Hannah is branching out from her Mediapothecary awesomeness, and tackling everyone’s favorite hour-long bloodbath, Game of Thrones! We couldn’t be happier, but she has a disclaimer: I have not read any of these books, only started watching this series a couple of months ago, and hardly know about the Internet. So most of this is going to be pretty off the cuff, poorly informed, and potentially misspelled. Also if I guess at the implications of anything, you’ll know it’s not a spoiler because I know absolutely nothing about any of this, so this is actually a win for you.
Now on with the show: GAME OF THRONES SEASON 4 EPISODE 2!!!!!
Already in the recap we see we need to watch more scenes of Theon getting tortured, so hang on to your hats everyone, this is gonna be a doozy. And just like a sweet promise, in the first scene we cut to some most-dangerous-game style bullshit in which Ramsey and his lady friend are pursuing a helpless woman in a cumbersome dress through the woods. Theon’s hanging out too, neither in the position of prey or predator, just chillin’ on the side like someone’s uncool little brother they let come to the party (which is, to be fair, nothing new for the misplaced Iron born). Ramsey and his companion eventually catch the running blonde girl, have some snarky dialogue about how she’s too pretty, and Ramsey then promptly has his dogs rip off her face because that’s the kind of guy he is.
Cut to the Lannister family lunch: Tyrion is eating up a fucking storm, even though Jaime is joining everyone around him on a collective hunger strike because why? Oh, right, everyone on this show is too fucking miserable to eat food. Tyrion gives Jaime a nice pep talk about how it’s okay that he’s one handed and that he can train his body to be functional again, with a bit of help. This of course leads to the moment we’ve all been waiting for…
Jaime plus Bronn buddy comedy?! YES PLEASE. The two have a couple of minutes of snarky dialogue and sword fighting practice, reminiscent of the scenes between Arya and her “dancing teacher,” but with an added dangerous WATER ELEMENT because these are GROWN MEN and also JOKES ABOUT SEX.
And off we go back everyone’s least favorite place, the aptly named Dreadfort. Bolton rides up in full regalia, expecting, for some reason, for his bastard son Ramsey not to be a total fucking creep. But of course, right off the bat, Ramsey looks at him like a real creep and everyone hates it. Once they check in—skipping the small talk and cutting right to the “you cut off that guy’s penis?!” talk—Bolton scolds Ramsey for going rogue and what’s more, reminds him tactfully that he isn’t a Bolton, he’s a Snow. Way to go, Bolton; your son may be a psychopath, but you’re a dick.
At this point, because he’s a big showoff and an even bigger creep, Ramsey has Theon (now going by “Reek”) shave him with a straight razor in front of everyone in some kind of Sweeney Todd Stockholm Syndrome major creepout move, in order to prove that he has in fact beaten the humanity out of Theon to the extent that he would “never betray us.” Ramsey then drops the Rob Stark bomb to Theon whilst being shaved, and prolonged INSTENSITY ENSUES. Theon gets a little twitchy, but does some meditative yoga-breath through it and tells everyone that the younger Stark boys are still alive, and probably at Castle Black with John Snow.
We leave them there in order to cut to the wedding festivities at King’s Landing, where we’re treated to the shortest scene ever between Varys and Tyrion, which likely only exists to encourage the “we are in a dangerous place” drinking game. Varys encourages Tyrion to get Shae the eff out of King’s Landing, and then saunters away ominously as the camera cuts to Joffrey getting a bunch of presents even though everyone hates him. There are only two important points in this scene, and they are that Cersei tells Tywin about “Tyrion’s whore” (Shae), and that Joffrey looks like some kind of evil woodland sprite.
Next, as the plot moves faster than anything ever has on this show, Tyrion meets with Shae in his chambers only to COMPLETELY AIRBUD HER. He tells her she’s a whore, and he enjoyed her but is now done with her, and has Bronn escort her to a ship that will take her somewhere safe. I’m skimming over this scene because of all the feelings it made me feel, most of which can be summed up with the word: oof.
But then we’re in Dragonstone! Melisandre is straight up burning some people to death, and Stannis seems pretty unsure about the whole thing. At dinner afterwards, Stannis joins the ranks of the hunger strike and Melisandre preaches some truth about growing up poor or whatever. Stannis’s wife, Selyse, is still pretty crazy, but excited about the Lord of Light, and also talking shit about her daughter! Mellisandra goes to talk to the princess, and essentially tries to intimidate a disfigured child, as one does. The highlight of the scene is Melisandre explaining to a small child that “there is only one Hell, and it’s the one we’re living in.” Someone’s read up on her existential play-writes, am i rite?!
Oh, and what’s that? Is Bran warging north of the wall? Hodor. He for sure is. We see Bran start to get a little Gollum-ish about warging as he snaps at Jojen and Meera for waking him up. But before the tension gets too thick, we find another FACETREE, which Bran immediately touches and enters some kind of nightmarescape fever dream in which we see a multitude of crow images, Bran falling from the tower, and hear the words “look for me beneath the tree” and then the word “North.”
But don’t get too comfortable because we’re back at King’s Landing, for a super brief wedding scene. It’s probably truncated because HBO knew their audience would stand for only a moment of Joffrey kissing anyway EWW.
At the wedding festivities, Bronn assures Tyrion that Shae is g-o-n-e, and then Lady Olenna unleashes some kind of overt Chekhov’s gun maneuver as she tells Sansa how sorry she is about Rob and how especially horrible it is that anyone should ever be murdered at a wedding. She says this at a wedding. To the person who would most want to see the groom dead. CHEKHOV’S GUN.
Then a number of important things happen at this festival of plot points, in fairly rapid succession. First, Margaery announces that all the leftovers from the feast are to be given to the poor HOORAY! Varys seems displeased about this somehow. Loras makes eyes at Prince Oberyn of Dorn, utilizing his preternatural gaydar that never seems to work in his favor. Jaime threatens Loras not to marry Cersei, and Loras is all “you can’t have her either ya creep!” Cersei is a bitch to Brienne, and then accuses her of loving Jaime, to which Brienne only responds with a weirdly long significant look. Angry Cersei then tells off Maester Pysell, threatens to kill him, and then commands him to give all the feast’s leftovers to the dogs, because she’s a crazy bitch. And suddenly Sigur Ros is there!
Then things get serious. Joffrey stages a dwarf war in which small men reenact the war of five kings whilst making as many crude jokes about everyone except Joffrey as they can. Sansa looks whistfully into the distance, as she is wont to do. Most people present at the event are super not into it, though Joffrey is having such a fucking ball that he actually spits out his wine like a horrible drunken baby. In what turns into an excruciatingly long sequence, Joffrey pulls a number of dipshit stunts like suggesting Tyrion fight the dwarf actors, pouring wine on Tyrions head, commanding that he pour him another, and then kneel down “to your King.” Margaery tries to save the day like a champion by finding a huge pie to distract Joffrey, the horrible drunken baby, but he’s pretty insistent on being a Hellspawn, and commands Tyrion to get him yet another cup of wine, placed conveniently by LADY OLENNA’S seat.
Joffrey takes one sip and is FUCKING POISONED and dies in an incredibly gruesome fashion, in Cersei’s arms, in front of everyone. Dontos the court fool grabs Sansa and tells her that she needs to leave immediately, because of course one second later Cersei declares that Tyrion killed the King, and has the guards grab him.