Game of Thrones‘ season premiere was so much to handle that some of our favorites didn’t get a second of air time. Let’s catch up with Bran, Arya, Jaime, and the others in our recap of “Dark Wings, Dark Words”.
The weeks away from Winterfell were not good to Bran’s boyish adorableness; when we get out first look of the young Stark, he looks more like an emo anime character that you’d see on DeviantART more than one of the heirs to the North.
Bran’s back in his world of crazy dreams — which may or may not be related to his raging teen testosterone — and imagining himself trying to shoot a raven. But then he’s told by some random guy in his dream that he can’t kill the raven because the raven is him and this sounds like something a Chinese philosopher would say rather than a plot line I’m emotionally prepared to follow right now.
Turns out the random guy is Jojen Reed (Thomas Brodie-Sangster). After a parlor trick in which Jojen gets Bran’s direwolf to go from attack mode to affectionate puppy mode, Jojen admits that he and his sister have been looking for Bran. Their fathers were on the same side of the rebellion, though it’s unclear how that makes Bran so in need of friendship.
LOSER: Marital relations
Robb Stark and his lady love Jeyne Westerling are about to get a little tension out when Lord Bolton interrupts with news that everyone in Winterfell was slaughtered and Bran and Rickon remain on the loose. Of course, we know that they’re all good, but Robb and mother Catelyn Stark have to face the reality that more of their kin may very well be dead.
LOSER: Theon Greyjoy, always
Theon Greyjoy is being held captive by some unknown entity. And it doesn’t seem like the fun and breezy kind of captivity that Brienne of Tarth and Jaime Lannister share; no, Theon is getting tortured on the regular, tied up on a rack.
Are we supposed to feel bad for Theon? I’m not sure. He did commit a heel turn on the Stark family so it’s hard to feel a lot of empathy for him yet. But, as is always the case, weeks of torture may help!
The men want to know what Theon took Winterfell. Theon tells them he took Winterfell because he hated the Starks for taking him prisoner — though it doesn’t seem like he actually means it. Then one of the men whispers to Theon that his sister sent him and that he’ll come back to rescue him later that night when everyone’s asleep.
WINNER: Jaime Lannister’s urine
Check out Jaime Lannister’s piss stream. Now that’s a well hydrated stream of urine. For a man under captivity for weeks and currently being taken across Westeros by a giant woman under hostile circumstances, he’s finding a lot of time to get 8 cups of water per day in.
Jaime antagonizes Brienne within an inch of his own life — with the highlight coming when Jaime says that if the Iron Throne were made of cocks, Renly Baratheon would never have gotten off of it.
Lannister and Brienne are spotted by a townie. Lannister urges her to kill him since, if he rats them out, there’s a good chance their journey will come to an end. But Brienne opts to let the man live because she’s got honor or something. Psh.
WINNER: Everything involving Lady Olenna
Lady Olenna Tyrell (Diane Rigg) is the matriarch of the Tyrell family. And she has the gravitas to show for it. Sansa is invited to hang out with her and Margaery for some lemon cakes because that’s a thing people do. But Lady Olenna wants some more facts about Joffrey, asking Sansa for dirt on how he really is. After some prodding, Sansa tells the Tyrells about how Joffrey promised he’d spare her father, Ned, but then beheaded him and made her look at the head on pike.
“He’s a monster,” Sansa finally admits aloud.
But no worries, Margaery will still marry the boy king and Lady Olenna got some cheese and everybody’s happy except Sansa. Her scenes should all be accompanied by a sad trombone.
WINNER: Mother-in-law and daughter-in-law bonding
Catelyn Stark bonds with her new daughter-in-law Jeyne by telling her the story about how she once wished death upon Jon Snow because he was Ned’s bastard son. Then, the next day, he got the mumps and almost died. She felt bad and said she would love him as her own. And then she didn’t. And, according to Catelyn, that’s why all of the bad things that befell the Starks happened. Might be a bit of a stretch there but, hey, whatever helps your martyrdom.
Bit of an overshare, too. Jeyne was just being polite.
What is a warg? Don’t ask Ygritte, like Jon Snow did, otherwise she’ll disgustedly reply, “You’ve never seen a warg?” Really helpful, Ygritte. Thanks.
A warg is someone who can leave their body and inhabit an animal. In this case, the Wildling army has a warg who takes over the body of a crow and uses it to scout the nearby area. And that’s Warg 101.
LOSER: Emotions in subzero temperatures
Samwell Tarly breaks down in the middle of the Night’s Watch’s trek through the area beyond the wall. If Tarly stops, he’ll freeze and die. So, naturally, he stops and starts crying because everyone left him when the White Walkers came. Lord Commander Marmont forbids Tarly from dying as an order. Since Russ, the assholey Night Watch rapist from the first season, was the biggest jerk of all to Tarly, Marmont tells him that of Samwell Tarly dies, he’ll die, too. Russ will certainly take that order well.
WINNER: Shae’s jealousy
Shae comes to Tyrion for help — risking getting skinned as a result of Tywin’s threat last week — and somehow ends up finding out that Tyrion once made sweet sweet love to Littlefinger’s right hand woman, Ros. As she pries for details, Tyrion shuts her down. Shae asks Tyrion for help protecting Sansa but when Tyrion calls her a “beauty,” Shae loses her mind a little and thinks Tyrion wants her for himself. But then the problem is solved by Shae giving Tyrion a beej. Is there anything blowing a midget can’t solve? I’ve yet to see it.
LOSER: Flowers on a King’s robe
King Joffrey is being fitted with a fancy boy outfit for the fancy boy king but he takes great offense to the tailor giving him a fabric with flowers on it. Because if he wore that, then people would think he’s a pussy as opposed to the manly man he truly he is. Of course.
Queen Cersei voices her concerns about Margaery (including the fact that she “dresses like a harlot” — teenage boys hate women who dress like harlots, naturally) but Joffrey’s having none of his mom’s whinnying.
Margaery later goes to see Joffrey prior to him taking a hunting trip. But Joffrey is more focused on her history with Renly Baratheon. Margaery says that every time she tried to make a child with Renly, he had excuses. The only time he suggested lovin’, it would have been in the butt. Oh, that Renly.
Joffrey uses this as an opportunity to discuss how he may want to make homosexuality a crime punishable by death. Floral print robes are in serious trouble. He also entertains the idea of bringing Margaery hunting, to which she asks him if he thinks she could kill. He then has her hold his crossbow and point it at the mirror, looking at himself holding her while she holds a weapon. “This is love,” Joffrey probably thinks to himself. Nothing says romantic destiny quite like a shared interest in murdering things.
WINNER: Girl power
Arya, Gendry and Hot Pie (the fat kid) are continuing their journey to nowhere from Harrenhal when they happen upon a group of wandering men. After an attempt to hide is unsuccessful, Arya tells the men that if they continue on their way, she won’t kill them. It’s an amazing bit of bravado for someone who, in normal society, would be playing the Girl Talk board game. The unidentified men, who are from the Brotherhood without Banners, opt to take them into custody instead.
The Brotherhood feeds the three and, after Arya’s swordwomanship is quickly struck down by the leader of the group named Thoros, he tells them they can go. Up until the Hound is dragged into the bar and points out that Thoros is currently in custody of “a Stark bitch.”
LOSER: Jaime Lannister’s return to swordfighting
After a clever ruse, Jaime Lannister takes Brienne’s sword leading to these two going steel to steel for the first time. But Brienne dispatches him relatively easily given his weakened state — up until some members of House Bolton come upon them, aided by the townie from earlier in the episode who did end up ratting them out. Lannister offers his father’s money to pay for their freedom but to no avail — they’re men of the North and, if they let Lannister go, Robb Stark would take their heads. And so Brienne and Jaime go into captivity.
Another week, another relatively head spinning episode. So many characters to reintroduce, so many plot threads. Sometimes, I think it’d be nice if we got to spend more time with individual characters, sort of like how LOST made it work. But then I think about spending an entire episode of watching Bran get wheeled around while meeting up with vaguely effeminate young men he saw in his dreams and I think, “Yes, this’ll do for now.”
The important thing? Lady Olenna got her cheese. Never forget that.
I want more like this!
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