Last week, in all the excitement of recapping a two-year-old episode of television, I forgot to mention enormous wolves. Shame on me.
You see, the coolest families in Westeros have house sigils. It’s like Any Given Sunday, except one family chose the The Kraken, so they win. The Starks have the direwolf, a ginormous wolf that loves some children and hates other, shittier children. Joffrey, for example.
In the first episode, on the way back from beheading a man, the Starks come across a dead direwolf and her pups. There number of pups match the number of Stark babies (plus an extra, shitty one for Jon), so they take that as a sign to rob the dead dog mom’s grave and take the pups home with them. This is important. This means something.
Anyway, this new episode begins with Daeneyrs on the side of the world with all of the deserts (King Ralph is on the side of the world with all the desserts. Zing!). She’s not taking great care of herself, possibly dwelling on the fact that she’s been sold to another man by her brother in exchange for an army, possibly bummed that the only thing to eat in the desert in horse jerky. Ser Roger Moore channels Ser Dan Savage and tells her things will get easier. Easier like when they reach their eventual goal of waging war on the capital?
Dany collapses as soon as they make camp, which, all things considered, is pretty good for her. She stuck it out. Her brother, Viserys, who looks no worse for wear other than the fact that he looks like the worst, chats up Ser Roger. Viserys wants to know what Ser Roger did to make Ned Stark hate his ass so hard and kick him out of Westeros. Ser Roger says he caught poachers on his land and sold them to slavers. There are no “stand your ground” laws in Westeros, but Viserys seems determined to institute them once he takes his throne. See? Villain.
Meanwhile, in a dog kennel on the other side of the world: Tyrion is sleeping off an epic night of drinking and (probably) whoring. He’s like a minuscule and infinitely more charming version of David Duchovny’s character from Californication (recaps for that show soon to follow). His nephew, Joffrey, on the other hand, has nothing better to to than watch his uncle sleep and get slapped, both of which happen in this scene. You see, Tyrion’s a little smarty and wants Joffrey to say how bad he feels that his daduncle, Jamie pushed Bran out of a window. Joffrey doesn’t get the point, which won’t be the last time. Tyrion slaps him upside the head a couple of times while a man with a burned-up face watches. It’s sick.
Tyrion then orders the most amazing breakfast ever (dark beer and bacon, burnt black), and tells his sister, Cersei, that Bran is going to live and tell everyone what it looks and sounds like when she has sex with her brother (Jamie). Cersei says some ice cold shit about how cripples should die, to which Tyrion is, like, “hi, I’m your midget brother, remember?” Anyway, who cares? Tyrion is going to The Wall so he can piss off the edge of the world (urinate off of it, that is).
Cersei then visits Bran’s bedside, where she finds Cat looking more and more like a boiled Joan Allen. Cersei tells her a really sweet story about how her firstborn son died of a fever and her husband’s subsequent rampage through the castle. And then she’s like, “I’ll pray for your kid, but the gods didn’t listen to me, so this’ll be more of a situation of the thought counting, except I’m also just saying this to make you feel shitty, because I’m never not playing the game (of thrones).”
Meanwhile, Jon Snow is making an itsy bits sword for Arya. Jamie walks up and starts making fun of the sword, which only makes him look dumb, because, come on, man. Once again, a Lannister tries to talk some sense into Jon, this time about how crappy The Night’s Watch truly is, but Jon’s not listening, because, again, he thinks people are making fun of his parentage. Too bad.
Arya is packing for Kings’ Landing with her wolf and making jokes about how she trained the wolf to get her gloves for her, even though her brother is bleeding internally in the next room. Jon gives her the sword and some practical advice: stick ’em with the pointy end.
And then we get another scene of Cat knitting something while Bran sleeps. This time Jon says goodbye to Bran, which Cat hates, because Cat hates goodbyes (and the living embodiment of her husband’s infidelity). Ned has terrible timing and walks in into the splash zone of Cat’s misplaced anger for Jon. It’s the one time when her hatred of that kid is accurately focused. Ned gets it. He left 17-years ago and came back with another woman’s baby, but his friend asked for a favor, so Ned is powerless to resist. Ned’s super honorable, so I’m sure this repressed, damaging behavior will somehow fix itself.
Everyone else says goodbye to everyone else for another twelve minutes, before Ned and Jon are about to part ways. Ned promises Jon he’ll tell him all about his mother the next time they see each other, and Ned would never break a promise, so we’ll probably see that happen by the end of the season. Looking forward to it!
Ten minutes into the trip down the Kingsroad and King Ralph already has to pee, so they decide to break for a quick picnic wherein they reminisce about dead women with huge boobs and the possibility of killing some blonde girl on the other side of the world. Ned, as a totally honorable dude who, for example, would never kill his kid’s wolf because someone else told him to, is against killing a teenaged girl. Ralph is still bitter that her dad tried to steal his girlfriend and probably burps while eating a turkey leg or something. Not that any of this matters, because the Dothraki and Danaerys are on the side of the world with the least amount of main characters.
Speaking of which, Dany and Drogo put in some facetime to remind the audience of the brutal sex Drogo is inflicting on his child bride. Dany finds an out from the statutory discomfort by staring at her dragon eggs, which gives her a little Mona Lisa smile. It’s sick. Thanks for dropping in guys! We’ll see you in another 20 minutes!
Meanwhile, Tyion is trying, yet again, to give Jon good advice as they make their way to The Wall, but being called a bastard still stings, so Jon flips his hair and chooses not to listen. The idea that his brothers-in-arms might be criminals, escaping castration by “taking the black” isn’t something that occurs to Jon, even as Tyrion says as much. They have a nice moment together. It’s nice. Tyrion gets to remind us that he’s a dwarf, and that being a rich dwarf isn’t much better than being the kind who does handstands or juggles fruit.
Back in Winterfell, Cat is basically snapping out of sleep just long enough to soil herself by Bran’s bedside, and she’s not taking any better care of her other kids while doing so. Maester Luwin reminds her that she’s basically the governor and begs her to snap out of her funk before Rob offers to enable his mother’s terrible behavior by volunteering to step in for her. Suddenly, everyone gets distracted by a fire, leaving Cat and Bran alone with an assassin(!). The assassin wasn’t expecting anyone to be there and tussles with Cat, who grabs his knife by the blade, giving a remarkably good fight for a woman covered in her own insides. Bran’s wolf eats the assassin’s throat, thus proving why wolves are good pets for kids.
More excitingly, Dany discusses sex stuff with one of her handmaidens. The handmaiden,who was sold into prostitution at the age of nine and now eats horse meat in the desert, is an accurate representation of how that life usually ends up (only she’s really pretty). Dany wants to know how to please Drogo in a way that’s less violating for her. Girl power!
Just then, Jon and Tyrion reach The Wall. That’s it for them!
In Winterfell, super sleuth Cat is cracking the case of the crippled boy and the castle creeps. She visits the tower where Bran fell and finds a strand of long, blonde hair, thus inventing forensics. Everyone gathers around a tree with a face on it and hashes out how best to kill off as many main characters as they can, even if they have to kill themselves to do it. Rob wants to go to war, and Theon doesn’t have anything better to do, so he’s in too. Ultimately it’s decided that Rob can go to war later, but for now, Cat and the guy with the ponytail beard will go to Kings’ Landing to sample their Endless Summer of Shrimp Festival, and possibly figure out who tried to kill her boy. They have the fancy knife that the assassin tried to use, so they’re halfway to figuring it out anyway.
Better yet, Dany is simulating sex with her handmaiden in an effort to end the barrage of backdoor buttfuckery. She learns enough to mount Drogo, although she still has to stare at petrified dragon eggs to reach climax.
Back on the Kingsroad, Joffrey and Sansa are getting daydrunk when they hear Arya sword fighting with the butcher’s boy. Joffrey, so cool, decides to inject himself into the duel, allowing the poor kid to continue using his wooden sword against Joffrey’s Valaryian steel. Then Joffrey, and this is so cool, starts cutting the boy’s face with his sword. Arya hits Joffrey to make him stop, but you can’t kill the boogeyman, you can only embarrass him into abusing his power. So Joffrey calls Arya a cunt and points his sword at her throat, which prompts wolf justice to happen for the second time this episode. Arya’s wolf attacks Joffrey and she throws his sword in the river, because she’s the only Stark with even a shred of foresight. As is tradition on this show, she and the wolf fuck off into the woods, where she tearfully sets her fury buddy free.
Ned is up late looking for the missing Arya, not knowing that she’s already been found and brought before the king. He arrives to find a kangaroo court already in process, the verdict being that the wolf must die, and in the unlikely event that the guilty wolf not be present for his or her execution, a wolf of equal or lessor value will stand to take its place. That wolf winds up belonging to Sansa. The right, honorable Ned Stark is pretty bummed that his buddy Ralph called for this execution (basically because Cersei told him to), but decides that honor is honor, so honor honor honor. Ned will kill the wolf.
As Ned steps outside to betray his children’s trust for another man’s, he sees The Hound walking back into town with the butcher’s boy, dead and slung over a horse. Ned takes the moral high ground, shortly before slitting the throat of his daughter’s pet.
And then Bran opens his eyes!
Are you kidding me? That was only 1,900 words? Oh man, but so good though, right? Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. We’ll see you next week with “Lord Snow!”