It’s hard to believe that there are only two episodes left until the third season of Game of Thrones is over. Next up is episode 9 and if the last two seasons are any indication, with Ned losing his head and the Battle of Blackwater Bay in seasons 1 and 2 respectively, then we can probably expect a pivotal turning point in this season’s penultimate episode. If you haven’t checked out last week’s Game of Thrones review, ‘The Bear and the Maiden Fair’ go ahead and do so now. But back to the task on hand, ‘Second Sons’. Gendry. Melisandre. King’s blood. Yes, let’s start there.
*SPOILERS FOR REALLLLL!*
When last we saw the Red Priestess of Asshai and the Baratheon bastard, they were making their way to Dragonstone via the ship graveyard of Blackwater Bay as Melisandre dropped the royal bombshell of Gendry’s lineage directly to his face. The story is continued as they arrive at Dragonstone. Things in regard to the king’s blood differ greatly in the show as opposed to the book, but they definitely work better onscreen and they effectively give something for Gendry to do on the show as opposed to him staying with the brotherhood to be their blacksmith.
The method of getting the leeches onto Gendry was a definitely something that we didn’t see in the books as Melisandre once again bares all and seduces Gendry to get his blood. The scene with Stannis dropping each leech into the brazier and naming each king to die was as eerie as it was reading it in the book. I suppose we’ll see soon enough if R’hllor sends out the hit squad for Joffrey, Balon and Robb.
Also on Dragonstone we were able to revisit Ser Davos whose reading is now… marginally at best. But more importantly than whether or not Davos can read himself lullabies in his cell at night is the offer that Stannis brings to Davos in the dungeons of Dragonstone. He will release Davos if he vows to not physically attack or threaten Lady Melisandre again. Davos agrees but not before making clear that he will not always agree with her and will often times speak out against her. Stannis agrees and relies on the workings of Melisandre and her red god to prove to Ser Davos that the way of R’hllor is the only way. Think Davos will see it their way?
Now, onto the wedding of Sansa and Tyrion! The whole affair was about as awkward as you can imagine an arranged wedding could be. Imagine that awkwardness being multiplied by a hundred due to the antics of the spoiled little boy king Joffrey. He implies to Sansa that he can still sleep with/rape her even if she is married to his uncle Tyrion. He even takes away Tyrion’s stool that he would have used to drape the ceremonial cloak over Sansa’s shoulders, much to the enjoyment of several onlookers. (And Tywin’s lack of enjoyment.)
Tyrion and Joffrey’s argument over the bedding ceremony was about as tense as a scene gets on the show, aside from a main character named Ned getting beheaded. The look in Tyrion’s eyes said it all as he threatened to cut off Joffrey’s kinghood, though he stopped short of saying he would feed it to the goats. It looked as if Joffrey was going to have Tyrion executed until daddy Tywin intervened.
The awkwardness continued as the bedding ceremony continued behind closed doors with Tyrion promising Sansa that he would never touch her unless she wanted him to. All the while we have Shae in the mix, watching Tyrion ever so closely.
Fortune seems to favor Daenerys as of late. After acquiring 8,000 fully trained Unsullied to add to her three rapidly growing dragons, she seeks to acquire another formidable fighting force; the sellsword group known as the Second Sons led by the cheeky, scar faced Mero. Along with Mero is Daario Naharis who clearly has a thing for Daenerys from the get go. Dany plans to buy the loyalty of the Second Sons and add 2,000 more experienced men into her ranks, but this proves difficult with the lecherous and ill mannered Mero. But what can you expect from a sellsword?
The whole situation with the Second Sons was dealt with quite well in the show as opposed to the book. In the book Daario worked for the sellsword group known as the Stormcrows, but in episode 8 they combined the Stormcrows with the Second Sons. Daario is chosen by his comrades to infiltrate Dany’s camp and kill her. Daario definitely infiltrates the camp but has other plans in mind; plans that involve the sack that he brought with him for Daenerys. The Second Sons’ loyalty is all but secured by the fact that Daario has brought the Khaleesi the heads of the other leaders of the sellswords including Mero. The actor portraying Daario definitely has his cockiness and self surety down to a T in the show that the character portrayed in the books. He also does a good job of being obsessed with Daenerys and it will be very welcome to see how they play off one another in future episodes. Not to mention Jorah will definitely be getting more and more jealous that Dany has obtained another advisor/commander in their ranks if his interactions with Selmy at first are any indication.
Our last two storylines that are continued involve Arya and the Hound and Sam and Gilly. Arya and the Hound are now on the road together, with Arya still intent on crossing the Hound off of her hit list. After attempting to literally “rock” the Hound in the face, Arya comes to find out that he is taking her to the Twins in time for her Uncle Edmure’s wedding with the daughter of Walder. Clegane just wants a little money in his pocket and Robb Stark is just the man to pay him when he delivers his little sister. But that doesn’t mean that Arya is still on good terms with the Hound as is evidenced in the trailer for the next episode.
The Arya scene was relatively short, as was the Sam and Gilly scene beyond the Wall. However, the scene with Sam was probably the best of the episode. To set the scene, Sam is still horrible at starting fires and talks a little bit about his not so loving father. That’s before all of the ravens start chattering to an almost deafening pitch and sitting on a weirwood outside the hut that Sam and Gilly took up residence. The chatter stops as someone approaches, and much to Sam’s dismay, it’s an effing White Walker. He actually puts up a decent fight before his sword is shattered by the White Walker and he’s thrown about twenty feet as the snow demon attempts to reach Gilly and the baby. But Sam has a trick up his sleeve; Dragon Glass. In a scene as hardcore as Sam will ever get, he stabs the White Walker in the back with the dragon glass dagger he and Grenn found at the Fist of the First Men. The White Walker suffers a spectacular death and Sam and Gilly run for it… leaving that handy dandy dragon glass weapon on the cold ground. Nice work Sam.
Overall the episode felt quite lengthy and fit in as many characters as we’ve seen in one episode since the beginning of the season. Robb, Bran, Jamie and Jon Snow are noticeably absent, but we get to catch up with Arya, Sam, Daenerys and the whole King’s Landing crew including the Lannisters and Tyrells. We even get to experience the frost queen herself, Cersei laying out threats and eff offs to multiple members of the Tyrell family.
Now we have to suffer two weeks for another episode that promises to be spectacularly eventful? I damn thee Memorial Day! I damn thee! Join us next time! Check out the next episode’s ‘Rains of Castamere’ promo.
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