PREVIOUSLY ON GAME OF THRONES: 800 pages of incest, murder, gore, Direwolfs, Wight Walkers, whores, clockwork maps, and dragons! And for the record: noble, honorable men get their heads removed. So…rethink that whole “play by the rules” thing. Not in this game. It pays to be canny.
In King’s Landing, it’s Renaissance Fair time with the Hound and some hapless schmuck smacking each other with maces as King Weasel Teat eats a turkey leg and tells himself how awesome he is. One of the men only has an iron mace, while the other is The Hound and his trusty Goblin WarHammer, so… Other dude has no chance.
It’s King Joffrey’s Name Day, so he’s celebrating by having his enemies killed for sport, like real-life pinatas. Hooray! Every time the Hound kills someone, Joffrey turns to Sansa and asks, “Aren’t I awesome? Don’t you think so? WELL?” She swallows her bile and nods, sickly.
Some chubby guy in a Captain America chest plate staggers up to get his head knocked off, and Joffrey realizes he’s drunk. (Nord mead, -20% to stamina, bro.)
“Would you like more wine?” Joffrey asks, and hey now…is King Weasel Teat about to be ni—oh, no. No, he’s going to wine-bong the dude the death. The guards jam a horn in his mouth and start emptying a keg of wine in it (that is a serious party foul, Joffrey) and Sansa cries out, “You cahn’t!”
…Bitch about to die says what? You don’t tell the king what he cahn’t do, chick. No, but see, she just wanted Joffrey to not do anything bad on his Name Day, er… It’s bad luck? The Hound says it’s true—what you do on your Name Day will happen all year. WHICH MEANS HE SHOULD KILL SOMEONE, I mean, come on guys. Logic. *taps temple * Joffrey, being a Weasel Teat, begrudgingly agrees to not kill Fat Captain with booze and instead makes him the court jester. And there was much rejoicing, hooray.
Especially when Tyrion, the dwarf, arrives with his charm and cleverness carried in his +4 Bag of Badass. He saunters over to Joffrey’s younger brother and sister and tells them Uncle Tyrion loves them thiiiiiis much. Then when he sees Sansa, he bows and offers condolences for her father’s death.
“Uh, excuse me? King here. So…I had him killed? Maybe don’t undermine me in front of my people?”
Tyrion, the only person that has slapped Joffrey across his weaselly gob multiple times, stares daggers at him, says that it still hurts to lose your father. Sansa, who is simply going along for the ride at this point, agrees with Joffrey because she’d like to keep on living, thanks. Tyrion sees no reason to stay, besides, he has far more important parties to interrupt. Laters!
Inside the “Small Council,” a white raven is brought in as a gift for Joffrey. Given all of the raven-portents in Season 1, I’m going to go out on a limb and say this might be important, possibly to do with Winter and how it’s coming. Cersei doesn’t give a shit and has it sent away so she and the council can actually run the kingdom, thanks? In strolls Tyrion with a “Never mind me, I’m just the new Hand…” which causes Cersei to grind her teeth and send the council off.
Cersei: “Uh, our dad is the Hand?”
Tyrion: “Uh, no he isn’t? He sent me. *papers *”
Cersei: “You tricked him!”
Tyrion: “I’ll make sure he knows you think it’s possible. Man, it sucks being the bad kid, huh? I should know; up until I kicked ass with Lothar and the Hill People (by being knocked out but no one needs to know this) Dad kind of likes me. So…”
Cersei: *seethes *
First thing to do, Tyrion says, is to deal with the two remaining Stark children. There were three bargaining chips, but Cersei lopped off Ned’s head like a dumbass, started a war with the North—which they’re losing, by the way, good job!—so let’s drum up Arya and Sansa to get Jamie back (dirtyrottensisterfucker, aka the Bradley Cooper of Westeros, aka Cersei’s brother, aka Joffrey’s dad, aka Hot Pants Lannister).
“Well, see, about that Arya…”
What do you mean you don’t know where Arya is? (Arya is impersonating a boy and is on her way to the wall, along with Dead King Robert’s illegitimate son, Gendry.) Well way to go, Cersei, you’ve just screwed everything up even more. It’s not all insults and positioning: he tells her that her motherly instincts and cheekbones are her redeeming qualities. And her hair, come on. That is some seriously great hair on her. And my girl looks awesome in some drapey sleeves, too.
In Winterfell, Bran is having to deal with the crap side of leadership—listening to idiots. Some old geezer goes on and on about how back in his day, Masons had tools made of dragon teeth and had to walk uphill, both ways, and they used to tie an onion to their belt—that was the style then—and the music you kids listen to! And—
Get on with it! So he has a leaky roof, but all of the young men are fighting with Bran’s brother, Robb (and kicking ass, it must be said). So who can fix his roof? Bran—with the help of Master Luwin—tells him to chill his tits, they’ve got this. (But in a nice way, because Bran is like, 10.) Luwin is very kind and patient, and Bran goes back to listening to old men bitch about the kids these days.
Dream sequence! Something is running through a forest, there’s a red comet burning its way across the sky, and then we see that it’s a Direwolf drinking out of a forest pool. Bran wakes up from his dream. Or was it?
He’s now in his Hodor-saddle with Tonks walking along beside him, looking for his dream pool. We see the comet overhead, so we’re reminded that Bran’s dreams aren’t. He thinks the red comet is about his dad dying, or maybe that summer will be longer, or—.
Tonks puts the kibosh on that, because she’s from The North and has Seen Things. Red comets mean dragons. (She’s right.) She also really uses her eyes when she talks, right? WE GET IT, TONKS. You’ve seen things.
Speaking of, we cut to the Red Waste where Daenerys—one of her baby dragons riding on her shoulder—is leading her remaining loyal Dothraki to the ocean. No one had any water on them, so the horses are dropping like flies. Well, one horse is—the one Drogo gave her on their “wedding rape.” I mean, night. She grew to love Drogo, and now everything she had from him is gone. Time for some hard decisions for the Kalhisi.
She eye-fucks Jorah (her trusty manservant) to keep him loyal, then eye-fucks three Dothraki dudes to get them to ride out to the three opposite points on the map and find some water. One in particular, Kovarro, gets the special look of love and he decides to go on Hard-Mode. “I won’t fail you.” She’s counting on you to not, so…good idea. (Achievement Unlocked! The Khaleesi’s Affection.)
Let’s cool off on the other side of the Frozen Wall where Jon Snow (hurr), his buddies Porkins and Pyp, and the rest of the Black Watch are looking for clues on why horses are coming back from the North sans riders. Oh, and all of the random limbs they keep finding.
They come upon a farm in the middle of nowhere (everywhere in the North is the middle of nowhere, though) and there are a lot of ladies around. Porkins is reminded that they don’t want him and Pyp just wants to smell their hair. Not Jon—Jon wants to scowl and narrow his eyes and find out why there are only ladies. (Oh, does he now? That would liven things up. I could get behind a Jon/Gendry sandwich, I’m just saying.)
Well, there are only ladies because the guy that owns this place is a douche-nozzle that “marries” his daughters. And their daughters. And—you get the picture. They’re all his “wives,” and if anyone touches them—special look at Jon, because ladies dig the soulful loner crap—why, he might get angry. And you wouldn’t like him when he got angry.
Jeor, the leader of the Black Watch (and Jorah’s father, incidentally) tells Jon to quit looking all pensive and handsome and shit while he bargains with Incest-Rape-Ass. (I don’t think that’s his actual name.) Craster (the jerk-face rapist) notices how pretty Jon is and wonders if he can get an assbaby off of him, but Jeor waves a bottle of hootch his way and does some trading. Wine for info: yet another king is preparing an army way north of here.
Can I just say that there are too many kings? Can I?
Jeor then gives the guy an ax for more information: it’s getting crazy up here, and all the men are gone to join up with the army, which is coming south for them. They can stay here for the night, but if anyone tries to make a Farmer’s Daughter joke a reality, he’ll cut your hands off and feed them to you.
Jeor then gets onto Jon outside the farmhouse for being all moral and stuff like some kind of asshole. Way to go, Jon. (Jon is wondering what Craster does with all of the boy babies.) Jon, if you’re going to be a leader someday, you better learn how to follow…instructions. Shut your gob and stop being handsome.
It’s now nighttime and the red comet continues its streak across the sky and we get to meet a whole lot of new folks. First though, is an elderly man running along the beach to stop an old-fashioned effigy burning. He pleads with some of the crowd to stop the crazy red-haired lady in a red dress (Melisandre) from burning the gods, but she ignores him so the Flaming Sword in the Burning God ceremony can proceed.
And hey, it’s Stannis! The runaway brother of Dead King Robert, and this is supposed to make him a king. She tells him to grab a flaming sword from an effigy, and now he’s king. (So what, some fiery bint lobs a scimitar at you and it makes you king?) Not a lot of qualifications are needed in Westeros to be king, I’m just saying. Just look at Weasel-Teat.
Elderly man yells at Davos (another old guy) to stop this, because it’s going to lead to war and Stannis is an idiot. No one moves; it’s Melisandre’s show. And Stannis is all, “King Me!” And she does.
Inside, Stannis dictates a letter to all of the important people everywhere. “Say that Jamie Lannister is a poop head. No, say he’s a king slayer, because he is. And that he’s handsome and has sex with his sister and I don’t like him. Oh, and say that Ned Stark called me fat and he told me once that one does not simply walk into Kings Landing and yes, I can, and then say that—”
Davos tries to get things on track with the idea that Stannis and his brother Renly should unite, but Renly is a giant butt face, and Stannis doesn’t like him either. Melisandre slithers in to say that Renly isn’t important, Stannis will be king with all the Lord of Light on his side. (Which will come in handy during the period of darkness, I’m guessing.)
Elderly Man sees the writing on the wall and offers a toast to Stannis and Melisandre. He poisons the drink, drinks it, hands it to her, and as his nose starts to bleed, she shotguns the concoction, smacks her lips and looks at him like, “What? Was that supposed to kill me? Oopsie doodles.”
SHE’S A WITCH! BURN HER! Or bring in a man of science and see if she weighs as much as a duck. Point is, this chick is no one to be messing with. Elderly Man dies in a pool of his own blood and Melisandre licks the glass clean with a pretty, simpering smile.
Robb Stark talks with a penned-up Jamie Lannister about a letter he just got from Stannis. And now everyone in Westeros knows he’s a dirtyrottensisterfucker. Jamie laughs it off and calls Robb a boy. “Aww, does that hurt him’s little feelers?”
Rob smiles. Yeah, he’s a boy, but Jamie was caught by a boy. And is being held prisoner by a boy. And is about to be loved by— Sorry, wrong show. And maybe he’s about to be killed by a boy. In pads a humongous direwolf, Robb’s puppy, and oho! That’s what can make a Lannister tremble. The direwolf gets right up to Jamie’s face and snaps, and if you listen closely, you can hear the sound of Jamie pissing himself.
Tyrion, the one Lannister who is awesome in every way, chills with his “lady friend” Shae. She couldn’t be happier to be in King’s Landing after having been a concubine in the woods for a traveling army. Cities are awesome! Oh, really? She likes the roads running with piss and vomit and dead bodies?
“I love the piss in the springtime! I love the shit in the fall. I love dead bodies in the summer, when they sizzle; I love the reek in the winter when it drizzles!” Shae is easy to please. Which is great for Tyrion, because oh, does he love pleasing her. But she needs to stay hidden, so love the shit and piss from afar, eh?
Cersei finds Lord Baelish (Littlefinger, and damn, that’s a hurtful name guys. It was cold, okay? He’s a grower, not a shower.) in the courtyards with a request for him to find Arya Stark. She notices his mockingbird sigil—he made it himself, since he wasn’t born into a great family. She muses on a song she once heard about a guy named Small-digit who loved an ugly but interesting woman and couldn’t win her over. Hmm.
Oh? because he heard a song about a woman named Bersei who fucks her brother and made her illegitimate incest son the king. I think it’s called “Knowledge is Power.” Ever hear it?
Cersei: catchy beat, but you can’t dance to it. Unless you’re on the end of a rope. SEIZE HIM.
Cersei: It goes like this: three steps front, and three steps back, jump down, turn around, pick a bale of cotton. And it’s called “Power is Power.” Bitch.
Baelish gulps when the guards leave him. Yeah, bro. Not too smart when there are dudes with weapons following her.
Robb Stark speaks to a Lannister emissary to negotiate the terms of release for his sisters and Jamie. The Lannisters will return to Winterfell the body of Ned Stark and all of his men so they can have a proper burial. And his sisters, but they aren’t to be buried because they’re still alive, right? Then Joffrey and Cersei are going to walk away. They’re not going to touch the Starks, because the north is now its own sovereign Kingdom, making this the forty-seventh king on the board game. (The Banners are excited to call Robb the King of the North, though. Aw, they’re good guys, the Banners.)
Theon Greyjoy (who is a bit of a dick himself) tells Robb that the Lannisters won’t agree. Oh, Robb knows. Theon’s dad (who Ned stole Theon from) is a king (of course he is. Everyone is a king.) and has a bunch of ships, and that’s the only way they’ll take King’s Landing. His ship-owning dad still loves Theon—kinda—and Ned raised Theon to be an honorable man, so how about it? Hmm. I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him, personally.
And Catelyn Stark agrees with me. She does not want Robb to go to the Greyjoys, they’re in a family feud! She then remembers that she has a seven-year-old back at home and maybe she should check in on him when Robb says, yeah, you’re going to go to Renly and make nice. Because he can double our men, have King’s Landing for himself, and we can have Winterfell for ourselves, and then everyone will be happy. Fine. She agrees to go, says she’s proud of him and Ned would be too.
Joffrey is redecorating the King’s Chamber (These painting simply do not match my chair of swords, Mother. Who’s idea was it to put industrial and Tuscan architecture together? Tsk!) when Cersei says they need to find Arya to get Jamie back.
Speaking of Jamie, Joffrey heard a nasty rumor about him and his mom. And that is gross. And she’s gross. And Joffrey still has tiny baby teeth but I bet they could bite through skin, but instead, he uses his words to hurt. “I bet dad had a lot of outside kids while you were fucking your brother, hmm?”
Cersei pulls a Tyrion and slaps him across the face. All of the decorators are all “Bitch! You did not just slap the king!” and Joffrey is like, “Oh, hale naw.” He tells his mom that you know, anyone else? Dead, right then. And if she ever does it again…
I hope you like reaping what you sowed, Cersei. There’s your little monster king.
Next is a Baelish-owned whorehouse with the One True Whore running the place, Ros! She’s instructing a newcomer on Proper Moaning, 101, when she decides it’s good enough and to get to work. Some of the King’s Men show up, but they’re not here for a little slap and tickle, they’re here for a little seize the baby and kill.
…what? Oh, shit, they’re looking for any bastard offspring of Dead King Robert’s to make sure Joffrey doesn’t lose his crown. A baby is ripped from a screaming woman’s hands and when the guard can’t quite bring himself to cutting its head off, the leader of the guard rolls his eyes and does it for him.
That can’t be good for business.
Throughout the city we see squads of guards pulling black-haired, blue-eyed babies and boys out of homes across the city, stabbing, drowning, beheading, burning them all. A blacksmith has his face held just over the fire in his foundry, being tortured for information on the boy that worked there, Gendry. Well, he made a bull helmet for himself and he’s on his way up north, please don’t burn my face off.
Cut to a wagon where a blue-eyed and handsome young man (Gendry) hops up, pulls Arya up next to him, and they continue their ride up north. I cannot wait for the two of them to get into fights with people. Gendry will have his Helmet of Bull-headedness (a 10% increase in damage to magical weapons) and Arya her Dagger of Despair (15% frost damage) and it is going to be awesome.
Now that we’ve got all of the players back on the board, I cannot wait to see where they move and who’s going to level up.
(Reminder that these posts are SPOILER FREE. Most of us—including yours truly—haven’t read the books, so PLEASE. No spoilers.)