Nerd School: Game of Thrones S1E5 “The Wolf and the Lion”

by Joe on May 15, 2011

Game of Thrones S1E5 “The Wolf and The Lion” ~ Joe’s Rating “A-”

We have finally reached the midpoint of the season, and they kicked it up a notch by giving us some action and some really crazy characters.

This episode is about who wants what. After two weeks of slow moving episodes this one kicks into high gear as just about every character announces their intentions of trying to seize power. It’s obvious Littlefinger has a game going on the side that we can’t quite figure out. Varys is playing two sides against each other. Robert is just barely holding onto what he has as even his little brother is plotting against him. Even Theon sees the stirrings of rebellion once again as he is constantly ridiculed for being a hostage.

Another theme this episode is how you can’t ignore or hide from “the game”. Ned and Lyssa are two perfect examples. Both want nothing to do with it, yet they are embroiled in it. NO matter what happens they keep getting pulled in. Ned had his opportunity to leave yet he was convinced by Littlefinger to stay. Lyssa wanted Catelyn to stay away from the Lannisters, yet she brought one to the Eryie.

What’s going on in Westeros?

The Eryie: Though the majority of this weeks episode takes place in King’s Landing,  Catelyn’s journey to visit her sister in the Eryie was a welcome sojourn to a truly memorable part of our story. Here Catelyn and the group which arrested Tyrion are first assaulted by the Hill Tribes. With Tyrion’s help (and a couple shield bashes to the skull) the group finally makes it up to see Lyssa Arryn, Catelyn’s batshit crazy sister and recent widow of Jon Arryn. Yes, that is her 6 year old son Robert breast feeding.

Winterfell: Theon’s getting it on!

Kings Landing: The episode opens with Eddard coming closer to the truth about the mystery of Jon Arryn’s death with the help of Ser Barristan. However before he can move forward, he has to convince Robert that he’s too fat to joust. (OK he says no one would hit him because he’s the king, details). Things finally kick into high gear as The Hand’s tournament comes to a close when Gregor Clegane (The Mountain!) jousts against Ser Loris Tyrell. Loris of course unmounts the Mountain, and the Mountain nearly loses his shit, and it’s up to The Hound to stop him. Most of this episode is around the machinations of the court. Especially with Varys and Littlefinger placing Ned in increasingly dangerous situations. It seems that Varys is trying to get Ned killed and install the Targaryens back onto the throne. However before this can happen Robert wants Daenerys killed. Ned wants nothing to do with it because he’s honorable, and he quits. This is just in time for Jaime to show up and you have a super cool sword fight ending with Ned getting stabbed in the leg from behind.

The Good:

-I love it when Robert picks on Lancel. That kid is weird looking.

-“I am no ser.”

-Giant Dragon skulls!!!

-Ok, the guy they got for Bronn (one of the mecenaries for Catelyn) is pretty bad ass

-“Mommy I want to see the bad man fly!”

-Goddamn is Lyssa frighteningly weird.

-Great sword fights this week. Hound/Mountain, Eddard/Jaime this is what we needed to get us away from the last boring two weeks.

-That’s a hell of a dungeon.

The Bad:

-Renly is now in a plot against his brother?

-More doggystyle? I think they only do this so the characters can be in converstaion when they are having sex.

-What, no Hodor?

-No Targaryens this week either. I wonder how this show will get when we start seeing 6 or even 7 storylines going at the same time.

-We get it, the Dothraki don’t cross the sea. You don’t have to tell us this 9000 times.

The Weird:

-Not sure how I feel about Renly being in a relationship with Ser Loras.

-This show has a way of telling us the same point over and over and over again. I don’t know if they do this because they think we’re dumb, or to just reinforce it, but if you tell us something once we get it. (i.e. Dothraki don’t cross the sea, Ned doesn’t want to be the hand, Theon is a prisoner)

Next week: Double episode if you have HBO to go

Continuing my theme of posting different versions of the theme.

read Joe’s other articles  An Alternate History of the Doctor, Inn at the Crossroads interview, A Love Letter to Natalie Portman, Failed Star Trek Spinoffs, Thor Primer, Doctor Who Season 6 primer, A Game of Thrones Primer, More

Check Joe’s reviews Game of Thrones S1E2, S1E1, S1E3, S1E4 Doctor Who S6E1, S6E2 S6E3 S6E4

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Bill May 15, 2011 at 11:58 pm

It’s finally picking up. Yea the Ser Loras/Renly relationship is kind of out of nowhere. I think they are using the plotting to make more sense of what Renly eventually does, and Season 2.

The book explains why the Dothraki do it doggystyle, so I guess it would make sense that Theon would be with a whore that way.

I don’t remember the book mentioning how hung Theon is. I was wondering when HBO would get the requisite penis into the show.


Joe May 16, 2011 at 4:20 pm

It’s really not out of anywhere, because in the book they do allude to renly being in a relationship with loris, except its not blatently stated (“…and then Loras went down on Renly and made slurping sounds”) I do think it has much more to do with it being HBO and all shows on that network needing more penis


Bill May 16, 2011 at 6:48 pm

Haha i forgot about the slurping sounds


Kevin May 16, 2011 at 7:32 am

I love how this show uses really obvious but interesting devices to show us who’s essentially bad so we don’t get confused. Eating dogs? Bad. Brother/sister incest? Bad. Breastfeeding your 8-year-old? Definitely weird, if not bad. I know, that’s not something unique to this show, but for some reason I’m noticing it way more. It’s helpful for someone who hasn’t read the books though.


Joe May 16, 2011 at 4:21 pm

yeah, that’s why I said the writers are really hitting us over the head with certain things in the show. I like how you mentioned food though, because The girls I interviewed for Inn at the Crossroads mentioned that bad things always happen whenever there is bad food.


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