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Game of Thrones Review: "The Wolf and the Lion"

by at . Comments

King Robert and Ned had some amusing moments to start "The Wolf and the Lion." It seems no matter what your role, it's never what you think it will be. As Robert said, "I thought as King I could do whatever I wanted."

By the end of the episode, he proved that he very well can.

When our road weary travelers were attacked, you could see Tyrion weighing his decision: flee or save Catelyn? If anyone had any doubt that Tyrion's soul was clear, it was eliminated here.

Granted, the thought of being ripped to death by wildlife may have played into his final action, but he made the choice with his heart, not his head. George R. R. Martin has not even finished A Song of Ice and Fire, but surely Tyrion will be proven the man I think he is by the end.

The entire council of the King were at each others throats. Things were coming to head, and whatever that means, it will not be good. Thanks to Arya and her penchant for adventure, she overheard some council members saying the Wolves and Lions would soon be at war and that the Hand had found one of the bastards. There are obviously secrets the council shares, but not with Ned, nor with the late Jon Arryn. The Hand of the King has few allies.

I wish Catelyn had been in contact with her sister before deciding to take Tyrion there. She's a nutter, as the Brit's like to say. I daresay Lysa doesn't even like her sister, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if she made the little man fly to make her son happy. The dungeon was certainly a startling vision, wasn't it?

As if Ned's head wasn't already swirling, word got to King's Landing that Catelyn kidnapped Tyrion and that Dany was pregnant with Khal's child. It felt like the train was ready to run off of the rails.

Dany and Khal Drogo seem so far away from King's Landing that I hardly thought of them as a threat. It appears the reality is quite different. Ribert ordered all of their deaths and, as a result, Ned resigned as Hand of the King. The King already called him a traitor, so the Starks must beat a hasty retreat from King's Landing.

Poor, honorable Ned barely had a chance to take the reins of the Kingdom before he realized how far the King was from the friend Robert used to be.

Was anyone else surprised that Cersei somewhat stood up for Ned after he resigned? Asking Robert if losing Ned this was was really worth it? She considered him a serious enough man to be the Hand. High praise from her lips for a Stark.

Cersei has turned out to be quite an enigma. Sometimes I have no idea where she truly stands, and then she comes out with some fairly wise words.

The torture King Robert suffered after losing his only true love lasted all 17 years of their marriage. He was so busy being tortured, he wouldn't allow himself to have something with Cersei, even though at one time she was open to the idea.

It makes her turning to her brother for affection a lot easier to understand. There wouldn't be many men a queen could trust for a tryst, let alone more than one.

Jaime sought out Ned to answer for his missing brother. Without a title, Jaime used his power to wipe Ned clean. Ned's two girls are without protection and all of Ned's men are dead. Dire circumstances, indeed.

The chain of events that were set into place in these last two episodes don't seem to leave a lot of room for the Starks to make it safely back to Winterfell. What do you think the last five episodes will hold?

Other thoughts:

  • I'm not sure why Gregor went nuts at the tournament, but I loved The Hound saving the day. I hope he feels some honor gained from his actions.
  • Despite knowing Lysa was off in the head,watching her child suckling at her breast (and using it as a sort of pillow to chat with their visitors) really churned my stomach.
  • I didn't expect Renly to be gay. Funny timing, that he was complaining the other men made fun of him for not being manly enough as he was being shaved clean by Loras.
  • I already miss Jory.
  • Sansa is still engaged to the Prince. How long will that last?
  • I wish Catelyn had thought about her husband and daughters at King's Landing before taking Tyrion prisoner. Did she really think no one there would give it a second thought?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (81 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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Minor correction: One of the two men Arya overhears is not actually a council member, he is Magister Illyrio from across the narrow sea, the person who is hosting Daenerys and Viserys in the first episode.

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The wolf and lion episode was dedicated to Caroline Benoist, a 26 year old animal trainer who tragically died of swine flu shortly after returning from Belfast,where the majority of the series was shot on location.

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Testing... my last post got lost I think. If it didn't apologize for the second post. If it did... well it'll be here in a minute :P

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Gooood evening. My newb self has returned to gush about the latest episode. I really loved it, it wasn't my favorite so far, but still top notch. Favorite Stuffs Tyrion going all warrior with the shield.
The Sky Cell
Arya... "I was chasing a cat." I seriously, lol'd Creeped Me Out Stuffs Sweet Robin and Mummy. That is all. Sad Face Stuffs My favorite characters are Dany and Jon. So I REALLY missed them this week. I understand why others didn't but their stories are what really hooked me in the first place. That's not to say that I'm not loving all the action in King's Landing (or the action in Greyjoy's bedroom... I am a straight woman thank you very much) But, I just missed seeing them this week. Looking forward to their return soon. I don't really have any new comments on the Loras/Renly scene expect that in episode 1 Tyrion enjoyed much of the same and THAT scene wasn't explicit in the books either. I thought it was well done, two people who can't be themselves in public being themselves with each other. Whether or not they have true feelings for one another I cannot say. But in that moment, it was almost sweet.

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Not all of Ned's men are dead. During the episode Arya asks Jory how many men they brought with them from Winterfell. He tells her they brought fifty. Only three, including poor Jory, were killed in the fight with Jaime. Also, although the Loras/Renly relationship was barely hinted at in the first book, anyone who has read all four and didn't pick up on that really needs to pay more attention.

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The sex is in the books - not always in the background either unlike the scene with Renly and Loras. However the scene pulls together a lot of 'little bits' - and think what it is telling us: Renly is something of a wimp but Loras is a schemer who will do anything to influence him; and he is a man who has an eye - and a rose - for the ladies. Oh and his family is nearly as wealthy as the Lannisters (and a major family). So I believe the (suggested) sex in this scene is telling. The scene with Therion Greyjoy. Coupled with the scene with Bran it provided information about the Greyjoys - another major family. It also develops Therion's character as it did last week. Could the information have been imparted differently? Was it needed at all? (At some point yes). Therion is alone at Winterfell with no family so arguaby the location was pretty natural scene. OK there was some nudity but it wasn't overdone - and once you have decided on the location .... George RR Martin says he is happy with the scenes and that they could have happened; I think that says a lot.

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I'm actually reading the book as I watch the show. It seems like each week when I start watching, I've read about halfway into the show. The last half of the episode is always unknown to me, which is good I guess. So far I've been totally impressed with how they have only deviated from the book when necessary. As another commenter said, it is okay to me for them to add scenes like the one with Cersi and Robert for sake of getting the point across. What does bother me though is when they add scenes that don't need to be added to get the point across just b/c they can. For instance the scene with Greyjoy and the whore, it didn't need to have the hardcore sex like they did. And they could have gotten the relationship with Loras and Renly across without having the BJ at the end of the scene with noises and all. I know sex sales but sometimes I think it is a bit too much.

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As far as the deviations are concerned, how does one write into a TV series things that are merely "hinted at"? I think it needs to be more blatant and in your face so the audience can understand it. There's no mistaking Loras and Renly now since they created a well done scene about it. Another point about Cersei's private musings... Like with any book converted into TV, you aren't privy to what people think, it has to be shown. The conversation between Cersei and King Robert supported the whole sense and revealed that all I think in a rather well done fashion. At this point, it's completely possible, they haven't wanted to reveal how much of a monster Cersei actually is with the abortion of the baby. I do, however, agree with the pointing out of Tyrion being elevated in the show while he's far more demeaned in the books. I think they’re trying not to villainize him. We're watching an abridged book made for TV. I expect things to be moved and introduced a little differently. As long as they stick to the core concepts and the characters are presented and live and die as they're supposed to, I'm oh board! I mean, my god, did you see Lysa's kid? How brilliantly done! How'd that make you feel?
Overall, I believe this is very, very well done. The deviations thus far are acceptable and understandable. As long as they stay away from what happened with True Blood where there was a total separation after the first book and pretty much a made up plot line. If they stick with the books much like they are, this is going to be amazing! And with George R.R. Martin overseeing the production of the series themselves, I'm sure it will not be too far off. Well done!

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There have been a few small deviations from the book until last nights episode. Last night's episode deviated in a HUGE way. That scene with Ser Loras and Lord Renly never took place, their love affair was only hinted at, never openly revealed. Neither had the conversation with Cersei and King Robert, it was private musings of Cersei, and Cersei aborted King Roberts child because she wanted to keep her Lannister line pure! Tyrion has always been misjudged, the books have never put him in a light with his sister or father. But all in all, I waited and waited to see the show, it is exceptional and would have been great if I hadn't read the books and knew of the deviations. The show is fantastic.

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Renly and Loras are lovers in the books as well, though it's never stated in the open and only revealed much later.
As for Sansa's engagement, I shall only say that ending the engagement would not necessarily make things better for her...

Game of Thrones Season 1 Episode 5 Quotes

King Robert: You heard The Hand. Go find the breast plate stretcher. Now!
Ned: The breast plate stretcher?
King Robert: How long before he figures it out.
Ned: Maybe you should have one invented.

Ned: You're too fat for your armor.
King Robert: Fat? Fat is it? Is that how you speak to your King?