Game of Thrones: Season 2 episode 3: “What Is Dead May Never Die”

This week’s episode of Game of Thrones, What Is Dead May Never Die, follows all 432 main characters as they deceive and scheme their way through season two. This makes for a tightly packed hour of television while each plot line weaving closer together. Tyrion roots out rats. Arya and Gendrys fates get bleaker. Theon makes a huge decision.  Renly tries lady-sex. Sansa and Shea get thrown together. And Jon Snow somehow gets even nobler.

“The Wildlings serve crueller gods than you or I”

The Nights Watch prepares to leave Craster’s camp as he ordered that they all leave because of Jon’s spy act. We breathe easy to see Jon Snow has survived witnessing the baby sacrifice last week. The Lord Commander approaches as Sam dabs at his bloody face like a nursemaid. Jon tells the Lord Commander what he has seen, completely expecting the man to react the way the late Ned Stark would have but instead he sort of makes a face as if to say “Yeah most of us already figured that out”. He even admits they need men like Craster and therefore this is something he was overlooking. Sigh. I would like to investigate further exactly what the baby was sacrificed to but I suppose we will as Lord Commander told Jon he would most def be seeing that again. Exciting. White Walker just seems so generic a title.
So now the men are kicked off the homestead but not before Sam’s cute meter jumps as he approaches dirty Gilly once again to give her his mothers thimble – you know so she can look after it until he returns. This whole situation is actually amazingly cute. Sam is a coward but he is also one of the few men of Westros that is utterly adorable and sweet by nature.

“Maybe magic was once was a mighty force in the world but not anymore.”

Bran, my personal favorite little pouting prophet, is still dreaming through the eyes of one of his own Direwolf – Summer. We also get some details about this experience such as he feels like he is living through Summer, such as running through the forest, and tasting the blood of a fresh kill.  This whole scene is introduced in a cool first person style shot of Bran’s dreaming eyes through Summer going to wake him up.
Bran informs his current caretaker Luwin of these dreams but Luwin lectures back reacting as though Bran is some attention whoreing child with a fanciful imagination. This further drives the audience to believe Bran’s dreams are anything but just silly dreams. Luwin’s piece of evidence is that all the dragons are gone and all of the giants are dead. He also seems pissed that he totally wanted to be a Jedi and instead he was just a milk farmer. This is his way of showing the lack of magic left in their world – the only problem is that all the dragons are totally not gone as represented by the comet in episode 1. Bran for the win. Bran stares off preparing for bedtime to once again dream.


Renly, late King Roberts’s younger brother, watches two knights battle it out from his perched throne next to his new wife (The lovely Natalie Dormer who I have missed since her stint on The Tudors).  This entire picture is nothing but symbolism forcing the idea that Renly is nothing short of a king even though he has yet to win the Iron throne. The losing knight we find out is a familiar face, Loras, the knight of the flowers, Renly’s lover, as well as the character who pointed out that Renly should be king in the first place – with his family’s moneys help of course. He seemed extra angry to have lost this match, perhaps this is due to the victor revealed to be a woman. A very tall tough looking woman entitled Brienne of Tarth or mockingly called Brienne the Beauty. As her prize she requests a place in Renly’s elite Kings guard. He hesitates as this is a huge deal because no matter how tough she is she still has a vagina and predominantly men are only members of a Kings guard. But Renly, also living an offbeat lifestyle perhaps, says yes even though his lover Loras is practically whining out loud in embarrassment.

This is when Catelyn Stark arrives to negotiate an alliance for Robb. Renly, truly one of the better courtesans’ immediately plays to her and the crowd: “When I take King’s Landing, I will bring you Joffrey’s head!”  Hell, he even won over a few viewers with that gem. Cue Brienne who has been a member of the Kings guard for all of 3 minutes chastises Catelyn for not addressing Renly as “your grace” and kneeling further proving her dedication to him and his kingship. Catelyn reacts to this in what I saw as a complete misstep as she snaps “My son is fighting a war, not playing at one.” This totally doesn’t seem the logical step for an allegiance but whatever. Renly is cool about it and outwardly dismissive of her attitude perhaps truly feeling sorry for her loss. Catelyn goes on to call Renly on him playing this out like a game – the problem is that is totally is a game!! Catelyn stop being dim like Ned. She is right however about one thing: Winter is coming.

“Brides aren’t usually virgins two weeks after their wedding night”
Later on we get the weekly epic dirty sex scene we’ve all grown accustomed to with Game of Thrones except its less lady boobies and more passionate man kissing. Renly and Loras go at it for a few until Loras hurt feelings fly out as he complains about Renly letting Brienne into the Kings guard as a reward for beating him claiming it makes it more embarrassing. He then hits him a bit below the belt as we find out the details of Renly new wife. She is Loras sister Margaery, and most likely part of the deal between Renly and Loras’s family for their help in his bid for the throne. Loras drops the bomb that Renly has yet to sleep with his new wife and his vassals are sniggering at him behind his back. He point blank sends in his sister who proceeds to try her damnedest to excite her new husband who is chugging down wine like it were a lifeline.

Margaery and lady boobies continue her nakey ministrations but the result is dim as Renly blames the wine but she is totally not buying that reinforcing that Margaery is a true new player to this game and she also knows how it is a played. She offers asking her brother to come in to help with such sincerity it’s laughable. As Renly sputters she continues, “He can get you started, I know he wouldn’t mind. Or I can turn over and you can pretend I’m him.” HA! Well isn’t she the best beard ever? I think someone REALLY wants to be queen. She knows their best step forward is her getting pregnant because nothing says King better than already having a male heir.

“Your time with the wolves has made you weak.”

Theon lost his fancy dress and adopted a more dirtied weathered look to try to fit in at home. He bickers with his sister who I actually love as a new character. She didn’t tell him who she was so she could find out what kind of man he is – and she did. HA! Their little awkward conversation is interrupted by daddys entrance to the room. We learn Balen Greyjoys true intentions after his anticlimactic reunion with his son. While Robb Stark is busy fighting the Lannister’s he plans on going after the North. This is the first time I completely buy Theon’s moral confliction. Should he support his warm family who he was sent to assist or his cold brutal family who he was born to? Then making matters worse his sister Yara is getting 30 ships to attack the Northern coast, while he will get 1, called the Sea Bitch no less, to attack fishermen.  Something snaps in Theon. He finally says all the things he has probably ever wanted to say to his father: “You gave me away! Your boy! You gave me away a dog you didn’t want anymore! And now you curse me because I’ve come home! You act like I wanted to go!” How gratifying was that? About as gratifying as it was to see Balen smack him in the mouth for it. Lara doesn’t buy that the Starks are his “other” family. They will attack with or without him.

Later on Theon looks at a letter he wrote of warning about the impeding invasion to Robb, and we watch as his confliction breaks as he seems to make a final decision as he burns said letter. He is then re-baptized in front of his father and sister by something appropriately called the Drowned God. This sounds both badass and just plain bad in that maiming raping theme of the citizens of Pyke. This week’s title is uttered in prayer “What is dead may never die”. I can’t help but feel a personal sadness that Theon’s connection to Robb isn’t as loyal as he probably thought though I never quite trusted him, as his passions are obviously more corrupt than any of the Starks. But will he rise now “harder than before”?

“Remember the Queen mustn’t know”

Shea, who doesn’t not seem able to understand how deadly serious living in the castle is, complains about her hiding out. Tyrion is about as amused as I am. What could he do to remedy this situation? As we all wonder we catch up also with poor Sansa who probably could never has predicted the horrible situation she is currently in when she first learned of her possible queenly future.
As she chews her food robotically with perpetually teary eyes during a forced meal with the Queen and Joffrey’s two younger siblings we truly can feel her depression level deepening. The young children says horrible things with a childlike innocence that forces Sansa to just try to not throw herself out the nearest window such as: When will Joffrey and Sansa be married? Is Joffrey going to kill Sansa’s brother? Cue Sansa gulping down wine as fast as possible.

Later on as Sansa continues to just exist in her demise and sadness in enters brilliant Tyrion’s answer to his situation with Shea. Shea enters her chamber identifying herself as Sansa’s new handmaiden. How intriguing. Will these characters bond? Will Sansa learn more about the world? Will Shea change anything? Or will Sansa ever be able to get through a simple sentence with this woman without having a full on hysterical breakdown? We will have to wait and see.  Poor Sansa.
Next Tyrion improves his position further as in the past he admitted to knowing how the game is played. This week we actually see him demonstrate this in action. With these next actions Tyrion takes the mantle of the Westros player of the week (something he holds nearly every week imo). He pitches the same plan of marrying off Queen Cersei’s daughter Myrcella to one of the other noble houses to strengthen their relations with them to Vary’s (the spider), Littlefinger, and Pycelle. He warns each of them that the Queen must not know (Varys admits he loves conversations that begin that way LOL). This is obviously Tyrion ferreting out whoever is working closely with Queen Cersei and therefore is most responsible for the deaths of the last two King’s Hands.

Next we meet them Cersei has learned of Tyrion’s plan and is predictably fuming. This is something that humanizes Cersei so much you can’t help but feel something for her. No matter how horrible she seems she is just a broken little girl at heart trying desperately to control the situation she is in.  Comically Tyrion just wants to know which House she thinks her daughter is being sent to – Dorne! It means Pycelle was the weak link on the small council. Cersei continues to rage but Tyrion actually makes a lovely point that this might be smartest and safest for the princess as war is steadily approaching the capital. Sigh. I guess we will see. Is the princess really going anywhere because the choice shouldn’t be such a toss up like that. I guess we will see.

Tyrion is confronted next but a jaded Littlefinger who has figured out that he was played. His sensibilities are understandably affronted as well as his greedy nature. Littlefinger wants out of Tyrion’s deception but Tyrion has other ideas. He throws out an idea involving Littlefinger seeing the lovely Lady Stark again. Cue the new Head of the Guard announcing that he’s found Pycelle and he’s with a whore. He of course rushes to go interrupt.
Tyrion next busts old man Pycelle’s little post-sex cuddle. Pycelle reacts initially with his A-game: A sputtering confused old man who has no idea what is actually going on. However, we know from last season that this is at least partially a complete act. Tyrion throws him into the Black cells and proceeds to comically double tip the old grand maesters prostitute who undoubtedly has a shit stick in life. As for the “Black Cells” I imagine are like the “Sky Cells” being wicked horrible and therefore awesome.


The next scene completely stood out to be both in tone, dialogue, spectacular acting, and all around production value. Tyrion sits with Varys as they trade lines of slightly loaded dialogue back and forth in exchanges echoing in truths.
Varys refers to Shea as their mutual friend in Sansa’s service. He goes on to admit Tyrion’s treatment with Pycelle was “well played” but asks if he should be worried: “The small council grows smaller everyday”. Tyrion just wishes to not follow Ned Stark to the grave. Varys answers, “Power is a curious thing my lord. Are you fond of riddles?” – “Why? Am I about to hear one?” Tyrion snarks back.
“Three great men sit in a room. A King. A Priest. And a rich man. Between them stands a common sellsword. Each of the great ones bids him slay the other two. Who lives? Who dies?” Varys questions seeming to get to root of Tyrion’s moral being and character.
“Depends on the sellsword” Tyrion says, echoing back to him questions his own new head guard in a previous episode if he would kill a child for him. “He has a sword. The power of life and death.”
“But if its swordsmen who rule, why do we pretend kings hold all the power? When Ned Stark lost his head who was truly responsible? Joffrey? The executioner? Or something else?” Varys questions looking more triumphant.
“I have decided I don’t like riddles’ Tyrion announces.
“Power resides where men believe it resides. It’s a trick. It’s a shadow on the wall. And a very small man can cast a very large shadow.” Varys continues, his eyes gleaming as if he has won something. They continue to casually sip their wine as the scene ends.

“I buried an axe so deep in Wilhelm’s skull they had to bury him with it”

Arya is up late polishing Needle and ends having a lovely exchange with Yoren – who essentially has been her savoir since her fathers beheading.  Arya has a restless mind and cant sleep. Yoren offers her some of his booze; she rejects it because of the taste truly showing her age. Yoren seems genuinely tickled at that. Arya asks him a sort of heartbreaking question “How do you sleep? – You’ve seen things. Horrible things. – How do you sleep when you have those things in your head?” Poor Arya for all her blusters and legit balls she is a little girl who essentially listened to her father get brutally killed. Yoren goes on to tell his origins story of her entrance into the Nights Watch, which involved saying his brother’s killers name before bedtime like a prayer every night. Yoren is so badass from his knife play in the last episode to his early season bonding with Tyrion the great scene-stealer. For these reasons the rest of this episode takes a truly sad tone.
An alarm sounds. The Kings troops are back with more men as promised and they even offer Yoren a chance to give up Gendry again. He predictable says no and they unleashes on him. He is shot with an arrow and growls, “I’ve always hated crossbows” LOL. He goes on to fight bloody tooth and nail but alas it is not enough as he gets one of the more awesome warrior deaths of Game of Thrones.
Arya and Gendry are captured next and everyone asked to finally give up Gendry. Arya being quick and clever says they have already killed him as she points out a boy who was unfortunate enough to take Gendry helmet.

Next week Littlefinger visits Renly – I wonder if Catelyn is still there. Dany and Joras still look hungry and dirty along with some bit about “a garden of bones”. Sansa is called to court to answer for “her brothers treason” according to Joffrey – the prig. And Renly informs Stannis that is a big ole wet blanket. I cannot wait!


Bonus by Adam….please let this be a real thing some day…..


~ by ATOM on April 16, 2012.

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