It was a rough day for some blondes in Game of Thrones's sixth episode, titled "A Golden Crown." The obvious allusion that title makes is to the boiling-hot final scene, but can't it also apply to the future coronation of blonde-haired Joffrey? And all the Lannisters as well?
The show hasn't exactly been hiding its obsession with hair color, and that came to a head (pun!) last night as Ned took a look at Westeros' hard copy of Facebook and dug up this interesting fact: every Baratheon heir has been dark of hair. Both of Robert's bastards that we saw had dark hair. The lightbulb goes off in Ned's brain (and ours, if it hadn't already). Joffrey is blonde. Myrcella is blonde. Tommen is blonde. Throw in the fact (that we know, but Ned does not) that Cersei likes getting railed by her blonde brother Jaime, and we've got something fishy going on. Unless the trademark Lannister blonde hair is some sort of super dominant gene, we have one really twisted royal family on our hands. I guess that makes Lannisport the Arkansas of Westeros.
Ned's spot between a rock and a hard place continues to tighten. As if Ned's relationship with Robert wasn't rocky enough, imagine having to tell your buddy and King that his kids might not actually be his. On the other hand, it might just be the kind of ammunition that Ned needs to oust the Lannisters as royal impostors. We don't know if this is all true yet, but the evidence is there, isn't it? Could this be the same secret that Jon Arryn held, the same secret that led to his murder? From one Hand to the next, I suppose.
Over in loincloth land, Dany is having a nice breakfast of horse heart to prove she's worthy of her new people by literally ingesting one of the things that's most sacred to them. But she didn't even use a knife and fork! How barbaric! The meal serves a second purpose, giving strength to her unborn child who will one day open a can of whoop-ass on those usurping dogs in Westeros. Normally I wouldn't treat any scene in which an adorable young girl scarfs down the ventricles of a horse as celebratory, but it's such a wonderful ascension for Dany that I couldn't help chanting "Rhaego!" with all the rest of the Dothraki.
Meanwhile, Viserys, sensing his claim to the throne is slipping away (did he ever really have a claim in the first place?), just makes dumb move after dumb move which is to be expected from a character as blind with power as he is. He tries to steal the dragon eggs then shows up drunk to the Dothraki kegger going on and on about how he deserves the crown. Well, he got what he deserved alright. Viserys barely flinched when Slutty Handmaid poured wax on his chest in the tub, but throw some molten gold on his head and he goes down like a sack of potatoes. The focus may have been on Viserys, but this is Dany's moment. Isolated from the royal mess that is Westeros, her character has seen the most growth by far.
Tyrion's situation suddenly seems less treacherous in light of Viserys' demise. But he still needs to find a way out of his predicament, and where stronger men would rely on the sharp blade, Tyrion must rely on his sharp wit. His conversations with the dim jailer were priceless, and his confessions before Lysa were uproarious--it's nice to know that there were plenty of euphamisms for masturbation back then as there are now. Just don't get the image of Tyrion "skinning the sausage" in your head, or you'll never be able to have a cocktail weenie again. Uh oh, you just pictured it in your head, didn't you?
With no chance to win the favor of the despicable child-lord Robin in an honest trial, Tyrion asks for trial by combat and requests a champion to fight in his stead. Up steps Bronn, probably figuring that if he wins he'll be set with all the Lannister gold he can carry. He's an outside-the-armor thinker like Tyrion, so he opts to skip platemail, a shield, and all that other heavy stuff, and does his own take on Ali's rope-a-dope, tiring out his opponent and finishing him off with just a few well-placed slashes.
That fight is a great microcosm of Game of Thrones. Honor, while gallant and able to drop the breeches of the fairest of maidens, often gets you an early grave. The survivors are the ones who employ tactics of deception, wit, and knowledge. Sure shiny armor looks good, but it's entirely too cumbersome to count when it matters. If you need me, I'll be cowering in the corner with loose fitting linen clothes. Alive. Hiding behind Samwell Tarley.
Notes from the ravens
--The slap heard 'round the world! One of the most satisfying scenes of the series so far has to be Cersei on the wrong end of the King's five-fingered justice.
--Sansa took her bitchiness to another level, and Joffrey begging her forgiveness sure didn't help her attitude. At this point, those two deserve each other.
--Ned bringing down the justice on The Mountain: good move or bad move?
--Lysa: "You don't fight with honor!" Bronn: "No, he did." Burrrrrrn!
Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom