Game of Thrones rewatch: season 2 episode 2, The Night lands.

The 2nd episode of the second season of the daily rewatch of all 3 seasons.

The idea was started on reddit in r/asoiaf, and the this weeks thread is here:

http://www.reddit.com/r/asoiaf/comments/20pk0x/spoilers_all_season_2_episode_2_the_night_lands/

A link to previous this seasons previous episode rewatch discussion is in the comments.

This weeks intro has Pyke added to it, a nice subtle addition, noting its importance in the story starting with this episode. I’ve been pretty fascinated by the Iron Islands, even subconsciously designing the Axis of Justice guild crest based on the colors and sigil of House Greyjoy, the familiar gold and black, and the Kraken. I’ve been curious to why the Greyjoys could be so stuck in the traditions of their past, never changing to adapt to the world they live in. The Greyjoy’s are reavers and raiders by tradition because nothing can really grow effectively on Pyke or mine anything of value, they have nothing of value except for their ability with their ships or naval combat. Yet Balon Greyjoy thought to have himself declared King of the Iron Islands and the reavers attacked various ports in westeros, only to find themselves vastly outnumbered and overrun. The biggest victory the Iron Islands won was the burning of the fleets of the Lannisters and Lannisport. The fleets of the Iron Islands were smashed by the combined fleets of Robert and Stannis Baratheon, Ned Stark, and Paxter Redwyne. The siege of Pyke was what finally broke the rebellion, all the sons of Balon Greyjoy except for Theon died, and Theon was taken as a ward/hostage of Ned Stark to ensure that Balon Greyjoy never rise up against the Iron Throne again.

Spoilers after the read more break.

I really don’t know why they would show Arya taking a piss, its not really needed to establish anything, the only other person shown to take a piss was Tyrion when he did it off the side of the top of the wall. Anyways, there it is, maybe for the book reader hipster crowd that refuses to watch the show? I’m sure they loved the sound of it and relished every second.

The introduction of Jaqen H’gar, Rorge and Biter to Arya, Jaqen asks her some water while Rorge screams at her to bring beer or face some threat of mean looks. Arya realizing they can’t do anything to her behind bars smacks stick at Rorge’s hands and taunts him. Jaqen notices she has more courage then sense.

Gendry warns Arya not to talk to them because they are scary, and tells her if she isn’t scared then she’s a fool. 2 gold cloaks ride into the camp and present a royal warrant for one of the recruits. Arya thinks that they want her but they ask for Gendry instead. Yoren threatens them at knife point, noting that since all his recruits belong to the wall and the watch and are beyond the reach of Kings and lords.

Tyrion walks into the tower of the hand, finding Shae speaking with Varys, both make some veiled threats to each other.

A meeting of the small counsel is called and they discuss the terms of Robb Starks peace, Cersei shows her ineptness at diplomacy and as regent for Joffrey tears the terms into pieces. Offering nothing in return or a reply at all, even though Robb has the upper hand with Jaime as hostage and has won every battle against the Lannisters. Cersei asks about Jaime, all of the small counsel look away awkwardly indicating they all know of their relationship and that her children are bastards of Jaime Lannister. A message from the wall is read, Lord Commander Mormont asks for more men to combat the wights and white walkers. All of the small counsel rebuff the idea of the dead coming back to life and the white walkers, and ridicule the watch as many of the south do. They learn of Mance Rayder, the king beyond the wall, gathering an army to march south. They ridicule Tyrion for taking the warning seriously, and walk away from him ending the meeting.

At Craster’s keep, Sam meets a pregnant daughter-wife of Craster, Gilly, who is cornered by a very large Ghost, showing how much the direwolf has grown. Sam takes Gilly to Jon, to try to get Jon to do something to help Gilly, insisting that they must take Gilly with them. Sam not thinking about it clearly forgets they are moving farther north and possibly into war, that the watch is no place for pregnant women. Jon asks Gilly what happens to Craster’s sons, Gilly refuses to answer and runs off.

In the red wastes of Essos, Dany and her khalasar are attempting to cross the vast and harsh desert with her people suffering from exhaustion, hunger, and thirst. She calls her blood riders to take their horses to ride in the 4 cardinal directions to look for a suitable place to go.

At on boat towards to Pyke, Theon expects some grand welcoming as he thinks the people and his family will greet him with some celebration. He has sex with the captain’s daughter and in his own cabin.

Littlefinger is shown attending to his whores, and notices Ros crying over the killing the baby. Littlefinger shares a story of a whore he bought that never turned him a profit and how he had to sell her to some depraved lord for his own amusement. He threatens Ros with the same situation, if she doesn’t return to her job and do it happily.

Tyrion has dinner with “lord” Slynt, with Tyrion’s new squire, Pod, pouring wine for both. Tyrion states that he can’t trust Slynt as if he betrayed one hand already and can’t afford for Slynt to do it again. He sends Slynt off to the wall, and names Bronn as Lord Commander of the City Watch. Tyrion asks Bronn if he were asked to kill a baby at her mothers breast would he do it without question, Bronn replies he would but not without question and he would ask for much gold first. Tyrion ponders the answer carefully.

On the Kings Road, Yoren and his recruits are attending their various camp duties. Hotpie, Lommy, Arya and Gendry are getting water from the creek. Arya asks Gendry why the gold cloaks want him and not her. She learns how her father came to see Gendry and that the previous Hand of the King did as well, and Gendry has no idea why the city watch or the King would want him at all. Arya asks about his parents, Gendry only his mothers and no idea about his father. Gendry asks why she thought the Gold Cloaks wanted her, if it was because she is a girl. Indicating that he knows about her gender while everyone else is seemingly blind to it. Arya reveals she a Stark of Winterfell, and Gendry immediately reacts to how he has conducted himself before a highborne lady. He teases her about being lady like and Arya storms off.

At Pyke, Theon has no great welcome, and is greeted by indifference. No one seems to care the heir of Pyke has returned. He is brought to Pyke by a seemingly common women, Theon who thinks he is some great lord able to do what he wills with women because it is his right and he is doing them honor by having sex with them and possibly leaving them with his bastards, starts to grope her telling her that she will tell her kids about this day. Theon doesn’t realize that he his feeling up his own sister Yara. Her name is changed from the books because it is too close to the spelling of Osha, probably because the unwashed masses of the non book readers couldn’t possibly abide having one women named Asha and another one named Osha.

Anyways, Theon presents himself to his father only to be greeted by contempt and mistrust. Theon is surprised by his fathers contempt and lack of trust, asking himself what has he done to deserve such treatment. Not realizing that his father is so stuck in the past and in mindless tradition, when he sees Theon he must see his own faults and failures. He comments on the garments Theon wears and his little baubles, asking if Ned Stark raised a daughter. That on the Iron Islands Reavers pay the Iron Price for their possessions. He says all the things to his father fears, culminating into the offer of Balon’s own kingship if he joins the battle against the Lannisters. A offer suggested and helped penned by Theon himself. Theon and Robb’s offer his burned and rebuffed by Balon, saying if he wants to be king he will not have it given it to him, he will pay the iron price for it. Yara, re-introduces herself, to Theon’s surprise and disgust at his own previous thoughts and actions towards her. Balon tells Theon that Yara will lead an attack and will be a war but not against the Lannisters, he slowly begins to realize that Balon intends to attack the north instead.

At Dragonstone, Salladhor Saan and Davos Seaworth discuss the price of the pirate to join Stannis’ fleet. Saan states what has the world come to that a smuggler must vouch for the honesty and honor of a King. Davos son, is shown to be a follower of the Red god and her priestess with a real zeal. Davos gets Saan to agree to join the fleet.

Davos and his son have a talk about belief in gods, Davos claims not to believe in anything save for Stannis. Showing his extreme loyalty to Stannis because he has given him everything he has. He has a seat on Stannis’ counsel, a house and title, a knighthood, and positions for his sons in Stannis’ own household and court.

Tyrion has a talk with Cersei about their standing with the people they rule. Cersei is shown to be extremely unfit to rule with her simplistic and almost childish notions about ruling. She is vain, proud, and petty, she has taught Joffrey to rule and its now showing as the kingdom is in open rebellion and the Lannisters are in a position to lose everything.

At Dragon Stone, Davos informs Stannis that Salladhor Saan will join their fleet. Stannis asks Davos if he trusts Saan, Davos reveals he has known Saan for 30 years and called him friend but has never trusted him but reassures Stannis that once Saan has a whiff of gold he will do whatever it took to get it. Melisandre enters the war room and asks to be alone with the King, as Davos and his son leaves, she whispers to Davos son that “death by fire is the purest death.” She talks about how his own queen has given no sons and stillborns, not revealing his own daughter Shireen yet. She claims she will give him a son, and Stannis disturbing has sex with her without any pleasure on the table.

North of the wall, Jon Snow spies Craster taking a crying baby into the woods, Jon follows him, hearing strange sounds. Craster leaves the baby for a Other/White Walker. Then Craster surprises Snow and clubs him. 

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