First Watch Game of Thrones TV TV Recaps

First Watch: “Game of Thrones” Season 2, Episode 4 “Garden of Bones”

Quick and Dirty Plot:

As the war between the Lannisters and the Starks continues, Robb Stark (Richard Madden) demonstrates he is pretty good when it comes to this whole “war” thing. On the battlefield, he briefly meets nurse Talisa (Oona Chaplin) and seems to be impressed with her nursing and her physical appearance.

Meanwhile, Arya (Maisie Williams) and Gendry (Joe Dempsie) are taken to a ruined castle where the Lannisters are keeping prisoners. The Mountain (Ian Whyte) keeps randomly taking prisoners and torturing them to death while asking them about “the Brotherhood.” No idea what this is about but it has Arya intrigued, and that is never good news. Tywin (Charles Dance) arrives and puts an end to the brutality by demanding the prisoners be put to work. What does he have Arya Stark do? Oh, just become his personal servant at the castle. No big deal.

At King’s Landing, Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) learns that Robb Stark is better at war than his family, so he plans to have Sansa (Sophie Turner) publicly beaten. Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and Bronn (Jerome Flynn) are like, “Nooooo, maybe let’s not do that.” So Tyrion gets some sex workers to come hang out with Joffrey, who then tortures them like an absolute psychopath. 

Garden of Bones
Photo Credit: HBO

Desperate for refuge, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) learns of a city called Qarth that is willing to take her and the Dothraki. Jorah (Iain Glen) tells her, “Yo. This might not be a smart idea as the desert outside of Qarth is legit called ‘Garden of Bones’ and we might die.” Daenerys tells him that they’re already royally screwed and that they should take the offer. They get there and the rulers, known as the Thirteen, are kind of being rude and plan to only admit Daenerys and the Dothraki if they can see her dragons. Daenerys tells them they are bébés and they refuse her entry until one member of the Thirteen, Xaro (Nonso Anozie) vouches for her.

On the battlefront, Littlefinger (Aiden Gillen) meets with Renly (Gethin Anthony), asking a million questions about Renly’s plans to siege King’s Landing. Margaery (Natalie Dormer) says, “Boy, bye” to Littlefinger, shutting him down. Littlefinger then talks to Catelyn (Michelle Fairley), who is mad at him for letting her husband be executed. In good faith, Littlefinger brings Catelyn her husband’s remains. Renly then meets with his brother, Stannis (Stephan Dillane). Stannis offers Renly to surrender in exchange for being his heir to the throne. Renly declines the offer but Stannis gives him until the morning to make up his mind. Stannis has Davos (Liam Cunningham) take his witch wife Melisandre (Carice van Houten) secretly to shore. There, Melisandre goes from being not pregnant to late-stage pregnant, giving birth in a cave to a shadowy monster figure who then disappears in smoke. WHAT?!

Garden of Bones
Photo Credit: HBO


Things are starting to get interesting again. I can follow the plot a bit, and the stakes are clear. I love understanding what’s going on! It is truly my favorite.

First thing’s first: What are the child labor laws associated with film and television? Because I am pretty sure having teenage Sophie Turner almost being full-on tortured and teenage Jack Gleeson doing some utterly horrific things with fake sex workers is bordering on extra problematic. How old were these two? Were their parents there during all of this? What kind of conversations do you have as a parent? I know that I have talked about how problematic I find the blatantly exploitative positions this show has put women in, but these are just kids. I get that they were teenagers, but that is super intense. Maybe I wasn’t emotionally mature at that age, but I couldn’t handle the scenes that they filmed.

And speaking of gratuitous nudity, can we have an episode where women get to keep their clothes on and not be ogled? I do not mind nudity or sex scenes where they feel purposeful. But when it happens in almost every episode, it loses its legitimacy. It starts to feel unnecessary. Many times, it is. 

Garden of Bones
Photo Credit: HBO

Now, there were parts of the episode I really enjoyed. I like Margaery. She is smart! I was right! I also like people putting Littlefinger in his place because I hate him. I will be interested to see what Margaery does, if she sticks by Renly and for how long. I also like Renly. He also seems smart! Renly understands diplomacy and how to be strategic. I think that’s why he has let Catelyn hang out at his camp for so long. Stannis, on the other hand, is a douche. Does he die soon? He can die soon if he wants. I find him arrogant and rude. Yes, Ned made Stannis aware that he was the next in line to the throne, but with “a king in every corner,” Stannis needs to be smart. Not brutish. He needs to save that for the bigger battles, not every little obstacle. Also, that witch gave birth to a shadow monster?! Once again, I think a GoFundMe needs to be started for George R.R. Martin’s therapy. These plots are getting out of hand.

I am concerned for Arya. She is behind enemy lines and is Tywin’s servant?! This will end badly. Arya gets herself into trouble all of the time. It is going to happen and I will be annoyed. But never annoyed by my girl, Daenerys. I am glad she has finally found refuge. But I hope she can get back to Westeros soon. Look, everyone, I know what happens to Daenerys in the end. Seeing her thrive and succeed and overcome obstacles in every episode tells me that I will be devastated by her ending. She is truly an impressive character and so passionately portrayed by Emilia Clarke. I mean, in this season, Clarke was on painkillers and dealing with chronic fatigue following a brain hemorrhage. A brain hemorrhage! I cannot get over that. I am excited to see where the season takes Daenerys. I just know that all of these great moments will have a very bitter ending. Oh, this dumb, addictive show!

Garden of Bones
Photo Credit: HBO

Out-of-Context Quotes:

  • Robb ain’t bad at attacking people!
  • Omg. Poor Sansa! I hope Sansa kills Joffrey.
  • This lady from “The Tudors” isn’t having Littlefinger’s shit. I love it.
  • Garden of Bones. Scary shit.
  • Yeah, I’d pee my pants too.
  • Qarth is a stupid place.
  • I hope Daenerys burns them all.
  • Dude, Charles Dance is f*cking tall.
  • Is this witch giving birth to a demon or some shit?

“Game of Thrones” is available to watch on HBO and HBO Max.

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Feature image credit: HBO

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