Season 2 of Game of Thrones started out without its main engine, yet revved along quite nice from the start. Ned Stark was the centerpiece of season one, sticking right there on the box art, but this season we are all about five kings warring for crowns. And whatever the hell they make Dany do. This episode showed most of our main characters making power plays, focusing their efforts on goals mighty and meek.

    While we normally start north and work our way south, I've decided to go by the map in the credits and highlight our locations as we go. That means our first stop is King's Landing where Joffrey is celebrating his birthday. And what does a king do? Make people kill each other, of course. I know on my thirteenth birthday we all got stone drunk, and Dontos plays the fool for our king. Sansa throws a power play however by acting meek and mild and reasoning Joffrey out of drowning Dontos with wine. She shows equal power with the same meek understanding of people when Tyrion shows up, proclaiming in a voice that would have made Stephen Hawking proud that Joffrey is her love and all other humans are exterminateable.

    Tyrion, happy to get out of the country where wars happen and into the city where people lie and cheat and steal, takes over the small council from Cersi by constantly undercutting her statements. She's done little to help the realm and secure  Lannister power, including losing both Ned Stark and Arya. Tyrion then bows to a type of power in his own rooms, a romantic whim to keep Shae as his concubine.

    Cersei, not to be outdone by her little brother, has a conversation with Little Finger. He claims knowledge is the ultimate power, sneaking and sniveling with insinuation, while she claims her four dudes with swords are better. We see the deft hand he plays at the same time the blunt bullishness of her own warfare. Who will win out in the end will be anyone's guess unless you're all caught up with the show. Cersei also gets a blunt reminder of her own power when Joffrey shuts her down, although I'm still not sure the ramifications of that. Please, someone, let me know which of them ordered all them babies be killed? Good thing that Gendry (with Arya) gets out alive.

    Just a hop, skip, and a jump away we get the man with the plan, the Serious Stag, the dude voted most likely to cut off the fingers of people who help him, Stannis "The Grammar Nazi" Baratheon. We start with him burning all the statues to the Seven pulling a fire sword while the red woman talks him up like Paul Bearer talking up the Undertaker on Westeros Wrestling Entertainment while Maester Cressen runs around like Kermit with his flipper on fire. After we get him at dinner dictating a letter, cutting all the bullshit he sees as untrue. His follower Davos tries to stop Cressen from poisoning the red woman Melisandre, but they both drink from the cup. Cressen drops dead like a freshman frat boy, and Melisandre takes that drink like a champ proving she got real magic.

    Let's look at somebody that also might (does) have some real magic: Bran at Winterfell. Dude's totally having wolf dreams before going out into the woods and talking about what the comet means. Osha thinks dragons, so that's a thing that people believe all over. Then Bran holds court and learns how to lead because the people are whiny.

    Up north at the Wall but beyond it, the Great Good Ranging thing is taking place. The boys in black have made it to Craster's Keep where Craster holds court over his… what's the term for a group of literal "sister-wives?" An incest? A bridal party? Whatever. Jon Snow pisses the guy off and wonders what happens to all the boy children. The Lord Commander tells him to shut the hell up and maybe learn to follow if he wants to lead. Everybody else is just kinda weirded out except maybe the rapers because this is raper heaven.

    I have no transition from raper heaven to dying of thirst, but Dany's lead her people and dragons out into the desert. Her horse with no name dies and then everybody is all, oh shit we need water, y'all. She sends three riders out to find water and they fuck off. That's about all.

    We shall end up in the Riverlands because I do not really know right where Robb, Cat, and his army are. Rob and his pony puppy confront Jaime, tell him he's a dick and his daddy's a dick and they better be cool, bro. The puppy says most of that. Rob then calls up a Lannister prisoner to send off with his army's demands, namely bones, his sisters, and the North. Then he sends Theon off to get ships from his daddy. Catelyn wants to go ahead and trade Jamie for the girls, but Rob is like, um nope, you get off to talk to Renly about chilling.

    All about the power, who has it and who wants it. Tyrion takes his while Cersei forces her power on others, Joffrey whining about his kingly rights. Speaking of whining, Stannis does his share without an army while Melisandre shows her god got some spice. Bran has a little bit but feels bored with the monotony of it. Craster hold his as the only safe harbor in the area but at what cost? Dany, well, she's dying. We were really just checking in on her, huh? Rob and his dog really show what they've got, making demands and trying for help by sending out emissaries. We shall see if these powers hold together for long or if they all tumble.