Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Review: Game of Thrones (Season 4, Episode 2 - "The Lion and the Rose")

by richmin3000

"killing a man at a wedding? horrid. what sort of monster would do such a thing?" - Lady Olenna

*my reviews/recaps will not have any spoilers as they relate to future events but will have many explanations or clarifications of events currently happening on the screen so if you want to figure it out for yourself, read with caution.

read my review of season 4, episode 1 ("two swords") - here

this episode, we spent a majority of our time in king's landing, especially during the second half. our time there mostly served to set up some new dynamics moving forward, including jaime's attempt to use his left hand, tyrion's extremely harsh rejection of shae, prince oberyn's veiled threats against tywin/cersei, a brief discussion between lady olenna and tywin about debt, and the eagerly awaited death of the beloved king, escape of sansa and subsequent arrest of tyrion.

we also caught up with stannis/melisandre on dragonstone burning some people (including the queen's own brother) for believing in the 'seven' (gods that is). we got a little backstory, including melisandre's poor upbringing and spent some time with shireen, stannis' daughter.

bran got warned about warging too much. my mom used to tell me if i ate too much chicken, i'd become a chicken. i think it works something like that. bran is now getting visions beneath the weirwood tree of dragons in king's landing and other freaky shit.

the most interesting (and yes, i am the only one who seems interested in this) storyline happened at the dreadfort (a new location this year), the seat of house bolton. we get more evidence of ramsay snow's brutality as he hunts down a poor village girl for sport. but for a house that's sigil is the flayed man and is headed by a man who just killed robb stark at a wedding, roose bolton certainly shows a lot of disdain for ramsay's treatment of theon (aka reek). roose's plan becomes all the more clear in this episode as he tells ramsay that they must take back the north from the greyjoys in order to stake his claim as the new warden of the north.

1. tywin lannister (last week, 1) - the war of the five kings may be over, but now his own grandson is the 3rd king to die. maybe joffrey's death should affect his standing, until we consider who is next in line to take the throne.
2. daenerys targaryen (last week, 3) - we didn't catch up with her this week, but after joffrey's death, dany's relative strength can only grow. it's like having a bye week in football and still moving up the standings when everyone else loses.
3. melisandre (last week, 5) - as i wrote last week referencing a scene last year when she burned three leeches representing the 3 false kings (renly was already dead). robb stark, dead. joffrey, dead. i forget who the other leech was for, but i'm sure whoever it is will be fine.
4. bran stark (last year, 9) - the theme here is that it's good to have special gifts... like being able to go into the mind of a direwolf (or birth dragons or demon babies) and seeing into the future. remember that bran (and rickon) dreamed of his father's death and now more visions.
5. tommen baratheon (last week, NR)- it's good to be next in line to be the king. this is just speculation but if ned stark and stannis taught us anything, it's that without any legitimate sons, the oldest brother is next in line to take the throne. plus there's a new actor playing tommen this year.
6. roose bolton (last week, 7) - he will be the warden of the north if he can take it from the greyjoys.
7. oberyn "red viper" martell (last week, hon. mention) - if you can stand face-to-face with tywin spewing not-so-veiled threats then you belong on this list. oberyn pretty much told cersei that her daughter myrcella is a hostage in dorne so yea, he's got some leverage here.
8. margaery tyrell/lady olenna (last week, 4) - well, margaery was ranked #4 last week, but that was before her bread ticket died (for the 2nd time!!). now, we don't know where things stand for her. but with lady olenna at her side, i doubt she'll fall too far.
9. mance rayder (last week, 6) - king beyond the wall. with all these kings dying off, he better be careful.
10. petyr baelish (last week - 10) - where is this new lord of the vale? i doubt we've heard the last of him.

off the list:

  • joffrey baratheon (previously ranked #2) - how we'll miss your smug, arrogant face. click here to see his bitchiest moments
  • sam tarwell (#10)
random notes:
  • so who killed joffrey? so many theories. 
    • here's what we know. joffrey's a prick. he ate some dry cake with doves (dead?) inside, drank some bad wine and chocked to death. his facial color and blood would indicate some poisoning, which we've been told is a method used by women and eunuchs. the only eunuchs we know about in king's landing is varys. there are a lot of women though. 
    • motive? prince oberyn hates the lannisters but is this his style? sansa too. hell, most everyone there hates joffrey and/or the lannisters. maybe there's a motive we haven't considered just yet or one that lies beneath the surface if we dig deeper. who benefits from joffrey's death? his brother? cersei? tywin? margaery? stannis? 
    • here's what else we know. dontos obviously knew about the crime since he was so quick to get sansa out of there as soon as the deed was done. 
    • there are clues abundant if you watch closely enough and pay attention to the "next on" sequence.
  • tyrion and jaime have always had a close relationship. i wonder how that will be affected with recent events especially in light of jaime's relationship (or lack thereof) with cersei.
  • does brienne love jaime? i think she just loves the man he could be.
  • this is at least the 2nd time the iron bank has been mentioned on the show. i think the first was when tyrion was appointed the master of coin and he realized how in debt the kingdom was. now tywin is saying he's not worried about the iron bank. 
no hyperbole allowed ratingA

as much as this episode was about joffrey's death, it was equally about the interactions between a lot of the various cast members at the wedding event of the season! cersei and brienne; tywin and oberyn; olenna and sansa. now that most of the characters are making their way home (except those starks), we are being rewarded with a lot of interactions we haven't had in awhile. even jon and sam are back at castle black together. stannis and family are hanging at dragonstone. bolton, new wife and bastard son are at the dreadfort. and the entire lannister family is celebrating in one place.

i appreciate any comments or feedback to help structure these posts for next season. you can write to me at nohyperboleallowed@gmail.com, or via twitter @hyperboleNOT, or on our wall on facebook at facebook.com/nohyperboleallowed, or just write something in the comments section below.