I think it makes it simpler, so this week I’m going to split this into storylines again. We met a lot of new important people this week! Plus, no clear boob shots! What?!
Winterfell/Bran: The episode begins with Bran’s dream, in which he can walk and sees what I believe is a crow with three eyes. I imagine that must be foreshadowing for something but… I have no idea what. Bran wakes up just in time to be delivered down stairs to see a visitor – Tyrion, back from the Night’s Watch! Yayy! Since Bran can’t walk, he is transported by a Hagrid/Andre the giant hybrid named Hodor. Like a pokemon, he can only say Hodor. He’s definitely semi-retarded and adorable. Tyrion is actually a sweetie in this scene. Although big brother Robb, now the lord in residence at Winterfell, greets him coldly (talk about Stark! This ginger is so boring) Tyrion replies by offering Bran a gift: a specially designed saddle that will allow him to continue riding. Awww. In this show of manly, hairy, dirty men with swords, I never thought I would have such a raging clitoral hard on for Peter Dinklage.
You don’t have to pay for me, boo!
As a sidenote, isn’t it nice that this show takes us back to a time when you can call cripples cripples, retards retards and dwarfs dwarfs? Sweet relief.
King’s Landing/Ned: Let’s go back to that knife, which Ned Stark is again pondering down in King’s Landing. He’s doing a little more investigating with regard to Jon Arryn, the previous Hand, who died mysteriously and quickly; his wife (Catelyn’s sister) is convinced it was a murder, and it’s starting to look more than way. Ned starts with the old Maester – that’s like a doctor/herbalist/historian, basically – who was one of the last people Jon saw before his death. The Maester doesn’t think there was any foul play, firstly because Jon Arryn was well loved and secondly because he is an old doddering fool. The Maester also receives an extra black mark in my book by stating that “poison is a woman’s weapon – women, cravens and eunuchs.” So glad we’re in good company.
The night before he died, Jon visited the Maester and asked for a book of geneology of the most important familes in Westeros. He almost kept repeating, “The seed is strong,” which is certainly a reference to spermies. But whose??
King Robert’s! We learn that fairly quickly. Littlefinger takes Ned on a little tour of the castle grounds, pointing out the ratty child, nun, and old gardener who are the spies of Varys, Littlefinger himself, and the Queen, respectively. This is meant to be a little lesson of caution to Ned, but the uncouth, unprepared fish out of water replies “Let them look.” Poor Ned; he’s all used to loyalty and honor and stuff and doesn’t get that everyone in King’s Landing has an agenda.
Littlefinger informs Ned that in the weeks before is death, Jon Arryn visited a particular armory many times. Ned immediately sets off there to meet the young man that Jon Arryn was visiting, a blacksmith named Gendry. Now, I had a lot of fantasies about this boy based on his description in the book, and I can’t say he’s lived up to my expectations, at least face-wise. His muscles are nice though. After looking in to his eyes for about fives seconds, Ned realizes that the boy is… dun dun dun… King Robert’s bastard son! Apparently King Robert has been spreading his seed left and right for some time now. We also learn that although Gendry’s mom was blonde (like Cersei!) he came out dark and rugged (like Robert!)
Mmmm more bastards.
Now, scenes like this annoy me a bit. I’m a gross plump pallid blonde thing, and my mom is 6 feet tall with olive skin and curly black hair. And I’m quite certain I came out of her vag, thank you very much. But I guess ‘staring deep into the soul’ was the only kind of paternity test they had back then.
Finally, Ned has a confrontation with Cersei, who begins by apologizing for making him kill the direwolf and ends with veiled death threats. Reconciliation fail.
The Tournament/Sansa & Arya: Ned’s ignoring it, but back at the palace a big tournament held in his honor is underway. There are so many people in town, the whores are walking bowlegged! Hurrah! The first joust is a pretty unfair match: Gregor Clegane, “The Mountain,” a hideously huge and scary man, vs. Ser Something I Forget, who was former squire to Jon Arryn. In fact, it seems he may have been knighted for playing a role in Arryn’s betrayal. And the loser is… Ser Something I Forget’s throat, which is pierced with the Mountain’s lance and grossly bubbles blood everywhere in a long death scene.
Sansa and Arya don’t seem to pleased at this turn of events, especially after Littlefinger stops by and creepily whispers the story of the Mountain in here ear:
The Mountain is the older brother of the Hound, the also large, burn-faced man who has been lurking around the background. When the Hound was just six, the Mountain shoved his little brother’s face into a fire for borrowing his toy without asking, which is why the Hound looks gross and sad now. Sansa is also preoccupied with a few things concerning her upcoming marriage: a. Joffrey hates her, which is particularly unfortunate since she sacrificed her relationship with her sister and the life of her direwolf to lie for him. B. She’s afraid – rightfully so, judging by the history in our universe – of having only girl children, resulting in everyone hating her. Good, Sansa, think ahead. That course of events would probably indeed result in you being divorced or having no head.
Arya is not excited about the idea of marriage either – ever, to anyone. She asks her father if she can be a lord like her brothers, and he replies no – but she can marry one! And then she can bear his little baby boys, and those baby boys can grow up and be awesome lords and heroes. Arya listens for a minute and then is like, “Um, no, actually I’m going to be an awesome fighter too. Sorry.” Woot! Disrupt those gender roles Arya! Let’s burn all the bras!
Fly away, little feminist!
Many Places/Various Shit-talking about Theon Greyjoy: So the horrifically unattractive young man I asked about a few weeks ago turns out to be Theon Greyjoy, whose backstory is mentioned several times in this episode. It seems that Greyjoy’s family launched a rebellion against the royal family and failed pretty hard. Jaime, the Starks, and a variety of other characters united to kick some Greyjoy ass. Basically, they are pariahs now. The boy we’ve seen wandering around with Robb at Winterfell is actually a prisoner there, taken from his father and held against his will. Tyrion gets in some biting remarks about how Theon’s loyalties now lie with the Starks instead of his own family, and Jaime says Theon is doubtless an asshole because of his family line.
He is certainly gross looking, but we’ll have to see about the assholery.
Vais Dothrak/Daenerys & Viserys: Over in Dothraki land, Daenerys is rapidly and with little explanation coming in to her own as a leader, woman, sister, etc. Once you go ambiguously brown you never go back! Her brother Viserys is coming into a whore in a bathtub. Let me elaborate…
The first Dothraki scene is of Viserys gettin’ soapy in the bathtub with Daenerys’ servant, who we last saw mounting her and teaching her to find her inner jiggy with it. Viserys actually looks kind of hot in the candlelight, which I guess proves that everyone looks kind of hot in candlelight.
It’s truly magical what not being able to really see someone’s face can do.
He and the servant (anybody catch a name? Love her!!) have a sort of sexy conversation about the ancient times, when the Targaryens rode dragons and were the baller kings of Westeros. He’s actually not being an asshole for five minutes; the combo of reminiscing, dim lighting and sexy time looks good on him. There is even a Livin La Vida Loca-style wax-dripping moment.
UNTIL… he gets frustrated with all of the servant’s questions about the dragons. He calls her a “pretty little idiot” and goes back to his normal assholey tone of voice, asking her to carry on boning him, but without the chitchat, please. Ugh. She looked pretty in to it before (although she is paid to act…) but the servant/pleasure house girl clearly looks unhappy when she re-mounts. Plus when they separate there’s this nasty string of spit!!!:
Also, I feel like having sex in the tub is not a good idea. Yeast infection? No?
Alas, we almost had a whole sympathetic scene with Viserys, but he spoils it; he goes on to make it even worse by freaking out when Daenerys invites him to dinner and gives him a Dothraki riding outfit thing as a gift, accusing her again of giving him orders. After a ridiculous exclamation of “You’ve woken the dragon!” he jumps on her and tries to beat her up. Daenerys pwns him in the fact with a necklace, and threatens that if he ever touches her again she’ll cut off his hands! Dothraki justice!
She later acknowledges to Jorah Mormont, her little knight helper who Ned banished from Westeros for slave trading, that she knows her brother will never lead an army. He’s too much of an idiot, so she’ll never get to go home. Khal Drogo probably knows he’s an idiot, too, and will probably not give him the army anyway. No Khal Drogo this episode! What gives? I don’t remember any boobs either! What have you done, HBO!
Winterfell/Jon Snow & Samwell Tarly: I save this storyline for last, mostly because it is endlessly boring to me (there’s no sex!) Jon and the Night’s Watch fellas are introduced to a new recruit, Samwell Tarly, who is hilariously fat and clearly a pansy.Something tells me this kid would enjoy the Dungeons and Dragons roleplaying game much more than playing the real life role, poor dear.
It might be his general weight and demeanor.
He can’t see well, sucks at fighting, and is afraid of heights. Jon takes pity and decides to protect him when one of the Night’s Watch meanies starts picking on him and beating him up during swordplay practice.
Later, while on watch at the top of the Wall, we learn why Sam is joining the Night’s Watch: His dad hates him and forced him to take the black so his more manly younger brother can be the heir to his land and title. His dad even threatened to have him take an ‘accidental’ fatal spill in the woods if he refused to go. Wahhh! After hearing this story, Jon is even more set on helping Sam, and scares the crap out of the bully in the middle of the night with his awesome wolfie! Snarl Snarl!
The most interesting part of Jon’s storyline to me was the revelation that he is a virgin. When Sam asks if Jon has a ‘Sally on the side’ (poor Sally’s out there, watching this show where they have the quintessential prostitute name) Jon quite unabashedly admits he’s never been with a woman. What a waste! We also learn that Sam’s a virgin, which isn’t so much of a surprise. His reason for abstaining is quite lovely and tragic, though: in this time of unreliable birth control, he doesn’t want to have sex before he fears getting a woman pregnant and bringing another lost bastard child into the world. Aww! Somebody get this guys over to talk some sense into the kids at Teen Mom, stat! Jon even had a hot redheaded whore named Roz naked and willing, but he just couldn’t do it – or according to Sam, didn’t know where to put it. (Interesting tidbit – Theon and Tyrion have also been with Roz, as we learned earlier in the episode. Let’s make a hookup tree, college style!) Jon doesn’t know his mother’s name, or whether she’s alive or dead… mystery!
After this one of the sword trainer people of the Night’s Watch comes in and gives Sam and Jon a talking to about how they’re nothing but weak boys who will die like flies when winter comes. Shut up, dude, I’m from Maine. I know about cold. He tells a story about being trapped in a storm beyond the Wall, and eating the horses – and then each other. Yikes! He takes it a step further by talking about how yummy and filling Sam Tarly would be in the wilderness. Jeez louise.
On the Kingsroad again/Tyrion vs. Catelyn: In what would be a huge coincidence today but isn’t in a world where there are about three inns along the road, Tyrion runs in to Catelyn Stark, who is headed in the opposite direction. She seems pretty upset to be recognized and to see Tyrion; she stands up and starts name-dropping her daddy, who apparently is the big kahuna in this section of the continent. Half the men in the room owe allegiance to Daddy Tully. (Their sigil is a fish – lameee.) I don’t know why, if she was trying to hide, she chose to sit in the middle of a common room full of her dad’s men, but whatever. At first I forgot why she was summoning all these men around her – until I remembered that last week, Littlefinger identified the knife used in Bran’s attempted murder as belonging to Tyrion. A-ha! As the episode ends, Catelyn calls on the men to arrest Tyrion, and my poor little misunderstood man is surrounded by a halo of swords
Commenters… are those of you who haven’t read the book following the story and all these new characters? A Song of Ice and Fire readers, are you noticing all of the little departures from and additions to the books that I am? Discuss! Comments boost my self esteem!