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Game of Thrones S1E9 recap

REVIEWS - TV

Are you *sure* there's not another bridge? A boat, maybe ...

"Baelor"

[Spoilers follow]

Summary: Ned faces another important decision: an honourable death, or a compromised life that might just save his daughters. Robb Stark wins his first big battle and gets a fabulous Lannister trophy for his effort. Tyrion gets to lead his own army of the Hill People into battle; Khal Drogo is still sick, but nobody suspects a guyliner overdose (except for me!)

Lord Ned gets a visit from Varys the Spider, who believes that Ned will be allowed to live out his time on the Wall if he confesses to treason, and as a special bonus, they might not bring him Sansa's head on a plate.

Robb is stuck at the Twins; the Stark army needs permission from Walder Frey to use his bridge ('the Crossing') to cross the Trident and intercept Jamie Lannister and his 35,000 troops. Lady Cat offers to negotiate the terms. (Hey, Frey! It's Argus Filch from Hogwarts, and he's kind of a grody slobbering perv.) Filch pledges 20,000 men, and will allow the Stark army to cross the river, in exchange for just a couple things: a Frey squire for Robb; a Frey son to marry Arya, and a Frey daughter to marry Robb. Yikes. (This is a great opportunity for an entrepreneur, say, a bridge builder or a boat builder - seriously, is there no free market economy in Westeros? Build a barge, and store it anywhere near the crossing; then ask for money instead of marriage ties to Filch. I bet you could get paid!)

Jon Snow saved Mormont from a zombie-wight-thing, and gets an awesome Mormont family heirloom sword as a reward. Jon faces his first crisis of honor - does he desert the Watch to help his brother Robb? Maester Aemon reveals that he was a Targaryen; and that he had to refuse the Iron Throne himself because of his vows. Suck it, Lord Snow.

Khal Drogo is sick, and falls from his horse, putting his leadership in jeopardy. Also detrimental to his street cred is the fact that sweat makes his eyeliner run! (A Khal who cannot apply eyeliner is no Khal!) Dany calls on the wicked black magic of Mirri Mas Durr to save Khal D. and we are treated to another gruesome horse execution brought to you by the good people at HBO. The black magic (or the fight with Khal D.'s bloodrider Qotho) sends Dany into premature labor, and the midwives refuse to help her.

Lord Tywin is going to send Tyrion forward with the vanguard - the front lines. Tyrion is upset about the fact that his dad is sending him to his doom, but is cheered by the camp follower waiting in his tent. Judging by her half-a-dress and remarkable accent, Shae puts the 'camp' in camp follower. In a drinking game with Bronn and Shae, Tyrion reveals that he used to be married and tells the story of Tysha. The next morning he calls the Hill People to arms and does well - go Tyrion! Of course, he gets knocked out by one of his own before the battle starts. The Lannisters win, but realize that Robb only sent 2000 men against Tyrion while the rest of the 20000 joined forces in a surprise attack against Jaime and his army. Lady Cat watches (sweet, proud-mom cries); and Robb takes Jaime prisoner.

Arya is catching pigeons in the city, trying to trade them for food. She gets caught up in the people running to see Lord Ned's trial at the Sept of Baelor. Lord Ned goes on stage at the Great Sept of Baelor, points Arya out to Yorin of the Watch. Then he gets up on stage and  confesses to a bunch of outlandish treason in the hopes of preserving his family's safety. He announces that Joffrey is the rightful king; to ginormous smirks from Cersei and Joff. Cersei and Sansa have begged clemency; Joffrey puts that down to their weak girly girlishness, and demands Lord Ned's head. And gets it.

Holy Sept of Baelor, Batman! WTF? Who is the central character of this show, anyway? I love a show that surprises, and that doesn't pull any punches. And Lord Ned's death works on so many levels. He didn't win the game of thrones, and the tagline of the show isn't "You win or you go to the Wall." Plus, Lord Ned made lots of bad, dumb decisions; and he pays for it. But isn't it a bit early to let loose the moral center of the show? I guess, following all the different characters has created a solid-enough ensemble to carry it without Ned Stark ... it was still a super ballsy move. I hope this ends up being the Tyrion show.

If you haven't yet, check out seanoz's fabulous Game of Thrones parodies on YouTube.

See also:

Game of Thrones S1E9 review


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