Game of Thrones: Second Sons

This episode of Game of Thrones, “Second Sons,” included magic shards, leeches, bags of heads, and the world’s most awkward wedding.

Beyond the Wall
Sam and Gilly are still making their way through the Northern wilderness with her baby boy. Sam is trying to help her decide on a name, throwing out different options to see if anything sticks. While they are holed up in an abandoned shed, they’re disturbed by the growing noise of crows (or are they ravens?) outside. Sam goes out to take a look and finds hundreds of crows perched on the trees squawking loudly. Definitely a harbinger of something dangerous. In the distance he sees a White Walker slowly making his way towards them. A terrified Sam mans up and tries to protect Gilly with his sword, but the Walker shatters it with one touch. In a panic Sam pulls out the black weapon shard he found buried at the Fist of the First Men and stabs the Walker with it. The Walker freezes, shatters and blows away in the wind like dust. Woah.

Melisandre arrives back at the castle and presents Gendry to Stannis. She is treating her captive quite well, offering him fancy chambers, food and new clothes. Stannis wonders why on earth she’s bothering if she’s just going to kill him? “Have you ever slaughtered a lamb my Lord? If the lamb sees the knife, she panics.” Yup, still an evil bitch.

If it’s possible, Stannis is even grumpier and gruffer than usual … and might be having second thoughts about sacrificing his half-nephew. He seeks out Sir Davos down in the dungeons and tells him about the entire plan, acting like he’s perfectly fine with it, but Davos point-blank tells him it’s no different from murder, which is exactly why Stannis came to speak to him. “You came to me now before this boy is put on the knife because you knew I’d counsel restraint.” Stannis frees Davos if he promises not to raise a hand against Melisandre again. He does, but can’t promise not to speak out against her.

Melisandre pulls her usual tricks with Gendry, seducing him with her boobs and her pillow talk of blood and power. She lures him to the bed and lulls him into a lust-filled coma … then binds his hands and feet and drops leeches on this bare skin. Ewww, that’s not the good kind of kinky! For some reason she insists on depositing one of the creatures on Gendry’s penis even though he begs her “not there!!!” Hmmm, is she just being sadistic or is there power in the penises of Kings too? As she’s completing the ritual, Stannis and Davos enter to watch the demonstration. Melisandre removes the leeches to a bowl and hands it to Stannis, who throws each creature into the fire with a message, “the usurper Robb Stark, the usurper Joffrey Baratheon, the usurper Baylon Greyjoy.”

Soooo if they can just leech Gendry to use blood magic, why all this nonsense about killing him the first place?

King’s Landing
It’s the moment Tyrion and Sansa have been dreading – the day of their nuptials. Tyrion starts off sober, trying to make the best of it and ease Sansa’s suffering. He tells her she looks glorious and tries to reassure her that when they’re married she will no longer be a prisoner. He swears he will never hurt her. He even offers her some wine to dull the pain!

But as the wedding progresses, things get worse. Joffrey insists on walking poor Sansa down the aisle as ‘father of the realm’. Then with a nasty smirk he steals the step stool Tyrion was meant to stand on at the altar, leaving Sansa towering over her embarrassed husband-to-be. Tyrion has to ask Sansa to kneel in front of him so he can reach her shoulder to cover her with the traditional wedding cloak. With Joffrey leading the charge, the entire congregation erupts into giggles. When the ceremony is finally over and the feast begins, Tyrion starts downing glasses of wine until he’s barely lucid. Tywin stomps over to warm him that he better be able to ‘perform’ in the bedroom. Sansa is completely isolated, miserable and alone while Tyrion drowns his own sorrows. Just when I think I can’t despise him anymore … Joffrey corners Sansa and basically threatens to barge into her room and rape her after his uncle inevitably passes out.

Meanwhile, Loras uses the reception to make a laughable attempt to commiserate with Cersei over their own union. He gets two seconds into an anecdote before she shuts him down with a ‘nobody cares’ and walks away. Hee. As much as I hate Cersei, I have to admire her unfailing devotion to bluntness.

When it’s time for the bedding ceremony Joffrey continues to delight in humiliating the new spouses. Tyrion tries to dispense with the tradition, but Joffrey stubbornly commands it. Tyrion slams his knife on the table and interrupts the revelry by yelling, “Then you’ll be fucking your own bride with a wooden cock.” Even in his drunken state, it registers with him that he’s just threatened the King and he tries to backtrack as though he was making a joke. Tywin helps him out and allows them to skip the bedding ceremony.

In the bedroom, Sansa dutifully starts to undress, but Tyrion cringes when she tells him she’s 14 and orders her to stop. He can’t go through with it. He promises not to share her bed until she wants him to. She timidly asks, “What if I never want you to?” Awww, Poor Tyrion. I hate that Sansa can’t see past his appearance. Tyrion passes out on the sofa bed all by his lonesome.

Dany and her advisors do some sleuthing and discover that a 2000 strong band of sell swords called the Second Sons have been hired to fight for the rulers of Yunkai. She figures they would be more interested in joining the winning team and tries to bargain with them for a change in allegiance. Unfortunately their head Captain, Mero, is a first class sleazebag who leers at Dany like she’s an uppity whore he’d like to screw some sense into. He tries to order her followers around like slaves and makes at least half a dozen lewd suggestions: “Show me your cunt. I want to see if it’s worth fighting for.” He maintains that because he’s already accepted the slavers’ gold, the Second Sons will fulfill their contract to fight for Yunkai. Dany is a picture of poise and grace, but as soon as Mero leaves she orders Ser Barristan to slay him first if it comes to battles.

A younger captain called Daario Naharis, who looks like he stepped off the cover of a Harlequin romance novel, was more of a smooth talker and clearly caught Dany’s eye. He was not at ALL how I pictured him from the books. Frankly his whole Don Juan image was a bit ridiculous. I was watching the episode with my boyfriend and as soon as Daario said his first line my boyfriend just laughed and imitated him speaking to Dany. ‘I will be sexing YOU later.’ Ugh.

Daario sneaks into Dany’s tent later while she’s taking a bath and presents her with the severed heads of the other two Captains of the Second Sons. Bottom Line? They ordered him to murder her, but he was taken with her beauty and chose to turn his sword on them instead. Dany steps out of the tub and gives him a full frontal display before asking him to swear allegiance to her. He kneels down and swears that his sword, his life and his heart belong to her. But he really doesn’t seem emotionally affected by anything. It’s really creepy.

There was a random cute scene between Dany and Missandei in which they were discussing languages and Dany was horrified to learn that she hadn’t actually been speaking Dothraki as well as she thought she had. It was nice because Dany always comes across as this unshakeable ethereal princesses, but this was a humanizing moment. She was genuinely embarrassed and bumbling.

Odds and Ends:
– Arya considers braining The Hound in his sleep, but she’s not confident she can get the best of him. When he announces he’s taking her to The Twins to collect her ransom from Robb, she’s conflicted. She wants to break free of him … but he’s actually planning to deliver her to the people she wants to be with.

Photo Courtesy of HBO

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