Game of Thrones: War Games

“The Prince of Winterfell” is the dark before the Westeros dawn. We all know the war is coming, we all know there are only ten episodes this season, and we all know many people will die. If this episode seems less-than-climactic, it is no doubt the calm before the medieval blood storm.

When Theon’s sister arrives in Winterfell with far fewer than the 500 men he requested, she mocks him and his tyranny. Apparently, killing children doesn’t show you’re a powerful threat. Who knew? She’s there to take him home, but he’s hoping his success will win his father’s affections. Knowing his pathetic play will get him nothing, Yara leaves Theon and his burned trophies behind. Little does Theon know, the boys and their guardians circled back and are hiding in the catacombs underneath Winterfell. Keep your enemies closer, right? At least Bran and Osha know that saying.

In the north, the captive Bastard and Commander are the only remaining members of the scouting party left alive. Their torture is to witness the Wildlings march on the wall and attack at night. Oblivious, the other men in the Night’s Watch discover remnants, including Dragon’s glass, that an ancient Night’s Watch brother buried in the north. While it’s not quite clear what it means, it’s clearly quite the discovery.

Upon his return from negotiations in the Crag, Robb Stark’s discovery is not so pleasing. His mother Cat has released Jaime Lannister as a good faith measure for the safety of her children but, accompanied by Brienne, he is still in captivity. Robb sends out 40 men and locks up his own mother. Seriously? What was she thinking? She may have some sick and twisted plot up her sleeve, but she’s pissed Robb off.

Angered as well by Theon’s betrayal, Robb agrees to send Bolton’s son to re-take Winterfell, while he continues his quest toward King’s Landing. But his new friend arrives to comfort him, and her stories of loyalty lead to a heated carnal escapade. Robb beds her. Hard. Forget that ugly spinster he’s betrothed to.

But while Robb is focused on other conquests, Arya learns that Tywin plans to march on Robb’s army and surprise them in the night. Desperately, she heads out to call in her third death wish.  hen she finally finds Jaqen, she is pretty demanding. She names Tywin, but because he is gone, Jaquen says it’s impossible. Instead, she demands he kill himself or help her escape with her friends. Little Arya does have a set of balls on her, and he admires her honor. As promised, Arya and her two friends walk right out the gates at midnight. Debt paid.

Back in King’s Landing, Tyrion struggles to prove himself strong while planning to defend the citadel against Stannis Baratheon who is set to arrive in a couple days, but they have only a skeleton crew of fighters left in the citadel. A cocky and overconfident Joffrey plans to face him, though, and give him a crimson smile. Good luck with that.

Even though he knows Joffrey would fail miserably, Tyrion suggests to Cersei that the King head out to the battlefield, but she’ll have none of it. Instead, she comes through on her threat to hurt his love, blackmailing him with his captured “whore.” Trouble is, she has the wrong woman. Oops. I’m not sure you can leverage much with that, Queen.

Probably the most disappointing two minutes in this episode were in Qarth. While Daenerys demands to see her dragons, I’m demanding to see her. In an hour, all we get is two minutes of the Mother of Dragons? Here’s how the formula goes with Daenerys: She has a plan, Jorah begs her not to do it, she stands firm, and he gives in. This week, she convinces him to take her to the House of the Undying to get her dragon children.

The war begins next week. What are you hoping to see? Who do you think will win the Iron Throne?

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. image
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