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Game of Thrones Review: Blood Omens

This week in Westeros, a Stark weds a Lannister while the Tyrells try and figure out their new family tree. Dany encounters a group of mercenaries with eyes for more than just her dragons, and Stannis Baratheon puts his faith in the blood of a king.

Tyrion once threw up on a woman, and he’s not sorry about it. Everyone’s favorite dwarf preps this week for his arranged marriage with Sansa Stark. He meets with the young girl and promises her that he will never cause her any harm, but this does little to warm relations between Tyrionthem. At the ceremony, Cersei seems to be the only one in the kingdom not under Maergery’s spell, and tells her future daughter-in-law that if she calls her sister again, she’ll have her killed. The Queen regent, now a little lost to her fate after two seasons of scheming, shrugs off her fiancée Loras when he finds her leaving the wedding celebration.

Of course it wouldn’t be a Lannister event without the dreadful King Joffrey, who manages to humiliate his uncle by removing the step ladder he planned to use for the ceremony, and threaten Sansa’s honor by offering that the Lannister child she’ll carry might not be Tyrion’s after his visit to her chamber. Terrible as the character is to have to endure, props to Jack Gleason for reveling so much in his despicable nature. Hopefully in the two remaining episodes, we’ll see his own wedding celebration, to great satisfaction. After his remarks, a drunken Tyrion, expected to father the Lannister heir, heads off to the bedroom with his bride, where he promptly passes out. Not finding blood on the sheets the next morning, Shae is pleased at her man’s loyalty.

Soldiers for hire aren’t as loyal as soldiers with a cause. Outside Yunkai’s walls, three members of the Second Sons, a band of mercenaries hired by the city to challenge Daenerys and her unsullied horde, meet with the Khaleesi. She offers them wine as they offer to share her, the entire army, when they’ve finished with her forces. Though, the would-be queen does take a shine to their young Dario. They refuse her offer to buy out their contract, and back at their encampment discuss strategy.

The trio knows they cannot overtake her based on numbers alone, so they plan to send one soldier into her camp to kill her in the night. The three draw lots and Dario is chosen for the mission. While being bathed by her handmaiden, who corrects Dany’s annunciation of Dothraki, Dario enters and admits he was sent to kill her. Letting the handmaiden go, he tells Dany that he disagreed with his bretheren and offers their heads as a token of his loyalty. Being Game of Thrones, Dany has to stand up nude in her bath when she asks him to swear his loyalty, which he offers along with his heart.

SansaBlood omens aren’t something to be trifled with. Melisandre returns to Stannis’ keep just as the king has decided to release Davros, who’s been learning to read, thanks to Stannis’ child. Davros had to swear not to raise ill words against Melisandre again. Gendry is finding a surprising welcome, not knowing he’s meant to be a sacrifice to the Lord of Light. He is bathed, fed, and given well furnished rooms where he shares wine with Melisandre before she starts to seduce him. Melisandre stops mid-act, mind you, because she just needed to get his blood moving enough for three leeches, one prominently placed on Gendry’s manhood, to offer a demonstration. Davros and Stannis enter as she pulls them off, and Stannis tosses them into the fire: one for Joffrey, one for Robb and one for Bailon Greyjoy. Bets on who won’t make it to season four?

Elsewhere in Westeros, Arya learns the Hound has been quite protective of her sister Sansa, who refused to leave King’s Landing with him. She’s also surprised to hear she’s being escorted back to her mother and brother, and not returned to the Lannisters. Sam and Gilly come upon a shelter in the wild that seems oddly surrounded by ravens. Not a great sign, but Sam, being a little simple, just hangs out with the baby and ignores it. A white walker finds them and shatters Sam’s sword with a touch just after the two were discussing baby names, but as it makes a move for the child, Sam stabs it with the ancient weapon he found, shattering the creatures body.

I enjoyed the pacing of the episode this week. The series seems to have a better flow when we don’t struggle to squeeze in a glimpse of everyone in the kingdoms and their actions. Next week, Robb Stark gets ready to attend a wedding. Will we see a Lannister one as well?

Season 3, Episode 8: “Second Sons” (Original air date May 19, 2013)

Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 PM on HBO.

 

Images courtesy of Helen Sloan for HBO

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