Game of Thrones: The Wolf and the Lion

More than any other episode thus far, “The Wolf and the Lion” feature moments that did not occur in the book. While some fans may turn their nose up at this, I think it’s been the only way to present some of the character backgrounds and relationships penned by George R.R. Martin. Writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have been doing an excellent job at adapting Martin’s rich tomes and this episode prominently displays their understanding of the material. The great scene between Robert and Cersei is a perfect example of this. It never happens in the books, but it makes sense on the screen and allows newbie viewers a deep look into how things work in the Seven Kingdoms.

But enough about how outstanding the writing is. Let’s just get right to how awesome the Eyrie is. The design team knocked that one out of the park. It’s easily the greatest visual achievement of the show so far – from the immense shot of the fortress atop the mountain to the shot of Tyrion looking over the edge of his three-walled cell. If you couldn’t tell, the floor of Tyrion’s cell is slanted ever so slightly to promote a shitty night’s sleep. The Eyrie is home to two creepy-ass folks: Catelyn’s sister Lysa Arryn – widow of ex-Hand Jon – and their breastfeeding son, Robert. If I had a kid around Robert’s age, I would train him to say “I want to see the little man fly!” Creepo. It’s apparent quick into their arrival that Catelyn may be regretting their trip to the Eyrie. Lysa has gotten a little paranoid since Jon’s death. Things here will get it interesting.

Before their arrival, Tyrion proved his bravery and handiness with a shield by bashing a soldier to death with it. This was the goriest episode so far – I’d say it even topped the never-ending neck wound from the joust. Besides Tyrion’s shield work, we also saw a horse get decapitated by the Mountain and Ned’s pal get a dagger through the eye. I’ve got no issues with the gore, but – and I never thought I’d say this – the nudity is getting overly gratuitous. So much exposition goes on during or after sex so that there’s a topless woman involved. This week was Theon dropping some Greyjoy history while a naked whore he just took from behind combs her hair. The boobies are getting ridiculous in my opinion.

On the other hand, Ned is always dressed and he always looks like he just rolled around in the mud. Take a shower, bro. His investigation into Robert’s litter of bastards is cut short by Jaime Lannister who wishes to go on a rampage until Tyrion is returned. Their duel was intense although you could sense how apprehensive Ned was to fight. Man’s work, y’know? I like the symbolism in Ned being stabbed in the leg and being forced to kneel before Jaime.

No Dany or Dothraki action this week but next week’s episode is called “A Golden Crown” and those acquainted with the books know what that’s all about. Hell yeah.