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Monday, May 20, 2013

Game of Thrones 3x8 - "Second Sons"

You are cordially invited to the nuptials of Sansa Stark of House Stark and Tyrion Lannister of House Lannister.

"Second Sons" is dominated by the wedding of the second son of Tywin Lannister, and oh, what a glorious occasion it was. If you like uncomfortable wedding humor, this beats the wedding of Jim Halpert and Pam Beesley by a mile. The star of the wedding was neither the bride nor the groom, but the King. Joffrey was utterly fantastic, thoroughly enjoying himself watching his misshapen troll of an uncle whom he hates marry his former betrothed, whom he enjoys seeing tortured and also hates. No one at that wedding had a better time than the King, from sniggering at the horror of Sansa being walked down the aisle by Joffrey in place of her dead father ("As father of the realm...") to cruelly stealing the stepladder left at the stage for Tyrion to stand on and laughing at Tyrion try to ceremonially cloak his beanstalk of a bride. Later, Joffrey threatened to rape Sansa and then tried to get the Bedding Ceremony underway so that everyone could watch Tyrion put a Lannister baby inside Sansa. Joffrey Baratheon is the King of weddings.

In Westeros, it isn't bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the wedding. In fact, it turns out to be the opposite in this case. Tyrion tried to make Sansa feel a little better about being forced to go through with this, and weathered Shae's dagger eyes, since the whole point of this match made in Lannister heaven is to get Sansa pregnant and quick. Sansa simply cannot get over the fact that A) Tyrion is a Dwarf and B) He's a Lannister, no matter how gentle and kind Tyrion tries to be. But then, he barely comes up to her waist. At their wedding bedchamber their honeymoon goes about as well as their wedding, and Tyrion can't bring himself to do his bride, especially after he and we learn definitively how old Sansa is: 14! The world's tallest 14 year old. She's like a young Brienne the Beauty except she actually brings the Beauty part. Tyrion promises his new wife he won't do her unless she wants him to. "What if I never want you to?" Cold. Catelyn would give her a talking to if she were here. Which reminds me, it doesn't seem like any of the Starks are aware of the happy news of their oldest daughter/sister. That'll be a raven worth seeing them receive. So no baby in Sansa's belly, a petty little rebellion by the drunken little Dwarf towards his domineering father. At least Shae was happy about it.

As Tyrion got himself plastered and Tywin glowered at him while Sansa picked at her food and frowned, the other VIPs at the wedding were also having horrible times. Well, not Lady Olenna, who took some delight in mapping out the labyrinthine and somewhat incestuous sounding ways Margaery, Joffrey, Cercei, Loras, Tyrion, Sansa, and their offspring will all be related to each other. Loras didn't enjoy hearing any of it because none of that new family tree left any branches opening for sword swallowing. And there was simply no talking to Cercei, who was out-shrewing herself. Cercei hated Margaery calling her sister so much, she gave her a history lesson of how the Lannisters massacred House Reyne of Castamere and threatened to have Margaery strangled in her sleep. Loras didn't fare much better when he tried to talk to her but at least no death threat. This wedding set a high bar for the next two or three weddings, Margaery-Joffrey, Cercei-Loras, and Edmure-What's Her Name Frey. But at least one of those is guaran-damn-teed to exceed it by season's end.

The other "Second Sons" were the gang of 2,000 sellsword cutthroats hired by the Yunkai to fight Daenerys called the Second Sons. Daenerys called a meeting with their captains, Mero "The Titan's Bastard, The Guy Who Says "Leftenant", and Dario Naaharis, the Whore Who Hates Whores. Mero was pretty charming, what with asking Daenerys to get naked and show him her cunt. And that was when he was being polite. Daenerys finally unleashed one of her best catchphrases from the books, when she plays innocent and says "I'm just a young girl and know little about the ways of war." But she made the Second Sons an offer they can't refuse: they can fight for her and they'll be rewarded when she takes Westeros, or she'll kill them. The meeting went about as well as could be expected, except for Missendei, who got her ass grabbed more than she'd have liked.

Later, the Second Sons decide to assassinate Daenerys and play the Whore With a Coin game. This might be a Game of Thrones first where there's a ton of nudity but the whore didn't get naked. For the first time since she ended season one by birthing her dragons in the fire, Daenerys got naked again. (But who was counting the episodes? Ahem.) While giving the Kahleesi a bath, Missendei deftly sidestepped Daenerys' poor pronunciation when she speaks Dothraki, which was news to Daenerys. Kahl Drogo always said her Dothraki was perfect. She learned something new about her late husband. Suddenly, the Second Son assassin slipped in with a knife to Missendei's throat and revealed himself to be Dario. Dario also revealed he didn't really want to kill the hottest woman in Essos and instead beheaded his buddies Mero and the Guy Who Says Leftenant. Neither will be particularly missed. Daenerys rises from the tub and makes Dario swear his allegiance to her full frontal and then quickly robed-ness and Dario does what every guy would do. And thus Daenerys has her Second Sons and a new boy toy. The old fogie in love with her won't like this one bit.

Melissandre arrives on Dragonstone with Gendry and Stannis finally meets his bastard nephew. Stannis immediately high tails it to the dungeon where Davos Seaworth is learning how to read and tells him his bastard nephew is here and Melissandre's going to kill him. Also, sorry about your son and all and you're free to go, just don't try to kill Melissandre again, cool? Davos surmises Stannis dropped by not just to free him but to hear someone he trusts who has his head screwed on straight say out loud that Stannis doesn't really want to and shouldn't kill his dead brother's bastard. But Stannis says he saw the future looking into the fire, a great battle in the snow. He saw stuff from Book 6 or 7?! Also, Davos has seen the Red God's magic so who can really say that the Lord of Light isn't the one true god? Frankly, I agree. I'd worship the Lord of Light if I were in Westeros.

Especially since the Lord of Light is super into sending his hot priestesses into kinky sex games. Gendry is understandably suspicious that weeks ago, he was running for his life in the woods, and now a hot kissed by fire (we don't say "ginger' in Westeros) religious lady has him stashed in a castle, is plowing him with wine, gets naked, and mounts him cowgirl. But the fun doesn't last very long at all for poor Gendry as he's tied up in what isn't kinky sex games. Melissandre binds his wrists ankles and sets loose the Lord of Light's special leeches. Leeches on Gendry's dick, man. Stannis and Davos come in to see this fucked up scene but Melissandre is like, hey, more's the merrier to watch. Stannis throws the King's blood-fattened leeches in the fire and counts down the names of his three usurpers: Robb Stark, Balon Greyjoy, and Joffrey Baratheon.

At the end of the episode, Sam Tarley and Gilly were discussing names for Gilly's baby and came to a mutual agreement not to name him after either of their fathers. Especially not Craster, which seems to be the only male name Gilly, a kind, sheltered simpleton, had ever heard of. She also didn't know the difference between birth names and surnames. So was Craster his first name? She's not Gilly Craster? I guess it doesn't matter. Gilly is defensive about not being as well read as Sam, but neither of them has ever seen a movie, and thus neither could identify how that murder of crows or ravens or whatever seemed a lot like the creepy birds in The Birds. Soon a White Walker was upon them and Sam somehow didn't get himself or Gilly killed. Instead, after the White Walker froze his sword and shattered it, Sam remembered he had Dragonglass and shived the White Walker in the shoulder. Lo and behold, that's all it takes to magically destroy a White Walker. So what does that dummy Sam do? He grabs Gilly and runs - leaving the Dragonglass in the snow. What a maroon!

Finally, there's Arya, now the property of the Hound, and about to bash his head in with a rock before the Hound intimidates her out of that idea. Arya sure hates the Hound, but the Hound rather reasonably explains - in classic Game of Thrones fashion where the worst people on the outset don't seem quite as bad in perspective when you hear them out - that there are far worse people in Westeros than him, like his brother, Cercei, and the King, all of whom he's fleeing. It turns out the Hound isn't taking Arya to King's Landing, he's heading for the Twins, where Arya is surprised to learn her uncle Edmure will marry a Frey in the presence of her brother Robb and her mother Catelyn. Arya smiles for the first time in weeks. I mean, cool, she gets to go to a wedding! Weddings are fun in Westeros.