'Game of Thrones' Recap: And You Thought Your Family Had Issues

Game of ThronesAfter the premiere of Game of Thrones, you know you had to tune in to the second episode to see what happens to all of our favorite characters: What's going to happen to Arya? How will Jon Snow fare against the wildings? Will King Joffrey finally get his butt kicked by ... anybody? Who is going to be the next king? Is it going to be Tyrion Lannister, the smallest but smartest of them all? When the heck is Daenerys gonna whip out her dragons and finally take over Westeros?

Hopefully the second season is going to answer all of these questions for us. The second episode, "The Night Lands," was, as always, pretty awesome. Before we get into it, as a disclaimer, yes, I did read A Clash of Kings, but I won't be doing many book/show comparison -- I can't exactly remember every detail from those 708 pages! Otherwise, spoilers are to follow, and I hope you join me in fellow fantasy geekery as we discuss the second episode of Game of Thrones!


So here we go. I'll totally admit, there wasn't all that much action in this episode ... but there was quite a bit of sex. It seemed every single story line contained a sex scene: Stannis Baratheon gettin' it on with Melisandre, Petyr Baelish goin' all peepin' tom on his whore house, Theon Greyjoy getting it on with the captain's daughter ... gotta love HBO.

Still, this episode built up a lot of the action that is (hopefully) soon to come. Fan favorite Arya gets more than a second's worth of screen time this week, showing off her spunk to three of the scariest characters to date in this series, the prisoners of the Night's Watch. Arya also bonds with Gendry, a bastard of the deceased King Robert whom Queen Cersei is hunting down. Gendry is quick to discover that Arya is a girl and finds out who she is in a pretty hilarious exchange.

In the larger game of thrones, Tyrion Lannister is badass as always. He gives his sister Queen Cersei a hard time; he quips, "Only ... I hadn't realized peace had depended on killing babies." ("You have perfected the art of tearing up papers" was also another Tyrion classic one-liner.) Ever wise, Tyrion kicks Lord Janos Slynt out to the Wall after getting him wasted (Slynt betrayed Eddard Stark in season one) and makes his ally, Ser Jacelyn Bywater, Commander of the City Watch instead. But we see the eunuch, Varys, with Tyrion's secret whore -- perhaps a weakness that will hurt him in the end despite all his cunning?

Tyrion also fears that there is something beyond the Wall that could destroy them all. So, speaking of the Night's Watch, Jon Snow, who's looking as fine as always, and his friend Samwell meet Gilly, who is pregnant and fears she has a boy. Craster, the sick perv the Night's Watch is staying with, will sacrifice any boy who's born (he only keeps the girls and then keeps impregnating them ... this is what I mean about family issues!). Jon gives Sam a gut-check by admitting they can't help her. However, he finds a baby at the end of the episode, leading up to a cliffhanger as he gets knocked out after the discovery.

Then we move on to Theon Greyjoy, the ward to the deceased Eddard Stark, as he becomes a more prominent character this season. He doesn't make the best first impression, being seduced by his own sister (again, um, gross family issues), Kira -- her name was Asha in the book -- and humiliated by his father, Balon. Balon rejects Robb Stark's proposal to offer him kingship of the Iron Islands if he takes on Lannister's fleet, schooling Theon and making fun of him in the process. Who knows how Theon will react to this embarrassment and affect the game of thrones?

In more build-up to the action to come, we see how Stannis and the red witch Melisandre use Ser Davos to form allies against the Lannisters. Ser Davos gets Saliadhor Saan, a pirate, to join in a naval invasion. Seems that the pieces are moving to lead up to quite an epic battle against the Lannisters. And after all the discussions are over, all Melisandre has to give Stannis is a son, apparently, in order for her to seduce him and for them to get it on (and walk around with her breasts hanging out, I guess that helps in the whole seduction process).

Whew. A lot of new characters, and we didn't even get a glimpse of King Joffrey or Sansa, even Catelyn. Daenerys was featured briefly, just as a reminder that we shouldn't forget about her. Kind of a bummer. The new ones are fantastic, but I'm kind of missing the old ones that made season 1 so great!

What did you think of the second episode? Are you liking all of these new characters?


Image via HBO

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