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RPW Can’t Miss This List 2014 – TV

Ready for 2014 Rock Paper Watchers? To celebrate the new year, we are releasing our “Can’t Miss This List” so you know our picks for upcoming shows, movies, albums, and books.  Check back tomorrow for our top 2014 movie picks!

True Detective

Airs January 12, 2014 on HBO

True Detective is a new HBO drama about Louisiana State Police Detectives Martin Hart and and Rust Cohle.  In 2012, they are brought in for separate interrogations about a murder case they solved in 1995.  As they narrate their story, each detective is pulled back into the case as questions begin to arise about the outcome of the peculiar murder.

Reasons to Watch: Reason #1 = The cast.  The detectives are portrayed by Matthew McConaughey (Cohle) and Woody Harrelson (Hart). Enough said.  Michelle Monaghan also stars as Maggie, Detective Hart’s wife.  By the looks of the trailer, they all put on riveting and gut-wrenching performances.  Reason #2 = The writing.  True Detective was written and created entirely by Nic Pizzolatto.  Pizzolatto is best known for writing two episodes of AMC’s cop-drama The Killing, including Season 1’s shock-filled finale.  The Killing is one of my favorite television shows (and one of the most underrated IMO) so I was thrilled to learn of this connection.  After conducting a little research, I discovered that Pizzolatto actually quit working for the series because he didn’t like “serving someone else’s vision.”  With True Detective being his first major solo project, I’m thrilled to see what this young and innovative writer has to offer.

Klondike

Airs January 20, 2014 on Discovery Channel

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Klondike is an upcoming historical mini-series by the Discovery Channel.  The six episode long series is the network’s first-ever scripted drama.  It follows two childhood best friends, Bill (Game of Throne‘s Richard Madden) and Epstein (Augustus Prew), in the late 1890s as they flee west in pursuit of gold.  Their journey leads to a land full of undiscovered wealth, but surrounded by unpredictable weather and dangerous characters, including greedy businessmen and native tribes witnessing the destruction of their land.

Reasons to Watch:  Richard Madden, hello!  Also, the production details of the series hint at great action scenes.  For example, over the course of 55 days, the actors faced severe conditions.  From freezing temperatures, to high altitudes; Madden and Prew literally hung off the side of a mountain for 16 hours straight for one scene.  That’s dedication.

Orphan Black  – Season 2

Airs April 19, 2014 on BBC America

Season 1 was a whirlwind.  At the season’s end, all of our favorite clones were forced to choose sides after meeting Rachel, their fellow clone and child of Neolution. Cosima discovered that the clones are property, owned by Neolution leading to Sarah’s decision to ignore Rachel’s threats in the greatest diss of all time, “Up your’s ProClone!” Cosima followed suit, but her illness will be front and center in Season 2. Allison, on the other hand, agreed to cooperate with Neolution.  What does this mean for her relationship with the other clones? Viewers can look forward to getting to know Rachel and the world of Neolution, as she takes the place of Season’s 2 “Big Bad.”  Suit’s Patrick J. Adams will be joining the cast in a very secretive guest spot, as well as Nashville’s bad boy (and the new Daario Naharis in Game of Thrones) Michiel Huisman.

Reasons to Watch: More clones!  We’ve already seen Tatiana Maslany play seven (YES, SEVEN) clones and the creators promise there will be more.  Also, I’m going through Felix withdrawals.

Penny Dreadful

Airs Spring 2014 on Showtime

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Penny Dreadful is an upcoming pyschosexual horror series that will weave together the origin of literary horror characters, including Victor Frankenstein, Frankenstein’s monster, Dorian Gray, and Count Dracula, in Victorian London.

Reasons to Watch: Y’all, I have a confession to make. I used to be IN LOVE with Josh Hartnett. I remember seeing Pearl Harbor and The Faculty and thinking he was going to be my first kiss. Like seriously. So naturally with Hartnett cast as the lead in Penny Dreadful and perfectly positioned for a career comeback, I’m all in!

Masters of Sex – Season 2

Airs Fall 2014 on Showtime

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We know that Masters of Sex Season 1 just finished wrapping up, but we can’t help but be excited for the shows sophomore season. In the season finale, Dr. Master’s entire professional and personal life begins to unravel and the only person he wants to turn to is Virginia (Lizzy Caplan). After a few drinks, Master’s show up at Virginia’s door soaked from the rain and finally lays his feelings on the line.

“I have nothing to offer you except maybe the truth: I finally realized that there is one thing that I can’t live without — it’s you. You.”

Reasons to Watch: In its freshman season, Masters of Sex racked up 2 Golden Globe nominations. One for best drama, and the second going to Michael Sheen for Best Actor in a Drama Series category. I’m still rolling my eyes at the fact that Lizzy Caplan got shafted (ha-ha) for her portrayal of Virginia Johnson in the Best Actress in a Drama Series category. Between the story, the acting, the costumes and that ending…that ending is enough to leave us yearning for more.

Homeland – Season 4

Airs Fall 2014 on Showtime

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I have a confession, my confession is I jumped onto the Homeland wagon a little late. In fact, I didn’t binge watch Season 1&2 until right before the Season 3 premiere. The worst part is, it’s literally filmed out behind my apartment. I mean, I could probably start my own “Homeland” set tour company at this point.

After binge watching of Season 1&2, my feelings towards all the characters were pretty cemented. I wanted Carrie and Brody to be together, to have that happy ending, but as Season 3 started up I realized thats not what needed to happen, this show is not about happy endings. The show is at its best when the storyline sticks to Carrie and her obsessive need for the chase with the CIA, which is what I hope Season 4 is going to set up for us. If you haven’t watched the season finale of Season 3, shame on you, I’m going to ruin it for you.

  • BRODY DIES
  • CARRIE IS MEGA PREGGO & MEGA DEPRESSED
  • SAUL IS MIA IN THE MEDITERRANEAN (NOT WITH THE CIA) EATING BAGUETTES
  • CARRIE IS MOVING TO ISTANBUL (MAYBE) WITH BRODY’S SOON TO BE GINGER BABY
  • QUINN IS STILL HOT
  • CARRIE HAS WICKED STAR DRAWING SKILLZ

Reasons to Watch: For obvious reasons, what Homeland needs in Season 4 is a Renaissance. With Carrie moving to Istanbul as a station leader, Quinn, Max and Virgil are sure to be in tow. Of course a big piece of the puzzle that will be missing in said gang will be Saul. Mandy Patinkin is a phenomenal actor and outside of Quinn (hot), my favorite part of the show. I do hope the writers find a way to incorporate him into show in a way that makes sense next year….or possibly just bring him back into the fold of the CIA. So why should we watch? No more Brody, no more complications. During the season finale, it became pretty clear that they are going back to the basics. Carrie and the gang, doing what they are good at, catching the bad guys.

Turn

Airs 2014 on AMC

“Turn” tells the story of Abe Woodhull (Jamie Bell), a New York farmer who bands together with a circle of childhood friends to form The Culper Ring,  George Washington’s ring of American spies who ultimately help America defeat the British in the Revolutionary War.  The show is based on the true story told in “Washington’s Spies” by Alexander Rose.

Reasons to Watch: Since my focus in college was Colonial America, I’m thrilled about the storyline and historical content.  But I’m also intrigued to see how non-history loving audiences will receive the show.  As much as I want it to be great, Turn has potential to be a train wreck.  It doesn’t help that the story is based on a war of which the outcome is already known.  So why should you watch?  It’s on AMC.  It’s potential to be bad is just as great as it’s potential to be phenomenal, considering the channel’s recent track record (i.e. Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul, Hell on Wheels).  And who knows, you might even enjoy getting a fun history lesson because, let’s admit it, you don’t remember learning about The Culper Ring in elementary school.

Honorable Mentions

House of Cards Season 2, Netflix available February 14th

Orange is the New Black Season 2, Netflix available TBD

Looking Season 1, HBO airing January 19 at 10:30pm

Boardwalk Empire Season 5, HBO airing Fall 2014

Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond Season 1, BBC America premieres January 19 at 10:00pm


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Game of Thrones 3×10 Recap

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Well, there you have it folks.  Another season of Game of Thrones down and now begins the waiting.  We breakdown the final episode and discuss where things could go moving forward.  Feel free to comment with your thoughts!

House Stark

Are you still grieving from last week?  I know I am.  Every time I close my eyes, I see Talisa getting repeatedly stabbed in the stomach or the episode-ending blow to Catelyn.  This week’s episode picks up right after the massacre.  Roose Bolton overlooks the mass violence from Frey’s castle.  The Hound is trying to sneak Arya away from the slaughter.  A group of Frey’s men are loudly chanting “King in the North.”  I was afraid we were going to see this.  The men have Robb’s body on a horse with his direwolf Grey Wind’s head in place of his own.  Poor Arya, naturally she chooses this moment to wake up and see her brother’s mutilated body being paraded by his murderers.

After things calm down, Lord Frey is having a celebratory snack as Roose Bolton parades around the dining hall absorbing the carnage.  From their conversation, we learn that Catelyn’s uncle, The Blackfish, escaped and the groom, Edmure Tully, wasn’t murdered, but spent his wedding night in the dungeon.  But all of that is old news.  Frey is getting all worked up thinking about his new bride to replace the one Catelyn killed.

Finally, we get an explanation from Roose about why he turned on Robb.  Being his right hand man, the Young Wolf constantly ignored his advice at every turn.  Now, Robb will just be “Forever Young.”  As Roose and Frey continue their conversation, we FINALLY learn who has Theon and what happened at Winterfell.

Theon Greyjoy is being held captive by Roose Bolton’s bastard, Ramsey Snow.  Ramsey also set fire to Winterfell and is using Theon as a way to persuade the Iron Islands out of the North.

Did you figure it out?  Does this mean anything to you?  From conversations I’ve had with watchers (not readers), they were unclear about the identity of Roose Bolton.  Truthfully, he’s been on screen since Season 2 but always lurking in the shadows and easily missed by audiences so this may not feel like an impactful reveal, but the GOT creators have been carefully planting hints for a few episodes.  Read more about them here.

We catch up with Ramsey and Theon during dinner as Ramsey is suggestively chomping on a sausage while poking fun at Theon for losing his best quality.  Yes ladies, we have another reason to mourn.  Theon is now a eunich.

Ramsey has now figured out that physically torturing Theon is no longer enough.  He has to take his pride, any last shred of identity and self respect.  After beating him for a bit, Ramsey forces Theon to identify himself by a new name—Reek.

Moving to the Iron Islands, Balon Greyjoy is opening a letter from Ramsey Snow ordering Balon’s men out of the North.  As Balon is reading the letter, Theon’s sister Yara is opening a box.  Before she even unwraps it, we know what’s in there and I’m just glad we didn’t have to see it.  Ramsey has sent Theon’s “member” to his family as a threat.  Theon’s sister is deeply impacted by her brother’s loss.  Balon could care less.  In his eyes, Theon can no longer continue the Greyjoy line.  What use is he now?  Balon has no interest in saving Theon.  Yara has other ideas.  She plans to march on Dreadfort and rescue her brother.  She’s gathering the strongest men and the best ship and is on a mission.  It will be interesting to see this play out in the next season.  I know this time last year, we all hated Theon.  Have your thoughts changed?  Do you pity him or still think he got what he deserved?

Arya and the Hound are making their way to the next destination.  On the way, they pass some of Frey’s troops making jokes about the Red Wedding and Robb’s mutilation.  She triumphantly jumps off the horse.  Unlike we’ve seen Arya in the past, she’s not approaching them confidently but sheepishly.  She’s using her youth to her advantage to gain their trust.  She offers one of them her coin in exchange for food.  The coin was giving to her by her assassin friend Jaqen last season.  When the man goes to grab it, she stabs him and stabs him and stabs him.

The Hound quickly jumps in the kill off the rest of them men. “Next time you’re going to do something like that, tell me first,” says The Hound.

This is a big turning point for Arya. It’s her first direct, intential kill.  Arya reveals that she stole The Hound’s knife without him realizing it.  I’m curious to see how hanging out with The Hound will help Arya to grow.  I have a feeling he will provide an outlet for her anger.  I hope he continues her training that we saw in season one.

Bran and company have taken up camp in another abandoned castle, this time closer to The Wall.  Hodor (providing some much needed comedic relief) does his hodor-ing, this time down a well.

Bran tells Jojen and Meera a ghost story about a man who was condemned for killing a guest beneath his room (the gods are coming for you Frey).  Later that night, there’s a noise that wakes up Bran.  It’s Sam and Gilly and I’m so happy to see them!  They made their way through the secret passageway through The Wall.  Sam immediately figures out that Bran is Bran, Jon Snow’s brother.  Bran tries to pretend there’s some other young lord who’s crippled wandering around the North with a direwolf.  Once Bran “reveals” who he is, Sam promises to do anything he can to help them.  “Take us north of The Wall,” requests Bran.  That’s probably the last thing Sam wants to hear.  Is this Bran’s purpose?  Is he essential in defeating the White Walkers?

Sam guides Bran and company to The Wall, provides them with some dragonglass and stresses the importance of staying safe.  The whole time I couldn’t help but think “Man, when Jon Snow finds out he’s gonna be PISSED!”

Later Sam and Gilly make their way to Castle Black and explain to the Maester what they saw beyond The Wall.  The Maester inquires about Gilly and her son (who is now named Sam, awwww).  Sam defends keeping Gilly at Castle Black and points out that The Wall was not erected to keep out Wildlings.  Aemon decides that Gilly will stay as a guest.  After that he sends a blast mailing to all of Westeros alerting them of the White Walkers and the impending danger.

Speaking of Jon Snow, we catch up with him as he licks his wounds from that eagle last week.  Ygritte has tracked him down and we get this exchange:

Jon Snow:  Ygritte you know I didn’t have a choice.  You always knew who I was, what I am.  I have to go home now.  I know you won’t hurt me.
Ygritte:  You know nothing, Jon Snow.
Snow:  I do know some things.  I know I love you.  I know you love me.  I have to go home now.

Then, in probably the most shocking part of the episode, SHE SHOOTS HIM!  Ygritte shoots him with three arrows as he’s trying to board his horse and get away.  Later, Snow’s frail body approaches Castle Black and is immediately let in.  Hanging on to life, he reunites with Sam.  God, I love a bromance.

House Baratheon

Ser Davos, while visiting Gendry in the dungeon, bonds with him over their humble beginnings in Fleabotton.  Gendry defends his actions with the Red Woman.  “You’re me.  Never been with a woman, never talked to a woman really.  Then she comes at you.  Big words, no clothes, what would you have done?”  Davos then tells Gendry of his son.  Obviously Davos feels some kind of remorse and blame for what happened to his son during the Battle of Blackwater.  He sees some of his son in Gendry and feels the need to protect him.

Later, Stannis and Melisandre learn of Robb’s death and are tickled that their leech trick worked.  It’s obvious what they must do next.  They plan to burn Gendry alive.  Davos is not having it.  He warns Stannis of using black magic to win a war.  Stannis counters with the story of the Targaryens and how they won Westeros with dragons aka black magic.  “What is the life of one bastard boy against a kingdom?” Stannis asks.  “Everything,” replies Davos.

Davos decides to take matters into his own hands.  He sneaks Gendry out of the castle and puts him on a boat and tells him where to row to escape.  Gendry, we’ll miss you and your abs.

Later, Daavos is being reprimanded by Stannis, and he condemns him to death.  Davos, as the Hand of the King, advises against it and then whips out his secret weapon.  It’s the letter from Maester Aemon expressing the dangers beyond The Wall.  Melisandre inspects the letter and then throws it into the fire.  I guess we can assume she got some type of vision from the fire about the future.  She agrees, “The true war lies to the North.”  She advises that Stannis spare Davos, he’ll need him in the future.

House Lannister

We meet up with the Lannisters’ with Tyrion and Sansa (odd that she’s now a Lannister) walking through King’s Landing with Shae trailing behind. The pair of them are peculiar – one the daughter of traitor Ned Stark and the other a demon monkey – so as they walk, people are mocking them. The two have developed an odd friendship and they try to help each other suffer through their situation. It turns out that Tyrion also keeps a list, just like Sansa’s sister. But he doesn’t intend to kill the people on his list, just make them suffer and wish they were dead. The two of them begin to plot ways to punish Tyrion’s listees when Sansa suggests they “sheep shift” their beds.  “Why sheep shift?,” Tyrion asks his new wife. It’s almost cute – the poor girl thinks it’s the correct vulgar word for dung. Just another little reminder for Tyrion about the young age of his new bride.

Pod calls Tyrion off to the Small Council meeting. King Joffrey is in attendance now, and he’s bursting with joy with news to share with Tyrion. Tyrion reads a note from a raven. “Roslyn caught a fine fat trout. Her brother’s gave her a pair of wolf pelts for her wedding. ~ Walder Frey” We wish it was bad poetry, Tyrion, but it’s not. Joffrey ecstatically reveals that Robb Stark and his “bitch mother” are dead, and he demands that Frey send Robb’s head to the capital so Joffrey can serve it to Sansa at his wedding. Cersei tries to pretend like Joffrey is joking but he insists otherwise until Sansa’s new hubbie speaks up. Tyrion declares that Sansa is no longer his to torment. “Everyone is mine to torment,” Joffrey replies. Tyrion then reminds Joffrey that kings are dropping like flies. He essentially threatens to kill him and Tyrion probably crossed the line this time, but he doesn’t back down. Joffrey yells about how he’s the king and you can’t talk to him like that, like he always does, until Tywin Lannister speaks up for his son. “Any man who must say I am the king is no true king,” says Tywin. Joffrey is shocked.

And (finally!) Tywin and Joffrey go at it. Joffrey touches a soft spot when he mocks Tywin for “hiding under Casterly Rock” during Robert’s Rebellion. Even Cersei realizes that Joffrey is overstepping his safe boundaries. Tywin Lannister is the most powerful man in Westeros. He made that clear when he executed the Red Wedding, when he squashed the entire Northern Rebellion with one strategic move. Joffrey may be the king, but like Tywin says, a crown does not give you power. Power is power, and Tywin has all of it. Then, Tywin does something really unexpected. He puts little King Joff to bed, and as Tyrion so aptly puts it, even without dinner. Joffrey honestly looked like a toddler when he yelled “I’m not tired!” I was waiting for him to stomp his feet in a tantrum. But he doesn’t and he goes off to bed like his grandfather commands.

Tyrion tries to leave, until he hears the infamous line, “Not you.” It’s not ever you, Tyrion, why do you even try to leave? Tyrion and Tywin talk about the great crime that Tywin just committed. Tyrion recognizes immediately that Frey would have done nothing that grievous without Tywin’s backing and he eerily warns his father that “the Northerners will never forget.” Tywin tries to morally justify the Red Wedding. He argues that it’s better to save the lives of thousands and kill a few royal men at dinner than it is to fight in war.  He dismisses Tyrion’s fears about the North. “Let them remember what happens when they march on the South.”

Tywin tells Tyrion that Roose Bolton is going to be Warden of the North until Sansa and Tyrion’s son comes of age. Hold up, speaking of son. Tywin reminds Tyrion that he needs to get to work on that, but Tyrion refuses to rape his wife. How…sweet? The whole conversation was completely disturbing. Tywin then tells Tyrion the key to success in Westerosi politics. “The House that puts family first will always defeat the House that puts the whims and wishes of its sons and daughters first.” Tyrion laughs at his father, and asks Tywin when he ever did anything that wasn’t of his own selfish desires. Tywin (of course) has a shocking response – the day that he decided not to kill infant Tyrion. Tywin even cries a little bit during this speech when he talks about saving Tyrion’s life only because he was a Lannister. Wow, allowing his infant son to live must have been really painful for him.

Tyrion goes back to deliver the horrible news about the Red Wedding to Sansa but thankfully, we are not subjected to the pain of seeing Sansa find out. She already knows.

Varys and Shae have a touching scene where he asks her to leave King’s Landing. He gives her a sack of diamonds, and tells her the reason she needs to leave is because she makes things dangerous and complicated for Tyrion. Varys and Shae bond over the fact that they are both commoners, and will never truly be able to sit among the royals. “You have one name, as do I. Here, only the family name matters,” Varys reminds Shae. It seems Varys truly does believe that Tyrion is a good man, and the best chance Westeros has in becoming a better place. But with Shae around, Tyrion will accomplish nothing. Shae refuses to leave until Tyrion asks her to leave on his own. Though, I’m not sure if Tyrion actually has anything to do with this visit from Varys. I’m almost sure that he doesn’t, and that he’d be furious if he knew it was happening.

Pod and Tyrion are drinking. Pod is having trouble keeping up. “It’s not easy being drunk all the time. Everyone would do it if it were easy,” Tyrion drunkenly educates Pod. Cersei Lannister enters from the shadows to spend some QT time with her baby brother. Cersei finally explains how she manages to sleep at night – she doesn’t think about the cruel things that happen to anyone. She also insists she won’t marry Loras, but doesn’t share any plans of how she’ll avoid her destiny. She implores Tyrion to give Sansa a baby, claiming that she wishes for that only so Sansa can have happiness in her life. Cersei reveals that her children are the only reason she hasn’t committed suicide, even her demented child, Joffrey. She shares some cute baby Joff stories, and openly acknowledges how awful he is now. Tyrion then asks his sister how long it will all go on, and she knows exactly what he means. Their fathers’ wars will go on as long as he has enemies, and he will always have enemies, so they better buckle up for the violent road they’re heading down.

I was a little disappointed with this final Cersei/Tyrion scene. Cersei seemed a little underused and overshadowed this season, with all the power players cooped up in King’s Landing. But, I know there is a lot of Cersei’s story left to come, so I can deal with it for now.

Jaime Lannister makes it back to King’s Landing with Brienne of Tarth. The two can say so much with just a look. He’s upset no one recognizes (or respects) him, and she lets him know that it’s okay. He’s still Jaime to her, not the Kingslayer, no matter what. But, as much as I want these two to be together, I doubt it will happen. Jaime goes to see Cersei right away. He says her name, and she turns knowingly. She looks shocked? relieved? dismayed to see him? It’s not really clear. He looks ashamed. I don’t get it — it’s not his fault he’s been missing all this time, and mamed in the process. Is she really that mad over a hand? Sheesh.

House Targaryen

We finally catch up with the Dragon Queen in the final scene of the episode. The episode is entitled “Mhsya,” and up to this point, there was no mention of the Valeryian word. So one could assume that it would tie heavily into the Targaryen storyline. And boy, did it.

Dany is waiting outside of the gates of Yunkai, the city that she most recently “sacked” or killed all of the slave masters, flanked by Ser Jorah Mormont, Missandei, Ser Barristan Selmy, Daario Naharis, three dragons, and 8,000 Unsullied. She looked fierce and magnificent, and also a little terrifying.  Dany is unsure how the slaves of Yunkai will receive her – Is she a conqueror or a liberator? – and she seems unnerved as the gates slowly began to open. The slaves of Yunkai began to march out in droves.  Missandei introduced Dany as “Daenerys Targaryen, the Stormborn, the Unburnt, the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, the Mother of Dragons.” Dany steps forward and tells the people that they don’t owe her their freedom, because their freedom is not hers to give. She encourages them to take their freedom back, and stands waiting for a response. Slowly, they begin raising their hands and shouting “Mhysa.” Missandei, shocked, tells her that this means “Mother.” Dany realizes that they won’t hurt her, and moves forward into the crowd on her own while the dragons fly above.

She walks among them, and then is carried rockstar-style above them, all the while they shout Mhysa and look at her with adoration and love. Her Queen’s Guard watches on in shock and awe as Dany is carried among the people. Then, the camera pans into an aerial shot, where you can see the immense size of the group of people flocking towards her, and she stands as the lone silver beacon among a sea of thousands and thousands of slaves.

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The entire scene took my breath away, and it ended Season 3 on an inspirational and uplifting note. Dany has truly come full circle.  At the end of Season 1, she is left childless and widowed. She has three dragons, but no army, no money, and no ships. At the end of Season 2, she finally has managed to get money and ships, but still no army. By the end of Season 3, Dany has a horde following her, and thousands of people who look at her as their liberator and their mother. It’s almost as if she had to lose her own child, and suffer through great personal tragedy and loss, in order to become this powerful ruler. Recall early in Season 3 when her advisors tell her it is critical to gather a following not based on fear, but love. Dany did that, and now she has a force that truly can beat any army in Westeros. But, is that the destiny of Dany’s horde, or is there a greater purpose for Dany and her dragon army?

Final Thoughts on Season 3:

As we conclude Season 3 and wait ten months for a new season, we can’t help but think that GOT is entering a whole new ball game. With so many major characters dying, and the Northern Rebellion ending, the story is advancing into new and unknown territory. The main source of conflict is over, so we’re left thinking – now what?

Melisandre laid it out best when she said that the War of Five Kings means nothing now and the true threat lies to the North. What does this mean for the rest of Westeros, who are mostly ignorant of the impending doom? When will Tywin Lannister pay attention to the real threat, or will he ignore it? If so, will that mistake cost him? Also, how will Bran and his friends tie into all of this? Was Sam right, will this peculiar group of wargs and Hodor save the world? Can Bran really warg into anything? If so, that must include dragons. Can Bran use the dragons to burn all of the walkers? More importantly, when will Dany learn about everything that’s happening, and finally return to Westeros?

Only time will tell. For now, we just want to thank the GOT showrunners for producing another phenomenal season of television. We also want to thank you, our readers, for following us all season long. We hope to catch up with you next year when we recap GOT Season 4!

Rock Paper Watch’s Top Quote of 3X10:

Jenn’s Pick – “Monsters are dangerous and, just now, kings are dying like flies.” – Tyrion Lannister to King Joffrey

Elizabeth’s Pick – “You really think a crown gives you power?”   – Tywin Lannister summing up Game of Thrones in one, incredible sentence

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.  


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Game of Thrones 3×9 Recap

Robb Talisa Red Wedding

Every year, Game of Thrones watchers know that the ninth episode of the season is going to be a doozy.  The first season, it was the death of Eddark Stark.  The second season, it was the Battle of the Blackwater.  This time it was the Red Wedding.  The Red Wedding has been a scene dreaded by book-reader fans since the series was announced.  It didn’t disappoint.  The show delivered one of the most brutal and horrific sequences ever aired on television.  I am still in shock and will probably be mourning for the next few days.  Before we dive into the wedding, let’s check in with the rest of Westeros.

If you haven’t watched Game of Thrones episode 3×9 “The Rains of Castamere” stop reading, spoilers ahead.

 

House Targaryen

In what feels almost like a side story this week, we catch up with Daenerys and Co. Dany and her flock of men are discussing strategy on how to best infiltrate Yunkai.  Dany needs help figuring out the map and Daario is more than happy to assist her.  Jorah can’t take the flirtation.  Daario points out a location where he can secretly enter the city – a back gate that the Second Sons used to sneak in and out prostitutes.  Jorah wants to know how he knows about it; Daario rebukes him.  He didn’t use this gate as Daario believes you cannot make love to property, or slaves.  So Daario knows Dany’s weak spots, interesting.

Daario presents a plan – the best three fighters will infiltrate the city through the back gate.  They will then move to the front gate, open it for the army, and unleash Dany’s forces on the city, sacking it in no time.  Jorah doubts Daario and his intentions, believing it to be an ambush.  “You’re a suspicious person.  In my experience, only dishonest people think this way,” Daario responds.  Ouch, Jorah. He knows your weak spots, too.

Dany asks Grey Worms what he thinks and he trusts Daario and the plan.  So it’s decided.  The trio will leave that night.  Barristan tries to join the group but Jorah won’t let him.  He insists that Barristan is the Queen’s Guard and that his place is by the Queen’s side.   He reminds Barristan that they must “do whatever needs to be done, no matter the cost, no matter our pride.” Hmm, this is interesting.  These two clearly have a lot of tension together and trouble has been brewing in paradise for a while.  I think this is foreshadowing to something happening that ends up shaking up Dany’s group of advisors very soon.

Daario, Jorah, and Grey Worm are next seen preparing to enter the back gate of Yunkai.  Daario says he will enter, kill the guards, and whistle a signal. “I’m a great whistler, greatest whistler in the land. “  Jorah can barely hide his eye roll.  Pretty quickly we hear a whistle and he actually is pretty good.  So the three men are in, and they are preparing to face what they think will be a few guards. They are soon faced by way more than a few guards.  But with some impressive sword and arakh (Dothraki weapon of choice) work by Jorah and Daario, oh and spear work by Grey Worm, can’t forget him, they are through them pretty quickly.  And I feel like I have to point out that Jorah has some impressive skills.  But he is not pleased. “That’s what you call a few guards?”, he grumbles to Daario.  As if on cue, a huge group of guards come storming in, encircling them.  How can they make it out of this one alive?

Dany is waiting at camp with Missandei and Barristan.  “How long does it take to sack a city?,” she asks impatiently.  Jorah and Grey Worm suddenly return, bloody and beaten but alive.  The plan worked, and everyone in Yunkai surrendered or died.  But Dany seems disinterested.  All she wants to know about is the whereabouts of Daario Naharis.  The look on Jorah’s face is devastating.  He finally realizes Dany definitely doesn’t return his feelings, and cares way more about the new young captain in her ranks.  Daario gallantly enters the tent kneeling down in front of the Queen presenting her with the flag of Yunkai.  “The city is yours, my Queen.”  Dany has won, and her horde has just grown to a terrifying size.

Interesting Viewing Party Commentary – “At this point, the only thing that can take down Dany and her forces is if she somehow can come face to face with Bran.  Why couldn’t Bran figure out a way to warg into a dragon and turn her own greatest weapon on her?” ~ Insight from my roommate

We guess only time will tell.

House Stark

Samwell and Gilly – Sam and Gilly have finally made it to The Wall.  As they march through the woods, Sam tells Gilly about a secret passageway through The Wall.  She wants to know how he knows about it.  Sam tells her he learned it by reading.  Gilly replies, “you know all that by staring at marks on paper…you’re like a wizard!”  Sam immediately lights up, he’s so cute and smitten!

As they approach The Wall, Gilly tells Sam that her father once said that no Wildling ever looked upon The Wall and lived.  “And here we are, alive!”  Oh Gilly, its not that easy.  But, speaking of Wildlings…

Jon Snow – Snow and the Wildlings find the Night Watch’s horse breeder.  Giantsbane wants to steal the horses and kill the breeder.  Snow is against the idea, arguing that it’s not worth killing an innocent man, they should just take the horses and go.  Giantsbane replies that this is part of the plan, to lure the Watchmen out and kill them away from their camp.  With that, they storm the breeder’s home.  On the way in, Snow bangs his sword on a rock warning the breeder.  As the breeder climbs onto a horse Ygritte draws her bow and arrow.  Snow says her name tenderly and she misses.  She looks at him shocked.

Snow and the Wildlings catch up with the breeder; Orell demands that Jon Snow cut his throat, “Make the crow kill him, you’re one of us now. Prove it!” Snow picks up his sword and holds it to the man’s throat.  He hesitates.  Those Starks and their big hearts, it gets them every time (more on this later).  Meanwhile, in a nearby tower…

Bran/Rickon – Bran and the gang are taking refuge from a storm in a tower that overlooks Snow, the Wildlings, and the breeder.  The thunder upsets Hodor, he starts Hodoring and storming around the tower.  It’s loud enough to attract the attention of the Wildlings down below.  Bran, desperate to get Hodor to be quiet, knocks him out with his mind.  Hmm, interesting.

Jojen convinces Bran to use his Warg powers to enter the minds of the direwolves, who are down there hunting so they can see what is going on outside of the tower.

Jon Snow is holding his sword to the breeder’s throat.  Everyone around him is telling him to do it, even the breeder!  Ygritte, knowing he can’t do it, shoots the breeder.  “He’s a crow, he’ll always be a crow, and here’s his crow wife guarding him.  He’ll stab us in the back first chance he gets,” says Orell.  “Kill him,” replies Giantsbane and it’s on.  Snow immediately pushes Ygritte out of it so she’s not fighting his battle for him.  Giantsbane grabs her and forces her to watch, “You’re not going to die for one of them!” he screams at her.

The direwolves (via Bran) help Snow by attacking the Wildlings.  There’s a brief moment where Snow looks around and is like wait a second, where did these direwolves come from!? He stabs Orell in the stomach and says, “You were right the whole time,” proving to the Wildlings and viewers that he never intended to abandon the Watch.  Orell uses his Warg powers to get an eagle to attack Snow.  This part made me squirm; I was really worried he was going to lose an eye.  Snow hops on a horse and leaves Ygritte and the Wildlings.  Man, that’s a sucky way to get dumped.

After things quiet down, Jojen explains to Bran that although Wargs exist North of the Wall, he’s a special kind because he can enter other people’s minds.  Jojen reiterates their need to go North of the Wall to find the three-eyed crow.  I’m not a 100% sure of why this is so important, but okay, let’s go with it.  Osha protests going North of the Wall and you can’t blame her; she worked hard to get south of it.  Bran makes a decision; Osha will take Rickon to one of the Stark bannerman while the rest of the gang continues north.

Arya – The Hound and Arya are on their way to the wedding.  They come upon a wagon.  The Hound helps the old man fix his wagon and then knocks him out.  He moves to kill him and Arya jumps in front of him.  Much like Jon Snow, she protests the death of a man who didn’t do anything wrong.  “You’re very kind,” he says “Some day it will get you killed (foreshadowing).”  Oh the Stark family and their big hearts, I just can’t deal with it.

Later, Arya and The Hound arrive at The Twins.  The Hound stops just outside the grounds for a little snack.  Arya is getting anxious she won’t really get to meet up with her family.  Like Bran and Jon Snow, she’s almost there.  She’s been crossed too many times to be optimistic.  When The Hound teases her, she replies, “Someday I’m going to put a sword through your eye and out the back of your skull.”  Damn.

Robb – “Are you sure about this?” asks Catelyn.  They are standing over his map discussing the plan to go after the Lannister home of Casterly Rock (hello there Theon hint, click at your own risk).  Catelyn is surprised to be back in her son’s inner circle, he explains that she was right about sending Theon to bargain with the Greyjoys and he respects her ability to think strategically.  Now, he’s asking for her advice.  The plan hinges on getting Frey’s forgiveness and troops.  Catelyn gives her blessing, “Show them how it feels to lose what they love.”  Oy, that was like a blow to the stomach.

At The Twins, Frey greets the Stark entourage with a tray of bread and salt.  In the Seven Kingdoms, it’s said that you cannot harm a person in your home once they’ve partaken of your bread and salt.  Robb begs for forgiveness since he is responsible for breaking the oath to marry one of Frey’s daughters.  Frey brings out his daughters and explains that Robb could have had his pick of any one of them, including both twins!  Robb explains, “My ladies, all men should keep their word, kings most of all.  I was pledged to marry one of you and I broke that vow.  The fault is not with you.  Any man would be lucky.  I did what I did not to slight you but because I loved another.”  Talisa, that’s your cue.  Frey wants to see what all the fuss is about.  She steps forward. “Very pretty,” Frey says. “Prettier than this lot.”  He says she’s trying to hide her figure under her dress but he has always been able to see what goes on under a dress. “You wanted to hide her you shouldn’t have brought her here in the first place,” says Frey.  He then continues as Robb stifles his anger and Talisa braves his remarks “I say he betrayed me for firm tits and a tight fit, and I can respect that. When I was your age I would have broken 50 oaths to get into that without a second thought.”

During the ceremony, Frey brings out a heavily veiled bride for Robb’s uncle Edmure.  After seeing Frey’s daughters earlier, Edmure is expecting the worse.  But surprise, she’s gorgeous.  Edmure breathes a sigh of relief and the ceremony continues.

We then move into the grand hall for the feast.  Everyone is in good spirits.  Catelyn and Roose Bolton are, dare I say, flirting.  Edmure and his wife are totally smitten.  Robb is looking at Talisa like his heart could just burst he loves her so much.  Frey interrupts and declares that it is time for the bedding ceremony.  It’s kind of creepy that this is the girl’s father saying it’s time for her deflowering, but whatever. The bride and groom are escorted out by the opposite sex to the bedroom, where they basically get to watch them mess around.

Robb and Talisa hang back and discuss the peculiar tradition.  He explains that it provides proof that the marriage has been consummated.  She redirects his attention to her growing belly and explains there are other ways of providing proof.  Robb asks Talisa if she’s having a boy or a girl.  She says if it’s a boy she wants to name him Eddard.  Oh man, my heartstrings.  They kiss.  Catelyn, looking on, smiles.  The family is joyous again and soon Arya will be joining, oh happy day!

Then a man marches to the back of the chamber and closes the door.  Catelyn watches him.  She seems concerned.   Then the band begins to play “The Rains of Castamere.”  As we learned from Cersai last week, the song was dedicated to Tywin Lannister after he crushed the House Reyne of Castamere.  The song is the Lannister anthem.  As soon as it starts, we know and Catelyn knows this is not good.  She cautiously returns to her seat.

Outside Robb’s direwolf Grey Wind begins to whine.  He is trapped in a cage.  Robb’s men are getting drunk.  Arya and The Hound arrive in their wagon, but they’re told they cannot enter since the feast is over.  Soldiers run past them into the gate.

The music stops and Lord Frey addresses Robb.  Catelyn, in full panic-mode, looks at Roose Bolton and he gives her a look.  It could only be described as Come on; you know what’s going to happen next, don’t you?  He then glances down at his sleeve.  She pulls the sleeve back and he’s wearing chain.  He’s dressed for a fight.  You don’t wear chain to a wedding.

While all of this is going on, Frey is saying that he hasn’t given Robb a wedding present.

Catelyn rushes to stand and slaps Bolton screaming “ROBB!”  Bolton runs away.  A man runs up behind Talisa and stabs her, repeatedly, right in the abdomen.  He won’t stop stabbing her!  Robb sees it and is genuinely shocked.  He can’t understand what is happening.  His love, his baby, all the blood.

Crossbows begin to fire from the balconies.  Robb is struck and he falls.  Catelyn is shot through the shoulder.  His men are being killed.  It is a massacre.

Outside, Arya sees Robb’s men being killed.  She notices Grey Wind in the pin and moves towards it to free him.  Then Frey’s men storm out and surround the pin, firing crossbows killing Grey Wind.  The Hound tells Arya “it’s too late” and knocks her out to take her away.  She was so close.

Robb struggles to stand, he crawls over to Talisa.  “The King in the North arises,” says Frey, obviously entertained at all this bloodshed.  Robb’s love is dying alone on the floor; he has to be with her.  Catelyn sees one of Frey’s young wives cowering under a table.  She drags the girl out from under the table by her hair.  Catelyn holds a knife to the terrified girls throat.

She begins to plead with Lord Frey to let Robb go. “Enough! Let it end! Please! He is my son, my first son! Let him go and I swear we will forget this.  I swear it by the old gods and the new we will take no vengeance.”

Frey replies “You already swore me one oath right here in my castle you swore by all the gods that your son would marry my daughter.”

Catelyn continues her plea, “Take me for a hostage, but let Robb go.”

She then turns to her son, “Robb, get up! Get up and walk out, please.  Please!”

Frey smugly asks, “And why would I let him do that.”

Catelyn gathers the remaining of her strength and announces, “On my honor as a Tully.  On my honor as a Stark.  Let him go or I will cut your wife’s throat.”

Behind her, Robb stands.

Frey goes “I’ll find another.”

Robb says,  “Mother…” like he wanted to say, it’s okay, it’s done, we can rest.

Bolton comes up to deliver Robb’s killing blow, “The Lannisters send their regards.”

Robb falls. Catelyn wails.  She kills the girl.  Then she’s killed.  Silence.

That’s it; there you have it, the Red Wedding.  I cried on my couch in the fetal position for a little bit.  Robb was supposed to be our hero; he was avenging his father’s death.  He was winning the war. They ate the bread and salt.  Arya was just outside.  Everything about it was so wrong and harsh and heartbreaking.  They killed everybody.  He was in love; there was a baby on the way, a little Eddard no less!  And that was his biggest mistake.  Robb Stark died because he fell in love.  Like I said, those Starks and their big hearts.

What’s next?  Where can it go from here?  Does this mean the Starks are no longer major players?  When did Bolton change sides?  Our guess is when he freed Jaime Lannister.  Remember all those letters Tywin was writing while we enjoyed a little comedic relief?  Now we know he was pulling the strings for the Red Wedding, he was behind all of it.

Keeping with this season’s theme of love versus honor, love  continues to come at a very high price in Westeros.  What does this mean for the other characters dealing with the same struggle?  Now that Jaime will be back in Kings Landing, what lengths will he go to reunite with Cersei?  Is it really that easy for Snow to abandon Ygritte and choose the Night’s Watch?  What about Tyrion and Shae?  How far will he go to keep his intentions with Sansa hidden from his father, and the love of his life safe from a familiar fate?

Rock Paper Watch’s Top Quote of 3X9:

Jenn’s Pick – “The blood wine will flow red and the music will play loud and we’ll put this mess behind us.” ~ Walder Frey describing what will forever be known as the Red Wedding

Elizabeth’s Pick – “You’re very kind. Some day it will get you killed.”  -The Hound summing up all the Starks’ problems

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.  


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Top 10 Moments from Game of Thrones 3×7 “The Bear and the Maiden Fair”

In Game of Thrones episode 3×7 ‘The Bear and the Maiden Fair’ we actually got a bear, and a (sort of) maiden fair.  Oh, and everyone is in love.  Instead of a recap this week, we are counting down our favorite moments of the episode.

#10 Love vs. Loyalty

It seems that everyone is struggling between love and loyalty.  Jon Snow is falling in love with Ygritte, but wanting to remain loyal to the Night’s Watch.  Ygritte is realizing that eventually she’s going to have to choose between Jon Snow and the Wildlings (I think she’ll choose Snow, once she realizes the Wildlings don’t really stand a chance).  Robb has abandoned his loyalty to Frey for his love for Talisa.  Tyrion is struggling between his love for Shae and his loyalty to his family.

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#9 Gendry finds out he’s royalty

Melisandre:  Your blood is noble.
Gendry:  Are you saying my father, he was some lord or…
Melisandre:  There. Your father’s house. (pointing to the Red Keep)
Gendry:  I’m just a bastard.
Melisandre:  The bastard of Robert of the House Baratheon, first of his name, King of Andals and the First Men.  Haven’t you ever wondered where your strength comes from?  Your talent for fighting?

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#8 Girl talk with Margaery and Sansa

Margaery helps Sansa understand a little bit about the birds and the bees as they discuss her upcoming nuptials to Tyrion.

“Some women like tall men. Some like short men. Some like hairy men, some like bald men. Gentle men, rough men, ugly men, pretty men. Pretty girls. Most women don’t know what they like until they’ve tried it. And sadly so many of us get to try so little before we’re old and gray.”

The best part was when Sansa asked Margaery how she knew all this?  “Yes, sweet girl, my mother taught me.”  Sweet girl aka dumb girl.

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#7 Joffrey is actually right

Joffrey and Tywin have a bit of a showdown, each assert their dominance.  Tywin wins of course, but Joffrey is right when you think about it.  He should be briefed on the small council.  And, he’s the only one showing any concern about the impending threat of Dany and her dragons.

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#6 Ygritte sees a castle (or a windmill, same difference)

Now on the other side of the wall, it’s Jon’s turn to educate Ygritte about the ways of the land.  After mistaking a windmill for a castle, he know he’s got a long road in front of him.  He tells her about Westeros girls, how they swoon and wear silk dresses.  And of course, how he wants to see her in a pretty silk dress (so he can rip it off).  Ygritte replies, “You rip my pretty silk dress, I’ll blacken your eye.”

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#5 Dany’s Throne

Could it be anymore perfect?

#4 Girl Power

Dany proves that she’s a force to be reckoned with.  To expand her title as “The Breaker of Chains,” she has set her eyes on Yunkai, the home of 200,000 slaves.  Yunkai offers her a chest full of gold and a fleet of ships to leave their city alone.  Dany counters that she will spare his life if his city releases every single slave.  “Reject this gift and I shall show you no mercy,” she says cooly.  Then she keeps the gold as the dragons force him to leave.

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#3 Jaime saves Brienne

Revealing our title “The Bear and the Maiden Fair,” Brienne is thrown into a pit with a bear and a wooden sword to protect herself.  Jaime returns from his release to save her.  He jumps into the pit completely unarmed in order to force Bolton’s men into helping.  He refuses to come out until Brienne is pulled up safely.  Then he scrambles up with the help of Brienne.  It was very heroic.

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#2 The Bear

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#1 Robb’s Bum

I would post a picture, but this is a family friendly blog. 😉


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Game of Thrones 3×6 Recap

The Climb

“Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some are given a chance to climb, they cling to the realm or the gods or love. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.”

Chaos.  In Game of Thrones episode 3×6 ‘The Climb’ we got the calm before the storm.  Several storylines begin to surface and it looks like it’s all-downhill from here for Season 3.

House Stark

Sam – Sam and Gilly are trying to get warm, but Sam kind of sucks at building a fire.  When that fails to impress, he shows her his dragonglass.  Remember those dagger-like things that he and a few other Watchmen found?  Yea, judging by the close-up we got, it’s going to be important so pay attention.  She’s not really impressed.  But she is impressed that Sam is high-born and now that he’s got her attention, he tells her about Castle Black and The Wall.  In case we needed a reminder (since Jon Snow is about the climb it), Sam reminds us about the size of The Wall:

Gilly:  Is The Wall as big as they say?
Sam:  Bigger… So big you can’t even see the top sometimes. It’s hidden in clouds!
Gilly:  You’re playing with me…?
Sam:  Am not.  It’s 700 feet high; all made of ice, on a warm day you can see it weeping.

Such a poet, that Sam.

Bran – Mean Girls, GOT Edition.  Osha is writing in her burn book about how she can skin a rabbit better than Meera.  No offense Meera, but Osha’s skinning seemed a lot more efficient, you might want to take notes.  Bran is trying to referee this argument when Jojen has a seizure.  Meera rushes to his aid as Bran and Rickon panic.  I always forget that Rickon exists until I see him again.  Meera explains that the visions come with a price.  Jojen wakes and explains that he dreamed of Jon Snow at The Wall.  Bran is all like “whaaaa?”

Jon Snow – Jon Snow and Ygritte prepare for their climb.  Jon is scared (perfectly reasonable); Ygritte is excited.  This is something she’s been wanting;  “I’ve waited my whole life to see the world from up there.”

Ygritte then teases him a bit about their sexual escapades; I bet he’d blush if he wasn’t so cold.  Now that Jon Snow has proven himself to Ygritte, he doesn’t tolerate her teasing too much.  He knows where he stands.

Ygritte has figured him out, “you’re loyal, and you’re brave.”  She knows that Snow is still loyal to the Night’s Watch and she intends to keep his secret.  In exchange, she only asks for his loyalty. “You’re going to be loyal to your woman,” she tells him that they are just soldiers in an army, no one cares if they live or die.  They have to depend on one another to survive, “it’s you and me that matter to me and you.”  They’re the Bonnie and Clyde of Westeros.

With that, they begin their climb.  They’re trekking along when Ygritte notices a crack spreading along The Wall, large chunks begin to fall taking climbers with them.  Jon and Ygritte lose their footing and are DANGLING off.  She begins to swing him so he can grab hold of The Wall.  Orell tries to cut them loose, but Snow connects with The Wall just in time.  Ygritte had a point, I guess.

The episode ends with Jon Snow and Ygritte reaching the top of The Wall; they made it.  Together, they take in the view and make out a little bit and can you blame them?  Overall this was a sweet scene, the calm before the chaos for sure.

Arya – Arya is having an archery lesson with the Brotherhood Without Banners, when someone stops by for a visit.  Melisandre, Stannis’ favorite lady in red is here to pick up something (or someone).

First, she chats with Beric and Thoros about the Lord of Light.  She’s quite impressed (and maybe a little jealous) that Beric has been brought back from the dead six times.  The contrast here is so interesting to me, Beric’s Lord of Light seems forgiving and hopeful.  When Melisandre talks about the Lord of Light, its scary and dark.

Melisandre bribes Beric so that she can take Gendry back to Dragonstone (told ya).  Keep in mind, Gendry is Robert Baratheon’s bastard and Melisandre needs Baratheon blood to make another demon baby, “The Lord of Light needs this boy.”  I don’t know about you guys, but I’m going to miss Gendry.  I loved the sweet moment that he shared with Arya last week.  I just wanted him to make it out of Westeros alive, like Hotpie. When Gendry protests, Melisandre tells him “You are more than they can ever be, they’re just foot soldiers in the Great War.  You will make kings rise and fall.”

Arya immediately hates Melisandre (rightfully so) and, in probably my favorite scene of the episode, isn’t afraid to let her know.  Arya grabs Melisandre and spins her around, Melisandre counters with a prophecy, “I see a darkness in you and in that darkness eyes staring back at me. Brown eyes. Blue eyes. Green eyes.  Eyes you’ll shut forever. We will meet again.”

Theon – Where in the Seven Kingdoms is Theon?!  We have our theory, what is yours?  Who is this person that is keeping him captive?  What does he want?  The Boy starts out by mocking poor Theon.  He wants to play a game.  The Boy chooses Theon’s little finger as the least important body part.  Now, Theon is allowed to guess where he is and who the boy is, until he’s begging for The Boy to cut off his finger.

“If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention,” The Boy says.  Oooooh.

Theon guesses The Boy is the son of Robb’s bannerman Karstark, you know, the guy Robb beheaded last week.  The Boy entertains this for a while, let’s Theon experience seem relief, then GOT YA!  Just kidding, that’s not who I am.  He then peels off the end of Theon’s finger until finally, Theon begs for him to cut it off.

Anyone else feeling sorry for Theon yet?

I am astounded by the actor playing The Boy (Spring Awakening alum, Iwan Rheon).  He is so good at playing crazy! Those eyes! That mocking tone in his voice!  Can someone look into this, is he actually crazy?!

Robb – You may remember last week when Robb decided to take Casterly Rock, but he needs the help of the Frey’s to do so.  After marrying Talisa, Robb lost his only bargaining chip.  He meets with two representatives from the Frey House to evaluate his options.  Frey has three conditions:  an apology (done), Harrenhal (okay), and Robb’s uncle Edmure must marry a Frey daughter.  Edmure objects (just as much as Robb did), wants to know if he can pick.  He argues, “No man can compel another man to marry.”  Um yes, they can.  Robb reminds him of his big mistake with The Mountain and wins via guilt-trip.  So it’s settled, Edmure will marry a Frey.  I’ve got a bad feeling about this.

Sansa – Sansa has a date with Loras.  God, could their conversations get anymore boring?  Could Loras be anymore gay?  That leads us to the Lannisters.

House Lannister 

We finally get some Lannister action when we open to a nice dinner scene with Jaime Lannister, Brienne of Tarth, and Lord Roose Bolton. Brienne is dressed in a new outfit – a pretty pink dress. (She looks more uncomfortable than Loras pretending to like women.) Jaime is struggling trying to learn how to adjust to life with one hand. Brienne eventually has enough and slams her fork into Jaime’s steak to assist him in cutting.

It seems his ego and attitude hasn’t quite adjusted, though. Lord Bolton and Jaime start to go back and forth on how many people would pay for Jaime’s freedom. “We both know who would pay the most, or make you pay the most if he found out you captured me and sent me back up North,” Jaime threatens Bolton. Bolton tells him he won’t sell him back to his father, but he will send him back to King’s Landing as long as Jaime swears to tell his daddy that Bolton didn’t maim him. The two come to a deal, except Bolton refuses to allow Brienne to leave with Jaime.  “I’m afraid I must insist,” Jaime rebukes.  But Bolton reminds Jaime, for what feels like the umpteenth time, that he is not in any position to barter.  I mean, he literally has one hand and is surrounded by a garrison of Northmen.

The next scene is a true delight to watch. Man, if there ever were two people meant to act on screen together, it’s these two. They’re literally a match made in heaven.

We find Lord Twyin Lannister and the Lady Olenna Tyrell discussing the proposal of a wedding between Cersei and Loras. Olenna is opposed to the idea; she believes Cersei is too old. She fears that “the most beautiful woman in the Seven Kingdoms” will soon no longer be able to bear children. Tywin shoots back, why does it matter if she can’t have children? The marriage will hide Loras’ night-time activities.  Olenna doesn’t care or deny it. She admits that he’s a “sword swallower, through and through.” She asks Tywin if he ever experimented in such activity. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him more uncomfortable. He insists that he would never take part in such “unnatural behavior.”

Then Olenna drops her final attempt at avoiding the wedding. “Brothers and sisters, where I come from that stain would be very difficult to wash out.” Tywin seems cornered for a second, but he retaliates. They bounce pointed questions off each other until finally Tywin shuts it down. If Olenna refuses to marry Loras to Cersei, he will appoint Loras to the King’s Guard, making it so he Loras can never marry, reproduce, or become heir to High Garden. “It’s a rare enough thing, a man who lives up to his reputation.” Olenna out. And unfortunately, Olenna gives in. Loras will marry Queen Cersei.

We have another loving family scene between brother and sister, Tyrion and Cersei Lanniser.  The two banter back and forth about how bad their situation is, as each is being forced by their father to marry someone of his choosing.  Cersei offers to have them both killed – meaning Sansa and Loras – but Tyrion doesn’t that’s an option.

Cersei does something then that no one else did before – she gives Tyrion his due credit for saving King’s Landing and acknowledges that the city would have been sacked without him.  Then Tyrion finally asks her the thing he’s been wondering most  – did she try to have him killed in the Battle of the Blackwater? Shockingly, it wasn’t her but her son, King Joffrey.  Tyrion figures this out because only two people can give an order to the King’s Guard – the King and the Queen Regent. Tyrion whines that Joffrey is an idiot, but really he’s just fearful that his life is still in danger. “Probably. But not from Joffrey, he won’t do anything while Father’s here.” Oh, won’t he? More on that later.

Cersei tells Tyrion that she is fearful that the Tyrell’s will take power from the Lannister’s and “history will be taken from their hands.” It’s sort of refreshing to see these two bonding and brooding over their impending fates. Then, Tyrion has to do an unfortunate task – break the news to Sansa and her hand-maiden, Shae, about the upcoming nuptuals.

Now here is one of the biggest mysteries in Game of Thrones.  Why did they set up this scene perfectly, only to not show it?? We see Tyrion enter Sansa’s room and painfully realize he has to tell his lover that he’s betrothed to another woman. Your heart breaks for Tyrion because you can see the pain written all over his face, no pun intended.  It’s ashame they didn’t show this. I would’ve paid a lot of money to see Shae’s reaction to Tyrion’s news.

Then we have what I like to call a HPP – Huge Power Play. This one was sort of subtle, but still extremely impactful. Well played again, writers.  Petyr Baelish and Lord Varys are in the Throne Room, having one of their playful conversations. We have seemingly innocent banter about the two of them competing with each other, and rooting against each other, until Petyr drops a bomb. He knows Ros betrayed him, he gave her to someone to do cruel things to her, and he thwarted Varys’ plan to marry Sansa off to the Tyrell’s.

“She was a bad investment on my part.” This sent chills through my body, as I recalled the time in Season 2 when Petyr threatened Ros.  “I did what I did for the good of the realm,” Varys responds painfully.  This is the first time I ever saw Varys with fear on his face, but I still don’t doubt what he says. He seems like one of few people who may truly want what is best for the realm.

Then comes the big reveal, as Petyr monologues about chaos (quoted above). King Joffrey is the man that took Ros and he murdered her by literally using her for target practice with his new bow. Varys failed to keep his promise to Ros and Petyr triumphantly leaves King’s Landing knowing he outwitted and outsmarted the Spider, much to the dismay of Sansa Stark, who is seen sobbing as she watches Petyr’s boat (and her last chance of escaping King’s Landing) sail away without her.

It’s a shame to see a character like Ros go with another un-shown scene, especially since we’ve gotten to know her in the last few seasons. But in a way, I’m glad I didn’t see that. So thanks wrtiers, for saving me from a nightmare or two.

House Targaryen

No Targaryen action, much to my dismay.  Hopefully, that will result in a double dose next week, or maybe even an entire episode dedicated to Dany.  A girl can dream, right?

House Baratheon

Again, poor poor Gendry (see Stark).

Rock Paper Watch’s Top Quote of 3X6:

Jenn’s Pick – “It’s hard to say which of the four of us is getting the worst arrangement.” …. “Probably Sansa.” -Tyrion Lannister

Elizabeth’s Pick – “If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.”  -The Boy

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.


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Game of Thrones 3×5 Recap

Kissed-by-Fire-3x05-game-of-thrones-34360798-1738-978

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!

House Stark

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…?

House Lannister

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.

House Targaryen

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.

House Baratheon

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.


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Game of Thrones 3×4 Recap

Game of Thrones 3x4

In Game of Thrones episode 3×4 entitled “And Now His Watch Is Ended,” we see the end of quite a few people – not one but two members of the Night’s Watch, a Wilding bastard, oh and the entire slave-master population of Astapor.  This episode was quite a game-changer, and felt more like a season finale than a mere episode 4. But this episode has been anticipated for years.  Since the creators of the show originally read the scene with Dany and her dragons in Astapor in Martin’s novel, they wanted to turn the book series into a television show. Finally, they saw their dream become a reality and it was in the most epic way possible. But let’s dive into the episode:

House Lannister

We open to Jaime’s hand, but this time it’s unattached and hanging on a rope around his neck. “How many fingers can we shove up his ass?,” the Northmen mock the Kingslayer.  They also mock him about his relationship with his sister.  Interesting, so people know about that.  Anyway, it’s clear the Jaime Lannister is not in good shape.  He is starving and weak, and he actually falls from his horse, flat on his face into a pile of mud. Yuck.  He’s so desperate and thirsty that they easily trick him into gulping a jug of horse urine. Brienne tries to help him, but there’s not much she can do.  This is where Game of Thrones is so good. You see Jaime suffering and weak, beyond pathetic, and you can’t help but start to feel sorry for him. Then, you remember how he tossed little Bran out a window and attacked Ned Stark and there goes the sympathy! Still, this is the definition of defeat. Jaime tries to fight with his left hand, but he is quickly beaten down. Locke threatens him, “Do that again, and I’ll take your other hand.” Yikes! Jaime needs to be seriously careful.

We see Jaime and Brienne one more time as they talk around the fire. Jaime is defeated and refusing to eat. Brienne tells him he’s finally had a taste of the real world where people have important things taken from them. She tells him his whining and crying makes him sound like a bloody woman.  Jaime is smart enough to know he’s being manipulated, but he gives in and eats anyway. Brienne asks him why he lied and said that “Sapphire Isle” meant that Tarth was full of sapphires, not that the water was blue.  “Why did you help me?,” she presses Jaime but he doesn’t answer. Does he even know himself?

Tyrion Lannister visits with Varys. Score. I love scenes with these two together.  Tyrion asks that they speak in confidence. “Always in confidence,” mimicks Varys. Yeah, confidence shmofidence.  Tyrion proceeds to tell Varys that he wants proof that Cersei tried to kill him in the Battle of the Blackwater. Varys doesn’t have proof, just whispers (as usual). All the while, Varys is working to open a crate, contents of which are unknown to both Tyrion and the audience.

Varys is telling Tyrion how he “got cut”. He traveled the free cities as a boy with a group of performers, when one day in Meer, he was taken by a man and given a potion that made him powerless to move or speak, but still able to feel.  The man cut him, burned his parts and spoke words until the  flamed turned blue. Varys goes on to explain that the man was a sorcerer practicing dark magic.  After the flames turned blue, the sorcerer called out and a voice answered his call.

“I still dream of that night. Not of the sorcerer, not of his blade, I dream of the voice from the flames. Was it a god, a demon, a conjurer’s trick? I don’t know. But the sorcerer called and a voice answered.” Such an eerie thought.  But it explains why Varys hates magic and why he helped Tyrion against Stannis and Melisandre. Finally, Varys gets the box open as Tyrion tells him it’s a great story, but he just wants revenge against his sister. Tyrion understands revenge, as he wants it too. He explains that he never let the sorcerer’s magic defeat him. He healed from his wounds and went on to become a skilled thief until he eventually became a member of the Small Council. “Influence grows like a weed,” and  Varys has worked his until it extended all across the Seven Kingdoms and beyond.  He then finally reveals the contents of the crate, and drumroll please…. it’s the sorcerer, with his mouth shown shut. Really creepy. This was not so smart on the sorcerer’s behalf. If you’re going to torture and mutilate someone, you should kill them when you’re done or else they’ll track you down, sow your mouth shut, and ship you across the world in a tiny box.

The next Lannister we catch up with is King Joffrey, who is gleefully detailing the horrid details of the history of Westeros and the demise of the Targaryens to Margaery. They are in the Sept of Baelor with his mother and Olenna, where the wedding of Joffrey and Margaery will soon take place. Cersei and Olenna together is one dangerous pair of women that I would not f–k with.

Margaery enthusiastically pays attention to Joffrey’s tales. Cersei doesn’t like how Margaery is so interested. Olenna and Cersei wonder off as the children run around and they talk about their sons and husbands. “We mother’s do what we can to keep our sons from the grave.” A more truer statement has never been spoken. Cersei will do whatever she can to protect her children, and I have no doubt that Olenna is the same type of woman.

Meanwhile, Joffrey and Margarey are bonding. Cute? Not really. It’s actually kind of creepy. But Margaery convinces Joffrey to go out and see the people screaming outside. Joffrey seems nervous as this is not something that the Lannisters are used to doing but she convinces him that the people of King’s Landing adore him. As he goes out, Cersei panics and runs after him yet she recoils from the crowd like a vampire recoiling from the sun. The people are screaming for Margaery but she shows Joffrey how to do the “parade wave” and they quickly scream for both members of the royal couple.

Next, we’re lucky enough to have some Cersei and Tywin Lannister action. This time, we have Cersei and not Tyrion sitting on the other side of her father’s desk, waiting for Tywin to stop writing. She pretends to be there for Jaime, checking up on his search. Of course she knows Tywin is doing everything he can for him. She’s really there for something else and Tywin knows it. What, Cersei? Spit it out.

Cersei wants to know why Tywin doesn’t pay attention to her. She tells him that she’s the one who was listening to him lecture all these years about family and legacy. She’s the one contributing to the Lannister name. “Did it ever occur to your that the daughter might be the only one listening to them, living by them, that she might have the most to contribute to your legacy, that you love so much more than your actual children?” Feels like a line practiced for years. She warns him that the Tyrell’s are a problem. But instead of presenting any of the stuff she should talk about like Margaery’s sneakiness or Olenna’s dealings with Sansa, she talks about Margaery’s claws in Joffrey. Cersei knows he’s being manipulated, but Tywin is glad and wishes it was Cersei and not Margaery. “I don’t distrust you because you’re a woman, I distrust you because you’re not as smart as you think you are.” Ouch Cersei. Even I can feel that burn.  Then, just like that, she’s dismissed. She looks just as defeated as Tyrion did in 3×1. But she leaves with one last jab, that maybe Tywin should try to stop Joffrey from doing what he likes. He responds “I will” in the most chilling way. Damn you Charles Dance, you’re good.

House Stark

Overall, not much happened for the Stark’s this week.  Still, we checked in with a few members of our favorite family so let’s see what they’re up to.

Bran – Guess what guys, Bran is dreaming.  Are you surprised?  He’s running through the woods after the three-eyed crow, which perches itself at the top of a tree.  Eager to capture the crow, Bran looks on down below.  Jojen appears in his dream and tells him that he has to go after the crow.  Bran immediately takes off climbing up the tree.  It was kind of nice to see Bran in action again.  Once he arrives on the same limb as the crow, Catelyn appears and goes crazy yelling at him, just like she did in the first episode, “I’ve told you Bran, no climbing!”  He then falls from the tree.  Do you ever have dreams where you’re falling?  Aren’t they the worst?  Just like everyone else, Bran shoots awake right as he’s about to hit the ground.  When he wakes, Jojen is knowingly looking on.  Remember because of his powers, he sees what Bran sees.

SansaTeam Save (Manipulate) Sansa is moving full steam ahead; the big question is who is the team captain, Varys or Littlefinger?  I don’t trust either of them.  Right now, the only person I trust in this ploy is Lady Olenna.  She seems like a straight shooter (please don’t make me regret saying that).

Varys is such a sneaky, sneaky man.  He’s ready to take down Littlefinger, and how he is going to do that?  By getting a few steps ahead of him.  Varys meets with Ros, everyone’s favorite ex-prostitute, and she tells him that Littlefinger has requested two feather-beds on his ship to the Eyrie.  Why would a strapping single man need two feather-beds?  Varys believes that Littlefinger wants a title and not just any title; he wants the title.  Through his arranged marriage, he could control the Vail and by taking Sansa with him, if Robb Stark falls, he has control of the North too.

How does Varys plan to stop this?  He runs to Lady Olenna with the info and the two decide there really is only one option.  It’s time for Sansa to get a husband.

Margaery visits Sansa, who’s praying and despite Margaery’s begging decides to keep her prayers to herself.  Can you just imagine?  “Dear gods, please protect my brothers and sisters and bring them here as soon as possible so they can kill that psychopath that sits on throne.  Please, please don’t let me run into Joffrey today, he sucks, k thanks.”

 Margaery is there to tell Sansa the good news.  Sansa will marry Loras. Poor Sansa is beside herself with excitement.  Maybe aligning with Margaery was a good idea after all.  It breaks my heart how hopeful Sansa is by the news; even after everything this girl has been through she still believes in happy endings.  Aw, Sansa.

AryaArya and Gendry are moving right along as guests of the Brotherhood Without Banners.  They arrive to the Brotherhood’s hideout where we meet Beric Dondarrion, their leader.  (His character was in one episode of the first Season but was portrayed by a different actor.)  He further explains that members of the Brotherhood are Baratheon/Stark devotees as they originally formed under orders of Ned Stark when he served as Hand of the King to hunt down The Mountain, but now and even more importantly, they’re defenders of the weak.  They’re still searching for The Mountain but for now, his brother, The Hound, will suffice.  Surely, at some point The Hound has killed someone purely innocent and defenseless.  Luckily, Arya is there to remind them of the time The Hound murdered the Butcher’s boy in Season 1 for attacking Joffrey, even though she was the culprit.  Beric, a follower of the Lord of Light (like Stanis Baratheon’s lady in red, Melisandre) says that The Hound will have a trial by combat next week for his crimes.  I’m interested to see the contrast in beliefs between Melisandre and Beric, how devoted of a Lord of Light follower is he?  Also, we know fire plays a big part in his beliefs.  What does that mean for The Hound, who is terrified of flames?  I don’t know but something tells me its going to mean bad news.

TheonOh Theon, Theon, Theon.  If he’d stop thinking about himself for one measly second, he might have noticed what was about to happen.

We catch up with Theon and the Boy (Iwan Rheon) as they’re making their way to safety and Theon’s sister.  Theon is wallowing in self-pity, telling the Boy about his past year as the Boy leads the way.  Theon sure is trusting of this stranger; something tells me he’s going to regret that.

It’s during his pity party, that Theon says something that truly breaks our hearts.  “I paid the Iron Price for Winterfell. I murdered these boys, poor orphans living with the farmer, so I could keep Winterfell and make my father proud.  My real father lost his head at King’s Landing, I made a choice, and I chose wrong, and now I’ve burned everything down!”  Gah, Game of Thrones, stop toying with my emotions!  I want to hate Theon so bad but now I feel kind of bad for him.

The Boy continues to lead Theon back to his sister.  Actually, surprise!  We’re back in the torture dungeon.  “I brought him back; he killed the others,” the Boy says. “Put him back where he belongs.”  They Boy was way too excited to see Theon back in the torture chamber, someone obviously has issues.  So, who is this guy?  And, who’s in charge?  The men seem to be following his directions.  We have our theories, what about you?

The Night’s Watch – The episode was titled “And Now His Watch is Ended,” and I’m not going to lie,  I definitely thought we were going to get a little Jon Snow action.  But no, instead we got another little treat, the DEMISE of the Night’s Watch.  We catch up with the fellas back at Craster’s Keep and they’re just as annoyed and hungry as they were the last episode.  While shoveling poo, they begin to discuss next steps.  One points out that they’ve got to start looking out for themselves because it doesn’t seem like anyone else is going to do it.

The rebellion starts with the funeral of their fellow Watchman, Bannon.  In the Lord Commander’s speech we get the title of our episode, “Now His Watch Has Ended.”  We also get the most disgusting line of the entire episode.  As the starving group of men looks on at the burning body, one says, “Never knew Bannon could smell so good,” buhhh cannibalism.  The men blame Bannon’s death on Craster for refusing to give them more food.  In Craster’s defense, he does have a lot of ladies to feed.  Craster doesn’t care about these men. As the Lord Commander discusses the welfare of his men, Craster recommends cutting the throats of the wounded and moving on without them.

“Who’s throat ya gonna cut, old man?” says a member of the Night’s Watch (Who is this actor?!  He looks so familiar, an intensive IMDB search will happen later.)

In response, the Lord Commander tells him to wait outside, sensing a potentially tense situation.

One of the other men responds by calling Craster a bastard, ohhhhhh snap.  Craster’s mother was a Wildling and his father a member of the Night’s Watch, bastard material for sure.

Completely oblivious to how much danger he’s in Craster replies, “Go sit in the cold with empty bellies.” Dude, you are surrounded by trained watchmen and past criminals, not smart.

The Night’s Watchman calls him “a daughter-f—ing Wilding bastard,” and then it’s on.  One of the Watchmen stabs Craster, killing him.  Next they turn on the Commander.  He is stabbed and continues to fight back, but then succumbs to death.  I’m sure a part of me should be upset that we’re losing the Commander, but I’m kind of on Snow’s team here.  The way he turned a blind eye to Craster’s bad behavior was appalling.

While all of this is going on, Sam is like “peace guys!”  He goes to save his precious Gilly and her newborn son (who she was hiding from Craster).  While the rest of the Watchmen stay behind to feast (on the women and the food, I’m sure) Sam and Gilly make a run for it.

With the Night’s Watch disbanded, what does that mean for Mance’s upcoming attack on the wall?  It seems like it’s going to be pretty easy.  Will Samwell and Snow reunite soon?  I hope so; it’s such a great bromance.

House Targaryen

Here it is, folks. The best scene ever to be seen on television. I’m sorry but nothing compares to the mayhem that unfolds in the final few minutes of Game of Thrones. And boy, is it satisfying.  Okay, here we go.

Dany enters the square in her blue gown and ash-washed jeans (the outfit that we’ve been waiting for) flanked by her translator and Queensguard. Missandei immediately begins translating. Kraznys is still mocking Dany, telling her to send captives back to Astapor if she finds any so the slave masters can make new Unsullied. Dany gives him Drogon on a long chain leash and trades Kraznys for the Golden Whip of The Unsullied.  Jorah and Barristan look so nervous as this exchange takes place. They truly believe Dany is giving up a dragon, and they think this is a huge and foolish mistake.

“Is it done then?,” Dany asks as they make the exchange.  She wants to be sure that The Unsullied belong to her. She’s the ruler, Kraznys assures him as he tries to hold on to Drogon. Drogon is making horrible sounds and clearly doesn’t enjoy being on the chain. Then, Dany speaks Valyerian as she directly addresses The Unsullied. Oh crap. She can understand Valyerian. She commands her Unsullied and they respond like a remote control. Kraznys doesn’t seem to get it and he asks why Drogon isn’t listening.

“A dragon is no slave,” Dany responds in Valyerian and this time Kraznys gets it. Dany can understand him as she is the Blood of the Dragon of House Targaryen and Valeryian is her native language.  Dany’s translator smirks cruelly at Kraznys as she realizes Dany is aware of all of the horrible things that Kraznys has said. Dany then changes the game forever, and finally becomes the true Dragon Queen.

“Slay the masters. Slay the soldiers. Slay every man that holds a whip.” Dany commands The Unsullied to do this but save every child and every innocent person and they follow her command without question.  Kraznys desperately attempts to have someone attack and kill Dany but she silences him with one word. “Dracarys.” Drogon lights Kraznys up and unleashes flames upon the city. Drogon and The Unsullied sack the city in minutes.

Jorah and Barristan look at her afterwards in shock and admiration. And Jorah wants to jump her bones, clearly. She doesn’t talk to either of them, but mounts a horse and addresses her soldiers. She tells The Unsullied that they are free and they can leave without judgement.  But if the stay, she asks them to fight for her as free men. This is a huge step for Dany. She proved that even though she has suffered before from saving innocent people, and even though she can be ruthless and merciless, she is a ruler who is fighting for a cause. She is fighting for the oppressed and she will do whatever she can to save the innocent from her crusades.  Will they fight for her, as free men? They respond yes in an almost ceremonial-like stomping of their spears. The scene gives me chills, as the spears are soon joined by drums and a musical score. The music in this scene is perfect.

Dany leads her new army of free soldiers along with her Dothraki and the freed slaves out of Astapor. She throws the whip aside and The Unsullied symbolically march across it. She marches out of the city, with a woman flanking her right and the Queensguard close behind her. The dragons are flying overhead, and the soldiers are seen endlessly flooding out of the gates of Astapor.  The scene ends with the sound of Drogon crying and breaks right to the drums. THIS WAS SUCH A GOOD ENDING. This is a moment that I’ve been waiting for for years. We finally see Dany become the Dragon Queen, rule an army and march with a horde behind her and her dragons flying free above her. It was like a dream come true. Thank you writers, for the most perfect adaptation possible.

House Baratheon

No news on Stannis or Melisandre this week.  We know that Melisandre needs someone else with Baratheon blood to make another demon baby and she’s out to accomplish that mission.  Someone should hide Gendry, fast.

Rock Paper Watch’s Top Quote of 3X4:

“A dragon is no slave.” Daenerys Targaryen

“Dracarys.” Daenerys Targaryen

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 the Night’s Watch and Theon are not technically a part of House Stark, it’s easier to recap this way.