The curtain’s raised, the theme music played, and this is what our favorite Westeros residents have been up to this week! (Spoilers ahoy, obviously!)
In King’s Landing, Joffrey continues to be the little dictator-in-training everyone loves to hate. He almost orders a man to death by wine-chugging on his Name Day, but is persuaded to spare his life by Sansa, who recommends keeping him around as a fool. The dude barfs up wine like a college freshman on spring break and is sent away. Sansa’s handling of the situation shows she’s getting the hang of the way things work in the court. She still has her moments of open resistance, but more often instead appeals to Joffrey’s ego and pride to get what she wants, working within the system. She’s swimming with sharks and still managing to hold her own, playing things by the book and biding her time. (We always believed in you, Sansa!)
Meanwhile, Tyrion Lannister arrives in the city by order of his father, Tywin, to stand in for him as Hand of the King. Cersei is seriously pissed off about it, and Tyrion doesn’t do much to make things better by mocking her and accusing her of losing control of the situation in King’s Landing, allowing Ned Stark to be killed and Arya to be lost. Later in the episode, Cersei finally boils over when speaking to Petyr Baelish about finding Arya, and of course, he pokes the bear, vaguely threatening her with the knowledge of her relationship with her brother Jaime. She counters his quip of “knowledge is power” by ordering her guards to seize him and cut his throat, but changes her mind and replies instead “power is power.” Love her or hate her, you have to admit, Cersei Lannister is one bad bitch.
We also meet a new Baratheon, Stannis in Dragonstone, being advised by the priestess Melisandre. In a ceremony on the beach they renounce the old gods and give Stannis a big fiery sword as a symbol of his awesomeness. He dictates a letter detailing his claim to the throne, which includes the truth about Joffrey, and sends it all over the Seven Kingdoms. Melisandre solidifies her role as “untrustworthy magic lady who is probably up to something” when she is unaffected by a poisoned glass of wine.
In the North, Bran is acting Lord of Winterfell, which includes listening to people complain and dealing with their boring problems. It’s all only slightly more eventful than lying in bed after being pushed out of a tower. Poor kid just can’t catch a break! He also continues to have seemingly prophetic dreams, featuring a red comet in the sky that many have seen but none can seem to agree on the meaning of. The wildling Osha, however, says that it can only mean one thing: dragons, which we already know are alive with Daenerys Targaryen in the Red Waste. Even the Mother of Dragons has problems, and the main one seems to be taking care of the remaining Dothraki in the middle of a desert without food, water, or horses. She still manages to get in a dig at her dead brother for not being a real dragon, though it rings a little hollow when we remember two seconds before she said she doesn’t know what her dragons eat. In a show of leadership and general take-chargeitude, she orders three of the men to ride out in different directions to see how far the Waste expands before them.
Still in the North, but beyond the Wall, Jon Snow and the Night’s Watch come across a gross, possessive wildling with daughter-wives who gives them some information on the North’s growing armies and allows them to stay in his encampment despite Jon Snow not taking very well to the whole diplomacy part of stewardship and running that soft, pouty mouth of his. Surprisingly only one person calls Snow a bastard this time, and maybe less surprisingly, it was the creep who has procreative sex with his own daughters.
Speaking of incest, let’s check in with Jaime Lannister! The Kingslayer remains the captive of Robb Stark, who is trying to negotiate with the Lannisters, and also received Stannis’ letter and mocks Jaime about it, threatening him with his huge direwolf. Robb continues to build an army in the North and is advised by Theon Greyjoy to ally with his father Balon for the use of his ships, to overtake King’s Landing. Cat doesn’t think Balon is trustworthy, but it seems that Robb has already made his mind up about the situation, deeming the unpredictable Greyjoy a necessary evil. Meanwhile back in King’s Landing, the whispered rumors about Cersei, Jaime, and Joffrey’s blonde hair come to a head and the city guards are straight up murdering babies left and right, all to get rid of Robert’s bastards. The search is also on for Arya Stark, as they use torture to get information on the man who’s traveling out of the city with Arya, Needle by her side.
However, after all this, I would be lying to you if I said any of it was more important to me than Joffrey getting the smug slapped off his face again.