Game of Thrones: Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things

Hold up. Who the hell is Theon Greyjoy? For those who haven’t read the books, the abrupt appearance of Theon may have been confusing – especially since visually he could pass for one of the Stark boys. For those who may have missed some of Tyrion’s exposition concerning Theon:

He was taken as a hostage and ward by Eddard Stark when he was ten years old and raised at Winterfell for ten years. Theon was raised with the Stark children and tutored along with them in all disciplines. His relationship with the Starks was respectful and he considered Robb Stark his younger brother, though he feuded with Jon Snow, the other outsider of the family. (via)

This episode, which gets its name from the great scene where Tyrion presents his saddle design for the crippled Brann, seemed to foretell the general audiences’ confusion over some characters’ backstories. I counted four instances in which a character told a story involving their past. There was Viserys telling about his heir to the throne and the dragon skulls he saw as a child. Jon talking about sex and bastardom. Alliser Thorne of the Night’s Watch letting Jon and newcomer Sam know what a real winter is like. And Littlefinger creeping Sansa out with the story of the Hound and the Mountain. It’s like the show consciously slowed down and took the time to enrich the viewers’ understanding of these characters and the harsh world they inhabit.

It’s pretty apparent who truly has dragon blood running through their veins. After his somewhat awkward interaction with the whore in the bathtub, Viserys slaps Dany for stepping out of line. She made you an awesome shirt dude, chill out. Dany retaliates and spits a seriously great threat, “The next time you raise a hand to me you won’t have hands!” The show is presenting an abridged version of Dany’s evolution into Dothraki royalty, which is cool with me. She’s undeniably awesome and ballsy once she hits that point in the books – glad the show has jumped right into it.

Ned spent most of this episode investigating the death/murder of his predecessor, Jon Arryn. This led him to a King’s Landing blacksmith dark-haired apprentice is a secret bastard of King Robert. This discovery puts into question the blood of that smug prick Joffrey, Cersei’s toe-headed son. Ned’s further discoveries will pretty much blow the lid on the future of Westeros’ royal family. And now Cersei knows that Ned is snooping where the Hand shouldn’t be. She dare not touch Ned though – he’s too close to Robert.

I had to laugh a bit during the tavern scene in which Cat orders Tyrion to be apprehended. When she starts calling out all of the tavern’s customers as loyal to the Starks and Riverrun, it was pretty ridiculous but it did spotlight the show’s portrayal of duty and the importance of history. “Your father served my father, so take down this little fool who tried to kill my son,” that type of thing. The audience by now shouldn’t trust anything anyone in power says on Thrones, so we can all assume Littlefinger’s trail of crumbs leading to Tyrion is a frame-up. But he’s a crafty imp, that Tyrion Lannister. And on another note, I look forward to watching Peter Dinklage’s performance every week. He’s killing it!