Many people last week proclaimed Battle of the Bastards the greatest episode Game of Thrones had ever delivered – there is an argument to be made for The Winds of Winter holding that title.
Season Six spoilers to follow – duh.
There has been much to talk about in HBO’s Game of Thrones since our last review on May 7.
Winterfell: In episode 7, “A Man Without Honor”, Osha, the wildling who had in the previous episode slept with Prince Theon Greyjoy, had fled Winterfell. She had gone with Bran, Rickon, and Hodor. He can’t be new to women not wanting to wake up to him. He’s god awful. Ignoring the concerns expressed by Maester Luwin, Prince Theon and his men set out to find the escaped wildling and boys. He takes the dogs to find the trail, but they lose it near the farm. However, when a walnut-shell is discovered, they realize that the boys must have gone through the farm. Ludwin goes back to Winterfell. When Prince Theon returns to winterfell with his men, he reveals two young charred dead bodies, supposed to be bran and Rickon. when the episode ended, I was sure that these two boys were not Bran and Rickon. They made that pretty obvious. In episode 8, “The Prince of Winterfell”, after all messenger ravens are sentenced to death by Prince Theon Greyjoy so that the death of the two Stark boys will remain unknown by anyone outside of Winterfell, his sister Yara shows up. She reveals that she is there to take her brother home, because his killing the Stark boys will bring war of the North. He, of course, doesn’t want to seem cowardly and absolutely refuses to go with her. When Maester Luwin catches Osha taking bread into the crypts right there in Winterfell, he follows her. He notices that Bran and Rickon are alive, and are with her. Osha explains that they came back to Winterfell while Prince Theon and his men were searching for them, and hid in the crypts. The charred bodies were of the two orphan farm boys. I am wondering if they will be discovered. I am a big fan of Bran, and Osha has girl balls.
Beyond the Wall: In episode 7, “A Man Without Honor”, Jon Snow is continuing to hold his prisoner Ygritte on a chain while looking for the other men who were with him. Ygritte uses her women’s intuition to figure out Jon has never had sex. She also finds out that he has taken to celibacy for his job. This is hilarious. She is absolutely dumbfounded by the thought of never having sex. Ygritte is basically throwing herself at Jon, but he stick with his vow of celibacy and refuses her advances. The Wildling even tried to explain to Jon how much better life is as one of her own, and how much happier he could be. While crossing a difficult patch of land, Ygritte escapes her capture, and runs off. Jon could not find her, but she gets his attention, and surrounding her were a large group of Wildlings. In episode 8, “The Prince of Winterfell”, Jon Snow escapes death with the help of his former prisoner Ygritte. The Wildlings leader, Rattleshirt, wants Jon dead, but she explains that Mance Rayder will surely like to meet Eddard Stark’s bastard. Qhorin Halfhand was captured by the Wildlings as well, and plots with Jon Snow to find out Mance’s Army’s plans. Sam and Grenn also find something extraordinary buried in the snow. In an old Night Watch man’s cloak, there was a horn and dragonglass weapons.
Across The Narrow Sea: In episode 7, “A Man Without Honor”, Daenerys has yet to get her dragons back. Ser Jorah Mormont, after returning from his search for a ship, vows to find them. At a meeting of the thirteen, Pyat Pree admits that the dragons are in the House of the Undying. Pree multiplies himself and kills every one of the thirteen. Daenerys immediately runs out with Mormont and Kovarro. In episode 8, “The Prince of Winterfell”, Ser Jorah Mormont explains to Daenerys that she needs to leave Qarth immediately. Daenerys refuses to leave without her dragons. She explains that they are her children. She asks to be taken to the House of the Undying. The fact that episode 9 did not show Daenerys was the only thing about that episode that I did not like. I want to see more dragons!
The Westerlands: In episode 7, “A Man Without Honor”, Alton Lannister tells King Robb of the negative response to his peace terms brought to Queen Cersei. Robb puts Alton in with Ser Jaime Lannister while a prison is constructed for him. After a bit, Jaime kills Alton and when the guard inspects the situation, he is killed as well. Jaime does escape, but is shortly after captured and brought back by Brienne.
Catelyn, after being repeatedly insulted by Jaime, asks for Brienne’s sword. I wished she would kill him, but she had other plans. King Robb takes Lady Talisa with him to the Crag to get more medical supplies for his wounded men. In episode 8, “The Prince of Winterfell”, when King Robb and Talisa come back after their trip to the Crag, Robb is told of Jaime’s escape. Since his mother was responsible, Robb had Catelyn placed under guard. Lord Roose Bolton approaches Robb with the idea to have his son, a bastard, retake Winterfell for him to rid them of Prince Theon. King Robb agrees. After this, Talisa and Robb have a conversation about their lives, and Robb explains that he is promised to another woman because he and his men had to cross a bridge. He admits that he does not want to be with the other woman, and Talisa says that she doesn’t want him to either. Then occurs the most attractive of the show’s sexual encounters.
Harrenhal: In episode 7, “A Man Without Honor”, Lord Tywin Lannister has yet to find out Amory Lorch’s killer, and orders Ser Gregor Clegane to figure it out. After inviting Arya to eat with him, they discuss his legacy, as well as the history of Aegon, and Tywin is surprised about her knowledge. He proclaims that she is surely high-born. Arya has done an amazing job of keeping her identity a secret. I did wonder if Petyr Baelish noticed her. In episode 8, “The Prince of Winterfell”, Lord Tywin Lannister decides to go after King Robb’s army while they are distracted with Greyjoy in Winterfell, and leaves Ser Gregor Cleganein command. Arya is owed 3 kills by Jaqen H’ghar, and has only used 2. She attempts to use the third on Tywin before he leaves to attack her brother’s army, but it was too late. She asks Jaqen if he can help her and her friends escape instead of her third kill. He agrees, and murders the entire night’s watch so that they can escape unseen.
Baratheon Fleet: In episode 8, “The Prince of Winterfell”, Davos Seaworth and Lord Stannis Baratheon reminisce about the siege of the Baratheon ancestral castle Storm’s End, at which time Stannis almost starved to death holding the castle until Davos arrived with supplies and food. Stannis vows that Davos will be his hand when he takes the Iron Throne.
King’s Landing: In episode 7, “A Man Without Honor”, Sansa becomes a woman unexpectedly. She has begun bleeding, which means she is fit to bear Joffrey’s psychotic towhead children. Shae sees this, and tries to help Sansa hide it. She tells Sansa that she will cut the bloody parts from her sheets, but one of the Queen’s handmaidens shows up and runs to tell the Queen. Shae runs after her and threatens her. Shae is a badass! When Shae gets back to Sansa’s room, she sees that the Hound has seen the sheets as well. Cersei tells Sansa that she will never be able to love Joffrey, so she should just focus on loving her children she will be made to bear. Cersei is confronted by Tyrion about Joffrey’s plan to repel Stannis’s fleet may not work, and she breaks down. she tells him that Joffrey is likely her punishment for committing incest, and admits her children are Jaime’s. In episode 8, “The Prince of Winterfell”, Tyrion explains to Lord Varys that they will fight off Stannis’s fleet with pots of wildfire. Cersei believed that Tyrion plans for Joffrey to be killed in battle, and explains that she has captured his whore he has been hiding. She explains that she is aware that he loves this girl. However, she unknowingly has not captured the right woman, a relief to Tyrion. Although Tyrion is skeptical of there being real dragons, he is told of Daenerys Targaryen and her “children”. He decides that he will put that on the back-burner, since there is so much else going on.
In the last episode, 9, “Blackwater”, the entire episode was focused on one story, the first time this has happened in the series’ history. Lord Stannis Baratheon’s fleet is lead into Blackwater Bay by Ser Davos Seaworth. While this is happening, Grand Maester Pycelle gives Cersei a powerful poison. She plans to use this on her family, if Stannis attempts to kill them. Bronn, one of my favorite characters, is not well liked by the Hound, and they almost throw down. Before the gloves come off, however, the bells ring which lets them know that Stannis’s fleet has been seen. King Joffrey, overly confident, and unaware of the very real pain he could endure, is sure that he will be a noble fighter in the battle. He has a new sword he has comically named “Hearteater”. As the men leave, the women and children are gathered in a room guarded by Ser Ilyn Payne, whom Cersei says is there to protect them. She warns Sansa that she will surely be raped and worse if they are taken over by Stannis’s men. At this point, Cersei is getting completely wasted.
Stannis’s fleet notices that one single ship is headed towards them, and there is no one on board. The ship has been rigged with the chemicals to create the wildfire. With the exploding green fire, several men are killed and ships taken down. Stannis being the unrelenting badass that he is, still leads the remaining men to the Mud Gate, being first in line to attack. The Hound, along with many of the Lannister army, are putting up quite a fight, using everything, even rocks, to kill Stannis’s men. The Hound sees a man burning, and retreats. “F*** the King”, he says directly to Tyrion and King Joffrey. Cersei learns of the city being overrun, and orders Lancel to bring Joffrey back into her care. When Joffrey (shocker!) agrees to abandon the battle, Tyrion leads the battle in his stead. Tyrion gives a speech to the men, and tells them he will lead them through the tunnels from Vary’s map, and they will flank the Baratheons. Sansa learns that the man guarding the women and children is really there to kill them all if the city is taken over by the Baratheons. Sansa returns to her quarters, and the Hound is there. He offers to take her with him, and explains that he is fleeing the city. She declines, but then he tried to persuade her. She says “you won’t hurt me”, and her final decision is unclear, although looking at the preview for tonight’s episode, I am assuming that she stays where she is. In battle, Ser Mandon surprisingly attacks Tyrion. His face is slashed side to side. Before Mandon can finish the job, Podrick Payne, Tyrion’s squire, kills him. Tyrion is knocked out, and his current state is unknown. I must say, this brought little tears to my eyes. If Tyrion dies, what will become of this show? Cersei brought Prince Tommen out of the safe room and was about to give him the poison when her father Lord Tywin Lannister burst through the doors and declared “We have won!”.
There are so many questions to be answered that I have a feeling episode 10, the finale, will not be able to get to all of them. For me, this is some of the best writing on Television I have ever seen. There is so much attention to detail with the histories of each family, and I am sure that comes from the books. Game of Thrones has yet to disappoint me… well… disregarding the fact that every time the credits begin to roll, I get disappointed. I am looking forward to tonight’s finale!
Winterfell: Cool. The Wall: Impressive. King’s Landing: Breathtaking. The Eyrie: Intimidating. Yes we have seen some of the most important locations from the Song of Ice And Fire series in the HBO series A Game of Thrones. But there are still so many to come and there are some good ones. I’ve compiled a list of some of the coolest ones that HBO will no doubt make look as brilliant as the ones we’ve already seen thus far. There may be some spoilers below, however minor. You’ve been warned!
SPOILERS! (you’ve been warned again)
-Ruling Lord: (Currently) House Baelish
Harrenhal is the largest castle in the Seven Kingdoms, but is for most of the time uninhabited due its cost to maintain and the amount of people needed to run it smoothly. It is widely believed to be cursed since every Lord who has had dominion over it has fallen to an ill fate time and time again. I assure you over the course of the series you’ll see it change hands more than once, starting with Janos Slynt who was made Lord of Harrenhal for betraying Ned Stark in “The Pointy End”. Eventually it falls into the hands of one Petyr Baelish though we have yet to see if anything unbecoming happens to him.
-Bastard Last Names: Storm
-Ruling Lords: House Baratheon
So who wouldn’t want to see Storm’s End, the home of the Baratheons? The castle itself has never in its history been breached during war or by a siege. The only reason the last ruler lost it to the Baratheons was because he was stupid enough to meet them in open combat. The Baratheon’s would probably have never been the new Storm Lords if he hadn’t done that. After the War of the Usurper, Renly was placed as the lord of Storm’s End while Stannis as the heir to Robert was given the traditional island fortress of Dragonstone.
-Ruling Lords: (currently) House Lannister
Before conquering the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, House Targaryen made their home at Dragonstone, an island in the Blackwater Bay to the far Northeast of King’s Landing. Everything about the castle of Dragonstone is of course likened to Dragons. Would you expect any less from the Targaryens? From the towers, the walls and even the main kitchen it was dragons, dragons and more dragons. After the Targaryen conquest of Westeros, Dragonstone became the seat of the heir to the present king. So after the Targaryens were forced out of power the island fell under the rule of Stannis Baratheon (brother to Robert) who was none too happy to lose the bountiful lands of Storm’s End for the rocky and poor island of Dragonstone. Sure it looked cool, but it didn’t have much in means of population besides a fishing village. To add insult to injury his younger brother Renly was given command of Storm’s End. That’s the bummer man. Still, I’d like to see Dragonstone on film because dragons are awesome…
-Bastard Last Names: Flowers
-Ruling Lords: House Tyrell
The family of Loras Tyrell, Knight of the Flowers rules over Highgarden, which is a lush and bountiful land further South of King’s Landing. This one may have a wait in being seen on the HBO series because it has not yet been visited in the book series yet. The Tyrells become very involved in the story but their homeland hasn’t as of yet. Hopefully the picture below can give you an idea of what it might look like until we do in the series.
-Bastard Last Name: Sand
-Ruling Lords: House Martell
The Martell family don’t really show up until book 3, and we aren’t treated to the location of Dorne and it’s capital Sunspear until book 4. Dorne is located in the southern most part of Westeros, being the only location with a desert. The most interesting thing about Dorne is that they were the only kingdom that resisted the Targaryen’s during their conquest of Westeros and didn’t actually join the seven kingdoms proper until they married into the Targaryen bloodline. The Targaryens allowed Dorne to join the seven kingdoms after that while still being able to rule themselves under Dornish law, in order to entice them into loyalty.
Our episode this week opens up at Winterfell, with Bran having what some readers of the books call a ‘Raven Dream’. There’ll be more on those later in the series. Bran awakens to be brought before his brother Robb, who is now acting Lord of Winterfell while Ned is in King’s Landing. Robb is in fact speaking with Tyrion Lannister, recently returned from the Wall. He notices how cold Robb is acting towards Lannister, but is still very kind to Bran, giving him schematics on how to construct a proper saddle for someone without the use of their legs. The scene at Winterfell was very well done as the actors are now very comfortable in their roles. Peter Dinklage in particular is Tyrion personified for me. It’s like the character jumped off the pages of the book into an HBO show and I’m sure many book fans will agree.
What a long week it was waiting for another episode of what is now my favorite ongoing show. A Game of Thrones started right where the last episode left off: Daenerys is now wife and “Khalessee” to Khal Drogo, and Bran is now unconscious indefinitely due to a nasty fall he took from last episode.