Friday, April 3, 2015

Discussing Game of Thrones: You Win or You Die

* Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen “You Win or You Die.”

Oh Deer

The Lannister host is assembled, and here's our first look at Lord Tywin Lannister himself. He's gutting a deer and talking to Jaime about the family legacy. Talk about multi-tasking! Tywin is not pleased that Jaime attacked Ned Stark, but nonetheless, Jaime is to lead half of the army to the Riverlands. It can't be purely coincidental that Tywin is casually cutting up a deer and the symbol of House Baratheon is a stag . . . .

When You Play the Game of Thrones

You tend not to win against the Lannisters. Ned confronts the Queen about the twincest. He's going to tell all to Robert when the King returns from hunting, and Ned advises Cersei to flee King's Landing with her children before then. Cersei doesn't look especially worried about her situation.

Is There Something of Note Going on Here?

Ros has joined Littlefinger's "staff" and is engaging in some "job training" while Littlefinger reveals that he still carries a torch for Catelyn Stark. Couldn't he have just said that in a lovely garden or something? Ah, but that's just how GoT rolls.

Leave Osha Alone

Theon is being a total and utter jerk to Osha until Luwin catches him. The maester inquires as to why she's south of the Wall, and the answer is: White Walkers.

A Rider-Less Horse

At the Wall, a horse returns to Castle Black but without its rider. The animal is identified as Benjen Stark's horse, which begs the question: where's Benjen?

Taken Down by a Boar

Robert has been fatally wounded by a boar while hunting. As his final minutes tick by, he asks to speak to Ned alone. Ned is appointed Lord Regent and Protector of the Realm until Joffrey comes of age. Ned does NOT write Joffrey's name on the parchment but instead writes "my rightful heir," who would be Robert's older brother, Stannis. Robert admits that Ned was right about Daenerys and to let her live if it's not too late to stop the assassination. Outside of Robert's chamber, Ser Barristan blames himself for what's happened to the King. Robert had been drinking from a wine skin given to him by his squire, Lancel Lannister. File this bit of info away under "Very Important." Ned tells Varys to call off the assassin, but the Spider says it's probably not possible.

Yup, Varys Was Right

Daenerys tries talking to Drogo about the Iron Throne. At the market, Jorah sneaks off to see Varys's messenger—Jorah has been pardoned and can return from exile if he so wishes. Daenerys approaches a wine merchant with Jorah watching from a distance. He intercepts a cask of "special" wine that the merchant gifted her. Of course Jorah knows that the wine has been poisoned. The merchant makes a run for it after his cover is blown, but Rakharo nabs him.

I Always Wanted to Be a Wizard

The newest graduating class of the Night's Watch is about to take their vows. First, though, there's the matter of assignments, and Jon Snow is not pleased to be appointed a steward. He looks like he's been bitch slapped while Thorne smirks. Jon is to be the Lord Commander's steward, but that doesn't make a difference to Jon, who mouths off at Maester Aemon. Pyp and Sam try to bring Lord Snow down off his high horse.

The Succession Is About to Get Messy

Renly wants Joffrey to be separated from Cersei, but really, it's wayyyy too late to groom that turd into a semi-decent king. Little brother Renly reveals his kingly ambitions even though he still has a living, and older, brother. Ned sends off a message to said older brother, Stannis, at Dragonstone and reveals to Littlefinger that Robert left no true heir. As if Littlefinger didn't already know that. Littlefinger advises Ned to just let Joffrey take the throne and make peace with the Lannisters. Ned is such a stickler for the honorable thing to do, however, and is determined to see the rightful successor to the Iron Throne, Stannis, crowned. To aid his cause, Ned asks Littlefinger to buy the loyalty of the City Watch to help even the numbers against Cersei's guards.

Um, Thanks, Ghost?

Jon and Sam take their vows in front a weirwood tree and all is lovely until Ghost brings Jon a severed human hand.

Boat Trip!

Drogo thanks Jorah for saving Daenerys and promises her that he will lead the Dothraki across the sea.

Ned's Honor Backfires Spectacularly

Ned is summoned before Joffrey in the throne room. Renly has fled King's Landing. Ned hands over Robert's last request to Ser Barristan, who proclaims the King's seal to be authentic. Cersei rips up the parchment. Ned refuses to swear fealty to Joffrey and mayhem breaks out. Unfortunately for Ned, the City Watch turns on his men and kills them, and he ends up with a knife held to his throat by none other than a lying and traitorous Littlefinger.


  1. Ned and his honor were a poor match for Cersei and the Game of Thrones! After reading this book I think three times now, I'm more and more upset by Ned's death. Just because of the absolute LOVE and understanding he had for his family. He was a good father to his kids and a good husband to Catelyn. I loved his dedication to his family and to his bannermen. Unfortunately this time the nice guy did finish last.

    1. I'm so used to the good guy typically triumphing in the end that I was absolutely SHOCKED by Ned's fate when I read AGoT. In fact, I'm still in denial, lol. I think the show did a fantastic job showing what a close-knit family the Starks were, and what an honorable man Ned was.


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