Game of Thrones on Red Bull: 2-10 “Valar Morghulis”

Red Bulls imbibed: 1

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Well, I’m immediately angry because as the intro rolls is starting to settle in that i won’t be seeing these fun little geographic animations again for nearly a year.

 

A nice cut of Tyrion waking up in a bed.  It looks like he’s in King’s Landing’s broom closet.  Maester Pycelle is looming over him with a creepy old man smile.  I hope I never have to wake up with a man like that hovering over my face.

Maester Pycelle gleefully informs Tyrion that his father, Lord Tywin, took all of the credit for the victory AND Tyrion was demoted and is no longer the Hand.  Apparently Old Man Pycelle still has his whitey-tighties in a bunch since Tyrion threw him into a black cell earlier this season.

As he leaves, Maester Pycelle flips a single coin to Tyrion and says…

"HEADS YOU WIN...TAILS YOU DIE!"

Oops!  I misheard the line.  He really just quipped, “for your troubles.”  Based on Tyrion’s furious expression he would have preferred the Two-Face scenario.

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Joffrey is in the throne room declaring Gramps Tywin the Savior of King’s Landing.  Gramps thanks his “grace” and rides off to the King’s Landing Old Country Buffet.

"The Best Buffet in Westeros" - Lord Varys

After Gramps makes his exit, Joffrey thanks Lord Baelish for his kick-ass, crown-saving strategy and gifts him Harrenhal.   For coming to the Lannister’s aid, Joffrey asks the Tyrell’s to request a reward.  Margaery Tyrell requests Joffrey’s hand in marriage.  I know she wants to be queen but…

There are some prices not worth paying.

This move was obviously orchestrated in advance by the Lannisters.  Based on the gasps from the crowd in the throne room, the entire kingdom is shocked and saddened by news.  Well, everyone except Sansa.  Please listen to this song while staring at the following image for an entire minute.

"AND DON'T IT FEEL GOOD!"

 

Lord Baelish, the proud new owner of the mostly-destroyed shithole known as Harrenhal, vows to help Sansa get home to Winterfell.  In a very Sansa-like way she tells him, “King’s Landing is my home now.”  After he retrieves his eyeballs from the back of his head, Lord Baelish makes an unusually transparent observation, “They’re all liars here…and everyone better than you!”  He tells Sansa he’ll help her out of his love for her mother Lady Mopes-a-lot Stark.   But wait a sec, what happened to the Hound?  Wasn’t that his job?  Shouldn’t she already be 100 miles from King’s Landing? Damn you, Sansa!

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Now we’re with Ros and Lord Varys.  He’s trying to convince her to work for him instead of Lord Baelish.

Varys is jealous of Baelish’s newfound glory and ruined castle ownership and he’s already scheming to get back in the action.  Ros tries to make a move on Lord Varys. Needless to say, it is unsuccessful.

Swing and a miss!

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Now we’re lost in the wilderness with Jaime and “Brienne the Beauty”.  Jaime is still trying to incite her to fight or untie him.  How many episodes has this been going on? 4?  Have they had the exact same exchange for days on end?

Along the road Jaime and Brienne run into a few Stark men who recently murdered and strung up three prostitutes for sleeping with Lannister men. Brienne does not care for the mistreatment of the women but she’s going to give them a pass as to not draw attention.  But when the men realize that her prisoner is actually the Kingslayer…well…Brienne does that thing she does.  Not only is Jaime impressed with her brutal execution of the three men, but he’s also stunned by the fact that she killed them despite them all being “Stark men”.  That should get at least 20 minutes of quiet out of the Kingslayer!

I take it back! I don't want to fight you!

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Now we’re with Stannis.  He’s high-tailed it back to his keep.

He’s upset with his defeat at King’s Landing and for putting his faith in the Fire God. Stan the Man is also having major relationship problems…

Stannis is the Westeros Strangler!

After his domestic dispute the Ginger Witch convinces Stannis that it’s all just a little speed bump, a minor setback on the long path to becoming King.

Then she makes him stare at a fire.  Apparently Stannis sees something in it.  We don’t see anything except Stannis’ dumb face looking at the fire. Give us a taste next time!

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Now we’re in Winterfell.

Theon is completely surrounded by Stark men.  He’s extremely frustrated with the entire situation, how he’s been abandoned by his family, how he’s not really part of the Stark family, etc.  He’s taking out all of his anger with futile threats against the Stark hornblower constantly blowing his horn to prevent everyone in Winterfell from sleeping and to remind Theon that the castle is surrounded.

Theon does not care for British TV

In vain, Maester Luwin attemps to convince Theon to flee and join up with the Night’s Watch.  Despite all the horrific things Theon has done and all of the nasty, terrible decisions he’s made,  Luwin really does seem to want things to end well for Theon… at least as well as they can at this point.

Maester Luwin sums up Theon’s behavior perfectly,  “you’re not the man you’re pretending to be.”  And Theon’s reply is also pitch perfect, “i’ve come too far to be anything else.”

We  quickly cut to daytime.  Theon gives a surprisingly eloquent and motivating pre-battle speech to his 20 Ironmen.  He wants them to storm out of the castle and die in battle like real warriors.  His Ironmen disagree.  In a hilarious conclusion to his inspiring speech, one of them knocks Theon unconscious. They drag him away while agreeing it’s time for them to return to Pyke.

Despite everything he’s done, Theon still has absolutely zero respect.  It’s sad to see.  But not as tragic as what happens next.  Maester Luwin, confused by what the Ironmen did to Theon, storms into the courtyard and is greeted with a spear to the chest. This just in: George RR Martin only kills off the truly good characters.

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We’re back in King’s Landing.

Lord Varys and Tyrion have a wonderful exchange.  He lets Tyrion know that while the halfman is not officially the hero of the Battle of Blackwater, he was the reason the Lannisters won the battle. This scene cements the now obvious fact that Lord Varys and Tyrion have grown to become legitimate friends.  For most TV series that doesn’t mean a great deal, but how many real friendships are there in Game of Thrones?  You could probably count them on one hand.  Both Tyrion and Varys respect each other’s intelligence, wit and have a core, shared empathy due to their unique physical impairments that make them perpetual outcasts.  Lord Varys proves his friendship by bringing Shae to Tyrion.

Tyrion tries to push her away but she won’t have it.   She reminds him that “she is his” and Peter Dinklage locks in another Emmy:

Warwick Davis FTL

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We get a brief cutaway of Robb Stark marrying his “sexy and exotic” girlfriend.  I think this is a stupid call on Robb’s part., and it will no doubt backfire in a spectacular way.  That said, I support any activity that is frowned upon by Lady Stark. For instance,  I support happiness and smiling.

"Life is pain!"

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Now we’re in Qarth.

Ser Jorah, Daenerys and the last living Dothraki red shirt approach the House of the Undying.

The warlocks pull a fast trick and Daenerys ends up alone inside the tower.  She can hear the dragons calling out to her and she presses on.

So far I’m not impressed with the Warlock tricks. Tricks are what a whore does for money.

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Somewhere outside Harrenhal!

Jaqen finds Arya, Hot Pie and the Blacksmithin’ Bastard on the road.

He offers to take Arya to Braavos to teach her to become a Faceless Man.  I assume the  Faceless Men are a group of amazingly charasmatic, highly-skilled assassins who only speak in third-person.  Can someone confirm this?

Sidebar: can we start spending more time in Braavos?  Between Jaqen and Syrio Forel  we’ve established that’s where the best characters are born.

Arya wants to go with Jaqen but refuses his offer.  She wants to find her family more than anything.  Jaqen seems a bit disappointed but gives Arya a coin and a catchphrase so she can summon him whenever she needs him.  Very touching. Then Jaqen actually shapeshifts INTO A TOTALLY NEW FACE. So apparently the “faceless men” thing is not just a clever name!

Jaqen could have selected a prettier new face. #justsaying

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We’re back in Qarth at the the House of Undying.

Daenerys is lost in an illusion.  She wanders through a snowy landscape and steps into a tent.  Sitting by a cozy fire is the late Khal Drogo and her never-actually born son.

This is like the Last Temptation of Christ but with dragons!

Jesus may still be lost in the Red Wastes

In a huge character moment for Sweet D, she recognizes the illusion is simply a temptation and walks out on Khal Drogo and, in essence, leaves her old life behind.

At long last, D reaches her tiny dragons. The warlocks finally show up and try to trap her, revealing their magic is strongest around dragons and that they intend to keep D trapped for thousands of years.  Unfortunately for the warlocks, dragons also have a side effect they didn’t factor into their plans:

Dragons like to roast warlocks

Well, that was an easy resolution to that completely bizarre plotline.

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We’re north of the wall!

Qhorin Halfhand forces Jon Snow to fight him.  It’s all a subterfuge for Qhorin to sacrifice himself.

"We are the watchers on the wall."

Qhorin believes his death will give Jon the best chance of survival.  Especially the renown of being “the man who killed [the legendary] Qhorin Halfhand”

His plan seems to start working immediately as Jon is freed from his ties and informed he’s about to meet the “King Beyond the Wall”

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Back in Qarth we see Daenerys  finally take complete charge. She cleans up any remaining Qarth plotlines by killing Xaro, ironically entombing the “King of Qarth” in his own vault (which we find out never had anything in it in the first place.)   He will not be missed.

And the irony keeps flowing when D, who formerly scolded Dothraki warriors for wanting to steal one of Xaro’s statues, tells everyone to loot all of the gold and jewels they can find.  Ser Jorah is as excited about the looting as little kids are about going to Chuck E Cheese:

 

And check all of the machines for tickets and tokens!

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Now we’re north of the wall again with Northern Man Child and his two nameless companions.

They hear one horn.  Northern Manchild thinks Jon Snow and Halfhand may have returned. He is wrong.

Two horns.  They draw their swords.  Wildings! Wrong.

And then, for the first time in several centuries, we hear a third horn.  The whitewalkers are coming!

The nameless companions high tail it out of there but Northern Man Child falls behind and the walkers catch up to him. You know what?  He doesn’t even fall behind.  He really doesn’t try to run away at all. I know he’s overweight and not supposed to be in good shape but he literally can’t run at all? Not even when the most terrifying creatures in the world are approaching?

I mean, if fat kids can do parkour, what’s NMC’s excuse?

In desperation NMC hides behind a rock as the Whitewalkers pass by.  A truly stunningly rendered Whitewalker atop a similarly zombified horse stops and looks at him.

"Luckily for you, you are too jovial to kill!"

I want more answers on these Whitewalkers.  Are they controlled by an evil wizard?  Is it a biological outbreak like in Walking Dead?

Whatever they are, the King Beyond the Wall definitely has a situation:

"Where are Rick Grimes and Hershel when you need them?"

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I’ll be back to drink one more Red Bull next week with some final thoughts on Season 2!

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