Game of Thrones S2 Review: The Night Lands

120323game-of-thrones1-206x300After waiting all week, “Game of Thrones; The Night Lands” doesn’t disappoint.  This week, we get to catch up on characters we didn’t get to see too much of last week.

Arya and Gendry are still hiding out with the Night Watch when Joffrey’s Gold Cloaks come sniffing around. Arya of course assumes they’re after her when surprise! In actuality they’re after Gendry.  Lucky for them, they’ve got Yoren on their side who plays a tricky move with his sword, and sends the Gold Cloaks back off to their master weaponless in nearly more ways than one. Moving this story line along way faster than the novels, Arya reveals to Gendry her true identity. He teases her and calls her “milady”, but it’s a display of stupidity really that could get her killed. For her part, when discussing why the Kings Gold Cloaks might be looking for an armorer’s apprentice, Arya’s wheels visibly start turning and you can see she’s just a smidge away from figuring out the mystery that is Gendry.

In the Lannister game, we have Tyrion surprised by a visit from Varys. Varys peppers his conversation with a few veiled threats regarding Tyrion’s lady love, Shae, who is NOT supposed to be at Kings Landing. Tyrion, barring Varys from leaving by closing the door with his hand, declares “I am NOT Ned Stark, I understand how the game is played”. He is outplayed however when Varys likewise prevents Tyrion from leaving the room with his finger and reminds lord Tyrion that in the Big Bad Ocean, the big fish eat the little fish and Varys is a good swimmer.

Game-of-Thrones-Season-2-Character-Guide1-300x245It’s not a good day for Tyrion.  Last week, he scored one up on Cersei with “How hard it must be for you to be the disappointing child” this week after finding out from Cersei that it was Joffrey who ordered the baby massacre,  she then tied the match with her statement that Tyrion’s best joke on the family was to kill their mother with his birth. SCORCH! POW!

In the council meeting, cousin Alton Lannister delivers Robb Stark’s declaration of independence, and Tyrion suggests as a gesture of good faith to throw Robb and the Dire Wolves  a few bones (Ned Stark’s to be exact).   When a notice is received from Castle Black regarding a request for more man power, Tyrion, again the voice of reason and perhaps
also of prophecy, reminds the Queen Reagent and the councilors that the Night’s Watch is the only thing protecting them all from the things that go bump in the night. Cersei of course doesn’t take the warning seriously which just may be their undoing in the end.

Back behind the wall, in the True North, Jon Snow and the Crows are still guests of Craster the Creepifying.  Jon’s friend Sam (why does it seem that all fantasy sidekicks are fat and named Sam?) shows a bit of back bone when he chases Ghost away from Gilly and her hasenpfeffer . When she reveals to him that she is pregnant, Sam brings Gilly to Jon and they both try and talk him into taking her with them when the Black Watch leave. Jon refuses, reminding Sam that it could cost them their lives if they “steal” Gilly,  a round of applause for Sam who replies that Gilly can’t be stolen as she is a “person and not a goat”.  Unless Gilly reveals the secret of what happens to baby boys in Craster’s camp, however, there is no way that Jon can be swayed. Later that night, Jon spies Creepifying Craster carrying a newborn out into the woods and follows him only to find the horrifying truth. Craster makes sacrificial offerings of his boy babies to the White Walkers.

Down in the Red Wasteland we find Daenarys Targaryen and her Dothraki are dying of thirst and starvation waiting for the return of their scouts. Rakharo returns all right, with his head dripping from a saddlebag. Daenarys promises her mourning handmaiden that Rakharo will be burned with a funeral pyre and reassures her that although he was dismembered,  he will join his ancestors properly in the hereafter.  Although she doesn’t have a whole lot of power now, she is definitely a force to be reckoned with and I have no doubt that those that did this to the “blood of her blood” will pay dearly.

Go inside the episode with the show creators with this official video from HBO: 

Theon Greyjoy the Great returns to Pyke expecting to be welcomed with red carpets and roses only be spurned by his father and called a whore.  Theon has disappointed his father by forgetting what it means to” pay the iron price” that is winning your wealth through war and plunder, not by negotiating or buying it at the market. Needless to say, he’s not pleased with Theon’s relationship with the Starks or Robb’s offer of kingship in return for his help in standing against the Lannisters.  Melisandre-250-214x300Theon, fully expecting to be hailed as the returning prodigal son with all of its entitlements as heir, has forgotten about his sister Yara (Asha in the novels).  Before revealing to him her true identity as daddy’s favorite, she meets Theon at the dock, then brings him to the castle on horseback, letting him cop more than one feel during the ride home. Sibling relationships are complicated in Westeros.

In the meantime, the Onion Knight, Davos Seaworth and his son Matthos continue to rally support for Stannis Baratheon.  Pirate, Salladhor Saan, pledges his mercenary services to the cause as long as he gets a go at Cercei Lannister when all is said and done. When Davos returns to Stannis with this news he is greeted and dismissed by the Red Priestess Melisandre.  Melisandre gains more power over Stannis not only with her magic, but with her promises of an heir for his throne. Davos may be devoted to Stannis but if Stannis gains the iron throne, it may just be Melisandre who sits in it in the end.


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