Game of Thones: “Second Sons” (ep. 3.8) Episode Recap
**full spoilers for Season 3, Episode 8 “Second Son” below**
I’ve mentioned this before but a common theme this season seems to be the redemption of characters that we used to hate, or at the very least they begin to seem that much more likable. We’ve seen it especially with Jaime, but in the opener to “Second Son” we have the unlikely pair of Arya and The Hound. Naturally, she is about to kill him in his sleep, but after a terse conversation she can’t manage it. In the brief scene pictured above, they chat about where they are going and The Hound confesses to saving Sansa and that he is actually planning to deliver Arya to her brother and mother. Pretty cool, eh? Let’s just hope that nothing bad happens en route.
I’ll be the first one to admit that Dany’s holier-than-thou mentality usually perturbs me, but this week she showed a bit of moxy in the face of some severely offensive sell-swords called the Second Sons. They were headed by three very different warlords: the pretty boy, the lecherous pig, and the total grump. Immediately, Dany and the pretty boy hit it off, giving each other eyes while the lecherous pig talked constantly about Dany’s lady parts. Showing a surprising amount of restraint, she offered them the typical deal: join my forces or die. Despite looking like a half-brained underwear model in cheap armor, pretty boy is smart enough to kill his pig-headed cohorts and align all of his troops with Dany’s army (go Team Dragon!). Yet for some reason, he agrees with the other two to sneak into Dany’s tent in the middle of the night to murder her. Instead of poking her with his *ahem* sword, he instead shows her this:
Meanwhile the Red Witch and Gendry quite literally get busy, but it turns out (surprise) that she just wants his blood via leech for yet another spell involving the death of his three greatest enemies. While the steamy sex scene provided some hefty entertainment value, the actual spell-casting of having blood-filled leeches explode delicately in the fire was less easy on the eyes than seeing the two severed heads above. More interesting in the Stannis storyline was him releasing Davos and even their conversation where Davos calls Stannis out on seeking his counsel when he already knows what the just course of action is. Their conversation edges closely on the verge of theological debate. The Onion night remains what us real-world folks would call an atheist and Stannis rightfully wonders how he could possibly deny the Red God when they’ve all seen what he can do. For me, I can’t help but think that this “god” could very well be more of a powerful demon than anything. I highly doubt a just “god” would grant someone the power to poop out an assassin demon made of shadows. That’s just messed up.
No doubt the prominent sequence in this episode was the marriage between Tyrion and Sansa, during which King Joffrey showed his cruelest public side by removing Tyrion’s very necessary stool in order to humiliate his uncle. The whole affair takes up a considerable amount of screen time. We have Joffrey threatening to sneak into Sansa’s bedchambers in the middle of the night and – wait for the charm! – “put a son in her”. We have Tyrion getting uproariously drunk and calling himself the “god of tits and wine!” And we also have Tyrion threatening to chop off the king’s dangkus with his kitchen knife. Yikes. There was quite a bit of tension in the room with basically everyone being absolutely miserable with the whole arrangement, except for Marge, and even she gets verbal death threats from Cersei! What fun.
Later on, a drunken Tyrion resolves to never touch Sansa unless she wants him to. Ever so graceful and kind, her only response is to excitedly ask, “And what if I never want you?” Tyrion diligently downs his wine and grumbles something akin to taking a Night’s Watch vow of celibacy. In the morning, Shae makes note of the clean sheets with a certain look in her eye. Is it hope? Can her relationship with Tyrion be somehow salvaged amidst this forced marriage? Time will tell.
One thing that I did notice is that during the wedding ceremony, Joffrey has to give Sansa away. Mortified, we see the following shot:
The very next shot is from behind them, looking over their shoulders at the expansive chamber as the great double doors close. For Sansa’s sake, I almost wish that the entire wedding scene had ended right there. The door has effectively been shut on an entire life for her, and the same can be said of Tyrion now.
One last bit worth mentioning was the final scene in this episode with Sam and Gilly. They stop in a random cabin near a tree of the Old Gods – that appears to be silently screaming like a crazy goat – and is getting loaded up with a ton of crows like the beginning of Birds. A White Walker has come for the baby. And as goofy and bumbling as Sam is, he holds his own and confronts the Walker directly, even using his obsidian dagger out of desperation. And as it turns out, that’s the one thing that can kill a White Walker!
With only two episodes left, big things are bound to happen in the next couple weeks, so stay tuned!