When you are someone who is strong-willing, ambitious, and has an army of dragons with you at every turn, it’s fair to say that people are going to want to be at your beck and call. With that in mind, it’s really no surprise to see the widow Daenerys Targeryan — who has to still be in the process of mourning Drogo — be the target of so many suitors on “Game of Thrones” Sunday night.
Who are the lucky men? In one corner, we have Xaro — the mysteriously wealthy man of Qarth promising to give her all the money she needs to take over the Iron Throne courtesy of her hand in marriage. Meanwhile, in the other corner we have Jory — a man with no real wealth, but plenty of experience advising the Khaleesi into making decisions that somehow manage to also suit him well.
Who shall she choose — or will she even choose anyone? It’s hard to say, but her scene watching the dragon cook some meat may have been among the cooler things we’ve seen this season. Maybe the dragon will grow old and she’ll burn them both into ashes as a showcase of her power.
As a whole, this may have been the weakest episode of the season thus far based really on one element above all else — structure. While we find the Daenerys love triangle (if you can call it that) to be fascinating, the biggest event here was easily
the Smoke Monster from “Lost” Melisandre’s shadow baby sweeping in, murdering Renly Baratheon, and then going about its merry way. It was almost bizarre to have this moment without much of a reaction from Stannis, and also without Melisandre even being a part of this episode at all. However, we did feel the impact courtesy of Brienne — the loyal knight who was unfairly targeted for murder and ended up having to flee while swearing loyalty to Catelynn Stark.
While all of this was going on, we had another Stark in Arya working with one of the criminals she freed in Jaqen — who has promised to murder three men in order for the debt to be fully paid. For her first choice, she picked the ruthless executioner wandering around Harrenhal. (As for why she isn’t sending this guy after Joffrey — who has her sister — we have no idea. Maybe it’s a warm-up act?) She has been suspected by her new master Tywin of being a northerner, but so far, that’s as far as he’s come.
Speaking of the north, Jon Snow finally was giving something tangible to do as he is now embarking on a small mission beyond the wall with a new title — ranger. Let’s just hope he gets more accomplished here than what happened when he discovered Craster’s secret…
Overall, what happened really in this episode is that almost every character (with the exception of Joffrey / Sansa and Robb) was really featured in some shape or form, so there was a lot of content coming at us. We saw Tyrion try to take charge from Cersei yet again, Theon make the decision to screw over his original orders to take his boat and go after fishing villages, and even Bran taking over lordly duties in Winterfell as he commissioned an army to assist a nearby city. All of it was fantastic and well-done, but it was also quite a great deal to process and even remember after the fact. As a matter of fact, Renly’s death was so early in the episode it felt almost as if it happened the week before.
Do you like that Renly’s death was actually at the start of this episode, and would you have preferred to see more of the aftermath than some of the other stories this week? Also, what do you think is the right move for Dany to make?