TV Review: This Week on Game of Thrones (S4 Episode 2/ April 13, 2014)

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EPISODE 2: The Lion and the Rose

THE PLOT : The long summer is at an end, winter truly is coming and with it the cold winds of war as five self proclaimed Kings claim dominance over Westeros, but there can be only one winner when you play the game of thrones.

THE LOWDOWN: (The following column contains MAJOR SPOILERS, so I don’t recommend reading this if you haven’t watched this episode). Tonight was bound to be a treat (and damn, was it ever) seeing as how this was the episode of the season written by George R.R. Martin himself, and it shows, particularly with the dialogue between guests at the royal wedding. The event itself was handled well enough, grandiose to be sure, but from all the promo talk I was expecting more. Not to say it wasn’t good, it surely was, I guess what I’m trying to say is that with so many key players in one place, I was having a blast with all the character clashing and could have easily sat through two hours like it was nothing. Before the wedding however, a couple interesting things happen in King’s Landing. Jaime seeks aid from Bronn (through Tyrion) for sword training with his left hand and it’s every bit as awesome as it sounds—I could easily listen to Bronn belittle people for two hours as well. And then there’s Tyrion’s heartfelt letting go of Shae. It’s so sad to watch, for her and because you know it’s tearing poor Tyrion’s heart to pieces.

A strange highlight was the return of Roose Bolton to his keep where his bastard son, Ramsay, awaited him with Theon (we get yet another display the dude’s cruelty in the opening moments as he and some chick run down another chick with dogs and arrows while Theon looks on). Finally, Theon’s story becomes interesting. I honestly don’t remember much of Theon from the books, but I’m hoping he’s playing possum and biding his time. I love the look on Bolton’s face when he finds out Bran and Rickon aren’t quite as dead as he’d hoped. Bran and his crew venture farther north where he gets a coolass vision courtesy of one of the trees from FABLE—sorry, I kept waiting for it to give him a riddle. Funny how this one scene marks a bigger jump for his character then the past couple seasons combined. That said, his story will get cooler once Coldhands and his great elk hit the scene. Looking forward to that.

Our visit with Stannis finds Melisandre burning mofo’s at the stake…yet again—the night’s full of more than just terrors when she’s around. This feels much like the brooding we got from him before Renly was killed, but this time we get an awkward dinner to go with it. His wife is proper nuts, and I love how she’s more than eager feed their daughter to the flames. Again, it’s been so damn long since I read these books, and without the aid of the show’s clarity with characters, I don’t remember much of this storyline beyond where they end up, so I hope they don’t kill his daughter, she’s cool, and it looks like Melisandre thinks so too…but then again, she never lets her lambs see the blade coming.

GAME OF THRONES SEASON 4’s second episode celebrates the greatest wedding of all time, because FINALLY, we see Joffrey get his due. It’s beautiful and gross all at once. This is the icing on the cake so to speak, as the wedding itself provides more than enough entertainment. The exchange between Jaime and Lorras was perfect, as was the conversation between Brienne and Cercei—and the look on her face when Joffrey started going on about Renly, you could tell she wanted to break him in half. Another priceless moment was Cercei cutting Pycelle a new hole. I laughed my ass off. She should just kill the old bastard and be done with it. The War of the Five Kings play was in poor taste, and the looks from the crowd were deadly. I can’t believe Tywin let Joffrey pull something like that with all those in attendance (like shit wasn’t tense enough already). Speaking of tense, everything fell apart when Joffrey collapsed, but is it me, or did no one seem too eager to help him? Even Cercei, she almost looked like she didn’t care for a second there, like she was embracing the tragedy as a weapon to use against Tyrion. Poor Tyrion, this just isn’t his season, and it’s only going to get worse. Damn good episode though. Long live the king.

SEX/NUDITY: Bronn talks about having sex, does that count?

VIOLENCE: A girl meets a grisly end thanks to that sick bastard Ramsay, some peeps get burned to a crisp, and King Joffrey dies painfully. I still can’t get that image out of my head.

SHARPEST QUIP: Tonight’s episode is full of them, and probably the hardest choice yet, but I’m going to go with funny. Granny Tyrell going on to Sansa about the brutality of the red wedding, finishing with; “As if men needed more reasons to fear marriage.”

MOST EPIC SCENE: The best scene was when Prince Oberyn and his woman run into Cercei and Tywin in passing at the wedding. I’ve never seen so many threats and insults masqueraded by pleasantries and smiles. Oberyn makes his intensions clear and it’s easily one of the most epic scenes in the episode (come on guys, I know he’s a dick, but it can’t be all about Joffrey dying).



And, here’s a preview of next week’s episode “Breaker of Chains”


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