Tonight’s episode of Game of Thrones season 2 was quite aptly named. A black sea, dark events, and dark omens. Continue reading for an in-depth recap of this week’s Game of Thrones season 2 episode!
WARNING: GAME OF THRONES SPOILERS AHEAD!
Please be warned this post contains Game of Thrones spoilers for season 2, episode 9. Please do not keep reading if you do not want to know what happened!
This was an action-filled episode, with much less of the lengthy conversations that we have grown used to hearing. The opening scene featured Stannis Baratheon’s fleet—led by Davos Seaworth—as it approaches King’s Landing in the dead of night. The atmosphere is one of trepidation, and Davos reveals that he has misgivings about the attack.
As the sounds of the city getting ready for defense grow, Tyrion Lannister confides in Shae, telling her that he is afraid of what will happen to him should Stannis prove successful. Shae comforts him with her words… and her body. Like a good little whore.
We switch to Cersei Lannister, receiving a small vial of nightshade from the Grandmaester. He tells her of its uses, and that ten drops is a fatal dose. She appears to be on edge, interrupting the Grandmaster and bidding him leave.
There are a few side plots here, but the meat of this latest installment of Game of Thrones season 2 is the battle for King’s Landing. I was concerned about how they would handle this scene, but those concerns were not warranted. They really delivered this week. As Stannis’ fleet approached, Tyrion had a lone ship sent out, filled with wildfire. Bronn loosed a single flaming arrow, and the beauty of that arching bolt of destruction was stunning as it cut across the night sky, landing and igniting the wildfire with a brilliant woosh of green flame. As the ships were engulfed, amongst the sounds of dying men and burning wood, Stannis gave the order to continue the attack, knowing that thousands would die.
As they landed and continued to press forward, fire arrows rained down on them on the approach, only to replaced by large rocks when they were flush with the wall. They brought out a battering ram and proceeded to pound against the gate. Inside the walls, Joffrey went running back to the castle at his mommy’s request like the scared little pup that he is, leaving Tyrion to motivate the troops, which he did with an astounding yet simple monologue. He led the troops through the tunnels under the city and brought them around the main body of Stannis’ force, to mount an attack from the rear.
Amid a chorus of soldiers chanting “Halfman! Halfman! Halfman!” more of Stannis’ men stream around the corner, and the battle meets in front of the city with renewed fervor. Tyrion receives a nasty gash across the face, and eventually falls to the ground. His fate is not revealed in this Game of Thrones season 2 episode.
One of the more interesting side plots here is Cersei and her relationship with Sansa Stark. Throughout the episode, she plies Sansa with wine, and seems to be prepping her for her role as future queen, despite her own bitterness toward the role and her seeming conviction that the city will fall. Cersei becomes suspicious of Shae as well, and begins to question her. They are interrupted by Lancel Lannister, coming to report that the battle is lost. When Cersei learns this, she storms from the room, knocking Lancel out of her way, and Shae urges Sansa to run. Sansa goes to her chambers, only to discover The Hound, who has lost his faith and battle lust after losing over half of his men. He tells her that he is leaving, and offers to take her with him.
The end of this episode features perhaps the most sadly poignant scene so far in Game of Thrones season 2, and that is Cersei and her son, Prince Tommen, on the Iron Throne. He is in her lap. They are alone in the dark throne room, and she begins to tell him a story of a mother lion and how she would never let her cubs come to harm. We see the vial of nightshade in her hand, and as she brings it to his mouth, just before it reaches his lips, the doors bang open. It is Tywin Lannister, and he proudly proclaims that it is over and they have won the war.
Tearful, Cersei embraces Tommen, and we fade to black, accompanied by the somber sound of “The Rains of Castamere”.