WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!
Fans who saw the season premiere of Game of Thrones can rest easy knowing that the missing characters were not forgotten in the second episode, which aired on HBO on April 7. Bran hitting puberty and realizing that his dreams actually mean he’s a warg, able to see through the eyes of animals; Jaime Lannister once again being captured; Theon Greyjoy being tortured by God-knows-who… It’s become quite obvious just why it’s necessary for a show with so many main characters to extend one book into two seasons of the show.
This episode is particularly interesting for Joffrey and Sansa. Although the two haven’t seen each other since Margaery Tyrell took Sansa’s place as Joffrey’s bitch, Sansa frighteningly tells Margaery and her grandmother, Olenna, what a monster the boy king is. (A side note: Olenna Redwyne is played by actress Diana Rigg, who is a knight in real life.)
Olenna is known for her wit and sarcasm, as well as being a master of court politics and intrigue par excellence. Her granddaughter once again shows the same mastery of politics, and uses Sansa’s information to manipulate Joffrey into thinking that she is secretly as evil as he is.
The tactic works, and while the pubescent Joffrey shows off his new toy, a cross bow, she admires him as excitedly as a sadistic school girl. We see a legitimate smile on his twisted little face for the first time in the show without him killing someone first. As uncomfortable as it is to see Joffrey turned on, it proves just how manipulative Margaery is and how she will be a fit queen next to the blonde-haired product of incest.
Even Cersei is falling into her trap, since her son now holds power over the queen regent and hardly allows her to make even small decisions around the castle. Although it is difficult to tell just who Margaery holds allegiance to, it seems to be a matter of time now until House Tyrell buys the loyalty of the Seven Kingdoms.
We also finally get to see what Arya Stark has been up to, and that seems to have been running from any who might recognize her and Gendry (the late King Robert Baratheon’s bastard son). As the runaways try to find safety by staying off the roads, they encounter a very interesting clan: the Brotherhood Without Banners.
This group takes a very interesting position: they don’t support any of the Westerosi lords. In modern society, we’d call them anarchists, and Game of Thrones society holds them in a similar regard.
By the end of the episode Arya becomes their prisoner, thanks to Gregor Clegaine recognizing her, but Gendry seems to make a narrow escape from the Brotherhood. Now that they have “the Stark bitch,” her life is even more valuable, and thus, dangerous.
I hate to say it, but there’s some very obvious foreshadowing this episode with one of my favorite characters, Shae (Tyrion Lannister’s girlfriend and Sansa’s handmaiden). Shae’s been sneaking into Tyrion’s bedroom to meet up, and as cunning as she is, it’s not a well-kept secret.
With so many spying eyes in King’s Landing, there’s no way a former whore can hold affairs with a Lannister in secrecy. And unfortunately, in her love for the little lord, she’s becoming more and more careless regarding their relationship. Although Game of Thrones holds no reserve in killing characters, Shae is one person I hope doesn’t go next.