Fans of George R. R. Martin’s book series probably have no trouble following along with the lavish Game of Thrones series, but those new to the material might have had a hard time telling Westeros from Winterfell. If you’re a longtime fan, you’ll definitely want to check out The Escapist’s commentary on the series, but if you’re a confused newbie, fear not! We’ll be here with your weekly recap to help you keep it all straight. Or at least as straight as we can keep anything involving the Lannisters, anyway. We’ll be doing these recaps each week. Let’s go!
We’re trying something a little different with this week’s recap. Rather than go through the show blow-by-blow, I’m going to give you the broad brush strokes of what happened, so that we can get right to discussing what it all might mean.
This week was a big one for whiners. Bran was getting all salty because his mother wasn’t at Winterfell when he woke up. Theon Greyjoy was put out that his whore of choice didn’t necessarily prefer his ministrations to those of Tyrion Lannister. Lord Renly was complaining that his brother, King Robert “Fat Bob” Baratheon, didn’t think he was a real man because he’d never seen battle. (His lover, the Knight of Flowers, thinks he’d make a swell king and offers to bankroll him, so it’s not all doom and gloom for the younger Baratheon.) Gregor Clegane, aka The Mountain, was very annoyed that he lost a joust during the tournament and chose to vent his spleen by chopping off his horse’s head, trying to kill the knight who unhorsed him, and then attacking his brother. All in all, a lot of people were feeling very, very sorry for themselves.
Despite the fact that he actually has a pretty decent reason to be sulky, Tyrion is still in pretty fine fettle as he and Catelyn make their way towards Cat’s sister’s place. While they’re stopped, Catelyn has the conversation with Tyrion that I’ve been having with the TV for several weeks when he points out that it’s pretty damn stupid to arm an assassin with your own knife. Then the entire group is attacked by members of the hill tribes and rather than run away, Tyrion defends Cat by beating her attacker to death with a shield. He is a very, very complicated little man.
We can’t have an episode of Game of Thrones without at least one uncomfortable nude scene, and this week’s was brought to your courtesy of Catelyn’s sister, Lysa. The widow of the late Jon Arryn still breast feeds her son, despite the fact that he’s practically old enough to shave. We witness this therapy-inducing scene when Catelyn brings her prisoner, Tyrion, before Lysa so that he might be held accountable for his crimes. (Specifically killing Jon Arryn and trying to kill Bran. It is awfully hard to keep track with him, admittedly.) It would appear that Tyrion’s claim that Lysa was fully on board the train to loonytown was spot on. He gets tossed into one of The Eyrie’s unique dungeons anyway.
You may recall that Catelyn snatched up Tyrion when the opportunity presented itself, then took off for The Eyrie as fast as she could. Unfortunately, that means she didn’t have time to warn her husband, Ned, who finds himself on the wrong end of Jaime Lannister’s anger – and sword. Jaime nabs Ned as Ned is leaving the brothel where he discovered yet another one of Fat Bob’s bastard children – who yet again has jet black hair. Ned was trying to clear up a few loose ends before clearing the hell out of King’s Landing. Fat Bob’s decree that Daenerys must be killed for carrying Khal Drogo’s unborn child was just too much for Ned, so he quit his job as King’s Hand. If he wasn’t so obsessed with figuring out what Jon Arryn had been up to, he wouldn’t have wound up with a spear in the back of his leg. He also probably wouldn’t be the object of death threats, as Arya overheard while she was chasing a cat through the dungeons of King’s Landing.
To be fair to Ned, though, his stupidity in the face of near certain danger isn’t entirely his fault. Varys had come to him earlier, warning that Fat Bob was doomed to share Jon Arryn’s fate unless someone intervened. Even if you put aside Ned’s scorching case of personal honor, he can’t exactly ignore it if someone’s trying to off his friend, even if said friend is a shitty king who doesn’t even fit into his own armor anymore.
Speaking of Varys, he and Littlefinger have the spy’s version of a knockdown drag-out in the throne room at King’s Landing. Each casually mentions how much he’s spying on the other, how the other doesn’t know nearly as much as he thinks he does, and generally ooze refined menace at each other. It doesn’t really advance the plot or even tell us all that much we didn’t already know about these two, but it’s a shredder of a scene.
Cersei and Fat Bob have what passes for an intimate moment for them, discussing quite pleasantly how much they hate each other. Poor Cersei never really stood a chance. Robert never got over the death of his one true love, Ned’s sister Lyanna. Despite the grudge she could pretty fairly carry, Cersei actually sides with Ned in the whole Dothraki army debate. The horses don’t swim, so seriously, what’s the problem? The problem is that if they actually do find a way into Westeros, Fat Bob and friends are totally screwed, because only a fool faces Dothraki horsemen out in the open, but anyone hiding in a castle will be hated by the folks who can’t afford to do that.
So, where do we stand? Ned and Tyrion are both prisoners, King Robert has several black-haired bastards, The Mountain and Theon Greyjoy both have some serious anger issues, and Lysa Arryn has lost whatever marbles she once possessed.
Do we think Lysa will trade Tyrion for Ned? Is King Robert right to be concerned about the Dothraki hordes, even if the chances of the horses crossing The Narrow Sea is remote? Sound off in the comments! (Unless you already know the answers, in which case please use spoiler tags. Thank you!)