Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Game of Thrones S2: The North Remembers

And here we are, ready for a second season of Game of Thrones, with my co-host, Christopher Lockett, who will be reviewing the episodes from the point of view of a reader of the books (I’ll just be looking at them as episodes, not adaptations).

Now first, I had mentioned that I was probably going to read book 1 after season 1 was finished. Chris was worried, saying that if I did that, I probably wouldn’t be able to stop. But what I found was, as I was reading them I was gaining perspective into Martin’s characterization, and how that differed from the way the characters are portrayed on the show, and, worried that it might affect the repartee between me and Chris (Bran is 7? Jon Snow is 14?? Daenarys is 13??!!) I decided to stop reading, and leave them until the end. Or, after season 2, if I simply can’t resist any longer. ;)

So, quick catch-up on season 1: King Robert is dead, Ned Stark was beheaded, Cersei likes doin’ it with her twin brother Jaime, their son Joffrey has taken over as a sociopathic boy king, Sansa Stark is betrothed to him but hates him because he just killed her father, Arya has escaped town dressed as a little boy, Daenerys married Khal Drogo, he killed her evil brother Viserys, he then died, and she brought forth freakin’ dragons by entering the fire with them and hatching their eggs.

And if you didn’t follow any of that, you probably didn’t watch season 1, so go back and do that now. And in the meantime, Chris and I shall review this week’s season 2 premiere episode:

Nikki: Game of Thrones is back with a brilliant return that hasn’t lost one iota of its action, character-building, sharp dialogue, and set design. What a glorious show this is.

So I’ll start with my favourite thing about this return, and what a lot of people were anticipating… Tyrion. He makes his grand entrance right near the beginning, walking in on Joffrey’s sadistic name-day ceremony, dropping a few verbal bombs just to piss off his insane nephew, and then marching into the Small Council, where he pisses off his sister even more by announcing he’s the new Hand of the King. When he first walks in he makes a big show of insincerely greeting all of his nieces and nephews, and then pauses and genuinely offers his condolences to Sansa, infuriating Joffrey. Sansa looks at him, pledges her undying love to Joffrey, and flatly calls her father a traitor. You can’t trick a trickster, and there’s a slight shift in Tyrion’s face that signals he gets it: Sansa is a very smart girl, and she’s playing the game just like everyone else is. She’s saying what she needs to say to stay alive, and is burying her emotions so deep the only concern is she’ll forget what they once were.

But Sansa’s not the only one who feels helpless, and must use her wits to stay alive. Tyrion is much the same as she is, and when he drops the bomb that he’s the new hand of the king, his sister goes mental. First, did you notice he signals his arrival with a creepy whistle now? You can hear him before you can see him. As soon as I heard this, I thought, “He’s Omar!!” that other fan favourite from an HBO series.

The biting words between the two of them are one of the highlights of this episode:

Cersei: What do you know about warfare?
Tyrion: Nothing. But I know people, and our enemies hate each other almost as much as they hate us.

Tyrion: You love your children. It’s your one redeeming quality. That and your cheekbones.

Tyrion: We had three Starks to trade — you chopped one’s head off and lost another. Father would be furious. Must be hard, being the disappointing one.

The smug look on Tyrion’s face at this last one, and Cersei’s sudden shocked silence, speaks volumes. What a turnaround this moment is. Cersei should have all the power now, with her son sitting as king, but she’s nearly as smart as Tyrion, and is ruled by her emotions for Jaime. I absolutely adored this scene.

Chris, one thing I kept wondering while watching this early episode was this: Tyrion was clearly a fan favourite in season 1, and Peter Dinklage was the one who garnered all the attention come awards season for his performance (which is brilliant, even though I must admit my nitpick again that I think his accent could be better; it’s nothing like the others and doesn’t sound right). This season he’s suddenly the major character. Is that because of the books? Was he a fan favourite in book 1 and so George Martin brought him front and centre in book 2? Or is this a television-led thing? Or, was Martin always intending to bring him forward from the beginning?

What were your general thoughts about this first episode?

Christopher: Without giving anything away, I think it’s fair to say that Tyrion takes over Ned Stark’s role as putative protagonist in book two, but then that’s also a hard case to make as Westeros gets Balkanized and our story fragments into even more disparate narrative threads. Tyrion does play a more central role than he does in book one; which was why, in addition to squeezing over Dinklage’s wonderful interpretation of Tyrion (accent notwithstanding, and yes, I agree with you on that front), diehard GRRM fans also breathed a sigh of relief—it would have been a painful thing for such a pivotal character to have been poorly cast. Fortunately, that is not an issue.

As for GRRM increasing Tyrion’s role after book one: unlikely. To hear the man himself speak of it, the Ice and Fire series took a few books to get going. I suspect that he either had planned Tyrion’s prominence from the start or realized that this snarky dwarf was the best thing in Westeros early on.

So … my thoughts on this episode. I can honestly say I have no complaints, and am deeply impressed both by what they’ve been utterly faithful with, and what they’ve added. I’ll first add a disclaimer that I haven’t had a chance to reread A Clash of Kings prior to April first, as this is my busiest time of year, but I’ll be getting on that this week. So if I lose a detail here or there, I apologize.

I’ll start with my first genuine squee moment, which happened during the credits. Dragonstone! The island fortress guarding the approaches to King’s Landing plays a much more significant role in the novels than it has in the series so far, and not just because we haven’t seen it until now: it was where the first Targaryen king planned his conquest of Westeros, and it was where Daenerys was born while her mother and brother fled the armies of Robert Baratheon. And it was the seat King Robert granted his brother Stannis, which always rankled with the dour martinet, as it meant the youngest brother Renly (who wasn’t old enough to fight in the war) got the ancestral Baratheon seat of Storm’s End.

In book one, both Stannis and Dragonstone are spectral presences, spoken of but never seen. So one of the great pleasures of A Clash of Kings was finally meeting Stannis there. And I certainly wasn’t disappointed by the way that fell out in our opening episode: what we see of Dragonstone is appropriately grim and dark, and Stannis himself is likely appropriately dour and humourless. Casting Stephen Dillane in the role shows that series continues with its deft casting choices. I loved the scene in which he drafts the letter revealing Jaime and Cersei’s incest and making his claim to the throne. On occasion, the series has been a bit clunky in its exposition. In this case, it was beautifully done, and utterly faithful to the text. His refusal to countenance even a lie of courtesy in calling Renly “beloved”; his insistence that Jaime be labeled “Kingslayer,” because that is what he is; but also insisting on the honorific “Sir” because, “whatever else he is, he is still a knight”; this short sequence tells us everything we need to know about Stannis’ character, and Dillane’s severe, harsh delivery is pitch-perfect.

Other new faces! We meet Melissandre, Stannis’ red priestess who has seduced him (not literally) into renouncing the seven gods of Westeros, and his devoted and trusted right-hand-man Davos Seaworth. I won’t say anything more about these two for fear of spoilers … suffice it to say, they are also pretty much exactly as I imagined them.

So far, the new season seems to be preoccupied with the question of how to rule—with what makes a king, or queen, or simply a leader. We shift thousands of miles between scenes, with the ominous comet as our segue and reminder that, however distant, all of these stories are intertwined … and fated to meet. Nikki, what did you think about the way the episode dealt with all of the different threads left over from season one?

Nikki: Funny you should ask that, because the first time I watched this episode that’s exactly the point I brought up with my husband: that “The North Remembers” is the perfect blend of wrapping up the previous season while opening up the new threads that will be carried through this season. Bran, left behind in Winterfell, is now a lord, having to listen to the complaints of villagers. But he’s having different visions (remember he had those strange dreams in season one) that, this time around, appear to be aligning him with his direwolf. Is he somehow sharing the soul of his direwolf in a way? Robb, “King of the North,” is maturing as a leader, working alongside his mother to try to broker peace, but on his terms. Daenerys is in The Red Waste, and her baby dragons are with her. I know a lot of us were dying to see those dragons, and they really looked amazing. I thought there was a bit of incongruity with the special effects, as in Emilia Clarke wasn’t looking right at the dragon, but more in front of her, as if her eyes weren’t aligning with the dragon properly (which obviously wasn’t on her shoulder). However, when she reached up and let it move to her hand and put it in the cage, the effects were amazing, and she moved her arm as if there really was a dragon on it. I LOVE them so far, and hope we see more of them. Jon Snow is with the people from the Wall at that vile man’s house (his daughters become his wives to make more daughters… Jee-SUS), Joffrey is showing how absolute power corrupts absolutely, and Sansa is reeling from what is probably post-traumatic stress disorder and covering up her hatred to save her own skin. And Arya, that character we fell in love with in season 1, only shows up in the closing seconds of the episode, looking every bit a boy on her way to the Wall.

But for season 2, there are the new people at Dragonstone, as you pointed out, and the Fire Priestess and Stannis, and his brother Renly. We only heard about the other Baratheons last season, so it’s good to actually see them now. I was thrilled with your rundown of them, because I did find these scenes a little confusing, not being familiar with the characters. I will certainly be turning to you week after week to explain things to me! Does the Fire Priestess worship dragons at all? Why is she at Dragonstone? Is there a connection between her and the Targaryens? Is it too soon for me to be asking all these questions? ;) The priestess is creepy as hell, but gorgeous with those chiseled features, and her words ring through the episode. “The night is dark and full of terrors… but the fire burns them all away.”

Christopher: We met Renly last season, remember? He sat on the Small Council with Ned, tried to convince him to usurp the Lannisters while he had the chance, and is closeted gay (remember the bath scene with Loras Tyrell). Renly’s sexuality is only ever hinted at in the novels, so it will be interesting to see how they play it on the show when we meet his betrothed, presumably in the next episode when Catelyn journeys to meet with him.

I’m not sure how much to say about Melisandre, the fire priestess, as I don’t know how much the show will choose to reveal, and whether or not they’ll hew to GRRM’s specifics. But this much is safe: she worships the god R’hllor, the god of heat and light and life. Her belief system is Manichaean, positing R’hllor on one hand, and the god whose name must not be spoken on the other, Voldemort. No, wait … I kid. R’hllor’s foe is the god of anti-life, of darkness and cold.

Sort of like what might, I dunno, be lurking in the “real” north? Heh.

Speaking of the real north … that scene in Craster’s Keep was (pardon the pun) chilling, no? I wondered how they were going to treat that particularly revolting character. I must say I always imagined him bigger; he’s described in the novels as a huge man grown egregiously fat, but still powerful. (Actually, whenever I read his parts, I always find myself thinking of Judge Holden from Blood Meridian). But they captured his particular mix of petulance and pride, and the smugly proprietal way he treats his “wives”.

And remember the pregnant question (sorry, couldn’t help myself) “What does he do with his sons?” That one will be something we return to.

And to return to what I guess we now have to consider the fake north—what did you think of Robb Stark’s confrontation with Jaime Lannister? That was not in the novel, but was, I thought, very well done and did a good job of laying out just how dangerous a prize the Kingslayer is. And: holy direwolf! They do get big, don’t they?

Nikki: Oops, sorry, in my haste I meant to say seeing Renly being incorporated more directly into the Baratheon battle was new. Yes, I absolutely remember him in the first season (my first comment to my husband was, “Isn’t that the gay king?”) and yes, we will see his significant other(s) in next week’s episode.

I thought Robb Stark’s confrontation with Jaime Lannister was brilliant, and it brought up something I wanted to talk about in this last segment: that this episode was all about power. Who has it, who is willing to use it, and what power actually is. The best ways they demonstrate that is by showing the two very different mother/son relationships on the show.

Tyrion, as I mentioned earlier, has the power of words. He knows just what to say or do to make people listen, or piss them right off. Since he doesn’t have any physical or political power, he makes do with what he has, and is able to take people like Cersei and make her wither in his presence.

Robb Stark faces off with Jaime, who mocks him for being a boy. Even tied up, filthy, sitting on the ground, Jaime believes by being a Lannister, he will always be more powerful than Robb. Robb, however, sees it differently, spitting back, “You’ve been defeated by a boy, held captive by a boy, perhaps you’ll be killed by a boy.” Jaime is unfazed. “Three victories don’t make you a conqueror,” he says.

“It’s better than three defeats,” says Robb smugly. And then he lets his direwolf step into the cage to sniff Jaime. Who promptly pees his pants (offscreen).

Robb is stronger than he seemed in season 1. When he discusses his position with his mother, Catelyn, you can tell the two of them see their role in the war as a partnership, working together. He sends her off to Renly, and has everything in hand, and she agrees to go, telling him he’s doing a great job. She looks upon him with the same pride she looked upon her son.

Cersei, on the other hand, doesn’t have that relationship with her son. After being shown up by Tyrion, she decides to bring someone else down to make herself feel better. She confronts Baelish and asks him what power is. He replies, “Knowledge is power.” Which is what Tyrion would argue. Then she uses her guards as little toy soldiers, instructing them to slit his throat, then stop, then walk three paces away, turn around, close their eyes… and do the hokey pokey. They do it all, and she looks at Baelish with a sneer, saying, “Power is power.”

Is it? Those guards only do what she wants because Joffrey has told them to respect and obey his mother. But the moment he says otherwise, she will be nothing but a speck of dust to them. And if the Lannisters are overthrown, Joffrey has no power, either.

After this moment of triumph, Cersei speaks with her despicable rat-son Joffrey, who throws the possible incestuous relationship with “Uncle Jaime” in her face, and she slaps him across his. He stares at her and says, “What you just did is punishable by death. You will never do it again. Never.” And suddenly Cersei realizes she has very little power indeed. She can make her guards put their left foot in and take their left foot out before shaking it all about, but he can tell his guards to go all King Herod on the place, killing every bastard child who has dark hair. For now, that is power. But how long will that last?

Next week: King Joffrey falls into a vat of hot, burning oil, and then… no? That doesn’t happen? Rats.


The Question Mark said...

Had a nice little mini-party for the premiere, with a couple of friends, two big bottle sof Dr. Pepper, and tons of junk food. Haven't done that since LOST!

I thought it was a great opening to the season, another great addition to the show (can you believe we've only had 11 episodes of this?! I feel like we've already known these characters for years!) The only think I would have done differently was the opening: I prefer the book opening on Dragonstone, introducing Davos, Melissandre, and Stannis Baratheon. I liked the idea of a second season/book opening in unfamiliar territory with unfamiliar characters, only for the viewer/reader to slowly piece together how these situations relate to what we're already familiar with (i.e. Season 2 of LOST opening on Desmond in the Hatch, only to pull back and...a ha! It's all happening on the Island!) Christopher, were you satisfied with the episode opening where it did? Or were you expecting it to start on Dragonstone as well?

That's just a nitpick of course, I had no real qualms with the episode. The "cheekbones" line made me laugh so hard that I watched the rerun that immediatley followed just so I could hear that line a second time. Nobody can deliver a one-liner like Peter Dinklage!

And Daenerys, my beautiful Daenerys, blood of my's so nice to see you again, darling ;) Great dragons! Also, your flying lizards are very nice. Marry me.

The Question Mark said...

P.S.- sorry for all the typos in that last post! These cursed fingers move faster than my brain.

Zach Z said...

Want to start with a thanks for bringing this back since I really enjoy your back and forth between you two. I would say Tyrion is definitely is more central in the second book as he has the most chapters out of any character in ACoK while Ned had the most in AGoT. But as to why can't say since I started reading this series in 2007 but I have read that George has said Tyrion is one of if not his favorite character.

I think they left Melissandre generally mysterious because they want the audience to try and figure out this red priestess with her new God and if there is any truth and power behind her strange beliefs, which I think you were still left trying to figure out even though you knew a little more about her after being introduced to the character.

I do got to say as a book reader not opening on Dragonstone through me off as that was the prologue chapter in the book, and the put the prologue before the credits in the first season and I thought it could have been a fun way to throw you into this new world right off the bat and leave the veiwer a little confused in what is going on at first like many of the great season openers from Lost did...

Chris in NF said...

Glad to be back!

I was a bit weirded out by the placement of the Dragonstone sequence -- I had been assuming they would do what they did last season, i.e. do the prologue prior to the credits. But it made sense, after I'd thought of it ... in the book,we are party to Cressen's thoughts, so we know precisely why he wants Melisandre dead. Harder to communicate that onscreen, so we first get the (brilliantly done) scene of Red M burning the gods, and Cressen's hushed discussion with Davos.

That was good, in the end, as it made his attempt to poison her that much more poignant and powerful.

Justin Mohareb said...

Tyrion coming, man!

Gretchen M said...

The one thing I will disagree with you is that Tyrion insincerely greets his nieces and nephews-Tyrion has a strong connection and love for his family. Even though he hates Cersei he still tries to help her maintain power. And the one person he loves more than anyone is Jamie. (which has not come much into play in the show, but is in the books).
We saw from the breakfast scene in Winterfell that Tyrion loves the two younger children, Tommen and Myrcella.

Nikki Stafford said...

Gretchen: I agree with you, actually. What I meant by insincerity was his first line, "Beloved nephew!" He knows Joffrey is evil, and I don't think he cares much for him at all (this will become more evident as the season progresses). He knows Joffrey is dangerous, and that he was responsible for the death of Ned Stark, someone Tyrion actually thought was honourable. But you are right; I think he does love the other two for sure, despite what they represent.

A.G.Wooding said...

A great post about a great episode!

"I grew up in a house like this. Later on I fell on hard times." Gotta love Dolorous Edd, I hope they use him more.

A few people have already mentioned that not putting the Dragonstone scene at the start of the episode (like it is in the books) was strange but I think I agree with it. Fans of the show have been waiting a year to see their favourite characters again so it was better to start with something familiar than throw a heap of new characters and locations at the audience.

But as a reader of the books, it was such a pleasure to finally see Stannis, Davos and Melisandre. There wasn't much for them to do in this episode but Davos and Stannis have to be two of my favourite characters and the actors who play them seem capable. The writers certainly seem to have captured Stannis perfectly in the scene where he refuses to call Robert his 'beloved' sibling.

I loved your take on the Cersei/Littlefinger scene, Nikki. Cersei truly believes that she has power and you're almost inclined to believe her after watching her ordering around her guards. But this is a scene which only goes to show how much Cersei misunderstands power. That final scene between her and Joffrey wasn't in the book but it may have been my favourite of the episode because it shows even Cersei is in a difficult situation. No-one is safe from Joffrey and he reminds her that her power can be taken away from her in a heartbeat.

As loathsome as Joffrey is, you've just got to marvel at Jack Gleeson in these scenes. He really is stomach-turningly repulsive.

A minor nitpick for me was the cliffhanger showing Arya. It wasn't a reveal, just sorta reminding us about something we already knew.

Also does anyone else think that the actor who plays Janos Slynt (the baby butcherer) is a little...crap? In the books he is a much more intrusive figure but I noticed in the last season that he seemed a little wooden as well. Is it just me?

Anyway looking forward to the rest of your posts on this season.

JS said...

I made the same choice, Nikki, but not until book 2. I loved the first, and started the second, but didn't read fast enough. So I'll do what I did last time and read after the season is over.

When Joffrey taunts his mother, I didn't think it was about the incest (which would directly impact him, both in his legitimacy to the crown and the ick factor of where he comes from) but about the bastards being killed. He said his "father" tired of f*cking her and found his pleasure elsewhere, or something like that.

I LOVE Tyrion, every line, every expression. I even felt a bit for Cersei, who would have never thought herself a disappointment next to the dwarf.

Great start!

Blam said...

Nikki: Sansa is a very smart girl

I don't know about that. Sansa is scared, and she has a survival instinct, but I'm not sure how savvy she really is.

On the other hand (of the king), I totally agree with you on Tyrion. He rocks. Although I do concur about Peter Dinklage's accent too, sadly.

I love the fact that everyone from the North — from Winterfell up past the Wall, it seems — has a "working-class" Liverpool lilt.

Christopher: I loved the scene in which [Stannis] drafts the letter revealing Jaime and Cersei’s incest and making his claim to the throne. ... His refusal to countenance even a lie of courtesy in calling Renly “beloved”; his insistence that Jaime be labeled “Kingslayer,” because that is what he is; but also insisting on the honorific “Sir” because, “whatever else he is, he is still a knight”

That might have been my favorite scene of the episode, even more so than any of Tyrion's take-the-piss-out-of-you barbs.

Christopher: We meet Melissandre, Stannis’ red priestess

What the what is up with the pulsing red glowy thing on her throat? I pose that as a potentially rhetorical question, since it may be spoilery info to be revealed later, but it really surprised me given how little actual magic we've seen on the series.

Nikki: his daughters become his wives to make more daughters…

Paging John Mayer! Yeah, I was seriously wigged out by that, especially since — and there's no easy way to say this, but no offense meant to the young woman playing her — the daughter/wife with speaking lines at that table scene looked just enough like the result of inbreeding to drive the point home extra-super-creepily.

Christopher: “What does he do with his sons?” That one will be something we return to.

A pair of equally disturbing thoughts came to me almost simultaneously after that question was asked. One was that the daughters are for breeding but the sons are for your anytime recreational sex. The other was "So how are you enjoying the roast?"

The Question Mark: And Daenerys, my beautiful Daenerys, blood of my's so nice to see you again, darling ;)

You do know what "blood of my blood" means, don't you? Daenerys is a Targaryen, not a Lannister. And I'm assuming that you're not related to the lord of Kaster's Creep— er, Craster's Keep.

Gretchen M: Tyrion has a strong connection and love for his family. Even though he hates Cersei he still tries to help her maintain power. And the one person he loves more than anyone is Jamie.

You can love your family. Just don't love your family.

JS: When Joffrey taunts his mother, I didn't think it was about the incest (which would directly impact him, both in his legitimacy to the crown and the ick factor of where he comes from) but about the bastards being killed.

I agree that he brought up the incest largely to dispel the power of the rumor by speaking it out loud, although not perhaps without some fear of its truth, and so that he could segue into King Robert stepping out on his mother. 'Cause the next thing you know, Dad's your uncle, the dark-haired bastards are being rounded up for slaughter — which, come to think of it, has to register with Joffrey in terms of him, his younger brother, and his younger sister all having recessive-trait blond hair...

VW: NYounce — One-sixteenth of a NYpound; the weight equivalent of a NYminute.

Nikki Stafford said...

Blam: I disagree. I think Sansa is cunning, and has very quickly figured out exactly what to say. You'll see in upcoming episodes how quickly she'll compose herself and give her pat lines, as if to consider Joffrey anything other than her one true love would be ridiculous. I think she was in shock at first, but now she's as much a part of the game as anyone. She's reacting from a place where she simply doesn't want to be killed, yes, but I think she's smart and has realized exactly what to do to stay alive. That puts her at least one notch above her dad. ;)

Blam said...

Nikki: She's reacting from a place where she simply doesn't want to be killed, yes, but I think she's smart and has realized exactly what to do to stay alive. That puts her at least one notch above her dad. ;)

Ha! And here I thought that he was the one who came out ahead...

I look forward to this development. My reaction was, I admit, partly a carryover from last season, where she was rather spoiled and bratty (especially in comparison to Arya), but also a reaction to how more than once in last Sunday's episode she said the wrong thing to Joffrey before saying the "right" thing. That may have been a necessary evil on the part of the writers, of course, to show us that Sansa was indeed learning the game, whereas if the whole time she'd spoken like she did to Tyrion we might not have realized that she was self-censoring rather than being honestly under Joffrey's thrall. Still, I calls 'em like I sees 'em.

VW: Durefear™ — Long-lasting frightfulness. New from the makers of Phobiall.

Batcabbage said...

Well, it's lovely to see you all here again, chatting about what is now my favourite series on TV right now. I bought the dvd of series one the other day, and the long-suffering Batkitty and I watched the whole thing on Good Friday (and GoT really did make it good) to refresh our memories before diving into series 2. It was, quite frankly, brilliant.

I have to say that I agree with Blam's view on Sansa. Having just watched last season's finale before watching S2E01, I see her as learning for her mistakes, much like the hamster that touches the electrode before figuring out it really hurts to touch the electrode. She's been bitten, she's learned, and she won't poke the dog with a stick again.

Speaking of which, I'm quite looking forward to more of the Dog. I love that actor (all of you who know what 'Yarp' signifies are alright in my book!), and look forward to seeing more of the Dog's story.

Chris: Actually, whenever I read his parts, I always find myself thinking of Judge Holden from Blood Meridian

By the Seven, sir! I knew you were awesome from last season's columns, but to mention one of my favourite books in one of the most apt comparisons ever in the history of apt comparisons... My hat is off to you, sir! My favourite McCarthy novel and my favourite show in the one column? I'm giddy, sir! Giddy, I tell you!

More than anything this episode just made me hunger for more. The Stannis stuff was great, although for some reason, Melissandre wasn't really what I pictured when I read the books (but then, when are they ever?). As someone who saw four episodes of the first series and then stopped watching until I'd read all the books, I'm loving how they're adapting this series. The Greyjoys were great to see, and I loved the look on Theons face when he realised he was touching his sister's boobies on the ride to Pyke (is it Pyke? Am I remembering that rightly?). See? Not everyone in Westeros does their sister!

Can't wait for episode 2. Great write up, guys! Great comments, everyone!!!

Nikki Stafford said...

Batty: Wow, the whole season on one day! I applaud you, fine sir!!

As for Sansa, you all remember what I thought of her in S1, so I hate to be put in the court of the one defending her, but I think what you say -- that she learned from her mistakes and sees the power they behold and won't make that mistake again -- proves that she's not stupid. Yes, she's been scared into this, but many people are put in positions of subservience and fear, and STILL don't know when to shut their mouths. I think Sansa is smarter than that, and has learned to shut up and play along. Joffrey wants her to screw up so he can humiliate her in front of everyone, and she knows how to play along and not let that happen. When she slips up momentarily, saying, "You can't do this!" he turns to her, thinking he's caught her in the moment and will get her, and she quickly turns the thing around, tells him he can't do this on his name day (and she's backed up by the Hound) and then suggests Joffrey make him his fool. Joffrey agrees with her, not realizing she's just manipulated him into saving someone's life.

I know we all thought she was a whiny priss in season 1, but I think there's more to Sansa than it might seem. ;)

Justin Mohareb said...

We meet Melissandre, Stannis’ red priestess who has seduced him (not literally) into renouncing the seven gods of Westeros

After episode two, it appears it may be more literally than we assumed. Is this divergent from the book?