40 Days. 40 Episodes. Game of Thrones, S2E1 “The North Remembers”

Does the North remember though? Does it? Here’s the (OMG) 11th(!) installment of my 40 Days. 40 Episodes. Game of Thrones recap. When I started, I doubted I’d actually recap more than an episode or two but I’ve gotten into it. It’s interesting to see how my thoughts have changed about the show. I finished all the books sometime in between seasons 2 and 3. But Season 2 I watched in full having only read the first book. So here are my thoughts on Episode 1…

The opening scene featuring the Hound brutally defeating a competitor at Joffrey’s name day feast really sets the tone for the season and certainly for Joffrey. Joffrey orders his King’s Guard to down Ser Dontos in wine. Sansa objects but it is only the Hound who makes sense to Joffrey. Sansa learns that she has to be more clever to make any points with Joffrey as she suggests Dontos be his fool.

Then Tyrion shows up and swaggers all over Joffrey’s celebration before joining the Small Council meeting and announcing he’s the new Hand. This really rubs Cersei the wrong way and the dialogue between them is great. Tyrion points out how badly a job Cersei has been doing controlling Joffrey and it seems to stick a little. Not that it will encourage her to do a better job.

Back at Winterfell, Bran has to deal with the requests of his court. He’s far more politic than Joffrey. Obvs. And he listens to Luwin’s good counsel. Then he just wargs out for a while.

On a walk with Hodor and Osha, Bran points out the comet which he believes (like the men) is an omen of Robb’s victory. I guess he doesn’t know about the prophecy of Azor Ahai or whatever.

Dany walks through the Red Waste with her dwindling army and her young dragons. Her horse dies. They’re starving. Jorah elaborates on all the dangers everywhere. Dany send her riders off… are they in search of food or people or whatever? I don’t remember and I wasn’t paying attention just now.

The Night’s Watch arrive at Craster’s keep. Jon wonders what happens to Craster’s sons and then immediately mouths off to Craster. Just before Mormont promises no one will talk to Craster’s daughters. Tough promise to keep. Craster is a real jerk and he sure hates Jon. Mormont sets him straight a moment later. Good.

This is where we meet Melisandre, burning the statues of the Seven. It’s a forceful introduction to the woman. Stannis and Davos just go along with it. This is where Melisandre starts her propaganda prophesy about Stannis being Azor Ahai which in this viewer’s opinion is kooky talk. I believe they prove its kookiness a moment later by faking a burning sword. I mean, he doesn’t have a magic burning sword.

A moment later, Stannis has his steward remove the word “beloved” when describing King Robert. He’s that kind of guy. Why anyone follows this heartless bastard is a mystery. This priest’s attempt to poison Melisandre is ballsy. Poor bastard.

On the battlefield, Robb brings in Grey Wind to intimidate Jaime in his cell. It’s pretty awesome. But, you know, in light of things… it’s hard to feel the same power Robb once had.

Shae is just standing out on the damn balcony in King’s Landing with Tyrion so, so much for that “stay hidden” talk. Cersei tells Littlefinger that they can’t find Arya. I mean, he probably already knows she’s gone, but it’s weird to see Cersei drop her guard and let Littlefinger in on some top secret info. Then Cersei tries to intimidate him which totally backfires when he mentions that sometimes brothers and sisters get together. Then she tries to demonstrate some power to him. Yeh, it looks impressive in that instant. But the very fact that she needs Littlefinger to help find Arya demonstrates how powerless she really is.

Robb gives his terms to one of the Lannister prisoners he holds and sends him head back to King’s Landing. Theon talks to Robb about the possibility of bringing in his dad (who hates him) into Robb’s army. Theon is either clueless or he thinks Robb is. Cat tries to explain to Robb how terrible an idea this is. Then Robb tells her that she isn’t going to Winterfell but instead to negotiate with Renly. So is Robb a really great leader who’s undone by his trust in his family? I’m undecided.

When Cersei walks into the throne room with her guard, it is the most Darth Vader scene ever. Season 2 of GOT really is the Empire Strikes back of the series. But she’s gone to talk sense to Joffrey which is a hopeless task. The fact that Joffrey doesn’t really get that Jaime and Cersei are his parents is pretty crazy. He starts talking about Robert’s bastards, Cersei slaps him, and then Joffrey threatens her. Which demonstrates the power balance. Cersei has none.

At the whorehouse, Roz gives directions to the new whores that are word-for-word what Littlefinger told her. It’s pretty nuts. So then the King’s Guard break in to kill an infant we assume to be Robert’s. Turns out this execution squad is going all over the city killing Robert’s bastards. Joffrey really is paranoid. Unfortunately, the smith rats out Gendry who’s on the road with Arry. And, scene.