‘Game Of Thrones’ Season 2, Episode 3: ‘What Is Dead May Never Die’ Recap

Published 2 years ago by , Updated April 16th, 2012 at 10:13 am,

Gethin Anthony and Natalie Dormer Game of Thrones What is Dead May Never Die Game Of Thrones Season 2, Episode 3: What Is Dead May Never Die Recap

The world depicted in Game of Thrones - with its villainy, treachery and deceit – is not one where optimism finds its way to the hearts of too many men. Holding steadfast to a belief or a cause is a sure way to end up with one’s head on a stick, as Eddard Stark regrettably proved. And for those too young, or too idealistic to know how most make due, the notion of compromise can often be a hard pill to swallow.

‘What is Dead May Never Die’ introduces various players in the game to the notion of compromise; either that or it reminds those of a compromise made long ago. Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) learns this after his encounter with Craster (Robert Pugh) reveals that the fate of Craster’s sons is not much of a secret. The revelation that concessions have to be made in order to maintain some semblance of stability, even at the cost of innocent lives, is another in a line of concessions for Snow that suggest the road he travels will continue to darken.

Additionally, the North’s war against the Lannisters likely means more compromise by Robb Stark (Richard Madden), if he is to secure allegiance with those who would also claim Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) an enemy. Robb has already sent Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) back to his father Balon (Patrick Malahide) in an effort to win Greyjoy’s naval might. While that effort proves fruitless, it does reveal Balon’s plans to take the North while everyone is off fighting the Lannisters. This leaves Theon in the unenviable position of betraying the father he’s never truly known or betraying Robb, who entrusted him with this task. For Balon, his son’s return is a bitter reminder that he once had to bend his knee to Robert Baratheon, while it serves to remind Theon that once he was given away, and that act left him without a true home. The desire to be a part of something explains Theon’s decision to pledge loyalty to his father’s house.

Of course when it comes to Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), the notion of compromise is just a clever way of getting what he wants. This is made evident by his dealings with Varys (Conleth Hill), who Tyrion employs in both a plan to reveal the spy in his ranks, as well as place Shae (Sibel Kekilli) as the handmaiden of Sansa (Sophie Turner) – whose front is not fooling anyone, but likely amuses by Cersei, Joffrey and the others, nonetheless.

Julian Glover Game of Thrones What is Dead May Never Die Game Of Thrones Season 2, Episode 3: What Is Dead May Never Die Recap

Perhaps more important for Tyrion, however, is spreading enough misinformation across three channels consisting of Grand Maester Pycelle (Julian Glover), Varys and Petyr Baelish (Aiden Gillen) that the ferrets out his sister’s spy – which sees Pycelle given a close shave and a prison cell. But again, in his cunning, Tyrion finds the element that will cause people to do his bidding. With Varys, it was sharing in deception, but with Baelish, it’s the promise of wealth and prominence. Baelish’s desires are so base that even when it’s revealed he was merely a cog in Tyrion’s deception, he is easily recruited in a scheme to free Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) at the promise of something else he wants: Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley).

Off negotiating an alliance with Renly Baratheon (Gethin Anthony), Catelyn is introduced to Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie), who has recently bested Renly’s lover, Loras (Finn Jones), earning her the right to serve Renly. As it happens, Catelyn is also introduced to Renly’s wife Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer), who isn’t as naïve as her doe-eyed appearance would have one think. Margaery knows about, and even accepts, Renly’s relationship with her brother, offering Loras’ assistance as compromise for Renly’s help in legitimizing their marriage with a child.

Game of Thrones ends as Arya (Maisie Williams) has to watch while yet another person she cares about is struck down on an order by a Lannister. Though Yoren (Francis Magee) failed to get Arya back to Winterfell, his dying act caused enough of a commotion that Arya is able pin Gendry’s identity onto a young boy murdered by a soldier following the melee. Though now it seems she and Gendry (Joe Dempsie) are off to an even more uncertain future at Harrenhal.

Game of Thrones continues next Sunday with ‘Garden of Bones’ @9pm on HBO. See a preview of the episode below.

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  1. I like the show a lot. Part of it comes from the real feeling you get of being there like a big screen movie rather than an on going series. I have two concerns though. First is that the story is trying to cover too many side stories and for those of us who haven’t read the books it’s sometimes a little difficult to follow who is who here…..Second…As the series continues I find myself with fewer and fewer people to be pulling for and many more to want to see some tragedy happen to….I’ll hang in there…Maybe it’ll come together better as it continues…

    • part of the lure, in my opinion, is that evil or morally gray people get away with things and go unpunished (which many book fans complain about or so i hear) and i think that in order for these characters to survive in the world that they live in, chivalry and all that good guy crap has to go out the window. Also, i kinda like the side stories but i don’t want them to go overboard with it like they do in TrueBlood.

      • You make a good point, but man is thee ever some very nasty and crazy ass people running things…..I know that’s not far from the truth throughout natural history, but these people do it so good that you really want to see them die a painful death….That brat child king…I know it’s the way things were done, but can you imagine some little piece of crap like that able to do and say what he wants to grown men…and they have to obey him regardless of how roton he was? And it’s looking like he’s far from the worse of them….

  2. Yeah, Just wait until later. I was so shocked in the books because I got to a point in the story(about now) where I really wasn’t pulling for anyone outside of Jon Snow, Arya, and Tyrion.

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    Then all the s*** went down that goes down and more people died and characters changed a bit and suddenly i was rooting for Jaime(wtf right)I’m not going to give away what happens to him as I feel I may have revealed enough already for someone who has not read the books yet, but I am excited to see how they bring it home over the next few seasons :)

    • Author George R.R. Martin has an amazing ability to create characters I really care about and root for but also characters that I despise like Joffrey. I agree with you on Jamie. Also, Theon is so flawed and misguided but I still feel empathy for him. Understandably Danerys is dark and angry having lost Khal Drogo and unborn child … I just hope she will remain likeable.

      Of the five kings, Renly is the most likeable. He’s chivalrous, does not hesitate to appoint Brienne to the king’s guard and is not offended when Cat does not acknowledge him as a king. He had me when he vowed to bring Joffrey’s head to Cat. Although he may inspire loyalty in his followers, what kind of leader will Renly be? He has no experience in fighting wars or commanding an army. Cat got it right by saying this was all a game to him. When the blood and slaughter begins to flow, we’ll see if he still has the stomach for playing the game. Renly’s new wife Margaery seemed to be quaint at first but she is bold; proposing a threesome with her brother! It was fun seeing Renly be sexually aggressive with Loras and then so awkward with his new wife.

  3. Love me some Game of Thrones. Tyrion put it DOWN this week. I need at least two hours a week, one hour goes by soo fast. I haven’t read the books all the way through so I’m unfamiliar with the story but I have no problem keeping track of what’s going on. I just pay attention. (weed keeps me completely enthralled)

  4. Crono – weed makes everything interesting.

    I still love watching this show, but they are killing me with the changes they are making. First of all, HBO must have a gay character in every show and they artificially made one in this one. Sure, he was gay in the book, but none of that stuff with the Myrcella(sp?) ever happened. They didn’t even hint around to that.

    The gay stuff aside, b/c I know HBO has a quota, the Arya segment was disappointing. In the book they fought a great battle and the four of the escaped when everyone started falling. Well, the four and the three in the wagon. Then they spent weeks on their own before Gendry got them caught. That was one of the best parts in the book they ruined.

    • I agree Crono. That was a great part of the second book. I knkow they have to condense things to get it all in, but that makes me worried about some other parts of the book that are coming up. BTW, what was the character’s name that got killed by the guard during that scene because he couldn’t walk? It’s killing because I can’t remember.

      • It was Lommy Greenhands. Just as in the book.

  5. What an series, what an episode. I wonder how they are planning to cram all that is still yet to come in the remaining 7 hours. Seems like an impossible feat. But if anyone can pull it off – with season 1 they have proven they are the ones!

    • Quote from an Executive producer,

      “We’re not looking at our series as a book-by-book adaptation so much as an adaptation of George’s entire saga. In other words, in our minds season two is not “A Clash of Kings.” It is the second season of our adaptation of “A Song of Ice and Fire.””

      Season 2 might not reach the end of the second book, or it might go further than it. And yes, as a lot of you have gathered from the ending of season one a lot of main characters will die and other characters will step up and get their own chapters. I’m currently halfway through the fourth book and the people I root for have basically all changed. Won’t say more than that :)

  6. This episode was a slight improvement over last week, but still waiting for this season to come alive, Hopefully next week will promise more

  7. where are those baby f**king dragons… when is Dany going to f**k some s*** up!?!

    • The dragons are babies, lebsta. You’re in for a bit of a wait.

  8. @Genital wart (????!) and Kofi

    All I’m saying that even by this shows standards – season 2 has been a bit of a slow burn. Now a lot of posters on this thread , or indeed watchers of the show, have all read the books – so they know what’s coming and will be more patient especially if the show are staying close to the novels.

    I , however have not read the books, and am judging it purely as a tv show and not a screen adaptation. From this view – I think it needs to established where we’re going this season and what’s stake for the main characters. At the moment we’re getting a multitude of new characters who – (if you haven’t read the books) seem to have little signifigance or impact to the main story arc – which still isn’t clear at the moment.

    I like the show and am all for character development, but Tryion, and Joffrey aside – there are few people to actually root for or go against, as their motivations are not always clear.

    And yes a little bit of epic action wouldn’t go amiss either.

  9. I think you’re being too nice about Theon Greyjoy’s betrayal of Robb Stark, to me it looked like the taunting of his sister had a great deal to do with his decision. Theon is incredibly full of himself, he expected to go back to the Iron Isles and be incredibly important as the heir to Balon Greyjoy and for everybody to fall on their knees, and all the girls to sleep with him, because he’s the only surviving son of Balon and will be the Lord of the Iron Isles after his father. His reception must be a terrible disappointment to him, and the fact that his father trusts his sister, an incredible irritant. Of course the way in which he was first introduced to his sister isn’t helping but he only has himself to blame. I think it is his high opinion of himself and his petty ambition to be the most important guy in the household, that make him go along with his father’s plans. Of course my opinion might be influenced by the fact that I’ve read the books, he was portrayed even less positively in the books. Just my two cents.

    I think you’re being too nice about Theon Greyjoy’s betrayal of Robb Stark, to me it looked like the taunting of his sister had a great deal to do with his decision. Theon is incredibly full of himself, he expected to go back to the Iron Isles and be incredibly important as the heir to Balon Greyjoy and for everybody to fall on their knees, and all the girls to sleep with him, because he’s the only surviving son of Balon and will be the Lord of the Iron Isles after his father. His reception must be a terrible disappointment to him, and the fact that his father trusts his sister, an incredible irritant. Of course the way in which he was first introduced to his sister isn’t helping but he only has himself to blame. I think it is his high opinion of himself and his petty ambition to be the most important guy in the household, that make him go along with his father’s plans. Of course my opinion might be influenced by the fact that I’ve read the books, he was portrayed even less positively in the books. Just my two cents.
    I think you’re being too nice about Theon Greyjoy’s betrayal of Robb Stark, to me it looked like the taunting of his sister had a great deal to do with his decision. Theon is incredibly full of himself, he expected to go back to the Iron Isles and be incredibly important as the heir to Balon Greyjoy and for everybody to fall on their knees, and all the girls to sleep with him, because he’s the only surviving son of Balon and will be the Lord of the Iron Isles after his father. His reception must be a terrible disappointment to him, and the fact that his father trusts his sister, an incredible irritant. Of course the way in which he was first introduced to his sister isn’t helping but he only has himself to blame. I think it is his high opinion of himself and his petty ambition to be the most important guy in the household, that make him go along with his father’s plans. Of course my opinion might be influenced by the fact that I’ve read the books, he was portrayed even less positively in the books. Just my two cents.
    http://www.squidoo.com/game-of-thrones-episode-guide

    • Sorry about the triple whammy. No idea what happened there!

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