If you’re a fan of ‘House Stark’ then I hate to tell ya, things are not going well. At the end of last episode Ned was betrayed by Littlefinger Baelish, and his men all killed as the Lannisters secured the throne for themselves. This episode continues where the last one left off, with the bloodbath against House Stark continuing, and the Lannisters killing every member of their guard and household.
They also attempt to take the Stark girls prisoner. By attempt I mean that the Hound finds Sansa and with no resistance at all, takes her captive. Arya on the other hand escapes the Lannisters thanks to her ‘dance teacher’ Syrio. The scene with Syrio fighting off the Lannister men was even better than I imagined in the book. He schooled them all, and with a wooden sword no less. Bravossi don’t mess around. Arya escapes, but not before accidentally running through some fat kid her age with ‘Needle’, as he was trying to take her before the Queen. That’s the Bummer Man. And Ned himself now enjoys his new home…in the dungeons.
It doesn’t take long before the other Starks learn of Ned’s supposed treason. Robb hears about it in a letter from Sansa, that was carefully dictated by Cersei Lannnister. It asks that Robb swear fealty to the new King Joffrey. Robb refuses to do so, and tells Maester Luwin to call the Northern Bannermen to raise arms and march against the Lannisters. It was a nice touch to show all of the ravens flying from Winterfell to deliver Robb’s summons.
Catelyn on the other hand finds out at the Eyrie, and asks crazy Lysa for the support of the Vale in fighting the Lannisters. Of course Lady Crazy refuses, for fear of her retarded, still breast fed angel Robert. That kid needs some major therapy.
Speaking of the Vale, Tyrion is still traveling the road with Bronn to get back to his family. Of course they have another run in with those pesky hill tribes, and we are introduced to the stand up character of Shagga. As they are about to attack, Tyrion uses his negotiating skills once again by promising the hill tribes control of the Vale by offering them the best weapons Tywin Lannister can deliver.
I’m glad to see every character and their storylines are in this episode. Jon Snow and the men of the Night’s Watch have found bodies, one of them the owner of the hand Ghost played fetch with, and Commander Mormont decides that Maester Aemon should examine them. Jon Snow is the next Stark to be told of his father’s transgression and imprisonment at the Red Keep, the Lord Commander warning him not to do anything stupid. Jon of course doesn’t heed to this advice later as Thorne makes a comment about Ned to him. Then again who wouldn’t try to stab that guy under such circumstances? Guy is a total scrotum.
After that little stunt Jon is confined to his quarters, but as Ghost is going crazy to get out of the room Jon decides to go investigate what has him all riled up. Ghost leads Jon to Commander Mormont’s chambers where – Gasp! – One of the dead rangers has come back from the dead as a white walker! Jon stabs the bastard (Sorry Jon) a few times and runs him through with a sword but it finally takes a lantern to set him ablaze to finish the job. They promptly burn the two remaining bodies, which is a good call in my opinion.
It was interesting to say the least when we see the Northmen gathered to go to war. I was pleasantly surprised they found the perfect actor to play the boisterous Greatjon Umber. The scene with him getting his fingers bit off by Robb’s wolf Greywind was brilliantly filmed and acted. And it served to show Robb isn’t some kid they can push around. It was great to see the young Stark settle into becoming the commander of the Northern Army, but a little unsettling to see him showing mercy like his father, because look where that got Ned. After a Lannister scout is captured outside of their camp, Robb allows him to leave with a few choice words for Tywin Lannister, along with the information of their troop strength. On the other hand it’s nice to see someone in Westeros keeping up the tradition of honor and mercy, because in the coming seasons you will see that in the seven kingdoms, acting honorably is not in a lot of peoples vocabulary.
Tyrion, Bronn and Shagga’s crew finally make it to Tywin’s camp where the Lannisters are preparing for a showdown with Robb Stark’s army, while Jaime assaults the River Lords in Riverrun (Lady Stark’s family). Tyrion reveals his promises to Bronn and Shagga, and Tywin informs the Hill Tribesmen that he will give them all they need as long as they fight with him. Shagga agrees only with the stipulation that Tyrion fight alongside them until the promise is fulfilled: Tywin doesn’t seem worried by this while Tyrion is a little miffed by the notion of him fighting.
Across the Narrow Sea, the Dothraki war machine is gearing up by raiding villages and procuring enough money to pay for ships to transport their armies into Westeros. After Daenerys orders all raping of women to stop, one of the Dothraki take exception to this. The argument is brought before Khal Drogo, who settles it by taking his wife’s side. A fight then ensues after the Dothraki soldier calls Drogo out and we get to see what a bad ass he truly is in combat.
The whole thing ends with… you guessed it: A patented MacGruber throat rip. There’s even a little tongue that comes out with the throat. BONUS! Drogo is wounded in the beginning of the fight, which will have a role to play as Daenerys allows a woman from the village to tend his wound.
The episode concludes with Joffrey holding court at the throneroom of the Red Keep in King’s Landing. A couple things happen here…
The first being the forced resignation of Ser Barristan Selmy by Cersei Lannister, who informs him that the new leader of the Kingsguard will be Jaime Lannister. It figures she would want to keep it in the family, if you know what I mean. Ser Barristan is of course pissed, pointing out that Jaime killed the very King he was supposed to protect. Ser Barristan leaves the throne room after throwing his Kingsguard uniform to the ground and telling Joffrey basically to blow it out his ass.
The next person to go before Joffrey is Sansa Stark, who pleads for him to allow her father to live and return home. She even makes up a reason why Ned would say Joffrey is not the true king. Joffrey seems satisfied, but reminds Sansa that Ned must confess his crimes and recognize Joffrey as the true King. Sansa assures him that he will, but we’ll see next episode if Ned does, and what Joffrey decides.
The episode was excellent with alliances shifting and things coming to a head. As I said before I was glad to see every character in this episode (Besides Jaime the Kingslayer/Sister-Layer. Hey-Oh!) and am still impressed with the pacing of the series, even though I thought there was one last scene that was going to happen in this episode. But it will most definitely be in their next week, and I can’t wait. 5 out of 5 bears. Again.