Now THAT is an episode of Game of Thrones. Read my full thoughts on tonight’s episode after the break!
Spoiler Note: This post is for those who have read A Storm of Swords. As such the post itself and the comments will contain spoilers. If you haven’t read ASoS yet, you can discuss this episode in our non-book reader recap. Thanks!
Here’s a “quick” summary of tonight’s jam-packed episode.
After the credits, we get our first glimpse of Riverrun and the Tully family. Edmure fails to light his father’s funeral pyre and the Blackfish comes to his rescue. We learn that Edmure sought glory over obeying Robb Stark’s orders and as a result they have two Lannister prisoners and not the Mountain’s head on a spike. Later, Catelyn and her uncle talk about the past in another stellar emotional scene from Michelle Fairley.
Far to the north, the wildlings have arrived at the Fist of the First Men only to find the dead crows gone and a horse corpse crop circle remaining. Knowing that Mormont’s forces are weakened, Mance orders Tormund to take a group of wildlings over the Wall to attack Castle Black from the rear.
What is left of the Night’s Watch stumbles into Craster’s Keep, where they find the host even less hospitable than the last time they were there. Sam endures some fat jokes from Craster and then leaves the Keep in time to see Gilly deliver her baby. It is a boy.
In parts unknown, Theon escapes his captors thanks to the help of the mysterious janitor. Before long though, Theon’s captors have tracked him down and are ready to make him their bitch, just then arrows start flying. It’s the mysterious janitor, come to Theon’s rescue. “Come m’lord, you are a long way from home and winter is coming.”
At the Inn at the Crossroads, the Hound is being taken away by the Brotherhood, but not before Arya attempts to jog his memory about Mycah. Arya and Gendry are going with the Brotherhood as well, but Hot Pie is staying at the inn. Goodbyes and wolf-shaped breads are exchanged. Farewell, Hot Pie!
In King’s Landing, the small council adjourns in a new location. Tywin dispatches Littlefinger to the Eyrie to be Lysa’s husband and appoints Tyrion the new Master of Coin. Later, Tyrion picks up the ledgers from Littlefinger’s brothel and gives Pod a gift for saving his life. Tyrion learns that the crown is massively in debt to his father and the Iron Bank of Braavos. He also learns that Podrick is really good at sex.
At Dragonstone, Melisandre sets off on some unknown mission. Stannis wants her to stay, to give him another “son.” But Mel says no, his “fire is growing dim.” And non-book readers learn that there is a limitation to magic in this world.
In Astapor, Daenerys goes to barter with Kraznys for the Unsullied. On the way, she talks with Jorah and Barristan about her brother. Barristan remembers him fondly, while Jorah is less convinced. “Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly. And Rhaegar died.” They arrive to negotiate with Kraznys, Dany wants all 8000 slave warriors plus the boys still in training. Kraznys laughs and wonders how she plans to pay for them all. Dany offers him a dragon.
Somewhere in the riverlands, Brienne and Jaime are captives of Locke and his men. They stop for the night where Locke plans to besmirch Brienne’s honor. Jaime is able to talk him out of it with the promise of sapphires. He continues to talk and manages to get himself unchained from a tree and invited to dinner… or so he thinks. Locke is playing him false, and to add injury to insult, chops off his hand. Roll credits!
What I Liked
Bartering for Unsullied – I loved this scene. Daenerys is fierce! I like it. Also Dan Hildebrand is a great Kraznys. And I forgot to mention this in my premiere recap, but the Ghiscari Valyrian sounds great. David Peterson has done a superb job with both Dothraki and now this. We should get another variation of Valyrian later this season even.
Family, Duty, Honor – Finally, we get introduced to Riverrun and the Tullys. Loved seeing Edmure and the Blackfish for the first time. Poor Edmure. Hope we get to see some of his better qualities soon. Clive Russell as the Blackfish looks to be perfect casting though.
The Bear and the Maiden Fair – After much anticipation, at last we got to hear The Bear and the Maiden Fair… not once but twice! The first time it was sung by Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody in a cameo appearance, at least I think it is him singing. You can clearly see him riding the horse behind Locke. The second time was of course the studio version by The Hold Steady. What did everyone think?
Theon’s Escape – What an exciting scene! Iwan Rheon is a badass with a bow. Is it just me or have they really stepped up their game when it comes to the action sequences this season? Also, I am really curious to see where they are going with this…
Jaime Loses a Hand – How great was that scene? Superbly acted, written and directed. The way Jaime smooth talks Brienne out of trouble and then himself out of chains, only to find out that Locke isn’t quite as stupid as Jaime thinks. And then just when you think Jaime is going to get away with a warning… WHACK!
What I Didn’t Like
Podrick the Sex God – My only quibble with this otherwise outstanding episode was Podrick being a sex god. It was a tad unrealistic. Beginner’s luck, I guess? I shouldn’t complain too much as it did give us a Meereenese knot joke! Well played, David and Dan, well played.
Overall, a fantastic episode. The best of this young season, for sure. What did everyone else think? Share your thoughts in the comments below and rate the episode in our poll in the footer!