So, here we are in episode 3. Shit is about to go down. No more laying the groundwork, there is real action to be had. Finally! So, what did we learn in this episode? Well, we learned a lot actually. Even more new characters were introduced—including Brynden "The Blackfish" Tully who is a total badass. Lots and lots of stuff happened. There was sex and there was violence and there was death and there was birth. And the ending. The ending! Let's get to it.
So, the King of the North and his people have arrived at Riverrun, the family seat of House Tully. They are here to mourn the death of Lord Hoster, Catelyn's father. He gets a Viking-esque send-off, and is laid in a boat covered in kindling before being pushed off into the river. Here's where you realize, though, that not all of the Tully's are super-skilled at doing things. Not that Catelyn is exactly a model of competence herself, what with having kidnapped Tyrion a while back and then fucking up the whole Jaime situation as badly as she did. Actually, considering how crazy Lysa Arryn née Tully is too, maybe something just went totally wrong in that generation? Anyway. The boat carrying Lord Hoster is supposed to be set ablaze by an arrow. Unfortunately Catelyn's brother, Edmure, is no Bronn of the Blackwater and can not hit the boat to save his life. Luckily, total badass Brynden Tully steps in and does it in one try. Apparently, this is a skill that is needed in Westeros. And Brynden the Blackfish has skills.
Once the funeral is over, Robb really tears into Edmure, who, it should be noted, is played by Tobias Menzies who played Brutus in HBO's "Rome." Will Edmure Tully and Mance Rayder have any scenes together? A nerdy as hell fangirl can dream, can't she? Anyway, Edmure didn't just screw up the funeral, he also screwed up an opportunity to capture the Mountain and bring Tywin Lannister to his knees. Edmure maintains that he captured a mill and two young, unimportant Lannisters, and Robb looks like if he could change into a wolf, he would. And then he'd tear his uncle's head off.
The Blackfish, who is equally disappointed in Edmure, points out that, "We seem to be running thin on patience here."
And Robb tersely states, "You know who isn't? Tywin Lannister."
Which is true! But Tywin Lannister is running out of chairs. He is leading the King's Small Council meeting, which is attended by Varys, Pycelle, Littlefinger, Cersei, and Tyrion. Cersei goes to sit near her father. Tyrion, already situated at the far end of the table, moves away even further, putting himself directly opposite Tywin and Cersei. Not really subtle, but definitely effective. Tywin is angry and wants to know where Jaime is. Me too! I always want to know where Jaime is. We find out that Roose Bolton, who is aligned with the Northmen, is in Harrenhal. And then Lord Baelish is told that he should wed Lysa Arryn, which seems to make him happy because he will have dominion over the Arryn lands. I'm not sure if he knows that Lysa still breastfeeds her preteen son, but I'm sure he'll find out soon enough. Also, Tyrion is named new Master of Coins. Which doesn't seem so bad? But because of Cersei's devilish smile, it clearly is.
And out in the woods, a pack of men move together, singing the song "The Bear and Maiden Fair." It is, frankly, creeping me out. These are Jaime and Brienne's captors who are singing and these are bad, bad guys. Jaime and Brienne are tied together, riding a horse and bickering. Mostly, Jaime is trying to convince Brienne that she never would have beaten him in a fair fight. Suddenly though, Jaime transitions into, like, real talk. Jaime warns Brienne that their captors will probably try to rape her and that she shouldn't resist, lest she be killed. He admits to her that he'd rather die if he was in her position, but also that he's just glad he's not a woman to begin with. Yeah, women. We do not have an easy time of it. But then, neither does Jaime in the end.
North of the Wall, we come across Mance and the rest of the wildlings. They happened upon a pretty bloody scene. There's a lot of dead horses. "Always the artists," says Mance and the camera rises up, so that we can see how all the dismembered horses have been arranged in a concentric pattern on the snow. It looks kind of like the cave paintings at Lascaux. Anyway, Mance realizes that if the horses are all dead, the Night's Watch must be decimated and weak. Mance sends Tormund and a bunch of other wildlings, including Jon, to the Wall to climb it and attack Castle Black. Seems like war is coming to the North as well.
And about the Night's Watch. They are indeed pretty bedraggled. Mormont and the remainder of the Night's Watch arrive at Craster's Keep. He doesn't want to let them in, but feels like they might kill him if he doesn't. That'd be enough to convince me too. The Night's Watchmen eat, but the wailing of a woman giving birth is a bit distracting. Craster doesn't seem to care though and instead jokes about eating Sam, which, bad form, Craster. Sam walks out and finds out that it's Gilly giving birth. It's a boy. And we all know what that means—death by white walker. So that's not good.
Meanwhile, Theon is being helped by the servant boy who claims to be an emissary of Yara, Theon's sister. He gets Theon a horse and advises him to ride east. Before leaving, Theon promises to give the boy a title in the Iron Islands, but talk about a shitty gift. No one cares about the Iron Islands, Theon! Get a clue. You should've stuck with the Starks.
Also leaving a castle is Melisandre. She is departing from Dragonstone to go on a sea voyage to an undisclosed location and Stannis doesn't want her to leave. He claims to doubt her loyalty, but really he just feels powerless and wants to make another smoke baby with her. Alas, Melisandre tells him that "his fire is low" which means he can't get it up enough to spawn another demon, and so she's off to find more royal blood aka get fucked by a dude whose fire is sky-high.
As bad as Westeros is, Astapor seems maybe even worse? The streets are lined with crucified slaves. That's pretty bad! It's so bad that even when Dany tries to help a dying man, he's all, "Let me die, lady." Ser Jorah and Ser Barristan are fighting over whether or not Dany should buy the Unsullied for her slave army. Ser Jorah is pro and Ser Barristan is con. Ser Barristan tells her that her brother, Rhaegar, would never have bought slaves. He tells her that Rhaegar, also called The Last Dragon, had people who loved him fight for him and that Rhaegar was the finest man Ser Barristan ever knew.
Dany tells him, "I wish I had known him too, but he was not the last dragon." She's the greatest.
Daenerys wants to buy all the Unsullied. There's some more inaccurate translating going on because the evil slave trader, Kraznys, is, well, a dickhead. He claims that Dany only can buy a couple hundred of the Unsullied, not all 8,000. Daenerys says she will give up one of her dragons. This...seems like a bad idea? Evidently, Ser Jorah and Ser Barristan think so too because they tell her she's making a mistake in front of everyone else. Nevertheless, she insists and also has Kraznys throw in the slave girl who translates for him. Then, Dany stalks out and yells at Ser Jorah and Ser Barristan for contradicting her in public. She's totally right about that.
Dany talks to the slave girl, Missandei, and asks if she has any family. When she finds out Missandei does not, she asks if the girl would like to stay with her. Dany warns her that they will be going to war and that men die and are hurt and suffer in war. But then Dany says this, "All men must die, but we are not men." And you know she is going to kick some ass. Daenerys is not a man. She is not even a woman. She is a dragon. Roar.
So, before we get to the shocking, jaw-dropping ending, we will pay one last visit to King's Landing. Tyrion goes to get the accounting ledgers from Littlefinger and, of course, Littlefinger keeps them in his brothel. Littlefinger goes on being creepy as ever, even insinuating that it was he who told Cersei that Roz was Tyrion's whore, thus leading to the brutal beating that Roz got last season. Littlefinger fully deserves the name that Bronn has given him, "Lord Twat Beard." It suits him well, I think.
While they're at the brothel, Tyrion decides to thank Pod for saving his life by aiding him in the loss of his virginity. There are not one, not two, but THREE women who will help relieve Pod of his innocence. It's a lot like that scene in Almost Famous, only the Band-Aids in that movie didn't know how to do the "Meereeneese Knot," a yogic-move that is really quite impressive. Later, Pod returns to Tyrion and Bronn and tells them that the women refused to accept his money because his magic penis is just that magical. Bronn says, in disbelief, "These ladies enjoyed you so much they gave you the time for free?" And I laughed because "giving someone the time" is a euphemism for sex that I have only ever heard while reading "The Catcher in the Rye." And I can totally see how Bronn is a Salinger fan.
So, well, in other news, Theon is fucked. Almost literally. He has been hunted down. Arrows whiz by his head, but he can't avoid the man with the mace, who knocks him to the forest ground in a particularly brutal way. And the pain isn't over for Theon, it seems, because he is told to pull down his pants so that he can get "fucked into the dirt." Until! What's this? The servant boy who freed Theon shoots the others with arrows and helps Theon up and they ride off. Before dying, the man who was so intent on fucking Theon into the dirt, looks at the servant boy and proclaims, "You little bastard."
And, finally, we are with Brienne and Jaime, who are tied to trees by their captors. It is night and, just like Jaime predicted, the men come to take Brienne away and rape her. She struggles and fights and it appears doubtful that things will go well for her. Jaime looks pensive before calling out, "You know who she is, don't you? Heard of Tarth? They call it Sapphire Isle."
Oh, Jaime. Why are you THE BEST?
Jaime tells the man in charge that Brienne's father will surely pay them her weight in sapphires if she's returned unharmed and undefiled. Jaime goes on to say that his own father will pay a hefty sum in gold as long as Jaime escapes alive. This seems to be working at first, but sadly, Jaime gets cocky as fuck. And he pays for it. Oh, shit, does he pay for it. The head captor (who is supposed to be Vargo Hoat but I don't know if that's ever said) flings Jaime's head down on a chopping block and puts the tip of his knife right up against Jaime's eye.
"You're nothing without your daddy," says the knife-weiding captor, "and your daddy ain't here."
And he pulls the knife away from Jaime's eye, and we all breathe a sigh of relief. Until he brings the knife back up and then swings it down on Jaime's wrist. Jaime can't believe it. We can't believe it. And then Jaime screams. Good-bye, Jamie's right hand.
And then, what? The Hold Steady do a rollicking, clattering version of "The Bear and the Maiden Fair," and once again, Game of Thrones proves that it's the best. And that it loves Brooklyn bands.
Yes, Astapor is a creepy and terrible place and Dany just bartered one of her dragons away. But, please. There is no way she's not in control of this situation. The girl is a dragon. Even on her worst days, she is better than anyone else.
Arya, Gendry, and the Brotherhood left Hot Pie behind at the tavern where they had rested. It feels a bit strange to say good-bye to a character other than through death or dismemberment, so it seems like Hot Pie is really a winner here. Ane he can bake bread in the shape of a wolf. Cool!
Cool as Brynden the Blackfish is, Edmure is lame. Plus, he has weakened Robb's position and this does not bode well for the King of the North.
Jaime. Oh, Jaime. I really hope you're ambidextrous. All good swordsmen should be. At least it'll be harder to keep handcuffs on him now? There's no upside really. This made me terribly sad.
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