I am stilled hopped up from last week’s episode like a kid going on a sugar rush from a few too many packages of Fun-Dip (my favorite candy as a kid.) We dusted ourselves off and travelled again to the world of Westeros where the fire has clearly not gone out yet from last week’s dragonific ending. I think it is fair to say that it left both those that read the tomes and those leaving those that did not see it coming still totally wowed. Everybody in Geek-oros seemed to be talking about it from Facebook to Twitter and although I feared a Godfather III type episode this week (How do you follow last week??), the Game of Thrones continues to stun and entertain and easily slides in safely to some of the greatest TV I have ever seen. Its scope is massive and each feature-like movie episode blows our collective consciousness. Five years ago you probably may not have heard of George H.R.R. Martin and thought he was just a fan of Gilligan’s Island with that hat but man, he has moved to the forefront of the geek movement with GOT as the flagship show.
I liked that the show picks up right where we left off with The Hound ready to do battle with Beric Dondarrion in an epic sword battle. Arya is keen to have Beric knock The Hound’s block off but that was not the only moment of interest outside of the fight. As Beric cuts his hand the one-eyed believer in the Lord of Light sets his sword aflame making an even more awesome battle. The Hound actually looks pissed for the first time and is like, “WTF?” It was pretty damn cool to see a medieval battle go down against two time-tested warriors. In the end it is The Hound that is the winner of the bout getting his sword through Beric’s chest. But as quick as the fight ends, Arya grabs a knife and charges at The Hound before being grabbed by the others as she yells for him to burn in hell. That little Stark has some real fire in her belly and also a fine young actress.
The Hound is deemed innocent and sent on his way. Although the duel seemed to be over with and Beric dead, he is resurrected after a prayer by Thoros Myr the fire priest that brings his slain brother (as in Brotherhood without Banners) back to life for the sixth time. The Hound will not be beaten that day despite his fear of fire that from what I understand stems from great detail made about it in the books. And he leaves free and innocent in the eyes of the Lord of the Light. Still I just thought it was pretty amazing to see the resurrection as I just expected him to bleed out and that be the end of it. After a fiery end to last week’s episode we open up to more fire but considerably less than Daenerys’ babies can manage. I had no idea that the Brotherhood practiced what now looks to be the coolest religion in all of Westeros. Imagine getting a do over for every time you die. But apparently not everyone is a fan of the Lord of Light and its religion.
Heartbroken that The Hound was let go, Arya goes on later in the episode to ask Beric and Thoros about the religion and if it could work on the already deceased. Naturally she is talking of her long lost father Ned whose head was cut off way back in first season. They gently explain to the child that that is unfortunately not the way it works. Already two blows to Arya and the third when Gendry tells Arya that he is planning on staying with the Brotherhood as a blacksmith. Heartbroken, Arya sweetly tells him that she can be his family. He tells her that she would have to be “Milady.” You can see on her face that she is just overwhelmed by all of this very adult stuff that she has to contend with. But her strength has been resilient for so long now that I do not think she is planning on giving up anytime soon.
Meeting up with the King of the North Robb Stark and his men, the very angry Rickard Karstark take his vengeance on two Lannister younglings easily killing the tweens. Upon appearing before King Robb, Karstark’s accomplices are handed down a sentence of death while he is too jailed in the dungeons. Killing him would mean losing a great deal of Robb’s army and he knows he will catch hell if he executes Karstark. I can see why the guy is so irate because Karstark points out that he did not hand down any awful sentence to his treasonous mother that is watching all of this. In no uncertain terms, Karstark tells Robb that he is no King of his and that he would rather be “killed and cursed” over not getting revenge. Afterwards Robb seems very dismayed at his battle plans and how they will fare in upcoming battles as he sees his men falling apart. He is hard on himself for any mistakes he has made as their leader and strives to build confidence and motivation amongst his men. It is the how that eludes him until Talisa tells him to go head to head with the Lannister’s home of Casterly Rock which means that he will need a bigger army of fresh soldiers. This would entail asking Walder Frey for his men and as most fans remember Robb has been promised to one of his daughters. I would say Robb is in quite a pickle here considering he already has a wife.
Jon Snow continues at the North of the Wall with Tormund and the Wildlings as they trek to Castle Black. Orell gives Jon a verbal test that for a minute I thought he would not pass but he comes through it with honors. So Ygritte takes him into a hot spring area and rips all of her clothes and Jon is officially not on the Night’s Watch anymore. He performed some moves on the lady Ygritte and she was dazzled by his talented tongue. I was intrigued how little effort Ygritte exerted to convince Jon to give up his vows of the Night’s Watch. Then again, I do not know exactly how much time has passed but good for Jon as he is branching out and doing new things. After sexing it up on the rocks, they share a nice moment in the hot springs declaring their love for each other and saying how much they would like to stay in that cave and never leave. It is a moment that only love could cause because when they step out of that water it is back to reality.
As they arrive in Harrenhal, Kingslayer Jaime and Brienne receive a much more courteous welcome than I had expected. Roose Bolton is part of the welcoming committee and the first action he takes is to cut Jaime’s cleaved hand from around his neck. Bolton toys with Jaime by alluding that Cersei has died and you can tell he enjoys teasing. Bolton has respect enough for Jaime to offer Maester Qyburn’s nursing services. In the tent Jaime is told that he could lose the entire arm, then half the arm, then just a little bit. He offers milk of the poppy to ease the pain but Jaime turns it down. Whether it is pride or maybe a poppy addiction from the past I do not know but you gotta give the guy credit for being tough. After getting his new stump tended to, he surprises Brienne in a hot bath of nakedness. When Jaime continues to joke and tease her she finally stands up naked in defiance at the spoiled brat. It was in that moment, I think, that Jaime started to respect her. After that moment, Jaime begins to spill all the dish about the actual events that led him to being called “Kingslayer.” He divulges that he only killed the Mad King Aerys to save his father and the people of King’s Landing. After discovering that and the fact that wildfire had been stored underneath the city that would have laid waste to his beloved home. Huh. Maybe Jaime is on the level but for now I am not buying all of it. He is still a snake in the grass; this is just different grass.
At King’s Landing, Littlefinger has sent out his cache of spies in the sex trade to bring him information and Baelish soon learns that Sansa Stark (who he has kept an eagle eye on) is set to marry Loras Tyrell. Baelish goes as far to hint at this to Sansa when he is talking about someday having a fleet of ships in helping her possibly escape. I think that Sansa was too green to pick up on it you guys who read all of the books know better than me. However the kibosh is put on plans after Tywin, Hand of the King calls his children and totally sucker punches the both of them. I hate spoiling stuff but man did I not see this coming. Tywin still scares me as the baddie from Eddie Murphy’s The Golden Child but here he is just fierce. He commands Tyrion to wed Sansa Stark (heir to the Northern Section of Westeros) and to shortly afterwards have a child. While Cersei chuckles in joy at this unexpected announcement Tywin has a chore for her as well; she is to marry Loras Tyrell to keep the Lannister’s control and also put halt to the disgusting incestuous rumors that people whisper about.
In Dragonstone we get to see Stannis’ creepy missus that keeps their stillborn children in big jelly jars that you see in bad Sci-Fi movies. I was surprised that Selyse was “OK” with what Stannis tells her and that she actually loved that Melisandre could give her the son she never could. We also get to meet Stannis’ daughter whose appearance looks like ash on half of her face. The little girl is nice enough to visit Davos in the dungeons where he seems to have been the child’s paternal influence as Stannis barely knows her. I really felt for the kid as she promises to teach Davos how to read. It was a very sweet moment…
Finally we catch up with last week’s star player across the Narrow Sea with Daenerys and her now much bigger army. The difference between the girl in Season 1 and the woman now in Season 3 is staggering. Self-assured and brave she takes a meeting with the officers of the Unsullied. Their leader’s name is Grey Worm who keeps that name despite telling them all that they can shed their slave names and choose their new names. They keep their slave names proving their loyalty to the mother of dragons. Jorah and Barristan seem to be like animals in the wilderness sizing each other up and I am fairly certain that them not seeing eye-to-eye will come up again.
Overall, another outstanding episode of GOT hitting all of the right nerves with the audience and keeping the story going. I am continually impressed with the scope and size of each episode and how each new episode seems to outdo the last. As much as I would love to have GOT as “binge viewing” like NETFLIX’s new programming, I stop and realize that what I love most about this show is having a week to mull over all of the events that transpired.