Game Of Thrones Review: “Second Sons” (Season 3, Episode 8)



The second name Stannis whispers as the leeches fry is Balon Greyjoy’s, which makes… what kind of sense? Let me get this straight — he considers the man who rebelled almost a decade ago a “usurper”? I don’t get it, all the Greyjoys have done as of late is attack and burn Winterfell. You know Winterfell, it belongs to the Starks, whom Stannis seems to feel threatened by. I must admit I was also confused by Balon’s actions last season, when he suddenly decides to invade the North, but does he conspire against the throne? It’s just mere speculation on Stannis’ part, and hardly enough evidence to wish for him to die.

Now, why would he name Robb or Balong instead of, say, DAENERYS TARGARYEN? You know Dany, she’s assembled an army of ten thousand badass eunuchs and sellswords, a knight, a former member of the Kingsguard and three dragons. Please don’t tell me he’s just unaware of what’s going on in Essos, because kings have spies everywhere. If he knows about Balon’s fleet attacking small villages in the North, then he should have been briefed about Daenerys’ conquest of Astapor. And who’s to say other people aren’t as worthy of his hatred? Some of you might think that he’s just trying to to get rid of the competition. If so, is he forgetting that all of these people have heirs or siblings who would succeed them and command their respective armies? Is he neglecting Tywin’s power over Joffrey? What about Yara Greyjoy? You see, Stannis could sit on the Iron Throne if he had a competent royal council.

Second Sons ends with a scene featuring Samwell and Gilly, whom we haven’t seen in a little while. That’s fine, though, I didn’t really miss them all that much. However, John Bradley’s performance was genuine and heartwarming. You can feel his pain as he briefly talks about his father, and Gilly almost immediately notices he had a rough childhood, as well. Their conversation is abruptly interrupted by the sighting of a white walker — the same one we’d seen take Craster’s son last season. I thought it was the end for Sam when the ice zombie shattered his sword with his bare hand, but in a moment of desperation, the Tarly kid stabs him with the dragonglass dagger he’d found at the Fist of the First Men, which kills the white walker. Sam and Gilly run away hastily as crows chase them. I’d been building respect for Sam, but it dropped as soon as I noticed he’d left the dagger behind. I guess it was expected of him to screw something up.

All in all, a fine episode that gave me much to talk about. Last week, there was nothing going on — just a few meaningless dialogues, but a decent climax saved the episode from being a total failure. Second Sons, however, succeeds in giving Game of Thrones fans a reason to tune in next week for The Rains of Castamere.

What did you think of last night’s episode? Let us know in the comments below.