Stannis is almost at the gates of King’s Landing and the battle of Blackwater Bay, for those who have read George R.R. Martin’s books, will unfold next week. It’s the first pivot point in the War of Five Kings.
Until now, Season two has been all about jockeying for position. But the plans of the pretenders to the Iron Throne are starting to take shape, and in some cases go awry. It looks like major heads may start to roll.
Two key developments this week could have growing importance. The first, and biggest is Stannis’ move on King’s Landing where Joffrey, his mother Cersei and Tyrion have holed up preparing for a long siege. Finally, a showdown viewers have been waiting for.
Cersei is trying to get leverage over Tyrion because she doesn’t trust his motives involving impetuous Joffrey. Tyrion professes he is just trying to keep him on the throne, but she doubts him. She’s taken hostage whom she thinks is his prize whore.
By doing so, though, she tips her hand. Tyrion vows revenge. At least now he knows where he stands.
Over in Winterfell, Theon continues to show the he may know how to take a castle, but has no clue how to keep it. He’s fearful of his own brutality and rightly so. He only has a skeleton force of 30 men who are vulnerable to attack… or an uprising.
He’s sweating his decision to murder two children and pass them off as Bran and Rickon. It’s revealed the both are alive and hiding in catacombs under the cathedral. That can only at up to trouble, especially since Rob Stark has gotten word of Winterfell’s fate and has sent part of his army to retake it.
His sister Asha arrives without the 500 men he requested with some advice from their father. Give up the castle, it’s too far inland to defend. Is he smart enough to withdraw and fight another day? It doesn’t look like it.
Meanwhile, Rob has his own problems. The Kingslayer Jaime Lannister has escaped thanks to help from his own mother Catelyn. She’s desperate to get her own children back, and Jaime has promised to help her if he’s freed. But Robb thinks otherwise.
“Jaime Lannister has played you for a fool, you’ve weakened our position, you’ve brought discord into our camp,” he bellows. He places his own mother under guard for her treason.
“Talisa” who is “noble born” but working as a medic, captures his eye and eventually his heart after some heated lovemaking. Can she provide a valuable alliance through her family, is she a traitor, or just love struck?
Meanwhile, Jaime Lannister has his own problems as a prisoner of Brienne the Beauty. Not much is revealed about the two in this episode except that she has a deep hatred for the kingslayer.
Action north of the wall is still unraveling. Ygritte has convinced the Lord of Bones to spare Jon Snow. Now, the Crow has a chance to learn more about the Wildings. He also wants to find out why King-beyond-the-Wall Mance Rayder is massing an army.
At Harrenhal, Arya learns that Tywin plays to attack her brother Robb Stark, and plots to escape with the aid of the mysterious Jaqen H’gar. He has pledged to kill any three men she wants in exchange for saving him and his companions. Where she’s heading isn’t revealed.
In the distant east, beyond the red waste, Daenerys Targaryen continues to plot her return to the Seven Kingdoms. But without her dragons, she’s not going anywhere, except the House of the Undying to recover them. Ser Jorah tries to warn her of certain death, but she believes destiny is on her side.
Ser Jorah is so hot for her he agrees to help. Daenerys’ name and rumors she possesses dragons comes up at King’s Landing. But Tyrion wisely says a distant threat is the least of their problems right now.
Which brings us back to King’s Landing. Tyrion has an ace up his sleeve with his stash of “wildfire.” But there’s no mention of his plans to defend the castle or save Joffrey’s neck, if Stannis attacks.