Cruelty featured in beautiful prose is remarkable, but Game of Thrones proves that cruelty can still be addictive and engaging onscreen. It’s interesting how this show can make us cringe in nervous anticipation at the mere mention of the word “wedding”. While we knew there was bound to be something “big”, obviously because there’s been a lot of build up to the Joff-Margaery nuptials, we didn’t expect it to explode right in our faces during episode 2.
Goodbye, Tandy… We never knew ye
It’s easier to come to terms with the depravity and madness of the “Bolton bastard” when reading the books, especially since we’re reading about it from the perspective of his victim, Reek, also known as Theon Greyjoy. On TV, show runners have definitely met the challenge and shown, in their own way, that Ramsay Snow is a sick sick bastard.
How best to do that than to send a girl running through the woods, a pack of bitch hounds chasing her, and armed captors right at her heels? And how best to end that manhunt than to send a pair of bitches loose on a wounded and bleeding helpless runaway? #goodbyeTandy
Hello, Fat Walda
Roose Bolton and his new lady wife have arrived at the Dreadfort, Locke and his group of mercenaries in tow. It’s almost amusing when Ramsay Snow smiles as he greets Fat Walda, calling her “mother”. Perhaps he looks forward to skinning her and having bacon for breakfast.
And surprise surprise, Ramsay and Locke are sort of best friends. Freaks!
But perhaps the highlight is Theon or, more aptly, Reek. He’s been flayed, skinned, mutilated, and castrated into submission. He won’t dare nick Ramsay for fear of retribution, nor does he flinch when he finds out that Robb has been murdered. He even reveals that the real Stark boys are alive and are probably on their way to Jon Snow.
The Burning Men and the Night Full of Terrors
In Dragonstone, things are hotter than ever, which isn’t a good thing. The red priestess is burning men, those considered infidels to Stannis’ cause. This even includes his wife’s own brother Axell Florent, who conspired to betroth Shireen to Prince Tommen Baratheon to bring peace to the realms.
I just have to say, Queen Selyse creeps me out more than Melisandre. She’s blindly religious and a deep fanatic of the Red God, smiling and giving thanks even as her brother screams and burns #sick
Weirwood trees and the Old Gods
Bran is getting better at warging, spending hours inside Summer’s skin, eating, running, and hunting as the direwolf. Meera and Jojen Reed warn him against it at the risk of forgetting how to be human, while Hodor says “Hodor”.
But Bran’s warging isn’t the only magical power given highlight here. Because this episode was written by GRR Martin himself, he’s sure to put in more details about Bran being a greenseer. Visions of the past and future blur by in rapid succession as the Young Stark touches a weirwood tree complete with face and bleeding eyes.
We see new faces in Kings Landing. Mace Tyrell has finally made his debut. He’s been mentioned a number of times before, but now we finally have a face for the name. And Tommen Baratheon is recast as well, I think.
During the pre-wedding feast, a sort of bachelor party without the strippers, it’s customary for high lords to present a gift to the king or queen. The lord oaf of Highgarden presents a giant golden cup which features all the great Houses of Westeros, Tyrion Lannister gives a book about the lives of 4 great kings, Daeron the Young Dragon, Baelor the Blessed, Aegon the Unworthy, and Daeron the Good , while Tywin Lannister gives Joff a newly forged Valyrian steel sword, which he joyfully names Widow’s Wail.
Meanwhile, Tyrion is trying to get rid of Shae for fear of Tywin’s wrath against another one of his whores. Although I find it better that Shae is portrayed with more character and depth than she is in the books, it’s a bit harder to swallow that she hasn’t an inkling of the danger she’s truly in. That, or she’s truly in love with Tyrion. I’ve no doubt we’ll soon find out if Tywin will make good on his threat.
A Royal Wedding
Let’s dive straight into the murder mystery of the night — who killed King Joffrey Baratheon?
Is it Lord Tywin Lannister, the intimidating and controlling patriarch of House Lannister, someone whose reputation in battle, leadership, and subjugation far precedes his title? Tywin definitely has the motivation, after being called a coward by his own grandson who probably just hit puberty. Other than that, if Tywin sees that Joff is more of a mad king than Aerys ever was, there’s no telling what he might do to stop another “Mad King” ruining his precious family’s name.
Is it Lady Olenna Tyrell, a formidable and wise matriarch from Highgarden whose reaction to Sansa’s “monster” revelation was decidedly guarded? The Queen of Thorns certainly fits the role, her not-so-happy aura caught on camera time and again as Joff does his cruel antics and stupid japes. Also, is it a wee bit suspicious that after ‘arranging’ Sansa’s braids and necklace, she seems to be pinching something? A wise old lady who is part Tyrion, part Brienne, and part Tywin is definitely someone to watch out for.
Is it Tyrion Lannister, the dwarf son of Tywin Lannister who is always at the receiving end of King Joffrey’s cruel taunts? He has the best motivation by far, pushed almost to the limits of his tolerance. Tyrion has even threatened the king on several occasions, the last one being, ” Oh monster am I? Careful. Monsters are dangerous and just now kings seem to be dying like flies.”
Is it Sansa Stark, the king’s former betrothed who’s been beaten, humiliated, and laughed at at Joffrey’s behest? With her beloved father, mother, and brothers gone at the end of Lannister swords, what wouldn’t she do to avenge their deaths? She certainly has the motivation. But given that she’s more meek than a trained cat, she’d certainly need help. But who…
Is it Margaery Tyrell, Joff’s new wife and queen who definitely has more cunning and wits about her than Cersei? The doe-eyed maiden from Highgarden (not sure about the maiden 😀 ) knows how to flatter and beguile her young king. Is it really so hard for her to conspire to his own murder knowing that he is going to be a very challenging husband?
Or is it Cersei Lannister, the king’s mother who is… okay okay, not her. She’s far to enthralled with her son to notice how much of a mad man he is.
After the depressing unexpected death of Ned Stark and the even more depressing massacre at the Red Wedding, it’d be nice to get some retribution for the murdered Starks. Today, we got our small revenge through Joffrey’s gruesome death. Gruesome because he wasn’t killed in battle or murdered openly with a dagger or sword.
His murder was a conspiracy at his own wedding. He was poisoned and he was made to choke and gurgle his own blood in front of his wedding guests. A cruel death it may be, but Joffrey, you sick little bastard, you deserve it.
- The dward, the cripple, and the mother of madness.”-Tyrion
- The entire Purple Wedding setting. Perfect.
- The “Renly Baratheon” dwarf mounting a blond curly-haired boy and Loras Tyrell walking out.
- Brienne’s reaction to Cersei’s, “you love him”.
- Jaime Lannister getting swordfight lessons from Bronn. Perfect.
- Oberyn Tyrell, Ellaria Sand, Tywin Lannister, and Cersei Lannister giving subtle threats at a banquet table. #perfect
- The Iron Bank of Braavos is mentioned. The throne owns quite a LOT and if they don’t start paying soon, the Iron Bank will fund the enemies of the throne. One way or another, they always get their gold back #smirk
- Varys’ face (and Conleith Hill). Perfect.
This episode is another catalyst that will drive the game for the Iron Throne into an even more complex web of lies, power, and loyalty. Given that the reign of House Lannister is grounded on the young rule of King Joff, how will his death compel the intricate workings of his court? But intrigue or no, JOFF IS DEAD! #yessssss
Will we find out who really killed Joffrey or will Cersei’s accusation on Tyrion prove true? Will Sansa flee with Dontos the fool and, if so, where will they go? How will the king’s death affect Kings Landing, specifically the marriage alliance of House Tyrell and Lannister?
Let’s find out what happens next week in “Breaker of Chains”
P.S. Because of my holy week sabbatical, I’m only just publishing my review now and you can’t imagine how much I’ve been itching to click that little blue “publish” button. 😀