RECAP: 'Game of Thrones' Debuts New Locale
"The Night Lands," Sunday night's episode of HBO's Game of Thrones, was the drama-filled follow-up one would expect after last week's spectacular premiere.
Last week, we were introduced to Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane), brother to the late King Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy) and rightful heir to the Iron Throne. Stannis isn't alone in his desire for the throne, however, and this week we got to watch as characters across Westeros put their schemes into action in an increasingly epic struggle for power. Even the illegitimate Joffrey, currently sitting comfortably on the throne following the beheading of Stark family patriarch Ned Stark, tries (and fails) to rid the land of his father's bastard offspring.
The show's opening credits provider a teaser for a new location — Theon Greyjoy's towering seaside home of Pyke, which is depicted with some rather precious bridges. From there the show picks up where we left off last week, with Arya (Maisie Williams) posing as a boy and riding along with the Night Watch. When Arya strolls by a cart of caged criminals we are introduced to Jaqen H'ghar, who asks for water but is answered by Arya with the poke of a stick.
The group is interrupted by a troop of Gold Cloaks, who question Night Watch brother Yoren on the whereabouts of blacksmith Gendry. Although he doesn't know it, it turns out Gendry is one of King Robert's bastards. As we saw last week, all potential heirs to the Iron Throne are being murdered. Gendry and Arya are saved this time after Yoren sends the king's men on their way with a threat.
Meanwhile, Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) listens to Robb Stark's peace terms and responds by tearing up his proposal. "You've perfected the art of tearing up papers," quips Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage). We are also given some backstory: nine years ago, Lord Balon Greyjoy attempted to rebel against King Robert Baratheon and establish for Pyke and the Iron Islands. The rebellion was defeated and Balon was ordered to send his only surviving son, Theon, to the starks as a hostage/ward. Now Robb Stark has agreed to send Theon home to ask is father to join in the Stark's fight against the Lannisters.
When Theon arrives, he's disappointed at the lack of fanfare for his return and, after finding his way to his castle, finds his father isn't thrilled to see him either and rejects Robb's request for help. We are introduced to Theon's sister Yara, who Balon has chosen to lead his army. Tyrion questions Janos Slynt about murdering Robert's bastards and killing Ned Stark's men back in season one. "I'm not questioning your honor, I'm denying its existence," Tyrion responds to Slynt's outrage.
Watch a clip from next week's episode here:
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