Power Shadows

April 16, 2012 14:25:35 Posted at April 16, 2012 14:25:35
Duana Posted by Duana

Game Of Thrones Season 2 Episode 3 recap

Are you having fun yet?  Specifically, those who got on the GOT bus in order to figure out what you were missing, or who binged on Season 1 in order to catch up in time for this?  Are you ready for Winter?

Craster’s.  Snow is kicked out, but when he confesses what he saw Craster do, he’s horrified to find out that his Lord Commander already knew what was happening to the male babies in the clan: the boys are offerings.  He tells Snow they have bigger fights than worrying about Craster – but when Snow says he saw…something…take the baby, Lord Commander, solemn and deliberate, says he’ll likely see it again.   That’s life in the Night’s Watch.  He also gives him back his sword.

Dawn.  Sam stacks crates for their departure – then dares to talk to Gilly again!  That irrepressible scamp!  He wants to give her his mother’s thimble, and though she doesn’t want to take it, the sweetness of the gesture (and Sam’s memories of reading to his mother) wins out and she tucks it into her basket before taking off.  Sam thinks he’ll be back to get it from her.  I hope this to be true, but you know…

“Hodor!”  My favourite greeting.  Hodor rouses Bran who wakes from a nightmare to find his direwolf on his chest.  Later we cut to him telling Luwin his recurring dream – he’s walking, running, but he’s not him, he can taste blood in his mouth.   Skeptically yet hopefully, Bran offers that his “old nan” used to tell him stories of those who could live inside stags or wolves.  Luwin tells him he’s only having dreams, but Bran swears both he and Rickon dreamed his father would be killed.   Luwin tells Bran even a learned man like he hasn’t found the magic in the world that he wanted; the giants are gone and dragons are dead.  Bran nods, a particular look on his face.  No matter how much you know the truth deep down,  you can never really forgive the person who tells you, straight up, that fairy tales can’t come true.  

Duel. Renly (!) and his queen watch as two be-armored knights fight on the beach. Catelyn pushes through the crowd to watch as well.  One knight overpowers the other, his eyeshield goes up and we see it’s Sir Loras - you remember him, don’t you?  Renly’s very close friend, from last season?)  He yields, the winning knight bows, raises his helmet and – gasp! It’s a woman!  The young queen avers that her brother, Loras, fought hard,as Renly declares the woman champion.  Her name is Brienne, which makes me laugh.  She wants her prize to be a place in the king’s guard, and against the gasps in the background, he agrees!  The Queen, Margaery of House Tyrell, seems unimpressed.

Then Catelyn walks in and declares Robb Stark King in the North.  Renly and Queen Margaery are both  accommodating, and he swears he’ll bring her Joffrey’s head.   Cheers – but Brienne isn’t pleased that Catelyn doesn’t genuflect properly.  Sir Loras also snorts about Robb and it really is undignified for Lady Stark to have to prove herself this way.

Renly tells them all to shut it  and walks Catelyn to a tent.  But she annoys him as only she can,  so he decides Brienne can take Lady Stark the rest of the way.

Pyke.  Theon does that thing where you’re a guest in someone’s home and you don’t know what room you’re supposed to be in or when, so you sort of hover in doorways.  His sister, Yara, arrives, wondering if he’s angry at her for her hijinks earlier.  You think?  She could have given the all clear before they got to third base. They discuss whether he should have recognized her given that nine years ago they looked like “fat little boys”.    

Father arrives to dictate the plans.  He refers to the “Wolf Pup” and says he’ll take the North while Robb is worrying about the West.  Anyway, Yara gets 30 ships to command.  Theon, after some prodding, gets one.  To raid fishing villages.  He’s a pouty baby about this, and she’s loving it.  The more Theon pleads with his father that he’s a warrior who can handle a bigger role, the more Yara smirks at him, knowing she’s the favoured child.  Is this any different from sibling rivalry today?  This is what elevates this show: the circumstances are foreign to us but the human interactions?  As familiar as your own family.    

Anyway, Theon pleads to join forces with Robb, but Baylon disagrees.  They are iron born and take what is theirs.  Baylon says Theon has been weak so Theon pulls out the brattiest guns, crying that his father gave him away when he could have been here all along!  Yara spits that he needs to choose between his family and his “other” family, and fast.

Tyrion!  He reads, while Shae paces, frustrated  she can’t leave the room.  He muses that she could work in the kitchens: not what she had in mind.  She points out her reputation as an excellent whore didn’t come from her cooking.  Tyrion explains she can’t be seen since he can’t show any weakness to Cersei who wants to hurt him.   Shae wonders how being called a weakness is a compliment,  when it seems so obvious to Tyrion, and to us.  See?  Thousands of years ago, same emotions.  These two are a Cosmo article waiting to be written.  He’s so pained as he tries to explain, and breaks a million more hearts with his studied jaw.

Sansa eats a tortured dinner with Cersei, Myrcella, and Tommen.  Myrcella wants to know when the wedding is, and Sansa looks pained at all of this.  When she fails to respond in time, Cersei reminds her that “the princess just spoke to you”.  She spits all the appropriate lines about anticipating how soon the fighting will be finished so she can marry Joffrey.    

Then her sweet, eight-year-old brother-in-law-to-be wonders if Joffrey will kill Sansa’s brother, and she can’t drink enough to hide the pain on her face.  Cersei nods that he might.  She twists the knife and reminds them all that Sansa will do her duty even if Joffrey does kill Robb, as charming a mother-in-law as ever.

In Sansa’s chambers. She stares into the glass wondering how she landed this horrid life – when Shae enters.  She’s Sansa’s new handmaiden.  Clever Tyrion!  Except, of course, that Shae is not fit to be anyone’s handmaiden, not having the faintest idea how to take care of a future queen’s bedchambers.  Sansa gets more and more frustrated as she has to list Shae’s duties, and nearly cries with despair when Shae grabs a hairbrush.  “Not now!”  Somehow she still manages to be an accurate teenager.  Sansa is almost crying as she tries to be imperial in her demands that Shae shape up, and frustrated that she has to be in charge.  So, you know, they settle on hairbrushing.

Tyrion happily pockets some laxatives from Pycelle - I thought these might make another appearance, but they were a bit of a red herring - and then we see Tyrion the master go to work.  He explains that they need new alliances through matrimony, and wants to marry off young Princess Myrcella to House Martell’s youngest son.  But Cersei cannot know!  Pycelle agrees to broker the deal and to say nothing to Cersei.  Tyrion repeats that the queen mustn’t know –

- and suddenly he’s telling the same story to Varys, except this time, Princess Myrcella  is to be married to Theon Greyjoy!  Varys is giddy with the gossip, when Tyrion explains why Theon is, strategically, the right man to marry her.  But of course, he must tell no-one –

-“Tell no-one what.”  Now he’s talking to Littlefinger, who’s always so pissy about these things. I love it.  In this version, he wants to wed Myrcella  to Robin Arryn, of the Veil (Lainey: you know, that grown child who still sucks on his mother’s tit?) and he needs Littlefinger to broker the deal, since of course, Lysa doesn’t exactly like him very much.  Littlefinger wants to know what’s in it for him, and I really enjoy watching these two match wits.  Tyrion promises Harrenhal to Littlefinger who’s not holding his breath.

Renly and Loris, kissing and tussling, shirts off.  Renly admires Loris’s battle wounds, but Loris isn’t having it, because why did he make Brienne a member of the King’s guard?  Oh, and why is his sister still a virgin two weeks after the royal wedding?  It’s…nice that he knows that,  I guess.  Renly looks…anxious at this turn of events, to say the least.  His efforts to get pissy Loris back into bed don’t work.

Soon Margaery arrives, in a beautiful, breast-iful dress that she ditches in a hurry.   Renly tries to pre-empt it all with “I’ve had a lot of wine”, but she’s undeterred.   Topless, she tries to go in for the close, but Renly’s chattering, trying to postpone the inevitable.  When her first moves don’t work, she gets a little more hands-on in his pants, and that’s still not enough, so she asks, very reasonably, if she can bring her brother in to help?  “He can get you started, I know he wouldn’t mind.  Or I can turn over and you can pretend I’m him?”  Renly is SHOCKED I TELL YOU, but young Margaery is actually trying to be pragmatic and wonderful about supporting him by producing an heir.  Also, for those who care about these things, her boobs are very Queenly.  She reinforces that they can get that done however they need to, with whatever combination of siblings is appropriate.  Right then.

Tyrion enters Cersei’s chambers.  She’s terribly upset about Myrcella ’s impending marriage. Cersei won’t let her be shipped off to the Martells! A-ha!  We know who cracked!  She vows to get him (in slightly more elegant language, but not by much).  However, Tyrion is unflappable, and Cersei is nearly hysterical.  Tyrion, obnoxiously reasonable, says that Myrcella’s safer with the Martells than in King’s Landing, if the city falls – does Cersei want her raped and slaughtered like the Targaryen children? This…um…does not go well.

Theon reads a letter he’s written to Robb, informing Robb of his father’s plans – and then, deep in thought, burns the letter.  After all, blood is blood.

Circa daybreak, Theon consecrates his faith to the drowned God as his father Baylon and Yara look on and is baptized in the sea.  He is noble, and forthright, and not unattractive as the sea of his birthplace runs over his chiseled cheekbones.

Tyrion’s interrupted by Littlefinger, pissed off that Tyrion made a fool of him.  Myrcella can’t marry Robin Arron if she marries into House Martell!  Tyrion shrugs, and I love that he would just have married his niece to whomever leaked to Cersei – or who got the deal finished quickest?  Given that we don’t hear how Varys’ mission went, it’s interesting.  Meanwhile, Littlefinger is pissed off, but Tyrion wants him to appeal to Catelyn to release Jamie from Robb’s prison.  They’re interrupted --

We troop to Pycelle’s chamber where he’s (dressed) in bed with a very ripe naked lady.  Bronn bursts in with some knights and Tyrion saunters after, calling Pycelle out for telling Cersei of his plans.  Pycelle blusters and tries to pin it on Varys. Tyrion plays with what can only be a circumcision tool.  Shudder.  He asks the knights to cut of Pycelle’s manhood and feed it to the goats.  When he’s told there are no goats, he puts on his best irritated voice, and, in the best line of the episode, tells them to “make do!”  Sigh.  Tyrion’s life is so hard.  Anyway, Tyrion turns his displeasure to Pycelle’s beard, which is summarily sliced off.  Tyrion accuses him of betraying many hands to the king, whereupon  Pycelle spits that Jon Arryn was going to reveal Cersei and Jamie’s secret , so….there? Sigh.  As Pycelle is dragged to a “black cell”, Tyrion gives the nude trembling girl a coin – then rethinks, and gives her two.  He’s not an unjust hand.

Varys and Tyrion now.  He smirks that Shae is doing rather well in Sansa’s service, then gossips about the black cell Pycelle now occupies.  I cannot trust Varys at all, but I also can’t help loving it if he becomes useful to Tyrion.  Varys reminds us that power resides where men believe it does, and essentially says Tyrion has the power to rule them all.  PLEASE let this be true.

Snoring boys.  Arya sharpens Needle, despite being told there’s a long march tomorrow.  She turns away wine, then wonders how Yoren sleeps, when he’s seen all the horrors he had.  He growls that he made sure she didn’t see the horrors – not her father being killed, anyway – but Arya remembers Sansa standing there, with Joffrey and Cersei, and that’s enough.  He tells a horribly gruesome story about his brother being killed  and explains that revenge fueled him for years. As the word “Willem” becomes replaced by “Joffrey” in Arya’s subconscious, she stops listening entirely and begins to wonder if revenge can be more than a fantasy.  And yes, this scene was affecting and lovely.

But just then, horns come announcing, and Yoren tells Arya and Gendry to hide or run.  He runs the rest of the boys out, but one of them (Lommy) picks up Gendry’s forgotten helmet.   

The knights demand “the bastard” and Crowe snorts at the idea of King Joffrey, and refuses to drop his weapons.  He gets an arrow through his throat for his trouble, but manages to slice the lead knight in the process.  I believe it is the sword through the back of his skull that kills him.  Arya is about to run but the prisoners from last episode are on fire and she runs to hand them an axe and chop them out.  And they still have time for an appraising look at her!

She runs but is stopped by just the cockiest knight who takes Needle, and then announces she and the other survivors are going to Harrenhal.  Lommy’s got an arrow in his leg and can’t walk so the knight who harassed Arya gives him a hand up – by way of sticking his sword directly through the boy’s throat and letting him burble to death.  Same difference.  

The knights still want Gendry,  then Arya finally spits “You already got ‘im!” Haha! It’s not true!  But she’s so clever!   

You know what’s great about this show?  Survivors are smart.   Even Queen Margaery is smart, and will maybe live to prove it.  Ned Stark was too trusting, and it’s the one mistake nobody else is making.  Cersei may be absolutely transparent in her calculations, but this show doesn’t suffer fools (except maybe Sam?) and is right up front about how fast you will be eliminated if you make a wrong move.  The “Game” part feels real.  I love rewards for deftness and wit and the understanding that without those you’re destined to die.  With all due exceptions for Joffrey.

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