[TV] Game of Thrones – Valar Morghulis (S2E10)

Quick Recap:

Game_of_Thrones_War_is_Coming

Tyrion wakes up in new quarters and learns that he is no longer the Hand – that honour now belongs to his father who is officially appointed by Joffrey. Joffrey distributes rewards and punishments now that the battle is done. Loras offers his sister’s hand and Joffrey accepts the marriage proposals and the betrothal with Sansa is set aside. Sansa is happy to hear this until Baelish points out that Joffrey is not the boy to let his toys go. He offers Sansa his help though she rebuffs his offer. Later, Varys visits Ros and asks her to become his informant. Jaime mocks Brienne mercilessly as they travel towards King’s Landing. They encounter Northern soldiers whose suspicions they arouse but Brienne kills them when they try to stop her. Catelyn is unhappy with Robb’s plan to marry Talisa. Robb is unwilling to listen to her advice after her release of Jaime. Rob and Talisa marry soon after. Stannis is also unhappy and he questions Mel’s visions. She says she’s fought her war longer than he has his which prompts him to choke her, partially out of his grief over Renly’s murder. She shows him her fire and he sees what future she has seen for him.

In Winterfell, Theon is surrounded by the bastard of Bolton and his forces. The horn blowing is annoying him greatly and he takes it out on Maester Luwin. Theon reflects on his time in Winterfell as a ward and a captive and Luwin suggests that he run instead of fighting. He suggests the Night’s Watch but Theon is against this. Instead, Theon decides to rally the twenty Ironborn he has at Winterfell into fighting to the death. The Ironborn do not like this idea and knock him out to be delivered to Ramsey Snow, the bastard of Bolton. Luwin realizes what they intend but is stabbed in the gut before he can stop it. Varys tells Tyrion that Mandon Moore, formerly of the Kingsguard, was ordered by Cersei to kill Tyrion. Bronn has been dismissed from his position as Lord Commander of the City Watch and the hill tribesmen that Tyrion brought along have been paid off and sent home. Shae visits him and asks him to leave with her to Pentos but Tyrion admits that he likes King’s Landing and that he likes being able to outmanoeuvre and outthink his opponents.

Dany visits the House of the Undying while Arya parts way with Jaqen, who gives her a coin and tells her to find him in Braavos should the need arise. Bran, Rickon and Osha emerge from the crypts to find Winterfell ransacked and ruined. They find Luwin dying by the heart tree and he tells them to find Jon at the Wall before passing away. Dany wanders through the House of the Undying and sees the Iron Throne in King’s Landing, except the throne room is in ruins and there is snow everywhere. She then has a vision of Drogo and her stillborn son sitting happily in their tent and she goes to join them but forces herself to remember that it is not reality. She finally finds her dragons but the Pyat Pree tells her that she is not free to leave and that he intends to keep her in the House of the Undying. She sets her dragons on him however, killing him.

Jon is Ygritte’s captive but the Halfhand breaks free and attacks Jon Snow, accusing him of betraying the Night’s Watch. Jon is able to fend him off, partially winning the Wildlings’ trust. Dany finds Xaro Xhohan Daxos in bed with Doreah, her maiden and brings the pair to Daxos’ vault and locks them inside. She strips Daxos apartments of all its gold and jewellery and intends to buy a ship. Sam and the rest of the Night’s Watch hears three blasts of the horn – the White Walkers are attacking them.

Click here for the review

[TV] Game of Thrones – Blackwater (S2E9)

Quick Recap:

Game_of_Thrones_War_is_Coming

The battle of Blackwater Bay begins as Davos and Stannis sail towards King’s Landing with their fleet. Davos reflects on how his fortunes have changed since leaving King’s Landing twenty years ago. His son is a staunch believer in the Lord of Light though Davos is not quite sold. Tyrion and Cersei are both restless from the worry and Cersei losses her patience with Pycelle’s rambling. He has brought her a poison – she means to poison herself and her children if things take a turn for the worst. Sandor Clegane and Bronn almost come to blows in a tavern but the bells toll before Bronn can stab the Hound: Stannis has arrived.

Tyrion and Varys chat before the fighting begins and Varys warns Tyrion about Stannis’ connection to Melisandre and the threat of the arcane surrounding Stannis’ cause. Sansa sees Joffrey off, encouraging him to fight in the vanguard while Tyrion meets with Shae. Joffrey and Davos are equally surprised by the lack of a King’s Landing naval defence though Tyrion insists its coming. Cersei meanwhile hunkers down in King’s Landing with Ser Ilyn Payne ‘defending’ Cersei and the rest of the noblewomen though his true purpose is revealed soon – he is there to punish looters and traitors and Cersei begins by having him lop off looters’ heads. Tyrion’s navy arrives but it is only one ship. It sails towards the Baratheon fleet where Davos notes quickly that it’s empty but realizes too late that it’s filled with wildfire. A flaming arrow from Bronn sets the wildfire ablaze and within moments the entrance of Blackwater Bay is a green hell with a large portion of the Baratheon fleet burning. Stannis notes this debacle but decides to land anyway.

In the city, Cersei, well past tipsy, reveals some hard truths to an increasingly anxious Sansa, especially the violent fate that awaits them if Stannis were to sack the city. As Stannis lands, Tyrion dispatches his troops to begin the land battle. The battle on the shore is bloody and Lancel is injured in the process. Cersei finds Shae suspicious and about to question her on her background when Lancel interrupts with news on the battle and it is not going well for the Lannisters. Cersei orders Joffrey returned to the Red Keep and reveals that Ilyn Payne is there to ensure that the royal family is not delivered into Stannis’ hands alive. The battle continues to go poorly and Clegane’s nerves get the better of him – his fear of fire lead to him deserting the Kingsguard and Joffrey’s cause. Joffrey himself withdraws into the Red Keep on Cersei’s orders and morale suffers until Tyrion decides to lead the charge in Joffrey’s place. Lancel tries to stand up to Cersei only for her to rather viciously hurt him and walk out causing a panic amongst the noblewomen who realize that their cause is lost until Sansa soothes them down a little. Shae convinces Sansa to go hide in her chambers while she stays back. Sansa returns to her room only to find the Hound there. He offers to take her back to Winterfell but she decides to remain in King’s Landing.

Tyrion is finally able to turn the tide of the battle by sneaking behind the enemies forces. In the middle of the fighting, one of the Kingsguard turns on Tyrion and tries to kill him only for Podrick to save him. Cersei is ready to kill Tommen and herself when Loras Tyrell enters the throne room with Highgarden men…and Lord Tywin behind them.

Click here for the review

[TV] Game of Thrones – The Prince Of Winterfell (S2E8)

Quick Recap:

Game_of_Thrones_War_is_Coming

Yara arrives at Winterfell with far fewer than 500 men. Theon is adamant about staying in Winterfell despite Yara’s insistence that his situation is precarious. Ygritte presents Jon to the Lord of Bones, who wants to gut him but Ygritte saves Jon by revealing his relation to Ned Stark and tells Jon that they are now even. The Halfhand is also captured and tells Jon to make amends for his earlier cowardice. Talisa asks Robb about his impending marriage to the Frey. Robb learns of his mother’s betrayal in freeing Jaime. Rickard Karstark is especially angry to learn of the Kingslayer’s escape. Brienne has escaped with Jaime but the two do not get along.

Meanwhile, Tywin is advised to tell Cersei and the royal court to flee and escape the certain execution they face if Stannis wins. Tywin decides to march for King’s Landing in the night and leaves Gregor behind in Harrenhal. Arya hears this and looks for Jaqen, presumably to kill Tywin. The Halfhand pretends to turn on Jon, in the hopes that he will be spared. Tyrion, Varys and Bronn discuss the defence of King’s Landing. Sam finds a cache of obsidian in the North. Arya names Jaqen himself as the last name. She enlists his help in escaping the castle in return for un-naming him. Cersei is unhappy that Tyrion is sending Joffrey to the front lines and tensions between them escalate when Cersei reveals she has kidnapped Shae though Cersei has captured the wrong woman.

In Robb’s camp, Robb gives the order for Ramsay Snow to storm Winterfell. Robb and Talisa talk and end up sleeping together. In Harrenhal, Arya escapes with Jaqen’s help. Davos leads the fleet to King’s Landing and Stannis tells him of the siege of Storm’s End and how Davos will be Hand if Stannis gets the crown. In Winterfell, Luwin overhears a conversation and suspects that Bran and Rickon are still alive. Osha confirms this in the crypts where Bran and Rickon are resting.

Click here for the review

[TV] Game of Thrones – A Man Without Honor (S2E7)

Quick Recap:

Game_of_Thrones_War_is_Coming

Theon is angry that the Ironborn let Bran and Rickon escape and searches out to look for them. Ygritte asks Jon some hard questions about the Night’s Watch’s purpose. Tywin suspects the Brotherhood without Banners of the assassination attempt and sends Gregor Clegane out to raze the villages. Tywin and Arya have another conversation and Tywin reveals that he knows Arya is not low-born. Robb allows Talisa to ride with him to the Crag after hearing that Cersei has rejected his terms.

Theon’s search in the meanwhile is far from successful. The loss of her dragons has made Dany suspicious and she uses Jorah to find them for her while rejecting Xaro’s offer of help. Ygritte is able to escape from Jon and into an ambush. Sansa has nightmares of the riot and when she wakes up she has had her first period and she panics when a maid sees the blood on the sheets. Shae is able to silence the maid but not before the Hound sees the blood as well. Cersei has a talk with Sansa about her potential marriage to Joffrey. Jaime and his cousin Alton have a talk about their respective time as squires. Jaime uses the conversation to kill Alton in order to escape from his captivity. In Qarth, Dany appeals to the Thirteen for her dragons but Xaro and Pyat Pree organize a coup, killing the majority of the Thirteen and declaring themselves rulers of the city. Pyat Pree reveals that he has the dragons.

Jaime’s escape is short lived – when he is returned to the Stark camp, Karstark demands his head and a tense standoff ensues, deflated only when both sides agree to wait for Robb’s return from the Crag. Catelyn confronts Jaime before the mob can eventually kill him while he continues needling her with insults to Ned.  Theon presents the corpses of Bran and Rickon to Winterfell to gain their obedience.

Click here for the review

[TV] Game of Thrones – The Old Gods And The New (S2E6)

Quick Recap:

Game_of_Thrones_War_is_Coming

Theon has captured Winterfell and makes Bran public yield the castle to him. Osha tries to swear herself to him, but he refuses. The Iron Islanders capture Rodrik and he repeatedly insults Theon until Theon is forced to execute him as Bran watches. In the North, Jon and the Halfhand talk about the hostile environment north of the Wall and their duties to the Watch. In Harrenhal, Arya is afraid that Littlefinger will recognize her when he visits Harrenhal but is able to avoid his notice.

Jon and the Halfhand attack a wildling watch-post but Jon can’t bring himself to kill Ygritte. She escapes him and he follows until he catches her again but by this time the sun is setting and he has gotten separated from the Halfhand. Tyrion and Cersei see Myrcella off but on their way back a riot breaks out. Joffrey reaches the keep safely but a few others perish on the way. Sansa is separated from the group and the Hound saves her. Dany meets the Spice King, the second wealthiest man in Qarth to ask for ships but she is rejected.

Arya takes a letter regarding Robb from Tywin’s solar while Tywin isn’t looking. Amory Lorch is suspicious as to why she is reading a letter and tries to bring her to Tywin but Arya is able to find Jaqen Hghar before Lorch reaches and Tywin. Robb talks to Lady Talisa until Catelyn interrupts them and reminds Robb of his promises to Walder Frey. Robb receives news of Winterfell’s capture and Catelyn is furious. Bolton reminds Robb that his son can take Winterfell for him. Robb orders Theon captured alive. At Winterfell, Osha is able to seduce Theon in accepting her service. Later, she helps Bran and Rickon escape Winterfell. Dany’s dragons are stolen.

Click here for the review

[TV] Game of Thrones – The Ghost of Harrenhal (S2E5)

Quick Recap:

Game_of_Thrones_War_is_Coming

Renly and Catelyn reach an agreement over the terms of Renly’s alliance with Robb, but Renly is killed moments later by the creature Melisandre birthed the previous episode. Brienne kills the guards who come in to investigate and escapes with Catelyn before they are blamed for the assassination. Loras is distraught but Littlefinger convinces him that the assassination was Stannis’ doing and that he would be better served by returning to Highgarden. Margaery confides in Littlefinger that she wants to be the Queen rather than one of many.

In King’s Landing, Tyrion and Cersei hear of the assassination. Tyrion tries to discuss plans for the city’s defense, but Cersei brushes him off, saying that Joffrey is handling it. Lancel tells Tyrion that her plan involves firing wildfire at the invading navy. Davos tries to explain what he say the previous night to Stannis, but Stannis doesn’t want to hear it. Davos convinces him to leave Melisandre behind when he attacks King’s Landing but Stannis wants Davos to lead the fleet despite his protests.

On the Iron Islands, Theons tries and fails to earn the respect of his men. Tywin holds a war council that Arya overhears as his cupbearer. Arya meets Jaqen H’ghar and he tells her that he will kill three people she names. Her first name is the torturer named Tickler. Tyrion inspects the wildfire stash that Cersei has been making and is impressed by its potential. Dany mingles with the Qartheen nobility and speaks to several of the ruling council. Brienne swears herself to Catelyn Stark. Bran has an ominous dream in which Winterfell is drowned and most of its people killed.

Jon accompanies the Halfhand to take out a group of sentries. Dany is offered enough money to buy an army in exchange for her marrying Xaro Xohan Daxos. Arya finds the Tickler dead.

Click here for the review

[TV] Game of Thrones – Garden of Bones (S2E4)

Quick Recap:

Game_of_Thrones_War_is_Coming

Robb’s army attacks a Lannister camp, routing them. As he surveys the carnage later, he meets Talisa, a healer, and they discuss the hardships of war and Robb’s plans for the future. Joffrey is furious when he hears of another Lannister defeat and demands answers from Sansa.  He orders her beaten and stripped until Tyrion puts an end to it. Bronn suggests that Joffrey’s cruelty is born of sexual frustration and Tyrion leaves two whores for him in his chambers. Joffrey has them abuse each other as a message for Tyrion. Littlefinger comes to Renly to discuss the possibility of buying Littlefinger’s loyalty in exchange for letting him live once Renly takes the city. Littlefinger also talks to Margaery Tyrell about her marriage and insinuates heavily that he knows about Renly’s homosexuality but Margaery is unfazed.

Dany receives news that there is food and water a few days away and begins to make her way there knowing that if she cannot get access into the city, she and her party will die outside it. Arya is at Harrenhal and watches other prisoners tortured for information. Littlefinger meets Catelyn at Renly’s camp though she refuses to speak with him. He tells her that the Lannisters will swap Jaime Lannister for Sansa and Arya. Renly meets with Stannis the next day to see if they can avoid bloodshed but neither will back down. Stannis leaves the meeting warning Renly to surrender or face death.

Dany is able to gain access to Qarth once some of the ruling council vouch for her integrity though they seem more interested in the dragons than her. Back in Westeros, Gendry is picked next for interrogation but is spared when Tywin rides into the castle. Tywin realizes that Arya is a girl right away and orders her as his cupbearer. Lancel visits Tyrion and brings orders from Cersei for him to release Pycelle. Tyrion accuses Lancel of sleeping with Cersei and Lancel confesses.

Davos escorts Melisandre under the castle of Storm’s End where she gives ‘birth’ to a strange shadow-like creature.

Click here for the review