Earl’s take on episode 6:
A Golden Crown is the sixth episode of Game of Thrones. Ned is recovering from being wounded in his confrontation with Jamie and he is also dealing with being in charge with King Robert off on a hunt. While acting as regent, Ned has learned that Gregor Clegane and company have been masquerading as brigands and are attacking the people of the Riverlands. The Riverlands are the domain of House Tully. The Lord of House Tully is Holster Tully, the father of Catelyn Stark. This is the Lannisters revenge for Catelyn abducting Tyrion. Ned in response calls on Lord Beric Dondarrion to go to the Riverlands and bring Gregor to justice.
Elsewhere in Kings Landing, Arya and Sansa are both dealing with the fallout of the struggle between House Lannister and House Stark. Arya is sad over her father being attacked and for her father’s man Jory being killed in the struggle. Sansa is also sad by the attack but more so over what it means for her potential marriage to Prince Joffrey. Joffrey would later come to Sansa and give her a necklace as a promise that things are well between them. What Sansa does not know is that Cersei put Joffrey up to it.
In Winterfell, Theon Greyjoy is trying to convince Robb to attack the Lannisters in revenge for what they did to Ned. Robb is hesitant. In the meanwhile, Bran is learning to ride a horse while strapped in under the watchful eyes of Robb and Theon. Bran wanders off, however, and comes under attack by wildings. Robb and Theon are able to fight them off and takes one, Osha, as prisoner.
In the Eyrie, Tyrion plays a trick to get out of the sky cells by offering to confess. Instead of confessing to killing Jon Arryn or being the one that planted the knife meant to kill Bran (neither crime he actually committed), Tyrion makes a mockery of the thing by committing to petty childish things that he actually did. Not amused, Lysa offers a trial. Tyrion chooses a trial by combat, which is laughable given his stature, and calls for his brother Jamie to stand as his champion. That is not possible due to time and distance so he asks for a volunteer. Bronn offers to stand in for him and Lysa, after a little prodding, gets Ser Vardis to stand in for him.
Bronn, not necessarily fighting with honor or convention, wins the duel when he kills Ser Vardis and pushes his dead body out of the moon door. Tyrion is free to go and throws a bag of coins at Mord. He did promise them to Mord if he was able to get free, and as the saying goes: A Lannister always pays his debts.
Finally in Vaes Dothrak, Viserys Targaryen has finally grown impatient of waiting and attempted to steal a dragon egg that was given to Daenerys at her wedding. With the egg he should get enough money for ships and an army. Or so he reasons to Jorah Mormont who catches him and convinces Viserys to leave the egg. Later on that night, a drunken Viserys stumbles into Khal Drogo’s tent demanding the army and crown he was promised. Khal Drogo obliges. Gold is molten down while Viserys was forcibly held by a pair of Dothraki. By the time Viserys sobers up to realize what was going on, the molten gold was poured on his head, killing him. He got his golden crown as Daenerys states that Viserys was not the Dragon. Fire could not kill a dragon.
Theme of the episode:
Earl: Personal impatience is something I see as a big part of this episode. Viserys is impatient as to why the Dothraki won’t give him what he wanted. He wed Daenerys to them in order for the Dothraki to be his army and they won’t give him what he wanted. That impatient leads him to be killed by molten gold.
I would also argue that Lysa was impatient. Now, we eventually do learn about Lysa’s role in her own husband’s death but you would think knowing that, she would have played her hand with Tyrion a bit better. Catelyn delivers Lysa a pretty good gift in Tyrion. Now I’m jumping ahead a few seasons before we get Lysa’s role in everything, but she knows that Tyrion has nothing to do with Jon Arryn’s death. However, knowing she has a Lannister in her hands she probably should not have rushed things in a way that ended up with her own man being dead and Tyrion being freed.
Shauna: The double meaning of the episode’s title: The Golden Crown. First, it refers to the gold crown that Viserys believes belongs to him. After all, he sold the last female Targaryen off to a savage, and risked polluting the Targaryen bloodline in order to secure himself an army that would be strong enough to help him retake the Iron Throne. The irony here, of course, is that every time he becomes enraged when he takes notice of Danaerys’ growing affection for the Dothraki, and their growing love for her, he brings up the fact that he is the dragon and should demand respect. We seen, of course, Danaerys testing her abilities to deal with heat and fire–literally testing the waters– as her confidence begins to grow as a khalessi, standing up to her brother and finally, when he is given his “golden crown”, realizing that he was not the dragon.
The other meaning behind the title of this episode refers to Ned’s realization that Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen, all of golden hair, are not Robert and Cersei’s, but in fact Cersei and Jaime’s children. Sansa, in her naive rant about only wanting Joffrey and how she will give him golden-haired children, helps Ned to the awful truth that Jon Arryn also knew.
Shauna: Ned awakes in his bed, with Robert and Cersei standing over him, he is dreaming of the Tower of Joy (excerpt from A Game of Thrones):
“He dreamt an old dream, of three knights in white cloaks, and a tower long fallen, and Lyanna in her bed of blood. In the dream his friends rode with him, as they had in life. Proud Martyn Cassel, Jory’s father; faithful Theo Wull; Ethan Glover, who had been Brandon’s squire; Ser Mark Ryswell, soft of speech and gentle of heart; the crannogman, Howland Reed; Lord Dustin on his great red stallion. Ned had known their faces as well as he knew his own once, but the years leech at a man’s memories, even those he has vowed never to forget. In the dream they were only shadows, grey wraiths on horses made of mist. They were seven, facing three. In the dream as it had been in life. Yet these were no ordinary three. They waited before the round tower, the red mountains of Dorne at their backs, their white cloaks blowing in the wind. And these were no shadows; their faces burned clear, even now. Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning, had a sad smile on his lips. The hilt of the greatsword Dawn poked up over his right shoulder. Ser Oswell Whent was on one knee, sharpening his blade with a whetstone. Across his white-enameled helm, the black bat of his House spread its wings. Between them stood fierce old Ser Gerold Hightower, the White Bull, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard.
“I looked for you on the Trident,” Ned said to them. “We were not there,” Ser Gerold answered. “Woe to the Usurper if we had been,” said Ser Oswell. “When King’s Landing fell, Ser Jaime slew your king with a golden sword, and I wondered where you were.” “Far away,” Ser Gerold said, “or Aerys would yet sit the Iron Throne, and our false brother would burn in seven hells.” “I came down on Storm’s End to lift the siege,” Ned told them, “and the Lords Tyrell and Redwyne dipped their banners, and all their knights bent the knee to pledge us fealty. I was certain you would be among them.” “Our knees do not bend easily,” said Ser Arthur Dayne. “Ser Willem Darry is fled to Dragonstone, with your queen and Prince Viserys. I thought you might have sailed with him.” “Ser Willem is a good man and true,” said Ser Oswell. “But not of the Kingsguard,” Ser Gerold pointed out. “The Kingsguard does not flee.” “Then or now,” said Ser Arthur. He donned his helm. “We swore a vow,” explained old Ser Gerold. Ned’s wraiths moved up beside him, with shadow swords in hand. They were seven against three. “And now it begins,” said Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning. He unsheathed Dawn and held it with both hands. The blade was pale as milkglass, alive with light. “No,” Ned said with sadness in his voice. “Now it ends.” As they came together in a rush of steel and shadow, he could hear Lyanna screaming. “Eddard!” she called. A storm of rose petals blew across a blood-streaked sky, as blue as the eyes of death. “Lord Eddard,” Lyanna called again. “I promise,” he whispered. “Lya, I promise…”
Characters we met:
Osha is a part of a group of wildings making their way as far south as south goes. They are running from the White Walkers, a mythical group that brings cold and death as they go, and even though they are dismissed south of the wall as some “children’s story”, these wildings know that they are real and they want to get as far away as possible. The men in the group are killed when they attack Bran and Osha lives as Robb’s prisoner.
Lord Beric Dondarrion is at court when Ned hears about Gregor Clegane’s destruction in the Riverlands and he summons Beric to take men and bring Gregor to justice. Beric Dondarrion is loyal to House Baratheon and he goes off as Ned commands him.
Earl: Why is Viserys such an idiot? Ok that isn’t a question really. The Targaryens were known to have madness in their gene pool because of the intermarriages, but Viserys was painted as such a toothless fool that it’s hard to really take him seriously. Once he dies it really feels like Daenerys’ story arc truly takes off.
Shauna: I don’t really have any questions this week, just a fun fact: Genghis Khan and the Mongols used this practice of melting gold to execute noble enemies. He would pour it down their throats because it was dishonorable to spill the blood of nobles.
Valar Morghulis, Valar Doharis.
S & E