Game of Thrones S2E9: “Blackwater”- Joe’s Rating~”A”
Blackwater, it conjures images of the inky darkness of the primeval depths. It’s suffocating and swallowing. It represents death. The second season has been building to this moment. This is supposed to be the moment Joffrey gets what’s coming to him. And we open on the armada of Stannis’ ships, which are to deliver that justice, slinking towards King’s Landing. Each of their bellies packed full of troops liked tins of sardines. Davos of course understands siege mentality, combat is not some glorious conquest, even with Stannis’ superior numbers, the walls of King’s Landing have never been breached.
Meanwhile inside the city, the Lannisters are preparing for the oncoming storm. Tyrion seeks solace in Shae (quite literally), and Cersei gets unwanted council. The men however sing “The Rains of Castermere” and drink in their final hours.
A tense moment erupts when Sandor Clegane calls out Bronn, but before they can settle “who is harder” the bells begin to toll meaning Stannis has arrived. Stannis answers the bells with his drums.
Joffrey demands Sansa kiss his new sword (after his last one was thrown in the river by Arya) Afterwards Sansa aptly comments that the awful ones never die in combat. However Joffrey does bring up an interesting point, one that Davos also points out, there are no ships to meet Stannis’ fleet.
The first combat of the battle is a single ship with no one on board, yet when Tyrion gives the signal a single flaming arrow shot by Bronn lights the wildfire on board decimating Stannis’ fleet. The armored men sink to the bottom. Yet Stannis still gives the order to land. One of his men state that hundreds will die, Stannis counters that it will be “thousands”.
Inside the keep Cersei gets drunker and drunker, and she spouts off a bit too much of the truth of the situation. She almost gets to who Shae really is.
Stannis’ landing party pushes onshore in rowboats, and Tyrion welcomes he, with flaming arrows. Anyone who manages to make it past the arrows has The Hound to deal with. Tyrion was right, Stannis was aiming for The Mudgate. Even Lancel gets in on the fighting, but he takes an arrow to the shoulder. The fire though is a bit much for Sandor. Stannis even makes it to the battlements. The tide is turning for the king as even the hound leaves the field. Tyrion takes the leads, and after a pretty rousing Henry IV/Aragorn/Ash speech decides to Take the remaining troops through the tunnels under the city and “fuck them (The invaders) in the ass”
Sansa makes it back to her room in order to hide from Ser Ilyn’s death sentence, and there she finds The Hound who offers to take her from the city.
In the end, the kingsguard betrays Tyrion, and manages to slice him across his face. Luckily his squire Podrick saves him with a quick blow to the back of the kingsguards head. A quick counter charge by the Tyrells and Tywin save the day and the battle of the Blackwater ends with the Lannisters triumphant.
- This was such an amazingly tight episode, not a moment wasted on screen.
- every character in the show tonight had their moment.
- I especially loved the great psychological moment with the Hound looking at the fire and just quitting.
- The counter charge was amazing, and then to have Loras come in as the savior!
- I loved that Joffrey was terrified of the situation, and so was Cersei who was only moments away from killing Tommen.
- Ser Ilyn was terrfying as well.
- Fuck the kingsguard, fuck the city, fuck the king.
- Not a single thing
- Rock to the Face!
Previously on Game of Thrones
Read Joe’s other articles:
Game of Thrones: Casting Roundup 1 and 2, Game of Thrones Primer II, Game of Thrones Primer I, Inn at the Crossroads Interview, Season 1 recap, The Greyjoy Rebellion, Robert’s Rebellion Pt.1, Robert’s Rebellion Pt.2