Another day, another week of GoT Recaps, Retro Style. I’m still getting over being in this kooky world where Sean Bean’s name leads off the opening credits. You know how people say “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”? I’d like to update that trope to fit into the purview of the GoT universe. It’s now “The road to King’s Landing is paved with good intentions”. As we know, King’s Landing=basically hell on earth. Additionally, we have a majority of the characters thinking because they are doing the right thing by following orders, being honorable, or doing what is expected of them, life will work out just fine. Similarly, in our real lives, this is not the case. You can do everything right, and still not get that promotion, that girl to like you, or even good weather when you want to spend time outside. Look on the bright side though: at least you don’t have to murder your daughter’s beloved pet direwolf at the behest of a vindictive queen.
A couple of characters that seemly do all the right things are Cat and Ned. Ned is known for his honor and Cat is his unwavering wife. However, she’s not the greatest at dealing with her feelings toward JS. I just wished Ned would have told her the magical equation! Cat gives JS the stinkeye for the entire episode, as if it’s his fault Bran is knocking on death’s door. Even though JS is leaving for Castle Black to join the Night’s Watch (his “do the right thing” thing this week), Cat makes him cut his goodbye to Bran short.
If Cat hates JS that much, she should leave the room. Instead, she’s playing the martyr and won’t leave Bran’s side. She also can’t tear herself away from whatever craft project she’s making. It reminded me of the voodoo “devil’s nest” from True Detective Season 1 (i.e. the only good season).
We find out a bit later that Bran has been sick nearly a month. That Etsy reject has taken her a month to make? That’s literally all she was doing! It’s not like she was distracted by watching Netflix on her tablet. She couldn’t wake up one day and decide “No more dithering! Today is the day I finally start watching Mr. Robot, once and for all.” Nope, nope, nope. Thus far, Cat’s hobbies are hating JS, stressing out at Bran’s bedside, and constructing sub-par tchotchkes.
Like his wife, Ned is doing the right thing by accompanying Robert to King’s Landing as the hand of the king. Then, Joffery and the Stark girls ruin everything. Sansa is besotted with Joffery and obsequious toward him. The pair tramp down to the river because who cares why. They spot Arya and a ginger play sword fighting with sticks. Joffrey draws his sword and challenges Ginger to a sword versus stick fight. So not fair. Arya, trying to do the right thing (there it is again) to protect her friend, hits Joffrey with her stick. Joffery gains the advantage and threatens Arya nastily with his sword. Things look grim for Arya when Nymeria races in to bite Joffery on the hand. Arya tosses Joffery’s sword into the river. I only wish Arya could bust out the brand-spanking new sword JS had given her before he left for the Night’s Watch to use on Joffery. Arya hides in the woods for awhile and sends Nymeria on her way to save her from punishment.
Once Arya is found, she, Ned, and Sansa appear before Rober and Cersei to sort out the mess. Since all the kids were in the wrong, Robert is basically “you take care of your kids, and I’ll take care of mine”. That’s actually not a bad way to handle this quagmire. Cersei is not having this. She wants Nymeria killed for hurting her little pookie-wookie baby Joffery. Too bad that’s impossible because Nymeria left town. Cersei is undeterred; she wants a direwolf dead. Unfortunately, Sansa’s direwolf Lady is still around. Cersei sentences Lady to death at Ned’s hand. Robert, being chicken shit, walks off in acquiescence.
Cersei is ruthless when it comes to her kids and Robert just wants to get drunk and talk about sexy times. Ned goes to Lady and kills her. This is so frustrating! Couldn’t Ned also set Lady free and get some blood from the butcher to “prove” Lady is dead? There is a point at which being honorable is not always the right thing to do.
There is another, more egregious instance of Ned’s honorable nature backfiring: R + L=J. The secret Ned kept about JS’s parentage has caused stress in Ned and Cat’s marriage. Plus, Ned has to lie to Robert and JS. With Robert, Ned lies about the name of JS’s mother and is evasive about the whole situation, even though all Robert wants to do is talk about women and sexifiying women. With JS, Ned has to ensure JS goes to join the Night’s Watch, which means giving up your name and fathering children. Not to mention getting shit from Cat most of his life and feeling like he doesn’t really belong anywhere. The scene with JS and Ned discussing Lyanna was so heartbreaking. JS wondering if his mother thinks or cares about him, Ned getting misty-eyed over memories of Lyanna. Just spill it, Ned! I blame Robert Baratheon for this mess. You can’t go killing people because a girl didn’t like you. #misogyny.
Elsewhere, Dani teaches Drogo the joys of lady-on-top sex.
Would you do the “right” thing in these characters’ shoes? If I were Ned, I would totally led Lady go and fake her death, but I avoid also unpleasant tasks at every opportunity. I’ll be back next week for another retro recap. After all, I have the best of intentions.