Sunday, April 1, 2012

Phantom Recap: Game of Thrones Season 1 - Part 4

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.

Pre-emptive note: I knew this would be long, but I didn’t know how long. If I had, I would’ve started posting Tuesday. As things stand I am breaking it up into four parts and posting the final two on Saturday and Sunday; something I rarely do. There’s just no other way to get it done and I really don’t want to put up a 12,000-plus word post. And I’m pretty sure you don’t want me to.

Part 4 (Continued from yesterday)

Remember those two frozen corpses Jon and company found north of the wall? Well, they brought them back home. One night Jon’s dire wolf starts acting all weird and leads Jon to the commander’s quarters. He goes inside and finds one of the corpses. Only, rather than just laying there stinking and rotting like a good corpse, it’s up and walking around and trying to kill the commander. 

Jon, his wolf, and the commander manage to subdue it after Jon throws a torch at it.

Now that the Dothraki have decided to invade Westeros they need money to hire ships to get them there (which is kind of funny when you think about it:

How many in your party?”

Oh, about forty thousand plus horses.”

What’s your business?”

Invasion and subjugation.”

That’ll be eighty thousand gold pieces.”

These aren’t exactly the sort of folks who are going to sell magazine subscriptions or chocolate bars to go on a trip to the capitol. Instead, they raid and pillage. And rape. 
Daenerys seems surprised to find out that the Dothraki are a bunch of rapers. This makes her seem a bit stupid since she herself was raped by the king of the Dothraki a bunch of times. But Daenerys won’t stand for that anymore and tells her men to stop it, she is the Khaleesi (queen) and they had better do what she says. One of the horsemen doesn’t like that and says so. This guy is sick of this woman and decides to challenge Drogo. He arrogantly rests his blade on Drogo’s chest, leaving a shallow cut. 

Drogo proceeds to beat the man unarmed, ripping his throat out with his bare hands. Daenerys is worried about the cut left on Drogo’s chest and insists he let one of the villagers she rescued treat it. The other horsemen feel the woman is a witch, but Drogo again acquiesces to his wife’s wishes.

En route to the Lannister encampment, Tyrion and the mercenary run into a tribe of savages. Tyrion again buys his way out of a bad situation by promising the tribe gold and weapons if they will escort he and the mercenary the rest of the way. 

Once Tyrion arrives, he tells his father of the tribesmen he picked up and suggests they be put to good use. Tywin agrees and the tribesmen are willing, but only if Tyrion accompanies them. So Tywin puts Tyrion in charge of that unit, which will be the frontline.

Knowing this is likely to be his last night on Ear… uh, whatever planet this is; Tyrion sends the mercenary out to find him a whore. He returns with a smart lady who seems to be a match for Tyrion’s wit. 

The three of them play a drinking game and we find out that Tywin Lannister is a prick. The next morning, Tyrion dons his armor and goes out to meet his savages, but on the way to battle is knocked out by the hammer of an overly exuberant tribesman. 

When he wakes up he finds out that battle is over. There were only 2,000 Stark soldiers in the battle and they were routed. Tyrion asks where Robb Stark is and his father replies, “With the other 18,000 of his men.”

Previous to this Stark’s army arrived at The Twins, a combination bridge/fortress controlled by Lord Frey. Frey is cantankerous and disagreeable and doesn’t want to get involved in the war. After meeting with Catelyn he agrees to not only let Stark’s army pass but to send along men of his own. In return he wants the Stark Children to marry his children. Faced with no other options, Robb agrees and the army crosses. Robb sends the aforementioned 2,000 men to slaughter as a distraction so that the main force can assault Jaime Lannister’s army. Not only are Jaime’s forces decimated, Robb manages to capture the incestuous shitbag.

Meanwhile, Drogo’s wound from his fight with the other horseman has become badly infected. As soon as I saw that I thought the witch must be up to no good and couldn’t believe Daenerys couldn’t see it. But she goes and gets the witch and tells her to heal Drogo. The witch says there’s nothing she can do and that Drogo is going to die. Jorah tells Daenerys that they need to get the heck out of town because the second Drogo dies the horsemen will start fighting to find a new Khal (king) and the one that wins will kill her and her child. But Daenerys will not leave the man she now loves. She demands the witch use her magic to save Drogo’s life. The witch says there will be a price and tells them to bring her Drogo’s horse – implying that the king’s mount will be the toll. 

She slits the horse’s throat and sprays the king with blood while Daenerys and Jorah move outside to let her cast her spell.

And cast she does. The witch’s spell to revive Drogo is the first outright use of magic we’ve gotten in Game of Thrones. And it is undeniably magic.

Once outside, Daenerys is cursed by the Dothraki for allowing the witch to use magic on their king. One horsewoman even pushes Daenerys down to the ground, where she lands on her belly. She is immediately concerned about the baby, and almost as immediately goes into labor. Having no other options, Jorah picks her up and takes her back into the tent hoping that the witch can deliver the child.

Back at The Wall Jon Snow is meeting with the commander of the Night’s Watch. The man is thankful that Jon saved his life and presents the younger man with his sword – a family heirloom. He has had the original pommel replaced with a wolf’s head for Jon. 

The commander explains to the younger man that the men of the Night Watch forswear family obligations so that they will not have to choose between duty and family (an important theme of the whole show). Jon is very troubled by what his family is going through and feels he should be with them. He later converses with an elder member of the Night’s Watch who reveals that he is a member of the Targaryen family. He stayed with the Watch when his family was destroyed when the Mad King was overthrown. He warns Jon that whether he stays or goes he will have to live with his decision for the rest of his life. I took this as the man suggesting Jon should go to his family.

Ned is still in the dungeons of King’s Landing, but has been convinced by Varys that the best thing for him and his family is to accede to Cersei’s wishes and publicly admit to treason and declare Joffrey the rightful king. Varys explains that Cersei knows Ned will be more valuable as a live supporter than a dead traitor. Plus, Ned is naturally afraid for his daughters, who are still in the city.

At last Ned is brought before Joffrey and Cersei in a public court where he can admit treason. Sansa is there as well at Cersei’s side. Arya has been living in the streets since the king’s death and has made her way to the courtyard after hearing about her father’s confession. Ned sees her watching from behind a statue as he begins his false confession. He states that he intended treason against the new king and then swore his fealty to Joffrey (blech). Joffrey acknowledged what Ned said and went on to say that his future queen Sansa and his very own mother had plead for mercy for Ned.

But that they had the soft hearts of women and that he would not tolerate traitors or treason in any fashion under his rule; then ordered the executioner to bring him Eddard Stark’s head. Sansa is distraught and even Cersei is appalled at Joffrey’s decision. 

The council members also attempt to change Joffrey’s mind, but to no avail. As Ned is forced to his knees, Arya leaps from the statue and tightens her grip around Needle, preparing to fight to the death for her father. She is caught just in time by Yoren, who holds her tight and insists she look away. 

Ned’s last look is toward the statue. Seeing his daughter is not watching, he accepts his fate as the executioner’s sword falls and takes his head.

Side Note: This blew me the fuck away. I cried like a little girl. I was not expecting this at all. I loved Ned Stark, man. I thought no way would he end up dead, at least not in the first season. Damn. And the craziest thing about it? There was still one more episode. I wasn’t really paying attention to which episodes I was watching and when, so when that sword fell I thought that was it. Then I was prompted to insert disc 5 and I did and there was a whole other episode remaining.

Meanwhile, Tywin Lannister is not a happy man. Not only has he been getting his ass handed to him by Stark’s army, his idiot grandson has just eliminated the possibility of brokering a truce. Tywin sends Tyrion to King’s Landing to be Joffrey’s King’s Hand in the hopes that Tyrion’s slyness and wit will help to keep Joffrey from making any more insanely retarded decisions. Tyrion brings his new whore friend along despite his father’s forbidding it.

Jon Snow has also heard of his father’s execution and decides he cannot stay at The Wall any longer. He rides out in the dead of night to join his brother’s army, but is followed by Sam and two of the young men he helped train. They catch up to him and convince him that the Night’s Watch needs him more than anything else going on in the realm does. 

The following morning the Night’s Watch commander organizes a large force to go into the north and find out what happened to Benji’s scout party. Jon is included in this quest.
Speaking of Robb Stark, after hearing of his father’s execution the other lords of the north declare him their king and swear featly to him, including Theon. 

Their intention is now to march south, conquer King’s Landing, and install Robb on the Iron Throne. While this is going on Catelyn goes to interrogate their prisoner – Jaime Lannister. She kicks things up a notch by smashing him right in the face with a rock, but she knows he is more valuable alive. 

Jaime admits he pushed Bran out of the tower but will not reveal why. For obvious reasons. Afterward, Catelyn goes to find Jaime. He tells her that he is taking his army south to find Lannisters and kill them all. Catelyn says, “No – they have our girls. We have to get our girls back. And then we will kill them all.” 

That line made me mist up a little bit, too.

Back in Winterfell Bran’s raven dream guide is bringing him a little closer to the truth each time. The latest dream has led him to the family crypt beneath the keep. When he wakes he asks Tonks to carry him down there. She does and they run into Rickon. Rickon is the youngest Stark and I’m not sure we’ve even seen him before. He says he saw their father in the crypt and is just generally a creepy little kid.

Remember when I said Joffrey almost seemed to be trying to make amends for being such a little shit? Well, forget it. If murdering Sansa’s father wasn’t enough proof that he’s trying to out-douche even his parents, Joffrey takes Sansa up to the ramparts of King’s Landing. There he forces her to look at her father’s head on a pike next to her teacher and several other acquaintances. 

He tells her that after he defeats her brother’s army he will bring her his head, as well. She replies by finally being awesome:

Or perhaps he will bring me yours.”

I expect big things out of Sansa Stark in the future.

To his credit, Joffrey is barely shaken by this. He says that his mother has told him he should never strike his queen, so he has one of his servants do it (I don’t think it was The Hound; as a matter of fact I think The Hound winced at this action). Sansa notices that the new king is standing on a narrow bridge far above the ground and moves to either push him off or grab him and jump. I wasn’t sure. But right before she took action The Hound took hold of her and dabbed blood from the corner of her mouth. 

He tells her she should chill out for now.

Out in the city Yoren has cut Arya’s hair so she will pass for a boy. He is taking her north on his trip to The Wall, but I wasn’t clear on if they were going to Winterfell or elsewhere. She encounters two bullies who want to take her sword and she draws Needle and sticks it in one’s gut, telling him she is already quite good at killing fat boys. It was pretty funny. This draws the attention of a certain young blacksmith’s apprentice we’ve seen before. He tells Arya she handled herself well and admires her sword.

Up in Pycelle’s room there’s something going on. 

Ros is there washing her vagina and Pycelle – who if I hadn’t mentioned it before is an old, infirm man – is sitting on the edge of his bed in a nightshirt just sort of babbling. Ros finishes up her business and gets dressed and Pycelle only nominally acknowledges her departure. He is clearly not all there. Except that as soon as the lovely Ros departs, he hops up, does some squats, and struts across the room to get dressed. Pycelle does all of this with enthusiasm and a spring in his step. Then, as he opens his door to leave, he hunches over and starts making the little grumbling noises we’ve heard from him constantly up to this point. Pycelle just became the most interesting character on the show. Well, except for Ros.
Finally, across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys wakes up. Jorah is there and tells her that her child was stillborn. The witch enters and tells her that it was a monster with dragon scales and claws and that it turned to dust (or something) in her arms. She then tells Daenerys that she had warned her that the spell would take a life for a life. Daenerys demanded to see Drogo, who is catatonic. 
The witch explains that it meant nothing when the girl saved her life, as she had watched the house of her god burned, her people slaughtered, and that she had already been raped by the time Daenerys rescued her. The spell did not fail, it went exactly as the witch had planned. I really wanted Daenerys to push the bitch off the cliff they were standing next to, but she had an even better plan in mind.
Daenerys spent a full day with Drogo, hoping he might recover. When it became apparent that his condition was permanent, she mercifully smothered him with a pillow. By this time most of the Dothraki had left. Only the slaves that Daenerys freed and a few Dothraki loyal to her remained in the camp. The rest had moved on. That night they placed Khal Drogo’s body atop a pyre and laid the three dragon eggs about him. 
Daenerys held aloft a torch and delivered a speech about how the people there were under her protection and that any who attempted to bring harm to them would meet violent deaths. She then ordered the witch tied to the pyre and lit the base with her torch. Jorah saw what she was planning and tried to stop her, but the last of the dragon folk would not be denied. She stepped into the flames and Jorah watched, distraught, as her dress caught fire and she disappeared. 
The witch screamed the whole time.
The next morning Jorah made his way toward the ashen remains of the pyre. He could not believe his eyes. There, in the center of the black circle, was Daenerys. 

Intact and unharmed. Not only that, three baby dragons were wrapped about her body. On at her knees, one in her lap, and one on her shoulder (the CGI for the dragons was outstanding). As the former Khaleesi stood, the red dragon on her shoulder climbed up, spread its wings, and cried out, as if calling for bloody vengeance.

Whoo. I got chills just writing that last part. And that’s the end of Season One. Pretty intense, huh?

Side Note: I know there are some things I got slightly wrong or misquoted. Feel free to correct me in the comments. My intent here was to relate the major events of the first season. Partially because I wanted to provide the Phantomaniacs who might have missed out or forgotten things with a quick primer, but mostly I just wanted to write about Game of Thrones because I immediately loved it. This show has just blown me away. I’m already trying to figure out how I might be able to find the time to read the books. While watching, I was looking out for dudes that looked anything like me with the idea of a Dragon*Con costume in mind. I’m going to devour the special features on the Blu-Ray as soon as I can, and I can’t wait to watch the whole first season over again.



  1. Whoa, I finally finished reading all of you recaps. I had seen the full first season, but instead of watching them again, because it's so time consuming, I'm glad I was able to read this to remind me of everything I forgot. Now I'm going to go home and re-watch the first two episodes of the new season since I didn't really pay attention the first time through.

    The only thing I feel I should note is, unfortunately, don't expect Jason Momoa's bad-assedness from game of thrones to translate to Conan. It's infuriating because you know from this show how he can be portrayed, and yet the film makers decided to go another direction.

    1. Glad to be of service! I'm trying to decide whether or not to recap the second season. I really don't want to do another marathon 12,000 word recap when the Blu-Ray hits.
      That's disappointing to hear about Conan. Oh, well. My expectations weren't high.

  2. Can we get a closeup on that dragon vajayjay?