War is Here. All is dark and still. It seems all the world is holding its breath.
And Here there be SPOILERS…
Stannis’ fleet is closing in on King’s Landing. Tension is thick as is the puke on the floor. War effects men in different ways. Some sit quietly, some pace, and some lose their lunch. Ser Davos and his son speak of what’s to come. Mathos has complete faith in the One God. Davos has lived through war; he knows how hard this battle will be. All is stacked against them. The walls of King’s Landing have never been breached. Mathos doesn’t waiver in his faith.
Sleep evades Tyrion as he lies in bed next to Shae. Fear grips him. He knows his fate lies in fire should Stannis take the city. This sweet brave whore really does compliment the witty little man. She swears to protect him from the big bad evil Stannis. (I absolutely LOVE these two together! Ok she’s a whore but I think she truly loves Tyrion.)
Grand Maester Pycelle tries very hard to bestow his wisdom on Cersei. All she’s interested in is the essence nightshade he brought her. Again he tries to “help” her through these difficult frightening times. He should know her well enough by now to know she doesn’t need his counsel. He’s dismisses with a “watch the stairs on your way.” (Now now Cersei who are you going to use this on? Yourself when Stannis storms the inner castle? On Sansa? On Joffrey?!)
Bronn and his men sing a Lannister song (actually pretty damn well for a bunch of drunken soldiers). They’re way to prepare for war – drinking, naked women, and tales of old. Bronn tells how he broke his nose; once was his mom and an iron poker when he was 5, second time he was 9 – he got in a fight with a bunch of older boys and they won, third time… well we don’t get to hear about the third time because he’s distracted by the gorgeous naked woman on his lap. All goes deathly quiet as The Hound crashes the party. Bronn welcomes him with free drinks. Everyone knows the Hound just wants to pick a fight and Bronn’s ready to give him one. The Hound is much smarter than folks give him credit for, “You like f*cking and drinking and singing, but killing… killings the thing you love. You’re just like me… only smaller.” Bronn’s not one to back down from a fight so he stands up to take the challenge. But the bells that begin to ring tell them Stannis has arrived for a bigger fight.
Varys and Tyrion speak of the vast tunnels under the city. The quick and absolutely brilliant banter between these two men is far too intricate for me to transcribe. Please, if not for the fantastic storytelling then watch this program just to hear Tyrion. (Peter Dinklage won and Emmy for this role and he continues to prove he earned it!) Varys finally looks truly frightened for once. He’s heard from his little birds that Stannis has joined forces with the red priestess. Tyrion doesn’t hold much truth in tales of blood spells and shapeshifting but he does take note of Varys’ fear.
Stannis’ army responds to the city bells with drums. Now the real tension builds.
Tyrion and Bronn sound like an old married couple, “remember, wait until the ships…” “The ships are in bay. I KNOW!” Sansa and Shea have come to say good bye to the men. Joffrey is the same massive pompous ass he always is. He draws his blade like and forces Sansa to kiss it. All kinds of phallic innuendoes fly as he tells her she’ll kiss it again upon his return from a victorious battle. Sansa is beginning to learn to stand her own ground when it comes to verbal battles with Joffrey. Her words drip with venom. Why exactly hasn’t Joffrey killed Sansa yet in a fit of rage? She really does have a way of making him look 10 shades of stupid.
The men of King’s Landing are ready on the wall and wait for the Hand’s orders. All (but Tyrion) are surprised to find their fleet is missing. Ser Davos has taken notice of the missing ships as well. Has the King’s fleet mutinied? Unlikely. He smells a trap.
Cersei arrives to wait with the women wearing a lovely metal breast plate over her fine silk gown. Once again she schools Sansa on the finer points of ladies during war. She hands Sansa a glass of wine (is this when she’ll use the nightshade? Why now? Why Sansa?)
Stannis is finally within view of King’s Landing. The Hand orders the archers to make ready but to hold fast. Joffrey chomps at the bit like a little yappy dog, “We need to attack them!” Tyrion waits. The King’s fleet finally arrives. But wait! There’s only one. It sails directly for the invading fleet. Stannis’ men take ready with their archers. There’s no one on board the King’s ship! It’s a trap! It’s leaking wildfire! Ser Davos attempts to steer clear but… BOOM!! his ship is destroyed! Holy wow-wow the green pig sh*t worked! Ships are blowing up all over the bay! The little alchemist smiles with delight as men scream. Stannis isn’t swayed. He knows the little dwarf has played his trick and can only play it once. He also knows that many more men will yet die but cries, “Come with me and take their city!”
And so the battle has begun.
Cersei is obviously bored out of her pretty little mind. Sansa is praying with the other women. More wine for Sansa. More advice. She may not be a man able to go into battle but she’s not completely defenseless. She advises Sansa to use what she has between her legs to fight.
The Hand orders a rain of fire from the walls and the Hound to lead a troop out the gate. The fiery arrows look like cinders falling from the sky. Hundreds of Stannis’ army fall in agony. He presses on. (Please note that Stannis leads his army.. in person… like a real king.) Some are able to make it through to the wall where they’re met with countless unknown objects being thrown down at them. The Hound and his men meet a small force at the gate. Blood and body parts fly every which way.
The womanly advice continues. Cersei whines incessantly about the injustice of not being a boy. Jamie got to do this… and Jamie got to do that…. Now we know where Joffrey get’s his whining genes. But wait… who is this hand maid? Cersei doesn’t know this one. She calls forth Shea. (Oh crap.) A bored Cersei is a dangerous Cersei. The questioning begins. Shea is about to really have to lie but Ser Loras bursts in with news of the battle. She orders that Joffrey be brought inside at once. She also bursts Sansa’s little hope bubble by admitting that the guard in the room with them is there to ensure that Stannis doesn’t take them alive.
Bloody and fiery war rages outside the gate. The fire is weakening the Hound. He’s starting to lose his mind a bit. Lucky for him Bronn steps in to save his life. The King’s men fall back to safety.
Stannis calls for a ladder and successfuly scales the wall.
Tyrion scolds the Hound for retreating, “we must beat them back or they’re going to take your King’s city!” The Hound has had enough, “F*ck the King’s Guard. F*ck the city. F*ck the King.” Every man reacts differently to war.
More Stannis men make landfall. This group flip a boat to shield a battering ram. (Good man) Arrows continue to rain down. Swords continue to hack away at flesh.
Joffrey runs away to hide. Things aren’t looking good for King’s Landing. Tyrion tries to muster the troops. It’s the only course of action he can take. He is the master of words. He succeeds! The men rally to his call of, “They say I’m half a man well what does that say of the lot of you? We’ll come out behind them and f*ck them in their asses! Don’t fight for your King. Don’t fight for his Kingdoms. Don’t fight for honor. Don’t fight for glory. Don’t fight for riches because you won’t get any. Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let’s go kill them!” “HURRAY!!!”
Ser Loras tells Cersei that all hope is lost. Stannis will be through the gate in no time. He begs that Joffrey return to the battle. She punches him in his wounded shoulder and storms out. (That was productive.) Sansa calms and then leads the women in song. Shae advises Sansa to wait in her chambers because there is no hope for her as long as the guard is there. Stannis will not kill her but the guard surely will. Sansa heeds the warning and flees. The Hound waits for her. He offers to take her home to Winterfell, to safety. She refuses. (WHAT?!! One of the best fighters in all of Westeros is going to escort you home and you don’t take it?!?!)
Tyrion leads his army out through the tunnels to attack Stannis’ army from behind. He wields his little axe like a seasoned pro! He’s a hero! The men begin to cheer, “HALF MAN! HALF MAN!” But more Stannis men come running. His victory is short lived as he’s cut across the face but before a killing blow can fall his young man at arms saves him.
Cersei sits the iron throne with her youngest boy. She begins to tell him the tale of the lion cub. It’s so calm in the throne room. They keep watch on the doors. The mother tells the little lion cub “you mustn’t be afraid of the stags or wolves. “ While she tells the tale a cavalry arrives lead by a knight on a great white horse. The Lannister Lion Banner flies large and red! Cersei has no idea all of this is happening. She continues the tale, “all will come to you and lay a crown on your head” and she pulls the top from the bottle of nightshade. Tyrion lies on the battlefield and stares up in awe as his father, Tywin, fights gloriously. The nightshade bottle falls from Cersei’s hand. Stannis is beaten back. Tywin saves the day.
The credits run while Bronn sings the Lannister song of lions.
This battle was won. Finally Tywin can claim a victory. Granted it wasn’t against the boy Robb Stark AND his imp son fought most of the battle but I’m sure he’s happy with it. This was a fantastic beginning to an end! It’s exactly what we needed to end this crazy season. There’s still a lot left hanging (what about the dragons? What about Jamie in the woods with Brienne? What about bratty Theon in Winterfell? What about Arya and Jaqen? What about Jon and the King of the North? What about Jon losing his cherry to Ygritte?) I’m not sure they can tie all that up in the last episode but it’ll be fun to watch!
If you missed the previous episode be sure to read our ‘Game of Thrones: The Prince of Winterfell’ recap to catch up.