Oh, hello Sunday night. Hello torture, and most of all, hello evil smoke baby.
Wow….Game of Thrones, you never cease to amaze me. Just when we think things are starting to settle down a little bit into a somewhat more subdued show about the power struggle throughout the lands, you go and get all brutal, violent and "umm….what?" on us. To say that this weeks episode was disturbing and mildly hard to watch would be a slight understatement. However, what fascinates me is that if this was any other show, it is very likely I would have stopped watching episodes ago, but with this one….I just want more! Maybe it's the amazing acting and writing that is so different from any other show on television that you can't help but appreciate that it is good – no matter how outlandish and graphic it might get…or it might be the fact that just when you think you might give up, an evil smoke baby is pushed out of a naked woman (more on that in a moment) and you get completely sucked back in.
It may also be the characters. It is not often on television that we see a powerful dwarf be the funniest and most charming person on a show, or a 16 year old that is so terrible you wonder if he just might be one of the most evil characters to have appeared on television, period. Each episode I think that King Joffrey can't get darker or more evil, and then he goes and does it all over again…and even worse. Not only does he order the beating of his future Queen and order this to happen for something that she simply has no control over… but he also orders her clothes to be torn off, leaving her crying and humiliated. But, don't worry…he is going to save her face because he likes "her pretty." It's not even as much this statement, but the joy in his eyes when he says it, that makes him so disgusting. So, after this, the episode starts out with you thinking, wow, that little kid is fucked up - not knowing that it is about to get so much worse. Enter the whores. I don't know what that thing with the big metal spikes was or where Joffrey forces her to put it, but all I can say is, that is one of the most terrifying things I have ever seen. I am happy that Tyrion walked in and saved Sansa - because I like her and she doesn't deserve any harm, but if this is what it makes Joffrey do in retaliation, I say let her be!
We get a small break from torture (unless you count someone getting their foot sawed off, so maybe not really a break) and get a glimpse of Robb Stark reveling in yet another win in a battle with the Lannisters. He doesn't get to enjoy it for long, as he encounters a woman (with whom I think he was having a strange flirtation?) who talks about the price the "smallfolk' are paying for the war (they are the ones that are giving their lives and staying in terrible living conditions just so these 4 men can fight for the throne, yada yada). Robb doesn't seem to understand what she is saying, but it is nice to have someone bring up the dissenting opinion and actually point out how many people are hurt and dying in this epic battle. Also the way that Robb looks at her, I suspect we might be seeing a lot more of this mysterious beauty.
And then there was Arya. Captured by the Lannisters, she is stuck in a cursed castle with the Night's Watch recruits where the prisoners get to watch a different one from their group to be selected, tortured, and murdered every day. Oh yes, we are back to the torture. And, this time it's rats. Now, before watching this episode I have never had a problem with rodents (snakes, yes, rodents, no). I think that all might have changed after watching a bucket get strapped to a man's chest and hearing the rat trying to claw, bite and burrow in to his skin trying to escape from fire at the other end. However, the best part of Arya's storyline comes when Lord Tywin Lannister arrives at the camp and recognizes Arya as a girl. To me, this was so brilliant as we have spent the last few episodes worried about the moment that she will be discovered as a girl, but Tywin walks up and reveals it in such matter of fact way, we kind of wonder what we were so worried about in the first place. However, now that he has made her his new cupbearer, there is going to be a whole new set of worry as to at what moment he actually figures out he has Ned Stark's daughter in his possession, and what is going to happen to the poor girl then.
I don't want to forget to mention Catelyn Stark or her interaction with Lord Baelish, however, the moment they walk in with the container with Ned Stark's remains, I could help but to think of Brad Pitt yelling "What's in the boooooooooox?" over and over at the end of Se7en. I know it probably wasn't right to laugh at this moment, but in an episode that was filled with some much brutality, I'll take any comic relief that I can find, and to be honest, I'm pretty surprised they didn't show us the contents - it's not like they show a lot of discretion with the blood and gore.
Alright, so now we will move on to the holy-shit-what-the-hell-just-happened section of this episode (yes, shockingly, we aren't there yet). You guessed it, it's when we see Stannis Baratheon's Red Lady lay down in a cave and push out a black swirl of smoke that we can only assume is an evil monster baby that is about to show Stannis's brother, Renly Baratheon and his men what evil power really is. Wait, what?!! I'm confused…is this the "son" that Stannis put inside of her a few weeks ago? When she told him that she wanted to give him a son that will ensure that he will be able to claim his kingdom? This is certainly not what I expected, although, she is a dark princess so maybe I shouldn't be surprised. I knew she was going to bring us some oddities in the supernatural realm, but maybe it was the image of those black smoke claws attaching on to her legs and pulling itself out that was a bit too shocking for my innocent little eyes to accept.
All in all, it was a very fascinating episode that was anything but boring, but I also must say thank you Game of Thrones Season 2 drinking game and allowing me to forget much of what I saw by the end of the hour (even if I had to quit halfway through so it didn't kill me).for introducing me to the