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Game of Thrones 5×3 Recap – High Sparrow

sansa-and-littlefinger

House Stark/Baratheon

Here we are, inside the House of Black and White. It’s damp and a bit spooky with a lot of statues along the walls. Arya is grumpily sweeping as Jaqen sits with a man by the pool of water in the middle of the floor. He gives the man a cup of water and they exchange “Valar morghulis. Valar dohaeris.” The man then drops dead; all men must die and these people are no joke.

Arya is over the sweeping. That’s not what she’s here for; she wants to serve. She’s got a kill list! Come on let’s get going! What must she do to become a Faceless Man? The answer? She must become no one.

Later, Arya is confronted by another girl that’s in training at the House of Black and White. “Who are you? You, who walk in here with a coin you never earned, whose value you don’t respect. Who are you?” Arya, ever the quick learner, replies “no one.” The girl whips Arya. With every objection, the girl continues to whip her. “Who are you?” the girl asks again. “You’re about to find out!” says Arya as she reaches for Needle and I applaud my television but Jaqen enters before it can escalate into an all out catfight. Jaqen scolds Arya for wanting to become “no one” while she is still holding on tightly to all of her personal belongings. Time for a makeover!

After her first costume change since season 1, Arya throws her personal items into the Narrow Sea. The last thing is Needle. Can she do it? Images of Jon Snow and a happy Stark family at Winterfell flash through my mind. Don’t do it, Arya! Whew! She doesn’t do it. Instead, she hides Needle in some rocks and continues sweeping.

Jaqen shows up and leads Arya down a scary staircase to a room with the latest body and the bully-girl that was whipping Arya. Together, Arya and the girl undress the body and begin to clean it. “What do we do after we wash them?” she asks. No answer.

Speaking of Winterfell, we’re baaaaack! It’s now decorated with House Bolton flags, some gross looking bodies, and there’s poor Theon. Back to the bodies, they’re victims of Ramsay of course. He went out collecting taxes but decided to flay and collect bodies instead. When Lord Cerwyn refused to pay anyone but a Stark, Ramsay calmly explained that he “flayed him living along with his wife and brother, made his son watch. The new Lord Cerwyn paid his taxes.”

Roose Bolton is nervous. Not only is his son a psychopath but also he doesn’t have enough men to hold the North. Yes, he made a pact with the Lannisters but that pact was with Tywin, who is now deceased. The remaining Lannisters won’t send someone this far north. Roose explains to Ramsay, “We’ve become a great house by forming alliances with other Houses and parlaying those alliances into greater power. The best way to forge a lasting alliance isn’t by peeling a man’s skin off. The best way is marriage. It’s high time you married a suitable bride. And as it happens, I’ve found the perfect girl to solidify our hold on the North.” It’s then that my stomach sinks. It makes perfect sense. It’s Sansa.

Side note: I loved watching Theon eavesdrop during this scene. There’s still a small part of Theon left in there. He still understands the game being played. The subtleties by Alfie Allen make that crystal clear. I hope Theon rises up and protects Sansa.

Sansa and Littlefinger arrive at Moat Cailin. That’s when Littlefinger reveals his plan. He’s taking Sansa “home” to Winterfell and he’s made a marriage proposal for Sansa, not for himself. She objects, naturally. Roose Bolton murdered Catelyn and Robb. Littlefinger gives her the pep talk he’s probably been preparing since the Red Wedding:

“Winterfell is your home. Always. You’re a Stark. Dying your hair doesn’t change that. You’re Sansa Stark, eldest surviving child of Ned and Catelyn Stark. Your place is in the North. You’ve been running all your life. Terrible things happen to your family and you weep. You sit alone in a darkened room mourning their fates. You’ve been a bystander to tragedy from the day they executed your father. Stop being a bystander. Stop running. There’s no justice in the world. Not unless we make it. You loved your family. Avenge them.”

So that’s it, Sansa escapes one psychopath only to marry another. She will wed Ramsay Bolton and hopefully avenge her family by murdering him in his sleep. Fingers crossed.

Now this is the biggest deviation from the books to date. It changes everything. At first I found it strange, shocking even. Sansa would never marry the man responsible for killing her family. Then I warmed up to it.

First, it brings a Stark back to Winterfell—Winterfell is the closest thing us viewers have to “home” and seeing a Stark there just makes things feel a bit better. I’m sure the warm and fuzzies won’t last. Surely Ramsay has wreaked all kinds of havoc on our beloved home but let’s just live in this happy place and remember simpler times for a few minutes longer. As the servant said, “Welcome home Lady Stark. The North remembers.”

Second, it gives Sansa a mission. Why should Arya be the only Stark girl out for vengeance? Poor, naïve Sansa with her lemon cakes is no more! She’s grown. She’s evolved. She is pursuing vengeance in her own way. We have to remember that Sansa was bred to be married. She was told from a young age that she would be a princess and that she would marry for power. She now is simply using the tools she has available to avenge her family.

Third, it gives Sophie Turner something to do. The actress has been severely underused. Her character has been pretty one-dimensional from the start so I like this change. If the actress can handle it, I say let’s see it. And judging from soundbites in December, it seems like we will. “There was one scene that I did do which was super, super traumatic, and I love doing those scenes,” Turner said. “It was just really kind of horrible for everyone to be on set and watch.”

When Sansa arrives to Winterfell and meets Roose Bolton for the first time I just knew she was going to slap him. Instead, she smiles and curtseys. Ramsay and Sansa meet. Each is falsely charming. Myranda (Ramsay’s like-minded, torture friendly girlfriend) angrily watches from afar. Later, Ramsay and Littlefinger watch Sansa cross the courtyard. “She really is lovely, I hope I can make her happy…I’ll never hurt her. You have my word,” says Ramsay. Ha, yea right. Littlefinger remarks that he hasn’t heard much about the young Lord Bolton. Ramsay clarifies that he is actually Roose Bolton’s bastard. Can we just pause for a second and take a look at Littlefinger’s face:

Petyr Baelish Littlefinger - What is Petyr Baelish thinking?

Things running through Littlefinger’s mind at this very moment

  • Sh*t. Sh*t. Sh*t. Sh*t. Sh*t. Sh*t.
  • Is it too late to change my mind?
  • Thiiiiiiiis is the bastard?
  • Joffrey>Ramsay
  • What did I get my precious Sansa into?
  • Can I request a do over?
  • Wait, isn’t she technically still married to Tyrion?
  • I’m definitely going to hell now.
  • I hope he lets me keep my little finger.

Moving on, when Roose arrives Littlefinger assures him that Sansa is still a virgin. They discuss their histories with the Lannisters. “The Lannister name doesn’t mean what it used to.” Littlefinger explains to Roose that every ambitious move is a gamble and “the last time the lords of the Eryie formed an alliance with the lords of the North they brought down the greatest dynasty this world has ever known.” This union has potential.

Nearby, Brienne and Podrick are following Sansa and Littlefinger. I’ve never been so happy to see Brienne in my life. Surely, she will act as Sansa’s guardian angel in this wreck of a situation.

Brienne and Podrick have what has to be their first ever real conversation. She knows she hasn’t been very kind, but he tells her, “You’re the best fighter I’ve ever seen. You beat the Hound. I’m proud to be your squire.” With that, you can see Brienne perk up. Maybe Podrick isn’t so bad after all? She decides to train him. She will teach him how to fight and properly ride a horse.

Brienne then talks about her service to Renly and how their friendship came to be. Her father once held a ball so she could find a good match. It was wonderful. No one noticed how tall she was. They all whispered sweet nothings into her ear. She was so happy. Eventually she realized the boys were toying with her. She tried to run away but Renly Baratheon stopped her and said, “Don’t let them see your tears. They’re nasty little sh*ts and nasty little sh*ts aren’t worth crying over.” He danced with her all night and no one bothered her after that. “He saved me from being a joke, from that day until his last day. I couldn’t save him.”

Then we learn Brienne’s plan for vengeance; she’s going after Stannis.

Heading over to The Wall, Jon Snow is hard at work as the new Lord Commander. He’s everything we thought he would be: kind, patient, stern, loyal.

During a meeting with Stannis Baratheon, he refuses the opportunity to become Jon Stark. His place is on The Wall. “You’re as stubborn as you’re father and as honorable,” Stannis tells him. Jon Snow wants to know how much longer they’re going to be crashing at Castle Black. Stannis is basically that drunken friend that passes out on your couch and eats all your frozen dinners before dawn. Castle Black is running out of food and winter is coming. Stannis says he plans to march on Winterfell within the fortnight.

But, what to do with the Wildlings? Will Tormund compromise? Stannis thinks that Jon Snow should execute them. The other Brothers don’t want the free folk around. And what to do with Ser Alliser Thorne? Dismissing Stannis’ advice, Jon Snow says he intends to keep his enemies close.

After Stannis exits Davos says to Jon Snow, “he sees something in you. Might not be apparent from his tone but it’s the truth. He believes in you.” Stannis only wants to do what’s right for the Seven Kingdoms and he thinks he needs Jon Snow to do that. Davos reminds Snow of the line within the Night’s Watch oath—the shield that guards the realms of men. “That’s what you swore to be. Maybe people need you outside of The Wall. As long as the Boltons rule, the North will suffer.” I wonder how this is going to play out with Sansa? Could Jon Snow potentially rescue the North and Sansa?

Later, Jon Snow appoints Ser Alliser Thorne as First Ranger. He decides to send Lord Janos Slynt to Greyguard, which is apparently a ruin. Slynt does not want any part of that dump. Snow tells him “that was a command, not an offer.” Slynt refuses, repeatedly.

Slynt’s refusal is punishable by death. Snow cannot start his reign as Lord Commander by being soft so he has Slynt hauled to the courtyard for execution. If there’s one thing that Jon Snow has learned, it is how to properly behead someone when it’s needed. He marches to the podium.

“If you have any last words my Lord, now’s the time.” Slynt begs for forgiveness. He declares Jon Snow the true Lord Commander. “I’m afraid. I’ve always been afraid.” The Night’s Watch is not a place for scared men, not with winter coming. With that, Snow chops off his head. Stannis nods approvingly.

House Lannister

We check in at King’s Landing with a little Tour de Cersei Lannister. Under the sound of ringing bells, Cersei is carried in her litter toward the Great Sept of Baelor to celebrate the wedding of King Tommen and Queen Margaery. The street is lined with people from the Capitol adoringly shouting the name of the new Queen. Cersei is seething as she realizes that Margaery has succeeded in winning over the people of the city.

Margaery exchanges yet another set of wedding vows (third time’s the charm, right?) and finally becomes THE Queen that she always wanted to be. I loved how in this scene, we see Cersei through the silhouettes of the new couple as they exchange their first kiss. It’s evident that this wedding is the last thing Cersei ever wanted to happen. Boy, no one can deliver a scowl quite like Lena Headey.

After the wedding, we cut immediately to Margaery and Tommen consummating the marriage. Margaery knew better this time and didn’t spend any time waiting. When they finish, the new King is practically squealing with pleasure and expresses concern for hurting Margaery. Oh sweet innocent Tommen. You didn’t hurt her. Is he really so different from his cruel brother, Joffrey? I hope so for Margaery’s sake.

Speaking of the late King Joffrey, Tommen confides in Margaery that he often thinks about how everything he has – a new, beautiful Queen and the title of King – is only his because his brother is dead. Margaery tells him that he shouldn’t feel guilty about that but Tommen insists that he feels no guilt. Maybe he isn’t so different from Joffrey at all. Margaery starts to carefully sink her claws into the Boy King. Instead of revealing her true feelings toward Cersei, she feigns admiration of the Queen Mother’s motherly affections. She tells Tommen that it is so wonderful how Cersei is always looking after him like “a lioness guarding her cub.” Tommen insists that he no longer needs his mother looking after him because he is officially a man. But Margaery reminds him that as long as Cersei is in King’s Landing, Tommen will always be her baby boy.

The next scene takes us immediately to Cersei and Tommen strolling through the Capitol arm-in-arm.   The two discuss the new Queen and the new marriage and then Tommen reveals that the seeds of doubt planted by Margaery have successfully taken root. Tommen suggests that Cersei leave King’s Landing to return home to Casterly Rock where she can finally be happy. Tommen probably does want his mother to be happy but these words are not his and Cersei knows exactly where they are coming from.

She heads right to the source and visits Margaery and the ladies of the court. This is my favorite Margaery vs. Cersei scene to date. Cersei enters the room as Margaery recounts the four different times that her and Tommen consummated the marriage. When Margaery spots Cersei, she jumps from her chair and greets Cersei with a hug and an exclamation of “Mother!” Now that Margaery is Queen, she is fearless, almost careless, wasting no time to take jabs at Cersei. “I wish I had some wine for you, it’s a bit early in the day for us.” Cersei dismisses the comment, though she does appear to be a bit shocked, and claims that the reason for her visit is just to make sure that her new daughter-in-law knows that she is always there for her. Margaery expresses gratitude and reveals to the Queen Mother that she may soon be a Queen Grandmother, since she is so exhausted from Tommen’s “enthusiasm.” Cersei doesn’t linger and as she excuses herself, Margaery throws one last jab. “What’s the proper way to address you now? Queen Mother or Dowager Queen?”

Cersei maintains her cool, insists such formality is not required, and marches out of the gardens. The laughter of the girls rings through her head as she’s leaving. She may have been calm and level-headed in that moment, but we know Cersei will not go down without a fight. Margaery better watch her back (and her drinks!).

Back in Baelish’s brothel, we find the creep-tastic High Septon selecting from amongst the Seven Whore Gods. The Septon’s fun is interrupted by the Sparrows, led by Cersei’s favorite Lannister cousin Lancel, who are there to reprimand the Septon for his promiscuous behavior. As punishment, they force him to walk through the streets naked, flogging him whenever he attempts to cover himself, while the crowds hiss “sinner, sinner.”

The re-clothed Septon marches directly to the King’s Council and asks Cersei to throw the head of the Sparrows, the High Sparrow, in the black cells as punishment for the assault against him. Pycelle spoke up in his defense, but that doesn’t surprise me. (We remember you, Ros!) The wheels in Cersei’s head are spinning…but why?

Despite warnings from her King’s Guard, Cersei weaves her way through the poor in Flee Bottom (I’m guessing) to find the High Sparrow, a shoeless man feeding soup to the poor. The High Sparrow (hey you, Governor Swann) and Cersei discuss his choice of nickname, which he finds humorous, and his decision to give away his shoes, which he made to remind himself who he really is. The High Sparrow then reveals that he knows why Cersei has visited – to arrest him for what he did to the High Septon. Cersei reveals that the High Septon actually requested for the High Sparrow to be executed but rather than doing that, she has thrown the Septon into the Red Keep. “The faith and the crown are the two pillars that hold up this world. One collapses, so does the other. We must do everything necessary to protect one another.” Oh really? Since when has Cersei become so religious?

After her visit with the Sparrow, Cersei heads to see the mad scientist/healer Qyburn and asks him to send an urgent message to Petyr Baelish “wherever he’s slithering about.” She also asks Qyburn how his project is coming along and tells him to keep at it. After she leaves, we see what we thought was an inanimate body on a table come to life under a blanket! What is under there, Qyburn? Is it a Franken-Mountain of sorts?! Whatever it is, Cersei knows and I don’t have a good feeling about it.

We catch up with our favorite Lannister, Tyrion, as he starts to lose his mind on the road to Meereen. Tyrion insists that he is sick of seeing Varys’ face and he needs to get out of the cart for a bit before he goes crazy. Lord Varys warns him that there is a price on Tyrion’s head and if he’s recognized, it’s all over. Tyrion insists he’s just one more drunk dwarf and the two step out in Volantis. Reminder – Volantis was the home of the late Robb Stark’s wife (RIP, the North Remembers) and through re-tellings of her childhood, Talisa revealed Volantis to be a major slave city.

We find Varys and Tyrion walking through a gigantic, organized slave market. We learn that the slaves are marked by tattoos on their faces as to be easily recognized. But word of slave revolutions from Slaver’s Bay have made their way to Volantis and the slaves are not happy. Tyrion and Varys stumble upon a Red Preacher of the Lord of Light surrounded by a chanting crowd. The preacher is talking about slavery and claims that the Red King hears their misery and has sent them a new savior. “From the fire she was reborn to remake the world; the Dragon Queen!” Tyrion mocks the speech and jokes about how they are on their way to the savior. The Red Preacher hears him and a dark, foreboding look is exchanged between her and Tyrion.

Tyrion and Varys head to a brothel and we learn that the influence of the Dragon Queen has reached even the most desperate of places. A prostitute walks around dressed in an ass-less Dany get up, hair and all. Tyrion and Varys sit in a darkened corner and don’t realize that there is another Game of Thrones character/Dany lover in their presence.

Tyrion leaves Varys to talk to “someone with hair” and finds a bitter brunette prostitute. “They all want to f*ck a queen,” she says as she glares at the Dany imitation. She knows Tyrion has no money but the two share a connection and she offers him pity sex. To everyone’s surprise, including Tyrion’s, he rejects! “I’m sorry, I can’t.” She reassures him that she can and coaxes him to join her but he insists it’s something he cannot do. “Believe me, no one is more shocked than I am. I hope it passes!”

Defeated, Tyrion leaves and goes to piss into the sea. He hears someone walk up behind him and thinks its Varys. Alas, it is not! It is Ser Jorah Mormont, who we spotted earlier in the crowd.   Jorah seizes and gags Lord Tyrion. “I’m taking you to the Queen,” he says as he carts off Tyrion on his shoulder. We’re left to wonder the question of the hour….WHICH QUEEN?! I would bet all of the Lannister gold that it is none other than the love of his life, Daenerys Targaryen.

Side Note – Tyrion made an off-handed comment while listening to the Red Preacher about the disease, greyscale.  We also heard Stannis’ daughter, Shireen Baratheon, discuss the illness from which she suffers with Gilly in last week’s episode.  Something tells me that this is no coincidence but foreshadowing and we can expect a major character to go down from the illness before all is said and done.

Rock Paper Watch’s Top Quote of 5×3:

Jenn’s Pick –  “It’s a perfectly good face.”  – Varys in response to Tyrion’s angst against only seeing him for days on end.

Elizabeth’s Pick – “Stop being a bystander. Stop running. There’s no justice in the world. Not unless we make it. You loved your family. Avenge them.”

Game of Thrones Recaps are authored by Jenn O’Mera (Lannister and Targaryen) and Elizabeth Bond (Stark/Baratheon and Martell).  Feel free to contact any author with feedback or questions.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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Game of Thrones 4×4 Recap – Oathkeeper

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House Targaryen

We open with our favorite translator, Missandei, tutoring Grey Worm in the Common Tongue (GOT version of English).  We learn that Grey Worm comes from the Summer Isles but doesn’t remember that life.  “Unsullied.  Always Unsullied.  Before Unsullied, nothing,” he says.  Missandei can relate – she was taken as a 5-year-old child.  It’s no wonder these two, along with the hundreds of thousands of freed slaves, love and worship Dany.  She’s their liberator and the first person that has been nice to them and treated them with an ounce of respect in decades.  Their loyalty is unyielding, unlike the armies of Westeros, who appear to be loyal to gold and that’s about it.

Dany enters and with two words (“It’s time”) her plan to sack Meereen is set in motion.  Grey Worm and a small group of Unsullied, disguised as slaves, infiltrate the castle from a secret gate near the water.  They climb through the tunnels of the city at night while the Masters are resting and head to the slave headquarters.  The slaves are already meeting, discussing Dany and her horde and what it could potentially mean for them, but they are afraid to rise against the Masters.  There have been many unsuccessful slave rebellions and they have no weapons to fight.  Even chains are better than death.

Cue Grey Worm and Co.

“Valar morghulis,” Grey Worm says.  He tells the slaves of his enslavement, his life as Unsullied, and finally, his freedom thanks to Dany.  “Now I fight for Daenerys, Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains.”  He then surprises the slaves with bags of weapons and continues, “No on can give you your freedom, brothers.  If you want it, you must take it.”  You go, Grey Worm.  I’d fight with you.

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We cut to a Master and two soldiers stumbling upon “Kill the Masters” scrawled in blood on a wall.  In the sky, they spot something black and red – a flag with a red dragon – hanging over their statue and then armed slaves surround and trap them.  We cut again to Dany walking in a shower of broken slave chains with hundreds of thousands of newly freed slaves lining the roads shouting “Meesa, Meesa!” and raising their arms toward her. (Sound familiar?)  Beneath Dany, the Unsullied surround the Masters of the city.  Dany asks Ser Jorah how many children were nailed to mile posts.  One hundred and sixty three.  Dany signals.  Barristan asks for a word and warns her that it is best to answer injustice with mercy.  “I will answer injustice with justice,” proclaims Dany and then stares Barristan down.  Stop questioning her, Barristan.  She’ll breathe fire on you eventually.

Dany has the masters crucified in the same fashion as the slave children and stands watch over the city, underneath the dragon flag hoisted on the top monument, and listens to the moans and screams of the Masters.

House Stark

Sansa – As we saw last week, Sansa was “rescued” (I use rescued lightly) by Littlefinger. He informs Sansa that they’re en route to her crazy Aunt Lysa Tully’s castle. You may remember crazy Aunt Lysa from Season 1. She’s most memorable for breastfeeding her child, NOT infant, but child and setting the stage for the lovable bromance between Tyrion and Bronn. I’d also like to point out this is the same place Arya is going (fingers crossed!).

Now, it’s time for some answers. Littlefinger admits he killed Joffrey, “A man with no motive is a man no one suspects,” eck. “If they don’t know who you are or what you want, they can’t know what you plan to do next,” he says while looking seductively at Sansa. You can see Sansa taking a scared gulp before asking what he does want. Littlefinger responds, “Everything,” while creepily running his hands down her arms while I physically shudder.

Can we pause for a second? We all know that Littlefinger was a bit obsessed with Catelyn. And Littlefinger has always treated Sansa like the next best thing. And Littlefinger is a spiteful bitch. Remember last season when Sansa chose her potential nuptials to Loras over escaping King’s Landing with Littlefinger? Something tells me that Sansa is NOT safe right now. End pause.

But there is no way Littlefinger acted alone. He tells Sansa that he has a new, top-secret, powerful alliance. Ser Dontos was too easily swayed and not smart enough to pull this off. Who killed Joffrey Baratheon?! As we find out in the next scene it was the very powerful House Tyrell. More on that later.

Jon Snow – Seriously Castle Black, you NEED to prepare for the Wildings. And hey, one of your men has been with them for the past couple of “months” (I don’t know time is weird in Westeros). Why don’t you use his insider knowledge to prepare? Yea. No? Okay.
Jon Snow is training the men on how to fight Wildlings. Ser Alliser Thorne interrupts him because his rank doesn’t allow him that kind of superiority. Janos Slynt suggests sending Jon on the mission to Craster’s Keep to get rid of Jon Snow. That’s smart, let’s get rid of our biggest asset against the Wildlings before they attack (rolls eyes).
So Jon is off to Craster’s but only if he can gather enough volunteers to take down the Night’s Watch rebels that have taken over the Keep. He delivers a big speech and slowly, one by one, the volunteers stand up.

Wait a second, who’s that guy hanging around Castle Black? It’s Locke, the guy that chopped off Jaime’s hand. After episode two, we can also think of him as Ramsey Snow’s sadistic BFF. You may remember, Locke was asked by Roose Bolton to travel north and find Bran and Rickon. Speaking of…

Bran – Meanwhile, at Craster’s Keep it is a shit show (pardon my French, but really). We catch up with Karl Tanner (portrayed by Burn Gorman, I bring this up because the guy’s real name is SO MUCH cooler than his GOT name and that NEVER happens), as he’s drinking wine from a HUMAN SKULL and wallowing in his surroundings, which include rape and brutality. The wives and daughters of Craster have gone from being abused by one horrible man to several, awful, no good men.

Karl is rambling on and on about his glory days as a hired killer in King’s Landing. I honestly can’t pay attention to any of this because the surroundings are too disturbing.

And if this couldn’t get any worst, they have Jon Snow’s direwolf, Ghost, outside in a cage.

Bran, Hodor, and the Reeds make their way to Craster’s Keep, only to be quickly captured by the mutineers.

(side note – I ran a Tough Mudder two weeks ago. There is an obstacle called the Warrior Carry where you have to carry another participate. The guy next to me who was doing the carrying kept saying ‘Hodor! Hodor!’ – end note)

Karl torments his new prisoners and threatens to rape Meera. It’s then that Brad finally declares, “I’m Brandon Stark of Winterfell!” I’m not going to lie when he did this I was sitting on my couch going “YES! YES, YOU ARE BRAN!” It’s been a while since we’ve heard pride in declaring the name Stark. Shortly after Jojen starts seizing, no idea why. Stay tuned.

We have Jon Snow on his way to Bran. Will he get there in time? We have Arya and Sansa also potentially going to the same place. ARE WE GOING TO HAVE A STARK REUNION? For the love of god, please give us a Stark reunion. I can’t handle anymore Stark deaths. Don’t tease us like this!

White Walkers – Also at Craster’s keep, a baby boy is born and at the urging of the wives/daughters a mutineer leaves the baby outside in the snow for the “gods.” It’s not long before a White Walker comes along and picks the baby up. Is this what Jon witnessed in Season 1?

The White Walker carries the no longer crying baby to the White Walker circle of doom and lays it down as if an offering. The White Walker “king” makes his way to the child. The whole time I’m clinching my blanket hoping I’m not about to witness the king eat the poor sweet baby. He picks up the baby and with one touch of his finger he turns the child into a White Walker. So wait, is that where White Walker’s come from? They’re transitioned by the king when touched? So wait, are there a lot of infant White Walkers crawling around? Do they grow at superhuman speed? I have so many questions.

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Okay, so now I want to talk about the White Walkers for a second. I pretty much hate them, and not because they’re ominous villains, just because they exist. First of all, I’ve never been able to jump on the zombie train. When we got to the big reveal at the end of season two my reaction was, “ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME? ZOMBIES? REALLY?!” Secondly, I just don’t understand where they fit in the story and I don’t really care to know. I’m too involved in everyone else and their storylines to care about White Walkers. And it pisses me off to think about those compelling stories will eventually have to stop so the focus can be on the White Walkers. And then I find it even more annoying that eventually each of these characters might have to unite to fight a common threat. I love the conflict as it is. Can we just not? Can winter just not come? Ugh.

House Lannister

Jaime Lannister trains with Bronn, who is clearly enjoying kicking the Kingslayer’s ass.  He even slaps Jaime across the face with Jamie’s own golden hand.  After last week, Jaime deserved that, just saying.

After Bronn informs Jaime that he disrespects Tyrion with the same crude tone he uses with him, the pair discuss Tyrion’s implication in Joffrey’s death. Neither think Tyrion is guilty and Bronn finally calls Jaime out on failing to visit his brother. Bronn reminds Jaime that Tyrion called for him to stand in his trial by combat at the Eyrie; Tyrion is Jaime’s brother and he loves and adores him.  How dare Jaime turn his back on him in his time of need.  Jaime appears to leave like he doesnt care what Bronn has to say but…

He immediately goes to visit Tyrion Lannister in his jail cell.  The two brothers compare their different prison circumstances and Tyrion calls Jaime out for being Cersei’s bitch.  They discuss the dreaded trial and the fact that most people think Tyrion really did kill Joffrey.  Tyrion knows Cersei doesn’t care about the outcome of the trial and will kill him no matter what.  Tyrion asks if Jaime will do it himself. Jaime rebuttles by asking if Tyrion has joined him as a Kingslayer.  “Are you really asking if I killed your son?” Thank you, Tyrion, for addressing the elephant in the room and acknowledging that Joffrey was Jaime’s son, too.

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Jaime offers to help Tyrion but the only thing Tyrion wants is freedom.  Jaime can’t give him that.  It’s treason to help a Kingslayer.  Jaime then clues Tyrion in to Cersei’s threat on Sansa’s life but Tyrion assures Jaime it couldn’t have been her.  “Sansa’s not a killer.  Not yet, anyway.”

We catch up with Olenna and Margaery Tyrell during what appears to be their last stroll through the gardens because Olenna reveals she is leaving King’s Landing.  The Tyrells have proposed a match between Tommen and Margaery but the Lannisters haven’t answered yet.  Olenna tells Margaery to be patient and then tells her a story about her first love. He was originally supposed to marry Olenna’s sister but he fell victim to Olenna’s seduction since she was apparently very, very good.  But Olenna claims Margaery is even better and needs to move in on Tommen fast before Cersei turns him against her.  Luckily, Cersei is distracted and wrongfully accusing Tyiron of murder.  Margaery wonders how she knows Tyrion is innocent.  “You don’t think I’d let you marry that beast, do you?” Olenna responds.  Margaery is confused but Olenna tells her not to worry while she FIDDLES WITH HER NECKLACE. (ASIDE: Did Olenna seriously just admit to murdering the King?! END OF ASIDE)

Jaime visits his sister-lover Cersei on official business as Lord Commander of the Night’s Guard. Cersei questions the number of guards stationed outfront of Tommen’s room and also is curious about why Catelyn would set him free.  Was he telling the truth when he made the sacred vow to the enemy? Of course not.  Jaime claims he was lying and saying whatever he needed to get back to Cersei. Not convinced, Cersei wonders what would happen if she told Jaime to leave the capital, go find Sansa and bring Cersei her head?  She also wonders why Jaime would visit the creature that murdered their son.  Cersei mocks Jaime for pitying Tyrion and then orders him to increase the number of guards for Tommen.  She dismisses the Lord Commander as she drowns herself in wine and misery.

Tommen stirs and looks frightened when he hears a noise in the dark. Don’t worry King Tommen, it’s just Margaery popping in for a (secret) midnight visit.  She emerges from the dark and Tommen wonders why he’s there since mother doesn’t allow evening visits. Margaery assures him it’s okay since she’s going to be his new bride.  Margaery tells Tommen how lucky they are to know each other prior to an arranged marriage and they should take advantage and get to know one another.  Suddenly, Ser Pounce jumps up and interrupts the intense moment.  Tommen starts to confide in her and tell her about Joffrey’s sick plans for his poor cat.  Margaery lets him know that she thinks Joffrey is awful and asks him if he knows what happens when they marry.  “I become yours, forever,” she says.  Poor Tommen. He looks terrified of what that means but also intrigued and excited as Margaery bids him farewell and promises to visit again.  “Remember, our little secret,” she whispers before disappearing into the dark.

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Jaime gives Brienne a new suit of armor and his new Valyerian steel sword, claiming that since the sword is made from Ned Stark’s sword and she will be using it to defend Sansa, she has to take it.  Brienne promises to find Sansa and take her somewhere safe, for Catelyn and for Jaime.   Jaime also gives her Pod as a squire.  Poor Pod.  He’s such a good, innocent lad; he can’t figure out how to properly address Brienne.  Jaime also gives Pod Tyrion’s axe from the Battle of Blackwater, per Tyrion’s request.  Hooray for Pod!  Another nice guy who seems to have survived the Game.  Now if only we could find Gendry….

So Jaime disobeyed Cersei and did everything he could to help Sansa, not kill her.  What does this mean about Jaime?  What does he feel for Brienne, if anything?  Is he a Lannister or an Oathkeeper, as Brienne so aptly named the sword?

House Baratheon

No news here. Where. Is. Gendry.

Rock Paper Watch’s Top Quote of 4×4:

Jenn’s Pick – “Kill the Masters.”  – Grey Worm to the slaves of Meereen 

Elizabeth’s Pick – “There’s nothing more tedious than a trial. Except perhaps these gardens. If I have to take one more leisurely stroll through these gardens I’ll fling myself from the cliffs.” – Lady Olenna (like viewers) is also annoyed that she’s only allowed to hang out in the Gardens

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.


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Game of Thrones 3×4 Recap

Game of Thrones 3x4

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

House Lannister

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

House Stark

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

House Targaryen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

House Baratheon

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

Rock Paper Watch’s Top Quote of 3X4:

“A dragon is no slave.” Daenerys Targaryen

“Dracarys.” Daenerys Targaryen

Game of Thrones Recaps are authored by Jenn O’Mera (Lannister and Targaryen) and Elizabeth Bond (Stark and Baratheon).  Feel free to contact any author with feedback or questions.  Also, we know that the Night’s Watch and Theon are not technically a part of House Stark, it’s easier to recap this way.