Game of Thrones: Season 2 Episode 2: The Nights Lands

“The men leave all scared but vowing to return to attack – later and with more men. You know if you actually wanted that to work shouldn’t they have not mentioned that last bit? ”
This article will review and recap the second episode of season two of Game of Thrones, “The Night Lands”.  When other shows open with such a heavy season two opener it is always difficult to keep that level of intrigue and excitement for episode two. This episode however completely exceeds expectations.

ARYA ON THE RUN
We pick up with Arya Stark still masking her female identity on the Kings road. A cage of men being transported to Castle Black houses troublemakers. One man seeming more polite and calm named Jaqen, asks Arya for water. He also talks in the third person which only cool people do so lets keep an eye on him.
The other two prisoners are essentially jerks though (“A man does not choose his companions,” –Jaqen), so Aria pokes at them with a stick. Gendry passes mocking her for her actions and admits he is scared of them. (LOL)
This is interrupted by some Lannister-powered guards (Gold Cloaks) arriving. Yoren, of the Nights Watch addresses them in an unintimidated badass manner. As Aria informs Gendry that the men are there for her, they reveal that they are in fact there for Gendry. Poor Gendry has no idea why – but we do as the last episode ended with the mass killing of all of Robert Baratheons bastards and potential heirs to the throne in cold blood and Gendry is indeed one of these bastards.  However Yoren threatens the men in every way possible from cutting ones femoral artery to boosting his priorities in the morning lie between sharpening his knife with breakfast.
The men leave all scared but vowing to return to attack – later and with more men. You know if you actually wanted that to work shouldn’t they have not mentioned that last bit?

TYRION THE AMAZING
Back in Kings Landing, Tyrion enters his chambers whistling his hearts content, but stops when he finds Shea chatting with Vary, the Eunuch. This is alarming in a sense because she is not supposed to be there – because Tyrion recognizes the dangers of being the King’s Hand that poor Ned Stark recognized all too late. Shea said she met Tyrion in his father’s kitchens (LOL). The dialogue heats up with these three characters collective wits:
Tyrion: You should taste her fish pie.
Shae: I don’t think Lord Vary’s likes fish pie.
Varys: How can you tell?
Shae: I can always tell.
Tyrion: Men like Lord Varys and I can’t let our disadvantages get the best of us. We’ll make a fisherman of him yet.
My mind buzzes in harmony at the extreme word play and several meanings fly around in the conversation. Vary plays his ace card: knowing Shea had not been wanted there. Tyrion actually drops the act, acknowledges the threat, and throws a fast ball right back at the Eunuch: “I’m not Ned Stark … I understand the way this game is played.”
Later at a small council meeting Cersei tears up Rob Starks latest peace proposal in the most dramatic queenly fashion. Tyrion quips, “You’ve perfected the art of tearing up paper”.

NORTH OF THE WALL IN THE LAND OF WIFEY DAUGHTERS
We travel back north of the wall to check in with Jon and the Nights watch. They are wrapped up in an important conversation about whether or not you fart when you die. Some deep stuff.
Ghost, Jon Snows red-eyed dire wolf, who also looks waaay better than his brother Rob’s in my opinion, is scaring one of Crasters wife-daughters – Gilly. Sam approaches and comically shoos Ghost away. He bashfully apologizes to her and says he wanted to make sure she wasn’t hurt. Her face contorts in a manner that screams no one has ever spoken to her quite so nicely. She even goes so far to call Sam brave (LOL).  Sam heart grows in size and he brings Gilly to Jon for help because she is in trouble. Sam sort of approaches the situation like she is a cat and not a very female human whose trouble is being very pregnant. Jon insists they cannot steal one of Crasters women but Sam always a sweetheart boosts they cannot steal her because she is a person and not a goat. Aww

THE RED WASTE LOOKS SO NOT FUN
We quickly get caught up with dragony Dany to see she is still in the desert, still miserable, still slowly starving to death, and waiting for her scouts to return. A horse returns belonging to one of her favorite bloodriders Rakharo, the blood of her blood. The problem is that the only part of Rakharo that returned was just his bloody head in a sack. She vows to build him to funeral pyre – thought I’m guessing it’s going to have to be a small one.

PYKE, A NEW LOCATION, A NEW INCESTUOUS ODDITY
We arrive at the cold, hard, wet Iron Islands. The birthplace of Stark ward, Theon Greyjoy. Years ago Lord Greyjoy had rebelled against King Robert Baratheon in an attempt to establish independence for the Iron Islands and Pyke. The rebellion was put down and Lord Balon Greyjoy was ordered to send his only surviving son to Ned Stark as a ward/hostage. Robert Stark agreed to let Theon return home to ask his father to help in the Stark’s fight with the Lannisters.
Theon while on a boat to his birthplace we have some pretty steamy boat cabin sex between him and the captains homely daughter. We learn of his expectation for glorious arrival home and of the girl’s expectation to be taken with him. Both of these notions are wildly out of proportion. The girl complains her father will call her a whore and Theon quips that he hasn’t paid her. Then begins his patented long humping style of lovemaking that always leaves the women he is with look unbelievably bored. This was first seen between him and Ros before she made her journey to Kings Landing in the first season. Speaking of Ros…

LITTLEFINGER AND HIS SEXUAL OPERA
Back at Little fingers brothel we get a set-up that I actually needed to watch to understand completely. Lets break it down: First there is prostitute A riding Customer A. In another room we find Customer B receiving oral sex from prostitute with load clanking earrings B.  Customer B is also watching couple A through a peephole. Then in another room we find Littlefinger watching couple B through another peephole. I wonder where we, as viewers, sit in this chain of voyeurism. This whole thing is interrupted by a different costumer lewdly complaining that his whore is crying and therefore ruining his whole experience. Suddenly prostitute B appears with some Customer Bs you know what running down her chin. Littlefinger wipes her mouth out of sight and then presents her to the complaining customer – they seal the deal in a wicked lusty gross kiss. Thanks Game of Thrones for constantly reinventing way to make me squirm.
Littlefinger enters the other chamber to find a still crying Ros. She, like the audience, is very upset about last week vicious baby killing. After giving her a dark intimidating lecture about another sad prostitute he ending up selling to some horrible patron for some sort of experimentation he gives her the day off the mourn the baby. What a guy!

BACK TO THE BEST HAND EVERZ
Tyrion is dining with Janos Slynt, head of the guard. He questions him concerning the brutal baby killing last week as well as the slaying of Ned Stark’s men last season. Slynt flips his shit spouting off about his honor. Tyrion quips,  “I’m not questioning your honor. I am denying its existence.”
Tyrion always being the smartest person in the room is once again using Ned Stark’s mistakes and improving his own standing. He sneaks Janos onto a ship to join the Nights Watch while also bringing on his friend Bronn in his place as the new leader of the City Guard / Gold Cloaks.  Tyrion asks Bronn if he would follow orders to kill a baby. Bronn says he would ask how much.  My favorite part of this scene is right at the end when as a viewer I realize I have no idea, which answer Tyrion wanted to hear. Perhaps he doesn’t either.

ARIA AND GENDRY SHOULD GET THEIR OWN BUDDYCOP SHOW
Back on the King’s road, there is argument going on between some kids bound for the wall about what constitutes as a battle. Also increasing a sort of camaraderie between Aria and Gendry.
He reveals that he knows she’s a girl and she ends up revealing her true identity as a lady. This scene is comical and uncharacteristically bright for this show bringing a true smile to my face. Aria also further questions him regarding why the Gold Cloaks are after him. She seems to ponder this. I am hoping she will eventually put it together much like the other Stark children of demonstrated excellent deduction skills.

THEON IS LESS THE HEIR APARENT AND MORE THE PUNCHLINE
Theon arrives to a bunch of sailors looking extremely confused and unimpressed by him. And as usual the harder Theon tries to impress people the less they are. Laughable and awesome.  A Sassy young women ends up offering to give him a ride to his father. He of course gropes her. She looks amused in a way that will make much more sense in a few minutes. In the castle Theon’s father Balon is in a word: cold. He décor however (stone octopus fireplace!!) is effing amazing. Balon critiquezes Theon’s fancy dress accuses him of becoming a Stark, and rejects helping in the fight. Suddenly Theon looks positively sunny next to his unfair dreary father. Enter the same sassy girl from earlier and we learn she is Theon’s SISTER?!! On Game of Thrones you always come out swinging. Yara, might be one of my favorite new faces this season as we barely know her and she already looks like someone I would want to hang out with in a completely platonic way. Theon is upstaged again and it sort of lovely. His father seems proud of her and says she will lead his armies. My question is to where?!?!

KINGS LANDING SIBLING SPATS
Cersei is pissed at Tyrion to getting rid of Janos. Tyrion tries to explain that this if for her benefit. We also find out that it was not her who ordered the extinction of all the heirs to the thrones last week but my favorite baddy King Joffrey. Cersei still expresses anguish feeling that it has all been left up to her. “It’s all fallen on me” she sighs and Tyrion quips back “So has Jamie, repeatedly, according to Stannis Baratheon.” Unlike other fights when his wit has caught her off guard this time she prepared. She says Tyrion has always been funny, like when their mother died giving birth to him. “There’s no bigger joke in the world than that,” she claims. Ouch.

DRAGONSTONE AND PIRATE!FUN
Davos, a smuggler turned main man to King Stannis, and his devote son are enlisting the help of a pirate and new character Salladhor Saan. He is in a word: Fabulous. Part of the pirate booty he is demanding is sex with Queen Cersei. He also seems to think he could convince to her to have consensual sex with him. Salladhor has game everyone! He must if he thinks he can get up all in that without sharing a surname with her.
In the castle, Stannis is looking at his gorgeous war room map table awesome thing. He is visibly upset that he cannot beat his brother in war. His sorceress, miss red hair magic lady, Melisandre, says if he wishes to win he must give ALL of himself to her god. Even Stannis looks tired at the mention of her god but his mindset changes after some well-placed words, soft touches, and her getting naked. They have sex on the map table thing knocking all the (game) pieces onto the floor. Visual and a half.

NORTH OF WALL WITH THE EVER NOBLE JON SNOW
Jon wakes in the middle of the night spying Craster taking a newly born baby (probably from poor Gilly) into the woods in the dead of night. He follows only making the audience love him more. We find the baby being taken by… something?! A walk-walker? A wilding? Giant? Mel brooks? The Simpsons? I’m guessing one of the first two.
We do not see more as we have the scene end as Craster sneaks up catching Jon and clocking him. And credits. I love this show.

-Sagebeth

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~ by ATOM on April 9, 2012.

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