TV Review: Game of Thrones 2.4, 'Garden of Bones'

Wow, that Joffery. What a charmer, eh?

rating: 5

(WARNING: Spoilers for this episode follow) Wow, that Joffery. What a charmer, eh? Tyrion goes to the effort of helping the kid get laid, and what does the boy do with his staff of office? Sheesh. What a little twerp. Yes, it€™s another €œlet€™s traumatize the audience€ episode of Game of Thrones. We being by unlocking Harrenhall and Qarth in the opening credits, and from there jump to a pair of soldiers talking about stuff before getting horribly killed by Robb Stark€™s (Richard Madden) dire wolf. Yes, it seems that the young lad has been quite busy lately, and has won a very sound victory against the Lannister forces. Not against the Lannisters themselves, as a nurse (Oona Chaplin, and yes, she€™s his granddaughter), points out. But, hey, a victory is a victory, right? Then we have King€™s Landing. Wow, that was a heck of a thing. First off, Joffery (Jack Gleeson, proving yet again that he€™s a hell of an actor€at least I hope he is), threatens to kill Sansa (Sophie Turner) as punishment for her brother€™s victories. Then decides instead to have one of his men strip and beat her. Just as he gets started with that, Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) shows up and puts a stop to the young boy€™s fun. He then intimates that Joffery had best watch out, because mad kings tend to come to a bad end. Then Tyrion comes to the conclusion that what Joffery, a boy of about thirteen or fourteen, really needs is to get laid. Well, I could have told him that. He then arranges for this to happen (with two women yet!), and Joffery€well, Joffery has one of them savagely beat the other one with the aforementioned staff. I have to say, Gleeson really is impressing me more and more this season. He€™s turning in a performance that is at least as good as that of the adults in the cast (though he may be an adult himself for all I know, as his age doesn€™t appear to be anywhere online). He does an excellent job of showing Joffery€™s sadism and cruelty, and making him an almost completely unlikable character. Then we have Renly€™s (Gethin Anthony) little camp, where he€™s been, as it were, camping it up with Loras (Finn Jones). Baelish (Aiden Gillen) shows up to fish for information and to court Lady Catelyn (Michelle Fairley). This seems like an unwise idea to me, and it doesn€™t get him anywhere, though he does at least return her husband€™s body to her and makes an offer to trade Jaime for Arya and Sansa; an offer which Catelyn declines. While there was plot in this segment, eh, it didn€™t really do much for me, other than to highlight Baelish€™s flexible morality and to show that the word is pretty much out with regards to Renly€™s association with Loras. Speaking of Renly, we also got to see a meeting between him and Stannis (Stephen Dillane). Stannis makes Renly an offer he should take, but doesn€™t, which is a mistake that Renly likely won€™t have long to regret, judging by the final scene in the episode. The other notable event this week was Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) showing up outside Qarth, €œthe greatest city that ever was or will ever be,€ according to the Qarth Chamber of Commerce. There she tries to bluff while not even holding any cards, and eventually gets into the city with the help of a member of the Thirteen, the city€™s ruling council. I was very pleased overall to see Dany and friends making some progress in their story. We€™ve really had precious little time with her this season, and it€™s nice to see her and hers getting to a place where some action can happen, since the deep dark desert really wasn€™t doing it for me. Overall I feel this was one of the stronger episodes of the season so far. Everyone€™s story, for the most part, moved forward at least a bit, and I strongly suspect (from what I recall of the books), that someone€™s story will come to an end next week. I€™d also like to take some time to note the incredible look to the area of Qarth, as well as the glimpse we had of the city itself. It promises an Arabian Nights feel for upcoming episodes. And for the last line, let me say that I really look forward to a certain wedding that takes place next season in King€™s Landing. You readers of the books know the one. Yeah.
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Chris Swanson is a freelance writer and blogger based in Phoenix, Arizona, where winter happens to other people. His blog is at wilybadger.wordpress.com