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Another character I'm pretty loyal to is Arya. She's practicing archery. She looks pretty good, but the Brotherhood's resident arrow-expert tells her she's not good enough. He advises her, "Never hold. Never aim." Basically, he's like the Syrio Forell of archery. Which, that's an awesome thing to be, so carry on with the archery lesson you guys!
But this happy little scene of practicing how to murder your enemies is interrupted by the arrival of Melisandre. If you remember, she left Stannis in search of King's blood. So what is she doing here? Oh, shit. Gendry. Poor Gendry. Gendry is not benefitting at all from his bastard status. Not that he ever has, I guess. After discussing with Beric Dondarrion about what it's like to die ("There is no other side. There is only darkness, my lady.") Melisandre hands two hefty bags of gold over to Thoros and sets off with Gendry to...what will she do with him? I don't know, but I don't think it can be anything good. Gendry wants to stay with the Brotherhood, but Melisandre tells him, "You are more than they can ever be. They are just foot soldiers in the great war. You will make kings rise and fall." Which, I guess that might sound sort of like a good thing, but I don't think it is. I really don't.
Arya doesn't think so either and runs up to Melisandre, saying that she's sure the Red Woman wants to hurt her friend. Melisandre looks intently at Arya before saying, "I see a darkness in you and in that darkness are eyes staring back at me." Apparently those eyes? Are the eyes of the people Arya will kill. Melisandre says to her, "We will meet again." And I shudder but also think that it will be interesting as the seven hells when they do.
Speaking of seven hells, Theon is not looking well. He is straight up being tortured by the psycho who pretended to rescue him and who now says to Theon, "Let's play a game. Which body part do you need the least?"
This scene is excruciating to watch, worse than watching a cat toy with a mouse or something, because, at least in that case, the mouse doesn't know it's being toyed with. Theon knows and is doing everything he can to try and figure out a way to appeal to this still-unidentified guy, but, as the guy points out to Theon, "This isn't happening for a reason. Except for the reason that I enjoy it."
He also tells Theon, "If you think this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention."
And then he cuts off Theon's finger. So, apparently, karma can be revisited in a lifetime. Theon sure is suffering for what he did to those two little boys.
At Riverrun, Robb Stark is visited by two of Walder Frey's sons, who agree to help Robb, despite the fact that he broke an oath and shamed their family, if Uncle Edmure will marry one of the Frey daughters. Because Edmure is a jerk who can't do anything right, even light his own father's funeral barge on fire, Edmure refuses. Robb and the Blackfish finally coerce him into doing it, the Blackfish coming right out and saying, "The laws of my fists are about to compel your teeth." And so a wedding is planned! How can anything possibly go wrong?
Meanwhile, at Harrenhal, Roose Bolton is having dinner with Jaime and Brienne. Those two are a solid team now, Brienne even helping old, one-handed Jaime cut his meat. Roose, despite being ostensibly one of Robb's bannermen, is letting Jaime go back to King's Landing because he wants money from Tywin Lannister. Jaime wants Brienne to go with him, but Roose refuses. When Jaime starts to get petulant about it, Roose tells him, "I would have hoped you'd learned your lesson about overplaying your position." I guess we'll have to wait and see if Jaime's loyalty to Brienne extends to losing yet another hand, or other important body part.
And now! We have a real meeting of the minds between the Queen of Thorns and Tywin Lannister. To recap, Lady Olenna Tyrell has totally schooled everyone she's talked to, from Varys to Cersei to Tyrion. How will she hold up against Tywin? Well, she starts off strong. Lady Olenna is visiting Tywin because she's opposed to the marriage between Cersei and Loras. She tells Tywin that such a union would be, "Impossible. Your daughter is...old. I'm something of an expert on the subject." Ha!
After some discussion about Loras's sexual preferences ("A sword-swallower through and through.") and whether or not Joffrey is a Baratheon at all, Tywin gets sick of arguing and tells Lady Olenna how it's going to be. He says, "If you refuse to marry Loras to Cersei, I will name him to the Kingsguard."
Oooh, shit. That would ruin everything for House Tyrell. You see, the Kingsguard is for life. And you have to swear never to marry or have children. So all the Tyrell holdings would go to Margaery, which means they'd go to Joffrey. Lady Olenna can't have that and accedes to what Tywin wants, saying, "It's a rare enough thing, a man who lives up to his reputation."
And there you have it, you guys. Lady Olenna was just schooled by Tywin Lannister. Except, I'm not worried about her at all. She'll be just fine. But, damn, that was an impressive encounter.