Previously on Game of Thrones: The Kingslayer flirt/fights with Brienne. Bran can’t walk and regularly gets The Shine. Jon is miserable and longs for a cuddle. Arya is the sassiest 12-year-old girl with a sword in all the land. Margaery werqs it and King Weaselteat continues to be the worst. On with this week’s episode!
(Regular reminder that I am NOT a book reader, which means that if it hasn’t aired on HBO, I don’t know it. Also: the show isn’t the same as the books in regards to character, spelling, etc. in some cases. So…who’s got two thumbs and is not a book reader? This gal!)
Bran is running through the woods and hold up a minute. Bran is running? But—no time for buts! His eyebrows are intense as he scans the skies, taking it all in and HOSHIT RAVEN GAH! It’s the three-eyed raven of evil portent! Naturally, Bran’s instinct is to shoot it with an arrow [hey-o, symbolism!]. Jon and Robb magically appear by his side to help him out, but they’re terrible instructors because Bran misses. Ned Stark Mufasas from the trees (or is it that he Obi Wans? “So was I…if you remember.”) when HOSHIT SOMEONE WE DON’T KNOW appears.
Medieval Billy Elliot materializes out of the trees and tells Bran that of course he can’t hit the raven. Bran is the raven, the raven is Bran. You can’t kill symbolism, buddy. But sometimes a raven is just a rave— NO. IT IS ALWAYS A MESSAGE. Of doom!
He wakes from his dream to find Hodor (M-O-O-N, that spells Hodor!) worried. Tonks checks in to make sure Bran didn’t dream the future or something, and since it had nothing to do with Wildlings or Winter, she ain’t interested. So it’s time for them to be on the move because Winter is Coming. Eventually. At Some Point. Winter Will Show Up, She Promises You, And Then You’ll See. You’ll All See!
Robb and his new wife have a romantic moment in front of a fire when they’re suddenly interrupted by WAR, ROBB, did you forget you were at WAR? I mean, yeah, Talisa rocks a braid, but you are the leader of an army in a huge WAR. Ahem. Lord Bolton busts up their “No, you have the cutest smile!” moment to deliver some news. And none of it is good. Winterfell? Yeah, burned to the ground. Riverrun? Dead grandpa.
Robb gets the rotten job of informing his mother all of this. So now Cate has only one child that she knows is alive, and he’s got her in irons. Things aren’t looking so good for Lady Cate. Robb wonders if maybe Bran and Rickon are being held by Theon Greyjoy?
Nope! Theon is currently being tortured for some unknown reason (not true: it’s because he is a complete and utter wonk. If he was more cruel or had actual power, he’d be Joffrey). A mysterious someone lurks nearby, not saying anything until:
Torturer: Got a splinter under that nail?
Torturer: LOOK AGAIN! *dirk stab oh my god HOOOARK*
Brienne and Jaime Lannister (Hooray! I love Brienne!) take a nature walk (they’re traveling to King’s Landing to make a trade, hence why Lady Cate is in irons). He wants to chat, and I think he actually likes her, but she’s sticking to her plan. Here’s what I love about these two: Jaime can clearly see that she’s an amazing warrior. But she has an idealized idea of what it is to be a Kingsguard. She’s very Camelot, while he’s all Borgias. He’s been there, he’s seen the corruption, and he’s still alive while many of his colleagues are not.
And I think he wants to make her better, knock some of that fundamentalism out of her. So he needles her and tests her, trying to get her to loosen up and be a bit more cunning. We know what happens to people who hold on to their honor: Ned on a Pike.
He needles her about Renly, thinking she had a crush on him, which throws her into a rage. (I have no idea how to interpret that, other than it seems “dishonorable” to have such thoughts about your King? In her mind?) and Jaime’s response is to say, “I don’t blame you, either. We don’t get to choose who we love.”
SORRY ABOUT YOUR SISTER, BRO, BUT HAVE YOU TRIED THE STARK? I’m just saying, Sansa is all unattached.
A dude rolls up on them looking all innocent and kind, which immediately calms Brienne. She sends him on his way. After all, he did send them Seven Blessings! Jaime wants her to go kill him, because he’ll tell someone he saw them. Pshht. Nah. That guy? She moves him along and Jaime starts thinking of a solid plan because maybe she can’t lose that whole honor thing after all.
The lesser Lannister (King Weaselteat) is getting a new coat while Mummy sits and admires his fine, fine form. Um, he has had sex now, Mummy, so he doesn’t need her to help dress him in his kingly Garanimals, thanks ever so. She just wants to know what he thinks about Margeary, and I love that she’s testing his intelligence. (That’ll be a short test.) What does he think about her dressing like a whore and being nice to…the poor (spits).
Joffrey tells her to shut the hell up and make him a chicken pot pie, because he’s got this, MOM. The court clothier comes back with something from Prince’s Raspberry Beret days, which is far closer to Weaselteat’s liking. Cersei, you have no one to blame but yourself for that unholy monster.
Sansa tells Shae about Littlefinger (“It’s not that little!”) just wanting to help, because she’s still a very young girl. A young girl who was raised by Ned Stark. She’s no Margarery Tyrell. Sansa finds it hilarious to think an older man would ever be attracted to a young, nubile lady! Gross! Who does that? Oh my! Looks like Shae is going to have to do the looking out for her, then.
Ser Loras arrives to take Sansa on a walk to meet his grandmother, and Sansa is all aflutter. That is the type of gallant knight she believed she’d end up with! (Honey, you need to grow some gaydar, bless. Jon is way more his type.) He takes her to Margaery and the Lady Olenna, who is Sophia of the Golden Girls, sassy.
“Picture it: Westeros, 240AL!” (Somewhere one of you readers is laughing.)
Olenna is sassy as hell over tea cakes and lady chats. She gets straight to it: So? Joffrey? Sporting a pud? Needle D? Into creepy stuff? I need to know for my granddaughter!
Sansa is terrified, because this could be a set up. (YES, SANSA. IT COULD BE.) Finally, she blurts out that Joffrey is a monster, that he’s the type who cuts off your father’s head and makes you look at it. Also, he leaves his dirty socks on the floor, and the hamper is right fucking there, oh my god.
Lady Olenna sighs. “Huh. Well, that’s a pity.” Margaery rolls her eyes and adjusts her sails, because this is a lady who grew up learning how to play the game.
Robb’s men are now on the move to Riverrun to attend Cate’s father’s funeral. Because that’s a good diversion during war. ROBB YOU ARE AT WAR. Lord Karstark is on my side here, and knows they don’t even have enough men to fight. Everything went to shit when Robb married Talisa. He was supposed to marry one of Argus Filch’s daughters (Frey) and now look at what he’s done. Day trips to Riverrun instead of overthrowing the Lannisters.
Cate makes another of her shitty dream catchers/God’s Eye thingies when Talisa tries to get her mother-in-law to warm up to her. Well, that’s not going to work, Talisa, because Cate is as cold as the Winter that is coming. One day. And why? Because she knows everything is her fault. Ned came back with a baby, and she made a promise to take that baby as her own, give it their name, and love it. And she didn’t. Guess who that baby was? Jon Snow. And because she didn’t follow through on her promise, the Gods are punishing them.
Wow, thinking pretty highly of yourself and your own importance, Cate! Maybe send a care package to Jon at the Wall? Some extra socks? Cookies? Oh, right, you couldn’t bear to look at him seventeen years later. Bitter, bitter woman.
Speaking of, Jon—now kitted out in Wildling gear—is getting a personal tour with Mance Rayder. Know what it took for Mance to unite 90 clans that speak seven languages? The truth: move South with me, or die. They pass by some dude who is snow blind, staring up at a bird. No, he’s not blind, he’s working his Shine, seeing what the bird has seen. He’s a Warg, and it’s super helpful to have one as a scout.
The guy snaps out of his trance (or whatever) and immediately asks Jon if he’s Ned Stark’s bastard. “COME ON,” Jon whines. The twitchy-ass Warg then tells them that he saw something: dead crows. Wait, no: dead Crows. Oho!
RED LEADER PORKINS, DID HE SEE YOU? Yep! Porkins is about to give up because let’s face it: he’s no soldier. He’s Gomer Pyle from Full Metal Jacket, unable to get up over that wall, and he is in. A world. Of shit. An older Watch dude tries to convince him to curl up in a snowbank and be done with it, when Porkins’ old buddies tell him to keep going. Lord Mormont has had enough of this horse shit and tells older guy that he’s now in charge of Porkins. Either Porkins makes it or they both die. Either way, it’s a win for Mormont by losing an asshole and a weakling, or turning things around. Now move!
(Side note: what animal do those cloaks come from? Bears? We’ve not seen anything other than Direwolves that are large. Eh, just curious.)
Bran wakes up from another nap (Seriously, dude? Why are you so sleepy all the time?) and sees Summer (his Direwolf) and Tonks bowed up and ready to fight. Something is in the woods… HOSHIT Billy Elliot! Tonks gets him with her spear and dares him to dance his way out of this when Billy’s sister shows up and holds Tonks at knife point. Who’s dancing now? Well, no one. And Bran’s legs don’t work, so that is just rude.
Turns out that even the Direwolf likes Billy, but he’s not Billy, he’s Jojen Reed and he’s been looking for Bran for some time. What. Yep, he and his sister Meera have been looking for them, and they have further mystical travels to go…
Gendry, Arya, and Cartman wander through the countryside on their way to safety when Gendry brings up the point that everyone in fandom asked: if Jaqen H’gar was going to kill whatever three people Arya named, why the hell didn’t she say Weaselteat or Tywin Lannister? This war could be over! Um, a girl doesn’t have to explain herself to a blacksmith, Gendry.
Before they can get into this, a group of traveling…bandits? Singers? Ne’er-do-wells? comes upon them. Arya tries to be brave, but she’s still a young girl. And she’s up against Thoros of Myr (I assume this will mean something some day) and his Brotherhood Without Banners. They’re like Doctors without Borders, but they take lives, they don’t save them. OR SOMETHING. We don’t really know much more than that their archer is hilariously saucy and they all could use a face wash. Our group has no choice but to go with them.
Tyrion has been allowed back into his royal chambers, it seems, and finds Shae there. SHAE! What has he told you about his father wanting you dead if you show up there? Eh, she had to see him to give him intel on Baelish and Roz’s warning. Look, he has a job to do, and so does she… and okay, so that job is down there involving suction? Good work, m’lady. Fine…fine! hogod work, hnnng. (I like how articulate he is.)
(Important take away: Tyrion says Sansa has been “released” by the Lannisters, which evidently doesn’t mean they’re going to kill her. So…she’s free to move around the cabin? Huh. I’d still be watching my back if I were her.)
Margaery goes to see Joffrey and pretend she’s worthy of his douchebaggery. But never underestimate a Weaselteat, because he threatens her right off the bat about her having been married to a traitor. Watching her plan her attack on the fly is a thing of beauty, however. She immediately pulls out the “but he was gay” card. She even tosses out that Renly wanted to be her backdoor lover, but that sounded so painful, and now you have Joffrey’s interest.
He starts stroking his crossbow in a significant manner, she asks to handle it (hey now!), and he allows her to hold it in both hands. He does the stand behind her to be sexy thing where she pretends that he has “a kingly bolt, m’lud” and asks him if he’d like to see her kill something. Well, now you’re just playing dirty and he likes it.
Hilarious shot: Joffrey holding his crossbow at crotch level and getting accuracy. THAT IS NOT HOW IT WORKS. Mostly he just likes that she might be a dirty birdie, too.
Speaking of pain, Greyjoy is getting the cranks (are his feet being crushed? I couldn’t figure out what the crank was for) as his torturer asks him to “Give us the truth.”
Greyjoy: Fine! OK! I’ll talk! In third grade, I cheated on my history exam. In fourth grade, I stole my captor Ned’s toupee and I glued it on my face when I was the Storm God in my Iron Islands School play. In fifth grade, I knocked my sister Yara down the stairs and I blamed it on the dog… When my dad sent me to Winterfell and then they served lunch, I got nuts and I pigged out and they kicked me out… But the worst thing I ever done—I burned alive two little boys that I treated like brothers for most of their lives and I burned down their house and everyone they loved and I made a noise like this: hua-hua-hua-huaaaaaaa. I never felt so bad in my entire life!
Greyjoy: [sobbing] And I did it to bring honor to my dad? Or something? Mostly I just really hate the Starks.
Someone comes in after the torturer leaves and removes the bag from Theon’s face. “I’ll come for you later tonight. Meanwhile, try and keep your chin up, old boy!”
The bag is put back on Theon’s head, and he goes all Catherine Martin after Clarice tells her to shut that dog up. “Don’t leave me down here, you bitch! This guy’s fucking crazy!” Hey. They’re coming back, Theon, chill.
Bran chats with Jojen as they walk and learns that he’s a Warg. (How convenient that we learned about those earlier!) Bran isn’t just seeing portents or dreams, he’s seeing things as they happen. Well, some times. Other times he’s getting portents, but that’s when it’s through the three-eyed raven? There’s more to learn here. Look, if you smell oranges and burnt toast, that’s The Shine. Jojen sees it, too. And he’s been seeing Bran for some time. (Oho!)
Tonks and Meera sneer at each other, mostly because Tonks thinks it’s pathetic that Meera is the muscle. It should be the boy! Meera goes, “Keep your gender norms off my body, bitch!” and Tonks can’t really argue with that, seeing as Meera totally bested her.
The Brotherhood is getting their drink on, and turns out? They’re total dudes. They feed Arya and the guys, swap stories, and Arya lets slip that she’s good with a sword. Um, Thoros knocks her sword out of her hand before she can get in position so…maybe she’s not so much with the awesome swordsmanship just yet. He does let them go, however, and as they move to the exit, more soldiers come in with a huge prisoner, a mountain of a man. No, that’s not The Mountain, that’s The Hound. And shit, he recognizes Arya and calls her the Stark Bitch. Ruh roh!
Brienne and Jaime come to a bridge, and which path will she take? The visible one over the water, or the dangerous one through the water? Jaime is delighted by her deep thinking. She takes the bridge. And he fakes being tired in order to get a sword off her and free himself. Ha ha! If he wasn’t shackled and half-starved, I think he could easily take her here. Also, she won’t attempt to kill him because she’s still stuck on honor whereas he is all about keeping alive. But ultimately she’s the better man (hurr) and gets him on his knees in the end (he’s actually proud of her and her skills, and I just love them both, okay?) but it’s right when a group comes upon them.
And would you look at that, it’s the man from earlier who totally turned them in, Brienne. Jaime gives her the sauciest “I told you so!” look ever. And not even Lannister gold will get them out of this, because the leader of the new group is far more interested in keeping his head, thanks, Kingslayer.
WHAT IS HAPPEN? I have a twenty that Jaime does something sneaky to get free and takes Brienne with him. (And remember that we’re spoiler free for future episodes, please!)