All aboard the Hype Train! In preparation of Season 8 of Game of Thrones, Kelly is doing a rewatch for the greater good to refresh our memories, catch the things we might have forgotten, pick up the things we might have missed, and maybe make predictions! Hold onto your fur rugs from Ikea and AWAY WE GO.
Rules of this series: We’re deep diving into these episodes and I’m watching them on a per-episode base because I like digesting the episodes. Spoilers lie ahead. As much as I can, I am going to try and keep things episode/season specific. It’s out of respect to the narrative as well as the later seasons. Onwards!
3.8 Second Sons
As much as I love Season 3, I’ve been dreading this stretch of episodes. You know why. Anyway, the Second Sons, as we come to learn in this episode, are a company of sellswords who are paid by Yunkai to handle their dirty business, led by the three scoundrels in the picture above. Dany tries to buy them off and meets Daario Naharis, a devastatingly handsome and swoon-worthy scoundrel played by Ed Skrein over there on the far right. He’s replaced later on, which is a loss for everyone. Book-Daario is pretty flamboyant and campy, which Skrein captures. Daario 2.0 just comes off as a normal dude. He’s still handsome. Just normal. Attractive but doesn’t have that je ne sais quoi. We can also read into the Second Sons reference as, well… literal second sons. Tyrion… Gendry (to some extent, being a bastard and not care about), Sam (for being dismissed in favor of his older brother), and I’ll throw the Hound in there for good measure as well.
I don’t think much really happens in this episode- just more piece-moving for supporting characters. It’s still a great episode, though. The episode largely focuses on Tyrion’s and Sansa’s wedding and draws it out a bit, allowing the best and worst traits of the involved characters to shine.
The episode starts with Arya, who was captured by the Hound at the end of the last episode. She goes to bash in his head with a rock and the Hound gives her “one try” to do it- but Arya knows there’s no way she can kill him in one hit. She’s scrawny. I just love any image of her and the Hound together. The height difference between the big old brute and tiny twelve-year old is always so fun.
On their way to The Twins, because the Hound is thinking he can get a nice fat purse from Cat, the Hound mentions things could be worse- she could get stuck with a guy who wants to harm or rape her- and this might just be a reference to Meryn Trant. Remember, they were in the Kingsguard together so the Hound would know that side of Meryn Trant we see later on in Season 5. I don’t think it was just the violence with Sansa. I’d assume that this information came out in drunken conversation or even by gossip. Arya is shocked and pleasantly surprised that the Hound is taking her to Cat instead of to Joff and the Queen. It’s the first time she’s looked this happy since Season 1.
Over across the Shining Sea, Dany is spying on the Second Sons- there are 2,000 of them, led by Mero, Daario, and someone else. He has three names. I don’t want to rewind. Also- is this the ONLY time she’s thought to cover up her hair so she doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb? Sheesh. Anyway, Dany attempts to bribe them with uh, dragons and winning. Something, something, pride thing about losing to a girl, something. This is a weird scene. First, Mero insults Dany, likens her to a prostitute, and tells her to get naked and sit on his lap so he can give her “second sons.” I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE. U SO SMART. Dany tells him to give her the Second Sons and she’s won’t hurt him- but it’s delivered in a super flirtatious way and I’m not sure what the angle is anymore. There is just too much sexual tension with everyone and Dany. It’s weird. Mero is gross and crude as he should be but Dany’s almost enjoying it. I’m done. I’m moving on.
At Dragonstone, Mel and Gendry arrive. Stannis knows immediately that Gendry is Robert’s son by looking at him and gets incredibly jealous when Mel drops a, “I’ll just stop in after your bath.” Mel assures him that she’s just getting Gendry nice and calm before she takes his blood. Kind of like slaughtering some cattle- you don’t want the wrong hormones to affect the meat, right? Something doesn’t sit well with Stannis so he goes to visit Little Davos that Could downstairs- who is learning how to read! Good for you, Davos! Davos knows that Stannis is seeking counsel from him and needs to hear someone, anyone, say that sacrificing Gendry is wrong, no matter how much power it gives him and no matter how insignificant Gendry is to the Realm. Davos is kind of like Jorah in the way that he’s supportive of what his leader wants to do, but isn’t afraid to speak up when they are about to do something very wrong- but that’s where the similarities end because Davos isn’t a creep.
Back over in Yunkai, Mero, Daario, and Third Guy are hanging out with a naked lady and the other two guys are like, “Let’s just kill Dany so we don’t have to negotiate with her or fight the Unsullied.” The duty falls to Daario, who loves the chase and rush that comes with chasing a woman. So. Yeah. That being said, we know where this is going.
In King’s Landing, Sansa and Tyrion are getting ready for their wedding. Sansa’s dress in this scene is one of my all-time favorites of the show. There is a lot of attention to how it’s put on and taken off- probably the submission for the Best Costuming Emmy. Tyrion asks to spend some time with Sansa- Shae is annoyed- but he’s really keeping Sansa in mind and trying to keep her calm. She is terrified, but part of her trusts him when he says he won’t ever hurt her. It’s a quietly sweet moment as the two outcasts of King’s Landing are thrown together.
Ah, here we go. The Rains of Castamere explanation begins when Margaery starts prodding at Cersei, saying let’s be pals, we’ll be sisters soon! Cersei is having NONE OF IT. Cersei tells Margaery that she has a lovely singing voice and oh, have you sung The Rains of Castamere? It’s about House REYNE of Castamere (god, the puns in this episode), once the second wealthiest house in Westeros behind the Lannisters and Tywin basically obliterated them when they got power hungry and tried to challenge him. There’s a threat here as Cersei describes that the Reynes were once like the Tyrells and that their downfall was wanting what the Lannisters had. And now the rains weep o’er their halls with not a soul to hear. It’s a chilling scene as Cersei and Margaery smile and walk through the sept, nodding at everyone as they have this little discussion. Excellent acting on everyone’s parts. Ah, and the very low, slow version of Rains in the background. Great stuff.
“Kelly, you’re missing SO MUCH about that song.” Hold your horses. We’ll get more into the actual song in the next episode as it’s the title.
The bride has arrived, so strike up pipers! So much fun detail in this scene. Joff insists on walking Sansa up to Tyrion and being the shit he is, moves Tyrion’s stepstool aside so that there’s more mockery of Tyrion’s height. There’s no way that Joff isn’t having fun torturing two of his favorite people. Tywin is annoyed, not at Joff, but at the people laughing at the Lannister name. I’d also like to note here that Joff has replaced his typical crimson outfit with… Tyrell blue. It’s a similar color scheme to what all of the Tyrells are wearing and there’s a blunt contrast between their outfits and the Lannister outfits directly across.
Back in Dragonstone, Mel seduces Gendry in her best easy-access dress (no seriously, that’s how the designers devised this dress) after feeding him an aphrodisiac. Joe Dempsie is great at playing a dude who has never been with, let alone SEEN, a naked woman before. Mel ties him up (kinky!) and then ha- puts leeches on his bits and none of this is what Gendry had in mind. Stannis takes the leeches and throws them into the fire, naming Robb Stark, Balon Greyjoy (he matters?), and Joff as usurpers and the leeches go splat.
We get back to the wedding, where Tyrion is getting progressively more drunk and Tywin has to deal with it because he can’t take the groom’s wine away. Olenna tries to explain the new family tree that Loras’ and Margaery’s marriage will make. It sounds an awful lot like indirect incest.
Let’s draw attention to this little handmaiden that tries to follow Cersei around. I think this is the same handmaiden that ran to tell her about Sansa’s period and the same one we see later on with a similar haircut and dress to Cersei. It’s just a cute little detail that this handmaiden is always running around and trying to win her favor. Cersei never takes note of her, ever. It would be fun if, I don’t know, Arya was to take her face, play meek and timid, and then murder the shit of out Cersei. It won’t happen, but it’s fun to think about.
Tywin is worried that Tyrion won’t be able to get it up to produce an heir to the North but Tyrion calls himself the god of tits and wine and there’s nothing he does better than drink and have sex. Classic. Upstairs, Loras tries to talk to his wife-to-be and she shuts him down real fast, while Joff threatens Sansa with rape while Meryn Trant holds her down so that she can have a Lannister baby. Yes, really. I don’t know if this is just to terrorize Sansa of if Joff knows that Tyrion is too good-hearted to lay a hand on her. Either way, it’s terrifying. Joff orders the bedding ceremony but Tyrion offers to chop off his dick and that’s the end of that. Tyrion is enough of a known drunk so he can play it off as such and both rescues and humiliates Sansa as they leave.
When they get to their chambers, Tyrion passes out and leaves Sansa untouched, assuring her that he means to stick to his word and this changes their vibe. I really like how the relationship between Sansa and Tyrion grows over the next few episodes- they very quietly understand each other’s position and how each of them are pretty much captive in their roles and family duties. There seems to be a level of respect and trust as well and I would love to see the two of them come together and comment on it in the last season. I also like that Sansa states her age in this scene (14!) to remind everyone how young she is and how inappropriate this all is- it really makes everyone else seem awful and Tyrion the only one with morals.
Over in Yunkai again, the showrunners try to make us believe that Daario is going to kill Dany as his friends demanded but that would never happen because we’ve already seen the way he looks at her. Daario declares his loyalty to Dany by providing her with the heads of his two comrades because nothing says romantic more than severed heads.
There’s a strange cut here as we’re shown Daario and Dany from behind a printed curtain and then Sansa behind a screen. It feels out of place. Let’s not do that again. Shae comes in, unhappy, like a good handmaiden and starts banging around- but then sees that the marriage was unconsummated, so she’s happy. Part of her is happy that Tyrion stayed loyal to her and the other part, I think, is that Sansa wasn’t taken advantage of.
Up Beyond the Wall, Sam and Gilly find an abandoned hut to stay in and they are immediately surrounded by ravens. The ravens go crazy when Gilly builds a wicked fast fire- and then go silent when our first real White Walker shows up. We’ve seen them before but now they’re doing stuff, like grabbing swords and turning them to dust. Sam stabs him in the back with some dragon glass and WW Voldemorts while Sam and Gilly run their way out.
I didn’t want this episode to end. Not because it was fantastic or anything but… because…
Up next is 3.9… The Rains of Castamere.