The Lannisters press their advantage over the Starks; Robb (Richard Madden) rallies his father’s northern allies and heads south to war.
Last week’s episode ended with one of the key moments of the first book: the arrest of Ned Stark. This episode focuses heavily on the fallout from that but the pace is so swift that we do in fact get a scene in every established locale. We are rushing towards the end, for everyone.
In King’s Landing, the Lannisters press their current advantage and things get very serious indeed for the Starks. Our favourite scene in the episode is one of the first, a pivotal moment featuring Arya and Syrio. That scene is everything fans could have hoped for. A briefer scene following upon it did not feel quite right to us, however.
Sansa’s also has a significant role to play in this episode, even though it appears to have been somewhat changed from the books, and Sophie Turner really shines in her scenes. There are a lot of people out there who judge Sansa very harshly, but you would have to have a heart of stone not to sympathize with her plight in this episode, especially at the very end.
The other Starks also face up to significant challenges. Robb learns of his father’s arrest and makes a hard decision from which there will be no turning back. Meanwhile, on the Wall, Jon is reminded that his place is now there, his family set aside when he swore his vows. There is also a link between the action on the Wall and the scene in Winterfell, featuring Bran and Osha, as we are once more reminded that perhaps the struggle for the throne isn’t what everyone should be concerned about.
But it certainly is a big concern, with the Lannister having begun the war in the Riverlands. Tyrion, on his way back from the Eyrie, finds himself some unlikely allies that he takes home to introduce to his father. Jaime is absent in this episode, however, though we get to hear some about his exploits.
The final thread is of course Daenerys and Drogo. Daenerys finds herself unable to stomach certain aspects of Dothraki customs and the decision that she makes will turn out to have far-reaching consequences. For now, however, it gives viewers another gruesome moment of triumph.
Overall, we expect most everyone to be very happy with this episode. The fast pace is to be expected at this stage of the game and it really gives a sense of how everything will come crashing down…or together, as the case may be.
[A preview of the episode can be found at from HBO.]