Okay, now that we're all ACQUAINTED and what have you, let's begin the recapping, shall we?
We start with the truly amazing credits sequence. Seriously, the awesomeness of this cannot be overstated. The clockwork graphics, all the shifting locations, and the MUSIC...
Trufax: I have the soundtrack to Game of Thrones, and I regularly play it in my car to make boring errands like grocery shopping and picking up my kid feel like EPIC QUESTS.
Ah, it is my MORTAL ENEMIES, Cheryl, Colby, and Anna-Kate from House SoccerMom!
Anyway, just as we've gotten over the enormous Fan Boner that is the opening, we go right to King's Landing and mother-trucking Joffrey and his mother-trucking name day. And now I can talk about book vs. show issues RIGHT OFF THE BAT. See, in the books, Joffrey is...well, he's still an evil little dickbag, but he's a HOT evil little dickbag. At least initially. I mean, we first really see him through Jon Snow's eyes, and even HE is like, "Ugh, dude seems like a prick, but man, is he good-looking and taller than both me and Robb and stuff."
Yup, in the books, Joffrey is meant to be more attractive than these two. You're welcome for the mind-f*ck.
And while the actor who plays Joffrey is knocking it out of the park, he is SERIOUSLY NOT HOT. Like, everything about him screams, "I AM A HORRIBLE PERSON AND THE PRODUCT OF TWINCEST." It's like evil and Nellie Olsen had a baby.
AH WHY IS JOFFREY IN A BONNET CANNOT UNSEEEEEE?!
So Joffrey is doing what he does, and totally dicking it up at his Birthday Joust. He nearly has this dude, Ser Dontos (rockin' some confusing Captain America armor) killed, but then MAH KWEEN, Sansa, speaks up.
Okay, before we go any further, I'm just letting you know UP FRONT that I effing LOVE Sansa Stark. Yes, she makes some boneheaded choices, but A) she's young, and B) that's something of a family trait.
YES, NED, OFFENSE TOTALLY MEANT.
But look how excellently she plays the game right here! She totally saves Dontos's life by playing on all of Joffrey's weakness/vanities. It's awesome, and now I totally want to write fanfic wherein she and Daenerys just take over and kick all the boys out.
So once Sansa is done ruling shit and being wily, Tyrion shows up, ALSO ruling shit and being wily! Tyrion impresses everyone with his general winning at life before heading into the Small Council meeting.
This may be horrible of me to admit, because God knows everyone acts the ever living hell out of these scenes, but I always find the Small Council stuff kind of...dull. So Imma give you the Cliff Notes:
WHITE RAVEN: WINTER, MOTHER-F*CKERS!
SMALL COUNCIL: Daaaaaamn!
TYRION: WHAT UP, I AM HAND OF THE KING NOW.
CERSEI: *bitch face*
TYRION: We should trade Sansa and Arya for our brother/your lover. Your brover.
CERSEI: Yeah, about that...
TYRION: UGH YOU ARE THE WORST.
CERSEI: *moar bitch face*
To be fair, girlfriend gives excellent bitchface. The hair helps.
Then we move on to Bran, trying to be Lord of Winterfell, but being kind of bored with that since he's ten. And not ONLY does Bran have to deal with old dudes wanting, like, masons and shit, he is having WARG DREAMS.
It's time for more honesty. The whole "warg" thing is one of my least favorite elements of the books. The idea that all the Stark kids can psychically bond with/become their direwolves is obviously going to be very important, but there's just something about it that...eh.
BUT MOVING ON. So Bran and HODOR! and Tonks (Osha, whatevs) head into the godswood to talk about the comet. No one seem to know what it means. Symbol of Ned's beheading? Lannister victory? Dragons? PERHAPS. But what it really is is a super-convenient way of switching from one storyline to the next. And so with that, we move on to...
MOTHER TRUCKING DRAGONS YAAAAAY!
Okay, so it's just the one dragon and it's tiny. Drogon rides on Dany's shoulder while Doreah walks behind them, looking like she wants to eat/bone Drogon. Seriously. Her face. Look at it.
The last time we saw Dany, she was basically drowning in awesomeness. In fact, right before we started this episode, my husband said, "You know, I really can't remember how last season ended." And I was like, "OMG WITH A NAKED CHICK COVERED IN DRAGONS WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?"
But now, dragons or no, Dany is not feeling so awesome. She's mostly feeling hungry and probably kind of gross since she and her Busted Ass Khalasar are making their way through the Red Waste, AKA a Big Effing Desert.
But sadly, not a Big Effing Dessert. Also, I have stared at this picture for the last five minutes trying to figure out what the hell is going on here.
Her horse dies, and then she has a sad while I am like, "HOLY SHIT ARE THE DRAGONS GONNA FLY OVER AND DESCEND ON HER HORSE AND START EATING IT? THAT WOULD RULE."
Sadly, that does not happen, and instead all we get is Ser Jorah The Much Hotter Than He Appears In The Books being all, "Soooooo... this blows, yes?"
Dany agrees that it both sucks AND blows, and then she compliments Ser Jorah on how fine he is looking in his pirate shirt. Oh, wait. That was me.
Don't look so sad, Jorah! In the books, you're a gross, hairy creeper. But here on teh show, you get to be hot! Congratulations on your new face, Jorah!
Instead of making out with Jorah as she should, Dany rounds up three of her bloodriders, and tells them to go find some more guyliner/civilizations. So they ride off and do that. Dany looks at Convenience's Comet, and we go to....
AH THE NIGHT'S WATCH YAY!! When we last left Jon Snow, he and his Night's Watch crew were headed North of the Wall, which, to quote the hilarious dudes over at Boars, Gore, and Swords, totally sounds like a bad-ass heavy metal album from 1985.
We join them...hey, North of the Wall! And already getting to Craster's! In the book, there was a lot of, "Jon and his bros investigate a wildling village. It is empty. They are creeped out. Lather, rinse, repeat." So I'm kind of excited that they skipped all that and went straight to Ye Olde House of Mega Gross Incest, AKA Craster's Keep.
The dudes- Jon, Sam, Grenn, and a NEW character, Dolorous Edd- roll up on Craster's. Sam and Grenn are both "YAY LADIES!!" until Dolorous Edd, is like, "Slow your roll, fellas. These are Craster's daughters. Who are also his wives. They are his Dwives, if you will."
So Sam and Grenn, being decent guys, immediately lose their boners for the products/victims of incest, while Jon Snow- who never had a boner in the first place because ladies scare him- is just like, "So what do they do with the boys?" Then everyone stares at him like, "SERIOUSLY THAT IS WHAT YOU ARE TAKING AWAY FROM THIS SITCH, JON SNOW?"
Edd and Sam are disappointed in Jon's Snow's "Grasping The Most F*cked Up Thing About Any Given Moment" skills.
We go into Craster's Keep, and while Craster himself is a lot...cleaner than I had imagined, the keep is every bit as nasty as you'd expect a House of Incest to be. It's like Flowers in the Attic times a million up in there.
Lord Commander Mormont is trying to get info out of Craster, but Craster is being all sketchy and gross like...well, like a dude who sexes his daughters/grand-daughters.
Jon comes in and is super-duper grossed out by Craster's entire scene, so when Craster refers to the NW guys as "Southerners," he cannot help but open his (pretty pretty) mouth and snark, "We're not Southerners."
Actually, this reminds me that Book!Jon is a fair amount snarkier than Show!Jon, and much as I love Show!Jon, I wish there were a little bit more than that. But seeing as how Show!Jon is hot while Book!Jon is fourteen, I'm giving the advantage to Show!Jon here. Because I'm shallow.
FOUR FOR YOU, HBO! YOU GO, HBO!
Anyway, Jon's little impulse control issue gives Craster a fun opportunity to remind us that to wildlings like him, everyone south of the Wall is a Southerner. And then he gives Jon a whole bunch of shit for being pretty, both because he looks like...well, see above, AND because doesn't want Jon taking any of his Dwives south of the Wall. That...actually sounds much dirtier than I intended.
In any case, I get Craster's concern. I mean, if Jon Snow showed up at my house, I'd definitely try to leave with him, and my husband is neither creepy nor my dad.
So in the end, Craster is Creepy McCreeperson, tells the NW that the wildlings are all uniting under a dude called Mance Rayder ALSO a totally Metal Name), and they will soon be marching south the eff shizz up but good. Jon Snow looks angsty about this, but then he's also been looking angsty about all the Dwives checking him out/making Sad Tubercular Faces at him from their Loft of Incestuous Happenings. And just in case Jon WASN'T feeling icky enough, Craster fondles one of his Dwives and makes her recite this sad little spiel about how happy she and her moms/sisters/aunts- her Mosisunts?- are to be living in a hovel with this nasty guy, getting raped and having their babies stolen all the time.
Jon Snow does not look convinced.
He does, however, look fabulous.
Craster reminds the Night's Watch dudes that if they touch his Dwives, he'll start cuttin' off hands. Jon Snow gets an Extra Special Threat just for him, namely that Craster will gouge out his eyes. (NOT THE FACE, CRASTER! ANYTHING BUT THE FACE!)
Outside, Mormont rips into Jon, reminding him that while he may be the Prettiest Bastard in all of Westeros, he is still just a steward, and therefore does not need to be snarking at their allies. Jon looks...wait for it...angsty.
Then there's MOAR PLOT COMET, and we're in Dragonstone.
This scene is actually where the second book starts, and I think the show made a good decision in sticking it here, right in the middle, rather than at the beginning. Because when I started A Clash of Kings (at 3AM after feeding my Brand New Behbeh, I should add), I was all, "OMG WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? UGH, NO1CURR!! Dany just hatched DRAGONS YOU GUYS. And Ned Stark is DEAD, and Arya is OFF TO THE WALL, and there is SO MUCH MORE COOLER SHIT HAPPENING THEN THESE JACKASSES I DO NOT EVEN."
Now, eventually, I came to be pretty invested in Davos/Stannis/Melisandre/Whatevs.
But at the time, I only wanted the people I KNEW, and I imagine the viewing audience would've felt the same here. SO.
Melisandre is this crazy-ass priestess from Asshai. Heh. Ass. She's insinuated herself into Stannis Baratheon's shizz, and when we meet her, she's making him burn figures of The Seven, AKA the main gods of Westeros. See, Mel is all about R'hllor, the Lord of Light, and now Stannis and his peeps are as well. I really like this detail, as it's yet another reason it's hard for Stannis to be king. Not only is he more or less personality-free, but he also wants to being this whole new god to Westeros. And since people don't like abandoning religion, this cannot end well.
This is probably a good time to mention that Stephen Dillane AKA Stannis played Thomas Jefferson in "John Adams," and I had a MAD CRUSH on him. So it's a little hard for me to buy him as this charisma-free loser.
While Mel is getting her Awesome Clambake of the Gods on, Maester Cressen runs up, trying to stop this. He appeals to Davos, who is a former smuggler turned Stannis's Best Bro. But that doesn't really work, see above RE: Best Bro.
Melisandre tells Cressen that he stinks of piss and old bones and fear, and I fight the urge to make some kind of celebrity perfume joke.
Resist it, Rachel! Resist it! You're BETTER THAN THIS!
Now that everybody has had an excellent time at the Clambake of the Gods, they go back inside to hang out around Stannis's admittedly SUPER SWEET Table O'Westeros. Stannis is butthurt for a number of reasons. (Also, this is going to be such a consistent part of his character that he might as well call himself King Stannis the Butthurt. And if he won't, I will.) So the main things that have his smallclothes in a twist are all the freaking kings claiming kingliness. There's King Renly the Younger Brother (Who Is Only King Because His Hot Boyfriend Is ALSO Super-Rich, So Way To Go, Renly), King Joffrey The Bitch Incest Child, and King Robb Stark The SuperMegaFoxyAwesomeHot(TM A Very Potter Musical). Stannis wants all of them to GTFO, and Mel is all, "Blah blah blah, Lord of Light, etc." and Davos is like, "Look, new gods are awesome and all, but we need stuff like ships and armies and what have you."
Then Cressen decides he quits this bitch, by which I mean he poisons himself and Melisandre, but PSYCHE YOUR FACE, CRESSEN! You don't bring a knife to a gunfight! Or poison to a Crazy Ginger Witch Fight! Or...something.
In any case, Cressen dies of a massive nose bleed and Melisandre is "red and terrible and red" and not dead of poison.
Also not dead? Jaime Lannister! He's just chilling in a sweet bamboo cage that looks like something you'd get from Pier One. Jaime is another one of those characters who I love based on stuff that happens in later books. Well, that and that line where Catelyn is like, "The world sucks because of men like you," and he replies, "There are no men like me. Only me." I mean, come on. Sister Banger and Defenestrator of Little Kids or no, that is a smallclothes-droppin' line.
Also a smallclothes-droppin' face. And no, I will not stop with the smallclothes jokes because A) GRRM uses that term ALL THE TIME in the books, and B)it is just an extremely funny word for underwear. To me.
So Jaime is in his cage, and then King Robb the SuperMegaFoxyAwesomeHot comes in to...tell us stuff we already know. Look, I love any scene that features not one but TWO Extremely Good-Looking Guys being all manly and growly at each other, but really, all this establishes is that Jaime is Robb's prisoner, Robb knows King Joffrey the Bitch Incest Child comes by that title honestly, and Grey Wind is now massive and CGI. Also, while I love Robb like burning- seriously, he's SO much more interesting on the show than he is in the books, although this MIGHT have something to do with his aforementioned SuperMegaFoxyAwesomeHotness-it's not hard to seem bad-ass and intimidating when you're threatening a dude tied to a pole, you know?
Robb, I just cannot help but feel you may be...overcompensating here, you know?
And now we're back in King's Landing! And it's...oh, blech, Shae. I love Tyrion, but Shae bores me to tears, so let's make this brief: Shae likes the city because it smells like all manner of nasty shizz, Tyrion likes Shae because he's kind of a dumbass when it comes to ladies, and I like this scene because it's OVER NOW.
SERIOUSLY SHAE IS THE WORST.
We move to the courtyard where Littlefinger is sashaying around like he does. Cersei stops him, and they engage in some of that loaded banter Littlefinger is so good at. Except he forgets that Cersei is not Varys and as such, has balls. Big, iron, slightly-crazy ones. So when he makes a jab about her being a Brother-Lover, she has her soldiers nearly kill him to prove a point about power. I'm not sure what it says about me that this is the most I have ever liked Cersei. Or it could just be that after listening to Lena Headey's commentary on the GoT blu-rays, I have a truly ridiculous girlcrush on her.
Now back to the camp of King Robb the SuperMegaFoxyAwesomeHot where Robb is laying out his terms.
SEXY terms, AMIRITE?
They sound pretty reasonable to me, but then I'm a sucker for pretty blue eyes, so don't listen to me. After that's done, Robb and Theon have a little Bro Time. Now, when the show first started, there were a lot of complaints about Robb, Theon, and Jon Snow were hard to tell apart due to them all looking the same. I...do not see this.
They do apparently share the same commitment to physical fitness, though, and I appreciate that.
But I get that it's slightly confusing that you have 3 dudes all roughly the same age hanging out in Winterfell, and the show DOES take it's sweet-ass time explaining who Theon is. So if you WERE confused, I am not judging you.
Theon wants to go back to his home on the Iron Islands and get his dad to give Robb some ships so that Robb and Co. might eff up King's Landing. Robb points out that Theon's dad, you know, led a big rebellion a few years back which resulted in all of Theon's brothers getting killed and Theon being taken prisoner by the Starks. But Theon is all, "BYGONES! And hey, I'm not your prisoner, I'm your BRO!" So Robb decides to send Theon back to his daddy, thus joining Ned and Jon in the Pretty Stark Men (Who Make Less Than Awesome Decisions On The Reg) Club.
Catelyn agress with me, and she and Robb have a fight about all kinds of stuff: Theon, the fact that Robb won't trade Jaime for Sansa and Arya, and how he never cleans his room up, and he and Jon are always playing their music too loud.
And then comes a part that I SERIOUSLY DO NOT LIKE. In the books, Cat definitely misses Bran and Rickon and Winterfell, but she very strongly feels like her place is with Robb, what with him trying to be king and leading armies and all. And it's HER idea to go try to make some kind of peace with King Renly The Younger Brother (Who Is Only King Because His Hot Boyfriend Is ALSO Super-Rich, So Way To Go, Renly).
But here, you have Cat being all, "I need to go home for I am a LADY and that's what LADIES do," and Robb is like, "LOL NO, GO SEE RENLY FOR ME," and Rachel is all, >:(
Cat leaves, and Robb kisses her on the forehead, and whoever it ws on Tumblr that said, "Yo, Richard Madden, I appreciate what you're bringing to the party, but could you not play every scene like you wanna sex up the person in said scene with you?" has a VALID POINT. Between this and the Jaime scene and the Theon scene, I feel very...confused.
MADDEN. THAT IS YOUR MOM. COOL IT WITH THE SEX EYES.
Also feeling confused is Cersei, but her confusion has less to do with King Robb the SuperMegaFoxyAwesomeHot's sexiness, and everything to do with Joffrey redecorating the throne room. They have it out over Joffrey's general awfulness, and she ends up smacking him which is ALWAYS EXCELLENT. He brings up the veritable Bastard Cornucopia his father left in King's Landing, which leads us to...
Ros! The Only Whore in All of Westeros! I know some people hate Ros, but I actually think she's a great storytelling device. She's tangentially connected to basically everyone from Tyrion to Littlefinger to Theon to Jon Snow (Aside: Does anyone else find the image of Jon Snow fleeing from the brothel, all, "NO I MUSTN'T BASTARD ANGST AHHH!" incredibly hilarious? Because for some reason, that is the funniest shit ever to me. And do you think Ros was bummed she didn't get to take Jon Snow's Precious Maiden Snowflake? I bet she was bummed.)
Plus she's pretty to look at and as we have established, I am shallow.
Ros has clearly gotten a promtotion since last season, and now she is not JUST The Only Whore in All of Westeros, but QUEEN WHORE! Golf claps, Ros!
However, all is not well in Ros's Queendom of Whoreishness. A bunch of Gold Cloaks (AKA, the City Guard) burst in, which reminds me that Westeros is weirdly obsessed with colors. If you're in the City Guard, you're in a "Gold Cloak," if you're in the Kingsguard, you wear a white cloak, if you're in the Night's Watch, you take the black...
But why am I wasting time on colors and such when there is BABY KILLIN' to get to? For yes, Game of Thrones would like to remind us that it, like Degrassi, Goes There, and launches into a montage of STRAIGHT UP LITTLE KID MURDER. Babies! Teenagers! Weird little kids in vests! All of 'em dead deadity dead dead as the Gold Cloaks go on a Baratheon Bastard Killing Spree. However, there's one bastard who has already booked it out of King's Landing and is currently heading up the King's Road!
"Hey, Dany's Bloodriders! Call off the search for guyliner!"
And with Gendry on the way to the Wall is...Arya! Hey, Arya! There you are! I'm so happy to see y-
Oh. Except the episode ends there.
So that's it for this recap! See you next week when Joffrey does some more horrible shit, Jon Snow makes more impulsive (yet hot) decisions, and Arya Mulans it up like a boss.