Fortunately I am wearing my +4 Mithril Breastplate, which protects my heart against damaging attacks, and if you have the GPs, I recommend that you put yours on as well. This is going to be a bloody conquest, folks. Also, those with the Eagle Eye enchantment will have noticed the addition of The Twins – the two towers connected by a suspension bridge – in the opening. I love it when they add new places to the Westeros Map.
We start about where we left off, with Ned shivering in the dungeon. Uncle Fester skitters along the dank walls and tells Ned how his daughter has spent the day pleading for his life. And as Fester only serves the realm, he just wants peace. So if Ned could just swallow his honor, he could confess his sins (knowing about Joffrey’s lineage) and live out the rest of his days alone on the Wall. But see, he could live out his days, and doesn’t that sound nice? Ned’s laugh is a sardonic laugh.
Fester explains that his life PE, (pre-eunuching) he lived with actors. He learned that every man plays a part, his is to be the Prince of Lies: he is sly, obsequious, and without scruples. He is quite the actor. Ned informs him that not only does Ned still have his balls, they are huge, swinging, and give a mighty clang when he stands. Because if anything, Eddard “Ned” Stark stands for truth, justice, and the honorable Westeros way. He is a soldier, and soldiers learn to die. He is not afraid of death. He laughs in its face, ha ha!
Fester admires Ned’s noble nards, but wonders if that soldier ever gave thought to his precious daughters and their lives? Perhaps the girls don’t share his suicidal tendencies. (But all he wanted was a Pepsi, and she wouldn’t give it to me! Just one lousy Pepsi!)
Back at the tower of the Farting Frenchman, a raven (who probably smells of elderberries) takes flight but is shot down by Greyjoy. No messages will leave the towers, on the (pretty good) chance that Lord Frey is sending troop movements to the Lannisters, regardless of Frey being a sworn bannerman of Catelyn Tully Stark’s family. Robb and Catelyn try to determine the best course of action: they need to use the massive bridge to cross the river and attack the Lannister camp, but Lord Frey is a bit of a shit. Cate decides to go alone and speak to him.
Lord Argus Filch Frey sits in a dank, cold, stone chamber, surrounded by sickly children. Some appear old enough to have left and gone their own way, but they continue to live with their domineering, lecherous father, who rules the place with an iron fist. A dispirited girl with a herp on her face stands next to Filch-Frey – she is his 15 year old wife. Charming. I’m guessing the children are inbred at this point.
One son (who looks about 40) dares to speak back when Filch-Frey shuts him down: “Your mother would still be a milk maid if I hadn’t squirted you into her belly.” So he’s a delight, is what I’m saying.
He knows the rumors of the day: Ned is imprisoned, his son is on the move with an army, but the Lannisters are also on the move. He wants no part of it, seeing as everyone has looked down their noses at him for years. He clearly wants to shout, “None shall pass!” Besides, he has all of these rotten, inbred children piling up like unpaid bills and no one will marry them. Hmm.
Up at The Wall, Jon has his sizzled hand treated and Master Mormont lets Jon know how grateful he is for being saved by giving Jon his most treasured possession: it is the Sword of Puncturing, the Mormont family’s prized sword, recommissioned with a white direwolf fob on the end. The Sword of Puncturing affords its owner a +3 attack, yet does not drain them of their emo, which is good for Jon Snow. It seems that the Sword of Puncturing should have gone to the Master’s son, who is…. wait for it… Ser Jorah Mormont (which I should have figured out, durr) but Ser Jorah shamed the family, self-exiled and is now the main bodyguard for Daenerys Targaryen.
Mormont sent the severed hand that Ghost found with Alliser “The Thorn” to be laid at Joffrey’s feet as a warning. Now Jon can let his shoulders drop and not be constantly tortured by his former trainer. Jon goes to put the sword away, is accosted by all of his friends who chant “Sword! Sword!” like they’re ten years old, while Samwell Gamgee Porkins frets.
“But why are you fretting, Red Leader?” Jon asked.
“Because I can’t tell you why. Oh, fine, your brother is marching off to war, now you’re going to want to join him, and now I have a sad because you’re going to leave and who will I look up to now? Ye can’t leave, Mr. Frodo! I made a promise! Err, oath,” Porkins replied.
Jon wears black on the outside because black is how he feels on the inside. He would be amazing on a Spanish soap opera, so when he does his dramatic turn to the camera, his cape swirling around his legs, while looking pensive and sad and angry all at once, it’s better appreciated.
Cate leaves Filch-Frey and tells Robb the news: they can pass the bridge (she answered these questions three! One: What is your name? Two: What is your quest? And Three: What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow? Seeing as Filch-Frey didn’t specify a European or African swallow, they are allowed to pass.) However: Oliver Frey must be taken on as a personal page, Arya will have to marry one of the Frey wonks when they come of age, and Robb will have his pick of the litter to marry.
Cate mumbles a bit when Robb asks if any of them are pretty. Robb, honey, that’s exactly what ladies like Ros were created for – a balm for your ills. But keep an eye out for that herp. And with that, the Stark army is on the move!
Back at The Wall, Blind Maester Aemon is allowed a butchers knife and what looks like peeled finger tips (from his other assistants at the raven cote?) He calls Jon over and gives him a lesson in why the Black Watch doesn’t love. How do you pick between honor and duty and loved ones? No one can. Jon says his father can, so there! And the foreshadow anvil rings out as Jon attempts to hammer in his point. Master Aemon passes the fingertips to Jon so he can feed the ravens and drops some knowledge on the boy.
Aemon is no dummy, no wet behind the ears rube. He is actually one of two surviving Targaryens, ha ha! He had to stay at the wall, hearing of his entire family being wiped out, from the feeble elderly to the sucking babes, so Jon can STFU with his “no one knows my pain!” teenager stuff. He can choose to honor his oath or not, but he should weigh his options carefully.
The Dothraki continue their long, hot march across the desert towards the sea, but Drogo isn’t as invincible as he last led us to believe. The wound on his chest is festering, red streaks of infection radiating out from the gaping hole. He falls from his horse and Dany rushes to his side, demanding the other help her. But that’s not the Dothraki way, Silver Lady, they only respect strength, and if Drogo isn’t strong enough to sit on a horse, well… A Douchey Dothraki fingers his sword’s handle.
She hisses and spits at them, tells them to make camp and bring Yanoosh the Geepsee to her. Drogo must survive. And not just because he’s her husband and their king, but because it’s clear now that she loves him entirely.
At the Lannister Camp, Tyrion joins the warlords as they plan their next move. Tywin reminds everyone just how much he hates his malformed offspring by informing Tyrion that he’ll be leading his barbarian horde in the front of the Lannister soldiers.
“Surely there are ways to have me killed that are less detrimental to the war effort!”
But Tywin either doesn’t care about his soldiers, or knows his soldiers are good enough to not be hampered by the bone-wearing idiots the Imp has brought along. Tyrion leaves in disgust, goes back to his quarters where Bronn has thoughtfully acquired a lovely lady of the evening. Bronn took her from some ginger cunt three tents over, but he ain’t bovvered. Bronn isn’t bothered by much in life, which is why he’s awesome.
Tyrion informs him of Tywin’s plans, and Bronn takes it upon himself to find his own warm… bed for the night. The lady introduces herself, she is Shae, she is foreign, and she is quite the smart ass. Tyrion is instantly interested in her. And not just because she strips and straddles him, but to be fair, that probably went a long way into convincing him of her merits.
At the Dothraki camp Dany tends to a very sick Drogo. Jorah tells her the Khal won’t make it through the night. They should slip away while they still can – if he dies, Dany will be killed, and quickly. She is determined to stick it out, however, and calls for Yanoosh. Douchey Dothraki tries to kill the witch, threatens Dany as well, but she puts up her figurative dukes and tells Doucheraki that “I am the blood of the Dragon!” He just shakes his head at her, “Dragons are all dead.”
As he leaves she leans over to Jorah and tells him that perhaps he should wear his armor tonight. The witch pretends to not be able to help until Dany pleads with her. Well… there is something she could do. Some spells. They’re kind of archaic, and scary, and they require something else to die. Dany gives the witch Drogo’s horse.
Welcome to the horrorshow Premarin factory of Westeros. The horse is brought into the yurt, screaming and wild. Yanoosh commands everyone to leave, and that “vonce she starts singing, no vone can eenter.” The dead are going to rise and walk, and no one wants to see that. She cuts the horse’s throat, spraying blood all over Dany and Drogo. Jorah leads her out of the yurt and Doucheraki attacks, shoving her to the ground on her pregnant belly. Jorah goes into defense mode with his sword. He’s a little outmatched by Doucheraki’s youth, but his armor comes in handy. Those scimitars just can’t slice through metal, but Jorah’s metal can sure slice through Doucherakis.
The fall has brought on Dany’s labor, but the midwives will not help her. They believe she is cursed. Jorah scoops her up into his arms and carries her back into the tent where supernatural creepiness is happening with dead horses and sick kings and geepsee spells – there is no one else that can help her birth the baby. (Don’t nobody know nothin bout birthin no babies?)
The Imp and Shae are playing super fun sexy games where they see who can stand a burning candle on their arm the longest. Fun times! I have a feeling Tyrion didn’t mean that, exactly, when he asked her to get him “hot.” Bronn offers to play a game with knives and lots of stabbing for funsies, and Tyrion shuts them all up with “Drinking games! Let’s play To Tell The Truth, because I’m super good at this.” He guesses all of Bronn’s secrets (which isn’t hard) then turns his attention to Shae, confident that his superior knowledge will win this game.
Except for how he’s completely wrong with Shae’s past. She wasn’t a poor low girl seeking fame and fortune, her parents didn’t beat her, she wasn’t any of the clichéd pre-whore things. Hmm. It’s her turn.
“Fine. Try and penetrate the enigma that is me,” Tyrion scoffs.
She’s not quite up on the rules and gets him to talk about his prior marriage. When Tyrion was 16, he and Jaime encountered a young woman who had escaped from two rapists. Jaime went off in pursuit of the rapers, while Tyrion sweetly cared for the girl, feeding her, clothing her, and then – two hours after finding her – went to bed with her. She was his first. He fell in love, married her on the sly, and after two weeks, was found out by his father.
It turned out that Jaime and Tywin had planned it all along, 16 was old enough for the Imp’s cherry to be popped. They had made arrangements for him to be seduced, but hadn’t planned on the marriage inconvenience. Tywin then paid the lass loads of silver (so much she couldn’t hold it) to fuck every man in the army as Tyrion and his father watched, so there would be no idealized memories of his “wife.”
Shae is so moved by this story that she mounts Tyrion as Bronn bolts out of there, muttering, “Awkward.” (I was glad that Shae told him that he should have realized the girl was a whore seeing as she slept with him two hours after an attempted rape. I mean, DUH. Men.)
Next morning comes and the Lannister army is moving out. It seems that they’ve caught the drop on Robb’s men, and Tyrion needs to suit up, mount up and get them Regulators riding. After almost being trampled, he reaches his “men,” and delivers a rousing speech:
Sixteen in the clip and one in the hole
Pimp Imp is about to make some bodies turn cold
Now they droppin and yellin
It’s a tad bit late
Pimp the Imp and Bronn G had to regulate.
Regulators, mount up!
The barbarians are moved, they pop-lock and rush to battle, trampling Tyrion unconscious before he’s even able to draw his sword. Trombone: wah waaaah!
He comes to while being pulled along on a cart for the wounded. Bronn tells him they won, but it’s not that impressive. His father sees that his son isn’t dead (not for lack of trying on his Tywin’s part!) and informs him that the wily Robb Stark tricked them. He only sent 2000 soldiers to attack them, that spy Robb set free had it wrong.
Tyrion asks “Where is Robb, then?” Oh, he’s with the remaining 18,000 soldiers going the other way. The other way being the other Lannister camp, the one Jaime is heading up. Whoopsie doodles!
Cate watches through the mist, hoping that this plan of her sons won’t backfire. He rushes out of the trees with his men, with barely a scratch. Their secret plan of attacking Jaime Lannister went off with hardly a hitch in the plan. And they managed to capture Jaime, huzzah! Greyjoy wants him dead, but Robb knows he’s a better bargaining chip alive. Greyjoy just has a boner for murder, I think.
Jaime tries to talk Robb into an “honorable” man on man battle (oh, is that what they’re calling it these days?) but Robb is no fool. He knows that Jaime is a seasoned swordsman, and Robb won’t stand a chance. He’s growing by leaps and bounds in these weeks of war, isn’t he? He tells Jaime that “We’re not doing it your way.” And there are about three different meanings there. They are honorable men, the Starks. They don’t fight dirty, they don’t prefer bloodshed, they don’t believe in tossing life away. Even though Robb just tossed 2000 men to one of the Lannister armies, but he’s not happy about it, and he brings everyone down after their victory to remind them that this is just one of many many painful battles to come. Way to inspire the troops, kid!
Arya is racing through the alleys of King’s Landing, very much alive and very much unnoticed as a dirty beggar. She captures a pigeon, rings its neck, and tries to trade it for a hand pie. Everyone rushes past her to the city center. The Hand is being brought before the Great Sept of Baelor and the King, Baelor being one of the old gods. Ned will be judged for his crimes.
She races to join the crowd, climbing on the statue to get a better view. Ned is brought before the King, Queen Cercei, and the council. Ned passes a knight of the Watch, Yoren, and tells him to find and protect Arya. The crowd jeers and slings insults at Ned, very much like Jesus as he was brought before Pontius Pilate. But this King will not wash his hands of the blood of an innocent, King Joffrey would much rather roll in it, splashing about with glee.
Ned makes up a confession – it seems that he is not that one in a million man that will choose honor over loved ones, after all – so that he can live the rest of his days in the Night’s Watch at the wall, and his children’s lives will be spared. King Weaselteat says that it was his mother’s plan to let that happen, and that Sansa has been pleading for mercy for her father.
“But they have the soft hearts of women. So long as I’m your king, treason shall never go unpunished. Bring me his head!”
Sansa screams out in horror, Queen Cercei shouts in confusion and anger at being defied, the Spider skitters to the Queen to argue, and the executioner puts on his hood. Arya, sitting above the crowd, sees all of this with real horror. She grabs Needle, hoping she has enough hit points to save her father’s life. Oh, little thing, I’m so sorry. Yoren grabs her and holds her still, trying to block her sight and hearing of what cannot be stopped at this point. Ned looks among the crowd, weary, sees that Arya is no longer within sight, and the executioner’s blade races down, severing sinew and bone in one whack. All is silent for Arya as she looks to the sky and sees a flock of birds take flight. She shivers in the knight’s arms.
We all realize our chins have dropped and send a little bit of hope Arya’s way that she’ll be okay. This, my friends, is excellent television.
And allow me to bid farewell to Boromir, Son of Gondor. We sing a lament to the winds for you, may the North Winds carry your memory far and wide across the great land of Westeros. (I got my chocolate in their peanut butter, but you feel me.)
Next week: we all marvel at how 1000 pages of fantasy novel has been condensed into ten perfect episodes as the writers wrap it up in a blood-soaked bow that smells of death and despair. (CLICK HERE FOR EPISODE 10)