Holy shit what an awesome episode! If someone turned this on and decided to start at just this episode, they would have probably had a heart attack. Anyways, let me tell you about some of the crazy shit that happened:
-I wondered last week if they would show the end of the joust. They did, and HBO did not disappoint. After the Mountain is unseated by Ser Loras (he used a mare that was in heat, which sent the Mountain’s stallion into a horny fit), he grabs his broadsword and hacks his horses head off. He then proceeds to go after Ser Loras (so aptly nicknamed “The Knight of Flowers”), which causes the Hound to step in. They have a pretty good fight until King Robert screams enough.
-Ned resigns as the Hand because Robert wants to kill Daenerys before she can give birth. Ned wants no part of it. As Ned prepares to leave King’s Landing, Littlefinger offers to take him to the last person Jon Arryn met with. They go to a whore house and we find another of Robert’s bastards. As they leave, Jaime shows up with a bunch of Lannister guards and demands they take Ned since his wife took his brother. An awesome battle ensues. Jory takes a dagger to the eye from Jaime and then the battle we have been waiting for finally comes: Ned versus Jaime! It is a pretty good fight, until one of the guards jabs a spear through Ned’s leg. Jaime knocks the dude out.
-Elsewhere, Tyrion’s captors come under attack from the hill tribes. Cat frees him and he thinks about leaving until he sees one of the crazy guys about to attack Lady Stark. He ends up killing the man with a shield. We also get to see Bronn in action, dude is pretty badass with a sword.
-The Eyrie was pretty amazing looking. Also, the chick that plays Catelyn’s sister Lysa, does a great job of being batshit crazy. She is breastfeeding her son, who looks about eight years old. They put Tyrion in his cell, which if I remember correctly from the book, is sloped and this scares Tyrion because he is afraid of rolling out in his sleep. You can tell it is sloped slightly in the show because there is water running through the grooves.
-There was also a pretty good scene that was not in the book. Renly and Loras are shirtless together, with Loras shaving Renly’s chest. Later Renly receives a blowjob from Loras. In the book, it is hinted that they were together, but that is about it. They also discuss in the scene the idea of Renly becoming the king with Loras’ family’s money backing him. This serves as a great setup for things that will happen later down the road. Spoiler ahead I suppose. It was always a shock when Renly announced he was one of the kings after Robert’s death.
One of the things I loved about the books was all the cool false-foreshadowing. If you thought something was going to happen, then usually something else would happen and it would be completely unexpected.
For example, I really thought there would be a moment where the Mountain would meet Hodor. When describing Hodor’s size, people would mention how the only person who was bigger was the Mountain. I always figured the Lannister’s would attack Winterfell and the Mountain would attack Bran, leading to a showdown between giants. Sadly, this never happened, but what does happen is equally awesome.