The battles have begun! That’s right, after all the declarations, council meetings, secret whorehouse rendezvous and so on, it’s time to get our death on. Since the stories have diverged slightly again, I’m going back to my character/location based summaries.
Also, it took my like ten minutes to figure out how to spell rendezvous. Gahh. Also, thanks screen junkies’ Jame Gumb for the gifs! (Now that’s a Game of Thrones name.)
Ned, Part 1
Ned is exactly where we left him last week, and in worse condition. Remember, he had that leg stab wound, which has been festering all along as he starves in his little dungeon cell.
Ned’s desperate eye
It seems Varys is the only visitor willing to come down and say hi to Ned. Ned once again wonders why Varys is willing to come down and talk with him, and offer his advice – but not to protect his children or release him from the prison. Varys gives a little bit of his personal history, beginning with the scathing “When I was still a boy… before they cut my balls off with a hot knife..” Apparently, little, testicle-having Varys used to travel around with a group of actors, and learned how to absorb a role. Now he plays “the master of whispers. My role is to be sly, obsequious, and without scruples.” Good SAT word there! Anyway, the point of this story is that he could free Ned, but he won’t -because unlike some heroes running around getting themselves killed for honor, Varys doesn’t want to die, and he doesn’t want others to, either. He’s working for the peace of the realm, and fuck honor and whatever else gets in the way. Go Varys! Real politik!
What with Robb marching south and Stannis Baratheon gathering his men to come claim the throne as well (that’s Robert’s super unmerciful older brother, who we haven’t met yet), Varys’ priority is to stop the coming war. He wants Ned to confess to treason, proclaim Joffrey rightful king, call off Robb, and live out the rest of his days exiled to the Wall. Of course, Ned responds that he won’t trade his honor for a few more years, because his life isn’t important to him. He’s a soldier! At this point, I’m thinking, umm, what about your kids? Varys asks the same thing, but Ned doesn’t answer. Harrumph. Kids > Honor. You can’t snuggle honor! Honor doesn’t give you grandkids! It doesn’t have poopy diapers either, but in the end I think Kids comes out squarely on top.
Robb, Catelyn & Walder Frey Part 1
Robb’s southward march has been halted at the Twins, a big river whose bridge is controlled by Lord Walder Frey. We have heard before brief questions about trusting the Frey’s loyalty, even though they have oaths to support Robb’s side. While they try to decide whether to negotiate or just storm the bridge, Theon shoots down all the ravens coming from the castle to make sure Frey isn’t reporting to the Lannisters.
In the end, they decide to negotiate, since the Freys have controlled the bridge for 600 years and Robb would lose men trying to take it. Initially, Robb wants to go talk to Frey himself. His bannermen are against it – Frey could easily capture or kill Robb and use him for leverage with the Lannisters. Robb’s all “I can’t have another man negotiating for me!” at which point the show pulls at LOTR “I am no man!” moment and Catelyn volunteers to go instead. After all, she’s known Frey since she was a little bebe.
We meet Walder Frey, his 15 year old wife and his million ratty children. He’s pretty much what you would expect – a nasty, ratty old man who probably spits plegm everywhere.
Unfortunately fertile Frey and his brood of ugly hatted kids
Frey is reluctant to cooperate with Catelyn at first – her dad didn’t come to his last three weddings, and refused to marry any of the Tullys to the Freys. Basically Frey is the gross kid at school who picks his nose and eats it. When one of his sons tries to support Catelyn, Frey tells him to shut up: “Your mother would still be a milkmaid if I hadn’t squirted you into her belly.” What a savory character.
Catelyn rides back to Robb and his army with supposedly good news: Frey will let them cross the bridge, and he will send his men to fight with Robb.
Robb immediately senses a catch, which is that Catelyn has promised that Arya will marry one of Walder’s sons. The other catch? Robb must marry one of the daughters, all of whom are inbred and disgusting. Theon thinks this is pretty funny (look in the mirror bro!) but Robb accepts the conditions.
Back at the Wall, everyone is super proud of Jon for saving Lord Mormont, Commander of the Night’s Watch, from the zombie. From what I saw, it didn’t look like Mormont was in particular danger, since Jon set the zombie on fire pretty much as he arrived on the scene. The scene in the book was better. But whatever.
As a reward for his bravery or whatever, Jon gets a new sword. And not just any sword. First of all, it’s Valyrian steel, which is rare and awesome. Pretty much like the mithril in LOTR. Even more importantly, this is a sword that has been passed down through the Mormont family for 5 centuries. The pommel used to be engraved with a bear, the sign of the Mormonts, but has been replaced by a wolf for Jon. The sword was meant for Jorah Mormont, Daenerys’ protector, but since he disgraced the family Jon gets to be the new surrogate son. This is a big deal which apparently everyone knew about ahead of time, as everyone gives Jon high fives and congratulations as he leaves Mormont’s quarters and shows us I think his first smile ever.
Another perk – Mormont sent Thorne, the assholey sword guy who constantly tries to make Jon’s life hell, to King’s Landing to show Joffrey the severed zombie hand. So Jon will be free from bullying for a bit.
So anyway, everyone is congratulating Jon and wants to see his sword – except for Sam Tarly.
Is he just a jealous fatty? No, he has some bad news to deliver to Jon – his brother Robb is marching to war without him, and there’s nothing Jon can do to help.
Of course, Jon gets super teenage emo about this and actually says that nobody knows what it’s like to be him/understands what he feels. He is called to see Maester Aemon, the old blind man for whom Sam Tarly is the steward. He explains why the vows of the Night’s watch is so strict: because duty and honor are nothing compared to the love of a woman, having babies, and so on. (Apparently Ned didn’t get that memo.) Maester Aemon claims that “love is the death of duty,” so members of the Night’s Watch must sever all connections with the outside world.
nobody understands me!! wheres my eyeliner?!?!
When Jon continues to be an emo butthead, Maester Aemon decides to share his own story. Maester Aemon is actually Aemon Targaryen – that’s right, he’s related to Daenerys and the late Viserys. I didn’t quite follow his lineage, but I think he’s their uncle or great uncle. His entire family was murdered when Robert and Ned took the Mad King Aerys off the throne, but Maester Aemon had taken his vows to the Night’s Watch, and he stood by and did nothing. This knocks a little bit of sense in to Jon – his trial is not the worst.
“I will not tell you to stay or go,” says Maester Aemon. “You must decide that yourself, and live with it the rest of your days, as I have.” Aww, sad old blind man I hope Jon doesn’t go, as even if he got to help his family it would result in his eventual execution as an oathbreaker.
Daenerys & Drogo
Over in Dothraki land, Khal Drogo is not doing so hot. In fact, he falls right off his horse, which is a big no-no: “A Khal who cannot ride is no Khal.” I smell mutiny! Exactly how Khal’s little boob scratch has turned into a life-threatening wound doesn’t make sense to me, but okay.
Drogo’s men still ain’t listening to no woman, so Daenerys reverts to her usual “do it or I’ll tattle on you to Drogo!” strategy in convincing them to set up camp so Drogo can rest.
After Jorah takes a look at the gross, festering wound, he declares that Drogo will die tonight. He and Dany should run: she’ll be raped after Drogo dies, and her baby will be murdered so the new Khal doesn’t have competition. Daenerys refuses to leave, as she’s the blood of the dragon and all, and instead calls for the witch healer lady. Um, isn’t this the same witch healer lady who dressed Drogo’s wound the first time, and caused him to get all feverish and festery? But okay.
Yeeea… not so hot any more.
The witch lady tells Daenerys Drogo is going to die, but Daenerys says he can’t and she must save him at any cost. The witch lady says she will use ‘blood magick’ to save Drogo, but it will cost blood – but whose? Drogo’s horse is the first to go; she slits its throat and it slowly horribly dies while spurting blood everywhere. The witch lady says nobody can come in the tent once she starts chanting, so Daenerys gets out and forbids the Dothraki to enter.
The same angry Dothraki guy from before tries to go into the tent to kill the witch lady; when Daenerys tries to stop him, he pushes her to the ground. Hard. Jorah cuts off the guy’s head before he enters the tent, but the damage is done: Daenerys is going into labor.
Remember how five seconds ago Daenerys said nobody can enter the tent? I guess Jorah wasn’t listening, because he picks up Daenerys to carry her into the blood magicky tent. She’s going in to labor, but none of the Dothraki midwives will help her because she’s cursed (crazy!) Entering the tent does not seem like such a hot idea, first of all of because of the proscription, and secondly because there is scary wind and monster howls coming from inside.
I’m not sure why, but Tywin Lannister seems pretty dead set on getting his shortest child killed. He is putting Tyrion and his wildmen in the vanguard – the front lines, that is. Since Tyrion is pretty sure he’s about to die, his next step is to send his minion Bronn to find the prettiest whore available.
After stealing the whore from a soldier three tents down, Bronn presents her to Tyrion. Her name is Shae, and she’s a hot, clever foreigner with great boobs. She agrees to snuggles, fucks and conversation with Tyrion in exchange for a looot of gold.
a prim lil whore
Later, we get a hilarious glimpse of Tyrion, Bronn and Shae playing drinking games. I have to try this one: Tyrion and Shae each old their arm up to a candle, and the first one to pull away because of the horrible burning pain has to drink. Fun! Tyrion’s sick of losing, so he wants to play something he’s good at: guessing about people’s pasts. He starts with Bronn, who has a typical Violent Man past of being beaten, killing at a young age, etc, and Tyrion guesses well.
His attempts on Shae, however, are an unmitigated failure. Her mother wasn’t a whore, her dad didn’t abandon her, and she didn’t turn to hooking desperate to escape from home. After losing so many times, Tyrion is super wasted, and barely absorbs Shae’s threat that she’ll kill him if he mentions her parents again. Shae is so mysterios!
Tyrion’s past was mysterious, too, but gets a lot clearer in this scene. Profoundly drunk, Tyrion agrees to tell the story of the one time he fell in love.
He was a young teenager, and he met a girl on the road when she was on the road from rapers. Jaime chased off the rapers while Tyrion comforted the girl, Tysha. They ate and drank and chatted together for hours, and Tyrion lost all of his anxiety and insecurity around women. Finally, they went to bed and did it. They got married immediately by a drunk septon, and had a month of happiness until the septon sobered up and told Tywin, Tyrion’s father.
At this point, Tyrion learns the truth: Tysha was a whore. Jaime set up the whole raper escape scenario so that Tyrion could feel like a hero instead of paying for it. After they told Tyrion Tysha was a whore, they made him watch while she got banged by every guy in Tywin’s barracks. This is such an awful, sad story.
Shae says Tyrion should have known better, and calls him young and stupid. Then they start to bang, and Bronn runs off as the third wheel, destroying my dreams of a threesome.
The next morning, Tyrion awakens in Tysha’s arms to the sound of clanging armor and such. He is informed by Bronn that he’s already late for the war – Robb’s army snuck up during the night. Tyrion romantically asked Tysha to weep for him if he dies, to which she responds, “How will you know? You’ll be dead.” Touche, girl. Tyrion then armors up, ready for battle!
he looks so cute in his little outfit!
He gives his men an inspiring speech about war and leads the charge.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, based on his prospects for survival in the front line) Tyrion accidentally gets maced in the face by one of his own men and trampled in the rush. We don’t see any of the battle; Tyrion wakes up being dragged on a gurney by Bronn, who is cleaning off his bloody sword.
oooh yea i like my imp full screen.. it’s like life size!
Apparently, they won… because Robb attacked Tywin’s army with a decoy force of 2,000 men, and took the other 18,000 to attack Jaime!
Robb & Catelyn, Part 2
Yaaay, Robb won his first battle! He’s looking super grim and sexy about it, though, since he pretty much sacrificed 2,000 of his men to win the battle. We don’t get to see much, which is too bad because the battle is very cool in the book. Damn you, budget. Readers, please fill in some battle deets in the comments.
mmm… lack of personality.
Not only did they win, they captured Jaime Lannister! A coup, indeed. Jaime tries to convince Robb to settle the war through a one on one duel; luckily, Robb has enough sense and humility to realize that Jaime would win that way.
Ned Part 2 (The Finale)
My darling Arya is alive! She is looking even more manly/homeless than usual, and is killing pigeons in an alley in an effort to trade them for bread. When she sees a crowd rushing towards the Sept of Baelor, she follows them, realizing that Ned is being brought out for his judgment. Because, of course, nobody’s hunting all over the place trying to kill her (oh wait… everyone is) Arya gets up high next to a statue to watch the drama. Nobody notices her – except for Ned, who alerts a visiting Night’s Watch guy to her presence.
The crowd watching Ned being led to the sept are nooot happy. They’re screaming and throwing rocks or potatoes or something at his face. After a nod from Sansa, Ned begins to confess. He says he plotted to murder Joffrey and seize the throne. He’s definitely throwing up in his mouth a little bit as he declares Joffrey the one true heir to the seven kingdoms. For once, Ned is tossing out honor, to save his life and his family!
Now it’s Joffrey’s turn to talk.
“My mother wishes me to allow Ned to join the Night’s Watch,” he says, and mentions Sansa’s sweet plea as well. And we know there is a big, big but coming.
“BUT… they have the soft hearts of women. Ser Ilyn, bring me his head.” With that, the executioner puts on his hood, mounts the step, and pulls out his sword. Cersei is freaking out and grabbing at Joffrey, Sansa is screaming and crying, and Arya is being dragged from the statue by the night’s watch. This is NOT how it’s supposed to go down: by sparing Ned, Robb would have halted his attack, and Jaime would have been returned to safety. This is clearly a stupid, independent decision made by Joffrey, going against all the politics behind the scenes.
All of the sounds become muted and the scene spins slightly as Ned takes his last look at the world.
I know, it’s confusing to those of you who thought this show would have an actual protagonist. But I promise – it only gets more fascinating from here on out! No one is safe!