Sound the alarums, alert the bannermen and for the old gods' sake get some clothes on - it's time for another Game of Thrones recap!
Ah, Raven On. I'm still utterly delighted with that name.
Thanks to those of you who read and commented on the first installment. My plan to do recaps was actually mentioned on the most recent Televised Revolution podcast; admittedly after co-host Dan described TV recaps as "the worst thing ever". So I just wanted to reiterate that these are meant to be a bit of fun. I read the wonderful recap on the i09 last week, which was practically thesis-like in its discussion of broad themes and how they played out on a personal level in the first episode. I can't see mine being that lofty; more an excuse for a bunch of nob gags.
So here now comes the jump cut; if you click and expand you may read MASSIVE SPOILERS.
Episode Two: Nevermind the Incest; Here's the Sex (With Incest)
It was a bit of a sexy episode wasn't it? There was sex on a ship, sex in a brothel room, sex just outside a brothel room, sex on what appeared to be a Warhammer tabletop game, and even sex on a horse.
Oh yeah! Arya and Gendry on their Night's Watch trek. It was great to see everyone's second-favourite imp being all "I'm a boy, I'm not scared" on the King's Road north. If you weren't fully confident in Yoren's badass-ed-ness, he certainly proved it with his steely-eyed, steely-groined intimidation of the Lannister soliders sent to track down King Robert's bastard son. Gendry himself is fast becoming one of my favourites, and his interplay with Arya on discovering not her gender (he'd worked that one out) but her lineage was delightful.
There was no Joffrey this week (Boo! I mean, yay! No wait, boo! because I love to boo at Joffrey); instead the King's Landing events focused on Tyrion and his Machiavellian routing of the new City Watch captain Jonas Slynt. All Dornish wine and pork crackling, and then bang, off to the Wall with you, and three cheers for your replacement, Bronn.
Ecstatic as I was with this development (I can't wait to see Bronn in action in an official capacity), it could very well backfire on Tyrion, as Bronn seems happy enough with his own moral vacuum to make sure "How much?" was the only question he'd need to ask before skewering a baby.
Tyrion also faced spidery threats from the ever-charming Varys, who discovered his illicit companion Shae, although politely refused her "fish pie" (the GoT drinking game should be expanded to included vagina metaphors); and had a run-in with his sister, which got very personal.
As an aside, I have developed a degree of sympathy with Queen Cersei. Don't get me wrong, she's completely misguided, but I love the growing sense of frustration and hostility she has towards the male-dominated culture she lives in. In a telling moment, she accused both Tyrion and Jaime of never taking the business of ruling seriously, and how it's fallen to her. She's a woman who had to live with a buffoonish husband, and is now realising she's losing control of her arrogant son. Privately, she must rage against being surrounded by these idiots.
Of course as Tyrion points out, she's getting the business of ruling all wrong, refusing to help the common people or send more men to the Wall - but in Cersei's mind, she's the one actually doing the hard yards to protect the throne.
Episode Two also saw the introduction of the Iron Islands, and fleshing out a bit more of the Theon Greyjoy storyline. Flesh being the operative word, as young Greyjoy got busy with a ship's wench well below decks (oo-er), before getting all Equus on a horse with a pant-suited chick who TURNS OUT TO BE HIS SISTER. Yara is now his father's favourite, so creepy incest aside, yay go feminism and chicks rule.
Having said that, I don't think Greyjoy's fragile ego is going to take the humiliation well. His father may well be a salt-encrusted anger management course dropout, but I suspect Theon will come up with some grossly over-the-top act of stupidity to try to prove he's still Daddy's little kraken.
Yay! (Best Moments)
Lovely Sam up beyond the Wall, trying to help out one of Captain Incest's pregnant daughters. She obviously feared what would become of the child if it were a boy... a fear well-grounded as the chilling final moments of the episode proved. But isn't Sam just so sweet and well-meaning? He is perhaps the one character in the show without any ulterior motives. His complete lack of canniness or conniving is so refreshing. I loved him telling Jon Snow's massive direwolf Ghost to back off.
Zing (Best Line)
Tyrion had some more corkers this week; but I loved Arya's rejoinder to Gendry when he asked why she insulted people bigger than her: "Well then I wouldn't get to insult anyone".
And the new character, pirate Salladhor Saan, kept it real by declaring his forces for Stannis, on the proviso he can have it off with Queen Cersei should they take King's Landing. Turns out he's not a religious man: "The only God is between a woman's legs". Hey, that explains the small cathedral on my upper left thigh!
Ewww, gross (a skin-crawl moment)
Littlefinger's couched warning to Ros that her emotions were not welcome in his bordello. "Take the night off to mourn the child... then come back tomorrow happy. That makes me happy." I've never liked Lord Baelish, but I'm starting to loathe him. I really hope Catelyn Stark knifes him at some point. It's got to be her, surely.
Boo, sucks (a downside)
Maybe it's just me, but I found the Stannis/Kate Bush sex-on-a-LARP-board scene a bit over the top, particularly the shots of battle pieces falling to the ground. If Stannis has been loyal to his wife all this time, even though she's born him no heirs, would he really just drop that all for a naked red-haired, dead-eyed loony nymphette priestess' promise she could give him a son? And OK, fine, if that's just a stupid question - how can someone so matter-of-fact, who's been aligning with the God of the Light only for political expediency, so easily be convinced into the religion by a quick bumping of the uglies on top of his freshly-painted Orcs and Chaos Space Marines?
That's it for this week - would love to hear your thoughts, ideas and nob jokes in the comments! If you know anyone who is a fan of the series and is watching, spread the word and get them to join in.