Friday, February 23, 2018

by Tracy Ladd:

Game of Thrones: “Second Sons”
Original Air Date (HBO): Sunday May 19, 2013
Season 3 Episode 8

So many revelations this season!  Daenerys is a straight baller.  Jamie actually has a conscious…and a heart.  Robb seems to have the stones to actually lead his army and make the tough decisions.  Cersei finally had that smug smile slapped off her face by dear old daddy.  Margaery may not be evil, but even if she is I don’t care because her grandmamma is divine.  And of course Jon Snow knows nothing.  With all of the things that have happened so far that have made me rethink my opinion of certain characters, I’m happy to see that some things haven’t changed.  Sansa is still making bad decisions in the name of a fairy-tale romance and Joffrey is still the douchiest of all douchebags.

With all of these revelations, this season has proven to be one for the books.  I honestly can’t really think of a poor episode.  Aside from the whole Theon thing that’s going on, the rest of the season has been stellar and this latest episode is no exception.  That being said, we now have a two-week wait until the ninth episode of the season.  Thinking back, it’s the ninth episode that leaves viewers speechless.  The ninth episode of the first season dealt with Ned’s demise and the ninth episode of the second season was the incredible battle of Blackwater Bay.  I can’t even speculate on what’s to come.

Re-evaluating Perceptions

The one thing that this show does is challenge the perceptions the viewer has of its characters.  As viewers, opinions have shifted with the evolution of the characters, but it also happens within the show itself.  Arya found herself rethinking her opinion of someone who she included in her death prayer every night. Last week left off with Arya, upset with the Brotherhood for giving up Gendry as well as the detour the group planned to take, running off into the night on her own and getting nabbed by Sandor Clegane, who still happened to be lurking about.

Waking up before the Hound, Arya grabbed a large rock meaning to smash his head in with it.  She did, after all, wish for his death every night.  However, the Hound is on to her and encourages her to give it a shot, but tells her he’ll break her hands if she fails.   Arya played it smart and chose the high road, which turned out to be in her favor.  Thinking he was taking her back to King’s Landing, the Hound set her straight and told her that he’s actually taking her to the Twins, where Robb and Catelyn will be.  Further challenging her perceptions of him, the Hound also tells her stories of his time in King’s Landing and how he saved Sansa and even went back for her.  His stories aren’t enough for Arya to drop her guard, but she considers her companion a bit differently now.

Game of Thrones Episode 3.08 - Emilie Clarke

The Second Sons

At first, I was wondering just what this episode’s title was referring to.  They do manage to refer to several different things happening in the episode and while this title could refer to Tyrion, Stannis, etc, I imagine it mainly refers to the trio of mercenaries that Daenerys had the pleasure of meeting.  They do go by the name The Second Sons after all.  After watching the Second Sons pull in to Yunkai, Selmy and Jorah inform Daenerys that they are an army of sellswords who are a force to be reckoned with.  Dany blows off the warning however, and sends an invite for their leaders to meet with her.  Three arrive; two Captains, and a Lieutenant.  Even though they claim to be free to do what they want, the true leader seems to be the Titan’s Bastard himself.  He’s a chauvinistic pig who couldn’t be any more foul that what he was.  Dany however, keeps her cool and presents her offer for them to fight for her, and gives them two days to decide before she sics her Unsullied on them.

Back at their camp, the three men continue in their piggish ways, and draw straws, well…a coin actually, to see which of them will sneak into her camp to kill her.  The Lieutenant, Daario Naharis, draws the coin destined to do the deed and he seems quite pleased.  While Dany is bathing and discussing the finer points of speaking Dothraki with Missandei, Darrio Naharis enters the tent and presents Dany with a gift: the head’s of the two captains.  Thank the Seven too because I don’t think I could have handled the Titan’s bastard’s comments and ass grabbing much longer.  Darrio swears his sword, life and love to Dany and I have to wonder where this is going.  Could he end up being something more?  If so, I don’t think Jorah is going to like that very much at all.  Speaking of Jorah, he’s kind of taken a back seat to Selmy lately because it seems like she’s relying more on Selmy’s counsel that Jorah’s.  Interesting.  I hope this doesn’t mean less screen time for Ian Glenn.  Because that is not OK.

Game of Thrones Episode 3.08 - Peter Dinklage

A Lannister Wedding

Sansa’s wedding day has finally approached, even though it’s not the wedding she thought she’d have.  In a tender moment between Sansa and Tyrion prior to the ceremony, Tyrion tries to ease her fears telling her he will never hurt her.  During the ceremony, Joffrey gets his kicks in by taking away Tyrion’s step stool which made my hated level up.  As humiliating as the ceremony was, the reception wasn’t much better.  Tyrion ties one on in a big way, but luckily gets out of the time-honored tradition of being stripped down and carried to the bedchamber by the guests.  The highlight was Tyrion threatening Joffrey in a scene that actually made me laugh out loud.

Meanwhile, before the festivities, Cersei, makes a veiled threat to Margaery, but then sulks about the reception and completely blows off Loras when he tries to talk to her.  The highlight of the entire reception scene however would be when Lady Olenna proceeds to run down how the new Tyrell family tree will work out once Loras and Margaery are both wedded to their respective spouses to be.

Back in their chambers, Tyrion mentions that his Lord Father commanded him to consummate the marriage and Sansa reluctantly begins to undress.  It’s all very uncomfortable, especially when she responds to Tyrion’s question about her age, telling him that she’s 14.  Sophie Turner by no means looks 14, and I tend to forget how young the character truly is.  Tyrion tells her to stop and that he won’t be sharing her bed, much to her relief.  Much to Shae’s relief too when she notices non-soiled sheets and gives Tyrion an approving look as she pulls them from the bed and takes them away.

Game of Thrones Episode 3.08 - Stephen Dillane

A King’s Blood Holds Power

While Arya deals with the Hound, her other half (as I like to refer to him) is still in the company of Melisandre.  Finally back on the shores of Dragonstone, he’s introduced to Uncle Stannis and is shown to his chambers. Stannis knows what Melisandre has in store for poor Gendry and doesn’t really want to sacrifice him, but tells Melisandre to just get it over with.  From there, Stannis pays the Onion Knight a visit in the dungeon and tells Davos that he’s going to be freed.  They discuss the situation with Gendry, and as usual, Davos expresses his opinion, knowing that’s exactly why Stannis came to see him.

Meanwhile, in his chambers, Gendry is understandably apprehensive about the whole thing, wondering when the carpet will be pulled from beneath his feet.  Melisandre enters and tries to put his fears at ease, telling him again that his blood holds power.  She wines him and dines him, then drops her robe and prepares him for sexy sexy time.  Poor Gendry, he never had a chance.  Once he’s bound to the bed, Melisandre breaks out the big guns…or in this case, the leeches and places three of them on Gendry’s body.  Stannis enters, Melisandre pulls the leeches from Gendry’s body, and Stannis throws each one in the fire.  One for the usurper Robb Stark, one for the usurper, Balon Greyjoy, and one for the usurper Joffrey Baratheon.  None of that is good news.  NONE OF IT!

The Birds

Sam and Gilly are still on the run in the North.  They come upon a burnt out shack where they decide to camp for the night.  A lone crow perches in the weirswood tree and caws relentlessly while Sam tries unsuccessfully to light a fire.  Gilly finally gets the fire lit, and the two sit and discuss baby names.  Their conversation is interrupted by a ruckus outside and when Sam goes to investigate, he finds the wierwood tree packed with birds, and an Other approaching.  Sam tells Gilly to stay inside, and she’s convinced the Other is coming for her baby.  Sam grabs a sword, but is no match for the Other and is cast aside like an old newspaper.  In an effort to protect Gilly and the baby, Sam grabs the obsidian dagger he found and stabs the Other in the back.  The Other pulls his best T-1000-getting-doused-with-liquid-nitrogen impression and is destroyed.  Seeing this as an opportunity, Sam grabs Gilly and flees…..LEAVING HIS DAGGER BEHIND.  You don’t leave the only weapon that will kill these things behind.  You just don’t.  Ugh….c’mon Sam!

So now the long two-week wait until the penultimate episode.  After that whole leech burning scene, I can’t help but feel a sense of dread linger.  I mean, I really don’t care if anything happens to Joffrey.  I want him to die a painful, wretched death, but then who would I hate on?  Cut off the head of the beast and another grows in its place right?  Anyway, the last two episodes of the season are surely going to be amazing and I can’t help but think that the finale will end in a brutal cliffhanger the likes of which we haven’t seen since the world wondered about who shot J.R.


Can I mention how sad I was that there was no Jamie and Brienne this week?

DarkMedia contributor Tracy Ladd has been writing about film since her days on the her high school newspaper. Even though she took a decade or two off to explore other things, she’s back to doing what she loves. She also bakes, can knit a pretty nifty scarf and makes lightsaber sounds with her knitting needles. Or chopsticks. Especially with the lightsaber chopsticks.

You can find her on Facebook, on Twitter @ReelGoddess, and on her website The Reel Goddess.

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