Aaaaaaaaaand, we’re back!
After a three-week sojourn to the West Coast, I’m back in DC. During my time in Northern California, I spent my writing energy on other projects, but did manage to watch Game of Thrones within a reasonable 24-hour window of East Coast airings each week. That, and Gossip Girl, the only two shows Caitlin and I could really agree upon. However, we did get started on a fun little post I can’t wait to share with you all. As for other TV-watching, I am a month behind on all my favorite sitcoms, but I don’t really mind? Game of Thrones and Mad Men are the only shows that can keep me off the internetz until I see the most recent episode, for fear of spoilers. Gossip Girl can’t possibly be spoiled, because we always know the most insane thing that could never happen will happen. Even when True Blood returns on June 10, I don’t know that it will hold my attention in that same way as it has in seasons past.
It turns out I have friends on the West Coast who read these recaps! So, you like, four Easties now have….2.5 brethren. Welcome, all.
For the sake of posterity, I’ll be recapping episodes 14, 15 and 16 all this week – and we’ll be back on track for the last four of Season 2. Hurray!
Without further ado, we delve into the quickly devolving social structure of Westeros as we find it in Episode 14: Garden of Bones.
We open up on a Lannister military encampment. There are gay jokes about Renley Baratheon, and a fart joke. If we know anything by now, it’s that infantile humor can only be followed by one thing on this show: A MASSACRE.
By light of day, “King o’ the North” Robb Stark surveys the mangled corpses he hath wrought. “Five Lannisters dead for every one of ours,” his advisor says. Looks like you’re getting a pretty good ROI for Q1, Rob! The investors will be happy.
A beautiful, kindly nursemaid is like, “Shhhh, gangrenous soldier, I’m just going to saw your leg off.” Robb is turned on. Because nothing says romance like biting a leather strap and the sound of metal grating against human bone. (How did the sound editors achieve this, I wonder?) Robb is all hey gurl can I get yo number, Talisa of Volantis? It becomes evident he’s not only lacking game, but a contingency plan for what will happen once he defeats the Lannister army.
Back in King’s Landing, Joffrey is having his fiancee publicly beaten by the Hound to send a message to Robb Stark. Uncle Tyrion intervenes and delivers a great line, “Bronn, the next time Sir Meryn speaks, kill him. That was a threat. See the difference?” Tyrion conjectures that it’s adolescent sexual frustration that’s driving Joffrey to be a raging, sadistic sociopath. “Do you think dipping his wick would cure him?” he asks Bronn. “There’s no cure for being a cunt,” Bronn replies. And that, my friends, is the truest sentence ever spoken on this show to date.
Tyrion sends his very best hookers, Ros and the PYT she was leading around on a tour of the brothel earlier this season, to his nephew’s chambers. Joffrey is unamused. He points a crossbow at the pair and forces Ros to beat her friend with an intricately carved ornamental club. Raise your hand if you thought Joffrey wanted her to penetrate her with said club! Thank god it was just a grotesque beating. If we had any questions about Joffrey’s sanity, they’ve been answered. See what inbreeding gets you?
Littlefinger pays King Renley a visit and asks Margery if she’s aware her husband is a queer. “Duh,” she replies. Once again, she is wearing a fierce, fierce dress. Long live Margery on this show, so if only that we may see what other crazy banana outfits she comes up with. She is the Helena Bonham Carter of Westeros, i.e. my sartorial spirit animal.
Back in the Red Waste, one of Dany’s blood riders comes back, and surprise! his head is still on his body. And he’s alive! Good job, blood rider. He tells her of a magical city called Qarth, and Dany deliberates the danger of heading there for refuge.
Arya and Gendry are captive in a prison camp in Harrenhal, where one person is selected each day to be tortured to death. Masie Williams is nailing her performance as Arya, by the way. Someone give her all the awards.
Now, Littlefinger has made his way to another King’s camp, Robb Stark’s. He calls upon his old flame, Catelyn. She is ready to dagger him as he’s all “I’ve loved you since I was a boy.” Well, then maybe you shouldn’t have betrayed her husband? A thought. As a last resort he offers her the return of her daughters, Sansa and Arya, in exchange for Jaime Lannister. “Both girls are healthy [lie] and safe [LIES].” This definitely won’t come back to bite you, Petyr! He’s brought Catelyn a present: her husband’s bones. (Or head? Unsure. Blessedly, they don’t show us what’s in the box.) She is like, GTFO while I cry some real salt tears over these human remains, and we are reminded that Ned is dead, and grief does funny things to people.
In Harrenhal, one of Arya and Gendry’s fellow prisoners is tortured to death by “The Tickler” by having a rat eat his way through his chest cavity. Cool. Just when you think this show can’t get any more gross or horrifying, it really steps it up!
In some unknown middleground in the Stormlands, Renley is having a peace-treaty face-off with his brother, Stannis. Stannis has brought Melisandre, and Renley’s got Catelyn by his side. Stannis gives Renley one night to reconsider his claim to the throne, offering him a seat on the council and designation as heir, “until a son is born to me.” Oh right, Melisandre is probably way pregnant by now.
Outside of Qarth, “The Greatest City That Ever Was Or Will Be” (TM), i.e., the set of a live-action adaptation of Disney’s Aladdin, Alfred Hitchcock greets Dany and her crew as one of The Thirteen, the merchants who control this city. Seems none are highborn, just entrepreneurs who made mad cash before the spice bubble burst and are now in charge. So, like America.
Alfred is actually listed as “The Spice King,” but he looks so much like Alfred Hitchcock that I just can’t not go with it. Alfred is all, bitch, show us your dragons! She refuses. Alfred turns her away. She swears vengeance, but is interrupted by Xaro Xhoan Daxos, a tall drink of water who swears by blood to vouch for Dany and her Dothraki people. We can see where this is going.
In Harrenhal, Gendry’s been selected for death-by-rat-chest-tunneling. He’s saved by the appearance of Papa Tywin Lannister. (When Gendry dies, I am done with this show.) Lannister is like, why are you morons killing all these prisoners, who have actual trades and skills other than torturing and killing? He outs Arya as a girl (though unaware of her parentage), and makes her his cup bearer.
Tyrion is paid a visit by his cousin, Lancel, who has a warrant from Cersei demanding the release of Pycelle. Cersei must really trust you, Lancel, says Tyrion, “during the hour of the wolf.” Hour of the wolf! All future nighttime activities will be referred to as taking place during such. Tyrion is like, cuz, I know you are boning my sister. Let’s tell Joffrey! He begs mercy. Tyrion makes him swear to spy on Cersei for him, and sends him back with the message that he accepts her demands and wants no more strife between them. Subterfuge!
Stannis and Davos are on a boat. He asks Davos to bring Melisandre ashore under cover of night to some weird cave for a LaMaze class. She gives birth toooooo…..A VAGINA GHOST! Congratulations, Stannis. He looks just like you.