40 Days. 40 Episodes. Game of Thrones, S1E9

Hey! What do you know? I’m 9 episodes in and going strong…ish. This is the big episode. The Ned’s Head of Season 1, if you know what I’m saying. On with it.

It opens with Varys visiting Ned in the dungeon again and telling him about Sansa’s appearance in court and Robb’s army marching south. I wonder what I thought of this moment when I first saw it? I guess I’d read the book by then and knew Ned’s fate. But now, 3 seasons later, it’s interesting to watch Varys. Who’s side is he on? This is the scene in which I tells Ned about his acting background. And it’s also the scene in which we get to wonder how that background affects his current position. Varys is the actor while Littlefinger is just a manipulator.

Then it’s at the Twins and Theon is shooting down Walder Frey’s ravens as they discuss how to negotiate the crossing at the Twins. Cat says she’ll speak with Frey. “I’ve know him since I was a girl. He would never harm me,” she says. “Unless there’s a profit in it,” one of Robb’s men answers. Yup.

Doesn’t Walder look like a lizard? This negotiation between Cat and Frey is real gross. Befitting him. Walder’s take on oaths is pretty great: “Oh yes, I said some words.” And: “Starks, Lannister, Tully, Baratheon, give me one good reason why I should waste a single thought on one of you.” He’s a dick but he knows what time it is.

Mormont gives Jon the sword Longclaw to reward him for saving his life. Mormont has also sent Alastair Thorne to King’s Landing to lay the zombie claw at Joffrey’s feet. As if the Lannisters would think that the apocalypse was more important than their power grab. Sam tells Jon that Robb is marching to war.

Cat returns to tell Robb the good news/bad news of her meeting with Frey. Truly, this is one of the worst deals ever made. She’s promised marriages for Robb and Arya just to use the dude’s gate.

At the Wall, Aemon gives Jon a lesson is making the right choice. Something that definitely won’t stick until after Jon runs away. In this conversation, Jon learns that Aemon is Aemon Targaryen who could have been king. (Thus saving the realm from the Mad King. This is basically a story of people making the wrong choices in their lives, not for themselves, but for the realm.)

Out in the desert, Drogo is sick and falls from his horse. This is probably super dishonorable or something. Oh yeh, one of the bloodriders just said that. And as Dany tries to help, the mutiny just grows.

Oh man, Tyrion just learned he gets to lead the hill people in the vanguard of the next battle. Upside, he meets Shae immediately after. He probably should have eaten something. He’s going to need the energy.

Back in the desert, Drogo is messed up and dying. Once again, Jorah gives great advice: GET OUT OF HERE. Dany mistakenly thinks she can lead the horde after Drogo dies. Oh never fear, the witch doctor is here. Dany requests magic to save Drogo. Again, the advice of the background characters is better than the instincts of the heroes. Her bloodriders tell her this blood magic is forbidden and generally bad juju. But Dany just tells the witch to do her magic. Jorah has to kill a mothereffer to protect Dany. So just then, Dany goes into labor. And Jorah brings her back into the magic tent. That won’t be good.

Bronn and Tyrion have a big battle in the morning so naturally they’re playing drinking games with Shae. The main takeaway from this is that Tyrion sucks at guessing Shae’s past. We also learn about Tyrion’s marriage. Then Bronn is waking Tyrion and telling him he’s late for war.

I don’t remember the book that well but I believe Tyrion was far more heroic in those battles. Here he just gets trampled and wakes up after the battle. That really denies Tyrion the glory he deserves. It also denied us a huge battle scene. We just get the gory aftermath. As I understand this battle, Robb just sent 2000 men to lose a fight. Which seems really cruel.

We also don’t get to see the Stark army taking Jaime Lannister. But there he is in the mud.

Meanwhile, in King’s Landing… Ned is led to the Sept of Baelor to confess and get killed by that little prick, Joffrey. Sansa nods at him to urge him in his false confession. It’s all really horrible. Although why anyone in this crowd loves Joffrey is a mystery. It seems like they’d be cheering on Ned’s “treason.” Probably the worst part of this is Sansa smiling at Joffrey thinking he’ll be merciful. Arya, as the only Stark with any sense, finally gets the hell out of there. Although she might have been running towards Ned when she’s grabbed by Yoren.

Roll credits.