Quick and Dirty Plot:
There are festivities at King’s Landing. As celebration of the new right-hand man, there is jousting. We learn that the Hound (Rory McCann) is there and that he has an even crazier brother named The Mountain (Conan Stevens). The Mountain is a super jouster who killed a dude in the previous episode. (Things run together when you watch a couple of episodes in a row…) During a joust with a fancy-looking dude, the Mountain loses and, in a fit of rage, kills his own dang horse. Then he tries to kill the fancy jouster but the Hound intervenes.
The King (Mark Addy) decides he wants to joust but learns he’s too fat for his armor. Ned (Sean Bean) stops him from jousting and the two have a conversation about the kingdom and power and stuff. We also learn that Robert’s younger brother Renly (Gethin Anthony) is having a bit of a fling with the fancy jouster. Ned is also still trying to figure out what Jon Arryn (John Standing) was up to.
Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) stole Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and brought him to her sister, Lysa (Kate Dickie), for a trial. Tyrion does not understand what he is being held for, and that is when Catelyn accuses him of killing Jon Arryn and almost killing Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright). Tyrion was all, “That ain’t my style, bro,” but neither Lysa nor Catelyn care. Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) finds out that Tyrion has been kidnapped by Catelyn, and he wants his brother released. Ned finds out and is also mad but says he can’t do much of anything.
Speaking of pissed people, Robert finds out that Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) is pregnant and decides he needs to strike before she ever considers coming back to King’s Landing. Ned is the voice of reason, “You can’t attack a pregnant woman on the other side of the world. That’s insanity.” But Robert is insane and decides he is the Westeros Donald Rumsfeld, ordering a pre-emptive strike against Daenerys and the Dothraki. Ned is not down with that, so he peaces out and plans to head back to Winterfell.
Meanwhile, Arya (Maisie Williams) is getting into shenanigans and finds herself in some underground passage where she hears two men talking about assassinating her father. She tells her dad, who is more mad at the shenanigans and tells her to go to her room. Before Ned can go back to Winterfell, he learns of another illegitimate child fathered by Robert. Ned meets with the woman and asks about her contact with Jon Arryn. It’s not helpful. As Ned leaves, he is confronted by Jaime. Jaime and his men attack Ned and his men. During their duel, Ned starts to get the upper hand on Jaime before one of Jaime’s men wounds Ned in the leg. And then the episode abruptly stopped. HOW DARE THEY.
Literally, the last few scenes of this episode were so good. It is a shame I had to watch all of the other parts of it. It felt like it was a lot of exposition. I needed that four episodes ago. This begins to explain many things that occurred well before the start of the series. I feel like if I had more of this sooner, we could be getting some good stuff now.
I did like Ned in this episode. He continued to do some detective work, which is when I like him most. I found his confrontation with Robert super interesting as Robert is so used to people doing whatever he says. Ned challenges him in a very diplomatic and thoughtful way. Robert was, like, way too drunk to be reasoned with.
I do not like Catelyn. Sorry to her fans. I find her very brazen and shortsighted. I do not understand her motives. She also feels very entitled and self-righteous, and I am not about that. I think her straight-up kidnapping Tyrion without proof or motive or understanding of the situation is really reckless, especially because her husband is surrounded by Lannisters.
Do we ever learn about why the Starks and Lannisters hate each other so much? Like, they really hate each other. I get it. I hate the Lannisters too, but it is intense. Plus, the Lannisters are, like, hella rich. Here’s the other thing: This episode is called “The Wolf and the Lion.” The Starks have a wolf on their emblem and the Lannisters have a lion. To me, the lion represents not just a regal being, but a brutish, domineering and petulant one at times. Wolves, to me, are extremely misunderstood and mistreated. Plus, the Starks all have direwolves. And the Starks are pretty misunderstood. Annoying, but misunderstood.
I think I am starting to understand why this became a phenomenon. It is like watching a reality TV show. You are purposely being fed information and trying to decipher who is good and who is the villain. And maybe right now, the villain is one person, but it could soon turn out to be another. Which, like in reality TV, trust no one! Also, I am VERY bitter that they just ended that episode. Seriously? Ned is hurt. Jaime is psycho. And we just have to wait?! Nope. Will not stand for this.
This episode, in particular, has been a terrific showcase of Sean Bean. Like many, I grew up watching the “Lord of the Rings” films. Boromir was a real tragic character. He was conflicted by the power of the ring and his moral convictions. While there are some similarities between Ned and Boromir, I find Ned to be very stuck in his moral convictions. Knowing where Ned heads (no pun intended), I figure Ned’s moral convictions are going to get the best of him. After seeing Bean’s performance in this episode, I am looking forward to what he brings the rest of the season.
- Ned is losing all of his witnesses.
- LOL Robert’s too fat for his armor.
- The Mountain just killed his horse! WTF! What a sore loser.
- Why is that woman breastfeeding a 10 year old?!
- What is Prince Charming doing? Oh, looking for Tyrion. Stupid-ass Catelyn.
- Oh shit. Now there’s fighting.
- Jaime vs. Ned. GO NED!
“Game of Thrones” is available to watch on HBO and HBO Max.
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Featured image credit: HBO
Morgan Roberts (she/her) was by films and television. She spent many nights watching “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” or whatever the family rented from Blockbluster. Morgan is particularly interested in cinematography, supporting female filmmakers and “Fleabag.” Outside of a deep love of film, Morgan is passionate about mental health advocacy, gender equality and true crime podcasts. Morgan also contributes to In Their Own League.