Last week's episode of Game of Thrones was a "let's get re-acquainted" kind of episode that most people expect at the beginning of a season. Thankfully, for a show of this quality, it did not disappoint. This week is a mixture of new happenings and checking back in with the rest of the storylines.
Of course, if you've watched already, you know that I've buried the lead. This week, everyone's wishes came true and that bastard Joffrey "Baratheon" got what he deserved. As a book reader, it's probably not appropriate for me to speculate on who was responsible, but I have had a great time listening to people's theories. They are widely varied, but one that I like the most is "all I know is that it wasn't Tyrion". I'd have to agree that the show is pointing that way as Tyrion is the only one who was actually looking for clues after his nephew died, and not just running for pie.
So, the King is dead and his little brother will now wear the crown. Tommen is the younger, but considerably less cruel second born child of Cersei Lannister. This doesn't create a power vacuum per se, but will definitely change everything in Kings Landing and it will be fun to see how this shakes out.
The stage is now set for conspiracy and intrigue for the rest of the season in Kings Landing, so let's travel just a bit north and east for a fun beach party thrown by everyone's favorite witch, Melisandre. Our first look at Stannis's crew this season shows him burning several "infidels", including his brother-in-law, as sacrifices to the red god R'hllor. Melisandre also comforts a small child with the notion that "there is only one hell and it's the one they live in right now". Clearly a great babysitter, also available for kid's parties.
We continue north to the Dreadfort, home of the Boltons and everyone's second favorite bastard, Ramsay Snow. Daddy is now home, and the Roose is loose. (Forgive me for using that line). Roose Bolton wastes no time in reminding Ramsay that he is a Snow and not a Bolton and sort of gives him a slap on the wrist for utterly torturing and psychologically crushing his hostage, Theon Greyjoy (now Reek). I've heard some people complain about how this storyline is just a bunch of torture and doesn't have much to do with what's going on. To them, I simply must say that you're not supposed to like everyone and everything that goes on. This story is about being real, not about pleasing you.
Finally we go north of the wall to join Bran, Meera, Jojen and Hodor. We're once again shown Bran warging into Summer just as the direwolf is making a kill. I'm glad that the show is able to have the warging scenes as in the book it was done incredibly well. The feel of warging translates well to the screen and you don't lose much in the change of mediums. Then Bran shows that he really could be the most powerful character in the whole story when he unleashes yet another magic trick. With just the touch of his hand to a Weirwood (the ancient white trees with red leaves and weeping faces), he is able to see a series of visions of both the past and the future. They do not elaborate on this ability in the episode, but I suspect it will be used a lot on the show as a way to show all kinds of places and events without having to have a long storyline take us there.
Altogether, I give this episode 5 stars. It's got everything you've expected from Game of Thrones, blah blah blah. Joffrey dies and that's why there are 5 stars. Deal with it, and pass me a piece of pie.