Recap Roundup: Season 4, Episode 2 “The Lion and the Rose”
By Bex on in Recap.

This is a selection of written recaps and reviews for the second episode of season 4, in which George R. R. Martin delivered sharp dialogue and a shocking conclusion that was easy to swallow for Sullied and Unsullied alike.

BOOK READERS

Sean T. Collins – Rolling Stone

If there’s a throughline for this episode…[it’s] examining what people will endure to get what they want, or simply to survive.

James Hibberd – Entertainment Weekly

So at last we got what we wanted. But as always with Game of Thrones, we didn’t get what we wanted the exact way we wanted it.

Alyssa Rosenberg – Washington Post

Cruelty is the real theme of the episode, rather than the rather more obvious lesson that you never, ever want to go to a wedding in Westeros.

Todd VanDerWerff – A.V. Club

A; Joffrey’s wedding, known to book fans as the Purple Wedding (even though George R.R. Martin never calls it that in A Storm Of Swords), is the closest thing the Song Of Ice And Fire series has to a karmic balancing of the scales by this point in its run.

Charlie Jane Anders – io9

Don’t get too excited — the huge event at the end of last night’s outing changes nothing. Because the episode goes out of its way to show that we’ve only dealt with a symptom, not the disease.

Sarah Hughes – The Guardian

Weddings are always bad news for somebody in GoT. And King Joffrey’s marriage to Maergery Tyrell was no exception, in this gripping episode scripted by George RR Martin himself.

Eric Dodds – Time

I could talk about Ramsay hunting human game or Bran demonstrating his growing gifts as a warg or Stannis Baratheon committing even more thoroughly to the Lord of Light, but in this moment, who honestly cares? At long last, the king is dead.

Myles McNutt – Cultural Leanings

The closing sequence of “The Lion and the Rose”—detailing Joffrey and Margaery’s wedding and reception—is one of the first, a carefully designed piece of theater that is all about moving pieces, each more detailed than the next.

Scott Meslow – The Week

“The Lion and the Rose” was an unusually focused episode of Game of Thrones; we check in with neither Daenerys nor Jon Snow, and see just a few characters who aren’t a part of the tumultuous Royal Wedding. But the main event is the Royal Wedding, which would be riveting even if it didn’t end with such a bang.

Matt Fowler – IGN

This episode was the great example of a source author being brought in to, all at once, replicate, rework, and re-envision their original story.

Nina Shen Rastogi – Vulture

All in all, it was a dense, elegantly woven episode that should reset a lot of storylines. So much for the end of the war. We’ll see how this plays out next wee – oh look, a pie!

Elio Garcia – Westeros.org

“The Lion and the Rose” is another solid episode, made memorable by its final few minutes, but really just keeping pace with what came before. This isn’t a bad thing: better to be modestly successful, on the whole, then to veer wildly from triumph to tragedy.

NEW VIEWERS

Erik Adams – A.V. Club

B+; One of the most hated figures in recent television history has kicked the bucket, at the end of an episode that’s a greatest-hits compilation of his cruelest deeds.

David Malitz – Washington Post

To answer the main questions that face us now — who did it, and who ascends to the Iron Throne — it’s most helpful to look back at the wedding and search for some clues.

Alan Sepinwall – Hitfix

The first half of “The Lion and the Rose” is very good, even if most of the characters who make their season 4 debuts here feel a bit like the Westeros second string. The second half, though? It’s special.

Andy Greenwald – Grantland

Though “The Lion and the Rose” will be remembered for Joffrey’s drinking problem, it ought to be reexamined for what it suggested about the type of world left in his wake.

Natalie Bochenski – Sydney Morning Herald

Eventually I’m going to come up with some more creative and literary descriptions for the emotions I’m feeling after that episode, but this deep sense of satisfaction mixed with horror and confusion and excitement and rapture and how-good-did-that-bird-pie-look-hunger can’t be expressed much beyond the exclamation OMIGOD.

Brian Juergens – The Backlot

Laura Stone – Hey, Don’t Judge Me

I needed…nine hours of sleep and a massage and someone to conk me over the head and make me unconscious for another nine hours to DEAL WITH WHAT JUST HAPPENED.

Peter Counter – Dork Shelf

This death is exactly what we need to kick off the season. Game of Thrones is notable on a macro story level for how it tells distinct arc every ten episodes. By killing off a major character immediately after we’ve made it through the woods of act one stakes setting, season four gets to have a very distinct and exciting, Joffrey-less flavour. 

Kristy Puchko – The Mary Sue

Let’s just say it at the top: King Joffrey is dead! Those who’ve read the books have no doubt been waiting for it. Those who haven’t have been praying for it. And after years of waiting, we at long last have a brutal and ugly death scene befitting a cruel, heartless, little punk of a king. 

Jeremy Egner – ArtsBeat, New York Times

But on a show like “Game of Thrones,” with its three-dimensional characters and their complicated motives, it was oddly comforting to have a guy like Joffrey around to loathe without mitigation. He was a gift to that part of your brain that just likes to be angry, and now he’s gone — undone by a mouthful of poisoned pigeon pie or wine. 

Thanks to everyone in comments for pointing me in the direction of new writers; I am your servant in all things recap. For those video fans out there, stay tuned…


54 Comments

  1. DrunkenJester
    Posted April 14, 2014 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Thank you!

  2. Turncloak
    Posted April 14, 2014 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Matt Fowler from IGN is a book reader

  3. Laura Stone
    Posted April 14, 2014 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    I’m a lover, NOT a reader. Spoiler-free life! (And thanks for the add!)

  4. Sword of the Morning
    Posted April 14, 2014 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    I look forward to reading the unsullied reviews almost as much as I look forward to a new episode

  5. Bex
    Posted April 14, 2014 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    Laura Stone,

    I feel we are kindred spirits

  6. Falcon
    Posted April 14, 2014 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    New youtube reviewers this year that I don’t think were mentioned in the comments last week:

    SourceFed Nerd
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsS1FtM0YRE

    They’re very good imo

  7. Laura Stone
    Posted April 14, 2014 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Bex,

    Then lemme stop drinking straight from the bottle and pour you a glass, too! Where are my manners? *clink*

  8. Theon's dick-in-a-box
    Posted April 14, 2014 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Everyone of you miss the big picture from last night

    Bran’s vision- Snow on the Iron throne can only mean my Lord Ramsay Bolton will be King!!!!!!

    Admit it worms and hail your new King!!!!!

  9. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted April 14, 2014 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    Kevin Donovan,

    It’s not a point of view, it is just stating what happened in the books.

  10. Purple Wedding mofos
    Posted April 14, 2014 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, Kevin Donovan is just straight up linking to a spoiler.

  11. Clob
    Posted April 14, 2014 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    Laura Stone:
    I’m a lover, NOT a reader. Spoiler-free life! (And thanks for the add!)

    Love to see you comment here, Laura! I never forget to read your reviews each week, and so far this season my favorite set to your article has been the first I’ve checked on Monday morning. Very funny!

  12. Laura Stone
    Posted April 14, 2014 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    Clob,

    Thanks, Clob! I try not to clog the pipes over here since I have my thoughts/speculations in a post already, but I do appreciate you clicking! <3 Okay, I'm crawling back into my bottle to worry over who will take the new Top Jerk position. (My money's on Roose!) Cheers!

  13. Brandon
    Posted April 14, 2014 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Esquire has a weekly round up of Game of Thrones stuff too. Not sure if the author is a book reader or not, but yeah.

  14. Walter Harrow
    Posted April 14, 2014 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Does anyone know if Arya appears in the next episode? She wasnt in the preview and they usually only show characters who will be in the episode. I really dont want another week with Arya and The Hound

    (I know some people were given the first 3 episodes, so are there any reviews?)

  15. Jeff O'Connor
    Posted April 14, 2014 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Walter Harrow:
    Does anyone know if Arya appears in the next episode? She wasnt in the preview and they usually only show characters who will be in the episode. I really dont want another week with Arya and The Hound

    If I remember correctly she’s listed in the synopsis.

    May I ask why you don’t want more of the greatest duo in the story, though? :P

  16. Tatters
    Posted April 14, 2014 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Walter Harrow,

    Yes, the hound is going to teach Arya a life lesson next episode.

  17. Saul
    Posted April 14, 2014 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    I would classify all three posts (from the NYT blog, Vulture and Mary Sue) as NEW VIEWERS. Here’s why:

    Jeremy Egner wrote that Joffrey was poisoned “by a mouthful of poisoned pigeon pie or wine.”

    Nina, about Bran’s destination: “Guesses on where that is are welcome in the comments. The Godswood at Winterfell?”

    The Mary Sue post, written by Kristy Puchko:
    “Was the poison meant for her (Cersei)? Or if it was for Joffrey, who planned this clever killing? The Tyrells? Sansa? The “fool” Dontos Hollard? That sexy Dornish prince? Or was it not the wine but the pie?”

    Based on the comments sections, all three posts are cleary for those who haven’t read the books. If the authors are really Unsullied I’m not (and will never be) 100% sure, but they seem to be.

  18. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted April 14, 2014 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Did most of these critics see the first 3 episodes already? I assume they have and that they wrote their reviews weeks ago as they saw the episode. Because none of them seem wise to who poisoned Joffrey, and I thought(hoped) that would be revealed in episode 3.

  19. Jeff O'Connor
    Posted April 14, 2014 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap:
    Did most of these critics see the first 3 episodes already? I assume they have and that they wrote their reviews weeks ago as they saw the episode. Because none of them seem wise to who poisoned Joffrey, and I thought(hoped) that would be revealed in episode 3.

    My thoughts exactly. Seems to strongly suggest otherwise.

  20. Turncloak
    Posted April 14, 2014 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    DINO AND BYRON’s NEW VIEWER LIVESTREAM IS UP!!! Fantastic as always :-]

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvGgLU68HIM

  21. Bex
    Posted April 14, 2014 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    Saul,

    Yeah, you could be right. It’s hard to tell, though, if they really don’t know or if they are trying to spur conversation in the comments. Meh, I could just tweet all three of them.

  22. Fez
    Posted April 14, 2014 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    They could’ve just tried to not spoil anything by writing their recaps after they watched each episode and before watching the next one; rather than watching all three and then going back and trying to sort out what should be said where.

  23. axia777
    Posted April 14, 2014 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Between all the clamor of Joff buying the farm I cannot believe that no one is going off on how INSANELY HOT Indira Varma as Ellaria Sand is.

    OMG!!!!!!!

    That is some sand that can get up all in my shorts any day of the week!

  24. Kaboose Bolton
    Posted April 14, 2014 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    I Rewatched the episode and noticed an interesting little nugget off the beaten path from all the rightful rejoicing over the ending of the episode: When Joffrey asks the crowd what to name his sword, one of the suggestions shouted from crowd was (what sounded like, at least) “Terminus”. A funny bit of last minute sound editing after the walking dead finale?

  25. King stannis
    Posted April 15, 2014 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    Kaboose Bolton,

    Game of Thrones is too strong of a show by miles than the walking dead to add bullshit like that. Just saying

  26. kory
    Posted April 15, 2014 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    another recap to include:
    http://jezebel.com/game-of-boners-a-different-kind-of-pie-1563136299
    I believe the author is unsullied…

  27. Ser Dosser
    Posted April 15, 2014 at 2:39 am | Permalink

    We finnaly saw REEK!!!! OMG he´s great, more REEK!

    I LOVED the look on Roose Boltons face during the shave scene.

    MORE REEK!

  28. Lord of Castamere
    Posted April 15, 2014 at 3:02 am | Permalink

    Episode 4.08 Title !

    ” The Mountain and the Viper ”

    http://www.hbo.com/#/schedule/series/GAME+OF+THRONES/PMRS1663

  29. Seriano
    Posted April 15, 2014 at 4:56 am | Permalink

    Kaboose Bolton,

    Someone asked Bryan Cogman about that on Twitter and this was the answer:

    @VinSidious Guessing it was this — http://t.co/X5gzrZZV4b or CASTLEVANIA. NOT #TheWalkingDead. :)

  30. UnbowedUnbentUnhodor
    Posted April 15, 2014 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    anyone else waiting for comicbookgirl19?

  31. Siobhán Mooney
    Posted April 15, 2014 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    UnbowedUnbentUnhodor:
    anyone else waiting for comicbookgirl19?

    I certainly am! Love her channel and delighted that she’s doing episode reviews this year.

    Larry’s review is out already, of course (he’s usually quite quick): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtV-8uZp7fM

  32. El Leño
    Posted April 15, 2014 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Thank you for adding Lara Stone’s recaps, they’re the best!

  33. Abyss
    Posted April 15, 2014 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    El Leño,

    I like them too, reading her recaps always makes smile. :)

  34. GogoYubari
    Posted April 15, 2014 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    This is kind of completely off topic, but am I blind or are all the infos about the characters and where GoT is gonna air and so on just gone from the site now?

  35. Abyss
    Posted April 15, 2014 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Abyss,

    *me

  36. Ser Pounce
    Posted April 15, 2014 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    History of Westeros does like the most fun episode reviews, I like the puns they always throw in there. You guys probably posted the westeros.org review wrong, it sounds more like “hey guys my name is Elio Garcia and I sound like I work at a medieval theme park and David Benioff is a dumbass compared to me because I’m the biggest fan of ASOIAF and HBO sucks balls.

  37. Ronny
    Posted April 15, 2014 at 7:48 am | Permalink
  38. jkb
    Posted April 15, 2014 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    so, next episode starts with a close-up shot on joffrey’s hand. it slowly zooms in and then the hand suddenly starts twitching. cersei: ‘lol, he’s alive!’ !rollopeningcredits

    i would love to see reactions to THAT ;p

  39. Ronny
    Posted April 15, 2014 at 7:53 am | Permalink
  40. Cryance Chirsten
    Posted April 15, 2014 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    http://gameofthroneseason.blogspot.com/2014/03/chapter-2-lion-and-rose.html . I uploaded in my blogs , if you like share for your friends in your facebook and twiter

  41. Turncloak
    Posted April 15, 2014 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    All of the shoutouts to Doran in the show make me confident that we will get him in season 5 :)

  42. Turncloak
    Posted April 15, 2014 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Isn’t it odd that the vast majority of GoT reviewers have read the books? I’m find that very strange since the majority of the audience are non book readers

  43. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted April 15, 2014 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    adense:
    This sounds very promising for the ending of Season 4:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/14/game-of-thrones-joffrey_n_5135715.html

    I quite like Alex Graves. Great interview. To say I’m giddy about these upcoming episodes is an understatement.

  44. Richard
    Posted April 15, 2014 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Pulled something out of at least one of the commentaries.

    Bronn needs an advice show. Maybe a short for a con or something.

    Q: “I think my wife is cheating on me with the baker.”
    B: “Is the bread good?”

    Q: “I was offered a lot of money to betray my lord.”
    B: “Is there a question there?”

  45. Turncloak
    Posted April 15, 2014 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Regarding Yara is it possible that she heads to Mout Cailin to be at a strategic advantage against the Boltons? She will then be absent from the keep for a while which will then lead to Theon negotiating with Yara’s men and the Mout Cailin men to abandon the keep. I wonder if this is where we are going

  46. Hodor Targaryen
    Posted April 15, 2014 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    The little snippet of Laura Stone’s recap piqued my curiosity and I am so glad I eead it, such a hilarious recap.

  47. KingJon
    Posted April 15, 2014 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    UnbowedUnbentUnhodor,

    Absolutely love comicbookgirl19. Can watch her all day

  48. KingJon
    Posted April 15, 2014 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Reviewer Todd VanDerwaf said that George RR Martin never referred to Joff’s wedding as the PURPLE WEDDING. Is this true? I seem to remember something of how the small folk were calling it that. Or am I remembering the Red wedding?

  49. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Looking forward (and everyone’s moved on from this discussion, but whatevs)…

    –Interesting. That’s 2 episodes in a row where we name-check Doran Martell or refer to his health. Bodes well for his appearance come Season 5, along with Arianne if not the Snakes.

    –Odds on seeing the Kingsmoot rise from 25 percent to 35 percent. Why? Balon Greyjoy is still alive. The longer he’s alive, the more chance we get of Victarion/Euron/Aeron (in that order). If Balon bites it in episode 10? It’s a real good shot at it happening. Episode 3/4? Less chance. Could still happen given compressed events, et al, so it may depend on who Theon finds when he goes to Moat Cailin (odds are no Victarion as we haven’t heard of casting, et cetera).

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