PREVIOUSLY. There are no signs of this show slowing down. If Game of Thrones were a mathematical equation, it would be y = x * 6reanimations/3baby jars + 1 Khaleesi to the 3rd power of Dragon (which we all know is a rational numerical representation of awesome).
OBLIGATORY REMINDER: I am NOT a book reader. If it’s not made to be important on the show (for a non-book reader) then I might not know all the nuances that a book reader would. Please keep in mind that book readers are aware of tiny details that we show-watchers aren’t. Don’t be shady, be a lady. (aka: Don’t be a pedant, even if someone is Wrong On The Internet.)
We lead off in the Cave of Justice with the Brotherhood Without Banners where we’re about to have a fun, old-school Southern Baptist Lock-In. Beric, about to fight the Hound, whispers some of his Lord of Light hoodoo, and with blood, prayers, and the wish for bad people to die (see? Just like the lock-ins of my youth) he lights his sword on fire (freaking out the Hound) and they go at it. It’s a glorious sword fight, things being knocked over, the crowd having to dodge wild swings and flaming parries. In the end the Hound makes an amazing overhand chop with his sword and slices through Beric’s left-shoulder and neck. Oh, the gout of blood that sprays forth!
And now the Hound is not guilty because he killed Beric. (Oookay.) As Thoros rushes to Beric’s side, praying for him to return to life, Arya goes bananas. She rushes the Hound with Sting, but Gendry is there to pull her away. She screams for him to burn in hell. (Yep. Typical lock-in.) “Don’t worry; he will,” Beric says, and BERIC SAYS WHAT BECAUSE I SAW HIM DIE? ARE HIS EYE
Jon Snow (and Ygritte? A word: you can call him Jon, or pookie. Chump. Just stop saying his whole name, please?) and the Wildlings make camp on their chilly march to the Wall, when the Warg gives him the stink eye, wanting to find out details on the Watch. Out of all the castles that line the Wall, only three are actually manned, oho! Jon struggles with giving away this information (the boy wasn’t made to be a double agent) but eventually does, including the fact that there are still 1000 men at Castle Black.
And the Warg is pissy and shitty and calls him a liar, sending Ygritte into CHAV territory. “Are you calling me man a pikey!?” she screams, pulling off her rings and smearing her cheeks with Vasoline. Gjördkr the Chîcken Eåter tells Jon that while he likes the kid, if Jon’s lying, he’ll have no problem pulling his guts out through his throat. (It’s no Dothraki de-throating, but it has its own merits.)
Jon sulks at Ygritte for emasculating him, so she takes it a step further by grabbing his Bastard sword (a hand and a half makes a bastard sword!) and giggling over her shoulder. “Catch me, Jon Snow, catch me!” she titters, running towards a Cave of Sexing. And he does. And she strips. And she’s well fit, innit? And after balking at being kissed, he gives in and kisses her lips but not the ones she’s expecting, chicky bow wow! It seems Jon has some Podrick in him, and apparently they don’t go down South in the North.
Interesting fact about bastard swords: they’re designed for thrusting, even though they’re of a slightly irregular length. (Penis jokes. I am actually a 12-year-old boy.) Interesting fact about Jon: he’s a virgin, of course. Ygritte? Not so much. We didn’t learn if the carpet matched the drapes in her brief story of why being red-headed is a gift (kissed by fire) nor did we learn if Jon is also a hand and a half. Ba-dum-bum-ching!
In Harrenhal, Jaime and Brienne are finally delivered to Lord Bolton, who treats them with respect as high-ranking hostages, but still as hostages. Brienne he sets free and calls her a Lady (which she is), and Jaime is tortured emotionally with a tale of how King’s Landing was sacked and his sister Cersei…eh, she’s fine. Jaime collapses and is taken off to get medical attention.
And, uh, the medic? Not so much with the awesome bedside manner. He’s no longer a Maester because of his “experiments.” He seems the type to graft extra butts onto things. (“This is a four-assed monkey. Majestic, isn’t it?”) Jaime wants to know the damage report.
Dr. Moreau: The whole arm needs to come off. I can put a butt in its place.
Jaime: I can put my fist in your heart.
Dr. Moreau: I can take it off at the elbow? Maybe just one butt cheek to soften the end?
Jaime: I can Dothraki that throat of yours?
Dr. Moreau: I can poke at the crusty dead grey bits and make you scream, then pour boiling hot liquid over the weeping stump?
Jaime: …can we go back to the butt thing? Wait! No! I can do this. Get on with it.
Dr. Moreau: Eeeeeeexcellent.
And Jaime’s nutsack grew three sizes that day as holy shitballs the guy is just poking at the stump with tweezers and there is no anesthesia being used and Jaime finally lets himself shriek and gaaaaaah!
Cersei finds Lord Baelish mincing about in a courtyard and threat-flirts with him to find out the inner scoop on the Tyrells. Oh, and he better not cock it up like he did that whole “Where’s Arya Stark” thing, because her daddy is in town, and Baelish wouldn’t like her daddy when he’s angry. Baelish refrains from tugging at his neckline and promises to do his best.
Lady Olenna comes calling to Tyrion’s room for wine and figs (no cheese?) to talk about wedding costs. Um, she was under the impression that Tyrion was drunk, impertinent, and thoroughly debauched? So, this isn’t a fun visit where there might be nude bodies swinging from the ceiling? “You can imagine my disappointment at finding nothing but a brow-beaten bookkeeper.” Ouch, that’s gotta sting.
The run down: the town is running low on money, so how about a nice little Justice of the Peace ceremony with close family only?
Olenna: How about I take back all the cattle, food, soldiers, horses, weapons, hope—
Tyrion: Large wedding it is, then!
Olenna: And because I’m magnanimous, I’ll pay half. BRING ME MY FIGS. To go.
The hottest blacksmith in all the land, Gendry, works on Beric’s shoulder-sliced armor, which pisses Arya off. She wants them to get while the getting’s good, but Gendry has sad news for her: he’s staying. He likes it with the Brotherhood. They elect their own leaders and treat one another like a family. He’s never had that. Arya, tears in her eyes, says, “I can be your family!”
He looks at her sadly (and fondly), saying with a gentle tone, “No, you’re not my family. You’re ‘My Lady.’” Someone tell me that she grows up, becomes a pirate, and they get married. WAIT DON’T TELL ME. (I know he didn’t mean “’cause you’re my laaaaaaady! And I am your maaaaaan.” but I wanted him to.)
A group of men fight their way into the cell holding the Lannister boys at Riverrun, and it’s Lord Karstark leading the charge. The boys are killed while pleading for their lives. BOYS. They are BOYS, Karstark. Robb says as much, demanding he look at their wee bodies. Karstark doesn’t give a shit, because the man is on a vengeance kick. He sasses back at Robb, earning himself a sock to the mouth. He keeps taunting Robb as being soft.
Oh? Because Robb is going to hang your buddies and behead you, so how you like them soft apples? Karstark sneers as he’s led off. The problem here is if Robb kills him, all of the Karstarks will most likely leave. But what, he’s supposed to let that sort of treason happen? He’ll have respect, thanks. Karstark is laid out on a chopping block, threatens to haunt Robb ’til the end of his days, and goes from 6’1 to 5’3 with the swing of a blade.
Arya and Thoros go through their nightly vigils (she with her list of enemies to be killed, he with a bottle of hooch to be consumed) with her impending “trade” in Riverrun about to happen. They call it a trade, she calls it a ransom—potato, potahto. Beric wonders if she’s afraid of him what with the crazy hoodoo of “you can’t die” prayer thing he and Thoros have going on. They’ve done this six times, now, and each time Beric returns to life, there’s a little less of him at each rebirth. Arya just wants to know if they could do that for her dad and there goes my heartstrings, Arya. She’s just a little girl, living in a lonely world, she took the Black Watch train going a-nee-where…
Speaking of fervent prayer, some woman is praying to the Lord of Light and it’s Stannis’ wife! Oh, and she’s crazy. (Evidently Stannis has a type.) He visits, tries to confess to creeping on her, when she admits that she knows. Oh, and she’s totally cool with it. She’s Sarah giving over her handmaiden, rejoicing that God has blessed Stannis with a son. And then we see three giant steampunk pickle jars with DEAD BABIES IN THEM, and it’s official that Selyse is a nutjob. We don’t hoard babies, Selyse. No. That’s a no no. Stannis looks like he doesn’t know what to do with this, so he goes to see his SECRET DAUGHTER WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE AT DRAGONSTONE WITH THE BARATHEONS?
Oh, his daughter is a tiny little thing with beautiful hair and shingles on the side of her face. Jeez, guys, that’s no reason to lock her away with shame! Her name is Shireen and her best friend is Ser Davos. Stannis almost brings himself to pat her head while saying, “No, he’s not your friend anymore. He’s in the dungeons where he’ll die from it. Now you have no friends.” A-1 parenting there, Stannis.
Brienne sands her upper arm off in a steam bath when Jaime is brought in. Nudity! Bathing is private! Le scandale! Jaime isn’t interested, Brienne, so relax. He slips in the water looking like utter shite. He wants her to keep him from fainting and drowning, then twitters her about Renly, pissing her right the hell off. She bows up and flexes over him (nice booty, Brienne!) and he apologizes. Graciously. She sinks back into the water for story hour, because he trusts her enough to tell her the real story of how he became the Kingslayer.
The Tale of The Kinglsayer
Once upon a time there was a Mad King with a penchant for burning things. Especially living things. Particularly the living things that defied him. Oh, how he delighted in the bubbling of their flesh and their cries. Delicious. Jaime was his Kingsguard, his right-hand man, and he didn’t like that, not one little bit.
One day, Jaime’s father Tywin Lannister came knocking on the castle gates wanting to come in and be friends, while a huge army stood behind Tywin, trying to look innocent. Jaime told the Mad King that his father had a crocodile’s smile and couldn’t be trusted, but the Mad King believed a sunken grey cunt of a Grand Maester, and flung the doors open, for the Mad King had a back-up plan, you see: he had laid caches of Wildfire throughout the city, hoping to have a chance to play with fire once again.
Thrice did Jaime beg the King to surrender to the army marching on them, and thrice did the King say “Nyet.” Only when the Mad King instructed his pyromancer to burn them, burn them all, including the citizens of King’s Landing down to the smallest suckling babe did Jaime act. He stabbed the King and slit his throat to make sure he would never return.
And Ned Stark came upon Jaime standing over his dead king, not bothering to learn why the Mad King was called thusly, which was most unfair, as what right does the wolf have to judge the lion? But he did, and Jaime is forevermore called the Kinglasyer. The Oathbreaker. The Dirty Rotten Sister Fucker. The end.
Brienne is shocked on his behalf, because she believes in justice, and Jaime has been treated unfairly. Yep! Jaime faints, she grabs him up, and shrieks for help for “The Kingslayer.” Jaime rolls his eyes at her, because did she not just listen? “Jaime. My name is Jaime.” And seriously, I love these two.
Shireen slips away to the dungeons to see her BFF Ser Davos and so begins their clandestine sessions of getting him Hooked on Phonics. (Aww, she’s a sweet, scaly thing.)
Speaking of scales, Dany and her Dragons (and all of the Unsullied, etc.) are still on the move when we’re treated to the sight of Jorah on a horse, talking in his sexy voice (birds fall out of the sky laying eggs, small creatures that live in the brush show their bellies to him as they pass). He and Selmy trade war stories, getting to know each other.
Dany has asked the Unsullied to vote on their own NCOs and a general. She asks the new General’s name, and he tells her Grey Worm. That’s…hmm. Wouldn’t you all like to choose your own names? Go back to your original pre-slave name? Pick a name that gives you pride, she says.
Grey Worm looks upon his Khaleesi and says that his name is the one he had when he was made a free man by her. Nothing could be better. She looks befuddled by the devotion already being shown to her, but woman, you should be used to that from Jorah! Speaking of, Selmy hints pretty strongly that Jorah needs to stay out of her way, seeing as he was once a traitor and doesn’t have a good rep. After all, doesn’t he want her—YES!—uh, to succeed? Oh. Yes, that, too. By the way, Selmy? Jorah listens to his Khaleesi, not the other traitor who’s only been around for a few days, so…
Robb—with his travel Westeros War Set—is pissed that the Karstarks left. Even though he knew they would. WHAT DO TALISA WHAT DO? We can’t beat them, he grumps. Wait. Wait a damn minute. He looks at his travel set upside down and realizes that if he attacks Casterly Rock, he can take their home away from them. Home for a home, asswipes! So he’s going to need more men, and hey there, did he ever douche himself, because the only person with enough men to share is Argus Filch-Frey, whose daughter Robb didn’t marry. Um, Talisa? How do you feel about Sister Wives?
Sansa watches her Sassy Gay Boyfriend swing his sword (the actual one), dreaming of holding his hand, picking out color swatches, and buying new china. (It’s so nice to meet a man who really enjoys those things! And spa treatments! He’s so masculine, even when he’s showing her the art of flower arranging.) Hot Squire runs up to help Loras and is all “Red-carnation, hey?” and Loras goes, “Wink a doodle, how about a private sword fight?” Cut to naked romp, oho! Also: Olyver (the Hot Squire) has an outstanding ass. He has an outstanding lots of things.
He’s also a little shifty, and that’s because he’s actually a spy for Baelish. Now Baelish knows that Sansa is being groomed to marry Loras. Littlefinger (“Okay, it’s little. I admit it. Are you all happy? Why do you think I’m so pissy all the time?”) tries to convince Sansa to come away with him right then, is all Creepy Uncle with her, but she is not looking at her life nor her choices and doesn’t realize how creepy he is. Even with a gross hand kiss. She worries for him, he might get in trouble if he helps her! So she’ll just stick around, thanks. Uh huh. (Gurl, we’ve all fallen for a beautiful gay man. The trick is to not marry them.)
Don’t worry—she won’t.
Tywin has evidently called a meeting with his children. Tyrion shows up late, but! He has excellent news. He’s saving the crown money—
Tywin: No one cares.
Tyrion: But! Savings? I’m doing my job? The one you didn’t think I could do?
Tywin: There are more important things to discuss. Sansa is being married to Loras. I don’t like it.
Tyrion: Oh? That’s nice, though. She’s a nice girl. I don’t see why she shouldn’t.
Tywin: Because you are.
Cersei: [smirks gleefully]
Tyrion: [spluttering] But that is beyond cruel! To her!
Cersei: We know! [giggles]
Tywin: Not so fast, blondie. You’ll marry Loras instead.
Cersei: HOW MANY MEN ARE YOU GOING TO MARRY ME TO?
Tywin: [coldly] As many as it takes. You two wanted a reward? Recognition? Well there you go.
Tywin leaves as Tyrion and Cersei try and figure out where the floor went from under them. Tywin is a canny, slimy mother trucker, isn’t he?
Interesting bit of meta: over the end credits was Shireen singing a song about “the shadows came to dance,” which is a strange song choice for a daughter of a Lord of Light practitioner, since the night is dark and full of terrors. Isn’t the Lord of Light the darkness banisher? Also, it’s interesting that one of Stannis’ children is singing about living shadows, seeing as Fire Crotch Mage gave birth to a child of shadows. And the three dead babies of Selyne and Stannis continually cast their shadow on Selyne’s quarters.
LAYERS, GUYS. I like it. [Edited to add: seriously? No South Park fans? Four asses? Because “Elephant Makes Love To A Pig” is awesome. See?]