Well, there’s something you don’t see every day: A mysterious priestess giving birth to a smoke monster — onscreen. (Thank goodness they didn’t use that scene on LOST!) In an even more depraved scene, King Joffrey made a couple of royal whores beat one another. But I guess that’s just the way GAME OF THRONES rolls these days; gotta keep upping the depravity.
Robb Stark (Richard Madden) upped the ante by employing direwolves to soften up the Lannister army for another victory. A victory that so incensed Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) that he threatened to shoot Robb’s sister, Sansa (Sophie Turner), with a crossbow. He settled for having her beaten and stripped at court. But then Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) intervened, rescuing Sansa and embarrassing his royal nephew in the process. (Not to mention teaching the court — and viewers — the difference between “helpful advice” and a “threat.”) In an effort to assuage Joffrey’s rage, Tyrion later sent his nephew Ros (Esmé Bianco) and another concubine, but the king forced Ros to beat the other girl savagely while he watched, which a cocked crossbow pointed at them both. The boy ain’t right in the head!
Baelish’s (Aidan Gillen) skulking about Renly’s (Gethin Anthony) camp paid off when he ran into Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) and offered to swap Sansa and Arya for Robb’s captive, Jaime. But Lady Stark wouldn’t go for it. Still, Baelish left her a parting gift: her husband’s bones. It’s not like Baelish even had Arya (Maisie Williams) to trade — she was dragged to Harrenhal with the captive boys to be interrogated to death by a sicko called “The Tickler” and an underling with a lot of rats and a bucket. (If you’re wondering how exactly the torture worked, heating the bucket made the rat so desperate to escape that it burrowed into the victim’s soft flesh!) Just before Gendry (Joe Dempsie) got the rodent special, Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) appeared and ordered the boys put to work. Except for Arya, whom he instantly recognized as a girl and demanded for his cupbearer.
In the Red Wastes, Daenerys’ (Emilia Clarke) scout returned with an invitation from the city of Qarth (pronounced Karth). She and her khalasar were treated rudely, but Daenerys blustered her way through the gates, with the help of council member Xaro Xhoan Doras (Nonso Anozie). (The H is silent.)
Renly finally met Stannis (Steven Dillane) face to face for a little parley, but neither brother would give any ground. They vowed to do battle tomorrow, but Stannis wouldn’t wait; he sent Davos (Liam Cunningham) ashore with Melisandre (Carice Van Houten) on a secret mission. In a cave, the red witch stripped naked a birthed (in almost clinical detail) some kind of smoke monster, which promptly disappeared.
First of all, couldn’t a woman once — just once — be impregnated with a demon/alien/monster that doesn’t gestate in just a few days? What about a 14-month pregnancy — especially if you’re a creature of evil! That certainly would be different. Though it would definitely put a crimp in a demon/alien/monster’s plan for imminent world conquest.
And we all know Joffrey is a bad guy with a sadistic streak, but he’s also a coward, since he takes it out on women through subordinates. It probably has something to do with being so subservient to his overbearing, megalomaniacal mother — but, sometimes a stag-headed beating stick is just a stag-headed beating stick.
Tyrion Lannister is now officially my favorite character on all of television right now. He absolutely is made of concentrated awesome! The “Imp” is brave, calculating and clever beyond measure. And he has the quick wits and silver tongue to back it all up. He’s quite simply the smartest man in the room. The brilliant tactician realized that saving Sansa from the lash would show up his nephew in court and plant the seeds for a possible alliance with her in the future. He also turned a negative into a positive during the confrontation with cousin Lancel (Eugene Simon), who has become the queen’s pet. Completely unarmed before the quaking knight — or, should I say, “anointed knight” — Tyrion nevertheless browbeat him into submission with a few well-chosen threats thus cultivating a new and very valuable spy, right in his sister’s bed. Tyrion has the brains and the people skills to be a great king, but somehow I don’t see him perched on the Iron Throne.
But I still think he’s the master of the universe.