Game of Thrones

Season 1 Episode 5

The Wolf and the Lion

41
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM May 15, 2011 on HBO
8.7
out of 10
User Rating
766 votes
11

EPISODE REVIEWS
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  • THE WACKY WORLD OF WESTEROS

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    Catelyn's decisions come back to Ned Stark, Tyrion is stuck in a madhouse, and how old is too old to stop breastfeeding?

  • Episode Summary

    EDIT

    Catelyn takes Tyrion to be judged by her sister and Jon Arryn's widow, Lysa Aryyn of the Vale. Ned clashes with Robert over his plan for the Targaryens. Arya overhears a plot regarding her father.

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    SUBMIT REVIEW
    • The Wolf and the Lion

      8.5
      The Good:

      -"All desires are valid to a man with a full purse."

      -"You think it's honor keeping the peace? It's fear - fear and blood."

      -Cersei and Robert's interaction is missing from the book, but some light is shed on their relationship that makes both characters a bit worthier of empathy.

      The Bad:

      -Varys and Petyr are far more mysterious and intriguing in the books.

      -"The Wolf and the Lion" feels like another setup episode. There is plenty of dialogue, but sparse action until the final scene.moreless
    • The wit, the writing, the smarts, even some sex, this episode has it all!

      9.5
      I've mentioned in the past where things get lost in the translation of books to TV, yet the reverse is true too. With George Martin's writing style of using POV characters, it wasn't possible to include the conversation between Cersei and Robert Baratheon, unless Arya Stark was hiding beneath a bed the entire time, or if he even planned it. The book paints Robert as a drunkard who makes unwisely decision time and time again, and yet his five or so minutes talking with Cersei revealed more about his character than all of the book did. The figurative language and metaphors used, it was an absolutely brilliant scene! Especially when he said that ruling the seven kingdoms couldn't even replace the void left in him by Lyanna Stark. And the book made Robert look like a foolish king who would be arrogant enough to meet the Dothraki in open battle, and yet he brought reason to him in the TV show.

      While the ending of the first episode pretty much gave away all the answers to us as the viewer of Ned Stark's detective story, seeing everything unfold was still entertaining to see. I thought nothing of Ser Hugh of the Vale and thought he was just fodder to be killed by the mountain, but Ned found importance in his role in the grand scheme of things. The relationship between Ser Loras and Renly Baratheon somewhat surprised me; I've seen Game of Thrones before reading it, but that was something I've forgotten. My only complaint for the episode is that if there was Jory's role in the TV show wasn't as magnified in the book, and his death in the book a lot more sad than in the show. Nonetheless, a spectacular episode, and that is despite two of my three favorite characters (Daenerys and Jon Snow) not making an appearance at all, and although there was little of my third favorite (Tyrion Lannister), he had enough smart remarks to bring me a laugh.moreless
    • 105

      6.5
      "The Wolf and the Lion" continues the trend of okay, yet unspectacular, episodes of Game of Thrones. I still prefer Showtime's middle ages drama The Borgias to this, but the HBO series does have some fine acting and some nice action from time to time that make the show worth watching. This show focuses more on the relationships among these different groups of people than that program does, but more often than not that does not translate to great TV. This was a solid hour, but for that reason I mentioned it really has not lived up to the hype. When there is not a big climatic moment, the episodes tend to be fairly mediocre, like this one was.moreless
    • The Wolf and the Lion

      10
      The Wolf and the Lion was a perfect episode of Game of Thrones and I really enjoyed watching this episode because it had lots of intrigue, action and character development. The plot thickened as Lady Stark held a Lanister hostage, though he helped her and made her think about his part in her accusation. I also thought King Robert was thinking a little too narrowly though his worries did have some merit. I really like the pace, flow and story lines of this series. I have not read the books, but I sure would knowing that they are probably even better than the series, though the series is outstanding so far! I love the intrigue overincest within the family and how far some of these cover ups go. I look forward to watching the next episode of Game of Thrones!!!!!!!moreless
    • After a slower paced, but still interesting first four episodes, the fifth one kicks everything into high gear.

      9.1
      I'm not one to say that a show requires action scenes to be compelling.. if that were the case, "Mad Men" would be my least favorite show of all time. However, I do like "Mad Men" quite a lot, and while I like me some slow-burning drama and tension, I also like the occasional outburst of action. While the first four episodes were preparations for the rest of the season, this fifth episode of "Game of Thrones" was amazing, giving us everything that's great about drama in fifty minutes.



      Last week's cliffhanger is quickly resolved, as Catelynn Stark and a slew of men that she picked up along the way prepare to question Tyrion Lannister for his (supposed) attempted murder of Bran. Tyrion denies it, and soon enough, they're attacked by what I believe is Hill People. Tyrion saves Cat's life, and she allows him to walk with them without being tied up... but for some insane reason, Cat still decides to take Tyrion to Jon Aryn's wife and see what she thinks, even though Jon's wife believes the Lannister's are responsible for killing Jon. Tyrion is thrown in prison.



      The only reason I'm so precise in describing what happened here is because Catelynn's actions come to effect Ned's. You see, Ned is already feeling a bit hesitant to stay on as Robert's Hand, mostly because Robert wants to assassinate Daenerys since she is now pregnant with a Doth Raki child (we also don't see any of the blonde-haired queen, which I don't have any complaints about). Ned refuses to do so and resigns from the position. We also learn that Jon Aryn was looking into all of Robert's bastard children before he died and that there are people are already plotting to kill Ned. As a result, when Ned is approached by Jaime Lannister about his brother, Ned admits he had his brother captured, and we get an insanely entertaining fight between Ned and Jaime that would've been even better if Jaime's man hadn't stepped in.



      In between these two sections, we get a handful of equally entertaining and revealing scenes. There's a great one between Robert and Cersei where Robert remembers his former lover, Ned's sister. We get a great fight between the Mountain and his brother, the man with the burned face. There's also an interesting scene between one of the Grayjoy kids and the red-haired whore that is frequently mentioned by everybody. I think showing us a Grayjoy randomly and never going back to him is a good sign of what to expect in coming episodes. They wouldn't show him unless he were going to somehow have an impact.



      Overall, this was just a great episode of television and perhaps the best Game of Thrones episode to date. I'm not sure I agree with "thefanof" in this case (and normally, I respect what he has to say about shows in general) about the episode not having a climatic moment.. I thought that a small amount of action sequences and some more plot development was more than enough to keep me interested. I didn't feel bored like last week, where it felt like we were being told everything.



      If the final five episodes are as good as the first five were, we're in for a real treat this year with "Game of Thrones."moreless

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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    • TRIVIA (1)

      • The title for this episode, "The Wolf and the Lion", refers to the Starks and the Lannisters respectively. A direwolf is the sigil of house Stark and a lion the sigil of house Lannister.

    • QUOTES (8)

      • Cersei Lannister: Was it ever possible for us? Was there ever a time, ever a moment?
        Robert Baratheon: No. (pauses) Does that make you feel better or worse?
        Cersei Lannister: It doesn't make me feel anything.

      • Eddard Stark: Jon was a man of peace. He was Hand for seventeen years, seventeen good years. Why kill him?
        Lord Varys: He started asking questions.

      • Cersei Lannister: What was she like?
        Robert Baratheon: You've never asked about her, not once. Why not?
        Cersei Lannister: At first, just saying her name, even in private, felt like I was breathing life back into her. I thought that if I didn't talk about her, she'd just fade away for you. When I realized that wasn't going to happen, I refused to ask out of spite. I didn't want to give you the satisfaction of thinking I cared enough to ask. Eventually it became clear that my spite didn't mean anything to you. As far as I could tell, you actually enjoyed it.
        Robert Baratheon: So why now?
        Cersei Lannister: What harm could Lyanna Stark's ghost do to either of us that we haven't done to each other a hundred times over?

      • Bronn: You need a woman. Nothing like a woman after a fight.
        Tyrion Lannister: (both look toward Catelyn Stark) I'm willing if she is.

      • Robert Baratheon: (to Eddard Stark, about the Seven Kingdoms) Do you think it's honor that's keeping the peace? It's fear--fear and blood.

      • Petyr Baelish: All desires are valid to a man with a full purse.

      • Tyrion Lannister: The Eyrie. They say it's impregnable.
        Bronn
        : Give me ten good men and some climbing spikes...I'll impregnate the bitch.

      • Tyrion Lannister: A Lannister always pays his debts.

    • NOTES (0)

    • ALLUSIONS (0)

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