I posted these rewatches on the old site, and am now reposting them here. The night is dark and full of spoilers
Episode title: Two Swords
Director: D.B. Weiss
Written by: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Summary: Tywin has the Stark family’s ancestral greatsword, Ice, melted down and forged into two new swords. One is given to his son Jaime, who, as the new Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, is hopeful to learn to use the sword with his left hand. Tywin informs Jaime that he is to be dismissed from the Kingsguard, and sent to Casterly Rock to rule in his place, but Jaime refuses. Tywin disowns Jamie due to his disobedience and Jamie leaves.
Outside the city walls, Tyrion, Podrick, and Bronn await the arrival of Prince Doran Martell and his entourage, but are informed that his younger brother, Prince Oberyn, will be attending in his stead. Oberyn, having already arrived, maims a Lannister soldier at one of Littlefinger’s whorehouses before Tyrion arrives. Oberyn reveals to Tyrion that he is in King’s Landing to seek vengeance for the death of his sister, Elia, and her two children. Elia had been married to Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, who was next in line to the throne before Robert Baratheon killed him, and King’s Landing fell to Tywin’s army. Oberyn wants to kill Ser Gregor Clegane, who is rumored to have raped Elia during the siege and then split her in two with his sword.
Sansa, distraught over the deaths of her brother and mother, refuses to eat, despite the pleas of her handmaiden Shae, and later her husband, Tyrion. Afterwards, Tyrion rebuffs Shae’s attempts to rekindle their romance, and their argument is overheard by another of Sansa’s handmaidens, who later reports it to Cersei. In the castle, Jaime is fitted with a solid gold hand by Qyburn. When he departs, Jaime and his twin sister, Cersei discuss the state of their relationship before being interrupted by Sansa’s handmaiden, with information for the queen.
In the gardens, Lady Olenna Tyrell and her granddaughter, Margaery, plan the royal wedding before Brienne of Tarth asks for a word with Margaery to discuss how Lord Renly was killed. Elsewhere, King Joffrey chastises Jaime for his absence during the battle of the Blackwater and also makes fun of his uncle’s age, the loss of his sword hand, and lack of accomplishment as a member of the Kingsguard. Afterwards, Brienne tries to make Jaime live up to his vow to return the Stark girls to safety, though Jaime argues the matter is now complicated by Catelyn Stark’s death and Sansa’s marriage to Tyrion. While leaving the godswood, Sansa is confronted by Dontos Hollard, the king’s fool and formerly a knight. Dontos thanks Sansa for saving his life on Joffrey’s name-day celebration, and gives her his mother’s necklace as thanks.
Ygritte argues with Tormund about their next move before they are interrupted by Styr and his group of cannibal Thenns. At Castle Black, Jon Snow is tried before Ser Alliser Thorne, Ser Janos Slynt, and Maester Aemon. Jon admits to killing Qhorin Halfhand, and to sleeping with Ygritte, but also reveals what he has learned of the wildlings’ plans. Slynt calls for Jon to be executed as a traitor, and Thorne, the acting Commander of the Night’s Watch, is inclined to agree with him, but Maester Aemon ultimately has him released.
Dany leads her army on a march towards Meereen, the last of the three great slave cities. They discover a dead slave girl hung from a mile-post. It is said that there are one hundred and sixty-three dead child slaves, one nailed to every mile marker to the slaver city. Dany resolves to see every dead child’s face on the march toward Meereen.
The Hound tells the captive Arya Stark that he intends to ransom her to her Aunt Lysa in the Vale, before they come across an inn with several of The Mountain’s men inside. Arya notices Polliver, the man who stole her sword, Needle. She makes for the entrance before being stopped by the Hound, but they are discovered by one of the soldiers and enter the inn. Though several of the soldiers are fearful of the Hound, Polliver makes conversation with him and Arya. After trading insults, they engage in a fight, where the Hound kills many of the soldiers, Arya reclaims Needle from Polliver, and uses it to kill him the same way he murdered Lommy. The two then depart from the tavern, Arya now in possession of a stolen pony. The camera pans out to reveal the Riverlands, now left black and desolate by The Mountain and his men.
My take: The smug look on Tywin’s face begins the season and consider how he finishes it. Oberyn makes a hell of a good first impression, I suppose this season is about the fall of these two men. This episode belongs to The Hound, the scene at the inn, is one of the best in the season. You would think that the Meerenese people would know better after hearing stories from Astapor. Crucifing children? That’s just going to piss her off. A great segway between a statue of Joffrey and the real thing. And a shout out to Ser Duncan the Tall. The “two swords” of the title could mean the two created: Widow’s Wail and Oathkeeper, but it could also mean Ice and Needle. One lost and one found.
Changes from the books: Tywin never sends for a smith from Volantis to re-forge Ice, and it is never said that one of only three smiths able to work with Valyrian steel is from there. The deed is performed by Tobho Mott (Gendry’s former master, appears in Season 1), who is from Qohor. Qohor is famous for having the only blacksmiths who can reforge Valyrian steel, and there are more than three of them. The Thenns are not cannibals in the books. This is basically combining them with another wildling tribe, the Ice-river clans, who are cannibals. The Thenns are actually the most civilized of the wildlings, living under their own lords who enforce their own laws. In the books, Jon claims that he was a better swordsman than Robb. In the show, Jon says Robb was better than him. Brienne of Tarth and Jaime Lannister do not arrive at King’s Landing in time for the royal wedding in the books. Some of Jaime’s scenes are from the books but occur much later, after his return. Jaime’s scene in the White Sword Tower with Joffrey, however, has no counterpart in the books. In the TV series, both Arya and the Hound survive the fight at the inn, but in the books, the Hound is severely wounded and the injury begins to fester. This is the point where Arya abandons the Hound as per his urging, but in the series, the scene is postponed to the season’s climax, where the Hound is mortally wounded and hit off a cliff during a fight with Brienne of Tarth (which never occurs in the books).
Nudity: Two nude whores in Littlefinger’s brothel
Locations on the Map: King’s Landing, Dragonstone, the Dreadfort, Winterfell, the Wall, Meeren
Death Count: Polliver, killed by Arya. Lannister men, killed by the Hound. 163 dead slave children, crucified.
Quotes: Sandor ‘The Hound’ Clegane: What the fuck’s a Lommy?
Sandor ‘The Hound’ Clegane: I understand that if any more words come pouring out your cunt mouth, I’m gonna have to eat every fucking chicken in this room.
Oberyn Martell: Tell your father I’m here. And tell him the Lannisters aren’t the only ones who pay their debts.
Tyrion Lannister: Let’s toast to Lanisters children: the dwarf, the cripple and the mother of madness!
Bronn: How many Dornishmen does it take to fuck a goat?
Episode title: The Lion and the Rose
Director: Alex Graves
Written by: George R. R. Martin
Summary: Ramsay Snow sadistically hunts a young girl in the woods, with the assistance of his servant, Reek, and Myranda. When Ramsay’s father Roose Bolton arrives at the Dreadfort, he asks to see Reek, and chastises Ramsay for having flayed and tortured him. Roose intended to trade Reek to the Ironborn in exchange for Moat Cailin, a fortification that is preventing the Bolton army from returning to the north. Ramsay, in an effort to prove how well he has broken him, has Reek shave his face. While doing so, Ramsay tells Reek that Robb Stark is dead, and had Reek tell Roose that both Bran and Rickon Stark are alive, as he could not find them, and burned two farm boys in their place while holding Winterfell. Roose dispatches Locke to find and kill Bran and Rickon, as while they are alive they pose a threat to his new position as Warden of the North. Roose also sends Ramsay, along with Reek, to Moat Cailin with instructions to capture it. As a reward, Roose will consider legitimizing Ramsay, making him a true Bolton.
North of the Wall, Bran, using his abilities as a warg, sees through the eyes of his wolf and kills a doe. Awoken by Hodor, he is reminded to use the warg abilities sparingly by Jojen and Meera, as spending too much time as Summer will cut him off from his human body. After stopping at a Heart tree, Bran has a vision of the three-eyed raven, which urges him to continue his journey north. Bran tells his companions that he now knows where they must go.
At night, Melisandre orders several of Stannis Baratheon’s subjects burned at the stake, including Lady Selyse’s brother, as a tribute to the Lord of Light. After dinner, Melisandre speaks to Shireen Baratheon, Stannis and Selyse’s daughter, about the Lord of Light, and how the Seven Gods are a lie.
Tyrion and Jaime have an early breakfast, where Jaime expresses his embarrassment at the loss of his sword hand. Tyrion encourages him to train his left hand and arranges lessons with Bronn, as, provided he is paid, he will keep Jaime’s ineptitude a secret. Lord Varys informs Tyrion that the Queen knows about Shae, and will soon tell their father, Tywin. Tyrion tries in vain to get Shae to leave, offering her an estate in Pentos with servants and gold which she refuses, leaving in tears.
On their way to the feast, Bronn assures Tyrion that Shae was on the ship bound for Pentos. The events are then interrupted by Joffrey, who presents a play depicting the War of the Five Kings. The roles of each king are filled by dwarfs, which angers and upsets many of the guests, most of all Tyrion. When Joffrey tries to get Tyrion involved in the play, he refuses, instead telling Joffrey to display his own talent with a sword. Joffrey pours a cup of wine over Tyrion’s head, and orders him to be his cupbearer, toying with him by intentionally dropping and kicking the goblet. Joffrey continues to embarrass his uncle by commanding him to kneel, before Lady Margaery diffuses the situation by drawing attention to a large pie. As Joffrey eats, and continues to order Tyrion to serve his wine, he begins to cough and indicate that he is choking. While the emergency draws the crowd’s attention, Dontos implores Sansa to flee with him. As Lady Olenna yells for everyone to assist the King, he falls to the ground and it becomes evident that he has most likely been poisoned. In his last moments he points an accusing finger at Tyrion. Furious with grief, Cersei orders Tyrion arrested on charges of murdering the king.
My take: Is there any moment more satisfying than seeing that little bastard choke to death at his own wedding? And who would suspect an old woman of that? I love how when talking to Sansa she says that killing someone at a wedding is something only a monster would do… right before she kills someone at a wedding. Boy, even Margaret’s wedding dress shows a lot of tit. Hey is that the contortonist from Littlefinger’s brothel? Welcome back honey, I’m a big fan of your crotch. Ramsey is the dark version of Jon, and since Joffrey is gone, we need someone new to hate. Speaking of Joffrey, he solicits names for his new sword like an improv comic. And then there’s Stannis. There has to be a point when your priestess is burning your subjects alive, that you have to step back and reevaluate what you are doing.
Changes from the books: It is Ser Addam Marbrand and not Pycelle who warns Joffrey to be careful with Valyrian steel, prompting his response: “I’m no stranger to Valyrian steel”. This phrase, and Joffrey’s reaction when Tyrion suggests him carrying a Valyrian steel knife (the one the assassin tried to murder Bran Stark with), leads Tyrion to suspect that Joffrey had arranged for Bran Stark’s attempted murder. He then fears Joffrey will try to have him killed to keep the secret. Littlefinger arranges for only two dwarf jousters, one sitting atop a dog and the other a sow, instead of five: one mocking Robb and the other mocking Stannis. In the TV series they simply have fake mounts attached to their costumes. Benioff and Weiss explained that they actually wanted to use the pigs, but when they inquired, were told that this would be considered animal cruelty and thus they legally could not do it. In the books, the event was meant to offend only Tyrion and Sansa, and most of the wedding guests were laughing. In TV series, several guests were disgusted including the Tyrells, Prince Oberyn, and Varys. In the books, Roose Bolton returns to the North after Tywin is killed, which explains why he is not receiving any Lannister help in retaking the North from the Ironborn.
Locations on the Map: King’s Landing, Dragonstone, the Dreadfort, Winterfell, the Wall, Meeren
Death Count: Tandy, ripped apart by Ramsey’s hounds. Joffrey, poisoned by Oleanna.
Quotes: Tyrion Lannister: You lost a hand, not a stomach. Try the boar. Cersei can’t get enough since one killed Robert for her.