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‘Game of Thrones’ Season 4 Episode 2 Recap: “The Lion and the Rose”

The Lannisters and their guests gather in King’s Landing; Stannis loses patience with Davos; Ramsay finds a purpose for his pet.

Ramsay Snow

“The Lion and the Rose” opens with Ramsay  frolicking through the woods with a huge ass smile on his face, a definite sign that someone’s going to be tortured, dismembered, and/or murdered within the next thirty seconds. Sure enough, it turns out the bastard is hunting some poor girl through the forest with the help of two vicious dogs, an equally vicious woman named Myranda (Charlotte Hope), and poor sweet Theon, now named Reek. Back at the Dreadfort, Ramsay is reunited with his father as Roose Bolton rides in with wife, Walda Frey, and Bolton bannermen. Ramsay brings Theon to Roose, but Roose isn’t pleased with Ramsay’s treatment of Balon Greyjoy’s only son and heir, and is fed up with Ramsay’s behavior in general. To prove to his father about Reek’s loyalty, Ramsay allows Theon to shave him with a razor in front of Roose, asks him to tell them about Bran and Rickon Stark, before cruelly informing Theon of Robb’s death. Terrified, Theon tells them everything – that he had passed off two dead farmboys as Bran and Rickon, and that the remaining Stark boys are likely still alive. Roose orders his bannerman Locke to track down the Stark children, and Ramsay to storm Moat Cailin to prove himself a Bolton.

Stannis Baratheon

Stannis and Melisandre’s S4 return is marked by blood sacrifice, as to be expected from these guys. Davos tries to talk sense into Stannis, who doesn’t listen. Melisandre later comes to Shireen at Selyse and Stannis’ request, to speak to her about religion – the gods of light and dark.

Bran Stark

Bran, Hodor, Meera, and Jojen Reed aren’t doing too hot in their travels; they’re all starving, and cold in the snow. Bran is increasingly drawn to warging into Summer. The others warn him of the dangers of staying in another creature’s body for too long, that he could forget everything. When Bran touches a tree in the godswood, he has a lengthy vision involving, among other things, dragons flying over King’s Landing. Bran tells the group he knows where it is they have to go – and the scene cuts to a pan over of King’s Landing.

The Lannisters

Tyrion arranges for Jaime to get sword-fighting lessons from Bronn, trusting that Bronn will be discrete about it and that he’ll get Jaime properly trained to fight with his left hand. Elsewhere, Varys warns Tyrion that Shae was seen exiting his chambers by a maid, and it’s only a matter of time before Tywin hears of it and has Shae hanged. Tyrion tries one last time to convince Shae to leave the city to the point of insulting her, and Shae leaves the room in tears. Later, Bronn informs Tyrion that he watched Shae leave the city on a ship.

The Purple Wedding

And here’s the plotline we’ve all been waiting for ever since last season’s Red Wedding: Joffrey finally gets what’s coming to him, in the awesomest way imaginable. But before that whole shindig goes down, wedding gifts are brought to Joffrey – Tyrion’s, a rare book, and Tywin’s, a sword made of Valyrian steel. Joffrey uses the blade to cut up his rare book, names the sword Widow’s Wail, and cracks a joke about Ned Stark right in front of Sansa. The wedding itself is extravagant, as is the feast afterwards – where Oberyn slyly introduces Ellaria Sand and himself to the Lannisters, Jaime gives Loras an unnecessary threat, Cersei calls Brienne out on her apparent love for Jaime, and Joffrey continues to make jokes that are out of taste and humiliate his uncle Tyrion. In the end, Joffrey is poisoned and dies – but who did the poisoning? Tyrion, who was forced to fill Joffrey’s cup with wine? Sansa, who handled the cup when it fell? Margaery, who fed her husband a piece of pigeon pie? Olenna Tyrell, who had the most devious look on her face just before Joffrey kicked the bucket? I dunno, man, I’m just glad that bastard’s finally dead. Sansa is whisked away by the knight she saved once, who tells her it isn’t safe for her to stay, while a hysterical Cersei places blame for her son’s death on Tyrion.

Rating: B+