Joffery's a sadist and I am further convinced childbirth is terrifying
It's Sunday night once again, which means it's time for so much excellent television, including Game of Thrones. This week's episode introduces no new kings for Westeros, but does remind us just how terrible the ones we've already met can be.
Caution: here be spoilers!
We open in the Riverlands at night, with two Lannister bannermen discussing the homosexuality of Renly Baratheon, in case we didn't figure it out from the, uh, subtext last week. The horses are spooked, which alarms one of the guards. The other throws him off with a mature and tasteful fart joke- but then Grey Wind attacks.
Robb overlooks the aftermath of the battle while discussing strategy with I think maybe Roose Bolton? I'm sorry but all the old white dudes on this show look the same to me. He talks about flaying, though, and that's a Bolton thing, so yea, let's go with the idea it's Roose. He says Robb should kill all the hostages, but Robb isn't that kind of dude. He then helps a nurse amputate the leg of one of the fallen enemies. Bolton thinks his empathy is a sign of weakness, and the nurse thinks he's cruel and hasn't thought this whole "King of the North" thing through. Robb can't catch a break.
In King's Landing, Joffery is being the awful piece of shit he is, threatening Sansa with a crossbow and having his knights beat her as punishment for Robb's victory. Tyrion puts a stop to it before it goes too far. Outside the throne room, Bronn says that while he can't save Joffery from being a cunt (see? That word is just so appropriate for the douchier Lannisters), perhaps getting his dick wet will ease his temper a bit. To that effect, Tyrion hires two whores for Joff. He finds them in his bedchamber (aside: Sandor Clegane looks oddly awkward about the situation). We're treated to some gratuitous nakedness and lesbian fondling. Joff commands one to beat the other, first with her hands, then a whip, then a stick, threatening her with a crossbow if she doesn't obey. He also emphasises that he wants Tyrion to know about it. Because it's a good idea to demonstrate to your much more intelligent uncle, who is in charge of your realm, just how much of a sadist you are. God DAMN do I hate that stupid cunty face of his.
In Storm's End, Renly and Petyr hang out for a bit. Renly is on to Littlefinger's plan to be on the winning side no matter what. Petyr then discusses marriage with Margery, who does a decently deft job of defending her husband, though it seems at this point everyone has just accepted the fact that Renly is into dudes, and in particular Ser Loras.
Daenerys and her kahlasar finally get a break and learn that the city of Qarth is three day's journey from whatever desert they're in now. I guess the show decided to skip their little break in the abandoned city.
Over to Harrenhall, where the captives from the Kingsroad are led into a corral. There is much torture and we hear a man's screams as he dies. Arya falls asleep listing the names of those she wants dead thus far- Cercei, Ser Ilyn, The Hound, Joffery.
Back in Storm's End, Petyr has paid Catelyn Stark a visit. She is understandably livid, feeling that he betrayed Ned. She goes so far as to threaten him with a knife. However, he lies and says he has both Sansa and Arya safe and sound, and that he could wager a trade of them for Jaime Lannister. She reminds him Robb would never go for it, and he says that's why he didn't go to Robb. He also returns Ned's bones to her.
Again in Harrenhall, the Mountain That Rides, aka Ser Gregor Clegane, Sandor Clegane's even more fucked up elder brother, chooses the victim for the next day's torture. Said victim is interrogated about gold and silver and the location of The Brotherhood. True to the extremely 1984-esque vibes of the scene, a rat is strapped to his chest and Poliver (one of the captives' guards) holds a flame to the bucket, causing the rat to burrow through the man's chest. This continues even after the victim attempts a confession. It is... unpleasant. That night, Arya adds Poliver and The Mountain to her list.
Again in Storm's End, Renly greets his older brother. Stannis lectures him a bit about taking what isn't his, and Renly points out that no one wants boring old Stannis as their king. Catelyn attempts to make peace but they both tell her to shut up. Stannis gives Renly one night to make the decision to stand down, promising mercy if he does.
Now in Qarth (pronounced "Carth" not "Quarth" get it right little girl), Dany and her people are greeted by a group called The Thirteen, who presumably run and protect The Greatest City That Ever Was Or Will Be. They want to see her dragons, but she refuses, losing her temper and acting like an actual 14-year-old girl in the process. Sometimes Emilia Clarke's acting gets on my nerves. Finally Xaro Xhoan Daxos agrees to take responsibility for the visitors, and they are allowed into the city.
In Harrenhall again, Gendry is chosen as the next day's victim. Before Poliver can get to his torturing, Tywin Lannister shows up and yells at the guards for putting perfectly good men to death. He also notices what no one (besides Gendry) has noticed before, which is that Arya is a girl dressed in boy's clothes. When he asks her why and she responds that it's a safer way to travel, he deems her smarter than his men (probably true) and puts her to work as his cupbearer.
In King's Landing, Ser Lancel comes into Tyrion's room, demanding in the name of Queen Regent Cercei that he release Pycell. Tyrion, being the wicked clever man he is, turns the tables and breaks Lancel into confessing that he's been screwing Cercei (she really likes to keep it in the family). He agrees to let Pycell out, so long as he's not on the council, and as a bonus gets Lancel on his side as a spy as payment for keeping the incest a secret.
We end in Storm's End. Across the sea or fjord or bay or whatever it is that separates Stannis's camp from Renly's, Stannis talks with Davos. Stannis asks if his fingers still bring him luck (you know, the ones he had removed from his hand). Davos replies that at least he has less fingernails to clean. Stannis corrects his grammar and tells him he will be a smuggler once again.
Davos indeed smuggles Mellisandre across the water in a little rowboat. She tries to goad him into discussing good versus evil, but he's not much of a philosopher. They go in a cave beneath the camp, and she takes off her robe (more gratuitous boobies! Thanks HBO!) and births a shadow child. I thought normal childbirth was terrifying enough. Also, I have to hand it to the art department- the shadow baby was well done. I was afraid it was going to be of the ilk of Lost's shadow monster. But I guess HBO has a decent CGI budget, unlike ABC. (For more examples of this, watch Once Upon A Time.)
Another episode wraps up. We're right in the middle of the book, and while this show seems to be taking more liberties with Clash of Kings than it did with Game of Thrones, they manage to keep it on pace and on track. I'm not exactly upset that I didn't get to watch the kahlasar wander in the desert a la Moses for forever, and I'm also glad we don't spend as much time with Davos as GRRM likes to. If you have feelings or thoughts, leave them in the comment section. Alternatively, if the sadistic sex scenes and childbirth didn't get you off, feel free to masturbate by correcting whatever details I got wrong this week. Anyway, we're not done crowning all our kings, not all the lands have changed hands, not enough people have died, and not enough people have seemingly-but-really-not-died, so stay tuned for more wacky Westeros adventures!
Written or Contributed by: DrImprobable