"Power resides where men believe it resides. It's a trick, a shadow on the wall. And a very small man can cast a very large shadow." -- Varys, talking to Tyrion.
Westeros is a pretty cruel place to be a child.
The third episode in HBO's second season of
"'Carry him,' he says," the soldier callously mocked.
How noble. (Though, I'll admit, somewhat funny in a sadistic way.)
There was a lot to like and a few things to dislike about the episode, "What is dead may never die."
The Bad: For starters, there was no Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), who had one of the best storylines of last season; and no Stannis Baratheon (
The Good: We can all now officially hate Theon Greyjoy (Aflie Allen) and Maester Pycelle (
The writers did a nice job of developing Renly's (Gethin Anthony) camp this episode. We meet the badass Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) after she defeats flower-knight Loras Tyrell (Finn Jones) in a mock battle. "I'm no lady," Brienne says. And Renly's queen, Margaery Tyrell (
"There's no need for us to play games," she says. "Save your lies for court. You're going to need a lot of them."
Also at Renly's camp, Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) shows her strength and delivers some of the episode's best lines. For instance, after Loras chides her about Robb, she retorts: "My son is fighting a war, not playing at one."
But it's Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) who comes out of the episode in the best position. She saves three captives from burning to death (which could come back to help her in the future) and thinks up a smart, quick lie to save Gendry, Robert's bastard son, from death at Lannister hands. Arya is proving to be as clever as she is skilled with her swordplay.
It wasn't a great episode for fans of Dany or Stannis (or steadfast opponents of child slaughter). But if you're an Arya fan, you've got to be feeling pretty good about her future prospects, even with her now in Lannister hands. With Robb at war, Sansa betrothed to Joffrey and Bran paralyzed, the plight of this Stark child isn't looking so bad after all.