Gethin Anthony, Natalie Dormer
“What Is Dead May Never Die”
Picks up right where “The Night Lands” left off with Craster presenting a groggy Jon Snow to Commander Mormont and demanding that the Nights Watch be on their way. Snow had followed Craster into the woods and witnessed him leaving a male baby for a White Walker to collect. He’s horrified to learn that Mormont knows about Craster’s treatment of his male children yet continues to work with him. Mormont instructs him that despicable as he is, Craster has aided the Nights Watch more than once. Pickings are slim for allies on this side of the Wall.
Loras Tyrell and a huge unknown knight, in the process of plucking the petals off of the Knight of Flowers. Handily besting the King’s (Everybody is a king this season) Champion and Queen’s (Natalie Dormer) brother isn’t always the best way to ingratiate oneself to a monarchy. But Brienne The Beauty, an intentionally insulting sobriquet, (Gwendoline Christie) is as bad at diplomacy as she is good at swordsmanship. Renly makes gives her a place in the King’s Guard anyway.
Shae (Sibel Kekilli) is getting cabin fever while Tyrion continues to plot his course through the minefield of the Small Council and Cersei’s own plans for Kings Landing. Suggesting he could hide her among the kitchen staff goes over about as well as you would expect with Shae. “Every man who’s tried my cooking tells me what a good whore I am.” They settle on posing as Sansa’s (Sophie Turner) handmaiden. Her initial meeting with Sansa exposes a slight flaw with the plan but Shae is a quick study and I can’t help but think Tyrion is also using her to keep tabs on King Joffrey’s as well as his intended.
Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) is getting heaping shovelfuls of contempt from his sister and father alike. Balon (Patrick Malahide) lays out his plan to take the North while Robb Stark heads South with his army. Yara (Gemma Whelan) will take 30 ships and sail to the unoccupied territories and fold them up while Balon pinches from the opposite direction. Theon is given a single ship and told to take out a fishing village. Balon doesn’t appreciate it when Theon reminds him the only reason he was ever in Winterfell was because Robert Barratheon kicked his ass and made him kneel. These two have issues to resolve, no doubt.
Tyrion has laid out a web to smoke out Cersei’s informant in the court. He puts out competing stories about his plan to marry off Cersei’s daughter to various dignitaries for this or that political advantage. It isn’t long before his sister confronts him enraged at the rumor and exposes Grand Maester Pycelle (Julian Glover) as the leak. Pycelle only loses some beard length and get’s tossed in a cell as a result, Tyrion may have use for him later. Littlefinger isn’t pleased to have been used and lied to and Lord Varys is amused. All are learning that the Imp is not to be underestimated in the game of court politics.
The City Guard return to Yoren’s flock and he makes them work for Gendry before succumbing to superior numbers. Quick thinking Arya, claims a boy already killed by the guard is Gendry, buying them a little more time before being found out. With that, “Game of Thrones” Season 2 continues it’s ballistic course forward. And we saw no mention of the Targaryen’s so we can only hope to see next week what’s happening in the Red Waste.
It’s an exciting time in Westeros and things are ramping up quickly for those of us without the books as reference. It’s getting harder and harder to avoid spoilers on the interwebs but even the spoilers I’ve run into (I knew Ned was getting a really short haircut before it happened) haven’t dampened my enthusiasm for this very well written and paced show.