Game of Thrones Episode 2 – Waging War

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Game of Thrones is in full swing with Episode #2 of its Seventh Season. HBO has really put a lot of effort into character and plot development for this series (following the guidance of Mr. Martin) to the delight of viewers. So far the overtly sexual themes of previous seasons has faded and the dark, more demanding theme of war and survival has consumed Westeros. Please know that this review DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS so don’t read further if you have yet to watch the newest episode and/or season.

Jon Snow Puts Little Finger in his Place

Lord Baelish, aka Little Finger, is known for his insatiable desire to claim Sansa as his bride. He is not at all shy about his feelings and, while Jon Snow is in his family catacombs considering an offer from Danaerys to join forces, he has the audacity to visit the King in the North using his “love for your mother and sister” as his excuse. Jon, unlike his Ned, refuses to tolerate Lord Baelish’s behavior. He pins him to the wall by the throat and threatens death on the man should he ever approach his sister again. It’s one of the first times you see Little Finger realize he is poking a wolf that has no fear of consuming him. Jon knows that he needs the Vale warriors but family comes first and he makes certain Lord Baelish understands that notion.

After this confrontation Jon decides he will journey to Dragonstone with a small company. He leaves Sansa in charge of the North and promises to return with the man power needed to destroy the walkers approaching the wall.

Daenerys Forms a Plan

The Mother of Dragons has very dissimilar nations as her allies. The leaders of Dorn, the rejected fleet of the Iron Isles, the vengeful Tyrells, the Unsullied, the Dothraki, a Lannister, a Spy (Varys) and a trio of Dragons. Despite cultural and political differences all of these families, nations, tribes have one thing in common: they admire and/or worship Daenerys and support her right to the Iron Throne. After some discussion in her family home, Dany decides it best not to go for the Iron Throne right away as she does not want to be the “Queen of Ashes”. She sends the Dorne warriors and Iron Born fleet to block food/trade to King’s Landing while the Unsullied take over Casterly Rock. The Dothraki are left “on ship” to avoid them being used as a means for Cersei to get support (after all, they are vicious raiders).

Dany clears her counsel but asks to speak to Olenna Tyrell alone. It is here that Olenna gives Dany some advice: “Ignore them.” By them she means the men she has outlived. The very men who tried to run her life and instead found themselves in graves. Olenna warns Dany of Cersei’s violence and uses her former grand daughter as an example of how loving the people is still not enough to rule Westeros. Olenna encourages Daenerys to use violence, stating fear works just as well as love…maybe better.

Sir Jorah and Sam Spend Some Time Together

Sam Tarly is NOT a quitter. When he sees Sir Jorah’s ailment he decided it’s something he can cure. After being told treatment is possible but forbidden Sam does what Sam does best: he ignores his mentors and goes on a quest for personal enlightenment alone. This part of the episode is a bit difficult to stomach. It’s exciting to see Sir Jorah again but what happens…well, let’s say surgically removing GreyScale is NOT a pretty sight. This impromptu surgery is also done with Rum as an anesthetic and a bit for Jorah to clench his teeth upon. OH! And since it’s illegal to practice this procedure Sam has to keep telling the poor knight to keep quiet while parts of his flesh are cut away and oozing pus slithers down his chest, back…you get the picture.

Despite my disgust this rather intrigues me. If Sam DOES cure Sir Jorah what would that mean for him? Would it help him get on Dany’s good side? Should negotiations go bad between Jon and Dany could Sam intervene? This opens up A LOT of possibilities both good and bad.

Arya and Hot Pie

Sometime back Arya met a young man called “Hot Pie”. On her travels to King’s Landing she meets up with him again and has friendly conversation. During this discussion he innocently asks why she has not returned home. Arya, somewhat jaded, answers that the Bolton’s it have so why would she want to go back. Hot Pie, a bit confused, corrects her and reveals that Jon is the King in the North and the Bolton’s are dead. For the first time in several seasons you see hope in the young Stark’s eyes. She is surprised to discover her brother is King and her sister is at his side.

Arya resolves to return home and, while camping out, she meets an old friend: Nymeria. Her dire wolf whom she sent into the woods in season 1 is alive, well and the care taker of a pack. When Arya asks her to come with her to Winterfell the wolf hesitates then walks away to which Arya says “That’s not you.” Many think that Arya is stating Nymeria has abandoned her but it’s quite the opposite. Ned, in season 1, said that Arya would be a lady one day and have a family. Arya plainly stated that that “Wasn’t her”, indicating that she was a fighter. Arya said the same thing to Nymeria because she knows the wolf has no place at Winterfell; that her home is in the wild now. It’s sad but nice to see this little easter egg so late in the series.

A Fleet on Fire

This episode ends in a cliffhanger. We discover a few things here: Euron is EXCEPTIONALLY mad, Yara will sleep with anyone and Theon…well, he’s not quite healed from the tortures the Bolton bastard inflicted on him. I won’t reveal much but there is fire involved and lots and lots of death.

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