It's all about the secrets in this week's episode of "Game of Thrones," as the Stark's and the Lannister's hidden hatred begins to reveal itself.
If you tallied up how many times I say "unneccessary" and "necessary" in these reviews, you would think that "Game of Thrones" is struggling to get a balance of the story it's trying to tell and at a point it is, but it's still early in the season. While I mentioned last week's episode improved on the unneccessary bits, this week's episode followed suit and demonstrates a similar quality. This week featured a bit more action that was a tad heavy on the gore but it's all quite fun and not over done, plus it was cool to see Catelyn's rebels show their mettle.
We closed last week's episode at the other end of Westeros, with the capture of Tyrion at the hands of Catelyn. Today, Tyrion pleads a flat out logical case to Catelyn as they are ambushed heading to her sister, Lysa's throne in the The Vale. Not much happened in the way of crazy reveals like last week, but we did see Catelyn's certainty questioned when Tyrion was threatened to death by her sister. It's interesting when compared to the King in a drunk shambles, you'd think that everyone that holds power within Westeros (and those across the Narrow Sea) are all going mad - even Ned who's anxiety continues rises as a shady threat builds.
I must give a shout out to Ayr, who continues to steal the show with her intelligence ranking higher than most of the inhabitants of Westeros. Her curiosity this week had her stumble upon the whispers of Illyrio in the dungeons as he semi-spills the beans on what's been going on and what's going to happen in the next few episodes. Short, but sweet and oh so welcome as a little girl potentially holds the fate of the kingdoms in her hands, but at the end of the day more current pressing matters held precedent. Unfortunately for Ayr the politics and running of a kingdom were more important.
I do hope the politics behind this all becomes a little more interesting, the council of the King seem to dislike one another. It's a place with no-one honourable, everyone has a past that they are trying to hide or a secret that one or another knows. In particular, the scene with Littlefinger and Varys in the throne room was rather jarring. It was a scene that seemed shoehorned in with the writers throwing in some stabbing dialogue between Littlefinger and fellow council member Varys. So we know that these two have information on one another and we know both of them watch other people as well as each other, how this will come in handy in the future, I have no idea. Was it backstory that I think wasn't particularly necessary at this point? Yes.
It was refreshing watching King Rob actually discuss something, and prove to the audience that he isn't just a guy that sits in a throne, gets trashed and laughs at everything either that or gets supremely cranky. Interestingly enough, the discussion takes place between Cersei about the Dothraki army that Viserys and Danys are mustering. He sums up the current situation within the kingdoms quite well, acknowledging that he is well aware of the cloak and dagger plays happening around him; and you know that my dislike of Cersei is quite high. In discussion with the King though - she wasn't ruthless, she wasn't cunning, she listened and was, well, kind of thoughtful. While we know Cersei's concerns lay primarily at hiding her secret love, she is aware of the attitude's everyone harbours and it was good to see the King actually aware of his surroundings rather than just an awareness for an empty wine glass.
Once again, a solid episode this week, on par with last week's, but the more character development we get will continue to keep us interested. The story is already partly laid out season arc / series arc wise, I just want to see the characters start to play around in it rather than tell us everything and this week showed a lot more progression.