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Well, things certainly are heating up on Game of Thrones, wouldn’t you say? All of the pieces are slowly beginning to fall into place. Two character’s faced their doom tonight. One managed to walk away from it, while the other didn’t come out as well.
A Golden Crown
Poor Viserys. His perspective was so far off from reality that it wasn’t until the final moments when he was receiving his golden crown that he realized exactly where he stood among the ranks. Viserys called himself “The Dragon,” but he was without any form of support. No one took him seriously or held him in any regard, which only made him seem pathetic whenever he declared himself by his nickname. Even Dany didn’t really believe in the title anymore. While Viserys saw Daenerys as a bargaining chip toward getting his crown back, it didn’t occur to him until tonight that he wasn’t the one running things. In fact, in the eyes of the Dothraki, he was little more than a brother tagging along after the queen and mother of their new leader.
After Dany finished the ceremonial devouring of a horse’s heart (resulting in a major case of fruit-punch-mouth), Viserys realized these people actually love her. She’s not just some girl married to the Kahl. She’s not a slave or an outsider like him. She’s one of them.
Viserys’ plan to take the dragons eggs and leave wasn’t a bad one. Had Jorah not stopped him, he could have gathered an actual army and started from scratch in trying to get his crown back, but the effort was too little, too late. He met his ultimate demise after making the unwise decision to threaten the life of Dany’s unborn baby. It was his last attempt at a power-play and his final display of foolishness.
Considering the baby has a price on its unborn head, killing it would’ve actually been helping Robert’s cause but that’s neither here nor there. Drogo assured Viserys that he’d get his crown and he delivered on that. While Dany watched on, openly accepting her brother’s fate, Drogo’s men poured melted gold over Viserys head, killing him in seconds.
The scene was gross, but this is the kind of thing you would expect to happen at a horse-heart-eating party, which also served as the baby’s naming ceremony. The little guy will be called Rhaego. And while we’re talking about Dany, tonight we learned that she’s somehow immune to fire… at least when it comes to heating up her dragons eggs. Early in the episode, she pulled the eggs out of the fire without an oven mitt (or a fire mitt if that’s what they use) and wasn’t burned.
Dany commented at the end of the episode that Viserys was no dragon. If he were, the gold couldn’t have hurt him.
The Little Man is Going Home.
Tyrion’s not one to stay holed up in a cell for long. While his sky-cell did have an amazing view, it couldn’t have been fun hanging out in there and fearing you might roll off the edge or worse, get shoved over the side by an overzealous prison-guard. You’d think he’d know not to stand behind the door while banging on it to get the guard’s attention.
Tyrion managed to secure an audience with Lysa, on the promise that he would confess his crimes. Much like Chunk did when faced with the Fratelli’s wrath, Tyrion started with his earliest crimes and spent enough time on his many acts of self gratification (“making the bald man cry”) to sufficiently piss Lysa and Catelyn off. After this, he demanded a trial by combat. It was a wise choice as the alternative was to let young Robin declare the verdict. Given that Robin was drooling to see “the little man fly,” Tyrion’s odds were better in combat.
Tyrion hoped his brother Jaime could be called to champion him, however that would’ve meant a delay. Instead, the mercenary Bronn stepped up to fight on Tyrion’s behalf. Bronn fought dirty, beating the knight set to fight against him and the man ended up with his neck slit and his body tossed through the hole in the floor. Tyrion and Bronn were sent packing, much to Catelyn and Lysa’s dismay.
Bran’s still dreaming he can walk and chasing after a three-eyed raven. During his waking hours, he received his custom-made saddle, which allows him to ride. Given that he’s been bed and chair-ridden since the accident, being able to get around easily has to feel great.
While Theon was trying to pursuade Robb to take action against Jaime Lannister for his attack on Ned, Bran was attacked by a bunch of wildlings. Theon and Robb fought back, with Theon taking a huge risk by shooting an arrow through the chest of one man just as he was holding a knife to Bran’s throat.
If I’m remembering the book correctly, the wolves were involved in this altercation but they weren’t around tonight. Theon was last seen waving goodbye to his preferred prostitue, offering her a coin in exchange for one last glimpse of her nether-regions.
Robert and Cersei greeted Ned just as he was waking up following the attack by Jaime. Cersei earned herself a hard slap when she implied that she was the one wearing the pants in the family. Robert confessed his regret for that the moment Cersei left and then essentially ordered (begged) Ned to return to his role as Hand and take over while he goes hunting.
Robert’s a lazy leader. When all’s said and done, it seems like he’s unwilling to really deal with everything. He’s frustrated by the feud between the Lannisters and the Starks, but rather than dealing with it, he leaves to go hunting, leaving his angry wife (whom he just slapped) and the man she can’t stand behind.
During his time running the show, Ned learns that Gregor Clegane is causing problems. Ned promptly strips the Mountain of his titles (though I don’t think he can take away his nickname) and orders Tywin Lannister (Jaime, Tyrion and Cersei’s father, and the man who’s king of money, if not the realm) to stop by and deal with the mess his bannerman made. It’s a bold move to call him out, given the problems the Lannisters and the Starks are having but I think Ned knows that.
Sansa’s blending in well in King’s Landing and things get even better for her when Joffrey shows up and apologizes for being a whiny baby (paraphrasing). She accepts his apology and is pleased to be back in his good graces.
Arya’s also enjoying her life in King’s Landing, now that she’s being taught by Syrion and getting noticeably better at sword fighting. She also looks a lot cleaner than we’ve ever seen her, so points for that.
Neither Arya, nor Sansa were pleased when Ned suggested that they return home. With things getting real, they’d be safer up north than they are around King’s Landing. Both Sansa and Arya begged to be allowed to stay. Arya got the funniest moment of the night when she smiled in response to Sansa stating, “I don’t want someone gentle, brave and strong! I want Joffrey!”
The argument with his daughters inspired a major revelation for Ned. When Sansa said she wanted to give Joffrey blonde-haired babies and then stated that Joffrey was nothing like King Robert, Ned went to the book about the families and confirmed that Joffrey is the first blonde haired boy born to the Baratheon family. Before him, all of the children had black hair. Could this mean that Joffrey’s not really Robert’s son and thus, not the true heir to the crown?
There was no Jon Snow again tonight but from the previews, we’ll be getting to see him next week. Special kudos to Jane Espenson, who was credited as a writer on this episode. She's one of my favorite TV writers, so I may be biased here but I think this one ranks as my favorite episode to date.
We’ll end this week’s write-up with a quote by Syrio:
“There is only one god and his name is death. And there is only one thing we say to death: Not today”