tv review – HBO’s Game Of Thrones, episode 4.2

What’s it with Game Of Thrones and weddings? ‘The Lion And The Rose’ was about the union of King Joffrey and Lady Margaery and, after that, the wedding reception. One that didn’t end well… for Joffrey. Because, let’s be honest here, many people at home probably applauded his fate. He had it coming, that little sadistic creep. After an afternoon of being an absolute douche, insulting wedding guests, performers but mostly his uncle Tyrion, King Joffrey was poisoned, after which he choked to death bleeding from the nose. That sure looked like a slow and painful way to go, and us Game Of Thrones viewers wouldn’t have had it any other way. Unfortunately for Tyrion, he’s the one who’s now suspected of killing his nephew, because Joffrey pointed at him in his last moments and Cersei ordered the King’s Guard to capture him. Can’t Tyrion catch a break, already?

This George R.R. Martin-penned episode opened with that other evil sadist Ramsay Snow hunting a girl through the woods. He and lady friend Myranda chased her down, shot an arrow through her leg and then Ramsay set the dogs loose on her, and they ripped her apart. Why? Because Myranda had felt threatened by the girl. “No so pretty now,” Myranda casually remarked as the dogs had their way. It was cruel, twisted and random, the act of monsters. Along for the ride was Reek, the obedient servant Theon Greyjoy has become after Ramsay’s ongoing torture and mutilation, who, later on in the episode, confessed to his master, Lord Bolton and Locke (the guy who took Jaime’s hand) that the Stark boys were still alive. He did so while shaving Ramsay with a straight razor, because Ramsay wanted to show his father just how docile Reek was. Theon gave a clean shave, but didn’t even cut Ramsay, who went on to gloat about it. Now, the hunt for Brandon and Rickon Stark has been opened by Lord Bolton, who sent Ramsay, Locke and Reek after them. Those Stark boys and company better get a move on, because right now they’re still alone in the woods, underfed and powerless. Bran did have some nifty visions though; it’ll be interesting to see where those lead him.

To get back to Tyrion: poor guy. First he has to pretend he doesn’t care when he ships of his loved one to keep her safe, then he had to take all the insults Joffrey lobbed at him, and now he’s being accused of being a king slayer himself, not unlike his brother. It’s obvious Tyrion didn’t poison Joffrey’s wine, but the question who did is on everyone’s mind now. I suspect Lady Olenna Tyrell myself, but I’m sure we will find out who’s the guilty party soon enough. Let’s just hope Tyrion makes it out of all this okay. Will Sansa or Bronn or Jaime or all three come to his aid? One would hope so. Bronn and Jaime, now trainer and trainee, are a great pairing and more time devoted to those two can only be a good thing. As a side note: I wouldn’t be surprised if we willl see more of Littlefinger next week, now that Sansa’s all alone.

All of the above made ‘The Lion And The Rose’ an at times tense or uneasy joy to watch. I keep having trouble feeling invested in Stannis’ story though. This week saw him torch people to sacrifice to the Lord of Light, because morale is dangerously low and he himself and his people are in need of a change of luck. After a discussion with his wife about their daughter, he sent Melisandre to talk to her and maybe convert her to his religion, but that was all this plot strand had to offer. It was there to let us know there are still things going on at Stannis’, but other than that the time spent there wasn’t of any significance. It was a bit dull, merely a distraction in the grander scheme of things.

‘The Lion And The Rose’ was a crowd-pleasing episode. It’s safe to say that, right now, all the interesting stuff happens over at King’s Landing. Let’s hope the other storylines start firing on all cylinders soon too. 8/10

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