(Half) heroes are made, (blond) cowards turn tail and other memorable moments from the Battle of Blackwater on Sunday's penultimate Game of Thrones.
Best Nose for Trouble: Bronn regaled his assembled Gold Cloaks (and a comely prostitute) with the story of how he broke his nose not just once, but three times. The first time, his mother whacked him with an iron poker that was aimed at his little brother; the second time, he rumbled with some older kids and lost; and the third time... well, we never got a chance to learn that particular story. Knowing Bronn, though, chances are it's more complicated than just accidentally tripping or walking into a door or something.
Best Battle of the Bands: As the bells of King's Landing start tolling for the arrival of Stannis Baratheon's ships, Ser Davos ordered the fleet's war drums to answer back, which they do in stirring fashion. Although they lost the actual battle, his soldiers can take comfort in knowing that they totally won the musical round.
Warmest Farewell: Bronn and Tyrion asking each other not to get killed before parting ways to prepare for the impending battle, with Tyrion even going so far as to call Bronn "my friend." Naturally, that leads to some good-natured ribbing, the Westeros equivalent of a high five. Aww, it's so nice to see that Tyrion has finally found a pal.
Coldest Farewell: Sansa informing Tyrion that she's praying for his safe return... just as she's praying for Joffrey's. Which is to say, not at all. Ouch. That burn is gonna leave a mark.
Reasons #5,457 and #5,458 Why We Hate Joffrey: Before marching into battle, he forced Sansa to kiss his new sword, grandiosely named Hearteater. On the other hand, that steel has to be warmer (and more pleasant) than his lips. Later on, the lamest Lannister showed his true colors when he fled from battlements on his mother's orders as Stannis's forces pounded on the gate. Even by his standard, that's a punk-ass thing to do.
Reason #110 Why We're Starting to Love Sansa: Arya has been our favorite female Stark to date, but Sansa has been starting to show some spark lately, particularly when she needles Joffrey about what exactly he plans to do during the battle; like, will he really get close enough to Stannis to actually put Hearteater to good use? Her simple, yet pointed line of questioning made the king go all squirrely and he slinked off even further diminished in her (and our) eyes. Good on ya, Sansa. We're not so sure we agree with your decision to not take The Hound up on his offer of escape, however...
The John Philip Sousa Memorial Award for Best Fireworks Display: Watching Stannis's ships erupt in enormous green flames after Bronn the Flaming Archer lights up all that wildfire in Blackwater Bay was truly an awesome sight to behold. We wanted to pull our sparklers out two months early and join in the fun.
Best Mean Drunk: Never the nicest person to begin with, Cersei really let her tongue turn sour as she quaffed glass after glass of wine while waiting to learn the fate of her city and her family. Besides ridiculing Sansa for turning to prayer, she also regaled the frightened young girl with stories about how she and the rest of the noblewomen will be used as sport by Stannis's troops should they triumph. On the other hand, the liquor did allow for such hilariously barbed bon mots as the following line: "This is Stannis Baratheon. I'd have a better chance of seducing his horse."
Least Hard-Headed Soldier: The random grunt standing next to Stannis whose head gets caved in by a big chunk of rock hurled from the King's Landing battlements. Now that's using your noggin.
Best Quitter: And we thought Peggy's exit interview with Don was awesome. The Hound telling Joffrey to eff off in mid-battle may have been even sweeter. That kind of talk should earn him the medal he'd otherwise forfeit for leaving his post.
Most Bad-Ass Tyrion Moment: After Joffrey ran and hid, his uncle stepped up to fill the leadership void, leading the remaining soldiers in a surprise sneak attack on the invading army. We also love that he rallied the soldiers not by appealing to their loyalty to their absent king, but rather to their own self-interest. As battle cries go, "Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let's go kill them!" isn't particularly eloquent, but it definitely gets the job done.
Hodor Award for Best Monosyllabic Assistant: A somewhat larger character in the books, Tyron's squire Podrick Payne has only made a handful of wordless appearances this season, but he was there when it counted, stabbing a soldier who was about to run his master through. Way to go Podrick! Maybe you'll actually get more than a single line of dialogue next season.
Most Memorable Lines:
"The people of King's Landing did not choose the false king Joffrey Baratheon. They will be glad to see his head on a spike." -- Ser Davos's son Matthos accurately summing up the attitude of the King's Landing citizenry towards their supposed ruler.
"You can't fuck your way out of everything." "I have so far" -- Tyrion and Shae engaging in their version of pillow talk.
"I'm sure many captains say the same while their ship is afloat." -- Varys, poking a sizeable hole in the old "the captain always goes down with the ship" cliché.
"The worst ones always live." -- Sansa, putting the kibosh on our hopes that Joffrey perishes in battle.
"Any man dies with a clean sword, I'll rape his fucking corpse." -- The Hound, giving his troops ample motivation to slay the enemy.
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