After watching last week's Game of Thrones episode, John complained about how so many scenes are just two people talking in various (gorgeous) locations. Maybe I never noticed that because a) I was typing notes through most of it or b) I was still entertained; but now I can't unsee it. There's a lot of talking about things maybe happening in the future, but very little doing. Really, it's not that much different than the books. There's a lot of talking in the books. There's a lot of description. George R.R. Martin takes a lot of time with everything...and I'm OK with that.
Also, again, it's the whole "I know what's coming, so I see the subtext in all of these conversations" situation. By the end of Episode 10, hopefully the viewers who haven't read the books will look back and say, "Yes. I get it, and it was all worthwhile." Or it might be too little, too late.
That said, I hope this episode, "Second Sons," provided just enough action for the folks who have been clamoring for more. I mean, we had a wedding and a white walker and leeches and boobs galore! That's a lot of stuff beyond the classic Game of Thrones jibber-jabber.
This episode was called "Second Sons," named for the group of sellswords hanging out in Yunkai, waiting to kill Daenerys and her unsullied. But, hey, there were a bunch of other second sons in the episode as well. Funny how that happens.
Dany and the Abercrombie model: Daenerys Targaryen will not rest until she has every sword in the entire world fighting for her cause. She's like Scrooge McDuck over there in Yunkai, hoarding piles of soldiers in her vault room and diving in wearing only an old-timey swimsuit. The unsullied were easily swayed to her cause, but the sellswords are harder to convince. They fight for gold. They're sword whores. Say that six times fast. But at the same time, they have their own principles. If they forsake the Yunkish slaver who paid them to take down Dany, what does that say about them? Who will ever want to hire a bunch of wishy-washy sellswords? It's all about branding.
The three boss men of the Second Sons -- Miro (the bastard of Titan), some other guy, and Daario Naharis (who's attractive, but only in a cheesy, obvious, CW kind of way) -- confer and decide to kill Dany. It's the only way. Daario gets the honor, but when he goes to carry out the deed, he's swayed by Dany's words and intellect (read: BOOBS!) and he gives her the heads of his comrades instead. And that, as they say, should be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Arya and the Hound: Speaking of swords and second sons (and second daughters, come to think of it), the Hound and Arya have joined forces. Sort of. She thought he was taking her back to King's Landing. But, as the Hound so eloquently put it, "Fuck Joffrey, and fuck the Queen." He's taking Arya to the Twins for Arya's Uncle Edmure's wedding, to find her mother and brother. He expects they'll have some top coin to give him for returning their precious girl.
Arya still doesn't quite trust him; she still thinks he's a bad guy. He thinks she's confusing him with his brother Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane. The Hound will protect her from the bad people, like he protected Arya's sister, Sansa from the bad people in King's Landing. Sansa and the Hound forEVER!
Speaking of Sansa: It's her wedding day! And it's going to be perfect. The day she's always dreamed of. How can it not be when you're marrying a deformed dwarf who's thrice your age from a family you hate? Loras schmoras, as they say.
However, and thanks to Tyrion for finally voicing this, Sansa could do much, much worse than him. He promises never to hurt her. With Jaime in the King's Guard, he's technically the heir to Casterly Rock even if his father won't admit it, so that's fun. By marrying Tyrion, she's no longer a prisoner of the court, and he can take her away from all the Joffrey shenanigans. Because when there's Joffrey, you know there will be shenanigans.
The Wedding: Sansa marries Tyrion, and it's...not the best wedding. But it is one that people will talk about for years, so there's that. First Joffrey shows up and decides to take the place of Ned Stark and walk Sansa down the aisle. Then he takes away Tyrion's stool, so he is unable to place the traditional cloak around Sansa's shoulders without her kneeling down. Then Tyrion gets blasted at the wedding and tells Joffrey, if he insists on humiliating Sansa and Tyrion with the traditional bedding ceremony, Joffrey will be "fucking his bride with a wooden cock" after his own wedding. He pulls a knife on the king, but Tywin, always the peacekeeper, tells everybody to settle down and promises that there will be no bedding ceremony tonight.
Tyrion and Sansa go up to the bedroom, and he tells her that he needs to put a baby all up in her business. Sansa doesn't flinch. This is what the septas have been prepping her for, for years. She takes off her dress, down to her smallclothes, but Tyrion balks. He won't do it unless she wants him to, until she wants him to. Sansa asks, "What if I never want you to?" Then Tyrion passes out on the couch. Shae comes in the next morning and realizes that Tyrion and Sansa have not consummated their marriage. She smiles. Whatever, Shae.
Cersei and Loras: Cersei's not a second son, but she is a second class citizen, and she has no desire to marry Loras, who looks just thrilled to be marrying her. He tries to make the best of it, by attempting to engage his betrothed in a conversation, but she shoots him down.
She also gets a chance to talk to Margaery about how exciting it is that their two families will be merging in just a few short weeks. Cersei compares the House Tyrell to the House Reyne of Castamere, from the legendary song. The Lannisters put House Reyne, the second wealthiest and most powerful house in the realm, in its place. And they'll do the same with the Tyrells, so just shut up, Margaery, and marry your own damn brother.
Gendry and Melisandre: Mel takes Gendry to Storm's End and promises to give his king's blood to Stannis. Gendry goes along with everything because Melisandre is treating him so nicely (also, BOOBS!). She tells Stannis that she needs to make Gendry feel comfortable so that he doesn't get nervous and turn his blood sour. She'd seen it happen millions of times.
Stannis consults his buddy Davos down in the dungeons, and Davos says he thinks Melisandre is one nutsy bitch and that if Stannis really believed Mel was doing the right thing, Stannis never would've come down to speak to Davos about it. Stannis can't argue with that logic and he springs Davos from his prison.
Meanwhile, it's Boob City up in Gendry's bedroom. Melisandre wants him to put his king's seed all up in her business, which is probably the theme of the episode. She jumps off while they're still in flagrante delicto, and tosses a couple leeches on Gendry's body. She says they need to show Davos how this whole blood thing works. It's all Davos's fault, really. Stannis throws the leeches on the fire and calls for the deaths of the usurper kings -- Robb Stark, Balon Greyjoy, and Joffrey Baratheon.
Sam and Gilly: Sam is not a second son either, but he is treated like one. He and Gilly are still wandering through the forest looking for the Wall. They stop in a little hut (that looks like a wolf's head) and they talk about naming Gilly's little boy. They decide on "Not Randyll," before Sam steps outside to see what all the crows are doing. They're making a lot of ruckus, is what. Then they fly away en masse and Sam's all, "What's up with that?" Then a white walker shows up and Sam tries to kill him with his sword, which the wight destroys with his hand. Sam's all, "I have this dragonglass dagger. Maybe I should try that?" So, he does, and it turns the wight to dust. Sam's a hero! And no one's around to see it, except Gilly, who already thinks's he's pretty neat, so...victory? How will he ever earn his "Sam the Slayer" nickname now?
- I'd like to see a Davos-learning-to-read montage, set to the Westerosi equivalent of "Eye of the Tiger."
- Loved Davos's line about how mothers and fathers created the gods to help their children sleep through the night.
- Also loved Olenna Tyrell trying to explain how everyone will be related from now on. Loras will be Joffrey's uncle/brother/stepfather.
What did you think? Two (long) weeks from now we'll see Episode 9, where big things generally happen in the Game of Thrones. Are you excited? Scared? Has "Second Sons" effectively pumped you up for the next episode?
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