Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones Season 4 Episode 2 Review "The Lion and the Rose"

Greg Tito | 14 Apr 2014 20:00
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Jaime Lannister and Tyrion share a touching scene in which the younger brother tries to cheer up his crippled elder. It's actually great to see the brothers interact again, and that Tyrion doesn't lord over Jaime with a line like "See? Now you know how I feel!" The dwarf is genuinely saddened by his boyhood hero being brought low, and gives him the only thing he can, a "quiet" sellsword to spar with. Oh good! They totally are going to bring back Ilyn Payne, the royal headsman who had his tongue cut out. Yay! ... Oh hells, it's Bronn.

In all honesty, it could have been some very boring television to watch Jaime spar with a silent swordsman, but it would have worked. One of the aspect's of Jaime's character that we're missing is his inner turmoil, and search for his self in the adder pit that is both his family and the capitol. To have him be compelled to talk, to get those emotions out and deliver them to a man for whom it is impossible to tell anyone Jaime's secrets would have been great. I can see why the show's creators went with Bronn - he is a fan-favorite character after all, and he doesn't have much to do once his master is taken into custody - but I would have preferred Ser Ilyn Payne, if only to hear his clacking laugh at Jaime's ineptitude.

Tyrion has some gut-wrenching scenes in this episode, before we even get to the poisoning. Varys the Spider tells him even more emphatically that Shae is in danger, and Tyrion pushes her away the only way he knows how, by telling her that he doesn't love her. It's an obvious lie, but that doesn't mean she hurts any less. Bronn takes her away, and assures Tyrion she is on a ship across the Narrow Sea. But the seeds of discord have been planted.

The Lord of Light and his merry band makes a brief appearance. Stannis Baratheon and Melisandre burn his brother-in-law to death on the beach for upholding the Seven gods, Ser Davos grumbles a bit about the same old shit, and we get a more clear picture of the marital bliss his wife Selyse enjoy. Melisandre goes to visit Stannis' daughter, who suffered from greyscale, a fatal disease for most but only left her scarred. These scenes do little to further the story other than to remind you of the characters, truly, but Melisandre does have one amazing line. "The only hell that exists is the one we're living in right now," she says to Shireen Baratheon. Ugh.

Before we get to the big ol' wedding, there's a short scene north of the Wall that is jam-packed with information. Bran is wolf walking again. Hodor says "Hodor" and wakes him up. The Reed kids, Jojen and Meera tell him it's not a good idea to go into his wolf so much. Then the small party sees a weirwood tree, complete with a face carved in it, which means it's a holy place for those follow the Old Gods. Bran asks Hodor to bring him close, touches the tree, and is blasted with a cavalcade of images: a huge heart tree on a cliff, a glimpse of his father in prison beneath the Red Keep, Bran himself being pushed out of the tower by Jaime, a shadow of dragon's wings flapping over King's Landing - and a voice that says, "Look for me ... beneath the tree ... north." Welp, that's three minutes of quest-giving that was sorely needed. I'm glad we only get a few glimpses of Bran's journeys in these episodes as it's mostly just boring walking through the cold in the books.

Semi-mystical interlude over. Back to the wedding.

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