"What is Dead May Never Die" is the third episode of the second season of Game of Thrones. It is the thirteenth episode of the series overall. It premiered on April 15, 2012. It was written by story editor Bryan Cogman and directed by cinematographer Alik Sakharov.
Beyond the Wall
Craster drags his captive Jon Snow back to his keep. He had caught Jon spying on him while he left a baby in the forest for the White Walkers and has beaten him bloody. Craster orders the men of the Night's Watch out of his home, blaming Jon. Lord Commander Jeor Mormont questions Jon about his actions. Jon realizes that Jeor has known all along that Craster is sacrificing his sons.
In the Seven Kingdoms
Catelyn Stark arrives in the camp of King Renly Baratheon during a tournament. She watches Brienne of Tarth defeat Ser Loras Tyrell and claim a place in Renly's kingsguard. Renly introduces Catelyn to his new wife Margaery Tyrell. Renly shows off his 100,000 strong army. Catelyn warns Renly to take the war seriously.
Renly tries to intiate sex with his lover Loras but is rebuffed. Loras reminds him of the importance of fathering an heir and goes to fetch his sister Queen Margaery. Margaery fails to seduce Renly. She is pragmatic about his homosexuality and also asserts the importance of producing an heir.
Theon Greyjoy is included in his father Balon's war council. Balon reveals his plan to attack the lightly defended North while their armies are fighting against House Lannister. Theon is emasculated by being assigned a single ship to raid the Stony Shore while his sister Yara is put in command of thirty ships and told to take Deepwood Motte. Theon challenges his father's lack of faith in him and reminds him that he gave him up as a ward. Balon reacts by hitting his son and storming out. Theon considers warning Robb about his father's actions but ultimately reaffirms his loyalty to House Greyjoy by being baptised by a Drowned Priest.
Shae complains to Tyrion Lannister about being confined to his chambers. He liases with Varys to find her a job that will give her some freedom. Cersei Lannister hosts an awkward dinner for her children and her captive Sansa Stark. Sansa maintains her facade of loyalty to her captors. Shae reports as Sansa's new handmaiden allowing Sansa vent some frustration about her inexperience.
Tyrion tests the loyalty of the small council by feeding them each a different plan for a marriage alliance involving Princess Myrcella Baratheon. He uncovers Pycelle as an informant to Cersei when Cersei confronts him about the plan he fed to Pycelle. Tyrion insists on pursuing the exposed plan to marry Myrcella into House Martell of Dorne over Cersei's protests. He has Bronn arrest Pycelle for his treachery. Petyr Baelish is furious about being involved in Tyrion's deception. Tyrion placates him by offering him an opportunity to act as an envoy to Renly and Catelyn.
Arya Stark struggles with insomnia and takes advice from Yoren about coping with her painful memories. He tells her to focus on retribution. They are interrupted by the arrival of Ser Amory Lorch with a force of Lannister men and gold cloaks. Yoren marshalls the recruits for a battle. He confronts Ser Amory and refuses to comply with his demands that he surrender the Royal bastard Gendry. Yoren dies fighting bravely but his recruits are overcome. During the fight Arya rescues Jaqen H'ghar from a fire near the prisoner wagon. Lommy Greenhands picks up Gendry's helm and is wounded by a crossbow bolt. Arya is incapacitated by Polliver who takes Needle from her. Gendry and Hot Pie are also captured. Lommy begs Polliver to carry him but Polliver kills him instead. Arya convinces her captors that Lommy was Gendry because he was carrying the helm. Ser Amory orders the prisoners taken to Harrenhal.
A detailed recap of the episode scene by scene.
- The episode covers material from chapters 9, 15, 18, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29 and 45 (Tyrion II, Arya IV, Tyrion IV, Arya V, Tyrion V, Catelyn II, Jon III, Theon II, Tyrion VI, Bran IV and Tyrion X).
- This episode introduces House Martell of Dorne.
- "What is dead may never die" is a saying in the faith of the Drowned God on the Iron Islands. The answer to the phrase is "But rises again harder and stronger." In the episode the phrase is begun by Theon Greyjoy during his baptism and completed by the Drowned Priest conducting the ceremony.
- This episode is the first director credit for Alik Sakharov, who has previously worked on the series as a director of photography.
- Even though they are not featured in the episode, Dragonstone and Essos appear in the title sequence.
- Renly's sexual relationship with Loras was implied in the books, but happened largely "off-screen". Author George R.R. Martin has confirmed that they were lovers. The book series (as of the fifth book, at least) was never clear on exactly to what extent Margaery Tyrell knew about her brother's relationship with Renly, or what her feelings regarding it were.
- When Renly departs from Catelyn to share an intimate moment with Loras in his tent, he tells Catelyn that he is retiring for the evening to "pray". In the books, this is an excuse which Renly and Loras frequently use to explain away their romantic trysts.
- In the books, Tyrion's three "interviews" to discover which of the Small Council members is secretly working for Cersei happen sequentially, and involve a large amount of "inner monologue" from Tyrion's POV as he contrasts each interview with the previous one. This would have likely been difficult to portray on film, so the TV series instead intercuts each of the three interviews, showing each of the men's reactions to Tyrion's questions one question at a time.
- In the books, Shae is not made a handmaiden until much later. First she's placed inside a "safe house" and guarded by members of the mountain clans.
- In the books, Ser Amory and his men attack Yoren and the Night's Watch recruits during their hunt for Beric Dondarrion.
- Daenerys Targaryen and her associated storyline do not appear in this episode.
- The scene in which Margaery Tyrell tries to seduce her husband Renly Baratheon was the first scene that Natalie Dormer shot for the TV series.
- Despite the fact that King Renly's camp is supposed to feature light-hearted "knights of summer" acting like war is a game and holding a tournament, it is very dark and overcast during this scene. Due to production delays, filming of this scene had to be pushed back to September 2011, even though it was originally intended to be filmed about a month earlier when it was sunnier. Just then, the remnants of Hurricane Irene swept in across the Atlantic Ocean and battered Ireland, though by that point it had degenerated into a front of severe storms. Even when it was not raining, the sky was filled with stormclouds and cold winds blasted through the location. As they were already behind schedule, it was not possible to postpone filming the scene any further, so they were forced to film the "knights of summer" scene in cold and stormy weather. This was something of a problem for the cast, who were still wearing the summer clothing that their characters should have been wearing in Renly's camp. Many cast members were at least wearing their armor, but Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell) was wearing a light summer gown with a plunging neckline, and as a result was freezing during the filming of this sequence. Between takes, the costume department would rush to cover Dormer in blankets and give her hot water bottles. Dormer recounted, "that tournament scene was just unfortunate."
- It is so cold that the breath of many of the cast members is visible in this scene, particularly when Margaery says "you are very welcome here, Lady Stark".
- Natalie Dormer joins the starring cast, bringing the number of current starring cast members to 24.
- Only 15 of the 24 starring cast members for the second season appear in this episode.
- Starring cast members Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont), Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth), Richard Madden (Robb Stark), Jack Gleeson (Joffrey Baratheon), Rory McCann (Sandor Clegane) Stephen Dillane (Stannis Baratheon) and Carice van Houten (Melisandre) are not credited and do not appear in this episode.
- John Bradley is credited ahead of Jerome Flynn and Conleth Hill when he was credited after them in "The Night Lands", he was credited before them in "The North Remembers".
- Alfie Allen is credited before Isaac Hempstead-Wright and Sophie Turner when he was credited after them when they last appeared together in "The North Remembers".
- Tobias Winter makes his first credited appearance as Timett, having previously played the character uncredited as a featured extra.
|Game of Thrones Season 2|
|#01 "The North Remembers"||#06 "The Old Gods and the New"|
|#02 "The Night Lands"||#07 "A Man Without Honor"|
|#03 "What is Dead May Never Die"||#08 "The Prince of Winterfell"|
|#04 "Garden of Bones"||#09 "Blackwater"|
|#05 "The Ghost of Harrenhal"||#10 "Valar Morghulis"|