Game of Thrones S02 E05 & E06

I missed out on doing a post last week for Game of Thrones Episode 5 because Sue and I were hip deep in the awesomeness that is Hot Docs.

So this evening, I sat down and worked my way through two episodes back to back to catch up on all the scheming, betrayal and murder…

In what would’ve been the season finale for most shows, Renly is assassinated by Melisandre’s shadow creature in the opening moments of episode 5 as Catelyn and Brienne watch in horror. Being blamed for the attack, the two are forced to flee the camp and make their way north, where they rejoin Robb in his camp, just as Robb is obviously beginning to fall for Talisa.

Catelyn gently reminds he is already promised to someone. Robb and his company react in horror and anger when they receive news that Theon Greyjoy has seized Winterfell.

In Winterfell, Bran is suffering still from his dreams of the three-eyed raven as well as the belief that the sea is coming to Winterfell… Which it does when Theon shows up, and in taking the keep he beheads Rodrik in front of Bran, despite the young boys pleas.

Osha seduces Theon to aid Bran in his escape from Winterfell. They escape into the shadow of night , with Bran’s dire wolf in tow.

In Harenahal  Arya is serving as Tywin Lannister’s cup-bearer, listening to everything that is going on, and ends up hiding in plain sight when Baelish shows up to confer with Tywin. Little-Finger comes with news of the possibility of making an alliance with Loras and Margaery Tyrell now that Renly is dead.

Arya comes across Jaqen the prisoner she freed now in serving as a Lannister soldier. He tells her that with the escape she helped with in freeing himself and his two fellow prisoners, he owes her three deaths.

She has her first one in moments, choosing The Tickler, the man who tortured the people of Harenhal. He shows up with a broken neck, and his head turned completely around.

She’s pressured into her second choice when having stolen a missive from Tywin’s books with word of her brother, a Lannister soldier stops her. Before he can inform on her, she arranges his death.

Jon Snow and some fellow crows head out on a seek and destroy to wipe out a small camp of wildlings who are keeping an eye on them from a distance. Arriving there they quickly dispatch all of them but for one, whom Jon discovers is a woman, Ygritte. Using the moment of indecision the woman flees, with Jon in pursuit, but through the chase, Jon loses track of his men, and the two are left in the frozen wild alone.

In King’s Landing Tyrion discovers that the alchemists are making a dangerous concoction known as wildfire, he tells the alchemist that they are no longer making it for his sister Cersei, but now work for him.

He has also arranged for Myrcella to be sent away to be married off in Dorne. On their way back, the peasants hungry and angry, attack the King’s party, and Joffrey orders them all killed. The mob literally rips some of the party apart, and Joffrey flees, leaving Sansa to the crowd.

About to be raped, beaten and murdered, she is rescued by The Hound, who quickly, and brutally dispatches her attackers, returning her safely, though bruised and bloodied to the castle, where the only person who expressed concern over her is Tyrion.

In Qarth, Dany wonders what her next move will be, and is warned that her adviser, Jorah, may have more than feelings of loyalty for her, which she doesn’t believe.

Instead, she focuses on trying to barter for a ship, or ships, to take her across the Narrow Sea to Westeros to reclaim the Iron Throne. But which ever way she turns, she is met only by traders who want the money first, or whatever else she may have on offer.

The last moments of episode 6 sees Dany returning to the house afforded her in Qarth to discover her that many of her people have been murdered, and her tiny trio of dragons have been stolen!!

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Game of Thrones S02E03 – What Is Dead May Never Die

The politics and machinations are well under way at this point of the season, as parties maneuver to gain control of the Iron Throne and the lands of Westeros.

North of the Wall, we rejoin Jon Snow as Craster delivers him to Lord Commander Mormont after catching Snow spying on the fate of Craster’s male children, murdered and delivered to the White Walkers.

Sam in the interim is obviously quite taken with Gilly, one of Craster’s daughter/wives, and leaves her one of his mother’s items as a promise to return.

From North of the Wall we travel south to Winterfell, to check in with the young, lame Bran. He has been having dreams, where he can run, walk, hunt and eat. He is beginning to suspect these are more than dreams, that they are real, that he is somehow connected with his dire wolf.

We travel further south to find Lady Stark arriving at King Renly’s camp in the midst of a gladiatorial game, in which the flamboyant Loras, the so-called Knight of Flowers, is bested by a towering knight, who upon winning reveals herself as Brienne, a much-loved character from the book series. Though I will say, she is not as ugly as she is described in the books, but that is the wonder of television one supposes. The victory earns her a spot in the illustrious King’s Guard.

We also learn that not only is Renly married to Margaery, though he’s yet to consummate the marriage, he is also sexually involved with her brother, Loras.

Margaery is aware of the relationship, and takes it in stride, but counsels Renly that if he fathers a child with her, it cements their union and strengthens their hold, denying their enemies.

From there we travel to Pyke, where the Greyjoys are developing battle plans to slip behind Robb Stark’s line of attack across the south and seize the North behind him. Lord Greyjoy questions where Theon’s loyalties lie because of his friendship with Robb while he was a ward of Ned Stark. Theon is given one ship to go raiding with, but his sister Yara is given a fleet of 30 and will do the bulk of he fleet action. Theon temporarily toys with the idea of warning Robb, but commits himself to his family and is baptized with salt water as he proclaims his faith in the Drowned God.

Meanwhile in King’s Landing, Tyrion is weaving webs of his own, to ferret out who the spy for his sister is. Telling each of his suspects, Little-finger, Varys, and Grand Maester Pycelle that he plans to marry Cersei’s daughter, Myrcella,  off to three different men. Knowing that whatever story he hears from Cersei will reveal the spy to him.

He also arranges for his mistress, Shae, to become Sansa Stark’s new handmaiden, hiding her in plain sight, so Cersei won’t know who she is.

Sansa, meanwhile is beginning to realize how truly trapped she is becoming amidst the Lannisters, and is closing very quickly in on despair.

Tyrion’s machinations pay off, revealing Pycelle as the spy, when confronted by Tyrion and Bronn, he proclaims his allegiance to House Lannister, always House Lannister, but Tyrion banishes him to one of the infamous black cells.

Finally we venture along the King’s Road, where we find Arya spending a sleepless night, and attempts to engage Yoran in conversation. She wants to know how he can sleep at night when he has seen so many horrible things.

The two are interrupted as a group of soldiers, loyal to the Lannisters stumble upon them, seeking Gendry.

Urging Arya and Gendry to escape and go north, Yoran is slain by the soldiers, who then proceed to ransack the convoy, and slay many of those on their way to The Wall.

Arya, helps the prisoners in the convoy escape, but then is set upon by a soldier who capture her and others,  steals her sword, and uses it to run through one of her young traveling companions.

When the soldiers demand that they tell them where Gendry is, Arya points out Gendry’s helmet next to her slain companion, saying you already got him.

This show gets better and better, and even having read the books, and knowing what’s coming, seeing it unfold on the screen is a spectacular ride, the production continues to be lush and stunning, and the characters grow and change from week to week – the death of Ned Stark hangs over everything as a reminder that anyone can die at any time.

How long will your favorite character last?

Game of Thrones S02E01 – The North Remembers

I have been looking forward to returning to Westeros since the end of the first season of Game of Thrones, not to mention when I finished the books (still haven’t read Dance of Dragons yet – paperback please).

The novels, and now the series it has spawned is epic in nature, there are tons of locations, a plethora of characters, and layer upon layer of politics and betrayals.

The first episode throws us right back into it. The harbinger that is the comet continues to hang in the sky, a sword of Damocles, and gives us moments with all of our favorite characters, well those ones that are still alive at this point.

That was the sad part, but it’s the same in the books, because the story is so huge, you only get to spend bits of time with each and every character. One of my favorites, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) is talked about through the entire episode, as the Lannisters are hoping to use the late Ned Stark’s (Sean Bean) daughters to keep the rest of the family in line, or at least to broker a form of peace between them.

It was nice when she showed at the end of the episode , accompanied by one of the late King Robert Baratheon’s (Mark Addy) bastards Gendry, making his way along the King’s Road away from King’s Landing where all of Baratheon’s ill begotten offspring are being slaughtered to make sure they can’t lay claim to the throne.

Joffrey (Jack Gleeson), the new king, born of the incestuous relations between Cersei (Lena Headey) and the captured Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), is still a completely spoiled ass, and he’s gonna be like that for a long time, at the cost of far too many lives.

Tyrion (Emmy and Golden Globe winner Peter Dinklage), by far one of my favorite characters, is always fun to watch, especially when he reveals that he has been made the new Hand of the King in the absence of his father. Cersei fumes at that, and I delight in seeing her thwarted.

The youngest son of the Stark household, Bran (Isaac Wright), is attempting to rule and maintain Winterfell, the Stark estate, while his mother and oldest son, Robb, who has laid claim to become King of the North.

I like that we’re getting to see some of Bran’s dreams, as he starts to realize he’s connected to his dire wolf.

The dire wolves themselves look great! Robb’s (Richard Madden), Grey Wind, is huge, and there’s a pretty sweet moment between him and the chained Jaime Lannister.

Petyr “Little Finger” Baelish (Aiden Gillen) is still trying to play his own political games, but coming up against Cersei Lannister almost proves to be his end.

Jon Snow (Kit Harington), and the members of the Night’s Watch have left The Wall, heading into the frozen north to investigate the barren villages, and the rumors of an army massing there.

We get a quick scene with Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), her still-growing dragons, and her loyal aide Sir Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen).

Baratheon, had two brothers, both of whom are attempting to lay claim to the Iron Throne in Kings Landing, Renly and Stannis.

Stannis (Stephen Dillane) is advised by Melisandre (Carice van Houten), a sorceress sheathed all in red, who is going to be a lot of trouble…

The entire world is going to be torn apart in the war that is beginning to rage.

The production value of this series, and the level of detail in the costumes, weapons, locations, and all the props continues to stun and amaze. It is a completely realized world.

It’s hard not to get attached to a lot of these characters, even the ones you love to hate, especially when you know the body count the series is going to have.

Game of Thrones is back!