful death. Is that wrong? Never mind. I don’t care.
Tyrion (who I love — call me!) leads Sansa from the room and offers her sympathy and a way out of her engagement to Joffrey. Sansa doesn’t trust him and toes the party line — Joffrey is her king and her one true love.
Tyrion also continues to spread his web over King’s Landing. When Cersei sends her boytoy Lannister cousin Lancel to order Tyrion to release Pycelle from the dungeons, he threatens to tell Joffrey that Lancel is having sex with Cersei. Lancel goes from swaggering to pissing his pants in two minutes and soon is promising to spy on Cersei for Tyrion.
II. The War in the North
As mentioned, Robb Stark and his army of northmen have met a contingent of Lannisters in battle and emerged victorious. Walking among the dead and wounded, Robb is declining to have his prisoners skinned alive when he meets a blood-spattered but pretty battlefield nurse named Talisa. She draws from him an admission that he doesn’t want the Iron Throne himself and has no idea who will take over when the war is done. I’m no general but it seems to me that if you’re going to start a war you should at least have some sort of plan for when it’s over. This could be a problem.
Speaking of prisoners, Arya and Gendry are delivered to Harrenhal, a bleak pile of crumbling stone towers that were half-melted from dragon fire during a war generations ago. The castle has been taken over by the Lannisters but since none of them are there, the guards are entertaining themselves torturing their prisoners one at a time for information on local thieves. (Seriously, strapping a rat filled bucket to a man’s chest and then setting the bucket on fire so the rat will tunnel into his body? Brilliant. Cruel and disgusting, but brilliant.) The next day Gendry is chosen for questioning but lucky for him, Tywin Lannister arrives before the torture really gets started and points out that a live smith may be more useful than a dead prisoner. Papa Lannister also notices Arya, recognizes a girl beneath the mud and boys’ clothes and claims her for his new cup bearer.
(Question: Why does Tywin Lannister have Arya’s sword Needle? What did I miss?)
III. The Mother of Dragons
Daenerys sent out three riders looking for food and water for her khalasar and last week, one of their heads came back. This week, a whole rider returns bearing news of the city of Qarth, The Greatest City That Ever Was or Will Be. They have promised to receive the Mother of Dragons but the devil is in the details: they receive her outside the closed gates of the city and have no intention of allowing her to enter unless she proves her dragons are real. Dany threatens that if the city rulers, The Thirteen, don’t allow her and her people to enter she’ll make sure their city is the first one destroyed when her dragons are fully grown. They call her bluff and are about to leave the Dothraki horde to add to the Garden of Bones outside the city (hence this episode’s name) when one of the Thirteen, Xaro Xhoan Daxos, steps forward, slices his hand open with a knife and vouches for her.
IV. Battle of the Baratheons
Sent by Tyrion, Littlefinger arrives in Renly’s camp and during his meeting with the would-be King, hints that he might be able to help Renly march into King’s Landing unopposed. How Renly responded to this overture we don’t know, but a few minutes later we do see Littlefinger hinting broadly to Queen Margarey that he knows Renly shares his tent not with her but with her brother, Loras. Margaery looks him in the eye and gives him a succinct lesson on marriage, in effect telling him to fuck off.
Littlefinger’s luck with women doesn’t get any better. He delivers Ned’s bones to Cat as a gesture of goodwill from Tyrion, along with an offer to exchange Sansa and Arya for the safe return of Jamie Lannister. (Tyrion, of course, doesn’t actually have Arya but Cat doesn’t know that.) Unfortunately, Lord Petyr can’t resist offering himself to Catlyn, too, who rebuffs him immediately and kicks him out of her tent.
The next day, Stannis and Renly ride out to parlay between their massed armies. Renly is cocky and confident; he has more bannermen and everyone hates Stannis. Stannis is cold and resolute; the Iron Throne rightfully belongs to him and he has Melisandre and her Lord of Light on his side. He warns Renly that he has until morning to surrender and accept Stannis’ claim to the throne but it’s obvious that Renly has no intention of giving up. Melisandre has a warning for him, too. “Look to your sins,” she tells him. “For the night is dark and full of terrors.”
As it turns out, the night isn’t the only thing full of terrors. Stannis orders Davos to smuggle Melisandre into a deserted cove. When they arrive she throws off her robe and he sees that she is, as they say, great with child. She sits down on her robe and immediately goes into labor and while Davos watches, gives birth to
Voldemort a monster made of shadows. That scene was incredibly creepy in the book and, I have to say, proved even more so on screen.
The night is full of terrors, indeed.
What do you think? What was that thing Melisandre birthed?
Spoilers note: as before, anything from the first book or TV series is not a spoiler. Please use spoiler tags for anything else using the [*spoiler*] and [/*spoiler*] tags. (Remove the asterisks to make the tags.)