Episode 14 – Garden of Bones – New Viewer Recap

Here is We Do Not Sow’s recap and reactions to last night’s episode, “Garden of Bones”.

Spoiler note: The discussion in this post is primarily for non-book readers (book fans can discuss the show here). We ask all the series veterans to refrain from posting spoilers in the comments here, veiled or otherwise. This show is best viewed without knowing all the surprises beforehand, so please be respectful of your fellow fans. Thank you!

We Do Not Sow: The understatement in all of Westeros is “The night is dark and full of terrors”, and might I add the Lord of Light, Melisandre, and this newborn shadow figure is going to cause me to lose sleep tonight. Out of all the endings of each episode so far, this has got me totally speechless and I cannot grasp what happened, how it happened and what kind of hell it’s going to unleash. Ok, so I am exaggerating, I know where it came from, and it’s probably going to kick a lot of Renly supporters’ ass. Up until the smuggling of Melisandre into the cove I was thinking, “What a great episode, I should be taking notes.” Two new locations, a great direwolf attack scene, and another great example of Tyrion’s quick wit and sharp tongue, and then topped off with that ending. It took me twenty minutes just to remember what else happened in the episode.

I am not sure if the writers change like the directors do in each episode but I thought some of the dialogue was absolutely incredible tonight. The scene with Renly and Stannis had so many good lines as well as Littlefinger and Catelyn and, of course, Tyrion’s like each episode. I really like the fact that Robb is trying to keep his father’s honor alive and maintain the code of honor Ned lived and undoubtedly taught his son. It will be hard to keep a virtuous stance throughout an ugly war so I hope that Robb can keep his honor and also keep his banner men in line behind his commands.

So we are introduced to the city of Qarth and the Thirteen, this story line with Daenerys had kind of bored me so far this season but I am very intrigued by the Thirteen. I hope to see more of the man who let them in the city on his behalf and the others, it seems like the only democracy going on right now. Hopefully now the dragons will get their strength back and maybe we will see some dragons kicking butt by the end of the season.

The writers and the great acting of Jack Gleeson make it so easy to hate Joffrey. I am usually a sucker for a great villain, but not only is Joffrey so annoying but he is just a dick. I could only imagine what would be left of King’s Landing if he only did what he wanted and didn’t listen to Cersei or Tyrion. All I can say is he is sitting on the Iron Throne with at least four others who want it very badly so I can’t imagine him lasting very long but they really only kill off the characters I like anyway.

Harrenhal seems like it was the place of a great battle once before and now a place for bad men to hide. Arya and Gendry are stuck there and I know Gendry isn’t going to get eaten alive by the rat but every time I think they will figure out a way to escape they keep getting captured by a greater enemy. Now Arya is going with Tywin Lanister and worse yet maybe into the camp of the battlefield her brother Robb may be attacking soon. By the way, I honestly did not even notice until looking it up on the HBO viewers guide but I guess they changed the actor that plays the Mountain? The actor from last season seemed more muscular, it just stuck me as odd, I didn’t realize the Mountain was in the episode until I saw the viewers guide.

Now back to what I started with, what the heck was that?! She gave birth to a shadow figure? Is it actually the Lord of Light or just some kind of spell? Melisandre is like no other character so far, I can only assume she is working with some kind of dark magic. I doubt Renly’s hundred thousand men will stand a chance to whatever it is. I am not sure anyone can stand a chance against the red priestess and Stannis now. Maybe dragons? Or possibly whatever lies behind the northern wall? I don’t know, I am for sure going to re-watch this episode this week and pray this week goes by quickly. Tonight’s ending had me so thrown off I didn’t even mention Joffrey’s love for S & M.

Wow, I still am unsure what happened, and it was pretty darn creepy. New viewers, I would love to hear from you, we are the lucky ones that didn’t know anything like this was going to happen. In fact I expect you will hear a lot of “I couldn’t wait until that happens” tomorrow. Let me know what your reaction was and what you think is going on in camp Stannis.


  • Wow! I did not expect that!
    First of all, the whole episode was full of awesomeness. It’s the best episode this season.
    I can’t believe I hate Joffrey even more now. Who would’ve thought that was possible? And another weird thing, Sansa is starting to grow on me. I feel so sorry for her. But she seems very strong. And very smart. I love how Tyrion said “She may survive us yet”. He is as great as always.
    And finally Dany has something to do! I love her and I love the way her storyline is developing. Quarth (Qarth?) looks like an exciting city. I hope we’ll get to know more about The Thirteen, they seem interesting. Btw, did you notice the change in the intro when they move away from Westeros and show Qarth? SO AWESOME!
    The beginning of the episode was great as well, I really like Robb and that scene after the battle looked good enough for a blockbuster movie. Seriously, the production values of this series are mesmerizing. The girl he meets is another interesting character. I love all the strong women in this show!
    The talk between Littlefinger and Renly’s wife was great. As well as his talk with Cat (that scene might be some of the best work Michelle Fairley has done so far).
    Arya… I love her so much. I loved that scene where her, Hot Pie and Gendry stopped to look at Harrenhal. It was beautiful in a strange way. And I loved the way she mumbles the names of people she hates (and probably wants to kill). Reminds me of Yoren’s obsession with the murderer of his brother.
    That Renly vs Stannis scene was great. And that last scene!!!!! WOW! I don’t know what to say. It was one of the most shocking scenes the series has had. The shadows started to form a human being. Will we be getting a new human-like character or will he stay as a shadow forever? And how can they use him?? I want the next episode so badly!!!

  • I’m amazed by the reactions of people who “can’t stand Sansa the character.” That’s got to be the shittiest situation ever, I can’t even imagine.

    A ton of WOOMPH gut check moments, like amputating the soldier’s foot, the rat torture, etc. Pretty gruesome stuff.

    Melissandre: You want to see what’s beneath this robe … and you will.
    Me: …… or give birth to her newbor– WHATTTTTR42556RU6JTFDsggdsg………………….

  • This was possibly the most well-acted episode of the season so far (even though we were missing a few of our favorites, i.e. Jon Snow). Tyrion obviously stole the show, but we got to see great scenes with Tywin, Davos, and Robb. Now that the characters are established, it’s so great to see them put in new situations. For instance, Cat and LF’s conversation had so much weight considering what was happened between it and their previous talk (in the brothel in King’s Landing). Even Stannis has really grown on me. The actor plays him with almost desperate intensity. He wants so badly to be right, and you can see it in his eyes.

    Absolutely fantastic episode!

  • What about 13 men co-governing a city rang as remotely democratic for you? Nobody said they were elected, so it sounds like parliamentary government to me. Sorry for being wonky, but this show seems to be about power, so I care about getting the power structures right : P
    Excited to see more of Qarth! Definitely fascinating in an Orientalist sort of way.

  • “I am usually a sucker for a great villain, but not only is Joffrey so annoying but he is just a dick.”

    After this episode, I seriously doubt he even has one. Actually, I am denying its existence ;)

  • Didn´t anyone else laugh their heads off in the Robb camp scene? The irony of trying to save a man from gangrene by hacking his leg off with a filthy handsaw in the middle of a disgusting battlefield… Was laughing too hard to see if there was even a tourniquet involved. Did manage to see no one even offered the poor sap a drink of bad ale. Funniest moment: “That man was lucky you came along”-Robb

  • Yes we all love Tyrion, but why does Bronn get little to no love. As Tyrion’s right hand man, he keeps so many from snatching Tyrion’s little ass up and doing what they please. But by far, best line of the show:
    “Bronn, the next time Ser Meryn speaks, kill him.”

    And no Jon Snow or any showing of our fellows beyond the wall? That was kind of disappointing. Interested to see what will transpire now with Arya and Gendry.

    Now I don’t want to start a war here, but this is quite an epic story, with, imho, the only thing that is of its caliber in recent years is Spartacus. Don’t shoot me, I know this is a GoT post, just saying it’s only thing that I’ve seen that comes anywhere close to GoT.

  • Jive One,

    Spartacus is so good that I would have foregone the start of Game of Thrones Season 2 for even THREE more weeks of Spartacus. That is how good this season of Spartacus was.

  • Great episode!! Surprising to see two lannisters save a stark this episode! I just got one question! WHAT IS THIS BROTHERHOOD??? very very interested about this! And I agree Bronn needs more lines!! great character!

  • Qarth looks awesome, looks like some city in Italy. 13 were not lying when they said the best city there is and will be.

    Is it just me or did Little Finger change the tone of his voice? He’s seem more annoying than ever.

  • By far the best episode this season, in my opinon. The visuals on Harrenhal were astounding, when they stopped to look from afar. The qarth scene was interesting. I am guessing Sumai means he ties his life and Honor to Dany, and if she causes trouble, he suffers for it. Should be interesting in co ming weeks to see how this progresses. Also, shadow babies. That is all.

  • I accidentally read a spoiler about the shadow baby so I knew it was coming, I didn’t know it was that early though. The CGI for the shadow looked incredible! I knew it was going to be a different actor playing the Mountain, I think if I didn’t know though I wouldn’t be able to tell.

  • Flaying Mane,
    Reminder: this thread is for non-readers ONLY. Even if they’re asking questions, that doesn’t mean you have to answer them, mild as they are it’s still spoilers (to everyone who will read you). Besides they come from the book, we don’t know how anything will be handled in the show.

    Alright, prickly internet police hat off…

    Yeah the mountain was quite visibly different; he still looks badass but doesn’t have that menacing presence Stevens had in the first season… I had one or two mild qualms about casting before but usually only stemming from my own interpretation of the books, but this might be the first actual casting mistake in the show, especially after having showed us a better specimen initially. Nina Gold, you’re still awesome!

  • fan:
    Qarth looks awesome, looks like some city in Italy.13 were not lying when they said the best city there is and will be.

    Is it just me or did Little Finger change the tone of his voice?He’s seem more annoying than ever.

    Indeed, very annoying!! I dunno wth is Aidan Gillen doing

    Regarding Qarth, I don’t think you’ve ever been to Italy :P To me it reminded me more of the gates of Ishtar, without the colour…so definitely mesopotamian vibe (Assyrian, Babylonic, etc..)

  • Squinty,

    Apart from the fact that they seem to have invented electric hair clippers in ancient Rome this last season.Just sayin’…

  • Only scene that didn’t click with me was the shadow baby birth scene. They just hadn’t built up the back story of Melisandre enough so I thought it came out of nowhere (almost). If they had showed Melisandre doing some magics before that scene it would’ve been more easy to swallow…

  • john,

    Well, they kinda did in the first episode of this season. When Stannis’ Maester, Cressen, tried to poison Melisandre (they both drank from the same cup, and Cressen was basically knowingly committing suicide in order to take out Mel too), Cressen was the only one who died. Melisandre was perfectly fine, and it was hinted at that she did so through the use of magic, because the ruby at her throat glowed red as she calmly watched Cressen expire. I think the scene with the shadow-birthing is supposed to be shocking and unexpected (the same way the dragons were at the end of Season One), because this is a world that is depicted as largely devoid of magic or magical creatures, and now we’re seeing those things return, sometimes in small ways, and sometimes in big shadow-birthing ways.

  • greymouser,

    right … Got to tell you — in the books shadow thingie kind of came out of left field too. That’s part of what is so great about the story — have to let things develop to figure out what is going on!

  • Also I am kinda disappointed the fact we missed another big battle scene! I know its probably not in the budget but I would like to see robb and his dire wolf in action fighting side by side lol… Hopefully there is a big battle this scene that we can watch!! other than that can’t wait for next episode!!

  • Eli,

    yeah i got the vibe qarth’s backbone is all about capitalism and those apart of the thirteen are the biggest bread makers.

  • The new actor that plays The Mountain is embarrassing. This guy looks like a skinny long twig that can be snapped in half. They should have begged the original actor to do the part. Its not like he’s in very many scenes anyways.

  • john,

    I completely agree. this scene totally came out of left field and personally I think it would have been better to leave it out and just had her do some voodoo magic to make the shadow figure appear. Her given birth to it was ridiculous.

  • Nah, they needed to be more explicit about it, the poison cup just wasn’t obvious enough for the non-book reading audience, which includes me.

  • john,

    Well, they show Cressen putting the poison in the goblet, and just in case the average viewer didn’t know that powdery stuff was poison, they show Davos see him putting the poison in and getting a scared look on his face, show Davos trying to stop Cressen from making the toast, and show Cressen bleeding from the mouth after drinking it (and then Melisandre drinks from it and is fine, and the camera lingers on the glowing ruby on her throat). Even those who didn’t get that it was poison suspected something had happened, caused by Mel (either that she had given Cressen a heart attack or internal bleeding or something). He didn’t just fall over dead for no reason, is what I’m saying, so I don’t know how they could be more explicit about it (besides hearing Cressen’s thoughts, and if you’ve ever seen the movie-version of Dune, you can see how awkward that way of exposition plays out throughout the entire film).

  • Youssef,

    But it ties in to her having sex with Stannis a few episodes ago; this was the reason, and the result. Also, we’ve seen in the past with this show that magic doesn’t work in the traditional fantasy way, just waving ones arms in the air and chanting a spell. With Mirri Maz Duur in the 1st Season, all of her “spells” had to do with sacrificing something to get another thing, whether it be horses or unborn children. And Daenerys couldn’t hatch her dragons without “sacrificing” Drogo’s body and Mirri Maz Duur to the flames. Magic in Game of Thrones seems very complex and not easy to pull off, making it seem like a lot of the time it probably would be better just to stick a sword in somebody. So yeah, it’s ridiculous in the sense that Mel had to seduce Stannis, get “pregnant”, and give birth to the thing; she can’t just do this powerful thing at will, she has to go through this whole process (that obviously takes a toll on her as well).

  • My hatred of Joffrey Dahmer is so complete that I don’t want the actor playing him to get any love from the awards shows. Die die die! I hate Joffrey and his ass-face.

    No problem with Melisandre or the “birth” scene; they both just creeped me out. I think the smoke baby is going after Renly alone – kill the head and the body (Renly’s army) might decide to side with Stannis the Scold.

    I am liking the either/or for the two “detached” plots – show me Dany or Jon; there is too much going on to easily cram both into one episode.