Episode 14: "Garden of Bones"
Once more, we actually get subsequent scenes with multiple characters at the same place instead of going back and forth like a daytime soap opera. Season 2 -- so far -- is more coherent.
We open up with two guys at night who I think were with the Lannister army, cracking jokes as to all the politics that are going on. One pranks the other by suggesting there is a noise, then farting, but these two fools are cut down by HeartRobb's direwolf.
So the next morning, we see the aftermath of that war, and yes, war is awful. One of the generals says that there aren't enough rations for all the men and he suggests killing the prisoners, but HeartRobb doesn't want to do that. HeartRobb also doesn't want to torture. A man's leg has to be cut off to save his life, and HeartRobb holds him down while this Florence Nightengale figure does the sawing. He and Florence Nightengale argue, but HeartRobb looks at her walk away like a man in love.
Joffrey is still being a jerk, threatening Sansa in open court and ordering her to be beaten for his enjoyment. Tyrion stops this before it goes too far, thankfully. Thinking the boy is just channelling his desires for sex into violence, arranges for a couple of prostitutes for his chambers to be in his chambers. Joffrey, though, doesn't want to be touched, and he doesn't want to partake in any activity, but instead orders one of the prostitutes to beat the others with horned staff to send a message to Tyrion that he can't be manipulated. That boy ain't right.
At the same time, Don't Trust Me, Bro made his way to Young Buck's camp. He tries to pry information out of Young Buck's wife, but she isn't having it. He's there to see Mama Stark, who naturally wants nothing to do with him. He tries to claim he's still in love with her and she pulls out a knife. He lies and says they have both Sansa and Arya and wants her to convince her son to stand down. He gives her a token of his good will, the remains of Ned Stark.
Arya, though, is with the young boys in prison, where one of the boys is selected a day to be put in a particularly cruel form of torture - a rat is placed in a bucket, strapped to chest of the immobilized victim, and then the button is heated up, driving the rat to chew its way through the flesh of the victim. The victim eventually cracks, but they simply let the victim die afterward. Arya's friend, MiniTaur gets picked, only to be for the process to be interrupted - Bad Dad Lannister. Bad Dad sees that this form of torture is needless killing when the prisoners could be put to work. He sees Arya and immediately recognizes her as a girl posing as a boy (and possibly her identity, but he's definitely playing it cool if he does). He picks her out of the crowd and tells him that she will be his cupbearer.
Tyrion has more fun with Incest Queen's young lover, who apparently is a cousin, too (and I'm going to need a name for him, too, if he doesn't get killed soon). When Incest Queen sends him to demand the release of the Dotard, he then turns the tables on him, threatening to tell Joffrey of his amorous activities. The boy breaks down, saying he was sent by Bad Dad to see to Incest Queen's every need. Tyrion says he will release the Dotard, but that he will need the boy to report to him what Incest Queen is doing.
And elsewhere, Daenerys and her entourage are in the desert and they finally arrive at the gates of the city of Qarth, a place described being surrounded by a garden of bones. Daenerys seeks passage and says that her people are in need of refuge, but the group of Thirteen Noble Judges or merchants first ask to see her dragons. She denies them that, and then she threatens to burn the city to the ground, which really causes the rulers to say no. But they're saved, by Renfield from NBC's Dracula (also known as "that brother from Zoo"). He disagrees with the other 12 and slices his hand and vows to be responsible for them.
Yeah, he's going to die soon. I'll be surprised if he's alive three episodes from now.
But the real meat of the episode is the meeting between Young Buck and Stannis, with Madame Red and Stannis's side and Mama Stark by the Young Buck. Both of them have a stupid squabble about which one of them should be on the throne, and Stannis calls Mama Stark out for siding with Young Buck, given that her husband had supported him. He gives a generous offer - if Young Buck were to support him, then Young Buck would be his heir unless Stannis were to have a son, but Young Buck refuses, thinking his numbers would let him win. I mean, this was really stupid and a low point of the episode. Why can't the two brothers unite in a Stag Party and decide to march together, then decide who gets to sit on the Iron Throne via a game of charades or something? You all have a new, mad king on the throne and you need to get our acts together and beat some lion butt, but nooooo, you all are fighting for the right to be king.
And while you noble fools are bickering with silly contests, Madame Red apparently has her own agenda. Stannis tells his BFF to get Madame Red for him, and he does get her on a rowboat. They row to this cave, where Madame Red strips down naked...to reveal she is suddenly nine months pregnant. She lies down and gives birth to a black, smoky, skeletal adult figure. Seriously, is she now Ruby from Ash vs. Evil Dead?
- There was no Jon Snow. He was not missed.
- There was no Bran. He was also not missed.
- These characters with different armies are all being very foolish. Joffrey is just cruel with no strategy, and he's so bad that Tyrion can't tame him. All you people have to do is put on a untied front, march on King's Landing, then sort out the throne later. If it means Arya and Sansa die, then so be it. But Joffrey is going around killing babies and having women beaten publicly and privately for his amusement...isn't this the crap that made everyone turn against the Mad King? Then usurp him already.
- I really hope Tyrion changes sides, sooner or later, because as smart as he is, his family is stupid and evil and will get his Melania and anyone he cares about killed without him being able to do anything about it. At some point, it will no longer be in his self-interest to keep this kingdom together. Just break away from them, man, or else they're going to force you to go to the MilkMaid.