Game of Thrones, Season 5 Episode 2 Review
Last night's "Game of Thrones" was all about setting up season five. That meant nothing much happened. But I'm your fearless reviewer so I'm soldiering on, attempting to write this column while flying to LA on Southwest. This means if there are more misspelled words than normal or I've screwed up character name spellings, that's because the only website working on the flight is gmail. And that's only working occasionally. First world problems, indeed. Here we go.
1. How many people can be traveling at once?
We've got Tyrion and Varys in a random carriage, Sansa and Peter Baelish also in a carriage, Jaime Lannister and Bronn about to depart to go rescue his illegitimate daughter, Lady Brionne and her steward chasing Sansa and Arya, and Stannis at Castle Black intent on invading the north.
I mean, everyone in the entire show with the exception of Cersei is moving right now.
2. While everyone else is traveling, Arya finally arrives in Bravos.
You'll recall that Arya has been traveling since the end of season one when she fled King's Landing right after her father's execution. It's now the fifth season which means she has been on the road for the second, third, and fourth seasons. This has to be the longest road trip in television history.
Now she's in Bravos with her coin and her mystery-faced man and when she arrives at her destination what happens? They won't let her inside. Arya rightly points out that she has nowhere to go -- given that she's been everywhere -- and so she sits outside the mysterious building and bides her time reciting all the people she wants to kill, Billy Madison style.
Oh, and she throws her magic coin into the ocean.
3. After a long search Lady Brienne finds Sansa in a random pub.
Isn't it amazing how often people randomly run into each other in pubs on this show? There are all these different kingdoms and yet there are like a hundred people dead on the show as a result of pub fights.
Lesson: If you want to stay alive on Game of Thrones don't go in a fucking pub.
Anyway, the latest pub fight is between Lady Brienne and the Baelish crew and it starts after Sansa Stark declines to allow Lady Brienne to protect her. Baelish rightfully points out that Lady Brienne's charges -- the Baratheon brother and the Stark mom -- have an unfortunate habit of being killed on her watch.
For some reason this interaction leads to a pub fight resulting in more deaths. I honestly have no idea why Baelish's men want Lady Brienne dead. I asked my wife, but she shushed me.
Why do they have to fight here?
4. Jaime Lannister recruits Bronn to go rescue his illegitimate daughter/niece.
You know you've really fallen into the Game of Thrones morality hole when you actually find yourself thinking, "Man, that Jaime Lannister is really a good guy for being willing to go rescue his illegitimate daughter/niece."
I mean just last year he raped his sister alongside the dead body of his son/nephew and a while back he pushed Bran out the window after Bran caught him having sex with his sister.
And now I'm thinking, "This is a pretty good dude."
This is exactly the same strained morality that led to the Baltimore Ravens putting up a statue to Ray Lewis: "Sure, he may well have killed two men, but have you seen him dance when he comes on the football field? Our fans love him. We need this."
5. Bronn might be my favorite character on the show right now.
Primarily because he's the only character whose amorality is entirely predictable. If you pay him enough, he'll do anything. But he's also loyal. Within reason, anyway.
Also, Bran, Bronn, and Brienne all are going to play major roles this season?
Come the fuck on, George R.R. Martin, help a brother out.
As many crazy ass names as this show has and you roll with three this close?
6. They catch a man with a gold mask, but then he's murdered by another man before the accused murderer can stand trial.
Prior to this event Daenerys has made a decision to allow a trial, motivated to a large degree by the counsel of her father's former hand. The former hand points out that Daenerys's father, the mad king, ruled by force and eventually lost his power. A counter to this argument might have included the phrase, "Yes, but he didn't have three dragons, bitch," but Daenerys doesn't make that argument.
After the murder Daenerys has to decide how to deal with this murder before the trial. This leads her to utter the immortal line, "The law is the law," which somehow managed to sound really profound on Game of Thrones, proving that if you play the right music and have the right staging while someone attractive speaks, the actual words don't matter. This also works in politics. (See Palin, Sarah).
Somewhere chief justice John Roberts, staring at the briefing books for the gay marriage case before him, rose to his feet and pumped his fist when this line was uttered.
7. Tyrion continues to have the greatest lines on the show.
Told that Cersei has offered a substantial reward for his head, he replies, "She ought to offer her cunt, the best part of her for the best part of me."
Talk about a walk off shot.
Peter Dinklage should have refused to say another line this season.
8. A dwarf head is delivered to Cersei.
Let me repeat that -- a dwarf's head -- cut off from the body -- is delivered to Cersei and my strained Game of Thrones morality is so out of whack that my first inclination is to laugh.
Also, Gilly is receiving reading lessons from Stannis's scarred daughter, but the daughter's mom warns her that Gilly can't be trusted because she's a wildling. I think I speak for everyone when I say, "If Gilly kills this little girl, I'm giving up on anyone decent being on the show. Ever."
9. Stannis offers Jon Snow something that he's always wanted, the last name Stark.
While the last name Stark is presently cursed, becoming Jon Stark comes replete with the ruler of the north title and what's left of Winterfell. But Jon Snow, the man your wife wishes she was sleeping with instead of you, turns down the last name Stark and instead is elected ruler of Castle Black after the Blind Targaryen casts the final vote in his favor.
By the way, if Jon Snow and Tim Riggins ever star in a buddy cop movie, every woman in America is going to see this.
How has this movie not happened already?
10. Arya Stark is threatened in a dark alley in Bravos, whips out Needle and says, "Nothing is worth anything to a dead man."
Is Arya Stark the most overconfident fighter in swordfighting history? She's like 95 pounds and really believes she's going to kill everyone.
Anyway, her mystery multi-faced man reemerges, takes her back to the mystery building, hands her coin back to her -- somehow miraculously retrieved from the ocean -- and leads her into the building. Finally, after more than three seasons on the road, Arya Stark has reached a destination.
11. Daenerys chops off the head of the murderer of the murderer and a riot ensues because many wanted her to give him mercy.
Back in her palace Daenerys, in the midst of her weakest moment, is suddenly visited by the missing dragon, who alights near her and allows her to rub his snout. But then the dragon takes off anew.
Does she still have some control over her dragons or not? Stay tuned.