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‘Game of Thrones’ Review: “Second Sons”

Game of Thrones Second Sons Review
HBO

Game of Thrones’ season 3 conjures its eighth episode of the season “Second Sons,” as Tyrion faces his upcoming wedding, while Daenerys makes a dangerous new ally and Stannis Baratheon attempts to make peace with his subordinates..

Last week’s ‘Game of Thrones’ episode “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” saw Tyrion attempting to placate Shae for his betrothal to Sansa, while Jon and Ygritte bonded south of the wall, Daenerys arrived at Yunkai and Jaime took action to protect Brienne from her captors, so what will the newest episode bring?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Game of Thrones’ season 3, episode 8, “Second Sons!”

Arya Stark awakens, and threatens to smash a rock over the Hound’s head, before the Hound points out that he previously saved Sansa, and intends only to deliver her to her family for a reward. Meanwhile, Daenerys and her advisers oversee Yunkai’s “Second Sons” mercenaries, and wonder how best to convert them. Danerys meets with the three captains of the group, among them “Titan’s Bastard” Mero, and Daario Naharis, though all but Daario seem uninterested in forming a truce.

Melisandre and Gendry arrive at Dragonstone, wherein Melisandre urges Stannis not to spook Gendry with news of his fate, after which Stannis goes to visit Davos in his cell. Davos protests the killing of an innocent, unlike what happened with Renly, while Stannis agrees to free Davos if he accepts Melisandre. Elsewhere , Daario Naharis and the other commanders decide what to do with Daenerys, agreeing to leave her fate to a coin toss.

Tyrion pays a visit to Sansa hoping to console her before the wedding, while Margaery attempts to bond with Cersei over the occasions. Cersei violently refuses to bond with her son’s bride-to-be, as Joffrey offers to take Sansa down the aisle for her wedding. Joffrey cruelly takes Tyrion’s stool away, forcing him to ask Sansa to kneel for Tyrion to place a cloak over her, while the onlookers at their wedding laugh. Meanwhile, Melisandre seduces Gendry and assures him of his royal blood, but rather than kill him, Melisandre attaches leaches that Stannis himself soon recovers. Davos waches as Stannis casts the leeches into the fire, and prays for death between Robb, Balon Greyjoy and Joffrey.

At Tyrion and Sansa’s wedding, Tyrion drinks carelessly despite Tywin’s warnings, while Joffrey warns Sansa the marriage won’t stop him from taking advantage. Joffrey cruelly raises the crowd to welcome Tyrion and Sansa to their bedding ceremony, despite Tyrion’s violent outbursts. Once alone, Tyrion continues to drink, but assures Sansa he has no intent of forcing himself upon her, and passes out on the couch nearest the bed.

Meanwhile, Missandei bathes Daenerys before Daario enters at knifepoint, swearing allegiance with the head of his fellow commanders in a satchel. Daenerys rises from the bath and demands Daario’s loyalty, to which he swears all as well as his heart. Meanwhile, Shae enters Sansa and Tyrion’s marital chambers, please to find no evidence that the two consummated their union.

Elsewhere, Sam and Gilly set up camp at an abandoned structure despite the presence of a number of ravens, while Sam presses Gilly to name her boy. After a short while, a White Walker appears to claim the baby, shattering Samwell’s sword, but a last-ditch effort to stab the creature with Samwell’s dragonglass knife wounds ups shattering and killing it.

While still bemoaning that ‘Game of Thrones has already reached the climax of its third season, we’d be hard-pressed to deny that season 3 has moved the prime players into exciting positions for the last two episodes of the season. It remains to be seen how big a climax we can expect, cutting halves of George R.R. Martin’s third novel for the third and fourth season, but “Second Sons,” certainly arranges some exciting dramatic prospects for the final two hours of the year.

All in all, both Tyrion and Daenerys, arguably the fan favorites of the series, show their colors in manners that differentiate the power-obsessed of the series, but only so much as to move pieces in place for the final hours of the season. No one character has demonstrated a conclusive arc across the season, nor do we necessarily expect ‘Game of Thrones’ season 3 to unfold as concisely as its literary counterpart, but we wish for more focused storytelling among the final two episodes of the year.

Did you get your fill of sword-swinging ‘Game of Thrones’ action?  What did you think about tonight’s episode “Second Sons?” Check out all our other ‘Game of Thrones’ season 3 coverage, and join us next week for an all-new episode recap of ‘Game of Thrones’ season 3′s penultimate episode “The Rains of Castamere” on HBO!

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