Game of Thrones Season 4 isn't messing around. Forget a slow build to a climatic ninth episode like in the past seasons — Season 4, Episode 2 ("The Lion and the Rose") featured an epic wedding and one of the biggest deaths yet. Ding, dong, the bastard is dead. Let the celebrations begin!
But before you go dancing in the streets to mark the occasion, read of for Wetpaint Entertainment's recap of all the action. After all, the big death wasn't the only thing that happened this week.
The Dreadfort: A Bastard, Both Metaphorically and Literally.
If for some reason you were deluded into thinking Ramsay Snow (Iwan Rheon) sadistic tendencies began and ended with Theon (Alfie Allen), the opening scene of this episode fixed that for you, thanks to a "delightful" (read: stomach churning) scene showing Ramsay and his hounds hunting down the most dangerous game (a scared girl, duh). In other news, we still hate this guy.
After that bit of fun is concluded, Ramsay's daddy dearest, the equally despicable but far saner Roose Bolton (Michael McElhatton) returns to the Dreadfort. Ramsay proudly shows off his "prize" (that's Theon, now called Reek), but Roose isn't pleased. After all, Theon was a valuable hostage until Ramsay completely destroyed him both mentally and physically. "Theon was our enemy, but Reek, Reek will never betray us," Ramsay argues. "I place far too much trust in you," Roose replies. Another example of wonderful parenting.
To prove how subservient Theon has become, Ramsay sits back and lets him shave him, just to show that Theon won't slit his throat even if he has the opportunity. Sadly, he's right. Theon follows orders, even when Ramsay casually drops the news that Robb is dead. Hey, remember Season 2 when we all thought Theon was the worst person around? We were but sweet summer children.
Some plot points to add: Ramsay also informs Roose that Bran and Rickon are actually alive, so Roose sends out a party to hunt them down so they can't pose a threat to his hold on the North. He also sends Ramsay to win Moat Cailin back from the Grayjoys. Theon will accompany him.
Dragonstone: Fire Is Thicker Than Blood
Stannis (Stephen Dillane) and Melisandre (Carice van Houten) are back to burning people, and Stannis's wife, Selyse, couldn't be happier about it. She's so into her religion, she watches in ecstasy as her own brother is burned at the stake. That's... normal.
Davos, still the only sane person around, expresses his disapproval to Stannis. Like, dude, that was your brother-in-law. Doesn't matter, Stannis declares, he was an infidel. Davos, we're totally with you, but you're not going to win this argument.
Next, we're treated to one of Westeros' famous awkward dinners, this time with Stannis, Selyse, and Melisandre. Selyse, apparently wanting to put her bid in for worst mother in the Seven Kingdoms, complains about her "stubborn" and "sinful" daughter, and suggests Mel give the girl a talking to. Stannis, to his credit, doesn't seem pleased that his wife apparently hates their own daughter.
Melisandre does pay Shireen Baratheon a visit. She acts exactly the same around this little girl that she does with everyone else, which is to say, she's not very good with kids. She just straightforwardly declares that the Seven are a lie, and her god is real. Because if you say it, it's true!
North of the Wall: Bran Has a Vision
North of the Wall, Bran(Isaac Hempstead Wright) is busy Warging into Summer, his Direwolf, until Hodor wakes him up with a "hodor." Jojen Reed (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) warns that if Bran lives inside Summer for too long, he'll forget about being a human. Based on his expression, Bran doesn't think that would be the worst thing in the world.
Still, it's not all moping around for Bran this week. He also touches a weirwood tree and has a crazy series of visions. "Look for me, beneath the tree. North," a voice tells him. "I know where we have to go," Bran declares after snapping out of it. Do you? That didn't seem very clear to us.
King's Landing: Not a Place for Lovers
Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) have a scene together, which is excellent. Jaime confides that he can't really fight anymore, and he's afraid of people finding out. An actual expression of fears and weakness! Yay, brothers! Yay, family members who actually like each other! Tyrion comes up with a solution: Jaime can train with Bronn (Jerome Flynn). This is a change from the book, and a good one. Jaime and Bronn have lots of chemistry, and it gives Bronn something to do. Good job, show.
Later, Tyrion and Lord Varys (Conleth Hill) meet. Varys warns Tyrion that Shae (Sibel Kekilli) was seen coming out of his room, and reminds him that Tyrion (Charles Dance) threatened to kill the next whore he was caught with. "Have you ever known your father to make an idle threat?"
Nope. Tywin does not make idle threats, and at breakfast Cersei (Lena Headey) points Shae out to her daddy dearest. Things are looking bad for Tyrion, so he cuts things off with Shae, and instructs her to sail across the Narrow Sea. He claims it's because he's married now, and he has to be true to his wife. Yeah, no one is buying that story, dude. Why not just tell her the truth?
Of course, that might not work, either, since Shae declares she's not afraid of Cersei and Tywin. That's dumb, Shae. When logic doesn't work, Tyrin resorts to rejection, yelling that they can't be together. "You're a whore... I can't be in love with a whore." It's painful, and Peter Dinklage really acts the heck out of Tyrion's conflict and remorse. Shae leaves in tears. There's no way this ends well.
The Royal Wedding: And Everything Goes Purple
We pick up in the midst of this momentous event. In fact, only a few minutes are spent on Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and Margaery's (Natalie Dormer) actual wedding ceremony. The real action happens at the party. And what a lot of action it is.
The party is jam packed with quick scene after quick scene featuring fun pairs of characters exchanging threats and insults disguised as polite conversation. We have Tywin and Lady Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg) discussing finances (Tywin dislikes spending money on weddings, because he hates fun); Olenna fussing over Sansa (Sophie Turner); Jaime trying to threaten Loras (Finn Jones) away from marrying Cersei; and Cersei telling Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) that she's obviously in love with Jaime (for once, Cersei is right about something). Oh, also there's a random nearly-naked chick as part of the entertainment, just in case you'd forgotten what show you're watching.
There are two scenes from this sequence that are worth reflecting on further. The first is the fantastic run-in between Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal), Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma), Cersei, and Tywin. Again, Oberyn made no secret of his hatred of the Lannisters, quipping that in some places (read: Dorne), "the rape and murder of women and children is considered distasteful." He also subtly reminds them that Myrcella is with the Martells. A threat?
We also get a taste of a potential Margaery vs. Cersei battle, when Cersei undermines Margaery's declaration that all of the feast's leftovers will go to the poor. We get that Cersei hates everything Margaery does, but she really should stop getting in the way of Margaery's savvy PR moves.
But the real centerpiece of events is Joffrey, who is more despicable then ever. He cuts off the singers (real life band Sigur Ros), has Dontos pelted with fruit and, in a real master stroke of ick, puts on a "War of the Five Kings" with little people. As if mocking the war that killed both Margaery and Sansa's brothers wasn't sick enough, he then tries to get Tyrion to jump in the ring and join the fighting.
Tyrion refuses, and as punishment Joffrey, after literally pouring wine all over his uncle, forces Tyrion to be his cup-bearer. It's awkward for everyone. But what was just a humiliating scene for Tyrion turns drastic when Joffrey starts to choke, then gag, and then collapse on the ground, convulsing and bleeding out of his nose. Panic strikes! People scream. Cersei and Jaime rush forward to their son. In the midst of the hubub, Ser Dontos tells Sansa to come with him.
Wow. Joffrey's death is brutal. Whatever that poison was, it was clearly no fun. Kudos to the makeup department.
As he breathes his last breath, Joffrey reaches out to where Tyrion is lifting the cup that had held the deadly wine. Cersei breaks down. "You did this," she accuses Tyrion. "Take him, take him!" And with that, Tyrion is arrested. Damn. Way to make Joffrey's death way less fun for those of us at home, Cersei.
We meet Marg's dad, Mace Tyrell.
"We have a new queen." "Better her than you."
Love Marg's fake laugh and Joffrey's cruelty, and also her look of disgust during the "War of the Five Kings."
Joffrey on his new sword: "Every time I use it, it will be like cutting off Ned Stark's head all over again." We'll really miss Jack Gleeson, but we're so glad this snot is dead.
It's worth noting that Olenna seems to think the Iron Bank of Braavos might be coming for money soon.
Bronn's advice to a heartbroken Tyrion: "Go drink until it feels like you did the right thing."
What did you think of this episode? Let us know in the comments below!