Hello all you snarks and grumpkins and welcome back to Rewind the Realm! This week’s entry was delayed a few days because REASONS NOW STOP ASKING QUESTIONS! In this episode Ned arrives and King’s Landing, Littlefinger pretends to be British, and Viserys gets a smack down. It’s good stuff. This is one of those episodes that basically just copies straight from the book which means it’s one of the stronger episodes. Plus we get a cameo from our good friend boobs. HBO loves boobs. Littlefinger loves boobs. The audience loves boobs! It’s a win for everyone. But with all these boobs on screen I can’t help but feel like we need to balance things out. #wheresthedick HBO? We’re officially on #dickwatch everyone. I’m sure this will be a great use of my and your time.
We start with Ned arriving at King’s Landing and giving some serious side eye to a guy who suggests he dress “more appropriately.” You don’t insult a Northman’s fashion, dude. That’s Rule #1. Rule #2 is Winter is Coming. Get this shit right. We get a great shot of Jaime posing in front of the throne like a damn fashion model and then he and Ned have a real aggro conversation where I can’t help but feel a little exhausted. Jaime, don’t throw the death of his family in Ned’s face and then pretend like you were getting justice for them; Ned, let Jaime tell you the reason he killed Aerys. Somehow I feel like you’d approve. I wish these guys would just have a civil conversation.
Ned sasses the Small Council for a bit and they all act like he’s an idiot for being worried the crown is 6 MILLION DRAGONS IN DEBT. I’m pretty sure 6 million wasn’t even a number that was used in Medieval times. They’d just say like 60 thousand thousand. Because that much money didn’t even exist. Probably. I’m not a damn medieval scholar. Point is, why wouldn’t he be concerned about this? And why does he drop it so easily?? Ned! Buddy! Littlefinger is the Master of Coin, it’s literally his job to keep this exact thing from happening. Why do you trust him later? I don’t care how much you love Cat, Littlefinger’s obviously up to some shit.
Then we get this scene where Cersei gives Joffrey some really good advice about creating his own story since he’s the Prince and he can do that cus no one can question him. And then Joffrey has a really good idea about having a standing army. What is this shit where Cersei and Joffrey are smarter than Ned? Also we get a Keven name drop that won’t pay off for like 2 more seasons.
This scene cuts to one where Ned is playing the part of a put-upon single dad. He talks to Arya in a scene that is directly mirroring Cersei and Joffrey and showing how the values of the two families clash. It’s a really well constructed way of setting up the conflict and I love it. THEN ARYA ADMITS THAT SHE DOESN’T REALLY HATE SANSA AND I CRY FOR 20 MINUTES.
Then Cat gets duped by Littlefinger who in turn dupes Ned. The less said about this the better. I’m still hurting. BUT there’s a really great bit of irony when Cat is leaving King’s Landing. She playfully chides Ned about his temper cus he choked Littlefinger (yeeeeeah!) and Ned says she needs to watch hers. Cat’s temper leads her to arresting Tyrion and committing one of the greatest blunders in the series, Ned’s temper led him to distrust Littlefinger. THE IRONY OF THIS SCENE IS TRAGIC. And that last lingering look they share. Oh Ned. You were truly too beautiful for this world.
There’s a pretty tedious scene of Robert and Barristan swapping war stories that is saved by the presence of Lancel Lannister who just looks like such a…dingus in this season. He looks like that prince who won’t stop singing in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Then Jaime comes in looking handsome as all fuck and says that Aerys’s dying words were “burn them all.” This scene, paired with his earlier conversation with Ned really set up that there’s a lot more to that story. But we’re made to not think about it cus he pushed Bran out the window. George RR Martin is a sneaky sunuvabitch.
So I may have mentioned in the past that Dany and Jon are two of my least favorite characters. Jon especially in book 1. All the stuff at The Wall I just find pretty boring but there’s some good stuff here. Tyrion’s charm, Aemon, Jeor Mormont’s BRILLIANT facial acting when Aemon talks about how the Night’s Watch has become “an army of undisciplined boys.” Pretty much anything not doing with Jon cus all Jon does is sulk at the beginning. I get it, but I don’t enjoy it much. Especially when he just assumes that he’s gonna get to go ranging with Benjen. Why would he think that? He hasn’t even taken the black yet! Blech. But Tyrion does have what I think is a great summation of the ethos of the series when he says, “If you’re going to be a cripple, it’s better to be a rich cripple.” #highbornprivilege. #byeBenjen.
As far as Dany goes, not much happens this episode. We find out she’s pregnant, Jorah bros out with a random Dothraki and acts all suspicious, Viserys gets choked. The most interesting part about this is that we find out the Dothraki don’t believe in money. I’m actually fascinated by Dothraki culture, brutal as it is. Each Khalasar is like its own country and they’re all bound together by a common mythology. It’s really interesting. Wish we’d learn more about it than we ever wind up doing.
And lastly Syrio! He’s a delight every time he’s on screen. There’s some interesting character bits here – namely how every time Syrio turns his back Arya grabs the sword with both hands even after Syrio explicitly tells her not to. She’s still a child after all. And then Ned watching her first with amusement and then growing horror. Ned definitely has PTSD. It’s hinted at very heavily in both the show and the books and it’s incredibly subtle. I love it.
One last thing of note: this is episode 3 and we find out that Dany is 2 months pregnant. Ned travels to King’s Landing between the end of last episode and the beginning of this one and Cat joins him in this episode soon after. So where are all the people complaining about jetpacks and timelines in season 1 huh? If you’re going to shriek about people traveling too fast in season 7 you have to apply the same logic to season 1. YA PRICKS!