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Posted at 08:43 AM ET, 04/16/2012

‘Game of Thrones’ recap: All in the family


Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell. (Helen Sloan - AP)
Anyone who loves “Game of Thrones” knows that complicated family dynamics make the show go round, even if that means you need a crib sheet to keep track of the characters. (Example: Chubby guy/bad haircut equals Sam. Beard face/old dude is Grand Maester Pycelle.)

This week we were reintroduced to Renly Baratheon, the youngest brother of King Robert, who we learned is not only going after the Lannisters for the throne, but also competing with them for most incestuous family.

(Sorry, kid. Craster totally has that competition locked up.)

More on that, and the other ties that bind, below.

Renly has two new women in his life: Brienne, a devoted warrior whom he assigns to his king’s guard, and his wife Margaery Tyrell (played by the wonderful Natalie Dormer of Showtime’s “The Tudors.”)

In case you have forgotten, Renly’s gay and currently having an affair with Margaery’s brother Loras. But like his sibling Stannis, Renly needs an heir — in this case, to secure his connection to the Tyrells. That means he’s gonna need to sleep with his wife, which poses a problem.

Indeed, when Margaery comes to Renly to consummate the marriage, he has some issues taking care of business, despite her very revealing and (conveniently) easily removable dress.

But no need to fear: Margaery is aware of her husband’s relationship with Loras and tells him her brother is welcome in their bedroom, if it means she can have a baby. She is clearly in it to win it (it, being the Iron Throne).

Renly, on the other hand, seems okay with women running the show and protecting his life, as long as he gets to be king/sleep with men. While I can foresee a multitude of potential issues with this, for the time being, it’s a win-win this situation.

(Side note: If Margaery knows Renly is gay, why does she reveal her bosom to him in such a seductive way? As a test? Going through the motions? Did “GOT” just need to fill its toplessness quota for the week?)

In an extremely less harmonious situation, Theon is still struggling to find his place with the Greyjoys, who plan to take over the north while Robb Stark is distracted fighting the Lannisters.

Theon is clearly torn between his biological and adoptive families.

Sure, he was technically raised by the Starks. But as Theon reminded his father, after being subjected to even more belittling, he had no choice in the matter. It was Lord Greyjoy’s rebellion that led him to be taken away.

“You gave me away like a dog you didn’t want anymore,” Theon said like a sad puppy who just wanted a cuddle. But no cuddle was offered by Lord Greyjoy, who is clearly upset by Theon’s words but does nothing.

Theon did write a letter to Robb, telling him of his father’s plan, but in the end he set it on fire and was baptized with the sea water.

Biology wins this round.

Sansa Stark, on the other hand, could use her blood relatives at the moment. Somehow, she is dealing with her terrible soon-to-be in-laws and not losing her mind. Seriously, Cersei. Do you really have to talk about Joffrey killing Robb at the dinner table? And — ugh — remind Sansa that she has to marry your terrible offspring when the war is over?

Meanwhile...

Jon Snow ... is alive, thank the gods! But Craster is pretty mad that he caught him in the infanticide act, and tells the Night’s Watch to get the heck off his land. But not before Sam gives the pregnant Craster daughter/wife he has a crush on his mom’s thimble. I smell trouble.

Tyrion ... is the best. He conducted such an amazing power play with the Small Council, getting rid of (beard face/old dude) Pycelle.

But I am worried about ...

Shae ... who was assigned to be Sansa’s handmaiden. Boy, she makes me nervous! Did anyone else notice the number of times Tyrion referred to her as a weakness? While he’s guarding himself very carefully against the small council, Shae has free range over his thoughts and heart.

Yoren ... is dead. Long live poor Yoren. That guy was pretty great, saving Arya and planting revenge seeds in her head. And look at little Arya, thinking on her feet, saving Gendry from certain death. (The death that met even more children in this episode!) If anyone can save Sansa from her horrible soon-to-be mother-in-law, I think it’s Arya.

What did you think of this week’s “Game of Thrones?” Talk about it in the comments.

By  |  08:43 AM ET, 04/16/2012

Tags:  Game of Thrones, TV

 
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