Game of Thrones Review: “You Win or You Die”

I’ll say this, Game of Thrones is certainly moving ahead a lot more quickly than I thought it would. After taking a few episodes to spool up, things are quickly shifting into overdrive, with two action-packed installments in a row.

As much as I loved the last one however, I felt this latest effort was a touch predictable, and it seemed like I was able to call every moment before it happened, be it by a week’s time or a few minutes.

For example, I mused last week that the attempt on Daenyrs’s life would surely send Khal Drogo into a rage and inspire him to invade the mainland when he was previously lacking a reason. And that’s just what happened, making it seem all rather ham-handed.

Who would have thought?

The Queen is about to be poisoned, seemingly in line with a plan executed by the Spider and her closest aide, whose name I keep forgetting but you guys will let me know of in the comments. He appears to have a last minute change of heart, despite receiving a pardon for his crimes, and he steps in to stop the Queen from her fate. I’m not exactly sure why he did this, nor how he chooses his loyalties, but the attempt, as expected, sent Khal Drogo off the edge and determined to ride “wooden horses” (boats) to give his unborn son his mother’s father’s throne. Well…shit.

The crux of the episode was Ned Stark revealing to Cersei that he had uncovered her dirty little secret. How the hell he got from “kid has blonde hair” to “you’re f***ing your twin brother and he is your unholy offspring” is a mystery to me, and I don’t know why Cersei just could have laughed it off and asked him for proof.

King Robert’s injury via drunk hunting came as perhaps the night’s only surprise, and I’m mildly annoyed such a great character was killed off so unceremoniously to further the plot forward. Again, Ned’s plan seemed incredibly foolhardy, as what real proof did he have that Jauffre wasn’t his son? And even if that was accepted as fact, it’s been clear for a while now that Petyr LOATHES Ned and is in love with his wife (as the lesbian sex soliloquy further explained) , and we’ve already heard that the Spider was part of the plot against his family, so to see him walk into the throne room with the both of them at his back was a head-shaking moment as you had to know what was about to happen.

You have chosen…poorly.

What I don’t know is where things go from here. I’m out of predictions as the Stark clan would seem to be in dire straits. I think this show needs a few more heroes, and a few less villains, and there doesn’t quite seem to be many who straddle both sides, other than Tyrion Lannister who was unfortunately absent from the episode.

What possible reason does Petyr or the Lannisters have to keep Ned alive now? I can’t think of a damn thing that would cause them to do so, as assuredly he could only make for trouble later. Maybe to give him back to his family in exchange for a promise of peace? But you have to wonder why they just don’t go wipe out the entire Stark clan now that they have literally every ounce of power that’s possible to grab.

I predict an imprisoned Ned might get help from that one old guard that everyone respects and was hesitant about Cersei tearing up the King’s orders. But past that? I have no idea. I guess the show is done being predictable for at least a little while.

Will you fight some shit already?

The remaining plotline of the evening seemed disjointed from everything else, as Jon Snow managed to get even less interesting as he was made a Steward rather than a Ranger, which means he gets to do no fun thing. There was a hint of more White Walker mayhem to come, but it still seems a ways off, despite dire warning from the Stark family’s newest house slave.

It doesn’t feel like things could get any worse, and even though it might have been easy to predict where we ended up, I have no idea how we’re going to get out of the hole. And for that reason, I am extremely excited for next week.



  1. Levance May 31, 2011
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  37. KingCrimson June 3, 2011

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