HOLY SHIT, SON
This episode randomly started us off with a lot more inappropriately lighthearted humor than usual, which nine times out of ten means that the night is going to end oh so badly for at least one person. And that is exactly what happens. Naturally.
King Stark and Mama Tully
The Starks and their army are at the funeral for the father of Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley), and Cat’s brother Edmure Tully (played by Tobias Menzies, who I’ve loved so hard ever since Rome) really, really sucks at archery.
What he’s supposed to do is launch a flaming arrow onto his father’s funeral pyre as it floats away down the river. And what does he do? He misses, like, twenty times (and I’m sitting here practically pointing and laughing.) Robb (Richard Madden) is super exasperated while Catelyn just side-eyes her sibling like “wow, really bro?”
Later, Robb is yelling at Edmure for going against Robb’s orders in leading a battle where they lost over 200 men. Meanwhile, Catelyn and her uncle reminisce about her father and she breaks down thinking about how Bran and Rickon are most likely dead.
The Lannisters and Co.
Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) calls a meeting with Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), Petyr Baelish (Aidan Gillan), Cersei (Lena Headey), Super Old Guy Whose Name I Don’t Remember, and Varys (Conleth Hill) in which everyone looks extremely anxious and no one is happy. Cersei is forced to carry her own chair to the other side of the table because nobody offers to help her out with it, while Tyrion patiently waits for everyone to get settled in before dragging his own chair up to the table with a long, drawn out squueeeaaking noise. You annoying bitch, I love you so much.
Tywin asks where his son Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is, but no one knows. He’s understandably pissed, because it is literally everyone’s job to know things.
Tywin and Petyr eventually start scheming for Petyr to leave King’s Landing for the Eyrie, where he would marry Catelyn’s sister Lysa and become Lord of the Vale. Tyrion brings up the point that it might not be a great idea for the guy who manages their finances to leave right before a lavish and expensive royal wedding, something that Tywin fully agrees with – which then leads to him appointing Tyrion as the new Master of Coin.
Later on, Tyrion and Petyr have a loaded conversation about Tyrion’s latest job description as Tyrion collects all of papers and things that he needs from Petyr. Shortly thereafter, Tyrion buys Poderick (Daniel Portman) three prostitutes with a big bag of gold to reward him for being a loyal servant and for saving his life last season.
As he goes through the Petyr’s extensive collection of records, Tyrion discovers that Petyr has been borrowing money for the crown every time they needed things, and that they now owe the Iron bank of Bravvos, tens of millions. If they fail to pay them back in time, the bank will fund the Lannister family’s enemies – because “one way or another, they always get their gold back.”
Pod comes back from his devirginizing experience and gives Tyrion his pouch of gold back, informing a confused Tyrion and Bronn (Jerome Flynn) that the girls liked him so much they gave him their time for free. The two men sit Pod down to quiz him on his “techniques”.
Poor sweet Pod.
Arya and the Brotherhood Without Banners
Arya (Maisie Williams) is pissed off because the Brotherhood have taken her and her friends as unofficial prisoners after they found out her true identity, but as one of the men tells her, “It’s not safe in these woods for the daughter of Ned Stark.”
As they all prepare to leave the village, Hot Pie (Ben Hawkey) tells her and Gendry (Joe Dempsie) that he’s not going to continue with them on their journey, instead deciding to stay and work in the village at the bakery. Hot Pie, Arya, and Gendry share a sad goodbye. Man, I’m gonna miss that dude.
Jon Snow and the Wildlings
After coming across a field of decapitated and dismembered horses, with the presumably also dead bodies of their riders conspicuously missing, Mance Raydar (Ciaran Hinds) sends some of his men on a mission to climb the Wall. He also tells Jon Snow (Kit Harington) to go along with them because Jon knows where the weak spots are. Judging by the look on his face when he hears that, Jon is beginning to realize the severity of the situation he’s in.
Samwell Tarly and the Night’s Watch
The men wearily trek their way back to Craster’s (Robert Pugh) village – remember him from Season 2? He’s the deranged fucker that rapes all his daughters and leaves his baby sons out in the woods to die – and though he tries to deny them entrance at first, he eventually lets them come in out of the cold (probably because he knows he can’t defeat them in combat.) Burn Gorman, known best for his role as Owen Harper from Torchwood, makes his debut as unnamed Ranger #43.
As they’re warming up by the fire, Craster cracks an uncreative fat joke about Sam (John Bradley), that none of his friends or comrades try to defend him against. Flustered, embarrassed, and angry, Sam leaves.
He’s walking around the village when he comes across a hut where a woman giving birth is wailing in pain. When he pokes his head into the house, he sees that the woman is Gilly (Hannah Murray), whom Sam got a huge crush on the last time he was in the village.
Naturally, because we didn’t already have enough tragedy and infanticide in this show, she gives birth to a baby boy. This means if Craster finds out he’s gonna drop kick the baby to the White Walkers.
Oh, great, more torture scenes.
Iwan Rheon, playing Dude-Who-Is-Unnamed-In-The-Show-As-Of-Yet (anyone who’s been paying attention to casting news or has read the books knows it’s Sadistic Bastard Ramsay Bolton, though) rescues Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) and sends him riding away on a horse, telling him that his sister is waiting for him.
This is not the case. Theon’s recaptured in a little over a heartbeat, but when the men that caught him are about to rape him, he’s again rescued by Iwan Rheon. One of the men, before he dies via arrow to the forehead, calls Unnamed Man “You little bastard” in a clever bit of foreshadowing.
Stannis and Melisandre
Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) has gone cray. He asks Melisandre (Carice van Houten) to make him another creepy shadow assassin baby so he can “defeat his enemies,” but she tells him that he’s too weak and that trying again would likely kill him. Before she leaves for places unknown, she gives him some cryptic parting advice concerning who he needs to sacrifice to get his pretty iron throne.
Haaa they did the thing! The thing where someone says the title of the episode in casual conversation! Haaaaaa.
Jorah (Iain Glen) tells Dany (Emilia Clarke) about the Walk of Punishment, where slaves who did something “wrong” are tortured then chained up in the hot sun to die, so that other slaves learn not to make the same mistakes. Dany listens as Jorah and Ser Barristan (Ian McElhinney) do their best to convince her to follow their advice – Jory thinks she should buy the army, while Ser Barristan thinks it’s dishonorable to fight with a slave army.
She eventually decides to buy all 8,000 of the Unsullied, as well as the ones who are still in training.
When she goes back to meet with Kraznys (Dan Hildebrand) and tells him of her intentions, he practically laughs in her face, saying that she with her single ship and measly amount of gold cannot afford to buy all 8,000.
Dany then offers to sell one of her dragons for the army, which immediately catches Kraznys’ interest. She also asks for the translator, Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) – who is great by the way, A+ her everything – and the guy readily agrees.
Jamie and Brienne
Captured by the Boltons in the last episode, we next see these two bound in ropes and seated awkwardly on a horse as the Bolton men presumably lead them back to Robb. They are still bitching at each other the entire way there.
After trading a few snarky barbs, Jaime starts to drop his attitude to warn Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) of what’s going to happen to her when the Bolton men stop to make camp later that night: that she’ll probably be raped, many times, by many of the men. He tries to get her not to fight back by telling her “If you fight them, they will kill you, do you understand? I’m the prisoner of value, not you. Let them have what they want, what does it matter?”
Brienne points out that if their roles were reversed, there’s no way in hell Jaime wouldn’t resist – to which he replies that if he were a woman, he’d make them kill him instead.
Later that night, several of the men try to drag her off. She fights them off as best as she can, until a visibly conflicted Jamie ends up saving her by telling the men that her father would pay a hefty ransom if she were returned to him unharmed and her honor “unbesmirched.” Oh god that was terrifying to watch.
Brienne’s safety now successfully bargained for, Jaime then begins to try and bargain for his own freedom. This goes about as well as you’d expect, because the Bolton men don’t take so kindly to Jaime’s big words and smirk-y, lightly condescending tone.
So they chop off his sword hand. Fuuuuuck. Knowing that it was coming was in no way whatsoever enough to prepare me for that traumatically graphic scene.
Comments + Verdict
This week’s episode was great, with just the right balance between humor, action, and story.
That last scene, though. I have no words. No words. That image is going to burned into my retinas until the next episode, where I’m sure something equally as terrifying is going to happen to someone. Most probably it’s gonna be Theon.
Tyrion: I’m quite good at spending money, but a lifetime of outrageous wealth hasn’t taught me much about managing it.
Brienne: All my life, I’ve been hearing, “Jaime Lannister, what a brilliant swordsman.” You were slower than I expected. And more predictable.
Jaime: I’ve been sitting in a muddy pen wrapped in chains for the past year!
Brienne: And I’m a woman, I was still beating you.
Jaime: You were not beating me!
Gendry: Be safe.
Hot Pie: Yeah, you too. Don’t get stabbed.
Gendry: You don’t… burn your fingers.
Jory: Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly, and Rhaegar died.
Missandei: Valar morghulis.
Dany: Yes, all men must die. But we are not men.
Watch the preview of next week’s episode below:
Game of Thrones airs Sunday at 9 PM on HBO.