Today’s brilliant lead-in sets the perfect tone for the traditional penultimate 9th episode, Ned Stark’s beheading for season 1, the Battle of Blackwater for season 2, and the dreaded Red Wedding for season 3. But first, let’s see how our players fare in this heady game for the iron throne…
Across the Narrow Sea
Freshly elated from her successful subjugation of Astapor, Daenerys furthers her campaign against slavery by marching to Yunkai and threatening the masters to free their slaves. However, the walls of the city are built so high that a siege would only be fruitless and pointless, at least until our khaleesi finds another way to enter the city.
So, Dany attempts to bribe the Second Sons, a company of sellswords in Yunkai, to turn their cloaks against the Yunkish masters and ride with her. This company is lead by Mero the Titan’s bastard, Prendahl ne Gezn, and Daario Naharis. However, Mero refuses the offer of the Mother of Dragons and insults her repeatedly in front of her Queensguard. Hiding her rage, Dany instead instructs Ser Barristan that “If it comes to battle, kill that one first.”
But no battle commences because, in a surprising turn of events, Daario Naharis betrays his comrades, beheads them, and swears fealty to Daenerys Targaryen. “The Second Sons are yours and so is Daario Naharis. My sword is yours, my life is yours, my heart is yours.”
Despite the title of the episode, the bigger focus here is the marriage between Sansa Stark and Tyrion Lannister. In a clever play of camera tricks and angles, the show merely emphasizes how little Tyrion is compared to the very tall Sophie Turner. The entire wedding scene, and everything that preludes to it, is a cruel little trick to both the bride and groom.
In a sleazy move, Joffrey Baratheon takes it upon himself to take Sansa to the altar, taunting her that since her father is gone, it’s up to him as father of the realm to take Ned’s place. And to humiliate the nuptials even further, Joffrey proceeds to take away the wooden stand that would allow Tyrion to place the Lannister cloak on Sansa without difficulty.
Tense moments even escalate after the wedding. Tyrion is drowning himself in a drunken stupor, Sansa is wallowing in misery, Joffrey is probably contemplating what kind of cruelty he could play on his new aunt, Cersei is dreading his soon-to-be marriage with Loras Tyrell, and even Margaery still seems to be unnerved by Cersei’s quiet and deadly threat, “If you ever call me sister again, I’ll have you strangled in your sleep.”
Perhaps the highlight of the night is Joffrey’s attempt to have the bedding ceremony, obviously in an attempt to embarrass the couple even more. Enraged, Tyrion threatens the King by saying, “Then you’ll be fucking your own bride with a wooden cock.”
Applause goes to Tyrion. 😀
Although Stannis isn’t a fan favorite character, it’s nice to see him and Melisandre get a little bit more screen time, if only because of the fact that they’ve had very short appearances throughout the season so far. Gendry’s situation isn’t looking too good. The red priestess’ comment about slaughtering lambs and none of them seeing the blade is unnerving, but more so is Stannis’ near-desperation to see the “usurpers” die.
Also, this is the second time we see a naked writhing and moaning woman on top of a guy as a prelude to something bad happening to that guy’s dong. “Fight death with me…” is a sentence that will never mean the same thing again.
Will Arya and The Hound’s journey see them safely to The Twins? Will the she-wolf finally be reunited with her pack? How will the burning of the leeches turn out? Will kings really die next week? How will Dany’s new affiliation with the Second Sons help her get Yunkai?
Let’s see what will happen in “Rains of Castamere” 😀