Season 2 Episode 9 “Blackwater” was the greatest episode of Game of Thrones ever. We are going to need another major story arc to top this one. I was at the edge of my seat from beginning up to the brutal end. Just absolutely amazing television.
Fans have been clamoring for war since the start of the season, and they got it. It was just like The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers without the orcs and with ships. Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin wrote this episode himself and he guided us through the siege of King’s Landing masterfully. I loved every minute of this.
The recap with video:
Game of Thrones – Season 2 Episode 9 – Blackwater
The calm before the storm
Stannis Baratheon’s fleet are at Blackwater Bay. Davos and his son have a chat about religion (the Lord of Light) and Stannis’ destiny to sit on the Iron Throne. Davos is more cautious than his son. Tyrion Lannister and his mistress Shea spend the night together, and Shea renews her devotion to him. Queen Cersei has plan B in mind just in case King’s Landing falls. Maester Luwin brings her nightshade which has deadly effects if 10 drops or more are swallowed. The Hound and Bronn have an argument while the bannermen are having a drink before the battle at Littlefinger’s brothel. They have a face off — but before anything happens, the bells start ringing.
Preparation for battle
Varys and Tyrion chat, as Tyrion’s squire prepares Tyrion’s armor.
“I’ve always hated the bells,” says Varys. “They ring for horror. The dead king. The city under siege.”
“A wedding,” says Tyrion.
Varys is paranoid that having the dark magic of The Lord of Light, Stannis has the advantage and would make a horrible king if he captures the Iron Throne. He tells Tyrion: “You are the only man who can stop him.”
Davos hears the bells coming from King’s Landing.
“If they want to play music with us, let’s play,” he tells his son. Then orders the fleet to play the drums.
Tyrion reminds Bronn about their defense plans. They shake hands as friends.
“Oh so we’re friends now?” asks Bronn.
“Just because I pay you for your services doesn’t diminish our friendship,” says Tyrion.
Joffrey Baratheon tells Sansa to kiss his sword before the battle. He’s so full of it. Sansa tells him that her brother Robb was always where the fighting was thickest, and assumed that this is what Joffrey would do as well. Joffrey of course has no idea what he is doing.
Shea tells Sansa as Joffrey and his guards head toward the walls, “Some of those boys will never come back.”
“Joffrey will. The worst ones always live,” says Sansa.
Tyrion is coordinating the defense of Blackwater, while Joffrey pesters him to attack. Joffrey is freaking out that they have no ships at the bay. No one of course is listening to Joffrey, only the Hound who is echoing Joffrey’s commands.
Davos also realizes that there are no enemy ships at the bay. His stupid son thinks that they took them by surprise or that there was a mutiny. Davos is worried.
Cersei, Drama Queen
Throughout the night, Cersei is getting drunk on wine, telling Sansa words of wisdom from being the queen, while they are housed with the other women of the kingdom.
One ship from King’s Landing emerges. It floats beside Davos’ boat. There is no one on board. It is leaking wildfire oil!
Tyrion sends the signal and Bronn shoots a burning arrow into the bay. The wilfire explodes and Stannis’ fleet is decimated. The green wildfire burns!
Unfazed, Stannis orders his men to continue the attack and land. One of his men tells him that hundreds will die because archers will rain on them when they set ashore.
“Thousands,” says Stannis.
The Mud Gate
Stannis’ men land ashore and they are chopped down by the archers. However because of their overwhelming numbers they are able to reach the mud gate.
Tyrion sends The Hound and Lancel Lannister to fight the men at the mud gate. Lancel is shot by an arrow — and he immediately retreats to Cersei and tells her that they are losing the battle. She orders him to get Joffrey back into the red keep.
At the mud gate, Bronn saves the Hound’s life — which gives the Hound an epiphany. He orders the men back into the walls and closes the gates. At this point, Stannis is already leading the charge at another part of the walls.
The Hound seems demoralized and drinks some wine. Tyrion and Joffrey order him to continue fighting.
“I lost half my men. The Blackwater’s on fire. Fuck the king’s guard. Fuck the city. Fuck the king,” says the Hound.
More of Stannis’ men arrive in their rowboats and they start ramming the mud gate.
Lancel arrives to tell Joffrey of the Cersei’s wishes. Tyrion tells him he will look like a coward if he leaves. But Joffrey follows Lancel to the red keep. (Coward!)
Tyrion is then left with no choice: he must lead the men. At first they wouldn’t listen to the “half man,” but after a passionate speech, the men rally behind him. He tells them that he will lead the attack against Stannis’ men and will attack them from behind circling around them.
Sansa and the Hound
Lancel tells Cersei that Joffrey is safe, but he wants to bring him back into the battlefield. Cersei punches Lancel in the chest who falls down in pain. She storms out and heads for the thrown room.
Sansa tries to keep everyone calm, but Shea tells her to go up to her quarters. Sansa follows, and at her quarters she finds the Hound! He offers to bring her back to Winterfell. Sansa tells him that Stannis won’t hurt her. He leaves.
The Mud Gate
Tyrion leads the attack on Stannis’ men from behind — they succeed! The men start shouting: “Half man! Half man! Half man!”
However, the celebration is short-lived as the rest of Stannis’ men start rushing in. A battle ensues. Tyrion’s face is sliced by a soldier — but before a killing blow is dealt, Tyrion’s squire saves Tyrion!
Cersei, Suicidal Queen
Cersei is sitting on the Iron Throne with her youngest son Tommen. She tells him to be brave as she is about to give him the nightshade. This is interspersed with scenes of the battle outside as Cersei narrates the different sigils of the different houses of Westeros.
Then the cavalry arrives! Stannis’ men retreat. The Knight of Flowers (from Highgarden) enters the thrown room followed by Lord Tywin Lannister.
“The battle is over, we have won!” he says.
The episode ends with the Lannister hymn Bronn sang at Littlefinger’s brothel: “The Rains of Castamere.”
Epic. Beyond epic.
I love this show so much!
Inside the Episode
The Rains of Castamere by The National
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