Game of Thrones Recap “The Lion and the Rose”

 

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It’s time for a wedding, and you know what that means. A feast, a fool and…MURDER! This episode pits savagery against integrity, and with so many sinister acts happening across the Seven Kingdoms, it seems the brutal War of the Five Kings is not quite over yet. In this episode, the “purple wedding”, as fans have dubbed it, put the internet in a 24-hour tizzy after the premiere, which is what good telly is all about, right? Let’s explore Westeros (spoilers ahead!).

The North

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We have a few stories happening in the North, but in this episode we only see Bran Stark and House Bolton. Bran has become quite a strong Warg, and he can easily enter into his direwolf’s body and travel with her across the land. His wildling companions (and Hodor!) know the power of the Warg and so they ask Bran to refrain from entering Summer until he is stronger and safe. When Bran’s direwolf finds a Godswood tree, Bran touches it and immediately has a vision of the three-eyed crow, the crypts of Winterfell, a Valyrian steel sword, fire, snow, the Godswood, the Iron Throne, the tower from whence he fell and King’s Landing, along with the words, “Look for me…North.” Bran tells his group that he knows where they need to go, and they continue on their long journey through the winter wood.

To the east at Dreadfort, the Boltons are a vicious clan and Theon Grayjoy, Iron born and traitor to his friend Rob Stark, is now a flayed man-slave of the sadist Ramsey Snow, bastard son of Roose Bolton. House Bolton takes credit for the gruesome Red Wedding and has been given the North territory by Tywin Lannister as recompense. Ramsey is bold, presumptuous and enjoys torturing his victims. He asks Theon to shave him while Roose watches on, and then proceeds to berate, anger and horrify Theon with the news that his father, Roose, has recently returned from putting a knife through Rob Stark’s heart. Theon also is forced to admit that he never really killed the Stark boys, and so Roose sends his best man (the same guy who cut off Jamie Lannister’s hand) to Castle Black to find the children. While Roose is a bit miffed his son dared participate in the Bolton tradition of flaying on a potentially valuable hostage, he is impressed when a broken Theon shaves Ramsey with a straight razor and doesn’t nick the man once, even as he is goaded on by Ramsey. Roose knows that when all the Starks are dead, the Boltons will have the North secured.  It is an act he is desperate for.

King’s Landing

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King Shithead and Margaery Tyrell are set to wed, and the highest tier of the Seven Kingdoms have been invited to the celebration. The marriage will secure the Lannister war funds through the deep Tyrell pockets, a fact Grandmother Tyrell is completely aware of. While Uncles Tyrion and Jamie enjoy some brother time Tyrion, of course, quips on himself and his family, calling the siblings “the dwarf, the cripple and the mother of madness”; a fitting title for the “proud Lannister children”, after which Jamie promptly knocks over his wine goblet with his golden hand. It is refreshing and a bit frightening to see Tyrion retain his wit even after all the crap that his family has put him through.

Let’s guess how well that turns out for him.

When Varys “the Spider” tells Tyrion that Cersei knows about Shae, Tyrion decides that it is time she left King’s Landing, for her own safety. His father has promised to hang the next whore Tyrion sleeps with, and as Varys points out, Tywin Lannister doesn’t make idle threats. Since his attempts to convince her to leave haven’t worked so far, Tyrion opts for the cruel approach; calling her a whore and asking how many men she’s slept with. She leaves in tears, and Bron promises to get her on a ship out of King’s Landing that night. Later, Bron swears Shae got on the boat, and instructs Tyrion to “go drink until it feels like you did the right thing,” which has to be my favorite line in this episode.

In his off time, Bron is secretly teaching Jaime Lannister to fight with his left hand (in the books the teacher is Ilyn Payne). Jaime wants more than anything to remain relevant, even as he is being systematically shunned by all those he loved before his time as a prisoner of war. Luckily, he and Brienne of Tarth have a strong friendship, a fact that is not overlooked by Cersei. Brienne is on Cersei’s radar, which is most definitely not a good thing. Even though Cersei has decided to stall the sexual relationship with her brother and true father of Joffrey, the Queen Regent is no fool and in this episode she lets her crazy flag fly high enough to give viewers a hint of future endeavors at King’s Landing (read the books, you guys). The Mother of Madness, indeed.

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Speaking of crazy, Joffrey resembles none other than the Mad King himself at the wedding feast uniting Houses Lannister and Tyrell. With a full 24 minutes given to the scene, the “purple wedding” does not disappoint. The feast is both tense and disturbing, with each word Joffrey speaks a reminder that this psychopath is the most powerful man in the Seven Kingdoms. Even Queen Margery cannot hide her disgust at certain points, her face twisted in repugnance to the vindictive and ridiculous acts of Joffrey, although Cersei looks pleased as a crow in black, except when her queendom is challenged by Dornish Prince Oberyn Martell, frienemy to the Lannisters from a land very different than King’s Landing. Still, while Cersei builds her reputation as a bad ass bitch, Margaery Tyrell, the new Queen, attempts to create an air of charity around her wedding to Joffrey by announcing that all the leftover food from the feast will go to the poor. Of course Cersei doesn’t like that one bit, and tells Grand Maester Pycell to give it to the dogs instead.

It seems as if the destructive force that are the Lannisters cannot be stopped, but someone decides to give crazy King Joffrey a wedding gift no one is likely to forget any time soon. A slip of poison into his wine, and Joffrey is quickly gasping for breath. As the Collectress pointed out last night on our live tweet fest, his death has to be the most satisfying to date in the GoT saga.

Unfortunately, witty Uncle Tyrion, who has been continuously humiliated by Joffrey throughout the wedding feast in front of all the guests, hands Joffrey the poisoned wine, and so he is, of course, accused by Cersei of the murder and taken into custody immediately. Lucky for Sansa, her fool-knight Ser Dontos came to rescue her minutes before her husband was taken away, and so now Sansa is in the wind, traveling with a strange man who seems to want to help her–in what way, we do not know as of yet.

Dragonstone

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The dark horse in the War of the Five Kings remains Stannis Baratheon, rightful heir to the throne and troubled man burdened with a whole lotta crazy himself. His wife has whole heartedly given herself upto the religion of the Lord of Light and the Lady Melisandre. She even goes so far as to suggest Melisadre speak to the princess Baratheon, who is locked away because of her facial deformities and a sinner against the Lord of Light in her mother’s eyes. At Dragonstone, those who do not stand with the Lord of Light and renounce the old gods are sacrificed to fire, and nothing the king’s old friend Ser Davos says seems to have any impact. Not even Stannis’ own brother-in-law is exempt, and while Stannis seems disheartened by the events of Blackwater Bay, instead of giving up, he has turned himself over fully to the witchcraft of the Red Woman and her Lord of Light.

With brutality the controlling factor in the War of the Five Kings, this season is definitely fleshing out the top players in the Game of Thrones. Thank goodness HBO recently announced plans for at least 2 more seasons of GoT. This is obviously going to take a while.

 

xoxo

The Collectiva Diva

 

**All images are property of HBO**

 

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