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

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

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

House-Baratheon1

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

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

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

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

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

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

House-Stark_

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

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

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

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

House-Targaryen-

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

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

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

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Westerosi Key Players

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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Game of Thrones 3×6 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.


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Game of Thrones 3×2 Recap

This week’s episode was titled “Dark Wings, Dark Words” an obvious shout out to the crows that constantly plague Westeros with bad news.   This week’s episode addresses the story lines of everyone we missed last week, setting us up for the drama that is sure to happen in the episodes moving forward.  With that, let’s get started.

House Stark

Jon Snow – Jon Snow is now best buds with the King Beyond the Wall, Mance Raydar.  The two are out for a leisurely stroll discussing Mance’s ability to unite several tribes that hate each other.  How did he do it?  “I told them we were all going to die if we don’t get south,” he says.  Is Mance taking Jon under his wing?  Does he see some of himself in the Stark bastard?  Could he be training him to be potential king?  At this point and time, we still don’t know what Jon Snow is up to.  Has he officially abandoned the Night Watch?  Or is he trying to infiltrate Mance’s inner circle?

During their walk they meet a “warg” or an ex-pirate from Pirates of the Caribbean.  A warg is a man who can enter the minds of animals.  Jon Snow is impressed.  Ygritte is appalled that he’s never met one before.  God, this guy cannot catch a break!

The warg sees dead crows (reminder Dark Wings, Dark Words), which could be symbolism for the White Walkers taking the wall and killing the “crows” (Night Watch).

Sansa – Shae expresses her concern about the conversation Sansa had with Littlegfinger last week.  Naturally, Shae is concerned that Littlefinger will now take Sansa as his own little plaything.  Definitely a reasonable concern, I mean the guy is strangely obsessed with her mother, Catelyn.

Sansa has been asked to meet with Margaery and her spit-fire of a grandmother Lady Olenna (I love this woman, she reminds me of every southern grandmother).  There to escort her is Renly’s ex, Ser Loras.  During their walk Sansa reminds them of the time he gave her a red rose before a joust, he doesn’t recall it, we remember he was too busy making googly eyes at Renly instead.

Lady Olenna greets Sansa warmly, and with lemon cakes (man, I’d love a lemon cake right now).  But the kindness doesn’t come without a price.  Lady Olenna and Margaery want to know about Joffrey’s true nature, and they think Sansa is a reliable source.  Sansa reacts how she always reacts, carefully and with poise.  She’s got to protect herself from the dreadful king.  It’s obvious that she’s terrified, but its time for the girl to start making allies.

“He’s a monster.”
“That’s a pity,” Olenna replies.

Anyone else think that Sansa will eventually be betrothed to Ser Loras?  It would be a great way for Sansa to protect herself and remain inside the inner circle.

Robb – The eldest Stark is still married (rats) and found flirting with his wife, Talisa.  Their affections are interrupted by Roose Bolton who has bad crow news (see title).  Catelyn’s father is dead and Winterfell has been burned down.  Rickon and Bran are nowhere to be found and there’s no word from Theon.

Robb is still dealing with grumpy bannermen.  One in particular isn’t afraid to let Robb know that “[he] lost this war the day [he] married her,” nodding to Talisa.  Robb can no longer use his hand in marriage as a bargaining chip, and he dishonored his previous promise to Lord Frey’s daughter.  But what’s done is done; it’s time to figure out a new strategy for winning the war.

Later Catelyn bonds with Talisa (something tells me we’ll never see something like this between Cersai and Margaery).  Catelyn is making what looks to be an over-sized dream catcher to protect her children (since they’re all missing or being held captive).  She discusses the previous times she has made a dream catcher like thing.  One child was sick with the pox and the Stark’s were told he wasn’t going to make it through the night.  She sat by his bedside the entire night, praying for his recovery.  It’s heartbreaking when she confesses that the child was Jon Snow.  Turns out Catelyn bargained for his recovery by promising to love him like her own, to accept him into her family.  When Snow recovered she couldn’t follow through.  She blames everything that has happened since on her inability to love a motherless child.

Theon – Guess what guys, Theon’s not dead!  But I’m sure he would rather be than stuck in his current situation.  Theon is locked in some dreary dungeon (we’re not sure where) being tortured by someone (we’re not sure who).  The torturer wants to know why he attacked Winterfell, Theon spews out any possible answer.  None seem to satisfy the torturer.  He’s fingernail is torn off and screws are driven into his feet.  I cringed.  Did you find some satisfaction in seeing Theon in pain or did you feel sorry for him?  Call me a traitor if you must, but I kind of felt sorry for the guy.

A boy (hello Iwan Rheon of London’s Spring Awakening) there to clean the dungeon (good to know the torture is sanitary) let’s Theon know that he’s here to help, was sent by Theon’s sister, Yara.

Bran – The episode begins in Bran’s head.  In his dream, he is hunting the three-eyed crow (see title), the viewer is reminded of simpler times as he’s seen learning to shoot with Jon and Robb.  Did anyone else get sentimental when Ned’s voice made an appearance?

A boy appears in Bran’s dream and gives him some advice “You can’t kill it because the raven is you.”  When he wakes, he’s back in the woods, still paralyzed and with Osha and Hodor.  Bran begins to tell Osha of the dream but she doesn’t want to hear it.  Whoa, Bran’s voice has dropped, he sounds like a little man now.

Later Bran is asleep (again) but wakes to find Osha and the direwolf ready to pounce on a mysterious rustling noise coming from the woods.  I don’t know about you guys but if I was in a fight, I would want Osha on my team.  The mysterious young man from the dream approaches.  We meet Jojan Reed and his sister Meera.  Jojan and Meera are the children of Howland Reed, a friend and bannerman of Eddard Stark.  He has been looking for Bran; he can see Bran’s visions and recognizes that Bran possesses the sight or the ability to see the past, future, and present.  This explains the opening scene; it wasn’t just a dream after all.  If Bran has the sight, does this mean Rickon does too?  You may remember they both saw the death of their father in Season 1.  Man, those Stark kids are a complex bunch!

The way Bran’s face lit up when he realized his special talent was precious.  It’s as if he finally realizes his purpose.

Arya – Finally!  The moment we’ve all been waiting for.  First of all, Bran isn’t the only Stark child that’s grown a lot since last season.  There’s no way Arya could hide being a girl now.  We find her walking through the woods with Gendry and Hot Pie.  Gendry is asking the questions we’ve all asked since last season.  Arya could have killed off anyone, why not kill off someone important?  “You could have picked King Joffrey!  You could have picked Tywin Lannister! You could have ended the war!”  Preach.

They are found and taken in the woods by a group called Brotherhood Without Banners.  The Brotherhood is an outlaw group who fights the Lannisters in the name of former King Robert.  The Brotherhood is led by Thoros of Myr, who is more interested in how two young boys and a very dangerous girl managed to escape Harrenhal.  He wants to treat them to lunch and hear their story.

Arya is waiting for the other shoe to drop, like their captivity is imminent.  She’s not giving any details away about how they escaped Harrenhal.  The Brotherhood has a laugh at her claiming to be a fighter; Arya draws her sword in an effort to prove herself.  Thoros immediately knocks the sword out of her hand.  Impressed by her nerve, Thoros honors his word to let them go.

It’s then that the men bring in another captive, an “uncommonly large person.”  It’s The Hound.  Arya tries to sneak by but he sees her. “What in the seven hells are you doing with the Stark bitch?”  Just kidding, Arya.  You’re not going anywhere.

House Lannister

The first Lannister sighting that we have this episode is finally the Kingslayer himself, Jaime Lannister. Portrayed by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Jaime Lannister is a wonderful character. My only regret for him in his current state is that he’s filthy and covered in rags. I miss the beauty of Jaime Lannister and I hope we see it again one day!

But, as we catch up with Jaime Lannister, he is being transported on foot to King’s Landing by Brienne of Tarth. Brienne is acting upon the orders of Lady Catlyn Stark. Brienne reminds Jaime of this, and her intention to trade his life for the lives of Arya and Sansa, as the episode begins. As the scene first started, my first thought was, “Still? We’re STILL seeing these two just walk and talk?”, but I was quickly reminded of why these scenes work so well. Brienne and Jaime have so much chemistry. Not chemistry in that “let’s have sex” kind of way, but chemistry in their banter and contempt for each other and their purposes in life. Jaime is desperate to break the will of his captor so he begins verbally attacking Brienne. He mocks her size and personality, and he pushes her about her relationship with the late Renly Baratheon. Jaime quickly figures out that Brienne had feelings for Renly, and he doesn’t hesitate to inform her that she wasn’t Renly’s type. “You’re far too much man for him,” mocks Jaime. “It’s a shame the throne isn’t made of c*cks. They’d have never got him off it.” Brienne doesn’t let Jaime get to her, but her patience quickly grows thin. Jaime actually surprised me in this scene when he tells Brienne that he doesn’t blame her or Renly, because you can’t choose who you love. I guess that helps to explain why Jaime, the gorgeous golden lion, would choose his demented twin sister as a lover instead of any other woman, or all the women, of Westeros.

Jaime and Brienne’s argument was interrupted by the passing by of a farmer. The farmer calls out to Brienne and Jaime, but acts as if he doesn’t recognize either one of them. He informs them that he is headed to Riverrun, and assures Jaime he is in safe hands with the massive woman, Brienne. As he leaves, Jaime warns Brienne that the farmer recognized the Kingslayer, and that she needs to keep him quiet. Brienne’s morals seem to prevent her from killing the innocent man, but this will prove to be very important later in the episode.

The next Lannister we see is King Joffrey, playing dress up with his mother. I couldn’t help but think that Joffrey is clearly the client from hell. After Joffrey sends his designer to find all new options, Cersei begins to question Joffrey about Margaery. “Tell me what you think of her.” Joffrey seems to think it’s an ideal match, if you’re only thinking in terms of beating the North. He won’t indulge his mother in this conversation, and one wonders if its on purpose or if Joffrey is ignorant to the happenings of the women around him. Joffrey seems to think intelligent women are only those women who do what they are told. I wonder if he truly has any idea who he is living with. I’m also beginning to sense trouble in paradise with the mother lion and her cub.

Tyrion walks into his new and improved Lannister digs only to find Shae waiting for him. Tyrion is disturbed at her sight, and worries that someone saw her. He seems truly frightened that Tywin will kill Shae if he catches her, and it seems like he’s not willing to take any more risks. But he softens as he listens to Shae warn him about Sansa’s involvement with Littlefinger. Tyrion is no idiot, and he realizes that Baelish can’t be trusted. But as he mentions his knowledge of Ros, both politically and horizontally, we see Shae grow quite jealous. (Though I’m not sure what she expected. A virgin imp? His life would’ve sucked!) That jealousy grows worse when Tyrion accidentally calls Sansa a great beauty with an old name. I thought this was kind of weird, as Shae has never really displayed any jealousy towards Sansa, or Tyrion with other women before. That makes me think that this scene was carefully inserted into this episode for a reason. I have a feeling that this will prove to mean something later this season.

I’m not going to lie, I was kind of disappointed with the PG-13 sex scene between Tyrion and Shae. These two have great chemistry, and I hope we get to see some of that action soon.

In the next Lannister scene, we see Joffrey welcome Margaery into his suite. As she enters, she finds Joffrey pointing his new bow directly at her. It’s clear that he is testing her, and thanks to Lady Sansa, she is more prepared for this test. He begins by pretending to be sweet and caring, but quickly changes and questions her marriage to Renly. She doesn’t falter in her poise or attitude, and even manages to give answers that turn the tables so he feels sorry for her. She tells Joffrey that she married Renly because she was told to, and she did her duty to him as any wife owes a man. She tells him that they never made love because he seemed to prefer other things. She is careful in her words but while she talks, she doesn’t stop moving forward until she is sitting next to him. This is a bold move, and one that Joffrey isn’t used to. Margaery understands where Joffrey places women in society and she knows not to push it. So she belittles herself and her intelligence, and assures Joffrey that he has the right to do whatever pleases him, no matter how cruel or twisted it might be.

One thing that I thought was peculiar was Joffrey’s level of discomfort when she describes Renly’s sexual desires. He even backed off from her touch. He starts to warm up to her eventually, but only because it seems that she knows exactly how to play his sadistic side. Is Joffrey accustom to the same preversion as Renly? Only a sex scene with Margaery can show us otherwise!! Let’s make it happen, writers.

Margaery truly is a perfect match for Joffrey. She sees what excites him and probes it. She shows interest and excitement in his weapon and she applauds him for his skills. He doesn’t seem uncomfortable anymore, as he shows her how to use the weapon, but he seems enthralled that a woman could be into death and murder. “Would you like to watch me?”, she asks him as she describes the thrill of pulling the trigger here, and watching something die over there. I don’t think he could contain himself anymore after that. Their chemistry is so insane and I loved this scene, even if it made me a little uncomfortable. I think Margaery is the only woman who might be able to outwit and outsmart Joffrey, but I hope it takes her a little bit, because watching these two tango with medieval weapons is more entertaining than Dancing with the Stars this season.

Jaime and Brienne conclude the episode. “It’s wonderful to watch you wrestle with these dilemmas, which will she choose.” Jaime mocks Brienne as she has to choose between crossing the bridge on the road that is out in the open, or finding a long way around to avoid the King’s Road. “Gambler at heart, wouldn’t have guessed.” As they begin to cross over the open bridge, Jaime sits down and actually complains of suffering from corns. This made me laugh, but I laughed even more when he managed to get away from Brienne and arm himself with her sword with this ploy. I can’t believe she fell for it! She almost deserved his feeble attempt at escape.

When I realized that these two were finally going to have at it with swords, I was excited! But I really thought that it would be more of a competition. I understand that Jaime is still handcuffed and weak from traveling, but he talks a mighty big game and he is the Kingslayer! But Brienne puts him down with ease. The great beast of a woman that she is barely breaks a sweat when she knocks Jaime to the ground. In fact, it didn’t seem like much of a competition at all. Then, when it seems like Brienne can collect her prisoner and move on, in enters Robb’s bannermen, the Flayed Man of House Bolton. It turns out Jaime was right and the innocent farmer did recognize him. Jaime tried to barter for his life with his father’s gold, as did Tyrion back in Season 1, but the Boltons’ didn’t bite. As the episode ends, Brienne and Jaime are apprehended by the Northmen once again, or so it seems!

House Baratheon

Not much on Baratheon this week, a few “sentimental” remarks from Margaery about Renly.  Hopefully, we’ll get an update on Stannis next week!

House Targaryen

Unfortunately, there was no Dany or Targaryen action in this episode. That means we also didn’t have any dragon sightings. Let’s just hope this means we will have a double dose of Dany & the dragons next week!

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.