Game of ThronesWith the second episode of Game of Thrones and the season premiere of Mad Men on at the same damn time on the same damn night, TV is back, wenches! (As Jaime Lannister would say.) But for now, let's delve into "Dark Wings, Dark Words" -- such an appropriate episode title for Game of Thrones, right? Couldn't be something like "Colorful, Beautiful Wings and Happy, Smiley Words," huh?

As a record-breaking number of you tuned in to "Valar Dohaeris," let's hope the momentum would continue building to the heartbreaking climax all fans of A Storm of Swords can't wait to see. Though the hour flew by, we didn't get to see Arya, Bran, Jaime, or Brienne. Still, Daenerys was about to buy an army (sans one man nipple), Tyrion has daddy issues, the sexual tension between Jon & Ygritte is about to climax (sorry), and everyone's fighting for that uncomfortable-looking Iron Throne upon which King Joffrey's pompous ass currently sits.

SPOILERS AHEAD if you haven't seen the episode ... duh.

We see a lot of old favorite characters and meet a lot of new ones, but this episode graced us with the awesome presence of Lady Olenna, Margaery's hilariously sarcastic grandmother. Her lines and attitude definitely have shades of the Dowager Countess from Downton, don't you think? She gets straight to the point by drilling Sansa about stupid Joffrey. Sansa's finally convinced to speak the truth, especially when she thought about what Joffrey did to her father. Can Margaery and Lady Olenna be trusted with Sansa's confession?

Well, it seems Margaery has Joffrey completely wrapped around her finger, and there's something sinister about her interaction with him and the crossbow. No one would have complained if she grabbed it and used it on him at that very moment. I think a lot of people are tuning in to this season to see if and how Joffrey is going to die.

Bran's back! And looking (and sounding) so grown-up. He tries to kill a three-eyed raven, but Jojen Reed, whom he hasn't yet met, makes a sudden appearance in his dream. Osha, Bran, Rickon (though we don't see him), and Hodor ("HODOR!") then finally meet Jojen and his sister Meera; they claim they've been looking for Bran. (Jojen's the kid from Love Actually?? Damn, he's so grown-up too!) Jojen seems to be the only one with answers to Bran's "seeing" dreams and wants to help Bran control them.

But otherwise, the episode was a tad slow. Case in point: Catelyn opening up to Robb's new wife about how she believes her hatred toward Jon Snow, her husband's bastard, is the reason all this grief has come upon her family. She gives a poignant, touching speech, but I'd rather see some damn dragons. Speaking of Jon, we meet up with him beyond the Wall and are introduced to yet another new character -- Orell, a skinchanger, who can see through the eyes of animals.

The best odd couple on television are also back: Jaime and Brienne bicker away like an old, married couple as they walk through the woods toward King's Landing. Even though she duels with Jaime while he's handcuffed, she's a badass fighter. 

Can't ignore the fact that Arya, Hot Pie, and Gendry finally show up as well. They encounter the Brotherhood Without Banners, who threaten the trio with some pretty impressive archery. They're forced to accompany the group to an inn, but shockingly, the Hound is captured and taken there, the first we've seen of him after he fled from the battle -- and he immediately recognizes Arya as "the Stark bitch."

But there were some lowlights in this episode: Tyrion was in a rather pointless scene with Shae 40 minutes in, and no Daenerys?! No dragons?? The episode was more exposition than anything, especially having to catch up with characters the premiere couldn't fit in. Theon Greyjoy's torture scenes were really the only bloody violence in a rather action-free episode. Can't wait to see how the Tyrells will be able to put Joffrey in his place and how Brienne can fight her way out of her and Jaime's very perilous predicament.

Favorite lines:

"You can't kill it, you know ... because the raven is you." -- Jojen Reed

"You're far too much man for him." -- Jaime Lannister

"Leave us be, and I won’t kill you." -- Arya Stark

"That's what intelligent women do. What they're told." -- King Joffrey

"Once the cow has been milked, there's no squirting the cream back up her udder." -- Lady Olenna

"All this horror that’s come to my family ... It's all because I couldn't love a mother-less child." -- Catelyn Stark

What did you think of the second episode of Game of Thrones?

 

Image via HBO