Game of Thrones 3×09 “The Rains of Castamere” Recap

This… this was quite the eventful episode. Let’s jump right in, shall we?


The Red Wedding

Robb (Richard Madden) starts off the episode telling Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) about his plans to take Casterly Rock. He recalls the last time he ignored his mother’s advice – when she told him not to send Theon to negotiate with the Greyjoys – and how badly that all turned out. This time, he’s making sure not to repeat that same mistake.

Catelyn points out the risks of such an operation, and then gets into her Total Badass Mode to tell Robb to go for the Lannisters’ metaphorical throat.

Later on, the Starks and their army finally arrive at Walder Frey’s lands, where Lord Frey (David Bradley) welcomes them with semi-open arms. Robb makes his apologies to both Lord Frey and to Lord Frey’s daughters – prompting a hilarious scene where Frey forgets some of his offspring’s names and is extremely flippant about the rest.

Frey goes on to inspect Talisa (Oona Chaplin), the woman for whom Robb broke his promises, and spends a good few minutes perving on and insulting her. When he’s done being a dick, Frey orders his people to prepare for the upcoming celebrations so they can “put this mess behind” them.

That night, the wedding between Edmure Tully (Tobias Menzies) and Roslin Frey (Alexandra Dowling) – who is unexpectedly beautiful (it’s a total dig at Robb, who didn’t want to marry any of the Frey girls, thinking they were all ugly) – happens. People who have either read the books or (like me) have been spoiled to heck know that this is known as The Red Wedding. It’s called that for a reason. A very, very specific reason.

That reason is that Lord Frey is a horrible host and a horrible person and he totally went back on his word to “put all this mess behind him” so he could get revenge on the Starks by ordering his men to lock the doors and slaughter every Stark and Stark soldier in attendance.



It’s a grim, terrible scene, but oh my god the buildup to it was amazing. After Edmure and his new bride are carried away for the bedding ceremony, the musicians begin to play “The Rains of Castamere” – the Lannister’s theme song – as soon as the doors are closed and the expression on Catelyn’s face quickly changing, as she knows doom is approaching.

When she sees the chain mail underneath Roose Bolton’s sleeve, she slaps him across the face and calls out to Robb. Walder Frey gives the word and his men begin the slaughter. Talisa gets stabbed repeatedly in the belly, while Catelyn takes an arrow to the back.

Catelyn does her best to save her family by holding Walder Frey’s wife hostage, but Lord Frey doesn’t give a damn; he can “just find another.” (By the way, can I just pause her to say how freaking AMAZING Michelle Fairley is in this scene? Like, seriously. Chills up my spine!)

Roose Bolton (Michael McElhatton) marches forward and puts a knife in Robb’s chest, saying the line all us already-spoiled-for-this-scene-peeps were waiting for: “The Lannisters send their regards.”

Catelyn lets out a wail of anguish, then slits Frey’s wife’s throat. She stands there overcome with grief, silent even as her own throat is slit and she falls to the floor, dead.

Daenerys Targaryen



Dany’s (Emilia Clarke) holding a strategy meeting with Jorah (Iain Glen), Ser Barristan (Ian McElhinney), Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson), and her latest ally, Daario (Ed Skrein). Daario spends his time alternating between giving Dany information about Yunkai’s weak spots and giving her sultry looks (which Jorah super does not appreciate because he also wants to get all up in Dany’s bizniz).

Jorah expresses those feelings of jealousy and suspicion by accusing Daario of leading them into a trap. Jorah and Dany ask Grey Worm what he thinks, since he is the leader of the Unsullied army and is best equipped to make decisions for his people. Grey Worm says he trusts Daario, so the matter is settled – they’re going by Daario’s plan to infiltrate Yunkai.

Later that night, Daario, Grey Worm, and Jorah carry out the plan. It goes terribly, because the instant the three of them get past the city gates they’re ambushed by Yunkai guards. They fight really well, but it’s still a three-to-innumerable numbers fight.

Back at their camp, Dany is feeling nervous because the siege is taking longer than expected. When Jorah, Daario, and Grey Worm walk in covered in blood but relatively unhurt, she’s ecstatic, especially when they report that the slave soldiers in Yunkai had surrendered and the city is now hers.

Samwell Tarly and Gilly


They’re still trudging through the snow trying to get back to The Wall. Sam (John Bradley) gives Gilly (Hannah Murray) a rambling history lesson as he describes the various castles on The Wall. Gilly, who is illiterate, expresses astonishment that Sam could know about all of that just by “looking at marks on paper,” saying that he’s like some sort of wizard. Sam, who’s always wanted to be a wizard, is really happy about that comparison.

Arya Stark and Sandor “The Hound” Clegane



The pair come across a haggard-looking old man struggling with a broken down cart in the middle of the road. Sandor (Rory McCann) goes to help him with the cart, then knocks the man out and pulls a knife on him. Arya (Maisie Williams) protests, of course, and though it takes a few tries to convince him, Sandor eventually relents and lets the man live. They do end up robbing the guy of his cart, though, with Sandor going through the rest of their journey pretending to be a hog farmer and Arya pretending to be his daughter.

A little later on, the two of them take a break on a hill overlooking the Frey castle. Sandor calls Arya out on her bout of anxiety, saying that because she’s so close to reuniting with her family, she’s afraid she won’t make it – and the closer she gets, the more her fear grows. Poor girl.

Arya doesn’t take his observations well, and snaps that she knows his fears too: Sandor is afraid of fire, which makes sense since he was burned almost to death by his older brother when he was just a wee little baby Clegane. She promises Sandor that one day she’s going to put a sword through his eye and through the back of his skull before walking back to gaze uncertainly at Castle Frey again.

The two of them arrive at the castle just as the doors are closed and locked, and they aren’t allowed entry. Arya is able to sneak past the gates using her tiny size and wiliness, just in time to see the Stark soldiers outside the main hall murdered by Frey guards and Robb’s direwolf – Grey Wind – killed. She runs forward, trying to get to her family, but Sandor stops her, knocking her out to get her safely away.

Jon Snow and the Wildlings



That one dude comes back from scouting to report to the other Wildlings about an old man living nearby, holding eight horses, gold, and weapons. The Wildlings plan to go kill him and steal all of his shit, but Jon (Kit Harington) and his sense of honor won’t let that slide – he tells them they should rob the old man but not kill him.

They don’t listen to him, naturally. The attack ends up failing anyways, because the old man manages to get onto a horse and gallop away before the Wildlings can reach him. Crap, now the Wildlings are down one horse and that old guy’s just gone off to report the attempted attack to the Night’s Watch.

The Wildlings take the remaining horses and ride the old man down before ordering Jon to kill him to prove his loyalty to the Wildlings.

Jon isn’t able to do so, and he and Ygritte (Rose Leslie) are forced to fight for their lives against the rest of the Wildlings. Jon is able to kill Orell (Mackenzie Crook), but is attacked by the dude’s eagle (whom he skinchanges into) – and then he grabs a horse and rides away, leaving Ygritte behind.

Bran Stark and Co.



The group is slowly getting closer to their destination, arriving at an abandoned town near The Wall named The Gift. Rickon (Art Parkinson) actually gets to say a line – the longest row of words that I’ve heard from him since Season 1.

A storm is coming, so the group decides to make shelter in the abandoned town. During the night, Osha (Natalia Tena) recounts how she and her companions got over The Wall and over to Westeros all those months (years?) ago. The group discusses possible ways of getting there when Meera (Ellie Kendrick) spots Wildling riders coming into the town.

Hodor (Kristian Nairn), terrified of the storm, begins shouting “HODOR!” which alerts one of the Wildlings to the group’s presence. Hey, it’s Orell! That means Jon is nearby. As long as Bran and Friends don’t die first at the hands of the other Wildlings, that means Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) might finally be reunited with Jon.

That doesn’t come to pass, however, because Bran wargs into Hodor’s mind, managing to calm Hodor down. Orell stares suspiciously up at the tower where the group is hiding, but eventually leaves it alone.

As the showdown with Jon and the old Night’s Watch man is going down outside, Jojen (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) encourages Bran to warg with one of the direwolves outside.

Bran does so just in the nick of time, unintentionally rescuing Jon by ripping out several Wildlings’ throats.

After everything’s over and done with, Osha and Jojen marvel at Bran’s power; apparently, North of the Wall, many Wildlings can get into the minds of animals, but there’s no one in the world who can get into the minds of people besides Bran.

Bran mulls on this a bit, before excitedly remembering that he’d seen Jon fighting the Wildlings when he was warged out, and that he’s probably headed for Castle Black now. He asks Osha to take Rickon to the Last Hearth while he, Jojen, Meera, and Hodor head past the Wall to look for the three-eyed raven from his dreams.

Rickon continues to have actual lines (and in the process is really, really growing on me) as he tells Bran that he doesn’t want to leave him – Rickon is Bran’s brother, it’s his job to stay with him and protect him. Bran’s mind is set, however, and Osha agrees to take Rickon to safety. They leave immediately for the Last Hearth.

Comments + Verdict


Rating: A

Memorable Quotes

Catelyn Stark: Show them how it feels to lose what they love.

Sandor Clegane: You’re very kind. One day it’ll get you killed.
[Arya knocks an unarmed old man unconscious with a stick and walks away.]

Rickon: Old Nan says the Wildlings turn your skull into a cup and make you drink your own blood from it! [Osha gives him a dirty look] …That’s what Old Nan said.

Arya: [to Sandor] Someday I’m gonna put a sword through your eye and out the back of your skull.

Brynden Tully: Didn’t you marry one of these Frey girls?
Roose Bolton: Aye. Lord Walder let me choose any of his granddaughters and promised me the girl’s weight in silver as a dowry. So I have a fat young bride.

Edmure Tully: Careful now ladies! Once you set the monster free there’s no caging him again!

Catelyn: Poor girl.
Bolton: Every bride suffers the same. I’m sure you endured yours with grace.
Catelyn: Oh, Ned forbade it. He said it wouldn’t be right if he broke a man’s jaw on our wedding night.

Check out the preview for the next episode:

Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 PM on HBO.

Game of Thrones 3×08 “Second Sons” Recap

“A man who fights for gold cannot afford to lose to a girl.”


Arya Stark

When last we saw her, the youngest Stark daughter was running away from the Brotherhood With No Banners when she was unlucky enough to run smack dab into The Hound – Gregor Clegane – who promptly took her hostage. This week’s episode starts off with her waking up a few feet away from where she and The Hound have made camp.

Arya tries to sneak up on a sleeping Gregor with a heavy rock raised above her head, obviously intending to smash it onto the dude’s head and run away. He’s actually awake, though, and quietly offers her a choice: if she kills him in one blow, she’s free to go, but if he doesn’t die, then he’s going to break both of her hands.

Arya drops the rock. Good call, because this is the guy who survived having his head shoved onto molten coals when he was a little boy. I doubt a single blow to the head would have killed him.

They continue on their travels. Though Arya thinks Gregor is taking her back to King’s Landing, he quickly corrects her, telling Arya that he’s going to return her to Catelyn and Robb Stark in exchange for heaps of money, because as we know, money makes the world go round. Arya looks cautiously happy for once.

Daenerys Targaryen

Dany is still on her mighty quest for power. This week, she meets with the captains of the Second Sons, the mercenary group contracted out to defend Yunkai from Dany and her Unsullied army.

Said captains are named Mero of Braavos (Mark Killeen), Prendahl na Chezn, and Daario Naharis (Ed Skrein), and Dany is hopeful that she can sway them to come fight for her side because, as she states, mercenaries are all about winning. Even though she herself might not be as militarily experienced as Mero and his men, she’s got an experienced army, a knowledgeable inner circle of fighters, and by sheer numbers alone, the Unsullied would definitely be able to defeat the mercenaries.

Mero implies he’ll think about it. He then goes and sends one of his lieutenants, Daario, to assassinate Dany as she’s bathing, because there’s apparently no such thing as honor among killers-for-hire. The assassin doesn’t follow through on his orders, however. Instead, he goes and dumps Mero and Prendahl’s decapitated heads onto the ground by Dany’s bathtub and swears his allegiance to her because she’s oh so beautiful. Dany’s just picking up allies left and right these days; this shit’s not even hard for her anymore.

The camera pans away as the Unsullied army starts singing: Let’s get down to business, to defeat… the Yunkai! (Okay, no, this doesn’t really happen. But can you imagine how hilarious it’d be if it did?)

Melisandre and Gendry

Oh, Gendry honey. You totally should have jumped off the boat and made a break for shore while you had the chance. Melisandre has finally arrived back to Stannis Baratheon’s tower hovel and is happily carting Gendry around like some sort of carnival prize.

Remember a few episodes ago when Melisandre told Stannis a sacrifice of royal blood was necessary for her to work her evil witchy red god magic? And then remember how in the last episode, she made a huge deal about Gendry being Robert Baratheon’s son, and how his blood is going to make kings rise and fall? Yeaaah, you’re starting to put two and two together now, aren’t you.

As Melisandre prepares for her creepy ritual of demonic doom, Stannis goes to visit Davos Seaworth, who is quite adorably working on his reading skills, in his damp dark prison cell. Stannis updates Davos on recent happenings, especially on Melisandre’s plan to sacrifice Gendry, prompting Davos to plead with a stoic-looking Stannis not to let her do this. Stannis is uncaring, because in his mind a bastard nephew is a small sacrifice to make in order to get the Iron Throne.

And then it’s revealed why Stannis wants the throne so badly – not quite because he’s so power hungry that he’ll kill anyone that stands in his way, whether brother or nephew, but because Melisandre’s got him believing that all the people of Westeros will be devoured by darkness or some shit unless Stannis becomes king.

Eventually, Stannis releases Davos after making him promise never to try and harm Melisandre again.

A while later, Melisandre comes to visit Gendry and almost immediately begins to strip, but just when it looks like Gendry’s about to actually get some, Melisandre handcuffs his arms to the headboard and ropes his legs together so he can’t move.

And, okay, that’s a benign enough kink that this situation could still go in Gendry’s favor, right? Nope. Melisandre pulls out several squirmy leeches, and then attaches them to various points on Gendry’s body. Including his ball sacks. I can’t imagine that would be pleasurable for anyone, and based on Gendry’s screaming, he’s not enjoying it quite so much either.

The ritual winds down when Melisandre tugs the leeches, now fat with royal blood, off of Gendry’s body parts. She hands them to Stannis, who promptly tosses them into a fire while chanting the names of his enemies: Robb Stark, Balon Greyjoy, and Joffrey Baratheon.

Everyone Hanging Out At King’s Landing

I suppose it would be Sansa Lannister now, since this episode deals with her wedding day to Tyrion. All throughout her scenes, the poor girl looks numb to everything that’s happening, and Tyrion has to continuously inebriate himself during the ceremony to even get through it.

Cersei Lannister watches the festivities of the wedding that she helped orchestrate with little joy, knowing that her own wedding to Loras Tyrell is soon coming. Loras’ sister Margaery twirls up to her and takes her arm, speaking her usual honeyed words in an attempt to bond with Cersei.

Cersei, of course, is having none of that. She tells Margaery a story about what happened to House Reyne, a family that had rebelled against the Lannisters long ago – warning Margaery not to try anything stupid lest history repeat itself. She also shuts down Loras’ awkward bonding attempts later on. Cersei’s “I give no fucks because I hate all of you” attitude is giving me so much life.

When Sansa finally walks into the building all dolled up, preparing for her walk down the aisle, Joffrey appears by her side and mockingly offers his arm up to her. Because her real father is dead, it’s now Joffrey’s duty as Father of the Realm to give Sansa away to her husband. I have no idea how that girl didn’t turn around and claw Joffrey’s eyes out the second he said the words “your father’s gone.”

The wedding ceremony is finished, so now comes the reception, where everyone is highly depressed except for Joffrey, who’s so pleased with himself over everyone else’s suffering: Tyrion, who is chugging wine glass after wine glass, and Olenna Tyrell, who’s bemusedly figuring out everyone’s familial relationships after all the marriages are finalized. (Loras is going to be both Margaery’s brother and her father-in-law. Yep.)

Sansa excuses herself from the table but barely gets a moment to breathe before Joffrey’s all up in her space and threatening to rape her after the reception is over. Joffrey then pulls Sansa back out to the main hall, and announces to the room that they’re going to start the bedding ceremony – which, based off of the few details we get, is where all the wedding guests get to carry the bride and groom to their marriage bed and strip them down before watching them have sex. Okay, so probably not actually the watching part, though I wouldn’t put it past Joffrey to order everyone to do that in order to maximize Sansa and Tyrion’s humiliation.

Tyrion snaps that there isn’t going to be a bedding ceremony, and that if Joffrey continues to insist on it, then Tyrion will cut Joffrey’s cock off with a steak knife.

Joffrey is furious, of course, and looks about a hair’s breadth away from ordering his guards to behead his drunken uncle, when Tywin helps diffuse the tension by saying that Tyrion is drunk and doesn’t know what he’s saying. Tyrion takes that opportunity to make his escape, bringing a mortified Sansa along with him to their quarters, where he proceeds to continue pouring alcohol down his throat.

Tyrion informs Sansa that despite Tywin Lannister’s orders for Tyrion to impregnate Sansa, Tyrion refuses to consummate their marriage unless she wants him to.

Samwell Tarly, Gilly, and Super Cute Baby

Samwell and Gilly continue on their trek back to the Wall. When they stumble across a cabin in the woods (hah, see what I did there?), Samwell suggests making camp there, and Gilly agrees. They strike up a conversation about Samwell’s upbringing and name suggestions for Gilly’s baby boy as Gilly makes a fire for them to warm themselves by.

Their bonding session is interrupted when a giant horde of crows swarms the cabin, and a White Walker comes menacingly out of the darkness and straight towards Sam, who, after a struggle, actually manages to kill the thing with the knife made of dragonglass he’d showed Gilly a few episodes ago. (Dragonglass is the only material capable of killing a White Walker.) The death scene is awesome – the White Walker turns to crystalline glass and then shatters – and as Gilly, Samwell (sans knife, really Sam?!), and the unnamed baby run away, the flock of crows chase after them.

Rating: B+

Memorable Quotes

Dany: A man who fights for gold cannot afford to lose to a girl.

Melisandre: Have you ever slaughtered a lamb, my king? If the lamb sees the knife, she panics. The panic seeps into the meat, darkens it, fouls the flavor.
Stannis: You’ve slaughtered many lambs?
Melisandre: And none have seen the blade.

Stannis: I never asked for this, no more than I asked to be king. We do not choose our destiny, but we must do our duty, no? Great or small, we must do our duty. What’s one bastard boy against a kingdom?

Davos: I think mothers and fathers made up the gods because they wanted their children to sleep through the night.

Cersei: If you ever call me sister again, I’ll have you strangled in your sleep.

Tyrion: There you go! Drinking and lust, no man can match me in these things. I am the god of tits and wine. I shall build a shrine to myself at the next brothel I visit.

Tyrion: There will be no bedding ceremony.
Joffrey: There will be if I say there will.
Tyrion: Well, then, you’re going to fucking your own wife with a wooden cock.

Tyrion: My tiny drunk cock and I have a job to do! Come, wife. I vomited on a girl once during the act. Not proud of it. But I think honesty is important between a man and a wife, wouldn’t you agree? Come, I’ll tell you all about it, put you in the mood.

Check out the preview for the next episode (airing in 2 weeks):

Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 PM on HBO.

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Game of Thrones 3×07 “The Bear And The Maiden Fair” Recap


“The bear, the bear, and the maiden fair.”

Jon Snow

The wildlings have made it past the wall, and they’re well on their way to Castle Black. Only a week’s worth of walking left to go! Jon Snow (Kit Harington) is still bitter about Orell cutting him loose from the ropes and leaving Jon to fend for himself in last week’s episode, so Orell drops some wildling wisdom about people only doing what best serves their own interests.

And then the next scene is some dude is animatedly giving Jon sex tips as Jon listens in shock and awe… A few feet away, Orell and Ygritte (Rose Leslie) are traipsing along and talking when we find out that Orell loves her – but unfortunately for Orell, Ygritte loves Jon. Orell gets super bitter then, and hisses at Ygritte that she won’t love Jon anymore when she “finds out what he is.” Are these empty words, or does he actually know that Jon’s still a Ranger?

Later on, after few cute and romantic scenes between Jon and Ygritte, things get serious when Jon tries to warn her that she and the Wildlings aren’t likely to win their war. Those North of the Wall have tried to invade the South six times in the past, and every single time they failed. Ygritte doesn’t want to hear it though, and tells him “if we die, we die, but first we’ll live.” Awww. This would be way cuter if she wasn’t talking about the likelihood of their GRUESOME DEATHS.

Robb Stark

It’s raining so the Starks and their army are unable to travel to the Freys’ place. (Also, Robb has apparently forgotten how to dry himself so Talisa’s doing it for him.) Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) is worried that Lord Frey will take them being late as an offense, but pretty much everyone else doesn’t give a shit what Frey’s offended by.

Robb (Richard Madden) then dismisses everyone from his tent so he and Talisa (Oona Chaplin) can share a sex scene and a really long post-coital scene where the camera lingers on Talisa’s nudity while Robb gets up to put on a robe. Talisa writes a letter in Valyrian, which means Robb has no idea what it says. Hmm, how mightily suspicious – especially considering that we’re being given an entire scene revolving around the fact that Talisa is writing a letter that Robb can’t read. Hmmm.

Oh wait, there’s more to this scene after all: Talisa’s pregnant! Robb is very pleased with this turn of events. They have sex. Again.

Sansa Stark



Sansa (Sophie Turner) opens up to Margaery (Natalie Dormer) about all of her broken dreams. Margaery tells her how sorry she is that her most recent dream of marrying Loras and leaving for Highgarden has been shattered, but that women in their position must make the best of their circumstances. Lord Tyrion isn’t who Sansa wants, and she would most likely be forced to stay in King’s Landing with him, but he hasn’t hurt Sansa yet and he’s definitely far from the worst person ever.

When Sansa expresses nervousness over having sex with Tyrion, Margaery comforts her by telling her that sex can be complicated, but since Tyrion’s pretty experienced, he would be able to please her. Poor, sweet, naive Sansa thinks Margaery learned about these things from her mother, but it’s clear that’s not exactly true when Margaery’s smile falters ever so slightly.

Tyrion Lannister

We then jump over to Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), who’s having a drink with his bodyguard Bronn (Jerome Flynn) and blanching over the idea of having sex with Sansa, who’s basically a child. Bronn doesn’t see a problem with it, but Tyrion definitely does – first off, Sansa isn’t going to like it, and secondly, Tyrion’s girlfriend/lover Shae (Sibel Kekilli) definitely isn’t going to like it.

Later on, Tyrion buys golden jewelry for Shae in an attempt to make her less pissed at him, but Shae doesn’t want necklaces, and she doesn’t want Tyrion to get married. She asks him to run away with her. Tyrion tells her he can’t leave, and offers to keep her safe and comfortable in the city and to take care of any children they have together – which only pisses Shae off even more because she doesn’t want to have his bastards and be nothing more than his “whore.”

Tywin and Joffrey Lannister

The Hand of the King approaches King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and is made to report on the small council meetings that Tywin (Charles Dance) has been holding up in his tower. Joffrey is a lazy brat, of course, so he wants to know why the meetings aren’t being held someplace closer to him, so Joffrey can toddle his way in when he can actually be bothered to attend them.

Tywin walks slowly up the steps to the throne so he can tower menacingly over Joffrey and hilariously says, “We could arrange to have you carried.” Joffrey looks freaked out by his grandfather’s close proximity (as he should be) so he quickly changes the subject to Dany and her dragons, asking Tywin if she is a threat to his throne. Tywin gives Joffrey a history lesson and ends his speech by telling him that dragons are a myth. Oh Tywin, you are so misinformed.

Daenerys Targaryen


Dany (Emilia Clarke) has made it to Yunkai, which is a veritable fortress of a city. Jorah (Iain Glen) advises her not to attack the city because it won’t get her any closer to the throne in Westeros, but Dany wants to so she can free the 200,000 slaves there. She tells Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) to send word to the King in Yunkai to tell him to surrender his slaves else his city be subject to the same fate as the one Dany just came from.

After receiving Dany’s message, Kingly Dude arrives to give her gold and ships to try and make peace with her… only that doesn’t exactly work out the way he wants. Dany orders him to release every slave in the city and give them all enough food and clothing to get them wherever they want to go.

He refuses these terms, and he and his slaves run away as Dany’s dragons roar at them threateningly. Once he’s disappeared, Dany tells Jorah and Ser Barristan (Ian McElhinney) to find out what they can about the Yunkai’s “powerful friends” and how much of a threat they are to her.

Melisandre and Gendry

Now that Gendry (Joe Dempsie) has been successfully kidnapped and carted off, he’s free to roam around on the ship that’s taking him, Melisandre (Carice Van Houten), and her peoples back to wherever it is they’re going. They pass by the areas of King’s Landing that were scorched by wildfire, and Melisandre recounts her memories of being lowborn, of being a slave. She then tells Gendry that his strength and talent for fighting comes from his noble Baratheon blood. Gendry is overwhelmed by this key piece of information and he gazes up at the towers of King’s Landing.

Arya Stark

Back with the Brotherhood, Arya (Maisie Williams) sits by herself as far away from Beric (David Michael Scott) and Thoros (Paul Kaye)  as she can. She’s angry and disappointed with them for trading Gendry for bags of gold, and is uncaring of their little “but god told me to” spiel.

Their conversation is put on hold when some of the other Brotherhood men come into the cave to report their sighting of a nearby Lannister raiding party. “Time for a lion hunt,” says Thoros. “Yeaaaaah!” replies the Brotherhood. “Noooo,” says Arya’s facial expression. The Brotherhood promised to take her back to Riverrun, but now Arya’s afraid that all they care about is getting gold. She runs away into the dark woods, and straight into The Hound. Geez, this girl can’t catch a single break.

Theon Greyjoy

Okay, so I think I could do without Theon (Alfie Allen) torture scenes for the rest of forever. Seeing as how this is the Game of Torture and Sex Porn show I’m watching, though, and not Game of Everyone Plays Nicely and Learns to Share Power, we’re treated to another scene of Theon convulsing on the ground after having had his finger cut off last time we saw him. Two women have appeared out of nowhere and are helping treat his wounds and give him water – but I suspect this is all yet another psychological game the Bolton Bastard is playing.

And indeed it is, because the girls pretend they have no idea what Theon’s talking about when he asks about Ramsay (Iwan Rheon), and proceed to grind up on Theon’s dick. Gratuitous sex scene ensues, at least until Ramsay swans in and resumes the torture by cutting off Theon’s cock.

Bran Stark

Why does it feel like every time we see Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) and company, they’re setting up a tent someplace, Osha (Natalia Tena) is being an adorably suspicious grump, and…  Rickon is napping? Because that’s basically what’s happening again in this episode. Osha, feeling protective of Bran and fed up with Jojen’s talk of “black magic,” eventually confronts Jojen (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) and orders him to stop filling Bran’s head with stories.

When she hears that Jojen plans on leading Bran not to Castle Black, as Osha had thought, but past the Wall, Osha is furious – there are dangerous things beyond the Wall. She tells them about her lover, who had died and turned into an undead creature with pale white skin and blue eyes, and how Osha had to kill him to keep him from killing her. Her story finished, she walks away after telling Bran that she’s not going to go any further than Castle Black.

Jaime and Brienne


Jaime’s (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) getting ready to leave the Boltons and head back to King’s Landing. The night before he’s supposed to leave, he visits Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) in her room/prison cell, and tries to thank her for saving him. She tells him that as long as he swears to bring Arya and Sansa back to Catelyn Stark, Brienne will consider his debt to her paid in full. Jaime promises, and the two make their goodbyes.

The next day, Jaime, healer Qyburn, and a few guards begin their journey. When they make a pit stop, Qyburn tells Jaime that Brienne’s father offered three hundred gold dragons for his daughter’s safe return, but that Locke – the man who cut off Jaime’s hand and tried to have Brienne raped – would not accept the ransom. Jaime is conflicted for all of two seconds before he decides that he can’t leave Brienne to suffer. He and his guards immediately march back to Harrenhal to rescue Brienne.

When they get there, Jaime finds Brienne trapped in a gladiator-style pit along with an extremely angry bear with only a wooden sword to protect herself with. The Bolton men have the pit surrounded and are drunkenly singing, “The Bear and the Maiden Fair.” Brienne does her best to hold out, but up against a huge and vicious bear, she hasn’t got much hope.

All of a sudden, Jaime jumps into the pit to save Brienne. If Jaime dies, the guards will be in huge trouble so they help him get Brienne out of the pit and back to safety. Jaime tells Locke that he’s going to be taking Brienne back with him to King’s Landing.

Comments + Verdict

It felt like there were a lot more storylines squished into this week’s episode than usual, so there was more jumping around from scene-to-scene and long, boring conversations. The amount of screentime devoted to that could be better spent on Catelyn, since she’s a main character in the books. They also lingered way too long on the combo sex-and-torture scene with Theon and Ramsay. Save for a few highlights, I wasn’t a big fan of this episode. Jaime’s rescue of Brienne felt rushed; the writers continue to use the same formula for every episode: lots of conversations, gratuitous scenes of naked women, then action in the last 5 minutes of the episode to further the plot.

Rating: C

Memorable Quotes

Orell: People work together when it suits them. They’re loyal when it suits them. They love each other when it suits them. And they kill each other when it suits them.

Bronn: You waste time trying to get people to love you, you’ll end up the most popular dead man in town.

Beric: The Red God is the one true god. You’ve seen his powers. When he commands, we obey.
Arya: He’s not my one true god.
Beric: No? Who’s yours?
Arya: Death.

Ramsay: This is mercy. I’m not killing you. I’m just making a few… alterations.

Ygritte: “Ohh, I’m Jon Snow and I’m from Winterfell. My daddy was a fancy lord and I lived in a tower that touched the clouds!”

Ygritte: What’s swooning?
Jon: … Fainting.
Ygritte: What’s fainting?
Jon: When a girl sees blood and collapses.
Ygritte: Why would a girl see blood and collapse?
Jon: Well… Not all girls are like you.
Ygritte: Girls see more blood than boys.

Hodor: Hodor.

Osha: Is that what he’s been telling you? That all this happened for a reason? That all these terrible things happened to you because the gods have got big plans for you? I wish it were true, little lord. But the gods wouldn’t spare a raven’s cold shit for you or me or anyone.

Watch the preview for the next episode below:

Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 PM on HBO.

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Arya Stark

Beric (David Michael Scott) and the Hound (Rory McCann) are preparing for their final showdown in the trial-by-combat. The Hound straps on his armor, while Beric prays to the Lord of Light for guidance, “for the night is dark and full of terrors.”

And then he lights his sword on fire using his own blood. Badass. Arya (Maisie Williams) and Gendry (Joe Dempsie) watch the ensuing fight scene anxiously from the sidelines as the Brotherhood chants “guilty, guilty, guilty.”

When Beric eventually loses the fight with a sword through the chest, Arya snatches a sword and runs to execute the Hound herself, but Gendry stops her.

And then, surprise twist! Beric is totally ‘alive’, because he’s a zombie creature man brought back to life via prayer. They’re still forced to let the Hound go, however, because the Brotherhood’s Lord of Light has deemed the Hound innocent of his accused crimes despite Arya’s eyewitness account.

Later on, Gendry tells Arya that he’s going to stay with the Brotherhood and smith for them. Arya protests, saying that he’s going to get himself killed, but Gendry is done serving men who proclaim themselves ruler; he’d rather stay with the Brotherhood, people who elect their own leader and who feel more like a family than an army. In a last ditch effort to get him to come with her, Arya offers to be Gendry’s family.

Gendry replies that she couldn’t be his family, because there would always be a difference of station between them. Arya is a relatively highborn lady, whether she wants to be or not, and Gendry thinks he’s just a lowly blacksmith.

Afterwards, Arya sits by the fire and whispers to herself the names of the people involved in murdering her father and breaking apart her family. She turns to ask one of the Brotherhood what he intends to do with her, and he tells her they will bring her to Riverrun and to her brother Robb, then ask him to donate to their cause. Beric comes up then, and tells Arya the story of his scars and his many rebirths.

In a heartbreaking moment, Arya asks them if they can bring her father back to her, but of course, they can’t.

Jon Snow and Ygritte



The wildlings are still wary of Jon’s (Kit Harington) supposed loyalty to their cause. Two of the men start to question him about the set-up of the Wall’s defenses, which they’re planning on attacking soon. Jon answers all their questions with obvious difficulty, but they’re still not convinced. Ygritte (Rose Leslie) backs him up, and afterwards taunts him about owing her a debt for saving him from getting his throat cut and vouching for him with Mance Raydar.

Ygritte teasingly steals his sword and runs off into a cave with Jon chasing after her. She tells him to prove that he’s no longer a crow by breaking his vows and having sex with her. Which he then does. Vigorously.

They cuddle and have pillow talk afterwards, where Jon confesses that he was a virgin and Ygritte gleefully tells him all about her previous conquests. She gets serious, then, and tells Jon that she wishes she could stay in the cave with him forever.

Robb Stark



A band of men break into the room where the young Lannister boys were being held captive, and mercilessly slaughter them. Later, they’re brought before Robb (Richard Madden), Talisa (Oona Chaplin), Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley), and Edmure Tully (Tobias Menzies) who are disgusted by their actions. Their reasoning is vengeance and that Catelyn is as guilty as he is of the boys’ deaths because she freed Jaime Lannister and prevented them from getting true revenge.

Robb orders the leader, Lord Karstark, to be taken to the dungeons, and to hang the rest of the men for treason. When one of them protests that he was forced to watch for the guards, and that he hadn’t killed anyone, Robb chillingly tells his men to hang him last so he can watch the others die.

Once his guards leave and Robb is alone with his inner circle, Edmure advises Robb to do his best to keep this quiet, because “Lannisters pay their debts. They never stop talking about it.” Catelyn and Talisa also try to keep Robb from killing Lord Karstark, knowing that if he does, Karstark’s bannermen will abandon Robb’s cause. Robb, however, sticks to his proverbial guns, and executes Karstark himself – as is the way of the North.

Those loyal to Lord Karstark abandon Robb, then, taking half of Robb’s forces with them. Robb is frustrated and depressed. Again. Talisa gives Robb some highly creative advice: don’t let Tywin win! Give Robb’s men a new purpose! Except she has no idea what that could be.

Robb has a eureka moment and decides to take Casterly Rock from the Lannisters. To do that, though, he needs to go ask Walder Frey, the man whose daughter Robb was supposed to marry, for more soldiers.

Uh oh.

Jaime and Brienne



The Bolton men finally arrive at the stronghold where Lord Roose Bolton (Michael McElhatton) waits, and deliver to their Lord the Kingslayer, Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau).

Roose seems to have no time for the men’s antics, ordering them to cut Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) free and to stop humiliating Jaime. He then updates Jaime on what he’s missed while he’d been held captive – about the siege at King’s Landing, his father Tywin winning the battle, and of Cersei’s safety. Jaime collapses onto the ground in relief.

He’s then taken to a healer, who unwraps the bandages around Jaime’s stump and grimly informs him that his infection has spread, and just to be safe they might need to cut off the rest of his arm. When Jaime threatens to kill him if he tries it, the healer admits that they can try just carving off the main infected areas and burning out the rest of it with boiling wine.

Jaime agrees to this. He also refuses pain killers. Brave man, because the scene after that looks like torture.

A while later, Brienne is scrubbing the dirt off of herself in a luxurious looking bath when Jaime shakily walks in and joins her in the tub. Brienne is mortified, and curls herself up in the corner right up until Jaime makes a crack about her being unable to protect Renly. She then stands in front of him – tall, proud, and furious. Jaime apologizes, and asks for a truce and for her trust.

Jaime tells her about the Mad King, and how Jaime earned the name Kingslayer. His story is enthralling, but it takes a lot out of him, and he’s barely finished with it when he faints in the water, only to be caught in Brienne’s arms.

Stannis and Davos



Left by Melisandre a few episodes ago, Stannis (Stephen Dillane) comes to his wife Selyse (Tara Fitzgerald) and confesses his sins to her – that he had slept with Melisandre in the last season – but Selyse already knows and is fine with it, pleased even, because “no act done in service of the Lord of the Light can ever be a sin.”

She then walks to the other side of the room up to three yellowed jars holding human fetuses. Um, what the fuck.

Stannis leaves the room to meet up with his daughter, Shireen (Kerry Ingram), who has scales on half of her face. She asks her father about the Onion Knight, Ser Davos (Liam Cunningham), whom Stannis disavowed and had thrown into a dungeon the last time he saw him. Stannis tells Shireen that Davos is a traitor and to forget about him.

Shireen, however, doesn’t listen, and as soon as she’s able she sneaks out of her room and down to the dungeons to speak with Davos. He confirms that he’s a traitor, but Shireen still doesn’t care, and adorably tries to teach an illiterate Davos how to read. Davos looks fondly at her as she gives him his first lesson.

Daenerys Targaryen



Jorah (Iain Glen) and Ser Barristan (Ian McElhinney) bond over war stories as they ride next to Dany’s new army. Barristan tells Jorah that he’s tired of fighting for madmen and drunks, and that he wants to fight with pride for someone he believes in. Jorah replies that Dany is someone he believes in with all his heart.

Barristan then slyly suggests that Jorah not come with her back to Westoros, since his reputation as a slaver is pretty well known there and it might hurt Dany’s chances of being accepted by the people. Jorah is suspicious of Barristan since he just barely joined up with them and is already making such suggestions. He tells the man that he’ll go only if Dany wants him to.

A little ways away, Dany (Emilia Clarke) addresses the officers of her army and again tells them that they are free men, and that they are to elect their own leader. A super hot guy (Jacob Anderson) steps up, then, and when Dany asks what his name is he replies, “Grey Worm.” Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) tells Dany that all the Unsullied get names that signify their status as vermin, and Dany announces for all the Unsullied to throw away their slave names and choose their own names, ones that fills them with pride.

Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) tells Dany that the name he was born with is cursed – that he had that name when he was turned into a slave – while “Grey Worm” feels lucky because that was the name he had when Dany came to set him free. Dany looks touched.

Cersei and Tyrion Lannister



Cersei (Lena Headey) approaches Petyr Baelish (Aidan Gillan) in the courtyard of the castles and orders him to use his contacts to look into the Tyrells before he leaves the capital.

Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), meanwhile, is doing his Master of Coin-ly duties by meeting with Lady Olenna (Diana Rigg) and discussing the excessiveness of the royal wedding with her. He asks her to tone it down because they’re at war. Lady Olenna is as sassy as ever, and lets Tyrion know exactly how many men and how much food the Tyrells have supplied to fund this Lannister war, and that a royal wedding serves a purpose that is just as important.

She offers to pay for half of the expenses and then bustles off.

Sansa Stark (and everyone conspiring over her)



Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) spend the day watching Loras spar. Sansa asks Margaery when she might get to marry Loras, and Margaery tells her that as soon as she and Joffrey are married she’ll suggest it to him.

A few feet away, Loras and his squire, Olyver, flirt during a lull in the sparring and then have lots of sex later in Loras’ bedchambers. Loras tells Olyver that he’s getting married soon.

In the scene right after that, Olyver scuttles off to his boss, Littlefinger, and tells Petyr everything. Petyr immediately runs off to find Sansa, and then super pervs on her as he tries to figure out if she’s the one who’s engaged to Loras. Petyr puts two and two together quite quickly after he asks her if she still wants to come away with him during his trip. Sansa replies that it might be better to wait.

He then presumably rushes off to Cersei to tell her of what he’s learned, and Cersei tells her father Tywin (Charles Dance) who calls Tyrion for a meeting to inform him that he’s going to be marrying Sansa to prevent her union to Loras. Tyrion is wholly against this idea, but Tywin won’t hear it: this is happening regardless of whether or not Tyrion wants it to.

Tywin then turns his attentions to his daughter and tells her that she will be marrying Loras so she can secure Highgarden and the Reach. Cersei loses her smile, then, and begs Tywin not to “make her do it again.” Of course, Tywin’s mind is made up, and he leaves his children sitting there alone.

Rating: B

Memorable Quotes

Healer: There will be pain.
Jaime: I’ll scream.
Healer: Quite a bit of pain.
Jaime: I’ll scream loudly.

Lady Olenna: The people are hungry for more than just food. They crave distractions. And if we don’t provide them, they’ll create their own. And their distractions are likely to end with us being torn to pieces. A royal wedding is much safer, wouldn’t you say?

Gendry: These men are brothers, they’re family. I’ve never had a family.
Arya: I can be your family.
Gendry: You wouldn’t be my family. You’d be my lady.

Robb: This one was only the watcher. Hang him last, so he can watch the others die.

Arya: Could you bring back a man without a head? Not six times. Just once.
Beric: He was a good man, Ned Stark. He’s at rest now, somewhere. I would never wish my life upon him.
Arya: I would. You’re alive.

Jaime: If I faint, pull me out. I don’t intend to be the first Lannister to die in a bathtub.

Davos: My lady, I can’t read the words.
Shireen: You can’t? I’ll teach you! I’ll come when Berd’s on duty and teach you. It’s easy. It’ll be fun.
Davos: No, no. Go. We can’t.
Shireen: Why not? What will they do? Lock us in cells?
[Davos laughs]

[Cersei smiling brightly at Tyrion]
Tyrion: Stop that! You’re making me uncomfortable.

Watch the preview of next week’s episode below:

Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 PM on HBO.

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