Tag Archives: Qarth

game of thrones recapping: a man without honor

Previously on Game of Thrones: The Old Gods and the New

Will they or won’t they Jon and Ygritte continue to traipse around the snow-capped mountains of the north. Since Jon is clearly lost, Ygritte entertains herself by making fun of her captor and poking holes in his Night’s Watch philosophy. And the more she talks, the more she makes sense. Why should wildlings be forced to live on the less hospitable side of the Wall? Why do the brothers of the Night’s Watch have to take a vow of celibacy? However, no argument seems to convince Jon, but maybe a dramatic turning of the tables will. At the end of the episode, Jon walks them right into a wildling ambush.

Over at King’s Landing, Cersei gives a compelling argument against engaging in incestuous relationships—if you have a kid with your sibling, they may turn out like Joffrey, i.e. a demented, power-hungry lunatic. She’s scared of Joffrey, but like any good mother, she can’t help but love him anyway. Cersei shares some of this with Sansa, who struggles with facing the fact that she is now capable of having Joffrey’s children. So the former queen is not entirely heartless or without a moral compass, but her habit of monologue-ing her doubts rather than actually doing anything isn’t helping anybody.

Meanwhile, Cersei’s brother/lover Jaime is getting tired of being Robb’s prisoner. After an almost touching heart-to-heart with his cousin and fellow cellmate Alton, Jaime unleashes his plan of escape: 1) kill Alton (cousins are like pawns, right?), 2) kill the guard that idiotically comes in to investigate, 3) get away. Steps 1 and 2 go off without a hitch, but somehow Jaime messes up Step 3 and gets re-captured. Now the Karstarks, the family of the guard from Step 2 want to kill Jaime. Catelyn and Brienne pay Jaime a visit, but we’ll have to wait till next episode to see how that ends.

One large ocean away, Dany is not happy (as usual). Her dragons are gone, a lot of her people are dead or missing, and Jorah is getting too familiar. A bizarre turn of events may compel the winds of fate to blow in her favor though. Xaro Xhoan Daxos and a seriously creepy guy I’ve named Baldy stage a coup and slit the throats of most of the members of Qarth’s ruling thirteen. Dany runs away, but all paths most likely lead to the House of the Undying since Baldy admitted he took her dragons there.

The action at Winterfell takes a grim turn. Theon the embarrassed conqueror struggles to maintain composure after learning that Bran and Rickon have escaped. Theon immediately deploys his men to hunt them down, and despite protestations from a desperate Maester Luwin, he makes it clear that mercy will be the last thing the Stark boys can expect. The last scene of the episode is horrifying. Theon gathers the inhabitants of Winterfell together to reveal that his hunting party has not returned empty-handed: the burnt and broken forms of two small bodies, hung from their necks, dangle over the castle walls like perverse trophies to Theon’s twisted reign.



  • I like it when titles match up or even enhance the actual content of their episodes. Last week’s “The Old Gods and the New” did neither for me, but this week’s selection restored my faith in whoever has the cool job of slapping titles on these things. In a semi-related thought, how do I make that job my job?
  • There are an awful lot of males to root for in Westeros right now — my favorites include the ever popular Tyrion, the brooding Jon Snow, and Jaime the Kingslayer (don’t judge me—he really does grow on you) — but the majority of the females are a little under-whelming this season. Dany has spent more time whining than anything else, and Arya, while as loveable as ever, doesn’t have a lot to do as Tywin’s cupbearer. That’s why I’m so thankful for Ygritte. She combines Arya’s fight and Dany’s fire without the burden of the former’s young age or the latter’s sense of entitlement.
  • Fun fact: did you know that in the books Jon, Robb, and Dany are all supposed to be fourteen? I know the show producers have made a deliberate effort to make all the children a bit older, but it’s still fun to think about. The Night’s Watch bastard, the warring King of the North, and the Mother of Dragons would all be high school freshmen if they had been born into our noticeably less awesome world.
  • (Not as fun) fact: my recaps have been getting longer and longer even though the episode lengths have remained constant. Oops (?)


Missing in action: Stannis, Melisandre, Davos, Joffrey, Margaery, Loras, Yara, Renly

Body count: (roughly) 16. Alton Lannister + 1 Karstark guard + 2 charred Stark boys + 11 Qarth VIPs + 1 Baldy.



Theon: “How goes hunting?”
Maester Luwin: “So far hunting seems a lot like riding”

Theon: “Don’t look so grim. It’s all just a game.”

Sansa: “Does it give you joy to scare people?”
Sandor Clegane: “It gives me joy to kill people.”

Cersei: “Half the Targaryens went mad, didn’t they? What’s the saying? Every time a Targaryen is born the gods flip a coin.”

Jaime: “So many vows. Defend the king. Obey the king. Obey your father. Protect the innocent. Defend the weak. But what if your father despises the king? What if the king massacres the innocent? No matter what you do, you’re forsaking one vow or another.”

Tyrion: “It’s hard to put a leash on a dog once you’ve put a crown on its head.”

Ygritte: “You know nothing, Jon Snow.”


Hayley has other interests besides just nerdy TV shows. She also is a big fan of thinking. She ponders the great mysteries of life, like how more of her time can be devoted to watching those nerdy TV shows.

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game of thrones recapping: the old gods and the new

Previously on Game of Thrones: The Ghost of Harrenhal

Theon continues his season-long quest to distinguish himself from the other brooding, dark-haired  young men of Westeros. Along with his small band of loyal(ish) ironborn, he attacks and captures Winterfell. Ser Rodrik Cassel gets his head unprofessionally chopped off in the process, but Osha, the mysterious wildling slave, seems eager to switch allegiances as she literally jumps into bed with the enemy. It’s all just part of the plan though—she and Hodor (“Hodor, Hodor, Hodor!”) sneak Bran and Rickon away from Winterfell before any more of Theon’s arrogant stupidity can harm the Stark boys.

Up north, Quorin and Jon attempt to wipe out a wildling scouting party. Every wildling is killed except for the pretty red-headed girl Jon attacks. As a child, Jon presumably was taught that it’s not nice to hit or behead girls, but this is beyond the Wall, and Quorin insists that a female wildling is just as worthy of death as a male one—about as close to a feminist argument as you can expect in Westeros. Quorin leaves Jon to kill Ygritte (pronounced kind of like egret), which turns out to be an awful idea. Ygritte escapes and leads Jon on a merry chase before eventually getting caught. Now Jon is stuck with a headstrong (and surprisingly flirtatious) wildling captive, far away from Quorin and the rest of his Night’s Watch brothers.

The Stark girls each have close encounters with danger in this episode. During a brutal King’s Landing riot, Sansa gets pulled away and nearly raped before a heroic Sandor Clegane rescues her (by bashing heads and pulling out guts). Over at Harrenhal, Petyr Littlefinger makes a surprise visit, but if he recognizes Arya, he doesn’t say anything. Arya attempts to steal battle plans from Tywin Lannister, but she is discovered by Amory Lorch, a Lannister soldier. Desperate, Arya tells Jaqen she wants to use her second death on Lorch, and a poison dart finds the soldier mere seconds before Arya’s duplicity is revealed.

In Qarth, Dany prepares to return to Westeros. She demands that the richest men and women of the city give her ships and soldiers because it is her birthright – an argument that turns out to be rather unconvincing. Dany is upset and threatens to eventually take what is hers with fire and blood, but no one in Qarth really seems to take her seriously. Someone must really despise her though because Dany returns home to find her guards murdered and the three dragons taken. Uh oh! Someone just made Dany angry, and they’re about to realize that you really, really won’t like the mother of dragons when she’s angry.


  • Theon’s botched attempt to gracefully detach Ser Rodrik’s head from his body made me appreciate and miss our dearly departed Ned Stark even more. Now there was a guy who knew how to behead someone. (See Season 1, Episode 1.)
  • I’m excited we finally get to meet Ygritte! Jon’s storyline has been dragging a bit this season, and the girl kissed by fire (wildling slang for red-haired) should be just the catalyst to heat up the north. Rose Leslie, last seen carrying dishes as a maid over at Downton Abbey, makes quite an appealing Ygritte, and she almost makes me forget how much I miss listening to Sam ramble on about girls, books, and food.
  • Good for you, people of King’s Landing! Usually just an unhappy cast of extras to pepper the background, the peasants finally make their frustrations apparent. Sure, there’s lots of violence, but it’s about time Joffrey sees what his people really think of him.
  • Is it just me or is Dany getting a bit annoying? I know there’s a growing number of people who are not fans of the khaleesi, but I never thought I would include myself among them. Merchant, the fat man unwilling to reveal his name, brought up several good points—Dany has no experience, no money, no proven support in Westeros, and only a tentative claim to the Iron Throne at best. Maybe she should just settle down for awhile and wait for her dragons to actually become intimidating. Dany, mother of dragons the size of kitchen rats, is not really getting anything done. 
Missing in action: Stannis, Melisandre, Davos, Margaery, Loras, Yara

Body count: Too many to count (this will, in all likelihood, be the norm for the rest of the season) – large numbers of men killed at Winterfell, King’s Landing, and Qarth. Notable deaths include Ser Rodrick Cassel and Irri, Dany’s faithful Dothraki handmaiden.



Tyrion: “You blind, bloody fool! We’ve had vicious kings, and we’ve had idiot kings, but I don’t know that we’ve ever been cursed with a vicious idiot for a king!”

Theon: “It grieves me that we meet as foes.
Rodrik: “It grieves me you’ve less honor than a back alley whore.”

Dany: “Do you understand? I am no ordinary woman. My dreams come true.”

Merchant: “She has a talent for drama, this one.”

Cersei: “One day I pray you love someone. I pray you love her so much when you close your eyes you can see her face. I want that for you. I want you to know what it’s like to love someone, to truly love someone, before I take her from you.”

Ygritte: “You’re brave—stupid, but brave.“


Hayley has other interests besides just nerdy TV shows. She also is a big fan of thinking. She ponders the great mysteries of life, like how more of her time can be devoted to watching those nerdy TV shows.

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