Episode seventeen is in the books. What did you think? My full recap and reactions is below. Read it, after the break, then share your thoughts in the comments!
Spoiler Note: This post is for those who have read A Clash of Kings. As such the post itself and the comments will contain spoilers. If you haven’t read ACoK yet, our non-book-reader recap will be up later. Thanks!
Where to start? Let’s begin beyond the Wall, where Ygritte is still Jon’s prisoner. Apparently Jon enjoyed their spooning session quite a bit. Ygritte taunts him mercilessly about it as they continue to hunt for Qhorin and his men. But before they can find them, Ygritte gets away and leads Jon right into a band of wildlings.
At Harrenhal, Tywin is killing soldiers, trying to find the assassin that is on the loose. Gregor suggests it may be someone from the Brotherhood without Banners, who has infiltrated the camp. Tywin is furious that the Brotherhood is still out there, causing trouble. He orders Clegane to burn and pillage in an attempt to suss out the location of the Brotherhood. Arya and Tywin then talk about Harrenhal, and the tale of Harren the Black. Arya knows the story but is more interested in the Targaryen sisters who helped Aegon burn the castle down. Before dismissing her, Tywin reveals that he knows that Arya is not a commoner.
In King’s Landing, Sansa thanks Sandor for rescuing her. Sandor says “you’re welcome” in his own special way. Later, Sansa has her first period and freaks out because it means she can now bear the king’s children. Shae tries to help her hide the evidence, even going so far as to threaten another handmaiden. But it’s all in vain as the Hound walks in. Later, Cersei attempts to console Sansa and gives her some guidance about what it takes to be a queen and a wife and a mother. That night, Tyrion and Cersei share a moment as they realize Joffrey is out of control and with Stannis coming for them, protecting the kingdom falls on them.
Across the Narrow Sea, Dany is distraught over her dragons being stolen and is blaming Xaro. Xaro says he has called a meeting of the Thirteen and suspects it was one of them that was responsible. Jorah returns and Dany talks with him about trust. Jorah assures her that she can trust him, so she orders him to find her dragons. Jorah goes to Quaithe, as she seems to know things. Quaithe tells Jorah that the ones who have the dragons is with Dany. Dany who is at the meeting of the Thirteen. There, Pyat Pree reveals he has the dragons. And Xaro is in league with him. They’re making a power play to install Xaro as King of Qarth. Pree’s doubles assassinate the remaining members of the Thirteen. One of the Pyat Pree’s then tells Dany to come to the House of the Undying if she wants her dragons back. Jorah runs in and stabs the Pree in the back and he dissipates. Another Pyat Pree advances on them, again urging Dany to come to the House of the Undying. Dany, Jorah and Kovarro high-tail it out of there.
At Robb Stark’s camp, Alton has returned with the response from Cersei to his terms. Robb orders Alton to be put in with Jaime until a new pen can be built for him. Robb then talks to Talisa, who needs more medical supplies, so Robb tells her to come with him to the Crag. Later, Alton and Jaime talk about their old squiring days. Then Jaime gets an idea for how he can escape. He asks Alton for his help, all he needs is his life. He kills Alton and the guard enters to investigate. Jaime kills him too, takes his keys and unchains himself. He must not have gotten far though, as the next morning he is being dragged back into camp. Catelyn has to keep Lord Karstark, whose son was guarding Jaime that night and was killed by the Kingslayer, from killing Jaime in revenge. That night, Catelyn goes to confront Jaime. Jaime taunts her about Ned’s bastard. Catelyn asks Brienne for her sword.
In Winterfell, Theon has discovered that Bran and Rickon have escaped. He hunts them down with hounds and Maester Luwin is dragged along. We see Bran, Rickon, Hodor and Osha walking in the countryside, they come upon the farm that the two orphan boys were sent to. Osha says they can’t run forever, eventually they will be tracked down. Later, Theon and crew arrive at the same farm, where Dagmer finds some walnut shells. He tells Theon to send Luwin away. Back at Winterfell, Theon has gathered the servants of Winterfell in the courtyard, including Maester Luwin. He then shows them what he does to those who defy him and reveals the tarred corpses of two small children. Maester Luwin cries out in anguish. Theon looks guilty. Fade to black.
What I Liked
Qarthian Coup – I thought this was a nice twist and, as a book reader, one that really surprised me. It makes sense that there would be some power plays within the Thirteen and this was a bold move by Xaro and Pyat Pree. Plus the whole scene with all the Pyat Prees slitting the throats of the rest of the Thirteen was creepy and cool. I’m not entirely sure why they needed to steal Dany’s dragons to pull this off, but maybe it will become clear on a rewatch or in a later episode. Anyway, I thought it was a cool twist and it made me say “Daaammn!” in a good way.
“You Know Nothing, Jon Snow.” – A classic line from the book that everyone was waiting to hear and Rose Leslie nailed it.
The Brotherhood – I like that they are establishing the Brotherhood without Banners. Makes me certain we should get some good scenes with them in later seasons.
This cast is amazing – There were a bunch of scenes tonight of just two people talking, but they were so compelling and dramatic because of the acting. Tywin and Arya. Cersei and Tyrion. Alton and Jaime. These scenes may not have looked like much on paper, but they were amazing to watch on screen, thanks to stellar acting by Charles Dance, Maisie Williams, Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage, Karl Davies and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.
That ending – So, they went there. I remember people wondering if David & Dan would be so cruel as to make all the new viewers think that Bran and Rickon were actually dead. Although there were clues that those two corpses aren’t the Stark boys, I’m sure many viewers will be convinced that they are. The tweet post should be interesting this week. I’m interest in We Do Not Sow’s take, as well. Let’s try not to ruin it for people, okay?
What I Didn’t Like
Jaime the Kinslayer – Jaime really went to the dark side in this one. Not sure how I feel about that. On the one hand, I can buy that a starving, desperate, imprisoned Jaime would go to great lengths to escape; but one of the most compelling parts of Jaime’s character is that despite doing some pretty horrible things, he does have a conscience. I think kinslaying may be too much, even for him. But damn, did Coster-Waldau sell it.
What did everyone else think? Leave your thoughts in the comments and don’t forget to rate the episode in our poll, at the bottom of this page.