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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Game of Thrones 2x8 - "The Prince of Winterfell"

My favorite thing in this episode was Joffrey planning to ride out to meet Stannis when he arrives and give him a red smile from ear to ear. Joffrey wants to turn Stannis into the Joker. I'll say one thing for King Joffrey, the kid has swagger.

The other best stuff was the interplay between Tyrion and Bronn and Tyrion and Varys. Those guys are the cleverest cats in King's Landing. Bronn's awesome strategy for defending the castle: throw Tyrion's books at Stannis. And Bronn went ahead and killed all the known thieves to safeguard the food supply when the castle is seiged. Meanwhile, Varys informs Tyrion that Daenerys Targaryen lives and has three dragons. Varys gives Tyrion the attaboy that he's a better Hand than Jon Arryn and Ned Stark because he knows how to play the game.

Cercei is not quite as good at playing the game of squeeze Tyrion by the balls by kidnapping his whore. Great reveal that Cercei has Ros hostage and not Shae. Wrong whore. Tyrion learns the greatest relief a man can know: His sister is holding the wrong whore hostage.

There hasn't been nearly enough Davos this season for me considering how prominent he is in the books and what a great character he is, but the little bits we do get of him are great. We learn the story of how Davos became known as the Onion Knight for slipping into Storm's End during a seige that happened in Robert's Rebellion and fed Stannis' men with onions and salt beef. If Stannis gets the Iron Throne, he named Davos his Hand. Somehow, Davos seems like more of a Ned Stark kind of potential Hand than a Tyrion-level Hand, but good luck to all of them.

In Harrenhal, Tywin has left the castle under the command of Gregor Clegane, but left Arya there as well. Arya totally bamboozles Jaqen by naming him as his third and final kill so that he'd help her, Gendry and Hot Pie escape the castle. I liked how Jaqen was totally taken aback and pretty much begged her to unname him. A shame though that the awesome Tywin/Arya scenes must now come to an end. Maybe they'll run into each other again somewhere, but it's doubtful.

Robb Stark was busy this week, and he finally got busy with Talisa after being totally turned on with her story of how a slave resuscitated her drowned brother. Once again, Talisa just barges into the King's tent while Robb is plotting important strategy with Roose Bolton. And now Robb's gone and done it; he won't marry the Frey girl (over a bridge) and will become an oathbreaker to Walder Frey.

Robb also arrested his mother Catelyn for releasing Jaime Lannister and sending him off with Brienne back to King's Landing. Stannis is anywhere from one-to-two days away from King's Landing. Is it possible for Brienne to get Jaime back there from the Riverlands, even by little boat? Can she handle Jaime making fun of her the entire time and goading her to fight him?

North of the Wall, Jon Snow and Quorin Halfhand are prisoners of the Free Folk and are off to see Mance Rayder, the King Beyond the Wall. The Lord of Bones has a pretty awesome Halloween mask. Elsewhere, Sam and Jon's Crow buddies find a stone carved by the First Men covering up a Night's Watch cloak and a bunch of dragon glass (the maester's call it "obsidian") blades. Weapons to kill the White Walkers with.

In Winterfell, Yara Greyjoy arrives to take her baby brother, the "Prince of Winterfell" home, complete with touching story of wanting to kill him when he was a baby. Somehow, I don't think anyone is surprised that Theon was a rotten baby. Theon decides to stay in Winterfell, but doesn't suspect that Osha is there stealing food from the kitchens. Maester Luwin catches her and we find out the burned bodies of "Bran and Rickon" are actually farmer's children Theon is passing off as the little Lords. The real Bran and Rickon, plus Hodor and the direwolves are hiding out in the Stark crypts beneath Winterfell.

Finally, in Qarth, Daenerys gets a token scene where she's hiding out from the warlocks and convinces Jorah Mormont to let her go to the House of the Undying to rescue the dragons. The word for this storyline is "stalling".