This Pain In My Head Is Killing Me
A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
The truth is more often than not a curious thing. Sometimes it’s right there, in front of our face, refusing to go away until we acknowledge it. Sometimes it lies far back in the recess of our minds, coming to the forefront in a terrible moment of acknowledgement. Sometimes we don’t know the truth at all until it slowly creeps up on us, leaving behind little clues for us to piece together. Sometimes we just don’t know the truth at all and wither away. For the characters of this world, the truth is more often than not completely debilitating, providing very little relief and instead throwing everybody out for a spin. And the consequences are oh, so severe.
The dreams of the three-eyed veterans come back to Bran before he goes into the forest with Robb and Theon were very well done. As they ride into the forest with Robb and Theon to test Tyrion’s saddle, they’re attacked by a band of wildlings and Theon saves the day with his final shot on a wildling that had Bran in his grips. Robb chastises him, noting that the Stark family wasn’t his to save. Frankly Robb doesn’t have to be this much of an ass (his gruffness is understandable considering Bran was in danger), reminding Theon constantly of his roots. That won’t come back to bite him in the back or anything. But we do get the very first appearance of Harry Potter’s Natalia Tena as the wildling Osha and she’s amazing in the role.
Tyrion, tricking Lysa with a confession, says that he is not guilty and demands a trial by combat. The mercenary Bronn fights the Vale champion Ser Vardis Egan and it’s a thrillingly choreographed fight, made only that much more dangerous considering the moon door that you can just fall out of to your death. Bronn isn’t afraid to fight dirty and send a bloody Ser Vardis out of the moon door. “You don’t fight with honor,” Lysa quips angrily. “Aye, he did,” Bronn replies coolly, pointing out of the moon door. And they waltz off.
Ned wakes up to Robert and Cersei, the latter accusing him of attacking Jamie. Robert slaps Cersei for questioning his manhood, warning Ned to get the pieces together. He essentially quips “I need you as Hand or Jamie gets the position. No wars between Starks and Lannisters required, please” before he walks out on a hunt and installs Ned as regent. Ned’s first task as regent is an unfortunately tricky one. In response to Tyrion’s arrest, Lord Tywin’s lackey the Mountain attacks villages in the Riverlands. Ned could take into consideration that the Crown is in debt to Tywin, but he summons him to the capital anyway. And on top of that Ned orders Ser Beric Dondarrion to arrest the Mountain while striping him of his lands and titles. Understanding at least a bit of the gravitas in consideration of what he did, he has Sansa and Arya packed to Winterfell. Both are aghast, Arya about her fencing lessons with Syrio and Sansa about the golden hair children that she would have with Joffrey. A lightbulb goes up above Ned’s head and then he runs back to re-read the incredibly detailed book of the lineage history of Westerosi nobility. Ramin Djawadi’s haunting score swells quietly in the background as Ned concludes that Joffrey is not the real heir to the Iron Throne.
The Golden Crown that truly gives the episode its title comes from Vaes Dothrak. She begins the Khaleen ritual where she eats the raw heart of a stallion and keeps it down, a sign that she will have a son. She proclaims her unborn son as the future Khal Rhaego as Drogo beams with pride. Viserys grows angry and attempts to steal the dragon eggs before Jorah stops him. Hell blows over at the feast where a drunken Viserys threatens Daenerys directly at her stomach. Harry Lloyd is fantastic in his frenetic, paranoid desperation. The music cues an ominous aura amidst the flickering flames in the darkness. “A crown fit for a king,” Drogo croons as he pours a crown of melted gold onto Viserys’s head. His terrified screams echo throughout the chamber, his body falling to the ground with a metallic thud. Daenerys refuses to look away during the entire sequence and Emilia Clarke absolutely nails that steadfast resilience. “He was no dragon,” she said coldly, “Fire cannot kill a dragon.” Damn.
Great Moments Not Mentioned Above:
+Joffrey trying to be kind to Sansa and Septa Mordane’s expression at that.
+The bloody fish presented to Ned from the Lannister patriarch by the Riverlands villager -talk about extensive foreshadowing.
+The Golden Crown referring also to Joffrey’s blond hair.
+Daenerys’s hands not burning when she touches the dragon eggs while Irri’s hands do burn.
Title: A Golden Crown
Written By: David Benioff and D. B. Weiss
Teleplay By: Jane Espenson, David Benioff, and D. B. Weiss
Director: Daniel Minahan
Image Courtesy: Game of Thrones Wiki, David J. Batista @ Blogspot, Televisionista @ WordPress, Vítor Andriotti @ YouTube, 804 Bullies @ YouTube, GOT-Tyrion @ Tumblr, One Pen and Paper