Posts Tagged ‘television reviews’

Game of Thrones Bingewatch Continues: Season 1, Part 2

-ColdasaWitch’sTit, Castle Black

Lord Stark continues being a loudmouth Nosy Rosie, poking into the affairs of the late Jon Arryn, and his recently murdered knight, Ser Hugh of the Vale.  Still avoiding discretion like it’s anthrax-laced botulism inside a Kardashian, he queries anyone and everyone how a former squire, such as Hugh, could afford entirely new armor a mere blink after being knighted.  He deduces that something in the milk smells Cersei, and is determined to get to the heart of the matter.   He arrives at the next jousting tournament, where the king is rumored to be riding, but the drunken patriarch has grown far too fat for his armor, and is now tormenting his nervous squire, young Lancel Lannister (cousin to Cersei), in an effort to soothe his wounded ego. Finally the jousting tournament commences, and we see part time Pantene model Ser Loras knock “The Mountain” right off his high horse, sending the vicious oaf tumbling to the ground. As the crowd roars for lovelylocks, the enraged Mountain decapitates his own horse, then moves in on Ser Loras  of the silky tresses.  A terrifying duel breaks out, and soon a horribly disfigured knight (and brother to The Mountain, known as The Hound) jumps in to defend Ser Loras and his perfect mane.  Finally, King Robert himself orders an end to the madness.

After the tournament, Ser Loras enjoys an intimate moment with his secret lover, Renly Baratheon, who is also King Robert’s youngest brother, and member of the royal council.  As Lovelylocks grooms Renly, he tries convincing him to make a play for the throne, arguing that the heirs in line before him would never have the full support of the people, because…well, because they’re assholes.  He offers the assistance of his very wealthy family in making a power grab. Renly is non-committal, but does cryptically mention an upcoming hunting trip with his brother, to which he is not looking forward.

Meanwhile, Peg Bundy lookalike Lady Stark covertly transports shackled smartass dwarf Tyrien Lannister to her loopy sister’s castle in the Eyrie, for safe keeping. On the road trip to the eastern keep, Tyrien insists that Catelynn’s sister, Lady Lysa Arryn, has gone insane in the membrane with grief over her husband’s murder, and won’t hesitate to kill him on sight. He suggests asking his filthy rich daddy for a hefty ransom instead, but Lady Stark won’t hear of it.  He also denies any attempt on Bran’s life, and is insulted Catelynn presumes him stupid enough to hand an assassin his own blade, thank you very much. Upon their arrival at the high hall, they find rambling madwoman Lysa breastfeeding her ten year old son Robin on the throne. Just like Peggy Bundy’s family, the Wankers would do!  As predicted, Lady Lysa implicates the imp in her husband’s death, and orders him executed.  Catelynn, however, declares him as her own prisoner, and forbids them from taking his life. Instead, the dwarf is taken to a sky chamber with only three walls and a sloping floor, so he can roll right out and down a Cliffside in his sleep (if he’s lucky).

In King’s Landing, slithery intelligence head Lord Varys hisses to Eddard that the king is being played for a fool, and will die soon. The Master of Whispers goes on to inform him that he’s on to Lord Stark’s rebellion against discretion regarding his inquiry into Jon Arryn’s murder, and confirms the former Hand was indeed poisoned due to “asking too many questions.” Okey dokey, then.

Later on, budding sword fighter Arya chases a cat into the dungeons, and barely has enough time to hide behind a giant dragon skull before overhearing Varys and one of his cronies plotting to murder her father Eddard. She frantically reports what she overheard to her father, but they are interrupted by a messenger giving a heads up that Catelynn has captured Tyrien Lannister, and is holding him at the creepy in-laws in the Eyrie.  Lord Stark is then summoned to a meeting with the council, including His Porky Highness King Robert, who is outraged to learn about Daenerys Targaryen’s pregnancy in the east.  Anticipating war once the new Dothraki prince is born, a sloshed King Robert commands the Kahleesi and her ashen pimpbrother Viserys be killed immediately.  Eddard tries to reason with the bloated windbag, claiming that murdering an innocent unborn child MIGHT be considered dishonorable by the rest of the kingdom.  The council, however, sides with their porkalicious leader, and determines the Targaryen survivors are an immediate threat to The Realm, and must be extinguished.

So Eddard quits a bitch, and resigns as Hand of the King.

While the Stark family is busy packing their worldly goods for the long trip back to the Winterfell unemployment office, Lord Baelish offers to escort Eddard to the last place Jon Arryn visited before getting murdered.  In a move that would make Eddard the best detective ever in the NeverHireMe Police Department, he hops right on board for the field trip. They end up at a brothel, surveying yet another bastard child of King Roberts whom Jon Arryn obsessed over before his death. As they depart the Pleasure House, prettyboy Jaime Lannister greets them outside with a group of guards, demanding the release of his brother Tyrien. Eddard says hell to the no, and great violence breaks out.  Realizing that killing Lord Stark will only result in Tyrien’s death, human Ken doll Jaime unleashes all his rage on Eddard’s guards instead, and fills the streets with their blood. When he finishes, he stabs Lord Stark through the leg, then rides off.

Eddard awakens later in his royal chamber, with King Robert and Queen Cersei glaring at him from his bedside like the pissiest nursemaidens ever.  Always the compassionate empath,  Cersei demands Tyrien’s release, and orders Lord Stark severely punished for attacking her totally innocent Jaime in the streets. When Robert refuses to condemn his longtime friend before at least hearing his side of the story, Cersei openly questions the King’s honor, which earns her a custom slappity-slap and a time out session from Robert.  The king then tells Eddard he doesn’t want Yoko breaking up the band, and wants him reinstated as Hand.  He beseeches him to pretty please mend fences with the Lannister family, for the sake of the entire realm. He instructs him to make nice and restore peace by the time he returns from his hunting trip.  And like most bosses, he provides NO MAGIC WAND with which to do so.

Back in Winterfell, Bran has crazy dreams of a three eyed raven, then wakes up and goes for his first horsey ride on his handicapable saddle, accompanied by older brother Robb and their ward Theon Greyjoy. As the older boys debate the finer points of readying the North for war against the Lannisters in the wake of Tyrion’s capture, they suddenly realize that Bran is nowhere to be found.  After foraging for a bit, they find him being terrorized by a pack of 3 wildlings threatening to mug and kill him and steal his horsey. As anarchists who bow to no monarchy, the wildlings normally reside in the forbidden winter world north of the wall, but here in the forests, they discuss their escape INTO the kingdoms, and their journey “as far south as south can go.” After a skirmish with Robb and Theon, in which the two male wildlings are killed, the remaining female, Osha, is taken back to the castle as prisoner.

After nearly rolling out of his sky chamber during naptime, smart alecky dwarf Tyrien demands to see Lady Arryn to confess his crimes. Once in the presence of Her Looniness, the dwarf admits to a series of Cartmanish hijinx and Bart Simpsonish practical jokes, but insists he did not conspire to kill anyone. He convinces Lysa he is entitled to a Trial By Combat under the law, which pits him against John Arryn’s heir, 10 year old Robin.  But since a breast feeding fifth grader without sword training is no match for a dwarf, replacement fighters must be found.  After much deliberation, two fully grown guards who do not drink breast milk (or formula) volunteer to fight each other to the death for these two.  In the end, Tyrien’s bloke wins, and he is set free to whore it up at every brothel on the road  back to King’s Landing.

King Robert leaves the palace with Renly and the rest of the hunting party, and treks into the woods for a mannish manly man retreat.  Nervous squire Lancel Lannister is in tow, keeping a steady flow of wine going for an already soused king.  And King Robert is a surly braggart of a drunk.  He’s the obnoxious loudmouth at the table next to you at the bar, who’s basically a grunt, belch, and fart all rolled up in one bloated bag of human.  After boasting about his sexual conquests, he presses his little brother (a closeted homosexual in a secret relationship with Ser Loras of the lovely locks), to share how many women he has bedded.  An outraged Renly declares him a fool, and the two verbally spar for a sretch, until finally Renly storms off into the woods.  So there.

Back at the palace, a group  of refugees informs Lord Stark of numerous atrocities happening in the Riverlands.  They tell tales of an enormous knight pillaging entire villages. Quick thinking  Eddard immediately realizes that the Lannisters have sent The Mountain to destroy the homeland of Catelyn and Lysa’s ancestors in retaliation for capturing Tyrien.

That magic wand would be REALLY helpful right about now.

Lord Stark orders The Mountain stripped of his knighthood, his land, and his honor, and sends for him to be executed.  He also calls for Lord Tywin Lannister, father to Cersei and her brothers, to be brought down to the carpet to explain the actions of his knight, or risk being branded a traitor to the realm.  Baelish suggests tapping the brakes a bit, and consulting Robert when he drunkenly stumbles back into the palace from his mannish manly man hunting retreat, but Eddard won’t hear of it.

Cue Prince Joffrey the petulant twat wooing gullible fangirl Sansa with tales of making her his bride.  Still enamored with visions of herself as the prettiest princess to ever shoot out Lannister babies, Sansa is pitted against her family.  She refuses to leave King’s Landing with her father, and insists on marrying Justin Beiber in Camelot garb, and bringing pretty blonde babies into this hot mess of a relationship.  Her mention of Joffrey’s fair hair gives Eddard pause, and later he consults the boring book of bloodlines he had uncovered through his broad daylight investigation into Jon Arryn’s death. He notes that every generation of Baratheon heirs has had black hair…until Joffrey.  Petulant twat Joffrey is blessed with golden locks inherited from his mother…and his uncle Jaime.

!!!Resume pearl clutching!!!

Far to the east, in the Dothraki capital, the Kahleesi studies her dragon eggs intently, and decides to perform a science experiment.  According to legend, dragon eggs hatch under extreme heat, so she puts them over a fire to test her hypothesis.  When nothing happens, she removes them from the fire with her bare hands.  Her maiden rushes to grab the eggs from Daenerys’ hands to keep her from burning herself, but Daenerys’ hands remain unharmed while her maiden suffers scalding burns.  Later, the Kahleesi is summoned to a religious ceremony, wherein she nomnomnoms the raw heart of a stallion while crones chant omens around her.  When she finishes eating the heart, they declare her unborn son “the stallion who will mount the world,” a mythical warrior foretold in the legends of the Dothraki peoples.  As the tribe goes wild celebrating Daenerys and Drogo, a painfully envious Viserys pouts and sneers at the beloved royal couple.  In an act of sheer stupidity, he draws his sword and threatens to kill the unborn child unless Drogo immediately repays him with the army and crown he originally promised in exchange for Daenerys.  Drogo concedes, promising him a golden crown men will tremble to behold.  Idiotic Viserys lowers his sword, and is immediately restrained by Drogo’s guards. The Kahl throws his golden belt into a pot, and ignores Viserys’ pleas for mercy as it melts over a roaring fire.  When the metal has become molten, Drogo pours the bubbling liquid over Viserys’ head, granting him “a crown fit for a king.”  When Viserys dies instantly, the Kahleesi remarks that he could never be a true dragon, because dragons cannot be killed by fire.

Near the Riverlands, Lord Tywin Lannister meets with his son, human Ken doll Jaime, and informs him he has assembled a massive army to oppose the Starks.  He orders Jaime to lead a deadly assault on Catelynn and Lysa’s hometown, arguing that House Lannister must defend itself or go the way of the Targaryen dynasty and cease to exist.

Back in King’s Landing, Eddard drinks another tall glass of stupid and wags his finger at Cersei, calling her out for having Jon Arryn killed for uncovering the true parentage of her and Robert’s three children.  In a move of suicidal recklessness, he warns her of his intention to tell the king, and commands her to abandon the throne and leave the kingdom with her three products of incest before Robert learns the truth.  But Eddard has obviously never played a single game of chess, or he would realize the queen is the most powerful player on the board.  She responds forebodingly that when playing the game of thrones, “You win or you die. There is no middle ground.”

About this time, we also learn Lord Baelish has been carrying the torch for Lady Peg Bundy Stark all these years, calling his loyalty to Eddard into question.

Up in Winterfell, imprisoned Osha is questioned why the wildlings have ventured south of the wall.  She reveals that White Walkers have awakened after a millennia of  hibernation, and are slowly creeping their way south.  Given that wildlings are untrustworthy by nature, Winterfell remains skeptical. But up at northern wall, broody bastard Jon Snow becomes alarmed when his uncle Benjen’s horse returns from the haunted ice forests without Benjen.  A search party is soon rounded up.

The mannish manly man hunting expedition gets cut short when porkalicious King Robert gets fatally mauled by a boar in the woods.  They return to the kingdom, where an ailing Robert crawls in his deathbed, and appoints Eddard protector of the realm until Joffrey comes of age.  Rather than devastate the dying king with the truth about Cersei and their three products of adulterous inbreeding, Eddard drafts a document with tricky wording that deems him protector of the realm until Robert’s RIGHTFUL HEIR can take the throne.  Amazingly, he has Robert sign the document sans witnesses, because it’s not like the Lannisters are sneaky assholes who will contest its authenticity before decapitating him for treason or anything.  Robert also calls erasies on his decision to kill Daenerys Targaryen and her unborn child. Upon delivering the document to the council, he overhears slithery intelligence head Lord Varys hissing praise for bumbling squire Lancel Lannister,  for “always keeping the king’s wine glass full.”  When Lord Stark tells him to cancel the hit on the Kahleesi, Varys tells him no takebacks allowed.  “That bird has already flown,” he explains ominously.

In the Dothraki capital, Daenerys visits the marketplace with her handmaidens and trusted advisor Jorah.  She asks Jorah to help her convince Kahl Drogo to acquire enough ships to cross the narrow sea and reclaim her homeland.  But Jorah reminds her that the Targaryen dynasty rose to power because of their dragons, not ships or swords.  About this time, Jorah receives a secret message from Lord Varys, granting him a royal pardon for his crimes. Looking up, he sees a wine merchant aggressively selling wine to the Kahleesi, and realizes it must be an assassin.  He calls erasies on joining forces with Varys, and opts to save Daenerys’ life instead. The merchant attempts to flee, but ends up shackled.  When Drogo finds out, he vows to cross the sea and exact revenge on the kingdoms, and place his son on the iron throne of his ancestors. With the vino merchant tied to the bumper of the carriage, the army exits the city, watching him running until he can’t any longer, and he is dragged to his death. Kinda like Aunt Edna’s dog on the ill-fated trip to Wally World.

The new recruits at the northern wall are given their permanent assignments, and pouty bastard Jon Snow is livid to see he has been appointed lowly steward to the commander, instead of the more honorable ranger position. However, Samwell points out that it could lead to an opportunity to eventually take over as commander. That night, the boys take their sacred oaths to the Night Watch at a tree leading into the haunted ice forests.  When they finish reciting their vows, Jon’s direwolf returns from the woods and presents a severed arm to his horrified master, once again prompting the question, WHERE IS UNCLE BENJEN?

In King’s Landing, Renly tells Eddard he’s game to take Cersei and the inbred herd captive, but Eddard won’t bring on the drama with the king still on his deathbed.  Renly divulges he would pretty please like to be king, but Eddard bursts his bubble when he points out Renly’s brother Stannis is technically the rightful heir to the throne. He pens a letter to Stannis detailing the whole situation, and sends it via messenger to the island fortress of Dragonstone.  Baelish and Eddard then have a long strokey beard meeting, where Eddard drops the bomb about Joffrey’s real bloodline.  Baelish proposes sitting on the truth and making Joffrey their puppetking.  If he becomes insufferable, they can always divulge the truth later, and appoint Renly or Stannis if necessary.  Unwilling to perform an act of treason, Lord Stark refuses.  Baelish knows that even with Robert’s endorsement as protector of the realm, Eddard doesn’t have enough manpower to seize total control from Cersei.  Baelish knows he will likely need to bribe the City Watchmen to effect the situation.

Later on, Eddard is called to the palace by a human anal blister calling itself “King Joffrey.”  On the way in, Varys tells him that Renly has fled south of the city with Ser Loras of the silken tresses.  When they reach the iron throne, the self appointed Joffrey commands oaths of fidelity from his court. Eddard responds by presenting the document signed by Robert, naming him Protector of the Realm, and advises Camelot Justin Beiber to get his swaggy ass off the iron chair.  Surprising nobody, Cersei rips up Eddard’s super official document like it’s so much confetti, and orders him to swear allegiance to his new king.  Only then will he be allowed to return to Winterfell.  Eddard orders the City Watchmen (provided by Baelish) to drag Cersei and Camelot Beibs into custody.  Instead, they kill all Lord Stark’s men, and Baelish holds a knife to Eddards throat, slyly admitting “I told you not to trust me.”

To be continued……




The Game of Thrones Binge Watch Begins! Season 1 Recap, Part 1

-ItsOnLikeDonkeyKong, King’s Landing

First and foremost, I’m truly ashamed it’s taken me this long to start watching this show. Everyone has nagged me to watch it over the years, predicting an undying obsession with a fantasy world that’s one part stuffy Camelot mixed with two parts gory ancient Rome, blended with a dash of Princess Bride, garnished with witchcraft, and served on the wings of magical dragons. And they were correct. I have officially found a new addiction. 

At the beginning of the series, we learn that The Realm, which is comprised of seven kingdoms, is ruled by a pot-bellied slob of a king named Robert Baratheon. The icy northernmost wall of The Realm is guarded by an order called the Night Watchmen, who have sworn to protect the kingdom from white walkers, wildlings, and other ghouls that go bump in the night in the frozen tundra beyond the border.  And winter is coming. Winter within The Realm can last decades, and with the icy chill of death also comes a wave of terrifying beasts from over the wall. Godspeed, Night Watchmen. Put down that sandwich and keep your eyes peeled. 

Just south of the wall lay Winterfell, a keep presided over by Lord Eddard Stark, a leathery, weathered warrior with a heart of golden warmfuzzies. Which tells me he won’t last long. He’s married to Catelyn, whose resemblance to actress Katy Sagal leaves me giggling with visions of Peggy Bundy playing Lady Stark. Leopard print robes and bonbons galore!!! Anyway, they share five children together: eldest son Robb, selfish teenage daughter Sansa, feisty tomboyish tweener Arya, unfortunate castle wall climber Bran, and youngest son Rickon, who isn’t much of a presence in Season 1, so don’t burden yourself remembering him. Lord Stark also has a broody bastard son named Jon Snow, who lives with the noble family in Winterfell, much to Catelyn’s chagrin. Each child (even the bastard!) is guarded by a fearless direwolf, which is the symbol of House Stark. 

Eddard soon learns that his old war buddy King Robert, along with the snooty royal court, have travelled to Winterfell in a mighty procession of chariots carried by their own arrogance. They intend to offer Lord Stark the job of Hand of the King, which is comparable to our earthly notion of Vice President. The former Hand, an unlucky bloke named Jon Arryn, who also happens to be Catelyn’s brother-in-law, was murdered recently under very mysterious circumstances, leaving a primo job opening in the kingdom. Around this time, Catelyn receives a letter from her loopy sister via a raven, who apparently moonlights as a mail carrier for the kingdom, warning the Starks that she suspects Queen Cersei of murdering her husband. After much beard stroking, Edd realizes the job provides an excellent opportunity to keep a watchful eye on the sneaky Cersei. So he accepts the position, and House Stark holds a bountiful feast in celebration. During the banquet, Cersei, a descendant of the filthyrich Lannister family, targets Sansa as a suitable bride for her sniveling nitwit son, Prince Joffrey. Blinded by her dreams of being the Prettiest Princess, Sansa becomes a neurotic fangirl to the prince, anxiously awaiting her family’s relocation to King’s Landing. Queen Cersei’s brothers-  prettyboy Jaime, and snarky dwarf Tyrion- arrive late to the feast after visiting a local brothel, because priorities. 

Outside the banquet, poor ostracized bastard Jon Snow informs his Uncle Benjen, a Night Watchmen, that he will not accompany his family to King’s Landing. Instead, he will join Benjen protecting The Realm from horrific monsters at the edge of the known world.  Better bring some coffee. 

To the far east of the kingdom, across the narrow sea, the exiled survivors of House Targaryen plot their strategy to invade the kingdom and reclaim the throne. Having reigned The Realm for years, House Targaryen came crashing down after they killed Lyanna Stark, sister to Eddard and the one true love of Robert Baratheon.  General war ensued.  After most of the Targaryen family was slaughtered by prettboy Jaime Lannister and his ilk, ashen skeletor impersonator Viserys and his quietly terrified sister Daenerys escaped eastward with their platinum silver hair intact, and their trusted adviser Jorah, and eventually found sanctuary in the violent land of the Dothraki peoples. And stringy haired Viserys has now traded his younger sister to a grunting savage warlord named Kahl Drogo, in exchange for an army.  

At the auspiciously blood soaked wedding reception, Daenerys is presented with a magical box containing three petrified dragon eggs. House Targaryen had commanded dragons for centuries, and had used them to help rule the seven kingdoms until their alleged extinction. Now as reigning Kahleesi of the Dothraki tribe, Daenerys, Kahl Drogo, and her insufferable platinum pimpbrother Viserys lead the army- and the dragon eggs- through the vast continent to reclaim their throne from King Robert Baratheon and the Lannisters. 

Meanwhile, back at Winterfell, adventurous young Bran Stark scurries up the castle wall like a nimble, cocaine fueled spider. Upon reaching the top story, he hears the unmistakeable sounds of lovemaking coming from inside the castle.  The curious lad pops his head in the window, and spies Queen Cersei fornicating with her own prettyboy brother Jaime. 

!!!Commence pearl clutching!!!

Desperate to protect the sterling reputation of the royal family, Jaime pushes Bran out the window to fall to his death. 

Only he doesn’t die. Comatose, yes. But not dead. 

Side eye at Queen Cersei wringing her hands and announcing the royal family’s early departure from Winterfell with the new Hand. 

Later, while parked at her ailing son’s bedside, Lady Stark intercepts a knife wielding assassin hellbent on ending Bran’s life. But it’s an epic fail, because Bran’s pet direwolf launches right to the guy’s jugular and eliminates the threat. Firmly convinced the Lannisters are behind both attempts on Bran’s life, Lady Stark keeps the blade for strategic supersleuth investigating purposes. She decides to travel south towards King’s Landing, to warn Eddard and their other children about the shady Lannister family. Just like Peg Bundy would do!

Her son Bran is still in that coma, in case you were wondering. 

En route to King’s Landing, human anal blister Prince Joffrey, who may as well be Justin Beiber in Camelot garb, tries flexing his royal muscle to impress Sansa, when he commands Arya’s friend the lowly butcher’s son to battle him in a deadly duel. Yet another epic fail, because feisty Arya’s direwolf attacks the pompous blowhard, and Arya throws Joffrey’s sword into the river. The direwolf escapes into the woods, but Arya is soon dragged before King Robert to answer to Joffrey’s bullshit claim of unprovoked assault. When all is said and done, Queen Cersei puts a bandaid on Joffrey’s vajayjay, and has the butcher’s boy killed. Then she orders Eddard to kill the remaining direwolf. And Arya’s hatred for His Twerpness seethes with a fiery passion. 

Back at Winterfell, Bran finally rouses from his coma and enters a living nightmare where his legs are paralyzed, and his mother has abandoned him. He has no memory of what happened on the castle wall. 

Lonely bastard Jon Snow finally reaches the north wall, and is quite disheartened to learn the Order of Night Watchmen mainly consists of hardened criminals and other lowlife rejects sentenced to life threatening gruntwork. However, he is pronounced the least useless of the bunch, so he’s got that much going for him.  

When Lord Stark and the royal family arrive at King’s Landing, Eddard is greeted by the council, which includes slithery Lord Varys, the head of the kingdom’s intelligence network.  Also on the council is Pytre Baelish, who serves as the king’s Master of Coin (and owns of a local brothel), and also happens to be a childhood friend of Catelyn’s. In fact, Catelyn is hiding safely in his pleasure house, awaiting a covert meeting with Eddard in which she updates him on her increasing suspicions regarding the Lannisters. She presents the blade, and Baelish immediately identifies it as one he lost in a bet to smart aleck dwarf Tyrien Lannister.  Eddard vows to uncover the truth about House Lannister, and report it back to King Robert, which should work out just dandy for everyone involved. 

Across the Narrow Sea, The Kahleesi discovers she’s pregnant with Kahl Drogo’s heir. She is convinced she will bear a son who will one day sit on the iron throne of her ancestors. In the meantime, woe is Viserys, for he has grown envious of his sister’s newfound power as Kahleesi. And the nerve of her tribesmen, refusing to obey HIM as their rightful king! In a fitful tantrum of stringy silver hair, the ashen pimp attacks Daenerys, leaving her bloodied and bruised. But The Kahleesi pulls rank and fights back, warning him that the next time he hits her will be the last time he has hands. Daenerys then realizes her brother will never gain the support of the tribe, and could never successfully command the Dothraki army in war. 

On his way back south after leaving the great wall, snarky dwarf Tyrien Lannister stops in at Winterfell  to deliver sketches of a Bran-friendly horsey saddle. So moved was he by news of the boy’s crushed legs, that he took pen to paper and designed a handicapable saddle, so the boy can enjoy daily rides and still practice archery. All of this out of nothing more than sheer kindness.  That oughta throw everybody off the murder trail.

A pudgy new recruit named Samwell has joined the Night Watch to help protect the wall. What he lacks in physical prowess, streetsmarts, and hygeine, he more than makes up for in self deprecating kindness.  Lonely bastard Jon Snow befriends Samwell, and defends him from the bullies of the Order. 

In King’s Landing, Eddard continues his not so discreet inquiry into Jon Arryn’s death. He learns that the former Hand’s illness manifested fast, and progressed rapidly. Just prior to his demise, he had studied a voluminous account of the bloodlines of the seven kingdoms, and his dying words were, “The seed is strong.” Baelish then informs Eddard that Arryn’s former squire was recently knighted, and will fight in the upcoming tournament celebrating Lord Stark’s appointment as Hand. His broad daylight investigation then takes him to the local armory, where he discovers Jon Arryn took a keen interest in the smith’s apprentice, Gendry, who is one of King Robert’s numerous bastard children. 

Later on at the tournament, the recently knighted squire with the fetching title Ser Hugh of the Vale, is accidentally stabbed in the neck by King Robert’s bear of a knight, Ser Gregor. Or as he is also known, “Mountain That Rides.” Oopsydaisy! 

Resuming his journey south toward King’s Landing, Tyrien crosses paths with Catelyn Stark at a local tavern, where she boldly charges him with the attempted murder of her son, and orders her guards to take him prisoner. 

To Be Continued….


Walking Dead Season 4 Recap: The Rise and Fall of Farmer Rick’s Prison Paradise

-The Ashes of Club-Med Pokey

At the end of Season 3, Governor Psychopath really brought the crazy, and waged full-scale war on Rick & Co. over at the prison. And after losing that battle, he slaughtered most of his own army and slithered into the woods, like any well-adjusted adult. So his terrified cult detractors mosied on over to Rick’s side of the prison fence and set up shop.  And they say Paradise Prison became 70 stronger that day.  A council of leaders was formed. Carol ran a makeshift school out of the library for the budding young minds of Armageddon. Someone threw together a ramshackle outdoor eating area. With a barbecue pit! All was good. 

But definitely not perfect. Weary of the blood and gore and general sads that inevitably come with the zombie apocalypse, Rick put down his gun and handed the reigns over to Uglyhot Darryl for a stretch, so he could immerse himself in the less violent task of farming the land behind the fences.  Maniacs lurking in the woods be damned; Rick’s got peas to plant and breakdowns to indulge in. 

Meanwhile, walkers have rapidly gathered behind the fences, as if crowding to get into a wicked death metal concert. A group of children, including Lizzie, a crazy-eyed Woodbury refugee with the brainpower of a flickering nightlight, have assigned names to the gathering cannibals, teasing them from the safety of the prison yard. The other kids, including her sister Mika and a decreasingly psycho Carl, warn her of her own stupidity, but Lizzie seems hellbent on seeing walkers as people who are just…different. Yup. 

Upon checking some hunting traps out in the woods (sans gun, because he’s all about the farming now), Rick crosses paths with a creepy woodswoman who looks like she stumbled out of a dark PJ Harvey song from the late 90’s. Starving, covered in mud, and rolled in delirium, the woman begs Rick to help her and her husband. She lures him back to her camp, where -SURPRISE OF ALL SURPRISES- she attacks, and tries to feed him to her hungryhungry zombie husband. Rick tackles her, and after she wails on and on about how nobody can come back from all the evil $hit they gotta do to survive this crazy world, she stabs herself in the stomach. And rather than finish her off to reduce the staggering overpopulation of the enemy, Rick decides to leave her there and let her turn. Because vegetables. Killing monsters is for people who don’t have stunted carrots and coughing pigs to obsess over. 

Such as Michonne, the sword-wielding badass (now on horseback)!! That killing machine disappears for days at a time hunting for Governor Psychopath all over Georgia. Because it’s not like anybody else is gonna do it. Side-eye at Rick in the pea patch.  

New faces aplenty at the prison this season. Tyrese has taken quite a fancy to blood-splattered Karen, a Woodbury refugee who is now on fence patrol, slaughtering the ever-growing crowd of walkers at the perimeter. Also joining the group is Bob, a hobo drifter with little to offer but a crippling alcohol problem, who Glenn and Uglyhot Darryl brought home one day because your guess is as good as mine. Maybe he makes a killer sandwich. He’s also got a formidable crush on Tyrese’s sister, Capable Badass Sasha. 

While Rick is busy ignoring walkers by fixating on sick pigs and failed crops, Hardass Carol is breaking all the rules. Against Farmer Rick’s instructions, she’s covertly teaching the kids (including crazy-eyed Lizzie) all about knives and guns and skills to help survive the zombie apocalypse and stuff, during storyhour. Then a queasy teen named Patrick excuses himself to go die in the showers. He immediately turns into a hungryhungry zombie who goes on a killing spree through cell block D, sparking walker fever inside the prison sanctuary. After the hysteria dies down, Team Prison realizes Farmer Rick’s sick pigs have helped a deadly influenza virus sweep through the prison, killing Patrick and igniting the resulting massacre.  Anyone displaying symptoms of the illness is immediately quarantined- on delightful Death Row. Among the first sicklys are Tyrese’s ladylove Karen, and a newbie nobody cares about named David. When Tyrese pays a visit to his ailing maiden, he is greeted by two ominous blood trails leading from the quarantined cells to an outdoor area, where the charred bodies of Karen and What’shisdude lay smoking up to the heavens. And like every male on this show before him who has lost a fair damsel, Tyrese’s cheese slides right off his cracker.  He goes totally ape$hit and attacks Rick and Uglyhot Darryl, vowing to avenge Karen’s death. 

About this time, the huge crowd of walkers outside are dangerously close to pushing down the chainlink fences and invading the prison in search of that death metal concert. As the group scrambles to secure the perimeter, they notice a pile of dead mice and rats just inside the border. Someone *coughLizziecough* has been feeding the walkers, drawing them to the fences.  

With a growing number of quarantined pukers now spitting up blood, Our Beloved Pepaw Hershel suggests making a run to a little known veterinary college for some antibiotics. Sessy Butterface Darryl, Badass Michonne, Boozehound Bob, and a still fuming Tyrese volunteer for the mission. Meanwhile, Glenn, Capable Badass Sasha, Lizzie the Strange, and a handful of folks whose names I don’t know have all sneezed their way into a charming private cell on Death Row. But Our Beloved Pepaw Hershel wraps a foolproof kerchief around his nose and mouth, and gently strokes their backs as they almost choke on their own blood. He’s sensitive like that. 

In a shocking turn of events, Carol tells Rick she killed Karen and What’shisdude. Yup. 

The group’s quest for antibiotics takes many walker-related detours, because nothing ever goes right in the zombie apocalypse. Back at the prison, Rick and Carol get tired of waiting, and decide to raid nearby houses for medicine. Whilst foraging for coughdrops, Carol claims she killed Karen and What’shisdude to try containing the virus, to end their awful suffering, and to save everyone else. She then calls out Farmer Rick for being all about the farming and not about the leading. He says he can’t trust a shifty bitch who teaches kids to kill, who goes around killing sick people all willy-nilly, and that Tyrese will rip her to shreds when he finds out.  So he exiles her from the prison. 

In the meantime, melee has descended upon Death Row. Those killed by the flu have risen into hungryhungry zombies, and Our Beloved Pepaw Hershel has lost all control of the cell block. Glenn and Capable Badass Sasha are both teetering on the brink of walkerdom when Formidable $hitkicker Maggie bursts in and saves the day by slaughtering the turned. With several bullets. As if on cue, at that exact moment, the other group returns from their perilous journey on the road with much needed antibiotics. Lizzie the Strange, Glenn, and Capable Badass Sasha are all saved in the nick of time. Lesser characters are not so lucky. 

Farmer Rick then tells Uglyhot Darryl that he dropkicked Carol from the prison for being a shady murderer, and together they go to tell an unstable Tyrese. But all that has to wait, because Tyrese found a dead, dissected rat nailed to a board, and he feels some feelings about it. He surmises there’s a psycho in their midst, and that whoever tortured the rat *coughLizziecough* also killed his beloved and What’shisdude. 

And at that moment…. a mighty BOOM occurs outside the prison. 

!!It’s Governor Psychopath!!

And he’s been busy. 

After getting ditched by Lieutenant Martinez for being an insufferable sociopath after losing the war, the Governor apparently went through a Forrest Gump phase, growing a long beard and wandering a great distance all by his lonesome. Then one day, he saw a little girl in a window who reminded him of his beloved zombiedaughter, who was killed by Michonne in Season 3. And his turd-nugget of a heart grew three times its size that day.  He conned his way into the home, earning the trust of Lily, the single mother inside, and charming his way right into her pants. Lily’s daughter, Megan, instantly becomes a substitute for his own little zombie princess, as well as a ripe excuse to be a ruthless maniac to any perceived threat. The new makeshift family, along with Lily’s mildly irritating sister Tara, hit the road in search of a better tomorrow. 

Before long, they cross paths with Stupid Martinez, who has become the proud alpha male of a new camp. With a tank! And stupid IS as stupid does, because he stupidly lays out the welcome mat for Governor Psychopath and his new fake family. Stupid stupid stupid. Surprising absolutely nobody, the conniving Governor promptly kills Stupid Martinez and his underlings, and takes over as leader.  Because STUPID. Soon he has conned the entire camp into ambushing the prison and claiming it as their own. Because let’s face it, the guy’s a dick. 

So he kidnaps Our Beloved Pepaw Hershel and Queen Badass Michonne, and uses them as bargaining chips outside the prison gates.  He orders Rick & Co. out of Club Med Pokey by nightfall, or the hostages die and the tank will roll in to destroy the fortress and kill the rest of them. After all, he’s got a new family to protect. And he cares so much about them, he’s letting them fend for themselves against walkers at the river’s edge while he carries out his bitchy vendetta against Rick. AND he’s willing to destroy their supposed new safe haven. Selfless prince, this one.  

Line starts behind me, ladies. 

Desperate to save his friends, Farmer Rick offers Governor Psychopath and his duped cronies their very own cell block at Club Med Pokey. He proposes to wipe the slate clean, forget the bloodshed, and join forces against the true enemy: the zombies, who are ironically killing the governor’s substitute daughter offsite at that very moment. Governor Psychopath responds to Rick’s olive branch offering by slicing off Our Beloved Pepaw Hershel’s head with Michonne’s sword. 

What. A. Negotiator. 

General chaos and gunfire ensue. Badass Michonne rolls away and manages to break free, because of course she does. Much screaming. Bullets aplenty everywhere. In the midst of battle, Lily approaches the Governor carrying a walker-ravaged Megan. Without hesitation, Governor Psychopath shoots Megan in the head and orders his loser cronies to roll the tank over the fences and destroy Club Med Pokey.  

Governor Psychopath and Farmer Rick then engage in a bloody gladiator fight to the death. After beating the piss out of each other, Farmer Rick is but a bloody pulp as the governor almost squeezes the life out of him. But at the last minute, Queen Badass Michonne plunges her sword right through that psycho’s chest, and Rick lives to see another uplifting day of the zombie apocalypse. As Governor Psychopath lay dying in a pool of his own blood, Lily walks up and shoots him in the head. Because let’s face it. THE GUY’S A DICK.  

Meanwhile, terrified prison dwellers are a-scramblin’ to escape the warzone unscathed. Many have piled into a bus fleeing to Anywherebuthere, but machine gun fire pelts it on the way out. The remaining prison members are splintered into small groups. Carol’s star pupil, the gunhappy, ratsplicing, walkerfeeding Lizzie the Strange, saves Tyrese from enemy fire by shooting his attacker in the head. Irony almost complete. He then shepherds Lizzie, Mika, and baby Judith away from the prison and the impending herd of walkers who are FINALLY gonna get into that death metal concert. The creepy woodswoman Farmer Rick failed to kill earlier (because he had cucumbers to plant) is among the horde.  

After blowing up the tank with a grenade, Uglyhot Darryl runs across Boring Beth, and they run into the woods together and fall in hatelove or something. 

Formidable $hitkicker Maggie, Capable Badass Sasha, and Boozehound Bob also escape into the woods together. Glenn, who was originally on the bus but decided to disembark on a bold quest to help his beloved Maggie, is knocked out cold by flying debris in the tank explosion. 

Battered Rick staggers around the prison yard until he finds Carrrrrrrrrrrl, and together they stumble across Baby Judith’s bloody carrier, and assume she’s been killed by the herd of zombie death metal fans. They flee the ashes of Club Med Pokey, vowing to never look back. Eventually they seek refuge in an abandoned house, where a war-torn Rick lapses into unconsciousness for a stretch. Because naptime is the best time. Bratty Carl curses his comatose father for losing the prison and being a general flop of a leader, then embarks on a disastrous food run that almost gets him killed several times over. Four walkers and 120 oz. of chocolate pudding later, Carl realizes he might need Ole Dad after all, and goes back to the house to poke him with a stick and rouse him from that coma. Rick finally wakes up and begs Carl not to leave him. The next morning, Queen Badass Michonne knocks on the front door. She has tracked them all the way from the prison, because of course she has.  The three have a joyous reunion. 

Because irony is never totally done with Tyrese, he’s stuck protecting animal torturer Lizzie, Adorable Mika, and Walker Beacon Baby Judith. And when Lizzie isn’t slicing up baby bunnies under the cover of darkness, she’s nearly smothering a screaming Judith to try and fend off the approaching walkers. On top of that delightful situation, they all run into Hardass Carol in the woods. Defying Rick’s orders once again, she returned to the prison to find Mika and her star pupil Lizzie the Strange, and has been tracking them all through the woods. Tyrese gives her a giant bearhug, totally oblivious that she murdered his girlfriend and What’shisdude. Soon they spot a sign next to the railroad tracks reading: “Terminus: Sanctuary for all, Community for all, Those who arrive survive.” And since every outsider they’ve met until now has been totally trustworthy, sane, and helpful, they decide to check it out.


After breaking out of the prisonyard in riot gear, RoboGlenn runs into Lily’s mildly irritating sister Tara, who’s sitting on her pitypot, feeling like an a$$hole for endorsing Governor Psychopath. She tells Glenn that Beloved Pepaw Hershel was beheaded by the maniac she drove in with, and RoboGlenn pretty much orders her to help him find Maggie. They set out on the road, but RoboGlen is still weak from the flu, and he passes out after a particulary grueling zombie fight. A trio of young military types then happens upon the scene. Abraham, a no-nonsense warrior on a mission to save the world from the zombie plague, is the alpha of the bunch. Joining him are Eugene, a comically autistic scientist who claims to know what triggered the outbreak and how to stop it, and Rosalita, a pretty young thing who thinks hotpants and croptops are appropriate attire for the apocalypse. They pile into their military assault vehicle and drive three hours north until RoboGlenn awakens and causes a WTF ruckus. Abraham informs him they are heading to Washington D.C., so Eugene can work his science magic all over this mess, and that he needs Glenn and Tara the Mildly Irritating to help him on his mission. Glenn tells him hell to the no, and he and Tara start heading back south on foot to find his beloved Maggie. Of course a fight breaks out between Glenn and Abraham, and of course a herd of walkers stumbles out of the cornfields to investigate all the yelling. And of course Eugene the bumbling genius tries fending them off with a machine gun, but he only succeeds in shooting up their armored vehicle. When all is said and done, the group decides to head south together on foot looking for a new car. 

In the meantime, Uglyhot Darryl and Boring Beth are scavenging in the woods, basically hateloving eachother to death. Boring Beth is hellbent on finding some booze so she can enjoy her first drink, because priorities. They raid a country club but only find a few new shirts and a bottle of $hitty peach schnapps. So Uglyhot Darryl takes her to an abandoned hillbilly shack loaded with moonshine and they get pretty lit. And since drunk 18 year olds always have awesome ideas, Beth suggests they torch the place. And because drunk forty-something  hillbillies always have even better ideas, Darryl shrugs, grunts, and complies. Together they set their shelter ablaze, creating a glowing beacon in the middle of the night for hungryhungry zombies to explore. 

Meanwhile, Maggie, Capable Badass Sasha, and Boozehound Bob have also found one of the many signs for Terminus posted along the railroad tracks.  Desperate to reunite with Glenn, ingenius Maggie scrawls a message to him with walker blood, instructing him to meet her at Terminus. 

Bratty Carl and his new mommy figure Michonne go foraging through neighborhood homes for food and supplies, while Rick stays behind for some quality naptime. But Rick should know by now that naptime can also be the most dangerous time. Not one minute after he shuts his eyes, a gang of unruly marauders busts into the house, and he barely has enough time to squirm under the bed. Two of the bandits get into a spirited debate over who gets to nap the hell out of Rick’s comfycozy naptime bed, tackling each other to the ground and wrestling until one of them gets put in a sleeper hold. And just before he passes out into dreamland, he locks eyes with Rick under the bed. After the other charming marauder sinks into the mattress and starts snoring, Rick slithers out from his hiding place and darts between rooms like a sneaky ninja, trying to plot an escape route. He dodges one bandit by running into the bathroom, only to find another inside, sitting on the toilet. Before he can yell, “Occupied!” a mighty struggle ensues. Rick strangles him to death, leaves the door cracked so his reanimated corpse can rise and attack the rest, then escapes out the window. As he makes his way around the perimeter to the front of the house, he spots Michonne and Caaarrrrrrrrl down the street. At that exact moment inside, a great disruption occurs as the hungryhungry zombie wanders out of the bathroom and attacks the bandits. With the marauders distracted, Rick, Carl, and Michonne make a clean getaway through the woods. Eventually they come upon one of the many signs leading to Terminus, and make the confounding decision to go there. 

After their drunken arson session, Uglyhot Darryl and Boring Beth find a delightful funeral parlor deep in the middle of the woods. Like a hillbilly Hansel and Gretel, their curiosity leads them inside, where they notice the place is squeaky clean, with a fully stocked kitchen. Almost as if *someone* recently tended to it. They also find several dead zombies in caskets. Nothin’ wierd there. Anyway, despite the evidence that somebody has claimed the place as their own prized zombietrophy storage unit, Boring Beth suggests they live there, and a suddenly stupid Darryl complies. Facepalm. That night, just as Uglyhot Darryl is finally gonna make his move on Boring Beth, a herd of walkers invades the house. Beth flees to the road while Darryl fights his way out of the mortuary. When he finally makes it outside, he sees Beth’s backpack on the ground, and looks up to see a Cadillac speeding away. He wanders up the dirt road for a stretch, and finally collapses as he realizes Boring Beth is gone, and they never got to make out. Problems, problems. As he lay defenseless in the middle of the road, dreaming of the makeout session that could have been, a group of bandits- THE bandits Rick dealt with earlier in the abandoned house- approaches him. Terrified of fending for himself in the zombie apocalypse, Uglyhot Darryl joins the group of rabble rousers. 

Meanwhile, Tyrese, Carol, and the kids discover a cottage hidden within a grove of pecan trees, and decide to stop for a bit on their way to Terminus. Plumes of smoke billow in the distance, presumably from Darryl and Beth’s spring break arson spectacular. Lizzie the Stranger & Stranger has now graduated to having play sessions with the walkers. In fact, she becomes enraged when Carol kills one of her zombie “friends,” furiously scolding her for not understanding that walkers need love too. She vows to school everyone that zombies are just different. A stunned Carol and Tyrese struggle with how to reach their little lunatic. Then one fine afternoon, they return to the cottage to find Lizzie holding a knife over a blood soaked Mika. She draws her gun when Carol tries to finish Mika off, insisting they wait for her to turn so she can finally prove walkers are just like people. Carol appeases her, and suggests she return home with a quietly horrified Tyrese while she tends to tying Mika up so she can’t wander off upon reawakening. Once they are out of sight, she of course destroys Mika’s brain to prevent her from turning. Back at the house, sporting an expression of “white people be crazy,” Tyrese reports he found a shoebox full of mice that Lizzie has apparently been lugging around since escaping the prison, solving the riddle of the dissected rat and the piles of dead mice inside the prison gates. Realizing that her star pupil is actually a delusional psychopath who will likely kill them all in their sleep, Carol makes the excruciating decision to put down Lizzie the Strangest. She walks her into the pecan grove and puts a bullet in her head as she’s marveling at the wildflowers. Later on, she hands the gun to Tyrese and confesses to killing Karen and What’shisdude, telling him to do whatever he’s gotta do. Perhaps overwhelmed by too many headfu<$ in one day, or the looming horror of being the sole caretaker of screaming Baby Judith in the zombie apocalypse, he decides to forgive her. They leave the cottage and head for Terminus. 

RoboGlenn spots one of Maggie's signs directing him to Terminus, and goes all Rambo in his quest to reunite with her. When the group reaches the mouth of a long train tunnel, they decide to part ways. Glenn and Tara the Mildly Irritating will brave the walker-filled tunnel, and Abraham will lead Eugene and Rosalita on a safer detour. Soon they stumble upon a car, and resume their trip to Washington D.C. Deep inside the tunnel, Glenn and Tara come upon a herd of walkers buried in the rubble of the collapsed ceiling. As they scale the mountain of debris, they see the remainder of the herd waiting to greet them on the other side. They frantically retreat, but Tara gets stuck beneath the fallen concrete. The herd nearly descends on them, but at the last minute, Abraham and the others drive in from the opposite end of the tunnel and mow down the herd with many bullets. And joining the trio? Formidable $hitkicker Maggie, Capable Badass Sasha, and Boozehound Bob, who were exiting the other end of the tunnel when spotted by Eugene! Maggie and Glenn share a joyous reunion, and the whole group decides to skip down the tracks to Terminus together. 


Uglyhot Darryl learns the band of rabble rousing thugs he's joined is tracking someone who strangled one of their own in an abandoned house. Unaware that his good buddy Rick is the culprit in question, Darryl tags along with the bunch. Eventually they catch up to Rick, Michonne, and Carrrrl, and ambush them in the middle of the night to avenge their friend's death. Joe, the menacing alpha of the group with the personality of a damp alleyway, vows to rape and torture both Michonne and Carl in front of Rick before killing all three of them. Upon recognizing Rick in the darkness, Darryl pleads to let them go. In response, Joe orders his minions to beat Darryl to death. General violence ensues. When Rick sees one of the skeevy thugs tackle Carl, all bets are off. Farmer Rick the veggie loving pacifist finally goes rogue and grows a pair. Fueled by sheer parental rage and paternal instinct, he attacks like a pitbull on meth, and bites a giant chunk of flesh out of Joe's jugular. Quick thinking Michonne then shoots the thugs beating the piss outta Darryl, because OF COURSE SHE DOES. Rick launches at the last pervy marauder, still on top of Carl, and does what any outraged father would do to someone trying to rape and murder their child: he cuts that bastard's heart out. Farmer Rick is officially gone, and replaced by a bloodlusty beast willing to do anything to keep his son safe. A much better fit for the apocalypse. After recovering from the nightmarish ordeal, the four resume their journey to Terminus. The first of the prison gang to use a fraction of their thinking parts when approaching newbies, they decide to cut through the woods and sneak up to the fortress from the rear. But they perform only minimal slapdash reconaissance, before burying a stash of guns and ammo and invading the complex through the back entrance, with no backup plan whatsoever.

Facepalm. Right into a headdesk.  

Did we learn nothing from Governor Psychopath and Woodbury? 

So they barge into a warehouse full of stunned people in the middle of drafting maps, and broadcasting radio advertisements for the alleged sanctuary. They welcome Rick's distrustful group, and lead them to the courtyard, where a gypsy-type woman is barbecuing giant slabs of meat. Rick scans the yard's occupants, and he immediately recognizes Glenn's riot gear and backpack, as well as Maggie's poncho. When he sees a pocketwatch given to Glenn by Our Beloved Pepaw Hershel, he realizes something is drastically wrong, and he takes a hostage, demanding to see his people. Shots break out, sending the group scrambling. Rooftop snipers then use gunfire to herd them through the complex, which is a maze of warehouse rooms and industrial corridors. One room is filled with lit candles, which illuminate names written on the ground, and warnings scrawled on the walls: NEVER TRUST, NEVER AGAIN, WE FIRST ALWAYS. 

This place sounds awesome.  

As they dart around outside, cries for help can be heard from within traincars scattered throughout the property. Finally they reach the back fence, only to be greeted by an army of gunmen on the other side. They are forced to surrender their weapons, and ordered to enter one of the traincars. Inside, they find Glenn, Maggie, Tara, Sasha, Bob, Abraham, Eugene, and Rosalita. 

Tyrese and Carol are still out there with Baby Judith. 

Boring Beth is missing in action. 

And now it's over until October.