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Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 04/23/2012

‘Game of Thrones’ recap: No pain, no gain


Robb Stark (Richard Madden). (Helen Sloan - HBO)

I have to admit that I didn’t watch a lot of Sunday ’s episode of “Game of Thrones,” titled “Garden of Bones.” Or I should say, I couldn’t watch it because — yeesh — it was a rough one.

Most characters either suffered, made others suffer or watched terrible suffering, all in their quest to win wars, be king or simply stay alive. Along the way one guy lost a foot, a woman lost the use of her bottom and a former smuggler lost the ability to say he’s never seen a priestess give birth to a shadow creature.

The episode opened on total cutie Robb Stark laying siege to a Lannister camp. The day after, with bodies littered on the battle field, Robb met a pretty nurse named Alyssa who was in the process of amputating a foot.*

Fun first date, right? Alyssa, who refused to give Robb her family name, accused him of being like all the other king wannabes.

“I have no desire to sit on the Iron Throne,” Robb told her, sounding like a total noble dreamboat. Then she was all, that don’t impress me much. So you got the army, but have you got a plan for after the war? (Yes, that was a Shania Twain reference. I’m not sorry!)

But come on — she’s totally going to fall for Robb because he’s like the Leonardo DiCaprio of “GOT.” He would be on the cover of Direwolf Beat, if such a thing existed. (Which it should.)

King Joffrey, meanwhile, continued proving why he’s the worst. First by aiming a crossbow at his fiancee Sansa (romantic) and making his knight beat and strip her as punishment for Robb’s actions. (Totally normal Groomzilla behavior.)

Thankfully, Tryion saved the day and led Sansa — who managed to keep her perfectly coiffed hair, despite the stress — from the chamber. When asked if she wanted out of this crazy engagement, she pledged her loyalty to Joffrey. “Lady Stark, you may survive us yet,” Tryion said to himself.

Then Tyrion, being Tyrion, reasoned that all Joffrey needs to stop aiming weapons at his betrothed is to get laid. So he sent two prostitutes to his nephew’s chambers. And what did that royal piece of garbage do? He asked one lady of the night to beat the other’s bare bottom with increasingly horrible objects* because he is a sociopath and, just to be clear: The. Worst. Tryion obviously needs to find a better way to deal with this kid.


Xaro Xhoan Daxos (Nonso Anozie). (Paul Schiraldi - AP/HBO)

In the interest of family fairness, Arya’s life totally stinks as well. She’s in a Lannister prison that smells like death because, as we quickly learned, each day an inmate is tortured by having a bucket that contains a rat strapped to his body.* It is then heated and the person dies. “Joffrey, Cersei,” Arya chanted to herself, practicing the late, great Yoren’s revenge recipe for keeping one’s sanity.

In a moment that made my stomach lurch, Gendry’s number was called up for rat-bucketing. But then Lord Tywin Lannister arrived and was like, “Hey guys, maybe you should stop killing prisoners who have skills? Is that cool if we stop randomly torturing people for information they don’t have?” Tywin was also smart enough to see that Arya is a girl and therefore invited her to be his cup bearer, temporarily ending her suffering.

And now we must talk about the craziest thing that has ever happened on “Game of Thrones,” the moment that made me scream, “Oh my god, did you just see that?” to my dog, who really isn’t that into the show.

I am talking about Melisandre dropping her robe and giving birth to a shadow creature in front of Ser Davos, who I imagine was thinking, “WHAT IS HAPPENING?!?”

While many moments during “Garden of Bones” forced me to turn away, I couldn’t keep my eyes off Melisandre bringing forth what must be a cousin of “Lost’s” Smoke Monster. I have a feeling the pain of summoning the shadow monster into Westeros is going to be worth the gain.
Melisandre’s shadow baby. (HBO)

Meanwhile...

Littlefinger ... is still being a terrible liar. He went to Renly’s camp to tell Lady Stark that, if Robb gives up other cutie Jaime Lannister, they will hand over Sansa and Arya, who he claims is being “wild” in King’s Landing. Which is funny because she’s actually watching people have rats strapped to their bellies and then murdered. He also gave Lady Stark poor Ned’s remains as a showing of good faith. Thank goodness we did not have to see them.

Daenerys ... and her extremely hungry people arrived at the gates of Qarth, the “greatest city that ever was or will ever be.” A unnamed merchant/member of the Thirteen asked to see a dragon in order to let Daenerys into the city. She refused, but luckily another Thirteener, Xaro Xhoan, vouched for her by cutting his hand with a knife.* And into Qarth Khaleesi, Sir Richard Ser Jorah and what remains of the Dothraki go.

*Asterisks denote scenes I couldn’t watch.

By  |  06:00 AM ET, 04/23/2012

Tags:  Game of Thrones

 
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