40 Days. 40 Episodes. Game of Thrones, S2E2.

My experiment to prepare for the new season of Game of Thrones by discussing every other episode continues. I had thought that I remembered Season 2 well. But I’m learning that’s not so. There were so many tiny details in each episode. So many conversations. So this is a welcome refresher.

Arry sure has a fashionable haircut for a criminal/bum. This episode opens with Arry meeting Jaqen and the Gold Cloaks riding up on the caravan. Yoren tells them to get lost. As all things in Westeros, this was not a good move in retrospect.

Tyrion struts back to his quarters, whistling and happy, and discovers Shae laughing with Varys. So that is a problem, Tyrion. Obviously. Oh, and Varys “somehow” knows that Tywin didn’t want Tyrion to bring Shae to the capitol. So, well done, Tyrion. He deals with Varys pretty decently but Varys has a retort to Tyrion’s threat of throwing him in the sea.

Cersei and the Small Council have received Robb’s terms which Cersei tears apart. Pycelle produces the message from the Wall asking for more men. Varys explains that the Wildlings aren’t killing each other because they’re following a “King Beyond the Wall.” I believe that’s the first we’ve heard of him.

At Craster’s, the young Night’s Watch are staring at all Craster’s daughter-wives. Sam meets Gilly and makes the huge mistake of talking to her. Then he introduces her to Jon who wisely tries to get himself out of the situation. He’s got enough heat on him already. Sam does have great wisdom for Jon, “I can’t steal her. She’s a person.”

At Dany’s camp, everyone is blurry and, I guess, thirsty. A single horse returns with the head of its rider in the saddlebag. I just realized that Dany has threatened a lot of Dothraki during this arc of hers. Does she ever (or will she ever) make good on all those threats and hunt down the Dothraki who abandoned her?

Theon, inexplicably, has been allowed to sail to the Iron Islands. I mean, certainly nothing justifies Theon’s later actions but he sure has been goaded into violence by everyone he encounters. Theon has taken an somewhat dimwitted lover aboard this ship and treats her terribly.

Littlefinger, meanwhile, is spying on all the johns in his brothel. A customer complains that his woman is crying. Littlefinger wipes up another woman and gives her to him. Then he pretends to comfort his employee but his words turn into a threat. At least, we learn that Littlefinger hates bad investments.

Tyrion hosts Janos Slynt for dinner to question him about the bastards he’s been killing in public. Tyrion’s purpose is to confront Slynt about his betrayal of Ned Stark. He knows on whose payroll Slynt is. “I’m not questioning your honor,” Tyrion tells him, “I’m denying its existence.” Tyrion fires Slynt and sends him to the Wall.

There’s a long scene with Arya and Gendry where they bond but blah blah blah…

Theon getting of the boat and no one caring is way more interesting. Theon hitting on his sister is… honestly hilarious. Knowing it is she makes this scene super gross. I mean, I remember his feeling her up but he goes well beyond that in his suggestions. Can anyone tell the difference between Balon Greyjoy, Craster, and Walder Frey? Is it the same actor playing all the roles.

This iron or gold price philosophy of the Greyjoys is hilariously unsustainable. “We do not sow.” Good luck with that, Kraken.

Davos makes a deal with Salladhor Saan. The best part of this conversation is how Davos’s son (who is also present) insists on the holy mission of this war while Salladhor and Davos talk about practicalities.

Tyrion has another conversation with Cersei in which he tries to give her pretty cold, hard facts about ruling a kingdom — “You might find it difficult to rule over millions who want you dead.” She really doesn’t consider that. Well, she’s going to learn. But right now, Tyrion is discovering that Cersei has no control over Joffrey.

Stannis and Melisandre have a talk that mirrors the one Salladhor, Davos, and lil’ Davos had. Only this time, she’s talking spiritual stuff and Stannis is caught up in the practicalities. Melisandre is using this to seduce Stannis. He tries to resist her but she uses that horniest of pillow talk, “I will give you a son.” So they do it on his giant Risk board.

At Craster’s, Jon watches Craster take an infant boy and leave him for the White Walkers. Creepy town. Jon only sees it in shadows. And then Craster knocks him out.