If You Want To Lead One Day Learn How To Follow
Game Of Thrones Season 2 Episode 1 recap
I am so greedy with Game of Thrones. Even though the show is the most popular and everything-bedecked in recent memory, I fear/hope we're only a few months away from a full-on theme park. It still feels really special and personal, even if everyone feels the exact same way about Joffrey as I do. So here we go with the inaugural Game Of Thrones recap, where I don't know yet how I'll identify everyone or whether we'll have a special signal for the difference between boobs that merely appear and the ones that really make an appearance. Also, until such time as Daenerys names her dragons I am calling the one on her shoulder “Morty”.
To answer everyone's question, No, I haven't read the books; I started to read the first one but then thought I was going to get spoilers I didn't want to know. Yes, I do feel that Jon Snow's hair was a little greasy this week. (Lainey: he says he just stopped washing it when he was shooting so, yeah, it’s real grease as opposed to greased on purpose in the hair and makeup trailer.) Finally, no, like everyone who watches this show, I do not catch every single name that goes by, so bear with me when and if I talk about Whitehair Muttonchops (except not, because he is gone. How cool was that spontaneous nosebleed?)
I came back to this recap after having finished it because I want to bolster those of you who are jumping in after the hoopla of last year and found yourselves going "Yeah, sure, it's about a whole bunch of people swirling their capes at one another. So what?" Game of Thrones, if you're having trouble keeping people straight or you're not a medieval mysteries type of person or you don't particularly care why the woman was sleeping with her brother, is not worried about whether or not you're keeping up with the names of the tertiary characters. Instead it puts real, likeable individuals in these awkward situations and kind of shrugs at them. "It's going to suck, can you kind of make the best of it?" The stories make the show so great, of course, but it’s also the attitudes. Everyone hates what's going on; everyone faces up to it anyway.
Despite my being excited to see the episode it really did reek of being a season premiere, catching up everyone who hadn't seen it before and spent the episode going “who's that? Who's that?” I don't mind this where Joffrey is concerned. I know a bunch of people hate him and I do not understand this philosophy at ALL. He is the most hilarious source of medieval torture-fun I can imagine. And the boy has imagination! Anyone can behead someone. Joffrey's creative about his torture. Stuffing a man full of wine until he drowns? That's something special. I'm not really joking. I don't particularly expect Joffrey to live another year but I do think he's going to prove to be a challenge to those who try to control him before somebody offs him. He isn't just entitled, he's righteous; once you start to think about that, you wonder if that isn't part of what's required in a king, however terrifying. You need someone who isn't going to doubt his every decision. Of course, it means there are countless people like Sansa who has learned, for her own survival, how to manipulate the crazy-ass King. When her loyalty was questioned after Tyrion apologized for the death of her father, and she spouted her line, Tyrion Lannister learns for the first time that he can feel contempt for a child, well, that was pretty fantastic. In that moment, when she says her mother and brother are traitors, even though he hates them, he essentially writes her off. Isn't that fantastic?
It's not that surprising because Tyrion himself is, of course, fantastic, and I love that he relishes being the new hand even though I really have no time for that lady friend of his. She just makes me tired. But the people who are happy are boring, and even though Tyrion is more interesting than most, I can't wait for him to get into trouble. I like that he spends time stirring up the ire of the gorgeous Cersei - "[Your love of your children is] your one redeeming quality; that and your cheekbones" - and I think we'll find, now that the writers have had a chance to see which cast work best with whom, that Tyrion/Cersei scenes will be the meat of this season but I don't love lazy, indolent Tyrion. Let me be clear, I would trust him to entertain me by reading the “color-of-hair” book but I like him best when he's trying to stay out of danger using only his wits.
Maybe the inverse is Robb Stark. Honestly, am I the only one who finds him completely somnolence-inducing? He's too upstanding, too noble, doesn't seem to have any faults, and unlike Joffrey, he's not doing anything interesting to Jamie Lannister, other than telling him what the entirety of the world already knows: that he is Joffrey's real father. Why can't we get some creative torture out of this, or some old-fashioned humiliation? This is why, even though Robb would probably be a merciful king, he won't be an interesting one. (Lainey: he needs to have some sex.)
And this is not a fair assessment, because Jon Snow did not much except scowl at the daughter-hoarder who made them into his wives, and yet I love him, and I would watch him and Sam (Samm?) coil rope, that's how much I love him. But I was distracted, because for the amount of shock these characters display at people's incest, you wouldn't think there'd be so much of it going on, or that people would be so out in the open. Would you? Like if being a complete and total cretin where your incestuous life was concerned was frowned upon, wouldn't you think he wouldn't be quite so up front? Obviously, the line addressed to Snow, having to learn to be a follower to someday be a leader, made an impact on me, as you can see in the title. But this was only the tip of the iceberg where that story was concerned.
There were many of those. Remember when Whitehair Muttonchops bit it after the woman in the red dress who immediately struck me as needing to be nicknamed Yoko anointed another? And Robert Baratheon's brother who seems awfully controlled to be a Baratheon? And the servant woman in Bran's life who warned him the dragons were coming? (Do you love how many personal servants Bran has? "Hodor!") And the mass killing of maybe-heirs? For a show that doesn't really do montages, that was, pardon the cliche, bloody brilliant.
I'm glad someone cares about Arya being missing. I love that Cersei has told Littlefinger exactly how much he doesn't matter, and that I found a way to both love and hate her at the same time after she hauled off and slapped Joffrey, who might actually be driven mad by the knowledge of his parentage. I appreciate that the boobs in Littlefinger's brothel were in the service of proper hard work. Snerk. And I am horrified at how little time we got with my Khaleesi. Especially since Lainey put into my head the idea that Jorah, who's been faithfully by Daenerys' side all this time, is not actually a good guy. I need more, immediately. (Lainey: I have no evidence of this. I just don’t like the look of that man and am worried he wants to f-ck her.)
To close, here's a hypothetical: sometimes we binge on shows and sometimes we save them. If you had access to all of GoT but you'd be racing ahead of the reviews and the talk show appearances and the shocking reveals to talk about at work the next morning...what would you do?