Episode 6 ‘The Golden Crown’ rewieval
It’s pretty clear from the get-go that the plotting and scheming in the first 5 (Jeez, has it really been that many?) episodes is giving way to action – events, as they say, are unfolding at a rapid clip. Ned doesn’t have a lot of time to recuperate from last week’s spear-in-the-leg. He’s visited in the infirmary by Robert and Cersei, one of whom is slightly miffed that he’s still breathing. Cersei yells at Robert, something about “he started it” and “my brother and his 50 guys could’ve been killed by Ned and his three”, Robert gives her a Medieval Cable Drama “QUIET, WOMAN!!!” and a slap, and it’s like “The Honeymooners” up in here. (“One ‘a these days, Cersei – POW! Right to da moon!”) Cersei stomps off in a huff, and Robert and Ned share a quiet moment, which maybe isn’t what Robert wants. “Killing things clears my head”, he tells Ned, reappoints him as The Hand, and heads off to hunt some boar. That’s about as chatty as tonight’s episode gets.
“Hunt some boar” somehow does not make the list of masturbation euphemisms Tyrion fires off while declaring his innocence before Lysa’s kangaroo court. After bribing a slow-witted guard to get him in front of Lysa (and her messed-up kid Robin – whom I mistaken referred to last week as “Robert”, because that’s his name in the books, but everyone seems to have enough problems keeping names straight that the producers decided to cut you noobs a bit of slack), Tyrion confesses his sins. These included milking his eel, flogging the one-eyed snake, skinning his sausage, making the old man cry (how have I never heard that one before?) into a pot cooking the family lunch. They don’t include making the attempt on Bran’s life, and Tyrion demands a trial by combat. Bronn the sellsword (“sellsword” is the Westeros term for mercenary. The More Thou Knowest!TM) steps up to be his champion, facing off against Ser Vardis (in his heavy, heavy suit of armor). After a few rounds of Rope-A-Dope – Bronn simply runs around the chamber dodging Vardis’ blows until Vardis is exhausted – Bronn cuts him down and tosses him out the Moondoor (which, to my opening point, is way cooler than the book’s version – in the book, it’s simply a door in the wall). “You didn’t fight with honor!”, Lysa screeches, to which Bronn shrugs and replies, “No. He did.” Snap.
Ned is back as The Hand, and trying to make the most of his reinstatement. While sitting in for Robert (who’s off on his boar hunt), Ned hears the woeful tale of some villagers: Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane and his men have been out stirring shit up, and by that I mean “pouring pitch over the village children and lighting them on fire”, along with the usual raping/pillaging. If it weren’t abundantly clear from last week’s horse beheading, Gregor’s a bit of a loose cannon – a batshit crazy, monstrously evil one. What was slightly unclear was who he’s in league with; Gregor is sworn to House Lannister, and that’s a problem. Well, for anyone but Ned, who orders The Mountain’s knighthood, lands, and wealth stripped, and tells his guys to find Clegane and kill him. And did someone say Gregor’s boss is Tywin Lannister, head of House Lannister? Well, shit, Ned says, get his friggly ass down here too. Snap. Ned’s aware of the stakes, so he tells Sansa and Arya that he’s sending them back to Winterfell. Arya’s bummed that she may have to end her lessons with the awesome, Inigo-esque Syrio (she’s progressing quite nicely, still needs to work on her mental game). Sansa’s bratty whining about her fair-haired Prince Joffrey and how she wants to have his blond babies FINALLY has some point: I’m amazed that we did not literally see a lightbulb pop up over Ned’s head as he realizes why Jon Arryn was so obsessed with finding Robert’s bastards. Of course, we picked up on this a while back: they’re all dark-haired. Like Robert. Joffrey? Blond. Like Cersei. And Jaime. Urp.
Speaking of blonds…is eating a raw horse’s heart more fun? Than what, exactly? We return to Vaes Dothrak, and right off the bat, we learn something interesting about Dany. Like our boy Kirk Camaron, she’s fireproof. Dany seems to be somewhat obsessed with those petrified dragon eggs; she places them in the fire, gets them nice and scorching hot, then picks them up with her bare hands, no probs. She’s become quite the little badass. Viserys, meanwhile, has become even more of a twat. Realizing at last that the Dothraki haven’t taken to his particular brand of leadership, he attempts to make off with the dragon eggs – valuable enough, he says, to buy him an army. Mormont stops him, and advises him to chill the fuck out, lest bad things happen. Mormont’s gift for prognostication and my gift for understatement collide: Dany’s horse-heart eating ceremony (with at least one Dothraki yelling “WOLVERINES!!!”) is interrupted by that killjoy Viserys, who staggers in armed (bad idea), drunk (worse idea), and in a mood. He grabs Dany, holds a knife to her throat, and starts making bitchy demands. He wants his golden crown! (This is what we English minors call “foreshadowing”.) Khal Drogo says OK, OK, I’ll give your crown. His guys quickly subdue Viserys. Drogo throws his gold belt and some other gold trinkets into a very, very hot pot over a very, very hot fire. It is at this moment that a couple of questions spring into the viewers’ minds. Those who haven’t read the book: “Um, is Drogo going to to what I think he’s going to do?” Those who’ve read the books: “Is this going to be as gnarly as the book describes?” Me: “Who does that actor that plays Viserys remind me of?” Drogo picks up the pot of molten gold. (The answers: Yes, yes, and Jamie Kennedy.) Viserys, quite dead, falls to the ground with a satisfying thud. “He’s no Dragon”, she remarks. OH SNAP.