This week’s episode of Game of Thrones contained everything: violence, sex, deception and a political game of cat and mouse. To start it all off, the viewer gets to see Lord Renly Baratheon for the first time this season. Catlyn Stark asks for an alliance between his army and Rob’s so they can wage war together against the Lannisters. Renly’s story further evolves this episode as we meet his new queen, Margaery Tyrell played by Natalie Dormer (best known for her portrayal of Anne Boleyn on Showtime’s The Tudors). It looks like once again Dormer will be playing queen to a king with some “issues.” Renly’s sexual orientation is solidified this episode for he wishes to bed Margaery’s brother the Knight of Flowers instead. In a striking revelation, Margaery is aware of her husband’s preferences and as a dutiful wife will do anything to help her husband produce and heir. It seems that Margaery understands the power she now wields as queen alongside a king with an army large enough to overthrow Joffrey. Let’s hope her politically savvy and smarts do not lead her to the chopping block in this series.
Theon has another emotion storyline this episode. In confronting his father over why he does not get as many ships as his sister, Theon finally voices the anger and question he probably has been holding onto ever since Eddard Stark took him away: Why did you not fight for me? It seems like Theon’s father’s lack of love served Lord Greyjoy’s purpose more than hugs for Theon decides to forsake the only real love and family he has ever known, the Starks, and help his father and sister conquer the north while Rob is off fighting the Lannisters.
Tyrion once again proves his political mind this episode as he seeks to make sure no one turns against him while he is Hand of the King. To see if anyone on the King’s Small Counsel is really in the pocket of the Cersei, Tyrion tells each of the council members, individually, of his plan to marry off Cersei’s daughter Myrcella. In an even more brilliant fashion, Tyrion tells each of them a different suitor so there can be no doubt of who the real traitor is. Through brilliant editing the three members of counsel all inhabit the scene with Tyrion but each one getting a slightly different story. This technique allows the viewer to deduce Tyrion’s endgame without it having to be directly laid out for them. In the end, Grand Maester Pycelle is the traitor and also knows the secret that the father of Cersei’s children is really Jaime and not Robert. Not needing to have any moles working against him, Tyrion throws Pycelle into the dungeons.
The episode ends on a very climatic scene. The Lannister guards returned to seek out Robert’s bastard son Gendry. Yoren, one of the brothers of the Night’s Watch, and man who saved Arya after Eddard was killed, continues to protect both Arya and Gendry. He goes out to confront the guards. The guards have not patience and start to attack Yoren and a small battle ensues between the recruits for The Wall and the Lannister Guards. During the skirmish Arya saves the prisoners traveling with the recruits from a fire solidifying a helpful alliance that she will need in the future. In Game of Thrones fashion the battle is gruesome, and since Yoren is severely outnumbered, the guards defeat him and kill him by sticking a sword down the back of his neck. After Yoren’s death the other boys surrender. The guards threaten their captives with eye gouging if they do not give up Gendry. Arya jumps on the opportunity and claims that Gendry is one of the boys the guards have already killed, thus protecting the identity and life of the real Gendry. Arya along with the others are taken captive being led by Lannister guards to who knows where, ending the episode and leaving the viewer in anticipation for next week.