In Game of Thrones episode 3×5 ‘Kissed by Fire,’ we finally get an answer to the question, ‘Do these people ever bathe?’ The answer is yes, and when they do, they bare it all (and no, not just physically, get your mind out of the gutter you dirty bird). We saw several characters make emotional leaps this week. There were several highly anticipated scenes and lots of plot twists, let’s dive in!
Arya – Last week we learned that The Hound would endure a trial by combat to prove whether or not he was guilty of killing innocent souls. His challenger would be Beric, the Brotherhood’s leader and avid follower of The Lord of Light. Beric rubs blood on the sword and sets it ablaze. We’re not sure what the purpose is, but it looks really cool and intimidating. The duel is brutal, the two men are swinging with all their might. The Hounds’ known fear of flames makes me cringe, even more so when his wooden shield catches fire. When Beric knocks The Hound to the floor, Arya yells, “Kill him!” The desperation in her voice broke my heart. Just once, she wants someone to pay for what they’ve done to her father and her family. But today is not that day Arya. The Hound eventually kills Beric. It’s then that Arya takes matters into her own hands and she runs after The Hound with a knife. The Hound chuckles at her attempt, gloating about how the gods prefer him to her little butcher boy. “Burn in hell!,” she replies.
While all this is going on, Beric’s friend runs over and prays to the Lord of Light to bring him back and whaddya know, IT WORKS. Beric pops up like he was just down for a quick nap, instead of fatally stabbed.
Later we learn that Beric has actually died six times and Thoros (his friend) keeps bringing him back through this prayer. When it was just Melisandre, I assumed that all this Lord of Light stuff was a bunch of bologna, but Beric is “living” proof that it’s actually legit. Maybe Melisandre wasn’t so crazy after all (just kidding, she’s nuts-o and scares me).
Gendry has decided that he’s staying with the Brotherhood as Beric’s smith. Arya is not having it, and I don’t blame her. First Hotpie and now Gendry? I don’t want to see Arya left alone. Gendry likes the comradery that exists within the Brotherhood. “I can be your family,” Arya says. “You won’t be my family. You’ll be m’lady,” he replies. You know, I never thought about a romantic connection between these two until this very moment. It would have been nice to finally see a healthy Baratheon/Stark union.
Jon Snow – Snow and the wildlings are making their way to The Wall and they want to be prepared. Luckily, they have Snow around to grill about The Wall’s defenses. He reluctantly tells them there are 19 strongholds, three are guarded, and Castle Black has 1,000 men. Giantsbane is suspicious and I don’t blame him. I can’t figure out Snow’s game either, is he actually leading the wildlings to The Wall or is he still playing spy? Plus, is it even possible that Castle Black has that many men, considering most of them were killed by White Walkers?
Ygritte comes to his defense when Snow’s integrity is questioned and then flirtatiously steals his sword (thank god flirting has changed, I don’t think I could make holding a sword look cute). She runs into a cave with the sword and Snow, pretending to be annoyed, follows. She begins to strip “You swore some vows; I want you to break them.” With that we get what we’ve all been waiting for, a Jon Snow sex scene. I’ve heard this was pretty disappointing compared to what is depicted in the book, but I’ll take what I can get. Ygritte runs her hands through Snow’s hair and says, “You know nothing, Jon Snow” just as he makes his way downtown proving he does know a little something-something.
In the afterglow Snow seems happy, there’s something sweet about all of it. Ygritte discovers that he was a maid, he realizes that she wasn’t. She starts to discuss her past conquests and he’s all ‘no thanks, don’t wanna hear it.’ She then says she’s been “kissed by fire,” a term Wildlings use to describe red heads (also our episode title). They playfully hop into one of the steamy cave pools for a bath. “Let’s not go back,” she says. “I don’t ever want to leave this cave, Jon Snow.” It’s an endearing moment. What do we think? Are these two falling in love? Does Snow genuinely care for her or is she a cover?
Robb – Robb, Robb, Robb. I hate to break it to ya buddy, but you can kiss winning this war goodbye. The captured Lannister children are awoken when someone comes storming into their bedroom. We are just as confused as they are, one even asks, “Is this the rescue?” before quickly being stabbed by Robb’s bannerman, Karstark and his allies. Robb is furious about this; “They were boys!,” he screams. No doubt, dealing with some of the grief he’s harboring for the “death” of his own brothers. Karstark’s son was killed by Jaime Lannister during his escape attempt and Karstark is pissed that Catelyn let Jaime go. As Robb scolds him, Karstark teases him for his leniency. Robb orders Karstark locked away and his allies hanged. One begs for mercy, saying he only watched. Robb replies “This one is the watcher, hang him last so he can watch the others die.” Damn.
Robb’s wife, mother, and uncle urge him not to execute Karstark. They will lose the support of his men as a result. But Robb is pissed, and isn’t he sexy when he’s mad?! But Karstark teased him, he’s asking for this, he must set an example. Robb has Karstark taken outside where he chops off his head, just like his Dad taught him in the first episode. Sure enough, Robb loses Karstark’s men. His forces are practically cut in half. He certainly can’t storm Kings Landing now. He decides the only option is to take Casterly Rock, the Lannister’s home. But there’s a catch, he needs more men and he needs them from Lord Frey, the man whose daughter he was supposed to marry. Good luck with that.
Robb is clearly unraveling; he’s losing his temper, his control, his men, his mother. What’s next?
Sansa – Cersei is rather suspicious of the Tyrell family and she knows that they’re up to something, but she can’t present anything to her father without facts and who better to help than Littlefinger. Sansa is watching Loras fight while hanging out with Margaery; all the action is getting her a little worked up. She begins to quiz Margaery on when they might move forward with the arrangement with Loras. Margaery says that she will plant the seed with Joffrey after the wedding. Sansa replies that Joffrey is not going to go for this, he has too many reasons to keep Sansa close, Margaery assures her that Joffrey will do this because “it pleases her.” What do we think? Does Margaery have this much control over Joffrey? It’s likely, the girl’s good at what she does.
Up until now, the wedding has been planned in secret. After the fighting, Loras retreats to the bedroom with one of the male servants. During pillow talk, he spills the beans about his upcoming nuptials. Naturally, the servant is working for Littlefinger. You would think that Loras, since he’s desperately hiding in the closet, would recognize that you can’t trust anyone in Kings Landing and should keep these things to yourself.
In one of the most uncomfortable scenes in this episode, Littlefinger and Sansa meet to discuss their plans to leave King’s Landing and the lies pour out like wildfire. Sansa tells Littlefinger that they should stay in King’s Landing for his safety, Littlefinger pretends to be completely fine with it. As the viewer, you know that he knows what she knows. As if it wasn’t awkward enough, Littlefinger then makes Sansa kiss his hand. Buh.
But what will Cersei and the Lannisters do with this information…?
We open to our first House Lannister scene with the sellsword, Locke, presenting Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth to Lord Roose Bolton. If Bolton is still where we left him, then they should be in Harrenhal. Lord Bolton turns ill at the sight of Jaime’s detached hand hanging around his neck and tells the men to get rid of it. He also has Brienne cut free, apologizes for her treatment, and offers his protection. Since this is the first time Jaime has been in contact with civilized people, he asks if there has been word of his family. Bolton cruelly tricks Jaime into thinking that his sister (and lover) is dead for a second, but alas, she is alive and well and nestled safely with the rest of her family in the capital. Lord Bolton then sends Jaime to receive treatment for his wounds.
Unfortunately for the Kingslayer, he’s living in the era of Game of Thrones, which means no science, no medicine, and definitely no Percocet. Jaime is also being treated by a maester who was stripped of his chains. Poor guy can’t catch a break. The maester tells Jaime the rot has spread and it’s best to remove the whole arm but Jaime refuses. The maester then removes what “rotting flesh” is necessary while Jaime denies himself milk of the poppy. The next few seconds seriously made my blood run cold. Thanks GOT writers, for the grossest scene of television I’ve ever seen.
We see Jaime one more time after his wound is treated. His arm is wrapped and treated, and he’s (finally!) taking a bath. He decides to take a bath with Brienne, even though there’s another available tub. I cracked up as Jaime tells her that this one suits him just fine. Jaime isn’t looking good, and it’s disturbing to see him sit there holding his newly amputated arm out of the water.
Jaime’s well enough to fight with Brienne though, and he starts mocking her about Renly. Brienne shows him that she’s not afraid of him anymore but bearing herself physically. Jaime seems somewhat impressed by her fearlessness and does something no one expects – he apologizes to her and offers a truce. He tells her that he trusts her and he opens up to her so maybe she’ll trust him, too. The next thing Jaime does is something I’ve been waiting for for three years – he tells Brienne the real story behind his slaying of the Mad King.
Jaime takes us back to Robert’s Rebellion. Jaime was serving on the King’s Guard for King Aerys II, and the day had come when Robert defeated Rhaegar at the Trident and was heading South to King’s Landing. Tywin Lannister arrived at the city first and was waiting at the capital gates. Jaime and Varys begged Aerys to surrender, but he ignored their pleas. Instead, he listened to Pycelle who told him the Lannisters are friends of the city and can be trusted. So Aerys opens up the gates and Tywin’s men enter and do what they do best – betray the crown and sack the city. Desperate to save his king (as it truly does seem Jaime was loyal to Aerys), he once again insisted that Aerys surrender. But Aerys wasn’t ready to give up. Instead, he commanded that Jaime bring him Tywin’s head, and then he ordered his pyromaster to “burn them all.” Jaime tells Brienne that Aerys had his men rig Wildfire underneath the city so he could literally burn all the men, women, and children of King’s Landing alive with one detonation. Jaime asks Brienne if she would’ve kept her oath then, when she’s faced with murdering her own father and watching thousands of innocent people burn to death. Jaime made his decision, and that was to save innocent people so he killed the pyromaster, then stabbed Aerys in the back as he tried to flea. Brienne asks why Jaime never told anyone the truth, but Jaime insisted that the honorable Ned Stark would never have listened. Ned found Jaime with his hand on the bloody sword, and that was all that mattered. Jaime started to pass out and as Brienne caught him, she yelled for help for the Kingslayer. The Kingslayer muttered one final phrase – “Jaime, my name’s Jaime.”
So Tywin was right after all. Jaime does care what people think of him. This scene leaves me wondering who Jaime Lannister truly is, and what he will become now that he’s no longer the best knight in Westeros. I also am left wondering what will become of Brienne and Jaime. It seems these two are on the cusp of a true friendship or perhaps even a relationship. I love their chemistry, so I wouldn’t be disinclined for either of those scenarios to unfold.
The next Lannister action we get is a comical meeting between Lord Tyrion and the Lady Olenna of House Tyrell. Together, these two characters are quite a treat. Olenna starts off the conversation by demanding food from Tyrion’s servants. “I always take figs mid-afternoon, they help move the bows.” Well said, Lady Olenna. She asks Tyrion what he wants. He tells her that they need to discuss financial matters of the wedding, much to Olenna’s dismay. She reminds Tyrion that it’s tradition for the Royal House to pay for the wedding but he insists that this wedding is too expensive and too extravagent. Olenna chides back, “what good is the word extravagant if it can’t be used to describe a royal wedding?”
Tyrion tries to argue that the cost of war is just too much for the crown and this is where Olenna really puts Tyrion in his place. She rattles off every single contribution that the Tyrells have made to the war effort, down to the very last horse. It turns out the Tyrells have contributed quite a large amount to the war effort. Nonetheless, Olenna agrees to pay for 50% of the wedding.
This scene really opened my eyes to the power within House Tyrell. The Tyrells are rich and powerful, and they are also very smart. And Lady Olenna clearly runs the show. I think Cersei is right to be threatened by the Tyrells.
On a side note, Olenna makes fun of Tyrion for being so serious and focused on his duties and comments that she heard he was much more fun, and she’s disappointed that it’s not true. It’s ashame she didn’t get to see Lord Tyrion at his finest. I think these two could really be good friends.
The episode ends on another Lannister family meeting. This time, Tyrion enters to find only his father and sister waiting for him. Cersei Lannister seems oddly excited about something and Tywin Lannister does something that Tyrion isn’t expecting – he brings Tyrion into the fold. Through the clever plot set up by Cersei and orchestrated by Baelish (I guess she does contribute to the family..), the Lannisters have discovered that the Tyrells are plotting to marry Sansa Stark to Loras, or in other words, steal the key to the North right out from under them. Tywin is convinced that Robb will soon fall, and since Theon Greyjoy “murdered Rickon and Bran”, and no one can find Arya, Sansa is the heir to Winterfell. In order to prevent this plot from coming to fruition, they need to find Sansa a different husband.
Cersei, Twyin, and Tyrion then prove that they really are portrayed by some of the most talented actors on television. They convey the message that Tyrion will marry Sansa with LOOKS only. It takes a lot of trust to allow actors to convey such an important message to the audience with no dialogue, but they do a phenomenal job.
Tyrion is shocked and angry. He argues that poor Sansa has suffered enough, surely she doesn’t need to suffer him. But Tywin is insistent and Tyrion has no choice. Then Tywin drops an even bigger bomb on Mrs. Smug herself – Cersei will marry Loras Tyrell. Cersei tries to argue that she is the Queen Regent therefore not meant to marry again. But her father’s response is so cruel. “You’re still fertile, you need to marry again and breed. You’re my daughter, you will do as I command.” Tywin’s plan seems flawless. Through these arranged marriages, Tywin will have rights to Winterfell and Highgarden, therefore securing the reach and the North and securing the Lannister hold on Westeros.
This episode had only a few scenes with House Targaryen and no dragon sightings, so hopefully that means we will be in store for more next week. But we still checked in wtih Daenerys, Jorah Mormont, and Barristan Selmy.
On a side note, I want to commend the writers for their fantastic transitions and historical references this episode. It’s always tricky for Game of Thrones to balance the characters and their histories because their are 26 different lead actors and their stories don’t always intertwine. But the writers cleverly described Robert’s Rebellion and then the conquest of the Targaryen’s, tying in the Lannisters and the Baratheons, before cutting to Dany and her army slowly moving west. Good work, writers.
Jorah and Barristan are swapping stories about their war battles and adventures. The conversation quickly changes tone as Barristan talks about serving two mad kings, and hopes to one day serve a ruler he can believe in. He asks Jorah if he believes in Dany and Jorah responds, “with all my heart.” Dany does seem to be a ruler with a cause, as she fights for freedom for the oppressed. But the two advisors are clearly sizing each other up. They each have reasons to distrust the other. Jorah thinks Barristan’s loyality is questionable, as Barristan spent most of his life serving kings who overthrew the Targaryen’s. Barristan distrusts Jorah because he knows that Jorah was originally with Dany on behalf of Varys, and only after spending time with Dany did he change his mind. This is definitely foreshadowing for a conflict among the Queensguard and it’s ashame. I think this bromance had so much potential.
The writers then show you a reason why Dany is the ruler to believe in. She meets with the self-chosen officers of The Unsullied. The one who is meant to be the leader takes off his helmet and reveals his name, Grey Worm. Missandai informs Dany that after The Unsullied were cut, they were given names of vermon, like Grey Worm and Red Flea, to remind them of their place in society. Dany tells The Unsullied that they can now throw away their slave name and pick their own, as a sign of their status as free men. The way that the young officer responds moved me to tears. He tells Dany that will keep his name of Grey Worm. He reasons that his first name is a name of bad luck, as that was his name when he was taken to become a slave. “But Grey Worm is the name this one had the day Daenerys Stormborn set him free.” It appears Dany has won not only the loyalty of The Unsullied, but also their respect and admiration. I also just want to point out that the Valeryian of Emilia Clarke and The Unsullied sounds so legitimate, it’s hard to remember they’re speaking a made-up language.
We finally meet Stannis’ wife, and let me tell you, Stannis loves the crazies doesn’t he? We meet Lady Baratheon as she’s praying to the Lord of Light. Stannis guiltily tells her that he has sinned, he has had an affair. She’s surprisingly okay with it. Turns out she’s under Melisandre’s spell too and the Red Woman has already filled her in. She believes that its what the Lord of Light wanted, and therefore it couldn’t have been a sin. She is happy that Stannis finally had a son, and that’s when we meet a few of his other children, his stillborns who are FLOATING in JARS. They’re just hanging out, like decorations, like the Baratheon’s got them at Pier One.
His wife is surprised to hear that he’s here to visit his daughter too. Wait, he has a daughter too? Where are these people? Does he keep them hidden? His daughter is so sweet. She has scarring from grayscale, a flesh eating bacteria that leaves behind a scaly texture on the skin. She is ecstatic to see her father, but also wants to know about Davos. Where is he? Why hasn’t he visited? Stannis tells her that Davos is a traitor and is in the dungeon, glad he sugarcoated it.
The little girl goes to visit Davos and brings him a book to help pass the time. He explains that the book is wasted on him, that he can’t read. She then decides to teach him.
Rock Paper Watch’s Top Quote of 3X5:
Jenn’s Pick – “My children, you disgrace the Lannister name for far too long.” ~ Tywin Lannister
Elizabeth’s pick – “If I faint, pull me out. I don’t intend to be the first Lannister to die in a bathtub.” – Jaime to Brienne
Game of Thrones Recaps are authored by Jenn O’Mera (Lannister and Targaryen) and Elizabeth Bond (Stark and Baratheon). Feel free to contact any author with feedback or questions. Also, we know that some characters are not technically a part of any of the major houses, it’s easier to recap this way.