Recap: This Week On Game Of Thrones – Tyrionator 2: Judgment Day
All this episode was missing was some Guns N' Roses.
This is a recap of the most recent episode of Game of Thrones. Spoiler alert.
The survivors of the War of the Five Kings called it Judgment Day. They lived only to face a new nightmare: the war against the Lannisters.
Cersei Lannister’s mission: to destroy her hated dwarf brother Tyrion. Her first plot was to strike at Tyrion during the Battle of the Blackwater, while Tyrion was the unexpectedly successful Hand of the King. It failed.
The second plot was set to falsely convict Tyrion of murdering his nephew King Joffrey. As before, the resistance was able to send a lone warrior, a protector for Tyrion. It was just a question of which one of them would reach him first.
In the peaceful Meereen hinterland, a goatherd and his young son are, well, doing their thang with some seriously cute goats… or as Drogon calls them, “lunch”. Look, when you play the game of goats, you win or you die.
As I predicted, Daenerys’s dragons are beginning to assert their nature, but their mother seems to think paying off peasants who present charred skulls in her throne room is not a hectic red flag, but just part of being a good queen.
Dany is also discovering that her righteous tit-for-tat justice isn’t going down too well with Meereen’s remnant ruling class, as foxy local nobleman Hizdahr zo Loraq petitions her to bury his crucified father.
From the look on her face, Dany would much rather sneer, “He’s not my father, Hizdahr,” and zoom off to the Meereen Galleria on her moped with her mullet-sporting pal Ser Jorah, Guns N’ Roses blaring. I got the impression this isn’t the first time Hizdahr has shown up in her throne room… and it definitely won’t be the last.
As Yara Greyjoy revs up her ironborn raiding party to free her brother from Dreadfort State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, the showrunners are indulging in a truly gratuitous intercut sex scene that makes no thematic sense but hey, let’s show another closeup of a woman’s arse, and look, Iwan Rheon looks pretty nice topless and spattered in blood.
But when Yara arrives, she’s horrified to discover a shapeshifter wielding knives and stabbing weapons has taken the form of Theon, turning him into a gibbering mess. Reek raises the alarm, convinced this is another of Ramsay’s tricks. (Poor Reek; he’s been tricked so many times.) Yara manages to fight off several Boltons before Ramsay releases the hounds and she has to say, “I’ll be back.”
“Is Wolfie okay?” ask the ironborn guys who were waiting back at the boat.
Yara boards grimly. “My brother is dead.”
But the shapeshifter has plans for his Reek. Now he will have to morph into someone he’s not… Theon Greyjoy.
Meanwhile, Stannis has sailed to the Free City of Braavos — it was awesome to see this new CGI location, with its famous Titan bestriding the harbour entrance. He’s here to convince the Iron Bank to bankroll him rather than Tommen. We already know how screwed the Lannisters would be if they lose this fiscal lifeline.
“Come with me if you want to get your money back,” Stannis says. But there’s no fooling smug bastard banker Tycho Nestoris, who clearly sees Stannis as the hopeless, fulminating loser he is. I wonder if anyone has ever told Stannis this to his face, let alone with such unctuous bluntness.
But then Ser Davos saves the day in a moment of gruff triumph. “Beggin’ your pardon, I think it’s a problem for now.”
Tycho listened while Ser Davos laid it all down: the Lannisters, Judgment Day, the history of things to come. It’s not every day you find out that you’re responsible for three million deaths. He took it pretty well… as did the pirate Salladhor Saan. Easy money! Those bathhouse whores weren’t digging his corny jokes, anyway.
In King’s Landing, word has reached the Lannisters that Daenerys is actually a formidable threat — and she’s only been helped by Cersei’s rash firing of Ser Barristan. That buffoon Mace Tyrell has a smug expression to rival Tycho Nestoris. He actually thinks it’s a status symbol that Tywin sends him packing to fetch stationery. Chill out, dickwad.
Prince Oberyn is treating this Small Council meeting with the contempt it deserves — the only really competent people at this table are Lord Tywin and Varys. And he must sense that Varys is the real boss around here, because he seeks him out later in the throne room. (For a supposed spymaster, Varys is pretty obvious about spending his downtime standing around staring covetously at the Iron Throne.)
Oberyn may be smart enough to identify Varys’s origins in Lys, but as a well-travelled pleasure-seeker, he simply does not know how to relate to an asexual person. “I know now why you fuck, but it’s something I can never do,” says Varys.
Varys’s public betrayal of Tyrion at his ridiculously rigged murder trial is a blow. Tyrion believed that, of all the dickwads at court, Varys understood how magnificently Tyrion had turned around the shit sandwich that was being appointed Joffrey’s Hand of the King. But putting aside Varys’s personal admiration of Tyrion, perhaps it’s in the eunuch’s long, long game plan to make sure the realm is being governed poorly, not shrewdly.
And Tyrion was an awesome Hand. Let’s revisit how he saved the day and outsmarted his sister at every turn. He dispatched corrupt City Watch commander Janos Slynt to the Wall (where he’s now making Jon Snow’s life difficult). He saved Sansa Stark from being cruelly beaten by sadistic Kingsguard Ser Meryn Trant. After realising the doddery lecher Grand Maester Pycelle was Cersei’s creature, Tyrion banished him to the black cells. Tyrion is actually the one who offered the Martells a seat on the Small Council as reward for keeping Princess Myrcella safe in Dorne. He brought in the much-needed Tyrell funding by brokering Joffrey’s marriage to Margaery. And it was Tyrion’s master plan with the chains and the wildfire that saw the crown win the Battle of the Blackwater.
Now, seeing these idiots telling flat-out lies about him (“Thank you, your Grace, for your brave testimony,” says gormless Lord Mace to Cersei, as his own children Margaery and Loras roll their eyes), Tyrion manages to keep his cool. But he has a fatal weakness. It’s the reason he once told Cersei that her joy would turn to ashes in her mouth. It’s Shae!
Now his father and sister have mercilessly turned Tyrion’s love against him, Tyrion loses his shit in a satisfyingly rage-soaked speech, demanding a trial by combat just as he did at the Eyrie in season one. What will become of Jaime’s bargain with his dad now? I guess we’ll have to wait until Tyrionator 3: Rise of the Machinations.
Game of Thrones airs on Showcase at 3.30pm on Mondays, fast-tracked from the US.
Mel Campbell is a freelance journalist and cultural critic, and author of the book Out of Shape: Debunking Myths about Fashion and Fit. She blogs on style, history and culture at Footpath Zeitgeist and tweets at @incrediblemelk.
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