This week was full of good ideas that rapidly turned into bad ideas. Let’s start off with TYRION, who’s still stuck in one of THE EYRIE‘s sky cells. The view is certainly picturesque, but doesn’t quite make up for the precipitous drop, so Tyrion bribes a guard to tell Lysa that he’s ready to confess his crimes. Tyrion takes advantage of his audience with the Lady to confess everything from admiring a young lady’s tits to “making the bald man cry into the turtle soup,” but when it comes to killing JON ARRYN or trying to kill BRAN, he’s afraid he’s clueless. Rather than be tossed back into a cell (or out through the Moon Door, a whopping great hole in the throne room floor), Tyrion demands his right to trial by combat – then selects his brother JAIME as his champion. Brilliant idea! Except Lysa decides that the trial will take place immediately, and as Jaime doesn’t seem to be available, it looks like Tyrion will have to defend himself. That is, until BRONN the mercenary steps up and says he’ll fight on the dwarf’s behalf. There’s a short, particularly nasty fight, and Lysa’s champion finds himself sailing out the Moon Door. Having passed the trial, Tyrion and Bronn depart the Eyrie.
Bran’s good idea was to take his brand new, custom-made saddle for a spin, while THEON and ROBB are arguing about whether or not the Starks and Lannisters will be going to war. His good idea rapidly turns bad when he wanders too far off and is attacked by WILDLINGS. They’re cutting him out of the saddle when Robb shows up and starts aerating their midsecctions, but before he can finish them off, one of the Wildlings snatches Bran from his saddle as a hostage. Given the circumstances, that probably seemed like a good idea at the time, but Theon’s arrow says otherwise. Robb’s actually kind of annoyed that Theon saved Bran’s life. Well, more accurately, he’s scared shitless that his little brother nearly got his throat slit, and takes that out on Theon, claiming to be miffed that Theon’s arrow might’ve accidentally finished what Jaime started. Theon is just annoyed that Robb is annoyed. In the midst of all this flying angst, Robb spares the life of the last Wildling, a female.
KING ROBERT forces NED to reclaim his position as Hand of the King, then heads off to a hunt, so Ned does his best to fill in while Fat Bob is gone, which is a fine idea, especially if he wants to prevent war between his family and the Lannisters. Ned’s still insisting that capturing Tyrion was his idea, by the way, which is both noble and ungodly stupid. Some farmers come to court to say that a Very Scary Man has been burning their land, covering their children in pitch, and generally ruining everyone’s day. PETYR observes in the worst stage whisper ever that the lands in question belong to CATELYN‘s family, and that the Very Scary Man sounds an awful lot like The Mountain, GREGOR CLEGANE, aka the fixer for Tywin Lannister. So Ned decides the best course of action is to not wait for the King to get back, but instead to strip The Mountain of all of his lands, his title, and make him a marked man by sentencing him to death. Because, you know, that will totally keep the Lannisters off his back. There’s something to be said for being a man of honor, but as Bronn might point out, it’s not honor that wins fights. Ned has to know that his actions will put him right back in the Lannisters’ crosshairs, but maybe he believes that it’s more important to be just than to be safe. Or maybe he’s just an idiot.
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.