Episode thirteen, entitled “What Is Dead May Never Die”, has just aired. My quick recap and reactions to lucky number 13 can be found after the break.
Spoiler Note: This post is for those who have read the A Clash of Kings. As such the post itself and the comments will contain spoilers. If you haven’t read the ACoK yet, feel free to discuss this episode in our new viewer recap thread.
Let’s do a quick recap of what happened this episode. We spent a good bit of time in King’s Landing, where Tyrion made three different offers in the hopes of uncovering Cersei’s informer. It worked and Pycelle was thrown into the Black Cells. He also set up Shae as Sansa’s handmaiden, dispatched Littlefinger to treat with Catelyn, and had a drink with Varys. As Tyrion would say, “I’ve been a very busy man.”
In other parts of the Red Keep, Sansa has to endure the continued company of Cersei. But at least Myrcella and Tommen are there to be sweet and decidely un-Lannister-like. Afterwards, Shae introduces herself to Sansa as her new handmaiden, despite not really knowing what a handmaiden is supposed to do.
Beyond the Wall, Craster kicked out the Night’s Watch and Mormont revealed to Jon Snow that he knows what Craster does with his sons. Before leaving, Sam gave Gilly a token and promised that he would return.
At Winterfell, Bran continues to have his wolf dreams. When he explains him to Luwin, the maester explains to him that magic no longer exists in the world.
On the Iron Islands, Balon revealed his plans to Theon, he plans to take the North by capturing and holding the Neck and eventually conquering or accepting the surrender of the remaining holdfasts and castles. Theon contemplates warning Robb of this surprise attack, but decides to turn his back on his adopted family and align with his true family.
We finally got to see Renly and his camp of 100,000 strong. Brienne was revealed and then appointed to Renly’s Kingsguard. Later that night, Renly tried to consummate his marriage with Margaery, but failed. Margaery understands the importance of an heir and offers a threesome with her brother to help Renly get the job done.
Lastly, Arya has a heart-to-heart with Yoren before Amory Lorch and his band attacks. Arya saves Jaqen, while Yoren gets killed and the rest of the group gets captured. Lommy is killed and Arya tells the Lannister soldiers that he was Gendry.
What I Liked
One. Two. Three. – In the book this scene works well with Tyrion’s internal monologue counting off each of his offers but that obviously wasn’t going to work on screen. What Cogman and director Alik Sakharov have done here, having Tyrion’s three offers all come in one scene with seamless cuts, is perfect. A great example of taking a memorable sequence from the books and adapting it to screen while using the strengths of the visual medium to make it different, but just as good.
Brienne the Beauty – Without a doubt the moment everyone was most excited to see was the debut of Brienne of Tarth. And, wow, she did not disappoint. Not only does Gwendoline Christie nail her demeanor, but she is huge. I knew she was going to be tall, but she towers over the rest of the cast. She is a perfect Brienne.
Badass Yoren – I loved Francis Magee’s Yoren. I’m so glad they gave him a moment with Arya at the end there (although I still can’t decide whether him being the genesis of her eventual “death prayer” is cool or kinda cheesy). And his death was totally badass. A worthy death for a great character. “I always hated crossbows!”
Theon the Ironborn – Theon’s arc in this episode was fantastic. Alfie Allen is doing a bang-up job showing the internal conflict of Theon’s character. I actually felt sorry for him this episode. And that baptism scene was all kinds of awesome. “What is dead may never die, but rises again harder and stronger.” Greyjoys FTW.
What I Didn’t Like
I R Serious Yara – Not sure what happened to Yara’s playfulness this week. She was very sullen. Gemma Whelan nailed Yara’s sassy attitude last week, but in her scenes this week she just seemed angry. Hopefully some of that Asha– er.. Yara playfulness returns in the weeks to come.
What’s up with Shae? – Why was the scene with Shae becoming Sansa’s handmaiden so long? What was that supposed to show us? That Sansa can still be catty? Or was it to reinforce how whiny and annoying the TV version of Shae is? I think out of all the TV show versions of characters, Shae has suffered the most. In the books she didn’t come off nearly this unlikable. I don’t really get why Tyrion is risking everything by having her around. In the book, Shae came off as sweet and totally in love with Tyrion, so it made sense for Tyrion to want her around. But on the show, you don’t see that sweetness nor does she have any chemistry with Tyrion. At this point, I’m ready to say that the Shae character has been botched. A shame, really, as I thought Sibel Kekilli was solid casting.
That’s about it for me. Overall, I thought this was a very good episode. Some action, some drama, some humor, some potential incest. Basically, it was Game of Thrones! What did everyone else think? And don’t forget to rate the episode in our poll in the footer!