Episode 2 ‘The King’s Road’ reviewal

We’ll start with Daenerys. The Dothraki are hitting the trail, and Viserys, Dany, and Ser (SIC, BTW – that’s how author George R.R. Martin spells “sir” in the books) Jorah Mormont are going with them. With naught to see but the vast expanse of the plains (“I spy with my little eye, something that is…green.” “Grass.” “No – the answer is ‘More grass’”) Dany has plenty of time to think. And eat horse jerky. Horse jerky! It’s what’s for dinner. Dany has an ally in Mormont, and she makes a new special friend: a slave girl who teaches her a few new sex tricks. The Sex-Is-Power Metaphor is an anvil, as are the numerous shots of those dragon eggs. Those symbolize Daenerys hanging on to the hope that she will come into her own power. Either that, or her desire for a dragon egg omelet, or dragon eggs Benedict, anything but horse jerky, because damn.

The Starks have problems of their own. Bran is not quite dead. Catelyn sits shiva over him, and people are encouraged to pop in and say hi, and maybe bring a nice kugel. Jon Snow, being the good bastard that he is, does just that, but to say that Cat is happy to see him is a gross overstatement. Cat and Bran also have another visitor, who pops in unannounced, as assassins are wont to do. Couple of things to note: first, grabbing a Valerian steel blade is not recommended, and second, direwolves do make good pets! And speaking of direwolves, Arya’s also turns out to be pretty loyal. She and her friend, Butcher Boy #1, are playing at stick-swords when Ironic Good Prince Joffrey and Sansa come across them. Whatever sympathy we had for Joff when Tyrion was smacking him around like a rented mule earlier promptly vanishes when Joff picks a fight with Butcher Boy #1. Those of you who were picking up a Draco Malfoy vibe, give yourselves a pat on the back and a piece of horse jerky. Arya rushes to defend her friend, Joffrey makes the mistake of knocking her down, and oh, boy, bacon bacon BACON here comes Nymeria. Of course, laughing at kids who get bitten by direwolves makes one a bad person, so I’ll just chuckle softly to myself. Ned now has this crap to deal with; Robert seizes Arya (and Ned’s reaction here is telling: he’s pissed, but he’s also very frightened, for reasons that will become clear later) and demands a resolution. Sansa doesn’t do much to convince us that she’s not a petty spoiled brat; she feigns ignorance over what happened down by the river. Finally, it all gets to be a bit much for Robert, who decides that kids will be kids. Let the parents deal with them. Oh, and kill the direwolf, any one will do, Sansa’s will be fine. And while they’re at it, might as well kill Butcher Boy #1. Now we see the violence inherent in the system!

Let’s pop over to the Team Lannister locker room. Tyrion gets all of the best lines; he’s a cynic, and he’s very, very smart. Along with putting Joffrey in his place, there’s a key scene in which he reveals to Jaime and Cersei that he sorta knows what really went down with Bran’s “accident”. And it’s pretty clear to us that Cersei and Jaime know that he knows. But! Tyrion knows that they know that he knows. And I suspect that Cersei knows that Tyrion knows that Cersei and Jaime know that he knows. I’m not sure what I just typed there. The point is, Tyrion’s a sharp guy, Cersei’s weaving a few webs, and Jaime’s kind of a douchebag.

So the pieces are starting to be arranged on the chessboard, as it were. It’s not really a surprise that Bran wakes from his coma. His timing kind of sucks, as two of his protectors have bailed on him. (Also, they’re running out of direwolves.) Ned and Jon hit the (Kings)road; Jon is headed north to join the Night’s Watch, Ned is going south to King’s Landing with Robert, and he and Ned have a nice moment father-bastard son moment before they part ways. If you’re starting to think that maybe Ned shoulda stayed at Winterfell, you get another piece of horse jerky: Cat discovers a long slender golden hair at the crime scene. Could it be Cersei’s? And could this mean…attempted murder?  Cat thinks so, and Ser Rodrik Cassel does as well – that was a pretty expensive knife, and no way could some random dude have gotten it. It had to have been given to the assassin, unless of course he killed the previous owner, or stole it. But that’s crazy talk. And as it turns out, Ned’s fear of what Robert might do to Arya was legit: Robert thinks that finding and killing Daenerys is a pretty good, if somewhat morally reprehensible idea. Robert senses that a war is coming, and he’ll do whatever is necessary to hang on to his throne.

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