Monday, 21 May 2012

Game of Thrones | Season 2, Episode 8: The Prince of Winterfell


This week in Game of Thrones, Jaime escapes from Robb, Arya escapes from Tywin, Jon doesn't escape from the Wildlings, and Robb has his own mother put under guard. Meanwhile, Stannis is still on his way to King's Landing to try to lay siege to the place, and Tyrion is getting seriously ticked off with Cersei after she takes certain matters into her own hands...

Beyond the wall, Jon is still in the hands of the Wildlings. He meets a disquieting figure called the Lord of Bones, or Rasttleshirt, who has dressed himself up in armour made from the bones of his dead enemies. Also captured by the Wildlings is another Black Brother from Jon's ranging party, Quorin Halfhand. Over on the Fist, Sam and the rest of the Night's Watch are still hanging out and watching for Wildling activity. While digging latrines, Sam and his mates come across some pieces of dragonglass (obsidian) wrapped up in an old Night's Watch cloak - this will probably turn out to save their lives somehow in the coming battle with the Wildlings/the Others...

Robb and the Lady Talisa are still flirting away, and this week Robb puts his money where his mouth is by admitting that although he is engaged to marry a Frey, he actually wants to marry her instead. Adding to his Kingly frustrations this week is his mother Catelyn, who has taken it upon herself to set free the Kingslayer; Brienne of Tarth is currently shepherding Jaime Lannister south to King's Landing, in the hope that giving back the Kingslayer will induce Cersei to free Arya and Sansa. Robb is furious; he sends eighty men out to try to recapture the Kingslayer, and sets a guard over Catelyn to make sure she doesn't get up to any more treasonous mischief.

Arya, who is not in King's Landing at all but still in Harrenhal with Lord Tywin's force, finally names a third name to Jaqen, who has promised her three free kills. Tywin is taking his men off to fight Robb, leaving Gregor 'The Mountain' Clegane in charge at Harrenhal. Arya decides to get clever with Jaqen, and names his own name to him, meaning that Jaqen will have to kill himself - unless he helps her and her friends escape from Harrenhal. Eager to save his own skin, he does - so Arya, Gendry and Hot Pie are now free of their masters.

In King's Landing, Tyrion, Bronn and Varys are attempting to plan for the coming siege that Stannis is about to bring down on them - they are not doing very well at it. Matters are not helped by the fact that, in revenge for Myrcella being shipped off to Dorne, Cersei reveals to Tyrion that she has captured Shae. Worried for the safety of Joffrey in the coming battle, Cersei threatens Tyrion, saying that every wound Joffrey receives will also be visited upon his favourite prostitute. Just to really hammer it home, Cersei has her guards bring in the unfortunate woman - who turns out not to be Shae at all, but is in fact Roz. So, Tyrion still has some time to figure out how to deal with his crazy sister before she gets any real leverage over him - however, he clearly feels bad for Roz, and will certainly cook something up to get her out of Cersei's clutches.

In Winterfell, Theon's sister Yara arrives, but it's not to help him hold the fort - she's there to slap him on the wrist for being stupid enough to take Winterfell without enough men to hold onto it, and also for murdering Bran and Rickon (who, being Robb's brothers, would have been worth a fortune in ransoms). She tries to convince him to come with her instead of staying at Winterfell to die when Robb's men show up for revenge. What she doesn't know is that, surprise surprise, Theon hasn't murdered Bran and Rickon after all - he couldn't find them to kill them, so instead he killed the sons of a nearby farmer. So, he's still a childkiller, just not of the children we care about. Bran, Rickon, Hodor, and Osha are safe, hiding in the crypt under Winterfell.

Dany isn't up to much in Qarth this week, however she is plotting to head to the House of the Undying to get back her dragons. Finally, we are given a glimpse of Stannis and Davos as they are bringing their fleet to King's Landing - no doubt the grand finale of season two (there are only two episodes left now) will be the battle/siege of the city. However; even though Game of Thrones is full of magic/dragons/bloodshed/battle scenes, the producers have so far managed to avoid giving us too much of a show with some clever storyboarding and editing - giant battles cost a hell of a lot to film, after all. Hopefully this battle (which has been building up for a while now) will be the visually arresting spree of carnage we're all waiting for.

Episode 8 Best Moment: Lady Talisa talking to Rob about her childhood.

Episode 8 Best Line: "Has anyone ever told you you're as boring as you are ugly?" - Jaime to Brienne

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