Game of Thrones Review – “BAELOR” Off With His Head!
In this week’s episode of Game of Thrones, Cat makes a deal, Dany plays God, Robb gains the upper hand and Ned meets his doom…
“One victory does not make us conquerors…this war is far from over” ~ Robb Stark
Robb continues to move south and ends up at the Twins, a part of the Trident owned by Lord Walder Frey. They must cross and Cat offers to speak Lord Frey since her father knows the Frey family well. Walder Frey is a perverted, cantankerous, old man. Cat asks for passage for Robb and Walder Frey tells her that the Tullys always pissed on his family so he refuses her request. He knows about Tywin and Ned, and everything that has transpired but he cares nothing for the great ruling families of Westeros, which is why he hasn’t turned Robb over to Tywin.
Cat makes a deal with Lord Frey: Robb must marry one of Frey’s daughter’s if he’s allowed to cross the Trident and Arya (when she comes of age) must marry one of his son’s. WOW. Talk about the BADDEST.BRIDGE.TOLL.EVER! I’d rather fight a troll than deal with that! In the end, Robb agrees – he has little choice. It’s not easy to secretly go around the Twins with 20,000 men, nor does he have the time. True to his Stark nature, he does what is best for all in spite of the personal cost.
Robb scores a big win in spite of losing many men – he captures Jaime Lannister!!!! He’s definitely got the advantage now! Who would’ve thought a young, green boy could capture a seasoned knight – and his enemy’s favourite son. Way to go Robby! :)
“What is honour compared to a woman’s love? What is duty compared to the feel of a newborn son in your arms?” ~ Master Aemon
Jon gets a new sword from Lord Commander Mormont. Yes, Ser Jorah’s father!!!! The sword was Ser Jorah’s. It’s a great honour and causes a stir among the other boys. Jon seems to earning a lot of street cred on The Wall! The Lord Commander thanks Jon for saving him from the undead man who attacked them and sent the hand to Joff to shake him up and make him realize they need help on The Wall.
Sam delivers the news Robb has moved south to war and immediately, Jon feels he should be there. He knows he can’t leave after taking his vows because he will be beheaded if he is caught. It’s a very difficult decision to make – to watch his family fight without being able to be by their side. He has a rather revealing and poignant conversation with old blind Maester Aemon. He knows what is on Jon’s mind and the choice he must make. He tells him a story to show that he too was tested sorely…only in the telling of his tale, he reveals he is a Targaryen! He has been on The Wall long enough for the rest of the world to forget he exists. His entire family was slaughtered and he was unable to do anything to save them. When Jon is shocked that he is a Targaryen, he replies rather simply that he is merely a Maester of the Citadel of the Night’s Watch – nothing more. The vows erased what he was before – he is the same as any of them and his duty lies with the Night’s Watch. He knows he can’t force Jon to stay, but his words have a lingering impact on Jon’s decision.
Jon’s finding out just what it means to be a true part of the Night’s Watch. It’s not just vows and swords, and things that go bump in the night. It’s about really being cut off from everything and everyone – about being the same no matter who you were in your past life. This is only the beginning….
“A Khal who cannot ride is no Khal” ~ Dothraki saying
The Dothraki scenes, as always, are dramatic and gory. Khal Drogo falls ill, and can no longer ride. The infection in his chest is festering. This is a perilous situation for Dany – the Dothraki care nothing for titles – respect is earned in battle and if Khal Drogo dies, the rest of the Khalasar will no longer give her the respect due to a Queen. Dany gives orders to the men and they balk at taking commands from a woman once they see Khal Drogo is weak. Ser Jorah presses Dany to flee – she will be murdered when the Dothraki fight over a new Khal. Her son will be viewed as a competitor to the throne and she and her son will be killed to prevent his claim.
Dany is desperate to save her beloved and enlists the aid of the witch, Mirri Maz Duur, again. She attempts some crazy dark blood magic to save Khal Drogo but…as these things usually are…they have a price – and not gold; that would be too easy. A life in exchange for a life is what must be paid to save Khal Drogo. The Khal’s horse is brought into the tent and Mirri slits its throat. It’s a very gory scene, much like nearly all Dothraki scenes.
The chanting from the tent draws the attention of the Dothraki and Ser Jorah fights off one of Khal Drogo’s bloodriders. They blame Dany for Khal Drogo’s demise because she allowed the witch to heal him and now she is bringing down a curse on their people. Ser Jorah kills him in a gruesome fight and Dany goes into labour. No one will tend to her because they think she is cursed so Ser Jorah rushes Dany back into the tent where the ritual is being performed. This isn’t good because no one is supposed to enter when the magic is released so you have to wonder what will become of poor Dany and her son? It was the only safe place she could go where the Dothraki were too afraid to follow.
In spite of numerous attempts by the Khal’s men to override Dany, she stands her ground when they challenge her. She’s a ballsy little thing! Even when she knows it could mean her death – she tells Ser Jorah they are not running away but staying until the end with Khal Drogo. There are several characters who could take a page out of her book on how to lead ahem *coughs* Robert, Joff, Viserys…to name a few.
Tywin hopes Tyrion’s savages are of some use to the army. Meanwhile, Bronn, being the good henchman that he is, finds Tyrion a whore, Shae. Tyrion offers to protect her so long as she beds no other man while he’s around. They play a ‘truth or dare’ type drinking game. Here, we find out a lot about Bronn, and a lot about Tyrion…but very little about Shae. Bronn’s been north of he Wall, he killed a woman before he was 12, and he was beaten by his father. When Shae plays, Tyrion fails at guessing her past and she’s reluctant to talk about it. We discover Tyrion used to be married. When he was 16, he saved a girl from being raped and took her to an inn and fed her. He fell in love with her and married her after one night. Later on, Jaime told him the truth – the entire thing was arranged by their father, so he could bed a woman. Then, Tywin gave her to the soldiers and made Tyrion watch as she was screwed by the entire guard.
The next morning, the war has started and as Tyrion runs to join the battle, he’s knocked on the head by Shagga’s men and passes out cold. He misses the entire battle and wakes up to find that the Lannister army defeated a paltry group of only 2,000, not 20,000 men. Lucky guy – the knock on the head probably saved him!
Tyrion’s had a horrid life, and one has to marvel at the fact that he’s so loyal to his family after they’ve been nothing but cruel. Tywin can barely stand the site of him and only keeps him because he is a Lannister. Cersei finds him disgusting, Joff taunts him mercilessly, and Jaime tolerates him, but mildly at best. After that stunt with the girl, it’s amazing Tyrion didn’t leave or kill them in their sleep. He is neither like them in stature, or at heart…he’s hardly worthy of the Lannister title because he’s not a wicked, mean bastard. For all their gold, he deserved a better family.
“I am Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell and Hand of the King. I come before you to confess my treason…” ~ Eddard Stark
Varys wants to save Ned and tries to convince him to admit he’s a traitor so Cersei can let him take the Black and live out his life on the Wall. At first, Ned being Ned, doesn’t want to hear it. He doesn’t fear death and would rather die with his honour intact than live a lie. Then, Varys goes for the throat…he points out that Ned has to think about his children – especially the girls because they are under his protection in King’s landing. Ned realizes, as much this will leave a bad taste in his mouth, he can’t risk their lives for the sake of his good name.
Arya, is busy fending for herself as a street urchin. She hears a commotion and rushes to join the throng of people shouting “Traitor!”She climbs up onto a statue and spies her father on the podium, along with Queen Cersei, Sansa and Joff. Ned does the unthinkable, and admits he is a traitor hoping to save his girls. Unfortunately, it’s all in vain…Joff announces that while he was considering being merciful, he has reconsidered and orders Ned to be executed. Sansa’s is horrified, Arya is grabbed and told to look away, but nonetheless, they were there for their father’s execution. Choppity-chop, Ned’s head comes off.
WOW. If you hated Joff before, well…there are NO WORDS. True to the books, Ned is executed. Martin is not afraid to rob you of your favourite characters. In this regard, he has earned my respect. Many books and popular shows kill off periphery characters; they don’t have the balls to kill off the fan favourites but not Martin, no, just like in real life, things are not always fair and the good guys don’t always win. Ned didn’t win. It makes people uncomfortable, and even angry, but at least it’s honest and I’m glad the show didn’t change Ned’s ending.
What will happen to Sansa? Who has taken Arya? Who is Shae? Does Jaime survive his capture? Tune in with me next week to find out and watch the riveting final chapter in this season’s Game of Thrones, “Fire and Blood”.