We here at the Westeros Watch only appear to come out weekly. But once the Impossibles got into the show, the rewatch moved much, much faster.
Point is, I am editing this two days before Part Two goes live, and we’re here to discuss the episodes “The Wolf and the Lion,” and “A Golden Crown”.
tomk: I’m going to go out on a limb here, Jimmy, and assume Ms. Impossible was rather satisfied by this pair of episodes.
jimmy: Well, actually I thought we had lost her again after a few minutes in episode 5. Can you guess why?
tomk: Oh, that horse.
Or, maybe it was just seeing Iron Fist hanging around.
jimmy: Yeah. She was NOT happy about the horse.
And Iron Fist would have been a good call too…if either of us had even noticed him besides me seeing his name in the credits.
tomk: Well, the good news is that horse was later adopted by Sophie Turner…
OK, not really.
tomk: But then they killed a weasel. She must have preferred that a bit.
jimmy: Well, she couldn’t really watch the scene because she’s squeamish, but she was glad it happened. I was more wondering if gold was that easy to melt?
tomk: Well, it is a soft metal, and that pot was pretty hot by then. But this isn’t a show that gives it’s audience too many satisfactory deaths. Viserys is one that just feels right. He can’t adapt to his situation, he’s a bit of a twerp at best, and it’s a wonder he lasted that long in the grand scheme of things. Daenerys, on the other hand, managed to fit right into Dothraki life, taking their wardrobes, their customs, and their language as their own. In a way, if Arya is learning to fight, Dany is learning to rule.
jimmy: And two of the best characters. I’d throw Tyrion in there too. And maybe Ned.
But we’re supposed to love Ned.
tomk: You toss Jon Snow in there and you have probably the ones that always seem to be in the thick of things.
And right now, Ned is the main protagonist. We’re following him around as he does his thing, and we see things through his eyes, and he sure is a good and moral man in many ways, what with his attempt to resign over an attempt on Dany’s life and how he ordered the arrest of the Mountain and the summons of the richest man in the seven kingdoms, namely Lord Tywin Lannister.
jimmy: Right. Jon’s good too. Yeah, Ned is not afraid to do the right thing, even if it is not the popular thing to do and puts his own safety at risk. Even taking any blame for his wife’s actions.
tomk: Taking the blame for Cat seems to be a rare thing he is willing to lie about.
He certainly didn’t tell her to do that.
And he tries to protect his daughters too, though you must admit Sansa will eat all kinds of bologna with a spoon if someone wraps it up in love poetry.
jimmy: Well, looking after your family is a very strong theme of the show. Even Jaime confronts Ned over Tyrion getting taken.
tomk: See, there is a Lannister who cares about Tyrion. He probably would have ridden out for the trial by combat, too.
jimmy: Instead, random guy who I don’t know and you probably know plenty about had to die for Tyrion to be free.
tomk: That’s Bronn! I pointed him out as the guy who gave up his room at the inn for Tyrion before the Imp was arrested by Cat Stark.
jimmy: Worked out well for him.
tomk: Yeah, the thing is, Tyrion took a chance that he read Bronn right as someone who would come to his aid. He was right. The two become somewhat friendly on the ride to the Aerie (and there’s a magnificent castle for ya), and then when Tyrion needed help, he got it from the guy who appreciated his saucy sense of humor.
Oh, and he can sing:
jimmy: Ah yes, but my comment was about the guy who took the dive from Cloud City. But yes, well played Tyrion.
tomk: Nothing works out well for a man who takes a dive when there’s a moon door involved.
And then there’s Cat Stark’s extended family: crazy sister Lyssa Arryn and Joffrey wannabe nephew Robin!
jimmy: Yes, I wanted Sir Too Old To Breast Feed to moonwalk his way right after the guy Bronx dispatches.
tomk: That kid is Lord of the Vale, a subsidiary of Stark International.
Man, no wonder you and Ms. Impossible didn’t seem to mind Jaime so much if you’re all for tossing kids from heights.
jimmy: Heh. Depends on the kid I guess.
tomk: Sansa? Probably. Arya? No way.
jimmy: Well, I don’t condone pushing kids out of windows, but for that creepy Stark-In-Law I might make an exception.
tomk: Well, at least we got a cool scene of Tyrion basically owning a room and talking his way out of certain death while giving us some useful nicknames for masturbation.
jimmy: Lol, that was a great scene. Cat wasn’t too impressed that he earned his freedom, but I think she’s pretty clear now that her sister is nuts.
tomk: Yeah, well, Lyssa…you know, when we eventually meet Cat’s brother, you’ll see she’s the good and competent Tully sibling.
jimmy: That doesn’t sound good.
tomk: To be fair, Edmure Tully is nowhere near as bad as Lyssa.
jimmy: But that’s for another time.
tomk: Yes. Another two seasons or so.
In the meantime, we’ve seen the Mountain be brutally bad, and that actor won’t be seen again because the role of the Mountain will be recast twice in the future.
We’ve seen Renly has a thing for the Knight of the Flowers, Ser Loras Tyrell, the Immortal Iron Fist.
And that Sansa has the world’s worst gaydar.
jimmy: Wait, wait, wait…the FLOWER GUY was Iron Fist?!?!
jimmy: Wow. I didn’t even recognize him. Must have been the lack of horrible martial arts and there being a decent plot.
Here he is in a later episode with more recognizable hair.I think I blew your mind in the most unexpected way.
jimmy: Indeed. The Ms missed it as well. Granted, it is over half a decade later and he’s clearly dressed and has his hair done differently. P.S. Iron Fist is garbage.
tomk: Rotten Tomatoes agrees on that P.S.
jimmy: Let’s not talk any more about Iron Fist.
Though he was about to be killed by the Mountain, he still fought better here than in Iron Fist. Aw, dammit!
tomk: Maybe he should use a sword more often.
jimmy: He could borrow Colleen’s. Ok, we gotta stop.
tomk: Or he should just hope for more help from Sandor “The ‘I am no Ser’ Hound” Clegane.
jimmy: Why did The Hound step in?
tomk: Well, the Hound hates his brother.
And who knows? Maybe the Hound is something of a decent human being.
He’s not a knight. He always refuses the honor, probably because his brother is a knight and he’s seen that being a knight doesn’t make you a better person. Or maybe he just doesn’t think he deserves the honor. He looked uncomfortable when Ser Loras held up his hand.
jimmy: He’s probably grown up avoiding having attention brought to himself because of his face.
tomk: Well, considering the Mountain did that to him, yeah probably.
jimmy: So, why the later recastings?
tomk: I think the actor wasn’t available for season two, and they used one of their regular stuntmen in the role. But that guy just wasn’t right somehow. Later they cast one of those World’s Strongest Men competitors, and that guy has held the role ever since.
jimmy: Wow, that’s a big dude. Or Sarah Conner is a lot shorter than I thought. I know other Sarah Conner is really short.
tomk: It can be two things.
He’s six foot nine.
jimmy: That’ll do it.
tomk: Oh, the original actor was taller at seven feet. And he played someone else we’ve seen before!
jimmy: I’m gonna guess Groot.
jimmy: I was close.
But I will add here, because I can and no one is stopping me, that I really liked the scene between Cersei and Robert. It’s not from Martin’s books, and it may be the only time the two actually just talk to each other and we can see that even if they don’t like each other, they can be at least a little civil and honest with each other.
jimmy: Yes, that was a good scene. And we get some background on their marriage and it being doomed from the beginning, even if Cersei didn’t feel that way initially.
tomk: Robert is almost sympathetic. All he really wanted in life was Lyanna Stark. Everything he’s done since then is an effort to fill that hole, and he’s never succeeded.
jimmy: Not even the 7 kingdoms could fill it.
tomk: Even if you run the eight and get a girl from the Riverlands. Renly wasn’t interested in that for some reason.
But in a more serious note, that does seem to be another reoccurring theme to Game of Thrones: people don’t get what they want, and even the most powerful people have limits to what they can do and have.
jimmy: I have a feeling no one gets what they want.
tomk: Well, what do people want?
That’s the essence of drama: people want something and attempt to get that thing.
Robert wanted the girl another man took. Cersei wanted, well, I guess a happy marriage to a king. Huh, that sure sounds a lot like Sansa.
jimmy: Well, at least Joffrey is giving her the time of day now.
tomk: Hey, she doesn’t want someone who’s brave and gentle! She wants Joffrey!
tomk: Arya caught that.
jimmy: She’s brighter than Sansa.
tomk: Well, if you want to survive the game of thrones, you need to be brighter.
jimmy: What also helps? Keeping daggers out of your eye sockets.
jimmy: I’ll have to remember not to do that in the future.
tomk: Yeah, well, he was easily distracted by boobs.
You know what kind of guard captain that is?
jimmy: No wonder Ned ends up with a spear through his leg.
tomk: Hey, that’s another subversion of expectations. We’re set up with this scenarios of two great swordsmen finally coming to blows, and some random nobody ends the fight early by spearing Ned through the leg.
jimmy: And Jaime was none too pleased.
tomk: Well, he was finally proving himself against a real opponent for the first time in ages, and then along comes Random Nobody #3…
jimmy: Jaime surprises me. People talk about him and he comes off like he’s got this reputation based on his name and kissing ass, but from his conversation with Jory and fight with Ned, he appears to be a capable fighter.
tomk: Jaime is an incredibly capable fighter. He’s one of the best swordsmen in Westeros.
jimmy: Maybe it’s just the smugness and the sister screwing that made me think different.
tomk: That cocky attitude is more than anything else what makes him what he is here. Plus, no matter what Jaime does, Ryan still thinks he’s a POS. And interesting you mention the smug and the shagging and once again skip the attempted child murder.
jimmy: Well, that too. Geez, Tom. Stop making me look like a dick.
tomk: Not just you, Jimmy. Jaime becomes a lot more popular over time, as odd as that might seem right now, and so many fans seem to conveniently forget the attempted child murder.
jimmy: I can’t say I’ll ever be a fan.
tomk: I shall say no more. Like many GoT characters, Jaime is deeper than he first appears to be. Though he probably couldn’t eat an entire horse’s heart.
jimmy: No kidding. And damn. You go girl! …I can’t pull that off…
tomk: Aquaman probably ate a whale’s heart.
jimmy: Eww. But probably.
He sure loves his Khalessi though.
tomk: Wouldn’t you?
jimmy: Well, I wouldn’t survive in their tribe more than 5 minutes, so I wouldn’t have to worry about it.
tomk: I’m not sure either of us could survive in their world for very long, let alone their tribe.
jimmy: That’s true. That’s one of the things that struck me about the show, was the total disregard for human life. Capture Ned’s men? Nah, kill them. Trial by combat until one man submits? Forget that! Somebody’s getting dumped out that moon door! Etc.
tomk: Hey, some of those were the exact same incident!
Ned’s men deserved getting dropped out the moon door. Jory knew what he did.
He tried to stop a knife blade with his eyeball.
jimmy: That almost never works.
tomk: That’ll get you a Darwin Award.
Special note: book-Jory had a daughter Sansa’s age who was Sansa’s best friend. His replacement as head guard was a genial fellow named Fat Tom.
jimmy: Sansa had friends? That’s unpossible.
tomk: That character doesn’t really exist on the show. A minor plot line involving the friend in a later book was just given to Sansa for the show.
jimmy: So is Robert completely oblivious about “his” kids and not have a basic understanding of genetics? It’s a pretty simple deduction for Ned to figure things out. Probably with or without the book.
tomk: Well, Ned didn’t think of it until Sansa pointed out how little Joffrey is like Robert.
And genetics? What’s that? Jon Arryn’s last words were “The seed is strong,” and Robert’s seed was certainly strong…in other women’s kids.
Besides, is there something about Robert that makes you think “attentive father”?
jimmy: Maybe that’s why he was tracking down all the little bastards.
tomk: Well, there were a few suggestions in places, mostly in the books, where it said Joffrey idolized Robert and that one of the reasons he was so cruel was because he thought it would impress Robert. That never worked.
jimmy: Really? Robert never struck me as particularly cruel.
tomk: He isn’t, but that’s how Joffrey interpreted his father, or “father” if you will.
jimmy: Seems like more of something that would impress his “mother” or mother if you will.
tomk: Except Joffrey wanted to impress Robert. He saw being king and being a soldier and a man as being unafraid to inflict pain. One action listed in one of the novels had him kill his kid brother Tommen’s pregnant cat and then showing it to Robert expecting a pat on the back. He got a look of utter disgust instead.
jimmy: Also the first sign of a serial killer.
tomk: Well duh. But is there a thin line between serial killer and Westeros royalty at this point? Actually, no there isn’t. Moving on…
jimmy: So what haven’t we talked about? Bran and Ros and the new slave/guest…but not sure there’s a whole lot to say there.
Probably the biggest thing we haven’t gotten to is Daenerys not burning herself on the egg.
tomk: Fire cannot burn a dragon. It is known.
But Roz…oh Roz, Theon’s favorite prostitute…
jimmy: Favorite of many apparently.
tomk: I have no recollection of Roz being in any of Martin’s books. If she is, she doesn’t do much and may only be mentioned in a line or two.
And yet she hangs around like an important character on this show for some reason. She doesn’t really bring much to the table. She’s just the go-to prostitute when a prostitute is needed.
jimmy: Cheaper that way. In Westeros and in actors willing to get naked.
tomk: Somehow finding actors willing to get naked doesn’t seem to be a problem for this show. Possibly because actors from some countries don’t see it as big as deal as, say, prudish Americans. Kit Harrington has even gone so far as to say he wouldn’t mind himself.
jimmy: And we’ve had at least one Full Monty.
tomk: Eh, it was only Theon.
Did you pick up that Jorah is spying on Dany and Viserys for Robert?
jimmy: Yes. He appears to be playing both sides.
tomk: Except he’s in love with Dany from the looks of things. He is an exile due to, you know, selling slaves to keep a expensive wife happy.
jimmy: That unrequited love is not going to work out well for him.
tomk: It never does.
Let me think…anything else of note on my end…
Ah yes, those guys Ned sent out!
jimmy: To get Boss Lannister and strip the Mountain?
Their leader is one Ser Beric Dondarrion who will be recast and more important in the future.
jimmy: More recasting.
tomk: Of a guy you probably barely noticed.
jimmy: True. He wasn’t 6 foot 9 for sure.
tomk: Or 7 foot even.
OK, so, we see that there are some maybe answers coming, strong hints, and Ned has a job he can’t quit. Did you have anything else to add, Jimmy?
jimmy: Can we watch the next episodes now? 🙂
I think Ms Impossible is enjoying it more than I am.
tomk: I’d say yes. Yes, you can.
jimmy: With seasons so short, it takes no time and you are near the end. And good enough that you’re not wishing for them to end like, let’s say, Iron Fist. Dammit! I did it again!
And so our Watch continues. Be back soon for “You Win or You Die,” and “The Pointy End”.