Game of Thrones – Episode 2.3 “What is Dead May Never Die”

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Synopsis: Craster returns to Mormont with Snow. Mormont chastises Snow for spying on Craster, and when Jon admits what he saw he realizes that Mormont knew. In the morning, the men of the Night’s Watch take their leave. Samwell gives Gilly a trinket that his mother had given him. At Winterfell, Bran confesses to Maester Luwin that in his dreams, he is seeing the world through his direwolf’s eyes, tasting the blood of his kills, howling. Renly has taken up residence in Stormlands and declared himself King. At a swordfight bout, Brienne of Tarth bests Loras and requests to be a member of Renly’s kingsguard, which he grants. Catelyn visits Renly to broker a deal, and he introduces his new wife, Margaery Tyrell, Loras’ sister. Theon chastises Yara for concealing her identity. Balon wants to attack the north while Robb and his men are focused on the Lannisters and King’s Landing. Balon entrusts the fleet to Yara, despite Theon’s objections. Theon dumps all his daddy issues out on Balon for giving him away to the Starks.

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Shae is with Tyrion in his room, but is upset she has to remain hidden. At dinner, Myrcella asks when Sansa and Joffrey will be married. Cersei says soon, after the war is over. Sansa feels more uncomfortable in her isolation with the Lannisters. Shae reports to Sansa as her new chambermaid, but Sansa isn’t thrilled with the inexperienced woman. Tyrion lays out a plan to Pycelle, Varys, and Baelish, changing key details to see who is in Cersei’s pocket. Renly makes out with Loras before trading him out with his sister and she reveals she’s fully aware of Renly’s downlow deal with her brother. Margaery says the best way for them to secure their alliance is for him to impregnate her. Cersei is upset with Tyrion for bartering with Myrcella, and Tyrion realizes it was Pycelle that told her. Theon writes to Robb of his father’s rejection but burns it instead of ravening it along. Theon performs a ritual declaring his support to his father. Baelish admonishes Tyrion for his ruse, but Tyrion isn’t done with him yet. He wants Baelish to see Catelyn to help free Jaime. Tyrion has Pycelle thrown in the dungeon for his part. He also relieves him of his beard. Varys compliments Tyrion for the ploy. Arya bonds with Yoren but their camp is overcome by the Kingsguard. Yoren tells Gendry and Arya to hide while the others fight them off. Yoren fights off several guards before succumbing. Arya helps Jaqen and the men in the cages before she is grabbed by one of the guards. When he asks her for Gendry, she points to a dead Lommy and claims that he was Gendry.

Comments: Another episode where new characters are woven in seamlessly, this time Brienne and Margaery are established with just a couple scenes and feel completely integrated. Margaery has one mission: to be queen. She has aligned herself with Renly, but he won’t be her last King. Tyrion’s machinations and challenge against his sister is the most compelling aspect of the show. Their passive aggressive sniping, and aggressive aggressive arguing make for good movement.  Bran’s super powers seem to be evolving. First, it was merely the dreams, but now his ability to see through his direwolf’s eyes is something new.

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Memorable Moments: Brienne’s debut putting Loras to shame certainly establishes her status as a force to be reckoned with. Tyrion’s ploy is great and even in the smaller moments (no pun intended) it’s easy to see why Peter Dinklage has all those Emmys. Arya’s quick thinking gives her continued rooting value, juxtaposed with Sansa who takes a little longer to come into her own.

Quotes:
Varys: Power resides where men believe it resides. It’s a trick. A shadow on the wall. And a very small man can cast a very large shadow.

Tyrion: I don’t like his beard.

Cersei: You think the piece of paper Father gave you keeps you safe? Ned Stark had a piece of paper too.

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Foreshadowing: Yoren tells Arya how he used to say Willem’s name every night before bed because he wanted revenge for Willem killing his brother. Arya must take to this thought as she will soon come up with her own list. Tommen asks his mom if Joffrey is going to kill Robb. It shocks Sansa, but the real shock will come later.

Title: Said by Theon as he pledges his allegiance to the drowned god and his family.

Deaths: Alas, poor Yoren, killed by Amory Lorch and the kingsguard. Lommy stabbed through the neck by Polliver (incidentally, with Needle)

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