Wow, what can I say about this episode? We were introduced to some wild magic, torture and all around mayhem.
Robb (Richard Madden) has won another victory for the north but at what cost? Yeah they killed 5 Lannisters for 1 of their own but still. Though we didn’t get to see the actual battle (smart since it would have been cost prohibitive) our imaginations could fill in the blanks from the look of the battlefield. As Robb walks through the carnage Roose Bolton suggests they flay a few of the captives to get them to talk. Robb refuses saying his father outlawed the practice. He also said that he didn’t want to give Joffrey a reason to harm his sisters. As they are talking Robb notices a woman who is helping a wounded soldier. She berates Robb for the battle. He seems smitten and asks her name. She ignores him and jumps in a cart. As it pulls away she yells Telissa of Volantis. We also got to see Greywind scare the sentries just before the attack. I wish we could see the direwolves more.
I keep flip flopping in my reactions to Sansa (Sophie Turner). Most of the time I don’t like her. She was a spoiled brat from the first time you met her and she really hasn’t changed. Except I would never want anyone to have to be betrothed to someone as unstable as Joffrey (Jack Gleeson). Robb keeps beating his army and there’s no one to take it out on but Sansa. So Joffrey decides to humiliate her in front of the court. He points a crossbow at her and threatens to kill her except he says mother won’t let me. He has his henchman rip her dress and tells him to beat her but not on the face since he still likes her pretty. This little bastard can’t even do his own dirty work. Tyrion comes to Sansa’s rescue taking Joffrey down a notch. Poor Sansa just doesn’t know what to do when Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) asks if she wants out of this marriage. She doesn’t know who to trust and says automatically that she loves Joffrey. So for this week I’ll say I felt sorry for Sansa, who knows about the next episode.
The character that seems to get the short end of the stick is Arya (Maisie Williams). All she’s trying to do is get back home but obstacles keep getting in her way. She could have saved herself last week but chose to fight. Now she’s a prisoner and taken to Harrenhal, which is a rather scary place. As they stare at the castle you can see the stones have been melted and the others wonder what could have done that. Arya quickly answers dragons. They are herded into an enclosure with the people from the village. The villagers are being tortured, by the Mountain, for information on the Brotherhood. Who are they? Don’t worry they get to them eventually. The most significant thing about this scene is that Arya recites the names of the people she wants dead, just as Yoren taught her. It’s an ambitious list; Cersei, Joffrey, Ilyan Payne and the Hound. Arya is the strong one and eventually she’ll get them but first she has to survive. The prisoners are saved from torture by the appearance of Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance). He tells his men to put the prisoners to work. It takes just one look at Arya for him to know she’s a girl and appoints her his cup bearer. Not a glorious job considering you have to drink the wine to see if it’s poisoned. All I can say is don’t underestimate this Stark.
Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) is still waiting for an answer from Renly about what he will do. While she is waiting she gets a visit from Petyr Baelish (Aiden Gillen). This guys gives weasels a bad name. He’s conniving and only out for his own gain. Needless to say Catelyn isn’t happy to see him since he betrayed her husband. When he tries to get close she pulls a knife on him, if only she had used it. Littlefingers has come with a proposition, to trade Sansa and Arya for Jaime. He also sweetens the deal with Ned’s bones. Catelyn cracks and falls to her knees by the box containing the remains of her husband but not before ordering Littlefingers to get out. Still wish she had used the knife on him.
I knew Joffrey was unstable but he’s worse than I thought. He’s not happy his uncle bested him earlier with Sansa. When Tyrion leaves a present for him in his room, Joffrey is suspicious. He enters to find two whores. Now most normal teenage boys would have been happy and willingly used the generous gift, not Joffrey. He uses this as a way to get back at his uncle. He also just likes to inflicted pain, even though his not the one doing it. He has one of the whores beat the other. The older one tells him that Tyrion won’t be happy. Joffrey tells her that she will do it or he’ll kill her. Also when she’s done she can take what’s left of the other girl and leave her at her uncle’s doorstep. Yup Joffrey is a sadistic little prick but what did you expect? He’s the product of incest which just proves the point that it shouldn’t be done.
Renly (Gethin Anthony) and Stannis (Stephen Dillane) finally meet face to face. Renly isn’t impressed with his brother’s new priestess and takes a few shots. Stannis does the same considering Renly brought along his lover as well. Catelyn threatens to knock their heads together to remind them they are brothers and are fighting a common enemy. Stannis is a bit put out that Catelyn is with his brother since Ned Stark (Sean Bean) offered to back his claim to the throne. Renly reminds his brother that he has the larger army and that no one wants him as their king. Melisandre (Carice van Houten) warns Renly that there is darkness and shadows. What that exactly means I’m not sure. Stannis warns Renly to throw down his arms by morning. If Renly had been smart he would have done what his brother said. I mean really doesn’t the red priestess scare anybody? Hell she’d scare me! Then again no one believes in magic any more. They don’t even believe in dragons! I guess they’re all in for a very rude awakening. Late at night Davos (Liam Cunningham) sneaks Melisandre to an access tunnel leading into Renly’s camp, except it’s been barred. When Davos turns around Melisandre is naked and very pregnant. She lies on the ground and all hell breaks loose. I’m sure Davos wished to be anywhere but there to witness Melisandre birth sorceress smoke. It was very creepy and perverted. That’s what I love about this series. They aren’t holding back on what makes the books a fantasy series. If Robb only believed in magic he would have asked Stannis for help because when it comes to magic against swords there’s no contest.
This episode moved a bit slow but the power of the actors kept you riveted to your seat. Jack Gleeson performance as Joffrey is outstanding. He’s completely embraced the role of this sadistic monarch. The other actor I can’t say enough about is Peter Dinklage. His portrayal of Tyrion is sneaky, ruthless and funny. When he bested his cousin and turned him into his spy against Cersei I laughed. The poor guy didn’t stand a chance.