Game of Thrones S02E02 Recap & Review (Spoilers)
Game of Thrones S02E02: 'The Night Lands' Review (with Spoilers and HBO Sex)
Welcome back, Dire Wolf fans. If you like HBO sex, then you're going to absolutely love Game of Thrones S02E02, "The Night Lands". Let's get into the episode recap, which contains all kinds of spoilers.
Closing in on Arya and Gendry
We open with Arya Stark, who's on the road to Castle Black with Gendry. Not everyone on the Yoren Train is a willing passenger, and Arya (Ssh! Call her Ary!) has to deal with some extremely crude motherfuckers before going to hang out by the river with a bunch of dumbass kids. Two guardsmen from King's Landing show up looking for Gendry, but Yoren, demonstrating an amazing knowledge of human anatomy, sends them packing.
I guess you don't become the recruiter for the Night's Watch by being nice, but I bet knowing how to make people bleed quickly is a really big selling point. Do you think that the gold cloaks' attempt to sway the other conscripts with the promise of reward will help? After all, these folks are on their way to The Wall: that's Westeros for "Nobody gives a shit about you".
Tyrion Lannister vs The Spider: A Dick-Measuring Contest
Tyrion Lannister is whistling a jaunty morning tune, as would you, if you got laid as often as he did. Who's sitting at breakfast with Shae, his star concubine? Why, it's Varys the Spider! The Spider is spidering, dropping veiled threats about selling Shae out. Tyrion's impin' reply, "You should taste her fish pie", is one for the ages, but repeating that whole exchange should probably be avoided during work hours. HR frowns on that sort of thing. Actually, HR should probably change channels until S02E02 is over.
The Imp and the Spider then have a bit of a stare-down. Entering a dick-measuring contest with Tyrion Lannister is a terrible idea, especially if you're a eunuch.
Cersei Lannister: 'We Do Not Negotiate with Starks or Zombies'
Cersei Lannister is shredding Robb Stark's list of demands. Tyra-Mail! Cersei now knows about the King Beyond the Wall, oop in the North. Castle Black wants more men to fight the Wildlings, and, apparently, the zombies. Seriously, zombies are apparently attacking the wall. Because this is HBO and not AMC, Cersei doesn't believe in zombies. (Best believe, though, that she would be way worse for your zombie apocalypse survival team's integrity and morale than Lori Grimes.)
Not "grumpkins and snarks", Cersei. Motherfuckin' zombies.
Cersei doesn't seem to understand that, if the Night's Watch says "fuck you" to King's Landing, then Tywin Lannister's army will have even more problems than it already does.
Samwell, the Wolf Whisperer
Samwell and some of the other Night's Watch are talking about farts, because they're dudes. They're still hanging out at Craster's Camp Creepshow, for some unfathomable reason. Seriously, that guy is worse than Dr. Kreiger. Sam's forever-alone reverie (in which he self-identifies as an Ass Man) is broken as Jon Snow's Dire Wolf accosts one of Craster's rape-daughter-brides.
Not for nothing, but I love how the Game of Thrones effects team makes up for last season's dearth of Dire Wolves by making this season's Dire Wolves twice as big. Wait, what? Oh, right, Craster's daughter. So Sam is like the Dire Wolf Whisperer, and can't help putting the moves on the girl, who's called Gilly. Ghost is the best wingwolf ever. Still, though, Gilly is like, "Srsly, dude... don't touch me... but..."
Next thing you know, Sam takes Gilly to Jon Snow, and they try to convince him to smuggle Gilly away from Camp Craster. Jon is like, "NOPE!" He doesn't care that she's pregnant, but only because he doesn't know what Craster does to his newborn male grandchildren (Hint: it starts with a "K" and ends with an "ills them").
And, yes, Gilly's pregnant with a child/sibling. Craster will be the kid's father/grandfather. That's creepy/gross.
Sam is like, "Sure, we can take her with us. Sure, I can deliver her baby. I read how to do it on WebMD." Say what you want about Sam, he's a glass-half-full motherfucker, and I like that about him.
Daenerys in the Desert: Outlook Grim
Daenerys Targaryen and Jorah Mormont are
chilling roasting in the desert, waiting for Ponytail Mullet Dude to come back with some water and dragon kibble. What's that on the horizon? Is it the tour bus from David Lee Roth's California Girls" video?
No, sorry, it's Ponytail Mullet Dude's horse... with Ponytail Mullet Dude's head in a sack. Some of the local warlords are not down with a Khaleesi. This may surprise you, but the world of Game of Thrones has issues with sexism.
However, Daenerys takes her new role very, very seriously, and may well have to fight a war or two before going across the Narrow Sea to join the Great Westeros Clusterfuck.
Theon Greyjoy: Sexposition Technician
Theon Greyjoy is getting a bit big for his britches as he approaches the Iron Islands, so he takes them off to shag some chick in the hold of a ship. Finally, some sexposition. Theon is anticipating a big homecoming, or so he tells the young lady he's sexpositioning. Our kid's putting on airs and graces, isn't he?
Petyr Baelish: 'Bitch, You Better Learn to Walk Between the Raindrops'
Meanwhile, at Petyr Baelish's brothel in King's Landing, Petyr is just, uh, checking up on his staff as they work. I'm really grateful that we can't see what his other hand is doing. A client interrupts him, saying that hookers aren't supposed to cry while they're working. He hands the client a new girl, who's about to teach him what "snowballing" is. (Yeah, that just happened.)
Petyr finds that the crying prostitute is Ros, our friend from Winterfell. She's upset after watching the goldcloaks kill a baby. Petyr Baelish launches into an Al Swearengen-style story, the gist of which is, "You better learn to walk between the raindrops." I was sure that Petyr would start smacking Ros; the tension in this short scene was perfect.
More Pimpin': Tyrion Staffs Up
Tyrion Lannister is working, and by "working", I mean "drinking wine and cracking wise". Is anyone more awesome than Tyrion? No? Then we're in agreement, and can move on with the recap. Once Tyrion gets the captain of the goldcloaks to confirm that he was the one who ordered the baby in Petyr's brothel killed, and that he was responsible for killing Ned Stark's men, Tyrion lays down the imp hand.
Tyrion, with a bit of help from Bronn and a few thugs, relieves the guy of his command, and sends him on his way towards The Wall.
Tyrion may be the Imp, but he's not the one getting... downsized. Bronn is now in charge of the City Watch.
Tyrion asks Bronn if he would kill a baby. Bronn answers that he'd do it for the right price. Is this the answer that Tyrion wanted?
Arya Stark: The Secret is Out
Arya Stark is washing dishes with some dumbass adolescents. They're talking tough, but she's the only one tooled up. Anyway, Arya tries to find out why the goldcloaks were after Gendry. For his part, Gendry is like, "Dude, I know you're a girl. Dunno why none of these other idiots noticed, but still."
Arya denies it at first, but, after not accepting his challenge to whip it out, concedes that not only is she a girl, but she's Arya Fuckin' Stark. Gendry's like, O_o.
Theon Greyjoy, aka Luke Skywalker
Theon Greyjoy arrives on home turf, which he hasn't seen for nine years. Nobody seems to give a shit. He pays some sea dog to get him a lift to the castle.
I'm just now realizing what a douchebag our Theon Greyjoy is.
A young woman with what kids these days call "swag" swaggers up and is like, "I'll give you a ride, all right!" Theon's like, "Hell, yeah! More HBO sex! The Iron Islands rule!"
Theon wastes no time in feeling this young lady up, and she's totally into it. See, she knows who he is. So, do they bang before Theon gets to the castle?
Theon is reunited with his dad, Balon Greyjoy, who is not impressed with how his son turned out. He immediately disparages Theon's outfit, remarking that he's wearing way too much bling. "Did you pay the iron price for it, or the gold?" Wow.
Balon rips the chains from Theon's neck, saying that his own son is now House Stark's bitch. (Is Theon supposed to be a teenager? If Balon's math is right, Theon would be 18 at the very oldest, no?) Oh, the reunion is about to get more awkward...
Yeah, that chick he was fondling? That would be Yara Greyjoy, Theon's sister. Theon wanted to be Luke Skywalker? Wish granted, bro. So I ask again, did they bang before Theon got to the castle?
Balon Greyjoy's response to Robb Stark is "Fuck off". He intends for Yara to lead his army, and that army will not be on Team Robb. "No man gives me a crown. I pay the iron price." Balon and Yara are in agreement that Theon is a little biiiiiiiitch.
So Robb Stark will most likely not be happy when Theon returns with the news that his family will be setting sails as enemies, and not as allies. On the other hand, Jaime Lannister, who's still a prisoner of Team Stark, will want to give Theon a high five.
Salladhor Saan: Pirate and Lover
Stannis Baratheon has sent Davos and Matthos Seaworth to recruit a pirate called Salladhor Saan, who clearly wants to challenge Tyrion for the Pimp of the Year crown. His price for helping Stannis Baratheon reclaim the Iron Throne includes a chance to shag Cersei Lannister. He's convinced that, if he can get a chance, his game will carry the day. He has a plan: get Cersei alone, put on some George McCrae, and see what happens next. Another glass-half-full kind of guy. Salladhor is played by Lucian Msamati, who was also in Ashes to Ashes.
Tyrion and Cersei: How to Rule a Kingdom without Getting Killed
Tyrion and Cersei are having it out over how to rule the kingdom. Cersei argues that ruling is all about keeping conspirators from killing you (which nobody on this show really has locked down yet). Tyrion is like, "Well, how about causing less drama, you freakin' drama queen (regent)?"
We learn that Tyrion's mom died while giving birth to him. We learn that Joffrey was the one who ordered the deaths of Robert Baratheon's bastard kids, and that Cersei didn't try to stop him.
Melisandre and Stannis: Geographical Boot-Knockin'
Stannis learns that his army now has pirate support. Melisandre hasn't done anything weird this week, so she whispers into Matthos Seaworth's ear, "Death by fire is the purest death". Uh, why would she say that? "
I just thought it was some cold-blooded shit to say to a motherfucker before I popped a cap in his ass Because it's true." Uh... okay.
Melisandre is just getting warmed up. She puts the moves on Stannis, who's like, "Look, you're hot in that deranged-witch sort of way, but I'm married!"
Melisandre replies, "What goes on tour stays on tour." Then she strips, which pretty much seals the deal. Stannis and Melisandre bang on the big map of Westeros. Will this affect next week's opening sequence? Did they damage any of the little clockwork cities? Will we see a huge Melisandre ass-print along with the Game of Thrones theme?
Is this the first time that Melisandre and Stannis hook up? I had presumed that they've been banging this whole time.
Jon Snow: What Happens to Babies at Camp Creepy?
And now we cut to the opposite of warmth and shagging, i.e. Jon Snow. He's brooding by the fire in the freezing cold, until he hears Craster carrying a crying infant into the woods. Because he's a complete fucking idiot, Jon follows Craster. Was I the only one adding the Halloween music to this scene? I
Needless to say, it doesn't end well. Jon is now at Craster's mercy, but thank heavens Craster wasn't wearing a clown mask.
S02E02 Review: Pretty Fucking Good (As It Were)
I give this episode four out of a possible five expositional sexual encounters. We had sexposition, Dire Wolves, and plenty of plot development, with the added bonus of some familial backstories (Lannisters and Greyjoys). Had there been some violence and maybe another wolf, "The Night Lands" would have been a perfect 5/5.
Tyrion Lannister's deeper characteristics are starting to come more into the fore, and we're seeing him use his tools to protect his family. We also learned why he even gives a fuck about the rest of the Lannisters in the first place: guilt over the death of his mother.
I'm still not entirely into the Stannis Baratheon storyline, but Melisandre is insane enough to make me want to see what crazy shit she'll do next. I also got a huge schadenfreude kick out of Theon Greyjoy's nightmarish homecoming. That was some Wes Anderson shit.
Also, and I know some will disagree, I like how all of the desert scenes aren't about Daenerys' dragons, but about Daenerys herself. Side note: where is Team Khaleesi going? Back toward where Daenerys, Viserys, and Jorah Mormont first landed, or to some other place?
Game of Thrones: The Show So Far
So, vying for the Iron Throne, we have:
- Joffrey Baratheon (current King, with Cersei Lannister as Queen Regent)
- Stannis Baratheon (with Team Sexy Witch Religious Fundamentalism)
- Renly Baratheon (who will have to fight both the Lannisters and Team SWRF, at least)
- Daenerys Targaryen (aka Daenerys Stormborn, Khaleesi, Dragon Mama, along with... actually, yeah, let's roll with "Team Dragon Mama" instead of "Team Khaleesi")
Let's not forget about:
- Robb Stark (The King of the Nooooorth), who just wants to beat the shit out of the Lannisters and create an independent Winterfell
- The King Beyond the Wall: who knows what the Hell is going on up there, what with wildlings and zombies and incest and whatever
- Tywin Lannister: his army is fending off annihilation at the hands of Robb and Catelyn Stark (for now) and everyone else (when they get their acts together)
- The Iron Islands fleet: gunning for payback against House Stark
- Theon Greyjoy was hitting on his sister!
Speaking of kings, we didn't see King Joffrey at all in this episode, but he's still a smug little fuck. So there.
Again, I hope the Stannis-Melisandre HBO-sex scene will affect future versions of the Game of Thrones intro. Maybe some of the clockwork buildings will be a bit wonky. Maybe there will be some new valleys in Westeros.
Also... what the eff is a "grumpkin"?