Game Of Thrones Season 2 Episode 2 recap

Here is the thing about Game of Thrones: even when absolutely nothing happens, it's the most compelling show on TV.  I mean really, what more do you need but Tyrion and Cersei and Stannis Baratheon walking around making snarky proclamations that are going to be proven wrong every second minute?  How can you look away even when - especially when - all of this episode was conversations?  Oh, wait, you can't, because you are staring at the boobs this episode.  I believe I counted 5 nude pairs, yes?

Water flows....

...and we find 'Arry Arya contemplating a stream, amid the camp of boys headed for the north.   In short order, a prisoner in a cart, who only speaks in the third person, tells her that getting him and his fellow prisoners beer would go a long way since "this man has the honour of being called Jaqen H'ghar (You should have seen that before I spellchecked it)".  She's about to break, but one of the other prisoners gets all growly.  And Arya might be posing as a boy but she hasn't forgotten that manners are important, and decides to stab at the prisoner with a stick, whereupon he offers to “f*ck her bloody” with it, and if you didn't have nerves of steel before, now you do.

Jaqen is enjoying this with the faint smile of the imminently psychotic.  Gendry tells her to get away from them, but this is immediately irrelevant because there are knights from King's Landing there.  Arya hides but Yoren, who's escorting the boys to the Night's Watch, threatens the knight's thigh with a dagger, although it looks more like his balls.  In any event, he advises as how he can't be un-“nicked” once he's been cut.  The knights, being normal, back off and yell that they're looking for Gendry and specify his bull helmet.  Arya's all "you have secrets?"  

Tyrion whistling!  I get so excited when Tyron whistles; it means there's going to be verbal sparring!  But he stops when he walks into a bedchamber or office where Varys, that eunuchy eunuch, is chatting up Shae.  Apparently they've been sharing stories of how Shae met Tyrion “in his father's kitchen”, which is a lie that is only set up to talk about Shae's "fish pie" and whether Varys would be interested or not (as you know, he would not).  Anyway, Varys smarms that he'll keep Tyrion's secrets even though Tywin didn't want him to bring Shae, and as he escorts Varys out, Tyrion manages to tell him where to go.  But Varys is all "I survive all things, and Cersei is waiting.  Let's party".   Kind of a draw then, except that Tyrion, as you know, is amazing in all things.

In a meeting, Cersei ignores a letter from Robb declaring an independent kingdom of the North, but she's really more interested in her cousin's account of how Jamie is ("They have not yet broken his spirit").  She does give Robb points for being ballsier than his father, but it's pretty clear that doesn't mean much.  Anyway, Tyrion smirks that Cersei is good at tearing up papers, but she's too busy telling the entire table about how much she misses Jamie, with her eyes.   Anyway, calls for more men at the wall are ignored.  Cersei doesn't know the words “drama queens” but she would call the Night's Watch that if she did.  Of possible note: Tyrion says in order to kill a man who is already dead, you have to burn him.  Hang onto this.

My boys, the Night's Watch drama queens, are discussing how you fart when you die, which means there is no dignity in the world.  Sam, who I really want to call Samm, is shocked by this.  He also looks enormous, like he's wearing a series of buffaloes on his shoulders, not just two.   Anyway, it quickly turns towards how many daughter-wives their host has, and the fact that Sam still has not gotten any.  Adorably he asks "How many times" his hot wall friend was with a girl, and wishes he lived on a farm.  But - girls are not far!  A scream indicates a daughter wife is being harassed by Jon Snow's direwolf, Snow, because she is carrying a skinned rabbit.  (I couldn't remember where I knew Gilly from.  She was Cassie in Skins! )  Anyway, Sam is too silly to be scared of speaking to her, so she breathes that he's brave...

...and six seconds later he's introducing her to Jon Snow all "This is Gilly".  You may now giggle.  Also, Jon Snow is not a bitchy girl, but his “excuse me? Why are we talking to a daughter-wife?” face is a pretty good impression of one.  Anyway, Gilly is pregnant, and is worried about the fate of the child if it's a boy.  She wants them to take the baby with them when they leave.  If it's a boy.  But she can't say why, which makes Jon Snow snap at her - and she runs off.  Anyway, Jon reminds Sam of the penalty for stealing a daughter wife but Sam, our adorable proto-feminist, says he can't steal her "Because she's a person, not a goat"; then they discuss the complications of how to deliver a baby.  I shouldn't be ending a scene that is this bleak and blue with so many warm fuzzies, but I am.   

Camp in the desert.  Jorah barely allows himself a sip of water.  Danaerys looks like she could use some too.  But soon a horse comes back over the horizon.  As it gets closer, we realize it's riderless - and carrying a dripping bag out of which hair emanates.  It is, of course, a head. Rakharo's, with the ponytail severed.  The Khaleesi comes over to investigate and Jorah opines it could have been Khal Pono or Khal Jiago.  They don't like the idea of a woman leading.   

Khaleesi has some words to spit about this, but she's interrupted when one of the woman weeps that they killed his soul, because he was butchered, and that they didn't burn his body, which was honourable.  Remember what Tyrion was saying about burning men?  Anyway, the Khaleesi promises she'll give him a proper, honourable burial.  She still has her steel, but she looks like she might be in over her head.

Boat. Well, ship, really.  Theon Greyjoy sailing, all optimistic-like. Which means he can now go downstairs to a boat maid who is naked and waiting for him and everything about her says “picked on in 7th grade”.  I really do not know what to make of this casting.  Do you think the girls on this show have to show their boobs before they get the job?  I mean, of course they do. And if so, what exactly was the description required for this character?  This is another thing that makes this show brilliant: the type of breasts you have signifies something to the audience (also, imagine the girls who auditioned but were cut due to fake ones?)  Anyway, this girl, with her poor posture, listens to Theon talk about how much everyone will be expecting him back at his father's castle, and she's doing a good job of being a cheerleader until Theon tells her to smile with her lips closed.  That's nice, isn't it?  Anyway, she begs to be his wife, but he's pretty clear that she's for one use only.  And uses her.

And then a...hilarious...? cut to a different woman being used!  Hooray!?  It's Littlefinger, checking in on his brothel girls via peepholes in the walls.  They are doing what they are supposed to.  Except for one.  A friar-y type comes out complaining that he barely paid for his girl and she's crying.  As if!  Littlefinger beckons Aremca, wipes cum off her mouth - that's two in two weeks, no? - and heads into Ros who is weeping.  He's sympathetic - after all, maybe she was hurt - until he finds out she's crying over Megan's bastard baby who was taken away.   Littlefinger coaches her through this by pointing out he has sold whores who weren't making him money, and he can't swear they are happy.  She needs to buck up, already.  She gets the not-veiled-at-all threat and dries her tears.  But hey, he gave her the evening off.

Back with Tyrion, Podrick the squire is getting in trouble for spilling wine.  Anyway, Tyrion is hosting Lord Janos Slynt who is pretty damn pleased with himself for knowing his wines and pledging allegiance to the King.  He doesn't listen to any rumours about any bastards and won't engage when it's implied Cersei gave birth to Jamie Lannister's bastard babies, not King Baratheon's.  Anyway, as the Lord gives ever more honourable answers, Tyrion picks holes in what he's saying - this is around when they get to discussing Ned Stark - and then informs him that he's not questioning his honour, "I'm denying its existence." Yes!  Lannister wit!  In pretty short order Tyrion informs Slynt he will be run out of town to the Wall and replaced by Bronn, who commands the knights to take him as he sits down at the table.  And then Tyrion and Bronn congratulate themselves on a job well done.  Indeed, well done, lads.  Tyrion now wants to know if Bronn would murder an infant girl at her mother's breast.  Bronn would have a price.

Boys En Route To Wall:  Discussion of who would or would not fill one's pants if they saw a battle.  ‘Arry Arya sneers as boys discuss whether two men fighting constitutes a battle.   Or if it does if they have armour on.  About now, Gendry tells all the boys they're full of it and they run off.  Arya, though, wants to know why Gendry was wanted by the King's Landing boys.  He explains hands to the king always come looking for him and then die.  Arya's all "Lord...Stark?" Gendry knows nothing about his father and his mother died.   Then changes the subject, like "When are you going to tell everyone how you're a girl?" Arya denies it, but fails to produce a cock which would prove she's not lying.  But they're not done yet!  Then she confesses she's Arya Stark, and is being taken home, and Gendry gets all worried that he wasn't proper enough in front of a high-born lady.  If these two don't fall in love someday....I'm quitting (don't spoil!).

Now Theon has arrived on shore and nobody really knows how he can get up to Pike.  He's paid a man off to find a horse when a sassy blonde sasses by all “I'm going where you're going, if you need a ride".  She's wearing PANTS. Theon immediately follows her wherever she's going...and then over the most gorgeous hills, he fills her head with how happy the Greyjoys will be to see him return.  Because of course he's here to ask his father Baylon to have his army join Robb's.   This line of conversation turns them both on, so he grabs her boobs and then down below, to the point where she's like "you might need to stop, I have to drive".   Anyway, heady with the promise of future success for all, they ride on.

Into the cold stone lair of Theon's father, who has waited nine years to see the frightened boy he gave up.  But he is not impressed that Theon wears jewellery that was bought, not taken, from a dead body ("Iron price, not gold") and was generally pansified by the Starks.  You can see Theon deflate before his father yanks the cloak and jewels off him, and then calls him a trained raven.   Anyway, Theon has just about finished saying that he remembers everything, including his brothers, when the sassy blonde sasses in.  He barks that he told her to wait outside, and then she's all "Hi.  I'm your sister.  You don't remember, huh?"  It is exactly as gross and embarrassing as you might think.  Part of Theon is horrified his sister is going to lead his father's attack, but another part is just as horrified know.  (Lainey: HE FINGERED HIS SISTER!!!) Anyway, we get a bit of her man-killing resume and a lot more of her smirking.  

On a beach, a pirate agrees to help Davos hit King's Landing for the Stannis Baratheon campaign, even though his army is the tiniest.  His price? Cersei.  He'll sail with them as long as he can, you know, pillage and plunder her himself.  But not rape, he specifies.  F*cking is what he does.  I'm so glad that distinction was made.  Anyway, no real promises here.  There's some discussion of why Davos believes Stannis is the true king while his son loves (a) God and wants his father to know him. His pleas fall on deaf ears.

And now the greatest scene this season, starring the Queen Regent and the King's Hand.  These two are so wonderfully, deliciously scornful of one another and yet I never forget that they know each other so well.  I have no trouble believing they have been feeling this resentful and irritated towards each other since they were children, and we're about to find out why.  Cersei is furious that Tyrion expelled Lord Slynt.  Tyrion tells her she's losing her subjects, and tries a bit reasonably to tell her she's going to become Marie Antoinette.  But when he twists the knife and finds out Joffrey didn't even tell her, well, then he's got her.  Now Cersei's furious because he's suddenly playing at ruling, not that he ever cared before. And I just want to recount one couplet:

Cersei: ...It's all fallen on me!
Tyrion:  As has Jamie, repeatedly, according to Stannis Baratheon.

Dinklage delivers it with just the barest hint of a twitch of his lips.  I mean, come on! Only a sibling can hurt you that accurately, that bloodily!  (Man, remember Jamie?)  The room is smoky and hazy and it means that they take a second to absorb each others' blows.  I don't want it to end.  And then Cersei tells us that their mother bled to death giving birth to Tyrion, calls it a joke, and figures she's pushed the harshest button she can. Judging by the set of Tyrion's jaw, I'd agree. (Lainey: how many times have you played back that scene? God I wanted to pump my fist and fall on my knees in appreciation for writing. Watching two people cut each other to pieces with words is the greatest entertainment ever.)

Stannis headquarters.  He and the crazy redhead enter as Davos explains the strategy of how the ships will roll up and into King's Landing.  And then with no ceremony Davos is dismissed, and he and Ms. I Love Power (Melisandre, PS) tells him he must have faith to defeat his brother Renly (remember HIM?).  He swears he's performed every ritual sacrifice required, except of course when she opens her robes and reminds him there is one ritual not yet sacrificed.  Or something.  Anyway, she promises him an heir.  As you do.  Which is about all it takes for Stannis to clear off the strategy table and take her, red hair getting all tangled up in everything.  

We're with Jon Snow who sees Craster creeping off with a baby.  It might be Gilly's, but with the number of daughter-wives he has going on, it might be anyone else's.   Jon creeps after him into the woods, a hell of a lot more quietly than you'd think a man wearing two buffalo could do.  A crow caws, some woods creak, and then Snow ducks out of sight of the now empty-armed Craster.  And as we hear the baby scream, Jon Snow, nobleman, takes off.  It gets shadowy and screamy, and this is such a better thrill ride than anything set at a cottage.  And just as we see a silhouette come and take the baby, Craster knocks him right out.

See? Conversations.  Many many many.  But you loved every bit of it, no?  Team unspoiled: Do you have bets riding on what goes down?  Team spoiled: are you chuffed or irritated at the changes made?  Can anyone tell me what the search terms on the casting breakdown are when you're looking for "boat wench"?