Girl trouble grips Westeros in episode six
Season Two, Episode Six
“I should have put a sword in your belly instead of in your hand.”
Killings: 27 (though probably more as the death orgy raged on)
Naked women: 1 (Osha)
Chops to cut off Ser Rodrick’s head: 4 (and a kick to finish it off)
Surviving Kings and Queens: 6 (Joffrey Lannister, Robb Stark, Stannis Baratheon, Balon Greyjoy, Mance Rayder, Daenerys Targaryen)
Ranking of largest hosts: 1. Lannister, 2. Stark, 3. Tyrrel
Unconfident declarations of titles by wannabe monarchs: 3 (Theon, Joffrey and Daenerys)
Number of Freefolk over the hills: hundreds of thousands
Couples counselling must be a boom industry in Westeros: so many nubile knights pledged to girls they’ve never met, kings engaged to queens they loathe and forbidden love heating up the frigid north. Although it’s hard to remember a lot of what’s gone on after 5,016 pages, the introduction of so much angst is not the only diversion from the books in this episode.
The big news from Winterfell is that Unconfident Wannabe #1 Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) has returned to his boyhood home to do what all great warriors do: unseat a 10-year-old cripple. Having taken his throne and the head of Ser Rodrick (Ron Donachie), Theon releases his heretofore most visible warrior to finally conquer the scary wildling Osha (Natalia Tena), though for this victory his guard pays the iron price. Girl Trouble 1, Theon 0.
Love is the one of the few things growing in the icy desert North of the Wall, where Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) and his murder of Crows come across a band of wildlings. One of these free folk, the ginger-haired Ygritte (Rose Leslie), manages to talk her way out of certain death and into the arms of a lost Jon Snow, now separated from his fellow Watchmen. Girl Trouble 1, Jon Snow 0.
Things aren’t much better for Jon’s half-brother Robb (Richard Madden). Having agreed to marry a homely girl in order to cross a bridge, Robb is now smitten with a posh nurse from Volantis. Naturally, his mother disapproves. He’s fighting a war, he’s lost his home and his mum is on his case – you could say he’s got 99 problems but a bridge ain’t one… Girl Trouble 1, Robb Stark 0.
One Stark faring a lot better is Arya (Maisie Williams). Now a cupbearer (which, surprisingly for this show, is not a euphemism) for Lannister patriarch Tywin (Charles Dance), Arya overhears Littlefinger’s (Aiden Gillen) plot to wed Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) to the widowed Margaery Barratheon (nee Tyrell). Unpronounceable assassin Jaqen H’ghar (Tom Wlaschiha) still owes her two kills, which is bad news for the Lannister bannerman who catches Arya playing the sporty spy for her big bro. Girl Trouble 1, Lord Tywin 0.
Down in King’s Landing, not even Dr Phil could help Unconfident Wannabe #2 King Joffrey solve his myriad relationship problems. Like all good sociopaths, he lashes out at his brother for crying and chastises his baby-bride-to-be Sansa (Sophie Turner) for talking back. The psychopathic inner-Joff is brought out by a well-flung cowpie to the face, causing the pre-pubescent king to grant death penalties for all upon his seditious subjects. Cue one of the best death orgies ever filmed, the highlight of which is the raising of a severed arm with triumphant zeal. Having been left for death, Sansa is saved by multidimensional humanocanine knight The Hound (Rory McCann), finally getting a win for the boys/dogs. Girl Trouble 0, The Hound 1.
But no girl in Westeros is in as much trouble as Unconfident Wannabe #3 Daenerys (Emilia Clarke). She has to put up with the “glorified dock worker” Xaro Xhoan Daxos (Nonso Anozie) hovering like a schoolboy with a mixtape, constantly asking for her hand in marriage; while her pleas to the Spice King (Nicholas Blane) to make her the lead Spice Girl are rebuked. Hoping to retire to her bedroom to make like Wendell Sailor and play with her dragons, Daenerys learns the hard way that there is no ‘You’ in selfish Qarth. Girl Trouble 0, Qarthians 1.