Game of Thrones S02E09 Recap & Review: Spoiler Alert
Game of Thrones S02E09 Recap and Review: 'Blackwater'
Welcome back, Dire Wolf Fans! We were promised a huge-ass battle for Game of Thrones S02E09, so let's see what happens. The episode is titled "Blackwater", which suggests all sorts of military skulduggery. Let's see if it comes to pass. Personally, I just want to see a few Dire Wolves kill--and maybe devour-- a few motherfuckers. Does this make me a bad person?
Okay, let's get into it.
Sailing the Seas of OG's
Stannis Baratheon is looking hard as a coffin nail, while his troops are looking seasick as fuck. They're puking into a massive bucket: will the loser have to drink it? Davos Seaworth is eschewing false bravado, even as others visualize beheading Jedward reject boy-king Joffrey Baratheon. Note that I've been visualizing Joffrey's head on a spike since forever.
You Can't Fuck Your Way Out of Everything
A quiet moment with Tyrion Lannister and Shae (In Lord of the Rings, this would be the Gandalf/Pippin scene). Shae vows to protect Tyrion, which is a sweet turnabout from last week's episode. There's a freakin' good reason they called Peter Dinklage for this series, and he reminds us of it in these wordless moments most of all. Sibel Kelilli used to be a porn actress, did you know that? She's fully legit now.
Meanwhile, Cersei Lannister is getting some Nightshade from Grandmaester Pycelle (whose beard is newly trimmed): soporific or poison, depending on how much you mix with your wine.
Meanwhile-meanwhile, Bronn is partying with a bunch of armored troops and topless chicks. The Hound comes in, total buzzkill. As far as he's concerned, there is only one bearded thug in King's Landing, and that's 'im. Ooh- just as we're about to get a Hound-vs-Bronn throwdown, one of them is saved by the bell.
The bells, rather. It's business time. Both The Hound and Bronn now have more pressing matters.
Tyrion is now girding for battle: last time, he missed the whole thing. Varys the Spider has provided Tyrion with
the Maruaders Map a map of the tunnels beneath King's Landing, in case things go pear-shaped. Varys is mentioning that Team Sexy Witch Religious Fundamentalism has "Witch" in their name for a reason: Melisandre. Cuidado.
Apparently, Varys' castration is somehow linked to Melisadre, or at least her foreign religion. I can only imagine the story is NSFW, but we're spared for the moment. Tyrion's page is visibly relieved. When Varys mentions how he was "cut", the page's face is like, "Nooooope!".
Varys seems sincere when he says that Tyrion Lannister is the only
imp pimp man who can stop Team SWRF from taking the Iron Throne. Tyrion's weapon of choice, by the way, is an axe.
Ev'rybody Dance Now
Davos Seaworth hears the bells and orders his ships to answer... with a rather danceable drum number. My head was nodding, I won't lie.
Helm's Deep Revisited
Tyrion Lannister and Bronn share a don't-get-killed-bro moment. They're as good an action-comedy team as Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer. Joffrey is tooled up, shadowed by The Hound. He wants Sansa Stark to see him off to battle. Oh, she wants to see him off, alright. Joffrey wants Sansa to kiss his sword. No, literally, his sword. He named it "Heart Eater", because he probably thought it sounded cool. Sansa's reaction is pretty much the same as ours. Is he wearing an Affliction t-shirt under his armor?
Sansa is very carefully winding Joffrey up, trying to pin him down to face Stannis Baratheon mano a mano. Joffrey tells Sansa that Robb Stark is next, and that she'll have to lick her brother's blood off Joffrey's sword. What a cunt. That wasn't Bronn this time. That was me. Sorry.
The walls of King's Landing: this is looking like some Helm's Deep shit. Tyrion Lannister, however, does not need a box to see over the battlements. What the fuck's he planning? The defensive fleet is gone. I reckon Tyrion's plan involves something that rhymes with "mildfire".
Joffrey is whining, "Where are our ships?"
Tyrion is like, "STFU, can't you see I'm busy pimping?"
Out in Blackwater, Davos Seaworth is like, "Where the fuck are their ships?" He knows something's up.
Sansa Stark and Shae are down with the women and children in... wherever women and children go when King's Landing is under attack. The basement? Fine, the basement. Sansa is surprised that Cersei (shh- she just walked past) didn't just leave her upstairs to die.
Cersei asks, "Sansa, are you still on the rag?" Sansa is like, "Uh... yeah." So awkward. Worse than those tampon commercials, if that's even possible. Cersei is pouring Sansa some wine... Ser Ilyn, the executioner, is in with them. Not a good sign.
We Like the Ships, the Ships that Go Boom
I want Tyrion to live, so I'm really glad he watched The Two Towers. He orders the city's archers to get ready once he sees the first of Stannis' ships.
Wait, Davos Deaworth is seeing the same ship. It's not from Team SWRF? That's right-- Davos figures it out about a second after you do: the ship was sent by Tyrion, and it's oozing Wildfire. Bronn ignites that shit with a flaming arrow, like Barcelona 1992.
The Wildfire lives up to its reputation, blasting the everloving fuck out of everything nearby. Even The Hound is like, "Holy sheeee-it...". It's full-on carnage. Did Davos Seaworth just get killed?! Oh, I hope not.
Dudes are getting burned alive. This is a WMD deployment: full-on carnage. Like napalm.
Stannis Baratheon is impressed, but unmoved: he'll proceed as planned, not giving a single solitary fuck if thousands of his troops die. However, Stannis is no armchair quarterback: he's moving towards King's Landing with the front lines.
A Slice of Cake
In the Basement, Cersei Lannister is laying into Sansa Stark for "praying" for "mercy" from "the gods". She calls bullshit, having never been on the receiving end of the Kraken. Again with the wine. Did Sansa not get around to drinking the first cup? I love this scene: Cersei wants to confide in Sansa, but she's so resentful of her as well.
Sansa is, what, 14? 15? How the hell would she know what happens when a city is sacked? Well, that's why Cersei is kind enough to let her in on what goes down. TL;Dr version: rape. Her exact words: "These fine women will be in for a bit of a rape... when a man's blood is up, anything with tits looks good". Cersei Lannister, it seems, is no stranger to Greek Week at major universities.
A Serious Man
Stannis Baratheon is rowing for King's Landing. Tyrion Lannister understates, "He's a serious man". Joffrey is pooping his pants. Tyrion orders a flaming-arrow shower to welcome them, and orders the King's Gate's guards over to the Mud Gate. Will Stannis have predicted this?
Team SWRF makes it to the wall, sustaining heavy casualties. If you wondered what a boulder does to a motherfucker's head, well, this is the episode in which you find out.
The Hound locks in Badass Line of the Episode: "Any man dies with a clean sword, I'll rape his fucking corpse!" Uh... any questions?
The Hound answers any potential questions by cutting a dude in half. Lancel Lannister is shot with an arrow, and retreats.
Hell in a Cell
It's worse for Sansa Stark: she has to sit there and listen while a steadily-drunker Cersei Lannister monologues about her upbringing with her twin brother/fuck-buddy Jaime. Oh, shit, Cersei just noticed Shae. And Shae's accent. And Shae's inability to curtsy. Saved by the war-is-hell: Lancel tells Cersei how the battle is going, and she orders Joffrey to be taken from the front lines. Oh, and Ser Ilyn is there to kill all the women to avoid all the rapey-rapey stuff in case the city falls. (I had presumed he was there just for Sansa.)
Half a Man? Twice the Man
The Hound is busy cutting motherfuckers in half, but he's transfixed by the sight of a human torch, running up the beach. The Hound is afraid of fire. Bronn nails the guy in the eye with an arrow. In the zombie apocalypse, Bronn will be a good guy to know, and, judging from what's going on oop North, that's not necessarily a hypothetical situation.
Team SWRF has fought off the welcoming committee, and is raising the ladders. Shit, Stannis is a bad dude. He's first up the ladder, and wastes no time in whupping some ass.
The Hound is taking five. When ordered back out, he replies, "Fuck the King's Guard, fuck the city, fuck the King". Agreed on that last point, but this is not what Tyrion Lannister needs to be hearing right now. Meanwhile, whichever product manager decided to make Team SWRF's boats into modular shields/battering rams should get a promotion.
Lancel is telling Joffrey to retreat. Tyrion wants Joffrey to go out and
die fight. Joffrey takes stock for a moment, realizes he's a little bitch, and decides to retreat. Tyrion steps up like a boss. Tyrion's motivational speech is epic in its un-loftiness: Guys, forget about the King: Stannis is going to rape your wives and burn your shit. What the fuck are you gonna do about it? "Those are brave men knocking at our door... let's go kill them."
Sing Along with Sansa
Sansa Stark is giving herself a crash course in propaganda, telling the women that Joffrey in no way bitched out, and he's fighting with uncharacteristic bravery right this very second. Then she leads a singalong. No, seriously. Sansa Stark leads a singalong. Don't they know the words to "Tiny Dancer"? You can't miss with "Tiny Dancer".
Shae gets Sansa to hid in her room, where she takes solace with her creepy doll... and finds an even creepier Hound lurking in the shadows. The Hound says he's getting the hell out of Dodge, and offers to take Sansa oop North.
'... Oh, Fuck Me.'
Tyrion Lannister has led this troops through a secret passage to sneak up behind Team SWRF, attacking them as they batter away at the gate. Tyrion scores a kill right away. It's looking good for Team Tyrion... until a fuck-ton of fresh troops rush out of the darkness. "Oh, fuck me" is an appropriate thing for Tyrion to say, so he says it.
Rambo Stannis Baratheon is up on the battlement, apparently fighting the other half of the battle single-handedly. He's cutting dudes' heads into tiki cups.
Tyrion is betrayed by a guy in
Lannister King's Guard livery, slashed across the face. He's saved by his page. Someone please let me know his name in the comments. [Thanks, guys: the page's name is Podrick. Nice spear-work, Podrick.]
Cersei is coddling Tommen, her youngest son, on the Iron Throne. Cersei tells him a story about a mother lion and her cub. Stags and wolves (i.e. Baratheon and Stark) are the bad guys in this story. Meanwhile Tywin Lannister's army, which had raced down from Harrenhal, has overwhelmed Team SWRF, juuuust as Cersei was about to euthanize Tommen with the Nightshade and then, presumably, kill herself.
Stannis Baratheon was last seen dragged off by his own men; he presumably escaped, but we'll know for sure next week. Maybe. Could they not have brought Melisandre's Dementor-child with them for the invasion? Or had her whip up some other type of witchcraft? One imagines that she has something else up her sleeve, but that does Stannis no good at the moment.
For now, Tywin Lannister is like, "Daddy's home!"
Game of Thrones S02E09 Review
Are you not entertained?! All you people who whinge about how there are no big battle scenes in Game of Thrones?
S02E09 had 0 HBO sex and 0 Dire Wolves, but a metric fuck-ton of violence. We got plot advancement (Stannis Baratheon and TSWRF is--at least for now-- not a threat) and character development (Tyrion steps up like a pro, Joffrey slinks off like a little biiiiitch, and The Hound turns in his resignation).
Last season's epic battle was told from Tyrion Lannister's point of view, and then he missed the battle. This time we got to see all of the action, and it was very well-handled. The challenge with period battle scenes is how to avoid ending up with a series of shots of guys waving swords and yelling.
"Blackwater" solved the problem by taking a really wide view (the Wildfire attack) and a really narrow view (Stannis', Tyrion's, Bronn's, and The Hound's character arcs played out via melée).
Also, thank heavens nobody skated down a flight of stairs on a shield. Sorry, Legolas, but that was crap.
I'm giving Game of Thrones S02E09 five out of a possible five screaming human torches for not only giving us what we want, but for giving it to us on its own terms... and they blew shit up.
No Dire Wolves eating anybody's faces off, but plenty of explosions and gory violence. See? I'm not that hard to please.
Badass of the night: a tie between Stannis "One-Man Army" Baratheon and Tyrion "Bring It, Bitches" Lannister. Also, shout-out to Lena Headey: that was some specific-yet-understated drunk-acting. Not nearly as easy as she makes it look. Quality.
Oh, and we still have one episode left. Make sure to join me for the Game of Thrones Season Two finale.
'The Rains of Castamere'