Sunday, April 21, 2013

'Game of Thrones' recap: 'And Now His Watch is Ended'

Dany gets fired up. Courtesy HBO

This was one of those episodes of Game of Thrones that leaves you thrusting your fist in the air and shouting "Hell, yes!" Full of ass kicking, incredibly savvy females, shocking reveals and jaw-dropping visuals that seem to favor the element of fire ... is what makes this show so amazing.

Jaime’s Got Mud on His Face ... A Medieval Disgrace

As if he wasn’t in bad enough shape after getting his sword-wielding hand chopped off by Locke, the Bannermen of House Bolton continue to mock and threaten depressed and exhausted Jaime Lannister.

Brienne of Tarth knows that he saved her from certain rape by lying about the meaning behind Tarth being the sapphire capitol and she is now defending him. She orders the men to help prevent Jaime from falling off his...whoops, face down in the mud. He begs for water and warns them if he dies, they’ll all be killed. He is given some horse piss to quench his thirst and even though he spits it out, he gains enough strength to start a sword fight with the captors. Brienne begs them to stop but just looks on as he is beaten further. Locke threatens that he’ll chop off his other hand if he pulls this crap again.

Later during what appears to be a lesson in reverse psychology, Brienne orders Jaime to not only eat, but to survive so he can take his revenge. She even goes so far as to imply that his whining is making him sound like a “bloody woman.” It appears to work because Jaime starts chowing down on some food. She then asks him why he helped save her from being raped. He doesn’t respond, which is understandable since his mouth is full.

It’s My Revenge in a Box ... Revenge in a Box, Yeah...

Varys the Eunuch gets some great play in this episode. We finally learn the story of how he was cut and it is told to Tyrion. Tyrion wants to discuss the events at the Battle of Blackwater and Cersei’s intentions to kill him. Tyrion unfortunately did not inherit Littlefinger’s spies when he inherited his position. He wants proof but Varys has none...only whispers.

In an attempt to show Tyrion that he knows and appreciates revenge and how much he hates magic, he describes the incident when he was cut as a young boy. While traveling with a band of actors in Myr, a sorcerer removed his man bits and threw them into a fire. A voice was heard from the fire ... the sorcerer called and voice answered. What did it say? Varys’s disdain for magic is why he helped Tyrion fight against Stannis and his Red Priestess. It was symbolic revenge for him.

Tyrion seems non-plussed and wants actual revenge. Oh, Varys will prove he understands! After pointing out that what a man puts in writing is more important than his wealth, Varys reveals that that sorcerer who cut off his junk, is kept in a box. It’s delightfully disturbing, actually. He promises Tyrion will get his revenge in due time.

Craster, Craster, Give Me Some Food...

The members of the Watch are chatting and plotting whilst they shovel pig poop. They know that Craster is not going to save them and that they need to leave the keep and look out for themselves. Hungry men can get get pretty ornery so maybe Craster needs to stop feeding these guys sawdust-laden bread?

Sam then walks in on his love, Gilly while she is holding her newborn son. Sam is just so damn sweet and innocent and asks the baby’s name. Gilly in all her postpartum glow, snaps at him that he doesn’t have a name. She knows it’s pointless ... the baby is a White Walker’s dinner! Oh, and Sam, take back this stupid thimble you gave me too, I don’t have time for you right now.

Later in the episode, during a farewell feast with Craster and Lord Mormont, a huge fight erupts over the withholding of food and help for injured men. The men had just had a funeral pyre for one of their brothers who did not die of a foot injury, but from starvation. These guys really must have been hungry because a comment is made about how yummy his burning flesh smells. Anyway, this fight was huge and bloody and it results in the deaths of both “godly” wildling, Craster and Night Watch Lord Commander Mormont.

In all the craziness, Sam manages to gather up Gilly and her baby and they run off into the dark forest, escaping the flames and probable death. They better shut that baby up telling what is lurking in those woods!

It’s the Climb!

In a brief scene, we find Bran in one of his magical dream states chasing a raven again. Jojen Reed, a fellow warg, encourages Bran to go after the raven. Bran climbs a high tree and is met by his frantic mama who reminds him that he should not be climbing. Promise Me! Nice one, he falls ... again. He then wakes and finds himself looking at Jojen through a fire. What does this mean?!

Pod and His Magical Rod

In a highly informative exchange between Ros (apparently the former whore) and Varys, we learn that Podrick’s bedroom skills are extraordinary but that he’s no bigger than usual. The ladies, who didn’t even collect their payment, said he was "hard to describe." I think this scene should have been ... longer.

Varys wants to know how Littlefinger reacted to not receiving payment and Ros answers that he is too preoccupied with his journey to wed Lady Lysa Arryn and what he’ll acquire with this union. His interest in Sansa is also discussed and Ros produces a document about his ship trip showing that he requested two feather beds. Is the one for Sansa?

Matchmaker Margaery and Her Macabre and Masochistic Mischief

Leave it to King Joffrey to know how to show a girl a good time. Haha ... there are the remains of Rhaenyra Targaryen! She was eaten by a dragon in front of her son! Wanna see more tombs, sweetie? Psychopath. And Margaery acts like she’s digging it, it’s all historical and fun! Wait ... is she really enjoying this? He LOVES that she feels that “sometimes severity is the price we pay for greatness.” This girl is clever.

Cersei and Lady Olenna are making wedding plans and talking about their dead male kin and how they enjoyed hunting. They also talk parenting and how even though mother’s do what they can to keep their son’s from the graves, they do not listen.

Cersei looks dismayed when Maragery encourages Joffrey to greet his people when they suddenly hear their yells. Margaery assures Joffrey that they adore him for leading the defense of King’s Landing. It appears to be true because they are surprisingly well-received. It’s most like Margaery that they favor. Cersei better run to daddy to discuss this Tyrell situation.

Cersei wants to know what Tywin is doing about getting Jaime back safely, she also wants him to take her attention to his lectures to heart and listen to her. She feels that the Tyrells are a problem and that Margaery manipulates Joffrey. Tywin shoots her down and says Joffrey needs it and “too bad you can’t do a better job of it.” Burn. Tywin intends on stopping Joffrey from doing what he likes.

Speaking of Manipulative Margaery, she preys on a praying Sansa Stark and wants the deets of her private pleas. She also wants to be besties and thinks Sansa should marry her brother Loras. This way she could get out of King’s Landing and could enjoy the wonders of Highgarden. Sansa’s smile looks like she’s down with this idea.

Sansa’s well-being is also discussed between Varys and Lady Olenna. Varys is concerned that Sansa will end up married to Littlefinger and thus giving him the potential power to be the most dangerous man in Westeros. “If Robb Stark falls, Sansa is the key to the North.” Olenna realizes then that if Littlefinger marries her, the key will be in his pocket. They need to come up with a solution to

Just When You Think You Have Bad Luck ...Theon

Theon thinks he is being rescued and taken to his sister, Yara, by this mystery “Boy.” He even confesses how he chose not to be a Stark, what he did to those poor farmer’s boys and how he made it look like it was the Stark boys so he could keep Winterfell and make daddy Balon all proud. He is remorseful and says that he chose wrong. The Boy tells him that Yara is waiting for him but ... psych! The Boy is now a hero for retrieving Theon and lies about how he killed the others. Theon is once again back to being tortured. Oh ... it will get much worse.

Arya Stark and the Ghosts in the Dark

A hooded Arya, Gendry and Hound are led to a hideout by the Brotherhood Without Banners. There, we meet Beric Dondarrion who is one of the founders of the Brotherhood. The Hound berates the group calling them deserters and makes fun of their professions. He also reminds them that they are fighting for “ghosts”...meaning Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon.

The Hound is there to be tried (by combat) for atrocities, including Arya pointing out that he killed her 12 year-old butcher friend, Mycah. But why is Arya there? Ransom? Anyway, the Hound must fight Beric, who is in cahoots with the Lord of Light in his trial by combat. Can’t wait to see that!

Crack That Whip, Dany ... or, Don’t

First, let’s just all agree that this was one hell of a great scene. The show tends to end on awesomeness and this episode upped the ante. Daenerys is getting schooled on her newly acquired slaves. The derogatory comments by slave master Kraznys mo Nakloz have been censored by the lovely translator Dany received as a gift.

The slaves are assembled and much to the chagrin of Jorah, Dany hands over her one dragon as payment. It’s on a leash, like a dog, and it does not seem to be cooperating for its new master. In exchange, Dany gets a whip. This shows the Unsullied that she is now in power. Oh, she always HAS been, for she speaks Valyrian and knew exactly what has been said in her presence. She commands her new massive army to, "Slay the master, slay the soldiers, slay every man who holds a whip. But harm no child."

The army obeys, Dany’s dragon burns its new master and basically, all hell breaks loose. It’s pretty awesome and the city is burned with dragon’s fire. At the end of the chaos, Dany and her advisors walk and Dany gets on her white horse. She looks extremely calm for what just went down.

Dany proclaims that the Unsullied are now free men and they may leave if they want to, but she does ask them to fight for her as free men. Her tactics worked because these guys appear to be on board. In a symbolic “drops the mic” move, her whip is dropped and they follow her. Her three dragons fly overhead in triumph.

What’s in store for next week’s episode of Game of Thrones? Check out "Kissed By Fire" (more fire?) next Sunday on HBO at 9 p.m. ET.