The Lion and the Rose
SPOILER ALERT! Warning, this recap has major spoilers to “The Lion and the Rose,” if you haven’t watched the episode yet, please go to HBO GO immediately!
HBO GO shut down because of traffic last week, (this is after fixing the glitch that caused the True Detective season finale crash) 6.6 million viewers watched “Two Swords”, the season premier, and our favorite gamers got the cover of Vanity Fair magazine. Game of Thrones is making its argument for best television series of all time, or at least the bloodiest. According to Vanity Fair, (Yes, I read VF) the show has been illegally downloaded more than any other in history. Not only that, but President Barack Obama gets early screenings in the White House, not a bad perk for Commander-in-chief.
I’d like to start by saying that rarely does a T.V. series cause its watchers to be so impassioned. Just last week I had a Facebook war with fellow Hush writer, Jené Conrad about whether or not Khaleesi is a name or title for Daenerys Targaryen.
Hurrah! George R.R. Martin actually wrote the script for this week’s episode. We open with a hunt. A young woman is being chased through the woods by Theon Greyjoy’s captor, Ramsay Snow, a female archer, Greyjoy, and a pack of wild dogs. Greyjoy, now called Reek by Ramsay, watches as Ramsay sadistically let’s the dogs tear her apart.
We immediately cut to another phallic reference following that scene with Tyrion and Jamie eating a meal. This is an on going theme since Ramsay removed Theon’s…manhood.
Tyrion seeks to strengthen his bond with his brother by offering his bodyguard Bronn, to train him to use a sword with one hand. The scene made me laugh as I thought to myself of the classic, Princess Bride moment, “I am not left-handed!”
Ramsay Snow, returns home. He greets his father, but the welcome is not friendly. It’s important to note that Ramsay is also a bastard. Ramsay’s father, Lord Roose Bolton seems domineering and cold. But they bask in their victories. Theon Greyjoy is presented as a trophy. Bolton is disappointed that Theon has been broken. But Ramsay earns his father’s graces by revealing that Bran and Rickon Stark are still alive. Theon admits that he did not murder the Stark boys and they are now part of the game. They quickly devise a plan and Jon Snow will soon be paid a visit by Locke, the guy who chopped off Jamie’s hand.
Tyrion has been warned by Lord Varys about his former lover, Shae being outed. Tywin Lannister promised to murder the next whore found with his son. Tyrion must now protect her.
He confronts her, breaks her heart, for her own good, and demands that she leave. He arranged passage for her on a boat, she had no choice but to take his offer.
We cut to Joffrey and Margaery’s pre-wedding ceremony. The book of The Four Kings is presented to Joffery as a gift from Tyrion. Joffery seems to have reconciled as he gives thanks to Tyrion. He then, in a spoiled fit, destroys the book Tyrion offered with a newly acquired Valyrian blade. He celebrates by antagonizing Sansa while gloating over the death of Ned Stark.
Stannis Baratheon is still sacrificing souls to strengthen his power. What a weirdo. Let’s hope Davis Seaworth gets out of there soon. He is still the only voice of reason in that cult of crazies.
Bran has been hunting as a Dire Wolf. His abilities to live as animals in the Westeros are growing stronger. He and his band are still traveling beyond the wall. He is having difficultly staying in human form. Hodor places him by a Heart Tree, these Weirwood trees with carved faces are found in the Godswood. Bran sees his father and the three eyed crow, and a dragon over King’s Landing. A voice commands him to go north.
Wedding of Joffery and Margaery Tyrell was magnificent. It was truly a wedding of royalty. Tyrion leaned into his wife Sansa and muttered, “Better her than you.” Preach!
The celebration was grand and colorful. We have rarely seen King’s Landing that plush. In a tender moment, Margaery’s grandmother, Olenna Tyrell offers her condolences to Sansa by saying, “As if men need more reasons to fear marriage.” In reference to The Red Wedding. Jamie and Loras Tyrell get into a pissing match over Cersei. Jamie’s jealously is rampant. Loras is engaged to marry Cersei by order of Tywin. Immediately Cersei confronts Lady Brienne and the proud warrior woman inadvertently declares her love for Jamie. In a fit of anger, Cersei commands that the leftover food from the celebration go to the dogs of King’s Landing rather than the poor as the new Queen Margaery had declared.
Lord Oberyn finds the Lannisters in the middle of the celebration and intentionally insults Cersei and Tywin. He also subtly makes a threat on Cersei’s daughter, Myrcella. This revenge plot will be one to follow!
The party continues. The War of the five kings plays out in grand theatrical manner with fools in costume. Sansa watches in quite contemplation as everyone is disgusted except for Joffrey.
Fools Rush In
He is cruel and pompous. Drunk on power Joffrey pours wine on Tyrion’s head, he continues to torment his uncle until the entire wedding party is uncomfortable. Joffrey drops his gauntlet and Sansa and Tyrion share a moment as she retrieves it for him.
Joffrey orders Tyrion to kneel. Tyrion refuses. The tension is high and is broken only when the pigeon pie is brought out. As Joffrey sips from his goblet. He begins to choke. It becomes clear that he has been poisoned! It’s about fucking time! In a glorious performance his face turns pale, then blue and purple. He points towards Tyrion with his final act as king and dies. This is the moment we have been waiting three seasons for! After countless good guys being murdered off, this was inevitable. I’m not ashamed to say that I will miss him. There are few characters on the show that we can hate so viscerally.
Before you celebrate, keep in mind, he is barely a man.
Joffrey is dead and Cersei believes Tyrion poisoned her son. She immediately orders him seized. Clearly Tyrion has been framed again. Remember the whole murder attempt on Bran’s life? This week’s episode was an A+! There was no frontal nudity and only one death, but it was the episode we were all hoping would happen!!!
Come back next week for our recap on “The Breaker of Chains.”
All media credited to HBO