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Game of Thrones – Who’s the hero of the Battle of Blackwater?

My Maiden Voyage Through Westeros — Are you new to the ‘Game of Thrones’ world? Each week, I will review it from the perspective of someone who has not read the series. You won’t find spoilers from the book here, just a review of the show itself.

- Season 2, Episode 9 - "Blackwater"

Who will be seen as the hero of the Battle of Blackwater? Tyrion? Tywin? Or, both?

Both is a bit of a cop out, but perhaps the most accurate. Tywin would have been too late if Tyrion hadn’t rally the troops after being abandoned by Joffrey.  Besides, it was Tyrion who came up with the Wildfire plan that wiped out Stannis’s advantage of number. It was Tyrion who launched the attack on the ground. And, it was Tyrion who researched the hidden passageways to find a way to attack from behind. But, ultimately, Tywin will be the one recognized as the hero because he came in on his high horse with troops to close out the victory. That is unfortunate.

I have no doubt that Tyrion will survive this attack. His death would be more shocking than Ned Stark’s last season. Ned’s death set up this battle for the throne, but also the growth of his children. Tyrion is still needed as a player in this game of thrones. He will now be known not only as Halfman, but also as a survivor of the Battle of Blackwater marked by a scar on his face.

As much as I want Joffrey to die, I’m glad the Lannisters won the battle (for now). I agree with Varys that Stannis would have been a dangerous option for king. His allegiance to Melisandre and use of mystical forces would not have boded well for Westeros. Now that Tywin is in King’s Landing, will Joffrey remain on the throne? Will Tywin replace Tyrion as the Hand of the King? The combination of Joffrey and Tywin would have been scarier prior to seeing the softer side of Tywin with Arya, though it is definitely not ideal.

Joffrey must die. Seriously. He is no king. The smirk of satisfaction he gave to Sansa before heading off to battle was full of unearned arrogance. Then, the sadistic side of him appeared as he watched Stannis’s men burn in flames. They were at war, but death should not be enjoyed (unless it is Joffrey’s!). The look of horror on Tyrion’s face at the massive deaths he caused was only slightly more than his dismay at Joffrey’s thrill from it all. In the end, Joffrey ran, which showed to the people how unworthy he is of the Iron Throne.

Last week I complained that “Prince of Winterfell” covered too many locations and different storylines. That was not a problem in “Blackwater.” The entire episode took place at King’s Landing, including the build up to the battle, as well as the battle itself. While it didn’t quite reach the epic status of “Baelor,” it was darn close.

With Stannis losing the battle, will the war turn back to the Lannisters versus the Starks? All season, that’s the conflict that has been most interesting. I’d love to see that continue to build up and come to a head. Unfortunately, I don’t think Stannis will be out of the picture. There’s a reason that he partnered with Melisandre. Will she use her power to free Stannis to fight another day? I expect so.

There are pieces at play throughout Westeros, how will they all come together in the finale? Or, will they just move into place for season three of Game of Thrones?

Odds and Ends

  • Sansa has become a snarky little bird, hasn’t she? I still hope she is the one that kills Joffrey!
  • Sansa picking up the doll that her father gave her was so poignant. She hated the doll when he gave it to her, but it was a reminder now of his love for her.
  • I never thought it would be possible, but the Hound made me tear up a bit. His conversation with Sansa was so heartfelt. Their relationship has been building up to this, but it was still surprising. Will Sansa get out with him in time? I’m guessing that she will be too late once again.
  • Cersei’s double personality was in full force due to her drunkenness. She was falsely sweet and then an outright bitch. Her decision to kill her son was odd, but thankfully she was stopped by the arrival of her father.

Game of Thrones “Blackwater” Quotes

“Joffrey will. The worst ones always live.” — Sansa

“Fuck the water. Bring me wine.” — the Hound

“Fuck the Kingsguard. Fuck the city. Fuck the King.” — the Hound

“Halfman! Halfman! Halfman!” — cheers from the Kingsguard

“Oh, fuck me.” — Tyrion [when he seeing another attack coming]

Photo Credit: HBO

5 Responses to “Game of Thrones – Who’s the hero of the Battle of Blackwater?”

May 28, 2012 at 4:04 AM

Great review. I always enjoy reading reviews from the perspective of those who haven’t read the series. It mirrors my own thoughts and enjoyment of the series when I first read it.

As to why Cersei would kill her son before the city fell, you have to understand what her own family’s men did to the Targaryen children when the sacked the city. Rhaegar’s (Dany’s oldest brother) wife was raped repeatedly and their newborn son was thrown against a wall.

Once again, great review. Keep ‘em coming!

May 28, 2012 at 10:02 AM

I too laughed when I saw Stannis’s man on fire XD

And I missed catapult-men XDDD

May 29, 2012 at 6:33 PM

Things to ponder:

Not mentioned often, probably because it was so quick and miss it, but the first person in to the throne room, before Tywin, was LORAS TYRELL. He hasn’t been seen since Renly’s death. So, now Stannis’ forces are decimated, the forces he didn’t get from Renly are now allied with the Lannisters…what’s this mean for the King in the North?

Who plotted to kill Tyrion? That was a Kingsguard that took that shot (why Tyrion looked so relieved to see him at first, then absolutely horrified at what happened). Joffrey, finally tired of the disrespect? Cersei, finally taking the chance to off the brother she hates?

Regarding Cersei and almost “mercy” killing Tommen, Cersei has issues (obviously), and they center mostly around her children. I’m not sure I’d buy too much in to the fact that Rhaegar Targaryen’s wife and child were killed like that…considering that it was Gregor Clegane who did that on Tywin Lannisters orders (well, kinda. Clegane, predictably, took them a little too far). She probably believes that would happen, though, at the very least by a crazed soldier.

Also, I would think that Tywin arriving definitely means he’s taking over as Hand. He IS the Hand, he only asked Tyion to serve in his stead because he was engaged with Robb Stark.

May 29, 2012 at 6:39 PM

That’s a good point about Loras. On my first watch, I saw him with Tywin and knew something was off about him being there. It took another view before I realized exactly who he was and why it was weird that he was with Tywin. Same thing about Tyrion and the Kingsguard that slashed him.

I’ve been planning to write up another follow up review about the actual battle including these points, but I’m not sure when it will be finished. Definitely important to the story and I missed them on my first watch of the episode. I’m guessing that scene and how it played out was much more obvious to book readers.

May 30, 2012 at 9:43 AM

Yes it was a little more obvious to book readers. It took me a minute though because it has been so long since I read book 2. I wish the show would have explained it better.

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