Friday, March 30, 2012

Phantom Recap: Game of Thrones Season 1 - Part 2

Warning: There’s a lot of nasty talk in this article and there may even be a couple of pictures of vaginas. Certainly some breasts will show up. And I threw in a dong for the ladies. Or dudes, if that’s your thing.
Part 2 (Continued from yesterday)

Jon and Tyrion arrive at The Wall to discover that The Brotherhood is no longer as noble a group as it once was. It is now comprised of murderers, rapists (referred to as “rapers” throughout Game of Thrones, something that should not make me laugh but does), and thieves who had to choose between death or dismemberment and The Wall. Nobody really wants to do it anymore, so The Brotherhood has an agent – Yoren – who travels the Kingdoms looking for “recruits”. Because of this, Jon is the very best of the new recruits, but is told the only reason for this is his fortunate upbringing. Chastened, he decides to help the other recruits learn. We also learn that The Brotherhood is well aware of the increasing nefarious activity north of The Wall. 

They ask Tyrion to return to King’s Landing and ask for more men to man the outpost. 

Then Tyrion pees off of the top of The Wall and tells Jon that he’s a bastard and should be proud of it. Or something to that effect. Whatever the case, there is Mutual Respect afterward.

Across the Narrow Sea that prick Viserys decides his sister is getting just a little too big for her britches and confronts her in a clearing. He slaps her once before one of the horse people wraps a whip around his throat and chokes the shit out of his punk ass. 

It’s worth noting that Daenerys doesn’t exactly jump to her brother’s defense. She is clearly getting sick of his shit.

We then find out that Daenerys is pregnant with Drogo’s child. She tells him and everybody is happy except Jorah, who acts a little weird and leaves the camp.

Back in King’s Landing Ned is investigating the final days of the last King’s Hand and finds out that the king has a bastard son who works as an apprentice blacksmith. At the same time he is coerced into holding a tournament to cheer up the people (or something) despite the fact that the kingdom is currently in deep debt to Tywin Lannister (the patriarch of the family) and can’t afford it.

At the tournament we are introduced to a massive knight called The Mountain, who happens to be The Hound’s brother. Baelish tells Sansa the story of how The Hound got his horrible burn scars when The Mountain held his head in a fire after finding his younger brother playing with one of his toys. I cannot imagine this information is going to benefit Sansa, as Baelish cautioned her that the mere mention of the incident in The Hound’s presence would likely result in death. Then again, maybe she could convince that little shit Joffrey to say something about it.

Jon is training at The Wall when a new recruit is brought in. His name is Sam and all you need to know is that he is a stereotypical fat kid. Almost Ralph Wiggum in a tabard. Everybody beats him up and makes fun of him because he is a self-professed coward (almost ensuring some massive act of bravery later in the show that will probably result in his death) until Jon comes to his defense. It’s actually a pretty cool scene when everybody refuses to beat on Sam in front of the trainer.

We catch up with Tyrion stopping at Winterfell on his way back home. Robb is in charge while Ned and Catelyn are away and is in on the suspicion that Tyrion had something to do with the attempt on Bran. Tyrion, however, knows nothing of this and doesn’t understand the cold reception. But he’s there for a specific reason. 

He presents Robb with plans for a special saddle that will allow Bran to ride horseback and a plan to train a young horse to work with Bran and be trained to his needs. Tyrion goes on to say that due to his stature he has a soft spot for cripples, bastards, and broken things; explaining his fondness for Jon Snow and Bran in his current state.

Across the Narrow Sea the Dothraki army has arrived at their capitol. Viserys once again confronts Daenerys about her place in things. She tries to placate him, but he is a total douchnozzle and decides to hit her again. Daenerys has finally started to realize just how much power she has and that she isn’t going to take that bullcrap anymore, so she knocks her brother on his ass and tells him the next time he raises a hand to her will be the last time he has hands and the whole audience goes, “Fuck yeah!” 

Later, Jorah confides to Daenerys that he thinks Viserys is kind of a shit and probably wouldn’t be a good king, and besides; the people don’t really give a crap who is king. As long as they’re not starving it really doesn’t matter to them. Worrying about who’s king is a total First World problem, right?

Back in Westeros Catelyn and her party have stopped at an inn on the last leg of their journey back to Winterfell keep. She’s still trying to maintain a low profile and has her hood up and stuff because by now they’re back in a region where everybody knows her name. I don’t think she’s in the Cheers of Winterfell or anything, but she is pretty much back home. But then Tyrion and Yoren and their party show up and Tyrion pretty much immediately sees Catelyn and makes a show of pointing her out. But then Catelyn – who is convinced at this point that Tyrion is the one responsible for the assassination attempt – stands and makes this speech that would have been so fucking rad if she weren’t completely wrong. She recognizes and calls upon pretty much every dude in the inn. They have all sworn fealty to House Stark and she knows them and their lives. She then directs them to take Tyrion into custody for the attempted assassination of Bran Stark and they all draw their swords simultaneously and Tyrion’s all like, “Oh, fuck me.”

Okay, I need to mention a few characters I’ve left out. There’s Theon, who is a sort of ward of Ned Stark. He’s from another family that got decimated somehow or other. I think the Starks might have had something to do with it, but I’m not sure. But it seems like Theon had been raised almost as another son. Then there’s Ros the whore, who is the requisite hot redhead. She’s Theon’s favorite whore, but has spent some time with Tyrion as well. She likes her some Tyrion. Illyrio is a rich guy who was housing Daenerys and Viserys when we first met them. I’m not even sure what his relation is to anything, but he’s got money and is involved in all the intrigue in King’s Landing, as we’ll soon see. Lastly, there’s the Cassels, whose names I couldn’t remember until I looked them up (I’m lousy with names and often can’t even remember secondary characters’ names until later seasons of a show). Jory Cassel is Ned Stark’s main man and his father Rodrik is pretty much the Man-At-Arms of the Stark household. They’re both badasses and Rodrik has these super-long sideburns that he sometimes ties together under his chin.

So let’s talk about Ros the whore since she’s obviously my favorite character (okay, not really. But kind of). Theon’s finishing up with her and they get into a conversation about Tyrion. Ros mentions that Tyrion is a pretty good lay – because that’s what you do with a paying client, taunt him – and Theon gets all mopey. Speaking of mopey, Bran is bummed out with good reason. But the guy who teaches the Stark children decides to train Bran to use a bow and arrows from horseback, which is pretty sweet.

I really like that this show is providing clear direction for the children. We can see all of them growing and progressing and as an audience are prompted to make guesses about their futures. I have theories about what the Stark children are going to be doing years from now. And the young actors are all outstanding. Every one. Bran at his saddest is not an annoying shit like Carl on The Walking Dead. Joffrey is an annoying shit and I hate him, but that’s because he is supposed to be and the actor playing him is outstanding. I think all of these kids have very bright futures if they can avoid Staying Awake (™ Belligerent Monkey 2012).
Catelyn has decided to take the captive Tyrion to her sister to stand trial. I’m not quite clear on why, but I’m sure there’s a good reason. Early on somebody advises her that her sister is nuts ever since her husband died. You see, Catelyn’s sister is Lysa Arryn, the widow of the last King’s Hand. She now lives in one of the most awesome castles I have ever seen – the Eyrie. 

It’s a beautiful, majestic castle that is perched at the top of an isolated spire and seems from some angles almost to be floating in the sky. On the way there Catelyn’s party is attacked by a bunch of robbers and Tyrion ends up saving Catelyn’s life. Oddly, she still takes him to the Eyrie. I guess it’s not that odd, it just goes against the typical TV formula.

Once they arrive at the Eyrie it turns out that Lysa isn’t nuts, she’s really nuts. The first thing we see is


Lysa breast feeding her son, Robin. 

What’s that you say? Why is that so gross? I mean, breast feeding is totally natural and good and don’t be so immature, right? I mean, Lysa even has a pretty nice-looking boob. Except Robin is like ten years old and AAAAAAAAAGGGGGH:

Oh fuck that was awful. Ick, ick, ick.

Okay, so anyway, Catelyn presents her case to Lysa, who of course is all eager to execute a Lannister. Who wouldn’t want to? She orders that Tyrion be confined to the Sky Cells of the Eyrie – three-walled chambers that open out into the sky.

And now back to Ned, who is refreshing because he doesn’t participate in any of the nasty things that the other characters do. When you’re watching Ned, you know you’re fairly safe from any sort of brain-warping depravity. The only problem with Ned is that you start to worry about the guy because he is just no good at intrigue and it’s pretty clear that everybody in King’s Landing knows stuff that Ned should know and doesn’t. But before we get to all that, let’s talk about the tournament!

It’s pretty awesome. This is where we meet The Mountain, The Hound’s older brother. He inadvertently kills one guy and looks to be the best bet to win the tournament until the Knight of Flowers shows up and does something with his horse. I didn’t quite catch what was going on, but The Mountain’s horse was all twitchy from something, allowing the Knight of Flowers to win. The Mountain is enraged, and by that I mean ENRAGED, to the point that he draws his massive sword and cuts his horse’s head off with one swipe. Did I mention that The Mountain is called “The Mountain” because he’s kind of gigantic? After that, he goes after the Knight of Flowers, which is a major faux pas for a tournament. 

Surprising everybody, The Hound leaps from the stands and saves the Knight of Flowers from The Mountain’s fury and a sword fight ensues that is fucking awesome. Finally the king tells them to knock that shit off and The Mountain storms away in a huff. The Knight of Flowers raises The Hound’s hand and gets cheers from the crowd and The Hound is all like, “Aw, shucks. T’werent’ nothin’”.

After the tournament concludes, we get to the stuff that makes me feel like Ned is maybe in some trouble. Because Varys all of a sudden decides to share the knowledge that Jon Arryn – the last King’s Hand – was poisoned. This is something he might have mentioned earlier. But he waves that notion away by saying it took him a while to trust Ned. That’s all well and good except for that fact that later on while Arya is chasing cats as part of her training (wax on/wax off type of stuff), she comes across a room full of dragon skulls (dragons are very large, as she ends up hiding in the mouth of one with plenty of room to spare) and happens to overhear Varys and Illyrio plotting against her father. The girl goes to tell her father what she heard, but can’t find her way back out of the lower levels. She ends up lost in the city for several hours and by the time she gets back Ned is so worried and she is so flustered that she can’t quite get her story across. Before she can even really finish someone shows up and tells Ned about Catelyn arresting Tyrion, which is some shit Ned really doesn’t need to deal with because right around the same time the king informs Ned that he and the council have decided to send an assassin after The Mad King’s daughter – Daenerys – because she is pregnant with the horse king’s child and the last thing they need is the Dothraki rallying around a prince who also happens to be an heir to the Iron Throne.

Side Note: The Iron Throne is the literal throne that sits in the hall of King’s Landing. It is made from the swords of conquered leaders and was supposedly forged with the breath of a mighty dragon. This sounded like a whole bunch of bunk until I saw the gigantic fucking dragon skulls sitting around in the basement of the castle. I like how this show is easing the audience into all of the hardcore fantasy elements.

Furious” does not adequately describe Ned’s reaction to the council’s decision. He does not agree with their decision and furthermore resigns his position as the King’s Hand. Ned will not have anything to do with the slaughter of an innocent. As admirable as this is, I also got the feeling Ned might really be getting himself into trouble.

Baelish approaches Ned before he can pack up his family and return to Winterfell. He wants to take him to the last person Jon Arryn spoke with before he died. 

It turns out to be a whore in one of Baelish’s brothels, and that whore is the mother of another of the king’s illegitimate children. For some reason Arryn was tracking down all of these bastards while researching the lineage of all of the families of the Seven Kingdoms (at some point Ned came across this giant book of lineages – I forgot that part and am not sure when it happened; I’m pretty sure he got the book from Scaroth… er, Pycelle). When Ned and Jory exit the brothel they find Jaime Lannister and a retinue of Lannister guards waiting outside. Jaime is furious over the perceived abduction of his brother and Ned claims credit for the order to protect Catelyn. Things come to a head after Jory is killed and a big rumble between Ned and Jaime’s men ensues. Ned faces Jaime down and has him on the ropes when one of the Lannister guards stabs Ned through the thigh with a spear because everything having to do with the Lannisters is just sleazy. 

As Jaime withdraws he warns Ned of the dangers of keeping Tyrion hostage any longer.
Continue to part 3!



  1. Oh yeah Cat's standoff in the inn with Tyrion was in the Riverlands, the Tully kingdom, so its her girlhood home but still a few hundred miles down the Kingsroad from Winterfell and still in the South. That's why she calls on all her fathers bannermen there, Whents and Freys and such (those rat bastard Freys.)
    They're at the Crossroads Inn, where Robb would have ended up heading through if he didn't make the deal to cross to the other side of the Trident river at the Twins with the Freys.

    But seriously, your understanding and grasp of all the going-ons is extremely legitimate, you're a sharp dude. I've heard so many retarded, confused misconceptions by people who can't seem to follow concurrent storylines that its refreshing that you follow everything 100%. i know this is really old but keep it up bud haha.

    1. Thanks again! I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but for some reason I find Game of Thrones extremely easy to follow. Maybe it's the fact that I spent my high school years reading fantasy books instead of actually, you know, learning math and stuff.

  2. Knight of Flowers was using a mare in heat, which affected the Mountain's horse and caused him to take a tumble. Not easy to grasp from the show, but elaborated more clearly in the books.

    Great grasp of the show and great site!

    Rogue Lead

    1. Nice! I look forward to reading the books someday, but I enjoy the show too much to read them. I've had too many adaptations ruined when I went and read the books beforehand. My new rule is if I haven't already read it, I wait until the show/movie/whatever is finished before I do.