TV

Let’s All Pray To Game Of Thrones’ God Of Tits And Wine

The other night's episode, recapped. Boobs and burning leeches lie within.

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Welcome to our weekly Game Of Thrones column; this week, we have Mel Campbell filling in for Caitlin Welsh on Season Three, Episode Eight: ‘Second Sons’. If spoilers are not a thing you want, be gone!

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“I am the god of tits and wine!”, miserable Tyrion Lannister slurs at his wedding feast. This is the one occasion in Tyrion’s life that Tywin wants his younger son to get laid. So it’s another kind of rebellion against his dad — as well as being a good guy, seeing as Sansa clearly doesn’t want him and is only frickin’ 14 — that leads Tyrion to pass out on a couch instead.

Tits and wine are somewhat of a theme (rather than just an ever-present motif) in an episode about younger sons with much and more to prove. But first, a spin-off late-night chat show where gruff men show angry little Arya Stark their loquacious side! Last season, Night’s Watch recruiter Yoren confided his innermost secrets to her, while Tywin Lannister shared his warcraft. More recently, she’s been sassing Beric Dondarrion.

And tonight’s special guest on My God Is Death doesn’t think you’ve got the guts to brain him with a rock! This second son slew innocent boys and deserted his liege lord, yet he’s touchingly afraid of fire and rescued your sister from gang rape. There’s no one worse than him, except perhaps his big brother Gregor ‘The Mountain’… Please put your sulkiest face on for Sandor ‘The Hound’ Clegane!

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In the desert outside Yunkai, Daenerys Targaryen is entertaining some other Second Sons with wine, if not with tits. Mero, commander of this sellsword company, is an especially cartoonish misogynist in a TV series full of them. It’s not just his constant sex talk; his favourite whore’s underboobelicious outfit makes Princess Leia’s slave bikini look Amish.

To his face, Daenerys remains impressively polite, merely ordering Ser Barristan to kill Mero first. Luckily, Daario Naharis does the job for her, delivering his bosses’ severed heads (poor, blameless lieutenant Prendahl na Ghezn!) and copping a good look at Daenerys naked. His oath of allegiance is shot through a filmy lattice, as if being watched by someone outside; I doubt Ser Jorah will take to this hunky newcomer.

I found Daario’s long-awaited appearance distinctly underwhelming. In the novels, Daario has serious swag: gold teeth, blue Tyroshi hair, three-pronged beard, constantly fondling the twin sexy-lady hilts of his swords. I was imagining someone like Inigo Montoya. Instead, actor Ed Skrein looks disconcertingly like Nicholas Hoult in a wig. He does have a good way with a smirk, though.

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Back at Tyrion and Sansa’s sideshow wedding, everyone else is drunk on schadenfreude. Joffrey humiliates Tyrion during the ceremony by stealing his step stool. It’s a pity his smug face is too far away to slap. Later, he informs Sansa that he’ll be raping her later, since it doesn’t matter which Lannister knocks her up. (So, does Joffrey know his true, twincestuous parentage? Officially, he’s a Baratheon.)

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Joffrey and his little turd grin.

Meanwhile, Cersei treats Margaery to a potted history of the unfortunate House Reyne. “Aren’t the Tyrells the second wealthiest family in Westeros now?” Well, since the Tyrells’ wealth lies in fertile farmland rather than being locked up in gold, they might actually be wealthier than the Lannisters. But in case that threat was too subtle, Cersei also promises to have Margaery strangled in her sleep if she dares call her ‘sister’ again.

Margaery’s right, though: the Lannisters and Tyrells are becoming increasingly entangled, like Hatfields and McCoys, and the Queen of Thorns is in her element. Not Loras, though. When he tries a conciliatory platitude on his future bride, Cersei nips it in the bud with a brutal, “Nobody cares what your father once told you.” Sick burn!

Speaking of ‘sick burn’, at Dragonstone, Red Hot Chili Pepper lady Melisandre is indulging in a spot of blood sugar sex magik with young, studly Gendry. Tits and wine seem to be Melisandre’s two key means of handling her lamb to the Lord of Light’s slaughter. As he sips his amazing wine, she tells him, “You only need a tongue to tell the difference.” And the leeches she unleashes (having first rendered Gendry appropriately tumescent with blood) look disconcertingly tongue-like as they writhe about on him as Melisandre herself had, just seconds earlier. This intriguing plotline is new to the TV series; I’m keen to see where the writers take it.

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I also love the pained look on Stannis’s face as he barbecues the final leech, representing Joffrey (was it the ‘dick leech’?). He doesn’t like this any more than his newly liberated moral conscience Ser Davos does, but they’ve both seen with their own eyes that Melisandre gets results. And when you’re king — which Stannis also didn’t particularly want — you have to prevent a coming apocalypse by any means necessary.

The really apocalyptic stuff is happening north of the Wall, where Samwell Tarly’s new loyalties inspire an epic act of bravery. Turns out dragonglass daggers do to the Others what liquid nitrogen and a quip-driven bullet do to the T-1000. So why did Sam and Gilly leave the dagger behind as they fled, pursued by ravens? They’ll regret that.

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Mel Campbell is a freelance journalist and cultural critic. She is the founding editor of online pop-culture magazine The Enthusiast and the national film editor of the Thousands network of city guides. Her debut book, Out of Shape: Debunking Myths about Fashion Sizing and Fit, will be published in June 2013 by Affirm Press.