“Second Sons” Round-Up: Unhappy Couples and Unassuming Heroes


By Katie M. Lucas


Wedding bells rang in King’s Landing last night as Sansa Stark and Tyrion Lannister tied the knot. “Though Joffrey threatens to rape his ex-fiancée, and seems on the verge of ordering his uncle's death for his insolence before Tywin calms things down,” Alan Sepinwall of HitFix.com observes, “the wedding largely goes off okay.”


The mismatched bride and groom piqued the interest of engineers at OKCupid; the dating website calculated the couple as 80.15 percent compatible, Entertainment Weekly reports. (Shae will be happy to know that this score was not mentioned in the honeymoon suite.) Executive Producer David Benioff explains Tyrion’s feelings on consummating his marriage in this week’s Inside the Episode: “He knows she doesn’t want it... He would hate himself in the morning.” Resolved to wait until Sansa is ready, the groom quotes the Night’s Watch: “And so my watch begins.”

Samwell Tarly lives out his own vows by being a "sword in the darkness." Rolling Stone’s Sean T. Collins notes, the crow is “like a hero out of a storybook.” Relive Sam's big moment below with the storyboard from HBO GO’s Interactive Features.


Sam’s surprise attack mirrored Melisandre’s strategy—to keep Gendry from seeing “the blade.” Actor Joe Dempsie describes the Red priestess’ appeal in an interview with New York Magazine’s Vulture blog. Melisandre is “a very powerful force for Gendry, and hard to resist. It's not power he wants, but answers—and curiosity killed the cat.” In an interview with HBO.com, actress Carice van Houten talks about Melisandre’s resolve, “She genuinely is convinced that this is the way and everyone that doesn’t believe her is just a nuisance.” Cynics like Davos and Arya are “difficult flies.”

Melisandre’s conviction doesn’t stop Stannis from consulting his Hand. Salon’s Willa Paskin was unimpressed by the king’s rationalization to Davos. “His speech is an abuse of the word ‘duty,’ ” Paskin says about Stannis, who is using it as “a justification to do something dishonorable without even thinking about it.” Davos’ advice to spare Gendry’s life embodies Paskin’s definition of duty: “something one who is honorable does whether or not they want to.

The next Game of Thrones episode airs in two weeks. Until then, catch up with the Viewer’s Guide so you won’t need Lady Olenna to explain the family tree.