And so, after the narrow focus on conflict that was ‘Blackwater,’ Game of Thrones is set to bring its second season to a close by spreading itself across Westeros once more in ‘Valar Morghulis.’
The episode largely serves as an appropriate epilogue for the ‘Battle of Blackwater’ while gathering steam for season 3. ‘Valar Morghulis’ has a lot of ground to cover, and thankfully it begins with the fallen Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), who was last seen losing consciousness as his father and the Tyrells pushed back Stannis’ invading forces. Tyrion, thanks to his squire Podrick Payne (Daniel Portman), is only slightly worse for wear – bearing a rather striking slash across his face, that he deems a worthy addition to his diminutive size. Tyrion’s wounds are more than superficial, though, as he learns, immediately upon waking to none other than Grand Maester Pycelle (Julian Glover), that the position of the King’s Hand is no longer his; it has officially been bestowed upon Tywin.
In a moment of rare tenderness, Shae (Sibel Kekilli) suggests the two run away and live their lives doing what they do best. The plan sounds ideal except for the fact that Tyrion has finally found his place in the world: it’s not lazing about drinking and fornicating – it’s participating in the process that recently spat him out. It seems, for the time being, Tyrion has no plans to run from King’s Landing.