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Game of Thrones 2.04 Review- "Garden of Bones"

A tv review article by: Dylan Garsee, Nick Hanover

In this week's Game of Thrones, Dylan and Nick were forced to ask the eternal question "How is shadow babby formed?"Of course, Melisandre hid that answer from us all, but Dylan feels it will be answered soon. In other news, Robb is kicking Lannister ass but he's got some reservations after meeting the nurse of his dreams. Joffrey is still a little shit, but now he's getting all Patrick Bateman in the bedroom. Tyrion remains the biggest badass in the realm, making serious strides in the battle with his sister and in cleaning out King's Landing. Daeny made a not-so-triumphant return, as she sauntered into the creepy ass tourist destination that is Qarth, or as it's better known and referenced in the title, "The Garden of Bones."


Paul Brian McCoy's Brew Wine of Choice for the Evening:

This week we change pace a little and choose a delicious red wine as the drink of the week in honor of the Red Woman, Melisandre, and her disturbing way of ending a show. Apothic Red is a blend of spicy Zinfandel, the dark fruit flavors of Syrah, and the smooth luxury of Merlot. This is a wine that takes these sprawling disparate storylines and brings them together in a velvety narrative that combines fruity aromas with hints of chocolate, brown spice, and vanilla. To really set these flavors loose, let the Red breathe before drinking. Then sit back, fill a chalice, and be warned: The night is dark and full of terrors; Apothic Red will help you shore up and defend yourself.


Game of Thrones 2.04- "The Garden of Bones"

 

Dylan Garsee: How's you vagina shadow demon treating you today?

 

Nick Hanover:  It's a little sore, thanks.

 

Nick: So the other day I was talking to my parents about Game of Thrones and my dad was like "This season is good and all but it seems like it's moving pretty slowly." BOOM. There you go, dad.

 

Dylan: "Yes, dad, this episode will be great. Just keep an eye out for any loose vaginas, that's where the kicker is this week."

 

Nick: Ha. Kicker. Ha.

 

Nick: But before we go talking about shadow babby... 

 

 

Nick: ...let's start at the beginning. This episode kicked off with the Lannisters once again getting a humiliating defeat courtesy of Robb, whose army snuck up on the GoT equivalent of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's Shaun and Ed, two idiot soldiers too busy farting at one another to actually keep an eye out for direwolves and shit. Cue Robb's army killing 5 Lannisters for every Stark man. But this leads to an emotionally unrewarding victory for Robb, who runs into a saintly field nurse who's all too happy to tell Robb how she feels about his little war and the effect it's having on the common folk.

 

 

Dylan: It's interesting to see Robb Stark show up more in the TV series, because most of the things that happen with him are mentioned and not shown. I would have liked to have seen the battle just to see his war strategy, but a little mystery never hurt. That four seconds of blackness with just the sounds of the fight didn't do to much for me, though; I just thought my TV was broken.

 

Nick: It's clearly for budgetary reasons and if that's what they have to do to give me my Game of Thrones fix on a weekly basis, so be it. I assume that it will also allow them to go all out with one big battle towards the end of the season and honestly that sounds fair. But Robb's plotline this episode mostly existed to let us know he's still kicking ass and to offer up a potential moral dilemma, as his personal Florence Nightengale makes him rethink whether his fight is truly for the good of all or if he's only making things worse. Hopefully that's going to push him to forge more alliances with people like Renly or even, as I'll continue to suggest, Daeny.

 

 

Dylan: It's going to be interesting to see those future alliances, because they're all going for different goals, yet they all have the same target. Eventually, they're going to have to be pit against each other, and if Robb works fast enough, he may be able to defeat Daeny before her dragons are ready

 

Nick: I want some serious fire and ice shit, okay? Don't go preemptively shooting down my Daeny/Robb alliance.

 

Dylan:  This is A Song of Ice and Fire, dontchaknow?

 

Nick: EXACTLY. But seriously, we're already seeing how tentative alliances are being felt out. Cat spent the episode in the Renly camp, trying to make headway with him but still not managing to resist playing up her mother role, verbally calling out Renly and Stannis for being squabbling little shits. And at the same time, that sleazy motherfucker Littlefinger went from making excuses to Cat for Ned's death to hitting on her to dropping off the most morbid gift ever in less time than it takes a frat boy to roofy a Malibu and coke.

 

Dylan:  Did you order that burrito with extra sass?

 

Dylan:  I like the Stannis/Renly squabble because it humanizes these characters, which is what drew me to the series initially. If they didn't have brotherly fights, then GoT would be far more melodramatic than it already is. Besides, anytime I get to see Renly be snarky makes me giggle like a little schoolgirl. A schoolgirl that Renly will never be attracted to.

 

A schoolgirl to which Renly will never be attracted.

 

Whatever.

 

 

Nick: Oh, don't get me wrong, I love it. I'm just pointing out that sooner or later, at least some of the players will have to realize they need to set aside their interpersonal drama and hopeless ambitions in favor of unification, or we'll all be doomed to decades of Joffrey.

 

Dylan:  Speaking of Joffery doom, what did you think about the Marquis de Sade act that he inflicted on both Sansa and the stripper-gram that Tyrion sent him?

 

Nick: Well, I now know what Patrick Bateman would be like if he was a medieval incest king instead of an '80s me-centric yuppie.

 

But it's clear that the intent with that storyline is to show us how easily the toppling of a lunatic king can lead to the relative resurrection of that kind of dystopic rule. Robert was by no means ideal, but it's fascinating to watch how his rule has managed to be so quickly overwritten and his complacency and ineptitude has led to his entire rebellion being for naught.

 

Dylan: It's also interesting from a technical standpoint, because the scene with the two prostitutes isn't in the books, but the scene with Sansa in the court with the crossbow is much more graphic and long. So were the whores brought in as proxy to show the magnitude of Joffery's insanity, or because HBO has a boob quota?

 

Nick: Can't it be both? Honestly, though, I think the decision to insert that scene-- while problematic from the perspective of the tv Game of Thrones' continuing insertion of violence and abuse of women that wasn't in the books-- works in that it depicts how Joffrey's destabilization goes far beyond acting out in court. He's heading towards some Caligula/Nero level madness now and while the goings on of the court life are at least explainable as him testing the boundaries of his power, the bedroom nastiness points towards something more insidious and nasty. It's important to keep in mind that Cersei was almost entirely removed from this episode, outside of a key mention and some indirect threats, so we no longer even have the Joffrey versus his mother angle to use as an excuse for his behavior.

 

Dylan:  Do you think the small council has informed Joff that basically all of Westeros is out to kill him, or would he just explode from blind fury at that point?

 

Nick: Joffrey is in the position of being young and viewing himself as invincible, and also being in a position of immense power and danger. So the short answer is: Joffrey don't give a shit.

 

 

Dylan:  I was trying to remember if there was a scene involving Joffery and poop so I could make an amazing pun. But alas, HBO has failed me once again.

 

Nick: :-O

 

I think the more important thing to point out here isn't the possibility of a poop joke-- though I applaud that-- but the fact that even one of Joffrey's staunchest allies, The Hound, appears to be done with his idiot antics.

 

Dylan:  Everyone is, but they're too afraid to do anything about it. Hopefully Renly, Stannis, Daeny, or Arya come and smack some sense into him.

 

Nick: Well, let's not forget Tyrion in that equation, because Tyrion was by far the biggest badass of all this evening. The scene where he interrupted Joffrey's attempted mass shaming of Sansa may very well be my all time favorite Tyrion moment in a long run of great Tyrion moments.

 

Dylan:  Also Bronn, with probably my favorite usage of the word 'cunt' since that Azealia Banks song.

 

 

Nick: Tyrion and Bronn is about as good of a duo as you can get, and they're seriously cleaning house over there at King's Landing. Outside of the verbal kung-fu he used on Joffrey and co, Tyrion also used his master detective skills to figure out that Lancel has been boning his sister AND in the process convinced Lancel to be his double agent of incest.

 

Dylan:  Tyrion knows too much to live, but is smart enough to survive.

 

That's why Jesus didn't make him tall.

 

Nick: If Tyrion were the size of the Hound, he could conquer the entire kingdom by himself.

 

Although it's entirely possible at this point that he could overthrow Joffrey singlehandedly before all those other assholes even make it anywhere near King's Landing. Or maybe Arya could help him, since even in a diminished capacity she was this episode's next big badass, what with her Princess Bride-style menacing chanting of who's wronged her.

 

Dylan:  I wonder where Varys was in this episode. With Littlefinger out being creepy in that place that isn't King's Landing and Pycelle hanging out with Jabba the Hut or whatever is in the black cells, this episode seemed mighty devoid of creeps.

 

Nick: Varys was in this episode. He was one of the Thirteen. You know, the one who thought he was in Dune.

 

 

Dylan:  Oh, you mean Kyle from Tenacious D?

 

Or Hank from Breaking Bad?

 

Or Michael Chiklis from The Shield?

 

Who else is bald, Sinead O'Conner?

 

Nick: Any time Varys isn't visible, I just assume he's up to no good, so I'm sure by next episode will see what kind of evil he's gotten up to. It was nice to get some movement on the Daeny plot, though, even if it seems pretty obvious that The Thirteen are some kind of H.P. Lovecraftian/Necronomicon force straight out of Cabin in the Woods. Or maybe they're from The Fall. It's hard to tell at this point.

 

Dylan:  I don't know, but I want to live in Qarth, the greatest city that every was or ever will be, the happiest place on Earth(TM).

 

Nick: I forgot you took that job with the Qarth tourism board. I really like the postcards you guys have: 

 

 

Nick: I seriously have no idea what's going to go down in that town, but it ain't good, I know that.

 

Dylan:  Qarth- "There Isn't a 'u'. So Why Do You Keep Saying It Like There is One?"

 

But at least we got to see Daeny after a two week absence.

 

Nick: I suspect it's some kind of living city that uses the Thirteen to lure in worthy prey. At the center is a Sarlacc, or something equally toothy.

 

Dylan:  Hilary Swank?

 

Nick: Speaking of toothy, how about that Game of Thrones adaptation of Teeth?

 

Dylan:  VAGINA PHANTASM! IT IS REAL!

 

 

Nick: Ladies, if black phantasms are emerging from your vagina, please see a doctor. Do not go to Yahoo Answers.

 

Dylan:  What if my doctor is Yahoo Answers?

 

Nick: Then you need better insurance.

 

Dylan:  Thanks, OBAMA.

 

Nick: Obamacare is turning our women into sluts who have sex with shadow men and give birth to demons and that's why I'm voting Ted Nugent in 2012.

 

Dylan:  I'm voting Qarth 2012.

 

Because every day sunny all the time in Qarth.

 

Nick: I thought for sure that Melisandre was carrying shadow babby triplets, though.

 

Dylan:  Who knows what else she has up there. She probably has my Game Boy Printer that I lost when I was 8.

 

Nick: Will the incest cycle of Game of Thrones culminate in Melisandre fucking her own shadow babby? Only time will tell.

 

Dylan:  You know what, I think I'll exclusively watch Girls if that happens.

 

(via Best Week Ever)

Nick: So, who wins in a fight between a shadow babby and a dragon, anyway?

 

Dylan:  Hodor.

 

Nick: There's no way I can possibly follow that up, or make sense of the shadow babby development anyway, so let's go ahead and rate this.

 

Dylan:  I really liked this episode, an improvement from last week's almost uneventful episode.  over here. How about you?

 

Nick: for me too. If only because of the surplus of shadow babby joke opportunities it provided.

 

Dylan:  Next week's episode will be a doozy, I can taste it.

 

Nick: That's just shadow babby placenta you're tasting, Dylan.

 

Dylan:  Ew.


 

Dylan Garsee is a freelance writer/bingo enthusiast currently living in Austin, TX. He is studying sociology, and when he's not winning trivia nights at pork-themed restaurants, writing a collection of essays on the gay perspective in geek culture. An avid record collector, Dylan can mostly be seen at Waterloo Records, holding that one God Speed You! Black Emperor record he can't afford and crying. You can follow him on twitter @garseed.


When he's not writing about the cape and spandex set and functioning as the Co-Managing Editor of Comics Bulletin, Nick Hanover is a book, film and music critic for Spectrum Culture and has contributed to No Tofu Magazine, Performer Magazine, Port City Lights and various other international publications. By which he means Canadian rags you have no reason to know anything about. He also translates for "Partytime" Lukash's Panel Panopticon.

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