Game of Thrones
Episode 6: "A Golden Crown"

Susan Arendt | 23 May 2011 21:00
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Ned counters this really, really stupid move by trying to send his daughters home to WINTERFELL to get them out of the line of fire, which is good thinking. Except neither one of them want to leave. ARYA can't bear the thought of leaving SYRIO and her dancing lessons, and Sulky SANSA the Senseless can't bear the thought of leaving JOFFREY and the prospect of someday being his queen and birthing loads of blonde-haired babies. It's that last point, along with Sansa's observation that Joffrey is nothing like the King, that finally clues Ned into the fact that Joffrey, the heir to the throne, isn't actually the son of the king. Apparently looking several of Fat Bob's black-haired children in the scalp wasn't enough to tip him off. Well, Ned's loyal, brave, and true - we never said he was the sharpest knife in the drawer.

So plenty of people had some good ideas turn bad this week, but the king of them all is VISERYS, who is becoming more and more bitter about how completely the DOTHRAKI have embraced his sister DAENERYS as their Khaleesi. Daenerys impresses the clan by eating a raw horse heart and not barfing it right back up, which apparently means not only is she a fine candidate for Fear Factor, but that she's also carrying a boy who will someday conquer the world. After whining that he's never been loved like Daenerys has - which just might have something to do with the fact that he's a complete dick, a possibility he seems reluctant to consider - Viserys has the good idea to give up on the whole Dothraki army thing and just buy himself some soldiers. Unfortunately, he decides to do this by stealing and hocking Dany's three dragon eggs, a move that Ser Jorah puts an end to right quick-like. Whether it's because he's in love with Daenerys, hates Viserys, doesn't want to be in the middle of a bunch of pissed-off Dothraki, or all of the above, isn't immediately clear.

Viserys abandons the egg stealing idea, which is good. But then he gets drunk and crashes Daenerys' party, which is really, really bad. Worse, he pulls a sword, which is a strict no-no in VAES DOTHRAK. But he maybe, possibly, could've gotten away with it, if he hadn't then put the tip of the sword up against Danerys' belly and threatened to cut out her unborn child unless KHAL DROGO gives him the golden crown that he deserves. Khal Drogo, ever the gracious host, is happy to oblige. He melts his own belt in the cooking pot, then pours the molten gold over Viserys' head while Daenerys impassively looks on.

It's an incredibly important moment for Dany, not only because it signals her departure from her old family and her complete acceptance of her role as Khaleesi of the Dothraki, but also because it reverses the roles that she and her brother have shared their entire lives. Because the show has drastically reduced the time spent on the Targaryens, we don't really get the full sense of how badly Viserys abused Daenerys ever since she was a toddler. He abused her physically and mentally, and convinced her that she could not possibly live without him - a common technique abusers use to isolate their victims. Throughout her life, Dany was never her own person; she was Viserys' sister, a tool to be used to help restore him to the throne. It wasn't until she became Khaleesi that she began to claim her own power, a power she previously had used to spare her brother, but which she now held in check to doom him to the fate he deserved. In that moment, she is the one who is strong, who is loved, who will rule - not him. It takes that golden crown for Daenerys to stop being Viserys' sister and start being herself.

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