“The Night Lands” – Game of Thrones (2×02) Recap
Last night’s episode of Game of Thrones was a bit slow for my taste, but necessary. It introduced some new important characters, developed characters we know but not well enough, and revealed more players in this game who thirst for power. There also were several uncomfortable sex scenes, and sharp-tongued wit. You know, the usual.
“If they’ve got armor on it’s a battle.”
Arya continued to pretend to be a boy as she travelled with the men of the Night’s Watch. It seemed like she may have been caught when some Gold Cloaks came by, but it was Gendry (the late King Robert Barratheon’s bastard son) whom they were looking for. Gendry hasn’t got a clue why the men are after him, but revealed to Arya many important things. One, is that he is aware she is a girl. Two, her father (Ned Stark) had looked for Gendry before he died, as did John Arryn. When Gendry discovered that Arya was the late Hand’s daughter he realized the importance of keeping her secret.
“You shouldn’t insult people who are bigger than you.”
Gendry gave Arya some sage advice after she shared barbed with some men Yoren captured along the way to Castle Black, but the advice would’ve also been good for both Tyrion and Cersei to hear. Tyrion insists on taking control of the kingdom from his spoiled nephew Joffrey who is reigning terror on his people. When Tyrion learned that Joffrey had his half-siblings killed (on a baby), Tyrion fired Janos Slynt from his post of Gold Cloak commander. Slynt was not pleased, and threatened to have his revenge.
Cersei has plotted to set herself as head of the kingdom, and thought she could rule through her son Joffrey, but that is not to be. Her son is a bad seed who has his own mind, and won’t be lectured by his dear mother. When Cersei discovered what Joff had done she looked terrified. Though she is his mother the King reigns supreme, and she is at his mercy.
“You might find it difficult to rule over people who want you dead.”
Tyrion warns Cersei of the dangers of being hated by the people you want to rule, and Stannis also finds difficulty bringing people to his side. The irony is that he is the one with the truest claim to the Iron Throne amongst those warring for it. Stannis orders his man Davlos to bring the pirate Salladhor Saan to their cause so they can use his ships. Being a pirate Saan is really interested in answering to a king, but relents when he is promised gold.
One person who seems to have Stannis’ back is the Red Priestess Melisandre. Not only does she promise Stannis that she sees his victory in the flames, but she promises to give him the one thing his wife can’t, a son. Strangely enough, their sex scene was the tamest of the episode.
“Did you pay to gold or iron price?”
Robb Stark sends Theon Greyjoy back to his homeland to give his father Balon terms. Robb offers Balon a kingship of the Iron Islands in exchange for his fealty and ships. Apparently Theon has been away so long that he has forgotten his father isn’t the kind of mend that beds the knee. Balon doesn’t look at his son as a POW who’s been released, but a turn-cloak. A dandy that buys his clothes instead of killing. Theon’s embarrassment is made greater by the fact that he also didn’t recognize his sister, who he felt up on the way to see their father. Asha humiliates her brother further by letting him know that she is their father’s heir, not Theon since she’s more of a man. Ouch!
Not much was seen of Dany, or Jon this week, but we do see trouble ahead for Lord Snow. Sam Tarley is trying to convince Jon to help smuggle Gilly, one of Craster’s daughters, out so she can save her unborn son. By the end of the episode we find out why Gilly is so desperate to escape Craster’s Keep.
Next week’s episode,”What is Dead May Never Die,” might offer more insight on what becomes of Craster’s sons based on the title, and from the last few seconds of “The North Lands” I’ve got a feeling the answer is gonna be gross. What did you think of last night’s episode? Was it as slow for you as it was for me? Sound off in the comments below!
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