Game of Thrones
Recap - Episode 4: "Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things"

Susan Arendt | 9 May 2011 19:25
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Fans of George R. R. Martin's book series probably have no trouble following along with the lavish Game of Thrones series, but those new to the material might have had a hard time telling Westeros from Winterfell. If you're a longtime fan, you'll definitely want to check out The Escapist's commentary on the series, but if you're a confused newbie, fear not! We'll be here with your weekly recap to help you keep it all straight. Or at least as straight as we can keep anything involving the Lannisters, anyway. We'll be doing these recaps each week. Let's go!

Last week, Ned and his daughters started to realize that they weren't entirely welcome at King's Landing, and Catelyn started investigating Bran's "fall." The tension increases this week.

The episode opens with Bran following a raven through the courtyard at Winterfell, which is moderately odd, given that he's crippled from the waist down. Ah, but a closer inspection of the raven reveals the bird's sporting a third eye in the middle of its head, and that Bran is dreaming. After he wakes up, HODOR, the gentle giant that is the Blaster to Bran's Master, scoops him up and brings him down to greet the visitor talking with Robb - it's only polite, after all. The visitor is in fact Tyrion Lannister, who's trading barbs with Robb in the main hall. Tyrion asks if Bran remembers anything from before his accident and Maester Luwin swiftly assures him that nope, Bran's a blank slate as far as that's concerned. Tyrion reveals that he's brought Bran a gift: the design for a special saddle that will let Bran ride, despite not being able to use his legs. Robb is highly suspicious, but Tyrion says he has a soft spot for "cripples, bastards and broken things." Realizing he may have just been kind of a dick, Robb offers Tyrion the hospitality of Winterfell. Tyrion, however, says he'd rather stay at the local whorehouse.

On his way out, Tyrion runs into THEON GREYJOY, who recommends a whore named Roz if Tyrion is in the mood for a redhead. (Who isn't, though, really?) Tyrion asks Greyjoy where Catelyn Stark is, interpreting boy's excuses to mean that Cat is not, in fact, at Winterfell, despite what everyone claims. Greyjoy's dad led a rebellion but apparently lost in a very big way - Theon's brothers are dead and Theon himself is "his enemy's squire", as Tyrion puts it. You wouldn't think it would be possible for someone so short to look down on someone, but, man, is Tyrion good at it.

Up at The Wall, ALLISER THORNE brings in a new recruit, the rotund SAMWELL TARLEY, and tells him to spar with the other recruits. Sam is quickly revealed to be a lousy soldier, dropping to the ground and yielding after a single hit. Thorne tells one of the other boys to keep hitting Sam until he gets up, but Jon Snow gets sick of seeing the poor boy cowering in the dirt and steps in. As punishment for having a kind heart, Thorne sets two of his fellows on him, but Jon handles them easily. Sam thanks Jon for sticking up for him and reveals that he didn't get up because he's a stone cold coward. Thanks, Sam, but we'd pretty much figured that one out for ourselves.

Meanwhile, out where it's not quite so god-awful cold, the Dothraki horde has arrived at Vaes Dothrak, City of the Horse Lords. Viserys is less than impressed by primitive architecture and calls the horsemen "savages". Daenerys warns him not to speak of her people that way, clearly really getting into her role as Khaleesi. Daenerys asks Ser Jorah if Viserys could actually get his throne back if he had an army of Dothraki at his command. Jorah says "Oh, HELL no" about as diplomatically as he can, but Daenerys gets the picture, just the same.

Now, we haven't really seen all that much of the Dothraki storyline, which is what makes this next scene so very odd. Doreah, the ex-whore who Viserys bought to teach his sister how to screw like a champ, is sharing a tub with Viserys, chatting about how much she'd like to see a dragon. Not a euphemism - she means the actual big flying lizards. The scene stretches on for ages, but essentially reveals two things: The throne room at King's Landing used to be lined with dragon skulls, and Viserys is a real jerk. One of these facts is news to us. I can't really understand why so much time was devoted to this scene, when so much of Daenerys' relationship with Drogo was mercilessly cut. It's an odd and disappointing choice.

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