40 Days. 40 Episodes. Game of Thrones, S1E5

Are these really recaps anymore? Were they ever? So many people put such care into their Game of Thrones recaps and I’m really just DGAFing my way through the episodes since it’s probably my fifth or sixth viewing of them. I’ve tried to re-watch each prior season before the new one begins. So here I am at Episode 5. Halfway through Season 1! And I didn’t think I’d be up for this. Here is my archive of GOT recaps and such. And now, Episode 5…

Ned and Barristan Selmy talk about Ser Hugh and then Ned has to go talk Robert out of fighting in the tournament. Which is, like, the most ridiculous job for the former Lord of Winterfell. How’s this new gig working out, Ned?

It’s not just Ned’s job that’s ridiculous. It’s that Robert understands almost nothing about being king. He’s terrible. “I thought King meant I could do whatever I wanted.” I did appreciate that Robert was such a hilarious stereotype of the drunk, lecherous king.

So anyway, back to the tourney. Sansa is smitten with Ser Loras. Renly and Littlefinger bet on the match. Loras easily wins. And the Mountain goes crazy and beheads his horse. The Hound jumps in to save Loras from the Mountain and we get a little preview of the Gravedigger / Robert Strong rumble match (Spoilers. Don’t click that.). Robert calls off the melee and Loras rasies the Hound’s arm as though he were champion. Man’s got to have a code.

Catelyn’s kick-assery is still going strong as she unveils Tyrion and he realizes they’re not on the Kingsroad to Winterfell. But Cat has yet to realize that her sister is nuts. They get ambushed and Tyrion displays great (if reluctant) heroism and courage. Meanwhile Rodrik and Bronn make quick work of the ambushers.

There’s another great scene of Bran doing his lessons with Luwin. Bran is reciting the Houses and their Words. Bran defiantly repeats the Tully words when asked to give the Lannisters. It’s a bit clever and tough of him. Kinda funny how high-pitched his voice was back in Season 1.

There’s a pretty telling scene with Theon and Roz where she cuts down his ego while he insults her. Everyone, it seems, is egging Theon on these days. Theon’s arrogance about being a Greyjoy is fairly misplaced. I love that Roz tells him, “You’re a very serious boy.”

Again, we get a scene where Ned doesn’t realize he’s almost literally an open book as Varys gives him some information about Robert. Varys explains how Jon Arryn was killed. So now, Ned has all the pieces. He just has to put them together. Come on, Ned. You can do it.

AS SOON as that scene ends, Arya is crawling through the maze of tunnels below the castle and overhears Varys loudly discussing Ned’s demise with whatshisname. Ned falls for it every time.

I always appreciate a Littlefinger / Varys scene which is what comes next. They’re really squaring off against each other here. It’s a great chess game.

Arya escapes from the tunnels and has to find Ned. They get interrupted by Yoren and Ned gives Arya that fateful “We’ll talk more later” everyone’s so fond of. Then it turns out all Yoren needs to tell Ned is that Cat has Tyrion.

I love how the subtext of everyone talking about Lysa is “uh boy, she’s nuts.”

Back in the small council, Robert is ranting about Danaerys. And Ned’s only contribution to this discussion is to bring up honor. Does he mistakenly think Robert has some? Has he met the man? Ned is exceedingly tone-deaf. So he quits. Which is the perfect example of his tone-deafness. Does he also mistakenly think he has friends in King’s Landing?

But the worst part is that Ned doesn’t GTFO as soon as possible. Littlefinger draws him back in. And there it is. The final nail.

Finally, we meet Lysa and her, like, 12 year old nursing child. Like her husband, Cat is really bad at reading a scene. Tyrion’s arrogance has never been better placed.

After a scene of Loras shaving Renly’s chest, Robert and Cersei discuss battle tactics and it’s quite informative. Robert says what I said yesterday, that Cersei sounds just like her father. Ultimately, Robert is just out of his mind on his vengeful streak. He literally just wants a fight because he’s bored. They do end up having a frank (as they can get) discussion of their marriage. Cersei asks about Lyanna which is bold. It’s the most honest Cersei ever is: “What harm could Lyanna Stark’s ghost do to either of us that we haven’t done to each other a hundred times over?” Robert is honest too, telling Cersei that Lyanna is the only thing he’s ever wanted. “I felt something for you once, you know,” Cersei says. And then she mentions them losing their first boy. (So that was true when she told Cat.) Then Robert says there was never a time for them (he and Cersei) which is as much a nail in his coffin as anything else. Though I’m sure Cersei had made up her mind by this point how to dispatch with Robert.

So Ned visits another of Robert’s bastards. It’s a completely useless encounter. This is why he missed the bus to Winterfell? Then there Ned is, waylaid by Jaime Lannister right in the street. This is a terrible scene as Jaime kills that guy who looks like Gary Cherone. There is a cool Jaime / Ned sword fight and then, it’s over… one of Jaime’s men stabs Ned in the leg from behind.