What is a person’s word actually worth? Does a promise need to be kept if it was made to a person who is himself without honor? And why haven’t the wildlings ever heard about oral sex before? These are all questions that were debated during this episode and, frankly, they all have equal validity. But putting aside the issue of oral sex for a moment, the themes of honor, betrayal, oaths, and revenge have all been constant in Game of Thrones from the very beginning of the series, when Ned Stark beheads a deserter from the Night’s Watch because the man had made an oath never to leave the Wall. Never mind that this man had escaped the murderous White Walkers. He broke his oath and betrayed his brothers, and so he had to die. Along the way, we’ve seen “honorable” men like Ned lose their lives and total sociopaths like Joffrey keep on keepin’ on. We’ve also seen characters who are meant to be honorable, like Robb Stark, betray oaths and break promises. Westeros exists in a world where people will condemn you for breaking your word, even if you do it in order to slay an insane and homicidal king. What I’m saying is, it’s tough out there and navigating through the empty promises and broken oaths isn’t easy. It’s probably best just to keep your head down (right, Jon Snow?) and stay out of trouble. But it doesn’t look like that will be possible for all the characters we’ve come to know and love. Or, as the case may be, not love at all, but merely tolerate. I’m looking at you, Robb Stark’s wife.
But so we open in the cave where the Brotherhood dwells, and Thoros of Myr is saying a blessing before the Hound and Ser Berric face off in a battle to the death. They’re about to do one of those Camelot-era things, where might is right and a divine force will declare a winner and all that stuff.
Thoros says, “Lord, cast your light upon us. Show us the truth. strike this man down if he is guilty and give strength to his sword if he is true. Lord of Light, give us wisdom. For the night is dark and full of terrors.” So, basically, he is the male Melisandre. And we know, from the smoke baby, that whatever you might think about how the Lord of Light operates, he really gets shit done. And, also, if there was anyone who would not be into converting to the faith of the Lord of Light, it would be the Hound. Because of the whole fire thing. The Hound hates fire.
Which is too bad for him because after Thoros finishes his prayer, Berric’s sword lights on fire and combat begins. It’s actually a sort of beautiful and balletic fight between the two men, with flames and sparks flying everywhere as they battle in the enclosed space. The Brotherhood clearly thinks Berric will win and starts chanting,”Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.”
Just then, though, the Hound cuts right through both the flaming sword and Berric’s shoulder. It looks pretty fatal. I mean, I’m no expert, but there are arteries there and I actually felt like passing out just from watching it happen. So, he’s just gotta be dead. But Thoros has clearly never heard of a lost cause and heads over to pray for Berric. Good luck, Thoros. Maybe you won’t need luck, though, because you’ve got the Lord of Light.
Someone who is not too happy about the Hound’s survival is Arya. She really wanted him to die. So she decides to do it herself and would have rushed straight toward the Hound if Gendry didn’t hold her back. The Hound laughs at her from the floor and says, “Looks like the god likes me more than your butcher’s boy.”
“Burn in hell,” she shrieks, for once sounding like the little girl that she actually is.
Beric replies, “He will. But not today.” Uh, wait. What? He shouldn’t be alive. What CAN’T the Lord of Light do? I’m thinking that this religion might be the horse to bet on here.
The Hound is now allowed to leave the Brotherhood, unharmed, and Arya is pissed, but apparently it’s what the Lord of Light wants. For now, anyway. Berric thinks that the Lord of Light (or LoL) is “not done with him yet.” We’ll see what that means, I suppose.
Anyway, up North beyond the Wall, Jon is still having to prove himself to the wildling-warg who is also known as Gareth from “The Office.” The wildlings are planning their attack on the Wall and Jon’s information is essential, but it seems that, at this point, only Ygritte trusts Jon to relay the correct information. Is it just because she “wants him inside of her” as is suggested by Gareth from “The Office”? I mean, maybe? And while that might not be a foolproof way of trusting someone, it is, at the very least, relatable.
So, Ygritte sticks up for Jon who then gets predictably all pissy about having, you know, a girl defend him and tells Ygritte she doesn’t need to do that. She responds that this means he owes her a debt, steals his sword, and goes running off. Foreplay, you guys. That’s what this is. Straight-up wilding foreplay. Ygritte runs into a cave and stops by a waterfall and tells Jon that it’s time to prove that he’s not a Crow. She undresses and says to him, “You swore some vows. I want you to break them. I want you to see me. All of me.”
And so Jon sees all of her. We all see all of her. And so I had heard that there would be a penis in this episode (a GoT first!) and wondered, Will it be Jon Snow’s? But it was not.
Ygritte is annoyed that it’s not Jon Snow’s penis either and says, “Why are you still dressed? You know nothing, Jon Snow.”
But, actually? He knows something. He knows how to reference this episode’s title “Kissed By Fire.” By which I mean, he kisses her fire. By which I mean, he goes down on her. I’m sure you didn’t need me to spell that out for you, but I did anyway.
And in fact, Ygritte wants to talk about it too. She asks Jon, “That thing you did, with your mouth? Is that what lords do to ladies in the South?”
“I don’t know,” Jon says. “I just wanted to kiss you there is all.”
And then they do the thing where they talk about their sexual histories except Jon is a virgin. So it’s a short conversation. And Jon is clearly annoyed that Ygritte is not a “maid” like he is. But not too annoyed. Not so annoyed that he won’t hop into a steaming hot spring with her and do it again.
Ygritte says to him, “Let’s not go back. Let’s just stay here for a while longer. I don’t ever want to leave this cave, Jon Snow. Not ever.” But you know they will go back. Because Jon swore an oath. He has his duty to fulfill.