The mechanics of war involve strategy on the part of the leaders, and a lot of “hurry up and wait” on the part of the soldiers in the field. In “Game of Bones,” the latest episode of Game of Thrones, the men descending upon King’s Landing know this all too well and use it to their advantage.
Soldiers and armies continue to fight the onslaught of Robb Stark, but his strategy is to take advantage by surprise. This proves very successful, and he continues pushing forward. While both sides are losing men, Robb keeps true to his heart. He will not torture prisoners; he will help the injured; and he’ll even fall head over heels for a villager, Talissa, fighting under the Lannister banner.
Meanwhile, Lady Stark continues trying to earn favors of Renly Baratheon in order to work with the North. Maybe if Robb had come himself, he could earn those favors more quickly. Lord Baelish arrives at Renly’s camp with many motives. He woos Lady Margaery, attempting to weasel out information on Renly’s infidelity. When the Queen stands her ground, he continues on his true mission: changing Lady Stark’s mind.
Talk about a Cat fight. Baelish is the last person she wants to see and threatens him for his part in her husband’s death. He bribes her with the safety of her daughters (one he doesn’t even have) in exchange for Jamie Lannister. As another token of good faith, he gives Cat her husband’s body to be rightfully buried in Winterfell.
Moving forward, Renly encounters Stannis in the fields leading to King’s Landing. They have a face-off, with a lot of chest-puffing and threats, each challenging the other to drop his fight. Leave it to Cat Stark to put them both in their place, suggesting they are acting like children. In the end, they go their separate ways, but not without being left with some pearls of wisdom from the Fire Priestess. “Look to your sins,” she says. “The night is dark and full of terrors.”
Back in King’s Landing, power is going straight to Joffrey’s inflated pre-teen head. He physically and publicly abuses Sensa as retribution for her brother’s crimes. Thankfully, Tyrion stops Joffrey’s madness and shows Sensa kindness. To appeal to Joffrey’s other inflated head, Tyrion rewards his nephew with some nameday hookers, but with his anger unquenched, Joffrey forces the women into some serious B&D action. Belt whippings. Spiky scepter beatings. Tyrion will see what his “good intentions” get him. I know some people who have wanted to hear King Joffrey scream “harder,” but I don’t think this is what they had in mind.
Cersei tries to manipulate Tyrion by sending a knight to demand the release of the Grand Maester. Fortunately, Tyrion knows she has been bedding this boy and turns it to his advantage. Oh, to have such power over young handsome men. The imp blackmails the knight, gains his allegiance and uses him as a pawn and spy in his political game.
Arya and Gendry are now prisoners in Harrenhal, where they realize no one gets out alive. Every day, they watch as soldiers entertain themselves torturing prisoners by letting rats eat them alive. Who wouldn’t look forward to that every day? As she waits, Arya recites the names of the Lannisters to keep her focused. Revenge will be hers someday.
Just as Gendry is chosen to face the rat torture, Lord Tywin Lannister arrives, chastises his soldiers and releases Gendry from his torture. Wondering why Harrenhal is full of idiots, Tywin immediately calls out Arya as a girl. Impressed by her strong determination, he makes her his new cup bearer. What a great place to be, working at the right hand of your worst enemy.
I was beginning to wonder if we’d ever see Daenerys and her nomads again, or if they had perished in the Red Waste. Fear not. Dragons can survive some horrible conditions. One of her scouts returns with exciting news. Qarth, a walled city on the far east, is excited to welcome the Mother of the Dragons, but she faces resistance when they arrive. Her unwillingness to back down is what’s so loveable about her. Daenerys threatens “The 13,” the ruling council of Qarth, with revenge when her dragons are grown, but one kindly council member vouches for her, granting them entrance to the city.
As the episode ends, Stannis sets sail with his army, unaware that he has fathered a son. Sir Davos takes Melisandre away, where she gives birth to a demon, literally crawling out of her loins. It looks like the night truly is full of terrors.
What terrors do you see coming next? Let us know in the comments below.
|Jim C. is a sci-fi/supernatural/federation/superhero/Cylon teacher nerd, obsessed with TV, books and film. He spent his childhood reading comics, writing morbid horror stories and being the token tormented class homo, but he thinks he turned out pretty freakin’ awesome.|