It took until the third episode, but Game of Thrones had a good episode. We still had a gratuitous boob shot, but I’m almost resigned to the fact that the show will continue with this lazy trend, anything for viewers right? To be fair, it wasn’t even the most over the top, why in the hell are they doing this nude scene. We were given a look into the sham marriage of Renley and Margery. While a bit of a departure from the books it not only solidified the relationship between Loras and Renely but exposed a greater depth to Margery than we explicitly get in the books. She is quite aware that her husband is not interested in her physically but she is equally aware that in order to stay in power she needs to have his baby. So, instead of being put off by Renley’s homosexuality, she accepts it and is prepared to do just about anything to get pregnant by him. Invite her brother Loras into the room? Sure. Basically we get the impression she will do whatever it takes to produce an heir for her king. Also on the Camp Renely front we get to meet one of my favorite characters from the books, Brienne, the Badass Maid from Tarth. Her introduction isn’t much, but just knowing she is on the scene is a good turn of events for the story, kicking Loras’ ass was a nice treat as well.
Across Westeros we also get to see two of my favorite characters move along, one in his element the other well outside of hers. Tyrion struts his stuff with a classic mole catching sequence, ultimately leading to the exposure of Maester Pycelle as an agent of the queen. It wasn’t a shock neither in the books nor in the television series that Tyrion would be good at court. He always came off as shrewd and capable if a little flippant about the whole business and where a dwarf could truly fit. Given the opportunity, Tyrion thrives within the machinations of court and it was fun reading and fun watching. The other character that is in bad way, at least for a while is Arya Stark. The episode concludes with her abduction and imprisonment at Harrenhal. Though it was a bit more involved in the book, the series gets right to the heart of the matter, no more moving north to home and Winterfell, a Stark is at the mercy of the enemy yet again.
Speaking of the North, events on the Wall are still a bit slow and I haven’t warmed to the characterization of Craster. As a friend said he’s basically a drunk, perverted brother of the Night’s Watch. The great “reveal” that the lord commander knew about Craster’s treatment of his male off-spring was a bit of a “duh” moment. I kind of thought Jon was being a bit obtuse by not realizing that the Night’s Watch understood what was going on with Craster. What was a bit of nugget, much like the introduction of Brienne was the discussion between Maester Luwin and Bran. The good maester tries to explain to the young Lord of Winterfell that magic has left the world. Though Bran’s dreams seem clairvoyant, Luwin assures him that it is coincidence, not supernatural. Just you wait old man.
The pivotal storyline as the title of the episode implies, “What is Dead May Never Die” is the Theon story arc. As we saw last week as Theon was feeling up his sister he had returned home to the Iron Islands to claim his inheritance as ruler of the territory. He encounters his father who pretty much has no use for him and in the third episode Theon discovers that he is more loyal to his father than to his surrogate family the Starks. Having read the books I know what comes next, but as the episode draws to an end and we see Theon get baptized in the tradition of the Iron Islands. A change has definitely occurred within Theon and it is going to shock a lot of fans who never read the books. It’s about time we started getting this season moving.