Before we get started on our prayer circle, I would like to say how unhappy I am with myself for missing the MOST PERFECT OPPORTUNITY last week to have said, “I’m in UR base, killing UR d00dz.” I feel a deep shame for this, and I ask your forgiveness.
I’m just kidding, I’m still mad y’all didn’t crack up at my Old Spice/Daario joke [CTRL F swagger], because that shit was gold. BUT WOW A LOT HAPPENED, and while it didn’t have the heart-ripping quality of last week, it did tell us a lot of important game movements. Plus, the lines were drawn: upstairs vs. downstairs! (Wait, this isn’t Downton Abbey.) I mean: Highborn vs. Lowborn! Those with huge armies and those without! Magic vs. No magic!
Interesting how our Khaleesi straddles so many of these lines…
But we start with Roose Bolton, who – while he has Jorah Mormont levels of sexy British voicings – is still a son of a bitch. He stands on a parapet at the Twins, watching the crew film the opening of the POS movie “The Purge” down below. (I was dragged to see that this weekend. It’s awful.)
If you’re a Stark, you’re either being stabbed, burned, or hanged. The Hound – looking quite terrified for a moment, actually – has Arya in his lap. WHAT DO!? He spies a Frey flag flying, yoinks it, and pretends he’s on the “right” side to get out of there. AND THEY DO. THEY GET OUT WITHOUT INCIDENT.
Oh my gosh, Arya Stark, I want to hug you so tight. Of course they don’t get out without incident, because they hear a “procession” beginning for “The King of The North.” And I feel like Susan and Lucy watching The White Witch shave and then murder Aslan. They’ve beheaded Robb and (oh god) his Direwolf – and put Grey Wind’s head on Robb’s body.
I won’t even act like I didn’t gasp, point my finger at the TV screen and say, “NO! NO YOU DO NOT DO THAT!” Poor Arya, you guys, because she was absolutely in shock. Arya is either going to crumble (not likely) or become one of the toughest women in Westeros when she’s grown.
The other remaining lady Stark, Sansa, walks with Tyrion amongst the gardens of King’s Landing where they come up with the fun idea of a Prank War as Shae rolls her eyes behind the two. Stop being cute, you guys! Sansa’s all, “Let’s saran wrap their chamber pots! Hot sauce in their wine!” And Tyrion goes, “Waste of good wine, but I see your point! Okay, um, how about have sex with your sibling, birth a monster with a rat face, and put him on the throne!”
They both eye each other. “Well, you have to admit it worked,” Tyrion grumbled. I love that they’re becoming friends. Sansa is beginning to like him. (That won’t end well.) Podrick runs towards them, a loud swinging noise between his legs as women swoon and fall over in his pant snake’s wake.
“Your father’s called a meeting of the Small Council.”
Tyrion arrives to find Joffrey so excited he’s actually getting his diaper changed after wetting it. (He’s tumbled his sippy cup to the floor already!) A raven has come, written in “cryptic” language from Walder Frey. Now they all know the Starks are dead. Joffrey makes clappy hands and squeals his little rat noises and tells the Maester to send off a letter requesting Robb’s head and a vial of turmeric, because he is going to serve Robb’s head to Sansa at the Royal Wedding.
Tyrion: Uh…no. You’re not.
Joffrey: Uh…yes. I am. I am your King!
Tyrion: Well I didn’t vote for you.
Joffrey: You don’t vote- Look, I am your King! I can do what I want!
Tyrion: And how’d you get that bit of work, eh?
Joffrey: My father-
[Cersei interrupts making loud noises and coughs at the thought of Robert being Joffrey’s father]
Joffrey: -and that is how I became King.
Tyrion: Look, some incestuous bint throwing thrones at you is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical drunken bait-and-switch in the bedroom ceremony.
Joffrey: [stomping with tiny rat-hand fists] I AM YOUR KING!
Tywin: You seem to have to remind everyone of that. Often. Telling, don’t you think?
Joffrey: You shut your mouth, Grandpa! I’m your King, too! My father-
[Cersei coughs and pounds her chest]
Joffrey: -was the real hero. You sat your old arse at Casterly Rock and did nothing!
LE GASP. Oh HALE naw. The silence is so thick even Varys is uncomfortable, and he sups on the tears of the wicked for breakfast.
Tywin stares Joffrey down until Joffrey’s little rat-tail tucks between his legs. “I believe your son,” Tywin says to Cersei, “needs a nap.” Yeah, a dirt nap.
Cersei drags him away, terrified, while Joffrey stomps his wittle feets and rubs his sweepy eyes and cries, “I’m not tired!” Aw, him’s so tie-tie he completely forgot that he has absolutely no say in that room.
Everyone quickly leaves after that. Everyone but Tyrion, who Tywin orders to stay. Tyrion jokes about how brave Tywin must be to challenge the King, but they both know that a crown doesn’t give you power. Armies, now that’s where the power lies. Tyrion does think it rather shady to kill “dozens” at a wedding party, though. (Um, way more than that, if you’re counting outside which I do.)
Tywin shrugs it off. He’s alive; they’re not. Best line of this conversation: “I’m all for cheating, this is war.”
When Tyrion tells his father in a “you better watch out!” tone that the North will never forget, his father’s response? GOOD. That’ll keep them on their toes. Clearly they should have sung the song “The Reynes of Castamere” more often to remind people what happens when you go against the Lannisters. I mean, it’s on their coat of arms: Lannisters always pay their debts.
Whatever, the point Tywin wanted to make was this: Tyrion needs to get with having a baby off Sansa so that son will take over Winterfell, displacing Roose Bolton as the Warden of the North. Put your family first, Tyrion, and stop bellyaching about not wanting to force yourself on your wife. Do the right thing.
And when has Tywin ever done the right thing solely for the family and not himself, hmm? “The day you were born,” Tywin replies, gritting his teeth. He decided not to drown Tyrion when he was born, but to instead claim him as a son because he had Lannister blood. So that was his good deed for the rest of his life. Now go make a baby, Demon Monkey.
Except when Tyrion goes to Sansa, he sees her weeping at her window. Which means she knows about her family. What do you want to bet Joffrey made a little visit? Or had someone do it for him? WEASELTEAT! [/Newman!]
But all of the Stark males are NOT dead, as evidenced by Bran and his group arriving at Nightfort. (It took a bit for me to realize this was the place Porkins had been talking about from his book learnin’.) They hole up for the night for some scary stories around the camp fire.
Bran tells them of the Night’s Watch Rat Cook, a dude that would have felt right at home in Dante’s lowest circle. Short of it: he killed the King’s son on a visit, cooked him up with four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie. But when the pie was opened the guests began to scream, for wasn’t that a rude gift to serve before the King?
The Gods thought so and punished the cook by turning him into a giant white rat, forever hungry and only able to feed on his own children. (Um, those are shitty Gods, I’m sorry. A man was murdered, and the punishment wasn’t because the victim was innocent, but because he was a guest? Sky Bullies blow, sorry.) But hey-hey, this is a great lead in (and bit of foreshadowing, I suspect) for Walder Filch-Frey.
Frey gnaws on a meat bone, slurping his wine, as Roose Bolton and he watch washer women scrubbing the blood off the floors. Frey crows about showing the “high lords” up – so there’s a system of importance in the gentry here, as well. Frey would definitely fit the Flea Bottom rung of royalty. They chatter about summer homes and what comes next, when we hear the definitive answer about who’s had Theon the whole time: Roose’s bastard (and an actual bastard of a bastard, at that) Ramsay.
And yep, Ramsay cut off Theon’s knob, holy hell! Ramsay sits in front of a clearly beaten Theon while eating a sausage. What a dick. He licks the tip asking Theon about phantom limbs, and says that while his mother taught him not to throw stones at cripples [omg], his father taught him to aim at their heads. Seriously, this guy is Cartman with actual power.
Theon pulls a Ripley #7, crying out, “Kill. Me.” But Ramsay hasn’t finished pulling all the wings and legs off his pet fly yet. After all, Theon is just a stinking piece of meat. Why, he really smells. In fact, he reeks- That’s what he’ll call Theon from now on! And if Theon won’t answer to it, Ramsay will just beat the hell out of him until he does. After the third time of being asked his name, Theon sobs through a mouth of busted teeth, “Reek.”
Like that kid that shows up to the third grade with a dirty shirt and is called PigPen until the day he graduates, it looks like Theon will be known as Reek. Wow, Theon, you have fallen far, buddy. You deserved some of the peg knocking, but not the peg removal, yeesh.
Bran wakes up with a gasp – there are strange noises coming from the well that they’re camped out by. We finally see that it’s Red Leader Porkins with Gilly and baby Amuse Bouche in tow! They made it! And OH, RIGHT, this is the place Porkins was talking about to sneak through the Wall. How convenient for the story!
Everyone hems and haws about who’s who until it becomes obvious that Bran is Bran, what with the broken legs and Direwolf, and Porkins knows Jon, so. In fact, Porkins loves Jon Snow so much that he’ll do anything for Bran, anything! Just name it!
“Take us north of the Wall.”
Anything but that!
Siiiigh. I think we all know that Red Leader Porkins’ strength is that he stays on target. So he and Gilly are pushing on to Castle Black where they’ll be safe (ha, nowhere is safe, buddy) but they’ll show Bran and the group how to get through the secret entrance to head north.
And wow, I had all but forgotten about the Iron Islands, but there we are with a message being delivered to Lord Greyjoy as his daughter watches on with a grim look. Yara jumps immediately to Step Three as Lord Greyjoy reads about how all of the Ironborn will leave Winterfell immediately or be flayed alive like the rest. And also they’ll get more “special deliveries.”
Step Three: Make her open the box. (And that’s the way you do it!)
Lord Greyjoy shrugs. Now he has no son, so who cares what Ramsay does to him? UH, YARA CARES. She’s going to get her fastest ship, load it with assassins, sail up the Narrow Sea to Weeping Water, storm Dreadfort (awesome name, by the way) and take her brother back. And the thing is, I think she can do it. Also, wow, is Lord Greyjoy a dick. And maybe a bit tetched in the head?
Also #2, I freaking love that Yara is going to captain a ship full of assassins. I’d watch the hell out of that pirate show.
Bran and his group are given the bits of Dragonglass (damage of +20, light armor, I suspect, perk of +30% DR if you’re kitted out in Dragon-armor) from Porkins, who happens to be the first person to kill a White Walker in thousands of years. Way to go, Porkins! Bran really doesn’t want to go north, but he has to because apparently only he and Billy Elliot can kill the untold legions of the undead. Pfft. Teenagers and their idealism.
They part ways, Bran and his group through the secret tunnel leading north, and Porkins, Gilly, and baby Morsel to Castle Black. Farewell, travelers.
In another reminder of the difference between the Haves and the Have Nots, Davos chills with Gendry down in the dungeons. Gendry’s had it hammered into his head by now: never trust a Highborn. Like Davos. Davos’ laugh is a dry laugh, for he is no Highborn. Why, he grew up on Shit Alley, two blocks over from the “richies” on Steel Way, Gendry’s block. They throw up the appropriate signs and I would like to officially state that Gendry + Sass = my OTP. Long and the short of it: Davos was forced into being a Lord, Gendry was a virgin, and maybe these two kids from the block can help one another…
Shae is approached by Varys where he explains the following:
- She’s been good for Tyrion; their love was Real Love
- Her time of helping Tyrion has come to an end
- “We break bread with them, but we’re not family.”
- All that matters in King’s Landing is the name – the last name.
- Her name is Mud.
- If she doesn’t leave, not only will she be killed, but Tyrion as well
- She can have an ornate sack of diamonds to go away and build a new life of her own
- Varys is actually being a good guy here, I think.
Shae tosses him the sack o’diamonds and says that if Tywin wants her to leave, he can tell her himself. Oh, darling girl, he won’t say anything other than “Kill her” to a henchman. :(
Tyrion and Podrick are well into their cups by this point. “It’s not easy being drunk all the time. Everyone would do it if it were.” Ahahaha, oh my gosh, I’m getting that cross stitched on a sampler to hang over my bar. Work ethic: Tyrion has it.
Cersei arrives and quickly dismisses Podric, aka Squire Dong. (Tripod? The whores of King’s Landing have! Ba dum bum CHING!) Wow, there is no love lost between these two siblings, but they have no one else that understands – plus, I think this forced marriage deal has driven them together somewhat. Speaking of… Cersei doesn’t actually think she’ll end up marrying Loras. Tyrion smirks, because suuuuuure!
They toast to being happy – which Cersei decidedly is not. The only thing keeping her from killing herself is her children. Once upon a time they gave her great joy, yes, even Joffrey. He was a good child, he just went the way of rotten child star – too much fame too soon. Way to Justin Beiber it, Joffrey.
Tyrion isn’t too drunk not to realize that this war of his family’s is a sort of hydra: every enemy they squash reveals two new ones. War…war never changes.
The Hound and Arya continue to ride to…who knows where, when they pass a small group of Frey’s men bragging over being the ones who killed Catelyn, and one other was the one who had to sew the wolf’s head onto Robb’s body. Jesus… Arya slips off the horse, feigns being cold and hungry and offers a coin to one of the men for a chance to warm herself. “It’s worth a lot.” I SHOULD SAY SO, ARYA STARK! That’s the coin a man gave a girl!
She drops it, he goes after it, and she’s on him like a snake, holy hell, stabbing him in the neck, the face, the shoulder, over and over, and so quickly that the others haven’t figured out what’s going on for a moment. The Hound enters the fray to kill the other Freys lickity-split and with as much blunt force trauma as can be managed. Nice. Expert-level melee, that.
She leans over the dead man’s body and whispers, “Valar morghulis.” The Hound asks if that’s the first man she’s killed. “Yes. The first.” Of many, is the unspoken rest of that. Damn, Arya officially wins the “Who’s More Grizzled?” contest.
Jon washes his face in a pool of water, giving Ygritte the opportunity to get the drop on him. She’s got him pinned with an arrow pulled. Apparently they have old school Police in the North as she sings, “I called you so many times today, and I guess it’s true what the Wildlings say: that you don’t ever want to see me again, and your Hodor’s gonna kill me and he’s 6’10. I guess you call it ‘Southernness’ but I’m not prepared to go on like this. I can’t (I can’t) I can’t stand losing!”
Jon says (brokenly, because he really does care for her) that he knows he loves her, she loves him, and that she won’t hurt him.
“You know nothing, Jon Snow.” PERFECTION, m’lady.
Except HOLY SHIT SHE REALLY DOES SHOOT HIM! Right in the back! He makes it to his horse and she tags him again in the leg!! I mean, she’s crying while she’s doing it with a lip wobble and everything, but she’ll be damned if she’s made a fool of like this! He gets away, and she gets one last arrow in him. Wow, did not see that coming. Ygritte? You’re a bad ass. (“And I’m too full to swallow my pride…” If you don’t love The Police, you are living your life in an incorrect manner.)
At Castle Black, Porkins and Company arrive and he actually says to a blind man (Maester Aemon) “I know how this must look.” Way to Seacrest it, Porkins. Look, the baby isn’t his, and Gilly is one of Craster’s wives. Porkins knows his vows and more importantly, he still honors them. “The night is gathering. It’s coming for all of us.”
Well, then. Maester Aemon is going to need him to take down a message, copy it 43 times, and send every raven out. Let’s get to it.
We learn that Davos is once again the Hand of the wanna be King (Stannis) when he has another hooked on phonics session with Newt. She thinks he’d enjoy reading her storybooks more [mostly], but he has work to do and lots of it. In fact… He pulls a small scroll with a black plug of wax, begins to read it out loud, and then goes eerily still. And then the bells begin to toll.
He races to the War Room where Fire Crotch Mage is tossing the wolf game pieces from their Westeros Boardgame into the fire, nooo! But…they don’t actually believe the leech on the brazier is responsible for Robb and Catelyn’s death, right? Because there are a lot of things involved with that particular move, and leeches ain’t on the list. FCM shrugs and smirks. It’s proof to her, so…
Look, Davos is simply not getting involved in this blood magic. It’s the wrong way to unite the kingdoms.
Stannis: Uh, the Targaryens used dragons. Dragons are magic.
Davos: You’re not a dragon or magic. Don’t kill Gendry, you don’t need to.
FCM: So…you can see that we’re still in Dragonstone and not on the Iron Throne, right? Because yeah – we do need to kill him, duh.
Stannis: Also, eh. Who cares about a bastard child from Flea Bottom?
Davos takes that as a sign to slip Gendry out of jail in the middle of the night, plonk him on a boat and point him in the right direction. Problem: Gendry a) has never been on a boat, and b) can’t swim. “Don’t fall out.” A shove, a reminder to keep going and not drink seawater, and Gendry’s off to safety. (One hopes.)
At Castle Black, a horse enters the grounds with a slumped over Jon Snow. Is he still alive? He’s brought inside and rolled onto his back (there are still arrows there, people! BE CAREFUL!) and he slowly comes to enough to see Porkins and Pyp. “You’re home!” They gently bring him inside where hopefully he’ll live. I am not ready to lose both Robb AND Jon, people. I can’t.
In King’s Landing, Jaime and Brienne finally enter the gates, beaten, dirty, but alive. Cut to Cersei playing with a seashell when Jaime walks in and sees the love of his life, the flower in his attic, and calls softly, “Cersei.”
She turns, gasps, then spies his stump. Jaime braces himself for rejection. (Um, she’s already a dirtyrottenbrotherfucker, dude, I’m thinking a missing hand isn’t going to be a deal breaker here.)
Davos is brought before Stannis the next day, fully admitting to letting Gendry escape. Fine, Stannis sentences Davos to death. Aha, you didn’t undo the Hand thing, so as your adviser, Davos says, I advise you to not kill me. BRILLIANT. I laughed so hard at that.
Davos hands over the note from Castle Black about White Walkers. Oho, Fire Crotch Mage, what does your filth pig god say about this, hmm? Didn’t see this coming, did you? She throws the letter into the fire, stares, and then says, “Shit. He’s right. Stannis, you have to let him live because you’re going to need him to unite people to your cause.”
Stannis: “Fffffffffff- Also, in your face, Davos, because the god you mocked saved you.” FCM turns and gives Davos the Creep Eye for a solid ten seconds.
Dany stands with her men and C3P0 (the hot humanoid version) as they wait for the people liberated from Yunkai to come join them. Or not. The doors open and people pour out by the hundreds, if not thousands. C3P0 addresses the crowd: “If you do not wish to be thrown into a Sarlaac Pit, you will accept that you owe-”
“Uh, allow me,” Dany interrupts. “Look, you have had your chains removed, but it’s up to you to take your freedom. I won’t force you. Also, I’m pretty and white and let’s just act like this isn’t systematically problematic in fantasy/sci-fi literature, okay?”
The people begin chanting “Mhysa!” which means “Mother.” Jorah helps her down, she commands her dragons to fly (which is smart so they can be ready to burninate anyone that tries to harm her) and then walks among the people. The chanting becomes more and more impassioned as she walks on a path of palm fronds to be worshiped. They hoist her up for a little crowd surfing before carrying her in a circle among her people on their shoulders.
KHALEESI! MHYSA! And in that moment, I would swear we were all Jorahs, in love with Daenerys Targaryen. Daario and Jorah exchange looks and hum, “I’m a mother lover, you’re a mother lover, we should fuck each other’s mothers. Fuck each other’s moms!” [By far my favorite Lonely Island song.]
Let’s talk about that amazing shot at the end, as we see her MASSIVE ARMY grow even larger. One of the talking points was about how armies are the key, but then…maybe magic is the key. So here we have Dany with an ever-growing army of devoted citizens that will not pull a double cross on her (Grey Worm act like Roose? Come on.) and she has three dragons, a mystical number in itself, not to mention they are magic.
But. The army of the undead is countless, I imagine, what with it being made up of undead people, and is inherently magic. Um. On a game board, this is what’s winning. Time to get Dany into manufacturing Dragonglass, however that happens.
It’s also interesting to me that the Starks were set up as the original heroes and protagonists in the beginning. Ned was killed in Season One, everything else went to hell in Season Two, and by the end of Season Three, the Starks are scattered to the winds, and all because of their hero’s journey. The hero’s journey is the ruin of their family, actually. I think Arya’s going to get a little Lannister-sneaky as time goes on.
“I’m all for cheating; it is war, after all.” Yet another reason to add to the “Tyrion Lannister is one of the smartest men in all of Westeros” column. Because who’s alive?
Why it’s okay this season didn’t end after the Red Wedding. Last night after the episode aired, I saw that people were saying how this was anti-climatic after 3.9. Well…yeah. Where were you for S1 and 2? This is how it works, storytelling, you have highs and lows, points of action and points of exposition to further the narrative. 3.10 furthers the narrative in some seriously important ways.
We now have the Iron Islands involved in an unexpected manner, we finally have Bran north of the Wall, his Warg powers growing, Jaime freaking Lannister is back home after two seasons of being on the run, Castle Black is being activated, Wildlings are on the move, and we have Arya Stark realizing that nowhere is safe.
Most importantly, after what happened at the wedding (and oh, how I think we’re being set up to watch Frey come completely undone, and it will be glorious! After all, the Blackfish is on the loose, hurrah!), we needed to see Arya kill the shit out of one of Frey’s men. Especially that one. She had to listen to her father get beheaded. She had to sit quietly while her mother and brother and all of her family’s bannermen were slaughtered. She was finally able to defend herself, her family, and deliver vengeance in the most soul-satisfying way, and that was us stabbing that jackhole. We needed that as much as she did.
Can you imagine if this season ended last week? We’d all be up at arms! Too many unknowns to keep us in knots for ten months. Now we have some answers, some movement, and enough to talk about until season four begins.
What do you think? Remember that I’m a non-book reader and will remain that way until the show wraps (omg), so please be respectful of that. You can talk here, just don’t spoil things. (If you worry you’re going to reveal a spoiler, add [font color=”#ffffff”]whatever you’re worried about[/font], but change the brackets to less than/greater than signs.)
TEN MONTHS. What. I- *sobs* [Edited to add: there are some great discussions about privilege, White Saviors, etc. happening in comments. I loooove when people have great conversations with each other or me – just remember to keep things respectful and thought provoking, not people poking.]