After such a cliffhanger last week I’m sure everyone is just eager as hell to get into this week’s episode. Once more, the opening title showed us a new place the show will be visiting: The Eyrie, which is the home to Catelyn Stark’s sister and John Arryn’s widow Lysa Arryn. I think everyone will get a kick out of her.
The episode starts out with the tournament of the King’s Hand still proceeding. Ned gets to see the body of Ser Hugh, musing as to how he was so lucky to face down the Mountain. The joust continues in the next scene where get to see a lot more of Ser Gregor and are introduced to Loras Tyrell “The Knight of Flowers” who is a bit of a pretty boy. The joust goes well, but not for Gregor again, as he is unseated by Tyrell. Gregor definitely knows that Tyrell’s mare was in heat and caused his stallion to be a little skittish. But before he takes out his frustrations on Ser Loras, he gives his horse a final reminder of keeping in line… by chopping it’s head off!
His attack on Loras falls short as the Hound and brother to Gregor steps in to stop in. This is more due to his hatred of Gregor than any goodwill to the Tyrells.
Tyrion is still in Catelyn Starks hands, on their way not to Winterfell but to the Vale of Arryn, where the Eyrie lies. A brief but bloody skirmish with a few Hill Tribesmen shows us what a bad ass Bronn is, he’s the one who was slicing throats like no one’s business and dressed in black.
The battle scene was awesome, the show not skimping on the violence and the camera work was simply superb. Even the Imp got in on the action, protecting Lady Stark and caving in one of the tribesmen’s heads in with a shield.
Despite that, Catelyn still takes Tyrion to the Eyrie, which like every other location in the show looks staggering. When he is brought before her sister Lysa Arryn, you immeadiately get to see what I meant about getting a kick out of her. The crazy broad is still breastfeeding her nearly ten year old kid, the sickly little spazoid brat Robert.
It was also great to see where Tyrion gets to stay while they determine his fate. The cells of the Eyrie don’t even need four walls because there is nowhere to go except down! Next thing to see eventually is the “Moon Door”!
In King’s Landing there is so much going on at the same time that it will make your head spin. Varys meets with Ned, telling him that he needs to save the King and alerts him to a poison known as the Tears of Lys that may have been used to kill Jon Arryn. Ned intends to investigate.
After that meeting, Lord Varys is seen by Arya talking to Illyrio in the under city of King’s Landing, and she overhears them during her cat catching. She hears them talking of pitting the Starks and Lannisters against one another before running to tell her father. I thought the scene was a very nice touch with the discarded dragon skull sitting there. I guess we know what Robert did with the skulls after the Mad King was deposed.
There is then a confrontation between Lord Baelish and Lord Varys where they show that they are aware of one another’s movements in the game that everyone is playing. It makes you as the viewer wonder what their true intentions and loyalties are. As Arya is talking to her father, Yoren of the Night’s Watch arrives to tell him of Catelyn’s actions of taking Tyrion prisoner and as Tyrion said his father probably knows by now: Which means that the Lannisters in King’s Landing will also know. Things are reaching a boiling point!
Ned then goes to the small council meeting where Robert is actually in attendance to discuss what the fate of Daenerys Targaryen will be. Robert wants her, her child and her brother dead so that all notions of a Targaryen retaking the throne are out of anyone’s minds. Ned being the honorable and merciful man voices his disapproval to Robert, even going so far as to resign as the Hand when Robert pushes him.
Robert may sound like he’s raving as he goes on about Ned’s honor but he is right about one thing: Ned’s honor may be so noble and so pure that it may indeed cost him in the end. It makes you wonder with someone as honorable as Ned Stark, how could he have forgotten his honor to have slept with a woman resulting in Jon Snow? Just something to mull over.
Ned intends to leave that very day back to Winterfell, but not before visiting a woman who Little Finger led him to who has apparently had another of King Roberts bastards. The guy is fruitful and definitely multiplies doesn’t he? The shit really hits the fan as he leaves Little Finger’s brothel to see Jaime Lannister and group of Lannister men riding in to cut off their departure.
Jaime has apparently heard of Tyrion’s predicament and wants him returned immediately. Stark refuses and we’re off with the second skirmish of the episode. Ned’s men are cut down immediately by the Lannisters, and poor Jory soon after by Jaime with a dagger through the eye.
This leads to a great one on one fight between Jaime and Ned that was well choreographed. Unfortunately it is cut short as a Lannister man hamstrings Ned to end the fight. Jaime knocks the moron out because I’m sure he was just as disappointed as we were from being cheated out of seeing who would prevail. Jaime then leaves Ned in the street wounded with his men dead around him.
All in all this episode deserves a 5 out of 5, because it was by far the best episode so far. The sad thing is that there are better episodes to come in the next two. If one of them shows the scene I’m thinking of it will most assuredly blow your mind out your ears and possibly shatter your teeth. And for those of you perplexed by the fact that there were no scenes with Daenerys and Viserys, fear not, they will be back for one hell of an episode!
The scenes that were not in the books and added in definitely took away from the surprises that could have come in the upcoming season, but I’m glad they were in there because it’s something for certain characters to build on for the future. I talk of the scenes with Theon Greyjoy, Renly Baratheon, Loras Tyrell and Cersei with Robert. In the books I believe it was hinted at that Renly and Loras were overly “fond” of each other but there was never a scene that showed it. The Tyrells will play a greater part of the story in the future.
The Cersei and Robert scene showed us what were only thoughts in the books as to the true nature of their relationship. Rhaegar Targaryen “kidnapped” Lyanna Stark and took her away from Robert. At the same time, Rhaegar was supposed to marry Cersei Lannister so you have to imagine the two of them not getting who they wanted but forcing to marry someone else who they didn’t want to marry. Robert was right, that their marriage never had a chance.
I’m excited not only for the next episode, but that we can see Episode 7 of a Game of Thrones a week early right after next week’s episode. Two episodes in one night? Kill me now people! And if the show is on track, the two episodes could be the best of the season. Stay tuned!