Game of Thrones: The Wolf and the Lion

“Horror’s a worm that needs to be coughed out before it breeds.”

Stephen King

It’s all going down in Westeros, folks. In this, the fifth episode of the violence-heavy fantasy series, villainous and bloody plots abound in King’s Landing, and politics-savvy Catelyn Stark takes Tyrion prisoner for the attempted murder of her son Brand. There are spoiled children, power-crazed lords and more bloody tournaments, as well as a king far too much like Henry VIII for anyone’s comfort.

Once again, this episode turns on the contrast between Ned’s bluff northern honour and the political machinations that are key to life in King’s Landing. The Council has learned that Daenerys is pregnant (unfortunately the only mention we get of her this episode), and that her child would have a claim to the Iron Throne , threatening the already unstable political situation in King’s Landing; they’re all for killing her, while Ned claims that such an act would be dishonourable. Tension, unsurprisingly, ensues…

Oh, and the Lannisters and the Starks are arguing again. But this is hardly news.

We’re halfway through the first season now, and there’s a definite ramping up of tension, a feeling that the stakes are all higher now, a beginning of a move into the endgame…you get the idea. Everyone is angry with everyone else, for various reasons, and it won’t be long now until war breaks out. It’s all very exciting.

I mean, it would be more exciting if there was more of the spookiness happening at the Wall, or more of Daenerys’ squashing her brother, or more of Tyrion’s laconic grumpiness. However, we do get some sleuthing from Arya and a nicely civilised conversation between Cersei Lannister and King Robert. With one hand TV giveth, and with one it taketh away.

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