Musing Review: Game of Thrones – What is Dead May Never Die (S2, Ep3)
Three episodes into season two and I’m still loving every minute of Game of Thrones. It certainly helps that I’m a fanboy but the writers, producers and actors are doing a stupendous job. The adaptations have been great and they are such wonderful stories that are told so well. This weeks episode brought us some new characters that we haven’t seen yet this season nor haven’t seen at all. It was another wonderful “day” in Westeros and here’s how it went down.
We got our first glimpse at (now) King Renly in Highgarden. He was sitting next to his new bride, the very beautiful Margaery Tyrrell (Natalie Dormer), overlooking a tournament in his name. Fighting in the finals is Ser Loras, the Knight of Flowers and a woman we’ll get to know as Lady Brienne of Tarth. Brienne bests Loras and asks to be part of Renly’s kingsguard. She utterly loves him and would easily give her life for his. Brienne was perfectly cast and played in this premiere of her character. Lady Stark finally showed up in Highgarden to talk to Renly about an alliance to which Renly does not accept, though he offers to punish Joffrey and take his head.
What’s best about this storyline is the adaptation of the Renly, Margaery, Loras triangle. Renly and Loras’ relationship was only alluded to in the books but the show has made it very overt. This was continued to season two and it’s been taken up a notch. Apparently King Renly has not bedded his bride of two weeks and all of the men are talking snickering behind his back. They know something is up. After Loras refuses to fool around with Renly he tells Renly that he needs to take care of his sister first. So fast forward a little bit and enter Margaery. She undresses in front of him (first set of breasts in the episode) and they try to fornicate. Needless to say Renly “isn’t working” and Margaery openly says “Should I get my brother?” What? She knows?!? Apparently she does and we see a side of Margaery that we really don’t see in the books. She knows what needs to happen to be queen and she wants to be queen so she has to get pregnant to firm up Renly’s power. She outright says how she doesn’t care how it happens and says that it could be you and me, you and me and Loras, you and Loras can start and I’ll finish. It was just so matter of fact and a well done scene. I think that might even be too much for HBO to handle.
Elsewhere in the North we watched more of Theon and the Greyjoy’s story unfold. Quite frankly I’m starting to feel bad for him. I really disliked his character in the books. He was just kind of an a@#@$le. The way he’s being portrayed here is making me want to change my tune. In both the book and the show he gets really dumped on as the son who isn’t living up to his father’s hopes. Just seeing it on screen made it all too real and emotional for me. In one scene he’s arguing with his father and Theon has an outburst in which he says “You gave me away … you’re only son!…” (I paraphrased a bit, but you get the point.) In another scene Yara was just downright mean about not telling him who she was.
We really got to see Theon’s crisis of conscience. In one moving scene we see Theon at a candle lit table reading a letter he penned to Robb Stark about his father’s rejection of an alliance and his father’s battle plans (yes, Balon wants to take the North for himself while the young wolf pup is out warring and Theon has to decide which side he’s on). As far as I interpreted Theon tried really hard to go through with sending Robb his letter, but in the end he burned it at the candle. Theon has some real daddy issues and just wants to prove himself. To do so he ends up getting baptised by saltwater. I believe this is somewhat of an adaptation as well. I know they made Theon do something with saltwater in the books but I thought it was a whole drowning. The whole phrase “What is dead may never die” has to do with the fact that the iron born literally drown each other until they have to be resuscitated. The scene with Theon looked more like a baptism and nothing like a drowning.
Down at King’s Landing Tyrion is continuing his rule as Hand. First he’s having trouble with Shae as she’s getting restless and in this episode she ends up as Sansa’s handmaiden, that was a pretty short part of the story. What was great about this episode is the game Tyrion played to root out Cersei’s spy and how he did it. He told each of three councilmen (Pycelle, Varys, and Littlefinger) different plans for wedding Princess Mycella off. In it they alluded to somethings further on in the books. It was actually quite funny the way he did it. I read something before the season started about how they added more humor into the show and this was certainly one of those moments. Well Pycelle was the spy and he was jailed for his actions. Pycelle was caught with a whore and was dragged away right in front of her (second set of breasts). In a very Lannister way Tyrion gave her coin for her trouble and just gave her a look that said “Lannisters always pay their debts.” So Tyrion had another victory but not before Varys warned him about the game of power in the capital.
The action elsewhere was pretty light. At the wall the Black Brothers were kicked out of Crastor’s because of Jon’s actions. Sam had a moment with Gilly (foreshadowing) and that was pretty sweet. Bran started talking to Maester Luemon about his wolf dreams. Maybe this action wasn’t too light but men loyal to Joffrey killed Yoren and others while looking for Gendry. They performed some pretty gruesome murders and captured Arya and Gendry (though they think Gendry is dead) to take them to Harrenhal. Arya let out the three prisoners including Jaqen H’ghar. More to come on him in later episodes for sure.
I was very much into this episode and can’t wait for more. The story is moving fast and we have only seven more episodes left this season for the team to adapt the rest of book two.
You can watch Game of Thrones Sunday nights at 9:00PM on HBO. Catch up on HBO Go or On Demand if you’ve got it.Tags: game of thrones, HBO, review, season 2