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Game of Thrones Episode 204, Garden of Bones

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Game of Thrones 204, Garden of Bones

This week’s Game of Thrones propelled the story forward in leaps and bounds. Robb Stark waged war, Joffrey revealed the depths of his cruelty, Daenerys got out of the desert, the brothers Baratheon vied for the crown, and Davos Seaworth helped Melisandre enact one of the most bizarre incidents in the entire Song of Ice and Fire series.

While it moved the players forward quite a bit, this episode didn’t feel as rushed as previous weeks. We got to spend a lot more time with each set of characters before moving on, and several characters were neglected entirely, exactly as I’d hoped. It also helps that some strands of the plot are finally starting to converge.

We start out with Robb Stark laying waste to Lannisters on the battlefield, fart jokes and all. There’s a somewhat pointless conversation about how war is bad, especially for people whose feet get cut off, although it does reinforce the feeling that the average Sid or Nancy doesn’t give a flying cow pie who sits on the Iron Throne or what lord is angry at another lord. We also get to meet Roose Bolton, a man whose house sigil is a flayed man, and realize that not all of Robb Stark’s allies would make for charming dinner guests.

A lengthy segment on life in King’s Landing removes any possibility of ever finding anything remotely sympathetic about Joffrey. In case you were on the fence, the show wants to make sure you really really really hate that kid. But show, why you gotta keep doing bad things to Ros? And why can’t anyone in Game of Thrones ever just have happy, fun sex? Oh look, two cute whores are going to nibble on each other a bit…never mind, the depraved king is going to make one of them beat the other one to death. Of course. Meanwhile, Tyrion weaves more plots, ensnaring his nitwit cousin via blackmail.

Renly and Stannis have their armies arrayed, ready to march on King’s Landing. Renly has way more lords loyal to him than Stannis because Stannis is a grammar Nazi, and seriously, who’d want that guy for a king? Their armies haven’t challenged each other yet, mainly because Stannis doesn’t seem to have one, but that doesn’t prevent a lot of verbal jousting. That’s a sport that Margaery Tyrell seems quite adept at, besting Littlefinger in a spirited bout. I really hope we see more of her, because she is a fox. You know, cunning.

I loved Daenerys’ story this week – her trek through the desert and arrival at the exotic city of Qarth has a very Robert E. Howard feel. She could be one of the classic pulp adventure heroines: Daenerys, Mother of Dragons. Qarth is ruled by a collective of merchants called the Thirteen, and at first they refuse her entrance because she won’t show off her dragons. She goes for sympathy, reminding them her people will die. Then she goes for the angry vengeance angle. Finally, she points out that the dragons are just not in the FX budget this week, so they relent and let her in. She seems to have a friend among the Thirteen, but I can’t imagine favors come free with that lot.

Life is looking grim for Arya, who has arrived with the other prisoners at Harrenhal, a castle in the Riverlands partially melted by dragon fire. Tywin Lannister is using it as a field headquarters for the war against Robb Stark, but before he arrives, Gregor Clegane’s men are torturing the prisoners to death. Clegane is a massive man, known as “The Mountain that Rides.” In his armor, he looks comically huge, like something straight out of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Tywin, not a particularly warm man, actually saves Arya, Gendry and the other prisoners by putting them to work. He also immediately notices that Arya is not a boy, although he doesn’t seem to have any clue who she really is. Working as Tywin’s cup-bearer in Harrenhal surely beats living in a muddy open cage, but is probably not all milk and honey either.

Then we have Melisandre. Stannis recruits his Onion Knight, Davos Seaworth, to row her ashore near Renly’s encampment. He rebuffs her weird seduction, but in a cave she drops her cloak to reveal that she’s pregnant. Really pregnant. Of course, she hasn’t been pregnant, and we know that she only had sex with Stannis a few days ago. I mentioned once how I love pragmatic characters like Seaworth, and that makes his “WTF?!” face when she sprawls out and starts heaving absolutely priceless.

So Melisandre and her decidedly modern bikini wax births a freaky shadow monster – because shadows are the children of light, in case you prefer to be thumped on the forehead with your metaphors – and to the jealousy of mommies everywhere, loses the baby weight in the five seconds it takes her to gaze proudly up at her writhing bundle of evil.

Yeah, I know she said she’s good. I just don’t believe her.

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Posted by on Sunday, April 22nd, 2012. 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.

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