Shauna’s take on episode 5:
We’re really getting into the meat of season 1. Things are moving along..
Ned goes to examine the body of Ser Hugh and questions Ser Barristan Selmy about how the draw for the joust is determined. Ned and Ser Barristan reminisce about the Battle of the Trident and of course what happened to Ned’s father.
Comedy time: Lancel tries to get Robert’s armor on him. It cannot fit because he is too fat! Breastplate stretcher! Robert wants to joust, Ned won’t let him. Robert is a tub of lard who wants to do whatever he wants, he wants to smell blood, wants to hit something.
At the joust, the Knight of the Flowers prances around, offering a rose to Sansa, who is instantly enamored. She is oblivious to Ser Loras batting eyes at Renly instead. He is going to face the Mountain in the joust. Baelish and Renly wage a bet against who will unseat who. Baelish bets on the Mountain, Renly on Loras. They charge at one another, Loras knocks the Mountain off his horse. Renly wins the bet. The Mountain is enraged, calls for his sword and cuts his horse’s head off and charges at Loras, trying to kill him. The Hound intercedes, and the brothers duel. Robert watches and finally calls an end to the fight just as the Mountain swings at his brother’s head, barely missing.
A captured Tyrion is on Eastern Road with Catelyn and Ser Rodrik Cassel, Bronn and Marillion. Catelyn is taking him to the Eyrie, to her sister and to answer for his crimes. Tyrion warns Catelyn that Lysa is quite changed since the last time she saw her. Suddenly, they are ambushed by some hill people and Tyrion kills his first man protecting Catelyn.
At Winterfell, Maester Luwin is testing Bran on the geography of Westeros. Bran is being cheeky when Maester Luwin tests him on the Westerlands and the words of House Lannister, citing their words as “a Lannister always pays their debts”, not “Hear Me Roar”. Bran is angry that his mother has left him, and Luwin will not tell him why she left.
Lord Varys visits Ned to tells him that Robert is in danger. Varys tells him that Arryn was poisoned with the Tears of Lys, and implies that Ser Hugh was the one who poisoned him because Arryn started asking questions.
Arya is chasing cats as part of her dancing lessons all the way under the Red Keep. She hears two men talking (we know now it is Ilyrio Mopatis and Lord Varys). They discuss the evidence that Ned has gathered thus far- finding Robert’s bastard, and reading the last book Jon Arryn requested. Arya overhears what seems like a plot to kill her father.
In the Throne room, Lord Varys comes upon Baelish gazing lustfully at the Iron Throne. They discuss what they know about the whereabouts of the other and each other’s secret meetings. Their tête-à-tête is interrupted when they are called to a small council meeting with news from far away. The news is the Daenarys Targaryen is pregnant; Robert orders the death of her and Viserys, fearing a Dothraki horde crossing the Narrow Sea with a Targaryen at the head. He balks at Ned, tells him that he knew this would happen. This news comes by way of Jorah Mormont, a traitor in Ned’s eyes, so he doesn’t believe it. Robert is enraged that Ned opts to do nothing, he should not be threaded by a child. All of them- Pycell, Renly, Baelish- vote to assassinate her. Ned wants no part in this, quits being the Hand.
Ned is packing up to leave King’s Landing but is approached by Baelish who tells him that he will take him to the last person Arryn met before he died. A whore with yet another one of Robert’s bastards! Finally the episode comes to an end when Ned and Jaime get into an altercation on the streets of Kings Landing. Jaime, upset that Catelyn has seized his brother, confronts Ned to get Catelyn to release him. Ned, of course, defends his wife and stated that she only did so on his orders. Jamie and his riders attack Ned’s company and gets the better of them. As Ned and Jaime face off, one of Jaime’s men spears Ned in the leg, and instead of killing Ned, Jaime orders a halt to the fight, issues a final warning and rides off.
Theme of the episode:
Earl: This week’s theme is all about the showdown between House Lannister and House Stark. These two houses have been in conflict for a few years. When Robert rebelled against Mad King Aerys for the murders of Ned’s father, brother, and perceived murder of Ned’s sister, he had a few houses rally to his side. When Robert killed Aerys’ son, Rhaegar, which turned the tide in his favor. Tywin Lannister was for a former Hand of the King to Aerys and Aerys called on him and the Lannister’s to come to his aid. Tywin held Lannister forces out for as long as he could, until under the pretext of aiding Aerys, he came to Kings Landing but instead of aiding Aerys, the Lannister forces sacked the city.
When Ned entered the throne room, he found Jamie Lannister sitting on the Iron Throne, as the result of Jaime stabbing Aerys in the back. Ned commanded Jaime to step down in order for Robert to sit on the throne, and he did. Many would remark that Ned could have easily walked up those steps and became king himself but in his loyalty to Robert, and the fact that House Baratheon has some Targaryen blood, the better claim belonged to Robert and Ned stepped aside.
All of this already led to distrust of the Lannisters on the part of House Stark and none of it got any easier with Bran falling off the tower, Arya’s friend being killed after being provoked by Joffrey, and for the simple fact that Ned’s investigation will lead to a very disgusting truth of the relationship between Cersei and Jaime. In short, House Lannister needed to get rid of House Stark in a hurry. The Wolf and The Lion will need to face off.
Characters we met:
Ser Loras Tyrell is known as the Knight of the Flowers. He is from Highgarden and his family, the Tyrells are the Lords of the Reach. The area is known for their flowers. Ser Loras is a skilled knight and he is the “friend” of Renly Baratheon.
Lysa Arryn is the wife of Jon Arryn and the younger sister of Catelyn Stark. Now that Jon is dead, her son Robin is the Lord of the Eyrie. Robin is a sickly child that still nurses at his mother’s breast despite being far too old for such a thing. Lysa and Catelyn have not seen each other in years, and it appears that Lysa is a bit mad and paranoid in the wake of Jon’s death.
Mhaegen is a prostitute and her daughter Barra is the bastard daughter of King Robert Baratheon. She professes to Ned how much she loves Robert and that Barra looks like him. Ned agrees that she does.
Mord is the jailer at the Eyrie. He is a large man, and not very bright.
Ser Vardis Egan is one of the Knights of the Vale. He is there to protect Robin and Lysa.
Yoren is a man of the Night’s Watch and recruiter to find men for the Wall from the dungeons of King’s Landing.
Shauna: I’ve got two this week. First, Baelish and Varys’ discussion in the Throne room. This scene, as wonderful as it is to watch this incredible battle of wits and master class acting of Aiden Gillen and Conleth Hill, is really about fear. Baelish, as he probes to find Varys’ sexual weakness, he realizes that he has nothing that he can offer him, nothing he can use for sexual blackmail, while on the other hand, Varys seems to be quite verse in all of the secret perversions, legal or illegal, of Baelish’s proprietors.
They are keeping an eye on each other and happy to let the other know that. What’s interesting about Baelish in this scene, and I think that Varys is the only one that see through this veneer, is that Baelish tries to appear loyal to the realm and to his “friends”, but as we come to know, he’s only serving himself. Varys gets that better than anyone.
Second, Robert and Cersei discussing the possibility of the Dothraki invading with Viserys Targaryen. Cersei shows her inability to see the bigger picture, to imagine all the variables involved. Robert points out to her that a united front (one) is much stronger than five separate regions (seven kingdoms minus theirs, Lannister and Baratheon). As we know, Dany will achieve this by end of Season 6- “one army, a real army, united under one leader, with one purpose.” Too many cooks in the kitchen. Too many agendas.
This is quite a genuine moment that shows Cersei in quite a human light as a young girl that was enamored of this war hero and the promise of being his wife. Tragically discussing the failure of the marriage even before it began is heartbreaking to watch. Even more heartbreaking is that Robert can’t even remember what Lyanna Stark looked like, the woman that started this entire chain of events in motion.
Earl: If I have one question it is this: why didn’t Catelyn take Tyrion back to Winterfell? If she feared the Lannisters making war to get Tyrion back, wouldn’t it have been better to retreat north? It would have taken far longer for Lannister forces to march north and House Stark and their bannermen would have the advantage of knowing the land. Taking Tyrion east to the Eyrie doesn’t make sense from my view. Dragging Lysa into something she had no real knowledge of, even though she does allege that the Lannisters killed her husband a few episodes back, does not make much sense to me.
Shauna: Why did Barristan Selmy remain in Robert’s Kingsguard if he was loyal to the Targaryens and fought on their side during the Robert’s Rebellion?
Valar Morghulis, Valar Doharis.
S & E