“Power is power.”
– Cersei Lannister
After all the upheavals of last season we are introduced to a Westeros at war in the season 2 premiere, The North Remembers. Joffrey Baratheon (or is it Lannister?) still sits the Iron Throne, but his Uncles are already working to depose him and Robb Stark continues his successful campaign in the Riverlands. We are introduced to the middle Baratheon brother, Stannis, who makes quite a first impression as he bounds to the top of leaderboard. He is followed by the mysterious Lady Melisandre, a red priestess from the far east and his loyal bannerman Davos Seaworth.
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King Joffrey celebrates his Name Day by holding a tournament. He is infuriated by the display of the drunken Ser Dontos, but Sansa is able to stop him from killing the knight, instead Dontos is stripped of his knighthood and given the new position of court fool. They are interrupted by the appearance of Joffrey’s Uncle Tyrion. He wastes no time taking his position on the small council as acting Hand of the King. Cersei is enraged by his presence, but Tyrion is quick to point out the many mistakes that have been made since Robert’s death, not the least of which is Ned Stark’s execution, “That bit of theater will haunt our family for a generation.” Cersei concedes, knowing she does not have much of a choice.
Tyrion Lannister earns 3 Honors points for his position on the Small Council
To the north Bran Stark is plagued by strange dreams of himself as a wolf. He goes to the godswood with Osha (and Hodor’s assistance). They talk about the comet that has been seen in the sky and indeed is visible now even in daylight. Bran has heard men ay that it is a sign that Robb will win a great victory. Osha has a theory of her own, “The stars don’t fall for men. The red comet means one thing, boy. Dragons.”
Daenerys leads her people through the Red Waste following the glowing comet. The trek has been a difficult one, her people are tired and starving and there seems no end to the desert. When her silver falls, the first gift ever given her by Drogo, Daenerys begins to doubt herself. She sends her bloodriders in 3 direction to seek any sign of civilization.
The comet can even be seen north of the Wall. The Night’s Watch has headed out in force, but stop at Craster’s keep for respite. Craster is one of the few wildlings left, he tells Commander Mormont that the rest have joined with Mance Rayder, a former brother of the Night’s Watch now calling himself King Beyond the Wall. He warns Mormont not to let any of his men touch his wives. Eddison Tollett explains to the newer brothers that Craster marries his daughters, who give him more daughters. Sam is disgusted and Jon wonders aloud, “He marries his daughters. What does he do with his sons?” Mormont sees his help as invaluable though,and gives the man wine and weapons for giving them shelter.
Jeor Mormont earns 3 Alliance point for his arrangement with Craster
Craster earns 3 Alliance points for his arrangement with Mormont
Dragonstone the ancient seat of House Targaryen is occupied by Stannis Baratheon. Eldest brother to King Robert. He has made ally of Lady Melisandre, a red priestess from the east. She sets fire to effigies of The Seven in sacrifice to her god. Not only are these figures considered sacred by The Faith which dominates Westeros, but they were carved from the ships the Targaryens had used to cross the narrow sea. She declares Stannis to be the answer to an ancient prophecy and a warrior of the Lord of Light. The elderly Maester Cressen approaches Davos Seaworth to try and dissuade Stannis from his course. Stannis has declared himself King and seeks to inform all of Westeros of Cersei’s crimes, he refuses to make an alliance with his younger brother, Renly, despite the fact that many of the Lords from the Stormlands and the Reach have rallied to his cause. Davos refuses, though he does not disagree, he sees Stannis has made up his mind and Davos will be loyal to him.
Stannis sends letters throughout the Seven Kingdoms declaring Joffrey’s bastardy and his right to the Iron Throne. The maester sees Melisandre as the true problem and seeks to poison her. He offers her a cup of poisoned wine, but she insists they share it. Cressen relents ready to sacrifice himself to kill her, but then watches in horror as she drains the cup with no effect and he falls dying to the floor.
Stannis Baratheon receives 3 Crowned points for declaring himself King and 6 Alliance points for the loyalty of Melisandre and Davos.
Melisandre earns 3 Alliance points for her allegiance to Stannis and 1 Magic point for surviving the attempt on her life.
Davos Seaworth earns 3 Alliance points for his allegiance to Stannis.
In the Riverlands Stannis’ letter reaches the Stark camp. Robb has been named King in the North and is settling into his title. Having won every battle thus far his confidence is growing as is the respect his men have for him. He confronts Jaime about Joffrey’s parentage, but Jaime admits nothing.
Back in King’s Landing Tyrion spends some time with Shae. He warns her repeatedly that the capital is a dangerous place and no one must know she’s here. Meanwhile Cersei looks to correct past mistakes, chiefly letting Arya Stark escape. She seeks out Littlefinger and asks for his assistance in locating the girl. But Baelish presumes too much when he not so subtly hints at her incest with Jaime she is quick to flex her power.
Cersei Lannister receives 3 Alliance points for securing Littlefinger’s help
Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish earns 3 Alliance points for his forced allegiance to Cersei
Robb sends terms to the Lannisters using their captive distant cousin, Alton Lannister. He demands the release of his sisters, the return of his father’s sword and bones, and that they renounce their claim to the North. Terms to which Cersei will surely never agree to. Theon takes Robb aside asking to sail to his father on the Iron Islands to seek his allegiance on Robb’s behalf. Catelyn is incredulous at the idea telling Robb that Balon Greyjoy is not a trustworthy ally. She wants to ride for Winterfell having not seen Bran or Rickon in months, but Robb refuses. He needs her to ride south to make terms with Renly Baratheon. Initially she resists, but relents knowing he has no better option.
Joffrey is also settling into his new title making vast changes to the throne room. Cersei speaks to him about trying to locate Arya Stark. She hopes they may be able to exchange both the Stark girls for Jaime, but they will never agree for Sansa alone. Joffrey shows little interest in the discussion disparaging Jaime for getting captured and Tywin for his failures on the field. He then surprises Cersei mentioning he heard a rumor “about Uncle Jaime. And you.” She assures him its only gossip, but when he pressures her on the existence of Robert’s bastard children she’s finally had enough and slaps him. The King fills with silent rage and warns her that she could be executed for that and she will not do it again.
We then cut to Littlefinger’s brothel where Ros has been promoted, training new hires. She is unsurprised by the arrival of Janos Slynt, but stops when he see his men are with him. Ros watches helplessly as Janos Slynt reaches for Robert’s youngest child, the infant girl Barra, and brutally stabs her. The City Watch spreads across the city butchering all of Robert’s children. There is one bastard that slips through their fingers. Gendry, the former armorer’s apprentice, starts his journey North with Yoren, Arya, and the other Night’s Watch recruits.
Ros earns 3 Honors points for her new position in Littlefinger’s brothel.
Janos Slynt earns 1 Morghulis point for the murder of baby Barra.
Gendry earns 1 Survival point for his unwitting escape.