Game of Thrones Season 3 Episode 8 review and recap
As this is a recap, there are SPOILERS below.
This week’s episode is rather Tyrion-heavy, but I’m okay with that. It was about time this season for Tyrion to carry an episode. Each week, actor Peter Dinklage proves his outstanding talent is perfect for the role of the youngest Lannister sibling. Unfortunately, the events taking place for Tyrion meant that the storylines involving Jon Snow & Ygritte, Robb Stark, Bran Stark and Jaime Lannister & Brienne weren’t featured in “Second Sons.”
Director Michelle MacLaren opens on a waking Arya Stark fresh off getting nabbed by The Hound last week. Arya spots a stone ripe for splitting the younger Clegane brother’s head in twain.
However, the youngest Stark female can’t bring herself to kill him when he reveals his consciousness. A jump cut to the two of them on horseback contains The Hound revealing to Arya that he’s going to try to get her back to her family before Ser Edmure’s wedding. The following look on her face is one of the brightest we’ve seen from Arya in a long time.
The next scene is a meeting between Daenerys and the three leaders of the Second Sons — Yunkai’s mercenary-esque army. Despite the leader of the Second Sons constantly degrading her to seemingly no end, Daario (another Second Sons leader) seems to take an interest and liking in the Dothraki and Unsullied’s beloved Khaleesi.
After this, Gendry and Melisandre meet Stannis at Dragonstone. Stannis barely gives Gendry a once-over before visiting his best mate Davos in the dungeon. (I wonder if Melisandre’s lamb-slaughtering story upset him?) Davos is in the midst of reading what I can only determine is a picture book about the Targaryens. Stannis asks Davos’ counsel on sacrificing Gendry. Davos, ever the moral compass, deduces that Stannis does not want to sacrifice Gendry because he is an innocent and that Stannis wanted to hear as much from Davos, who says as much.
The next scene is brief, as Daario and the other two Second Sons leaders draw coins to determine who will infiltrate the Khaleesi’s camp and assassinate her.
Tyrion makes his first appearance of the episode by greeting Sansa Stark for their wedding day. He explains that she is no longer a “technical” prisoner despite the comparisons to a prison of a marriage. He promises he won’t hurt and the camera jumps to Cersei and Margaery walking together among a crowd before the nuptials. Cersei passive-aggressively threatens Margaery through telling her about the song “The Rains of Castamere” involving Tywin crushing House Reyne. We then jump back to Sansa as King Joffrey confronts her before the wedding. He walks her down the aisle as he is Father of the Realm and she has no father to walk her (hmm, whose fault is that?). Joffrey then removes Tyrion’s step-stool so that his uncle will further embarrass himself in the wedding. (As if marrying a fourteen-year-old wasn’t bad enough).
MacLaren then takes us back to Melisandre seducing Gendry into bondage. After Gendry is bound, the creepy cult lady of Westeros whips out three leeches, two of which go on his torso and the final one placed on his manhood. As Stannis and Davos enter, Melisandre removes the leeches. As they are dropped on the fire containing the royal blood of Robert Baratheon, Stannis says a name for each leech as they are dropped on the fire: Robb Stark, Balon Greyjoy and Joffrey Baratheon.
We are then taken back to the wedding where a rather inebriated Tyrion Lannister merely tries to survive his wedding without alcohol poisoning. Sansa excuses herself and Tywin approaches Tyrion to remind him that he will not be able to perform his husbandly duties if he is drunk. The funniest part of this scene is Lady Olenna explaining how the recently-approaching marriages will make the Tyrell siblings related in more ways than one. Loras’ brief conversation with Cersei was rather humorous, as well. The camera then catches back up with Sansa after she excused herself from the banquet. Joffrey confronts her and threatens to come in and rape her later that evening after his uncle has had his way with her. The worst king ever then drags her back into the banquet where he tries to get the Westeros wedding tradition of the “bedding” ceremony going. This involves the wedding crowd carrying/ dragging the newlyweds back to their wedding bed. Before Joffrey’s idea picks up any steam, Tyrion removes a blade and sticks it in the table. He threatens to remove his nephew’s manhood. Tywin quickly tries to clean it up as Tyrion decides to play it off as a joke to keep the status quo.
What happens next is one of Tyrion’s brightest moments as a character. As he and Sansa enter their chambers, he pours himself a glass and she pours herself one as well. He asks her age, to which she replies is merely 14. As she begins to disrobe, he stops her, telling her that he won’t share the marriage bed with her unless she wants him to do so. Sansa then asks him what he’ll do if she never wants him in that way to which he responds, “And so my watch begins.”
Daario then infiltrates the Unsullied camp disguised as one of the Unsullied and interrupts Daenerys during bath time. He reveals his true identity and empties the two heads of his co-leaders from a sack on to the ground. He explains that he was commissioned to kill her, refused, fought and won. Daario pledges the Second Sons and his own heart to the Mother of Dragons.
MacLaren then gives us a quick scene to put the audience at rest of sorts regarding the rocky relationship of Tyrion and his beloved Shae. Shae enters the wedding suite (?) the next morning to clean and prepare Sansa for the day. She pulls the sheets and doesn’t see blood, confirming that her man stayed true to her on his wedding night.
“Second Sons” ends with Sam, Gilly and her baby boy falling upon a shelter as the sunlight fades. As Sam and Gilly talk about naming her baby, the sound of ravens gathering together outside is too much for Sam to not witness. He peeks his head outside as does Gilly. The ravens then stop squawking and become completely silent as a white walker comes into view. Sam raises his sword to the white walker, who destroys it and tosses Sam back several feet. As the white walker approaches the baby, Sam dashes for the creature and sticks the dragon glass dagger into its back. The monster falls to its knees and shatters like plate glass into powder.
Sam and Gilly (with baby in tow) make a run for it as the ravens follow.