Things are coming to a head in HBO's Game of Thrones, as the various forces who want control of the Seven Kingdoms begin to act on their desires. In the latest episode, "You Win or You Die," those plans begin to unfold. Even though Viserys (Harry Lloyd) is dead, his sister, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), decides she wants to sit on the Iron Throne. After a failed poisoning attempt ordered by King Robert (Mark Addy) on Daenerys, her husband, Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa), pledges to win it for her and their unborn baby. As Robert passes away, Ned Stark (Sean Bean) makes a play to control the throne, exposing Robert's "son" Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) as a product of an incestuous affair, not the rightful heir. Queen Cersei (Lena Headey) has Joffrey rule, though, and a betrayal by Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) makes Ned the loser. For now.
This wonderful fantasy series is made more so each week, as tension mounts, and dangers scale up their threat level. The political battles are merely one side of the coin, though they have been front and center, and highly addictive. Ned is clearly in the right, but while he at first appears to have the upper hand, especially after gathering all the intelligence that the last Hand of the King had before his murder, he is still left out in the cold because he doesn't play the loyalty games. Ned is straightforward and honest. Others are not. It's why Ned is not succeeding in ousting the Lannisters, and it's why the hero now finds himself outmatched by the villains. Which makes the story only more interesting.
It truly is a good versus evil battle. While some of the players in Game of Thrones do operate in a shade of gray zone, like Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), or at least, their loyalties are still unknown, the main group of Lannisters and the Starks are truly assigned a right and wrong. It makes things a little easier on the viewers, as the story is complicated enough without not knowing who to root for. In this case, simpler is better. And it feels good to have the hostility out in the open now, instead of behind closed doors.