It's royal wedding season! Gasp at the decadence! Marvel at the opulence! Admire the beautiful union of love and power that should uplift the spirits of people across King's Landing!
Or witness that under the excess, the realm's two richest families suffer from the same pitfalls that begat your average American wedding reception: Booze is plentiful, family grievances are aired for all to see and the awkward possibilities are endless.
The celebration of Tyrion Lannister and Sansa Stark's marriage has a wide array of characters: your bitter (Cersei's ice queen routine toward Loras), your drunken (Lady Olenna trying to piece together a baffling family tree) and your disgusting (King Joffrey's promise of a midnight sexual abuse session with Sansa). But what stands out above all is the hatred and resentment that turns the regal affair into an episode of the Real Housewives of Westeros.
Margaery Tyrell tries to call Cersei "sister," and Cersei replies by threatening to kill off the entire Tyrell clan. Tywin Lannister demands that his son sober up so he and Sansa can consummate their marriage, and Tyrion responds by guzzling more wine, which leads to Tyrion threatening to lop off Joffrey's penis if he keeps hassling Sansa with sexual threats. We were a table flip away from Bravo calling for a reunion special to hash the whole thing out.
Joffrey's sexual threats pale in comparison to those thrown at Daenerys Targaryen. The "Mother of Dragons" is busy trying to strengthen her army in the hopes of overtaking Yunkai. She meets with the leaders of the Second Sons, led by the Titan's Bastard, in the hopes that a promise of riches over a promise of certain death will sway them to join her side.
The only promise the Titan's Bastard seems interested in is a commitment to defeating and demeaning Dany in every way imaginable. Despite the Sons' repulsive behavior, Dany wants them to join her ranks and assures them they will be made wealthy beyond their wildest dreams if they stand with the unsullied.
The three men convene on their own time and decide that no matter how beautiful she may be, killing the Khaleesi outweighs her promise of wealth. The three draw straws, leaving the hunky blond-haired sellsword, Daario Naharis, to off Dany in the dead of night.
Daario nearly makes good on the Sons' decree. He sneaks into Dany's tent under disguise and proceeds to hold her handmaiden, Missandei, at knifepoint. However, instead of slitting' throats, Daario presents the heads of his comrades to Dany as a token of affection. It turns out that Daario had some "philosophical differences" with his captain's plans and didn't need to be paid off; all he wants to do is serve at the side of the woman who has won his heart.
Across the kingdom, Melisandre is fulfilling a promise of her own, returning to Stannis Baratheon with Gendry in tow. It is revealed that the "King's Blood" she has spoken so much about needs to be extracted from Gendry via sacrifice, a proposal Stannis is leery of.
Stannis is skeptical enough that he pays a visit to his imprisoned confidant, Davos Seaworth, in order to get a second opinion. Davos sees that his friend is hesitant about it and tries to talk him out the entire ordeal. However, Stannis is ultimately guided by the Lord of Light, relenting to the fact that Gendry's destiny – along with his own – is out of his control.
Melisandre goes on to use the allure of destiny to seduce Gendry and serve her own mission. She entices him into a sexual romp that serves a higher purpose: "Death is coming for everyone and everything," she warns him, and continuing the Baratheon bloodline is the only way to stop the darkness.
Much like Theon Greyjoy's initial trepidation during his recent sexual episode, Gendry's apprehension proves to be accurate, as the sex turns into a weird fire ritual that ends with Melisandre placing leeches on his privates while Stannis and Davos watch. It seems that Melisandre and fate share the same proclivity for cruelty.