GoT Season 2, Episode 3: What Is Dead May Never Die

I dropped the ball last week on putting up a post about this episode. But, seeing as I did manage to write something about this week’s fourth episode on time, I’ll put up the third episode post now and the other one tomorrow. And hopefully it won’t happen again.

DISCLAIMER

As of now, I realize that a number of my favorite scenes so far in this series have been the ones not included in ASoIaF but added in by the script writers.

Seriously, how awesome is Arya? Pretty damn awesome. I really liked the inclusion of the scene with her and Yoren. It did a beautiful job of setting the stage for Arya’s eventual transformation into an assassin and the fear and uncertainty coming off of her was great. I didn’t realize how much I appreciated Yoren until he started telling the story about his brother. I mean, he was also pretty badass last episode too, but he actually gets some depth here! I’d say he’s probably one of the more underappreciated side characters and it is truly ashamed that he had to die that night.

Another excellent, added-to-the-show scene was the one between Theon and Balon where Theon point blank accuses his father of abandoning him to the Starks. This was so good for a number of reasons. First, because it once again demonstrates the conflicting feelings Theon has towards the house of his birth and the house he grew up in. Secondly, it’s the first scene where we see how vulnerable and threatened Theon feels, thinking he doesn’t belong anywhere and then trying to force his father to admit that he’d surrendered him to the Starks just to save his own hide.

I was paying closer attention to Catelyn this episode after reading some well-made points on the internet about how Catelyn’s character arc and motivations have been heavily pared down from what it was in the book, given that Riverrun and her family haven’t been included in the show in any way, shape, or form and that by showing the North from Robb’s POV rather than Cat’s, she doesn’t get as much nuance as she originally had. I didn’t really come up with any new or interesting thoughts with these thoughts in mind while watching the episode, but it’s still worth thinking about. I do want to say that I am already in love with Brienne and I cannot be happier that Gwendolyn Christie fully embodies the character’s look and physicality.

Also, Margaery has definitely proven herself to be what is probably the most pragmatic character in the show so far. She knows that A) Renly is not sexually attracted to her, B) Renly and Loras are lovers, and C) her husband is a king and needs an heir. Suggested solution? Bring Loras into the room and begin a three-way to give Renly encouragement to have sex with Margaery. From a human standpoint, I do feel bad for Renly that this is the position he’s in. With regards to Margaery, I really like that she’s getting more character development than she had in the books, and hopefully she will emerge as a worthy contender for power as well, particularly given how things are going to play out in A Feast of Crows.

I will say I’m unsure how I feel about the scene with Sansa and Shae. In terms of plot, it’s good because it gives Shae an established position in court a whole lot earlier than in the books, but the interaction between the two of them felt awkward. I did like the dichotomy of the two scenes Sansa featured in. Since Joffrey killed her father, she’s been forced to realize the precarious position she currently holds and how easily she can step out of place and lose her life if she doesn’t say the right thing at the right time. Even so, she’s still the highborn lady she’s always been, and the order of thing still exists, which means lady’s maids serve ladies and don’t require lessons on how to do so from their mistresses. Also, Sansa has got to at least suspect that Shae was sent by someone to spy on her. That being said, I love Shae’s extra character development. In the books because we see her from Tyrion’s point of view, she comes off as pouty and sulky. Here, she makes fun of Tyrion for implying she’s the foreign woman who’s too stupid to know anything. I can’t help but appreciate that.

I haven’t been saying much about Tyrion in his position as Hand, but that’s because I really don’t have anything I feel like saying or need to point out. He’s doing a fine job of politicking so far, and he’ll most likely continue to do so for the rest of the season. It’s only later it all begins to go downhill.

So yeah. Onto the next episode!

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