Meet the proud parents of the world's freakiest shadow baby and other highlights of the fourth episode of the second season of Game of Thrones, "Garden of Bones."
Best New Character: Xaro Xhoan Doras, a member of the Thirteen, Qarth's governing council, who defies the rest of his group to welcome Daenerys and her remaining Dothraki followers into the greatest city that ever was or will be. Clearly, he's got his own agenda here -- we look forward to seeing what that'll be.
Runner-up: Alissa, the authority-challenging battlefield nurse (who is not in the book) that Robb befriends after his latest victory.
Most Helpful Pronunciation Lesson: The smarmy "trader of spices" who corrects Daenerys on the proper way to say "Qarth." For the record, it sounds like K-A-R-T-H not Q-U-A-R-T-H.
Least Erotic Sex Scene: Joffrey's attempted seduction at the hands of Ros and another one of Littlefinger's whores, which naturally involves pain... lots and lots of pain.
Least Romantic Gift: Baelish visits Catelyn at Renly's camp and presents her with her dead husband's bones. Next time, just bring a box of chocolates.
Most Questionable Fashion Choice: Margaery Tyrell's weird ice-cream cone-shaped dress that she wore during her conversation with Baelish. Guess she doesn't have to worry about dressing to appeal to her husband.
Reason #1,050 Why We Hate Joffrey: Following Robb's latest defeat of the Lannister forces, he interrogates Sansa at arrow point and then instructs his trusty knight, Meryn, to beat her without harming her face because "I like her pretty." Let us at him, just let us at him.
Most Bad-Ass Tyrion Moment: Just before Meryn is poised to do more damage to Sansa, Joffrey's uncle sweeps into the throne room and stops the assault, making sure to give his nephew a good public dressing-down and provide Meryn a lesson in what exactly constitutes a threat as opposed to helpful advice.
Cruelest Interrogation Method: To retrieve valuable intel from a prisoner, the knights at Harrenhal -- where Arya and Gendry are currently being held captive - first strap a bucket containing a hungry rat to the poor guy's chest and then place a burning torch next to it, forcing the rat to burrow into his flesh. Remind us never to be taken prisoner anywhere in the vicinity of that godforsaken place.
Episode MVP: Melisandre, who reveals more of her witchy power this week by giving birth to a freaky shadow baby that's obviously going to get up to no good.
Most Memorable Lines:
"How good could [Loras Tyrell] be? He's been stabbing Renly Baratheon for years and Renly ain't dead." -- A Lannister soldier scoffing about the Knight of Flowers' fighting prowess and revealing just how far rumors of his affair with Renly have spread.
"You're fighting to overthrow a king and yet you have no plan for what comes after?" -- Alissa, questioning Robb's long-term goals for this rebellion.
"There's no cure for being a cunt." -- Bronn to Tyrion regarding the lack of hope of improving Joffrey's disposition.
"Did he tell you to fuck her, too?" -- Tyrion asking his cousin Lancel whether Uncle Tywin specifically instructed that he take Jaime's place in her bed. "That's four less fingernails to clean." -- Davos to Stannis about the benefits of having lost four his fingers.
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