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Game of Thrones: The Lion and the Rose

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Game of Thrones The Lion and the Rose

Wedding bells are ringing in King’s Landing, and everyone is gathered together for this joyous occasion.

We revisit Ramsay Snow and Theon Greyjoy, now known as Reek, to start the episode off. Ramsay and his…girlfriend?…are hunting some poor girl because Ramsay thought she made the girlfriend jealous. The girl is torn apart by dogs. All of these people are foul monsters. When Ramsay’s dad, Roose Bolton, returns home from the Red Wedding, he’s ticked off that Ramsay mutilated Theon. Now he’s no good as a hostage, and Roose needed him to negotiate with the Greyjoys. Seems the Greyjoys are on the warpath and hold a crucial strategic point, Moat Cailin.

There’s a weird psychodrama with Ramsay making Reek shave him, and taunting him as he holds a razor to his throat. Theon tells everyone how Bran and Rickon still live, so Roose sends his bounty hunter Locke to find them. Then he tells Ramsay to gather some men and try to capture Moat Cailin, a possible path to legitimacy for the bastard. So now the Boltons and Stannis are heading to the wall, but for different reasons.

Back in King’s Landing, Jaime is still have a hard time dealing with his disfigurement. Tyrion seems to have some sympathy, although it might be understandable if was a bit more snide about the whole thing. Bronn begins training Jaime in private to fight with his left hand.

Meanwhile Tyrion is still dealing with Shae. I like Shae in general, but bloody hell what an idiot. “We’ll fight them together.” Dumbass. Knowing his father will hang her, but knowing she won’t believe him no matter how much he insists she’s in danger, Tyrion pulls a Harry and the Hendersons, acting like he’s mad and doesn’t love Shae anymore so she’ll go away for her own good. According to Bronn, she got on the for Pentos and sailed away. Is it true? Is there anything we can trust in Game of Thrones? This show has made us all paranoid.

A brief visit to Stannis (they haven’t left for the north yet, I guess), shows Melisandre burning people at the stake as sacrifices to the Lord of Light. Everyone here is a religious loony except Davros and Stannis’ daughter with the lizard face. She’s a good sensible girl, but Melisandre is determined to indoctrinate her.

Up north of the Wall, Bran finds a weirwood tree and has a vision upon touching it. This vision was very interesting, as it contained a number of clues about things that happen in the novels, but also things out beyond where the novels are. That is, even if you’ve read every book at this point, it looked like there were some hints there about events that George hasn’t even written yet.

So let’s a take a close look at that vision. First, the three-eyed crow, which flies down a catacomb. Then we see Ned Stark’s sword being sharpened, then Ned himself. Notably, an image of a fire was clearly reflected in Ned’s eye. Some connection to the Lord of Light? There’s a northern landscape that quickly becomes choked by snow or fog. Another shot of a weirdwood, then someone standing out in the snow. Possibly Jon Snow? A tangle of roots are accompanied by a voice intoning, “Look for me beneath the tree.” There’s a shot of a rotted horse that’s still alive, then the Iron Throne under a seven-pointed star. The face of white walker is seen reflected in ice, then Bran falling out of the tower. And, probably the most interesting shot, one I think we’ll be talking about a lot this week: the shadow of a dragon flying over King’s Landing.

The shadow of a dragon, flying over King’s Landing.


The rest of the episode was taken up by the wedding of Joffrey Lannister to Margaery Tyrrel. There were insignificant parts, like half an hour of Joffrey reminding everyone what an utter shit he is. But also a lot of brilliant scheming and verbal sparring. Olenna, Margaery’s grandmother, was amazing at all times, especially jabbing at Tywin. “You should try enjoying something before you die.” She also makes some pointed remarks about the Iron Bank, which the Lannisters borrowed from heavily to finance their war. Notice that Tywin is grumbling a lot about the cost of the wedding. The Lannister’s are having some cash flow problems, and I suspect they’re going to get worse.


Olenna also has a great bit of dialog with Sansa. “But killing a man at a wedding, what sort of monster would so such a thing?” Olenna seemed to have a contented smirk on her face throughout the wedding.

Notice, clever friends, the Michael Moorcock shoutout when Joffrey asks for suggestions to name his new sword. “Stormbringer!” someone yells. Well played, good sir, well played. Apparently an aspect of the Eternal Champion was on the guest list at the wedding.

Cersei proved to be as much of a shit as Joffrey, belittling everyone and just generally being a huge [anatomical gendered insult]. She and Jaime, despite the cooling of their romance, are both jealous jerks, toward Brienne and Loras respectively. I’m not sure why she was so full of herself, since her only power was in her ability to control Joffrey, which she lost some time ago. Cersei also came out on the losing end of a major verbal joust with Oberyn Martell, who basically threatened to kill Cersei’s daughter.

But we’re all here to talk about Joffrey dying. We won’t have him to slap around any more. That looked like it hurt rather a lot, didn’t it?

We’re left with two vital questions. First, whodunit? This is one of those great murder mysteries where the victim was such a colossal gaping asshole that literally everyone in the world has a motive. He’d just been tormenting Tyrion, but I think Tyrion had other things on his mind to plot fratricide. Tywin despised Joffrey for several reasons. Olenna seemed rather pleased with herself, and she and Margaery did spend a lot of time plotting and scheming prior to the wedding. I noticed that Margaery did her best to seem the loving, happy wife, although at times even she had a hard time keeping a smile on her face. Sansa? The fool? Varys?

Of course, the whole cup-bearer thing meant Tyrion poured and handed Joffrey the deadly cup of wine, and Joff’s dying act was to point at him accusingly. What a dick. If Tyrion didn’t do it, someone went ot a lot of trouble to make it look like he did. I’m not sure how you’d orchestrate that whole sequence of events though.


The second question is, who now rules Westeros? There are lines of succession, of course, in which case it’s Joffrey’s younger brother, Tommen. However, other factors come into play. Who controls the biggest army? Probably Tywin. Who has the favor of the people? Probably not Tywin, but this is a less important factor, up until you get to that point when people actually revolt. It’s entirely plausible for Margaery to gain control of the Seven Kingdoms. She was queen, however briefly, although this doesn’t fit the system of agnatic primogeniture that Westeros seems to follow.

Who has gained the most here? Certainly, the general populace of Westeros are better off for not having Joffrey as their ruler. Tywin, and the Lannister family in general, also seem to have actually gained a better position, since an insane incest lovechild on the throne is kind of a liability. Tyrion, of course, loses big time, and Margaery may have just lost the queenship altogether.

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Posted by on Sunday, April 13th, 2014. Filed under Dark TV, Headline. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.