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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
After being spoiled to last week’s surprise death on Game of Thrones, I was hoping to go into last night’s episode knowing nothing about what transpired or what the aftermath of said shocking death would be like. Unfortunately, that did not happen. But it’s ok in the end, because this wasn’t really an episode of Game of Thrones that could be spoiled all that much anyway. Pieces were moved forward, there was some nudity and violence, and things were said in various British accents. That’s pretty much all you can ask for from a rather ordinary episode of this show. At the very least, we didn’t have to waste any time with Bran and the brother/sister (are there names Meera and Jojen? I don’t care) north of the wall.
We are, however, treated to another great Tywin Lannister scene, wherein he grooms a young Tommen (Joffrey’s brother) for an impending kingdom. He also explains the importance of solidifying one’s kingship by having children, which Joffrey wasn’t able to do obviously (it is also of utmost importance now that Joffrey is dead as well). Charles Dance has been excellent as Tywin since his first scenes back in season one, and he continues to do great work here. The less mentioned about Jaime and Cersei’s sex scene, the better. I personally wish I could erase it from my mind completely. Needless to say, it was unpleasant and unnecessary.
Elsewhere in King’s Landing, Oberyn Martell receives a surprise visit from Tywin, who asks him to join the jury of three who will decide whether or not Tyrion is guilty in Joffrey’s murder (which it doesn’t seem he is). Oberyn uses the opportunity as a chance to get closer to solving the murder of his sister, niece, and nephew and accepts, knowing that the Lannister family will owe him a favor. Tyrion is imprisoned in a dungeon in the Red Keep, and a visit from Podrick fills the audience in on just what is happening. He will soon face a trial over Joffrey’s death, Podrick is being compelled to testify against him, he cannot see his bodyguard Bronn, and he might be able to visit with his brother Jaime. All told, it doesn’t look great for Tyrion at the moment.
The mayhem in King’s Landing continues with Sansa Stark, as Ser Dontos safely whisks her out of the city and to what can only be assumed to be safety. It is revealed that Lord Baelish is behind Sansa’s rescue and that he is to pay Ser Dontos for the footwork involved. Baelish, however, has Dontos murdered instead to keep him quiet. I don’t know what he has planned for Sansa, but it definitely doesn’t look good for her. I also forgot just how little we’ve seen of Baelish, going all the way back to the end of last season. He was presumably to be in the Eyrie with Sansa’s aunt. Now that he has the Stark girl, he may just end up there in the next few episodes anyway. At Dragonstone, Stannis Baratheon is becoming impatient with Ser Davos, who has been trying to put together an army. Ser Davos gets the idea to hire sellsword armies from across the Narrow Sea, but he needs to come up with a way to pay for it.
At Castle Black, Samwell is struggling to keep Gilly safe. He notices all the prying eyes of the Night’s Watch and doesn’t like their intentions. Gilly feels safe, but Samwell thinks she’ll be safer at a nearby town. He is almost sure to be wrong, but he takes her there anyway and sets up work for her in a bar/keep/whorehouse that looks like it has seen many better days. Raiders from beyond the wall continue to attack and plunder villages in the north, intending to draw men from the Night’s Watch into open battle. The men understand, however, that they cannot engage the raiders in combat lest they leave Castle Black up for grabs. Desperately short on men, they receive further bad news when it becomes clear that deserters have set up shop in Craster’s Keep north of the wall. Jon Snow must now lead a group of men to the keep to silence the deserters. They cannot let Mance Rayder know just how depleted they are.
Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys Targaryan and her army approach the free city of Meereen with the intent to sack and destroy it, just like they did with Yunkai and Astapor last season. Meereen sends out its champion fighter, who insults Daenerys by urinating in front of her army. Daario volunteers to take on the champion, and does so quickly and impressively, felling his horse and then decapitating the man with his curved blades. Daenerys implores the slaves of the city to rise up against their masters, launching chains from several cannons into the city, the intent being for the slaves to chain their owners in revenge. The episode ends here, and I imagine we’ll be filled in on more of this next week. This storyline could definitely use a little polish and a little more development. We’ll see as the weeks continue.