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Everything You Need to Know for Game of Thrones Season 5

the-sand-snakesMeet the Sand Snakes, the bastard daughters of Oberyn and Ellaria.

1. New House & New Location

We met our first member of House Martell, Prince Oberyn, last season.  (Who can forget his sultry voice, his disdain for Lannisters’, and his way with candles?)  Sadly, the Mountain crushed our handsome prince (pun definitely intended) during a battle by combat that resulted in the infamous Oberyn Headsplosion.  For those of you that didn’t read the books, House Martell is the head family in the Kingdom of Dorne ruling out of the castle of Sunspear.  Dorne, the southernmost point of the Seven Kingdoms, has been mentioned in Game of Thrones before.  You may recall that when Tyrion was serving as Hand of the King, he orchestrated a plot to have Marcella Baratheon (Lannister) sent away from King’s Landing.  The little lion princess is currently trapped living in Dorne.

Dorne is different from the rest of the kingdoms of Westeros in that it was never truly conquered by the Targaryen’s.  Dorne swore fielty to the Iron Throne by choice centuries after Aegon’s invasion.  Like their ancestors that came before House Martell, Dornish noble Houses follow gender-blind equal primogeniture, in which the eldest child is the heir regardless of whether they are male or female.  The words of the Martells are “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” and bastard children assume the name of “Sand.”  The Martells are deeply resentful of the Lannister family and blame Tywin for the death of Elia Martell, wife of Prince Rhaegar Targeryen, and her children.

This season, we will meet even more members of House Martell.  Oberyn’s paramour, Ellaria Sand, will be returning to report the dreadful news of Oberyn’s death to the reigning Prince of Dorne and Oberyn’s older brother, Prince Doran Martell.  We will also be meeting the Sand Snakes, the bastard daughters of Oberyn and Ellaria.  The Sand Snakes are skilled fighters trained by their father and will most certainly be seeking revenge against the Lannisters.

Rumor has it that Jaime Lannister will be departing King’s Landing and riding south to broker peace in Dorne.  Bookreaders know this is a change in Jaime’s story and I’m interested to see how they fit this into Jaime’s character progression.  Perhaps the Kingslayer will arrive just in time to save Princess Marcella from the deadly grasp of the Sand Snakes?

Sand_Snakes_torture_with_scorpionsSand Snakes using scorpion torture. NBD

2. No Bran, No Hodor.

‘Nough said.  This season will not include Bran Stark or his gentle giant companion, Hodor, as the TV series has caught up to his storyline.  Who will be around to “Hodor” for us?!

3. Who Crossed the Narrow Sea?

When we left, Arya had set her sights on Braavos. For those of you in need of a refresh, remember Jaqen H’ghar? Jaqen helped Arya, Hot Pie, and Gendry escape Harrenhal in season two and then he changed into another person like whoosh. That’s because he was a member of the Faceless Men, a trained group of assassins. Arya used the coin given to her by Jaqen to gain passage to cross the Narrow Sea. Is Arya on her way to become an assassin?  Will she soon be just as deadly as Jaqen?

The last we saw of Tyrion, he was being packed into a box by Varys and boarding a ship set sail for freedom. This was all after he killed Tywin on the toilet and strangled Shae with her own necklace. Can we all just have a slow clap for Tyrion?

But, where is he going? Judging by this season 5 poster, we can make one guess:

game of thrones season 5 dragon and tyrion

Also, in recent clips we’ve heard this exchange between Varys and Tyrion:

V: The Seven Kingdoms needs a ruler loved by millions with a powerful army and the right family name.
T: Good luck finding him.
V: Who said anything about ‘him’?”

4. The Wall is Getting Crowded

The Brothers of the Night’s Watch are no longer alone.

At the end of last season, we saw the arrival of Stannis Baratheon at The Wall where he saved Jon Snow from certain imprisonment and possible death at the hands of Mance Rayder. The goal here for Stannis is to protect all of Westeros from the White Walkers and prove himself the One True King.

The Night’s Watch also needs a new leader (RIP Lord Commander Mormont).  Who will be chosen to take the lead?  Will Stannis insert himself, or will he allow a new Brother to rise to the top?

Bonus, rumor has it Melisandre will set her eyes on Jon Snow. Man, this guy’s got a thing for redheads, I VOLUNTEER!

5. And everyone else?

Dark Sansa

Sansa has officially made a deal with the devil, as in Littlefinger. (Reminder: Littlefinger revealed at the end of season four that HE was the one who killed Jon Arryn, which instigated King Robert riding North and setting Game of Thrones in motion).  Now that she’s dyed her hair and decided to join the “game,” what’s next for these two? I don’t know but I bet it’ll be a little creepy.

Third time’s a charm?

Poor Margaery is set to marry a king, again. Will sweet, innocent Tommen survive the wedding? Only time will tell.

It’s a man’s man’s man’s world

…but all her men are gone! What will Cersei do without Tywin, Tyrion, or Jaime to manipulate and whine to, or about?  Will there be anyone to protect her when it’s time for her to pay for her many, many crimes?

This is a real mystery

We already know that Brienne of Tarth’s storyline is deviating pretty dramatically from the books. After taking down The Hound but losing Arya, what’s next for her and Podrick? Will she stay on her mission to find the Stark girls?

Oh, Reek

Things are still pretty bad for Theon/Reek. Our favorite Ironborn has spent the last two seasons as the tortured servant of Ramsay Bolton. Will he ever escape? Sometimes I watch season one of Game of Thrones just to remind myself of cocky, self-absorbed Theon. Gah, so attractive. Just me? Okay.

Trouble in Paradise

At the conclusion of the season, Daenerys finally learned the truth about Jorah Mormont’s original reason for seeking her out and “protecting” her.  (He was a spy for King Robert working to regain his freedom in Westeros.)  Dany banished Jorah from her encampment and sent him to the #FriendZone4Life.

Breaker of Chains Used Chains

After Dany learned that the dragons committed the horrific crime of killing a child, she was forced to put them in chains and lock them away. Something tells me this is not going to end well considering Drogon is MIA.

Budding Romance?

When we last saw Greyworm and Missandei she was teaching him the Common Tongue. As their lessons progressed, they bonded over the loss of their homelands. While swimming, Greyworm noticed Missandei bathing naked. When she notices him watching, she stands up slowly to let him get an eye full before covering herself. Later, he apologizes but she says she wasn’t uncomfortable. Is this the Westeros version of flirting?

And lastly…

Where in the Seven Kingdoms is Gendry?!

gendrymoving

6. In Memorandum

To the characters that didn’t survive season four, we remember you fondly (or not so much).

Tywin Lannister
Joffrey Lannister
Shae
The Hound (maybe, maybe not? I don’t believe it until I see him dead.)
Lysa Arryn
Oberyn Martell
Jojen Reed
Grenn and Pyp
Ygritte
Lord Commander Jeor Mormont

Game of Thrones recaps are authored by Jenn O’Mera and Elizabeth Bond.  Feel free to contact any author with feedback or questions.


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Top 7 OMG Did That Just Happen?! Moments from GOT 4×8

danytoppost

Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones, “The Mountain and the Viper,” could have easily been the penultimate episode of the season.  But alas, we were treated to a jaw-dropping eighth episode that had more ‘OHMYGOD’ moments than I could count.  In honor of the Seven Kingdoms and the Seven New Gods, here are my top seven favorite ‘DID THAT JUST HAPPEN?!’ moments from Sunday’s action-packed episode.

7. Reek becomes Theon Greyjoy (again) and helps Ramsay Snow become Ramsay Bolton.

reek4x8

Everyone’s least favorite character, Ramsay Snow, finally got what he wanted and became Ramsay Bolton, thanks to his pet dog human, Reek.  Reek pretended to be his former self, Theon Greyjoy, and coaxed the Iron Islanders holding Moat Cailin into opening up their doors to earn “freedom” from the Northerners.  Instead, much to our dismay, they were flayed and killed by the Boltons and the creepy duo of Ramsay and Reek just became much more powerful (and much more disturbing).  Pleased with his bastard, Roose Bolton granted Ramsay his biggest wish and gave him the family last name and all that comes with it.

6. Ygritte shows mercy for Gilly and Baby Sam.

ygritte4x8

I don’t know about you, but Ygritte is the worst scorned woman I’ve ever seen.  She’s taken to killing innocent men, women, and children of the North to get back at her former lover, Jon Snow.   So when she came face to face with Gilly, and showed her mercy, I literally cried and clapped at the same time.  I knew that the Ygritte that Jon (and the audience) fell in love with in Season 3 was still in there somewhere.  Now I wonder, will Ygritte show Jon the same mercy if she comes face to face with him in the Battle of Castle Black?  Tune in next week to find out.

5. Arya finds out everyone in her family is dead and laughs it off, hysterically.

arya4x8

When Arya and The Hound learned that Lysa Arryn had died just three days before their arrival, and The Hound was stripped of yet another bounty, what else was Arya to do but laugh?  It almost felt like she was laughing at the viewers for thinking a Stark reunion was going to happen.  Haven’t we learned by now that the Starks will never run into each other no matter how close they get?

4. Sansa becomes Dark Sansa & lies and dyes for Petyr Baelish.

darksansa

When Petyr was questioned about the mysterious “suicide” of Lysa Arryn, Sansa was called in to witness.  As she stood giving her testimony, Petyr watched on silently and in awe.  Here stood this young, naïve girl, whom he once told was a terrible liar, spinning a brilliant and intricate web of truth and lies.  Sansa painted a picture of Petyr as a saint who was motivated by his burning desire to rescue Sansa.  Later, in an attempt to cover her famous Tully-red hair, Sansa steps out as Dark Sansa, with dyed dark locks to help her look more like her “uncle” Petyr.  The weird thing?  She almost appears to be flirting with Baelish.  It is clear that Sansa doesn’t know the extent of Petyr’s hand in the destruction of her family, but she knows he is dangerous.  Has she fallen under his twisted spell or is Sansa playing a long con?

3. Tywin sentences Tyrion to death.

Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 8.28.00 PM

The moment we’ve all been waiting for – the verdict from the Trial by Combat.  As you’ll find out in our top moment, Tyrion Lannister lost the trial in the most head-splitting way.  In the final moments of the episode, Tywin Lannister, Hand of the King and father of Tyrion, stands and sentences his son to death.  Dun dun dunnnn.

2. Dany permanently dismisses Jorah Mormont.

dany-jorah4x8

Tywin was a part of more than one verdict this week.  In a twist from the book storyline, Tywin Lannister sent Daenerys’ Queen’s Guard, Barristan Selmy, a letter, which was a copy of the Royal Pardon that was granted to Jorah Mormont in Season 1. (Remember, Jorah was leaking confidential secrets to Robert and his Council and assisted with an assassination attempt on Dany’s life). Despite his deep admiration and love for Dany, and his change of loyalty (he ultimately prevented the assassination), the Mother of Dragons showed no mercy and exiled Jorah from her Council and from Meereen.  Poor Jorah. The old bear looked heartbroken as he rode on horse-back out of the city.  While I normally stand 100% behind the Breaker of Chains, I had trouble supporting this decision because of the way the TV show played it out.  It comes off like Dany is another puppet being manipulated at the hands of  Tywin Lannister.  Is this the beginning of her downfall?

1. Oberyn’s Headsplosion.

Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 8.33.53 PM

Thank you to Game of Thrones for creating yet another scene that I couldn’t bear to watch – the epic trial by combat between the Mountain and the Red Viper of Dorne, Oberyn Martell.  (Who knew anything could be worse than the Red Wedding?)

Oberyn, who was fighting as Tyrion’s champion to gain revenge for his sister, bopped around like Inigo Montoya waving a spear.  The Rep Viper repeated over and over again, “Elia Martell of Dorne.  You raped her, you murdered her.  You killed her children,” as he fought and stabbed the Mountain.  Oberyn was quick with his spear and took down the Mountain with apparent ease.  But he was too cocky and too confident and wouldn’t kill Gregor Clegane until he got his confession.  Before Oberyn could realize what was happening, Clegane punched Oberyn’s teeth out of his face.  The Mountain then climbed on top of The Viper, held his head in between his gigantic hands, and squashed it like one of the beetles Tyrion’s cousin squashed, all while confessing to his heinous crimes.  The worst part of this entire scene was knowing Oberyn was warned to wear a helmet and his Paramour stood completely helpless as she watched the worst moment of Game of Thrones – Oberyn’s Headsplosion.

And this perfectly sums up how we all feel. 

paramour4x8


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Countdown to Game of Thrones, Season 4 – An Update on the Houses

houseall

To say that the writers of Rock Paper Watch are excited for the Game of Thrones Season 4 premiere would be a gigantic understatement.  Overjoyed, thrilled, elated. They would be much better choices.  In preparation for the premiere, I even rewatched Season 3.  Okay, okay, really Seasons 1-3.  What I realized was quite a lot has happened and I kind of forgot some of it.  So, below you will find an update on the main Houses in Westeros, and a few other key players, as developed after a month of binge watching GOT on my iPhone during my commute to and from work.  

Thank the Old Gods and the New that we only have two more sleeps until premiere day, and I can watch it on a real TV. 

House-Baratheon1

Stannis – At the end of Season 3, Ser Davos Seaworth, Stannis’ Hand of the King, revealed a letter from Maester Aemon detailing the imminent threat of White Walkers beyond the Wall. Alongside the Red Priestess, Stannis peered into the fire yet again. Realizing that the real war lies to the North, Melisandre advised Stannis to spare Ser Davos from death even though he sprung Gendry from the dungeons, sans Stannis’ permission, because Stannis will need him in the future.  Stannis made the decision to ride to the Wall and save the Seven Kingdoms, with Davos and Melisandre by his side. Maybe Stannis is the true king, after all.  Will he arrive in time to aid the Night’s Watch in the Wildling Rebellion?  Will Gendry figure out how to use the boat and make it to dry land? 

House-Lannister
Cersei – Engaged to Loras Tyrell; enraged against her father; envious of Margaery’s control over Joffrey; seemingly not excited to have her lover back, which brings us to her twin brother;

Jaime – Finally arrived safely back in King’s Landing, minus his sword hand but plus his sword lady, Brienne of Tarth. Remember, Brienne and Jaime both swore an oath to Lady Catelyn that they would return Sansa and Arya to Winterfell.  This season, will Jaime prove to be loyal to his word, or loyal to his lover and family?;

Joffrey – The last time we saw Joffrey, he was celebrating the Red Wedding before he was threatened with death by his uncle and sent to bed by his grandfather. Poor Joffrey. Nevertheless, the Cruel & Stupid King is engaged to the careful manipulator, Margaery Tyrell, and the royal wedding will probably happen in the beginning episodes of Season 4. Oh, what a wedding it will be!;

Tyrion – Now celibate thanks to his marriage to Lady Sansa (not really though since his mistress, Shae, is his wife’s handmaiden), and serving as Master of Coin, it is Tyrion’s job to fund the Royal Wedding for the nephew he loathes so much. Will Tyrion succeed and prove his worth to his father, or fail miserably and continue his decline in power?;

Tywin – As Hand of the King, Tywin Lannister proved he is the Grandest Schemer in the Land when he orchestrated the Red Wedding last season. Remember all those mysterious letters he was writing?  With those letters, he singlehandedly stole the North out from under the Starks, killed a majority of their House, and rewarded Lord Bolton as Warden of the North, with full intention to strip the Boltons of the North when Sansa and Tyrion’s “heir” comes of age. Tywin is playing the game of thrones to win, no matter what the cost. At this rate, can anyone stop him?

House-Stark_

Arya – Thanks to the Hound, who captured Arya after she escaped from the Brotherhood Without Banners, she was not massacred in the Red Wedding along with most of her House. Unfortunately, she did witness most of it. This poor girl has no only seen her father’s headless body, but also her brother’s headless body with Greywind’s head fixed upon it. What will the Hound do with Arya now that no one can pay him for her? Will she ever use the coin given to her by ‎Jaqen H’ghar and speak the words “Valar Morghulis (All men must die)?”;

Bran – At the end of Season 3, Bran came this close to reuniting with his half-brother, Jon Snow. Instead of a joyous reunion, we got Bran warging into Summer and Grey Wind to rescue Jon from the Wildlings, who turned on Jon right after they figured out Jon’s true identity. After rescuing his brother, Bran decided to split his group sending Rickon and Osha somewhere South (and safe) while Bran, Jojen, and Meera continued North. In an abandoned castle near the Wall, Bran’s group came face-to-face with Samwell Tarly and Gilly as that pair headed back to Castle Black. Despite Sam’s wishes to protect his “brother’s brother,” Sam showed Bran and the Reeds a secret passage through the Wall, sending Bran right in to the thick of danger;

Jon Snow – Jon was a very busy man last season, deceiving Mance Rayder and the Wildlings into believing he was one of them and falling in love with a Wildling, only to reveal at the end of Season 3 that he was, in fact, still loyal to the Night’s Watch and working as a double agent. In the season finale, Jon finally revealed his true colors and left the Wildlings to return to Castle Black and warn the Night’s Watch of the pending attack, thusly breaking Ygritte’s heart. Ygritte doesn’t go down easy, though, and lands three arrows in Jon.  Jon returns to the Castle but collapses before he can speak with Sam and his bros.  Will Jon survive Ygritte’s revenge and warn his fellow Crows before Mance lights the biggest fire the North has ever seen?;

Sansa – Poor Sansa, she is the living Stark that continuously gets the shit end of the stick. She’s stuck in King’s Landing as Joffrey’s puppet, forced into marrying Tyrion Lannister, and missed yet another opportunity to leave King’s Landing (this one was with Petyr Baelish). While it seems like Sansa does have some powerful people in her corner (Olenna and Varys to name a few), at the conclusion of Season 3, Sansa’s life seemed in even more jeopardy. Her family is dead, Jaime is back in King’s Landing, and the Lannisters no longer need Sansa as a bargaining chip. Will her marriage to Tyrion keep her safe?  Will she ever be smart enough to leave King’s Landing when given a chance?

House-Targaryen-

Season 1 tells the story of Daenerys Stormborn and her transformation from innocent young girl to strong, confident Khaleesi and Mother of Dragons. Season 2 tells the story of Dany realizing she can trust no one and must embrace violence in order to gain power. By Season 3, we finally see Dany coming into her own as a true Queen with a gentle heart and a ruthless hand, working to find a balance between what her heart desires and what fulfilling her fate requires.  

Dany moved from slave-city to slave-city, sacking the Masters and freeing their slaves, with the help of her Unsullied, Ser Barristan Selmy, Ser Jorah Mormont, Daario Naharis, and, of course, her three dragons. At the conclusion of the season, Dany waits at the gates of Yunkai, unsure of how the newly freed slaves would respond to her and her horde.  When the gates finally open, they pour out in droves, stopping just short of Dany.  Missandei introduces Dany’s with full titles – proof of her unyielding growth.  “This is Daenerys Targaryen, the Stormborn, the Unburnt, the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, the Mother of Dragons.” Dany interrupts Missandei to tell the people they are now free.  In a visually powerful scene, hundreds and thousands of the citizens of Yunkai raise their hands, shouting “Mhysa” in unison, lifting Dany over their head, praising her as their “Mother.” 

Dany now has the three things her brother always wanted – love, power, and fear. Is she finally ready to cross the Narrow Sea and take back her kingdom? Can she balance the line between conquerer and liberator?  Thank the Gods we only have a few more days to find out!

kings landing

Westerosi Key Players

Petyr Baelish – As a reward for his support of All Things Lannister, Petyr was titled the Lord of Harrenhal and left King’s Landing to pursue Lady Lysa Arryn’s (Catelyn’s crazy sister that still breastfeeds her 9 year old) hand in marriage. The last time we saw him, he was on a ship headed to the Vale. We’ll probably catch up with him sometime this season following his arrival.

Theon Greyjoy – It was finally revealed at the conclusion of Season 3 that Theon was being held by Roose Bolton’s bastard, Ramsey Snow, as a means of removing the Iron Islanders from the North.  Ramsey was also the same person that set Winterfell ablaze, finally turning it into Hot Pie’s Winterhell.  Did you figure this big secret out before the big reveal?

Yara Greyjoy – After receiving her brothers’ penis in a box, courtesy Ramsay Snow, Yara decided to take her strongest men on her fastest ship and sail North to rescue her baby brother.  Touching.  Meanwhile, her father did nothing and was quite content to continue receiving “more Theon.” 

Olenna Tyrell – Olenna may just be the only person brave and smart enough to match Tywin Lannister both in wit and manipulation (their scene last season was uh-maze-ing). Something tells me she won’t send her granddaughter and grandson into the Lion’s Den without putting up a fight.

The Tulleys – In the finale, a gitty Walter Frey reveals that Edmure Tully survived the Red Wedding, locked up in a jail cell, and The Blackfish managed to escape.  What does this mean for the future of the Tully clan?  Will Edmure make it out alive?  Will anyone seek revenge for the massacre?

Lord Varys – The Spider continues to be one of my favorite characters as he proves over and over again to truly care about the good of the Realm. He recognizes the evil players and makes quiet moves to assist the good ones. In the season finale, he even tried to remove Shae from the picture, encouraging her to take his diamonds and leave the city so Tyrion can focus on what needs to be done.  But I want to know – what is his end game?  Who is Varys really working for, or what is he working towards?  

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Take a mouse-scroll down RPW’s Game of Thrones archive page to feed your addiction while you wait for the Game of Thrones premiere this Sunday, April 6th at 9pm on HBO, and be sure to catch our weekly recaps once the action commences! 

 


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Game of Thrones 3×10 Recap

got3finale

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.

gotrecap10

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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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.