Game of Thrones Review: “Second Sons”


Last night, there was an epic battle. Not on Game of Thrones, which gave us another relatively tame week leading up to a presumably explosive last pair of episodes, but rather between me and my cable box.

Time Warner somehow shut off my cable intermittently all last night, so I was forced to plug in my laptop to my TV and watch the episode through HBO Go. Impressive that they put it online as soon as it airs, but less so when Time Warner continued to dick me over by periodically stopping to buffer every few minutes, turning a 50 minute episode into a 70 minute, hair-pulling ordeal.

But enough about my own experiences last night. What about the episode itself, which I’m sure all of you got to watch uninterrupted?

Right off the bat we see that Arya is none too pleased with her new companion, the Hound, and she almost tries to bash his head in the first chance she gets. But she’s pleasantly surprised to learn that he’s renounced the Lannisters and is planning on selling her to her own family instead. It was kind of sad to hear him try and convince her he’s a good guy by recounting the time he saved her sister, but it’s doubtful she believes him. Anyway, I do love the pairing of these two. This show is all about mixing and matching odd couples as traveling buddies (Jaime and Brienne, etc.)


Two main plotlines dominated the evening, Tyrion’s marriage to Sansa and Daenerys’ dealings with the Second Sons, both of which were equally entertaining.

Tyrion’s ceremony and reception and wedding night all were SO uncomfortable, and if you thought Joffrey was an asshat for cutting Ned Stark’s head off, he was almost a bigger one for taking away poor Tyrion’s step stool at the altar.

I think Tyrion drunk at the wedding was one of my favorite scenes with his character, and was one hell of a performance from Peter Dinklage. From the interaction with his father, to his threatening of Joffrey, to his eventual sobering up in order to let Sansa know her bedroom services would not be required, he showed a huge range of emotion, and there’s a reason this guy earns his Emmys. Really incredible stuff.

I didn’t realize that the show was still trying to act like Sansa is 14 like she is in the books. I mean, Sophie Turner is like 6’0″ but I guess she is only 17 in real life, so it’s not all that much of a stretch. It was enough to guilt Tyrion into taking a pass, much to Shae’s delight, but his father is going to want that son sooner or later.


My favorite minor moment from the wedding:

“My father once told me–”

“No one cares what your father once told you.”

Meanwhile, out east, Dany is still trying to figure out how to defeat Yunkai, and treats three officers from the sellswords brigade to her tent. Their leader, the Titan of Braavos, is a crude asshole who keeps demanding to see her ladyparts. Counter to him is Daario, a handsome fellow with a seemingly vast knowledge of battle, and a dagger with a naked lady.

It may have been easy to expect that Daario wouldn’t kill Dany when he was tasked with assassinating her (would you kill that if it came rising out of its bath and walked toward you?) But for him to straight up murder his fellow officers was unexpected. There’s very, very, very obvious sexual tension between him and Dany, and I wonder how Mr. Jorah Mormont is going to react to that.


Speaking of sexy, all Gendry’s wildest dreams come true when he’s whisked away to Stannis castle and turbo laid by Melisandre who joins Dany in a “hasn’t gotten naked in a long time” party. But his thrill is short lived as soon he’s tied to the bed and being leeched. Don’t you hate it when that happens?

The leeches burning in the fire with kingsblood was supposed to indicate some sort of power, but the fire didn’t do anything all that cool if you ask me. Melisandre wants to kill Gendry, Davos wants to spare him, Stannis must decide. Should his bastard nephew be sacrificed to the Lord of Light for the greater good? Or should he be released so he can find Arya and marry her someday? What, we can dream, can’t we?

The episode closes with an excruciatingly tense scene between Sam and Craster’s wife (I forget her name). When a scene brings in characters you haven’t seen all episode and has them making small talk five minutes before the credits are about to roll, you know some serious shit’s going down. In that little hut, you were expecting someone to get grabbed from the shadows, but a different sort of foe emerged.

It wasn’t a “jump moment,” but a White Walker appeared and really wanted a baby snack. Sam gets his sword shattered instantly (which was awesome), but then ultimately kills the Walker with his obsidian dagger. I suppose “dragonglass” would indeed make a good counter to an ice-based Pokemon. I mean creature.

Before the wedding, Cersei gave a description of what happened to the Reynes of Castamere to inspire the song we’ve been hearing so much about, “The Rains of Castamere.” She talks about how the Lannisters decimated the house when they rose up against him, but she left out the best part of the story. When the next rival house that tried something similar, her father simply sent a bard to their hall to play “The Rains of Castamere,” and they surrendered without a fight, knowing what was to come if they didn’t.

See you next week…

UPDATE: Just kidding, no episode next week because of Memorial Day. Thank god, I was going to have to miss it.

Book Discussion! (future spoilers)

There wasn’t really all that much I found too terribly different from the book this week.

Obviously this Melisandre/Gendry plot is the biggest difference, as it simply doesn’t exist at all in the books. But what’s becoming clear is that they simply are making this the new Edric Storm subplot, complete with leech demonstration. That should mean that Davos will ferry Gendry away to safety, which would allow him to turn up in A Feast for Crows with Brienne and his orphans, and this wasn’t as much of a departure as we initially thought.


Tyrion’s wedding pretty much went as it did in the books, though Dinklage’s performance made it feel far more alive than it did on the page. Thankfully neither actor was forced to get naked before Tyrion decided to call it quits. That made it far less awkward than it could have been, though I suppose there were a fair number of people rooting for Sophie Turner to get naked. She’s 17 you pervs!

I really like this Daario they’ve cast. In the book, the way he was described he just seemed like a sleaze, and with colored hair and gold teeth and what not. He was just…slimy, and it was hard to understand why Dany was so into him. This Daario is a damn good looking guy, and carries himself with swagger, but not so much he comes off like a total douche. At least not yet.

No one from the Watch was around to see Sam kill the Walker! How are they going to start calling him Sam the Slayer? No fun.

Next week, well, we all know what happens next week, fellow book readers. Do NOT ruin it for anyone in the comments.

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  1. ************SPOILERS******************

    Right before Stannis throws the leaches in the fire Melisandre tells Gendry “Blame sir Davos for this. He wants proof of the power of kings blood” or something close to that. As Stannis throws the leaches in the fire he names the three “false kings” Joffrey, Rob Stark, and Balon Greyjoy…..

    ************SERIOUSLY STOP READING THIS IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOKS****************************************************

    All three of them are about to meet their demise in short order. Thus, showing Davos the power of the Kings blood if you attribute all their deaths to their little leach burning party that is.

  2. I hated the Daario they gave us. I think they were aiming to Brad Pitt on Legends of the fall but what they got was Michel Bolton. My wife was very disappointed. She told me, “Do they really think this guy can compete with Khal Drogo?”. I had to agree.

  3. Also, SPOILERS.

    For the season to close its storylines, it must be end with The Red Wedding, Jofrey’s Wedding (can we call it The Douche Wedding?) and Balon Greyjoy’s demise. I think the greyjoy’s will be reveal to Theon by the bastard in the cruelest way possible.

  4. “Michael
    There is no episode next week, we must wait 2 weeks. Why???!?!?!?”

    This weekend is Memorial Day. Last year HBO saw a dip in ratings because most people are doing something else besides watching tv Sunday, since the majority of us don’t have work on Monday.

    Might as well just take a week off. Really not surprising.

  5. Just to say, in the UK, legal age is 16. So Sophie Turner is fair game. Extremely fair game…

    From there to here, from here to there
    All black and brown and covered in hair….

  6. Stupid ‘Murica. Delaying my GoT fix.


    I’m gonna be blue-ballin’ for the red wedding.

  7. The walker Sam killed looked just like the one he saw on horseback at the conclusion of season 2…a conclusion that always bothered me since it hasn’t appeared in the books, and didn’t seem to “occur” in the events leading up to this season. As such, I’m wondering if that scene with Sam surrounded by the white walker army was meant to b some sort of premonition?

  8. Why oh why would you run away and leave behind the one weapon you have left (sword was shattered) and a weapon you know works on Walkers?

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