Woah. How’s that for an ending? Our full breakdown and thoughts on tonight’s exciting episode Game of Thrones is after the jump.
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 ACoK yet, the recap from our newbie will be along later. Thanks!
So let’s quickly recap what happened tonight. Arya was taken to Harrenhal, along with Gendry, Hot Pie and the others. We are reintroduced to the Mountain and meet the Tickler for the first time. Arya first begins reciting her “nightly prayer.” Gendry is chosen to be the Tickler’s next victim but Tywin Lannister arrives just in time. He scolds the Mountain and his men for not putting his captives to work. He orders them to find work for the prisoners and takes Arya as his cupbearer. This should be interesting…
Meanwhile, the Young Wolf wins a great victory against the Lannister forces. However, he gets a reality check from…
Lissa Talisa? I think that is what Oona Chaplin’s character called herself. Talisa saves a Lannister soldier’s life by amputating his leg, while Robb holds him down. Later she challenges Robb on his plan after he wins the war, to which Robb replies, he doesn’t know. Before leaving she tells Robb where she is from: Volantis. Wha???
Back in King’s Landing, Joffrey is punishing Sansa for her brother’s victory. Thankfully, Tyrion arrives and puts a stop to it. Bronn suggests that maybe Joff might benefit from some womenly affection. Unfortunately, “affection” isn’t a word in Joffrey’s vocabulary as he forces Ros to beat the other prostitute at crossbow-point to send a message to his uncle. While we don’t see Tyrion receive Joff’s message, we do see him discover Lancel’s secret and use it turn him into an informer.
Across the Narrow Sea, Kovarro returns to Dany and the khalasar with news of a city only a few days ride away. The city is called Qarth and is apparently the “greatest city there ever was and ever will be.” After some deliberation outside of the city gates, Dany’s khalasar is finally allowed entrance to the city after Xaro Xhoan Daxos invokes ‘sumai’ whatever that means.
Lastly, Littlefinger arrived at Renly’s camp and did his usual verbal sparring with Renly and Margaery. He also has a message for Catelyn, Tyrion wishes to trade Jaime for Sansa and Arya. As a gesture of goodwill, Littlefinger delivers Ned’s bones to Cat. The next day Stannis arrives on the scene to treat with Renly (who is, sadly, sans peach). Stannis delivers the ultimatum, Renly has until that night to surrender and bend the knee. That night, after no word from Renly, Stannis sends Davos and Melisandre to the shore. There, in a cave beneath Renly’s camp, Melisandre disrobes, lies on the ground and gives birth to a shadow demon.
What I Liked
Cat and Petyr – This was a scene I was very curious about when we first caught glimpse of it in one of the season two trailers and it did not disappoint. An emotionally-charged scene that included some fantastic acting from Aidan Gillen and Michelle Fairley. Fairley especially was great in this scene as Catelyn runs a whole gamut of emotions here and you can see it all on Fairley’s face. And I’m curious to see if they are setting it up so that Cat releases Jaime prior to Bran and Rickon’s “death”?
Tyrion owns Lancel – I knew going into this season that Tyrion’s storyline was going to be a lot of fun and that Peter Dinklage was going to be great once again. But he is straight up on fire. This scene was hilarious and awesome, the way he turns Lancel from an arrogant man to a sniveling boy.
Westeros’ House of Horrors – Harrenhal was a grim and bleak place, wasn’t it? They did a great job on that set. And the digital matte looked impressive, as well. While the characters inhabiting the castle fit the surroundings. Anthony Morris as the Tickler brought me a twisted sense of satisfaction. His everyman looks and the matter-of-fact way he goes about his business is exactly how I imagined him. Oh, and Tywin riding in at the last minute and just taking care of business was badass.
The Shadow Baby – In the screener, the shadow demon effect was labeled as “TEMP” but what I saw was pretty impressive and pretty creeeepy. The whole scene was trippy, with the hugely-pregnant Mel and Davos freaking out. I wasn’t sure if David & Dan might tone down this scene a bit, as it is not only fantasy-heavy but a little bizarre, but they went for it. And, in this reviewer’s opinion, they nailed it.
What I Didn’t Like
Evil Joff – This scene was downright disturbing. The scene itself was well done with some incredibly brutal acting by Jack Gleeson. I’m just not sure it was entirely necessary. Most people already understand Joffrey is an evil and irredeemable character. And, really, did they need to make Joffrey this twisted? In the book, he was petulant and spoiled and had a bit of a cruel streak. But in the series, he is the embodiment of evil. It’s going to be downright depressing to non-book readers when Joffrey is still alive and kicking at the end of this season.
What did everyone else think? Share your thoughts in the comments below and rate the episode in our poll in the footer.