Game of Thrones “Second Sons”

Game of Thrones S3E8 “Second Sons”

We’re winding down here in the third season of Game of Thrones and “Second Sons” continues the little streak we have going of buildup episodes and as I’ve said before, that’s fine, Game of Thrones does the regular moments just as well as the big moments. Things slow down in “Second Sons”, with relatively few check in’s but plenty of time spent at the places we do get to take a look at. A more focused episode is fine by me as that helps make the review more focused. We’ve got Sam and Gilly’s trek to the wall meeting some resistance, Dany meeting Yunkai’s powerful friends, drama in Dragonstone, and of course the wedding of Tyrion and Sansa to talk about so let’s jump right in.

On their way back to the wall, Sam and Gilly decide to take refuge in an abandoned hut and build a fire to keep warm. Sam asks Gilly if she’s decided on a name for her son yet and she says she hasn’t. Sam runs through some names and ends up saying Randyll, his father’s name. Gilly says she likes that one but Sam asks her not to name the kid Randyll because of how cruel his father was. Gilly agrees not to, sharing the bond of having a cruel father.

A huge flock of ravens perch themselves on a nearby tree and Sam goes outside to investigate, much to the dislike of Gilly. Out of fear for Sam, Gilly quickly thereafter comes outside as well and spots a white walker in the distance, coming right towards them. Sam tries his best to be brave and confront the white walker but the white walker takes hold of Sam’s sword and it freezes in place and shatters into a thousand pieces. He then pushes Sam out of the way with superhuman strength and walks towards Gilly to take her son away. A desperate Sam pulls out the dragon glass dagger from his pocket and charges from behind at the white walker. When the dagger hits, the white walker dies in the same fashion that Sam’s sword was destroyed in, so that’s what dragon glass does then. Fearing what else might be nearby, Sam and Gilly run away into the night.

Just outside Yunkai, Jorah has completed his homework assignment and informs Dany that Yunkai’s powerful friends are the Second Sons, a hired mercenary group. The group is led by their captain, Meero and co captains Prendahl na Ghezn and Daario Naharis. Sometime later, Dany calls for a meeting with the trio and tries to convince them to join her side, sweetening the pot with rewards once she takes Westeros.

Dany’s pitch didn’t quite convince the captains and Meero decides that they’re going in a different direction. He plans for one of the captains to sneak into Dany’s camp and slit her throat to end this before it starts. By random choice, Daario is selected for the task. Lucky for Dany because Daario is quite enamored by Dany, so much so that Daario ignores orders and instead kills the two other captains and brings Dany their heads to show his loyalty to her cause. Daario bends the knee and swears Dany his heart, his service, and the Second Sons which are two thousand mercenaries strong. Yunkai’s odds of defeating Dany look grim.

Over at Dragonstone, Melisandre has made her return, Gendry in tow. She brings Gendry before Stannis and Stannis confirms that Gendry is his brother’s bastard. Melisandre commands he be bathed, well fed, and given good chambers. After the guards take care to that, Stannis asks why Melisandre is bothering with all that if she just plans to kill Gendry. Melisandre compares the situation to killing a lamb, a lamb will stress out and ruin its meat if it sees the knife, the best thing to do is to comfort the lamb before killing it. An odd but good enough comparison I suppose.

Stannis may seem like a cold person for even asking that question, but I do think he’s got a heart in there. After speaking with Melisandre, Stannis goes down to the dungeons and tells Davos that he will free him if he promises to never raise a hand at Melisandre again. Davos agrees to this (but not to never disagree with her) and doesn’t like what he hears when Stannis tells him about Gendry and what Melisandre plans to do with him. Davos makes the excellent point that Stannis could have freed him any day but he picked today because he himself has apprehensions about Melisandre’s plan and he knew that Davos would advise caution.

Meanwhile, Melisandre stops by Gendry’s chambers and gets to work. She uses that wonderful body of hers to seduce Gendry and while Gendry is distracted, she ties his arms and legs to the bed posts. She proceeds to put three leeches on his body and waits for them to take his blood. Stannis and Davos walk in to a very distraught Gendry who asks what’s going on. Melisandre says he should blame Davos as he’s the one who wanted proof of the power of kings blood. Melisandre lights a brazier and hands the leeches to Stannis. As part of the ritual, Stannis drops the leeches into the brazen one by one, reciting a usurpers name for each one, Robb Stark, Balon Greyjoy, and Joffrey Baratheon. With the ritual done, all that’s left to do is see if it works.

Last but not least, we turn our attention to King’s Landing, there’s a wedding in the capital! With the wedding only hours away, Tyrion stops by Sansa’s chambers to try and comfort his wife to be as best as he can. While most of what he says doesn’t help, he does promise that as her husband, he will never hurt her and I’ve got little doubt that Tyrion will keep his promise. He departs and tells her he’ll see her at the Sept.

Sansa makes her way over the Great Sept of Baelor and arrives to bad news. With her father not alive to do the honors, Joffrey will walk Sansa to the altar and give her away to her husband in his place. In a somewhat surprising move, Tyrion is actually the one who Joffrey screws over. Before leaving the altar, Joffrey takes away the stool Tyrion had there to be tall enough to cloak Sansa in Lannister colors. When he tries to do so without the stool, the guests in attendance laugh at his inability to do so and Tyrion has to ask Sansa to kneel so he can place the cloak on her.

The atmosphere doesn’t get much better as things move over to the wedding feast, in fact, things probably get worse. Tyrion spends the bulk of the feast getting more and more drunk which annoys his new wife. I would use a much stronger word than annoy for Tyrion’s father, Tywin, who confronts his son about his state of inebriation. Tywin is wanting a grandchild as soon as possible and worries that Tyrion will be too drunk to make that ASAP tonight. Tyrion assures him there’s nothing to worry about because Tywin has called Tyrion a lustful drunk before so everything is going according to plan.

Also getting more drunk as the night goes on is Joffrey. Joffrey is prone to making dumb decisions sober so drunk Joffrey can only be worse. He leaves his table along with his kingsguard and goes over to have a talk with his new aunt in law Sansa. Much like you’d expect, it’s a dark affair and Joffrey tells her outright that he’s going to stop by later and rape her. Looking to get that plan underway, Joffrey calls it time for the bedding ceremony. The bedding ceremony in Westeros calls for the bride to be stripped by the male guests and taken to the chambers while female guests do the same for the groom. Tyrion isn’t having any part of this and threatens to forcibly castrate Joffrey if there’s a bedding ceremony. Joffrey isn’t going to take that threat lightly but lucky for all, Tywin defuses the situation by saying Tyrion is far too drunk to actually mean it and tells Joffrey that they will in fact skip the bedding ceremony. Tyrion takes the hint and acts far more drunk than he actually is and stumbles with his wife to their chambers.

Not looking too excited about it, Tyrion tells Sansa that he’s been ordered by his father to consummate this marriage. They both grab some more wine and Sansa begins to slowly disrobe. Tyrion stops her halfway through and tells her he can’t do this and won’t do it until the day comes that she wants him to. Sansa asks Tyrion what he’ll do if she never wants him to share her bed and Tyrion mockingly says the night’s watch vow “and so my watch begins”, indicating he’ll never force himself on her. He gives her the bed and passes out on a couch. Shae comes in the morning to change the sheets and is pleasantly surprised to see Tyrion on the couch and the bed sheets unstained. Perhaps Tyrion hasn’t lost Shae just yet.

Other Thoughts

I liked it when Dany tried to prove to Missandei that she could speak Dothraki more than “reasonably well” but ends up butchering the pronunciation of a word and Missandei corrects her. Don’t feel too bad Dany, we can’t all speak nineteen languages like Missandei.

Everyone is scared of Tywin. As soon as Tywin scowled, everyone immediately stopped laughing at Tyrion not being able to cloak Sansa.

While she may never love him, it’s nice to see Sansa respects Tyrion. When he passed out for the night, he didn’t have a blanket on. In the morning, he wakes up with one over him. That had to be Sansa, thinking her husband would get cold.

How awesome was it when Olena was counting all the bizarre ways Margaery and Loras would be related to each other once their marriages become official? Loras got so uncomftable he had to walk away.

Speaking of weddings, The Hound is taking Arya to The Twins to ransom her off to her brother, who will be there for Edmure’s wedding. When The Hound tells Arya of his plan, she actually smiles at the news. When’s the last time you think she did that?

When Sam found the cloak with the dragon glass dagger, there were actually quite a lot of dragon glass weapons there. I do hope Sam has them all because he ran away with Gilly without picking up the dagger. It would be a very Sam thing to do if that was the only dragon glass weapon and he left without picking it back up.

Good to see Tyrion drunkenly refer to himself as the god of tits and wine. That was one of his better lines from season two.

Quote of the day comes from Tyrion, his threat to Joffrey if he commands a bedding ceremony “You’ll be fucking your bride with a wooden cock”. These two share so many tense moments, add this one to the list.

“Second Sons” gives us the first of many weddings to come and sets a grim opening act for the ones that will follow it. 

Grade A-

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