The Lion and the Rose (Spoilers)
In another pivotal episode written by George RR Martin himself, we begin with a human hunt led by Ramsay Snow, with a jealous Miranda and a broken Theon Greyjoy on toe. It would appear Miranda felt threatened by a pretty young servant girl and now the sadistic Ramsey hunts the girl down then lets his two large hounds maule her to death, with a cringing Theon, now called "Reek," watching on. I didn't think Theon would last this long but he's outlasted many more prominent characters. He stands there twitching away, clearly a shadow of his former self. It's strange that I can feel sorry for the likes of Jaime, but after Theon's betrayal of Rob, I don't feel all that sympathetic towards him. That could change, of course. I guess we're all suckers for underdogs.
The scene when Roose Bolton returns and discovers Ramsay has messed things up by flaying Theon, who was to be used as ransom, was tense. Getting Theon to shave his exposed neck was risky, but it looks like it paid off. Ramsay gets his father important information about Jon Snow and the surviving Bran and Rincon. Theon learns of Rob's murder while he's shaving Ramsey, and at one point looks like he's about to slit his throat. I for one wouldn't have shed a tear for a cruel mental-case like Ramsay Snow.
Tyrian is stuffing his face while a morose Jaime sits there. Tyrion's toast was amusing; "The dwarf, the cripple and the mother of madness." Jaime tells Tyrion he can't fight anymore. "How can I protect the king when I can hardly wipe my own arse?" Because discretion is needed Tyrion gets Bronn to help train him to fight with his left hand. Bronn goes about this in his usual manner, with plenty sarcasm and jibes. I think that's why Bronn and Tyrion get along, as they both have sarcasm down so well.
The next two scenes, both featuring Tyrion, were extremely powerful. Varys warns Tyrion that Cersei knows of Shae visiting him in his bedchamber, and that he must send her away before Cersei tells their father. Tywin promised to hang the next whore found with Tyrion. Because Shea isn't frightened of Tywin or Cersei, Tyrion decides to use a different tack to get her to leave. He tells her he doesn't want her around because he wants to be a good husband to Sansa, but even his attempt at being cruel betrays his real feelings.
During the gifting ceremony, where King Joffrey is given wedding presents, Tyrion gives him a book, 'The Lives of Four Kings,' which Joffrey clearly doesn't like, but the King surprises everyone by graciously accepting it. Tywin then gives Joffrey the second Valyrian steel blade, which Joffrey uses to chop up the book, telling everyone it will remind him of Ned Stark. This is done with Sansa also sitting at the table. The look on everyones face while Joffrey cuts the book to ribbons was priceless.
Melisandra and Stannis Baratheon are burning enemies of the Lord of Light, with Stannis' own brother-in-law screaming in agony as his body goes up in flames. Ser Davos, as usual, isn't happy at what's going on but is powerless to prevent it from happening. He was imprisoned the last time he spoke out against the witch. Stannis is brooding while his wife is taken in by Melisandra and gets her to talk to the princess, with Melisandra trying to convince the princess that her old religion is wrong, and The Lord of Light is the one she should follow.
Before the main event, Bran has a vision at a tree with a face carved on it, where he sees Ned Stark. Because they have Dragons and magic in this show, wouldn't it be something if Ned was brought back from the dead, to claim the iron throne? The wedding itself, the highlight of this episode, was a grand affair, where we saw Joffrey being the brat that he is, by throwing money at the musicians to get rid of them because he found them boring. The Queen gives a speech, telling the guests the King is giving the leftovers from the feast to the poorest in King's Landing. The scene where Jaime warns Ser Loras off from marrying his sister was extremely funny. Jaime tells Ser Loras he won't be marrying his sister, to which Ser replies "neither will you." Mind you, Jaime had just interrupted Ser and Prince Oberyn Martell ogling each other.
Cersei decides to make a fool of herself, too, after asking Brienne if she loved Jaime. Poor Brienne didn't know what to say! Cersei then decides to go against the new Queen's orders, by threatening Grand Maester Pycelle; if he doesn't feed the leftover food to the dogs, he'll be fed to the dogs. Pycell is still doing his frail-old-man act, and I came across a deleted scene from last season on Youtube, where Tywin calls him on his acting. Watch it by clicking here.
What should have been a huge moment for me was spoiled thanks to accidentally catching a bit of the trailer for next week's episode before I could watch the recording (I'm not a fan of ads). Season 4 is sub-headed 'All Men Must Die' and regicide is a great way of living up to that title. Joffrey was the King we all loved to hate, and Jack Gleeson's performances were always so convincing. After making a fool of Tyrion it's natural he'd be blamed for poisoning Joffrey (and the fact Joffrey pointed a dying finger at his uncle), but the way Sansa was quickly whisked away by Ser Dontos, before the King had died, means he surely had knowledge of the intent to murder him. According to an article I read, if you watch the tent scene closely you can actually work out who killed him. I have only had time to watch it once so I haven't yet had a chance to put it to the test. What will become of Tyrion and will Sansa also be accused?
TV Recap by Lead Entertainment Writer, Ed BlackadderShare: