April 23rd, 2012
09:59 AM ET
[Note: This post contains spoilers for the April 22 episode of HBO's "Game of Thrones," and the George R.R. Martin "Song of Ice and Fire" novels upon which the series is based.]
Forget for a moment that on Sunday's "Game of Thrones," Peter Dinklage provided more Emmy-worthy moments as Tyrion, the black-sheep “imp” coming into his own as a power player in the cutthroat titular game.
Let's also momentarily put aside that poor Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) finally got her rag-tag band of followers out of the desert – albeit landing in the city of Qarth, where the two-legged variety of vipers appeared to be as common as the sort slithering through the sand outside.
No, the scene from Sunday's episode that’s sure to have folks talking is its final one – in which the shadowy (hooray for double entendre!) fire priestess Melisandre gets involved in the game in a big, and creepy, way.
Melisandre, as we've seen, has throne contender Stannis in her thrall. Because Stannis is dead King Robert’s oldest brother, and the loathsome current King Joffrey is actually the bastard son of his mother’s incestuous brother-love, he arguably has the best claim to win the Iron Throne.
Unfortunately for him, he’s about as likeable as a bad case of armor rash after a long ride through Westeros. Enter handsome, charming Renly, Stannis’ younger brother who has rounded up a bigger army and more powerful political allies.
After peace talks between the estranged brothers go south and a battle looms, Stannis tasks right-hand man Davos - who, ironically, has powerfully few fingers on his right hand - to sneak Melisandre into Renly’s camp.
Once there, she tells Davos that serving her mysterious “Lord of Light” also means controlling the shadows that light creates. She strips (a virtual requirement in the HBO telling for nearly every female character, apparently) revealing an apparently brand new pregnancy.
And that’s where it gets … creepy.
Melisandre (a clearly game Carice van Houten) proceeds to give birth to a swirling shadow demon. To say the scene leaves nothing to the imagination would be a bit of an overstatement. But it doesn’t leave much.
We’re left hanging as to what happens next, but it’s safe to assume it doesn’t bode well for Renly and his followers.
What did you think? Was the Melisandre scene over the top? Or, for that matter, a couple of others – like the way Joffrey handles his “gift” from uncle Tyrion? Let us know in the comments.
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