This week’s episode was titled “Dark Wings, Dark Words” an obvious shout out to the crows that constantly plague Westeros with bad news. This week’s episode addresses the story lines of everyone we missed last week, setting us up for the drama that is sure to happen in the episodes moving forward. With that, let’s get started.
Jon Snow – Jon Snow is now best buds with the King Beyond the Wall, Mance Raydar. The two are out for a leisurely stroll discussing Mance’s ability to unite several tribes that hate each other. How did he do it? “I told them we were all going to die if we don’t get south,” he says. Is Mance taking Jon under his wing? Does he see some of himself in the Stark bastard? Could he be training him to be potential king? At this point and time, we still don’t know what Jon Snow is up to. Has he officially abandoned the Night Watch? Or is he trying to infiltrate Mance’s inner circle?
During their walk they meet a “warg” or an ex-pirate from Pirates of the Caribbean. A warg is a man who can enter the minds of animals. Jon Snow is impressed. Ygritte is appalled that he’s never met one before. God, this guy cannot catch a break!
The warg sees dead crows (reminder Dark Wings, Dark Words), which could be symbolism for the White Walkers taking the wall and killing the “crows” (Night Watch).
Sansa – Shae expresses her concern about the conversation Sansa had with Littlegfinger last week. Naturally, Shae is concerned that Littlefinger will now take Sansa as his own little plaything. Definitely a reasonable concern, I mean the guy is strangely obsessed with her mother, Catelyn.
Sansa has been asked to meet with Margaery and her spit-fire of a grandmother Lady Olenna (I love this woman, she reminds me of every southern grandmother). There to escort her is Renly’s ex, Ser Loras. During their walk Sansa reminds them of the time he gave her a red rose before a joust, he doesn’t recall it, we remember he was too busy making googly eyes at Renly instead.
Lady Olenna greets Sansa warmly, and with lemon cakes (man, I’d love a lemon cake right now). But the kindness doesn’t come without a price. Lady Olenna and Margaery want to know about Joffrey’s true nature, and they think Sansa is a reliable source. Sansa reacts how she always reacts, carefully and with poise. She’s got to protect herself from the dreadful king. It’s obvious that she’s terrified, but its time for the girl to start making allies.
“He’s a monster.”
“That’s a pity,” Olenna replies.
Anyone else think that Sansa will eventually be betrothed to Ser Loras? It would be a great way for Sansa to protect herself and remain inside the inner circle.
Robb – The eldest Stark is still married (rats) and found flirting with his wife, Talisa. Their affections are interrupted by Roose Bolton who has bad crow news (see title). Catelyn’s father is dead and Winterfell has been burned down. Rickon and Bran are nowhere to be found and there’s no word from Theon.
Robb is still dealing with grumpy bannermen. One in particular isn’t afraid to let Robb know that “[he] lost this war the day [he] married her,” nodding to Talisa. Robb can no longer use his hand in marriage as a bargaining chip, and he dishonored his previous promise to Lord Frey’s daughter. But what’s done is done; it’s time to figure out a new strategy for winning the war.
Later Catelyn bonds with Talisa (something tells me we’ll never see something like this between Cersai and Margaery). Catelyn is making what looks to be an over-sized dream catcher to protect her children (since they’re all missing or being held captive). She discusses the previous times she has made a dream catcher like thing. One child was sick with the pox and the Stark’s were told he wasn’t going to make it through the night. She sat by his bedside the entire night, praying for his recovery. It’s heartbreaking when she confesses that the child was Jon Snow. Turns out Catelyn bargained for his recovery by promising to love him like her own, to accept him into her family. When Snow recovered she couldn’t follow through. She blames everything that has happened since on her inability to love a motherless child.
Theon – Guess what guys, Theon’s not dead! But I’m sure he would rather be than stuck in his current situation. Theon is locked in some dreary dungeon (we’re not sure where) being tortured by someone (we’re not sure who). The torturer wants to know why he attacked Winterfell, Theon spews out any possible answer. None seem to satisfy the torturer. He’s fingernail is torn off and screws are driven into his feet. I cringed. Did you find some satisfaction in seeing Theon in pain or did you feel sorry for him? Call me a traitor if you must, but I kind of felt sorry for the guy.
A boy (hello Iwan Rheon of London’s Spring Awakening) there to clean the dungeon (good to know the torture is sanitary) let’s Theon know that he’s here to help, was sent by Theon’s sister, Yara.
Bran – The episode begins in Bran’s head. In his dream, he is hunting the three-eyed crow (see title), the viewer is reminded of simpler times as he’s seen learning to shoot with Jon and Robb. Did anyone else get sentimental when Ned’s voice made an appearance?
A boy appears in Bran’s dream and gives him some advice “You can’t kill it because the raven is you.” When he wakes, he’s back in the woods, still paralyzed and with Osha and Hodor. Bran begins to tell Osha of the dream but she doesn’t want to hear it. Whoa, Bran’s voice has dropped, he sounds like a little man now.
Later Bran is asleep (again) but wakes to find Osha and the direwolf ready to pounce on a mysterious rustling noise coming from the woods. I don’t know about you guys but if I was in a fight, I would want Osha on my team. The mysterious young man from the dream approaches. We meet Jojan Reed and his sister Meera. Jojan and Meera are the children of Howland Reed, a friend and bannerman of Eddard Stark. He has been looking for Bran; he can see Bran’s visions and recognizes that Bran possesses the sight or the ability to see the past, future, and present. This explains the opening scene; it wasn’t just a dream after all. If Bran has the sight, does this mean Rickon does too? You may remember they both saw the death of their father in Season 1. Man, those Stark kids are a complex bunch!
The way Bran’s face lit up when he realized his special talent was precious. It’s as if he finally realizes his purpose.
Arya – Finally! The moment we’ve all been waiting for. First of all, Bran isn’t the only Stark child that’s grown a lot since last season. There’s no way Arya could hide being a girl now. We find her walking through the woods with Gendry and Hot Pie. Gendry is asking the questions we’ve all asked since last season. Arya could have killed off anyone, why not kill off someone important? “You could have picked King Joffrey! You could have picked Tywin Lannister! You could have ended the war!” Preach.
They are found and taken in the woods by a group called Brotherhood Without Banners. The Brotherhood is an outlaw group who fights the Lannisters in the name of former King Robert. The Brotherhood is led by Thoros of Myr, who is more interested in how two young boys and a very dangerous girl managed to escape Harrenhal. He wants to treat them to lunch and hear their story.
Arya is waiting for the other shoe to drop, like their captivity is imminent. She’s not giving any details away about how they escaped Harrenhal. The Brotherhood has a laugh at her claiming to be a fighter; Arya draws her sword in an effort to prove herself. Thoros immediately knocks the sword out of her hand. Impressed by her nerve, Thoros honors his word to let them go.
It’s then that the men bring in another captive, an “uncommonly large person.” It’s The Hound. Arya tries to sneak by but he sees her. “What in the seven hells are you doing with the Stark bitch?” Just kidding, Arya. You’re not going anywhere.
The first Lannister sighting that we have this episode is finally the Kingslayer himself, Jaime Lannister. Portrayed by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Jaime Lannister is a wonderful character. My only regret for him in his current state is that he’s filthy and covered in rags. I miss the beauty of Jaime Lannister and I hope we see it again one day!
But, as we catch up with Jaime Lannister, he is being transported on foot to King’s Landing by Brienne of Tarth. Brienne is acting upon the orders of Lady Catlyn Stark. Brienne reminds Jaime of this, and her intention to trade his life for the lives of Arya and Sansa, as the episode begins. As the scene first started, my first thought was, “Still? We’re STILL seeing these two just walk and talk?”, but I was quickly reminded of why these scenes work so well. Brienne and Jaime have so much chemistry. Not chemistry in that “let’s have sex” kind of way, but chemistry in their banter and contempt for each other and their purposes in life. Jaime is desperate to break the will of his captor so he begins verbally attacking Brienne. He mocks her size and personality, and he pushes her about her relationship with the late Renly Baratheon. Jaime quickly figures out that Brienne had feelings for Renly, and he doesn’t hesitate to inform her that she wasn’t Renly’s type. “You’re far too much man for him,” mocks Jaime. “It’s a shame the throne isn’t made of c*cks. They’d have never got him off it.” Brienne doesn’t let Jaime get to her, but her patience quickly grows thin. Jaime actually surprised me in this scene when he tells Brienne that he doesn’t blame her or Renly, because you can’t choose who you love. I guess that helps to explain why Jaime, the gorgeous golden lion, would choose his demented twin sister as a lover instead of any other woman, or all the women, of Westeros.
Jaime and Brienne’s argument was interrupted by the passing by of a farmer. The farmer calls out to Brienne and Jaime, but acts as if he doesn’t recognize either one of them. He informs them that he is headed to Riverrun, and assures Jaime he is in safe hands with the massive woman, Brienne. As he leaves, Jaime warns Brienne that the farmer recognized the Kingslayer, and that she needs to keep him quiet. Brienne’s morals seem to prevent her from killing the innocent man, but this will prove to be very important later in the episode.
The next Lannister we see is King Joffrey, playing dress up with his mother. I couldn’t help but think that Joffrey is clearly the client from hell. After Joffrey sends his designer to find all new options, Cersei begins to question Joffrey about Margaery. “Tell me what you think of her.” Joffrey seems to think it’s an ideal match, if you’re only thinking in terms of beating the North. He won’t indulge his mother in this conversation, and one wonders if its on purpose or if Joffrey is ignorant to the happenings of the women around him. Joffrey seems to think intelligent women are only those women who do what they are told. I wonder if he truly has any idea who he is living with. I’m also beginning to sense trouble in paradise with the mother lion and her cub.
Tyrion walks into his new and improved Lannister digs only to find Shae waiting for him. Tyrion is disturbed at her sight, and worries that someone saw her. He seems truly frightened that Tywin will kill Shae if he catches her, and it seems like he’s not willing to take any more risks. But he softens as he listens to Shae warn him about Sansa’s involvement with Littlefinger. Tyrion is no idiot, and he realizes that Baelish can’t be trusted. But as he mentions his knowledge of Ros, both politically and horizontally, we see Shae grow quite jealous. (Though I’m not sure what she expected. A virgin imp? His life would’ve sucked!) That jealousy grows worse when Tyrion accidentally calls Sansa a great beauty with an old name. I thought this was kind of weird, as Shae has never really displayed any jealousy towards Sansa, or Tyrion with other women before. That makes me think that this scene was carefully inserted into this episode for a reason. I have a feeling that this will prove to mean something later this season.
I’m not going to lie, I was kind of disappointed with the PG-13 sex scene between Tyrion and Shae. These two have great chemistry, and I hope we get to see some of that action soon.
In the next Lannister scene, we see Joffrey welcome Margaery into his suite. As she enters, she finds Joffrey pointing his new bow directly at her. It’s clear that he is testing her, and thanks to Lady Sansa, she is more prepared for this test. He begins by pretending to be sweet and caring, but quickly changes and questions her marriage to Renly. She doesn’t falter in her poise or attitude, and even manages to give answers that turn the tables so he feels sorry for her. She tells Joffrey that she married Renly because she was told to, and she did her duty to him as any wife owes a man. She tells him that they never made love because he seemed to prefer other things. She is careful in her words but while she talks, she doesn’t stop moving forward until she is sitting next to him. This is a bold move, and one that Joffrey isn’t used to. Margaery understands where Joffrey places women in society and she knows not to push it. So she belittles herself and her intelligence, and assures Joffrey that he has the right to do whatever pleases him, no matter how cruel or twisted it might be.
One thing that I thought was peculiar was Joffrey’s level of discomfort when she describes Renly’s sexual desires. He even backed off from her touch. He starts to warm up to her eventually, but only because it seems that she knows exactly how to play his sadistic side. Is Joffrey accustom to the same preversion as Renly? Only a sex scene with Margaery can show us otherwise!! Let’s make it happen, writers.
Margaery truly is a perfect match for Joffrey. She sees what excites him and probes it. She shows interest and excitement in his weapon and she applauds him for his skills. He doesn’t seem uncomfortable anymore, as he shows her how to use the weapon, but he seems enthralled that a woman could be into death and murder. “Would you like to watch me?”, she asks him as she describes the thrill of pulling the trigger here, and watching something die over there. I don’t think he could contain himself anymore after that. Their chemistry is so insane and I loved this scene, even if it made me a little uncomfortable. I think Margaery is the only woman who might be able to outwit and outsmart Joffrey, but I hope it takes her a little bit, because watching these two tango with medieval weapons is more entertaining than Dancing with the Stars this season.
Jaime and Brienne conclude the episode. “It’s wonderful to watch you wrestle with these dilemmas, which will she choose.” Jaime mocks Brienne as she has to choose between crossing the bridge on the road that is out in the open, or finding a long way around to avoid the King’s Road. “Gambler at heart, wouldn’t have guessed.” As they begin to cross over the open bridge, Jaime sits down and actually complains of suffering from corns. This made me laugh, but I laughed even more when he managed to get away from Brienne and arm himself with her sword with this ploy. I can’t believe she fell for it! She almost deserved his feeble attempt at escape.
When I realized that these two were finally going to have at it with swords, I was excited! But I really thought that it would be more of a competition. I understand that Jaime is still handcuffed and weak from traveling, but he talks a mighty big game and he is the Kingslayer! But Brienne puts him down with ease. The great beast of a woman that she is barely breaks a sweat when she knocks Jaime to the ground. In fact, it didn’t seem like much of a competition at all. Then, when it seems like Brienne can collect her prisoner and move on, in enters Robb’s bannermen, the Flayed Man of House Bolton. It turns out Jaime was right and the innocent farmer did recognize him. Jaime tried to barter for his life with his father’s gold, as did Tyrion back in Season 1, but the Boltons’ didn’t bite. As the episode ends, Brienne and Jaime are apprehended by the Northmen once again, or so it seems!
Not much on Baratheon this week, a few “sentimental” remarks from Margaery about Renly. Hopefully, we’ll get an update on Stannis next week!
Unfortunately, there was no Dany or Targaryen action in this episode. That means we also didn’t have any dragon sightings. Let’s just hope this means we will have a double dose of Dany & the dragons next week!