Game of Thrones is Back! Episode 2.01 The North Remembers.

In which Sansa saves Lord Dontos, Tyrion gets a promotion, Danaerys tries to figure out what her dragons eat while doing a wander-in-the-wasteland thing, Jon and the Rangers reach Crasters holding (nobody talk to his daughters!!), Robb declares himself King of the North, Jaime Lannister is still in captivity, Theon Greyjoy is annoying, Littlefinger is put in his place, Bran shows some leadership skills, Joffrey gets into Robert’s paternity issues, either he or Cersei orders Robert’s bastards killed, and Melisandre and Stannis and the Onion Knight, oh my!  plus we get a fleeting glimpse of Arya. 

Quoth the dreamy Tyrion, “Everyone in King’s Landing is a liar.” This was the most jarring thing for me to get used to in the books–I grew up on kinder, gentler fantasy novels where people pretty much did what they said and suddenly I was in this world where nobody’s word means anything! Except a Lannister always pays his debts, for better or for worse. I think a lot of fantasy readers read like me, and that’s why we align with Tyrion. Because he is a slave to the truth, though he knows how to scheme like whoa.

My roommate and I were discussing Cersei, and how she’s terrifying and horrible–my response was that she loves her family, and she loves power, and everything she does is totally consistent with loving those two things. That said, I wanted her to hit Joffrey more. A lot more. Jeez, it’s like you can’t even raise a sociopath anymore without them growing up and refusing to be controlled by you any more.

I was totally put off by yet another just-for-TV Brothel Lessons scene and then OH GOD THE BASTARD HARVEST started. The extermination of all potential pretenders to the throne totally eluded me when reading the books, though I knew that Gendry (Robert’s son who was apprenticed to the blacksmith) got the heck out of Dodge when Joffrey became king. It was brutal and it was frightening and has the added consequence of boiling down the number of people with actual, legitimate blood claims to the Iron Throne to two – Stannis and Gendry (if we’re allowing paternal bastards and not maternal ones).

I loved the introduction of Melisandre, on the beach amongst the burning Seven. Her firebreathing Lord of Light God is all kinds of freaky and I still don’t totally understand her whole…thing. She’s the one element of true fantasy/magic we’ve gotten so far in Westeros, the one whose powers realy seem unearthly at times. “For the night is dark and full of terrors. But the fire burns them all away.”

For anyone who hasn’t read the book and is like WTF, who are these people… Stannis Baratheon is Robert’s older brother, he got hooked up with this prophet woman at some point, and his right hand man is Davos Seaworth, The Onion Knight who was a smuggler during Robert’s Rebellion but kept Stannis’ people fed, so when the war was over Stannis took the finger joints on his right hand but let him live and knighted him. He’s another moral center, because he’s not motivated by power, just loyalty to Stannis and a desire to see his family again.

So we now have 4 kings – King Joffrey (The Illegitimate and Sulky) on the Iron Throne, King Renly amassing a horde and gunning for the Iron Throne, King Stannis who is actually entitled to the Iron Throne, King Robb who’s decided he doesn’t need no stinkin’ Iron Throne (King in the North!). And of course Danaerys, who’s a little stranded in the desert at the moment, and the briefly mentioned Mance Rayder, King Above the Wall who reigns over the Wildlings.

I’m sure they’ll all just sit down and talk things out like grown-ups. Right?

Next week be sure to watch along with Paul F. Tompkins — he usually follows along in PST, using #PFTGOT and he is freaking hilarious.  And if you ever get lost, Magda Maslowska’s awesome season 1 relationship and geography Infographic is here

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3 Responses to Game of Thrones is Back! Episode 2.01 The North Remembers.

  1. bebehblog says:

    I don’t think they DID so much baby-killing in the books – both E and I were like WHAT THE WHAT?! and then discussed how maybe it was the show’s way of making Gendry’s situation clearer, since it took a loooong time for anyone to get around to realizing who he was.

    That bit with Littlefinger and Cersei was SPECTACULAR.

    • mkpheartsnyc says:

      I’m so glad it wasn’t just me–though the roommate I was watching with didn’t remember that either. I thought the Exposition by Torture method was extreme but effective–I knew who I was looking at as soon as the aforementioned helm hit the cart, as it were.

  2. kim says:

    Brothel lesson? Kill Everything!
    This show will give you whiplash if you let it.

    Martin elides over a lot of death/craziness (Lolly’s rape for one), because his POVs either don’t care, or are using it to manipulate, or just aren’t personally involved. (I think we get part of that from Tyrion, of all people! And he’s one of the sympathetic guys. *sniff*)

    This is slightly more “okay” because when bad shit happens to POV characters, he doesn’t gloss over it. And Dany gets raped, if not the first night of her marriage.

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