Joffrey is an Ass to His Mom

valar dohaerisGame of Thrones Ladies

In these recaps, I will (sometimes sarcastically) recount and analyze the lady characters of Game of Thrones. I will try not to spoil, but I will regularly allude to things that book veterans will know about, and occasionally a spoiler may pop up. You have been warned.

Cersei

“Facts become less and less important to her as she grows older.”

Cersei’s madness continues to progress in exciting new ways. Now she’s convinced that Tyrion will turn Tywin against her—seriously, how does Tywin not know that his twins have been fucking for decades?—and being a general drunk bitch to everyone. She and Margery are now in a competition for Joffery’s attention, for his power.

Margery and Cersei’s troubled relationship had an Oedipal flair in the books, and that same conflict is now becoming clear in the show. If you ask me or Sansa, Joffery’s attention is something to be avoided, but they both need his love to enhance their power. They’re walking a fine line, these ladies, between getting Joffery to give them power and giving Joffery power over them. Cersei is absolute shit at walking that tightrope, but Margery may yet be better.

Margery

Hugging orphans, walking in shit, eating with the Lannister clan—an average day in the life of Margery Tyrell. Still, the amount of agency she’s been able to wrest from her situation is quite asounding. She does what she wants to do and does not ask male permission. She made a friend in a nun, and insisted that the orphanage could rely on her personally for its support. She single-handedly began to shift the balance of power back to King Joffery. I like her style—I only wish she’d gone for Robb instead of Joffery if she had to have a king.

Sansa

“The truth is always either terrible or boring.”

Poor Sansa has nothing to do now but long for escape. Freed from Joffery at last, she has apparently taken to passing the time by making up stories about ships. It’s a typically constructive and helpful use of Sansa’s brainpower.

Sansa’s only talent in the game is her ability to dodge direct questions. Sansa’s playing of the game of thrones involves avoiding the truth as much as possible. Maybe that’s why she is so desperate to trust Littlefinger, and see nothing wrong with his interest in her: because they both avoid the truth. Given the weird territory that this plot is going, Sansa’s total lack of perception of Littlefinger’s interests makes perfect sense.

Shae

“Why should I make up a story when I know the truth?”

In Shae’s only scene, she refuses to play Sansa’s game of make-a-story. The game consists of Sansa creating plausible stories for ships, and Shae complaining about it.

As Petyr draws Sansa away, Shae and Ros have a chat, heart of gold to heart of gold. Shae refuses to take the bait when Ros suggests their both prostitutes, and shows a flash of her inner strength when she coolly says that she always takes care of Sansa.

Shae is one of the characters who are one-dimensional in the book and awesome on the show. I still rather like Shae, who has a raw fierceness to her that only Osha has in common. An important part of Shae’s character was highlighted in her scene: her refusal to imagine.

It’s not that she doesn’t have an imagination, it’s that she’d rather know the truth and deal with that.

Ros

“It’s not easy for girls like us.”

Ros has moved up in the world. She’s working for the Spider and running Littlefingers affairs—good for her. She even had a flash of non-prostitute character in this episode, when she remembered Sansa’s birth and the bells of Winterfell. As usual, there’s not really much to analyze here—but hey, she was introduced with all her clothes on, so that’s something.

Daenerys

“You’ll have a true Kaelesar when you prove yourself strong, and not before.”

Dany has talked a few Dothraki onto a ship, and she’s headed to buy an army. She doesn’t really want to, but as Jorah pointed out, she really doesn’t have any better ideas. That doesn’t make slavery a good idea, but it convinces Dany and she goes to look at slaves. How she’s going to pay for this army has yet to be mentioned, but as book readers know, it’s a cool scene coming.

Although Dany has survived all the shit the world has thrown at her so far, apparently she hasn’t proven herself strong. She is a queen, but she is not yet the conqueror she needs to become in order to claim her throne.

Melisandre

“I could have saved those men.”

Melisandre exercises her usual diplomacy and accuses Davos of stopping her from winning Stannis’s war. It’s strange: Melisandre’s craziness make her the most powerful lady in this world. She’s got more soldiers than Dany, more loyalty than Cersei, and more faith than anyone. It’s not a bad gig she’s found for herself.

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