40 Days. 40 Episodes. Game of Thrones, S1E2

No, I really don’t think I’ll keep this up for 40 days. Or even the 22 episodes of GOT not documented in my archives. But I was on a roll, so here’s a quickie recap of Season 1, Episode 2, “The Kingsroad.”

So episode 2 starts in the wasteland with Jorah the Explorah (not my line) giving Dany some horse jerky. I’ve received so much grief over the years about my dislike of Danaerys and I’ll never be able to win over the Dany lovers to my side, but here’s the thing: I hate that she’s acted so entitled since the beginning but I appreciate that she’s flawed. She goes through some shit to become the leader she is. And we see it. It isn’t like other epics where heroes and villains are seemingly born into their role.

That said, my characterization that her arc is “boring” up until Season 4 has more to do with my dislike of fantasy stories where everyone has to walk (or ride) somewhere. Usually, slowly. I mean, I equally hate that this entire episode is devoted to King Robert and his posse slowly trotting back down to King’s Landing. I also hate that Frodo and Sam spend 1000 pages walking to a damn mountain from which they’ll be rescued by giant birds (who could have flown them there in the first place). I just don’t think trotting somewhere is a really interesting storyline.

Episode 2 is also the one in which Tyrion slaps Joffrey a couple of times. So that’s pretty cool. We also get to glimpse that personality of the Hound when he tells Tyrion that Joffrey will remember that.

God, Cersei’s tense forehead when she learns Bran is alive is so…evil. Jaime and Tyrion’s banter is appreciated. The scene between Cat and Cersei is so uncomfortable. One of the great things about the show is how they established characters so quickly. It’s what makes their changes so effective. Jaime is a cocky jerk immediately. Cersei is manipulative from the start.

Jon gives Needle to Arya in this episode and it’s such a sad scene in retrospect. It would sure be great to see the two of them together again sticking people with the pointy ends. And then there’s that super awkward scene of Jon saying goodbye to Bran and Cat being absolutely frigid. C’mon, Cat, don’t be such a B to J.

I do like how Cat is stern with Ned. He does have a choice. His reasoning for becoming Hand of the King is pretty weak in the show. In the books, when it’s apparent that he can investigate the murder of Jon Arryn more effectively as Hand, it makes it a little easier to take.

That goodbye between Robb and Jon. Isn’t that the manliest “I’m not going to cry” moment on tv? and then, shit that goodbye between Ned and Jon. “The next time we see each other, we’ll talk about your mother.” So ironic.

Robert then tells Ned how he wants to kill Danaerys. Ned should have learned his lesson in the futility of being the voice of reason right there in that moment. Robert is vengeful and paranoid.

Jon receives more lessons from Tyrion on their way to the wall. Honestly, it’s easy to make the case that the Starks for all their “honor” and perceived heroism are really stubbornly ignorant. The men, at least. And it takes Sansa a while to come around. Arya and Cat know what time it is.

Cat foils the murder of Bran a moment later to prove how tough she really is.

I love the scene between Dany and her handmaidens. We learn about the two moons and then the weird superstitions of the Dothraki: “Moon is goddess, wife of sun.” It is known. Dany instantly dismissed those dummies and signs up for the Making Khal Happy classes.

Didn’t the Wall seem huge in Season 1? I don’t know that it ever feels as vast as it did when Jon first sees it.

I forgot that Theon is present when Cat tells Robb, Luwin, and whatshisname her theory that Bran was pushed out of the window. In light of his later treachery, I wonder if there’s some dots I’ve failed to connect. We also see Cat making that dreamcatcher for Bran that she later makes for…well, I guess for Bran again.

Dany graduates from Love School after only one session and then she’s seducing Drogo. I don’t remember these scenes between them from the books but until this moment, it hasn’t been consensual in the show. This moment when she seduces Drogo seems…icky, to me. It’s manipulative in a way. Maybe it’s consensual at this moment but it’s also Dany accepting that she’s the property of Drogo and trying to turn the tables on him. I’ve never understood the Drogo fandom either. He’s a brute who rapes his wife. Surely, his good looks don’t make up for that.

Joffrey, you total bastard. It’s also in this episode that Joffrey and Sansa take a walk, discover Arya and the butcher’s boy playing, and Joffrey displays his complete cowardice. At least Arya has the foresight to chase Nymeria away so she can warg into her later. Sansa’s Lady is not so lucky, a victim of Cersei’s unrelenting cruelty. Again, Ned, can you not read the writing on the wall?

Cut to: Bran awakening.