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Monday, April 9, 2012

Game of Thrones- The Night Lands recap/review

What Happened- This episode is notable for putting Theon Greyjoy front and center! “Who is Theon Greyjoy?” asks everyone. He is the guy in the picture. Need more? Theon was a hostage of Ned Starks who grew up with Robb Stark. He is the son of Balon Greyjoy, the ruler of the Iron Islands who once rebelled against the iron throne. King Robert and Ned Stark won this war and allowed Balon to remain lord of the Iron Islands, but they kept his only surviving son. 

Theon travels to the Iron Islands to ask his father to back Robb in this new war. During the whole voyage, Theon bones the ship captain’s unattractive daughter. Theon hits shore and a young woman offers him a ride to the castle. On the way, Theon gropes her. When Theon asks his father to help Robb, Balon is all, “Dude, I hate those Starks. Do you remember nothing?!” Balon decides he doesn’t like Theon because he’s too Stark-loving and also too fancily dressed/feminine. Balon puts his daughter in charge of his armies instead of Theon. The daughter is the girl who gave Theon a lift to the castle. Her name is Yara (changed from the books), and she seems cool. Theon declares that he plans to be king. Of course he does.  

Let’s get to Ern’s favorite character, Tyrion, the new Hand of the King. Tyrion sends Janos Slynt, leader of the city watch, to the Night Watch. Tyrion wants to get rid of him since he killed many baby bastards and betrayed Ned Stark, the last Hand. Tyrion only wants loyal and trustworthy people working with him. Cersei is upset by this and tells Tyrion that she wishes he had died during his birth rather than their mother. Tyrion makes his hired sword, Bronn the new head of the city watch.

Tyrion is still trying to hide his favorite hooker, Shae, from his father. His father told Tyrion that he wasn’t allowed to bring Shae with him and Tyrion disobeyed. Varys threatened Tyrion regarding this secret and Tyrion told Varys, “I’m not Ned Stark. I understand the way this game is played.”

Soldiers catch up with Gendry (Robert’s bastard with the bull helmet), Arya, and Yoren, so Arya freaks out, thinking that Cersei has found her at last. Gendry sees this and Arya comes clean about who she is. It’s just as well: Gendry had already figured out her gender. It turns out that  the soldiers were looking for Gendry so that they could kill the last of the bastards.

Yoren is a bad ass. He takes the soldier’s weapons and tells them to leave, so Gendry and Arya are safe, for now. The soldiers tell Yoren that they will return with more men. We meet Jaqen H'ghar, the guy in the rolling cage asking Arya for water. Remember this guy, because he is yet another key player in this show. He is caged because he is a dangerous criminal. There are two other crazies caged with him, and they are significantly ruder than Jaqen, so Aria starts poking them with a stick.

We do not see Rob, Catelyn, or Jaime this week, but Daenerys gets a couple of scenes. One of Daenerys’ riders was killed. His head and his horse were sent back by enemies who aren’t thrilled that the Dothraki are being led by a woman. Daenerys vows to do something about this. We also see a little of Stannis. Davos the smuggler and his son team up with a pirate, Salladhor Saan in order to help Stannis become king. Saan wants sex with Cersei as part of his payment and he wants it to be willing. Stannis’ witch wife tells him that if he wants to defeat his brother Renly in open war, he must “give himself to her god.” The ritual to do this involves Stannis having sex with Melisandre on his map table. Stannis obliges.

North of the Wall, Samwell pities one of Craster’s extremely young wives, Gilly, and wants to take her away from Craster. Gilly wants to escape before her baby is born in order to save him. Jon Snow shoots Samwell down. When the baby is born, Craster takes the baby into the woods and sets it down in the snow. Jon follows him and sees something/someone pick up the baby and take him away. It could be chupacabras or monsters or zombies or men. We don’t know yet. Craster sees Jon and hits him over the head, knocking him out. We will find out his fate later.

Comments- This episode was way more plodding than the last one. Gendry is really the rightful king, not Stannis. We have around a thousand guys trying to be king, but there could be another at some point. Gendry doesn’t know his father’s identity, so it may take a while. The soldiers who came to capture him are surely going to lose the game of thrones. They TOLD a man they were going to attack him. Nice. Very smart.

We ship Gendry and Arya, at least when Arya is old enough to have boobs. That day will come, and we are sure the series will show them, for this is Game of Thrones. The man who wrote the books, George R.R. Martin, is really into boobs too. He was writing from the perspective of a woman (young Daenerys) when he said, “When she went to the stables, she wore faded sandsilk pants and woven grass sandals. Her small breasts moved freely beneath a painted Dothraki vest ..." This episode just hit our point home. This show is all about boobs.

Varys should NOT be threatening Tyrion. A) He’s awesome and B) He’s a smarty. He has all the best quips. Our favorite this week happened when Cersei was complaining about all the threats she is under. “It's all fallen on me," she says. Tyrion replies: "So has Jaime, repeatedly, according to Stannis Baratheon." Haha, nice. We find out that Joffrey is the one who ordered the bastards to be killed. He. Is. The. Worst.

This is a change from the books and we like it. It makes more sense. Cersei is a little more sympathetic on the show and we think that’s a strong choice to make. Joffrey is the one who would kill babies without blinking. Cersei is such a bitch to Tyrion. That’s why Tyrion prefers Jaime. Jaime is the only person in the Lannister family who is kind to Tyrion, and that’s Jaime’s redeeming factor at this point in the series.

Samwell is growing on us. When Jon Snow told him that they couldn’t steal one of Craster’s women, Samwell replied, “I can’t steal her. She’s a person.” Swoon. If only he were hotter. But that’s not the point of Samwell, is it?

MAN there was a lot of sex in this episode. Too much, we think. This was the most sex-filled episode, and none of it was particularly titillating. One of the sex scenes proves vital to the plot in the future, but we won’t tell you which one. That was the only one that was necessary. We don’t mind sex if we enjoy watching it, but Thrones sex is usually just gross and/or incestuous. We got off lucky there though. There was only an incestuous grope. What is with George R. R. Martin and incest?

Episode grade: B-

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