GORE! BEHEADINGS! FLOCK OF RAVENS! We begin this last quest in utter mayhem. Blood and.. bits cling to the end of the bastard sword (hey, it’s a hand and a half hilt, and this chick knows her weaponry!) but Arya sees none of it, clasped tightly in Yoren’s embrace. He keeps calling her “boy” and she fights that until, derp, ah yes, she’s a boy! Riiiiight. The Lannisters are looking for Ned’s daughter, they’re not looking for a filthy orphaned boy. He drags her to an alleyway and cuts off her hair to help with her disguise.
Bran has another vision of his father in the dungeons, led there by the three-eyed raven. And now we see that the story warned us of this back in Episode 2. Well played, show, well played. Roll your D6 to see how many other bits of foreshadowing you may have missed.
Tonks carries Bran down as he tells her of his dream and catches her up on the family history when his little brother, Rickon, and his direwolf Shaggy Dog, bolt out of the shadows like this is a horror movie. He also had a dream that their father was there. Tonks carries Bran back to the sunlight, telling him that of course he dreamed about his father, he misses him. Maester Luwin, his face filled with sorrow, holds a note that undoubtedly tells of Ned’s death. So much for that theory, Tonks.
And a side note, I could not help but notice that Osha (Tonks) looks like a peasant version of Teresa Guidice from The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Probably because of the wide set eyes and touch of crazy.
Cate, on the far side of the Twins, walks somberly through the camp, the bannermen bowing and kneeling before her. She makes it to a small copse before stumbling and crying. She hears a noise that snaps her out of her grief and finds Robb attacking some asshole tree that was totally responsible for his father’s death. Serves that tree right, the filthy bastard. Robb is chopping at it like a mad man until his mother stays his hand.
She tells him off for wrecking his sword (‘snot like they’re just lying about the woods, then, are they? That’s castle-forged steel, that is! Sword Trees are a lie your brother told you, just like the Boob Hedges.) and he says he wants to kill them all. Oh, don’t worry, dearest. Mummy is going to help you lead your army to King’s Landing, then you’ll get your sisters, and then you’ll kill them all. The Ren Höek quality of her, “Oh, the things I’m gonna do to you,” evil smile is delicious. This is not a woman to mess with. Hell, this is not a family to mess with!
Back in King’s Landing, the world’s worst minstrel sings a tuneless song with poor rhyme and meter before King Joffrey and the court. It’s clearly a bawdy song meant to embarrass the Queen and the Royal Family, and take in for a second how clever (and awful and horrible and awful) Joffrey is here. Some poor wretch sings a ditty in a pub on the outskirts of town, and Joffrey makes a point of dragging him in to make an example. When the song is over, Joffrey starts a slow clap.
“Tell me, which do you favor? Your fingers or your tongue?”
“Um, well, every man needs hands, your Grace.” And kudos to the “bard” for managing to slip in a dick joke as all hell prepares to break loose.
“Good! Tongue it is.”
King Weaselteat is trying – and succeeding – at shedding the previous image he had, that of a sniveling toad that was bested by the little sister of his betrothed. Of the whiny, petulant brat that was slapped three times in quick succession by his dwarf uncle (Best. Moment. Ever.) He sneered at his mother’s command to let Ned live at the Wall, and he’ll be damned if anyone in the Seven Kingdoms ever laughs at him again. Yikes.
The executioner heats up a skean dhu and gets the pliers. Oh holy Mary mother of Roger the Shrubber. He’s not going to stick around and watch, is King Weaselteat, he’s going to leave the rest of the day’s business to his mother, the Queen. He bids Sansa to follow him as the bard gags on his lack of tongue and gush of blood in the back ground.
Side note, Joffrey could have leveled up if only he employed the Dothraki method of de-tonguing, like a real King. I’m just saying, that’s how you earn street cred, Weaselteat.
He tells Sansa how nice she looks as he leads her outside to a catwalk over the city. Because he’s a romantic, he butters her up with some flowery sweet talk. “And as soon as you have your first blood I’ll put a son in you. Mother says,“ (oh gag,) “that shouldn’t be long.”
How sexy is it to know your future husband talks about your period to your mother in law? That’s so sexy it hurts.
Weasleteat continues the best date ever. “And oh, hey, lookee there, it’s your father’s bleeding, fly-covered head!” Sansa’s reasonably horrified and refuses to look. Joffrey doesn’t play like that, so he adopts his best “I am Your King!” voice and orders her to look. She does. “For how long shall I look, Your Grace?” Until he damn well says you can look away, how dare you be sarcastic with your obedience!
Sansa is growing some spine throughout these horrible events. He makes her look at her nurse’s head and then tells her that after he raises his armies and kills Robb, he’ll make it a Very Special Christmas and give her Robb’s head as a gift, won’t that be nice?
“Maybe he’ll give me yours.” Bonus 10 points to Speech for Sansa!
Weaselteat lives up to his name by ordering his guard to slap her across the face, because it’s not right for a King to hit his woman. You know, Draco Malfoy ain’t got nothing on this prick. Sansa realizes how high up they are and moves towards Joffrey with a big ol’ push on her mind. The Hound stops her, realizing her intent even though Joffrey is too blind by his own awesome to realize what almost happened.
Robb Stark, still with his head, is discussing what comes next with his bannermen lords. One suggests they throw their support behind Renly, but that’s no good, says Robb, because he’s not in succession, Stannis is. McGregor the Goat Fucker stands and tries to flip them the bird, before he remembers Robb’s direwolf ate his middle finger. He turns to the lords and says that he doesn’t care two shits about the idiots in King’s Landing, as far as he’s concerned, he’s looking at his King. He kneels before Robb, draws his sword, and cries, “To the King of the North!” Greyjoy also swears fealty to Robb, and I guess he’s not a complete dick. Good for him.
All of the lords cry out their allegiance to Winterfell and to Robb. “The King of the North!” rings out across the woods and the camp of 18,000 men. It’s pretty damn awesome.
Cate later goes to where Jaime Lannister is being held captive. Cate picks up a big ol’ rock. He’s clearly been worked over, but damn if this guy doesn’t have a mouth on him. He flirts and hurts with equal measure, “Widowhood becomes you. Is that why you came, for a little pinch and tickle? Lemme see what I can muster up…”
ROCK JAW! She’s got a Melee of at least 55 to inflict that kind of damage with such a weapon. He just laughs it off, ’tis only a scratch, because he really and truly does not fear death. (Much like Ned didn’t either, they’re soldiers. They face death every time they go to work.) I wonder what he actually does fear. Hmm.
She asks him how Bran fell from that tower. “I pushed him.”
“I hoped the fall would kill him.”
“Because he saw me tagging my sister, oh, I bang my sister like she’s a screen door in a tornado, and I wasn’t too keen on people finding out about that, what with the whole Targaryens ruining the incest is best, put your sister to the test fun. Oops, I said too much.”
Actually, he says nothing on the subject, just tells her to get some sleep. It’s going to be a long war. (And Winter is Coming.)
Speaking of bile rising in the throat, back in King’s Landing a horribly thin and naked boy sits in a leather chair as Queen Cercei brushes her hair (100 strokes a night!) Why, it’s another family member, the Wine Boy, Lancel Lannister. So that’s how it is in the family. It’s not just Jaime and Cercei. Good hell. I guess family get-togethers are easy to arrange – you only need half the number of beds, HEY-O!
At the Lannister camp (I couldn’t count beds to prove my theory, sorry) they’ll all arguing what’s to be done. Robb has Jaime, Jaime’s army has scattered, and it seems that Stannis and Renly have joined forces. Robb Stark is turning out to be far more clever than they had thought. Maybe they could broker peace without looking like weaklings?
Tyrion dashes his wine glass to the ground, which shatters. There’s your object lesson, folks, it’ll be easier to drink out of that than get Robb Stark to the table. Way to go, Joffrey, with the killing of his dad, now there are no bargaining chips. Tywin’s ears perk up. He sends everyone away except Tyrion. It seems he’s finally realized his son is smart. Like, really smart, and not just a smart ass.
Tywin will send 500 of their men to burn Riverrun to the ground, the rest will go back to their hall, and Tyrion will go to Kings Landing to rule from the position of The Hand. He’ll get that brat of a kid to STFU, and his little mom, too, or do what’s necessary to make them shut up. If anyone grumbles about things, “Heads, spikes, walls,” Tyrion finishes.
Finally, his daddy notices him! Oh, he noticed quite a bit. And he will not bring that new whore of his to court, understand? Boo. (Pfft, he talks with Shae, he’s totally going to bring her.)
Daenerys wakes up and finds the Dorthraki have all left. All but the Sheep People, Yanoosh, Dany’s man servert, handmaid, and Jorah, good, loyal Jorah. She wants her son. Oh, Dany.
Her son did not make it. He was still born. Daenerys wants to know the horrible details, and it is Yanoosh who answers her. It was a monster, scaled like a lizard (oh, really?) and had leathery wings (OH REALLY?) and the skin fell off when she touched it. This happened because Dany entered the tent when the ghost horse was screaming, the dead were walking in the yurt, and Yanoosh told her that the blood magic demands a life. So the magic took Dany’s baby dragon, eh?
She demands to be taken to her husband, to see what she “paid for” with her son’s life. Oh, Dany. Drogo is essentially in a coma. Alive, but not living. Yanoosh! Ptooey, ptooey, you and your geepsee treeks! Yanoosh is quite smug and leaves Dany to her vegetable husband. But Daenerys Targaryen knows that she has nothing more to fear from this woman.
Yanoosh tells her that now her son will not burn any cities when he grows. You see, the Dothraki burned her temple. Killed her people. Raped her body, yes, even before Dany thought she was saving her. So Yanoosh speets on her “saving” because what did she save, really? Woman, you just said this Silver Lady gave birth to something with wings, and you taunt her a second-ah time? Pay back, she is a bitch, yes?
At the Wall, Jon Snow is sneaking away like a thief in the Night’s Watch. Porkins stands before him, telling him he’s supposed to stay on target, the target not being a thermal exhaust port two meters wide (approximately the size of a womp rat) but rather the duty of the Wall. Jon’s not hearing it. He rides past Porkins, knocking him over, and continues out into the night.
After a period, he is perused by riders, and when one of them falls, Jon recognizes the voice as Samwell Gamgee Porkins, and circles around. It’s Porkins and Pyp and the other guy, and they remind him that he made an oath. Jon didn’t say he’d do something, he made an oath. They repeat it back to him, and it’s quite moving. Porkins hands him the Sword of Puncturing, now imbued with Honor Strength.
The next day Maester Mormont lets Jon know that he’s well aware he tried to desert his post last night, but honor – which made him leave – is what brought him back. “No, my friends brought me back,” Jon says. “I didn’t say who’s honor,” is Mormont’s reply. Jon better get his head in the game, because reports are coming in from all over that dead are rising, towns are burning, and shit is getting real. What’s more important, who sits on a metal throne, or the blue-eyed Predafremen that are on their way?
Mormon gets the Knights of the Night to saddle up, they’re going north of the wall in force to see what’s coming. Jon joins them, and it’s pretty impressive, all of the riders moving under the wall to face who knows what.
Daenerys bathes Drogo and tells him of her love for him. He’s completely unresponsive. She spends hours with him, stroking his face, kissing him, dressing his body, begging him to come back to her. Nothing. She grabs a pillow and smothers him to death, sobbing with grief. He fights, feebly, and dies. She manages an ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCK: The Pern Offense. Oh, Dany! What a day you’ve had. (But hey, it’s not over.) Not gonna lie, I got choked up. Oh, Drogo, you throat ripping chunk of manhood. Farewell, Khal.
Grandmaester Flash grumbles and fumbles his way through a meandering tale without point or reason as a whore (Ros, of course, who else would it be?) dresses herself after… ugh, I don’t want to think what. She rolls her eyes and yawns and he finally stumbles to a close as she leaves. Oh, and then he’s all Whee!Spry doing backflips and Warrior III poses and then bench presses two-hundred and fifty pounds and lets fly a might fart of manhood and strength and we learn that he’s been exaggerating his age and feebleness so he can stay alive. Guys, I’m not going to lie here, either: I don’t care. Most boring secret ever.
Baelish and Fester spar verbally in the throne room, and it turns out that Baelish is quite interested in what may or may not dangle off ol’ Fester. “Do you spend a lot of time wondering what’s between my legs?” Fester asks, Baelish guesses there’s just a gash, a la Let The Right One In, to which Fester retorts, “Do you lie awake at night fearing my gash?”
I am going to have that cross stitched on a pillow and I shall carry it with me everywhere I go. Also, dibs on a Grrl Riot Band, “Fearsome Gash.” I’m going to play accordion. That shoots out daggers. And bad ass G minor chords.
They both acknowledge that they fear and admire one another, hold hands and promise to keep in touch after this summer is over, because really, it’s just been the best. Baelish grabs a puff paint pen to sign Fester’s robes, but the King enters and they have to go back to work.
Yoren will now refer to Arya as “Arry” and she’s to remember that she’s now hiding amongst a den of thieves and rapists (fun for a growing girl!) and for Pete’s sake, go to the woods to take a piss. He leaves her with the men he’s dragging off to the Wall and she promptly gets in a fight with a couple of Chavs. One of them tells her how he done kicked a bloke to deaf, he did, just kept stompin’ on ‘him until there weren’t nuffink left. So ‘ows about passin’ that blade over, eh?
She whips it out and jabs Needle at his wobbling neck meat. She just looooves killing fat boys, in fact, she killed one just the other day, and she just bets that he didn’t kick no one to death, so how about he backs the hell off? At that point, Gendry, the handsome blue eyed bastard of (former) King Robert, saunters over and threatens the punks, too. They put eggs in their shoes and get the fuck out of there, and Gendry lets “Arry” know that his master no longer required an apprentice, so to the Wall it is for him, as well.
The whole shebang moves out, 1000 leagues to the north wall, and they’re walking the whole way. Cripes, Arya, you have become one of my three top characters. (Tyrion and Daenerys round out the trio, natch. But Robb and Jon are getting close.) I am so excited to see where this character goes. Which means that I can’t read Book 2 until Season 2 ends, and why am I doing this to myself?! Oh, right, because I love being surprised, that’s why.
But as with all series, you save your jaw dropping moments for the end.
Daenerys has placed her beloved in a shroud and built a funeral pyre for him. As she moves to carry the three dragon eggs to him (I would just like to interject that what’s about to happen, I had been wishing for ever since those damn eggs were mentioned in episode 1 and had Yankee Candles in “fresh linen” scent burning nearby,) Jorah stops her.
He wants her to sell them, but she refuses. That’s not what they’re for. He knows what she intends, or so he thinks, and he will not watch her die. She holds his cheek, is sad for him for not understanding, and gives him a kiss. Jorah is made to bind Yanoosh to the funeral pyre. She turns to the remainder of the Sheep People and the few Dothraki servants that stayed. She will give them their freedom, if they stay with her.
“I am Daenerys Stormborn. I AM THE DRAGON’S DAUGHTER.” She will make sure that the people that hurt them will die screaming.
“You will not hear me scream,” Yanoosh replies, calmly.
“I will. But it is not your screams I want. Only your life.” I’M SORRY, BUT DID SOMEONE CALL IN THE BIG BOSS? Because that’s what you’re getting, bitches.
The fire is lit. Yanoosh begins chanting something until the fire begins to consume her and she screams. Holy Sheep Witch, could there be much worse in this life than burning to death? Her screams are horrible and Daenerys ignores them. She walks into the fire [“Walk into the fire, and let it buuuuuuuurn, let it buuuuuurn!” Sorry, once a Buffy fangirl, always a Buffy fangirl.]
Her clothes alight, she lays with Drogo, and the flames fly higher into the night.
Morning comes and Jorah forces himself to the ashes, to see what is left of his lady. Daenerys Targaryen sits naked among the ashes, her clothing having burned away, and three newly hatched dragons cling to her body.
BECAUSE YOU CANNOT BURN A DRAGON. That shit just isn’t a saying! Fire and Blood, that’s a saying, and that’s the motto of House Targaryen, which has not been wiped from the land, I thank you.
Jorah falls to his knees before her, shocked. “Blood of my blood!” he cries.
She stands, the dragons climb her body and everyone kneels before her. One of the dragons cries out and the sound carries a warning across the wasteland.
Dragons have returned to the Seven Kingdoms.
HOW, how, how are we to wait until spring of 2012, you hateful (so, so beloved) network, HBO? Did they deliver, or what? Guys, hold me. Or help me rig up an electrode off City Hall, because come next lightning strike, I’m riding that 1.21gigawatts straight to the next season. Now to find a Flux Capacitor…
[DISCUSSION/COMMENTS ARE LOVED! Just remember that we’re generally SHOW watchers, not BOOK readers, so no book spoilers, please!]