Game Of Thrones Recap: Well, That Was Disturbing

Plenty of death, destruction, and despair this week.

After an exciting week, what with all the killings and all, Game of Thrones decided to take the foot off the pedal this week, and slow things down a bit. Oh don’t worry — there was still a heaping helping of our firm and perky Double Bs – blood and boobs, along with a tad of rape thrown in to the mix just to be disturbing. Grab your chain mail and favorite blade, and let’s get our recap on.

We start where last week left off, adrenaline still pouring through our veins as we see Joffrey dead in his mother’s arms, and Cersei (at the risk of sounding sexist) screaming hysterically that Tyrion did it. Then she asks about Sansa. We see the guards arrest Tyrion as Sansa quickly and quietly sneaks away with Joffrey’s fool, Ser Dontos. Lord Tywin screams that no one shall leave the city. Sansa and Ser Dontos run through the city, eventually finding a hidden rowboat and going, “somewhere safe,” Dontos tells Sansa. They row to a ship that looks like an abandoned Pirates of the Caribbean ghost ship. Who do we find aboard?

You kinda creep us out a little.

None other than Tommy Carcetti Lord Petyr Baelish, or Littlefinger. He tells Sansa that she is safe, and then pays the good Ser Dontos, still waiting in the little rowboat, his reward. But instead of the gold he was promised, he gets several crossbow bolts. Baelish explains to Sansa, “Money buys a man’s silence for a time. A bolt through the heart buys it forever.” Remind us to keep Littlefinger on our good side. But we are left with questions. How did Ser Dontos know to grab Sansa at the reception? Did Littlefinger just figure that a wedding would provide a distraction enabling Sansa to get away? Or is there more to it???

We turn to Margaery and her grandmother, chatting about what happens now. Margaery is told that while she is technically queen, it would have been a stronger claim if she had been both wedded and bedded, rather than just wedded. But her grandmother goes on to note, “You may not have enjoyed watching him die, but you enjoyed it more than being married to him, I can promise you that.” Amen, Lady Tyrell. But was there a twinkle in her eye? Could an old lady be the murderer? We don’t know. She also notes that the alliance with the Lannisters continues to be strong, out of necessity.

Speaking of Joffrey, we turn to him lying in state at the Great Sept, with his mother and brother, Tommen. He looks peaceful, but we still can’t muster any sympathy for the little monster. Lord Tywin comes to quiz little Tommen about the virtues of a good king. Through their discussion of piousness, justice, and strength, we hear a bit about the history of Westeros and of kings gone by, almost like a sales pitch for an upcoming book. After ruling out pious, just, and strong, they finally settle on wisdom, which is explained as listening to your advisors (read: Lord Tywin). Cersei just sits there, staring blankly at Joffrey. As they walk out of the Sept, Tommen’s grandfather is asking if he knows where babies come from, and at that moment, his “Uncle” Jamie comes into the Sept. Well done, guys!

Jamie clears the Sept , so it’s just him, Cersei, and their dead incest-monster-child. Cersei begs Jamie to kill Tyrion, absolutely convinced he is the murderer. She remembers him saying to her once, “The day will come when you think you are safe and happy. Then your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth.” Rather poetic, but hardly damning evidence. Jamie is aghast at the thought of killing his own brother, noting that there will be a trial. Cersei doesn’t want a trial — she wants REVENGE.

They then kiss, right beside Joffrey’s corpse. Cersei pulls away, and Jamie says, “You’re a hateful woman. Why have the gods made me love a hateful woman?” He then proceeds to grab her and kiss her, ripping at her garments. And as she continually says, “No, no, stop, stop, it’s not right,” he takes her, saying, “I don’t care.” Rape. On the floor of the Great Sept. Beside their dead son. Holy fuck was it disturbing. Seriously, like a million shades of not ok, and even disturbing for Game of Thrones.

For those of you keeping track of Jamie’s moral compass: fratricide is bad, but raping your sister beside the incestuous corpse of your son in a holy place is ok.

As a palate cleanser, we are reunited with The Hound and Arya as they continue to travel to The Eyrie.

Teacher and pupil in the school of life.

A kindly farmer takes them in for the night, after Arya does some quick thinking, lying and saying that The Hound is her father who fought for the Tully’s of Riverrun. They Hound is full of his usual charm, complaining about the prayer to the seven gods, and eating like a pig at the trough. They discuss the Red Wedding, noting the tragedy of the demise of civility and keeping people safe when they are guests. Haha, foreshadowing! The kindly farmer offers silver to have them stay on for a month, to help with the farm and keep away thieves. Bad move. The Hound accepts, and then in the morning, beats the old man and takes the silver. He explains to Arya that the man was weak and would be dead by the end of winter, and dead men don’t need silver. When Arya calls him, “the worst shit in the seven kingdoms,” (a phrase we may adopt), The Hound responds with, “Plenty worse than me. I just understand the way things are. How many Starks they have to behead before you figure it out.” All class, that one.

At The Wall, Sam “The Slayer” Tarly is trying hard to take care Gilly and the baby, suggesting that she would be safer in Molestown. He arranges for her to cook and clean in the whorehouse there, but makes clear she is not to do any additional work. They fight, because Gilly thinks Sam is abandoning her, and the little baby Sam cries a lot.

Such a big heart, yet kinda clueless.

Stannis and Ser Davos argue about how to win the Iron Throne, not that they get word that Joffrey is dead. Stannis is convinced that Joffrey died because of the black magic he has been using, and the Onion Knight says that they need soldiers to win wars, suggesting buying a company of sellswords from across the narrow Sea. Stannis hates the idea, and reminds him that they have next to no gold. Davos goes for his reading lesson, where he gets an idea to write a letter to the Iron Bank of Braavos from Stannis.

Prince Oberyn finally gets that orgy he was looking for, explaining to his male lover that he sees no need to deprive himself of any physical pleasure, male or female. He then gives some sage advice, like some sort of Westeros version of Dan Savage:

“Someday, if you are lucky, you will wake up and realize that you are old. That pretty ass of yours will sag. Your belly will grow soft, and your back will ache in the night and grey hairs will sprout from your ears. No one will want you anymore. Make sure you fucked your fill before that day.”

Talk about McSteamy.

His orgy and philosophy class are interrupted by Lord Tywin, who asks Prince Oberyn if he poisoned Joffrey. He denies it. Then Lord Tywin denies that The Mountain was following orders when he raped and killed Prince Oberyn’s sister. Prince Oberyn notes that he wants to meet The Mountain, and Lord Tywin promises that opportunity, for a price. Lord Tywin asks the Prince to be on tribunal to judge Tyrion, and also sit on the Small Council. Oberyn is questioning, and Lord Tywin reminds him that there is a Targaryen girl with dragons across the Narrow Sea who will eventually turn her eyes towards Westeros, and Dorne was the only place not conquered the first time around. Strategery, people.

Then we see Pod checking in on Tyrion, who is told about the trial to come in a fortnight. He’s about the only person we believe didn’t kill Joffrey, yet he is the one who is arrested and in jail. Pod tells Tyrion that Sansa has skipped town, and Tyrion tells Pod to send Jamie to him, then leave town while he still can, before he is killed through association.

We head back to the North for some good old fashioned slaughtering. We see the Wildling invaders attacking and butchering a small village. Ygritte is there, looking fierce and angry with her bow, and the Thenns feasting on human flesh. The Thenn leader grabs a small boy, and tells him that he is going to eat the boy’s mother and father. He then asks the boy to run to Castle Black to tell the Crows what is happening.

At Castle Black, we see the debate among the Crows about whether or not to stop the Wildlings south of the Wall. They decide against it, because there are only 100 men at Castle Black, and they will all be needed if Mance Rayder attacks. Then a few rangers return, noting that there are still outlaw Night Watchmen at Craster’s place. Jon Snow makes a passionate plea to ride out and kill them, before they tell Mance Rayder that they only have 100 men at Castle Black, not the thousand that Jon Snow told him. Tension mounts at The Wall.

Finally, we see Daenerys, who looks regal and damn sexy riding her horse up to the walls of Mereen. Seriously, how does she manage to have an authoritative swagger, on a horse, and manage to look soooooo fine? Amazing and we heart her so hard.

We would follow you through the desert, too.

Mereen sends out a champion, who taunts Daenerys, claiming that she is no woman at all, but merely a “man who hides his own cock in his asshole.” Daenerys is unamused, but picks a champion nonetheless. After several people volunteer, she settles upon Daario. Will we have an epic fight between these two champions? Will there be a swordfight that leaves us breathless?

No, we get none of these. We get an Indiana Jones-esque scene. The Meereen champion is charging on his horse as Daario waits patiently. Then, when the horse is about 30 paces away, Daario throws a dagger right between the horse’s eyes. The horse falls, the champion tumbles to Daario’s feet, where he is promptly killed. Daario then… relieves himself… in the direction of Meereen.

Game Of Thrones Recap: Well, That Was Disturbing

Daenerys gives a rousing speech to those watching from inside the city walls, noting that she has visited several cities, and now people follow her freely. The slaves of Meereen, wearing slave collars, listen intently as she discusses freeing other slaves. Then Daenerys launches barrels at the city, which smash on the buildings and rain down broken slave collars. Thousands of broken slave collars.

We end with slaves inside Meereen, holding broken collars, looking at their masters.

We are still left wondering who killed Joffrey, how in the hells Stannis will try to take the Iron Throne, and what will happen at The Wall and with the Mother of Dragons. Enough to keep us intrigued, but we do hope that is the last brother-sister rape scene we ever have to see, because that still disturbs us.

Here’s a preview of next week’s episode, which has Cersei asking Jamie to bring her Sansa’s head, drama at The Wall, more with Littlefinger and Sansa, and Daenerys promising more of her kind of justice.

Be sure to watch Sundays at 9 pm on HBO.

Catch up in the archives.

Game of Thrones Season Four Episode One.
Game of Thrones Season Four Episode Two.

TV Show: Game of Thrones

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  • Abracabastard

    PHI202: Orgies and Nihilism, as taught by Professor Oberyn Martell.

  • Greg Comlish

    The Iron Bank finances the foes of those who don’t pay up. This is how Stannis is going to get serious coin and arms. Obviously Baelish knew about the assassination weeks in advance. He might not have commissioned the killing, but he had actionable intelligence that it was going to go down. People are in favor of Daenerys because she is stridently anti-slavery, but they are overlooking her campaign of genocide. That woman is insane and when the time comes Jorah Mormont is going to have to put her down like a dog. But that’s not for another book at least. How the wildling tribesmen with all the scars on their heads get south of the wall? I thought they were North of the wall with Mance Raynor?

    • DDM

      Daenerys may be nuts, but I stand by her hotness. And she has a moral compass that, while everyone might not agree with, is guiding her. Also, she is hot.As for the wildling tribesmen, they met up with Ygritte and the others in the first episode of Season 4. There’s a link above to that recap if you are interested. Thanks for reading.

      • Greg Comlish

        Yeah, she’s hot. But a “moral compass” that embraces genocide is not actually an asset.

        • Brendan_M

          At least she doesn’t kill children with drones.

    • They’re overlooking the fact that Daenerys is an idiot, as well. She doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing; she’s just been really lucky, so far. And while it is often better to be lucky than good, luck does eventually run out.

  • Greg Comlish

    Here’s my thoughts on the rapey rapey rape. Cersei is into some twisted shit. She gets off on merciless strength and despises weakness. In the rape scene she’s learning that her brother can still overpower her at his will which she may find encouraging given that he lost his hand. Judged by conventional standards, yes she was clearly raped. But could you say for sure whether or not she was into it? I genuinely couldn’t. I honestly think she may have mixed feelings about the whole raped-by-her-brother-in-the-church-next-to-her-dead-son dealio. Plus in the book Cersei actually gets into it, so I want to give Jaime the benefit of the doubt here. Needless to say: Kids, don’t try this at home.

    • DDM

      These recaps are sticking just with the HBO teevee show, not venturing into the books. Two different mediums, and if we discussed the books, there would be spoilers for those just watching the teevee show. Also, if the director wanted this to not be rapey, they did a poor job of it, because it certainly looked exactly like rape. More nuance, or more dialogue, would have helped. As it is, based just on the teevee show, hard not to argue that it’s rape.

    • Carter

      That was rape. “but I know her” doesn’t make it not rape.

    • Annie Towne

      There used to be a word for these grey-area types of events in both the real-world and fantasy: ravishment. More than consent, less than rape. I offer it for use, though I expect it will be rejected.

  • Annie Towne

    I don’t really want to complain, but these recaps of yours are kind of strange to me because it seems you miss so much. Petyr Baelish reveals to Sansa that he arranged the assassination of Joffrey once she’s on his ship! He tells her he had the necklace made weeks before the wedding; that would be THE NECKLACE THAT OLENNA USED TO POISON JOFFREY (please observe her pulling one of the beads off the necklace when she fusses over Sansa in last week’s episode). He shows her that the necklace is just glass when he smashes it. Ser Dontos was hired by him to give it to her under the guise of it being the last remnant of his fortune, an heirloom. Baelish and Olenna were in it together. And this just from watching the show (I’ve never read the books). Last week, after I was certain that it was Olenna at the wedding with the poison bead, I went looking for confirmation and found this. It may those of you who still think the murder is a mystery. In the interview Martin is talking about the hairnet in the book, while it’s a necklace on the show:

    • TJ Barke

      Little finger only admitted he knew it was going to happen, he didn’t claim responsibility. He would have. He would have gloated about it.

      • Annie Towne

        He doesn’t have to state it outright for it to be obvious to us. If he had the necklace made and the necklace was then used by Olenna to poison Joffrey, they, together, are the murderers. Also, in the preview for next week, he seems to be telling Sansa outright.

  • Duckler

    Dead Incest Monster Child is too good of a name to let go.

  • Is there any kind of rape that *isn’t* disturbing? I’m just saying. Also, Oberyn rulz, Tywin droolz. That is all.

    • Brendan_M

      Leda and the Swan by Correggio

  • Annie Towne

    For anyone interested in what the director has to say about the scene between Jaime and Cersei: story short, by the end, Cersei is kissing him passionately and has her legs around him, so it’s not rape.

  • TJ Barke

    Daario peed at meereen because the champion peed at them.

  • hrdkc

    I love how the internets (HappyNiceTime excepted of course) is full of people pearl clutching over the incest-rape-next-to-dead-body. Because Joffrey torturing the prostitute (we assume murdering her), the de-dicking of Theon Greyjoy, the women being torn apart by wild dogs after being hunted, the attempted murder of Bran, the burning alive of Mirri Maz Duur, the public fuck-murder at Dany and Drago’s wedding, the rat torture at Herrinhall, the cannibalism, and Melissandre’s live birth to a demon, etc. are all totes acceptable.

    • Abracabastard

      I think people really want to keep hating Cersei and were starting to sympathize with Jaime (despite the fact that he tried to kill Bran, mercilessly killed his own cousin, and still expects some of that incest love), and having Jaime rape Cersei completely screws up those viewer wants. Meanwhile, book readers are all up in arms because they wanted a perfect redemptive arc for Jaime, instead of accepting him as yet another morally ambiguous and complicated character. People we like don’t rape. Just ask fans of the Steubenville football team. The only ones I think may have a point are the critics saying it was gratuitous. I think it’s too early to make that kind of call. All the stuff you described above served a bigger plot and character development purpose. Let’s at least give the show some time to make something with the scene before we’re consumed with outrage.

    • andreamd

      and in an episode where cannibals murder a small boy’s parents and make him look at his dead parents while telling him his parents will be eaten. I think that was worse than whatever happened to Cersei. I thought it was disgusting- rape or not rape- brother/sister incest next to the body of their dead son but not the worst thing in this episode(not to mention the stuff you mentioned)