Nothing in Sunday night’s tense episode of Game of Thrones went according to plan. Jon Snow becoming a ranger? King Robert assassinating Dany? Ned Stark kicking out the Lannisters? Nope, nada, forget it. If Thrones is a roller coaster, Episode 7 was the first (but not the last) hairpin turn, with the game board overturned and a new king taking the Iron Throne.
Let’s start by watching an animal getting butchered, shall we? If any of my fellow bachelors out there like to eat dinner while watching Thrones, this probably wasn’t the best episode for you, unless the sight of Tywin Lannister gutting and skinning an elk/stag/whatever (Shadowdeer?) is your idea of a juicy appetizer. Killing animals has been a recurring element in this show, one that’s been met with a lot of debate on the boards. It made the scene extremely graphic and doubtless caused many to turn away, but also added a whole other level of brutal intensity to the scene.
This is our first time meeting the Lannister patriarch. Isn’t he as stern and fearsome as you expected?
“You spend too much time worrying about what other people think of you,” Tywin lectures his son, Jaime.
“I could care less what other people think of me,” Jaime lies.
Tywin says the next few months will decide their family’s legacy. He wants Jaime to take charge of an army instead of being a “glorified bodyguard” for the king.
“I need you to become the man you were always meant to be,” Tywin says, and we see Jaime looking struck and humbled for the first time. You get the sense this might be one the most flattering things his father has ever said to him.
At King’s Landing, we cut to the equally carnivorous Cersei, whom Ned has summoned to the garden for a chat.
Ned has figured out the Big Secret and now we can all say it: Joffrey is not the true heir to the Iron Throne, he’s the incestuous bastard son of Cersei and Jaime. Whew, feels good to finally type that. Ned has also realized that the twins tried to murder Bran to keep their secret safe and he’s in no mood to bargain with her.
“Jaime and I are more than brother and sister,” Cersei explains. “We shared a womb. We belong together.”
Here’s what’s really strange about this … well, here’s what else is strange: Nearly every union on this show was arranged for power and profit — Dany and Drogo, Cersei and King Robert, Joffrey and Sansa. Even Ned and Catelyn originally wed to more for politics than anything else. Jaime and Cersei came together out of love. When Jaime pushed Bran out the window and said, “The things I do for love,” he actually meant it.
In other words: The most “romantic,” traditional fairy tale love story in Thrones — where a couple is driven by passion for each other and join together even though the cost can destroy them both — are the evil incest wonder twins. Messed up, huh?
So how did Cersei pull off deceiving Robert all these years?
NEXT: The most bizarre Thrones sex scene yet