iconimg Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Vishakha Saxena, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, April 15, 2014
When was the last time that the climax of a Game of Thrones episode left you shocked, terrified and pretty satisfied at the same time? I assure you never before. At least, definitely not like The Lion and the Rose.

The second installment of the series' fourth season brought back characters that were missing in the premiere, and quite magnificently so. The episode saw the return of Stannis and Melisandre who as usual had offerings for the Lord of Light. Viewers also got a chance to meet Stannis' zappy daughter again sharing a few light moments with the Red Woman.

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It also featured Bran, Hodor, Jojen and Meera in possibly the weakest bit of the episode with the four on the move north of the Wall. Bran's all grown up with his animal-brain controlling activity quite out-of-hand.

The two most memorable characters of the episode turned out to be Theon Greyjoy (quite unexpectedly) and Tyrion Lannister (quite expectedly).

Being reduced to a twitching entity who now responds to the name 'Reek' like a loyal dog, Alfie Allen has played Theon's character with a brilliance, keeping the viewer hooked with some strong acting. His master Ramsay Snow is edging his way up to become one the most hated characters after his highness King Joffrey.

On the other hand, the much loved Tyrion Lannister -- known for his quick wit -- hasn't quite been himself for a while and tackling Shae, his sinister sister Cersie and his insufferable nephew Joffrey hasn't helped him much.

Yet, Peter Dinklage keeps the viewers hooked as they feel sad for the imp, annoyed at his circumstances and frustrated with his helplessness.

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But, as usual, it is the end that takes the cake.

And trust me, there isn't a single moment from history of the series that holds a candle to magnificence that is The Purple Wedding. Despite the shocker that was The Red Wedding, this will catch you off-guard, it will scramble your head and when it is over, it will leave you overwhelmed with happiness.

Just a heads up - you wouldn't want George RR Martin scripting your wedding. Oh and you definitely wouldn't want to play The Rains of Castamere at your wedding either. It's some bad, bad mojo.

If you haven't guessed as much yet, you're bidding goodbye to one of the episode's main guys in this one.

(If you have anything to say or ask about the episode, you can tweet to me @gypsyandtonic)