Game of Thrones – The Lion and The Rose

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Oh my gracious – well I knew what was coming on last night’s episode but having read some reviews this morning, it’s just like with last season’s Red Wedding – a lot of folks had no clue about the Purple Wedding.

You see, that’s what book readers call the wedding that took up a good half of last night’s episode; for one major reason…which I’ll get to a little further down the post. We should start off by re-capping the other events of the episode, which were sadly made up of my least favorite characters and their story lines…

I’ve done this recap a bit differently, as a pros and cons list – so read on and enjoy!

Con – The episode opens on Ramsay Snow and his gal pal Miranda hunting…a girl. Once she’s shot through the thigh with an arrow by Miranda, she gets finished off by Ramsay’s dogs. GROSS. I mean, we get it folks…Ramsey is a psychotic, sadistic freak. That’s enough!

Pro – A Jaime and Tyrion scene! While Jaime and Tyrion have breakfast, Jaime confesses to Tyrion that he can’t fight anymore and once his secret gets out, he won’t be allowed to stay on the Kingsguard because what good is a knight that can’t wield a sword?

Pro – Tyrion’s toast to the Lannister children; “the dwarf, the cripple and the mother of madness!”

Pro – Tyrion hooks Jaime up with Bronn so he can train to use his sword with his left hand. Bronn; as usual, has some great lines and pretty quickly shows Jaime that he can’t stand around making smart comments about his exceptional skill anymore…he has to fight just to keep from being knocked on his butt!

Sure my hand is made of gold…but I can’t swing a sword anymore….

Pro – Lord Bolton chews his son (he’s his natural born son…in Game of Thrones terms, a bastard) out for flaying and maiming Theon; which I have to agree with. Theon made some really crappy choices, but let’s halt the mind games and mutilation, please.

Con – Ramsey proves to his Father just how well he has Theon “trained” by having him confess that he never killed Bran and Rickon Stark. He also waits until Theon has a razor poised above his exposed throat during a shave to tell him that his family was involved in murdering Robb Stark, who Theon loved like a brother. Given the perfect opportunity to slit Ramsey’s throat, Theon keeps right on shaving Ramsey’s throat while huge, heart-breaking tears course down his cheeks. Excellent performance from Alfie Allen – he’s great!
Oh Theon…my heart hurts for you. 

Con – Varys tells Tyrion that his Father knows about Shae and Tyrion’s best bet is to get Shae away from King’s Landing as quickly as he can; especially since Tywin Lannister made it clear he’d hang the next whore he found with Tyrion. Run Shae Run!

Pro – Joffrey’s wedding day breakfast looks nice and the book that Tyrion and Sansa gift King Joffrey with looks like a pretty cool book….
Con – Of course, Joffrey uses his new Valyrian steel sword, named Widow’s Wail, to hack the book into pieces while cackling that each time he uses his new sword will be just like cutting off Ned Stark’s head all over again. Classy Joffrey…I can’t imagine why people hate you.
So much for getting some wisdom….adios book!

Pro – Hey there Bran Stark and friends! It’s looks cold where you guys are but you’re rocking those furs. 

Con – Bran seems to be spending too much time as Summer, his dire wolf and Jojen and Meera warn him that spending too much time as his wolf can be damaging to his memories; he can forget his family, his life and even who he is. Not good Bran.
Pro – Bran touches the base of a weirwood tree and has a trippy vision that is part flashback (hey there Ned Stark, it’s been a while) part flash forward and part of a tranced out voice intoning Bran to “find the three-eyed raven…go North…” Whoa now!
Feel the tree…be the tree….something like that…

Pro – The royal wedding looks quite lovely; it’s really obvious that Margaery completely believes the old adage that the higher the hair, the closer to God…or in this case, all seven of them.

Pro – Once the couple share a kiss, Sansa; in an ironic tone, tells Tyrion “we have a new queen..” to which Tyrion replies “better her than you!” Too true Tyrion, too true.
Con – Tyrion meets with Shae and tells her that their “friendship” can no longer continue. Shae is angry at first, telling Tyrion that she knows he is afraid of his Father and sister but she is not. She reminds him that it’s like he told her when they first met “I am yours and you are mine” but since Tyrion is doing this to try and save her life, this pushes him over the edge and he tells Shae he could never be in love with a whore and she isn’t fit to be with him or bear his children. Shae is reduced to sobs and presumably leaves to board the ship to Pentos. Peter Dinklage was amazing, as usual in this scene and so was Sebil Kekilli! 
Oh – but this was so sad….

Con – Stannis and Melisandre are still burning folks alive on Dragonstone to appease the Lord of Light. I mean, they are burning everyone…even Stannis’s brother-in-law. Unfortunately Stannis’s wife Selysse is all kinds of crazy with religious fervor and enjoying every minute of this particularly painful beach bonfire.

Pro – Stannis is maybe a wee bit sane; when his nutty wife says that their daughter Shireen should be beaten with the rod because she refuses to accept the Lord of Light and obviously beating her will help. Stannis tells his wife that under no circumstances will she or anyone else lay a hand on his daughter…but he will send Melisandre to talk with her….
Con/Pro – Melisandre has a semi-creepy visit with Shireen to encourage her in her religious faith; a faith that should obviously be devoted to the Lord of Light. That’s the con. The pro is that Melisandre got one of the coolest lines of the episode when she told Shireen “there is only one hell, the one we live in now.
Sweet Shireen – you can’t help that you’re surrounded by crazy people…

Pro – The royal wedding reception is NICE. There are tents and tables piled with food and banners and a glorious inlaid floor. For entertainment we have fire breathers, contortionists and musicians. Not bad, not bad at all. Also, it was hilarious how quickly the obviously sexually driven Oberyn Martell and his paramour Ellaria Sand are distracted by the way the contortionist can move. Hilarious.

Con – Joffrey spends most every bit of the reception making a complete ass of himself and solidifying to everyone why he is so hated; because he is a completely awful human being. He insults the musicians, barks orders at anyone who will listen and is generally 100% jerky.
Pro/Con – the interactions between Jaime and Loras, as well as Cersei and Brienne were both excellent and cutting. Jaime lured Loras in and then deftly lets him know that while he may be betrothed to marry Cersei, he never will because Cersei would kill him in his sleep; he lets Loras know that he’ll never marry Cersei. Loras quickly retorts that Jaime never will either. Cersei thanks Brienne for saving Jaime but in the same breath lets Brienne know that she’s well aware she’s in love with Jaime; she smugly lords it over Brienne until she apologizes and walks away. 
Ah….young love… Right?

Pro – Margaery decrees that all the leftover food from the feast be given to the poorest of King’s Landing and continues her winning ways with the people of Westeros.

Con – Cersei immediately, albeit secretly, tells those in charge of the food that it should be served to the dogs and will not be given to the poor. She’s going to struggle with letting go of power…
Con – Joffrey reveals he has hired a troupe of little people to re-enact the War of the Five Kings. The performance is bawdy, glaringly tacky and downright distasteful and only Joffrey seems to think it’s funny. Not only is his new bride offended but he basically manages to upset almost every wedding guest in attendance…but he certainly doesn’t care and never has.
Oh guys…it’s really not that funny…

Con – Joffrey baits Tyrion by asking him to join the troupe of little people and perform; somehow Tyrion manages to avoid every bait – calling wine dumped on his head simply a spill and telling his ridiculous nephew that being his cup-bearer would be an honor.

Pro – Margaery serves as peace-maker once again, distracting the whole troubled wedding party from her malevolent husband by directing their attention to the giant pie that has been delivered, which Joffrey promptly slices into with his shiny new sword.
Con – Joffrey throws out one last insult to Tyrion; telling him he needs wine because the pie is dry…and then, he begins to gasp for breath….
Ding-Dong…the King is dead…

Pro – Joffrey quickly and concisely gags, vomits and chokes to death while everyone looks on in complete shock. The only two people who seem to care at all are Cersei, who grips her son in her arms and screams for help and Jaime who is the first to rush to Joffrey’s side before Cersei pushes him aside; I guess it makes sense since they are Joffrey’s parents.

Pro – In the midst of the chaos, Ser Dontos rushes up to Sansa and tells her if she wants to stay alive, she should come with him. Hmmm…where might he be secreting Sansa off to?
Con – With his dying breath, Joffrey points his hand toward Tyrion who is unfortunately in the act of picking up the King’s wine goblet. Cersei screams for the guards to seize Tyrion as we are left to stare at Joffrey’s cold purple face as the screen fades to black. 
The former King of Westeros…in happier times…

And there you have it – the Purple Wedding, along with a couple other (less) interesting plot points, ha-ha! We didn’t see Jon Snow on the Wall this week nor did we catch up with Daenerys and her dragons en route to Meereen; but next the promo for next week assures me that we will see them both and they’ll both be looking for a fight. 

This was an excellent episode of Game of Thrones and showcases what they do best – illicit shock and awe when viewers least expect it. It’s only episode two and already we’ve lost a major character; can you imagine what this season will have in store if this is only the second episode? I can’t wait to see what next week brings…I’m sure it will be great!

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