Game of Thrones S01E06 Recap & Review: A Golden Crown
A Golden Crown: Game of Thrones S01E06 Recap & Review
Ned Stark opens his eyes, a la Lost, and, instead of a tropical island, sees Cersei and King Robert. They seem to be united in their anger at our Eddard, which is never good sign. Cersei is laying into Ned about how his wife, Catelyn, went and took Tyrion Lannister as a prisoner to her sister, Lysa Arryn the Mad Breastfeeder. Ned defends himself by pointing out how Cersei's brother/fuck buddy, Jaime Lannister, killed his men in a street fight outside a brothel. And, for the record, Ned wasn't drunk.
Turns out Jaime fled King's Landing. Ned wants to ride out Seth Bullock-style and "bring him to joostice". Cersei overplays the indignation hand, and Robert slaps her face-- we always knew violence was never far away with this guy, and we're now seeing it for the first time. Cersei thinks better of challenging him further, but she already got what she wanted: Robert is willing to let Jaime's transgressions slide. Robert is immediately ashamed of hitting his wife, so he has a quick drink. That always fixes it. He insists, though, that Ned send Catelyn a
text message raven telling her to free Tyrion. Having a Y in your name in this place means you're doomed to drama. Interesting how King Robert revels in sex and violence, but draws the line at spousal abuse. In this world, that seems unusually progressive.
As you already guessed, The Lannisters own a huge chunk of the Seven Kingdoms' debt, so they're above the law, which is all very topical, no? Do you think there are May Day riots in King's Landing? Either way, Robert fucking hates the Lannisters, but demands that Ned just drop the hassle and leave the blondies alone. He also won't let Ned go back oop north. Now, if you'll excuse him, Robert's off a-hunting, and Ned is in charge.
on the festival circuit across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys Targaryen is heating a fossilized dragon egg on a bed of coals, as if expecting it to hatch. How come she didn't burn her hands when she picked it back up? Weird. Oh, well, I'm sure that won't be important…
Bran Stark is having third-eye raven dreams again, and he's woken up with a present: the Tyrion-designed super-saddle! Sweet! And it totally works! As Bran rides around like, well, a little kid on a horse, Theon Greyjoy and Robb Stark are taking about rushing the Lannisters, attacking Jaime Lannister as he rides for safe haven.
Bran has ridden off into the woods… and into the clutches of the Wildings. These dirtballs want to rob Bran, but then he tells them who he is, which never helps. The Wildings want to take him for ransom. It's rough oop north. Robb Stark shows up, and shows the Wildings just how good he is at slitting throats and stabbing people to death. He's really, really good at it. His moment of conscience is interrupted by Theon Greyjoy, who shows just how good he is at shooting Wildings in the back with arrows. He's really, really good at it. They don't kill the female brigand, though she may regret their decision.
I bet Tyrion Lannister has woken up in some freaky places, but this has to at least make the top five: a prison cell where one wall isn't a wall at all, but a sheer drop down a windswept cliff face. His attempts to bribe his way out is literally met with "fuck off!" from Mort the prison guard.
Arya Stark is sulking through her ninja training. Her teacher is trying to Miyagi his way through her gloom. What's up with his accent? Does King's Landing have an Italy?
Horse, of Course
Daenerys is eating a horse's heart. Yeah. You just saw that. Her husband, Khal Drogo, looks pleased, but in a taciturn way. He does taciturn very well… almost as well as he does badass. Her brother,
Fake Julian Assange Viserys, thinks she'll totally puke. She's determined not to chunder… will she chunder? Dude, she's totally puking… no wait, she swallowed her own puke, which, lest we forget, consists of chewed-up raw horse heart. Now that's fierce. The Dothraki declare Danerys' unborn son "the stallion who mounts the world". Well, damn. That's way more awesome than calling yourself "The Dragon" in the third person, huh, Viserys?
Daenerys tells the Dothraki that her son (who, apparently, will rule the whole dang world) will be named Rhaego. TMZ will report that tidbit before anyone else gets a chance. I think they already have a copy of the ultrasound. Khal Drogo looks well impressed, as well as a bit turned on. When did she learn to speak Dothraki? Oh, I keep forgetting that months have passed since Danaerys met Khal Drogo.
Viserys is perplexed: why, oh why are the Dothraki worshipping some unborn kid instead of him? He bitches off and steals this sister's dragon eggs to sell and hire a new army. This is a really shitty Plan B. he's all, "Waaah! Nobody respects me! Waaah! Nobody loves me!" Well, duh. Maybe because he's a punk-ass bitch. He has to leave empty-handed after Jorah Mormont rock-blocks him… because nobody respects poor Viserys. Because he's a little rhymes-with-ditch.
Tyrion Lannister: Daring Tales of Jerking Off
Tyrion Lannister goes big, and seeks an audience with Lady Aryn, and confesses to… well, all sorts of freaky stuff. He can't help eyeing the women in the room even as he lays it on extra-thick about what a sinner he is (all of which is pretty much true). His confession sounds a lot like the letters section in a porn magazine. "I made the bald man cry" has to be the new term for masturbation. You heard it in the Eyrie first. Lysa's son is totally into these stories. Tyrion stops short, though, of confessing to attempted murder. He demands a trial.
Trials are a bit different up in the Eyrie… Lysa's giggly son Robin will decide whether Tyrion leaves via the stairs… or via the Luke Skywalker death chute. Robin's inclination is, "Make the bad man flyyyyyyy!' Don't get arrested in the Eyrie. Tyrion would prefer a trial by combat. Wait, what? He calls Jaime Lannister to be his champion. They laugh. Some guy says he'll rep Tyrion: he's a mercenary called Bronn, apparently. He's handy with a sword- remember that, because it may be important in a minute.
Robert is mixing hunting with getting wasted. He's talking about how he used to get more ass than a toilet seat, but his brother turns the conversation to the genocide that led to the revolt. Way to kill the mood. Hey, shouldn't they be riding? Seems weird for a king to be hunting on foot. How far can Robert really walk-- well,stagger-- through the woods?
Ned Stark Has a Posse
Ned Stark is sitting on the Throne of Swords, trying to run The People's Court. Looks like Gregor "The Mountain" Cleganne is running amuck and blaming his brigandry on House Tully, i.e. Ned Stark's wife. Classy. The Mountain has been pulling the same moves as he did at the tournament, so he was easy to identify. Hey, he's called The Mountain, not The Einstein. Ned orders a detachment of troops to ride to Gregor's keep to
whip some ass serve some justice. He sentences The Mountain to death. Dang. He also summons Tywin Lannister to come to King's Landing and answer for his family's series of bitch moves. Petyr Baelish is thinking Ned should pump the brakes a bit, but Ned is off on an ass-kicking-beats-money kick.
Maybe Gregor Cleganne killed every horse in King's Landing, and that's why Robert's hunting party is on foot. Just a thought.
Trial by Combat: Team Eyrie vs Team Imp
Meanwhile, up in the Eyrie, the Imp's champion is doing well against Lysa's champion. He's toying with him, cutting him up bit by bit. At the last moment, it looks like he'll let the Eyrie Champ live, proving that justice can be had with mercy. No, wait he kills the guy and drops him through the hatch. The Millennium Falcon isn't there to catch him. Wwwwssshhhhhhh… Tyrion's like, "Thanks, dude". This little man ain't flying. He gets his wallet back and is all, "Peace out!". He hands off the gold to the prison guard: a Lannister always pays his debts. More big pimpin' from Tyrion.
Sansa's being a stuck-up little princess… which makes sense, since she's soon to become a princess. Joffrey Baratheon, he who gets his ass whipped by wolves, apologizes to Sansa for being a bitch and gives her jewelry, as have boys to girls since time out of mind. Is it me, or is Joffrey taller? Good for him for apologizing face to face, though. How many times did he rehearse that speech? He didn't apologize for the death of Lady the Wolf, though. He kisses her. I just threw up a bit of horse heart into my mouth. Maybe this is a character arc for Jaime: dumbass wuss to self-effacing young man. I dunno, I just want to hate him. I guess that makes me a bad person.
Winterfell's favorite whore is on her way to King's Landing, but Theon Greyjoy doesn't want her to go. She reckons that King's Landing's where it's at, what with the Lannisters and Starks about to escalate their shit into all-out war… wait, how did the news travel so fast? I guess everyone's using Raven these days. Theon Greyjoy wants one last taste of HBO sex, so he gives the whore a buck and she flashes him. It's all love in Winterfell.
Ned tells his daughters that he's sending them back to Winterfell. The girls want to stay, Arya for her ninja training, and Sansa for the Royal Wedding, i.e. her impending marriage to Joffrey. Sansa is really into the whole Royal Wedding thing. Good thing that never happens in modern times. Anyway, Ned's like, "Whatevs, I'm your dad. Pack your shit, 'cause you're Audi." Ned then goes to
organize some wolves to get ready for a Stark vs Lannister throwdown read his big ol' history book. Hhhhh. Okay, we get it, the Baratheons have black hair… wait, what? Joffrey's blond? Hmmm….
No Party Like a Dothraki Party
They're still partying over in Dothraki-town. Viserys shows up drunk, and is all "no one touches The Dragon!" I think he's about to get his ass kicked. Khal Drogo's first English-language sentence (His "No" in the first episode doesn't count)? "You are no king." Snap. This will end badly… dude, Viserys draws a sword and threatens to perform an abortion on Daenerys. (Don't ever do this, by the way.) Khal Drogo promises Viserys "a golden crown that men shall tremble to behold". Why don't I like the sound of that?
A Dish Best Served Hot
Maybe because the Dothraki are grabbing Viserys with plenty of arm-twisting? He's all "I am the Dragon!" Stop trying to make "The Dragon" happen. Oh, shit, they're melting some gold medallions in a cauldron… Oh, shiiiiit, Khal Drogo's pouring the molten gold onto Visery's head! Fuck, yeah! He falls and his head hits the ground with the most satisfying clunk that ever clunked. This is the best episode of any show ever. Daenerys is all, "He was no dragon. Fire cannot kill a dragon." Of course, her own hands were unburnt by the hot, hot dragon egg.
Okay, this one was pretty good. Four out of five violent deaths: bonus for the trail-by-combat cat-and-mouse.
Five out of five back-stabbing intrigues: The entire B-story just got flipped with one tip of the cauldron's lip.*
Ten extra points for Viserys finally getting what he so… waitforit… richly deserved. (Also, congratulations to Harry Lloyd for bringing Viserys to the screen in such despicably good form.)
Sadly, zero out of five snarling, vicious dire wolves.
When the characters actually do stuff (instead of talking about doing stuff), the story gets out of second gear and takes us with it. Those holy-shit moments are what made HBO series like Deadwood and The Sopranos so awesome- the politics serve as setup for these world-changing moments that make us go, "Holy crap, that really just happened!". It's also why so many viewers lost their patience with John from Cincinnati: too much talking, emoting and atmosphere; not enough stabbing and dire wolfing.
No wolves this time, though. Again. There were some wolf opportunities (Bran vs. the Brigands, Joffrey appearing on screen at all) that were not taken. Overall, this was an excellent episode, though perhaps I'm blinded by the instant gratification of the molten gold facial. Also, does Tyrion just get more awesome with each episode, or what? Well, one thing's for sure: he'll be gunning for payback for Catelyn's and Lysa's little stunt: will he single out House Tully, or will poor Ned have yet one more frikkin' thing piled on his plate? Heavy is the heart that wears the pin.
Overall, we get a sense of a giant boulder rolling downhill: exposition is finally giving way to action, and we can see why Robert is so keen to kill Daenerys' unborn son: the major families are almost at open civil war, and, if the Dothraki figure out a way to cross the Narrow Sea, the Seven Kingdoms are screwed. Also, the the fact that Robert basically married into the Lannisters has really hit home... for everyone else. I'd need a drink, too.
(* Come on, that wasn't bad.)